I love to bargain shop. I live for deals, especially on my kids' clothes! Today a friend at mom told me that at our Old Navy they were doing 50% off already greatly reduced clearance. I went in and power shopped. I do find that little girl clothes are almost always clearance priced lower. I got Abby four pairs of jeans for this fall and a cute fleece pullover for 13 dollars. When you find deals like that, it is hard to pay regular price for anything. I even struggle at consignment sales....Paying 5 or 6 dollars for a pair of used jeans when I got brand new ones today for 2 dollars apiece!
Ok, so I rarely care about products but ...I am a little gaga over my new mascara I got yesterday. My BFF Becky told me she bought Double Extend Mascara by Loreal the other day and when I saw her I was wowed 'cause her lashes were alot longer. I picked me up some at Target yesterday and today my eyelashes look I have on a double pair of falsies. No kidding. This stuff really works! You put the white on first and it adds to the length of your lashes and then you put the black on....Twiggy lashes instantly. Fun.
Well, I have been wanting to write about my half-marathon experience before I forgot it so here goes.......
Had to get up at 5:00 am. And I was lucky that I did actually get up then instead of hitting the alarm because once I had my gear on, had eaten my english muffin and banana, and hit the road it was 6:00. And I didn't get downtown until about 6:25. I parked in the parking garage right off of Clinch Ave across from the World's Fair Park and made my way up to the start line on the Clinch Ave bridge. It was SOOOOOOOOOO cold. Everybody was huddled up inside the Knoxville Convention Center when I went in there to potty. I was just praying that would get me through the rest of the race and that I wouldn't have to stop at a PortOPotty along the way.
As 7:00 am approached, thousands of people began to line up for the race. Now choices have to be made..Do I line up with the people who run a 11/12 minute mile or does my first time marathon low self-esteem win out and I line up with the 13/16 minute mile people? Low self-esteem won and I made my way to the back of the pack. The shot gun went off and .....I stand there. Then begin to walk slowly....Then jog. I cross the start line almost 3 minutes after the gun sounded.
Well, the start of the race is wonderful, of course. Instead of freezing I begin to warm up which feels great. I begin to pass alot of people. I look down at my IPod and ...OH NO!!!!! My sensor that does my pace, etc. is laying on the kitchen counter at home. I feel stupid that I forgot it. I have a moment. But then, I tell myself that I remembered everything else important and maybe I just need to let loose and listen to my body.....Who cares about pace? I will just run and when I get tired I will slow and when I feel good I will speed up. So, there I am just running and running but having no idea how fast I am going, how far I have gone, etc.
So, we head out and go down the hill toward Neyland Stadium, then head out onto Neyland Drive. Pretty long stretch beside the Tennessee River which is beautiful. The runners really began to spread out here and for a while I was running by myself with lots of people in front of me, lots of people behind me, but no one beside me! It was kinda nice....I pretended that I was just running in my neighborhood but that now my neighborhood was next to the river.
As we began to head up a hill to Kingston Pike, I realized that people were beginning to take walk breaks. Walk break? AAAAHHHHH, what was this? I mean, we had only run about 2 miles at this point. Did people know something that I didn't? Maybe if I took a little walk break I would have more energy later? I decided to walk for about a minute. Then I started running again. I told myself my plan over and over in my head. I had promised myself that I was going to run the first five miles WITHOUT stopping. So why had I stopped and walked? Peer pressure. I start running harder to prove to myself that I am not a wimp and wave at the news guys on the side of the road.
Ok, so we head down Kingston Pike. And into Sequoyah Hills, which is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Knoxville. Gorgeous landscaping, homes, etc. Just a beautiful place to run. Eventually here they have a big mile marker beside the road....5 miles. Ok, I have done my 5 miles. Now maybe another walk break? I headed toward the water/Gatoraid station and jog by, spilling the Gatoraid all over myself as I run. Now my new goal is to take walk breaks while I am drinking. That way it will actually go into my mouth and not down the front of my shirt.
Run, run, run. See some funny things. One guy was running backwards. And seemed to for a long period of time. Also notice at this point that lots of the men are just stopping and peeing in the ritzy neighborhood yards. God bless 'em for letting marathoners do that every year. And around mile 6 is when I realize that I kinda have a running buddy...He has been beside me on and off most of the race...An old man who looks like he is at least 85 years old. He had a bright orange bandana and a fierce expression...But I bet in his mind he was saying "I will beat this little 35-year-old girl beside me and show her what's what" because in my mind I was like "please let me beat this 85 year-old. Not that I don't want him to do good but he is 50 years older than me......it's just embarrasing......"
I think that about mile 7 or 8 was when it hit me that I was actually running for 13.1 miles and that meant that I had a heck of lot of miles to go to be finished. What in the heck was I doing? I was TIRED. OF RUNNING. And there was a big hill looming....I decided to walk it. Up out of Sequoyah Hills onto Kingston Pike again...But now we are more down in Beardon. Wow. How did that happen? Now it is time to go get on the Knoxville Greenway and head back toward downtown. Third Creek trail, here I come! I am pretty familiar with this trail since we ride bikes here alot. I can do this, I can do this! I get a little bit of renewed energy and start passing people again. As a matter of fact, I think that miles 9 and 10 were my fastest of the race. I don't know that for sure though since I left my Nike+Ipod sensor at home on the kitchen counter.
Ok, so at mile 11 they were supposed to have gel for us to devour. That is that candy-like substance that you squirt in your mouth full of calories. When I got to mile 11, no gel!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was very sad. That is what had given me my boost was the thought of getting that and refueling a little bit. I think they ran out before I got there which made me doubly sad. If I had just been doing better I would have gotten it....This was my down turn. Decided to walk the whole entire mile from 11 to 12 in protest.
As I begin to run mile 12, low and behold but who runs up next to me? Little old orange bandana man. AAAAHHHH! He really is gonna beat me. And there is this other girl who keeps walking and then when I get up to her she looks at me over her shoulder and starts running really fast. She does this at least 3 or four times to the finish line. I realize that I am her "person" ...the one she has picked to beat. But my person is little old orange bandana man.
It starts to get more exciting as we near Neyland Stadium.....And oh, the joy I felt when we got to the half-marathon split. The marathoners had to keep going and the half marathoners ran a different direction. I remember saying aloud..."Thank you Jesus that I am almost through and please be with all those poor fools who chose to do the marathon...."
Now it is the home stretch. My knees hurt real bad. I slow down as I get to the finish line instead of speeding up. I am tapped out. Little old bandana man runs ahead of me and crosses the finish line before me. Oh well. As I run across the 50 yard line of Neyland Stadium I feel nothing but relief. I am just glad that it is over. I slow down, walk. All I can think is "I need food...I need food...." I make my way to the little celebration station after I get my medal and grab a bagel and shove it my mouth so fast I almost choke. And I grab a Vitamin Water and gulp it down. Everyone around me looks rested and like they really enjoyed themselves. I am the color of a beet and still have sweat pouring off my body...I look like I have been badly sunburned and then dunked in a pond.
I make my way out and begin dreaming about just getting home and getting into the bathtub. And I want more food. Now where did I park the car? Isn't it way up the hill in the parking garage? Oh no. I walked and walked and walked and walked...Which was probably good since if I had stopped my muscles would have atrophied and I would have just been frozen like the Tin Man. Got lost and got a great tour of the University of Tennessee. However, this is not the time I want to be walking aimlessly around campus. After wandering around in the cold for about an hour I finally find my vehicle. Thank goodness. I can go home and revell in my accomplishment later.
1. I have been reading Love in the Time of Cholera. This book won a Nobel Prize. I am starting to wonder why. I am almost done with it. It is not a bad book and it is holding my interest but definitely not 'Nobel Prize good'. Just my opinion. 2. So, I am a Twilight Mom. I have just accepted this about myself. For those of you who are not Twilighters and do not know what I am talking about....Stephanie Meyers wrote a series of books called the Twilight series for teens. Am I a teen? NO. But I still love these books. They are about a teenage girl who falls in love with a vampire. I think one of the reasons that I have enjoyed them so much is that when I read them I imagined that I was a teenager again. Sometimes it is just fun to feel young. Do these books have any emotional, spiritual or philosophical significance? No. But they were just downright enjoyable. And enjoyment is the reason I read. The movie is coming out tomorrow and I will go purchase it. And I will be the first in line for the next movie, etc. 3. Have I ever mentioned on here how much I hate ants? I detest them. They are in my kitchen for the 3rd year in a row and no matter what I do to get rid of them they are always crawling on my counter. Does anybody have any ant killing advice? 4. So, on the Facebook front I have had about 23 friends find me in the past 2-3 days. This can get a little overwhelming on the memory front. All these people mixed together from different times of your life can get confusing. I have been having freaky dreams about all these random people that I honestly thought I would never see or talk to again in my life but...Boom! There they are. 5. So in Sunday School last week we were talking about the fact that God is outside the realm of time because He is the creator of time. This kinda blew my mind a little bit. Somebody in class made a statement that it is like all of time is on a movie reel and God can see it all laid out for Him frame by frame. So meanwhile, while we are sinning in frame 10,899 Jesus is dying for us sins in frame 2,999. It is like everything is happening at the same time to God even though it is in a sequence. Very interesting concept. 6. Yesterday was one of those days of mothering where it hits you like a ton of bricks that life can be very monotonous. This doesn't hit me very often, but when it does it hits hard. It had just been a typical day, but I just kept thinking...How many times can I do these dishes? How many times can I clean this potty? How many times will I break up the children fighting? How many times will I watch Curious George? I think that monotony is comforting to some people, but for me somehow I feel like I am not living when things are the same, day in and day out. I love being a mama and I love having the privilege of staying home with my kids, but sometimes I just feel like I am in the movie Groundhog Day. 7. Well, it is one week until the Knoxville Marathon. I am going to be running the half starting at 7:00 am on the 29th. I have trained for this I guess as much as I can so now I just have to do it. It should be really fun in its own way. But really, really hard too. I just hope that I can walk Sunday after it is all over. My family won't be there...They will probably be at church. Maybe I should put some kind of ID bracelet on so if I have a heart attack on the course I am identifiable.
Ok, so I have Blogger's Guilt. I am feeling guilty for not blogging enough!! How crazy is that? I mean, this is just for me anyway. Life has been a little crazy lately.....had a car accident two weeks ago. Got plowed over by a semi. And it has been the wreck that keeps on giving; just now is everything getting settled down. I do love to blog though; I think that with the stress of the past couple of weeks I have just not felt very witty. Maybe my ability to blog was knocked out of me by the semi. Surely it will return shortly!