2016: My Un-Resolutions

January 1, 2016

The first of every new year people try to reinvent themselves. I’m usually one of those people, striving to be a better me. But I’m tired. So tired.
I still have to work full-time, which includes some Saturdays and mostly spent on my feet. I’ve decided to take on an additional class this semester (which is slightly insane) and my kids are no less active in sports and extra curricular activities. And my #RunStreak will stay intact. So I’m giving myself a pass on tangible resolutions this year. If any change needs to be made, it’s that I need to say no to guilt. There is a current trend in society that says I’m supposed to feel guilty about EVERYTHING, whether I have any control over it or not. And I’m supposed to grovel in self loathing because of all this privilege I have. I’m supposed to beat myself into being a better person all the while knowing that it’s never going to be good enough anyway, because every thought or opinion I have will certainly offend someone. Some label that people have assigned to me makes me insensitive to some other label assigned to people that aren’t me. Well, I’m giving the middle finger to this trend and I’m going to be unapologetically Janelle.
That means:
-I’m not going to feel like less of a mom because my kids have made their own dinner. Again.
-I’m not going to feel bad if I have fritos for lunch and spend my lunch on Facebook instead of studying.
-I’m not going to feel like “just another streak saving mile” isn’t good enough or that doing the minimum somehow means I’m not a “real” runner.
-And those 4 pair of jeans I can only wear when I’m having “skinny days” might sit in the dresser all year, but I can feel just as pretty in the others.
-When my laundry sits in a basket for a week … Or two… Or longer. It doesn’t make me a crappy wife. It just means I’m really bad at laundry. It might be genetic.
-I’m not going to feel bad for squirreling away some overtime pay to save for a vacation that I haven’t even the slightest idea how to even plan. I hear some people take a few of these each year, I’ll let them feel guilty for the first one I take in 36 years! 😉 ha!
-I’m not going to feel like less of a student because I’m JUST going to Ivy Tech or I’m JUST getting an associates degree. Or because I procrastinated on schoolwork because watching The Walking Dead with my husband was more important to me at moment.
-I’m not going to feel like less of a Christian because some days I only read the daily verse that pops up on my YouVersion app or that I decide to sleep on Sunday morning because it was my only day off that week.
I’m sure that there are more. As I look back on 2015, it seems it was just a year of feeling guilty for falling short and letting people down. I spent too much energy apologizing for my feelings and faking a smile.

(Just an example: I actually felt guilty getting a brand name coat for Christmas. I’ve been wearing the same winter coat for 7 years and since its still in good shape, it felt very unnecessary. I was embarrassed to wear it for the first few days. Stupid.)

It’s RIDICULOUS and I’m done with it.

Sure, some days I’m going to try to grow a little, be a little more organized and adult-like. But some days I’m not going to try at all. And I’m not going to feel bad about it.

2016: Good enough IS good enough.


My 2 Cents on the GPA Argument

August 5, 2015

Before I even state my point on the actual issue, I’d just like to say that the media has baited most of the arguments with bias headlines from the start.  If the media had decided that it agreed with changing the SBCSC’s GPA for sports eligibility, the headline would have been something like: Should the SBCSC change its standards to meet Penn’s?  In which everyone would say, “OF COURSE! Penn is fantastic and we should change anything and everything to be just like them!” Without even knowing what either school’s original standards were, we would most likely agree that things should be equal because equal is fair.

But that’s really beside the point.  It’s just my opinion, in a sea of other louder opinions, that we should include a margin of forgiveness in sports eligibility.  I keep seeing comments from parents who are outraged, stating that they would never allow THEIR child to play sports if their grades were that low.  Well, after you’re done patting yourself on the back for being such an excellent parent, maybe you should look around and realize that there are kids out there who aren’t great students, kids who struggle in school and maybe the parents of those kids don’t even know how to help because they also struggled in school.  You have a kid who is going to succeed in this world and that’s fantastic. CHANGING THE ELIGIBILITY GPA DOESN’T AFFECT YOU. Be thankful for that.

(Now that hard part, if you’re still reading…)

I’m going to step out of my comfort zone and share a little bit about myself that I like to forget:

I’m a high school dropout.  I stopped going to all but Ceramics class the last quarter of my sophomore year and I didn’t earn a single credit my junior year. I was never a good student and I hated school.   I had no desire to go to college. I had no career interests, no dreams to pursue.  I wasn’t good at anything.  All school seemed to preach was “Follow your dream!”, “You can be anything you want to be!” and all of that requires four MORE years of hell after you get through these four.  All I wanted was to be left alone.

Just by chance, I happened to run into a Marine Corps recruiter that made me want to be part of something.  It might be different now, but at that time I needed a high school diploma to enlist; a GED wouldn’t cut it.   THAT is the ONLY reason I went back.   I needed credits to get a diploma, a lot of credits.  I didn’t go back because I had any desire to do well in school.  I wasn’t trying to get accepted into a good college. I couldn’t have cared less about my GPA.  I damn sure walked across that stage with my class and got my diploma though.

My point is that not all kids are interested in doing well in school.  As much as we would like that to be true, it just isn’t.  The kids that are teetering on the edge of ineligibility are generally not kids with hopes and dreams of getting into college to pursue a certain career.  If sports give these kids a sense of belonging, enough incentive to keep showing up and earn their diploma, then we should work with that.  Should we just turn them away and tell them to get better grades and try again next year?  Do you remember how long a year feels when you’re in high school?  I say we have a little forgiveness and work with kids who are willing to try a little harder so they can play their sport.

The Marine Corp didn’t work out for me, but it was the carrot I chased which resulted in a diploma. I couldn’t have the job I have now without a high school diploma, that job is now paying for me to go to college.  Regardless of where the bar is set, I say we give these at-risk kids a carrot to chase.  Don’t just turn them away. It made all the difference for me.


One America 500 Festival Mini Marathon

May 5, 2013

Indianapolis  May 4, 2013

The Night Before:  Went to bed at 9:00. The bed was too hot, the room was too cold.  I didn’t learn from last year NOT to try to sleep in a king size bed.  It was all wrong.  I could breathe out of my nose. I couldn’t relax at all.  By midnight I wanted to cry.  Not a minute of sleep. Ben wasn’t having any trouble sleeping and that made me mad.  My flopping and sighing eventually woke him up and he asked if I needed anything.  “To breathe! I can’t sleep.”  I almost asked him to run and get me something to clear myself up.  I decided to look through my purse and found a Tylenol Cold Severe Congestion. Yes!  So I took it. Then I started thinking: When did I buy Tylenol Cold?  I got up and looked at the packet:  Exp 09/11   !!!!  So now I’m thinking that I’ve just poisoned myself.  Should I puke it back up?  Maybe I should do an internet search… it was 1:09am.  Then my 3:30 alarm went off.  I took my Synthroid and fell RIGHT back to sleep.

The Morning: (4:30am) Still can’t breathe, but I’m hungry.  I make a giant mess while making my favorite oatmeal recipe in the microwave downstairs. (Old fashioned oats w/ flax seed, raisins and honey roasted peanut butter) And coffee!  It’s not as strong as mine, but it’ll do.  Dress, crawl back in bed until Ben’s alarms goes off at 5:30.  Ben convinced me that I wasn’t sick, just stuffed up from the hotel air conditioning.  Hat, shoes, watch, pack up and go!

Still stuck in traffic at 6:40, heading the parking garage that the GPS told us was 5 minutes away.  I was supposed to be in my corral at 6:45. I hopped out and walked the rest of the way (6-7 blocks?) while Ben parked.

There is no Corral D.  Corral D is the intersection, which is a walkway until some unspecified time after 7:00 and filled with 5k’ers until 7:00.  I made a potty stop and just hung around until they closed the intersection/walkway/corral.  And that’s when Ben found me.  The 15 minutes before the race was SO uncomfortable.  I wasn’t dressed warm enough for standing and the wind was knocking me over!  I hate wind.  Ben even asked, “Are you going to be able to run in this?”  I guess I have to?  I ate my Mocha Gel 5 minutes before the gun.

The Race:  I crossed the start before the 2 minute mark and it felt SO good to be moving.  After a few blocks I didn’t notice the wind.

Mile 1 (8:55) – Under 9:00, where I wanted to be.  I was hoping to get in an 8:45 groove by mile 2. Skipped the water stop.

Mile 2 (8:26) – Okay, a little off my plan, but okay.  I might have to pee.  I’m not stopping. Skip the water stop.

Mile 3 (8:23) – Maybe I can keep this pace up?  I feel good. Let’s try.  Take a few sips of water.

5k -26:53

Mile 4 (8:12) –  I didn’t look at my watch for this split, didn’t know I’d sped up.  I ate two Clif Blocks.

Mile 5 (8:17) – Took a few drinks at the water stops.  I really need to pee.  I have to decide: Hit a port-a-potty or stop drinking.  My time just won’t be impressive enough for peeing myself to be socially acceptable. And it’s way too cool to pass it off as sweat or rinse myself with water.  (These are the deep meaningful thoughts I have while running a race!)

Mile 6 (8:24) – Inside the track!  This is exciting for a few minutes.  Where is a potty?!

Mile 7 (8:36) – The quickest peeing I’ve ever done!  Such relief!  I take water from the next stop, slow down and drink the whole glass.  I pop another Cliff Block in my cheek and take my time eating it.

Brickyard -1:05:56

Mile 8 (8:16) – Am I ever going to get off of this track?!  Look! There’s Spiderman and The Flash!  Everyone was cheering and waving at Spidey. I felt bad for The Flash.  I ran with them for quite awhile.  Can I really keep this pace up?  I’m getting tired.

Mile 9 (8:23) -Eager to drink some Gatorade, I took a big gulp and was disgusted by how strong it was, belch.  I’ll stick to water.

15k mark: I just beat my 15k PR by almost ten minutes!

Mile 10 (8:18) -I don’t really remember this mile, only thinking: Where’s the next timing mat that sends the texts?  I thought it was mile 10…

Mile 11 (8:07) – I remember crossing the mat (1:33:26) and thinking: I’m tired.  I need to push it, this is when it’s supposed to hurt.  Took a small sip of water and thought I had to burp… uh, I didn’t.  I puked.  I must have instinctively knew I was going to because I realized I had stepped off to the side. I stood there still for a full 3 seconds. For some reason I was counting.  I took a sip of water and took off running.  -Apparently faster than before, but I didn’t realize it at the time.

Mile 12 (8:14) -No more thinking.  No idea what my finish time would/could be.

Mile 13 (8:09) – Victory Mile.  Push. Push. Push.  This is when Boston crossed my mind.  The crowds of people lining the last mile cheering.  Searching the crowd for Ben.  I was on the right side of the road.  I had such an eerie feeling, as I was looking for Ben, I was looking for backpacks and trash cans… I moved to the very center of the road, thinking it was the safest place to be.  These thoughts made me ANGRY.  This is NOT what I should be thinking about right now. I pushed it out of my mind and pushed on forward.

The .1 [.23 on my Garmin] (7:18) – The clock said WHAT?! My watch said..  I knew I’d broke 2:00 and I was pretty sure I’d hit 1:55:xx, but I didn’t expect to be that much faster! I still ran negative splits, which makes me feel like I ran a smart race, even though I didn’t hold much back.

Post Race: Felt okay.  Hamstrings were tight.  I collected my goodies, took a finisher’s photo, thanked one of the National Guardsmen and walked to the reunion area to see Ben standing next to the big R.  I hugged him and fake collapsed on him. 🙂  Then I sat down and stretched.

Official Stats:

Clock time: 1:50:45

Pace: 8:27

Overall: 3756

Female: 778/ 16034

Age Group  151/2516

Favorite signs:  “May the 4th be with you!” and “WTF?! Where’s The Finish?”

The evening: I ate like an idiot the rest of the night. I tried to take a nap a few times, but I get stuffed up every time I lie down.  Maybe I am sick?

I love the Indy Mini.  The whole town seems to get involved. The race is lined with people dressed up,  cheering you on and playing music.  I’m not sure if I’ll do it next year, but I will definitely do it again. A few times.

 


Hello 2013! The Year of Balance

January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!  Once again, I’m making a list of resolutions.  I’ve become quite a fan of having goals in life.  I think they’ve made me a better person and each year I get a little better at achieving what I set out to do.

Last year, a good deal of my focus, at least the first part of the year, was on running.  I wanted to run a marathon. WANTED it.  That was fine for a season, but I don’t want to elevate running above more important areas of my life.  I want it to be part of my life.  In 2011, my focus was Wedding, Marriage and Moving.  That will more than fill up a year!  It was a fantastic year, but exhausting. 2010, 2009, 2008… The tough years of my life.  My focus was moving forward and trusting that God had brighter days ahead. (And He did!)

My theme this year is BALANCE.  So what does 2013 hold?  I guess we have no way of really knowing. Nothing seems pending. I want a little bit of everything and I want it all to be awesome. Is that too much to ask?

Here are a few fun goals I’ve set for myself:

  • Read the One Year Bible Plan
  • Spend more time with my nephews
  • Break 2 hours in a Half Marathon
  • Stop throwing away food
  • Show my home a little love everyday (My new way of saying clean/straighten up/decorate)
  • Listen to music more often  🙂
  • Appreciate Ben (It’s hard to bullet point this one. He’s great. He also doesn’t ask for anything, doesn’t require much attention and is very cautious with his (rare) complaints about me.   All this makes him easy to ignore and take for granted.  I don’t want to do either.)

Now let’s get this year started!  I hope it is so fantastic for everyone and we can put to rest the superstition that 2013 is somehow “unlucky”.   How could it be?  We’ve all lived through the Mayan Apocalypse!


Goodbye 2012

January 1, 2013

I love New Year’s Resolutions!  I was looking over my resolutions from 2012; I feel pretty good about them.  I succeeded in a lot of them and made a pretty darn good effort in the rest of them.

Successes:

  • Run a marathon  -CHECK!
  • Run more consistently   -Check! (Logged running miles 50 weeks of the year)
  • Plan meals on Sunday   -1/2 check!  Eating at home fell apart when Blake’s basketball season started and never recovered.
  • Turn off the news!    -1/2 check!  I was doing well… Election season sucked me back in…
  • More girl time  -CHECK!
  • More one-on-one kid time  -Check, but I could still do better.
  • Plant a vegetable garden   -1/2 check!  I had a small container garden.

Failures:

  • Put laundry away, right away.  -I may be getting worse instead of better.
  • Clean purse and van out every Friday  – No noticeable improvement after January.
  • Print pictures out monthly and put in albums.  -I did this ONCE.

 

Off to 2013!!

 

 


My First Marathon Race Report

May 21, 2012

Cleveland May 20, 2012

The Morning:

After the most awful night of sleep I’ve ever had, the alarm went off at 4:00am.  I hit snooze.  There was no race excitement in my body, I just wanted to sleep.  It wasn’t a night of race anxiety that I had the night before.  It was just general discomfort with the bed, the sheets that wound up around my neck and the comforter that seemed to prefer the floor. And I don’t like king size beds! There was too much distance from Ben to the edge of the bed and my half asleep body did not know where to be.  I hit snooze a few more times and then jumped up to make coffee, get dressed and see if the hotel had anything out early for breakfast. (I had backups, in case they didn’t.)  I toasted a raisin bagel and put my own honey peanut butter on it and drank another cup of coffee.  Everything seemed to be taking longer than it was supposed to. After a near accident on an empty street, we made it to a parking garage about a mile away.  Port a Potty stop on the way in and an extremely crowded, barely moving, walk down a ramp to the start corrals.  (While stuck in the sea of people, we heard announcements telling us to avoid the ramp.)  I got to my corral just 9 minutes before the start.

The Race:

I started with a 4:40 pace group, which would be about a 10:41 pace.  I wanted to start slow and relaxed so I would have something left at the end. I was still terrified of what happens after 20 miles.

Mile 1: 10:48 –The crowd was getting to me, feeling claustrophobic, I made the decision not to stay with the group, it seemed like a hassle keeping track of them.

Mile 2: 10:01 –Doubting my decision, I wasn’t trying to speed up THAT much.

Mile 3: 10:05 –Well, at least I’m getting some quicker miles out of the way while it’s not that warm.

Mile 4: 10:32 –Potty stop?  Nope.  LINES of people!  I can hold it.

Mile 5: 10:26 –More potties, even longer lines.

Mile 6: 10:28 -Feeling good! I finally relaxed.  Crossed the 10k at 1:05:31 10:33pace. I was excited to know that people would be getting texts about my progress. I was just 30 seconds faster than I told Ben I would be at this point. Ate a gel I had on me.

Mile 7: 10:18  -Water stops were getting insane!  People were crashing into me, just grabbing their cups and STOPPING in front of the tables.  I was getting irritated; I didn’t even walk to drink as I had planned because I wanted to get away from the crowds of people that seemed oblivious to others around them.  I wondered if faster people have better race etiquette.

Mile 8: 10:22 –

Mile 9: 10:35 –Holy Hill!  I didn’t expect that on the course everyone told me was flat.  It was getting HOT.  I felt like I was the only person not walking up the hill, the crowds hadn’t thinned out so it required a lot of weaving around.  I followed someone else running the hill, which was helpful. Grabbed the gel they offered, just hung on to it.

Mile 10: 10:35 -Passed the faster walker I’d ever seen.  He was a short man that seems to have double jointed hips, his stride didn’t look human! Oh! And NO WATER at the water stop, at least they had PowerAde.

Mile 11: 10:30 – I was getting excited to know the half marathoners would be gone soon.  A lot of them looked like they were in very rough shape, many stopping to walk.

Mile 12:  10:05 –NO WATER! No PowerAde.  But they had two people with hoses at the stop misting the runners?!  I don’t know why they weren’t filling the cups with those hoses!  I was angry, probably the reason that mile was a little faster.

Mile 13: 10:14  -Passed the half point at 2:19:24  10:38 pace   The half marathoners were gone and downtown streets were fairly shaded. Found a lineless potty and pulled on the handle to startle another runner with her pants down.  Why would you not lock the door?!  Went to the next one, peed quickly and got back on the course.

Mile 14: 10:35 -Back in the sun! Ate the GU I’d been holding.

Mile 15: 10:26  -Getting hotter, drinking PowerAde and water at every stop.

Mile 16: 10:42  -I could feel the heat getting to me.  Someone informed me that Martin Luther King Drive was around the corner and we’d have a few miles of shade.  I was excited for shade.

Mile 17: 10:44  -In the shade!!  It was at this point that I noticed that no one had passed me for at least a mile.  I was passing A LOT of people. That felt good.

Mile 18: 10:39  -Everyone is walking.  It started messing with my head.  Should I be walking?  I feel okay, my knee was a little weird, but I was loving the shade.  Two runners at the medic station covered with ice packs.  Scary!  I decided I would walk through the remaining water stops.  As a little “reward” to myself, I put my headphones on.

Mile 19:  10:23 – EVERYONE is walking.  A lot of runners were lying in the grass or sitting in the shade stretching.  Someone told me that the race had been red flagged.   I remember thinking:  I guess working in a hot warehouse is good for something!  Did I miss a GU stop?

Mile 20:  10:41  -Crossed the 30k at 3:26:43 11:05 pace –I’m still not sure how that pace can be right.   Maybe my watch is wrong?    Somewhere along mile 20 my knee started hurting, it almost felt like a little electric current shot through it.  Without a second thought, I grabbed the packet of Advil hiding behind my iPod and swallowed two pills without water.   That’s a first!

Mile 21: 10:10  -Back in the sun.  More walkers.  I don’t remember a single person passing me since mile 16.  I even did a few math problems in my head to see if was okay. It took me awhile, but I did them.  Grabbing three cups at every water station, drinking one PowerAde and one water, dumping another water on my head and down my back. Ate the last gel I had on me.

Mile 22: 10:30 – I remember thinking:  This is the farthest I’ve ran before. I’m so thirsty.

Mile 23: 11:17 –This is where I fell apart.  I stopped at the water stop and my body did not want to drink. Every drop felt like it wanted to come right back up.  I was forcing it down.  I didn’t want to run anymore.  My knee felt like it exploded inside.  I looked down to see if it was swollen and got dizzy.  Hop, jog, walk…drink… jog… walk.  People were passing me. There ARE still people running!  Then I yelled at myself:  Its three more stupid miles! You can run three miles on your worst feeling day! Finish your water and go!!

Mile 24: 10:24 – I feel okay, but already thirsty again.

Mile 25: 10:39 – I just want to be done.  I THOUGHT  I had picked up the pace.

Mile 26: 10:49  -There’s Ben!  I realize I can still smile.  He mouthed, “Are you okay?” and I nodded.

.2 (which was actually a .6 for me) was a 9:55 pace.  Loved the downhill finish!!!

Finish time: 4:38:43  Final Pace: 10:38 (Exactly the same as the half!!)

Post race:

Big smiles when I was handed my medal. I did it. Me. The girl who never finishes anything, just finished 26.2 miles in unseasonably warm conditions.  Ate a banana instantly, drank water, grabbed some fruit snacks, realized there wasn’t anything else to eat or drink. Bummer.  I walked off to meet Ben. There was definitely something wrong with my knee.  Walk, drink, stretch… until Ben gets to our meeting spot.  I glad he remembered to take some pictures, my mind was fried!

Official Stats:

Clock Time 04:47:11

Chip Time 04:38:43

Overall Place 1426 / 14664

Gender Place 427 / 8275

Division Place 94 / 1492

Pace 0:10:38

Split10K 01:05:30

Half 02:19:23

Split30K 03:26:42

The people:

Most interesting thing I learned about Cleveland:  East side people and West side people do not consider themselves part of the same city.

Best sign I saw: Chuck Norris never ran a marathon.

Grossest thing I saw: The aftermath of a very brown accident all over someone.

Costumes:  Surprisingly, none. I did see a few ladies in sparkly tutus though.

Morning after:  

My knee is fine. My legs feel heavy.  I’m a bit achy everywhere, especially my shins and my hips.  I feel better than I expected to.  Still a little sick to my stomach from the heat, but the more I drink, the better I feel.  Still eating like a horse, even with very little appetite.  The best part: No foot/ankle pain! None! Not yesterday, not today!

I will run another. Hopefully, in cooler weather!


Hello world!

May 21, 2012

Welcome to WordPress.com! This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

Happy blogging!