A Little Reflection on the Night of Race-Day

As I mentioned yesterday, I ran the Hospital Hill 10K today.

The 10K race went very well! I ran it in 59:02 which is 10 minutes faster than last year. 🙂

Check that out! I got 14th in the 40-44 division of females (and there were 157 total). I got 153rd out of 1022 women total. That is kinda cool, huh?

There was TONS of rain. They even delayed the start by about 30 minutes because of the rain and lightening. Then when they did start, they did not use the wave start mostly so they could just get everyone started since the weather would threaten throughout the race. There was actually a stall in the rain at the start, but around mile 1.5, it started coming down pretty good. I shed the trash-bag-poncho around the end of the first mile because I realized it just didn’t matter if I got poured on or not and I didn’t want that thing around me the whole race.

I pray the rosary when I run these races. I start with the Joyful Mysteries and make my way through. Today I made it through all five Joyful Mysteries, all five Luminous Mysteries and three of the Sorrowful Mysteries before I closed it out and finished the last mile. I try to pray for others while I pray the rosary and come up with intentions that usually line up with whatever mystery I am on. so for today, here were my intentions:

  • The Annunciation — mothers who have just recently found out they are pregnant (i.e., a woman at work just found out she will be a grandma!) and also those who are waiting for the blessing of a baby and may be struggling with Infertility or sub-fertility.
  • The Visitation — those I know who are about to have a baby (my youngest sister, whose due date was earlier this week, etc)
  • The Nativity of our Lord — those I know who just had a baby (a friend — Lauren; a bloggy-friend, Dwija 🙂 )
  • The Presentation of our Lord — Those who are newly baptized (baby or not)
  • The Finding of Jesus in the TEmple — this one I pray for the parents of 12-year-olds. Typically we hear that Jesus was 12 at the time when he departed from his parents and was found after three days search, teaching in the Temple. I think parents of 12-year-olds will understand why I pray for them. 🙂
  • The Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan — on this one, I prayed for an increase in obedience, in general. Not sure why, but that popped into my head/heart.
  • The Miracle at the Canaan Wedding Feast — I prayed for newly engaged and newly married couples
  • The proclamation of the coming of the Kingdom — I prayed for strength to continue to guide my children in the CAtholic faith
  • The Transfiguration — there was a big hill, I don’t remember adding an intention here
  • The Last Supper — I prayed for our newly ordained priests of the diocese
  • The Agony in the Garden — gotta be honest here, I prayed about my very sore muscle that really started hurting during sprints Tuesday and was really hurting right as I was praying this mystery
  • The Scourging at the Pillar and The Crowning with Thorns — on these I simply prayed knowing the pain I was feeling was nothing compared to what Jesus did for you and for me.
This year, this race seems to mean so much more to me than i remember it meaning before. I ran this race the first time in 2012. I had never run the 10K distance before and had not really been running to regularly then. I was just grateful to finish it. Last year, I wanted to run it faster than 2012…and I did. But that was really my only goal. I was getting back into running and working through grief — running helped me feel better. I worked through a lot of grief while running. I still take some time to talk to Gregory while running, every so often.

When I finished last year, I was happy with the fact that I ran it about 9 minutes faster than in 2012. I was just starting on this journey to become stronger and healthier and my confidence was not quite there. I struck a pose and posted to Facebook that I was feeling strong following the finish of the race. And I did feel strong. I was happy to have finished it so much faster than the year before and I felt really good about it. But I was still much heavier than I wanted to be back then. And I was hopeful that I could continue losing weight and getting stronger.

When we decided late last year that I would have surgery that would correct a problem that would make it easier on me to work out harder, I couldn’t imagine the benefit I was really signing up for. I started Crossfit November 1 and continued to run a couple of times a week. I made it to Crossfit workouts at least 3 times (usually 4) a week and ran at least one time most weeks. I joined Weight Watchers — and we all know how that has turned out 🙂 

So, as I was running the fourth mile today and praying the Rosary, I was also thinking about how far I have come in a year. I mean, here I was, running at a pace about 1:30/mile faster than last year, wearing size medium running capri pants that I couldn’t pull up past my knees a year ago and about to finish this 10K race 10 minutes faster than I had run it a year ago. It gave me chills. Really, like…I almost started crying about it, I was so happy thinking about it all.

Tonight, I was sitting here thinking how I needed to write this post because I had all these thoughts about running, about the race, about how far I have come in a year…and I scrolled through my photos on Facebook and found the one I took after the race last year…here it is:

In 2014, I was happy to finish 9 min faster than the previous year
But then I looked at that picture in contrast to the one I took this morning after I completed the race.

I think I look like I have more confidence. I mean, in last year’s photo, I kind of half-heartedly “flex” my “guns” and look like I think it’s silly. But in this year’s photo, I hold them up there like…”Yeah, look at my ‘guns’!” I have more muscle definition, The higher level of fitness helps with the confidence, too. I wouldn’t wear tanks last year because I was embarrassed at my arm/shoulder fat/flab. I think my smile even shows the increase in confidence that I have. 

Top is 2014; bottom is 2013

I guess the point is: I can see where I’ve been and where I am now.

And I am going to keep crossfitting and I am going to keep running and I really can’t wait to see where I end up in the future.


7 QT about Summer Vacations, Achieving Goals, Running Races and A Giveaway – 81

A huge thank you to Jennifer Fulwiler for hosting this Blog Carnival every week.

— 1 —

It’s been a fun first week of summer! My girls got to visit some friends they hadn’t seen (moved away) but had corresponded with over the past year.

Helen and her Snail Mail Pen Pal!
Dani and her e-mail buddy!
All of the girls together
Silly Picture!

It was a lot of fun for them.

— 2 —

They also got a treat of a day in The Windy City. That link will take you to Sarah’s Flipagram, I hope!

Basically, my girls got a vacation from their parents and got to hang out with grandparents all week. I hope they had fun hanging out together all week and I can’t wait to hear all about their week tonight when I get home from work! Our house was very quiet.

— 3 —

Dominic spent a few days with his Grandma, who helped us out by taking him to his first Tennis Lesson. Dominic is signed up for three weeks of Tues-Thurs Youth Tennis lessons. Grandma was very generous and bought him a racquet of his very own!

Ahhhh, how cute is this?!?

— 4 —

You know how I told you all I’d decided to adjust my goal weight with Weight Watchers to the top of the range so I could get to Lifetime and stop paying? Yeah…so, since I had been under that weight (or within 2 pounds of it) for 6 weigh-ins, I was granted Lifetime Status yesterday with Weight Watchers! How excited was I?

The star signifies goal weight and the
gold key is the Lifetime Charm

Here’s a little photo collage I put together to commemorate this event…

Yay! I am so very happy! 🙂

So, I hit the top of the range (160 pounds) back on April 3. I’ve been maintaining that weight as I’ve tried to get to 155 for the past couple of months. So, adjusting my goal does a couple of things: 1) Gets me to Lifetime immediately and 2) gives me a little (more) cushion as I maintain long-term with having to pay. I still hope to get to 155 or even lower, but at least this way, I can stop paying the monthly dues and I get the E-tools for free, too! Yay for saving money!!

— 5 —

I am running the Hospital Hill 10K on Saturday. This is my third year in a row. in 2012, I ran it in about an hour and 18 minutes. Last year, I ran it in an hour and 9 minutes. Guess what? I am thinking I should run it in about an hour, maybe even under an hour by a minute or two. Well, three weeks ago, I did a long run of 6.18 miles and did it in 60 minutes, so I that is where I get my thought from. Of course, race day can be tricky. The weather is not supposed to be all that good — they are calling for rain/thunderstorms tomorrow morning. I also know that no matter what you do to prepare…something you eat can mess with you, or you just might feel tired that day. Either way, I am going to go and have some fun running it anyway!

— 6 —

At the packet pickup, there were lots of vendors. Ever since I got my hair cut short, I’ve been trying to figure out what to wear on my head that can keep my hair out of my face. My hair is no longer long enough for a ponytail and most headbands don’t stay in place. Well, I’m going to try these Bondi Bands. They have cute sayings on them and as long as you pull them below the hair line, they are supposed to keep sweat out of your eyes and stay in place. Craig got one that says “Will Run for BEER” haha. I couldn’t decide on one and figured I might need more than one anyway, so I got three:

I think I’ll wear “Stronger than yesterday” tomorrow 🙂

— 7 —

I’m going to leave this 7th quick take from last week because I have 87 “LIKE”s on my FB Page for Endless Strength and I want to get to 100 so that I can giveaway…

I got a Holy Spirit Holy Card since Pentecost is Sunday

So — if you are on Facebook, search for Endless Strength Blog and “LIKE” my page. I am about 13 “LIKE”s away from 100. Be sure to invite others to “LIKE” it, too.

Here’s a silly selfie from our dinner at a mexican restaurant we love last night. Love my sweet Dominic…

Silly Mommy, Sweet Boy

Have a terrific weekend and be sure to go check out Conversion Diary for more 7 Quick Takes Posts!


7 Quick Takes – 56

Thanks to Jennifer Fulwiler for hosting!
— 1 —
It’s hot out! I’m not complaining because honestly, I prefer hot and humid to snow and freezing anytime. But when I go to Crossfit or run outside (which is all week) — no matter what time it is, it is hot out. Good thing I like to sweat!

— 2 —
We have had my niece Julie here for the week. That means we’ve had the complete set of 2006 girl Poliquin babies in the Kansas City area all week. What that really means is…trouble. 🙂 Nah, they are the sweetest girls. I love how they seem to be on the same wavelength, even though they are from three separate households. I think they’ve had a blast seeing each other:

— 3 —

We swapped Dani for Julie (both rising 4th graders and part of the 2003-04 “wave” of Poliquin girls, so Dani has spent the week in South Carolina with her cousin Jenna. The beginning was rough as Dani got eaten by mosquitoes while playing outside. But sounds like the bites healed after a couple days and she’s used the bug spray since. It’s so cool we have this opportunity to give our kids some time with their cousins!

Dani before leaving for SC
— 4 —
Helen and Julie have gotten along swimmingly…

— 5 —
It’s birthday season on my side of the family, too. My nephew and his godmother-Aunt share a birthday on the 13th, Sarah had her birthday on the 16th and we have a few more summer birthdays (Vincents and a couple cousins are in June, Dani’s and another cousin’s are in August). So we spend a bit more time hanging out in the summers. 🙂

Beatrice and Elanor (with Sarah peeking around)

Man, we really do girls SO WELL!! 🙂

My handsome baby boy

This is a rare “good” picture of me (at least one I am happy with)

Julie enjoyed playing with Vincent

— 6 —
We have one more birthday “present” of sorts for Sarah. She is having a friend come over to spend the night and hang out. I must say, I’m glad to be past the age of needing to put together birthday parties for her. And even Dani has really only requested that she get to have a friend over for her birthday this year. I’m not one that has birthday parties for my kids every year anyway, but it’s nice to have the pressure off from the kids.
— 7 —
Speaking of running. Oh? I wasn’t? Well, okay, let’s talk about running. I really need some new shoes. I plan to try and go over 8 miles tomorrow…probably close to 10 if I can. I am 5 weeks away from the half-marathon I am running with Rebecca and I figure if I can maintain my weekly long run at 10-11 miles the next 3-4 weeks, I’ll be good for 13.1 come August 17. I guess I’m glad I’m running in all this heat, because the middle of Illinois in the middle of August is probably going to be hot and humid!!

Have a terrific weekend and be sure to go check out Conversion Diary for more 7 Quick Takes Posts!


Monday Mumbles – 47

Happy Monday! It’s the first Monday of summer vacay for this kids.  And our household is less one kid this week, with Sarah at her Challenge Camp.  But, we’ll mumble…

1. First and foremost — I ran the whole way of my 10K on Saturday. Feeling pretty good about that because last year, I did not. And I took 9 minutes off my time from last year, too!

Me — feeling strong after the race

2. The course for Hospital Hill is full of hills. We did the 10K, but the Half Marathon has plenty in the extra 7 miles, too. I know I complained about the hills around my house the past few weeks, but I appreciated them Saturday as I was able to run every single hill — maybe not fast — but I kept on running!

3. Now I need to settle in on a Half Marathon training plan for the one I’m running with Rebecca in August…

4. Maggie and Sarah — I hope you’re still planning to come, even though Sarah is expecting twins…you know, it’s all about us. 😉

5. I took the younger four to the park AND swimming yesterday. Lucky kids, they are. Here are some pics from the park. No pics from the pool since it was just me and I was doing good just to actually put on my swimsuit and get in the water with them and all.

Helen is my model in the making as you can see

Funny Face
Silly big sis – lil bro
Ready to launch!

See? Model in the making…I’m in trouble later on

6. And yes, Dani avoided the camera for some reason.

7. I found a paper in Dani’s schoolwork that came home where she wrote that she plays the guitar, that she’s good at it and when she grows up, she wants to be a guitar teacher. I just thought that was awesome.

8. Oh! I “graduated” from CrossFit Foundations Friday night! Friday night’s session was a basic review of all the movements and then we did the same WOD (Workout Of the Day) that we did on the very first night. Here it is:

200 Meter Run
15 Ring Rows, 15 Push ups, 15 Air Squats
12 Ring Rows, 12 Push ups, 12 Air Squats
  9 Ring Rows,   9 Push ups,   9 Air Squats
200 Meter Run

You do all that straight through — keep moving — no resting.

On the very first night — May 7, I did that in 8:48. And on Friday night, I did it in 5:37. Holy cow, I took 3 minutes off! The gal running the session said before we did it that it was average for people improve by 3:15 or so, but I thought, oh, no way can I take 3 minutes off…   BUT! I did!!!

9. Helen has been fundraising for her sponsorship fee for her Pageant in August. She has to raise $480. So far, she’s raised $155. I’m pretty proud of her. It’s no small thing to ask people to sponsor you.

10. 5 days until my Sarah-bear comes back from camp! She may be a mouthy preteen, but she’s my girl and I definitely miss her when she’s gone!!

Sarah when I dropped her off for her week-long camp



One of the things about running is it gives me lots of time to think.

And sometimes I think about…


I wondered, what is it that makes me get out of bed at ungodly hours in the morning to make sure I get a run in? I wondered, what is it that makes my stomach churn when I think about getting out for a run. Honestly, I think the ungodly hours bit keeps me from thinking myself out of runs…I just get up, get dressed, brush my teeth and go. It’s when I lounge around on a Sunday morning and have time to contemplate what I’m about to do that gets me all messed up.

I didn’t grow up loving running. I was a swimmer. I rode my 10-speed bike to and from my 2-a-day practices in the summer. I liked biking and swimming. Honestly, I think I liked swimming because it got me out of the house on a regular basis — didn’t like being at home much growing up. But, if running was ever in the cards for practice, I was not game. I hated the idea. Thankfully it was only one or two practices a summer they’d have us run a mile or two before morning workout.

After swimming, there was basketball and volleyball. for those two sports, running was a means to an end. I ran faster dribbling a basketball “coast to coast” than I did any other time in my life. I could play basketball for hours without needing a rest and my favorite way to play was fast-paced up and down the floor. Volleyball didn’t require distance, just footwork and speed and agility. I didn’t mind that much either. Sure, we ran 12 laps around the court for warm up, but that was the extent of it.

When I went to college, I rowed on the Crew at Washburn University in Topeka, KS. I had strong legs and athletic build and found another sport I was good at. Again, running was a part of our spring break workouts (we’d run to the river for our warm-up — about 2.4 miles or so), but hardly the main part of our workouts. 

I didn’t start running until about a year after Sarah was born. I had gone on a doctor-supervised quick weight loss program and lost 65 pounds and knew I needed to do something to keep it off. It’s hard to get pool time around here, so regular swimming was out, so I grabbed some running shoes and off I went.

I will say something for those early days — I attributed my ability to stick with it to the fact I weighed lighter than I had in probably 10-12 years. It helps when running if you don’t have a lot of extra weight, I still believe that. But over the years, I gained weight (with pregnancies and other things) and I still kept running. As a matter of fact, I was about 20 pounds heavier in 2007 (when Helen was 15 months old) when I ran my marathon. In hindsight, I wished I had eaten better leading up to the marathon so I could have been about 10 pounds lighter, but I still finished that marathon. The summer after that I went on to train specifically to run a half-marathon in sub-2hours. And in October 2007, I ran the Kansas City half marathon in 1:54. I ran another one 4 months later (in Houston) in 1:56.

But when I think back, I remember how I still kind of dreaded my runs. I think that’s just part of running. Knowing how much better I will feel AFTERWARDS helps me get out there to do it even though I really don’t want to.

I don’t run any distance with ease very often. Sure, there’s the odd time when I feel like I’m killing it out there and could run and run forever. But those really only come along every once in awhile.


I think that’s why I keep running though.

I continue to get up at ungodly hours on weekdays, and I keep getting out there on a Sunday when I don’t really feel like it because there’s the chance.

There is that CHANCE that this next run is going to IT. 

MAYBE this next run I will feel like I am going to fly out of my shoes and I will feel like I can run 2 extra miles just because I can’t bear the thought of stopping.


Monday Mumbles – 43

I am writing these on Sunday night for Monday morning publishing. Pretty cool, huh? 

1. Craig is giving the boys baths. I love that man. 

2. Sunday was such a beautiful day. The forecast for MOnday and Tuesday looks heavenly. But some nasty weather is in the forecast later in the week. seriously, Mother Nature. Double-yew. Tee. Eff. 

3. I had my exhaustion test for push-ups Saturday and I did 21. Oh yes. I wish I would have been able to do more, but then I remember that two weeks ago I could only do 16, four weeks ago, I could only do 6, and a little over a month ago, I could only do 2. So….I think 21 pushups at a time rocks. 

4. Couch-2-5K week 7 calls for 25 minute jogs and I’m glad…I’ve “graduated” to running and not walk/running. yay me!

5. I have a week before I start Foundations classes for Crossfit. Craig asked a buddy of his who is certified to train through Reebok for a definition of Crossfit (because I get asked any time I mention that I’m gonna be trying it). And he said that it was, “Constantly varied, functional movements at high intensity.”  So, yeah. That’s what I’m going to be starting soon.

6. I plan to keep my running regimen most mornings while I’m doing the Foundations classes since I still need to increase my mileage enough to run 10K on June 1.

7. But I am very excited to do this because I have heard so many good things about it. It might just — um — cause Craig and me to give up our community center membership in favor of paying for this instead. Just holding off in case it’s not “the thing” for us.

8. Oh yeah, cuz Craig’s going to do the Foundations classes the month after me and we’re hoping to do this together.

9. To prepare me and get the diet hard-part out of the way, beginning Sunday, I am grain-free, legume-free and dairy-free. I’m trying to stick to that hard for 60 days. That should be interesting!!

10. 5 weeks until school is out for the summer for the kids. I can’t believe it, but I’m breathing a sigh of relief for a couple of months off at least the school part of the craziness!!

Bonus: Check out this video of Vincent doing the bear crawl:

Have a good Monday!