Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Race report.

So I don't think I ever reported on the outcome of my daughters' and my race at Shepherds University WV.  It was their very first 5K (that wasn't part of X-country).  It was freakin' cold - 26 degrees to be exact. And we slept in a tent. I never thought I would get the girls awake at 5 am so that we could be at the race bright and early.  Having had much experience of waiting for parking at races, I've learned over the years to get a really early start.

But they got up with no problem.  Well-rested no doubt because they were warm.  They were responsible for setting up the sleeping arrangements in our little tent.  I thought they had purposely arranged blankets for cushions and sleeping bags for warmth.  I found my sleeping bag the next day in the back of car.  Needless-to-say, I was cold that night.

So we got up, didn't even start a campfire, jumped into the car and set off to the University.  We arrived about 5:45.  We, and one other runner, were there waiting for the wellness center to open and for the shuttles to run.  Parking was not a worry- there were only 3 other cars in the lot.

I taught my girls that one advantage of being early (aside from the excellent parking spot) was there was no line for the restroom.  So we got all of that taken care of, got our running shorts on and set off for the start which was several blocks away.  We were thankful for this because we were able to build up warmth because it hadn't broken 30 degrees yet.  It turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous fall day - perfect for running.

All went well - there was coffee at the bag check-in.  There were a ton of runners but not so many that we felt suffocated.  And then we were off.  I ran the half-marathon - mainly because it started and ended at the same place that the girls race started/ended.  I am so glad I did.  I much prefer the half because I felt that I ran really hard but yet I was healthy enough to run the next day.  It was an awesome race.

But my girls......their first race.......came in  2nd and 3rd!!!!  Amazing!  And now they are hooked.  My runner girls and I will be racing in Virginia Beach in December.  And in Disney in 2014, Virginia Beach again in March, and who knows where else.

It's a healthy addiction.  And something to share.

Another twist.

I was looking for something else.  I found this. One of my kids must have saved this a few years ago.

I still can't believe that my dad is gone. I dream about him every night, think about him every day.

My heart is broken.  I have plans to help it mend but I don't know.

I want to be where my dad is yet I want to be here with my kids.  It is all so confusing, so frustrating, all I know is that I don't like being in this world without him.

I wish I could cry.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


For years I have wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail in its entirety.  It is something I've dreamed about - literally - something I've read about.  It is something I've done in teeny, tiny bits and pieces.......enough to say (ahem) I've been on the trail.  My time is coming.  I have a plan.

Since my dad died, I've looked at my life differently.  I've decided that while I may not be able to jump in feet first to somethings I've always wanted to do, I could at least begin the process.  Kind of like how you eat an elephant, one bite at a time.

Realistically it would be irresponsible for me to begin a thru-hike now.  I've got responsibilities to my family.  My job guarantees an education at a good university for my kids.  But I can start small by continuing weekend hikes and beginning with week long hikes.  I love the idea of being on the trail for 4-6 months but do I trust myself enough to set off on my own?  And to stay with it when I forget everything that drew me to it in the first place?

I've got to find out.  I suspect I'll be fine.  I know, however, that I've go to learn to trust: myself, my family, my friends, and in this case, the white blazes.  Physically I am as prepared as one can be years out from an epic hike.  Mentally - I could use a little work.  I'm hoping that by the time my last child has graduated from college that I have the courage to turn in my two week notice and catch a ride to Georgia.

I'll do it. I know I will.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Who's laughing now?

No pictures - I'm at a conference in Nashville and, unfortunately, did not win an ipad so I rely soley on the technology available in between sessions.


Who, seriously, is laughing now?

This question is in my mind for so many reasons.  First of all, if you haven't had the opportunity to read the comments on the online Centre Daily times site, then you should.  It is amazing the responses one may find.  And no, I don't post there.  I just read and get pissed off. 

Penn State is so much more than what the media would lead you to believe.  I've been asked umpteen times at this conference (by truly concerned colleagues), just how 'is it' at Penn State?  Seriously?  The people of Penn State are strong.  Stronger.  These 'kids' who begin school each September are excited to be here and want to start off on a fresh foot.  They - along with the rest of the Penn Staters -  are motivated to prove that Penn State is NOT synonymous with 'Sandusky'.  That Penn State is going above and beyond what needs to be done to prevent, counteract, and deal with the horrors that can be bestowed on the kids.  As all schools - all people - should.   I've been asked multiple times how "it is" at Penn State and it is NOT what the media portrays.  Not by a long shot.  The media has the power to direct our thoughts.  Whether we view a school as a villain or a victor can be at the hands of the media.  Truly honest and unbiased media coverage? Ha!  

My Penn State is the 99.99% that attends classes everyday, goes to work everyday, has a social conscience  who are parents who are proud and excited to send our kids to Penn State, we are the employees who clean Penn State, who maintain the grounds of Penn State, who advise the students.  We are the runners, the soccer players, the baseball players, we are all the athletes, academics and citizens of the county.

Please make NO mistake about the identity of Penn State.  Because. We ARE.

A torrid love affair

 I've written about the ducks quite a bit. It's a little like Peyton Place around here I think. A couple of months ago, the male d...