Monday, April 7, 2014

100 Mile Month: Recap

Well, I made it to my goal of running 100 miles in one month. (I did not, however, manage to succeed at posting my progress or an interesting photo during my run each week.) Running 100 miles took quite a bit more planning than I anticipated. In the beginning of the month I estimated that needed to run about 5 miles, 5 times a week in order to stay on track. I figured with this mentality I could go on a few runs longer than 5 miles and a then have the opportunity to run a some that were shorter. What actually ended up happening was that most days I ran an average of 4 miles, and then as the month drew nearer to a close, I started realizing that I needed to up my game.

After Sebastian and I came back from our Grand Canyon trip, I sat down with a calendar and planned out the rest of the month for running. There were a few days in mid-month when I wasn't so sure I'd make my goal. The last week and half of the month, I was pretty much running every day, sometimes twice a day, trying to get as many miles in I could.  I also wanted to be able to run a nice, easy short distance on the last day to get to 100, so that it could be a fun run, rather than a daunting one. 

Some of my setbacks: Not running longer miles in the beginning, hiking an 8 mile, steep, Grand Canyon trail that left me sore for days (Days! My entire leg from my ankles to my quads were sore), and generally trying my hardest to not be bored (a lot of my runs were pretty slow as I was just trying to log in miles and not necessarily keep a fast pace.) 

Some achievements: Running 100 miles (a given, right?), really pushing myself with this goal and taking it seriously. Even when the future looked like a lot of work and even when there was the possibility of not making the goal, I still tried for it and gave it my all. I don't think I've worked so hard at an athletic goal since high school basketball. And overall feeling good after each run. 

Final thoughts: I'm not sure I'd do this again. I might, just because it was a good motivator for getting me out there, but it ate up a lot of my free time. If I'm looking to keep up a good monthly mileage without the pressure, I think I'd scale it back to 75 miles. Also, on most runs, I completely forgot to take a photo of something interesting, and when I did, I had to stop, take the photo and then start back up again. I tried taking a few while actually running, but those photos are pretty laughable. 

Overall, just glad I did it! Now on to the next goal....hmmmm?




And finally, some snapshots while out there. 












Thursday, March 6, 2014

Farmland

Has anyone seen this trailer for the upcoming documentary, Farmland yet? I discovered it last fall and I immediately showed it to my Dad. I don't think he's ever been more interested in an online video. In a day when it seems like so much of the mainstream media has negative views (or perhaps just aren't knowledgeable) about farmers and what they think they do, it's incredibly refreshing to see a film that seems to portray how hard these men and women work everyday, and how most of them are doing it because they are passionate about their jobs. My dad has had some great success as a hog, corn and soybean farmer, but the amount of work he's put into the job every single day of the year for 50 plus years is something that I am still in awe of.

This film doesn't debut until spring, but I cannot wait to see it. I may just have to wait a bit longer though; if it ends up being as amazing as the trailer looks, seeing it with my Dad would be pretty special.

Monday, March 3, 2014

100 Mile Month: The Start


The Goal: 
Run 100 miles in a month

The Reason: 
I need something different and new to keep me motivated to run.

I've decided to try and run 100 miles during March, something I have never attempted to do before. Sebastian and I ran a half marathon in the middle January where we competed for time. My choice to run the same race, his choice to compete with one another. It ended up being a great way to push myself.

Fast forward to after the race up until the end of February and I had no motivation to get out there and be active. See the mileage for the month of February? Not even 8 miles. Yes, I needed a goal. 100 miles in 31 days. Daunting? Yes. Achievable. Possibly. (Yes...that answer should be yes.) Each week I am forcing myself to post a screenshot of my weekly mileage, along with a photo of something notable I've seen during one of my runs. If anything, it will get me out there and keep me active. One, two, three...go.




Friday, February 28, 2014

Custom 40th Anniversary Invitations

My parents recently celebrated their 40th anniversary. Wow! Their love and their relationship have always inspired me and have set some great guidelines for how to work hard and love unconditionally in a marriage.

My sister-in-law approached me a few months ago to see if we should throw a party for them since forty years is certainly something to celebrate. We both agreed that while a surprise party would have been fun, we had no idea who to invite since we knew my parents had no desire to have a large party. In the end we talked with them and decided to have a small, intimate gathering with just family and a few of the people who were part of their wedding party.

Right away in the planning process, my sister-in-law asked me about creating the invitations. I jumped at the chance to do so. I had a fun time looking at and incorporating my parents wedding colors and wedding photos, and I was more than pleased when both my Mom and Dad said they liked them very much.

The party was spectacular. It was fun to see my parents actually take a step into the spotlight and as a result everyone had the chance to hear some great stories about their engagement, wedding, honeymoon and being newlyweds in the Midwest countryside. By the end of the night, each guest had spoken about a memory they had of my mom and dad. It was pretty special. Congrats Mom and Dad! Thanks for showing us how to love!

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Girl, A Boy, and Their Dad

Not many things in life have been sweeter than watching Sebastian grow from friend to boyfriend to husband to dad. When Aliyah was born, it was amazing—and yes, surprising even—to see how Sebastian naturally fell into the role of being a caring father. To him, it was an important life challenge to accept and take seriously, but not without losing the sense of fun that he brings to everything he does.

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When Aliyah was about two months old, he let me sleep in one weekend. He took it upon himself to dress her (most likely the first time he had fully dressed a baby), so he rummaged through her clothes and put her in a pair of orange shorts, a onsie with a tiger on it that said, “Wild Thing” and grabbed a safari hat off of a teddy bear nearby. When I woke up, they were both waiting for me, and I couldn’t help but shake my head and smile.

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What I love most about how Sebastian goes about parenting is his honesty. He will be the first to tell you that in the first couple of months after both of our kids were born, he was at a loss at what to do with them after about twenty minutes, because as he says, "What else can you do with a newborn?". He’ll let you know that he thinks spit up is gross, or that his three year old daughter can be a difficult to handle at times. He’ll also let you know how incredibly in love he is with both of his kids, and that despite his awareness that he is bias, he still thinks they are hands down the coolest daughter and son around.  And our kids feel this. They both light up when Daddy comes home or when he talks directly to them. They both can be heard laughing because of some funny antic that only Sebastian can pull off.  And they both listen when Daddy disciplines them with love (well, maybe not Isaac just yet.)  As they grow I see that the bonds from father to daughter and father to son are only growing stronger.

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A close second to what I love about Sebastian’s parenting is that he believes in me as a mother and he tells me this often. Not a day goes by where I don’t feel his support through either words or actions. In addition to being a manager and mentor in the professional world, as well as taking on hobbies with fervor (writing, golf and exercising to name a few), the amount of energy he puts into taking care of our children and being present in their life is incredible.

I know I’m not the only person out there who feels this way about their significant other, and I love to read or hear about others who appreciate their partners.  I’m not trying to brag or to show-off. (In fact, when I started this post, I thought it was going to be about Sebastian and Isaac’s relationship. Instead this turned out to be an act of gratitude for all Sebastian does as a husband and father.) Our family is lucky to have him. This one’s for you, Bastian. xoxo

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