Moments

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.”

I have that quote framed in my bedroom – a gift from my mother-in-law for the husband and my first married Christmas. I have been a fan of that sappy-love-story quote for quite some time, and as I wake up and see it every morning, I continue to try to make it a part of my daily existence.

I haven’t written very often this summer, even though, ironically enough, my last post was entitled I’m Back. However, in my literary absence, Mr. Six Eight and I did take a two week jaunt through five states…enjoying every moment along the way.

Joplin, Missouri…talk about taking your breath away.

Somewhere between Missouri and Alabama…the midwest makes for the longest alphabet game ever. But, I love it.

New Orleans, Louisianna…where we celebrated four years of marriage and ten years together.

Gulf Shores, Alabama…where each morning when I woke up I was reminded of what God’s beauty truly is. Somehow sunshine, sand, ocean waves, and my husband constantly reminding me to apply sunscreen have the ability to bring peace to my heart.

In just a couple weeks my life will be bombarded again with school, coaching, and work. And as grateful as I am for all my opportunities coming up in the future, I am beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to spend such precious moments with my happiness.

ang

 

 

I’m Back!

No, I haven’t left town or gone anywhere exciting, not yet at least.

I’m back to the pavement! After several weeks away from running, trying to give my pesky knee some time to heal, and working on increasing my strength (soon-to-come: unassisted pull-up), I’ve finally been able to officially start training for the Chicago Marathon!

I’m a week and a half in, and I’m absolutely loving living by my beautiful, colorful training calendar. Obviously having not run very much the past month, I’m starting out pretty slow with low mileage, but I hope to be working both (speed and miles) up in the very near future. I also want to keep focusing on strength training and incorporate a lot of speed training!

Last night the tall man (a.k.a. husband) and I hit up the track for some speed work. We did several 100 meter sprints, a few 200 meter sprints, then we split up and I continued with an 800 hundred sprint (um, can you call that a sprint?), and my fastest ever mile run…seven minutes and twenty-one seconds.

To some, that might not seem all that fast for just one mile, but when I pressed the lap button on my pretty little Garmin and saw 7:21 flash before my eyes, I was ecstatic! After watching the Olympic track trials on television, witnessing 200 meter times in the 20 second range, and then running my own huff-and-puff-tastic 200s in 43 slow and agonizing seconds, I thought I’d lost any resemblance of speed I might have once had. However, 7:21 is at least 15 seconds off my mile PR, so I guess somewhere in these quads of mine is some super-duper-fastness waiting to get out.

I have to give credit to my precious little dog Tia. We took her to the track with us so she could get some fresh air, and after Matt was finish with his workout he took Tia off her leash to play. I was halfway around the track into the first lap of my mile when I heard some cute little footsteps chasing behind me. After nose-diving in a hole in the grass and flipping three times, little Tia eventually passed me and stayed a few steps ahead of me the rest of the mile.

What a good little pacer she is. :)

And what a wonderful husband this guy is…

On Sunday he woke up at 5:00am (a huge accomplishment in itself), drove us an hour to downtown Kansas City, and ran the All Star Game 5K (third race ever) in the crazy midwest heat with me. #proudwife

I think I’m turning us into a cute little family of runners! Maybe. :)

 

A Lovely Muddy Time

Recovering from my marathon two weekends ago has basically consisted of no running. That’s probably not the smartest way to recover, especially since I plan on continuing running, continuing running long distances at that, and especially since I had a race on Saturday.

It was no marathon, but an extremely challenging 5K nevertheless.

That required face paint…

…and muscles…which are for the most part lacking on me. (Oh, did my neon bright white skin blind you? I’m also lacking any semblance of a tan. Sorry about that.)

My hubs and I along with two of our friends, a.k.a. the Ultimate Warriors, ran the Warrior Dash in Kansas City!

We met up at one of the guys’ houses where we found his beautiful wife diligently painting his face. His wife continued to paint our other teammate’s face while I sat my own hubs in front of me for his makeover. Apparently there is a famous wrestler (dead or alive, I don’t think anyone was sure) named the Ultimate Warrior and all of the guys wanted to “be” him for the race.

I, myself, chose to just go with a little multi-colored eye-black.

After everyone was made-over and arm-tassles and headbands were created, we headed to the race. Again, the boys all listened to the opening theme music for this Ultimate Warrior wrestler the entire way there. Oh the joys of a thirty minute car ride with three boys, err, men. Grown men who apparently love professional wrestling.

Once at the race site we had to take a bus over to where the race actually took place. We proceeded to initial and sign our waiver forms, pick up our packets and t-shirts, use the port-a-potties (always a definite must for me), and head to the start line. We were very early, so we were at the very front of the start line for our heat. After thirty minutes of nervously waiting for the countdown to start we were finally off and running!

I knew I’d be racing with the boys, and while I trusted in my running ability, I was worried about keeping up with them on the obstacles. Right out of the gate, though, the course was very downhill, and I warned them all that we were probably running at a sub-8 minute pace. I definitely knew that I couldn’t keep up a pace like that, and I secretly (so not to harm their egos) questioned the boys ability to keep that pace, too.

After three quarters of a mile we approached our first obstacle which required crawling under barbwire. Fortunately, I was short enough that I could crawl regularly without having the put much effort into lowering myself closer to the ground. My hubs, on the other hand, had to army crawl the distance of the wire. Once the four of us completed this obstacle our pace slowed drastically as we were hit with our first (of many) uphill climbs to the next obstacle.

We proceeded to crawl through trenches, climb up walls, slide down poles, swim through nasty, muddy, swampy water, hoist ourselves over walls, cross a balance beam, run through a field of tires, climb up a cargo-net, and finally leap over fire…all the while running uphill through a muddy field between obstacles.

Just a little over three miles later we crawled out from under the last of the barbwire through the last muddy water pit, all four of us hand in hand, and crossed the finish line together.

Mud and all, I had an absolutely lovely time.

ang, the only female member of the Ultimate Warriors ;)

Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz Race Recap

In true fashion of this training cycle I debated with myself today…write my race recap or study for my finals next week? Typically school would beat out training, although I’d usually still find time after schoolwork to lace up my running shoes. However, the endorphins have been slowly declining since last Saturday, and in an attempt to keep them alive I’m forcing myself to sit down and recap the day I ran the Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz…the day I ran my second marathon…the day a ran a sub-4 hour marathon…the day I kind of got this feeling that I can do anything…and the day I couldn’t stop smiling.

I arrived at Garmin International where the race started and finished with enough time to make my final decisions on what to wear, pick up my packet, pin on my race bib, and dance in my car to a few songs.

I headed to the port-a-potties where I came upon a familiar scene. One year ago this is where I ran my first half marathon ever. And, one year ago I pretty much started my race from the port-a-potty. Luckily, I left myself with plenty of time to actually start this race from the start line.

Soon enough the race began and I was running. I didn’t have a detailed plan of how I wanted to run this race, I just knew that I needed to go out nice and easy, not too fast, and that I wanted to be under two hours at the halfway point. Before I knew it my ticker notified me that one mile had already passed…and at 9 minutes and 2 seconds. I had held back a little bit, but I was definitely worried that I hadn’t held back enough. However, I felt good, and plan or no plan, I just like to run how I feel.

The second mile…8:41. The third…8:38. Fourth…8:46. Fifth…8:37. Angela, you are running too fast. You are going to get too tired. I ate my first mocha Clif Shot at mile five, and I clocked in mile six at 8:37, and then mile seven at 8:27.

8:27…Angela you are seriously running too fast.

I was worried. I never trained to run this fast for this long. But my legs felt great and it was a gorgeous morning, so I just kept running. Mile eight…8:35, mile nine…8:30. Mile ten came in at 8:42 and I ate some delicious Clif bites. Around this time I was running near these two men who were very entertaining. I just listening to them cheer on each other and every runner that they came across. They seemed so full of energy I just thought to myself if I can stay near them then I’d be doing well. Mile eleven…8:38, mile twelve…..8:31.

Mile thirteen…8:26. Goodness gracious…that’s fast for me…especially at mile thirteen…especially since I had thirteen more to go. I reached the halfway point around 1 hour and 52 minutes. I just may have PRed my half marathon time, too.

As I was running too fast, but feeling amazing at the same time I was literally smiling the entire time. I even heard one spectator say around mile 20, “Why is that girl still smiling?” I knew a sub-4 hour marathon was definitely within reach which motivated me to keep going.

The second half of the marathon was an out-and-back on a paved trail. The trail was beautiful, and it was so lovely to be able to run for so long through the pretty trees and scenery. However, I knew that my family would be trying to find during the second half of the race, and running this trail was not going to be conducive to them finding me. My family was such a big motivator for me during my first marathon, I tried to prepare myself not to see them until the finish line this time around. Mile fourteen came in at 8:30 (you’re still going too fast), mile fifteen at 8:40 (downed another mocha Clif Shot and thought you are still going too fast), sixteen and seventeen both at 8:43, and eighteen at 8:50.

I reached the turnaround point and I knew I was on the final stretch. I was still feeling ridiculously amazing, but I knew the last part would be difficult. I kept running along, and as I passed a water station I heard the best sound ever. “ANGELA! It’s Angela! There she is!!!” my sister screeched as I ran past her. Somehow her and my dad managed to find me along the trail. I’d given my dad a map and my potential splits to help him navigate, but after being on the trail for so long I just didn’t expect to see anyone. Later they told me they had been close to leaving that spot because according to the splits I’d provided them I should have been coming from the other way. Little did they know that I was running like crazy that morning.

I saw them once again…I can’t explain the excitement I felt as I heard both of their voices. Later I saw that my sister had posted this…

Mile nineteen…8:48, mile twenty (and more Clif bites)…8:53.

About this time I had another very welcome surprise. I saw the most gorgeous six foot eight inches walking toward the trail as it passed along a main road. My beautiful husband also managed to track me down and give me some encouragement…he also added in there, “You are way ahead of your splits!”

After mile twenty ended my rein of sub-9 minute miles. Mile twenty-one…9:01, twenty-two…9:12 (I knew I had been running too fast), and mile twenty-three…9:20, I was slowing down quite a bit, but I knew without a doubt that I would be coming in under four hours. After mile twenty-three I felt really exhausted. To make matters worse, I had noticed that my Garmin had been ticking anywhere from a tenth of a mile to three tenths of a mile before I passed the actual mile markers along the course. My Garmin would notify me that I’d completed another mile, then two minutes later I’d pass the course mile marker.

Mile twenty-four…9:33. Come on Angela, you are almost there…less than thirty minutes more of running. When you are running for so long, it’s definitely okay to talk out loud to yourself. Keep going!

Twenty-five…9:34. Hold on girl. Keep running! Twenty-six…9:37.

I saw the twenty-six mile marker. I could hear the crowd at the finish line. I rounded the corner…I heard them announce my name, “Angela Habermehl, twenty-six point two miles…!”

I saw the timer…I saw the “3″…

3:54:01.27. Sub-4 hours.

And that’s when I knew that anything is possible. It really, honest-to-goodness, is. This whole training cycle I questioned my ability…my ability to actually train for the marathon, my ability to get faster, my ability to sub-4 hours. But I did it. I did it all.

I know that I had so much more than just my two feet moving one in front of the other working for me leading up to and during the race. My husband, dad, and sister who all came out to support me…my family and friends all thinking about me from home…people sending up prayers for me…that little redbird I saw the day before…all kept me going. So much more…thank you.

much love, ang

Crazy, Stupid Thoughts

I love it when my husband reminds me that I’m being stupid.

If you know me at all, you know that I write just like I think. Looking at the first sentence of this post I can see how it can be taken the wrong way. Very wrong. You know when you are texting someone and they text you back with a response, and to you that response sounds really malicious? When, in all actuality, their response was innocent. Without a tone of voice, many things can become misconstrued. Case in point, my first sentence.

My husband doesn’t think I’m stupid. He just reminds me when I am being stupid.

image

Still not working. Let me set up the scene:

The husband and I are both getting ready to go somewhere. I’ve already fixed my hair and put on my makeup and I’m in the process of getting dressed. I put on a pair of jeans, then change them. I do the same with my shirt, and then with my shoes. I then make my way into the bathroom to check everything out as my husband does his finishing touches in the bathroom mirror.

“Do I look okay?” I say.

“Duh, you look beautiful,” he responds.

“You didn’t even look at me!”

He looks. “You always look beautiful.”

I push my way to find a spot in front of him to see myself in the bathroom mirror. I check out my behind. I leave. I go to the kitchen to check out my gooloo in a different mirror from a different angle. I sigh.

One minute later I return to the bathroom, shove my way in front of the husband again, and check out my behind…again.

“Why do you keep looking at your butt?” he asks.

I sit down on the toilet…not to use the toilet, but just as a place to sit. “I haven’t been working out as much, and I think my butt’s getting bigger,” I confess.

“You’re crazy.”

“I know, but I really do think it’s getting bigger.”

“Well, it’s not. Lots of people don’t work out all the time and their butts don’t automatically get bigger. You look beautiful.”

“Thank you. You’re pretty sweet. And smart.”

End scene.

I’m not dissatisfied with my body in any way, but crazy, stupid thoughts like that come creeping in my mind every now and then. It’s awfully nice having the perfect person there to remind me when my brain is being irrational.

Now does my first sentence make sense?

:)

ang

I’ve Been Smiling A Lot

My goal for the month of December was to enjoy life and smile a lot. I must say, I do think I have been very successful achieving my goal thus far. Between laughing it up with my husband, spending time with my family, and catching up with friends, I could not have asked for a better month.

However, I have only logged a handful of miles in my old Asics, and I think they miss me. It always seems like such a great idea at night to wake up at the crack of dawn…or actually, before dawn…and get a good run in. When the morning rolls around the the idea sounds much less desirable. Much. Don’t get me wrong…I am missing hitting the pavement, too…but I’m definitely enjoying life a little bit longer in my warm bed!

And, I’ve been more than lacking in the food/cooking/eating well department. Between my peppermint bark rice crispie treats, and the cookie party I went to, I’ve eaten dessert for breakfast more times than not. I justified the rice crispie treats by reminding myself that rice crispies are cereal after all,  however it’s much harder to justify a sugar cookie.

But, sugar cookies and rice crispies make me happy, so I’m not going to worry about it! I call that a successful month!

I have big, big goals for two thousand and twelve, though, so prepare yourself. In the meantime, I’m going to live it up for the next eleven days and spend every happy moment I can before school, work, and running invade my life to the fullest. My 2012 wish list will be coming to the blog very soon, and expect to see a lot more about my running plans, my running goals, and eating and cooking well. You heard me right…cooking well. Oh, and running a sub-four hour marathon.

Oh wait, did I just say that?!

ang

Christmastime Makes Me Happy

I am having the best time reading all your comments on why the holiday season makes you happy! I would definitely have to say that getting to spend time with family seems to be the top reason, and I would have to agree one hundred percent! There is still time to enter the giveaway…all you need to do is go over to this post and leave me a comment telling me why the holiday season makes you happy! (You must live in the US, and you cannot be a relative! Sorry!)

This photo of my sister and me is from my most recent family get together this past weekend! Of course we had a blast visiting with the whole big italian family!

Because I have asked you to tell me why the holiday season makes you happy, I’ve decided that I’ll tell you why Christmastime makes me so happy.

Reason number one: Spending time with my family! Duh!

Christmas is one of the only times of the year when I get to see my entire family all in the same place at the same time. So many of my favorite family memories dating all the way back to when I was a little girl come from this time of the year.

Reason number two: Cookie parties!

Umm…you get to bake a ton of cookies, go to a party, eat a bunch of cookies, and go home with a ton more. This needs no explanation.

Reason number three: Giving presents!

It’s truly a fun feeling when you know you got something (or made something) for someone that they absolutely love! Many of my gift recipients have gotten (or are going to get, HA) homemade soaps this year, and I’m pretty sure they adore them. (If you don’t then you are crazy and should just give them back to me because I am now a soap hoarder!)

Reason number four: Getting presents!

Just admit it. You love getting something that you really really want. I was super stoked when the husband got me my new running shoes for Christmas…even though I picked them out, typed in the credit card number online, and opened the box when it showed up on my doorstep.

Reason number five: Peppermint flavored things!

I drank way too much coffee on Sunday and that was because my mom-in-law had peppermint mocha creamer at her house. I made some peppermint bark rice krispie treats for dinner club, and I also have a bar of peppermint soap that I’m going to have to show great restraint to use it for washing and not for eating.

Reason number six: Giveaways! Have you entered yet?!

Reason number seven: Christmas lights. Prettiness!

Reason number eight: Winter break.

Since basketball season has started I feel like I never get to see my bundle of 6’8″ handsomeness anymore. At least when he breaks from school I will get to see him more and we will get to sleep in together a few mornings!

Reason number nine: Spending time with friends.

This can probably be added to number eight, but many of my friends are teachers so I get to spend more time with them throughout the holidays as well. Please bring on the dinner clubs, cookie parties, gift exchanges, wish list parties, and New Years Eve parties galore!

Reason number ten:  Last but not least we cannot forget the true reason for smiling this holiday season. We get to celebrate Jesus’ birthday!

Woowoo!

ang

Merry Christmas To Me

I pulled into my driveway after work yesterday afternoon only to see one of the most exciting things ever…

…Merry Christmas to me!

As soon as I got inside I ran to the front door and picked up the package. It wasn’t a surprise what was inside because the husband and I both picked out our own presents, which just happened to be tennis shoes for the both of us, but I couldn’t wait to see the little beauties in person.

I’ve heard that a good rule of thumb is to run no more than three hundred miles per pair of running shoes. I have had my running shoes since May, and throughout marathon training, then half marathon training, and add on top of that some cross-training and just running for the fun of it…I’m sure I at least doubled that three hundred mile limit!

I stuck with the exact same style of shoe as my last pair…why change something that’s already working great! They are Asics Gel Cumulus 12s, and they feel like you are walking, or running, on clouds. The only difference is this time Asics made my shoe with pink details instead of blue. It’s like they knew me!

The only sad thing is that I’m going to put these babies back in their box and wait until after Christmas to take them for a run. When the time comes, I’ll swap out those bright white shoelaces and put in my pretty pink ones and begin training for marathon number two!

Oooohhh, I can’t wait, but for now…yay for Christmastime!!!

ang

Pumpkin Train

Yes. I know it is December, which means that all of the hype over pumpkin-flavored food, desserts, and drinks is now over.

However, I just jumped on the pumpkin train only a few short weeks ago, and I’m not ready for this ride to be over quite yet. That’s right, until this year I never ate anything pumpkin. Not even the pie. But this year I have become just a little bit braver when it comes to food…I’ve eaten jalapenos (and loved them), onions (and loved them), mushrooms (and, oddly enough, loved them), and now pumpkin-y things and yes, I also fell in love with them. That picture of pumpkin pie…I ate it in December.

A couple of weeks ago I was assigned to bring the dessert for dinner club’s Thanksgiving gathering. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend (tear!), but I still wanted to make sure my family of friends had something sweet to eat after all their ham and casseroles.

Of course, I reached for my handy-dandy phone to open up my AllRecipes app for this recipe. It’s always my go-go cooking source. I know that all of you are over the pumpkin thing, so I’m not going to bore you with the recipe, but if you are interested in these pumpkin pie chocolate chip cookies, click here!)

I was baking away when the husband got home from basketball practice, and with a very concerned look on his face he asked me, “What are you doing, honey?” When I explained to him that I was baking cookies for dinner club he asked even more concerned now, “From scratch?”

Yes. I made these from scratch, and if I do say so myself they were pretty darn tasty. The term “myself” might actually be completely correct, because even though all my dinner club friends texted me telling me my cookies were delicious, I can’t be for sure they weren’t just trying to make me feel good. I did have to force my husband to eat one…and the word “force” is not an exaggeration…and I’m pretty sure my sister never ate one.

I can’t be for sure if anyone actually ate any at dinner club, but I guess I’ll take their word for it. They must not be too afraid of my dessert-making skills because I volunteered to make dessert for next weekend’s Christmas dinner club and nobody tried to stop me.

I promise, though, I’ll jump off this pumpkin train soon (probably when my pumpkin spice coffee creamer runs out) and I’ll be jumping on a new one soon. I’m expecting some very delicious peppermint and chocolate combinations in my very near future. Maybe this one from Miss Julie!

I mean, it is December after all.

ang

My Best Dinner Ever

Last week I made what most people would think of as a pretty bold statement.

Pretty bold, right? Well, coming from me that’s not really saying much.

Nonetheless, I was pretty darn proud of myself when the husband said, “Honey, you can make this dinner anytime you want!”

I can’t take credit for the idea behind the recipe, because if it weren’t for my allrecipes Dinner Spinner app on my phone I’d be lost. Completely lost. So, via Jackie at allrecipes.com, here is my best dinner ever…

Linguini with Peppers and Sausage

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package linguini pasta (I used bow-tie pasta!)
  • 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (Removing the casings was one nasty job, but it had to be done. I also added one large, seasoned chicken breast!)
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped (I used green!)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup white wine (I skipped this…I drank all the wine!)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  • Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.
  • While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. Saute sausages in a heavy skillet over medium high heat until light brown, breaking up clumps with back of spoon. Add peppers, onion, and garlic; saute until tender. Add wine and simmer until liquid is slightly reduced, about 6 minutes.
  • Drain pasta, and add to the skillet. Toss to combine. Add cheese, and toss to blend. Serve.

  • Pour yourself a glass of wine.
  • Enjoy!

ang