Saturday, October 18, 2014

Wineglass or Bust 2014

My Wineglass Marathon Experience

   On Saturday, October 4th, I kissed my kids and husband goodbye, as I was about to go on my first overnight trip (without kids) since becoming a Mother. As I loaded my luggage into my friend Chris' car, I thought WOW!! This is for real! She and I, along with her 16 year old daughter were about to embark on quite an adventure. Chris and I had a Marathon to run!
   As we made the 3 and 1/2 hour drive to Corning, New York, we laughed, talked, and enjoyed some tunes, as well as each others company. The closer we got, the more excited we were, almost giddy. As we began to exit the highway, traffic got heavy. We could see the Corning Museum of Glass from the highway, but we just couldn't get there. So close, yet so far away. After some time and patience, we finally made our way to the parking lot of the Welcome Center and caught the shuttle to the CMoG to pick up our race packets. As we followed the sidewalk, we saw masses of people carrying Yellow bags with the race logo on them! We were here and all these people were here for the same purpose!!
   We made our way into the building and picked up our bags, race bibs, wineglasses and our bottles of celebratory Champagne. (Not that I'll be drinking mine, I'm keeping it as a souvenir) They tested the chips in our bibs to make sure they were reading and that the information was correct, then we made our way in to the Race Expo! The race expo was awesome. There were several vendors of race gear as well as nutritional products and the museum gift shop to explore. I left with a new running shirt and a hoodie with the Wineglass logo on the sleeve. :)
   Once we were finished with packet pickup and expo shopping, we headed back to the hotel about 30 minutes away. There we met up with Chris' Parents and Aunt and headed to dinner. After dinner, Chris, Sami, and I enjoyed a soak in the hotel's pool and hot tub. Then it was time to head back to our room and get our gear ready for the race. We debated what to wear since the forecast said it was to be in the 30's the next morning, and laid out our "flat selves". I Skyped Jake and the kids for a few minutes, then it was time for bed. We had to be up at 4:15 to get breakfast and head to the pick up spot to catch the shuttle to the start.
   I didn't sleep well that night. The bed was comfy, but not my own, and I was too nervous about running my first Marathon. 26.2 miles... was I crazy or just stupid?? I tossed, and turned, and wondered if I was the only one not sleeping. Finally about 4 A.M., I thought I heard Chris move in the bed across the room, and whispered "Are you awake?" I saw her sit up and saw her phone light up, and knew that she too was up before the alarm.
We dressed, packed all our stuff and headed downstairs to eat breakfast before the big run. At 5:15, we left the hotel to head into Corning so we could catch the shuttle that would take us to the starting line in Bath, NY. It was so cold that morning that we had to scrape the frost off the wind shield before we could even leave the hotel parking lot. Once we arrived in Corning, we stood about 5 minutes waiting for the next bus. The bus ride took about 30 minutes. When we arrived in Bath, we were ushered into a large garage type building that we had assumed would provide warmth. Unfortunately, there was very little warmth to be had, except for the fact that we were sheltered from the wind, and that there were hundreds of people crowded in this building. We had an hour and a half to wait before the start and I began to get even more nervous. After waiting for an hour, we decided to make our way to the Porta Potties and the Start line.
   It was almost time for the race to begin. Since Chris had previously run a Marathon, she knew what her pace had been and what her goal was, so we decided to run with a Pace group and made our way through the crowd to get near the runner holding the 5 Hour pace sign. We had a plan. I was feeling good, knowing that I could run that pace for at least the first half, and when the gun went off, we slowly began to move. Since there were 2000 runners, it took a while before we actually got across the official start line. But soon we were off and moving at a comfortable pace. For the first 4 miles or so, I felt like there was something stuck to the bottom of my shoe, but it was just my frozen toes not functioning properly. Once my toes thawed, I felt great. Chris and I had passed our pace leader and felt like we could pretty comfortably keep a 10:50/mile pace. At least for the first half. We walked through hydration stations, and sipped Gatorade as we walked. At Mile 8, we saw Chris's family cheering us as we went. It was a great feeling to hear all the people cheering as we ran by, and to read the signs everyone was holding. I was still feeling good through mile 9, but at Mile 10 my knee was beginning to feel tight. We stopped to use the Porta Potties, and just that minute or so of rest, gave my knee the break it needed to keep me going strong. At Mile 11, I had to slow down a bit and Chris went on ahead. At the half way point, I was still feeling good physically, and mentally. I was 13.1 miles in and I had made it that far in less than 2 1/2 hours. If I could keep that pace, I was on target to finish my first Marathon in less than 5 hours!  By mile 15, my knee was really hurting, and my calves were starting to tighten up. I hadn't trained properly and my longest run had been a half Marathon. I Just kept going, running a steady pace and walking through the hydration stations and enjoying the scenery and the signs that the spectators were holding. By mile 18, it was so much more mental then physical. My legs hurt, and they hurt bad! I was in pain from the bottom of my toes, almost to my thighs, but giving up was NOT an option! I had no option but to walk for a while. A couple times, my eyes welled up with tears, and I thought I was never going to be able to finish. At this point it was more of a mental game than anything! I came up to another runner who was walking and we stuck together for a while, talking and encouraging each other.  Her name was Katie, and she was from Pittsburgh. After walking a couple miles, I felt the pain ease up enough that I felt like I could run a bit. I bid Katie goodbye, and good luck, and she told me maybe she'd catch back up to me. Around the 22 mile mark, Katie caught back up to me and we shuffled along attempting to run, but ultimately walking most of the next few miles. It was then that we decided we would run once we hit the 25 mile mark. I had to mentally prepare myself, and when we hit that point, off we went. The closer we got, the louder people cheered. As we turned the corner onto Market Street, I could see the finish line. The crowd was cheering, and saying things like "you're almost there", "looking good" and "keep it up"! As I neared the finish, with Katie by my side, I saw Chris' parents, Aunt and Sami, and as they cheered, my eyes began to fill with tears. I had made it, I was just about to cross that finish line and I had completed a Full Marathon. As I crossed the finish and received my medal, I heard "Shanny, you did it! You finished!" and looked up to see Chris running towards me. As I hugged her, we both began to sob. Not even a pretty cry. We had a down right UGLY cry! She had completed her second Marathon, and I my first. I have never felt such a sense of accomplishment and pride in anything before! It was amazing! But, I couldn't have done it without the encouragement I got from Chris and my new friend Katie!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A few New SVG files

I've created a few new SVG files... Finally! I'm getting ready to head to work today, but I hope to get them ready for public downloading in the next few days. I'll post again when they are ready... I'm also hoping to get a chance to do a little project with them so I have something fun to show you all as well.
Here is a hint... they have something to do with what I'm involved in right now. :)
But in the meantime, go HERE to make a donation in any amount, or to dedicate a luminaria in honor of or in memory of a friend or moved one, who is fighting, survived, or lost the battle with Cancer.
I'm participating in honor of my Grammy!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Making My Grammy Proud!

    Today marks 4 months since I lost my dear Grammy due to complications from a Colon Cancer surgery. I miss her every day! It seems hard to believe that 4 months has passed. It still feels so raw, it still feels so fresh. 
   Just a short time after Grandma's passing, we lost my husbands Grandma, who also had Cancer, and My Grandfather was also diagnosed with Colon cancer. I felt like a lead weight had just been dropped on my chest!
Just a few years ago, I lost a dear friend to Cervical cancer at the age of 26, leaving behind a husband and a 5 year old son.  About 10 years ago, lost a second cousin to Leukemia, at the age of 15. She never even got to go on a date!
   But Thanks to Research funded in part by the American Cancer Society, I have 2 other cousins that have beaten cancer! One of them with Leukemia, and the other with Uterine cancer. My grandfather has had his entire colon removed, and has spent 3 weeks in a nursing home for rehabilitation. Today he goes back to the surgeon for his follow up, and to see if he will be able to go back home on his own soon. 
   I have lost too many people I love to Cancer! I'm not going to just sit back and watch it happen any more! That is why I have decided to participate in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life. I want to make a difference in someones life. If it's one of my family members, or friends, or someone I don't even know, they all count. Each one of us is someones Mom, Dad, Aunt, Uncle, Cousin, Sister, Brother, Daughter, Son, Friend or something else. We all mean something to someone! I want to give everyone a chance to have another birthday, or celebrate another holiday, or see their grandchild born.
Please join me by donating any tax deductible amount either in your name or business name, or Anonymously, to me and my Relay Team; Hope & Faith. You can donate by going here:
 Grammy I hope I've made you proud!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Greatest woman I ever knew

Last night, I lost my Grammy, but Heaven gained an Angel! Words can not even express how much this beautiful woman meant to everyone who knew her. She was kind and caring and nurturing.
She passed on a love of music to my Mother who passed it down to Me and I ultimately passed it down to my children.
She was funny, oh how she could make people laugh. I remember showing her my Ultrasound pictures when I was pregnant with my third child and had just learned we were having another boy... She was hoping to get a Great Grand-daughter.. She looked at my husband and said "you know how to build a house, but you don't know how to plumb it." I laughed so hard, I thought I might pee. My husband just looked at her in awe, not knowing quite what to say, not daring to say anything. I lost a baby in between Chase and Karter, and I truly believe that was my Girl. Now Grammy is in heaven with that Great Grand-daughter she so badly wanted.
She loved her girls and her Grandchildren unconditionally. She made it a point to come to our ball games and band and choir concerts, and she was our biggest fan, even if we didn't play the best. She supported us in everything we did, always!!!
And you should have seen her face light up when one of her Great Grandchildren was around. She loved them so much, and Oh how they loved her!!!!
She was a Godly woman, who not only taught us, but showed by example how important having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is. I have no doubt that she is dancing on the streets of Gold right now, on legs that were once failing, rejoicing and singing, with a voice that was mostly gone on this earth. She is whole again, catching up with her Mom and Daddy, and seeing Aunt Marie and other family members that have gone before her. She is happy and healthy again!
I am glad she is no longer in pain, and at the same time, I grieve, I hurt, I wish she was whole again and still with us. I grieve for the memories that I had with her that my kids won't get to have. Karter just turns 2 today and he won't remember how incredibly Awesome this woman was. The only memories he'll have of her are the memories of the stories I'll tell him, or the photos I'll show him when he's older.

"Grace was in all her steps. Heaven in her eye. In every gesture dignity and love."
Author: John Milton
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Here's another pic... finally

I sat the boys down and took some photos of them in their Christmas outfits the other day, and although I took lots of pics, I didn't get a lot of awesome ones. Some of my favorites are of Karter. Just seeing the joy and wonder on his face as he played with the Christmas Ornaments made me smile. This picture is 2 of the photos I took, combined with a Close up of a Christmas tree, using Photoshop. My hubby is the Photoshop expert, and I'm thankful for that.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hey Mom...

Hey Mom, can I borrow your Cricut??? This is Mr. Karter trying to climb out of his play gym and get Mommy's Cricut cartridges... Maybe he wants to scrap!! I caught him doing this and knew I had to get it on camera. Hope you get as much enjoyment out of it as I did!

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Friday, October 15, 2010

What a stud!!!

Here is my handsome stud in his Kindergarten photo... I'm polishing up my Louisville slugger, because I know all too soon, I'll be having to beat the girls off him! Special thanks to my very dear friend who was the photographer for the company that did the school pics!