Friday, December 14, 2012

End of the year reflections and New Year's aspirations.

It's mid December and....much to my dismay, another year has passed even faster then the year before.  Just as we manage to get our asses smacked by the 2012 door , we are already hopeful for what lies ahead.  That's a glass half full attitude and I love that so many of us look ahead to a new year.

A New Year is, frankly, everyone's new beginning. We all start with a clean slate with our diets and attitudes.  This year I am going to______________________________! (With vigor and meaning, right?)  Then by January 15th or so we slowly fall back into our same ole, same ole habits....because that's who we are, easily distracted.  It's much easier to give up and give in than it is to say "self...get your shit together and stick with it!"

Somehow the voice that pumps you up and gets you to that amazing place of accomplishment is quieted by that rotten lazy bitch that holds more water than reason.  I hate her...coming in with her combat boots on squishing my motivation with her oh-so-sweet "it's just one day....you can workout twice as hard tomorrow" or the ever-loving "Who doesn't love cheese fries?  You DESERVE it".  Deserve what? To lose? To succumb to the temptation of food that I will only poop out in 8-12 hours?  Deserve to FAIL?

YOU DO NOT DESERVE TO FAIL!

Failure is NOT an option.  Your body is this amazing living, healing machine.  Why do we continue to sabotage the one thing that brings us happiness? Why aren't we looking at our children, our spouses, our selves and saying YOU DESERVE THE BEST? Why don't you deserve the best? Can't afford the best? You can't afford not to.  Pay now or pay later, right? If you don't take care of that amazing living, healing machine now, you WON'T be able to convince your body to take care of itself later.

I am telling you now that if you don't take a good long hard look into that mirror and tell yourself to get your act together...this year will be just like last year and the year before that and the year before that.  When do we say "I AM WORTH IT! MY FAMILY IS WORTH IT!"?

Truth: America is the ONLY country in the world whose budget does not have FOOD as their number one priority.  Food and water...the ONLY two things you NEED.  I mean in reality you can live without food for days, but not water.

This is YOUR YEAR! Make it happen, make it that year that you look back on; that year that you define in your life as before 2013 and after 2013! Dream BIG!, LIVE! Feed your body and soul!

Cheers!

Jeni

Monday, September 17, 2012

Passion

Sometimes I wake up before my alarm with these great ideas and need to put something in motion.  I dream so passionately, but my reality is so different.  I would really love for these two things to be closer together on my life spectrum.

Today's dream really was passion.  I woke up before my alarm because the woman in me wanted to be kissed gently, held close, and loved.  Where does that go with marriage?  In the early stages of our courtship (<- did I just say that?) we couldn't keep our hands off each other...even in the first 5 years of our marriage with two kids I was just completely smitten...butterflies and all with the thought of coming home to my life partner.  It seems with time, 3 kids, sports, homework and life our passion has resorted to "I hope I can stay awake passed the news".  Sex seems to be a distance memory and kissing...well I honestly don't remember the last time I got a kiss.

*sigh*

Here's my problem...men, well my husband anyway, just don't get it.  He won't understand where I am coming from.  If I confront him today and say "I'm not happy right now...you never kiss me anymore, you never touch me-unless you wanna hump my leg for a few seconds considering that 'playful foreplay' and get it on to our 10 min romp, when we will then just roll over and go to sleep".   He would look at me like I had worms growing out of my ears like "where did this come from??" and, the truth is, he would be right.

As his wife I just can't decide one day that I'm not sexually happy and drop the "you suck in bed cause you never kiss me anymore" bombshell and put the blame on him.  I mean, am I right? He's rolling with the punches of life just like I am.  His testosterone screams "MEAT, BEER, SEX" in that order and my lady hormones want to be cuddled NOW, when- at least the last 10 years of marriage- I've been "okay" with our (lifeless) sex life (in his eyes) cause I haven't even mentioned it.  To him, essentially, the perfect wife...right? I don't even expect foreplay.  Really I've wanted it all along at least 75% of the time, but have felt too awkward to mention it-since it's been an "okay/working routine".

So...after 13 years of marriage, how do I change up the routine without coming across as this crazy hormonal bitch?  AND....what if we don't have that passion anymore?  Maybe that's what I am really worried about...the ever-dreaded "NO SPARK" marriage-ender?

There ya have it. My first world problems.

Cheers!

Jeni

Friday, August 31, 2012

UnStoppable

I've looked and looked for pin on pinterest that conveyed a message I want everyone to feel: UNSTOPPABLE!  

I didn't find one that really "said" it with the picture.  So I made one.

I made it because the last few days I've been hearing some doubt.  I've been feeling this cloud of fear over the group.  That overwhelming feeling of self doubt and confusion.

Marathon training has taken a toll on our bodies.  We are tired, we are facing injury, we are doubting our own ability to run this 26.2 mile "race".

Technically the Chicago Marathon is a race, but I certainly am not looking for a placement.  I am running for me. I am running for charity, pride, and that sense of accomplishment that only running twenty six point two miles can give a person.  We are all getting in the miles (and miles and miles). We are all sweating during this miserable heat.  We are all facing injury of some sort.  We are all in this TOGETHER.  Together as a team, no man left behind.  

My running friends: you have brought SO MUCH to the table...keep on keeping on.  We are going to "do the damn thing" and when we finish, we are going to bow, accept our medal of honor and relish our success.  We will all have that coveted 26.2 under our belt.  We are doing it.  Don't worry about the rest...we are doing it.

Cheers!

Jeni

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Texas Chili Cookoff in Chicagoland

The last 6 days has been unbelievable.  I have had the pleasure of hosting a family reunion with my mom's sisters.  We have been reminiscing and making wonderful new memories!  How often can we do that?  It's wonderful that my kids can get to know their maternal side of the family even though we are spread out throughout the country.

Saturday my mom and step dad decided to compete in a chili cookoff, complete with palate cleaners and judging.  Can I just say...this was SO.MUCH.FUN!  When you go to a chili cookoff you have a specific time you must turn your chili in.  They cook their chili grind (the meat mixture) and add spices called "dumps" at certain times during the cooking process.  

 My mom
 This is the set up...in front of our house :)
 Preparing for the turn in.
 Doyle's painted stove he won after winning 1st place in the Texas Open in 2004!
 My mom's stove.
The Beans!

I should also mention, because it's part of this great memory; we had a huge storm the night before and were without power for about 20 hours.  But the SHOW (cookoff) must go on!  The chili was amazing!  Both recipes were delicious!  After all the scoring was in, my mom had the better chili with the scores: Doyle 45 Melodie 48.  

I still have one more day with my family here, and I will relish it!  

When all is said and done, family is what you have, cherish them!!

CHEERS!

Jeni

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

TooTallFritz Giveaway!!

Check it out!

http://tootallfritz.com/2012/06/26/favorite-training-items-giveaway/#comment-2622

Family

I am so excited this week, my mom her 3 sisters are coming to visit and my house is the hub!  I haven't seen my aunts in over 12 years!

My mom and step dad are on their way now.  I am picking my Aunt Linda up at Midway at 7pm and then my Aunt Brenda and Aunt Sue are driving in on Friday night.  It's going to memory making week and weekend!

My family is scattered all over.  We live in Northern Illinois, just south of Chicago.  My in-laws just moved to Florida a few months ago.  I have no blood relative within 300 miles (or a 5 hour drive).  My dad and sisters are in Southern Illinois, so if something happens I'm so far away.  I hate that.  I hate being so far from the ones I love.  They can't see the kids grow, they miss milestones, holidays, and weekends.  It's hard and heartbreaking.

While my family is in town this week I will stay on schedule with my marathon training, which means I'll either stay up late yakking my jaws and have to suck it up at 5 am or it means that I will have to say good night early so I am refreshed and ready to swim/bike/run on any given day.

What's the best thing about your family?  What do you love most about the get-togethers?

I'm gonna say all the reminiscing, smiles and new memories made.

♥ Cheers!

Jeni


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Marathon Training is upon us! (YAY!!!)

I may be getting too excited, too early, but I can't help it.  I feel good. My legs feel good, I'm in a good place to start training for my first marathon.  Here's a little history about the event: 


The First Race: 
The Chicago Marathon is widely recognized as one of the best and largest marathons in the world!  WOW!!  pretty impressive!  It is on of the FIVE CITIES (along with Boston-of course, London, Berlin, and New York) that make up the World Marathon Majors, dedicated to advancing the sport among elite racers.  Usually held in mid October, the Chicago Marathon's frild is now limited to 45,000 runners. It is not unusual for 1.5 MILLION spectators to pack the streets of the Windy City to watch the event. 


The Boston marathon had established an annual 26.2 mile run in 1897.  Soon after that, on September 23, 1905, The Illinois Athletic Club organized the first Chicago Marathon.  The first race with [only] 15 runners, began in Evanston and finished at Chicago's Washington Park.  In a surprising upset, spectators watched Rhud Metzner come from behind in an amazing late race move to win from  the favored Louis Marks.  By the 1920's, the economic conditions sidelined the Chicago Marathon.  It wasn't until the 1970's, when running began to become popular, that the marathon returned.  In May 1977 (I was only 3 months old), Chicago Mayor Michael Bilandic decided to try to make Chicago into a world famous city for runners.  To show he meant business, Bilandic turned five miles of an old horse path along Lake Michigan into jogging paths, creating a scenic course that today, stretches for 18 miles.


The Chicago Marathon now recognizes it's first race, the Mayor Daley Marathon, named after the late Richard J. Daley, as being  held on September 25, 1977.  Initially set up with a $5 entry fee (holy crap!  pales in comparison to the $150 I forked out on 2/2/12) and an 8 a.m. starting time, the race required 700 volunteers to officiate and help guide the more than 4,200 runners who turned out. 


Throughout the years, the Chicago Marathon has seen some exciting race finishes.  One of the most famous and dramatic happened in 2006, when Robert Cheruiyot, a runner from Kenya, slipped just before breaking through the finish line tape.  He fell down onto his back hitting his head on the pavement and causing a concussion.  As he fell, he slid forward, pushing his timing chip over the finish line and making him the winner!!


In 2007, the 30th anniversary of the Chicago Marathon and the end of a 14 year sponsorship by LaSalle Bank, the race started with 36,000-plus entrants.  As the temperatures and humidity soared into the 80's, organizers were forced to halt the race after 3.5 hours, for the first time in history.  For their own safety, runners were sent to Grant Park and instructed to stop racing.  Only 25,534 were able to officially finish.


In 201l, Amber Miller felt contractions just minutes after crossing the finish line at the Chicago Marathon.  A few hours later, she delivered a baby girl, at 39 weeks pregnant.


I hope this training season is healthy for everyone! Lots of good, healthy training vibes for everyone who is running!!


Cheers!


Jeni