Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Lump in My Throat

A good addendum to my previous post about my kids starting school and us having survived the summer would be THIS video.

Just saw it today and it is such a good memory to make memories and not just assume they will happen.

Of course it was produced by an advertising agency (those buggers). Speaking of which, have you seen the work my ad agency has put out lately? We are in the middle of building our new website, but our portfolio is up and you can see our latest work.

First Day!

 We made it. Through the summer that was absolutely incredible. We did a million-zillion things and now we are done. DONE-SKIS. We got to the first day of school and the kids are thrilled. Seriously. They love their teachers, their school, their friends. They have a zest for life that I really need to take ahold of. They love everything-except for maybe the things that I ask them to do. (story for another day) But here we are! School year 2013-14! 180 days until next summer. Let's do this!

Asher: 8 years old. 
Third Grade. 
Mrs. Gillespie and Mrs. Holly. 
He is in a new system of being team-taught. He is so excited about having two teachers this year and not just one. He has also applied to be a "library helper."  Fingers crossed! 

Lucy: 6 years old
1st Grade
Mrs. Barnwell.
Loves wearing earrings and bracelets. 
We had to get her a desk because she has so many on-going craft projects that they have been taking over our house. She also gets her own trash can for said craft projects. Sometimes called "crap projects" when they don't turn out so good. 

This was her heading into her classroom. One last look back at mom! Gah I love her. 

Asher right after he got off the bus. He had a great day. So did Mom. We all missed each other just the right amount!

The neighborhood clan that rides the bus! Love these kids! 

YAY for school! Love our teachers. Love our neighborhood. All is right in the world right now. :)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Training Update: Week 6

This was a legit week for training. I ran 38.1 miles and much of the week I had to work really hard to get those miles in. Matt was out of town at a YL camp so I had to reorder my day a few times, but managed to accomplish my goal by getting up at 5:30 in the morning twice this week and running during lunch once. 

These shoes are shot. I bought new shoes that I will break in starting Monday. Equipment shout out to Brooks shoes! Love these puppies! 

Yep. I ran 14 miles today. At mile 11, at the end of the 1658 foot hill--literally at the peak, a bee jumped on my ankle and stung me. It hurt like crazy! I poured a little water on it, stared in disbelief and then we went on. One of the ladies in the group suggested we find a plantain leaf and mastacate and place it on the sting. I loved that suggestion so much. It's the kind of thing that you will only hear in Asheville. Or in the middle of a heart thumping, brain-melting run. 

I ran more miles this week-FASTER! That means I'm getting so much stronger and feel awesome. This was a great week because I dialed back my effort but that somehow enabled me to run faster, easier. I'm learning!

We ran a huge amount of the Asheville 1/2 Marathon course today and it felt great. I was glad to get 14 miles in-its literally the farthest I've run in 13 years. Since my last marathon! 

Gear of the Week:
Brooks shoes. Love my Pure Cadences. These are my second pair. Just bough a new pair but trying out a pair of Brooks Pure Connects. We will see!

Hammer Gel: Espresso flavor
I took this about four miles into my 14 miler today and it was perfect. It has 50mg of caffeine and an easy flavor to take down. Not too sweet and not chalky. 

My bed: going to sleep early has been crucial this week. With school starting on Monday, fitting training runs into our lives is about to get real. 

Thanks as always for following along with the fun! 70 days until the marathon! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

One Week

We have one week left in summer. ONE WEEK.


One week ago we were the beach living it up in the 98 degree heat. This week, I am at work in 65 degree rain wearing a sweater. It is quite a pendulum swing!

But the beach was great. We played, we ran, we swam, we did the Harlem Shake. Oh yes we did.

Isn't that something?

on our way to the land of white beaches and emerald water! Also known as the Redneck Riviera!

We picked Lucy up early from her camp and got there three hours early. We were pumped! The hour time difference makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD! 

Lucy and her cousin Sarah got right down to business being best friends again. 

I had a huge task ahead of me the next morning. I ran 12 miles in 90+ degree heat. Thought I was going to die. Instead I was just gassed the rest of the trip. Good times. 

Played games to stay out of the mid-day sun. Hilarious!

Asher received a guitar for his birthday from his RiRi. The BackBeach Band was in full effect every night. 

You can't help but snuggle these cuties. 

These two were hilarious all week long. Ever been around a 10 year old and 8 year old boy? You need two things, a ball and swords. That's it. 

What happens at the beach house stays at the beach house. 

Sword fight with noodles.

Becomes a bigger sword fight with Matt. 

Becomes a MASSIVE sword fight with every kid in the house. 

I went to the store and Matt had draped his undies to dry on my car. Didn't know it until I came out of Publix. Living the redneck life for sure. 

Taking a moment to cool off in the doorway of Coldstone Creamery. Shortly after this we had to teach the kids how to sprint for a mile due to a downpour. 

This was our last morning there. It was so stinking beautiful! Isn't that always the way it is? The most amazing weather is on the day you leave? 

These boys are crazy together. I love them so much.

Not ready to leave the beach at all. 

It's true! I love Panama City Beach! 
We had a great vacation! So much so that we never even slowed down to 1) take a group picture or 2) just take a family picture. Huge regrets!

We had a great time and are counting down until we get another chance to go. It was the perfect way to wrap up our summer.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Week 5 Training Update

As I wrote earlier this week, the training got really tough this week. 

Pretty sure it was a combination of being on vacation at the beach + the extreme temperature shift from North Carolina to Florida + the realization that I have a little under three more months of this to go. It'll wear you down! AND the mileage was pretty tough this week. 

The training calendar looked like this:
 That's a 36 mile week.

It was no joke to get organized while on vacation, get up early cause it was hot and then manage this mileage. I was tired. Cranky and irrational. I'm glad for those around me being merciful.

 Overall you can see the leap in the mileage over the last month has just been incremental but this week was pretty big from last week to now.

And even in the last three months! That is pretty amazing for me to see. I thought I was running a lot in Colorado. Peanuts compared to now. 

 But it has been worth it! Check it out! I hit some personal bests this week!
Distance, Duration, Calories Burned, Elevation Climb for the workout and the week! That is really fun to see the results getting cranked out like that.

Saturdays run was a special one because I got to join back up with the running group. The ladies were only running 9 miles. But Amy Noll continued on with me for the additional 4 that I needed to complete my 13 miles for the training week. But within the training group was my good friend Natalie Knauer and my old roommate and teammate from soccer at South Carolina, Linda Greene. Linda was visiting from Dublin and is running a marathon there in October. She joined us for a couple of miles before driving back to catch her plane to Dublin. I was thrilled to run next to her again as we did 15 years ago on the pitch. It filled my heart up big time. 

I was battling this week with a bad blister on my toe, dehydration issues and exhaustion. But I made it! Exceeded my expectations really. 

Gear of the week:
ING NYC Virtual Trainer: This is a program put out by the marathon. It emails you the night before and tells you what the workout for the day is going to be. Then you log in and tell them how it went. 
I love this! 
I ran on Thursday and it gave me a target pace to slow me down. I ran faster than the target and it told me "You ran too fast. We know you think this is a good idea, but you have a long way to go until race day. Try to keep to pace and you will have plenty of energy."

I really appreciated that perspective and feedback. It is hard to adjust from running 10k's to marathon pace and you have to learn to go slower to build stamina.

Brooks Pure Cadence: My sweet shoes have had it. I got a blister this week. My arches started hurting during the long run. I think they've had it. I thought they were fairly new. But when I bought them the salesmen said they would last around 200 miles. I looked on runkeeper and I have far exceeded that mark. Time for new shoes. 

Here we go! Onto Week 6!

Here's the link to donate: 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Marathon as Metaphor

this was not the marathon. I don't have any pictures of that race because it was before digital photography.

I've run a marathon before.

People always ask me that. I ran the Country Music Marathon in Nashville one month before I got married to Matt.

I thought it would be good for me to run it and reflect on the life that I was going to live with my new husband and all the things that it would teach me would help me get ready to be a wife.

It taught me things.
But it didn't teach me how to be a wife.

It taught me that sometimes you run miles and it feels effortless, with laughter and energy. It's easy.

Sometimes you run miles with some friends. People around you who are running the same pace as you. You encourage one another. Keep each others spirits up when you are feeling a little low. You want to keep going just because they are there. Friends can make all the difference.

Some miles you are running well because you have some great cheerleaders. Someone thinks you are doing great, so you are! Someone is dancing near you and it lifts your spirit. Someone else is running well, so you are encouraged enough to go a little further. Encouragement by cheerleading. Some miles you just need someone cheering you on.

Some miles; the hardest miles--no amount of music, friends, water, food or cheering crowds will do a thing for you. You are cashed out. Exhausted by the fight. Frustrated. Tired. Beaten. Everything hurts. In the Nashville Marathon, a band started playing "Much Too Young To Feel This Damned Old" by Garth Brooks when I felt like that. I wanted to throw things at people around me who were still running easily, laughing and having no problems. It is so isolating.

I got a blister during the marathon. A small little one. It started about mile 13. No big deal. It hurt.
I made it to the end of the race. About a week later, it took over half my foot. I couldn't hardly walk. Sometimes it's the smallest things in our lives that end up hurting us the worst.

I laughed in the marathon because it was in Nashville and we ran down streets with A LOT of churches on them. One church had a sign that held a running verse on it:

"Run the race marked out for you with perseverance"

I loved that because I hated training for the race. I never picked out the routes so I never knew the turns, I never knew what mile we were on. It just seemed endlessly frustrating and mentally exhausting. Which it was! I was running lost so much of the time. That verse meant so much to me on race day because the work was done. I was simply running the race that was marked out for me. I didn't have to think. I just followed the route.

The same thing goes for Christ. It is SOOOO much easier to follow what He has marked out for me than just to go my own way. To just jet off the path is exhausting, frustrating and meant for getting lost.
Just follow the race marked out for me with perseverance.

I passed that sign and looked back at it. The sign said "Don't look back! Remember Lot's wife!"
That was huge for me.
Don't look back.
Keep looking forward.
You will finish this race. Good things lie ahead. The future is ahead. Keep going towards its.

Then when we rounded the corner towards Titans stadium, you could see all the fanfare and it literally looked like heaven.

I could STOP running the race when I hit the line. Just like when I get to heaven. I won't have to run this race anymore. I won't be worried! I'll be done!

As I was crossing the line, they yelled out my name "Leslie Lamb, Asheville, North Carolina!"
That is pretty much what I imagine they are going to do in heaven too.

Then a little girl walked up to me and put a medal around my neck and said, "Thank you for running this race."

I am pretty sure that is what is going to happen in heaven too.
But it'll be Jesus.

I can't wait.

I didn't learn a lot about marriage running the marathon, but I learned so many things about life.

This time around, I am using a training schedule and I am setting the plan.
It is no less exhausting.
I have a blister on my toe and I'm so mad at such a small thing.
The small things become big things.
Some miles are easy and some miles are really hard.
We all need people to cheer us on. Through them all.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Week 4 Training Update

I've made it a month! I can't believe I am one month down. Which means that the NYC Marathon is less than three months away!!! 

I had another absolutely huge week in fundraising: $1,135 in one week! That is crazy! I'm only $1675 away from my fundraising goal. It is so close I can taste it! 

And all of my supporters came in handy this week because--shooey--this week was when the real training kicked in!

Monday: 7 miles
Tuesday: 8 miles
Wednesday: 4 miles

Matt was out of town so my usual before work running schedule was not going to work so I had to run later in the heat of the day. My body did not like that. 

But it prepared for me my 12 mile run on Saturday in Florida. We are on vacation and it is 90 degrees at 8am. I got up to run at my usual 7am time, but I almost had heat stroke during this run. No joke. It was so hot. I had water but it was not getting it done. Asheville is about 67 degrees at 7am this was a 30 degree difference and it made me ill.

But it was pretty! And I got it done. In not terrible time. This was a tough week. Upping the mileage. 

And I hit some more personal bests!
Little recovery and heat. But I ran 31 miles for the week which was a solid increase over last week and I feel great about that.

This upcoming week has some tough days since we are still in Florida and we are going to be traveling so we will so how it goes! 

Gear of the week:
Peanut butter

I'm working hard to recover, so I need all the help I can get right now! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sharing in Hope

I can not believe it!

You--MY PEOPLE--helped me to leapfrog the $2000 fundraising in just two days and now we are onto $3000! It is crazy!

The person who donated $110 to push me into the $3000 category is a friend that I met through my friend Amy Patwa. Her memory is who I am running for.

Because of her I found out about Inheritance of Hope. She is basically the whole reason I am passionate about fundraising for Inheritance of Hope, so that another family can have an experience like hers.

This is Amy:
Isn't she just beautiful? 

My friend Stephanie's donation sent me to Amy's facebook page, which then sent me to her blog and then I found myself blubbering like a baby all because I was just so sad that she was gone. 

On her blog she last wrote about her 6th wedding anniversary, the 32nd month of her daughter and then the family's trip with Inheritance of Hope to the Magic Kingdom. 
And it is just beautiful to read. 
It makes you want to volunteer, give money, become a counselor-do whatever it takes because you realize these families have so little time. 

Amy, Adam and Charis when to the Magic Kingdom in May and by August she couldn't walk anymore. 

Christmas she was in the hospital. 
New Years passing away. 

This May, Mother's Day passed and they had no Amy to celebrate with. 
How does that happen? How does life pass so quickly?

Here is a small snapshot of what Inheritance of Hope does while on a retreat from Amy's blog:

"each volunteer then brought their family a photo album they made.  they didn't just throw some pictures in a book.  although, if they had i would not complain.  it was a scrapbook with paper and scripture and pictures.  in 20 pictures it told the story of our two previous days.  i totally cried.  see, i knew jessica was taking pictures and we'd get them.  but i was thinking we'd get a disc.  i had no idea we'd get hard copies of pictures.  i would have gotten the disc, uploaded them and that would have been it.  instead, i have a fun scrapbook album plus about 40 other pictures i put in another album.  i miss pictures.  and now we can look through our albums any time.  it was such a gift. "

I lament all the time that I never print pictures anymore and make photo books. 
These families don't have anymore time than me. They are SICK. 
Inheritance of Hope gives them this gift! 

Their kids can hang onto it for the rest of their lives. This is just one small example. 
They send them on dates, make Legacy videos as a family, do a million little things in one small week, that turns out to be a REALLY big week when you think how quickly time gets away from you. 

I am astounded at the response so far in the fundraising. 
I can't believe that we are in the $3000's.
 It is definitely motivating me to run. 
No problem. 
I can do it because others can't. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Week 3: Killing It.

This was a  serious record setting week. I raised $1000 this week to push my fundraising efforts over $2000! I've dropped my average running pace down and lifted my mileage! I don't know why it shows my average pace being fastest this week and it's not highlighted. Irks me a little cause I worked really hard for that 8:30 average. But I finished off July having run 85.3 miles. I can't wait to see the next few months stack up!

Inheritance of Hope also gave us access to the official New York Road Runners Training Plan for the NYC Marathon and so I've switched my training schedule which threw me off a little this week. Instead of running 30 miles, I was supposed to run 28 again. I met in the middle and ran 28.7. So just a little bit more than last week, but not much.

There were some hard things this week, I am back to work to trying to squeeze in workouts at the end of the day or at the very beginning of the day (6am) is a good wake-up call on how hard this is going to get when the kids are back in school.

I just completed the long run this morning, but my running group is all training for a 1/2 marathon while I am training for the full. So I had to tack on an extra three miles. Around the 9 mile mark, I was feeling super low on sugars. Thankfully I had packed a goo and choked down a double espresso goo shot. Tasted nasty initially but I felt so amazing about 30 seconds later. It made me a believer! I won't try a long run without one again.

Gear of the Week:
Nuun Electrolyte Tablets--I had a rough hot August day run on Thursday. I needed to rehydrate and these guys got me back up to speed quickly. I wouldn't have had any except for...
Stridebox: Monthly subscription service that sends you fun running samples. Running has so few "accessories" but electrolyte tablets, goo, fun socks, handheld waterbottles. For $15/month they send you a box full of that stuff and you get to try them out. I love it because it means I have new things to try out all the time. And I don't have to go to a running store on the Friday before my long run days. 
Lululemon: I love my Lululemon gear. I can't really even get into it. But it just works. It fits. It doesn't stink. It wicks away moisture so quickly its ridiculous. It is super expensive. Like the most expensive clothing in my whole closet. No joke. But...I wear my running pants more than any dress ever so maybe it's worth it? I say yes. I only have two pair of pants, so I just alternate. But if you get a chance, I would buy some as soon as you can save your pennies. It'll change your life. 
Is that an endorsement or what? 

Now this is big time. I have $400 to go until I am half-way in my fundraising efforts. 
Who is going to be on my first-half team? 
I need 10 people to give $50 to put me over 1/2 way. 
Are you one of the 10? 

Let's get this done! 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The $2k Mark!

I've officially hit the $2000 mark in my fundraising efforts! I am just over $400 short of being half way to my goal. I am so pumped and so grateful. I raised $950 THIS WEEK!

When I was thinking about doing the NYC Marathon and considering being a charity runner, I felt a huge weight on my shoulders.

Matt (my husband) works for Young Life and it is a charity. We ask for donations for a significant portion of the year for the services that ministry provides to Asheville Young Life. It is no small task for me to step away from a ministry that I believe so deeply in and spend so much of my time and energy devoted to high school students to then ask my friends and family to believe in this other organization as well.

AND I didn't want to do it. It is MUCH easier to simply run a race. Not raise money. Just get pay your money. Race. Do nothing for anyone else. I was about to enter the lottery for the NYC Marathon to do just that and hope against hope that I got in.

But then this word was given to me:
Hebrews 13:16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. 

And it was shown to me that this was an incredible opportunity--not for the families that will benefit from the money raised, but for the community around me to watch this happen. To watch money get raised. To see this process. To watch me struggle and strive for a goal that is WELL beyond my capabilities. At the same time that I am trying to raise $5,000--Asheville Young Life has a goal of raising $5,000 that will be MATCHED if people who have never donated to Asheville Young Life donate to them. 

Crazy right? But here I am. Working away. Pining away to see money come in and meet my goal that is a sacrifice for you and for me to work towards. 

But then we will get to see this at the end: