I just ran my fastest 5K this morning... 24:58. WOOHOO! That's an average 8:05 mile. I was going for speed today and just hoping to PR. I broke my old record by 48 seconds! Also, I ran 10.3 miles on Saturday, the longest I've ran since I had my knee injury in April and it felt great, no knee pain! My next race, the Hobble Creek Half Marathon, is on August 22nd. Only 26 days to go!
I've never 'loved' running. I remember in high school dreading our conditioning days during volleyball season. I hated that pukey feeling I got after each workout. I thought people who joined the cross country team were a little nuts because who could find running 'fun'? Who would choose to go run 5 or 10 miles just for the heck of it? Well, I believe I have officially become that 'crazy' person.
It has been so nice to check out of life for awhile. We were in Lincoln City, Oregon last week with Jake's family. I loved seeing the ocean every day and even made time to run while we were there. I got in about 20 miles last week. Now these next two weeks the kids and I are at my parent's house while I get ready for my 10-year reunion. It's been great spending time with my parents and seeing old friends. (The only bad part about this week is Emma and Josh both got pink eye, but with antibiotics they are getting better.)
So I have had an interesting realization since I've been here. Tuesday morning I went for a run in an area I know very well. As I ran on this familiar street, I realized I was seeing everything so differently than I did just 10 years ago. I can't tell you how many times I sped through this street in my parents' toyota tercel. Not once do I remember slowing down and looking around at the beauty that surrounded me. Just two miles from my parents' house there are open roads and farmland, apple orchards, dairy farms. It's incredible, like out of a storybook. I don't think as an 18-year old I ever cared enough to slow down and enjoy life. I'm not going to lie, when I come back home for a visit I always feel a broad range of emotions, a lot of them good and some not so good. My last memories of living here are not great ones. I left for college on a bad note with my parents and a lot of my friends. I was so lost. I wonder if I had seen these roads for what they really were 10 years ago, my life might have been very different. Who knows. I'm just thankful that now I can see the beauty around me and recognize it for what it is. This morning I ran down a dirt road, past some apple orchards, a wheat field, and a dairy farm. I could smell the cows and hay. The weather was perfect. There was a slight breeze, but not cold enough to be uncomfortable. It was just right. The only sound I could hear was the sound of the rocks crunching under my feet (and my iPod bud in one ear... can't live without my music!) I realized this morning that when I run, I run for me. It's my only time to be selfish and take a break from life for an hour or two. I have no mask to wear, nothing to hide. I can think about whatever I want and not get interrupted, or I don't have to think about anything at all. It doesn't matter. I find myself falling in love... falling in love with Oregon, and running, and life. It's that good.
(PS The picture was taken from my cell this morning on my run. It doesn't do the scenery justice, but at least you get a small taste of the heaven I'm experiencing here. Also, I know this post is a tad cheesy. I just have had such a hard time these past couple weeks, that these runs have taken me by surprise. Tender mercies... that's what this is.)
This past week has been a very hard one for me. First my grandmother passed away on Monday. It was expected but still sad to know I won't see her again in this life. Her funeral was beautiful and went very well. It was a good teaching moment for Ben and Emma. We taught them about how our spirits make us who we are and when we die our spirits are no longer with our bodies, but with Jesus and Heavenly Father. They both asked a lot of questions and I didn't know how they would do, seeing Great-Grandma McDonald's body in her casket, but both of them did fine. Ben was very interested in the whole situation and I feel he sort of understood the impact of all of this. Emma, on the other hand, asked my Grammy Call (the other Great-Grandma) when she was going to "get old and die and then we would put her in a hole." Nice. I can't say my kids have a lot of tact, but what kids do?! (Sorry, Grammy! You better not be going anywhere for a very long time!)
Well, besides the funeral, more trials keep coming. I'm not going to lie, my faith has been shaky and I have felt very low this past week. I kept praying for strength and peace and just wasn't getting it. There was a fast today, though, and as I broke my fast I felt strengthened. Then tonight I noticed our monthly ward newsletter that came today. To be honest, I don't always read the whole thing through but the first line in the Bishopric Message caught my attention and I read the entire article. It was titled "Recognizing the Lord's Blessings When It Doesn't Seem Like We Are Being Blessed." It hit me like a ton of bricks. I have been focusing so much on my problems and thinking that I've been "forgotten" when deep down I know that's not the case. Sometimes it feels that way when trials come, but the trials come to make us better and stronger. I just have to keep reminding myself of that. I also know I am infinitely blessed. As I put my little Joshie to bed tonight and sang him "I Love to See the Temple" I couldn't help but think of my beautiful, healthy children who are 3 of my biggest blessings. I know I have a lot to be grateful for. It's just so hard to see sometimes when road bumps come along.
I don't want to go into detail about what's going on but felt I needed to at least write about the things I have felt today that have given me a little bit of peace that I've been praying for all week. I'm sure everyone can relate. Trials stink. Thank goodness they don't last forever!
I'm a strong-willed woman, wife, mom of three, LDS, U of U grad, runner, gymnastics fanatic, card maker, piano player, slightly OCD, singer, chocolate lover, office manager, cancer survivor, and friend. I started this blog to keep in touch with family and friends, and it slowly turned into my own personal therapeutic outlet. Nothing better than typing out your thoughts, trying to make sense of life.