Saturday, January 21, 2017

A movie and trying to move on

I know a lot of people had unseasonably warm weather this weekend, including us. It was awesome. Now if it would just stay this way the rest of the winter, I would be happy.

Jeremy and I went to see Patriots Day. It was so good. It was suspenseful and dramatic. It definitely pulled on the heartstrings. Go see it!!

He seemed to think it was naptime...

After watching the movie I went for my first run of the week. Yes, of the week.
It was more of a walk/run. I really just needed to get active out in the fresh air.

I'm having a really hard time dealing with my Father in law's death. It hit me much harder than I thought it would.
We had his funeral last week, and it went really well. Over 300 people came, not counting the visitation. He was a very loved and respected man.

The family was able to put letters or any other items in the casket with him. It was another heart wrenching moment. My 11 year old nephew read a letter he wrote to his Pepaw out loud to us before he put it in. I just can't describe the pain in my heart seeing and hearing that.

 I put in a medal I received after my hardest marathon. I felt like I fought for every mile, and getting that medal at the finish line was an incredible reward. It reminded me of what a fighter he was, and always has been. And now he has his reward too, in heaven.

You can see Muhammed Ali's grave from my Father in law's. 2 fighters.

Everyone has been amazing during this time. We've had meals brought to us, food given, cards, messages, etc.
I'm trying to stay strong, and not get to a depressed place. That sounds weird to even say, but it's true. Today I will start running again, which I know will be a huge help. This will be my first full week back at work, which will be great, because my coworkers are the best in the world. I have the most amazing counselor, whom I plan on seeing again soon. My husband is beyond incredible and is such a strength to me, as I try to be for him.
 More than anything, God will get me through this. The joy of the Lord is my strength!

 And because I don't want to end negatively, I'll share a picture of when I recently got to take out my favorite 5 year old. She's the girl I nannied since she was 6 weeks old. She makes me feel how I imagine it must feel to be a mom. I adore her to pieces.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Saying goodbye to my sweet Father in law

I mentioned how we didn't have a good Christmas. Here's why:

A few days before Christmas my Father in law was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. He was 71 years old.
He was the epitome of health. He was the healthiest person I know. He was in the gym 4-5 days a week, very active, always ate healthy, etc. The dr's said he had the body of a 40 year old.

Last Spring he noticed he was getting out of breath a lot, for no reason at all. He attributed that to his age.

Right before Christmas he had blood work done and that's when they discovered the AML. It most likely had started in the Spring. They told him if he hadn't come in when he did, he would only have lived a few more weeks. Absolutely shocking to all of us.

They immediately admitted him and started a week of 24/7 chemo. After those 7 days they said the chemo had not worked, and in further testing discovered his form of cancer was extremely rare and resistant to treatment.
 They were going to try some clinical trials and see if they could at least stop the growth of the leukemia, so maybe he could have 6 more months with us, instead of weeks.

But Wednesday morning he became unresponsive and went into a coma. Tests showed he had massive bleeding on his brain. He wouldn't wake up again.

They removed him from the ventilator Wednesday night, and said he would be gone quickly. Well, Steve is very stubborn, and he always does things his way! He didn't pass away until Friday morning. His heart was so healthy, it just kept on beating.

He was in palliative care the last couple days, and as hard as it was for us, we cherished every moment.

His family was surrounding him every moment. There wasn't a second that someone wasn't talking to him, touching him in some way. Jeremy and his 2 sisters all sing, so there was constant singing going on. Those last couple days were so special. So unreal. How could this super healthy man be in this position, when just a few weeks ago he seemed to be in perfect health?
 He told everyone he was going to live to be 120, and no one doubted him for a second.

Can you believe he was 70 here??
He was such a wonderful father in law. He truly treated me like a daughter. He would buy me things for no reason other than he thought I would like it. We would go on dates. We went to see Michael Buble, the Sister Act musical, etc. He would buy me outlandish clothes because he thought they would look good on me! He loved exercise as much as I do, so he would always tell me about his workouts, and wanted to hear about my running.

He loved extravagantly, and was loved extravagantly. He was a charmer, and everyone who met him just fell in love with him. Even the short time he was in the hospital, his nurses adored him and all came to see him when he was in palliative, just heartbroken.

Above all these things, he loved Jesus more than anything. I know he is so happy right now in His presence. He loved attention and loved to sing (a gift he passed on to his children), I can just imagine God having him sing in front of a huge audience in heaven.

I will always cherish every phone call, every text, every conversation, every moment we had together in the 12 years I knew him.

I've never gone through loss like this before, so it's all a new experience for me. As well as for Jeremy and my boys. He was a wonderful pepaw to his 6 grandchildren. He spoiled them to the fullest. In October he took my Matthew to Chicago for a few days to celebrate his high school graduation. He adored my boys. I can't put into words how hard it is to watch them just weep over him. It tears my heart apart.

The next few days will seem impossible to get through for all of us. Heck, the next few weeks and years will feel that way. But we have the hope we will see him again.

If I could've picked out who I wanted as a Father in law, I would've chosen Steve over a million times.

My wedding day with my new mother and father in law.

Monday, January 9, 2017

2016, a great year of running

Well, I am a couple weeks late in posting my 2016 review, but I have a good excuse.
My domain expired the end of December, and I didn't renew it in time.
Long story, including where I totally freaked out, thinking everything I've written the past 5 years was gone.
 I posted about it on facebook, and found out that one of my friend's husband works with computers, and he offered to help me get it back. (It wasn't as simple as just renewing it) It worked, and everything is back in it's right place. Lesson learned, don't let your domain name expire!!

2016 included 9 half marathons, 1 marathon and 835 miles run.

This medal hanger was a Christmas gift from my boss, that he made! (He was my secret santa)
I was able to run five 100 miles months. At the beginning of the year, I didn't even think that was possible. I never realized before how true that saying is; everything is impossible until you try it.

I had an injury free year!! I am so thankful for that. I plan on 2017 being the same way.

My only marathon was in May. It was so bad that I decided I'm done with marathons. Although at the time I wanted to do another one!
Of course now I'm thinking maybe I should get redemption for that. So, we'll see what this year brings...

2016 was quite a year personally too. From finding out about my niece's brain tumor, and then spending 6 weeks in Chicago with her as she underwent radiation and chemo, and then the awesome news that she is cancer free!! Then spending 2 1/2 weeks in Honduras, coming home and starting a new job that I love. It was a crazy year!

Unfortunately it did get worse, which I'll talk about later. We did not have a good Christmas, but NYE was fun. Some friends of ours from Indy came down for the weekend, so it was fun hanging out with them.

Here's to 2017! I don't have any specific goals. Well, I would like to reach 1000 miles this year, so there's that.
 I have lots of out of town races planned, and I know I've already mentioned my R2R2R (rim to rim to rim) hike of the Grand Canyon in June.
Lots of good things coming up!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Life lately and a cancelled race

Long time no see!

 I am 2 months into my new job (time flies!), and this week I'll be getting new hours. No more Saturday's, and no more 10 hour days. I'll now be working 'normal people' hours, and I am so happy.
 I still love my job. I work in a bank call center, and for some reason they have my cubicle in the boys section. Ha!
 But I have been very thankful for that. They are great guys, they are funny, love to pick on me, and they keep me entertained for sure. All of my coworkers are just amazing. I have never worked with better people. When you talk to some crazy, rude people on the phone, who have no business even owning a checking account, having great coworkers to take your mind off them is a lifesaver.

This girl, my precious niece, is doing amazing! She had an MRI last week, and there is NO evidence of tumor recurrence in Kristin's body. God is so good.
 Her chemo will be done in the Spring and we plan on going back to Chicago to visit the friends we made at the Ronald McDonald House.

I've signed up for quite a few races next year. I'm going to be doing lots of traveling! I decided next year I don't want to repeat many races, I want to do new ones. I do have 3 repeats, but the rest will be races I've never done.

I've also been reading this book lately. It's hard to put down!
Why am I reading such a morbid book?
Because my friend Kristy and I are planning a trip to hike the Grand Canyon rim to rim!
It's going to be very intense and tough, which makes me even more excited. We'll do it in 2 days, around 25 miles each day.
The book is really not morbid, it's just good info on things for hikers to be aware of.
More to come!

Yesterday I was supposed to run my last half of the year, the Indy Santa Hustle. But they cancelled it because temps were supposed to be 0. I was really glad they cancelled it, that way I didn't feel as guilty about not showing up. :)
 Cold weather and Ido not get along. I joined Planet Fitness, so have been doing all of my running indoors lately.
Since I didn't get to wear my Christmas shirt and bondi band to the race, I wore it to the gym instead.
Isn't the shirt adorable?? I got it here.

Until next time!

Anyone want to hike Grand Canyon with us?
Are you ready for Christmas?

Monday, November 7, 2016

Indy Monumental Half Recap

Saturday I ran my 26th half marathon, my last half of the year, the Indy Monumental half.
(There were 2 other half's I wanted to run this year, but my new job is making me work Saturday's for the rest of the year...boooo.)

 Jeremy and I drove to Indy Friday night. I met up with my friend Kim, who had so sweetly picked up my packet for me.
 Everything is different now that I have a job, I can't just go places anytime I want. But I'm not complaining, now I'll have money for more races! :)

 When I got back to our hotel I was looking through my packet and pulled out my tshirt. Now, race shirts never fit me. 9 times out of 10, they're too small. I pulled this one out, and was expecting to see an XL, hoping it would fit me like a L. But it was TINY! I looked at the tag, and it was an XS! So, that was disappointing.

 Saturday morning we were able to walk to the race start from our hotel. I love staying at hotels where you can just walk to the start line, save yourself all the stress of finding parking.

It was a little chilly, around 37 degrees. I knew it would feel great once the race started though.

If you remember, when I ran the Urban Bourbon half 2 weeks ago, I said I AM going to run a sub 2:30 at the Indy Monumental. I did a 2:31 there, on a hilly course, and since the Monumental course is flat, I knew I could do it.

Of course that was on my mind every single mile. And every mile I would look at my Garmin, and for the first 5 miles, my pace was around 10:40. I was so surprised! I don't run 10 anything!!
 When I do runs on my own, they're always around a 11:45-12 min. pace.

But I had a goal, and I was going to do whatever I had to, to get there. And I felt great! I thought there's no way I'm running this fast, because I feel so good.

It was probably around mile 10 when I started to slow down, and I started to walk a little bit. But my pace never got over 11:30.

It was also around that time I started realizing that I was going to crush my goal. Then I started thinking maybe it was possible to get a PR...

Jeremy caught me coming into the finish
After an excellent run, tons of crowd support, awesome volunteer's, perfect weather, I see the finish line.
I finish in 2:25!!!

I was thinking that was a PR, but once I got home yesterday and was looking back at my previous times, I found out that a PR would've been 2:24. (I did not mean to mislead anyone by saying otherwise)

I was SO happy! I have not ran a half under 2:30 in 2 years!!
I really think it's these 100 mile months I've been doing, and just sheer determination.

Jeremy and I celebrated by getting a Giordano's pizza, and going to a beautiful park to relax for awhile.

What an awesome race this was! My next one isn't until April 22, but I'm sure I'll find some before then.
 I have to give a shout out to my friend Elizabeth, who ran who first marathon this weekend in Indy, and she did awesome!!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Urban Bourbon Half Recap

Saturday I ran my 25th half marathon, the Urban Bourbon Half. This was my 3rd year running this race, and I will continue to do it. It is awesome!

After work on Friday I met up with Margie, and we went to packet pickup. Of course we get free bourbon at the pickup too!

We then went to a friend of Margie's house for the night. Her name is Jennifer, and Margie hadn't met her in person before, but they had become online friends through a FB running group. Jennifer offered to let us stay the night with her, since she's only 10 minutes from the starting line.
 She told us she was fixing spaghetti for us, but when we got there, she had totally outdone herself! She had made 2 different pasta's, chicken, meatballs, garlic bread, salad! We all carb loaded so good!

After a fun night of talking, laughing and getting to know eachother, we headed to bed.

*Side note- aren't runners awesome? It's ok if we start out as strangers, our love of running unites us, and we become fast friends. This is the best community ever.

 We woke up at 6 am, ate breakfast and did all the other things we do before a race. Then Margie and I went on to the race while Jennifer went to pick up a friend of hers, and met us there.
 It was COLD. I don't remember the exact temperature, but it was in the low 40's.

 The race got started at 8:30. There is only one thing I don't like about this race, and that is the starting corrals. Everyone is jam packed into the corrals, it's impossible to get even close to your pacer, and all of us who can't get in, have to stand around on the sidewalk, outside of the corrals, waiting for the race to start so we can get in. Not sure why that is, or if it's possible to fix that problem. But other than that, I love this race!

This was a pretty hilly course, but nothing like Iron Horse last weekend.

 Around mile 2-3 I finally started to warm up. After that, the cooler temps felt perfect.
I felt great the whole 13.1 miles. I walked some of the hills, then others I just put my head down and kept running.
 My half last weekend was 2:36. I'm always trying to beat my previous time, so I was hoping since I was running by myself this time, just maybe I could do a little better.

I had one hard moment during the race. At mile 11, there was a little girl holding a sign that said "Run, Mommy, Run".
Seeing that hit me hard. I kept repeating to myself "don't cry, Katie, don't cry". Crying and running don't mix well for me! But I couldn't help myself.
 I just kept giving myself a pep talk, and it didn't take too long to get happy again. I'm thankful no one was around me at that moment.

As I get to the finish line, I see the clock says 2:33. Wow! I was not expecting that!
It wasn't until a little later when Margie checked the results online that she saw my official time was 2:31!! I'm sure I caused her to go a little deaf, because I was so excited.

Here's what that means to me. If I can do a hilly course in 2:31. I can probably do a flat course in a sub 2:30. The Indy Monumental half is in 2 weeks, and I'm gonna get it. Yes I am.

 Jennifer's friend ran her first half marathon, and did great, even though she was sick. I got to wait for Margie at the finish line, and cheer her in.
 We then went to the after party where they had pizza, chili, more bourbon and beer. See, I'm telling you, this race is awesome!!

After the race Margie and I were craving Mexican food. (We didn't eat anything at the afterparty, I can never eat right after a race)

Yes, we wore our medals into the restaurant

The perfect ending to a wonderful race!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Iron Horse half, my new job and a new number

Saturday I ran my 24th half marathon, the Iron Horse half. I had heard about this race for years, so was very excited to finally get to do it!

I met my friend Amy for packet pickup on Friday, and then lunch together. I met Amy through my blog several years ago. In the beginning, I thought she would probably just be a "hi, how are you, goodbye" type of friend. But I was wrong. She has turned into such a great friend, and has stuck with me through the years.
 This was her first time running this race too. And she just had baby #5, 8 months ago!

We met up again Saturday morning before the race, so we could run together. We both run about the same pace, so knew we could push eachother.

It was a gorgeous morning. Nice and cool, although it would warm up soon.

The course was just beautiful. Horse farms everywhere. Lots and lots of hills! I feel like I do better on hills then I used to though, so they weren't too bad.
 We decided we wanted to come in under 2:40. I was hopeful we could do it, but with the hills, I wasn't too sure.
But we powered through. At times when I wanted to walk, she would say "let's just run to that tree", and I would do the same for her.
I thought the weather was perfect. It was a little warm, but there were nice breezes.

At mile 13, we turn a corner and see the finish line. As we get closer, I see the clock says 2:35. I'm yelling "we're gonna make it!!" We were so excited.

Our finish time was 2:36. Mission accomplished!

Monday I started my new banking job. I know it's only been a few days, but I can already tell I'm going to love it. I'll have 3 weeks of training before starting to work in the call center.
 Already during this training I've been so glad that I have banking experience (I worked for 5 years in a bank years ago). So much of this has come back easily to me, and I've thought wow, if I didn't already know this stuff, I would be LOST!

 Again, I know it's only been a few days, but it feels like I'm rediscovering who I am. Having a home daycare for the past 10 years, I guess I kind of got lost, like my brain turned to mush or something.
 So now, being back in the field, I feel like the part of me that I didn't even know existed anymore, is coming back. And I kinda like her! ;)

Yesterday was my birthday, my 2nd day on the job, and my boss bought key lime pies for us (he knew that was my favorite pie), and I got a very sweet card from all the call center employees. I was just blown away, these people don't even know me! I was very impressed.

In a way, it's hard for me to think about being 39 now. The one thing I've wanted more than anything in this life (to be a mom), most likely won't ever happen. But I'm going to focus on the great things that are happening and getting ready to happen. I don't know what this year holds for me, but I am determined to make the last year in my 30's the best year ever!