Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hopping to Hopkington

Hello friends! 
Long time, no post.
In my defense, I've been running 20-milers up in here...
it leaves little room or desire to do anything other than treat myself to cheese fries and beer.
And that sadly leaves writing blogs in the little-desire department.

But I'm back and glad to report that I did make it 20 miles in Dallas,
regardless of infinite traffic, construction and hills. 

Spring is here!
And that means Easter is, too. 
Easter means different things to different people:
Some see it as a religious celebration...
Some perhaps are just happy that Lent is over...
Others are pleased that they have an excuse to eat Reese's Easter Eggs all day...
For my mother, it was a day to start spring cleaning
(which I once protested and  locked myself in my room to wholly celebrate Easter with my basket alone)
And for many of my friends, 
it's going to be a super fun holiday playing Easter Bunny for their sweet little chicks.

I can think of no other way to celebrate Easter,
than to make all those sweet chicks something to dye those eggs in.
Aprons, of course!


For the little chickens:

(Plenty of fabric for these... $10)

And the Mother Hens:
(Only two of these left! $15)

I have selected fabric left, 
so if you would like an apron get your order in quickly!!
Email: kellyn.gowen@gmail.com
I am currently only doing half aprons.

Child - $10
Regular Half - $15
Cinched Waist Half - $20 (my favorite)

So help me hop to Hopkington, folks!
Or I'll send this tag team to get you...
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Friday, March 16, 2012

1 Month Countdown

In exactly 1 month and 1 hour,
I will be in Athlete's Village lining up with my corral to run the biggest race of my life, 
and more than likely concentrating on not wetting my compression pants.

What's so incredible to me
is that it will be the biggest race of everyone else's life as well. 
So all of these walks of life who are all running for different reasons,
will be cuddled up under some tent or lined up at some porta-potty,
sharing the exact same chill as everyone else:
I'm about to run a marathon.

So this will be my first,
and the person next to me may be on their 20th,
but running 26.2 miles isn't exactly natural.
We will all be pushing  our bodies to unnatural and powerful limits.
Whether someone's pace is 6 minutes or 15 minutes,
we all have the common goal of finishing, and finishing well.

At that point we put the 400+ miles it took to get to this point in our back pockets
and give this incredible trot our best. 
We'll set out past the start
and we won't stop pushing our bodies and minds until the finish. 

I can't tell you how excited/nervous/scared I am.

But I can tell you how proud I am to have gotten to this point.
A few months ago I could hardly run 3 miles without huffing and puffing.
I wouldn't even look ahead in my training because it would scare me.
Tomorrow, I set out for a 20-miler,
and I'm excited about it. 

20 miles is the furthest I'm set to go in my training.
So this means that if I can do it, 
Hal Higdon thinks I'm ready to run a marathon. 
And to me,
that is huge. 

So Hal,
I will make you proud tomorrow,
and most importantly,
I'll make me proud.

May the luck of the Irish be with me tomorrow! 

Regardless, I know how I'll be celebrating:


Monday, March 12, 2012

The Power of Do-Gooding

I learned one valuable lesson this week,
and I can tell you that as I mother, 
I did not enjoy the lesson one bit.

Apparently I am not Super Woman.
I repeat: I am not Super Woman.

Does this mean that I will ever not try to defy gravity, speed and time,
throw a birthday party, make 20 aprons, run a half marathon and host a fundraiser?
All. In. One. Week?

much to my husband's disappointment,
I will probably attempt to do some other outrageous event planning in the near future,
in which I will I obsess and go slightly insane over.

But, now that I look back on everything,
It was totally worth it.
Super powers or not.

Event #1 - Plan Toddler Birthday Party
I spent months planning, pinning and budgeting Gray's Cat in the Hat birthday party.
Pots, candy holders, gummy bears, mason jars, individual hats, pinwheels, cake, recipes, icing, cupcakes, stickers, shirts, and decorations. 
This wasn't going to be some thrown-together shindig.

And I will plan this extravagant of a fiesta again, oh yes.
However, I will not ever ever ever spend 12 hours baking a cake 
on my feet
the day before a race.


A cake that stood tall and proud on my counter,
only to completely flop over in my refrigerator.
I sat in front of that refrigerator motionless until my husband finally did something about it.

I'm not even sure what I was thinking. 
Oh yes. That I was the spawn of supernatural mothering.

But before the race even arrived I had yet another event...

Event #2 - Make a Running Shirt

Why did I have to make a shirt?
Because the lovely company, who will remain nameless,
was apparently too busy "skipping and whistling" on Oak Street to follow through.
Thanks a lot, pals.

I only promised 6 sponsors that I would run with their logos on.
And even though I'm not huge corporation who would really bring them a ton of business,
I took a hell of a lot of pride in the work I put forth to get those sponsors.

On the bright side,
unsaid company never would have been able to pull off this gem:


Event #3: Mardi Gras Half Marathon

So I woke up on race day 
(off 4.5 hours of sleep due to a wild goose chase to find a knee brace 
since mine was discovered MIA at 10:30 pm)
laced my shoes,
threw on my proud homemade shirt
(which I learned iron-ons do not work on running shirts - sorry sponsors, I tried),
attempted to eat
(my house reeked of chicken livers - thanks, husband),
gulped a Gatorade,
and was out the door to attempt a PR.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
(This is me in my bathroom where I spent the whole morning due to the chicken liver devastation)

And that blue head wrap?
That's a thank you to all of you:
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Every person who donated,
bought and apron,
shared my blog,
gave me a shout out,
sponsored my run,
or just gave me a high-five
is on that bandana.

So I had my supporting do-rag.
I had my Gu Chomps.
I had my iPod.
I had my ladies.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

And within 5 miles I was completely exhausted. 
It took every ounce of my energy to convince my mind to let me finish
and to push my body across that finish line.
I did not make my goal,
but I did PR with an official time of 1:54:35.
I suppose shaving 6 minutes off my second race was a bit ambitious.

BUT, I did promise, 
(yet another ambitious move)
that I would herkie across the finish line if enough people donated $13.
They didn't.
Actually, I didn't come close to my goal,
but I did one badass herkie for the people who did.
Actually two.
Apparently the photographers were unprepared for the amazingness that was the herkie


(Thanks to Sandi, Uncle John and Aunt Susie, Mom and Dad, Nikki and Nick, Mark and Val, Joe and Dana)


Event #5: The Party

From there, it was on to Gray's 3rd birthday party.
I was pooped.
And worse: we didn't know there was a festival next door.
So I was sore, tired and dehydrated
and stuck in traffic - late to my own child's birthday party. 
A party that was left to my husband to decorate.
You can imagine my panic.

But I got there,
and it was a glorious event. 
And that cake that made me sit on my kitchen floor and cry over?
I got my hands dirty (in icing, not dirt people), flopped it back together,
and gave it its rightful debut.
The kids didn't seem to mind one bit.


Especially not this guy:

Monday I spent somewhat recuperating from the longest weekend in my life.
I planned on doing the same on Tuesday.
After all, I had planned the upcoming fundraiser well in advance to allow myself rest.

Event #6: Make Aprons

Someone noted that they wanted aprons.
I thought I had retired from aprons.
A day before I would have rather sold my soul then to make another.
But I needed the money. 
I sort of want a Boston Marathon jacket as my bragging right.
There's also a certain 26.2 sticker that I'm tackily contemplating buying for my future car.

So I sat and sewed. 
And sewed. 
I sewed until I only had 10 minutes to spend with my husband before we split for 10 days.

Bye husband.
Board plane.
Hi Mom.
Straight to fundraiser.
Set up fundraiser.
Go to Walgreens to pick up replacement snuggie because Gray forgot his.
Take bath in sink - aka - do a little wipe down and spritz with perfume.
Load up car.
Strap on apron.

Event # 7: FUNDRAISE

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

It was a HUGE success. 
I really had absolutely no idea what would come of it.
Would I make $100? $1,000? 10 million dollars?
People didn't RSVP.
People RSVPed who didn't even show.
People came who I never would have expected.
The expected came and continued to blow my mind with their support.

It was the most fascinating point in my charity efforts.
All of my hard work really was paying off.
People responded, and responded well.
People wandered in and were contagiously wanting to help.
They wanted the story. 
The background.
My training tales.
And most importantly,
they wanted to help.

















This was just what I needed to start the 1-month countdown to Boston.
I don't need to beat 4 hours,
or constantly worry about hills.
I'm running this marathon for something bigger than a pace or finishing time.
I want to take this opportunity to thank my brother for constantly being an inspiration.
I want to thank the Hoyts for accepting me to this team and allowing me this opportunity.
I want to thank my friends who have cheered me on thus far.
I want to thank my family, who knows just why I am doing this, 
and thus are my biggest supporters.
I want to thank my husband for being incredibly patient and encouraging,
and not complaining of my new sweaty and often unsexy activity.

And thanks to You for reading this.
If you feel that someone else would enjoy,
please share.
There's a love in this adventure that I hope everyone can experience in their own time.
Doing good to others will not give you super powers,
but it will give you a powerful sense of accomplishment and satisfy the soul.