Monday, November 29, 2010

must read

I read an AMAZING article on the cover of the Style section in the Washington Post today.  It was about local author Laura Hillenbrand who wrote "Seabiscuit" several years ago.  She suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, a disease I know very little about other than what I read in this article today, but one that sounds absolutely horrible.  I simply cannot imagine what it must be like to live in a body that is sick, tired and in pain all the time.  The disease traps her and her escape is her research and her writing.  

Hillenbrand's recent book is called "Unbroken."  It is the biography of the extraordinary life of Olympic-class runner Louis Zemperini who became a POW during WWII.  Please read this Post article - I just can't do it justice.  Tomorrow I will be heading to the book store to get "Unbroken."  I can't wait to dive into this story.

To read the Post article, click here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

9 weeks to go, and other stuff

A few weeks ago I started feeling "off" - a tightness in my chest, a nagging but not terrible cough, TIRED.  Then my voice went, although my throat wasn't too sore really.  I just kept on going and figured maybe I was fighting a little something but that it wasn't anything to really worry about.  Then it just didn't go away and then it got worse and the next thing I knew I felt REALLY bad and so completely exhausted and realized it had been about 3 weeks since I felt "normal."  So I went to the doctor and he told me I had a sinus infection and bronchitis and I needed to go on an antibiotic.  Oh.  There you go!  I've been so busy juggling the many things in my life that I was somehow not paying the best attention to ME.  During all that time my son was sick with a bad cold (which I'm sure I got from him or at the same time he got it) and asthma and an ear infection and I was so focused on his health that I didn't really think much about my own.  Funny how we do that as moms...

Thankfully now I am feeling much better - better than I have in weeks - and am ready for the busy week that lies ahead.  My Sugar Cone business is going well and keeping me swamped and happy.  My treadmill comes tomorrow (HOOORAY!!) and I really cannot wait for it to arrive.  It was supposed to be delivered over a week ago and when they came to set it up they realized a part was missing (!!??!!) which totally freaked me out.  Thank goodness we paid to have Sears assemble it.  So now they will be delivering it tomorrow - hopefully with all parts in hand.

My baby is due in exactly 2 months from today, a little less than 9 weeks away.  With crazy December here I have a feeling that before I know it my due date will be less than a month away.  I can't wait to meet this baby.  With each passing day I pray with all my heart that my baby is healthy and strong.  I pray that the next couple of months are simple and peaceful for me and my family and my growing baby.  I do not want to wish this time away.  I know it is so fleeting and so special.  My children are feeling the baby move, talking to it and kissing my belly.  It is a miraculous time and I feel that this Christmas season will be extra special as we all wait for our baby to arrive.  I am blessed beyond words and so very grateful.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

MCM 2010 recap - the longer version

In the effort to continue playing catch up on this blog, I wanted to post a bit more about my experience at MCM a few weeks ago.  Chronicling that day is important to me because it was so special and gave me such a new perspective on things.

my silver whistle from Paul
That morning I set my alarm for 4:45 - just like I would have if I were racing - and got myself ready to head out the door.  I picked up my sister Jodi, my client/friend Paul and my friend Justin and drove the excited marathoners as close to the start line as I could get them.  It was dark and cold but the energy in that car was electric!  They were so excited and nervous and I was too!  Sure there was a part of me that wished I was racing that day, but to be honest it was only a small part.  I was feeling so proud of them and so excited to cheer them on.  I was a part of their journey in a whole new way and very grateful for that.  When I dropped them off I gave them all big hugs and told them they would do great and thanked them for letting me share the experience with them.  I'm an emotional gal so naturally I was tearing up!  Then Paul gave me a box - a gift to say thank you for being his coach and his friend - I simply could not believe this kind gesture.  Inside was a beautiful silver whistle engraved with "Coach Jessica" on one side and "Breathe and Believe" on the other (a mantra we shared during his training).  It is so special to me.  I had never coached anyone before Paul and it was such an incredible experience.  I learned so much and was so inspired by him.  The reward of seeing how healthy, strong and happy he was at the start of that race was enough joy to sail on forever and to have this whistle as a symbol of this experience  was icing on the cake.

After dropping them off, I drove toward where the finish was so I could park my car there for when the race was over.  Then I got out my course map and began the adventure of spectating this amazing race!  I started at mile 1 and got to see the wheel chair and then the elite runners as they soared through.  I don't usually get to see this and it was inspiring to say the least!  The energy along the course was incredible to be a part of.  I walked over to the Key Bridge from there and saw the runners at Mile 4 as they ran across the bridge.  I had made signs that said "You Inspire Me" and "Trust Your Training" and got high fives and smiles from many runners (along with some who said "What training?" when they saw my sign...sorry buddy!).  At this point I still had not seen my runners...the crowd was THICK and it was hard to see them.  After that though I hopped on the metro and headed to Mile 15 where I saw them for the first time!  They looked AWESOME.  Strong.  They were soaking it up.  My sister Jodi told me that she thought she may have twisted her ankle around Mile 8, but she was running strong despite that.  My husband Robert brought the kids down and they met me there to cheer on the runners for a little while, which was a blast.  I loved to see the excitement on my kids' faces as they watched all the runners.
Will cheering on the runners
After saying bye to my family I continued on to support my runners at Mile 19.  When I saw them there I could tell they were hurting.  Jodi's ankle was definitely twisted and she was clearly in pain but determined to finish the race strong.  She kept running.  Paul had a smile across his face, but he was fighting to stay positive.  I was so proud of them.  After seeing them run past I quickly hopped on the metro one last time to head to the finish and see them there.  They looked AMAZING as they approached the finish line.  They did it!!

After they made it through the chutes I greeted them with hugs and smiles.  They were so blissed out and relieved to be finished.  Jodi was hurting so we went straight to the First Aid tent where they iced and wrapped her ankle and gave her crutches.  It was a bad sprain.  Paul was wiped out but on a high from his first marathon.  I was so happy to be there with them.

me and Paul after the race!
What I learned from this race: there are many ways to be a part of a marathon.  It was just as meaningful to me to be there to cheer on and support my loved ones as it was to be supported by them.  I am so grateful for this experience.  Also, it was almost just as exhausting to spectate this race as it was to run it! I have a whole new level of respect and gratitude for my husband for all the races he has schlepped the kids to just to show me he loves me and is proud of me.  To be able to pay that forward in this way was truly priceless.

Thanks again Jodi, Paul and Justin for letting me be a part of your journey.  Peace and love and I cannot wait to run by your side again this spring!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

plugging back in

Since I've been completely neglecting my blog I thought I would summarize how things are going and what I have been up to over the past several weeks...

1) MCM!!!  My amazing client Paul made it to the start and finish lines of his first marathon on October 31st.  It was incredible.  I became am RRCA certified running coach in April and a few weeks later discovered that I was pregnant.  This summer I met Paul through my local running club and he was looking for someone to coach him to his first marathon.  He tried training for one on his own the year before but made it to a long run of 16 miles before he got injured and had to bow out.  There is no way for me to accurately put into words how great this experience was for me from start to finish.  Not only did Paul do a great job and accomplish his goals of getting to the start healthy and strong and then completing his first marathon (hoooray!) but I also made a wonderful new friend through the process.  And of course I learned a lot about coaching, too.  I had sooo much fun cheering on Paul, my sister and my friend Justin during the race.  I woke up early with them and drove them to the start and then began my adventure of cheering them on throughout the race.  It was exciting and tiring and SO wonderful.  When I said bye to them at the start Paul gave me a gift - a silver whistle engraved with "Coach Jessica" on it.  I cried of course.  Paul ran a great race and I could not have been more proud of him.  He is ready to train for National Marathon in March and I know he will do great.  I am so thankful to have had this opportunity to be a part of his first marathon.

2) My running.  Well, I am 30 weeks pregnant on Friday and still moving!  Not exactly running always...actually probably walking more than running...but I am moving!  My friend Dorothy describes it as "wunning"  - some walking, some running, some waddling - but whatever it is called it is movement and I'll take it.  I'm signed up for a 10K race in mid December and am planning to walk it with my friend/neighbor Lorrie.  I'm looking forward to being a part of the energy of a race again, even if I am "wunning" it.

3) Treadmill update.  I am getting my new treadmill tomorrow afternoon!  Yayyyyyyy!!  Thank you to all of you who were so kind as to give me advice on treadmill shopping.  It was so helpful.  After researching online and going to a few stores, we wound up purchasing one that was on sale from Sears.  I really can't wait for it to be in my home tomorrow.  I am so grateful.

4) Future running plans....Sign up for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler begins on December 1st.  I have it highlighted on my calendar and I will say lots of prayers and hope that I get a spot in the lottery.  I think that would be a really great race to train for after my baby is born.  I don't plan to set any time goals for myself but just would love to get myself in shape enough to run 10 miles comfortably and happily at that point.  We shall see....

5) Pregnancy.  I am almost 30 weeks along and all is good.  Feeling giant (once again my doctor commented that he sees I have a good appetite - uggghh) and all the wonderful third trimester symptoms I will not miss when they go away - but my heart is full of gratitude and I am so excited to meet my baby.  I know these next 10 weeks will go by in a flash and I am trying not to wish them away despite really feeling blah most of the time.  Just trying to take it one day at a time and focus on all the positives, because there are many.

6) The rest of my life.  To sum it up: busy and emotional.  That is me these days.  My two kids, teaching Pilates twice a week, getting my Sugar Cone business off the ground, spearheading a renovation to our preschool, etc etc is a lot but everything is important to me hence I will not be letting go of any of it.  Not right now, anyway.  I am grateful to be filling my life with things I love and so far I am keeping my head above water most days.

I miss REALLY running, really sweating it out and going to my edges...the outlet it gives me is sometimes missed so much that I feel like I could cry (and sometimes do).  I know this time is fleeting though so I try to just get through it.  To do what I can and be happy with that and respect it.  Some days that is just easier than others.

This blog is an outlet for me too and a good way to keep myself in check, so I am going to try to be more consistent about writing here.  Thanks to you guys for reading.

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