Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Finish Line

I'll start off by telling you, if you haven't already seen my Twitter and Facebook updates, that I finished. All 13 miles or 21.1km of it.


Now, because I am real or a pessimist, whatever, I must tell you the truth. It hurt. There was a wall. I hit it wall with all the power of hurricane force winds (I may still have bruises). I'll get to that though.

Things started off great, Oh Canada was sung and off we went. Me and about 500 of my closest friends and by close I am talking proximity, not relationship. Jay caught me just a few hundred feet into the race:

I am in the blue shirt on the left.

Then I went by my parents, the boys and Jay (he's fast, wait a minute, maybe he should have been racing) as we headed out onto the first loop.

Pacing yourself is hard especially when it seems like that means everyone is passing you. I know the biggest mistake you can make in a race is to start out too fast resulting in a crash and burn before the finish line. But by about the 2km mark I felt like I was running my pace. I was comfortable, not quite in my groove but just above it. It is a race after all. A race against myself primarily but a race none the less.

I did the 7 km of the first loop and as I started the second there was my family, smiling and waving. What a boost that was! On the second loop I was feeling good. I even grabbed a Gatorade to wet my mouth and kept on trucking. As I came around to do the third, and final loop, I couldn't see my family. Thinking they had missed me I kept trudging but willing them to be further along. I needed a boost to finish.

As I passed the crowd I saw the van. There they were. Whew! The boys came running up. I was good to go! Only about 6.5km to go. Can you tell? Little did I know this feeling would not last.

I lasted with this feeling about 20 more minutes but as I hit the final 5km I accidentally walked 2 min earlier than I was supposed to (I was running 10 minutes walking 1 the whole race). I wasn't tired, I just forgot the time I was supposed to walk. Oops I said to myself, whatever, walk, rest and keep going.

I don't think I lasted through the next 10 minute interval. I couldn't do it. By this point my legs were tired. So tired. I was willing them to keep going. Digging my nails into my hands just to forget about the pain in my legs. At that point I realized I had to listen to my body. I have run through pain before when my knee was bugging me, this was different. This was exhaustion kicking in. But I was finishing if I had to cross the finish line on my knees (and it was starting to feel like that was a distinct possibility).

The last 2km were by far the hardest. That is where I smacked into that wall. Hard. I could see it coming. I tried to avoid it. But the truth was that I couldn't. What I had to do is plow through it. Though I bounced off it a couple times first, I can assure you.

The last 2 km I walked when I absolutely could run no more. No more timing. I ran when I felt I could and walked when I had to. I just did what I could. I tried to run the last full km but ended up walking once. Thank goodness for the last water handers (amazingly encouraging people all the way along! Love them!) on the final corner. They got me to the finish line. That and seeing my family just feet from the finish line.

I am smiling. I made it. Steps to the finish line. I can see the time on the clock. 2 hours 22 min and some seconds. My goal, based on my training times was to be under 2 hours 30 min. I met it and then some! I did it! As I left the finish area there was my good friend, Cathy to greet me. A friendly smiling face, what more could I ask for?

2 hours, 22 minute and 9 seconds was my official time. See that black band on my left ankle. That's my timing chip. This is how they accurately time each individual when there are 500 people running. It activates as you cross the start line and then deactivates when you cross the finish. This was the first time I have run in any race, boy do I know how to start out with a bang eh?

They do stats for overall race results and by age category, posted on the internet. Those were slightly depressing for me so I am going to forget about them.

I did it! I ran 13 miles and didn't collapse. I didn't quit. I did as much as my body was able. What an accomplishment to make just 11 days before I turn 35 years old.

And with these two handsome gents waiting for me at the finish (doesn't Kamden look thrilled...about the picture hopefully, not the fact that his mommy finished) how could I not finish?

Kamden said to me as we were getting home, "Mommy, you did awesome." Well if my heart just didn't melt right then and there.

And my handsome Jay was waiting for me at the finish holding these! Can I get an AWWWWWWWW?

Thank you Mom and Dad for making the trip out to cheer me on, it meant more than you will ever know. To Jay, for supporting me through this entire process, you are the absolute best.

And thank you all for your support as I have chronicled this journey here. The comments here and encouragement from my friends and family made a huge difference. Your words kept me going when my body really wanted to quit.

My pain is temporary. I will recover (I hope!). Because this race was not a fundraiser where I solicited donations for a good cause, I am going to make a personal $100 dollar donation to our local Mother Baby Unit in honour of Misty and her precious Issac.

I figure it is the least I can do.


Friday, April 24, 2009

This is it!

THANK YOU! The comment record went down, thank you for indulging me! Now? On to bigger and more important things than my blogging ego.

This Sunday.

My iPod
My running shoes
And 13 miles

This one is for you, Misty and your beautiful family. May there be a finish line to your grieving process and a new kind of normal for you all.


Monday, April 20, 2009

What do you call 'em?

I have noticed lately that the stats on my site are up as are the number of subscribers, as in they recently doubled. Huh? Cool. But, um, comments not so much.

I think maybe I haven't been writing about topics that are getting people talking. It's either that or you don't really like me anymore. I am an optimist, I am hoping it's the former, not the latter. So today, I am going to get you talking. That's right folks. Get your fingers ready, you are going to want to weigh in on this very important issue.

I have been doing this blogging thing for more three years, I totally flaked and missed my blogaversary, it was in March. And my 5ooth post is just around the corner.

Blogging is really fun hobby and has allowed me to spread my opinionated wings. But the best part of it all, well aside from sharing my life with family and friends, and you know, the internet, has been the love and support of my very loyal commenters. Thank you to each and every one of you. Many of you have become friends, this whole internet thing, it's pretty cool.

But I know there are many that read this and never comment. Today is your day. Come out and let me know you are reading this. I promise to welcome you with open arms. Say hi just this once. Or email. Or mention it in a conversation. The comments let me know there are people out there reading this and if the comments wane or stop, them maybe I should stop blathering on. I can take a hint. Really I can.

Actually I probably wouldn't stop but I would get mean and angry. Don't make put on my angry eyes.

Instead, let's get talking about underwear.

That's right. I said underwear. My husband, Jay, has very strong opinions on what names we cannot use for unmentionables. He is not strongly opinionated on much so we let him have his reign of dictatorship over the names of our undies.

Not allowed to be uttered, even under your breath, in the Khlopchyk house are the following:

- gotch
- gotchies
- gitch
- gitchies
- panties
-and my personal all time fave, under-gotchies

There are many names for that which we wear under our clothes. In our house, they are known as underwear. For the boys and for me, they are all underwear. Boring, maybe. But can you really say gotchies and keep a straight face? I'll be honest. I'd have a hard time taking you seriously if you use the word gotchies in a sentence. I mean no offense, it's just that Jay's dictatorship has brain washed me. Blame him.

So in anticipation of my upcoming 500th post, let's break my comment record! So far it stands at 29, when Jack had his eye surgery. Let's break it!

Tell me what you call 'em! Really, I want to know even if it's on the banned list. I won't judge you, I promise.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Random Photo Post

The Easter bunny was here!
Jack and Jessie, chillaxing on the couch. Shhh, don't tell Grandma Jess was on the couch.

Yes, Jessie is cute Jack, I agree, but no, you aren't getting a cat. A-CHOOOOOO!

Some downtime from the Easter hubbub at G and P's

I also have a post up at Canada Moms Blog about what kids want. According to Kamden, it's NOT having his picture taken while he chills with his bro in Pop's recliner.

And please, no autographs either.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Perks of Motherhood

I was tagged by Angella last week to participate in a meme that was started by HerBadMother (aka Catherine).

Here’s the deal:

Her Bad Mother’s post is the departure lounge, "I'm going to link to a couple of other mom bloggers here in Canada, and to a couple of mom bloggers from other countries around the world, and they’ll write their posts, sharing 5 things that they love (or maybe what they don’t so much love - this playground doesn’t force conformity) about being a mom, and then they’ll tag a few more bloggers from their own country and from other countries, and so on. And you’re more than welcome to join: just write a post of your own (5 things that you love about being a mom) and find someone to link to and tag - someone from your own country, if you like, but definitely someone from another country (Google is a good resource if you don’t know any; Google any country name and ‘mom’ in their blog search function) (be sure to let them know that you’ve tagged them!) - and link back here and leave a comment and we’ll add you to the ‘itinerary,’ which David will compile and post and update as the tour proceeds.”

I think you all know that I love being a mom, that’s nothing new. But as the kids change and grow, I think the specific things I love change too. So here we go, hopefully I can be original, there have been many, many posts about this done already. Without further ado, here is what makes my heart smile on a daily basis.

1. I adore making my kids laugh. You know, really laugh, those deep belly giggles, the ones where they get the hiccups after. I LOVE that (not the hiccups, the belly laughs). The part hasn’t changed yet, from the day they could first laugh to now, belly laughs make my heart sing.

2. I have loved watching them achieve each new milestone in their lives, the first step, the first word, the first ride on their bike without training wheels. Each one is momentous, each one makes my heart swell with pride at what they can and will achieve in their lives.

3. The bond that has developed between my boys has been by far, one of the most enjoyable aspects to watch as they grow up. They play for hours upon hours without killing each other, which I personally, think is a miracle straight from the big man upstairs himself. Even more importantly, they seem to actually enjoy playing together. Sometimes I pinch myself just to make sure I am not dreaming. This week, for example, Jack is off school for Easter break add that to the fact that crusty old man winter seems to have finally packed his smelly bags and headed elsewhere, I have barely seen them. The sandbox is open and their imaginations are soaring. Together. It just plain and simply warms my heart.

4. Their unquenchable thirst for knowledge is so much fun. Jack especially, has a need to know more about just about anything and I, as a self proclaimed know it all, like to share my vast knowledge of all topics. Thankfully we also frequent the local library and supplement with actual facts. Their memories and what they can comprehend amazes me daily and makes me look forward to the future men they will become.

5. But the most important reason I love being a mommy, is that life is so much fuller, has so much more meaning because I am a mom. My boys, they are my reason for being. While I understand why some people choose not to have kids, for me, that was never a choice. I live to be a mother. Now if I could just live up to my expectations on being a good mother... but that’s another post altogether.

And by permission I am tagging the following:

Stacie, BeachMama and Cheryl, Kami and Amy and if you want to play, please do!


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Back in '99

In honour of SuperMommy’sWedding Carnival. I am inviting you to our wedding! I saw you roll your eyes, don't make me come over there.

Almost 10 years ago, a girl named Kami and a boy named Jay finally, after almost 5 years of dating, got hitched. On the way to the church I was peaceful. Ready to take this big leap into married life. Jenelle (left) and Michelle (right) are just waiting for the drinks and dancing to begin. Can you blame them? So far the day has consisted of getting up way too early and getting hair and make up done. When is the fun going to start already?

Well what about the fun we had last night? Remember that? You know, my 25th birthday/rehearsal party? My soon to be dear husband didn't want my momentous birthday to be forgotten. And the best way to make sure of that was, of course, to hire a singing cowboy. Yes, that's right folks, I said, a singing cowboy. Because a cowboy on his own is not all that memorable, most likely better looking, but not nearly as memorable.

See my almost dear hubby trying to ensure he doesn't steal the limelight from me? He's great like that. How did I get him back? Well I tried to stab him in the cheek with my fork at dinner, how else?
Actually, he might have got me too. We were ready to be married, we had the bickering down pat from day one. Score one for us.

After we said I do, we walked up the isle. I don't think I was forced to kick my hoop out of the way that time, going down the isle, well that was another story. Nothing a quick hoof didn't fix. It was that or fall flat on my face. I never said I was graceful.

Don't I look elated? Um Jay, could you not start asking where the beer is already, we haven't even made it out of the church yet. Sheesh.

On second thought, you better get one each to your parents, stat! They are mortified by what has just occurred. He married THAT? What has he done?

Oh boy, they are dropping like flies. My parents don't look any too impressed either. Beers all around! That should solve that issue. Stat.

The flower girls (maid of honour, center, Cathy) seem to have this drinking thing down pat. They are smiling on the outside, on the inside? Bored to tears. How many photo shoots do they have planned? Hand me another cooler, stat!

And of course to top off the night, there was the traditional throwing of the bouquet - it was completely destroyed, apparently there were some desparate single women in the crowd. No pictures to protect the innocent. Or guilty. Whatever.

Last but not least, the the throwing of the garter. Maybe this is a Canadian thing but the groom is not allowed to use his hands to remove the garter.

I am pretty sure he licked my leg. My consolation, mouthful of nylons.

Wedded bliss, what a way to get started.

(if you want to read some likely less sarcastic posts about me and mine, see our story, 8th anniversary and 9th anniversary)


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

For Misty

I have a friend, one who is very dear to me, despite the fact that we have never met in person. Tomorrow, she will do something that no mother should EVER have to do. She will give birth to her baby boy, Isaac, knowing that he will return to his maker that very same day.

Isaac has a life ending birth defect called Anencephaly. Anencephaly is when a baby develops with little or no brain. So while he is in her womb, he is alive, and well and moving around like any baby would. Tomorrow, he will come into this world and be loved by Misty, her husband and their three older children but they have to do the most difficult thing I could ever imagine. They have to give him back.

If you would, do me a favour and send Misty and her family all the strength you can spare. Pray that little Issac will live, just for a few minutes, so they can witness his life with their own eyes. Just a few precious moments, that's all they are asking for. I don't think that is too much given the sacrifice they are making.

Misty, know that there many people praying for you as you go through this. We are here for you as you face this, this that I cannot adequately describe.

We are here.


Saturday, April 04, 2009

I gotta be green

A long, long time ago, when the earth was green (ha!) I went and listened to David Suzuki speak about global warming and what we, as everyday people, can do to help. To say I was inspired would be a slight understatement.

Since that day, we have made many changes around here to try and lower our impact on our dear earth.

Since them have I gotten disenchanted by the lack of compassion by others around me?

I have to be honest. Yes, very much so. At some points I have thought why to I spend so much time caring when no one else seems to give a rat’s @ss? I might as well just do whatever the hell I please too. What’s the point in caring when I might be one of only a handful that do?

But I am re-inspired and re-motivated when I talk to others who care too.

Yesterday, I did a post on Canada Moms Blog about why I think teaching our children to care is so important. About why caring about the environment and our impact on it goes well beyond global warming.

The comments I received lifted my heart up again. There are others out there who do care. My neighbors, with their lofty loads of weekly trash, probably not so much. But them I cannot control nor influence.

What I can do is keep doing what I know to be right, because I don’t know how to stop caring. My parents taught me well.

Here is a laundry list of some of the many things that we do around here that we hope lessens our impact on this great planet. Do they feel like a sacrifice? Not even a little bit. What they are is a way of life and once you start, it’s like riding a bike, there is no turning back.

- laundry – wash in cold water only
- laundry soap – use less than half of what the bottle recommends, your clothes are equally as clean and don’t smell like artificial chemical fragrances, score! ($$ saved)
- turn off the lights when you are not in the room ($$ saved)
- switched to cfc bulbs wherever we can ($$ saved)
- laptop is closed on standby when not in use (when you might ask? Well sometimes!)
- cloth shopping bags and not just for groceries – keep them in your vehicle on the front seat and grab and go
- no individual serving for yogurt etc, buy bulk and use Tupperware
- refill shampoo and condition bottles (believe it or not the salon lady tried to sell me new bottles rather than refilling mine because it would save me $10 – she was shocked when I said no, trying to save plastic here! Held my tongue on saying what I really thought of that policy!)
- save cereal box liner bags – it’s wax paper people!
- Buy organic locally produced meat (going vegetarian is not an option for us, we just can’t do it and since beans can’t grow within a 1,000 mile radius I don’t think that will really help anyway)
- When we eat fast food, I try to take home and recycle whatever I can, makes up a little for how annoying all the waste that is produced from take out
- re-usable veggie bags (oh how I hate those silly thin plastic bags that the grocery store and I just heard about these – thanks Anna. Just ordered them up, I’ll let you know how they work out)
- we try to avoid use of the A/C in the summer (I know, you might find it hard to believe that, we, who live in the Arctic need A/C but most people have it here)
- recycle whatever we can

Do I feel like this is enough? No. Do I do things that contradict my philosophy on trying to be more green? All the time. Does it bother me? Yes. My internal conflicts are fodder for another post. But I think this also highlights that I don’t claim to have all the answers or know the right thing to do. What matters is that we care. And in caring, change will happen.

That is my dream. And world peace, who doesn’t wish for that?

Give me your tips! I am always looking for new ways to reduce our impact!