26.2 and Kissing in the Rain.

Dustythe journey continues Leave a Comment

October 17th 2022

Someone said to me yesterday that they hate October. I replied that is the best fall month, hands down. It’s the only month that holds fall colors deep and true and it can still be warm, but also brisk and cool, like fall should be. It’s deep into fall sports season (which means, almost done. That’s good and bad) If you enjoy pumpkins and apples and corn mazes…then you are in luck. If you love dressing up and such, perfect. If you are hunter…even better. Personally, I just think the weather is lovely (except this past week. No thanks) and the colors are gorgeous and its my anniversary month. When we lived in Kent City it was busy apple season and I loved the hustle bustle. I love cross-country season and its finally NOT crazy hot and nice running weather. I, personally, also love to run in October as well…I could get the kids to school and then go running as the sun was finishing its ascent. November is junk. Its too cold, the trees go bare and it usually snows. It’s my birthday month and its Cora’s as well and its Thanksgiving, but, its still not my favorite at all. Don’t even get me started about December through March.

So we had a girls weekend (night and day) in Chicago. I’m beginning to think I should move there but I can’t afford it. Not really, but I do believe it would be easier to live there then to visit. When you visit you have to figure out where you are staying, where you are parking…how to get where and its expensive! A burger and fries at any joint aside from McDonalds…can cost up to $30. I’m not sure you can be overweight in Chicago. You have to walk everywhere and you can’t afford to eat. I spent time with my childhood friend, Julie, her girls and my 2 girls (that don’t have babies). We watched Hatcher’s meet and then drove down to grab Cora. We did some thifting (I found a pair of running shorts) but the Goodwill was super crazy that day and so we didn’t take our time. Burgers and GF cupcakes were next on the agenda and then we went to our hotel but that was quite the ordeal. It wasn’t the one I thought it was and navigating to it and to the valet parking was a feat! We did it though. The next morning..I was till on Michigan time and couldn’t sleep. The “park here” sign was glowing through the window..my bed was broke I think and I felt like I was sliding off it. I don’t know, I just couldn’t sleep. So I was up way too early and ready to roll by 6:40. I got coffee in the lobby with a few random people who where also early risers. I read my book for home fellowship group and enjoyed the peace. Later Cora took me to Philz Coffee because she loves it and I know why. They are informative and kind and want you to really enjoy coffee. Here is their story. Next time you are in Chicago, stop in. Also we needed to get Donuts at Stans because they have GF ones. We got back to the hotel in time to pack the car up and head out of town to the church Cora attends. She told me her pastor would be happy to see me and probably hug me. She was right. He adores her and was really happy to see her family and friends come to church. It was good worship and a good sermon (on Acts, which is what we are going through at sunday school at Kent City). Its a small church…like smaller than our old building. It was really great to see where she is getting “fed” though and by who. Some of her friends attend there and one of them was leading Sunday School so she went there instead of service. We got back into the city and parked at Navy Pier and went to the Rooftop to eat lunch. It’s pricey but kind of a cool experience. The lighting was great! You are like in a large greenhouse however, it doesn’t radiate the same heat but I would warn you, on a sunny day, wear shades and dress light. Great views!! We walked down to the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and watched The Notebook, the musical. Didn’t know it was a musical? Neither did I. I think they can make anything a musical now. They have a great membership program for all under the age of 35 (so NOT me) and you can get tickets at a steal once a month if you choose to purchase. It was a good musical, the music and singing was great. Definitely talent there. I’ve never cried in the movie or the book but the stage version had me choked up. That’s the power of music…and being alone…missing your spouse…who you also laid with while he died. Geez, tears me up writing about it. The only thing that didn’t mesh well with me is that they changed the nationality/race of the characters through the play. The young version of some of the characters were black but the older version was white and vice versa. If you didn’t know the story or read the program before watching it…you might have been confused or it might have taken you a while to understand that they were one in the same person. So now, I have to watch the movie again. They had some cool scenes in the play and did well for a small stage. For example….it did rain..and they did kiss in it. After the show we headed out of town, dropping Cora first. I realized that I get emotional….and I don’t recognize it right away and so it makes me spew other emotions that have nothing to do with how I’m feeling and instead of just being sad…I get snarky and upset. I realized what I was doing after I upset members in my car…so then I just cried. Not the best way to end the weekend. I had to apologize to Cora and tell her I wasn’t angry with her..I was just sad. It just made me sad.

So….let’s go back a week or so!!!

Last weekend I ran/jogged/limped the Chicago Marathon. For those of you who are wondering..that’s 26.2 miles. I get asked often so I thought I’d include that. This was not my first time but it HAD been a while since I’ve completed one. 12 years to be exact. I ran Chicago in 2010 and 2005. I ran my first one in December of 2000 in Honolulu. Yes. Hawaii. You start at 5am and its already hot. It was just hot the whole time and my knee started to give out at mile 12 (kind of like where the ACL is or where the IT band connects at the knee) but I remember thinking…NO, I have trained too long and raised too much money to walk this and I got going again and it went away. This time I had that same thing happen. I felt great…and the gal running with me started to feel sick before the halfway point and I encouraged her to keep going and to get over the halfway mark running. After that we did end up walking to drink and eat and take a break. It didn’t seem right to leave her especially if she were feeling dizzy and nauseous and I told myself over and over again…I wasn’t doing this for time and it didn’t matter. Well, my knee started feeling really tight and by the time she felt a little better, I was on the side wondering if I could even finish. My knee just gave out!!! She started to experience some muscle pain as well and we just kind of walked/jogged/limped our way to the end. My attitude was fine but I thought we could finish under and then wondered if that was possible anymore. I passed blind runners with guides…and then I passed a one legged veteren carrying an American flag with guide runners. That was moving. When I came up on a double amputee trying to finish I decided my knee pain wasn’t that bad and I could get through it. It’s all about perspective.

I came into town Friday night after going to Cora’s cross country meet in South Bend. Just before her meet started my car died. I had the battery on to charge my phone…and it killed my battery in less than 15 minutes. That didn’t seem right at all but either way…I wasn’t leaving that park til I got a jump. I found a lady (did I already talk about this?) with this battery thing that had mini clamps on it. I did not believe that little thing could jump a Toyota Highlander….but it did! I HAVE TO get one of those. All of us need them in our cars. Lifesavers! So her meet was small. Like less teams/runners/spectators than Hatchers last conference meet but thats good. You can see them and they can hear you cheer (although I was kind of withdrawn, unsure of what my role was there for Cora. She hasn’t run Cross since 7th grade!). It was a good place for her to be. There were fast runners but not epic fast runners and then there were average runners. Everyone could feel good about finishing and being there and being a part of it. Her meet before that was a hot 6k and she vomited 2x and so her goal this time (her words) was to not puke and feel good. She said…she may have felt a little too good at the end. But she didn’t puke! It was actaully good running weather and a fairly flat course although I was informed there was a hill in the woods. I let my car run the whole time I watched her…to charge it. We went from there to Moody to quickly change and then she lovingly and sweat-inly went with me (and guided me via public transportation) to my team dinner where we met with other Team Kidney runners. They were serving pasta that was pre-ordered and so Cora and I sat there pasta-less until some Gluten free bowls could be made up. We were so hungry and when we got the pasta…it was “el-dente”….or, not totally cooked. Bummer. After that, I pretty much collapsed in her dorm room in her bed. It was a little finicky to get a parking pass and a visitors pass but not too tricky. Aly and her friend eventually made their way there from Cornerstone and they stayed next door in Cora’s friend’s room. Saturday was for picking up packets with bibs and making sure the hotel reservation was all set and it had my friends names on it so they could check in if I wasn’t there. Aly went and ran with a running club in Chicago and met some famous runners (I have no idea who they were) and then she met up with us. I did a horrible job hydrating that morning and even eating. It was so stressful and bustlely. I just felt like I was getting to each event. I had one kid one place, one with me, once coming in on the train with friends and two more staying out of town and coming in for dinner. Phew. I can’t help but worry and wonder. We went to the Wheaton football game to watch Gio and his friends play but they were killing their opponents and so we left just after half time. We got back into the city in time to head over to the hotel and drop our stuff. I went and met up with Katie and Stacie and the kids went to Taco Bell. Gross I know, but Hatcher had his mind set on a crunchy taco and he was starving after his own meet that he PRed in! Our reservation came in early so I set out a group text to get their fannies to the restuarant so we didn’t lose our reservation. It’s like in movies (and an episode of New Girl) where they try to hold the table..insisting they had people coming. Yeah. We ate at the Grand Lux Cafe which I decided is my new favorite because the food was good and cheaper than the local burger joint where I don’t get a server! Dinner was good and we went back to the hotel but the kids (all of them) went to the beach and hung out for a while.

Sunday I got up early. Actually, Katie and Stacie got up even earlier to get out of the way. They went for coffee. They so kindly walked me down to my starting gate. It was COLD! They even took my junk back to the hotel so I didn’t have to gear check. Somewhere along the line they met up with all the kids and tried to catch up at mile 1 by Whole Foods, which is right by the hotel…but I missed them and they missed me. From there they had to foot it fastly to Moody and not everyone wore smart shoes :). I did see them there and it was really fun. Aly and Emma jumped in and ran the next 10 miles with us but after they jumped out …thats when it got hairy. Taleesh (my running partner) had family at mile 8 and then we have my crew at 12, then 17 and then her crew at 21. At mile 17 I had to change out my insoles..they were starting to rub! I remember China Town being a huge spectator spot with lots of noise and this time it was a little let down ish. Come on China Town. Step up! Where was the dancing dragon?? huh? Anyways….when I thought about that last mile and that I would see my friends and family…I got all choked up. I had to hold back tears while scanning the crowd for them. It helped to push us to that last turn where..I did see and hear Cora yelling..”go mom!” Oh my gosh. I lost it. I couldn’ t wave or smile…I just started crying. Not because it was a hard event (and it was) but because I was doing yet another big event without my husband and as crazy as he has always thought me to be to run marathons and such, he always supported me and showed up. In fact, he trained all the last long runs with me during my first marathon and we weren’t married yet, or even dating. So to be coming to the finish of another hard thing…I just felt really sad. The last .2 is up and then down to the finish and I started wheezing on the way up because my chest had gotten all tight. I had to calm down and finish. I hadn’t really breathed heavy through the whole thing and now I was stuggling to breathe. I turned to see my partner walking-I kind of yelled at her. “NO, you are not walking, the finish is right there! Let’s go! Come on!” and she picked right up. She’s tough. She’s military :). I said “see!, its right there!” as we turned and saw the glorious words F-I-N-I-S-H across the banner. That’s all she needed. I ate her dust after that. Arms up as you cross the mat…medal placed over your head…beer opened for you. (in 2010 this tasted disgusting and I threw it away..this time I thought it was awesome) We slowly walked to gear check, took our post race photo and I left to find my friends. They had their faces up to the fence like family waiting outside a prison gate! Katie was waving my discarded insoles. Hugs and photos and metal biting. We headed back to the hotel where there was a certificate for finishing (from the hotel) along with a cookie..but it was for a Brian??? We took the cookie though! My ever so thoughtful friends bought me a muscle soak and a face mask so I could relax after and that I did. Funny- I had a tan line where my shorts ended.

Post marathon food included burgers and fries! Eating at Chicago Burger is more expensive than the Grand Lux Cafe with great ambiance, service and food.. Hhhmm? We returned Cora and headed home. Aly said she would drive, just let me know. She snoozed HARD all the way home. 🙂

Would I run another? yep.


October 19th

Hatcher ran in his last conference cross meet yesterday…in the wind and rain and cold. It was true cross country weather! I posted about it..but I’ll do a recap right now. It was crappy weather…and the course was slippery and wet. Hatcher went out there and ran 10 places faster than he normally does for the conference, ran with only one shoe for the last 1k and then ran his fastest ever! It was really cool.

Today I worked hard to tape off every door and window in the apartment so I could spray the trim…only to have my spray gun not work. Also, Aly almost broke down on the highway…but puttered back to college safely, and Felicity had to take Kiyah to the doctor again. She is diagnosed with RSV. (sigh) These things are not happening TO me..but I get the phone calls so I’m involved and my emotions get involved and my opinion is asked and I’m glad I’m wanted..and people think I’m wise enough to ask, but man…seems like there is no break! Right?! Life keeps on cruising. I feel extra tired again! I finally forced myself to go to the grocery store but its so weird. I walk the isle and even though I make a list, I always leave missing stuff. I’m tired. So tired…and I find myself standing and staring but not really making decisions. I hate grocery shopping anyways but since I’m not being a very good Betty Crocker these days…making food and buying it seems so daunting. I’m so happy Aldi is coming to Fremont and I sure hope they deliver. It sounds like an easy task but lately…its just too hard. I also realize why people move to condos and such. There are so many leaves in my yard!! Wet ones..because it never stops raining!! Now, who is with me on that island in the caribbean?? The place in the Carribean where hurricanes don’t hit, of course.

So just to re-cap. I learned there is something called “color blind casting ” and I get it…but if you were to do a play on Helen Keller, for example, she should be a white…because she is white. It doesn’t seem right to have her be chinese…then black and then of Indian descent as an adult. I’m all about casting the best and I’m do not care about mixed relationships…but I do think you need to follow the story and I think you need to follow the era in which is happens. Do I sound terrible? Harriet Tubman should NOT be played by a white gal. I can be color blind..until I’m clueless as to what is happening. BUT the characters in the play had great voices!!

Aly has a meet this Saturday in Grand Rapids. I’m so excited!!

The kids hanging out.

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