Friday, May 04, 2012
Well, we already sort of knew, and I already sort of blogged about it, but it's DEFINITE now!!
DH has been in close contact with his former employer for months, and they told him they had an opening they thought would be perfect for him in Fort Walton Beach / Destin. But because it is a huge, nation-wide corporation, they had to go through the whole hiring process just like for anyone else - extensive background check, the whole nine yards....
So, for the past few weeks, we've been waiting to hear that everything was approved, and also to get the OFFICIAL job offer.
Not that we were terribly worried - we are MORE THAN SURE this is the right decision for us. Plus, my husband's old supervisor is now the manager of the entire Florida Panhandle area, who oversees all the hiring... And we knew he was working VERY hard to work it out for us.
Today, we got the confirmation - background check CLEARED, OFFICIAL job offer on the table, start date has been settled, and salary has been determined!! Salary is going to be quite a bit more than we anticipated, which is just PURE AWESOMENESS!!! What a huge, huge, huge blessing!! Especially since it will take us quite a while to recover from the financial struggles we've had here.
YIPPY!!! Hubby is flying high on Cloud 9!!! He's so incredibly stoked to be getting his old job back!!!
NEXT WEEKEND IS MOVE-OUT WEEKEND!!!! EEEEEEEKKKK!! I'm starting to feel a little panicky!! Are we getting it all done on schedule? Are we going to be ready when that container comes next Friday???
It's gonna be a CRAZY RIDE this next week!! But I'm gonna keep workin' on my fitness & health goals. We can do this!!!
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Wow, what an INSANELY crazy, yet insanely wonderful & amazing day!!! I'm still so excited that I totally can't sleep, so I gave up trying.... (Sitting here @ 3:45 am sipping some tea to help me relax... maybe I'll get another couple of hours of sleep after I write this blog.... LOL)
I ran my last race here in Germany - the Stadt- und Deichlauf Winsen (Luhe) Half Marathon. In case you are wondering, May 1st is "Tag der Arbeit", or Germany's Labor Day. My goal has been for months to break 1:50 (previous PR was 1:53:55), so I have been using a training plan from Women's Running Magazine appropriately called "Run Your Fastest Half Marathon." But I also improvised, and added some much heavier mileage, particularly within the past month. In fact, only 10 days ago, I ran 20+ miles, which really made me fear that I was "overtrained" & blew my chances to nab a sub-1:50 half marathon. Plus this was my first half marathon in Vibrams, and I didn't know if I was putting too much pressure on myself.
We got up in the morning at 6; race was to start at 9. It wasn't a big race - I am sort of a small-race junkie!! First off, because they are CHEAP - this one was only €5. And secondly, because all of the big ones seem to be on Sunday. I am really involved in my church, & I really don't like to schedule a race on Sunday morning because of that. Plus, I find the courses of the smaller races really fun & different. I ran this same half marathon in 2010, and LOVED the course. It starts at the town center of a not-so-large German town, and goes out along a levy, and then you run through some back roads & trails. The landscape is beautiful & natural, even taking me past a sheep pasture where the sheep were grazing peacefully. LOVE IT!! So, I was really glad to be able to fit this race in one more time before our big move back to the USA.
On the drive there, I kept thinking about the time goal that I had set for myself. I kept thinking, "Breaking my old PR by 4 minutes?? That is gonna be HARD!" I really didn't know if I could do it. DH & I were discussing it, in order to make sure he was there @ the finish line with the kids in time. I told him again, the goal was under 1:50, but he definitely needed to be there at about 1:45.
He told me, "Well, if you finish under 1:45, don't be upset with me if I'm not there at the finish line." (Entertaining 4 kids for an hour and 45 minutes out in the open, & then trying to round them up in time can be H.A.R.D!)
I laughed & said, "No, no, no, that would be impossible for me to make it under 1:45. I highly doubt I'm capable of that." (Remember these words, Spark People!!!)
Most of the time, I HATE putting a time goal on my races. I hate putting the pressure on myself, and I never, ever, ever want to run a race, & be really discouraged that I didn't reach some silly time. I've seen so many runners beat themselves up after races. I think that just totally takes away from the joy of the race & the joy of running. So, I was sort of kicking myself for having stuck a stupid time goal in my head!! I kept trying to reevaluate my thinking, & make sure I wouldn't be upset if I didn't make it under 1:50. I really wanted to enjoy the run either way!!
We got to the race an hour before "take-off," picked up my packet, and hung out. The weather forecast was for gorgeous, warm, sunshiny weather, even though it was still a bit chilly at first. We went to a little park area directly next to the race, and let the kids play.
There were ducks in the lake, which my little girls just found awesome! My oldest son & the twins had a great time running around & playing together. My special-needs middle son was more content just to stay in the twin stroller. He is so sweet - he gets very anxious in public places most of the time, and needs to sit in the stroller for his security. It made it quite easy on Daddy, for sure!!
Here's me posing for some pre-race photos.
One of my twins, trying REALLY hard to pose like Mommy, and being way too cool to smile & look at the camera.... Silly girl!
I used this flower garden area to run around & warm up a little pre-race, while my kids were also running around like little nuts!
This was the town center where the start & finish lines were.
And at 9 am sharp, we were off!!
I'm the one next to the guy in red on the left. The other girl in the background with the pink shirt was the first prize winner from all the women.
After we started out, I looked at my watch & thought, "Man, I'm going too fast. This is way ahead of my goal pace..... Oh well, I keep this up as long as it feels comfortable, and see what happens." I usually run by feel anyway, & the pace didn't feel too hard.... yet. So, I kept going... 1.... 2..... 3..... 4 kilometers passed, and I was still cooking along @ the same pace! I even had a guy behind me breathing down my neck... & I think he was using ME as his pacer! He stuck to me until around 12 km (more than half the race), when I don't know if he fell behind or actually passed me.
I hit a couple of hills & some strong winds here & there which slowed me down just a tad, but still stayed relatively in the same pace I started out at. As each kilometer passed, especially after the first half of the race, I kept trying to calculate when I'd be coming in to the finish line... The numbers I was coming up with were WAAAAY faster than I had planned. In fact, the numbers I was coming up with were UNDER 1:45.... I was afraid my hubby was NOT going to be there!!
Here's me floating along about 2/3 of the way through the race. Still smilin', havin' fun, and goin' strong!!
The pace I had been keeping started feeling a bit more difficult after 10 miles (16 km). I did start really feeling that I had to push a bit harder, but I certainly didn't fizzle out. As I came back into the town, and neared the town center, I sped up just a tad in my excitement, passing a guy who'd been passing me & falling behind for the past 5 km.... LOL
Just as I was about to round the last corner, I heard a little voice say, "Mommy, get ready to have your picture taken!!" A very familiar voice AND in English, so I knew it was from one of mine... So, I waved to my oldest son who'd said that, then I saw DH standing there with the camera.... It was a bit earlier than planned, but he MADE IT!!
Here I COOOOOOOOOOMMME!!!!
Waving @ hubby & smiling from ear to ear!!!
This was my beaming "Omgosh-I-can't-believe-I-just-did-that" face!!
"Did what?" you might ask.... Some runners right @ the finish line asked me about my Vibrams, and I sat down to catch my breath & answer them. Then realized I hadn't stopped my watch (and didn't know yet how I did). My watch said 1:43 and change.... WHHHAAAATTTT?!?!?! I also was told I was the second woman to cross the finish line! For the awards, the first 3 women who placed (no age-group awards here) got honored on the stage!!!
The announcers started to call out the winners of the half marathon, and I was called up! Official time - 1:43:12. Pure CRAZINESS!! I blew my old PR out of the WATER by more than 10 MINUTES!! Not to mention that I overshot my goal, BIG TIME! The 1st place winner congratulated me, and if you see in this picture, both announcers are SOOOOOOO fascinated with my Vibrams!!
For me to stand up there on stage was just such an honor. Little Ol' Me. I am just a hobby runner, and a mommy of 4 kids. I hated running in high school... with a PASSION! I don't have a personal running coach or running trainer, nor do I even have a running group here. I barely have any running friends here in Germany either. I train alone, I run my races alone. Plus, this was my last race here in Germany, and I wanted it to be really special. I am totally SHOCKED at what I achieved. Such a special day.
And of course, Hubby had to go get some of his beloved bratwurst at the race. He's gotta get as much in as possible, because the bratwurst in the States "just isn't the same," he says.
And Mikah, my oldest, got some fries.... Yes, there are times I do allow my kids to have not-so-healthy food.
BUT THAT WASN'T THE END OF MY DAY!!!!
Today the cafe that I work at celebrated their 10-year anniversary. Pretty great for 2 little farmer's wives, if you ask me!! It was a HUGE deal! I planned to work, & with the weather being so gorgeous, plus them advertising their 10 year anniversary, it was sure to be BUSY!! And it was! It was insane. So, on top of me running a killer half marathon, I went & ran around serving people coffee & cake for 4 hours straight without sitting. We were so swamped, the owner had to have her whole family come help!! Her husband & 2 sons were in the kitchen taking care of dishes, while her daughter helped us serve. Plus we had 6 adult ladies serving & taking orders. It was so much fun, though, & I was still on Cloud 9 from my race, still going strong.
To top it off even further, there was a huge celebration that evening for the cafe as well, which we were invited to. I came home just after 6, fed my family, got ready quickly, and went back to the cafe for the celebration. It was a wonderful time with our local folks that we have come to know. We sat with a few of our neighbors, & they were all so proud of me & my race. (Yes, I even got attention from THEM! Things travel fast in tiny little German villages!) This was really nice for our last mingle with the locals in Ippensen!
What an amazing day. Plus, it marks a transition for me, that our move is about to get REALLY SERIOUS! We have just a week and a half to pack the rest of our things and prepare for the container which arrives a week from Friday. It's so close now, People! In 3 weeks, we will ALREADY be in the US.
Thanks for reading all about my special day. Keep Sparking, everyone!!
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Better BELIEVE IT!!! We are flying into Miami 4 weeks from today. Today, it REALLY hit me, when I realized our moving container arrives THE WEEK AFTER NEXT WEEK!!! I have to admit, that did make me feel a little panicky for a second. We have only 2.5 weeks to be totally prepared to load all our junk up!! BRING. IT. ON!!!
My next half marathon (#6 for me) and my very last race here in Germany is next Tuesday! I was hoping to train hard for speed, and pull off a sub-1:50 HM, but then I got scared about training for a marathon DURING all of our moving travels, and decided to put in some heavy mileage before things get crazy. Last week, I put in 54 miles, finishing the week off with a 20.5-mile run. So, even with a 10-day taper, I may be a little over-trained. Really, to me it doesn't matter - I am not all about time. While I like to hit new PRs & such, I don't like to put too much pressure on me, and I don't take tapering all that seriously.... LOL So, if I "over-trained" myself & can't break 1:50, whoop-ty-freakin'-do. I'm sure I still have fun!! And FUN is what it's all about.
I have not been seeing much progress this last week with my weight, unfortunately. But that may be due to PMS & TOM. My weight went UP, and didn't improve at all. Stupid bloating & water retention!! At least, I HOPE that is what it is!!
Today was a total bomb-out with the eating, which I am not real happy about either, especially following the progress-less week. My eating was just ALL OVER THE PLACE, and then I gave into my biggest weakness - organic peanut butter mixed with raw honey.... Match made in HEAVEN!! Only very high in calories. So, I'll just stop tracking about right now...... Tomorrow is always a new day.
Anyway, I will be very glad when TOM has passed, and I can see where I really stand.
But I will keep on keepin' on!!! I still have 4 weeks to lose less than 5 lbs!!
Happy Sparking, All!!!
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
OH, yes, I have all kinds of crazy countdowns going on!!! In 5 weeks, I should already be in FLORIDA!!
**My 10 in 10 Challenge**
That means, I have a little less than 5 weeks to lose another 2-3 pounds, since I have been doing FAR better than I thought I would! In just a little more than 5 weeks, I have lost almost 8 lbs. I didn't want to put too much pressure on myself starting out, and I had even thought, "10 pounds in 10 weeks is gonna be HARD!" But It is AMAZING how really eating healthy makes it so easy.
** Tons of veggies (low-cal, high-volume, high-NUTRIENT! i.e. healthy!)
** No sugar nor alcohol
** Tracking the calories, and staying within range (for the most part. I've had a few slip-ups, but it's amazing how "healthy" slip-ups do not have the negative effect that junk and sweets do!)
So, 2-3 pounds, baby, and I am THERE!!
My running is also feeling GREAT! I think it largely has to do with my diet too, not just my training. My next half marathon, and LAST RACE here in Germany, is only 2 weeks away!! But I'm also training for a marathon in July (the Make It By Midnight Marathon), so I've been packing in some extra mileage for that. So far in April, I have put in 100 miles!! WOOT WOOT! And ALL in minimalist shoes.... Not too shabby, I'm thinking.
As far as the move goes, we've ordered our moving container. It'll be parked at our house on May 11th, in just 3 and half WEEKS!! We'll pack it over the weekend, and then head to my cousin's for a week before we leave. Being with family is gonna be an AWESOME way to spend our last week!
Everything's moving right along!!
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Here's a little running motivation for the day! LOVE THIS!
My philosophy exactly.
So, It's April 14th!!! I set my goals to reach by April 15th, but figured I'd go ahead and update today.
Here were my goals:
Run 75 miles (shooting for 150 in April)
Keep filling up my plates with lots of veggies, and track that food.
Reach sub-127 lbs. (current weight 128.8 lbs)
Drink more water.
Stay away from the sugar and alcohol.
Where am I now?????
Miles run MTD: 83.1 since April 1st!!!!
Lots of veggies & food tracking: GREAT!! There were 2 free days in there, whcre I didn't really track, but I've kept up eating lots of veggies & wonderful foods!
Current weight: 126.8!! A couple of days ago, but STILL!
Drink more water - YES! But I haven't been tracking... maybe I should.
Stay away from sugar & alcohol: NO alcohol at all, and only a few tsps of sugar on a couple of different days. So, I'd say !!
Goals for April 16th-30th:
Run another 75 miles.
Keep tracking food, eating veggies - even updated my goals this past week to make sure I was in the right range.
Reach sub-125 weight! (Last weigh in 126.8) This is ultimately what I wanted to reach by May 22nd when I'm leaving Germany, so I am WAAAAAY ahead of my goal here!!
Drink 2.5 liters of water per day.... Really track it this time.
Of course, stay away from sugar & alcohol!
Most of my goals are pretty much repeats, but it is important for me to stay VERY focused on these healthy habits during such a CRAZY time as this for us. Preparing for an international move can totally derail a person, if they are not careful. So far, through REALLY giving dedicated effort to stay on top of it, I have been doing AWESOME!! I'm so thankful for the support I've gotten lately for my SparkFriends, which has helped me to find the strength & motivation to stay on track....
Only 4 more weeks until our container will be parked in front of our house for loading!!!!! WE ARE SO EXCITED!! The house thing fell through this week, because the owner didn't want to hold it even for 2 weeks for us. That's just fine, I am sure we will find something. All the other details are coming together nicely!! CANNOT WAIT until we are there!! There will be tears, I tell ya, lots and lots of tears..... Tears of FREAKIN' JOY!!!
Keep Sparkin', friends!!
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