......revelations of one woman's reality of life, love, and all things hopeful...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oh! My bones!!!

It's Monday morning. I think maybe I'm about to OD on ibuprofen because I feel like I've been hit by an 18-wheeler. I hear the bathtub full of Epsom Salt calling my name, so I've gotta make this quick ya'll...

Ok, here's the low-down on the race weekend....
I left for Nashville Friday morning, stopping in South Pittsburg, TN to meet up with my friends Miriam and Nicole (both former coworkers, physical therapists). This is the farm where they have a therapeutic horseback riding program in the summer for handicapped children. Neat, huh?

This is Miriam with one of her many horses...

We finally made it to Nashville around 2p.m. where we headed straight for the Nashville Convention Center where I was to pick up my registration materials. They had the registration process flowing like clockwork, so that was really fast. Next we went through the "Expo"...vendors were set up to advertise and sell their products. I spent some money...hat and sunglasses (which came in handy for the race) and guess what else...yep, you guessed it! A little purse. I need a new purse...

Oh, I forgot to mention...just so you know, it cost us $12 to park at the expo. And yes, we still had to walk a little piece to get there. Gee-wiz!

We left the expo and decided to eat supper before checking in to our hotel. We at at Applebee's. I had a difficult time finding something on the menu that had a moderate amount of protein and carbs without too much grease or too much fiber (ahem, prevention of any possible stomach problems on race day...). I ordered the chicken fajita roll-ups with a baked potato.

Finished supper....off to find the Music City Sheraton. We drove and drove. We suspected Jerry had given us wrong directions to our hotel...called the hotel...and guess what....yep, you guessed it again....Jerry gave us wrong directions...bless his heart.

Finally made it to the hotel.

Here's me modeling my new hat and glasses while Nicole fixed my time-tracker-thing onto my shoes...will get to that in a minute...

The little orange sticker on my shoe is what they used to track your time. It has a little metal sensor inside of it. It marks your time at the start line, 5K, 10K, 10 miles I think, and finally at the finish line. You can see my race number 31176. I believe there were more than 32,000 participants in the race.

I got out of bed at 4 a.m. on Saturday after a night of tossing and turning. Got ready. Miriam and Nicole drove me over to the Opryland Hotel where I met up with friends Jerry and Shelly. I had purchased a ticket at the Expo to ride the shuttle from Opryland to the start line. When I was sitting on the bus at 5:15 a.m. and noticed the temperature was already 68 degrees, I knew it was going to be a long, hot day. I was a little nervous, a little excited. Just tried to sit there and remain calm.

Here is Shelly, Jerry, and me outside of the Opryland hotel about to board the shuttle. Shelly lives in Bridgeport. Jerry lives in Rainsville.
We got off the bus at the start line. Don't ask me where the start line was. I have no clue.

Made the trek up to the starting area. Visited the porta-potty. Long lines at all porta-potties. Long lines. Already stinky at 6a.m.

Visited with Jerry and Shelly for a little while. Watch all the people. Whole lotta people. All shapes and sizes of people. All ages. Did I mention there were a lotta people???

We said our goodbyes and headed for our corrals (roped off areas with assigned numbers). They were in 13, I was in 31. Corrals were based up the predicted finish time that you wrote down on your registration. Thus, the longer the time, the higher the corral. There were 32 corrals in all. I had predicted my finish time to be 3 hours 45 minutes.

The race started with wheel chair racers, elite women, and elite men (they started before 7 a.m. I think). I could not see nor hear the start of these races, but Miriam took some excellent pics for me. I would like to share them with you...

Intense, right?
Corrals were released about every 2 minutes. As one corral crossed the start line, all the others moved forward toward the start. My corral was finally released about 8:10 a.m.

The race was on. And it went on. And on. And on.
...and on...
And it was hot.
About mile 2, there was an incline as the racers say. In my dictionary, it's called a "big hill". In fact, the big hill was about 1 mile long. My tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth. Just before mile 3 my heel began to sting and burn like crazy.
I prayed.

Lord, please let the lortab kick in. Please let the lortab kick in. Please let the lortab kick in.

I was afraid that I wasn't going to make it.

The lortab kicked in. Thank you, Jesus. My feet never gave me any more trouble.

I paced myself with the hoola-hoopers. Yes, that's right. Hoola-hoopers.

There were a group of about 20 or so ladies (looked like college-age girls) who hoola-hooped and walked at the same time. They were just ahead of me. Surely, I thought, I can keep up with the hoola-hoopers.

I did keep up with them. For about 5 miles. Then they were gone. They were hoola-hoopin' it on down the line, I tell ya!
I don't remember a whole lot about the actual route, to be honest. The main points were...it was hot. Really hot. It was very hilly. Really hilly. They had water and sorts drink stops about every mile or so, but I was really thirsty most of the time.
I talked to a few people along the way. One was a lady who was about to graduate with her doctorate in nursing. It was her first half-marathon too.

I talked to a lady named Annie. Her real name was Amelia Ann, but in the past few years people had started calling her Annie. She was 77 years old and from California. She had 6 children. Some of her children were running both the half- and full marathons. She was really nice. This was her second half-marathon.
At some point along the way...maybe mile 9...I was just soooo mad. Why on earth did I pay to do this? It hurt sooo bad! My legs and hips and shoulders! I was holding ice on my neck and shoulders because the muscles were cramping up. Ug! I was just soooo mad!
Then I got over it.

I just had to think....It's just walking. Just walk. One step at a time. I am not going to die. And if I do die I will get to see Jesus and my mother. But I'm not going to die. Just get finished.

Mile 10. Only 3.1 to go.
Will we ever see 11? Yes, we did.
Mile 12. Will we ever see 13?

It took a while to get there, but we did.

Mile 13. The finish line must be just around the corner.

Made it around the corner...

No finish line. UGH!!! It's gotta be here somewhere!

Then I hear Nicole calling out to me. She's about 10 yards ahead on the sidewalk. Keep going! Keep going! The finish line is just around the next corner!!!

When I got to Nicole, I took off the elastic belt/pouch thing I was wearing to hold my phone and other essentials, and I handed it off to her. That thing felt like it was smothering me!

I finally turned the last curve, and there it was! About 50 yards away. Miriam jumped out in the road and started taking pictures. I jogged the last little stretch, giving fake smiles to the race photographers at the finish line.

I don't suppose the smiles were completely fake. I was thrilled to have finished the race and proud of myself. But boy oh boy was I tired!

I got the finisher's medal. I took me 4 hours and 26 minutes.

But I finished.

And not last.
Here's me approaching the finish line and getting the medal.
By the way, the finish line was at the stadium where the Tennessee Titan play.
Walked on to the refreshment area. Found a shade tree and got under it.

Drank some water. And some more water. Ate a bagel. And and oreo cookie.
Started the trek to the car. Here is Miriam, Nicole and me on the walking bridge over the Tennesse River. It was so windy, we had to hold on to our caps.

Stopped somewhere at a Longhorn Steakhouse and had the yummiest salad, steak, and baked potato. We also ordered a dessert with 3 forks. CHOCOLATE!!!!! I think I had burned off the calories. I brought more than half of the steak and potato home with me and finished it off Saturday night.
Look at this...
Will I do it again? We'll see...
Ok, that took longer than I meant for it to. Now where's that Epsom salt...

Thursday, April 23, 2009


The anxious tears and nervous "what-if's" have come and gone. The "i'm getting a little bit excited fluttering belly butterflies" are here. Yes, the big event is less than 48 hours away, and I am actually looking forward to it.

As for a heel update, I did go to the doctor. I do have what I suspected which is plantar fasciitis and a heel spur. The doc said to walk the long distance would do no harm but would only make me miserable. This week, however, my heel has felt progressively better every day, so maybe by Saturday it will be in good shape. Of course the lortab 5 prescribed to me for race day should come in handy if I need it!

A special "thank you" is in order for those of you who offered up prayers for my heel and my anxiety! I so appreciate it. More importantly, however, is a most grateful "thank You" which is in order for the Hearer of your prayers! Amen and Amen!

The race is set to begin at 7 am CST on Saturday. They release the first corral of runners at 7 am and continue to release each consecutive corral every 1.5 to 2 minutes. I figure I will be starting around 8 am as I am in corral 35. I don't know exactly how it will work, but for any friends and family who wish to do so, there is a live webcast of the race (maybe the finish line) HERE. My race number is 31176.

Can you believe that? There are more than 31,000 participants in this event! Whoa!

This will be my last post until at least Monday, but I will try to send important updates to Twitter (I feel so cool...Twitter...HA!). You can read my Twitter updates at the top right of my blog if you want!

Wish me luck!

I just want to finish.

Not last.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Some of you have emailed me asking about little baby Stellan who I mentioned in an earlier post. In case you don't remember, he is the little fellow I requested prayer for...I've been reading his Mom's blog for several months (I don't know this family...just read the blog). He had a "fatal" heart condition while in the womb, but was born with no apparent signs of heart problems. Now he is about 5 months old and the problems have reappeared. Now, he has been transferred to a hospital in Boston. He was scheduled to have a risky heart surgery tomorrow morning, but I just read his Mom's blog, and it seems they may do the surgery tonight.

Go ahead and save THIS website in your favorites...she updates daily, sometimes multiple times per day. I promise you will get attached to this family, and from reading her blog, I know they covet your prayers....

Saturday, April 18, 2009

This is one of those posts.

It's one of those posts that cause me to feel sorry for you, the reader. Seriously. It's hard for me to believe you would spend your time reading my ramblings. Don't misunderstand....I'm thankful that you do...but it beats the "heck-far" out of me as to why you keep coming back.

I suppose that's the good thing about a blog (which is short for "web log", just in case you ever wondered!)- the blogger can write and ramble all she wants, and people can read as much or as little as they choose to read. The blogger can use proper grammar if she chooses, or she can write like there ain't no such thang as good English. The blogger can be as transparent as she wants to be. She can even go back and delete the post if she regrets ever putting it out there.

Anyway...back to my thoughts for today...

I don't know why I'm making this such a big deal. The race, that is. And my heel.

I've encountered greater stressors than this race and an aching heel. For example, one time I was walking my faithful friend Barclay in my neighborhood when I lived in Scottsboro, when suddenly a big, mean, yellow dog came running out of nowhere and started attacking my Barclay. I thought my heart would surely stop. I'm terrified of big, mean yellow dogs, and I was afraid he would kill Barclay then start on me. Somehow, I scraped up the courage, rared back, and kicked that hateful dog in the ribs with as much strength as I could muster. My Number 9 did the trick. Big mean yellow dog went on his merry way.

Yes, I've had a few stressors. I broke up a cat-fight here at TWH not too long ago. I'll spare you the details, but imagine the craziest Jerry Springer episode possible. Jerry Springer has professional bouncers with big muscles to handle such situations (not that I watch the show or anything, I just notice occasionally as I surf the channels...ahem, ahem...). I'm working out at the gym now and all, but I ain't got no big arm muscles. Nevertheless, I came through the stress just fine I suppose.

Stressor: Doc calls the house and says "Is there someone there with you? I need to talk to you."

There have been other stressors that I don't even care to write about tonight. I try to think "If I can make it through that, then I surely can make it through this race, for Heaven's sake."

It's like I'm really, really scared, but I don't really know why I am scared. I looked at some race videos on youtube tonight, and guess what...Yep! You guessed it! I started crying!!!



For real?


Yes, the tears-running-down-my-face kind of crying where you get that funny feeling in your nose right before it starts.

Gimme a break!

What am I so afraid of with this dumb race?

Afraid of the pain?
Afraid that I've not trained enough, especially here at the end?
Afraid of the hills on the course?
Afraid of not finishing?
Afraid of finishing last?
Afraid of disappointing someone if the Doc tells me to stay home? (Got a doc's appointment Wed about this heel problem).

How negative my thinking is.

Sounds like that familiar sin-problem of pride to me. Like...

...I shouldn't have to experience pain...
...I shouldn't have to work so hard for so long to get ready for a single event...
...I'm too good to be last...
...I'm too good to let him think bad of me...

Ugh. How irrational!

This is what I must remember (this is in the good ole KJV, which is handy here on my desk, but I know that I like the NIV better...):

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for our weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (II Corintians 10:4-5)

These irrational fears (what if I finish last....what if I disappoint someone...what if...what if...what if...) are strong holds in my mind. They are taking the focus away from Christ and His control of my life.

What then, is my weapon? It's bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

Here are the truths which can combat the irrational fears that are taking root in my mind and heart...
  • When I humble myself under His almighty hand, in due time He will lift me up. (Be gone, pride!)
  • Apart from Him, I can do nothing. With Him, all things are possible. (Be gone, fear of failure!)
  • He has loved me with an everlasting love! Only His opinion matters! (Be gone, fear of disappointing others!)

If I participate, I participate. If I don't, I don't. All I know to do right now is listen to the doctor.

And if I do participate (which I'm thinking I will...)

...If I finish, I finish. If I don't, I don't.

If I finish last. So what?


I feel better now.

Goodnight everyone.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Empty Nest

My little baby birds flew away today.
Erica and baby Aubriana moved today to be near the baby's family. I miss them already. That just goes with the territory, I suppose.
Erica has already sent text messages to keep me posted. They got there safely and all is good.
Yes, they were our only residents here at TWH, so that means I am alone in this big ole house. I plan to use this time without girls to have a deep Spring cleaning.
Barclay and Gilbert are begging to come in and sleep with me so I won't get lonely.
I told them no.
Goodnight, everybody!

Monday, April 13, 2009

My heel hurts.....

...and its 12 days before my "big race" in Nashville. 13.1 miles, I believe it is.

My heel hurts pretty bad. Remember...I was in the band. I'm a musician. I've never been an athlete, so I'm not used to this sort of thing...pain. Ugh!

It seems that I've got myself a good case of plantar fasciitis. That's the big word for "my heel hurts because I've been putting a lot of weight and pressure on it." To treat this plantar fasciitis, I've been stretching it, and icing it, and resting it. I've swallowed more ibuprophen than I know.


I'm asking all my peeps out there the say a prayer for my heel when you pray. I really, really, really want to do this race and finish!

***04/14 Update...my heel has felt a little better today. Please keep praying! I'm shooting for a good long walk in the morning- the last long walk before the race! Nite!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

an Easter baptism...

We had a baptism service this Easter afternoon for my friend Garry. It was a beautiful and most appropriate day for the baptism!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

the Hope in Easter

"Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:1-3

Fat Albert Easter!

Do they make cartoons like this anymore?

I think somebody could make a Sunday school lesson out of this one! Can you see sin, forgiveness, and redemption?

Wow, Bill!

Good job!

Baby BamaSlammer!

I have a good friend named BamaSlammer (a.k.a. "Shay") who lives somewhere in south Georgia. She is home in Alabama for Easter and to introduce her new little Baby BamaSlammer (a.k.a. "Ava Kate").

I had the best time today visiting with BamaSlammer and baby. Thought I would share some baby pics, but I promised Mommy that her image would not be posted!

What a cutie! She's a little Tweety Bird with her great big eyes!!!
I Love You, Baby BamaSlammer!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009


...somehow "good" doesn't seem adequate for a Friday like this. It just seems sort of plain to me...."good".

This day memorializes a most special day.

A pivotal day for all mankind.

A very dark day.

A day of grieving in Heaven.

On this day we remember a crossroads of sorts where the justice of God intersected with the sinfulness of man, the sinfulness of me.

On a cross.

Instead of me.

It's breathtaking.

It's numbing.

But good? I just think there should be a better, more descriptive word for this Friday.

...oh yes, I remember now...

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord."

Jesus seemed to like the term "good".

"I am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep....I am the Good Shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine...I lay down my life for the sheep."

He is Good.

Oh, thank you Jesus.

Yes, oh yes, You are good.

And I...

I am not.

Only grateful.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Icing of the Tulips

I heard talk of snow.
I didn't listen.
I didn't buy milk.
I woke up surprised.
I hope the pretty tulips pull through.
April 7.
In the Deep South.
Global warming?