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Finster Graduates

It was August of 1999 and we were patiently awaiting the arrival of our niece. Brian’s birthday is the fourteenth and he just knew she would be born on his birthday. However, Sierra Chloe would make her arrival on the eighteenth instead. My sister had went into labor the night before and Andre’ came picked me up to go to the hospital. We stopped at the QT across from Hobby Lobby (it was Schnucks grocery store in 1999) to get coffee. When we came out Karen was pacing around the car during contractions. Sierra was born at 10:34 in the morning weighing in at five pounds and eleven ounces. Karen’s first comment was that she was so little and Dr. McCaffery offered to put her back for a week or two. I stayed until after they gave Sierra her bath in Karen’s room and then Andre’ took me home and went back to the hospital. It has been well said that Sierra looked like a monkey when she was born.

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To live in our family, you have to be tough. We can be quite brutal at times. However Sierra would soon grow out of the ugly newborn into a beautiful young lady.

By the time Sierra was born, we had cable in our house and had stopped watching channel nine and were watching Nickelodeon. One of our favorite shows was The Rugrats. Sierra was well under a year old when she earned her nickname from Brian. He started calling her Finster for Chuckie Finster. Chuckie was a worry wart and a scaredy cat two features which Sierra exhibits to this day. If Kayla wanted to aggravate her she would start talking about tornadoes and pretending to hear the sirens. Sierra would go into a panic and Kayla would just laugh.

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Sierra had reddish hair when she was younger and although she did not wear glasses she seemed to be afraid of everything including being outside. Beverly who lives down the street watched not only my girls but Sierra as well. I will never forget the day I drove by when she was sitting on a blanket crying her head off because she was outside. Beverly said she never stopped crying until they went inside and did this day after day. On Andre’s first fathers day I gave him a picture frame engraved with Daddy’s Girl and a picture of Chuckie Finster in it. After this she was stuck with the name forever.

Last week I went through old pictures looking for ones for this blog. I’m posting a few of my favorites.

It’s hard to believe that almost nineteen years have passed and Sierra has now graduated from high school. Even though Brian aggravates her constantly she still insists on hanging out our house. (After all he is the one touching her face with a fish, in the above picture.) She has been a joy to watch grow up. Her future plans are to attend South East Missouri State and study nursing.

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Mole Moral ~ If you have a nickname from the Moles (no matter how ridiculous it may seem) it means we love you very very much. We love you Sierra and know you will do great things!

 

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A Birth and Furry story

It was seventeen years ago today that I called Brian at the lake and told him I was in labor. He had decided even though I was going to be induced at midnight on my birthday (May 8) that it was totally safe to go to the Lake of the Ozarks with his best friend Johnny. I mean cause it’s only a three and a half hour trip anyway. So I got up and showered but refused to run to the hospital yet and just be at a big ONE centimeter dilated so when Target opened up my sister and I walked around in there for a good hour. By this time it is ten in the morning and Brian still has not returned from the lake. So she takes me to the hospital and my water had broken and I was FOUR centimeters dilated. Yay for me. It just so happened that one of my burn unit buddies was working that day and was my nurse. Now you are probably wondering how this is possible. Tina was a labor and delivery nurse and one or two deliveries away from being a midwife when she decided to go to CRNA school. To get into that program you must have ICU experience so she worked with us for a while. She also knew that I wanted to try to go natural. Around 11:30 Brian is still not at the hopsital (apparently he and Johnny decided false alarm and went back to sleep for a while. Johnny is not one that rushes for anything and this day was no different.) I was shaking all over and Karen called Tina and said what is wrong with her. The answer was simple I was hyperventilating and shaking all over. Lamaze breathing had been long forgotten but I started working on that. However I was like I need an epidural. So she called for one and then after it was placed checked me and said I knew you were at ten by the way you were acting, but I didn’t check first because your husband would have missed the delivery. He showed up just as the epidural was placed. I then received so much epidural I couldn’t push for two hours so we all sat around joking and laughing until pushing time came. And because my uterus did most of the work, three pushes and she was out. I had a different doctor this time and the experience was so much nicer. Brian got to cut the cord and Teresa captured pictures of this. Because my nurse did midwife first, she placed Allyson on my stomach for a while. It was really cool. When the doctor asked delivery time she looked at me like “well damn, I didn’t look at the clock” so she said 2:20 which in my head I said score that is super easy to remember. So the last mole girl was born without any issues and was discharged home on my birthday. May 6 also happens to be Florence Nightingale’s birthday and nurses day. I was often told she was a beautiful newborn.

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As she grew it became obvious she didn’t care what others thought or did. She certainly hasn’t been one to follow the crowd or even conform. I tried not to have a heart attack her freshman year when she decided to cut all of her hair off. I reminded myself it’s just hair and it will grow back.

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I even let her add color to it because Hollie (who does our hair) is awesome and I trusted Hollie to do this for us. Currently Allyson has grown out of all the color and is back to growing it long again. See it’s just hair and it does indeed grow back.

She is very artistic and creative. In middle school she became interested in Fursuits (not to be confused with Yiffers, as Yiffers have sex in their costumes and the Fursuits do not like them as they give Fursuits a bad reputation.) She created her first character whom she named Prototype. He was so big and bulky she has since dismantled him and is currently reworking him. Her second character was Wolzey and she performed in the middle school talent show and received a standing ovation. I was not allowed to attend but when I told the secretary she made it herself, she almost fell out of her chair. IMG_7789 (1)

As you are looking at the picture the unfinished one is Wilson , the guy in the middle is Wolzey and the end one with the glasses is the now defunct prototype. She finished Wilson and here he is. Please excuse my messy house as I always tell my husband on my deathbed I will not say I wish I kept the house cleaner. I will say I wish I helped more people and made even more things for them.

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After she finished him she put Fursuit to rest for a year or so and then she got a job. She has been working since October and has made quite a bit of money as a bus girl. She has another OC (original character) which she created. His real name is Robbie but he goes by Prince and happens to be Wolzey’s father. (Yes Wolzey is also an Allyson OC.) Here he is in 2D form.

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So since Allyson makes way more money than is needed to run her star wars server she decided to commission The GoldenMaw to make this character for her. This is this girls full-time job and a legitimate business. I would have never known such a thing existed. I believe she sent the girl some drawings and then she received pictures of progress on the head. I was amazed that she did it the exact same way Allyson made hers. I got the duh mom how else did you think it was done. Oh I don’t know with a real pattern and sewing machine. Not duct tape to get the shape and cut the fur out. Anyway the head arrived last week and it is freaking fantastic. It came with instructions on how to care for it, including how to pet it. He has a special brush for his fur. This thing is legit.

Of course cheap Mole thinks she spent way too much money. Yet when I have done t-shirt quilts he thinks I should charge more. It’s funny how that works. I say she got what she paid for which is true awesomeness. So it looks like we will be taking another trip to Midwest FurFest this year.

Now back to her birthday, she has requested to go to dinner at the place where she works. They “have the best food ever” and she thinks she can get a free brownie desert because it’s her birthday. So we will celebrate her in just a little and can only imagine what her future holds. I say she needs to work for Pixar and she flat-out refuses and tells me that’s not a job its a hobby and its my dream not hers. I love this kid!

 

Mole Moral ~  What one person thinks is money well spent another person thinks is a total waste. However, when it’s your hard-earned money you can spend it how you choose.

 

 

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Pokemon Go Raid Bus

For those of you that missed the Pokemon Go game release, I thought I had better start from the beginning. It is a game that came out almost two years ago as an app. It was designed to get people out of the house and out walking in the communities. It started off huge and then died down fairly quickly. However there are always die hard’s that stick with it. I downloaded the game about a week after its release when my daughters boyfriend at the time got pulled over at the Arnold Water tower by the cops and asked what he was doing. He and his friends showed the cop the game and they were let go. I honestly knew nothing about Pokemon. My girls never had much of an interest in it and I never played the game back in the Game Boy days. So when I first started my goal was to only catch one of everything.

About six months later on New Years Day my nephew showed me how to evolve Pokémon but I felt that was cheating if I didn’t catch them so I just continued looking for ones I didn’t have and hatching eggs. There are 2K, 5K and 10K eggs so when you walk that distance one hatches. The eggs remind me of Christmas presents because when one hatches, you never know what you are going to get. I then came down with the massive headache in February of 2017. During this time Emily’s boyfriend at the time was a Pokemon person and knew all about it and he started her playing. Now this made it way more fun because I’m super competitive. When Emily moved home in March for her last clinical we had a lot of fun playing together. Generation 2 was released at the time she started playing so I was now evolving and catching things for candy. I also learned how to walk with a pokemon to get needed candy.

Sometime after Emily moved back, I was at the gas station getting coffee with Pokemon running on the screen. One of the kids (anyone under 30 now qualifies as a kid to me) told me about the Pokemon Go Facebook groups. So I joined and Emily joined. This group was a lot of fun and I learned a lot of stuff about the game that I would have never had a clue about. So a guy named Tony decided to do a fundraiser walk to try to get Porygon. He received non stop grief in the group about not having one and took it like a champ. I got out of my comfort zone and did the walk and had a lot of fun.

This past February Tony decided to do a raid bus in which a group of people jumped on a party bus and drove around looking for raids. Now a raid occurs at a gym that you can only see on your phone. It takes a group of people to take the boss (Pokemon) down. I had never done them because I don’t know what I am doing. Most of these people know which Pokémon is stronger than others and who to fight who with. I am still in the I just want one of everyone. However the only way to get the Legendary’s is through raiding. I finally decided to go on the raid bus in March. The only person I knew was Tony and I told myself sitting next to a stranger would be no more stressful than the bus to Big Stuf. And on Tony’s bus we don’t have to play get to know your bus neighbor game. That game stresses me out every year because I have to talk to so many people I don’t know and try not to just stare at each them. Anyway a kid jumped on board and asked if he could sit with me. I looked at him and said “you have a 12 pack of beer, you better believe you can sit right here.” He offered me one but I said no thanks I would never stop talking. He showed me a trick about how to search for Pokemon by name instead of scrolling through the entire index. I will forever be in debt to him. So imagine thirty-nine adults and one kid driving up and down Manchester stopping at invisible gyms and everyone tapping on their phones.L

I am sure it looks crazy but it is a lot of fun. I caught my first legendary that day.

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Of course the minute seats opened for the April bus I signed up for that as well. Although it’s called a party bus, it’s not like a bachelorette or bachelor party bus. People drink a little but everyone is fun and respectful of each other. Tony was trying to take a picture in front of the bus and getting Mew (a special Pokemon that required a bunch of stuff to do before you could catch him) in the picture. He was spinning around in circles and we were all cracking up. The guy had an android and he handed him the phone and said make this thing go back, I don’t do Androids.  I am not sure if he ever got the Mew in the guys picture for him or not but we sure had fun while he was trying. Here is what it looks like if one looks at a legendary in the real world versus Pokemon virtual world.

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If you look carefully you can spot me. Especially if you know what my favorite color is. This game sounds as ridiculous as trying to explain soap operas if you never watched them. However, I enjoyed soap operas back in the day and I really enjoy this game. It is nice riding around with fellow players who both understand and love the game. The same bus driver has done all three events and she was telling us when she tells other groups about us they are shocked it is not kids but adults. This makes me think of Facebook in which the adults took over. The bus driver had never played the game but now when we would stop for a raid she would remind us to throw out a lucky egg for double XP. She even downloaded the game at the end of the trip. She is a blast.

 

Mole Moral ~ Once again stepping out of my comfort zone has led me to meet a lot of super nice people and have a really great time. And yes I have already signed up for the May raid bus. Don’t knock it till you try it.

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Inside my head

I thought I would give you all a view of what it’s like inside my head when I am running. I’ll break todays marathon down into mile by mile. Some of it is quite bizarre, like me.

Mile 1~ Holy crap these people are running fast, I’m going to end up last. No you aren’t, start slow, you will pass them later.

Mile 2~ They are still going too fast. Turn around. Oh good there are a lot of people behind me. I’m not last or close to being picked up by the too slow car and taken to the finish line.

Mile 3~ Ok that’s a five kilometer. You got this. Why are these people still running like this? Oh wait that girl passed me earlier. Rookie mistake going out too fast.

Mile 4~ Flat course my ass, what the hell is this hill doing here anyway.

Mile 5~ Time to eat a GU. I wonder if it will kill my stomach. I need to pee, where is the next Johnny on the Spot.

Mile 6~ There’s Johnny and no wait. Yay! Oh heck my running app auto paused, don’t drop your phone in the toilet trying to un-pause it.

Mile 7~ I feel really good. Maybe the Nike coach app knew what it was doing. My message today, trust your training.

Mile 8~ I am not going to the bathroom again. What the heck is wrong with my bladder. And wait my stomach isn’t too happy either. Glad I’m not running behind me.

Mile 9~ Who is calling me? Of course it’s Emily. I answer yes and she says I forgot. She has a broken toe. I talk to her while running. She says you sound really good. I said I’m at mile nine and feel great. She repeats this to her boyfriend.

Mile 10~ Time to eat again and go to the bathroom. I am never going to make the goal I set out at this rate. At least there isn’t a wait. Damn phone auto paused again. I hate this stupid thing.

Mile 11~ Ok lady running by me if you thank one more volunteer for helping I am either going to trip you or punch you in the face. I mean it’s nice you are thanking people but you are really getting on my nerves.

Mile 12~ Finally got in front of thank you lady so I can have some peace and quiet. Did I miss the turn off for the full marathon and am now running the half. Every single person I am around is wearing a half marathon bib. My pace is too slow to do a half. Oh wait there is the turn off. Thats really mean with only about three fourths of a mile to the finish for the half marathoners.

Mile 13~ Why did I take the full marathon turn? Why did I think this was a good idea? Where is everyone? Am I in last place? Oh wait I see people up ahead, maybe I can pass them. I am going to have to pick up my pace to make my goal.

Mile 14~ Slow down, you can’t run this fast or you will crap out at the end. I have to go to the bathroom again. There are people in both of them. They are taking forever. I am about to bang on the doors and tell the fools to hurry up. I have a goal to meet.

Mile 15~ Time to eat again. I am not stopping to use the bathroom again. This sling better work or else. A guy says to me “wow your hair is really red.” I say thanks even though I am not sure its a compliment. Had I not been so focused on running I would have said “Now you know why my husband calls me Big Red.” Then I start thinking about Bring It On and Married with Children. I think of myself more as the cheerleader than Peggy Bundy.

Mile 16~ A lady looks at my hair and says “I love your hair. Its the best hair of the marathon.” I thank her and make a mental note to make a Facebook status about it and tag Hollie the girl that does my hair.

Mile 17~ I still feel pretty good but I know the wall is coming soon. I tell myself I don’t have the time or the energy for it this year.

Mile 18~ Amazing I don’t feel like I would rather die, than finish. This is how I felt my other four marathons.

Mile 19~ I turn the wrong way and the course volunteers have to yell at me to get me to go the right direction.

Mile 20~ Time to eat again. Wait wheres my other GU. Oh crap it must have fallen out of my pocket. A kid offers jellybeans so I take a handful. I hear him say that girl took a whole handful. I almost turned around and said “there aren’t that many people left, you have plenty.” Instead I shove them all in my mouth and say sugar don’t do me wrong.

Mile 21~ Some girls are handing out GU at the water stand. I snag salted caramel the very best kind. I tell myself at mile 23 I am downing it and then running the last three miles as much as I possibly can.

Mile 22~ I attempt to go the wrong way again. This seems to be a pattern. I finally pass these two girls that I have been playing tag with since mile 13 for good. They are younger than me so I think I am twenty-five.

Mile 23~ My stomach hates me but I chug the GU anyway. I started running. I run about three fourths of a mile straight which is pretty freaking amazing seeing as what mile I am at. I am a run/walk type of girl.

Mile 24~ A group of guys are on the corner with drinks. The one tells me I look like I just started. I said I wished. He asked me if I wanted a beer. I say “no thanks, I would be drunk as a skunk.” They all crack up laughing and I congratulate myself on being funny after being at this for five and a half hours.

Mile 25~ Paranoia sets in about if I will meet my goal or not. A kid is handing out Jolly Ranchers, I take one and its the best decision ever. I envision the sugar coursing through my bloodstream giving me just enough energy to finish this and meet my goal.

Mile 26~ There is no one around and I totally go the wrong way, probably wasted a good thirty seconds of time. I am now convinced the only way I could possibly make goal is to run like a bear is chasing me.

Mile 26.2~ I made it. Cross the finish line at the 50 yard line at U of I stadium. It takes another twenty minutes for my official time to post. Yep beat my goal by an entire 49 seconds but I don’t care because I achieved it and I ran a 5K the night before. Go me!

Post run~ Where is my car? I did manage to pin it on my maps but the directions make no sense. The girl starts yelling in my ear turn around and go the opposite way. I think she’s nuts and then I remember I have ZERO sense of direction so I listen to her. I finally find my car, it was .9 miles away. It makes total sense to run a marathon and then walk another mile to your car.

 

Mole Moral~ Setting a goal and achieving it leads to great satisfaction, no matter how crazy your sound!

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Mercy Heartprints

I rarely blog about work because with HIPAA I do not want to be in violation and potentially lose my job. However I feel this subject will be safe because it really has nothing to do with a specific patient of circumstance.  A little over seventeen years ago my nephew was born and it was apparent he would not survive so the decision was made to take him off of life support and have his parents hold him until he passed. I was there and it was the most difficult thing I had ever been through. Prior to this I had worked in the burn unit and been with my patients when this was done. I thought it was easier because there was no hope, however I discovered that although your head knows it’s the right thing to do, your heart is broken into a million pieces. After this happened my sister-in-law was transferred from the mother/baby floor to the gynecology floor. I had been thinking about leaving the burn unit for a few months and after visiting her there I knew it was time to transfer.

Mercy Heartprints is a program for families who experience the loss of a baby through miscarriage, ectopic, stillbirth or neonatal death. It is run by a wonderful lady who has been in charge for longer than I have worked on Women’s Health. (At some point the name of our floor was changed from Gynecology to Women’s Health but I cannot remember when.) We have an open visitation policy so if the mom wants to see her baby again before she leaves, we do that for her. I remember when I was in my labor and delivery rotation and our instructor called us in to see a twenty week loss. She was touching the baby and I remember thinking that I would NEVER touch a dead baby. See how that word bites me every single time I use it. Sadly, I have touched more than I ever could have imagined. I used the word sad because every baby is a loss for a family.

Most people wonder why and how I can do this and there are two reasons for this. One, if I could go back in time and hold my nephew even though he had passed I would. I do not want any of my patients to ever have that feeling. Two, I know it is the last time they will see their baby until they themselves die and go to Heaven. For those of you who are wondering we do indeed warm, dress, and wrap the babies in blankets. All of this is then given to the parents to keep.

My mom taught me how to crochet when I was really young. I’m thinking maybe eight or so. I even made clothes for my sisters Barbie dolls. I never played with those stupid things. Shocking I know. I always wanted to learn how to do granny squares but no one I knew could make them. I bought a book with the instructions but I might as well have  been reading Chinese. So when I had Emily, an aunt made her a granny square blanket. It was beautiful and I will always treasure it.

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Brian took this photo all on his own when Emily was three days old. You can see the blanket in the picture. Finally about a year ago, I thought I bet there are You Tube videos on how to do granny squares. Sure enough there was and I finally was able to do make them and then the Chinese directions actually made sense. So I started a pinkish one and then the girl who does my hair was having a baby so I made one for her but she was having a boy so I had to switch yarn colors. Then my other friend was pregnant again with number eleven and I was convinced she was having a boy so I made another blue one. However, about a month before she was to deliver I decided to finish the pink one just in case. When she texted me she had a girl I believe my response was “OMG! It’s a good thing I have a back up plan.” I have since made about three more blankets for other friends that are expecting. I ran out of people to make them for so I decided I would make them for the Heartprint patients. Since most of the time those babies are smaller, I only use one skein of yarn for each blanket. Hobby Lobby has a brand of yarn called I Love This Yarn and all of the colors are amazing. I have currently made twenty blankets (I have been asked if I think I am OCD. That answer is you better believe it) and I see no end in sight. I have a lot of solid colors from past projects so I am doing a solid and then a fun multi-colored one. I feel that if just one blanket brings one mom some comfort and peace knowing her baby was recognized then it is worth making a thousand. My husband did ask how much i was charging for them. I said they are gifts to the Heartprint program. He asked me how I am ever  going to get rich. I said giving them away makes me richer than Bill Gates.

 

Mole Moral ~ Often in this world, we never know how one-act of kindness can make a difference to just one person.

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The New Washer

 

Change is always hard in the Moehlmann house, although it’s much worse for Brian and Allyson than the rest of us. Anytime an appliance starts acting up, I know I have a battle on my hands.

A few years back my gas stove was to the point that to light the oven, one had to open the broiler drawer  and blow. Brian’s father saw this in action and informed me I was going to blow myself up. Brian kept informing me it was fine. I finally realized he was never going to agree to a new stove so I took his mom out shopping, we picked one out and I had it delivered. He crabbed about it for a while but at least I was no longer in danger of ending up in the burn unit.

Ten years ago our washer stopped working. He was unable to fix it. Keep in mind it was sixteen years old and given to us as a wedding gift from his parents. He was so mad that nothing ever lasts anymore. This was right when front loaders were out so I decided that was what I wanted. I have a confession, I hated it from almost day one. It was way too low to the ground so Brian made a box to elevate it and the dryer on. That made my back happy. However it took forever and I wasn’t sure how clean the clothes were. However this was my brilliant idea so I kept it to myself.

Probably for the last three to five years somewhere around the rinse and spin cycle it would error out F20 which meant there was a water outflow problem. So I would have to stop it, the water would drain out and then run the rinse cycle. This resulted in multiple trips up and down the steps. However I also being cheap I just continued to deal with it. Brian confirmed there was no outflow problem so it was most likely a motherboard issue and to fix it would cost as much as a new washer. So we chugged along.

About a month ago the error started happening 48 minutes in and the clothes weren’t even getting wet. It was now ten years old and I had enough so I got in the car and ordered a new washer. I returned to find Brian had taken the washer apart and told me he could get another six months out of it. I told him too bad I had a new washer coming. He got really annoyed and said he wasn’t taking the old stuff off of the stand. (I went back to a top loader.) I told him not to worry I would ask the delivery guy to take dryer off for me.

So the washer came and I asked the guy if he would take the dryer down. I then added I’ll make it worth your while. I quickly realized what that sounded like and said that sounds bad. Anyhow I gave him and his buddy twenty bucks and told them to have a nice lunch.

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This washer is fantastic. It still takes an hour to wash but the clothes area is so much bigger and the clothes smell great. I feel like they are cleaner. I have no intention of ever owning a front loader again. I would say never but then top loaders would be eradicated and I would be stuck.

 

Mole moral ~ Sometimes the latest and greatest isn’t all that great after all.

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A Different Training Plan

I just realized it’s been a month since I posted anything. I have had four blog posts in my head and yet have not bothered to write any. I think I will start with a running one to be super annoying. I try not to post on Facebook about running too much because I don’t want to be that girl.

After completing the big ultra marathon I decided I wanted to work some on speed. The entire time I trained for the ultra I did not push myself because I didn’t want to get injured and have to delay the race again. Starting training over once because of the headache was more than enough. My goal is not to be the fastest, win a race or even beat my personal best. I have had two major foot surgeries since a personal best. I did decide I would like to finish a full in under six hours so the next step was finding a training plan.

I have used the Nike+ app since I first started running. Almost everyone I know switched to Garmin but I refused to lose the thousand miles I had already logged. I decided to use the coach section on the app for the marathon training plan. I had just come off of running five days a week with the shortest run being four miles. I looked at the schedule and thought how in the world will this work.

For starters it’s only four days a week which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. And sometimes it’s only mileage two of those days with a 15 minute benchmark run and a cross training day. Sometimes I get to do speed workouts where I run as fast as I can for either 200, 400, 800 or 1600 meters and then walk for a set amount of time and repeat. Anyway I was really thinking this was all bull hockey till a couple of weeks ago when my speed workout splits were this.

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My marathon is the end of April and I’m now starting to believe under six hours is totally doable. However I have to quiet the voice in my head that says how about a PR. That would be under 5:25:00 to which I tell that voice to shut the hell up…….for now.

 

Mole moral ~ Following a new plan may allow you to see or do things you never thought you were capable of.