Still Catching Up!By
So where was I? Oh, yes, as promised, continuing to zoom through the months that are missing from my blog. Remember I told you that something seemed a little wrong with Daniel before I left for the Women’s Running Magazine Half Marathon in Tempe, Arizona? But, what was wrong was … Daniel wanted to make me Wright!
November 7, 2011: GREAT DAY! Returning home, halfway down the escalator at the Des Moines International Airport, I see Daniel, smiling, holding one red rose and then he dropped to his knee. Describing it for you now, I’m still smiling, seeing the red and excited look on his face, all I could do was cry! I was spinning around like a puppy looking for her tail! Daniel then told me to “Come here.” So I walked over to him, hand covering my mouth as he pronounced his love for me, telling me I am “his perfect” and that he “wants to spend the rest of his life with me.” And then he asked me the five words that I never knew I always wanted … “Rebecca, will you marry me?” And like a shot I screamed “YES!” and jumped on him! I bypassed the ring and just started kissing his face wanting to tell him how much I love him! Finally, after 20 seconds or so of kissing, I realized my Mom, Dad, sister, and our friends Craig and Shirley were there to witness the event. Not just witness, but videotape! At this moment I realized that not only does the man love me and want to spend the rest of his life with me, but he knows me. Because it was intimate, yet a spectacle. And then I turned my attention to the ring, of course. I looked at my left hand, it was shaking. There was the most beautiful diamond covered simple yet antique-looking band that I had asked for, yet could never had dreamt to be so beautiful. “Holy cow I’m engaged!!” was all I kept thinking. I couldn’t believe he surprised me. No wonder he was acting so weird!
After the dust settled slightly I was treated to another surprise! Our friends Craig and Shirley gave us a night away to have dinner and celebrate with just the two of us. This was truly the best gift and I’m so grateful!
Now that I’ve shared my bliss with you, let’s get back to races shall we!?!? Next up, my final half marathon of the season: St. Petersburg, Florida, on Sunday, November 20. Whoo-hoo! This race was also a Women’s Running Magazine event, so you know what that means … Palm Tree Medal baby! I saw a picture of it while I was at their race in Tempe, so I knew I had to get that medal (see previous blog explaining I love collecting medals). After much consideration and budgeting, Daniel and I decided to drive! It was the weekend before Thanksgiving and we had another race coming up with Daniel’s family so we decided to just have fun with it!
We were super blessed to have another Biggest Loser contestant — Season 10’s Fredo Dinten — allow us to stay at his family’s condo in Florida. Not only was it close to the race location, but Daniel and I spent a little time afterward just sitting on the sandy beach!
Back to the half marathon. I figured since it was November, Florida wouldn’t be too humid, right? I was so wrong! After a chilly fall full of races, that Florida heat and humidity kicked my little booty this last 13.1. One thing that was outstanding, though, was Daniel was there to see me finish. He decided not to participate since he didn’t need another pink T-shirt, but having him at the finish line was extra motivation for me. And, rather than just sitting around, Daniel started a new routine on this trip: while I was racing, he spent the time working out, too! He used a fantastic mobile app on his phone called Body Fate, which generates random exercises (you should check it out!). He, too, was beat by the humidity and found out that running stairs is much harder in humid Florida when you are used to chilly Iowa.
So… 50 in 50 by 30 Challenge for Florida … check! It was a great race. Just remember, if you’re going to a different climate for a race get there a little early and do some running so you’ll be used to the different weather!
It’s becoming sort of a tradition in my travels to have one indulgent meal after I run 13 miles. I figure it’s one reason why I run, in addition to changing my life for the better! But, I’d be lyin’ if I didn’t share with you that I sometimes run for food. We took a tip from the show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and visited the Tampa Bay Brewing Company. Beer’s supposed to be a great post workout, right? I had the best plate of bacon-wrapped meatloaf over mashed potatoes with a sauce made from their homemade beer. It was worth every calorie. I budget my calories wisely. If I’m going to indulge and have almost a day’s worth of calories in one meal then it’s going to be homemade and not prepackaged and processed. That way my body knows what it is and knows how to burn it off. Part of finding your own normal is making sure you don’t deny yourself life’s little pleasures occasionally.
Speaking of burning it off! We decided to make good use of our trip back from Florida and visit Daniel’s Dad in Georgia for Thanksgiving on the way home. And, while we were there I used the opportunity to cross Georgia off my 50 in 50 by 30 Challenge list by running a 5k Thanksgiving morning (it was part of the Atlanta Thanksgiving Half Marathon on November 22)! I was fortunate enough to be able to do this Turkey Day 5k with Daniel, something we’ve only done once before. It was a great hilly course that tried Daniel’s patience. (He doesn’t like hills as much as I do.) We earned our turkey, ham and mashed potatoes feast that day and best of all, we got to spend Thanksgiving Day with Daniel’s Dad and younger sister. It was my first Thanksgiving actually cooking without my Mom and Grandmother, so I was on the phone with them making sure I got the mashed potatoes JUST right. I wanted to share a little piece of home with my new family.
The lesson learned from these races going into the holiday season is that it’s not one piece of pie or one cookie or a larger serving of mashed potatoes that causes a holiday weight gain. You have to choose wisely, though. And if you make time for yourselves, for your workouts — which for me means my runs — you’ll stay on track and be able to balance food and fitness during the holiday season. There were no races in December, but I did have a pretty life-changing experience, so please visit again in a couple weeks for the next blog!