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For Shame

I got a text last night from someone in my running group asking if I wanted to join in on a 5 am run.

Want to? No. Will I be there smiling? You bet.

Then I woke up at 5:37.

I feel terrible.

So now I off for a quick 3 miles, half in the dark (hope I don’t get scandalized. I hate running alone before the sun is completely up.)

But the little one crawled unto bed with me. Small consolation.

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I still feel awful.

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I would be an amazing SAHW

Yesterday: cleaned the house, walked the puppy, ran errands, run 6 miles with my running group, spin class, FaceTime with the husband and talked to my mama, relaxed with the puppy and a movie.
Look how nice my kitchen looks!!
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Today: relaxing coffee time, spin class, paint my nails, walk the puppy, laundry, volunteer at my church, help a student with a project this afternoon, happy hour with friends (or, in the event no one is available, spin class #2), relax with the puppy and FaceTime with the husband.

I am not even a little bit looking forward to going back to work next week. This is freaking glorious.

I am, however, really looking forward to helping a student with a patterning project today. I am looking forward to getting referrals from the bridal shop and altering dresses again. I am looking forward to getting back to work. I am especially looking forward to tomorrow night! I miss you, husband!

But going back to work? I need to warm up to the idea. Rather, I think I just need to warmup to the idea of waking up at 445 every day to get my workouts in. Sleeping in + being a gym rat is marvelous.

I am reveling in the next 2 days.

The Torpedo Missed

I woke up feeling different this morning. Maybe it was skipping spinning in favor of sleeping in ( thinking I can go at 8…and then woke up at 8:10.) Maybe it was just plain getting enough sleep. Maybe it was having a relaxing weekend with my husband–a genuinely relaxing weekend not weighed down by preparations for Christmas/visitors/whatever.

I woke up ready to start altering dresses again.

It was finally time to go back to the bridal shop and ask them to take me back.

I have been terrified of this. I cut off working last April very suddenly. I wouldn’t say that I left them in a lurch per se (they don’t do alterations in house, they just refer people to local businesses.) I was the number one place to which they referred brides, and then I was gone.

I was certain I’d be told to go screw myself.

I am shocked–shocked–when I was welcomed back with open arms (and tears! The manager cried! Tears of joy!). I had no idea alterations professionals were so hard to come by in this town.

I am so grateful. I was certain I had destroyed my business when I hit the skids last spring–and with that, a piece of myself. I’ve missed it.

Cliche as it is, I know that this time it will be different. I have an office with an entrance that is not in our house. No more disruption to the whole family whenever I have appointments. I know my limits better. I’m also much, much better at altering clothing in general–faster, sleeker, more streamlined.

I have experience and outside entrance on my side.

I celebrated with a 7 mile run wearing the awesome jacket my mom and dad got me for Christmas. The sleeves are the absolute perfect length. Note the angry puppy who wants to go for a walk in the corner.

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Sky Harbor

Friday I ran the locally famous Sky Harbor run. A glorious 28 degrees at 7 am, an adjacent casino providing pre run warm bathrooms (and the temptation to drop a dollar just to see…), beautiful views of the lake, and fabulous company made for the hardest 12 miles I think I have ever run (save, of course, the last 12 miles of the SF Marathon) seem to fly by.

Keep in mind I have been running a lot lately, but usually my favorite 4-6 mile loops. Just over 12 miles was really intimidating, especially when you factor in the hills. Here’s some stats!

12.16 miles (out and back)
Starting elevation: 762
Max elevation: 1263
Lowest elevation : 619

The only one of the group had run it before, and it was strangely comforting when she to,d us that she had the exact same running base. It was an easy, make your own pace for the run, walking when needed–or as I discovered, walking uphill when my “running” turned into more of a waddle. It was a pretty dangerous run–not much of a shoulder, blind curves, some traffic, and a touch of black ice. Not one for the solo runner or someone with a love of ninja style running clothes.

Coming around the bend of the last uphill was an amazing experience–it was so exciting to be that close to the end and to feel like I was going to make it. Coincidence that a large cross at the top of a foothill comes into view at the same moment? It made the “Thank you LORD I’m almost there” a profound existential moment.
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Pretty awesome.

Here is the glorious view of cresting the last hill.

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Here is a view of what, in addition to working my legs out on the old foam roller, saved Saturday.
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It’s two days later and I am still so freaking proud of myself. Until we meet again in March, Sky Harbor…

Another Sunday, Another Funday

Sunday Funday at its best: 5.5 mile run, cooking, walk with the puppy, finally putting up the tree/decorating, watching the Packers clinch the NFC North, Christmas party, and now relaxing at home with this view.

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Although I’m not a Niners fan per se, it is damn fun watching them destroy the Patriots.

Terror Begets Joy

I have had a hard time meeting people and making friends since I moved here six–six!!!!–years ago. Making friends is HARD–especially in a land of townies where I feel like an outsider 85% of the time.

Then something magical happened. A girl in my spinning class invited me to join a running group that was forming.

The first run was terrifying–I barely slept the night before. Why? I was worried I would be too slow, wearing the wrong thing, being late, etc. I never run with a group, much less in the dark for “about 5 miles at a pace of a little over 9”. Do able, but for me that’s a hella fast pace to maintain for that long.

God bless the other slowpokes who showed up to keep me company in the back at our lowly 9:30 pace.

When it was over, I felt better than I have in a long time. More alive. Excited to hit the road again, both on my own and with the group. Thrilled to have something to look forward to on Tuesday mornings (and the occasional weekend long run.) Ecstatic to be able to talk about running with people who get it.

On the runs since, the conversations are becoming more familiar and easy, weaving from talking to quiet running side by side. Even on the darkest morning, the dark place feels very far away.

My husband even got me some sweet new running gear for the early morning runs for my birthday. Thanks, babe!
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Crossing the Finish Line

This week, I found out that the San Francisco Marathon is on of the 15 toughest marathons. In 2008, I ran it! See? Here I am crossing the finish line!

Crossing the Finish Line!

 

Here is an outline of my experience in something written on August 6, 2008. (Little did I know I’d be getting married 2 years later on that day!)

Mile 1: Wow, this is crowded–but it’s so beautiful! San Francisco is amazing this early in the morning. The buildings, the smell of the bay (which smells like Manitowoc), the excited chatter of the other runners, wow. I love this.

Mile 3: I love this.

Mile 4: I love this.

Mile 5: Wow. The first hill up to the Golden Gate! This is the first of the three big hills! Here’s to kicking some butt!

Mile 7: I’m on the Golden Gate Bridge! I’m running across it! I love this.

Mile 7.5: This vista point is awesome. Energy gel? Not awesome. It tastes like flouride from the dentist. Thank goodness for water to wash it down.

Mile 8: I’m on the Golden Gate Bridge! I’m running across it! I love this.

Mile 10: So this is the bad hilly part? Ok. I have the energy. I can do this! And it’s actually fun!

Mile 13: I’m half way there! Wow! I’m still doing ok! And I’m in a beautiful park. Wow. I love this.

Mile 14: Who knew–mile 14 = the beer mile. Thank you for the best water stop to date, hashers!

Mile 16: Hey, I might actually finish.

Mile 17: Holy crap, I’m still running.

Mile 17.5: Energy gel–effective but really, really, really gross. Toothpaste power!

Mile 18: My side hurts. Must contract abs.

Mile 19: I need to walk for a bit. My legs hurt–a lot.

Mile 19.5: Seriously? Another hill?

Mile 20: Ok, I’m going to try running again.

Mile 20.1: Ok, my muscles are too tired to control my body running down hill. I think I’ll walk.

Mile 21; Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.

Mile 22: I am in so much pain. This sucks. This sucks a lot. Note to self–remember how much fun the first half was? Maybe I should stick with half marathons.

Mile 23: Another hill?

Mile 23.5: Dear observer who is cheering me on,
Please do not cheer me on and single me out by name. I am in pain and hate everything right now. I’m sorry to be unappreciative–but curl up and die. Please?

Mile 24: Another hill? Are you effing kidding me?

Mile 25: I’m turning the corner and heading toward the bay bridge. Thank goodness! Calypso music suits this moment.

Mile 25.5: AT&T park is neat from this angle. I like this marina thing…one more mile. One more mile! Yea!

Mile 26: Holy cow! I’m actually going to finish this! And then I never have to run this far again!

Mile 26.2: (as I burst into tears) I did it! I never have to run this far again. I did it. Thank you Lord. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. My legs hurt.

Mile 26.3: This medal is gigantic. I love post race food–candy, chips, bananas, and super expensive promotional granola bars. Yea!

I am very proud to have finished. Unless there is an exceptionally compelling reason, I do not think I will run a marathon again. (I won’t even start with how much I hated training. HATED.) Half marathons, however? Count me in!!!

Ashleigh Lawrence

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