Thursday, December 1, 2011

The First Half

I've been putting off this post because I was hoping the race photographers would post the pictures, but they haven't done that yet. I want to get it out before I forget everything though.
 

I ran a half-marathon. I am officially a 13.1 miler. I really still have trouble believing this, but I did it. And I didn't DIE!!! Ha ha ha! 

Robert and I signed up for the race in September, and we tried really hard to prepare all we could. We did a Hal Higdon training plan which was great, but we ended up being so busy this fall we didn't follow it like we should have. (Hint: Foreshadowing.) The day of the race we drove to Danville and met our friends at the start line. The course was absolutely beautiful. It was on the green way next to the river, and I couldn't have asked for better scenery. The first 6 miles went by pretty quickly, and I made sure to ham it up for the photographers and spectators just to keep in interesting. Mile 7 was where the craziness started. They had said that Miles 7-9 would be a little hilly, but I had no idea exactly how hilly. When I saw the first hill I thought "Ok. I got this. I'm gonna make this hill my... ummm... slave." (Preacher's wife euphemism for choicer words, ha ha!) And you know what? I did it. I totally beasted the hill. But then came the mother of all hills. I was in a little one-on-one battle with a girl I nicknamed the litterer (since I picked her race trash up off the trail *grrrr*), and I was ahead. I came around the corner and saw what seemed like mount Everest at that point. I may have said choice words, but I'll never admit to that. Anyway, I definitely was the slave that time. I still managed to stay ahead of litterer though, and most importantly I didn't quit! 

After mile 9 it was (literally) all down hill from there... almost. I tracked the race distance on my iPod with my Nike+, and was not even within sight of the bridge I knew I had to cross to the finish when Nike trainer announced "Congratulations, you have reached your goal of 13.1 miles." Ummm... What?!?! Somebody's lying here. My legs listened to my trainer though and literally as soon as the congrats were out of my ear buds, I did what I've only read about until now. I hit the wall. My legs stopped working, and I limped the last mile to the finish. It's hard to describe what it's like to hit the wall, but I'm not kidding when I say my brain was shouting GO! GO! GO! and my legs were going NO! NO! NO! If you've ever worked with stubborn horses, and you know what it's like trying to push them somewhere you want them to go without them willingly moving. It ain't happening. You grunt and yell and pout and you deal. That's what I did. Grunted, yelled, pouted, dealt. In that order. When the 70-something year old speed walker in the barely sweaty jogging suit passed me that last mile I quit caring about time and just decided to finish. Now, I'm sure at this point you are laughing hysterically about the senior citizen getting the best of me, but you know what? I didn't really care. I was just thinking- you go lady! Get it! I did finally make it to the end and finished in 2 hours and 48 minutes. I was hoping to finish around 2:30, but under 3 hours is a-ok with me. And the speed walker totally doesn't count. She's clearly a robot.

Anyway- here are some things I learned from my first half-mary.

1. Marathoners are insane. The guy that finished first passed me before I hit the halfway point. He finished in just over an hour. INSANE. Everybody else finished way ahead of me. I may or may not have been second to last in my age group, but at least I beat the litterer.

2. Next time I will try to over-train. The furthest distance I ran was 11 miles before the race. That was actually one mile longer than the training plan called for because picking up an extra couple of miles on race day isn't bad. However, when the elevation screws with the actual distance (gps said 13.1, my feet on the ground and nike+ claim 14.3 and Robert's nike+ agrees), the extra mileage was borderline impossible. Just borderline though. I would have crawled across the finish if necessary.

3. If you think you can do it, you can. I'm so proud of myself just for surviving. So many people tell me they are impressed, and I keep insisting to them that it's not that impressive! Ok, the 70 year old that passed me and the looked-like-he-was-110 year old that came in like 3rd place- that's impressive. But really, if I can run 13.1 (*cough* 14.3 according to Nike) miles, so can you. So while the attention has been awesome, (you know I like attention) I'm gonna turn it around on you and tell you that you can do it too. Cuz you can! :)

4. Always finish smiling. I do this because it's fun. Yes, sometimes I have to MAKE it fun, but that's ok. Also, if you're smiling and looking happy they will take your picture.

5. I want to do it again. :)


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Baby Emmy Test

Thank goodness I finally found my easy picture uploader on blogger! Not sure why they had to change everything, but I'll deal. At least now I won't dread blogging because it's too complicated. 

I figured since I wanted to do a test post last minute before mom and I head to Burlington to take my sis out for b-day dinner, I would go ahead and post a couple pics of the joyous occasion that occurred soon after Robert and I moved. 

Baby Emalyn's Arrival!

Eli was so excited about meeting "Baby Emmy" for the first time. He proudly posed for me when I asked to see his "big brother" shirt. 

 Emalyn Austin May, Born June 6, 2011
You are so loved, little girl! Here's the whole family.

And a gratuitous shot of the proud aunt. :)

Anytime now my sister Paula should be ready to have hers! Then we'll have another new niece! I do so love my babies... and it's kind of strange to think that the next one to have a bebe will most likely be me! Eeek! Not for a few more years though, God willing. ;)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Our New Home

A lot of friends have been asking for pictures of our new place, so I thought I'd start off with a post about moving. Now, we've been here for a month and a half, and I've been procrastinating putting up pictures because I never thought the house was clean enough! Last night when my dad came over for dinner, I figured this was going to be as clean as it gets!

Here we go- Welcome to the Ashby Abode!

Moving was a bit chaotic. We rented a U-haul and did everything ourselves pretty much. Mom was kind enough to come out to Tennessee to help pack up though, and the church helped unload everything on the Virginia side. Here are some shots of the moving process. Sorry they are all smaller than normal. Blogger's photo upload seems to have been down-graded substantially. Grrr....



Finally here! Now, so many boxes to unpack...

A month later, and we are finally *almost* completely settled.

Kitchen shot. (The red island is actually a dresser we found in the basement! It needs a bit of painting and a countertop, but other than that it's perfect. It was definitely an awesome treasure find.)

Dining Room

Living Room- Most of the furniture in this room was brand new, but the yellow chair we did buy from a church member. It's vintage and so adorable.

Bathroom

Master Bedroom- I love the wall color in here! I was nervous to paint my room something called "Cucumber," but I think it turned out beautifully! The room is so cool and serene, and it's gorgeous in the sunshine.
Guest room- this is the only room we had to paint ourselves. I love the buttery yellow color, but other than that I haven't done much in here. Right now it's home to all of my classroom materials and pictures yet to be put up.
And finally- the Man Cave. Robert set this room up as our home gym and a place for the youth to hang out when they come over.

Well there you have it! Our house. :) Hopefully we'll have guests soon so I'll have incentive to clean up the guest room. We love living here, and although we miss our Knoxville friends terribly, coming here was a great choice for us. Well, that's all I'm going to post today. Blogger is being a bugger, so until I figure out these new changes, I'll say Adieu.

Monday, July 11, 2011

So Inspiring...

I had to share. This is such a great post- especially for all of us who think/thought we could *never* run a race. I started my half marathon training last week, so I'll be updating about that (and the new house) soon. Until then- enjoy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hey Friends!

I'm getting really sick of looking at pictures of bacon on my blog every time I sign in, so I thought I would at least type you a quick update.

Big News


It's my birthday! Robert got me flowers. He rocks. As do the rest of you that have sent me so much birthday love. <3

Bigger News


We're moving!!! Robert got a job back home in Virginia near our families, so we'll be heading that way the first week of June. You can imagine this adds all sorts of crazy to my already overwhelmed life, so it'll be summer before I start blogging regularly again. Also- I'm going to be teaching middle school next year! Not sure if that's exciting or terrifying... probably both. It's so sad to leave Karns, but I'll be so happy to be home with all the nieces and nephews. No more missed birthday parties or kindergarten graduations!

I should have lots of material to keep you all entertained. Later Gators!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Quick Anatomy Lesson

We interrupt your quasi-regularly scheduled blogging program for a brief lesson in anatomy. It has come to my attention that some people in this world do not understand the difference between seasonings, condiments, and meat. This is for you- Bernie's BBQ of Knoxville.

First let me introduce myself- I am a pescatarian. That might be a big word for your BBQ filled brains, so how about a related but similar concept- vegetarian. See Bernie- there are people in this world that do not eat meat. I know you can't barbeque a vegetable, so that's probably a foreign concept, but it's true. In fact, for some people, eating meat is even against their religion. Your customers take these things seriously, and an establishment concerned with good customer service would too. However, Bernie, I get the idea that you don't take much stock in that whole customer service mumbo jumbo. 

So here's my grievance- The baked potato and salad I ordered this morning were asked to be prepared WITHOUT MEAT. We even underlined the word meat. You can hardly blame me for being a little shocked when my food came looking like this... 



In fact, these pictures do not even do justice to the comical piles of bacon you covered my veggies with. I thought it was an honest mistake, so I had a colleague call and inform you of the mix-up. A decent restaurant establishment interested in keeping its customer base and avoiding bad press would have fixed my order. But not you Bernie. Apparently you will support your carnivore world view despite any personal loss. You refused to fix my order claiming that your restaurant "does not consider bacon a meat." Because I had not specified NO MEAT OR BACON, I was going to have to go without lunch. When asked what you did consider meat, you said "Chicken, BBQ, Beef, or Ham." Well Bernie- I've got something to show you. 


There it is- bacon right next to the ham. I don't think it could be any clearer. Dictionary.com defines meat as "the flesh of an animal used for food." Bacon comes from a pig. A pig is an animal. Bacon is used (by some, not all) as food. Ergo- Bacon is a meat. Not a condiment. Not a seasoning. It's a meat. 

End Scene. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 8: If a pic is worth a thousand laughs...

Then this video is worth a million. Enjoy.