>This Spanish major will be happy! and thoughts on immigration and language


There is so much culture in El Paso that as a Spanish major, I am ecstatic to explore! There is a museum of art, history, and archaeology. Good thing my husband likes museums, too. In fact, one of our first dates was to the Lakeview Museum. This site has some really awesome pictures of downtown El Paso, including one of an Aztec Calendar. I’ve never seen one of these in person. Heck, I’ve never been to Mexico. A shame, huh? Because of the dangers there and being a military family member, I may not get to go for some time. Bummer.

Because of my career choice (as a teacher, I obviously have an educated and extensively researched commentary on every major problem that plagues this great nation), many people have asked me what I think about illegal immigration, and many students have asked me, “Why do we even have to learn Spanish?” to which I wanted to reply, “If you don’t like it, then why are you in here?!”

This is what I think about illegal immigration from Mexico, or anywhere: it’s illegal. Therefore it’s wrong. I know many people who have come to this country and built their lives here by going through the correct channels. People who come here illegally mar the process of immigration for everyone else. Sure, all our ancestors were immigrants unless you’re Native American, but times have changed… laws have changed.

Why is it important to learn Spanish? Well, besides “needing” it for admission to college (not true; there are many other things that merit admission to college), why not learn another language? When you learn another language, you inevitably learn another culture. Even if you merely study vocabulary of British English, you will learn about Britain’s culture. It enhances one’s outlook on the world and helps in other areas of learning as well.

Suffice it to say that our children will be fluent in at least my two languages. After piano at age 7, Spanish was my second love and I long to pass that on to our children. Besides, if they start young their pronunciation will be lovely and much more native-like than mine. My accent is definitively American + Bolivian + Honduran + Enrique Iglesias (haha, I kid about Enrique).

As far as children go, they are our future. I know that sounds really typical for a teacher to say. We shouldn’t punish the children of illegal immigrants. They had no control over their parents’ actions, and by law if they are born on U.S. soil, they are U.S. citizens. It’s said and done and there’s nothing that we can do about it. There are people of every race, ethnicity and class who take advantage of services provided by our government.

The truth is that El Paso used to be part of Mexico. Boundaries, laws or prejudice cannot remove the Mexican influence, just as generations cannot take away the history passed down to me from my grandpa about my family who came here from, you guessed it, England, to be farmers. Yes, farmers. In Illinois. You can stop chuckling now. No wonder this gringa loves traveling so much…

I’m not going to lie and say I know how to solve any problems facing education today, as they are many. I really did not plan on writing about it in this entry, but I know that all children should have a right to education and to succeed in this country if they so choose (and are legal). It’s sometimes hard for us to see, but the opportunities here despite the current economy are unfathomable.

In conclusion, living in El Paso will be like living in a foreign country to me. The cool thing is, it used to be. According to statistics, El Paso is 80% Hispanic (shocker, right?)… this blonde-hair-blue-eyed-girl-from-the-Midwest-who-really-loves-Spanish-but-is-just-so-white-that-even-the-Europeans[Spaniards]-saw-right-through-me will learn a lot!

>Wanted: Conflict Manager

>I’m glad I went to small group tonight. We discussed a lot of issues pertaining to trust, relationships, and resolving conflict. In third grade, we had a program at our school called “conflict managers” where we were coached in how to effectively resolve conflict and other kids would come to us with their problems. If they only knew how I really tried to resolve conflict…

I used to be a dirty fighter… verbal garbage spewing, red face fuming, cuss words flying, bygone issues of the past being brought back to life… and then I met Aaron. And he refused to yell. Interesting that we both grew up with yelling being part of conflict but he hated it and I embraced it. I didn’t embrace it for long because he has always refused to yell back at me. So I stopped yelling because it wasn’t doing any good. Not that it does anyway, but there’s a very sick satisfaction in getting the other person to yell back. He would just walk away, and that’d piss me off even more.
He forced me to be patient during an argument (or “discussion” as they are commonly called in our house). He expected me to calmly (what?!!) relate to him details of what I felt or thought the way I did about something. I was afraid he would leave. One time during an argument when I was yelling my head off (surprise, surprise), he said he was going for a walk. I made a human barrier in front of the door and told him that to get out the door, he’d have to get past me first. I’m not sure if he chuckled, but I would have if I were him.
This was in the first year of marriage, and probably the first six months. I learned quickly that if I were going to get a point across, I didn’t have to yell it. He would actually listen and acknowledge what I had to say. He wouldn’t yell back or actually leave… there would be no silent treatments. And we would actually resolve all issues before going to sleep, even if that meant waiting hours while I moved to the very very edge of the bed without falling off, pretending like I was still mad. 
We’ve always worked out our conflicts this way: not letting the sun go down on our anger.
Even into the second year of marriage, our arguments would go like this.
Elizabeth: [sigh]
Aaron: What’s wrong? or Whatcha thinkin’?
Elizabeth: Nothing.
Aaron: Are you sure? You seem like there’s something wrong.
Elizabeth: Yes, I’m fine.
      silence. ribbit. ribbit. crickets….
Elizabeth: Well, it’s just that…. [monologue]

And then the argument might escalate from there. Often I would assume he would have a much more negative response than he did. It was always so anticlimactic, too, because I imagined he would react like me:  yelling and scaring all small children within a 50-foot radius. 
But he never has. Sure, he’s raised his voice when I’ve been present, but that’s only so he can hear himself over the harsh din of my emotional outcry.
Oh. I almost forgot to mention the funniest thing I do during an argument. I try to hide as long as I can in my corner of the ring. Aaron likes to say “I love you” and hug me and grab a hold of my hand or something while I’m angry with him. He’s doing it because he really does love me and wants me to know it, and also I think secretly because he knows it ticks me off. Once I hear those words or get close to him, all bets are off. I might as well raise my white flag of surrender… sigh. Men and their magic. 
So partly this post was to show you how ridiculous it is to fight like that… just say what needs to be said and talk like adults. And partly it is to mark the three years we’ve been married (this coming Monday). We’ve made a lot of progress in that short amount of time.
And how could I forget, the best part is what we get to do after an argument or fight………. Go get ice cream! [Duh!]

>Back to training

>This week was my first real week back to running after the marathon. I say “training” because I think it’s a much more active word than “running”. I’m not quite sure what I’m training for, but I’m sure there will for sure be a race on the calendar once we get settled in El Paso. I got in the habit of recapping my weekly running while training for the marathon, so here ya go.

Saturday: Race for the Cure 5K in 27:56! PR! 
Sunday and Monday: rest
Tuesday: 2.5 miles with Tim in the 90* heat.. refreshing in a weird sort of way… maybe only runners will understand.
Wednesday: 5 mile bike ride at the gym with leg exercises.. I was definitely feeling my legs on Thursday
Thursday: 2 miles before worship practice
Friday: rest
Saturday: Gabi and I have a 5-miler scheduled and we are going as long as it isn’t a deluge of rain or thunderstorms.

After killing it last Saturday in the race, I think my legs were just worn out. I couldn’t seem to get them going any faster than a 10:15-10:30 mile. It was also hot and humid this week, and I’ve been used to training in 20-40* weather. 

I run the Washington Cherry Festival 5K with Amelia at the beginning of June.. I’m interested to see if I can break 27:30 or even 27:15 after my muscles are totally recouped from the marathon.

My attitude towards running has been much more relaxed. Even though I don’t have to go out three times a week and run, I find that I want to. This afternoon I had an overwhelming desire to go out to Detweiler Park and run repeats barefoot across the grass. I also have not been taking music with me this week, for two reasons: 1) I like to chat when I run with partners and 2) it’s a pain to remember my iPod armband and to put it on. It’s just one more thing to carry around when it’s this warm.

I thoroughly enjoyed my bike ride at the gym. Maybe it’s the fact that my legs are long and now strong, but biking is not challenging for me. I’m hoping this, along with swimming in the blazing heat of Texas, will jump start some sort of training for a triathlon. I want to do a sprint tri first to learn how to transition. My ultimate goal is a half Ironman tri… maybe I’ll hit that before age 30.

I’m excited to continue living a life of fitness.. being active gives me something to look forward to in my day.. a sense of peace and calmness (sounds like yoga, haha).. and a way to glorify God with my body. 

I Corinthians 6:19-20:

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

>From excess to destruction.

>I love this time after work and my workout when I just get to sit in the silence and decompress. I caved and turned on the air for the first time this season. After a humid 90* run with my sister’s boyfriend Tim (he’s an ex-Marine and will probably smoke me soon…), the last thing I wanted was to relax after a lukewarm shower in my 85* apartment. I’m not sure what it is about summer this time around, but I am loving the heat so far. Maybe it’s because I was anemically cold for the past seven months, or maybe it’s because I’m trying to prepare myself for Texas… who knows.

Anyway. I’ve been thinking about this blog since last night, and I started to hash it out over my commute to work this morning, title and all. I don’t know about you, but I’m human. I tend to open my mouth and speak, a lot. And as genes and personality have it, I have a big mouth.

My sister-in-law Anessa just posted a blog about words being able to cut like a knife. If I tallied up the words I said throughout the day, I would bet you at this point in time, the destruction would outweigh the construction. Criticism would outweigh encouragement.

Lately my mouth has run away with me. Many times, I praise people, but other times I talk about others and mask it behind a prayer request or a concern. I think we all have the potential to do this, but the fact that it’s such a widespread sin doesn’t make it any less of a sin. I know pretty much the second after I say or divulge something I shouldn’t have.. I feel guilty. But words are interesting; they’re not a too-expensive pair of shoes you can just take back to the store.

They stick around even if that person isn’t around to hear it. Our mouths are just reiterating what is already in our hearts, so we are revealing how we truly feel about that person. Sin is sin, and if there’s any blatant explanation about this particular one in the Bible, it’s in James.

We all slip up and say mean thingsWe all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. (3:2)

We have to recognize that the tongue drives our entire bodyWhen we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. (3:3) If we say something mean about someone, that means we actually feel that way about that person. Will we show love to them then? Probably not.

We cannot speak praise to the Lord and tear down others at the same timeWith the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. (3:9-10) However, this is not to say that we shouldn’t stand up for or defend ourselves… but rather speak the truth in love.

We need God’s help to tame our tongues. but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. (3:7) Jesus has already faced and CONQUERED every temptation that is thrown our way. We CAN be victorious over sin with Christ’s help.

I compare this to my love of sweets. It’s inevitable that I will want something sweet. It’s also inevitable that I will eat something sweet. But I either have to work it off, or not eat so much of it. It can be addicting, just like bad talk. It has to be a step-by-step process in which I made small decisions throughout the day that can lead to a big victory over a week’s time. 

I wish I could say that since I’ve become a Christian (ten years ago!), I don’t say hurtful things about people seemingly in the name of love, concern, prayer, or just because I felt like saying it. I wish I could say I have matured past that. I wish I could say that I haven’t given into others’ poor attitudes and tendencies to gossip. I wish I could say that I have discouraged others from taking part in this destructive way of life.

Breaking out of this habit might mean [are you ready for this?!] keeping my mouth shut when someone asks me a question about someone else with the intent of being nosy (bad words aren’t the only words that are bad). It might mean backing off of certain relationships that often tempt me to gossip. It might mean making my prayer requests at small group more vague. And get this: it will most definitely involve more prayer.

In conclusion, I can’t help but refer to the scene in Mean Girls about “word vomit”. We can either spend our time on this earth writing our own personal “Burn Book” and acting it out or we can actively show others Jesus through us and speak truth in love.

>A [little] sigh of relief

>I surprised myself today when I realized I didn’t have to run for an hour after work and I was feeling both relieved and disappointed.

Marathon training is no joke. It takes a lot of time, a lot of physical and mental stamina, and you’re tired pretty much the whole time, if you’re doing it right. Now that the marathon is over, I find myself still in the mental mode of running 25-35 miles a week. I know that’s not a lot, comparatively speaking, but it was a big commitment for me.

I’m planning on running another 5K next month, but other than that, my sights aren’t set on any more races until December. I’m sure I’ll get involved with Run El Paso and sign up for some 5Ks or 10Ks, but I don’t have to really keep up the high mileage if I don’t want to. It’s a nice feeling.

I want to really focus though on toning up more with weight training and also dabbling in some unfamiliar cross-training exercises like swimming (getting my feet wet for a tri??) and martial arts. I also want to do more yoga. I guess I just want to be well-rounded (though not literally! ha!).

Maybe I can stick with this more relaxed plan for a few months. It’s only been a week and a half and I’m already missing our early-morning long runs. This weekend we go out for about 4 to 6 miles, and that’s barely an hour! However, I know we have to take it easy for the rest of the month.

I’ve been reading this book by Kara Goucher, world class runner. It reads much like a blog or casual conversation and certainly has good advice. One thing she mentioned that I want to try is running barefoot in the grass. Detweiler Park has lots of open mowed grass… I’ll have to try it out.

As far as long term goals, I feel like I have a lot of potential as a runner. I would like to get faster, and maybe break 24 minutes for a 5K at some point, or place (or even win!) in my age group. Of course, once I set my mind to something…

>Time is short.

>I know I really haven’t been posting about anything other than running lately, but I assure you there is more to life than that!

Mentally I’m trying to prepare for moving to Texas, so far away from family and friends. I’m thankful I’m going into this blind because I think I have a really good attitude about the move.

I haven’t really done much to prepare; the Army will move everything for us. When I thought I was moving to Korea, I went through everything and purged unnecessary items. I will probably do this again seeing as it’s been a year since the last purge.

I love getting rid of things.. I am the Queen of Goodwill Donations. I’m excited to peer into my closet and take stock of all the sweaters I most likely won’t need in Tejas. Yes, Tejas. Ahh. Warm weather, you and I will fall head-over-heels in love. (Let’s just make sure there’s a pool and lots of decaf iced tea nearby.)

I really can’t believe this separation is coming to a close. I understand that deployments are inevitable, but none last two years! We will worry about that when the time comes. Honestly, thinking about sending my husband overseas again so soon makes me crazy. We will just take each day at a time. After all, “today has enough worry of its own” (Matt. 6).

I cannot wait for our roadtrip. I bought an atlas last night.. I love looking through it and imagining ourselves driving through Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico before finally reaching our destination. New Mexico is a little out of the way, but Albuquerque is only four hours from El Paso.

I’m still believing that finances will work out and everything will be provided. I was working out our budget for the millionth time last week and yes, we can still live on Aaron’s modest income. I haven’t really started looking for jobs yet; I will take one thing at a time. His orders haven’t changed (I always ask to make sure he checks them..) but you never know.

Now for some random non-running related pictures. Sigh of relief, right? 🙂

Luthor really tries to stay updated with Facebook. Everything’s bigger
in Texas, right? I think Luthor’s already jumped on that bandwagon…

I will miss this girl (Amelia), a lot. But we’ll have Skype dates that
involve lots of tea, Beth Moore, and knitting. (We totally did not plan
on wearing the same shirt, by the way. And in case you were wondering,
no, I’m not standing on stilts.)

 I discovered another local coffee shop on Friday afternoon.
Iced latte + Kindle + warm weather = bliss.

Yep. And that’s all I have to say about that.

>PR.. was I supposed to do that?

>I ran Race for the Cure 5K this morning here in town.. it’s always nice to not have to drive miles and miles for a race. I was up at 4:15, a very normal time to get up when we have a 20-miler in front of us. I dozed until about 5:45 and then called Amelia.

She came over and picked me up and then we headed down to the start line. We found Gabi, Darla and Cindy, all ladies from church (well you know Gabi!). I thought for sure it would rain this morning, but it turned out to be beautiful!

Gabi and I didn’t want to run too fast, but we both had the same train of thought: What’s the point in running this if we’re not going to try to PR? So we tried to start out slow, and that just did not go well. We were weaving in and out of so many people. I’m more used to the races now with time corrals. Anyway, the first mile of this route is very familiar to me; I’ve run it many times on four and five-mile runs in every kind of weather.

It’s a hilly, twisty route, honestly not my favorite. There was no three-mile marker from what I could see, but I know the neighborhood well enough to gauge how far I was (and I have my trusty Garmin). I went without music… I love the sounds of feet on the pavement and everyone’s breathing.

I had no trouble mentally this morning, but my legs started burning around mile 2 and I felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest (not in a bad way though). I finished at 27:56, pace 8:57! My last 5K was in November at 28:43, so I definitely PR’d. I’m not sure if I’m “supposed” to do that one week post-marathon, but I did.

After Gabi and I were done (she finished before me), we saw Cindy cross the finish line shortly after. Gabi and I went back to run across the line with Amelia.. she did great! Right around 40 minutes for her first 5K! So proud of her. I think we might do the Washington Cherry Festival 5K in a few weeks. The three of us went out for breakfast afterwards and despite all the extra traffic in Peoria, we didn’t have to wait that long.

Gabi, Amelia and myself

>Clear-minded goals

>So, before the marathon, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep training and racing marathons, or just have this be a one-time thing and become a more casual runner.

Let’s just say that the thought of never running another marathon again is just craziness! Like I said, all throughout the race I never thought, Oh, I’m never doing this again. My recovery is going very well. I got a massage last night and besides a little soreness, I feel almost 100% today!

Now, post-race and during recovery, I’m already planning new goals and races. When we move, we will be less than 20 miles from New Mexico. Our location will have amazing new opportunities for hiking and seeing the country. The Southwest has to be my favorite region thus far.

We (my husband and I) are looking at a half marathon in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in December of this year. That’s 13.1 miles at 4,000 ft elevation. I have to learn to run at that altitude. I think my goal will be a sub-2:00 race, which will make my pace 9:09. Right now I can run 3 miles with a pace of 9:00, and 8 with a 9:37 pace. Maybe this new goal is slightly ambitious, but it will keep me committed to my training.

I bought a swim cap with a gift certificate from BondiBand, so hopefully that will encourage me to start swimming on a regular basis. I can swim, but I can’t guarantee that I have the correct form. Hmm.. maybe I should take lessons..?

On a slightly different note, we leave for Texas in approximately two months. I cannot believe the time is almost here! In less time than that, Aaron will be back stateside. This has been such a long journey, but I believe that everything happens for a reason and that there is a divine opportunity in all life changes.

I am continuing to pray for opportunities for friendship and ministry and peace of mind about moving so far away. This is an exciting time and I don’t want to take anything for granted.

>Zero week thus far

>So, this is what you call zero week, according to Hal Higdon. Replacing carbs, hurting like you were hit by a truck (or just ran 26.2 miles, whichever you prefer), splurging on a massage, eating an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s because you just burned 3200 cals in one workout.

Saturday night
Saturday night was insane. I thought I’d come home from Champaign, take a hot bath (should have been an ice bath, but no matter) and pass out. Alas, I did all but the latter. I was up until 12:30 driving my poor husband crazy over all the details. At around 9 pm after I’d been laying in bed for hours, I suggested we watch Forrest Gump. I wanted to see him run across the country for three years. So we did, and I bawled my eyes out at the end and laughed at pretty much everything else. I’d briefly forgotten how awesome of a movie it is.

Sunday morning
So I fell asleep around 12:30 and woke up again around 5 almost in tears. I’ve never had a baby, or had major trauma, but I was in the worst pain ever. I went to church and was met by many surprised glances and comments because I guess people thought I wouldn’t make it. Um, why would I not want to go to church the day after one of the most amazing experiences of my life?! I was actually walking around pretty well considering the circumstances.

Sunday afternoon
I ended up going to lunch and the bags tournament after church with Amelia. I didn’t do too shabby either, and held out for quite awhile. We left and I went with her to buy her first pair of running shoes!! I felt like a pro. She got some Asics and loves them! We run Race for the Cure 5K on Saturday, rain or shine. (Am I insane for kind of hoping for rain?!)

Sunday evening
I spent the evening straightening up the apartment and laying around. It was awesome. I ate an entire pint of ice cream with absolutely no guilt. I laid around in hopes of falling asleep and taking a nap, but no such luck. I ended up falling asleep at 10-ish.

Monday morning
I woke up around 1:30 to sound outside. I didn’t get to sleep until half an hour later, but when I did I slept hard. And then of course I had to get up for work. I unexpectedly had to sub all day today, but I was glad to be moving around. I was mildly sore, probably a 4 or 5 on the pain scale of 10.

Monday evening
I came home from work and for one split second, contemplated going for a run. I felt good. But that would be stupid, so I didn’t. I instead took a bath and relaxed some more. A massage therapist friend from church brought her table over and gave me a massage. It was exactly what I needed, I think. It was awesome.

So, to sum it up in case you didn’t care to read my ridiculous rambling, I ate lots of food and (tried to) sleep a lot.

My plan for the rest of the week is to continue resting, sleep when I’m tired, and eat more protein. I might try some yoga or very very very light cross-training later in the week. If I’m feeling good on Saturday, I’m going to go for it at the 5K, the very event that started talk of this journey of [in]sanity. Of course, a year ago, I never envisioned myself running this far this soon. But, friends, all things are possible to him who believes.

>Race report and reflection: ILLINOIS MARATHON 2011

>Let me start you off with some stats:

Location: Champaign-Urbana, Illinois; only my favorite place in this state!
Weather: started out at 50* and windy, topped out around 75* and still windy
Chip time: 4:53:02
Goal time: 5:00:00
Average pace: 11:11
Water consumed: well over 64 oz
Gels consumed: at least 6
Celebrities spotted: Abraham Lincoln (guess they had Asics back in the day.. who knew?), orange-clad Darth Vader, Superman
Funny signs: “Don’t stop!” followed by “That’s what she said!”; “Your feet hurt because you’re kicking butt!”; at mile 23 “You have no other option but to f’in finish!”

This week, I was not nervous. I was anxious to just get it over with, but not nervous or worried. It was a great way to go into a race, especially a marathon!

I met Gabi at gear check at 6:15. The 45 minutes until the race started seemed to go by fast. There were less than 3,000 running the full marathon, so we got across the start line quickly. Very different from my races in Chicago!

We started around the 5:00 pace group, and ended up speeding up to a pace of 10:45-11. We really took it easy, but we didn’t go too slow. Honestly, the miles flew and I felt great. The wind wasn’t too bad in the beginning.

Around mile 8, we ran through Meadowbrook Park, where Aaron and I had spent quite a lot of time when he lived down there. Good memories. At around mile 11, we ran past Stone Creek Church. I was so hoping to see Pastor Grogan, but I saw his wife and Ricky, one of the other pastors. I also saw one of my former students who attends U of I. It’s so energizing and exciting to see people you know, even if it’s for a second! Hannah and her sister were at quite a few mile markers with signs. That kept me motivated too.

I started taking gels around mile 5, to be on the safe side. Some people have stomach trouble with all the sugar in gels and Gatorade, but I have no problem. I was not going to let myself get dehydrated or “hit the wall”. I drank my entire Camelbak of 50 oz, and towards the end I drank at every stop. We tended to walk for a few seconds at the stops to make sure we drank enough!

There was a band called “Shark Domain” or something at mile 8. It’s funny because our friend Aaron B. asked me if I had added “Eye of the Tiger” to the playlist. I hadn’t, but this band was playing it right as we passed by! They were all wearing bright pink shorts, too. Funny.

We saw someone running barefoot, someone with a huuuuuuge Afro hair-do, a lady driving her car down the race course.. seriously, WHO let her by?? I tried to say “thank you” to as many volunteers and policemen as possible… we could not do it without them!

Mile 18-19, courtesy of Hannah

At around mile 20, we sped up a little bit to around 10:45 pace, I think, and soon after Gabi took off. Looking at our 20-mile split, we hit it at 6 minutes faster than our last 20-mile run!! I don’t know how she made her legs keep that pace up after that! I didn’t hit a mental wall, but my legs felt like lead! The last two were awful because of the wind. I’m guessing it was around a 20mph wind right in our faces. At that point, though, I didn’t sweat it (figuratively, because literally I was!) because I knew I wouldn’t finish before 4:45, but definitely before 5:00.

The last .2 were soooo loooong. It was great though to see the finish line in the stadium! I sprinted the last .1 or less. I couldn’t believe I really finished. I started crying as I crossed the line. We got a medal, which is actually very nice. (I can’t say as much about the shirts.. ugh.) I drank a one-liter and sat down to stretch. Um, dumb! I could barely get back up!

Sprinting to the finish! Courtesy of Hannah

Whhyyy did we sit down? Ouch! Courtesy of Hannah

Walking was painful. It was more painful that running that last little bit. However, this afternoon I tried to move around. I went upstairs at Hannah’s to take a shower, MUCH needed. I could feel and see the salt from sweat caked on my face. Anyway, I survived the shower and for some reason had crazy energy. I’m sure those endorphins and adrenaline last a long time, but I guess I thought I’d be so tired!

I ate some chicken and dumplings Hannah’s mom had made, had some cream soda and ice cream, too. Then it was my idea to go to the running store to look for a marathon shirt that I liked (picky, I know) and unfortunately they didn’t have any women’s back in the store from the expo. I did get a 26.2 sticker for my car.

I have to say, besides knowing Jesus, being married, and graduating from college, running a marathon is the coolest thing I have ever done. I love that runner’s high; I was “high” throughout pretty much the whole race! And I am being honest when I say that I never once thought, “Oh my gosh, why am I doing this?” or “I’ll never do this again!” I’m already asking Aaron when we’re going to train for the half in December in flippin’ New Mexico.

I have to give all glory to the Lord. This simple act of putting one foot in front of the other has saved my sanity, kept me mentally healthy, made me physically fit, and tested my trust that God has indeed created me with a healthy heart!

I have to also thank everyone who has encouraged, inspired, and prayed for me throughout this process. I especially thank my husband, who has been incredibly supportive even from halfway across the world. And OF COURSE, my training partner Gabi who made those early Saturday morning runs worth it! We did everything… wind, sun, snow, rain… everything. We did it, girl!

Amazing day!

As she said, this has been an incredibly unique experience.. you get to know someone really well when you spend three hours every Saturday morning running with them in the country. I will never forget it!

Yay for ZERO WEEK!!