15 December 2010

If I die trying, at least I tried!

Greetings from sunny rainy California! It's actually not that rainy but it rained last night. It was in the 80's where I ran a 1/2 marathon a few days. Speaking of, I finished! I will document my story of the race below, above the pictures of it.

It's a HUGE adjustment for us this week to enjoy a week of no work and no kids. I mean, we are enjoying. It's a great opportunity for Bud and I to grow together and be refreshed. Yesterday it hit pretty hard how much I am missing the kids. Bud woke up in the night, sleep talking to me about what Elisha was going to wear today! Haha! We will be happy to get back with them and pour our love and time into them. We'll still have a week before we start traveling around speaking, so it'll be great to have hard core family time. But for now, I am enjoying California with my sweet hubby.

I posted pictures of Elisha's birthday party with his grandparents but hadn't put ones up of his actual birthday that just Bud and I celebrated with him. We left Claire with my parents and went to Ft. Worth with him. We first took him to Chick-fil-a. He love it. (we loved it! ;-) Then went to the mall and he got to jump on a bungee trampoline. He absolutely loved it! It was pretty pricey so he only jumped once and threw a pretty big fit when he had to get off. We let him go pick out a small toy though and he was happy about that. Instead of us giving him a present wrapped, we just let him go pick it out. He had been wanting a john deer tractor but when we got to wal-mart he ended up wanting the fake cowboy gun that was $6 and a little cowboy hat. When we got back to my parents house, he later found a stick horse and was running around on it. Well, you can take the boy out of Texas, but not the Texas out of the boy! Not so sure how he knows all about cowboy stuff but he likes it all! He had a good day though and still is not saying he is three.

Bud's mom was so sweet to host a Mattaw party last week. It was a great turnout! We enjoyed catching up with people we hadn't seen in awhile. We especially enjoyed seeing the Beavers! And getting our kids next to each other again. Judah is a week younger than Claire. They were so adorable when we first sat them in front of each other. It was like they wanted to grab and pull at each others hair and face but wasn't so sure about it. I'm thinking an arranged marriage is in store. Haha! Both of their facial expressions in this picture doesn't really capture both of their happy personalities, but they're so adorable anyways!
Julia and Elisha were happy to see each other too!
And now for the 1/2 marathon story. You might not have any interest in my document of this event but I want it down so I can recall it one day. I'm going to be detailed so bare with me. I trained for this race for 9 weeks leading up to it. I followed THIS schedule on runnersworld.com. For our Austin 1/2 marathon we did the beginners training schedule and for this one I did the intermediate. My goal was to beat the time we did at Austin. We ran 1 hr 50 min in Austin and I trained and felt I was going to be able to do 1 hr 45 min. I really enjoyed the training. We were really busy and had a million things going in different directions but this was a constant thing in my life that I was able to follow through with. Running is my outlet. Some days are tough but most days are fun just to get outdoors and do something. I can put on my head phones and just go. I like to set goals and finish them and sometimes living in Africa, life just doesn't happen so easily like that! TIA... This. Is. Africa. We use that term a lot. So I trained in our neighborhood in Kitale. There are a lot of hills, a lot of pot holes and sometimes gunky mud to trek through on some days. But it is enjoyable scenery and for the most part great weather. It also is a bonus to have sweet little kids run with you for a few minutes every now and then. I gave lots of high fives during my runs. :-) There were some days where I felt like everything was crashing and I'd finally convince myself to get out the door and run. I'd come back with a totally new outlook on life and feel I was walking on the clouds. Once we knew for sure when we were coming back to the states and what our schedule would roughly look like, I began googling every 1/2 marathon I could find. This one was really the only one possible with our schedule. One of our main reasons of coming back during this time is to be in one of my dearest friends wedding, Hollie. She is living in California and we decided to make that our vacation week as well. We originally thought Bud and I would train and run this race together but after thinking it through, training would just be too stressful for Bud since he was putting so much of his time and thoughts into construction of house three and cows. Training isn't stressful at all for me cause I am fine rearranging runs and not sticking right to it but Bud would of wanted to do the exact training and not miss a beat. So I was in it on my own. I think the only thing I liked training by myself rather than with Bud was that I could adjust my runs to my timing and not having to make sure if runs worked in his schedule. If I missed a run, I could adjust the rest of the week to fit in the right runs and such. For the most part I stuck to the schedule though. The schedule really worked in my favor too because my longest run during the entire schedule was the weekend before we started our travel to Nairobi. So while we were in Nairobi and traveling through the air I was to be resting anyways. And then our first week back in Texas was my taper week, which is basically a take it easy week. So that helped me get over jet lag and not worry about long hard runs. I did get in some runs while in Texas though and they were COLD! And I ended up with a cold too. Which I still have not got over.

This past Saturday we boarded a plane and headed to California. My race was in Oxnard so we flew into Long beach and drove to Oxnard. It was pretty late. We got to Oxnard around 7 or 8 and were in search of food. We ate fish tacos that were so yummy and then headed to bed. I was exhausted but too excited for the race the next morning. Half way through the night and I hear Bud get up to vomit several times. It was so sad! The fish tacos ended up being a bad idea. The next morning I woke up at 5am California time but it was 7am Texas time. We left early to run by and grab a $10 kids gift. They ask that you bring a gift to the starting line so that they can give gifts to underprivileged kids next week in the area. We then found online that you should go to the finish line because there is no parking at the start and they bus you to the start. Bud was not feeling great and was so sweet to go and support me anyways. That meant the world to me! I had it all planned in my mind that we'd go eat breakfast and Bud would wait at the starting line with me until the race started. That ended up not working out and I didn't have time to grab breakfast before catching one of the last buses to the start. I got to the start, made some small talk with people and realized my stomach wasn't doing so great. I stood in a loooong line for a port a potty and was not doing so great. I got out of using it and threw up behind them. That was pretty unpleasant! And not the best way to start the race. It was about 30 minutes before the start though so by the time it started I felt better. It was a much smaller race than Austin. There was a costume contest so a lot of people were dressed up very Christmasy. It was a fun race and not so many people took it as serious as Austin. At Austin there were segments that you line up for what pace you think you'll run. They also had professional runners come to the front. This one they just said to pile in and if you run raster then go to the front. I kinda was at the front and thought it'd be a good motivator to run with the elite. For the first five miles I kept up and was running 8 minute miles. I was enjoying the scenery and soaring. And then it hit. I started feeling like the flu came upon me and I was going to vomit again. So I started taking it more easy. Each mile I realized my time was dropping. By mile 8 I thought I was not going to make it! The entire race I was really missing Bud running by my side so that we could cheer each other on. I thought about ripping my bib number every time I missed him but figured it'd be in shreds by the end of the race. I started walking some by mile 9. At one point I saw a minor emergency clinic and thought I just might walk on in! But I kept on trekking along. The last couple water stations I was dumping water over my head, it was getting pretty warm. It ended up being in the 80's, beautiful weather! I'm pretty sure out of pure exhaustion, on one of the water stations I ran through, I took a sip of the cup and threw it on the ground where it splashed all over someone. Once the reality sunk in that I was not going to get the time I trained for, I started walking more off and on trying to recharge my body to finish. I remember having a few quotes go through my head "if I die, at least I died trying" and "it's not about winning but finishing well". By mile 11, I was walking at one point and this woman came up beside me and said "lets finish this, come on girl you can do it". It was incredibly kind of her and I asked her if she was sent by God! She was probably in her 40's and super sweet. We ended up chatting while running. She was training for a marathon and this race was part of her training. She first said to me "I hate running races that are so flat". I was surprised to hear that since I had trained in only hills and was looking forward to running a flat course thinking it'd be to my advantage. I was curious why she said that though and asked and she explained that when you run hills, you train and strengthen your muscles to go up hill and then it gives them time to rest when you go down hill. In a flat course, your muscles never have time to rest. So I was a bit relieved to hear that. By mile 12 we finally see the beach/ocean. I thought we'd run more on the beach but most of the scenery was through neighborhoods and by farmland. I was able to kick it in the last 400 meters and could not have been more thankful to see Bud at the finish. He came to me and I pretty much fell on him and let him drag me away. I almost cried when they gave me the medal that said I finished. It ended up being WAY harder than planned. I told Bud I'd never run a race again without him (unless its a Disney princess 1/2 marathon :-))). But really, I'm just thankful to had finished and I really enjoyed training for it. There was a guy at mile 10 that had to be taken away in an ambulance and I just thanked God that it wasn't me. Maybe one day I'll run the race again and get my time but for now, I'm just really thankful to have done it and finished. I feel I finished strong..... (that'd be me back there in the black top and running skort)
I love you baby! You're my number one fan!
My time was 2 hrs. 4 min. I was number 368 out of 1,000 people. My average pace was 9:34 per mile. We celebrated with some good pizza! Although my stomach did not want pizza, my mind and emotions did! And it was GOOD.


The Beavers said...

Wow, Kim! You are amazing! I am so glad you were able to finish! Congratulations!

NeNe said...

I'm proud of you and that run. Shows your tenacity. But that is evident in the life you lead as a missionary every day!

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