Category Archives: Family

When Life Becomes a Runaway Train

Life has been a bit crazy lately. I felt like a bug thrown into the toilet and flushed. Lovely image, huh?! The day Mike and I finished the Muddy Trails race I called my parents to let them know how it went when my Dad told me my Grandma was in the hospital with pneumonia. He said he didn’t think it was that big of a deal but gave me her room number and said to call before I went to visit just in case they had already sent her home. The next day, Sunday, I did some running around and was going to call to see if she was up for visitors. My phone rang and it was my Dad. He told me that Grandma had been moved from the hospital she was in to the Downtown Methodist Hospital. It turned out she didn’t have pneumonia but congestive heart failure.

Again, he said she sounded fine and was in good spirits. The doctors were going to give her some meds to hopefully help. I didn’t feel like driving all the way downtown (I do not like driving downtown, especially in the medical center area) so I figured since I had the next Friday off I’d swing by and visit with her then.

grandma

Monday she started having some issues with her kidneys not functioning correctly, but again it didn’t seem to be any reason to worry. The doctor’s felt they could help get them functioning well enough without too much trouble. She was pretty stable on Tuesday and my Dad said she still sounded good on the phone but they were still having some issues with the kidneys.

Wednesday, she entered what the doctors called an “altered mental state”. Basically, she became non-responsive as if she were in a coma. They had to put her on a breathing tube. My Dad bought a plane ticket to come in Friday so he could be with her and help if need be. I told him I’d be happy to pick him up and we’d go to the hospital together. This isn’t the first time we’ve been through something similar to this, but she’s a tough cookie and has pushed through several times!

Thursday morning she came to and was ticked off to be on a breathing tube. Grandma was back and feisty as ever! The doctors had decided to start her on dialysis because her kidneys weren’t working well enough to remove the fluid from around her heart and her liver was starting to have issues. Her blood pressure was extremely low so they were going to do it as slowly as possible so her system wasn’t stressed anymore than necessary.

Thursday at 5PM, I got a call from Mom telling me that Grandma had passed away. She hadn’t told Dad yet (This is my Dad’s Mom) because he was doing yard work outside and she had just gotten the phone call. The only thing I could think was “but we’re supposed to go see her tomorrow”. Mom said she was going to try to get a plane ticket and fly in with Dad.

So, Friday morning instead of visiting with my Grandma I picked my parents up from the airport and we met everyone at my Aunt Sharon’s house. From there we went to pick out the coffin and meet with the funeral home to set up the final arrangements. It didn’t really sink in that she was gone, even though we were talking about her funeral. It didn’t hit until her funeral the following Monday. Sometimes it still doesn’t feel quite real. She was my last grandparent. In the past 4 years, we’ve lost 6 people.  My Aunt Gertrude, my Uncle Rudolph, my Uncle Richard, my Grandpa (my Dad’s Dad), my cousin Karen and now my Grandma.

The service was beautiful and it was great to be around all the love of my family. My brother drove in with the boys so I got to see my him and my nephews, which is always nice! However, since then I’ve just kinda been floating around in a fog. I’ve exercised off and on, I haven’t been consistent at all. I don’t feel like doing much of anything. However, it’s time to get back to it! I am blessed to be in good health so I need to take advantage of that and keep moving/improving the best I can. The last thing I want is to be a burden on Mike when I’m older and one way to try to avoid that is taking care of myself now.

This next weekend I have a race in Fredricksburg with my friend Amy and I can’t wait! I haven’t been running since my Muddy Trails race, but that’s ok. This “race” is more about enjoying the flowers as it winds through a wildflower farm and spending time with a dear friend!

Texas 1/2 Marathon, Kingwood 2013

This year I decided to do the 1/2 marathon again on New Year’s Day. What a great way to start the new year! Unfortunately, this year it was a bit rainy. However, it did make for almost optimal running with the cooler temps and no glaring sun!

Last year was the year of the pig. This year was the year of the rat. Nice, right?! They did have a cute inflatable rat in a trap though. It looks all shimmery but that’s just because it was raining.

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My running coach, Liz, was there to cheer us on this year! I also met Sandra and Ruth (Sandra in middle) who will be part of our 4 man Marathon relay in March! That was a pleasant surprise.

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We all gathered around the starting line trying to stay warm as we waiting for the sun to rise. The park is closed from dusk to dawn, so we had to wait for the dawn to move in!

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At 8 AM, it was officially start time for the Marathon. I had originally signed Mike and I up for the 1/2 Marathon, but Mike decided he was going to run the full. Yep…not training…just jump in with both feet! Doesn’t he look excited?!

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They counted down the seconds then the Marathon group took off. We 1/2 Marathoners were left to wait 15 minutes to give the first group a chance to spread out some.

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This year I had completed all of my training and came through without any injuries, so I was feeling pretty good! When 8:15 AM hit, I was off like lightening! So fast, I’m nothing but a blur!

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Ok, so I wasn’t that fast but I was going faster than I should have been that early in the race. My adrenaline always gets the best of me. I tried to slow it down a bit but I was already starting to get some shin splints. Thankfully they were gone by mile 3. Normally they have signs posted on the trees with everyone’s name, but since it was raining they didn’t have them this time. However, it was still a nice run.

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The loop goes along the greenbelt trails behind and among houses then wraps around Lake Houston. This is one of my favorite parts because you can always see ducks and other birds hanging around.

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There’s a man-made lake that we also run around after the turn around and on our way back to the start. That’s a nice little loop as well. For the 1/2 marathon we get to go around it twice! This is where Liz was waiting to cheer us on. More cowbell please! This photo was after the first loop. I was a bit more fresh that time than the second.

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I passed Mike several times, as I did many other runners. Since the Marathon people go around the loop 4 times you’ll see them going and coming! I was passed by the two lead Marathoners before I finished my first loop. They were hauling. I believe first place finished in 3:10:00.

When I made the first turnaround, I decided I was going to run until I just HAD to walk. It was too hard to do intervals with all the stopping and starting. Once I stopped running it was very hard to get going again. So, I ended up running (albeit slowly) the last 10 miles of the race! I was hurting toward the end. Mike passed me the last time and made the comment that he was hurting at that point too. Unfortunately, he was just heading out for his last loop while I was about a mile and a half from the finish!

I crossed the finish line with an official time of 3:14:43 which put me at a sub 15 pace (14:52) and was a PR (205 out of 259)!! I was about 9 minutes faster than the year before. I was hurt last year though, so it makes me wonder a bit if I hadn’t been hurt what I could have done. *shrug*

The race photos were kinda funny this year. I looked way too happy (first loop…again!):

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Tammy Texas Marathon

 

And Mike looked just flat out bored!

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Liz, Sandra, and Ruth were at the finish line. It was nice to have people cheering me on at the finish line! I grabbed a slice of pizza, a couple of chocolate chip cookies (Hey, I earned it!), and some water while Liz and I waited for Mike to finish. He had a goal of finishing in 4 hours or less. His official time was 4:02:43 (9:16/M; 51 out of 248). That is outstanding for someone who didn’t run any further than 10 miles leading up to this! You could tell he was hurting though as he crossed over.

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I was, and am, very proud of him. We grabbed our medals and headed home. He was so cold afterward he was shaking and just couldn’t get warm. We had the heat up full blast in the car and when we got home I bundled him up in flannel pants, a blanket, and my space heater! This is one reason why we train people!! You have to get your body used to the distances. Mike swore he’d never do another marathon but a few days later he was already calculating how to beat this year’s time!

Even though I said I wasn’t going to, that this 1/2 was going to be my last long run, I signed Mike and I up for the FULL Marathon next year! Afterall, what better year to do my marathon than the Year of the Elephant!

 

 

Week 1 Done, Whole30

The first week was tough. I won’t lie. I was tired and cranky and just not feeling it! In fact, yesterday I was ready to just throw in the towel and call it good. I was tired of having to worry about what I was eating, what was in what I was eating, and how much of it I was eating. At least this hit last night after I had made the day cleanly so I didn’t break my Whole30. This morning I’m feeling a little more renewed and will give it one more week. That’s the best I can offer right now.

I made some spicy cilantro meatballs and green beans for dinner Wednesday night. It actually turned out really well! I was a little hesitant after the chicken noodle-ss soup, but I was pleasantly surprised with this recipe. Definitely a keeper. I also made it for dinner last night with julienned zucchini. I think I like the zucchini better with it!

Thursday morning Mike and I had a race, Run Thru the Woods. It was a 5 mile race and you had to keep a minimum pace of 15:00 or the sag wagon would pick you up to clear off the course. Being that I was averaging about a 15:30 pace on most of my practice runs I was a bit nervous about this one. Thankfully, I was able to keep my pace up and even finished with a record setting 14:08 pace! Official time was 1:10:41. Official post coming soon.

After the run we went home and watched the Texans game. It went on forever…and ever. Glad they won, but not so close next time guys…mmmkay? That evening we picked up a turkey dinner from Cracker Barrel and went to Mike’s parents’. That was about the extent of our Thanksgiving.

Friday I got up about 8, did a nice weight workout and headed over to my Aunt Linda’s. We worked on finishing up Dakota’s quilt top. I’m debating finishing this quilt and giving it to Jackie instead since I’m not sure a 13 year old boy will like it and doing something football themed for Dakota. He may have to get it for his birthday instead of Christmas though. It’s in the first week of January though so it’s not like I’ll have much extra time!

Saturday I slept in again until about 8. Then after putting up groceries I headed out for my 8 mile run. I forgot my Garmin, so I used an app on my phone. I think the app was wrong and I actually went further than 8 miles. Several times it was telling me my pace was 25:00…I know I wasn’t going that slow! However, I made myself go until it said I hit 8 miles then headed to Academy to do some Christmas shopping. I also picked Mike up a Garmin Forerunner 10. He mentioned a couple of times wanting to know his pace during these races so I got a Garmin that was very basic but still GPS. At dinner he told me he needed my help getting our mule (the car…not the animal) unstuck. “It’ll be easy” he said.

We spent 3 hours getting that sucker unstuck. We also had to get the skid steer unstuck and whole lot of other commotion. Let’s just say I’m glad we got it done without the skid steer dumping into the creek and someone losing an arm with a cheapo chainsaw! I’ll never trust his “It’ll be easy” again. Little did I know my “gift” I bought myself that day would be fitting!

Sunday, Mike and I went to church then he watched football while I met Aunt Linda again and did some shopping. I tried to make some Whole30 friendly pumpkin muffins, ok so it’s not really whole30 friendly since they tell you not to make “junk food substitutes” but all the ingredients were whole30 friendly, and they were a “fail”. They stuck to the pan and tasted like crap.

Aunt Linda and I walked around the Town Market area for a while and ate lunch at Tommy Bahama’s. Once we finished up there I headed home to finish watching some of the games with the family. It was a great Thanksgiving holiday!

IQF Goodies!!

Today celebrates 5 years that my Aunt Linda and I have been going to the International Quilt Festival! We had a fantastic day of shopping and looking at some marvelous artwork. I will be writing a more thorough post tomorrow, but wanted to share what I picked up today!

I really wanted to take one of the antique thread displays home with me, but they’re still running $700-$3000 and I’m still not willing to pay that much! They are gorgeous though.

I did pick up some new polka dot fabric. Have I mentioned how much I love polka dot fabric?! (deja vu) I have a vague idea of what I’m going to do with these beauties but I need to finish my other WIPs (work in progress) first.

We also saw a presentation about this foam (soft and stable) that makes your bags stand up instead of flop down on the table. This in turn makes them look more like they’re store bought instead of whipped up in the extra bedroom! I’ll give it a try first and if I like it then I’ll buy the bigger package as it’s not cheap! This package was about $14.00.

Last, I got this lovely bracelet with a Texas bell. Now, I jingle when I move! Aunt Linda got one too and we’re going to add a bell for each year we’re at the festival. We have 4 more to go to catch up to our 5 years!

All in all it was a good day! More tomorrow.