Monday, January 19, 2009

Half Marathon Post- it's gonna be a long one- haha get it?

It was a really great experience- thanks for all your interest/prayers/encouragement! My time was 2:26:23. Finished 140/272 in my age group and 4478/8433 overall. My goal was to finish in under 2:30, so I'm very excited.

My knees hurt a lot yesterday but are fine today, my hips are a bit sore today. Not too bad. I started the morning with my "breakfast of champions" a yogurt, Carl Buddig turkey and a fruit punch G2. We loaded up into the car with the Rabes and Jon, and we were off to the starting line. It was a really great race- the running was running as normal but the periphery (both literal and figurative) is what really enhanced the experience. What was really neat about the whole thing is that we ran through several diverse parts of Houston, and in each spot, there were tons of people cheering, bands on the side of the road, high school drumlines, you name it. They also had our names really big on our bibs, so total strangers would cheer for you by personally. It was such a charge to have people you don't even know say "Way to go, Allison! You're looking good!" Whether we were in a poorer part of town with people on their porches waving Mexican flags and homeless people "air boxing" and cheering us on from the curb, or in "nicer" parts of town with families and little kids cheering with signs and cowbells, it made me really proud of Houston, and proud that the people from 25 countries and 50 states were all seeing our city in this way. The marathon route is even cooler- it just goes through some great/scenic parts of town. The infrastructure of the race itself was great- plenty of mile markers, gatorade/water stations, port-o-potties, whatever you need. It was very well organized and runner-friendly. Cason did a great job of finding me along the way, being there for the start and finish, etc, and shuttling Liz (my sweet sister who surprised me) and Rett (Cindy's husband- Cindy ran it too!) and Jon around. I'm hooked and I hope to do the full next year, but it's a LONG way. My only regret was forgetting to take an advil before we started- even in my new shoes, my knees hurt quite a bit from running so long on concrete. Nothing excruciating though- just annoying. It was hard, on Allen Parkway, coming back into downtown, and seeing Marathon runners on the other side of the road practically sprinting! They ran twice as far and they were going so fast! It also was a little bit deceptive coming into downtown...almost there, almost there...but the convention center was on the complete OTHER side of downtown, so that was tough. I was really able to speed up for the last 3/4 of a mile, because I knew some of those extra boosts of speed would help me pass a lot of people since it also got a bit crowded again towards the finish line.

This has been a great journey. I had no idea when I started running last March (when I couldn't even run a mile) that I would do this 9 months later. It was all fairly accidental and coincedental, but I'm so thankful. If you are reading this right now and you want to give it a shot, I want to encourage you- if I can do it, ANYONE can! It was a great return on investment- I trained, but it didn't take over my life, and the race was challenging but certainly not impossible/painfully difficult. The song that I played twice (since ipods were actually allowed- yay, I got to bring my crutch!) as I was finishing up the race in the downtown stretch was "Treasure" by Tree63. It is so upbeat and encouraging, and the meaning really got me through the end. It reminded me that this race was important but not the sum of who I was, and I was able to do it because the Lord blessed my diligence and helped me though it.

"Draw me after You, let me run with You, show me all Your kingdom come.

My heart is where my treasure lies, my great reward is in your eyes,

My every breath belongs to You, You are my treasure."

Cindy and I at the starting line, in the dark, amused by our bibs/nametags!My #1 fan. :)And we're off...we're blurry 'cause we're running so fast. Ha. Cason caught me at mile 9- see you at the finish line!Just a little bit further until the finish line!Me, Nate and Cindy- FINISHERS!

Sweet supporters. :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Reason #56,743 why I love him

I received the following email from Cason today at work:

"So, are you busy tonight? I was kinda hoping, if you’re not busy, maybe if you have some time, we might, if you’re free, be able to grab some dinner? You don’t have to call it a date if you don’t want to. We’re just two people who might be hungry getting some food at the same place, perhaps at the same table."

Adorable- and we had a lovely evening together.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Inheritance

I am so excited about attending this for the next 10 Tuesdays! Cindy and Melissa are coming too, and I think my mom. Wonderful!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beautiful Blisters

In training for this half-marathon, I am continually reminded of my own amateur and clueless nature. I mean, I'm getting there, but some things just hit me- "hello!" For example, when I started running last March, I didn't start and think "in 9 months, I'm running a half-marathon," so I my Asics cross trainers without giving it much thought, and the half-marathon decision happened along the way. The shoes were great for going to the Y, etc. but they weren't RUNNING shoes. Don't get me wrong, the Asics had been my friends throughout my journey to becoming a runner- an almost 200 mile journey over the course of 9 months. They have been good, albeit misused, shoes. So after a few long runs with some painful knees, I finally put it together. "If I'm running long distances, maybe I should be in running shoes." Cason agreed. So I went to Academy on a lunch break last week and picked them up...a beautiful pair of silver and blue Nike Airs (and not expensive!) They have been with me for 2 runs now, and their mileage is up to 16. They've been good- knees are working better, but blisters are a part of breaking them in. It hurts a little, but in the end I know they'll be good for me, lighter and more suited for accomplishing my goals.Sometimes the same thing happens to us in life. We get so caught up in our own plans/process that we don't prepare the way we should to accomplish the things that the Lord has led us to. We just keep running forward, with good intentions, but not with the proper consideration or planning. We have these realizations, and we have to rework things...sometimes we get blisters, but taking the right steps to prepare is always worth it. In your 2009, seek God's will and don't get caught running in the wrong shoes!

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9

Monday, January 5, 2009

Reflections and Resolutions

I really like Brooke's blog entry but I didn't want to completely copy, so I thought I would do my own variation. Disclaimer: It is importat for me to document these things, so this entry will be lengthy. :o)

8 Things about 2008 that I didn't expect at ALL:
  • I got a new job and worked one part-time and one full-time job for four months. What a blessing it was to get to ease into my new job at Family Serviceswhile having the closure of finishing the school year teaching in Waller.

  • Cason and I became homeowners! I stil remember the evening he came home from work in January of 2008 "Hey I think we should start thinking about buying a house." I freaked out. Surprise #1 helped fund Surprise #2's down payment. Funny how that works out.

  • We got closer to the couples in Veritas (our Sunday School class at Houston's First Baptist Church) than I could ever imagine. Have we really only known these couples for one year? What a blessing of community and friendship as we journey through young married life.

  • I became a runner. Really? Less than a year ago, I couldn't even run a mile, and I am running a half marathon in less that two weeks- I never even thought I would do this, I just wanted to get a little more in shape. Here goes nothin', right Cindy? This is still really funny to me.

  • We adopted our little brother kittens (not so little anymore) Winston and Theodore. I am truly obsessed with these guys, and they bring so much joy to our life (and warmth to our bed.) Cason was sweet to indulge me, but they have won him over too.

  • Hurricane Ike. I don't even know where to start. This storm took over Houston like crazy and left us without power for 10 days. The whole experience- the storm itself and the weeks it took Houston (not to mention Galveston) to get back to "normal" were completely unexpected. What a wild ride, but what a picture of God's provision.

  • My sweet baby sister is going to be a student at the University of Texas- in the engineering college! This is a surprise for a family of Baylor parents and 2 Baylor sisters, but I couldn't be more proud of her. I love visiting Austin, and I love her, so it should be a fun journey.

  • Some of my friends are having babies. While a blessing, still a surprise! No little Baby Whites for awhile, but it is fun to rejoice with those couples who are in this beautiful and miraculous season.

9 Hopes for 2009 (these range from very significant to very insignificant:)

  • To run at least 2 half marathons

  • Obligatory eat healthier/lose some weight (hopefully training for bullet 1 will help with this one)

  • Become more intentional about "Texas traveling"- while I've lived in Texas my whole life (save the first 7 weeks in Mexico and a summer in Europe- ha) I feel like there is so much of this beautiful state I have left to see- whether it be a woodsy state park where Cason and I can hike and camp or a fun bed and breakfast winery in the Hill Country, I'd love to plan some fun weekends for us and/or friends.

  • REALLY dedicate to my prayer life. How calloused are we about approaching the throne of grace with confidence?
  • Support Cason as he studies for/completes assignments and classes for his CFP (Certified Financial Planner) at Rice University Jan-Sept.

  • Scripture memory- I am doing the LPM blog 2 scriptures/month challenge. The first verse I'm working on at the beginning of January is the following: Psalm 16:5-8
    5 LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.
    6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.
    7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.
    8 I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

  • More projects! Finish Cason's stocking, do some major work in our yard, build a compost pile, etc.
  • Get involved in some capacity with HFBC's worship ministry.

  • Be intense and intentional about saving more money. Tonight was a good start. I trimmed my own bangs so that Cason can't say I look like a sheepdog (like he did on the way home from work this evening.) Ha. I love him, and the bang trim was MUCH more successful than it was when I tried it one morning before school in 5th grade...the last time I had bangs.

"Now let us welcome the new year, full of things which have never been." -Rilke

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy 2009!

It's back to work tomorrow after my 2-weekish, divine time off, but it's all good. We were able to ring in the New Year with 10 of our dear couple friends during a very low-key but fun evening, and 2009 has been wonderful- all 4 days of it.
Yummy spread of food (I highly recommend the Today Show's Champagne Punch- I have a big punchbowl, so I used 3 bottles of champagne (you can use 2) one bottle of ginger ale, one bottle of white grape juice, and frozen raspberries- it was a hit!)
Rock Band!
Rockers Rett and Allison- ha.
Catchphrase- always hilarious
The whole group! Housers, DuBrocs, Whites, Richards, Schneiders and Rabes.Happy New Year's, ladies! By this time next year, we'll need a babysitter...

Cason's cute.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Five Christmases!

I know, I know, it's January, but I'll get to 2009 in a minute. We were blessed to see the vast majority of our many family members over the Christmas break, and we had 5 Christmases! While to some that might sound like a nightmare, we are excited to say that we love our families, it was super low-stress and we didn't do the entertaining. We just hopped around from home to home- it's easy now without kids. :o) Quick recap of the 5...

Immediate Deily Family Christmas on Dec. 20
Deily Christmas with Linnet, Mookie and Aunt Clara on Dec. 23
Deily Christmas with Grandma Carole and the Tiongsons on Dec. 24
Gajdica Christmas at Gran and Granpa's on Christmas Morning
White Family Christmas Christmas Afternoon

Family was the most important emphasis of our travels, but we got a lot of fun gifts too- I have to classify a few of them.

Most grown-up gifts: ladder, saw, bench for our porch, fireplace screen, outdoor thermometer, silver butter knives, camera, restaurant gift cards for date nights

Most kid-like gifts: Rock Band, Peter Pan and The Little Mermaid on DVD

Most unique gifts: a piece of the old Waco Hall stage with an engraved plaque for Cason and I (the beginning of our love... :) a decorative "kissing ball" from the Smithsonian collection and teal and gold bangles (18 of them!) from Linnet's trip to India

Again, it was so much fun, (blessings abound!) and this break has been so wonderful to relax and recharge! Welcome 2009!