Saturday, September 15, 2012

My Grandma and Orlando Bloom?????

Guess what?  I have a secret (well not really, since I cant keep a secret but its not common knowledge) but I 1/4 Syrian.

Yep.....I have Middle Eastern blood pumping through the veins in my blonde hair and blue eyed body.  Better yet, my Grandmother was born in the embattled Aleppo. 

My mom and Grandma

She moved here with her family when she was 7 to escape religious persecution (imagine that).  Even though they lived in a Christan stronghold, they were still the minority and in danger because of their religious beliefs.  The events of the past several years months have weighed on me, just as they have every American, but often I think of Aleppo.  If I have family still there...are they safe?  Are they alive?  Which brings me to my point.......

Holy Wars do not end.  When you put people and their religion to the test, when someone's personal commitment to their God/Savior/Creator is questioned or put to the test, a primal fury will come out and sadly, people will die.  My grandmother is proof of that.....she was 7 in 1921 when they left Aleppo because of the same reasons people are dying in Aleppo right now.  The Sunni Muslims want to stop Assad, who follows a Shi'ite religion.  The Muslims are lined with Turkey, Assad is line with on wins.  People die. 

Same thing happened in Ireland (where my blonde hair and blue eyes come from).....can you say Protestants vs Catholics?  The IRA is still active....don't fool yourself into thinking only Muslims can be radicals.......there wouldn't be travel advisories to Northern Ireland if it was only Muslims.

Sidebar:  My brother always told people to watch my temper because I'm Irish and Syrian.....terrorism is in my blood.  That was alot funnier on 9-10-2001 then after that. 

Its very sad, but (and this sounds bad) not my problem.  Its not...really.  Its not solvable.  Its not reconcilable.  There is no good answer....people have been living and dying by Holy Wars alot longer then I have been around, alot longer then U.S. has been able to step in aka drop bombs and make things worse better and they will continue to go as long as religion is around.  And lets face it, nothing has been around longer then religion so the cycle will continue. 

Some people may think I'm not very religious and maybe I'm not.  But I am very spiritual.  I just don't think I need to go into a building to have a good Christian heart.  My personal beliefs were shaped several years ago when I was told by a Confirmation leader that my job as a servant of God was not to question but obey.  Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to do my own thing, my own way and while I'm always up for doing stuff with other people, I don't follow the crowd if I don't want to.  Hence, "obey" isn't really up my alley, regardless of WHO I'm supposed to Obey.  I don't see the hurt in finding out the WHY behind the DO.  It was that point that I shut down "religion" and going to Church and I did for a very, VERY long time.  I made my way back, under my terms, but along the way I found that I do not have to go to a building to have a relationship with God.  Some people feel that you do....that going to church on Sunday's gives them that connection once a week to sit and be with God in His House.  I think that is wonderful.  That is where they are comfortable and where they want to be.  I'm happy for them and that connection.  Mine tends to be located in the middle of the oil strip as the sun is cresting the hills, at 44 degrees while I'm getting my sweat on.  Seriously, I have had some of the best conversations with my Lord and Savior while running....and I don't mean praying for the finish line either ;)

Have you seen the movie Kingdom of Heaven?  Its got hottie Orlando Bloom in it??  You must have...who wouldn't want to watch Orlando......Anyway, watch the movie for the whole story but what I love about it is that theme of the movie is that the Kingdom of Heaven, long thought of as Jerusalem, is not really a place, so to speak.  Its a Kingdom of Consciousness.  Of Awareness and Acceptance.  That is where the true heart of God and Allah can be found, in a Kingdom of Consciousness. 

A new world. A better world. A Kingdom of  Conscience...a Kingdom of Heaven.
Godfrey of Ibelin

I pray for peace of heart and mind, for those of who are accepting of that.  Some people are not....radicals on all angles of the religious spectrum wont see peace as I see it.  They dont see acceptance as I see it.  Those are the people that will keep the Holy Wars rolling and while there isnt much I can do to stop them short of traveling over, slapping the shit out of them and running for cover, still, I pray for them.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Jogger Stroller Hell

Thing 1 telling Thing 2 to "talk to the hand"
Thing 2 is my little bruiser.

Occasionally they do sit still long enough for a photo together.

Who know that 2 sweet faced little boys and 3 wheels could make a 3 4 mile run sooooo soooo SOOOOOO difficult!!!

I had all the plans in the world for a 6 mile run this morning...then the alarm went off and I was freezing so I couldn't didn't drag myself out of bed.  Seriously, was NOT prepared for 36 degrees this morning!!!!!

The boys had been asking for a few days weeks for me to take them on a "un, go un MOMMA!!!" so I figured today would be the day.  Temps were expected to be fairly cool in the morning, so I figured a nice, easy paced 3 miles would be a perfect for the kids and still get me running.

Let me just say here, that while I'm a BAMR there was no way in God's green earth (or the brown color that has taken over the Sandhills since we have had 1 inche of rain since May) that I was pushing 55lbs of child + 23 lbs of stroller up hills for 6 miles.  Into the wind.   Not. Gonna. Happen.

Started getting Thing 1 and Thing 2 loaded up, which of course involved dressing them, rounding up sippy cups, a couple matchbox cars (each), apparently we had to have a Batman figure, then a blanket, forgot my watch, and my iPod, grabbed those and figured this was not starting out as well as I had hoped, so a water bottle was in order. 

Got them loaded and the tire is flat.  Thankfully hubby was still there so he helped me by taken the so I pushed the gimpy stroller down through the sand to the shop to pump up the tire.  He was cursing the tire the whole time, which was amusing to me since he was NOT the one trying to balance it just right as the puppy tried to grab at the now off the wheel tire and the kittens chased after the puppy.  I was cursing the stroller also.

Get down to the shop and Thing 1 takes off in one direction while Thing 2 takes off in another.  This is NOT an area the boys go to.  This is where hubbys does all the work on the ranch machinery.....AKA NOT CHILD PROOFED. 

So I'm chasing them, Hubs flips the stroller over and starts working on the tire.  Of course he removed all the above mentioned items before he flipped it over, right??? 

Wrong.  Shit everywhere.

Finally, we take off.....and my freaking arms are screaming at me to make the madness stop.  But oh F'N way am I not running now.  Not only that, I am running and pushing them for at least miles because I refuse to spend more time getting ready to run, then actually running.

Made it the first .5 before the first matchbox car came flying out.  Then another .3 before the second.  I let them know that if one more came out I was taking them all away. 

Apparently I should have clarified that including the sippy cup came out at 1.3.

Followed by another matchbox car that hit the ground with wheels down and kept on rolling.  Yes, I chased a matchbox car down the road. 

So I confiscated the remaining matchbox cars and as I was putting them in the basket, Batman landed on my head. 

Since I was already stopped in the middle of the road I figured this would be as good as ever to inform Thing 1 and Thing 2 that under no circumstances, should anything else that they ever want to see again EVER, come out of that stroller.  They were already not getting their cars back until they graduated from high school and unless they wanted to lose anything else, they better sit still, be quite and enjoy their happy little ride.  And be quite.

This seemed to help....there was some squirming and messing with the sunshields but for the most part, we were good.

Thing 2 looked at me with big blue eyes and said "lay down" so of course like any sane mom who wants her child to fall asleep good mom, I stopped and tried to figure out how to lower the seat.  Which I apparently do not know how to do and was so busy messing with I didn't see Thing 2 had gotten out of the stroller (minus shoes) and was coming over to help.  Got him back in, took his shoes (debris....I was thinking ahead) and took back off....with the seats up (stupid thing). 

Thing 1 wanted his shoes off cause Thing 2 didn't have his on, but in all my infinite wisdom, did not see this coming....until the blue Toys Croc went into the ditch.

I calmly and rationally explained to my angelic cherub faced children that I was going to go home and call Santa and cancel Christmas.  Thats rational, right??

Made it another .5 before the screaming started and as I pulled back the sunshields, I witnessed Thing 1 attempted to push Thing 2 out of the stroller.  Honestly, I told them to knock it off and kept moving.  Probably not MOTY qualification but hey..Thing 2 has 11lbs on Thing 1....he wasn't going anywhere. 

We got to the driveway and as tempting as it was to stop, again, I wasn't going to spend less time running then I did getting ready so we went right past the house for another .5 out and back....which brought on a whole new round of noise making when "mom mom momomomomomom MOM you missed the house" started. 

I did again what would get me MOTY.....turned up my tunes.

We made it home.....4 miles.  No idea how long.  Don't really care.  Both sippy cups, 2 small children (yes, the ones I started the run with) 2 pair of crocs, 4 hotwheels and 1 DS. 

Batman is MIA. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mizuno Rocks

No, I'm not just saying that because that is my shoe of choice, or because they picked me (along with several thousand other people) to test their shoes for them but because of this:

Consumer Research has sent you a message on BE Wear Test

Subject: Upcoming races

Hi Tara,

We completely understand that upcoming races are super important.  Wear BE as you feel comfortable doing so; we do not want you to jeopardize anything either.  If you can ease into it a little bit at a time, go for it; if you'd like to hold off, then we understand that too.  This wear-test is a long process so take your time.


The BE Team

Mizuno has a Be Wear Testers online forum so the product testers can get together and talk, ask questions, ect without testers.  One of the forums was started to see what other races people were running.  My post was my concerns about how BE is using muscles differently then I'm used to and I was concerned about how it would affect my legs being so close to Denver and then having Monument right after that. 

Im LOVING that 1) Mizuno started the board for us to all chat and compare notes at and 2) that someone from consumer research is reading the boards and 3) that someone from consumer research is understanding and realizes and sending out notes like that so that I know I dont have to push myself and jeopardize my running for their test shoes.  Im testing these things for them, but they get that running and racing is important to me, and getting hurt will put a serious damper on all of it. 

The email tells me that they get it.  They really are a company that values the opinion of their runners and understand that sometimes the "chill out relaxing" shoe might get put on the back burner for the race shoes.  Im still going to wear them, just not as much as I probably  would if I didnt have races on the schedule. far, Im loving them.  Slight aching in my calves the on Saturday night after wearing them for a few hours but Sunday, I felt ok.  Ran 7 with Shawn then wore them all afternoon and no problems whatsoever.  Lovin' BE so far!

Saturday, September 1, 2012


So, ya, I have been a terrible blogger.  I have no excuses, but Ill blame it on my kids, my running, my husband, my kids again and any and all critters with 4 legs. 

However yesterday after coming home from the first home football game of the year (Congrats WOLVES!!!) while I was trying to unload the highly uncooperative almost 2 year old (20 days) Thing 2 from the car Shawn called out "HEY...your new shoes are here!"

"What new shoes?  I didn't order new shoes." Yet.

"What else could be coming from Mizuno USA"

 Mezamashii Run Project

I had applied a few months ago, then a few weeks ago I got an email from them requesting more information.  So like a good little "really wanna be a product tester for the coolest shoes in the world" I filled it out and sent it back and heard nothing.  I read that other people were getting phone calls and correspondence so I figured I missed the pack or didn't fit the qualifications for whatever shoes they were testing. 

Then happiness in a little brown box appeared.

INSIDE the little brown box was not what I expected.  I was thinking hot pink Wave Precision 13'a or Blue and Lime Green Wave Rider 15's but what I got was BE. 

BE is a prototype shoe that Mizuno has created to help strengthen your feet when NOT running.  Its NOT a running shoe.  Which is good because its thin and little and very minimalist looking which I'm fairly certain is a box I did NOT check on the application.  No offense to barefooters all around, its just not for me. the box were a super CUTE pair of deep purple, light weight, little shoes.  The sole is what really caught my attention and made me think minimalist style as its designed to NOT support your toes so much.  There is support going down middle of your foot and to the ball of your foot, but then the toes kinda hang out literally, well not literally out of the shoe but literally extend over the end of the support base for the sole.  Clear as much, ya.....check this out:

BE was inspired from the Waraji Sandal that have been worn for centuries by Japanese Samurai warriors and rice farmers to activate their toes.  The sandals are designed to be shorter then the feet so that the toes hang off the front and can more independently.

How it works:  The toes move naturally up and down, allowing them to curl and grip independently, which helps work the muscles and tendons of the foot.

The Goal:  To strengthen the muscles of the foot, providing wearers with more propulsion (toe off) which can help improve running form. 

Along with the shoe came a journal for me me to fill out and document what I think about the shoe, and in 16 weeks, send back to Mizuno.  ALSO there is a BE testers only forum for me to get on and talk about the shoes with other Be Wear Testers. 

I'm pumped to try them out....tonight at the bar, tomorrow at Cabela's...pretty much just became my "go-to" not running or riding or working at the pool shoe.  Stay tuned and you will learn more about BE then you every thought possible, especially since if your like me, you didn't even know BE existed until just a few minutes ago.