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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Turtle Trot

During our vacation Mark and I traveled by ferry again this year to run the Bald Head Island Turtle Trot 5K.  The conservancy there holds a 5K every week of the sumner, and most all holidays throughout the year, to raise money for the turtles.  Besides the fact that I love the turtles, I love the passion the employees have.  We spent the ferry ride talking with the director, talking about turtles, predators, deer birth control, and ultra racing.  Loved it.  She told us every race was worth it because she got to educate people about turtles every week.

The race itself is quite difficult.  About half on the beach (high tide this year...soft sand...ugh), then hot open running on the island with (what?) hills.  Then Mark and I ate a Slushee and took off on the trails back to the ferry.

If you vacation in this area, look them up.

By the way, for the first time this year we got to see a turtle nest hatch on Oak Island and the excavation three days later, magic.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ignite the Night 10K & Philly Trip Recaps

Two recaps in one, since the past week was such a busy one.

Ignite the Night 10K

This was a fun night run in Shelbyville, with a contest to see "How Glow Can You Go?".  I didn't win for glowiest, but I had fun trying.  I've never found the official race results, but my watch said I did the 10K in 1:22.  I felt good the whole run, and I'm happy with that time, especially since the course was on dimly lit uneven sidewalks and it was extremely hot and humid.  I also came in Dead Last, although I'm pretty sure there were only 9 people who ran the 10K, so I was in the Top 10 as well.  This was the first year for this event, and they did say they will try to have more lights along the course next year.  Since a lot of it runs through residential neighborhoods, I think luminaries in the yards would be pretty.

Philadelphia Trip

Last week I went to Philadelphia for training for work.  This was my first trip since Kevin died, other than to visit family.  I got into town on Sunday around 3pm, and I had planned to do some sightseeing that evening.  I wasn't able to do any, though.  I checked into my hotel, went across the street to check into my conference, went to CVS to buy some snacks, and then went back to my hotel room where I talked to Kevin, prayed, and cried myself to sleep.  I was just overwhelmed with an intense wave of grief and loss, and there was nothing else to do for it.  I wanted nothing more than to be home with our familiar things, and I felt farther away from Kevin than ever.  At moments like those, the rest of my life stretches out before me and feels bleak and empty.  I know that's not reality, but that's how it sometimes feels.
I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed.  Lead me to the towering rock of safety.  Psalm 61:2b

Friday, August 7, 2015

Fear Not

Sampson B. Hazel
We have a Cocker Spaniel named Sampson who I sometimes call 'Fraidy Dog.  He is afraid of so many things.  He's fierce from a distance, but up close he's afraid of other dogs.  He's afraid of thunder and fireworks, as many dogs are.  And he often acts afraid when things look or sound different.

Scary storm damage
Josh broke his foot, so he's in a boot and on crutches right now, and Sammy is afraid of him when he's walking around, even though he's the same Josh.  Last week when I was thumping my suitcase down the stairs to head to NC, Sammy was afraid of me, or the suitcase.  And forget taking him for a walk when it's trash pick-up day in the neighborhood.  Sam is afraid of those trash cans on the curbs, because they aren't normally there.

After a storm has blown things around in the backyard, Sampson is afraid to go out there.  Maybe he's remembering the scary storm noises from the night before, or maybe it's just that things look so different to him.  I tell him I wouldn't let him go out there if it wasn't safe, but he still doesn't understand.  So I have to go with him.  Even though it doesn't look that different to me, from Sam's perspective this yard has completely changed and no longer looks safe.

Not afraid of snow
Scary stray cat
And maybe you see where I'm going with this.  From my perspective, without Kevin my life has completely changed.  But maybe from God's perspective, it's not that different.  Kevin spent a lot of time here waiting for me in our Earthly home.  Waiting on me to run errands after work, waiting on me to come home from an early morning run, waiting on me to get ready to go somewhere....  Sorry Darlin', I just never really had a good sense of time.  Probably never will. 

And now Kevin's gone Home, and he's waiting on me there. Life looks and feels very different and scary to me.  But if I try to think about it from God's perspective, and know that He's going with me with every step I take, maybe I don't have to be afraid.  It still feels like I can't do it.  But then I remember:
What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.  Psalm 56:3.
Bark in the Park, 2013
Josh and I memorized that verse when he was little, and we would say it together after he'd had a nightmare, sometimes repeating it over and over until he felt better.  I can do the same thing now when I start to feel that dread creep over me and the nerves in my stomach start cramping up.  I'm right: I can't do it.  But God can, and He's with me.

Do you have a verse you repeat to yourself when you are scared or stressed?  Feel free to share it in the Comments if you do.

Kevin and Sammy

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Together Again at Richard's Run 5K

We all three sisters, plus Mark, got to run together again last weekend at Richard's Run for Brain Cancer at beautiful Cataloochee Ranch.  This was absolutely the most scenic race I've ever run.  Not even having all three ugly sisters in the same place at the same time could detract from the gorgeous landscape.  I would like to have more pictures for this post, but I don't think pictures could really do it justice, anyway.

Pic by Jeanne Naber
The race was advertised on the website as "possibly the most challenging 5K on Earth".  It was definitely the most challenging I have ever done, and Cindy agreed with me.  Laura thought it was about equal to Rock the Quarry.  We all said it felt like being kids running around on our parents' land: running on trails through cow pastures, and up and down hills on gravel roads.

As expected, Laura won the Women 40-49 age group, and Mark got third in Men 40-49.  All of us were happy with our race results.

The race shirts are cute and the post race party was pretty nice too, with a bluegrass band and barbecue.  Almost made us want to trade our running shoes for clogging shoes.  And the following Monday, Cindy & I made the front page of The Mountaineer.

It was super fun to be able to do an event together for the first time since the Feed the Need 5K in November 2013; and the race is so pretty and the event so well put together that this is definitely now one of my favorites.

Coming Up:

This weekend, Laura has the Sourwood 5K and Cheshire Pump & Run where she can deduct 20 seconds off her 5K time for each rep she pumps, and the winners get jars of local honey!  Pretty cool!

Next weekend, I have the Ignite the Night 10K, and of course I am already working on my outfit since there are special prizes for the best dressed with the most glow.