Archive for July, 2009

running ugly together

At my soon-to-be former agency, they have many catch phrases. “One Team, One Dream” and “Nothing is Impossible.”

As the economy soured, the agency adopted one more, “Winning Ugly Together.” The premise was that we would have to be scrappy and competitive and pull out all of the stops in order to win. And this kind of winning might be quite ugly – late nights, aggressive maneuvering, etc.

Well, I’d like to say that today, Frank and I “Ran Ugly Together.” Frank slowed his running pace to be just-faster-than-a-brisk-walk and I tried (sometimes successfully) to run at a pace that I consider sprinting (it’s really not even close to a sprint). I had a 3 mile run on the schedule. We pushed and grunted and made otherwise weird (athletic?) noises throughout the entire run.

And we did it. We made it over 3 miles. (original estimates had it pegged at 3 1/2 miles, but it was really more like 3 1/4 miles). And I booked it for the last quarter mile (because of other biological needs).

We were scrappy and dedicated. We pulled out all of the stops – we ran through cramps, we stretched out hammies, we boldly ran past dogs and old men. And as we stumbled up the bike path to our house, Frank said, “Well, 8 more of those and we’d have a marathon.”

My initial response was, “ha – heck no!”

But then I thought about it.

“Nothing is Impossible,” I thought. We could do it.

Sure, it would be grueling, but if I got myself primed this fall and then started a really great cross-training program over the winter and then started an amazing marathon training type program in the summer – I could be ready for next year’s Chicago Marathon (sorry Toni – not gonna happen this year… ).

“One Team, One Dream,” I think. If we were dedicated to the cause, we could totally pull it off.*

I would want us to make tee-shirts for the occasion (ah, the sorority girl in me rears her ugly head).

They would be simple. White tees. Black writing. “Running Ugly Together.”

So, anyone want to start this training program with us? Frank, you in?

*A possible pregnancy would delay this by 1 year, probably. It’s a whole different kind of marathon. In that case, I would make tees that said, “Laboring Ugly Together.”

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Not My Finest Moments…

In the history of me, there have been not-my-finest-moment (nmfm) moments:

-I got my tongue stuck in my braces. True story. Didn’t think it was possible, did you? It is. Oh, and my parents tried, unsuccessfully, for one hour, to get my tongue off of my braces. Finally, after calling the dentist at his home in the middle of dinner, I sat down in the chair at the dentist’s office, removed the towel from my face and my tongue came unstuck from my braces. WTF?

-Or the time I was getting into our car in Milwaukee and my pants split so loud, Frank heard it. And he was on the other side of the car. Outside. With the door closed.

-Or the many head injuries I obtained in fast pitch softball. One ball to the temple (a line drive throw to third – this, ladies, is why we wear helmets…) and at least two to the mouth (when catching pop flies, it’s best to catch them in your mitt…).

-Or the time I sliced my toe open on the CTA while on my way to a client meeting. That was awesome. I tried to clean up in the bathroom and my director walked in to blood all over the sink. As she was gagging and trying not to look at the unsightly mess, she wisely said, “Emily, I think you should get a tetanus shot.” So off to the ER I went. But I walked because I only had enough cash to go one way. And of course, didn’t want to ask for money. Or stop at an ATM.

I could go on. But my therapist advises against it.

The important thing is I established a pattern of unique ways of embarrassing myself.

And I suspect that since I haven’t done anything too detrimental to my ego lately, I am due. What will it be? A sudden rain storm while wearing white? A banana peel on the steps of my new place of employment?

Bring it on.

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love me some husband!


Ahh, I love it when he’s home.

When FK is home, I usually get a real dinner. Not just some cheese on bread or a high fiber pita with peanut butter. REAL food. mmm.

When FK is home, he usually gets the laundry started (he hates folding, so I do that part).

When FK is home, I usually fall asleep faster at night (last night was an exception).

Ahhh. Good stuff. So glad that he is home!

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Frank is going to be home again tonight – holy cow! I feel so fortunate that he has been home so much in the past week. Praise God!

I have a 2 mile run tonight – which right now feels like it’ll be a piece of cake (mmm… cake!) after doing almost 4 miles this weekend. As I notch up to further and further distances, I start really considering the 2 and 3 mile runs “easy” runs. And what a sense of accomplishment because I really struggled just to do the 2 mile runs initially.

I realize that these runs have been such a great metaphor for my life lately and what God has been teaching me. Little things – little steps – can be such major game changers. One two mile run is turning into several two mile runs, a few three mile runs and this week, a four mile run. And even though the first run was difficult and each increase in distance is a challenge, I see changes in my perspective and endurance already.

On the fertility front, I have had a burning in my abdomen that I initially attributed to some digestive issues, but now I am wondering if it is at all related to the trigger shot a week ago. It sort of went away for a little bit and came back last night and is now carrying on with a vengeance. We shall see what the Good Nurse L says.

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one more thing…

Please pray for baby Stellan. This little guy is having some major heart issues and he and his family could use the prayer.


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can sometimes be a bad, nay, dangerous for me. (See “Woops” post)

What I didn’t explain in that post back in 2007 was that I was thinking about a park I used to go to when I was little and next thing I knew – I was sailing through the air, quickly headed to the ground. Boom.

But have I learned my lesson about thinking and running? Nope. I do it with reckless abandon. Probably to the detriment of any running technique I might have.

So what was I thinking about today while I ran? Here’s how my run went:

Mile 1:
I don’t think I’m going to make it.
I am so tired.
It’s probably ridiculous that I am even trying to run since I am SO tired.
And it’s not like, normal tired.
It’s real tired.
Oh, a pear tree.
I wonder if fruit trees are hard wood or soft wood.
If they are hard wood, that would probably be good because they carry a lot of weight with the fruit.
But then again, soft wood would be a little more flexible and less brittle.
Oh no, the hill.
(Not a real hill, just a very minor incline. I should be honest about it, I think.)
This is such a huge hill.
I might not make it up the hill.
Police officer in car.
I wonder if me running like this is a crime in progress.
Nope, he kept rolling by.
He? She? Hmm – definitely a he.
Oh my knee hurts. Well, this isn’t good.
I bet it’s my stride.
I bet my fatty thighs are causing my legs to be in an unnatural formation, thus putting undue stress on my knees.
Maybe I should get some shoe inserts.
Darn this hill.
Must. Focus.

and this goes on for 2 more miles.

One of the more serious topics that I reflected on was the sermon from church this morning. David Nasser, an Iranian refuge who became a Christian at 18 yrs old and has been a Pastor for probably over a decade, came to Willow to teach.

I love when we have guests. Not because I don’t enjoy Bill Hybels – he’s great – but because they offer such interesting and unique perspectives.

Towards the end of his story about his life (which was amazing and moving – I almost cried multiple times), he touched on a few things I found particularly interesting and well-said.

You cannot be good enough.
This is so true! Grace is not about living your life “good enough” to earn salvation. Grace is a gift and is free and is immense. I cannot hear this message enough.

It is more difficult to reach people who are living a “good” life than people with obvious sin patterns.
I think this is sooo true. Here’s an illustration of the point. We all know we should drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. That is what our bodies require to be functioning at a good level. People who do not have access to water, have poor water supplies or who have just run a marathon KNOW that they NEED water. They are thirsty.

But so many of us are dehydrated throughout the day without knowing we are. My doctor asks me all the time how much water I get, and for a long time, I wasn’t drinking much water. I mean, I wasn’t thirsty. Why should I drink? I just had 3 diet cokes – doesn’t that count? (No, says my doctor – it doesn’t.)

And I think that’s how it is sometimes spiritually. People in impovrished nations full of strife and discontent and war, are often MORE receptive to hearing about God’s grace than comfortable people. People in the first group are accutely aware of their hurt and don’t have anything to fill it with.

But that second group…

I am a person in a priveleged country with a priveleged life and I OFTEN choose to replace God with cheap (sorry to say, Diet Coke-ish) alternatives. Becaues I use these cheap alternatives, I don’t even realize how thirsty I am.

And that is how the father of lies works. He replaces good, fresh, clean fruits with Ding Dongs, calls it delicious food – and I eat it all up.

Sure I am full, but it is short-lived and I am even hungrier than I was before. So yeah – this sermon is totally working on my heart (and apparently my stomach).

Good stuff, Mr. Nasser. Thanks for sharing!

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running still…

so did 2.15 miles today in… well, more than 20 mins. Yes I am a sloooooow runner.

Tomorrow I am running 3 miles. Good stuff.

Onto another topic – something I was thinking about while running.

When we first started trying to get pregnant, there was a lot of magic and mystery about it. Would it work? Would it not?

And as each month passed and my cycle got weird and I never got a positive OPK (ovulation predictor kit) result and all signs were pointing to something being wrong and then test results confirmed that we did have a few challenges, the magic and mystery of making a baby started to diminish.

The art and science of making a baby replaced the magic and mystery.

I say art because for as much as the science tells you about yourself and your cycle…

it changes EVERY month.

And it’s not because I am especially screwed up – every woman is like this (maybe not to these extremes…). No two cycles are the same…

Last month, the follicles didn’t mature. I didn’t get a positive OPK.

This month, they were mature several days before normal and I have had a positive/smiley-face OPK for FIVE DAYS. What does that even mean? Is that humanly possible?

(Side note: In my mind, I picture little ovaries turned into egg-making machine guns, spraying eggs everywhere. In my mind, I think, “We’ll probably have a litter of kids!” I am mildly delusional.)

So yeah, smile away little OPK tests. Smile away. 🙂

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