Monday, May 14, 2012

I Knew I Could

I did it! I ran my first 5k!

If you've been following this blog for any length of time you know this is a pretty big deal for me.  For some, running 3 miles is no biggie, but I was never interested in running until a few years ago.  Training for 10 weeks and getting out there and DOING it was so incredibly fun.  I have that overwhelming sense of accomplishment that comes along with stepping out of your comfort zone and going for it.  When I decided to do this it was on a whim and I truthfully thought I was crazy for even considering it! Not anymore! I understand the allure of a race and I finally understand why people keep coming back for more.

Up until the big day, I was nervous. Really nervous. I wasn't nervous about finishing it because Curtis said he would be there with me the entire time. I was just nervous to be taking part in such a big event for our city, with thousands of spectators and runners. It was the 35th Anniversary of the Fifth Third River Bank Run and that added an extra layer of nerves.  And really, I am NOT a runner. Or AM I?? I am still trying to figure out how that works because as I sit and type this, I kind of feel like I am a runner. In fact, I'm supposed to lift today and suddenly I'm feeling like taking a run.  Huh? I know, right??

Friday night I decided to go to bed early and hoped that my butterflies wouldn't keep me from sleeping. I slept well and woke early.  I wanted to be sure I was totally prepared, which is not out of the ordinary for me. I ate a small breakfast of eggs, toast and a glass of water and we were off.  I joked with Curtis that since I get SO red in the face when I run that I might as well wear neon for the event and I did! Neon shirt, neon nails, neon headband, neon shoes. Neon...from head to toe! People kept stopping me to compliment my get-up! Ha!

It was a beautiful morning! We parked the car and slowly started to walk towards the starting line. My butterflies were intensifying but I also had this calm excitement over me. I was taking it all in...the people, the sounds, the runners, the spectators. We watched the 7am heat line up and did some yoga stretching as we waited for our 7:30 start.  When it was time to lineup we took our spot behind the 11 minute pacer.  This was a perfect spot for us as I noticed at the end that we were still running with the same group we started with.  I finished in 33:51.  I am not a fast runner, but I got out there and did it and for that I am so proud! People are already asking me if I'm ready for a 10k and I know that with the appropriate training I could totally do this.  Heck! A year ago today, I was sitting at home 1 week postpartum weighing 55 pounds heavier than I do today.  Nothing is impossible for me!

If you feel like there is no way you could ever run a mile, let alone 3 or even more, I'm here to tell you that it's possible.  If I can do it, so can you! All it takes is a giant leap out of your comfort zone and B O O M! I am so happy that I took on this little adventure and I can't wait to do it again next year!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Think I Can

I've been training for 10 weeks.  3 runs a week, plus weights and bootcamps. The time has finally come! I'm going to run my first 5k race on Saturday.  I'm excited and nervous!! This has been a giant step out of my comfort zone.  If there is anything I've learned over the past several years, it's that sometimes dreaded place where it ALL happens.  The real honest CHANGE.

I was reading through some old posts here and it's so interesting to see my evolution into this athletic person that I've suddenly become. I was always just a swimmer.  Nothing more. No Track & Field or Volleyball (which I was always recruited for based on my amazon height). I swam. Some years it was a year-round thing for me, always competing in the pool.  I lost that after high school, but I've found that person again. I'm stronger, leaner and more athletic than I've ever been in my entire life.  33 years old and I'm proof that if you aren't a runner, today is the day you can start! If you aren't in the best shape of your life, there is nothing that is holding you back more than YOU. 

People keep telling me that once I do this race I'll want to do another. I wouldn't have believed them 10 weeks ago, but as I sit here I've just received another message from a friend that's going to be joining a team I'm forming for The Color Run in August.  Yes, another 5k! I haven't even run my first race, but I know I'm already going to want more.  We're even talking about forming a Mud Run team! Yikes!

If any of my readers have any tips, tricks or advice for race day, I'm all ears! I'd love to hear your words of encouragement as well. 

I will be back with my full race report on Saturday, but for now, I'll leave you with a Bible verse that my sister Mary sent to me to get me ready for Saturday. 

"I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize..."  :Philippians 3:13-14:

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rebirth

You were so tiny.  So much tinier than your brother. Almost 2 pounds smaller! You may have been petite, but your personality was grand from the start.  You are our quiet volcano.  Reserved, like your Daddy, but you can erupt at any moment. I'd like to say that's also Daddy's trait, but I think it might be mine :) You let us know when you want or need something, that's for sure! Otherwise, you are content as can be.  Curious, happy and so full of life. 

You were born the day before Mother's Day 2011. May has never been an easy month for me. Mother's Day and Mom's birthday always made for an emotional month.  But then you showed up. I spent Mother's Day 2011 in a hospital room gazing into your pretty eyes wondering how that day could be so completely transformed for me.  The day we brought you home from the hospital there was a beautiful double rainbow outside your bedroom window.  What an immense symbol of hope and rebirth.  That was the moment that I realized that this month is filled with the greatest blessings in my life.  Mom's birthday, Mother's Day, the birthday's of Nanna and Nonnee, your cousin Lily and now YOU.

Without you and your brother, I wouldn't know what it's like to have a heart as full as this.  And without my Mother, I wouldn't be here to enjoy it all! May is a time of reflection and remembrance, but also of celebration and rebirth.  New flowers are blooming and it's almost summer. As I sit here listening to the angels having a bowling party in the sky up above I'm reminded of how truly blessed I am.  I'm reminded of your special entrance into this world and I'm reminded that my Mom is here with us too.

L O V E.  It's all around!

 Cecilia Anne, you complete me.  You complete our family and I am so thankful for you.
You have made my heart full and this last year has been absolute perfection!

♥ Happy Birthday, beautiful girl ♥


Friday, May 4, 2012

♥Cecilia Anne♥A Story of (re)Birth♥Part One


As I sit down to write this post, it's Friday night and I'm getting ready for Cecilia's birthday party tomorrow. I was trying to think of all of the words that sum up the past year and they are flooding my mind like a wave from the ocean.  Beautiful, happy, perfect, profound, healing, life-changing...these are just a few.

I can still remember sitting in my doctor's office with the probe on my stomach waiting to hear if we were going to be having a girl or a boy.  I had this feeling it was a girl from the start, another intuition I had during my pregnancy with Charlie (as in, I knew he was a boy!)  The ultrasound tech, who had only been wrong 3 times in her career, couldn't give us a definitive answer. She thought she was seeing girl parts, but we couldn't get that perfect girl shot. Cece was modest from the start! Still, I knew.  I knew exactly what was growing in my belly.  My baby girl.  A new best friend. A sister.  A daughter. A beautiful life.  We had another ultrasound and my intuition was proved to be right on. 

On Friday, May 6, I went to work and then had a few doctor's appointments. It was just a regular day. I was 36 weeks and 4 days. My caesarean section was not scheduled for 2.5 more weeks.  There is no way I would have expected what was about to come! Curtis decided he was going to put the new Cozy Coupe together and I was hanging out on the computer doing some work.  I felt a little off and started to have some pain in my lower groin.  I didn't think much of it and instead, instinctively grabbed for my huge glass of water.  I was having some low fluid issues at the end of my pregnancy and was instructed to drink 2 gallons of water per day for the weeks leading up to her delivery.  I had been cleared by my MFM on that same day as they felt my levels were back in a normal range.  Still, drink water was my prescription and they were going to continue to monitor my pregnancy.  I grabbed for my huge pink glass and started to drink.  I went to lay down and the pain kept coming...and going...and coming...and going.  I went into labor naturally with Charlie too so I knew what what going on here! I was in straight denial that this could possibly be happening, but I went downstairs to let Curtis know that things weren't getting better.  We still had almost 3 weeks to go! And a Cozy Coupe that was in 8 million pieces on the living room floor!  At this point it was about 9pm and we thought it would be wise to call my parents and the on-call doctor. I'm so glad we did! By midnight, we were headed to the hospital as my pain started to intensify.  

Tasha and I heading into surgery!
When we got to triage it occurred to me that it was a Friday night.  My beautiful cousin Natasha is a weekend Labor & Delivery nurse at our hospital and the possibility that she could be working briefly crossed my mind. A few minutes later, guess who showed up in my room? Like an angel from the sky...Natasha.  I knew God put me in labor that night for a reason.  It was such a blessing to have her there by my side as I welcomed Cece into this world.  I still tear up as I write this because it was a moment of sheer JOY when I saw her smiling face.  She walked me through the plan and asked if it was okay if she was my nurse that evening. Without hesitation, I absolutely said YES!

Many of you may know about the loss of my Mom when I was 9 years old.  Tasha is the daughter of my Mom's brother, Richard and his wife, Joanne.  Having her there was a profound thing for me. I needed her there as an extension of my Mom.  Thank you so much Tasha, for guiding me through the hours that followed.  It was like having a piece of my Mom right there next to me
♥ I believe you were there for a perfect reason ♥

 Because I was only 36 weeks 4 days, they wanted to monitor me to be sure that I was in real, active labor before performing my caesarean section. After some time on the monitor (and insane discomfort) it was decided that they were going to call the doctor in and prep me for surgery. Relief. The photo above is my face full of relief and excitement. There was so much happiness in my room. We were going to meet our baby girl!

The moments that followed were moments of pure joy.
J O Y and L O V E so intensely breathtaking and powerful.  

Like a ton of bricks.  There she is, the most amazing and beautiful child.  
My heart swells with 
L O V E 
Perfect, powerful, beautiful
T R U E ♥ L O V E 
♥ Cecilia Anne ♥ May 7 ♥ 3:55 a.m. ♥ 6 pounds and 14 ounces of pure joy! ♥
 
Our whirlwind year begins here!