Monthly Archives: May 2012

What an Attitude!!

I saw a dear friend yesterday that I don’t see often.  Afterwards he sent me a text saying, “I forget how open and bubbly you are to everyone you meet!  It was nice to see you.”  What a compliment!!

For the most part I really enjoy people.  I thrive off being in a group, feel recharged when I’m surrounded by others.  There are so many interesting people – everyone has a story and I want to hear them!

The running community is wonderful for this.  With a group of runners you can be in your own world or social.  It’s possible to have conversations with newbies who are trying to make changes and want as much information as they can soak up or seasoned veterans who have been everywhere and done everything.  It’s a group of healthy minded individuals who “get” why you’re there running in inclement weather because you need it.  No matter what, it’s always positive energy and I could bask in it everyday.

I’m glad it’s contagious – apparently I caught that energy from another runner and yesterday on my running adventure I passed it on to my friend.  Who knows??  Maybe runners will start an epidemic??!!

Another day, another run…

Today I did a mapped out route. Had a blast with my 20 year old daughter, Bri. Won’t write about that quite yet but it was really fun and fulfilling in a different way than running usually is…

This week is a slower mileage week because this is the weekend of epic running.

“Odyssey is a long wandering. A relay run ideally suited for teams of 12 runners on a 178 mile course. Starting in Downtown Reno along the Truckee River. Traveling through the Sierra Nevada mountains and along the shores of Lake Tahoe. Circling back through the Northern Nevada high desert to where you began in Reno.”

Yes, I’m in van two, leg eight.  I’m almost completely packed and I’m very ready to go!!  Can’t wait to meet and get to know my relay teammates.  I’ve wanted to do this race for the last few years but it just never fell into place so I’m thrilled!!  Due to the holiday, the race, etc..  I only work two days this week.  Then, time away from home for just a bit doing one of my favorite things…..

Lazy Sunday….

Sleeping late?? Check
Cuddling kids on the couch?? Check
Making dark chocolate chip pancakes in the pancake bowl and freshly squeezed OJ?? Check
Going for a 4 mile run?? Check.
Grocery shopping?? Check
Brianna making 2 loaves of banana bread?? Check
2 mile hike with the dogs?? Check
Kids playing outside for a couple hours?? Check
Shower?? Check
Spending lots of time barefoot and comfy?? Check
Dinner made?? Check

Sometimes it’s such a good day all you can do is be thankful, smile and sigh…..

Free Swag!!

Don’t get me wrong, free swag is always a good thing. I love getting packages in the mail. I like the thrill of seeing a package addressed to ME, opening it, looking through it, etc… I’ve won two items previously – neither of which were things I necessarily wanted but I still enjoyed the process.  Even packet pickup goodies – many of which I don’t use – is exciting.  Silly, I know.

A couple days ago I got a package in the mail…  I had applied to be on a relay team this August in Oregon with NUUN – an electrolyte replacement company.  I use their product and really have enjoyed watching the company.  I wanted this race.  Badly.  Really badly.  I knew my chances of getting on the team were slim to none but still I held out hope.  When the team was announced, I was not on it.  Although I knew this was the probability, I was still bummed.  Really bummed.  Sigh….  Maybe next year.

At any rate, the good people at NUUN decided to send me a “we know you didn’t get chosen but we’re going to send you a box of stuff to take the sting out” package.  Nothing can replace the race and how badly I wanted to be on that team, but it sure was a nice thing for the folks at NUUN to do.   It c ame!!  I was excited!!  It’s great to finally get something that I use, I want and I support!!!  Thanks, NUUN, for keeping my hydrated and replenishing my electrolytes for all the training I’ll do to get on the team next year!!!!

Two water bottles, 4 pack of NUUN!!

Desert Survival

Our elementary school 6th grade class does winter survival (snow caves, starting a fire, etc…) and desert survival every year. They’re fun, teach some basic skills in the even you’re ever stuck somewhere. It’s really pretty well done for a very elementary level field trip, however we bring the items needed – garbage bags for shelter or rain, plastic, a cup, a rock and water for the solar still…. The kids learn a lot before the field trip though and the goal, I think, is to give the kids enough information so that in a real survival situation they could improvise.  I enjoy going to my kids field trips and enjoy even more that they WANT me there.

All I can say is that if you’re ever stranded in the desert together and we have plastic, a cup, a rock, a shovel, 5 garbage bags, we’re dressed in layers and have a backpack full of food and water….  I CAN SAVE YOU!!!!

Mid Week Awesomeness!!!

Since my epic fall on Saturday at the half marathon, I’ve taken it slow. Walked the dogs, stretched. Wednesday there was a break in the 34 mph winds so Chris and I jumped on it! 4 mile loop. I was planning on taking it slow to work out any kinks and figure out if anything in my body was sore but I felt great! Averaged 8:30 minute miles – didn’t push too hard but got it done. It was so beautiful out. Nothing was sore or out of whack so I feel very blessed that the fall was superficial (and healing) except for the compression fracture in my left hand. Fortunately I don’t run on my hands so it’s all good and now even that is starting to ease up. Things might not always go as planned but at least they go……

Dream On

I have a dream journal. It started out because I read a book called Wear More Cashmere.  I received this book for Mother’s Day years ago and I adore it.

I LOVE MY INNER PRINCESS!!!  After reading this, I looked at other books by this author and they’re good but this one is still my favorite.  In Cashmere, she suggests 151 things to do for yourself.  Some require money, many do not.  One of her suggestions was to have a “Dream Journal”.  To write down things that you’d like to do or purchase, places you want to go.  Have a “luxurious imagination”, the sky is the limit.  Dare.  To.  Dream.

And for years I’ve adopted that idea.  I write things down as they come to me.  Some I’ve checked off the list, some I may not ever check off, sometimes the dreams change.  But at least I have them although sometimes life gets in the way and it’s easy to forget to dream.  So I took out my journal and started reading it…

My dream journal

When things don’t go the way we want it’s easy to get overwhelmed, to forget the little things that are so important, to succumb to stress or just generally be discouraged.  Take my last  race….

I fell.  Ate it really hard.  I’m going to look like a battered woman for a while.  My time wasn’t anywhere near where I wanted it to be.  It was embarrassing, frustrating, I felt stupid.  But I kept going.  I still beat my last time.  I finished.  I enjoyed my day.  I’ve trained twice for a marathon/50K and both times had to give up the race.  After all that training.  I could have let it bother me and, don’t get me wrong, it bummed me out.  But my family always comes first so I let it go knowing if it’s really important I can train again.

People ask often how I find the time to run.  It’s all about balance and priorities.  It’s about having a dream and doing what you can to make it a reality.  It’s about not getting discouraged when things don’t go as planned.  It’s about rolling with the punches and moving forward.  Dream big.

One of my favorite shirts; “Live With Passion”

Becoming One with the Trail Half Marathon

I was so excited about this race. I”ve done it a couple of times, I know what to expect. It’s very difficult but the race support is phenomenal. I didn’t have anyone there with me which is a bummer. I love finishing and having someone cheering me on, sharing in the moment but it was nice that I at least knew several people there.

This is Matt. He works with my daughter at Reno Running Company. He is about half my age and about half my speed!! He holds the record in this half

Me pre race.

It was beautiful out.  The race started at about 60*, very little wind, sunny skies.  I decided to wear my hot pink compression socks, blue flame gaiters by Dirty Girl Gaiters, skirt by Running Skirts, my Sparkly Soul headband, and OF COURSE my sports bra by BodyRock Sport my favorite running company!!  The gun sounded and we were off!!  The last time I ran this I did it in 2:37.  Tough, tough, wonderful, rocky, hilly course.  In the first 7.5 miles there’s a gain in elevation of 2800 feet, all trail, mostly single track.

The race is a lot of single track on the side of the mountain and winding up. Amazing views and amazing drop off.

A couple weeks ago I went into Reno Running Company and had my daughter, Bri do a gait analysis.  I’ve never had trouble before but it was interesting to be checked.  Bri told me, “Mom you’re perfect.  In this area…”  Not sure what she means by that…  I told Chris and he said I have perfect running form.  Posture, alignment.  His words I believe were, “You look amazing when you run”.  Thank you very much!!  Well, let me tell you, none of that matters when you fall….

At mile 1.4 – just finding my groove and heading up the mountain on the above trail with a steep drop-off, I ate it HARD!!  I’m glad I didn’t roll down the hill too far.  It was a scary place to face plant.  My entire left side was muddy and bloody.  The cap flew off my water bottle and all my water dumped.  I was one hurtin’ unit.  I got up, dusted off, quickly assessed myself and kept going.  The first aid station was in another mile and I knew both men there.  They refilled me, wiped me down a little, high fived me and sent me on my way.  I admit, I was shaken, discouraged, felt stupid.  My water bottle hung in there the entire race but the cap is broken.

The second aid station was 2 miles later.  I must have looked beat up because the first aid guy there told me to sit down, washed me off more, put antiseptic all over me.  All I was thinking was that this was going to interfere with my time.  It was all superficial and I really just wanted to go.  Another man – about 80 years old and shaking – told me he wanted to put a bandaid on my hand.  He was so sweet and of course I let him.  I refilled my water and headed off.  The bandaid didn’t last 200 yards but it was nice to have someone help, even if I didn’t feel like I needed it.

I was at about mile 4.5 at that point.  From there I started to feel good and by mile 6 I had found my groove.  Around mile 6.5 I started assessing my injuries a little more and realized that I quite possibly broke my hand right below my pinky.  I was pretty swollen.  Nothing else specifically bothered me, I just felt banged up.  A woman I passed asked how I was feeling, if I was hurt badly.  I told her I had so much adrenaline surging through me at that point I didn’t feel a thing!  Maybe ask me tomorrow.  She said she was surprised I kept going.  I told her, “Well, after this fall I’m going to hurt tomorrow.  I’d prefer it if I hurt and finished the race as opposed to dropping out”.  I wanted to improve my time so I concentrated on the people in front of me and passing them:  Pink tank top; done.  Blue t-shirt; done.  Pink skirt; done….  I knew between the fall and the two aid stations I had lost 10-15 minutes.  I also knew the biggest hill was coming at mile 7.5.

Right before the biggest hill there’s an aid station.  Every time I’ve run this race they’ve had watermelon.  Nectar from the running gods for sure!  I was feeling a little tired but mostly the battle was mental.  I was struggling between wanting my time to have been under 2:15 and pushing myself and just being grateful I was there.  “It’s beautiful out.  This is a fantastic race.  You are able to run, even banged up.  There are so many people who can’t.  You watched that woman die last Tuesday, this setback is nothing.  You’re going to finish so who cares what your time is.”  But I felt stupid for falling, embarrassed, disappointed.  I’m competitive against myself and I really wanted to see what I could have done in the way of improving my time from previous years.  I was a mental wreck.  So I concentrated on getting to that aid station and eating watermelon.  Finally I saw it!!  When I got there, they also tried to stop me but I told them I’d already seen the first aid guy and it was no big deal.  They gave me aspirin, filled my water bottle and when I looked – there was no watermelon.  Don’t get me wrong they had Tums, aspirin, salt tabs (this is a 50K and 50 miler as well as a half marathon so the aid stations are stocked!), pb&j, pretzels, candy, etc..  It’s a running buffet.  But no watermelon.  So I kept going.

As I headed up that big, nasty hill I finally broke down.  I cried nearly the entire quarter mile.  I hadn’t really cried about the accident Chris and I witnessed and seeing the 31 year old woman die, didn’t cry when I fell, haven’t cried about my change in job locations but the watermelon finally did me in.  It was dumb and by the top I had gotten my act together and felt like a new person.  Just past the top there’s another aid station.  Again, I told them I didn’t need help.  Again, no watermelon.  Now the most difficult part of the race is over and I only had 5 miles to go.

This is where I felt fantastic.  Sore, yes, but thankfully not terrified of falling again.  Not at all actually.  It’s a lot of downhill which I love and instead of passing turquoise shirt I just stayed with her.  At mile 11 I realized the day was wearing on me but still felt pretty good.  The loop ends up going back to the #2 aid station and then taking a different route to the finish.  So I saw all my guys that patched me up.  They clapped and cheered and asked how I felt.  “Bummed about my time but otherwise enjoying myself!”  And they had watermelon!!!  I took two and kept going.  And I thanked them.  Profusely.

At mile 12 my calf was threatening to cramp up so (of course) I talked to it.  “Come on little buddy, we can do this.  One mile left.  Hang in there”.  It must have worked because the calf didn’t cramp completely.  I also checked my time and realized I could make it under 2:30 which I was excited about.   And then the finish was there.  Up ahead.  I finished in 2:29.  68th out of 161 and 9th in my age division.  I did PR the course although I didn’t hit my goal of 2:15.  But I finished.  When the race directors looked at me they told me that they pay to have REMSA there and to please go get checked.  So I did.  They just washed me off more and bandaged me up.  It was silly.  There was a nurse there who was fabulous.  She did the race and was there from Canada.  A doctor came and checked my hand and said it was probably a compression fracture but on that tiny bone there’s nothing that can really be done so to watch it for a few days and it should start feeling better.  The doctor and nurse that were at the race helped more than REMSA but it was all good.

My REMSA guy! Is he like 15 or is it just me??

The shoulder. My arm is scraped up all the way down.  I was surprised when I got home and showered.  Which, incidentally, hurt like crazy!

The knee. Today this hurts the most (except for my hand which is extremely sore)

I don’t think my injuries look bad in the pics but I had been cleaned up three times by the time we took these.  I got a quick bite to eat and left all bandaged up.

Me ready to go!!

Before heading home, I stopped to see my daughter Bri who ran a 5K at the same time I was running this.  She felt blah for her race so we hugged and chatted, took the bandages off and checked me over.  It was great seeing her especially since she’s the child that’s gotten dragged volunteered to go to all my races and be my cheering squad.  Then home, a shower, a lot of neosporin and when Chris got home from work I got to blab.  He cooked and cleaned up.  We cuddled and I felt much better.  I slept OK and today feel battered and bruised all over but good. Thankful.  Things don’t always turn out the way we want them to, but that’s fine….  There’s another race in two weeks….

Friday is Fabulous!!!

Friday is usually one of my longest days at work, but the atmosphere is different – everyone knows the weekend is here. It’s a fun day!! Today I’ll be home building my business and working on marketing so I can once again experience the joy of a fun, busy Friday.

Amen!! Why would you want negativity and dream crushers in your midst??!!

The accident I witnessed Tuesday has haunted me this week.  I’ve had people close to me die, I’ve witnessed worse accidents and deaths, but it definitely gave me pause and pushed me to reevaluate my own life.  This is a good thing.  What’s important to me?  What will I leave behind?  What will people remember about me?  What are my dreams?  How can I fulfill them?  My usually sunny disposition has been replaced with introspection for a couple days.  Today, however, I woke up feeling much more like myself.

Today I have a four miler slated and (finally) the wind is blissfully much more silent.  Tomorrow is my trail half marathon and I’m STOKED!!  I’ve run it a couple times, but since I haven’t signed up for any races the last two years I’m even more excited!  It’s been great to have been busy and still run the last two years but it’s even better to take the time (and the money) and actually participate in events!  The weather is projected to be in the high 50’s, sunny with calm winds.  YIPPEE!!  Sounds like running skirt and BodyRock Sport bra type of running!!  My favorite!!

Here’s to an exceptional race this weekend, good weather and making dreams a reality!!

Things Happen So Fast

Yesterday I had a ten mile run planned but at 8.5 miles I stopped running, stopped the Garmin and decided to walk the rest of the way home. My hip felt off and with a half marathon this Saturday I wasn’t willing to push it. Chris showed up (he might be stalking me!) so I hitched a ride with him.  I had grand plans yesterday to write the blog about my run, the heat, my amazing family. I was excited that my great friend and aesthetician asked me to be a model for a facial this morning so I would have probably bragged about that as well….

But things happen so fast.

Chris and I were driving home last night and a car veered off the road right in front of us.  Ten more seconds and we would have been part of the accident.  Instead, we watched it hit the curb, the embankment and then roll 2-3 times before crashing to a stop on its side.  I had 911 dialed and was out of the car running in a matter of a nanosecond.  A 14 year old girl and her 31 year old sister were in the car.  The 14 year old was conscious and hysterical, the 31 year old unconscious, bleeding profusely from her head – a river of blood out of the car window pooling at my feet.  She was unnaturally positioned and her breathing was strangled and erratic.

It was incredible how fast firemen, paramedics and police were there.  Chris was holding open the car door to help, I was talking to the hysterical 14 year old now shaking and in shock.  She had called her brother in law and he was now on the scene trying to fight Chris in his panic to reach his wife.  The firemen axed their way into the car windshield to extricate the still unconscious woman trapped inside.

I didn’t for one second ever believe she would survive.  I hoped.  I prayed.  But the volumes of blood, the head injury…  The paramedics had a tracheotomy in seconds, suctioning her mouth and lungs, bag breathing for her.  She struggled for breath.  They defibrillated her, they manually manipulated chest compressions.  Then they all looked at each other and simultaneously checked their watches.  Time of death.  White sheet.  She was gone.  We watched as they walked to her husband, saw his reaction.  Heard his keening cries of denial.  Saw him hold her.  Gave him his privacy.

Neither one had on a seat belt.  The 14 year old sister hardly had a scratch.  It was surreal.  This woman was raising not only her 14 year old sister, but her own 14 year old daughter.  And she’s gone.  So fast.  I have never felt so helpless, so lacking, so incompetent although I know with surety that Chris I did everything we could.

I’ve always been the type to almost obnoxiously tell people happy things.  I’m generally happy but I think we’re in such a negative society that when someone does or says something nice, they should know it made a difference.  I hug.  I laugh often.  I tell my children I’m proud to be their mom.  I kiss Chris goodbye every day and tell him I love him.  I try to embrace life.  Now more than ever.

I modeled for my facial with my friend and it was divine.  I slept horribly, tossing and turning with dreams I don’t remember.  Being massaged felt amazing after an exhausting day and sleepless night.  I didn’t wear makeup tonight, was casual all day.  Just wanted to breathe today and appreciate everything in my life.  I wore one of my favorite shirts – it says “Life Is Beautiful” and surely it is.

No hair done,no makeup, no shoes!!! But Life Is Beautiful for sure!!