Monday, October 12, 2009

Future Marathoner??

My Parents

These pictures (taken by Andrea) speak a thousand words. It has been a tough year, a tough journey...filled with emotions like; sadness, heartbreak, anger, denial, twin brother is gone, my parent's son is gone. I ran this race in memory of him and it meant a lot to my parents, as I think you can see in these pictures. It obviously doesn't bring him back, but I am realizing how important it is to remember is especially important to Mom and Dad.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

More Race Day Pics.

Thank you to Andrea for these great pics.


Well, I did it. I dedicated my run in memory of my twin brother Ben who fought the fight and finished the race.
It felt great most of the time. I ran the first 13 miles on my own and then Mark, and a few of my friends tagged along the the next 11 miles. It was so helpful having people cheer me on! My goal was to run the race in 4 and a half hours. I ran it in 4 hours and 43 minutes. So, not too far off. I stayed on track for a little over half of it. I did hit the dreaded "wall" from mile 22-25, but then my adrenaline kicked in and I felt pretty good. I am sore, but not too sore! I think I may even run another one someday, but not for a while!

Here are a few pics.
Mile 3 and smiling!

Mile 13 and still smiling!

Mile 21 and not so much smiling...even though you can't see my face!
mile 22...almost there...where i hit the "wall".before the race

it was 42 degrees when i started to run.

must go pee one more time!

leaving for the race at 6am.

one of my biggest fans!

At the end of the race, I was emotional as my marathon had less to do with the running as it did it's meaning for me. I thought of Ben a lot and was honored to run in his memory.
K said to me at the finish "Mommy, great job winning the race, I am so proud of you." I didn't, obviously win the race, but in a way I did. Thanks to all who came out to support me and helped make it so special.

Monday, September 14, 2009

No turning back....I registered for the Marathon!

Well, there is no turning back...I registered for my marathon. It is October 4th...and after another long run of 18 miles I think I am gonna be able to do it!
I am already thinking about what I will do when my training is has taken soo many hours each week to train. It has felt amazing....for so many reasons. Running/training has helped me in my grief and depression, it has helped me draw nearer to the Lord, it has made me feel more like myself than I have in a long time, given me more energy and helped me be a better wife and mom...and the icing on the cake...I have lost 25 pounds!
Anyways, can't wait to cross the finish line...I will post pictures after the race...I probably won't blog before my marathon...I have one more intense week of training and then I will taper, but have a lot to do these next few weeks!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Marathon Update.

So, I ran my longest run to date yesterday....18 miles. It was supposed to be a 20 mile run, but I stopped at 18 to get a freezy pop and when I tried to start running again, my body was like "I don't think so." I ran with a running group from Rochester and they don't stop for anyone...fortunately I was near where my brother lives and he came and picked me up. My whole body hurt, literally. I had several blisters, and lots of chafing! BUT...I did it...only two more long runs before the big day (October 4th). It was a gorgeous run...mostly on the Erie Canal. You know you are running a long way when you run through several towns! As sore as I was, it felt so great....mentally. I don't know why but it has always been a goal of mine to run in a marathon....and I am getting closer and closer to that goal.

A lot of other things have been keeping me busy too. Getting Kman ready for school, trying to find a job, having garage sales...and more.

I am still recovering from the run...I am sooo tired and that is all I am gonna write for now so I can go eat more!! =)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

More Summer Fun.

I have been super busy this summer. I have been running a ton....I ran in the Utica Boilermaker last weekend (15K) and is was such a fun, fun race. I ran with a friend and we went the night before and made it a girl weekend. It was really relaxing and fun. I ran pretty good too. I did it in 1 hour and 28 goal was to do it under an hour and a half so I met my goal!! It was a decent size race too, about 12,000 people. It took me 9 minutes just to get to the starting line! I also ran my longest run thus far on Sunday.....16 miles. I did it in 2 hours and 40 minutes. I felt pretty good running, but my knees killed Sunday night...I think next time I will take advil before I run. I have 3 more long runs before my marathon on September 13th...I think I can do it!!! It has been hard to train, but hope it will be worth it in the end.
(My friend and I at the Boilermaker 15K)
We have family in town this week and it always so great to see family! Kman LOVES playing with his big cousins! Kman also started swim lessons. I am so proud of him. He is doing so well. He has listened very well to his instructors. I told him I was proud of him and he said...."but Mommy, I was so scared!" I told him that he was brave!

In other news...Kman has ALWAYS given us a VERY, VERY HARD time with his haircuts and we decided with an older cousin here we would take him to a hair salon and maybe with the influence of a big cousin he would get his hair cut without a fight....and he did!!!! Seriously, that was such an answer to prayer!!! Next time I want him to get a more stylish hair cut instead of just a buzz. I'd like him to have more hair on top and shorter on the you think that would look cute? I am not always sure how to do his hair.....but, for now it is shaved off and we won't have to do anything to it for a few months!! Praise the Lord.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer Fun

We went to an amusement last week with out of town family and it was a BLAST. I could not believe how much Kman loved the rides. He could ride a lot of the adult rides as long as he rode with an adult. He rode the "popcorn" and the "sleigh-ride" and many more. HE LOVED IT. He even rode on the "Ferris Wheel" and "Pirate Ship" ( I thought he may be afraid, but he wasn't...he couldn't get enough). He had so much fun with his cousin E and he especially liked the water park! Anyways, I know there are a lot of pics but I had to share how much fun he has had this summer so far!

He thought this ride was too slow! Especially after riding some of the bigger rides!
My little niece is such a sweetie, and I love the way she is looking at Kman.

There were a lot of kiddie rides too...these rides were perfect for M (he is not much of a ride person);)

Fun in our back yard on the slip and slide.

We hope to do a lot more this summer...I am taking full advantage of not working. Fall comes all too quickly...and hopefully I will have some sort of job in a school come September!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy after a LONG run!

Well, I ran my longest run thus far...14 miles. It actually felt pretty good....although I am not a fan of roosters pecking my ankles as I run....or dogs chasing me through the road (both of which happened today!). Anyways, 14 miles is more than half way there....YAY!!!! Next week 16 miles.

Friday, June 19, 2009


I haven't posted about running in awhile, but I am running a lot. I am finished with school for the summer, yeah! Kman said the other day "It summer time Mommy, that means I get to stay home all day with you!!" I am so happy to be home and have NO work this summer!

It has been hard finding time to get my runs in. I wish I could just get up early in the morning and run, but it is so hard for me to get up! I set my alarm every morning but then press snooze so many times that I don' t have time for a run! I know if I just made myself do it for a while it would be second nature to get up early.....anyone have any motivation tactics to run in the morning??

Last week as an "easy" week of running, which I really needed. I had run 12 miles the week before and it kicked my butt. I was so dehydrated (i forgot my water pack) and my body did not cooperate at all. For the first time I thought, oh man, am I gonna be able to do this?? So, I don't know, but I am gonna keep trying!! I am going to run 12 again tomorrow....hopefully it will go better. I researched the importance of nutrition when running so much, so hopefully that will help!

I have two races coming up. I am running the a five mile on the 4th of July and then I am running a 15K July 12th. So, it is good to have races to look forward to and to help motivate!

I have family in town this week and it is great....but, it is also bittersweet. It is so different without Ben here. He always brought so many laughs and he played with the kids a lot and loved to play games and be crazy. I think we all are feeling the loss a lot now, especially when we are together.

I watched his testimony last night. He gave it at a church several years ago. He spoke about GRACE and about his addictions was a powerful testimony. I cried the whole time watching it and have such a headache this morning. Watching it made me realize how hard it is for some people-dealing with addictions. Ben love the LORD so much, which was so evident in his testimony. Watching it also made me sooo mad at the enemy....the way he torments people....and destroys their lives. I know God is Good and in the end...Ben had/has victory in Christ.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

3 months

Today, 3 months ago my life changed forever. It has been a rough weekend....grief is just so unpredictable. Honestly, I haven't had much time to grieve...I feel like I am like a chicken with my head cut off. It has been so busy. I have been working full time (teaching and daycare), running like crazy, training/disciplining Kman, going to all Mark's baseball games....etc. I think grief catches up to you though....and it has this weekend. I just really miss Ben, plain and simple. At times, it seems so hard...I am a twin and it seems so unfair that I am here without him. I understand the reality that he is in a better place and someday I will be there too....but, sometimes in the day to day it seems unfair.
Three months ago he was still alive (he passed on the 6th a little before 9pm)....being kept alive I should say. My mom and I were talking today and saying that he could potentially still be was the hardest and yet the easiest decision of our lives. Hard to be selfless and say goodbye and make the choice to take him off life suport but easy in the sense that we knew we would be delaying his encounter with our Saviour if we kept him on life support. I replay that moment over and over, and at times I hear myself saying "did i really watch my brother die?" "did it really happen?". I don't want to go back and relive those times, however, I often replay it in my head....I don't know why, I just do. I think partly because it keeps me connected to Ben in a way....
I can't remember if I already posted about the last moments of Ben's life....but, when we knew he wasn't with us anymore all I could do was picture his passionate self running arms open to the Lord....and his struggles were/are over....I repeated to him "you made it Ben, I am so proud of you". I am so proud of my brother-he has taught me so much...and I am sorry it took his death for me to realize the impact he had on my life. Ben was so loved, and he loved so. I want to remember all the good times I had with him...and that is what I am doing today....and I miss him.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Long Run

Yesterday was my 10 mile run. It was amazing. There were times it felt really difficult, but then there were times it felt amazing. I was able to just run, think, pray and enjoy God's nature. It took me an 1 hour and 40 minutes (which was my goal time). My neighbor let me borrow her forerunner 405 sports watch...oh my goodness, never knew they made something like that. It is a GPS for tracks your miles, pace, time, calories and more. It was amazing....till I looked online and saw that they cost $300!! Oh well, she said I could borrow it for my long runs on Sundays. I don't even feel that sore today, and feel like running. Although, I won't because I know my body needs a break. Can anyone guess how many calories I burned running 10 miles??

Ok, I burned 1,300 calories! Oh my goodness, I was soo hungry all day!!

So, this weeks running is intense and I hope I can get it all in. It is gonna be a busy week. Mark has the EF leadership conference and it is also his last week coaching baseball so we will see how much I can get in.

This is my schedule:
Tuesday 6 miles
Wednesday 8 miles
Thursday 6 miles
Saturday 4 miles
Sunday 10 miles

I have pictures of some of me runs....but I can't get them to download...maybe next post I will have figured it out.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I did it.

(after the race, back home)

Well, I ran the wasn't pretty but I did it! I had/have a chest cold and so every time I tried to speed up I would start coughing so I was limited in my speed. But, I did it and it felt good. I tell you running is such a outlet for me and with all that is going on in my life running has become a peaceful, motivating-God time for me. It felt great to cross the finish line and see Mark and Kyle cheering for me!
There is definitely a lot of room for improvement as I ran it in 58 minutes...I'd like to run it about 8-10 minutes faster! Now, I have another 5K and 10K in June and then a 5 mile run, and a 15K in July and few others in August and the finale....the marathon in September. I have a lot of work to do. This week I plan on running:
5 Miles today
8 Miles tomorrow
5 Miles on Thursday
4 Miles on Saturday
10 Miles on Sunday
(my biggest fan...and soon to be runner!)
It has been busy as Mark is gone most nights coaching I will do my best to get all the training in!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Getting ready for the Lilac Festival 10K

So, I haven't ran quite as much as I planned this week....Kman got sick and I had a crazy week at work. But, I did get most of if done. I am trying not to be hard myself as life is unpredictable and I am trying to get all my runs in...but it doesn't always work. I have run everyday I have needed to....just cut one of the 5 miles down to 4 and the 6 mile to 4.5.
Here is a before the race picture....I love all the T's I get for running in the races!
I'll post pics of the race tomorrow.

Oh, and here is my handsome little man. I love him so much.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Ok, so I have decided to record my marathon training and progress on this blog....not that anyone cares, but so that I can see how far I have come. I love running!! I started running in college because I played basketball, but was a bench warmer, and on weekend trips we would go out to eat for every meal....and because I wasn't playing in the games much I was packing on the pounds! I started running every game day and surprisingly I loved it. Before Kman I trained for a marathon....I got up to running 16 miles...but then never ran the stinkin' thing. I can't even remember why. Then these last 3 years or so I haven't worked out or ran much at all, it just never seemed to work out. Now that Kman is older it is easier to leave him with Mark and go for a long run. I think when people decide to run marathons it is often not about running so much as I like to run, deciding to take on the challenge had little to do with running. Honestly, I am doing it for my brother, and also because life is a marathon and it is hard and running a marathon is hard, but getting through and trusting the Lord along the way and finishing the race can be done! Did you know that only 1 in a thousand Americans run in a marathon each year? So, I am gonna do my best to train and do it! I don't run fast....I run about a 9 and a half minute to 10 minute mile. My goal is to do the marathon with 10 minute miles, which means I'd like to do it in 4 hours and 20 minutes. But, as long as I finish I am happy regardless of my time. I plan on running the Rochester Marathon in September. Oh, and I have lost 15 pounds from my highest weight...and have about 15 more to lose....maybe running will help ;)!

This week's training:
Sunday- I ran 9 miles
Monday- off
Wednesday - 6 miles
Thursday- 5 miles
Friday - off
Saturday- 4 miles
Sunday- I am running in the Lilac Festival's 10K =)

Basically, the schedule consists of a long run on Sundays...starting with 9 miles and moving up to 20-22 a few weeks before the race. Then shorter 4-8 miles 3 days a week....with an easy week every 4th week. (there was another whole training schedule before this...that helped you just run about 25 miles a week for several months....which I have done...well, only for 2 and a half months...but enough to feel comfortable with upping my mileage).

So, I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


It has been a very long time since I have be honest life has knocked the wind out of me this last year. A lot has been going on, some of which I can't share and some of which I can. First, our little man is 3 and half now (can you even believe it)...and talking like crazy! He is ready for pre-school...he asks everyday to go to school! I may even have an opportunity to be a pre-school teacher....and bring him with me next fall! He is potty trained now too!! Praise the Lord! He is the bright spot of Mark and I's life, and we are so thankful to the Lord everyday for giving him to us!
This brings me to a heartache of our lives. It has been a tough year too, as many of you know we are not able to have biological children. The thing that is hard is that I felt like I had dealt with those issues of "womanhood" when Kman became a part of our family. However, I think that it will be a life long journey dealing with the inability to get pregnant. I don't really even think about becoming pregnant much (but it is hard to feel like a woman...when, your unable to have children), I just think and dream and pray that the Lord will bring another baby to us through adoption. It is hard when your heart is ready for something (another baby) but you have no control over it. I hear people talking and planning when they want more kids and how far apart they want their children and all of that is just so very foreign to me. Anyways, the Lord as always is working in me and through me, but it has been hard. We have in the last year gotten two phone calls for potential babies (both boys) but, it wasn't meant to be. I know God knows and I am trying to trust him. I am thankful for Kman and am blessed to have him...there was a day many years ago I didn't even think I would be a Mom and I had many very difficult Mother's Days and today on Mother's Day I feel so blessed to be called Mom. Here is a sweet story about we were looking at some pictures and there was one with a Mom and her newborn baby, and he looked up at me and said "Mommy, how can get one of those babies?". He would be a great big brother.
Another heartache over these last two months is that I lost my twin brother.
He really was the closest person to me other than my parents and husband and son. We shared everything growing up....I remember asking Jesus as my Lord and Savior with Ben (we were 4 years old)....Ben asked me the day after "Do you think the angels are still rejoicing?" Mom told us they were rejoicing when we got saved! We had our own language for most of our toddler years...he was my "IO" and I was his "WA-WA". He defended me and stood up for me...even when boyfriends broke up with me. In 5th grade a boy I liked "broke up" with me and Ben gave him back a gift he had given me and told him that he could eat it with his snot! I have so many amazing memories of him. We celebrated all our birthdays together, had the same friends and had the same interests. In fact we both scored our 1000th career point in basketball within a week of eachother! We got our licenses together and went to the same college. I really don't have too many memories without him. He was an amazing man....he understood the grace of God better than anyone I have ever known. You see, he had a huge struggle in his life and he was never comfortable with it. He would have been the first to tell you he struggled, but boy did he love his God. He always, no matter how bad his struggle was would recognize the Lord and he always wanted to be free from his addiction...and he now is.
It is hard when life faces you with worst case scenarios ( I feel like I have had lot of those lately). I remember getting the phone call from my mom over 2 months ago at 1 am telling me Ben had fallen and had a brain injury. I knew it was bad, but never thought in a million years I wouldn't be able to hear him talk again, or see him smile or watch him play with Kman. When I first saw Ben in the hospital the first thing I noticed was his tattoos ( I am not a huge tattoo lover) but I LOVED Ben's tattoo's. They showed who he was, and showed his struggles but also his love for the Lord. The one I noticed was one on his belly that had praying hands and the words "Hold On, Be Strong" taken from Joshua 1:9 (his life verse). I prayed that over him as I stood with tears in my eyes.
Dad got the phone call at midnight...the doctor said "Do you have a son?" My dad said "Yes, I have several". The doctor then said "Does your son have a tattoo?" Dad said "Yes, several" Then the doctor said "Does your son have a tattoo that says HOPE?" Dad said "That's my son." Can you even imagine getting that call? We had always feared losing Ben, but even in fearing it you never think you are actually gonna face worse case scenarios like that. Ben dressed in layers always, and he did have his ID, but they didn't dig deep enough so they got his cell phone and scrolled down and saw "Folks" and that is how they knew to call Mom and Dad. Dad commented at Ben's funeral about the fact that out of all his tattoos, Ben was identified by his tattoo HOPE. Ben always had HOPE that he would be free from his struggles...and now his HOPE is a reality.
There are many things I can thank the Lord for even through this tragedy. All my other brothers flew in and we spent 3 days in the hospital with Ben. We were able to talk to him and sing to him and pray with him. We were able to love on him and tell him all that we needed to tell him. I am thankful we all (Mom, Dad, my other four brothers and spouses) ushered Ben into the kingdom of God. I am thankful that he went peacefully and quickly. I am thankful I had 29 years with him, I sure do wish I had more and can't imagine celebrating our birthdays without him or growing old with out him...but, I will always be thankful for the 29 amazing years I did have with him.
So what do you do when life knocks the wind out of you? Well, I am still figuring it out. All I know is that I miss my brother so much it physically hurts, but that God is good and someday I get to see him again. So, I guess I am not really doing anything other than putting one foot in front of the other and clinging to the cross.
I wish you all had a chance to know him like I did. He was an amazing brother, son, uncle and friend. He was crazy funny and could make you laugh just by making a face. He had an amazing ability to make you feel so special and loved, he always helped the underdog. He was a hard worker and very loved by all. I am happy his struggle is over and that he is whole and is with the one he loved most on earth, his Savior!
Oh, on a lighter note I am also training for a half marathon and full marathon. In fact I need to go running now... 9 miles today. Running is very therapeutic for me. I get to think and pray.
So that is what I have been up to...grieving, processing, running, counting my blessings and clinging to the cross like never before. People have asked us do you still trust God despite all the hardships you are facing (believe it or not we even have another major "heartache" going on in our lives that I can't share about now...if you think of us we'd appreciate prayer!) and to quote my amazing Dad "Yes, all the more."