Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year In Review

When I think back on 2008 two things really stand out to me. One an accomplishment of my own, one a loss for my whole family.

In January I started training in earnest for triathlon season. I remember my first Sunday training class, I was pretty sure I might die by the time it was over. I went to church afterwards and was barely able to get up and down for hymns. My face was bright red for hours. I had to go home and take a nap. But I did it. I was excited to go back the next week. I got to meet some neat new people. I went to swim one morning a week at 5:15AM, in the pool at 5:15 AM, which meant leaving my house a few minutes before 5 which I believe is still officially night. The payoff was completing 2 sprint triathlons, an indoor tri, 3 5Ks and an 8K for the year. I joined the Mid Maryland Tri Club and met cool people living the tri lifestyle. I stretched myself like I would never have imagined. It carried through to all parts of my life, really if I can do a tri, I feel like I can do anything! I lost 25 pounds on Weight Watchers and felt like an athlete for the first time (subsequently I've gained back 10 of that but isn't that what New Year's resolutions are for?!). I am headed into to 2009 with the goal of finishing a half marathon in April, the same 2 sprint tris, and an Olympic distance tri somewhere late in the year. Did I accomplish everything I wanted, of course not. Did I accomplish things that I wouldn't have imagined a year earlier, yes.

The second thing that most immediately comes to mind when I think of 2008 is the loss of my grandmother on July 4. I lost both of my grandfathers before I had kids. They were both important to me but my grandmother influenced me in so many significant ways. Part of it too was with the loss of my grandmother it changed so many other things. The house that had always been hers my entire life was sold. I'll never spend time in that house with her again. The things I took away from her house were things from the kitchen. Grandma and I spent much time in her kitchen, cooking, baking, talking. As a kid I would take a walk and end up at Grandma's house, she always had time for a talk and an apple or something to drink. When I am in the kitchen using her measuring cups, using her recipes or her rolling pin I feel connected to her and growing up. She was an amazing woman of faith who I will miss and I am sorry my kids won't get to know better.

In comparison to those two things there are other important things from the year that might be the milestone of another year. My second nephew Brady Augustus was born in January. In February Gman and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary (and I finished the Tri to Help Indoor Tri). March brought PDQs seventh birthday. April had Gman and I celebrating birthdays. In July I ran the Run for the Roar race in Marietta, we spent two whole weeks in Ohio for Grandma's funeral and our vacation in the Hocking Hills the following week (at the big log house, as the kids dubbed it). August was the big race, the month I'd been training for all year. I became an Iron Girl. What an exhilarating experience! Boobah started Kindergarten in September after months of waiting to find out if she was admitted (she missed the cutoff by 2 days and we had her tested). The Pouter started high school, we were very proud of his choosing to apply and being accepted into the STEM program. I also completed the Police Pace 5K with a friend who wanted to get back into running. In October we made it to Marietta College for Homecoming, I hadn't been back for that event in many years. My BFF from College and I ran a 5K race with my sister. When we were in college no one would have believed that we were going to run, let alone get up early in the morning to do it! In November I travelled to Richmond to run the NTelos 8K with Buildermama. Neither of us ran the entire way but we did have fun and and after a debate about whether or not to even go we were glad we did in the end. I got a new boss this year and its been a working whirlwind but I've learned a lot and have enjoyed almost every minute of it! He is new to the company and brought in some other new people who are positive and fun to work with. Finally, we are in Ohio to celebrate Christmas and the end of another year. Lots of time for family and friends.

Tomorrow, new year, new goals.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mystery Solved

Just a little less than a year ago we adopted Thumper, a two-year old Florida White rabbit. He is litter trained, he doesn't eat much, he makes no noise. Pretty much the perfect pet, except for the chewing. Speaker wires, phone chargers, backpack handles, paper, chair skirt, chair lining, anything he can get his teeth on, he chews. Luckily none of this has been a bunny frying experience to date. When he is out and about and the children are afoot he likes to hide. Under the kitchen table or behind the chair (with the chewed up skirt) are his usual haunts. Today I didn't see him for hours. He wasn't in any of his usual places. I sent the girls to check out their room (he used to like to go up and leave pellets in front of the dressers in their room). No bun. I noticed the garage door open a crack. Had he ventured in there? I couldn't imagine spoiled, warm bun hiding in the cement floored garage but who knew. Nope, no bun. The basement? Nope, no bun.

Finally, I moved the usual chair and he wasn't there. I cleaned up some bun debris from a chew-fest and noticed that after I moved the chair back it seemed to move some more. When I looked under the chair I noticed a definite droop, that when pushed, MOVED. Aha! The inside of the chair. He'd gnawed his way into the lining of the chair and was hiding out inside. Thankfully bun has been located. Now, how to keep him OUT of the chair.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Stress, Run, Run Away

The last few weeks have been stressful. In addition it has been cold and the daylight very fleeting. I've felt like a bear stuffing myself to lay down for a long winter's nap. I've been sleeping extraordinarily well (for me) and getting up in the morning from my nice warm bed into my cold, dark house has been a real chore. This week at work the stress has been turned up a notch dealing with the inevitable pre-holiday crisis that no one has time to deal with but has to figure out how to make time.

This afternoon I looked up and it was still relatively light out, it was 50 degrees, and I had running clothes in the car. I did what any stressed out girl would do, I turned off the computer, stuffed everything in my bag, changed my clothes and went for a run. Sans iPod. Really, that was the hardest part. It felt good to stretch my legs, to not worry who was going to come with the next demand or question that I really didn't want to answer. It was me, answering to myself for the running I haven't been doing over the past several weeks. The good news, nothing hurt, my breathing was never very labored. The bad news, I was excruciatingly slow and my heart rate was high. All in all, I'll take it. I was worried that by the time I got another run in I'd be horribly out of shape!

Today an e-mail came out about the Cherry Blossom 10-miler. I really wanted to do it as a tune-up for the half marathon. It's just two weeks before that race. They scared me with the 2:20 time limit and the "we'll pull you off the course" talk. Am I really up to that? Should I just stick to the training plan and not add this race? Last year it filled up in 4 hours so if I decide I want to do it there is no time to waste!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Big D

Last Monday my brother-in-law, his Dad and his cousin went out to hunt. The night before they'd played with my nephews and watched the Steelers win. A good weekend all in all. Unfortunately after a morning of hunting they went to meet up and my BILs father was lying on the ground. He'd had a massive heart attack. He was just 60 years old. I have had my BIL in my head and heart all week. He and his Dad were so close. They loved to hunt together. His Dad had been his baseball coach, watched him become an all-American in college and play semi-pro ball. Bib D loved my nephews. My BIL being an only child, my nephews the only grandchildren they were spoiled with love and attention from Pap. Thankfully they got one last evening with him before he went on his last hunt. I went to the funeral. My BIL spoke eloquently about his Dad. His uncle spoke about him, saying that they'd been busy the last few years and didn't find time to go to their hunting cabin always putting it off until next Spring, Summer, Fall. He reminded us all that now is the time for living, you never know how much time you have. Big D, I didn't know you that well but I know the impact you had on many lives and I know that you will be missed.