Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Journey Woes

The joy is in the journey, right?

Lately I've just found joy in Journey. They play "Don't Stop Believing" on a bunch of stations. It's on my iPod and it's on my Walkman. And it's been good. Really good. Because I need hope.

Actually, I need an endorphin slap.

Dear endorphins, I miss you. XOXO ~Riyanti

Life's full, exploding actually, like a muffin top. That's a good visual. Teaching an after school literacy class twice a week, working one night a week, taking calculus twice a week, teaching a homeschool class, homeschooling my own kids, watching/reteaching an extra kid, doing homework, being a track widow, church/women's ministry stuff, cooking, cleaning (tee hee)...

but very little running.

After about two months of pain, I finally went to the doctor. She suspected a hip flexor strain. I asked for a CT, suspecting a hernia or tear. The pain is very low on the left side. Actually the pain was radiating everywhere and I was swollen so it was hard to pin point. The CT scan said no hernias or hip joint damage. Score one for the doctor. As the swelling reduced the pain was restricted to one area. It hurt to lean against the sink to do dishes. It still hurts to sit for a long time. (Doesn't help to stay an extra hour after a 2.5 hour class to go over homework problems. I wasn't alone. There were many of us, leaving looking like zombies.)

I have fabulous running clothes that I want to wear. A new Nuu-Muu and CWX Stabilix capris. Comfy and cute. I have run in them very slow and very short distances. No pain. But slow and low. It's hard to see fellow runners and not be jealous or depressed. I am happy for them but I'm also jealous of no pain and running joy. Like gazelles. I do find joy in running. It's normally alone time outside. Dream combo.

Sometimes it comes over me in waves or like a blanket. The grief and loss. The stress of the day's schedule without the usual outlet. Sometimes I'm totally fine with it. This is a busy season and I'd hardly have the time. As I sit now icing as I do many times during the day, I remind myself that it's just a "season." Icing is nice by the way during these 80 degree spring days. As I stretch and do exercises, play outside with the kids, say "No, I can't pick you up," I remind myself that rest is best. Admittedly, it's been really hard.

So I may have to lock myself in the bathroom more often or take the dogs on more walks where even they think we are going slow, I'll "hold on to that feeling" as Journey so aptly puts it until the feeling again becomes a reality.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Yvonne's Curry Butternut Squash Soup

My first sole sister gave me the recipe for this soup. Her name is Yvonne. She's amazing. She has six kids with one set of twins. She homeschooled all of them until high school. Her eldest went to Yale on scholarship. She was my small group leader in our church's MOMS group, and she was in my small group when I led. She's smart, funny, Godly and wise. Now she's back in grad school, our worlds have diverged, and I miss her. Oh, and she can out run me any day of the week.

Yvonne introduced me to the tri, the half marathon and the marathon. She was the first person I told I was pregnant with number three while we were training, just a week before our tri. She also ran my first marathon with me. It was her second but my first. We ran the inaugural Fox Valley Marathon, and I, having no idea what I was doing, wanted to finish in under 5 hours. She said she expected to finish in about 5:10. While we were running the race, I did okay until mile 20. I was so dehydrated, and my mood was terrible. I had done a 22 and a 23, but I went out harder during the race. At the aide station at 20, the medic said he could take me back, but I drank my weight in water and sloshed on. Yvonne stayed with me. She walked with me when I needed to walk. She encouraged me. She gave up her time for me. She reminded me around 22-23 that people were praying for us. At 25.2 she said, "We HAVE to run the last mile," so we did. She finished in 5:10 as she expected. I finished a minute or two behind her. I cried dry grunty tears when I was done. I could not have finished it without her.

Yvonne has been with me on each marathon after. I hear her voice in my head during the last six miles. The same encouraging words go through my mind. I have smiled while running the last mile to two more finish lines and broken 5 hours because of Yvonne. Thank you Yvonne.

Yvonne's Curry Butternut Squash Soup
1 stick butter
1 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
5 cans chicken broth
4 lbs cooked butternut squash
3 large potatoes cubed
1/2 tsp curry
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
2 cups milk

Saute onions and garlic in butter. Add veggies and broth. Simmer until soft.

 Smooth in blender.

 (At this point it can be frozen.)

 Add 2 cups of milk. Serve with sour cream, chives or walnuts.

A day or two before I make the soup, I cut the squash and cook it at 350 deg for an hour cut-side down in an inch of water. Then I scoop it and put it in the fridge. It makes the whole task less labor intensive. This soup is a fan favorite. The girlios all like it and were sad that I froze it yesterday. Joy for another day.