Sunday, July 24, 2016

Mama on the Run: A Vacation From Running

Y'all know I've been in a running funk lately, as I've whined far too much about the missing mojo this entire spring and summer. I go into each week ready for a fresh start. Excited and hopeful to find that gleeful desire to lace up the kicks and pound the pavement.

It just hasn't happened these past several weeks. And this week was the worst.

I've been suffering some nagging health issues lately that have left me in a great deal of pain and discomfort. Home remedies were working until this past weekend, when infection set in and I had no other choice but to call doc to get things taken care of with medical treatment and prescription. It's nothing serious, but also nothing I really want to go into detail about. Let's just say I went into the doc on Monday morning, was stuck with two rather large needles, and walked out with a prescription for medicine and strict orders to lay off the bike for the next 2-3 weeks. (just as I was picking up more miles on the bike as my main form of summer cross training)

Running and walking have actually been the most comfortable thing to do, so in the words of my dear, sweet, stubborn-like-me husband, I sucked it up buttercup and chose to run and walk every day this week to continue exercising so I didn't go completely bat crazy.

This, my friends, has been the nail in the coffin on my running mojo. After six days in a row of running, I'm tired. In fact, the words slipped out of my mouth after yesterday morning's hot and sweaty run, where I barely eeked out a 5K in between walk breaks.

"I'm just tired of running," I shouted to my husband as he asked how the morning outing went.

I didn't bite my tongue. Watch my words. Try to retract my statement or sugar coat it.

No, I'm just tired of running right now.

I can't blame the super hot and super humid weather (it has been super hot, with already feel-like temps of 80-90 degrees on any given day at 7:30-8 a.m.). No, the weather hasn't been stopping my other fellow running friends from getting out and pounding the pavement and pushing through.

I can't blame my recent, nagging health issues.

I can't blame my eating habits or my less-than-ideal sleep habits.

Changing these things doesn't give me the return of the running mojo that I oh-so wishfully desire.

I need a vacation - from work, from life, from running.

And that's just what is happening with the fam this week. We're packing up and hitting the road for some time away from it all...including running.

Maybe I'll find that mojo on the road somewhere and bring it back upon my return next week. Until then, though...happy trails!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Swimmer Girl

Mackie wrapped up another Hutch Rec swim team season this morning. This year we were able to participate in a couple of meets, which made it even more fun and the kids were able to put their swim skills to practice against other kids in the area. 

Mackie-girl is a fish and stubborn like her mama, a competitor like both mama and daddy, and was bound and determined to do every single event they'd allow her to compete in (unless the coach told her she needed a breather). 

Her favorite (and quickest!) strokes included the back stroke and breast stroke. I have a feeling that once she gets her flutter kick and rotary breathing down that she'll fall in love with the freestyle, too. 

Little miss even had a shot at the 100 IM in both swim meets she competed in. We couldn't believe that she wanted to try and conquer it! She pushed through both meets and dug deep during the butterfly portion of the event (difficult for anyone to do, but especially a 6-year-old!). 

We had a great summer cheering on M and her fellow Hutch Rec-Salt City Splash swim teammates and seeing the progress she made with her strokes. But most of all, Jack and I were thrilled at her positive attitude and determined spirit - and thankful for a great swim coach and teammates who made her feel like an important part of the team, being the youngest member. 

Now it's off to the Salty Pup Triathlon on her 7th birthday! 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Mama On The Run: Summer Runnin'

True to Kansas style, this summer has been hot. And humid. And not the greatest weather for running, but what other option do you have except to suck it up, buttercup?! 

The fam and I have enjoyed a few summer races so far - Hutch Rec Race Series Firecracker 5K & 1-miler at the end of June, followed by the Titan 10K & 1-miler two weeks later, in mid-July. 

For mama, the Firecracker 5K ended exactly as it did last year - same exact finish time and a 3rd place in my age group. The kidlets rocked the 1-miler - Mackie wowed us all with a 9:00 1-mile time (cruising!) and Brax ran with daddy and managed to run almost all of it without wanting to stop, walk, and talk or cry that he was running. He actually wanted to run the race and begged to join us - winner, winner! 

The Titan 10K, meanwhile, was a very hot and humid race. I've raced this one every year, and I feel like every year it's more humid! I knew I wasn't in top form or shape and definitely not for racing a strong 10K on a very hot/humid morning. So I didn't focus too much on time and simply wanted to hone in on how my body felt while running. It was my slowest 10K time ever, but good enough for 3rd place in my age group. 

Mackie, meanwhile, rocked the 1-miler again and ran a 9:35 for a 1st place finish in the 8U girls age division! She was thrilled and really loved the fact that she received a gold medal compared to mama's bronze one. (Competitive, perhaps?!)

I'll admit it's a bit disappointing to run slow. I was encouraged by running a strong (for me right now) 5K, but then really woofing it at the 10K. But with every disappointment I continue to focus on the present as I work hard for the future. Where am I at right now? What am I placing my contentment in? What am I working toward? What weaknesses do I need to come to terms with and overcome for the future? 

My weaknesses right now are strength and core training - I've completely fallen off and will be renewing that focus heading into what's next. Diet and sleep are right behind that, as I'm not eating as many fruits and veggies as I should be and definitely not getting the sleep I need on these longer summer days. All of these things I will take into consideration and work to become better for what's next, which is a fall/early winter filled with two half-marathons, a 5K, a 10K, and a 10-miler. (phew!)

I'm back to the half-marathon focus and will amp up the longer weekend runs in the coming weeks as I'll FINALLY be able to run Run for the Rocks Half Marathon this year! It's been six years in the making....instead of running all over the course and putting out fires as race coordinator, I actually get to "just" run and toe the start AND finish line. Wahoo! 

Happy running, folks! Stay hydrated, take it slower, and embrace the heat/humidity challenge!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Conkling Summer 2016: May/June Recap

Wow - what a summer so far! We've been coming and going and enjoying this more "relaxed" time (I use this term loosely!) that I have failed to update the blog. 

Here is a peek at what we've been up to so far this summer....

Dance recital: Mackie beautifully danced across the Fox Theater stage at her end-of-the-year performance, ArtisTree's "Connections" show. More on this to come!

Ken's visits - on days when the heat index is well over 100 degrees (we've had plenty of them so far!) and mama doesn't feel like cooking. 

Bicycle rides, including a fun kid's race at the Hutch Bike Fest event in late May at the Kansas State Fairgrounds. 

Water fights in the front yard as we waited for grandma and papa's pool to warm up. 

Zoo trips to finally (finally!) see the elephants after months of anticipation (and daily questions from B-man - is today the day, mama?!).

World's Largest swim lesson participation...even on colder, rainy days, because well....when mama works at Hutch Rec, you get to participate in these kinds of things...and then end up being in the newspaper. 

Mama turns the big #33....and celebrates in style with these little cuties sporting her basketball number. More on this to come!

Kid-free KC weekend....with two trips to the most magical place on earth. More to come!

Preston pool opened up, and with it came two excited kidlets. Brax already has mastered the diving board, and Mackie continues to amazing us with her diving skills. Our little fish keep on swimming!

A basketball goal became a reality in our driveway after hours of daddy and papa working to dig a hole, pour concrete, and put it all together. 

Swim team practice began...resulting in a huge increase in the grocery bill. 

Adventure Camp was hot, but Mackie enjoyed her first year of this popular Hutch Rec-Dillon Nature Center outdoor camp! Her fave part was the day she went canoeing.....when she sat in the middle, because (her words), she "could tell the other kids what to do with the paddles." (oh me!)

Running and racing as a family for the Firecracker 5K. More on this to come!

T-ball began and Brax decided he was tired of "just" DH'ing (like he did last year, when the kid refused to play in the field and only wanted to sit in the dugout until it was time to hit), and actually enjoys catching, throwing, and hitting. What a concept!

Meanwhile, softball also started and Mackie has had quite the learning experience in hitting a live ball being thrown to her. 

Monopoly is now Braxton's favorite board game after we taught the kidlets how to play and he cleaned out our banks - and then some (twice!).

Trips to the bowling alley to burn off some energy and provide sanity to daddy on those days mama is in the office.

Ocean Commotion Vacation Bible School.....where the songs still consume our every thought in our head as we cannot get them out! (but they are pretty cute - and it was an amazing week learning God's Word and the story of Noah!) wonder daddy and mama are a bit tired these days. Throw in library time and other day trips, and we've packed quite the punch for June - and July is just the same! More of our summer adventures to come...

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Your Daddy Is....

My dearest Mackenzie and Braxton,

Do you know how wonderful your daddy is? Do you really, truly understand just how blessed you are to have the incredible man in your life? 

Well, just in case you forget....or for those days that you think daddy is just the meanest, unfairest guy on the planet, let me remind you....

Your daddy loves the Lord with all of His heart. He loves Jesus more than he loves your mama....just as it's supposed to be! He loves your mama next and oh-so spoils her with his leadership and love in our home. He loves you both next and above all, desires that you know and love God for all of your days. 

Your daddy is our provider. Encourager. Supporter. Coach. Mr Fix-It (or finds Mr. Fix-It - AKA: Papa Scaliwag). Fort builder. Bust-a-move dance partner. Teacher. American history buff. Sunday School teacher. Listener. Mower. Vacuum King. Master of the ironing board. Bad dream protector. Seamstress. Driver. Reader. Fishing partner. Spider stomper. Cubbies mega-fan. Royals next-to-Cubbies fan. Member of the K-State bleed purple club. 

You see, my sweet kidlets, your daddy does it all - and with no complaint. I'm honored to be married to this incredible man, and thank God over and over again that He gave this man the oh-so important job of being your daddy.

Happy Father's Day, Jack Edward!