Sunday, December 8, 2013

Icemageddon 2013: A Blessing in Disguise

I had another blog planned for this weekend, but then the winter storm came to town. What started as a simple ice day, turned into Icemageddon with people home bound for 3 days and many without power. We are talking 4-5 inches of sleet that after 24 hours turned into solid sheets of thick, slippery ice! Of course it is December and that means we already had full weekend planned that I had been looking forward to

At first I was a combination of stressed, freaked out and mad. Pier 1 didn't close Friday, only a delayed opening. I have only been there a month and I was so freaked out that I would be in trouble if I couldn't get to work. Chris was off and planned to drive me, but we couldn't get out of our driveway. Thankfully my boss was completely okay with me not coming in and I was able to stay home. Stress lifted.

Friday morning we stayed in bed and watched movies while we snuggled with the fur babies. We played outside where Dutchess and Gulliver had a blast sliding around. (Fenway wasn't having any of the outside activities) We built a fire and spent the afternoon just enjoying family time.

I loved every minute of it. Seriously, loved it. But was really hoping the roads would clear so that I could attend Christ Chapel's Ladies Christmas Brunch with my family Saturday morning and take the babies for their Santa photos Saturday afternoon. Especially Santa photos!

For those that don't know (I haven't had the heart to write a blog about it yet) we found out in October that Dutchess has Lymphoma. Long story short, we have limited time with her and have been taking each week at a time, trying to make the most of it and not thinking about what we know is coming soon. A week ago we had a scare that it might be almost time when she stopped eating. Thankfully the next day we learned she just didn't like the new oatmeal I bought to mix in her food. She has eaten like a piggie since we realized that and changed her food!

Santa photos with Dr. Young was one of those milestones I was praying Dutchess would make it to. She loves going bye-bye and she gets so excited when people make a fuss over her. I was so excited to make that memory with her and of course have the photo.  As much as I hoped and prayed things would go as planned, I knew in my heart when we went to bed Friday night that we would be iced in another day.

Saturday morning came and sure enough, Icemageddon was in full force. What little traction from the sleet there had been Friday, was now solid ice. Even though I was a little sad, we just rolled with it and planned on making the best of it!

We had breakfast in bed. We snuggled with the babies while we watch Hallmark Christmas movies. We played outside. We laughed. We cried. We cooked dinner and baked. We watched a crazy amount of movies. We drank wine. We made up songs. We danced to crazy made up songs. We spent real, quality time together with no worry of having to be anywhere or do anything. We made amazing memories. Memories we would have never made if it wasn't for being iced in.

Other than getting out to grab some lunch (Chili's never tasted so good and we were able to give our leftovers to a homeless man we passed on the way home) our Sunday was completely the same.

This afternoon, both Kipper and I were talking about how crazy the holiday season always is. We just go nonstop and it took a DFW wide ice storm to get everyone to slow down. For us Icemageddon was a blessing in disguise. Not only did it make us slow down, it was a reminder that we need to make time for weekends like this more often. Or at least a day here or there.

Even though we missed out on several holiday events we were excited about, tonight I am thanking God for this weekend.

Thanking him for helping our family to make memories with Dutchess that are far more special than a trip to have Santa photos. Memories that I will cherish for a lifetime.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dear Depression and Self Doubt: Today, I Win!

October 26, 2013

Dear Depression and Self Doubt,

For the last month or so you have put up a good fight. At times I gave in and let you get the upper hand, but I am stronger than that. And while I know we will meet again on the battlefield, today I am victorious. Today, on my 32nd birthday, I WIN!

Allie Martin

Each of my half marathons have been a unique experience, never the same. They each hold a special meaning in my heart, but #4 might go down as one of the most special and emotional experiences I have ever had in running.

Leading up to the race, I was no where near as prepared as I should have been or wanted to me. I let life and some terrible shoe issues get in the way. Months of unhappiness and stress at work were taking a toll on me. Knowing I was about to be another year older and still hadn't been blessed with a baby (the 2 legged kind) lingered in the back of my mind. I was in a full on battle with my depression and preparing for this race sort of got pushed to the wayside. To top it off, just 2 weeks before we found out Dutchess had Lymphoma and we only had a few months at best left with her. I WAS A MESS!!

For a while I thought about pulling out of the race or just doing the 5K with Kipper and Whitley. But the week before the race I decided to just go and have fun. It was just going to be a birthday "fun run" that just happened to be 13.1 miles. lol. Plus I gave up on trying to make my Hoka's work for me and just bought some new inserts for my tried and true Air Pegasus.

The morning of the race, I actually felt pretty good. I was at peace, relaxed and ready to have a fun day with some of my favorite people.

They started with the 5k runners and then about 15 minutes later AJ and I were off on half #4! About 3 miles in I realized I was keeping up with 3 hour pace group. At first I panicked that I was going to wear myself out (my best time was 3:28 and that was when I was training really hard) but I chilled out and just kept going with them. I had never really run with a pace group, but it was nice. We chit-chatted a bit, learned several of the people where running their first half, one of the ladies for her 50th birthday that was just a few weeks away. I stayed with them until just before mile 6 1/2 when I spotted Kipper and Whitley and slowed down to give hugs.

Around mile 7 and then again at 8, I got to see Kipper and Whitley again. They were the best Sherpas and even ran with me for about a 1/2 a mile. That might have been one of my favorite parts of this race. Especially since it was a small race and there were times you sort of felt like you were doing this alone.

When I waved them goodbye and took off for the last part of the course, I had such an overwhelming sense of peace that seemed to surround me. I took most of the rest of the race to really reflect. Reflect on the past year, all the amazing things that have happened, all the times I just wanted to give up, the excitement of my new job, and how spending the last year learning to truly trust God's plan has been the hardest, most amazing journey. Pretty sure there was a good mile that I had tears streaming non-stop. It was almost like an out of body experience. It was my God moment of this race for sure.

The last mile or so was actually on the track of Texas Motor Speedway. This was one of the hardest parts, because no matter how close you were to the wall you still ran on a slight incline. Right before the 12 mile marker was the last rest stop. As I approched all of the ladies volunteering started singing "Happy Birthday!" I had no idea how they knew it was my birthday, but it was AWESOME!! (I later found out that AJ told them when see went through the stop!) 

I took off from that last stop with a huge smile on my face, ready to finish out strong! At this point I knew that unless something went crazy wrong, by the grace of God I was going to set a PR.  I turned on my favorite Chris Tomlin song as I rounded the last curve, to see Kipper waiting just a little before the finish line.  He ran with me until right before the finish line when I picked up my pace. (he took a  video of me running to the finish line...I have never been so proud of a video of my butt!) 

As I ran towards the finish line I could see AJ, Whitley and Chelsey cheering me on just on the other side. Then the announcer said my time and the water works started! A week before I was ready to not even run because I was worried about finishing. But not only did I finish, I set a new half marathon PR. And not by just a few minutes either. I PR'ed by nearly 10 minutes!!! 10 MINUTES!!!

A year ago the dream of finishing a half marathon was just that - a dream. I still can't believe all that I achieved in a year and I know what is to come is going to be just as exciting. This race just reminded me that all things are truly possible with God. I can't give in to self doubt, when I feel waves of depression coming on I have to fight it. If I would have given in, I would have missed out on this experience. An experience that I know was an important part of my journey.

Thank you to everyone who cheered me on, prayed for me, sent sweet birthday messages, and encouraged me to push myself to limits I never imagined. A small piece of this victory was because of you!

I can't wait to see what all year 32 has in store for me! Cheers!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

31 Days

I use an app called Dreamdays 365. In it, I track big upcoming events like vacations, major work events, runs I am training get the idea. Today I saw this:

A strange mix of excitement, sadness and panic hit me like a ton of bricks. The isn't news to me. I have known Joy of Life was around the corner, but this year it takes on a much different meaning. 
  • 31 days till Joy of Life.
  • 31 days till my last day at Cancer Care Services.
  • 31 days till I will no longer have my friend and mentor, who has believed in since the first time we met 10 years ago, as my boss. 
  • 31 days till I leave the familiarity of the non-profit world for the for-profit one.  
31 days until I close a huge chapter on my life. 
But on the flip side there was this: 

  • 33 days till I start my new job at Pier 1.
  • 33 days till I "go to the dark side" of corporate America. lol. 
  • 33 days till I get to start doing 1 of my 2 dream jobs.
  • 33 days till I don't have to go home every night at stress if I my event doesn't make goal, services will be cut and people will lose their jobs.  
  • 33 days till I get to meet a lot of new people. 
  • 33 days till I go work for a company who has built a culture that values giving back to their local community.
  • 33 days till I get a raise. :)
  • 33 days till I get to have new experiences and new adventures.
33 days till I start writing a new chapter of my life. 

Needless to say the next 31 days will be filled with lots of emotions. But emotions aside, I still feel the same overwhelming peace I did when I first laid eyes on the job posting. I knew that it was where I was supposed to be. After I spoke with the recruiter, it confirmed it was where I was supposed to be.  After my interviews, I knew even more it was where I was supposed to be.

For several months I had prayed God would open a door to an opportunity that fed my soul, helped provide for my family and would allow me to glorify him. I prayed that when that door opened he would give me the peace to know that it was the right door for me.

 A few times I "thought" I found that door, but never felt the peace I had prayed for. This time the peace was there from the start. So even though I am sad and little scared of closing that chapter in 31 days I know what waits for me in 33 days is where I am supposed to be.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Allie Has Big News

Since the hubs put a little teaser on facebook the other day, several dear friends have been begging me to spill the beans. And I finally can! :)

Kipper did say it was NOT a baby and people kept trying to guess what it was.

  • Adopting a new fur baby
  • Adopting an adult
  • Kipper doing an Ironman
  • Moving to Midland 
  • Judging Miss America...with something about a talent of peppers and coffee. lol
  • Twins
  • Moving to Midland again (we are really wanted in Midland!)
  • Taking in a sister wife
  • Renewing our vows
No one hit the jackpot, but I do have to say the guesses have been a TON of fun to read!

My blog yesterday talked about unanswered prayers, this is a continuation of that. About 5 months ago I began praying for something and in August it looked like that prayer might have be answered. While I tried not to get my hopes up, I am me, and I did. So in the end when it didn't work out, I was devastated. I questioned myself, my abilities and my path.  But at the same time I knew in my heart of hearts that it wasn't right. Trust his plan. He will provide.

The next day. Seriously the THE. NEXT. DAY. a new door was opened. A few weeks, lots of prayer and many tears (both happy and sad) later lead to the most amazing kick off of Allietober I could imagine!

There is a move in my future. I am taking a leap and spreading my wings. And today I can finally share my new home!

I have accepted a position with Pier 1 Imports overseeing their community relations and associate engagement!

This decision didn't come lightly. Nonprofit has been my entire career. My heart and soul. Friends have joked with me for years to "come to the dark side" where they have better pay, more benefits and often time cookies. But I could never imagine it. My heart is in serving others and giving back to the community.

Of course the emotions are high because for the first time in 10 years I won't be laboring along side my dear friend and mentor, Melanie. I knew this time would come someday but I had never REALLY thought about it until now. This week has be tough. I have never experienced such joy and sorrow at the same time.

I had always dreamed of a community relations role within a company that truly valued giving back as a part of their culture, but it was just a dream. Until now. It is my reality!!!!

I will be on the giving side to our local nonprofits. I will get to connect employees with local organizations who need their volunteer service. (Pier 1 pays for every employee to volunteer 1 hour each week at the nonprofit of their choice....even hourly employees get this benefit!) I get to be an organizer, planner, cheerleader, a giver and an advocate.

Pier 1 has been incredibly supportive in my transition, especially given that Joy of Life is in 5 short weeks. The night of Joy of Life is always emotional because it is the moment you have worked towards all year. This year it will be bittersweet. It will be my last day of employment with Cancer Care Services. A few friends who have known joked it will be the best going away party I will ever get from an employer. lol.

On November 11, 2013 I start my new journey. One where I know with every fiber of my being, this is where I am meant to be. This is where all of those unanswered prayers have guided me. An opportunity that I thought was only in my dreams.

Trust his plan. He will provide.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Unanswered Prayers

It has been 2 months since my last real, published blog post.

In the past, typing the sentence would make me feel like a failure or slacker. This time it doesn't. A lot has been going on in the Martin household and with me personally. Some of these things just popped up, others have been building for months.  (And if we are going to be 100% honest, I was dealing with one of the worst spells of depression I have had since going totally med free a year ago.)  Yet through the darkness and worry, so many amazing things have happened. 

The last few weeks I have spent a lot of time thinking back over the past year and plans I had in store.  Only God had very different plans. I wanted more than anything to trust his plan and his timing, but it was a major struggle. At times I found myself angry and feeling helpless. I kept praying for the faith to trust his plan, but often found myself slipping into praying for him to please answer my unanswered prayers. 

The biggest of these was for us to get pregnant and have a healthy baby.  If you have ever tired to get pregnant and especially those who have struggled with infertility, you will understand what I am saying here. You want nothing more than to do what thousands of unwed teenagers do every week but for some reason it isn't happening. (if one more person told me to just get drunk and "do it" I might have hit someone!) You sob and get depressed when someone announces they are expecting, no matter how much you want to be happy for them. Whenever you are a day late you start to get your hopes up just a little bit, only for granny flow to send them crashing down into the gutter. And don't even get me started on how the news of Kim Kardashian being pregnant set me off. 

I started training for my first half marathon and really focused on channeling my energy in to that verses thinking about us not getting pregnant. I have said it before, but I truly have running to thank for saving me and for helping realign my relationship with God. Slowly but surely things started to get better. I was trusting his plan. I knew God wouldn't have put it on our hearts to be parents if it wasn't meant to be.

Fast forward a few months, we got some bad news on testing and I began to prepare myself to hear that it was the end of the road for us having a biological child because we knew we could never afford IVF. I was devastated at this thought but I did the only thing I knew to do - I prayed. I prayed that God would provide a way for us to become parents.  

The day before the doctors appointment we found out that as of October 1st Kipper's insurance would began covering IVF!! Trust his plan, he will provide. 

Looking back on this last year, I am thankful for those unanswered prayers. Kipper and I are not the same people we were a year ago. We had things we needed to experience, demons we needed to face, opportunities that we needed to take; that all were a very important part of our journey. This has been a year of tremendous growth in the Martin household. God has been helping prepare us for what he has to come and I can say without a doubt in my heart whatever it he has in store will be more amazing than anything I could every dream up.

I have been chomping at the bit to share with everyone our latest news and I will finally be able to do that tomorrow! Yea!!!! Stay tuned! (and no, it isn't a baby...) 

Monday, July 29, 2013

21 Days and 2 Half Marathons: Part 2

I remember the night very clearly, June 15th around 10:45pm. T and I had gone to Xanadu night at Gay Bingo and we were eating dinner at Chili's when I got a text from AJ. The conversation went something like this:

     AJ: Is it crazy to ask you to run a 1/2 with me in Trinity Park on the June 29th?? 

     Me: Holy crap...

     AJ: And we get a jalapeno medal!!!

     Me: Is it crazy that I want to do it??

That was it, we were running our 3rd half marathon just 21 days after the Wounded Warrior Half. Over the next few days we recruited Jen to join us and found out that we had a handful of friends running as well. 

Race week came and it wasn't business a usual. Sadly our dear friend Jenny's Dad passed away very suddenly and as many of our friends who could headed to San Antonio to support her at the memorial service. Because of work I was unable to go even though my heart was there with my grieving friend. This time around there wasn't the group dinner before to relax and take in the support of friends. That would be a new mental challenge for me.

As race morning came, I was nervous about the heat but we were ready. After a brief delay thanks to the buses from the parking lot running slow it was show time! (seriously...if you want your race to be delayed ask AJ and I to do it. We have that affect on race start times!)

I was very cautious about pacing myself at the beginning because I knew the heat was going to get me if I over did it too fast.  That was an understatement. 

By mile 5 or 6 I threw my time out the window. I knew that just finishing this race would be an major accomplishment in itself. I would say at least 90% of the route was on the hottest, least shaded part of the trail that I tend to avoid when it is 85 or 90 degrees. Today it was pushing 102.  

At each rest stop I took a few moments to pour water over my head, down my back and on the thighs of my pants. As well as hydrating and refueling. And when they had ice I would put in in my bra and the back of my pants. Around mile 9 or 10 my feet started to hurt like I had never experienced before. At one point I was sure my toe was bleeding, but I tried to ignore it. 

Along the route people bonded over just how crazy we all were. We helped push each other to keep moving. But as the day went one I watched a lot of people bow out and call it a day. I would be lying if I didn't say the thought crossed my mind once or twice. But then I remembered my friend Monika, who was very pregnant, was not only out there running...she was ahead of me!

But I didn't give up. I pushed it till the end and I crossed the finish line, upright! Was it a PR? Not even close!! I barely made it under the 4 hour time limit...but I MADE IT!! 

After catching my breath and grabbing some water the first thing I did was take my shoes off. (which might have been slightly dumb since I had to walk to the car...) I have never had a blister from running, not even after the craziness in the rain at Wounded Warrior. Within moments of taking my shoes off, I could feel at least 4 blisters. By the end of the day that number had jumped to 7 and 2 of them were nasty blood blisters. Ick! 

After the race I posted this photo and caption. To this day it still sums it up.

"Another half for the books, the hardest one yet. One word (other than insane or brutal) describes today - thankful! I am thankful for amazing friends both on and off the course who have been a part of this adventure, for having the courage to start and the strength to finish. Today my feet may hurt but my heart is full."

Saturday, June 29, 2013

21 Days and 2 Half Marathons: Part 1

Yes you read that right....TWO half marathons. Normally I wait a week or so before doing my recap, to let it all soak in. Well by the time a week had passed I was in full swing preparing for another half (more on that in Part 2) and sort of forgot I never finished my recap!!

The night before Wounded Warrior we went to an early dinner with a few friends and then headed home to get ready to wake up at 3:45am so we could get to Irving in time. As I was gathering all my stuff and getting ready to go to bed, I realized my ipod had officially died.

So there we were at 10:30pm (when I should have been asleep) running around trying to get my music on another random ipod we had. It was only fitting that itunes was being a pill and we didn't have my playlist anymore. How the heck I was going to run with no music? Seriously, I forgot my ipod one time and made it 2 miles before I couldn't take it anymore! How could I make it 13.1 miles if I couldn't make it 2? And what about my perfectly selected playlist?  I was a panicked mess. But after about an hour I made peace with the fact that at least I had a working ipod and that it had some sort of decent music on it. We had to get some sleep because our wake up time was creeping up on us.

The next morning I woke up feeling really good. I ate my normal race morning breakfast of a bagel with peanut butter and we headed out the door to AJ's house. All the way to Irving we watch the rain clouds and followed on facebook as people talked about the storms. I was just praying that some how they would pass us. Unfortunately that didn't happen....

So we waited and waited to see if they would still have the race or call it. Finally nearly an hour later we had a new start time, but new issues had set in. Both Kipper and I were starving and feared if we didn't get something in our stomachs we couldn't make it just on gu gels. So with not much time to spear we went to the hotel across the street to find some bananas, coffee for Kipper and bathrooms for AJ and I. But we did run into our sweet friend Melissa is the lobby, so that was a plus! :) 

There was mass confusion as to the start times of the Half and 10K, so we barely made it across the start line before the 10K headed out. Did I mention it was pouring down rain still??  And they had to re-route us up a muddy hill to go around part of the course that had rapid, moving water flooding it!!

I ran the first hour or so in the pouring rain, but my times were actually quite impressive. At several moments I kept telling myself I needed to slow down because I was going to run out of steam, but somehow I just keep going strong. 

As the sun came out the humidity started to set in, but it wasn't too terribly bad and lots of the trail was shaded. Actually most the second hour was pretty uneventful....until around mile 6.5 and the snake! Yep, you heard me right, there was a huge snake stretched out across the path. (I can't even begin to tell you how much I hate snakes!) It was a blessing I saw it far enough out so I didn't step on it. Eek thinking about it still gives me the creeps! 

After that incident we were back to smooth sailing until around mile 10.5 when we hit nearly a half mile of ankle high water. Apparently while we were on the trail it flooded!! All I could think about was that snake and hoping he didn't have any friends in this water!

My time up until this point was awesome! Even with 3 bathroom stops I was on target to beat my Cowtown time by at least 15 minutes. Having to walk through this water, then up and down a muddy hill, really slowed me down. The last 3 miles were tough. My shoes were soaked and every step I took, I could feel my feet rubbing. 

That 15 minute headway quickly dwindled down and I felt like I was going to be doing good to match my Cowtown time.  After what felt like at least a 4 or 5 mile stretch (it was more like 2.5) I finally spotted AJ and she helped run me across the finish line. Missing a PR by 2 minutes, but to my credit with the re-routes on the course the route was almost 14 miles so I was totally ok with my time. 

Then we waited for Kipper. I honestly started to panic a little that he hadn't finished yet. For most of the race he was ahead of me, but I knew he was struggling and hadn't gone into the race with the clear mental state that he really needed. (you can read about his experience here, here, and here) After what seemed like for ages he rounded the corner and I was able to run him in. The last mile was incredibly tough for him, but he didn't give up and that is what truly matters! 

I can't believe how much stronger I felt post race compared to Cowtown. A year ago I would have saw the rain and just gone back to bed, but not only did I not go back to bed, I got out there and RAN in it!!  I wish I could truly put into words how this journey has changed me. I am not the same person I was a year and a half ago, heck I am not the same person I was 6 months ago. 

And what I did next just solidified that statement. I might actually be slightly crazier. AJ and I signed up for another half marathon and only had 20 days to prepare!! Stay tuned for Part 2!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

When Average Becomes Awesome

As much as I love social media, it has some down falls.  You watch all your friends post photos/status updates/etc you begin to feel pressure that your life isn't exciting enough. All of a sudden you start to think that every weekend needs to be EPIC or you have to be involved in a million things so that you appear more interesting. (My dear friend, Jordan, wrote a fabulous post on her blog "When life gives you lemons" about this that you should all read!)

I am someone who has had too many irons in the fire since age 5 and sadly, I have fallen victim to this mind set a few times more than I care to admit. It wasn't until right before my 30th birthday that I really started to analyze things and decide enough was enough. (you can read more about it here) I was tired of being busy for the sake of being busy all the time. Over the last 2 years or so I have started cutting back on my commitments and learning to play things a little more by ear. And you know what? It has been amazing!!! 

Sure sometimes we get to the weekend and realize we don't have plans - awesome Kipper and I will have an impromptu date night or (gasp) even just stay home watch a TV together! It. Is. Awesome! Or sometimes it leaves you open to spur of the moment plans that are far better than anything you could have planned out in advance. 

Enter last weekend.

In a rare turn of events, I had to work both Saturday evening and all day Sunday so I hadn't planned on doing anything else all weekend. Then Friday, T asked if I wanted to do a 5K up by her house with her. I didn't have any plans and needed to get a run in, so why not! 

It was humid and gross, there was a slight delay for a man who may or may not have had a heart attack during the 1K, but it was awesome!!  Not only did I have a PR, I got to spend time with one of my best friends. 

Afterwards we went to Denny's to eat where we spent the time talking and laughing. Even when we tried to leave, we ended up standing around in the parking lot talking more. This of course led to us having a "post run Denny's" in the back of T's car.  An average Saturday morning that was just plain awesome!

Of course when you combine this with a wonderful evening on Lake Granbury with my Hood County Jamboree Volunteers (that felt like a family get together in Alabama rather than work) and then National Cancer Survivors Day on Sunday (how could you not love watching a second line parade of cancer survivors?) it made for a pretty awesome weekend!

Now don't get me wrong, I still overcommit, and sometimes work is a little crazier than I would like. But until you break the cycle of always expecting awesome, you will never see just how amazing your average, everyday life can really be! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A+ For Effort?

12 days. Only 12, short days until I will be at the start line of the Wounded Warrior Half Marathon. 

(cue panicked breathing and general crazy thoughts)  

While I do feel more relaxed compared to Cowtown, I know this race will be very different. It will be HOT! It will be a course I don't know like the back of my hand. I won't have my friends and family along the course and at the finish line. And did I mention it is going to be HOT???

After having to take 5 days off from training to recover from a head and chest cold, I was antsy to get back to training after work today.  So you can imagine my disappointment when I walked out of my office to see  how gloomy the skies where looking.

Already feeling like I haven't trained as much for this race as I did for Cowtown and just having to miss 2 training runs, I decided missing today's run was not an option. I was determined to have a great run...operation "Out Run the Rain"  was in full effect.

Epic Fail.  One song into my run, the rain came pouring down in what felt like bucket loads.

At first I thought, I will just keep running. I mean, I loved playing in the rain as a little girl so maybe it would just make the run more fun. does NOT make the run more fun. When rain is pouring down on you and you feel 25 pounds heavier because your clothes and shoes are is time to call it a day. When people start pulling over, asking you if you need a ride somewhere because its raining (it is? I didn't notice) is time to call it a day.  (Seriously though, thank you to the 2 people who offered to drive me home. Very sweet, even if I totally started thinking you both might be a murderer or a rapist. Don't feel bad, everyone who passes me while running is under suspicion. It just a fact.) 

Hey, at least I tried. That has to be worth something, right?!?!?!?!? All joking aside, I am proud of myself for sticking to my guns and going. A year ago I would have looked at the sky and decided to watch a movie with the pups instead.  And that change alone is for sure worth an A+!   

Monday, May 13, 2013

Allie Facts: Blogging Edition

Since I am currently working on 2 different posts (neither of which I want to finish tonight) and I haven't done an Allie Facts post in a while I decided it was the perfect thing to prolong my procrastination of finishing other posts. :) So sit back and enjoy the latest edition of Allie Facts...Blogging Edition!

- In a few months I will have had my blog for 2 years. 

- When I started my blog it was going to be for me share different crafty projects that I was working on, but within the first year it was clear it would be more than that.

-  I secretly wish I could be a full time blogger like The Bloggess or Kevin and Amanda.

- Yes, I fully realize these blogs are polar opposites of each other. It sort of reflects what goes on in my head everyday! :)

- I spend at least 50% of every run "blog planning" which is also known as "don't think about how much this sucks right now!"

- It is safe to say 95% of that material never makes it to my blog...because I forget what I came up with before I actually write it.

- Come to think of it, running has really cut into both my crafting and blogging time.

- It has taken me a while, but I have finally made peace with the fact that I am a super busy person and I am never going to stick to a regular blogging schedule.

- When I write I blog I pretend like it for my "readers" but really I write for myself. If you are offended my blog isn't all about you, sorry. But please keep reading! Seriously....keep reading.

-  I have more unpublished blog posts than I do published.

- What can I say...blogging is WAY cheaper than therapy. And even though no one actually sees them it seems more public than writing in a journal.

- One day I might be brave enough to post some of them, but I am pretty sure they are much too deep for a blog that talks about "conquering the world with rhinestones."

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Allie And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad 10K

A few weeks ago AJ and I were talking about how we felt like we had taken a big step backwards in our running since Cowtown and we needed to get signed up for a 10K in order to motivate ourselves to stay on track. Within a few hours we were signed up for the Stockyards Easter Run 10K and got T to sign up for the 5K.

The morning came and I was excited, but a little nervous and rightfully so since my training since Cowtown had been nearly nonexistent. I was ready to push myself and have a good race, oh and push myself I did! The "good" race part, not so much. 

I timed out when to eat breakfast around the start time. So when 8:30am rolled around I was ready to go. 15 minutes later we are still standing around when they came over the loud speaker to say a train had broken down, blocking the route and they were working to get it moved!! 

50 minutes after we were supposed to start we were finally on our way!

The 6 miles that followed were brutal....using a nasty port-a-potty and throwing up were just a sampling of the fun!  I will save you from every detail  of how terrible it was, but I learned a lot about how to prepare/handle race situations better as well as about myself.

Basically this run was what do you get when you go from running 15-22 miles a week to four weeks of less than 5 miles a week, your nutrition is totally off, you haven't been sleeping well, your stomach is upset, the weather is in that post rain sticky phase and oh yea....there is a 50 minute train delay!

The craziest part of it all was that despite all the things that went wrong, I still set a PR for my official 10K runs! Granted this was only my second sanctioned 10K but who cares...a PR is a PR. And on a day like today, I'll take it anyway I can get it! :) 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Wild About You!

Disclaimer: March has been crazy busy so I am a little behind on blogging so prepare for blog overload the next few days! 

On March 13, 2013 Kipper and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary! While most people go to romantic dinners or a romantic getaway to celebrate their anniversaries, not us. Since our anniversary was on a Wednesday we decided we would just celebrate over the weekend. You should see the crazy looks people give you when you tell them you are just going to the gym to run when they ask you what you are going for you anniversary night! lol. And that look didn't go away when you told them you were celebrating on Saturday with a trip to Fossil Rim and Dinosaur Valley State Park. (I am really not sure why any of this surprises people...when have we ever done things the normal way?) What better way to celebrate how "wildly" in love we are?? :)

Of course Mr. Martin had to go and plan a surprise night out on Friday with dinner at Grace and then to see Oz The Great and Powerful in 3D!  (Major princess points for him!)  Because I had been at camp all day and we didn't want to be rushed we decided to hold off on eating at Grace and just have dinner at the Movie Tavern. It was magical! Even at 31 years old the wonder of all things Oz captivates my heart as much as it did when I was a little girl. The perfect night to kick off our weekend!

The next morning we headed to Glen Rose for our day of fun!

Starting with Fossil Rim!  I hadn't been here since I was a little girl and I was super excited. I also had a very specific goal that we would have a giraffe stick its head in the sun roof...or a window.  With our $8 bag of feed in hand we were off to meet some animals! And of course I kept tracking of the random things that came out of our mouths thought out the day! :)

What I had thought about was the fact it was the tail end of Spring Break and it seemed we weren't the only ones with this fabulous idea! There was actually traffic jams and at one point we sat for over 30 minutes barely moving. At first I was a little frustrated about that but we did get to see some stuff we would have other wise missed if we wouldn't have been forced to stop.

At one point we watch an entire herd of Circle Butt Deer (I can't remember what they are really called and they had a big white circle on their butts) come out of the woods into the field and cross the road right in front of us to another field. This process took like 20 minutes, during which time I kept talking to them and after the finally crossed, I gleefully announced that "I'm a deer whisperer!" Kipper just thinks I am crazy...I think he is just jealous!

A little later on we came up to another little traffic jam that was being caused by small group of animals. I was so worried that they would be full and leave before we got to them. Kipper reassured me I would get to see them because on of the was, and I quote, "Is like a homeless guy, just going car to car", end quote. This little guy knew how to work the system!

We stopped for lunch at the half way point cafe which is on top of a hill and has a gorgeous view. Because the park was so busy it took twice as long to reach the half way point as we expected...needless to say we were hungry and ready to stretch our legs!

After lunch we headed back down the hill to see the second half of the park. As you remember I came to the park with the specific goal of a giraffe sticking its head in the car. Well that didn't happen, but this little guy came to see us!!

If you have never been to Fossil Rim, you need to go! We had the best time looking for animals, feeding them and just visiting with each other. I can't wait to go back on a day that isn't so crowded!!

Since it took us twice as long to go through the park, we decided we would save Dinosaur Valley State Park for another trip when we could spend more time there. Instead we headed into Downtown Glen Rose to check out the historic square. The highlight was Pie Peddlers!  You know I am a sucker for a good cupcake,  but I am not a big pie person...Kipper is really the pie lover in our family. After a trip to the Pie Peddlers, pie moved up on my desert scale! :)

Since we had planned to spend the afternoon hiking (hey, I even packed snacks in my backpack!!) I was a little bummed we decided to change our plans. But on our way out of town we passed the coolest little road side park and we had to stop - Big Rocks Park! Seriously this place was SCREAMING my name!!

While this might surprise some people, I LOVE climbing on rocks. Not to be confused with rock climbing (that I don't like very much) just climbing around on big rocks!

These rocks have some HUGE gaps in between them that made me a little nervous. Kipper and I kept watching some teenagers making the leaps like it was nothing. And then there was the little kids doing it barefoot, without a care in the world. I was wearing my running shoes and I had been sliding on the rocks quite a bit so trying to make some of those jumps terrified me even more than they normally would. Seriously, we are talking cracked skulls and broken bones if you didn't make it kind of jumps. That put a halt on my adventurous side pretty fast and you would figure it would have done the same for Mr. Martin. Wrong!

All of sudden my overly protective husband (with a bum knee to boot) decides he too can make the jumps as easily as all the teenagers and kids we have been watching! I am pretty sure I almost threw up at least 6 times as I prayed he didn't fall...and thankfully he didn't!

As much as he scared me, I loved watching the pure joy on his face each time he made it to a new rock. I would have never imagined us being able to do something like this together (and both of us enjoying it) 2 - 2 1/2 years ago!  I honestly couldn't imagine a better way to celebrate our 9th anniversary together! Here is to another great year with my best friend and soul mate! I love you Mr. Martin!