Marathon training for 2012 starts NOW!

Before I had come to El Paso, I’d done the research on the longer distance races (half and longer) and when they were. There’s a half marathon in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on December 3. However, we might be going back to Illinois around that time (my sis-in-law is due late October with our nephew!) so I don’t want to commit to that race. The El Paso marathon is in February, but I just wasn’t sold on it. It looked like fun (and probably has free beer as it’s sponsored by Michelob) but again, just wasn’t feeling it.

I had heard about this race called the Bataan Memorial Death March that’s held in White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. I scoffed and chuckled when I first heard about it… any 26.2-mile distance around here is a death march! I laughed at my ingenuity… until I realized that the race is actually to commemorate the horrific 85-mile march thousands of POW’s captured by the Japanese started on April 10, 1942 in Bataan, Philippines. Here’s some more history about the race itself.

Last week, like a good little voracious reader, I went to the nearest El Paso Public Library branch and got my card. I’ve been on a war/history/non-fiction kick lately, what with reading War by Sebastian Junger. (It should be known that I was hooked to books on war since my mom gave me Killer Angels by Michael Shaara.)

So I checked out a few books, including Bataan Death March: A Survivor’s Account by Lt. Col. William Dyess.  I started reading it and have been blown away by this part of the war that I personally tend to forget about. Pearl Harbor is about as far as my knowledge goes when it comes to the Pacific theater of World War II.

I did some research on the race and came to find out that it’s on March 25, 2012. Chances are good that Aaron will be able to do this one with me, and he’ll probably carry the heavy ruck (35 lbs). Me? Well, I’ll be carrying whatever I need to get through 26.2 of sand, wind, hills and desert sun.

For once, I’m not interested in this race for a PR. This is a big step mentally for me. I’m always competing with myself, but this is one race where my time is not my goal. The site says that 25% of runners fall out due to injury or inadequate preparation.

So… that means there will be marathon training for the marathon training. I’d like to get a leg up on weight lifting, cross training, and a few long runs, and then in November really hit the pavement hard. Training will include long hikes in the Franklin Mountains and runs up Transmountain Road.

Reading about war really makes me look at my life with gratefulness… I have freedoms because of these valiant soldiers who put their lives on the line. In reality, what’s 26.2 miles compared to the 361 days Lt. Col. Dyess spent in captivity? Not a whole lot, but at least it’s something.

This is why I teach.

From my first grade friend from this past December through May:

“Mrs. W.,

I miss you!  I want you to be my teacher next year because I like you so much!  I liked when you helped me with my spelling

I got to go to church camp and got to play sports this summer and got to go to church.  I caught one fish!  I got to stay at church camp for a week.  I had so much fun!

I really miss you!

Love you lots,


Settling in

It’s been a busy morning for this little wifey. Ran to the store, got a check cashed, made more tomato/cucumber/onion salad, spent a good hour making cabbage strudel to munch on, cleaned the bathrooms. It’s a lot of work to 1) take care of a house and 2) cook healthy meals for the whole week. I don’t know how you stay-at-home moms do it with kids on your hip or at your feet! My hat’s off to you.

My job

I started my new tutoring job this week! It’s at an organization I worked at in college. I’m so happy to be around kids again! My experience in first grade this past semester has definitely helped me with my understanding of phonics. I think I will be teaching mostly beginning and advanced reading, and maybe some writing and test prep. I’m not working a whole lot (yet) but it’s something!

We have no idea how long we’ll be here in (H)el(l) Paso (lovely moniker, right?) so I’m going to go ahead and certify in Texas. I have my fingerprinting next week, which is the last step to getting my one-year nonrenewable certificate. Then, I take my content tests, pass them (fingers crossed) and I’m certified in Texas. I’m nervous about the tests because they will be more difficult than Illinois’ test. Texas only recognizes three out of dozens of tests as being at least as rigorous.

Even if I don’t get a teaching job, having a TX certificate will help me get an aide job or something similar. It can’t hurt, right?

Our house

We love our house. Maintenance came by yesterday and put up all new pretty blinds, so that will help with the sun. We  haven’t noticed any flooding when it rains, or any big critters, so that’s good. I still would like to put together the third bedroom, but that’s far down on our list of priorities. Maybe a futon will suffice for now…?


Since my job requires me to work past the time Aaron gets off work, we can’t work out together in the afternoons anymore. Since we have only one car right now, he goes over to the gym after work and works out until I get there. He has PT in the morning, and this week I’ve been getting up with him and working out after I drop him off at the company. This has worked out well! I haven’t seen a weight change one way or the other, but I know I’m still making my body stronger. It’s taken a few weeks to get accustomed to the heat.

A challenge

On Sunday Pastor Lee challenged new believers to read through the Gospels and just make mental notes about Jesus and his life. I decided to take on this challenge, except I would take notes and blog about it. I’ve been blessed to learn about Jesus from an early age, and have read so many of the stories so many times. However, I want to take a fresh, more objective approach. I think parts of the Church (all believers) could use a reminder of what Jesus really did in certain situations and emulate that. Stay tuned for my blogging of my discoveries!

If you think of it…

Please pray…

–We need a second vehicle and are on the lookout for something cheap but reliable. We will have the funds available in a couple weeks, so just pray we find the perfect car!

–My mom had a procedure done today.. just prayers for the results and also the recovery. She’s a teacher too and goes back to work soon.

–I have not been sleeping well, which is strange for me. People who know me well know that I get cranky without enough sleep!

–I will be scheduling my Spanish content test soon.. I will need wisdom!


We’re going out on a date this weekend! Dinner and a movie for two! It’s been forevvvver since we’ve been to a movie together, and as of right now, we try to eat out only once a week. We’re looking for recommendations for awesome Mexican places! Surprisingly, the last Mexican food we had was in Albuquerque.