Running Rick

Most of you have already seen my posts on Facebook relating to my running efforts. Since I just completed my first 8 weeks of running on the Couch to 5K (C25K) program, I thought I’d put something together about why I’m running, what the C25K program was like, and where I hope to go from here.

I’m not exactly sure why I decided to start running. I’ve been struggling with my weight and felt I needed to exercise, but I kept finding reasons to not do anything about it. I looked around one day and realized that many of the fittest people I saw around me were runners. I might have to give this a try.

I knew I was too far out of shape to just start running. Luckily, there are a number of these C25K programs for my phone. The one I found even lets you do the first week for free. With my phone, an armband, and some music, I set out! The first few runs weren’t too bad… but they also had me walking as much as I was running. This program emphasized that I warmup, cool-down, and stretch at the end. The stretching has been very cool. I’m starting to see flexibility in my legs that may not have ever been there before. Running every other day together with warming up before running also made this a sustainable program. There were many mornings when I would start out (after the day off) feeling a bit stiff. Every time after those first five minutes of walking, I was awake and ready to run.

As I progressed through the program, each new step seemed huge at the time. OMG…. it’s making me run for 5 whole minutes straight! And then the following week it was 8… and then 20… and finally 35. Starting out slow and working up to those bigger times made all the difference to me. Each increase was its own victory. Completing a program like this was an even bigger one.

I’ve lost just over 10 lbs. Running, besides burning calories directly, has made me more conscious of what I’m eating on how much of it I’m eating. It’s also gotten me to switch out much (but definitely not all) of my coffee for water. I’m also surprised by the conversations that have been started by this. Friends, family, and co-workers have all been seeing my updates on Facebook and quite a few have chatted with me about running. I even discovered a co-worker that lives in my neighborhood through this!

Going forward, I know that I can keep fitting longer and longer runs into my morning routine unless I push the alarm back to earlier and earlier. With it set at 5:30 already, I’m not really up for that. I think that means that I’ll have to cap my run duration at around 25-30 min and start working on running faster.

I do plan to run a 5K. I still haven’t found one that I want to sign up for. The Liz Hurley run in October is a likely candidate though.

We’re still here

This blog has been neglected lately. I’ve composed a few in my head, but never seem to sit down and type them out. They range from family stories, beauty products I’ve tried, crafty things I’ve done and want to do. So much of the family stories end up as little blurbs on twitter/fb. I’ve become a bit of a beauty product junkie in the past year, but never have really written about any of it. Crafty things end up on various social networking sites, but that’s about it. Right now, I’m not sure when regular posting will resume, though I’m not quite ready to give up on it yet. So we will see. What would you like to hear from us? Is this space now just redundant with the umpteen social networks we’re apart of? I’m definitely starting to think that it may very well be.

My Big Girl’s First Day in Big Church

Today was Phoebe’s first day to be a part of Big Church at Trinity. Big Enough for Big Church is how our children’s ministry describes the transition from the nursery to being a part of the worship service on Sunday mornings. Before today, Phoebe had only been to Big Church for special occasions such as when her choir began the worship service or for Sophie’s dedication.

To start this process, we had breakfast on Saturday with several of the other families who would be making this same transition today. This was a chance to explain to the kids some of the new concepts they were about to see, including things that have been a part of my life as long as a can remember… things like pews and pulpits and hymnals. I don’t know that I would have thought to explain these things. Amy, our children’s minister, had the children ask us a few questions about church as part of this. One that stuck with me (and I think Phoebe too) is what our favorite part of Big Church is. For both Jessica and me, this answer was the music. During their tour of the sanctuary, the kids all got to go check out the choir loft and see a choir robe. They quickly looked past that and on the bapistry… clearly with thoughts in their heads of how they could go swimming in there.

This morning, Jessica and I were in Sophie’s nursery class for the early service. Since we didn’t want Phoebe’s first experience in Big Church to be without us, she stuck around as our helper. Towards the end of this time, we pulled out construction paper and crayons. The younger girls just scribbled, but I asked Phoebe to draw what she was going to do in Big Church today. The picture below is what she drew without any other prompting! Our little big-girl apparently shares a love of music with her parents!

From August 2011

After Sunday School, I went off to get ready to sing with the choir. Jessica and Phoebe met me in the hallway before we went in so I could let Phoebe see me in my robe. She was so sweet and so excited at the same time. After the choir came in and I looked into the congregation, I saw my sweet little girl waving at her Daddy! I had to sneak a wave back in myself. Hopefully the teenage boys in front of her didn’t think I was waving at them. According to Jessica, Phoebe had a smile plastered on her face entire time the choir was singing.

A little while later, she headed off for Children’s Church and I watched her head out the door, something I’ll see many more times over the next few years.

It was a wonderful first experience for both Phoebe, Jessica, and me. We feel so blessed that we’re a part of this church and that they’re helping us raise our children up in the ways of Christ.

A Blanket for Brantley

A couple of weeks ago, my brother’s first child, Brantley, was born. I, doing as I do, made him a blanket.

I also decided to do a yarn-wrapped letter “B” for him as well.

From June 2011

Brantley was born on June 29, and had some health problems. I’m happy to report that his health has improved greatly since his birth. He appears to have quite the fighting spirit! We’ve all been so very thankful for the prayers and support offered by so many. Keep the prayers coming! We don’t know yet when he will come home, but hopefully it will be soon.

And finally, a family portrait from a few days ago. The ventilator has been removed since this photo was taken.

From July 2011

Thanks again to everyone for the prayers, thoughts, kind words, and encouragement. It means the world to all of us.

Cleaner Science Petri Dish Soaps

Back in the summer, I saw a post somewhere (CRAFT, I think) about Cleaner Science’s petri dish soaps, and immediately thought of Ashley. I quickly ordered some since her birthday was coming up. When it came in the mail, the first thing I noticed was that the envelope they came in had no give. I opened the package and found…

From June 2010

Yeah, clearly I should have thought about ordering soaps from Texas and then having it shipped to Alabama in the Summer. Yeah, they came completely melted. I was so sad! I contacted the seller, Sara, and she pointed out that I could have gotten a cold pack. Somehow I missed that in the description when I so quickly ordered. So I was sad that I goofed and my birthday gift to Ashley was ruined. I went on ahead and gave the melty mess to Ashley and explained what happened. She told me that it was the thought that counts. And I left the whole ordeal at that.

Then a couple of months or so ago, Sara asked if it was safe to send me another batch for free and with a cold pack! Well, the temperatures were still getting in the 90s here in Alabama when she contacted me, so I told her that I didn’t think it’d be a good time to send another batch. Sara informed me that I might get a little surprise when the weather cooled off. And sure enough, a couple of weeks ago I received a box, and it had this in it:

From December 2010

Much better! I gave the gift to Ashley, 6 months after her birthday, and she was pleased to get a non-melty batch. The soaps were a big hit! I’m so glad we got them, and they’re in their four distinct pieces. 🙂

So the morals of this story are, read the fine print when ordering online, think twice about ordering soap or other meltables in the summer, and finally, Cleaner Science rocks!