Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Duggars' Loss

I realize this is old news regarding the Duggars miscarriage of what would have been their 20th born child but I just watched the episode of their show 19 Kids & Counting that focused on that loss.  And I'm just overcome with so many emotions about this family but particularly on this mother, Michelle Duggar, & I just have to write about it.

The Duggars are a Christian family that have 19 kids.  Having that many kids is just unheard of these days & has brought them a lot of criticism.  People say their irresponsible, that they're to blame for the earth's over-population (really?!), that they are more focused on having as many babies as possible than on the children God has already given them.

I'll admit that sometimes I've judged them.  Well, really, I say we are all guilty of judging people whether we admit to it or not.  It's just human nature.  But anyway, I'll admit that I've thought they must be crazy to still be having kids.  Michelle is 45, had pre-eclampsia in the last pregnancy resulting in baby Josie being born at 24 weeks (she's now a thriving 2 year old), & I believe has been pregnant now 19 times, with 2 of those pregnancies being twins.  That's a lot on her body.  And her uterus!

But watching this episode has made me look at her differently.  This is a woman that deeply loves her children.  ALL her children.  Each one is precious to her.

When I had miscarriages I felt like it was harder for me because I didn't have a baby yet.  I just felt that if I at least had one it wouldn't be as hard.  It's not to say that another mother who has children already doesn't grieve.  But it's all I've known.  I'm so blessed that God hasn't allowed us to go through another miscarriage yet & has given us two healthy girls in a row.

Watching the emotion that Michelle showed on camera showed me that she truly loved this baby.  It's weird because it's not like I really thought she didn't love baby Jubilee.  But seeing that much emotion was amazing to me.  How dare anyone criticize this family!

I also commend the Duggars for being brave to show this to the world.  Infertility & miscarriage is still seen as something to keep quiet about.  So when I hear of "celebrities" that are dealing with infertility I'm sad for them but also happy that they are open about it.

What also got to me was when Jim Bob & Michelle came home to tell their kids that the baby had died.  Should I get pregnant again Shaylin will be even older so she's going to understand a little bit better & I hate the thought of having to tell her that we lost a baby.

Lastly I could see their faith in God.  They grieved as anyone should expect but they showed no shame in their trust that God was in control.  Right after Michelle was told that there was no heartbeat she said "The Lord giveth & the Lord taketh away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord".  And then they prayed together.  I'm ashamed to say that was never my immediate reaction.  They also leave their fertility future to the Lord.  I think they make it clear they don't necessarily "try" for another baby.  They just live their lives & if it happens, it happens.  They don't let their age or money or the number of children they already have get in their way.  They know that God will work it all out.  And here I'm 32 & worry if I can handle having anymore babies.

So after watching this episode I'm inspired.  I'm inspired to be a better mother.  She's got 19 kids.  My 2 aren't that much of a handful.  I'm inspired to be a better Christian & to rely more on God than I currently do.  And I'm inspired to be less judgmental of the choices other moms make.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Running Goals

And now for my running goals, because I didn't want this in the last post.

Unless I find a real cheap race any sooner, my first post-partum race will be the Run 4 Justice 5k on October 27.  I ran it back in 2011 but it was in February that year.  This will give me over 2 months to work on my pace so I can finally achieve my goal of running a 5k under 30 minutes.  On the treadmill I'm already very close to it.  If it wasn't for our ridiculous heat I'd give it a try outside.  But I'm going to wait at least another month before I attempt an outside run.

I would like to find a 10k after that.  I've actually never run an official 10k race.  Weird considering I've done a half & full marathon.  So I'd just like to find one just so I can say I did it.  And hopefully if it's after my sub-30 5k then I can do the 10k under an hour.

The big race I'm going to be working towards is a half marathon in January.  I have a friend who's also planning to run it & he lives very close to the course & says it's hilly.  So not only do I need to work my way up to 13.1 miles in 5 months but I've gotta get stronger for hills.  I'm really not worried about the distance.  That I know I can do, although I would like to run it at a 9:30 pace if possible.  Official training for it would probably have to begin in November so I still have some time.  But by November I need to be at a minimal of 7 miles for long runs.  That's 4 miles I have to add to what I did today & with 3 months to do it that shouldn't be a problem.

There's one more goal further down the road & that's to run the same full marathon that I did almost 2 years ago.  It would mean summertime training but I still feel like I need to redeem myself for that race & greatly improve my time.  That training wouldn't begin till June of next year so I have lots of time to get myself in condition for it.

So those are my goals now that I'm done with Couch to 5k.  Goals give me motivation to get on the treadmill 3 times a week.  As much as I love to run I really to struggle some days to do it.  So if you want to run I would encourage you to find a race & work towards it.

My Review of Couch to 5k

Just about 10 minutes ago I finished the Couch to 5k program.  I'm exhausted & need a shower but I'm gonna write my review first so I can cool off.  Because I know you're just dying to read my review!

Overall it's a great program & perfect for someone wanting to run a 5k.  The first few weeks are a good slow progression.  The first week has the running time at only 1 minute each time.  That was really easy for me.  But eventually it builds.

At first I thought it was building too fast.  I mean, at the end of the 5th week I had to run a solid 20 minutes!  And that after only doing a couple 8 minute runs earlier in the week.

But I figured out why it was so difficult.

I was going too fast.  The program says to not worry about pace but I kinda ignored that.  But those 1 minute runs at a 10:00 pace seemed so easy.  So that's when I eventually bumped it as fast as a 9:13 pace.  That felt great until I got to the longer runs & suddenly I was burning out really fast.  I tried slowing to a 9:31 pace but it was still too fast.  Eventually I was back to the 10:00 pace again, which was still faster than I was pre-pregnancy.  It just wasn't as fast as I had wanted to be.

I've wanted to get down to a 9:30 pace for a long time.  It would guarantee a 5k under 30 minutes, a half marathon just over 2 hours, & a likely 4 hour 30 minute full marathon!

But I'm just going to have to be patient & slowly work my way to it.

So would I still suggest a newbie to do Couch to 5k?  Absolutely!  I would just suggest finding a pace right away that isn't too easy but one that isn't leaving you huffing & puffing.  The ultimate goal is to run a 5k without stopping.  So finish the program & then work on the pace.