Things that are Awesome

Kids wearing costumes when it isn’t Halloween.  Today I saw Woody shopping at Wal – Mart and then I saw Rapunzel walking on Front Street after work.  Awesome. 

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Healthy Kids 5K

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain drops hitting my bedroom window.  Not what I was hoping for on the morning of my first *real 5K* (I say real, because I have done a few, but I have never gone out and run one with the intention of getting the best time I could muster).  Cory, being the wonderfully supportive husband that he is told me that even though he did not want to go, he would come with me.  I knew that I needed to do this, rain or shine and I didn’t need to drag anyone else through the mud with me.  I have a feeling that he was grateful as he rolled over in bed. 

I rounded up my favorite running gear…I figured anything I could do to convince myself I was a runner would help me when I got to the track. Bonus, Under Armour really did keep me dry…for the first 15 or so minutes in the rain.

As I drove towards the starting point I realized that I had left my earbuds at home.  I told myself, that’s ok…I don’t really have to run this.  But I pulled into the Walgreens and paid too much for a pair of stand in earbuds, just in case I decided I was really going to do this.

As I got closer to the school the rain started to pick up, but it was ok, I could just get my T-shirt and go home.  I didn’t really need to do this.

I walked up to the registration table and collected the packets for my family.  My glasses were fogging up and covered in rain drops.  That was annoying, but I could just go back to the car.  I didn’t really need to do this. 

I attached the chip to my shoe and the number on my shirt.  I was ready, but I didn’t really need to do this.  By the time I made it back to the track everyone was getting set to take off.  I stood in the crowd behind the starting line.  Ok, maybe now I had to do it…but I could always walk.  I didn’t need to run. 

The gun went off and the crowd started running.  I picked up one foot and then the other and I started to run.  I would say I was in the middle of the pack to start off and as I followed the faster runners I just told myself that I could not stop and walk until someone in front of me did, and then I could just walk.  I didn’t need to do this.  I jogged along and as I approached the volunteers in the yellow shirts the yelled out, “one mile down!” Wow, that wasn’t so bad.  I looked down at my watch. 10 minutes 30 seconds…better then typical for me.  Now I realized, I had to do this. Mile two wasn’t quite as hilly, and as I made it through the neighborhoods I watched for the yellow blobs through my rain soaked and fogged over glasses.  Is that Melrose Ave. ahead?  Oh good lord its almost over!  I started down Melrose and I had to take a walk break and catch my breath.  Another runner came up behind me and as she passed she says, “You can do it, keep going.”  She was right, I could do it.  I had to do it.  And I ran.  I passed her as we came through the parking lot to the finish line and through my breathlessness I gave her a “Thank you!” as I plowed on through to the finish line.  

Previously, I have run 5K on a treadmill in 34 minutes.  That was my best.  My 5K outdoors was about 35 and a half.  Today I finished in 33 minutes and 39 seconds (by my watch, not sure on the official race time).  That may not sound like much, but to me it was pretty awesome.   My best time, and I actually really enjoyed running in the rain.

I grabbed a water and walked up to the car.  Cory was bringing the girls to participate in the kids 400 meter race that I had signed them up for.  The girls were unsure about getting out of the car in the rain, but brave little Thea said she wanted to run.  Leila was a hold out but ultimately, she decided to venture out into the rain with the rest of us.  We waited for the kids race to begin.  Leila and Thea stood at the blue line on the West High School track.  Cory stayed next to them to cheer them on and I made my way across the field to add some encouragement after the first turn.  A few boys were ahead of Leila and as the first kids approached me I started to clap and cheer them on.  Up came Leila with a big beautiful smile on her face as she sped by me. 

Thea was one of the littlest racers.  She came around the turn and she gave me a huge grin.  Her little legs were working hard and I could tell that she was already struggling.  I climbed up on the track and ran along side of her.  She said, “Mommy, my side hurts and they said if your side hurts you can walk.”  We walked for a bit and I could see a really big puddle of water up ahead on the inner lanes of the track.  “Thea, do you want to run through the water?!”  And we picked up our pace and splashed through the puddle and around the corner.  The cheers started as we approached that blue line once again.  We ran right up to the orange cone where Thea stopped on a dime and turned way towards her Daddy and away from the man trying to give her a congratulatory high five.  That’s my girl! 

I could not be more proud of both Leila and Thea.  And a little proud of myself too.

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Random memories

I was lying in bed tonight trying to fall asleep and I remembered a TA I had my sophomore year at Iowa. He was the one that pointed out to me, and the rest of my undergrad creative writing class that The Foxhead was a “writers workshop bar” and George’s was where the English majors hung out.  I remember thinking how odd that was the distinction even matter. 
Matt was that TA’s name. He was probably only a few years older than I was.  Everyone in the class had to write an original short story. Fiction.  The day I had my personal conference with Matt to hear his feedback on my “fiction” story about a poor college girl…let’s call her Alicia, who got dumped by her loser boyfriend and couldn’t let go, may have been one of my most awkward human encounters.  We sat on a bench on the front porch of the Dey house, where the cool fall breeze blowing and crunching the leaves were my only distraction from the utter embarrassment I felt while Matt attempted to analyze my character development.  He had to know very well, if not by the absolute patheticness of the “story” then by my red face and avoidance of eye contact that I was the sucker in this pathetic prose.
Everyone in the class had to read each of the other students
stories.  Mine was bad, but the bar for crappiest excuse for a short story because its really just a personal essay about the happiest/ saddest/ proudest moment of our uneventful first couple of decades, was set very high.
After being kept up past my bedtime with this memory I have realized three things. 1. Matt had a really shitty job. 2. Fiction is hard, and it takes talent and creativity that I do not have. 3. I understand why the distinction between George’s and the Foxhead is so important to the few who can do Fiction well.

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Self preservation

I have always prided myself on my sense of self preservation.  That looks dangerous? A quick risk assessment will tell me if its worth it or not and I proceed.  I have made it to nearly 32 years old with no broken bones *knock on wood* and have had a pretty satisfying existence.  If I die tomorrow I won’t have any regret.

Those are good things.  At least I think so.  Where the self preservation is really getting to me is on the trail. I want to run. I want to be fast, efficient and athletic.  I hit the trail or the treadmill as often as I can make myself and I never fail to end up angry at myself as a scale back my jog to a walking pace when the going gets tough.  I know I can keep going.  I also know that I have an instinctual need to never let myself get to the point where I can’t keep going.  When my tank gets down to a quarter left, I pull it into the station.  I want to know how far I can get on one tank.  Whoever said that running is more mental then physical had it right.  Any tips on getting over the hurdle?  Today I tried to slow down, focus on finishing my 5K without any walking stops, even if it meant jogging slower then I could walk just to not break my form.  I finished in just over 35 minutes, but I slowed to a walking pace no less then 4 times on the route and I cursed myself every time.  I wish I could be happy with my progress and not feel like a failure when I turn up Windsor Drive towards home.


Oh, and as a follow up to my previous running entry…I am no longer Obese.  I am firmly overweight and pretty pleased with myself about that.

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Every morning when I wake up, I slip on my glasses and pick up my cell phone.  I look at Facebook and my e-mail before I even get out of bed.  It has become part of my wake up process.  A little time looking at my phone and I can roll myself out of bed.

I get a lot of junk email.  Sales and advertisements from every online store I frequent.  Recipes that I probably won’t take the time to read, let alone cook.  Quotes and articles I won’t read. Notifications I don’t care about.  Junk, waste, noise. 

The days fly by, when they aren’t dragging along through the hours of doing the things I have to do until I get to the part of the day when I get to do the things that I want to do.  At that time, I generally want to go to sleep.

Running the girls to school, hurrying into the office, hustling from meeting to meeting, trying to stay focused at my desk.  Running to schools to pick up kids, trying to figure out what I can cook that will be done before someone has a meltdown and will get eaten by children.  Dinner. Bath. Prepping for the next day.  Fall into bed. Lather. Rinse Repeat.

At the bottom of all of those junk emails is a barely legible tiny blue word that reads “unsubscribe”. I clicked it.  Message after message I opened, and scrolled directly to the bottom searching out the magic link, and I clicked it.  Will an empty email box in the morning lead to a less chaotic day? Probably not, but I can’t find the “unsubscribe” link anywhere else.

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Last week I ventured into the local public library for the first time in months.  I owed them money from a book that I lost and no library needs seemed so important that I was ready to go in and pony up the bucks.  Summer is here and Leila is officially old enough for her own library card.  That seemed like a good enough reason for me to head back there, and while I was there I decided to find myself some reading materials. 

I don’t like fiction so I strolled past shelf after shelf before I found myself at the back of the library reviewing the old familiar dewey decimal numbers.  I tend to look for non fiction that relates to my life and lately I have been focused on running. 

I picked up a book about women runners and began flipping.  I put the book back on the shelf, it wasn’t about or for me.

I am not looking for the best marathon for beginners. I am not interested in a marathon at all.

I am not trying to lose baby weight (unless you are referring to the weight that I have been carrying around since *I* was a baby. I am all too familiar with that weight.  “She just hasn’t lost her baby weight yet, she will thin out.”  31 years old and I am still waiting for the miraculous thinning. As far as the official baby weight, meaning the weight you still have after you give birth, I don’t have any.  In fact, I am currently 35 lbs lighter then I was when I got pregnant with Leila.  So that excuse doesn’t work for me.

I am not looking for tips on getting my pace under an 8 minute mile. 

I am looking at ways to get my BMI under obese.

I am a real, regular fat girl.  For now.

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Me and my mothers day loot! 🙂

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Car conversations with the Coobs family…

Me: girls, what do you think you want to be when you grow up?
Leila: A singer!
Thea: a lion!
Leila:Thea, you still have to be a person!
Thea: umm….ok…a crocodile!

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Leila funny

After driving through Manchester, IA where a cemetery flanks the road on both sides, “Oh Daddy! I just saw a great place to put some more dead people!”

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Forgive me internet, for I have sinned. It has been two months since my last post and these are my updates:

Leila turned 6. She even had her first big kid birthday party at a local gym with a dozen of her friends.



Leila started Soccer, and the season is already over. 



Thea continued to get more adorable, and stinkerific.


We finally made it to Chalk the Walk in Mt. Vernon.  Every year I plan to go, and it never works out.  It was very cool.



Leila taught Thea and Mabel how to read. 


Leila and I enjoyed the final kindergarten fieldtrip to Bloomsbury farms.


Leila graduated Kindergarten.  It was a big day.  Can’t you tell how happy she was to be done? But seriously, it was a yucky rainy day (hence the crappy flash photography) and she wasn’t excited to be done with her teacher.  She loves Mrs. Halverson, and so do Cory and I. I couldn’t even get her to fake a smile.



Now we are done with swimming lessons until the fall and starting up Tee Ball. With summer camp, Tee Ball, Cory’s golf league and my increasing devotion to running…our evenings are busy.  

So the fast paced life of a Coobs coupled with my typical summer bitterness about juggling work and life and I haven’t been feeling it lately.  So forgive me, Please?



I know you can’t say no to that face.  I’ve tried.

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