Welcome to the Wandering Drays!

Not all who wander are lost...

Welcome to my blog dedicated to my family and our crazy foreign service life. Never content with staying in one place, we are excited to share our journey. We've survived two unaccompanied tour (Baghdad 2010-2011 and Baghdad again in 2015-2016), multiple TDYs, and enjoyed a two-year family assignment in Cairo, Egypt. The fab hubby is currently learning Turkish for our next assignment...Istanbul, Turkey! We leave for Turkey sometime in summer 2017. I write about what I know. Which is mainly kids, tween drama, gross pets, dealing with lots of government info, our moving adventures, being a nurse, yoga, running, living on too-little sleep, and an addiction to coffee lattes. I hope you'll enjoy this glimpse into our lives.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Turn Around, Newberger, and Run.

23:41.  And I only ran two miles.  I could cry.  "No more babies!" I yelled at my husband when I got to the front porch.  "I just did the worst run practically EVER.  What am I going to do?"  All of this after I had come home earlier from a super cruddy shift in the ER.  And as soon as I hit the door, I had told him I was going for a run.  I just couldn't bring myself to complain to him about my icky day....not when his usual icky day is spent in Iraq.  Dealing with much more ickier things.

"Turn around, Newberger, and run.  Run and don't come back.  Not until you've had a good time."

Newberger was my maiden name and Jason and I met in the Army.  So many years ago, and it still brings back memories of when he was my squad leader and I was a complete newbie.  Now, whenever I am lost, he snaps me back to reality.  Just by calling me by my maiden name.  Newberger.  I reminds me that no matter what, I still have so much to learn.  And that I am so much stronger than I give myself credit.

And so I did.  I turned around, reset my iPod for another run and I ran.  I ran not for time, not for distance, not for the pride of being able to brag about my running just 4-months post-partum.  His simple "turn around, Newberger, and run" reminded me why I run.

I am not a natural runner.  My upper body is a full size smaller than my lower body.  I have strong, short legs.  When I run, I literally pound the pavement. I run a 10-minute mile and when really run "fast"--- I can improve that to a 9-minute mile.  A 5K(3.1 miles) is 27 minutes for me, if I'm feeling really fast.  Nothing impressive.

The first two miles I ran, I set myself up.  "I'm going to run five miles" I thought when I walked through the door.  After all, before I got pregnant with Kellen, I had done that distance four or five times a week.  For nearly an entire year. I'd even run two half-marathons that year! Today, I didn't account for the snow still left on the ground, for the chilly air, or for the loss of skill from the pregnancy.  I cut myself no slack.  It was all or nothing when I hit the pavement the first time.  After the first 1/2 mile I knew I was in trouble.  I was pacing 11:15.  I needed to speed it up!  So I did.  And it hurt.  How was I going to finish five miles? And next thing I knew, I was a mile into the run.  I really hurt.  I stopped, frustrated, and I walked.  Like it had beat me.  I was angry when I got home.  Jason could see me a block away.  Defeated.

"Turn around, Newberger, and run.  Run and don't come back.  Not until you've had a good time."

It was exactly what I needed.  I ran.  I could feel my feet hitting the pavement, finding a stride.  Sure it was slower.  But it felt good.  I don't run because it's good exercise, or because I feel I have to.  I run because I love it.  Yes, it was easier in California.  Not just because I was in better shape - that took a long time to achieve - it was because of the ocean air, the beautiful view, the time I allowed myself to sink into a run for my 'me-time'.  I used to stop and sit at the bay and watch the cargo ships pull into the harbor.  I'd slow down and suck in a deep breath, gazing out to Catalina Island.  I didn't worry about the time.  But I loved running long before we lived in California, and I have to remind myself that.

When I run, I feel powerful.  My body does exactly what I will it to, despite my natural body shape.  My body doesn't let me down.  I don't need to run an  8-minute mile to love the run.  I just need to run.

And so I ran.  I did the same two miles.  I slowed down the pace when needed, I lip-synced to the songs on my iPod, I waved to the fellow runners I passed (it's a code we all have).  And when I dipped down the slight gradient to our home, I could feel my pounding heart and loved the sound of my feet hitting the pavement. I had done exactly what my husband had told me to do.   I'd had a good time.  I looked at my iPod GPS running app.  I had run the exact same two miles.   And this time, I'd run it in 21:40.  Two minutes less than the first two miles.


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