Monday, November 30, 2009


I got an email from a friend today on facebook and he asked me what my motivation was for doing all the activities that I've been doing - is it to fit into "barbie jeans"? did I have health problems? What is it?

I can't remember the last time someone asked me that kind of question. And he really wanted to know, which made it even more thought provoking. I had to think about that because I wanted to give him an answer that matched the quality of the question.

I am so in the habit of working out and participating in events that I don't really think about the motivation behind it. I don't feel like I need motivation to get up in the morning and workout, its so routine that I just do it - no matter what the weather, no matter how I feel or what else is on the schedule.

Motivation...hmmmm...I guess it all started about 7 years ago - I was motivated to train for and run the Portland marathon because I wanted to prove that I could see something through to the end. After that was done, I gained about 15 pounds because I had no motivation to continue.

Then, one night, we were going to our neighbors to watch TV (big night out) and I couldn't find ANYTHING to wear that I felt comfortable in. I realized that I needed to lose some weight and get control of life. So I joined weight watchers and went back to the gym. I lost about 20 pounds and have kept it off for 7 years.

Eating healthy became normal. Then, I had a test done for food intolerances and uncovered a bunch of things that were causing me to feel crappy. So my motivation now for eating well is feeling good. I find that I feel SO much better when I eat a diet full of lean proteins, complex carbs and healthy fat. The more sugar I eat, the shittier I feel.

I also found that I LOVE to workout. I don't have to convince myself to get up and run or lift weights, because I really enjoy I hear people talk about how they hate to workout, but do it to stay thin. I do it because I enjoy it. I zone out when I am working out and I love that feeling - I really feel my body and I feel my body working. Something about that is so empowering to me.

The combination of the eating well and working out does provide me the ability to fit into a smaller size clothing. However, I try not to get so wrapped up in the size of my clothes, its more just feeling comfortable in whatever size I happen to be wearing.

My weight fluctuates 5-7 pounds all year round depending on how much junk I am eating and what we are training for.

The events we have started to participate in - the marathons, the triathlons - the motivation for that is kind of the same as it was with the first prove that I can! I did my first triathlon because I didn't know how to swim and I decided I would learn to swim and go do it. Once I got a taste of that feeling of accomplishment, I couldn't stop.

Now, it seems these events have become a challenge between me and Trevor - who can come up with the next crazy idea. My motivation is being with Trevor. This is something we can enjoy together, we can work hard together and we can both have that feeling of accomplishment. I am motivated by Trevor being proud of me. I am movited by being proud of myself.

Then, there are our friends. We've built this crazy social network of runners and triathletes. They challenge us all the time - they'll say "hey - let's do the turkey trot" and we say "okay" because we don't want to miss out on a good time. I look forward to all the minutes I spend out running, biking, swimming with those friends. Pushing each other further, cheering each other on - that motivates me.

What's my motivation? Its not an easy answer. Its complicated. If I had to come up with a simple answer for what motivates me, I'd have to steal a quote from my friend Karen...I want to live out loud. Every minute that I am out there pushing myself, physically and mentally, I am living out loud. That motivates me.

What motivates you. Maybe no one has asked you in a while. Its a great question. Thanks Brian for asking me.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Clark County Turkey Trot race report

Yesterday morning, we participated in the Clark County Turkey Trot. Everyone we knew was doing it, so we did it too. It took place at the Klineline park about one mile from our house. So convienent!!

The run started at 9, we got there around 8 to get a parking spot and pick up our numbers. It was drizzling when we left the house and as the day went on, that drizzle turned to rain, then pouring rain.

This event was much bigger that I expected, over 700 people came out to run or walk the 10k or 5k. The Salmon Creek path isn't really big enough to hold all those people. I knew that would make for an interesting start.

I was planning to run with our friend Trish. Her heartrate monitor was dead, so we decided we would share my heart for the run...a nice way to spend Thanksgiving morning! Our friend Doug asked Trevor what his pace was going to be and Trevor said around 8 min. miles, Doug had run every day this week and said, "I'll go find the girls". So, he came back to run with us. He's quite a bit faster, so I knew we'd be chasing him the entire time!

Start time came and off we went. It was a big traffic jam. As in every race, walkers started close to the front, so you had to dodge them. There were some people with their dogs, who did not stay to the back, had to dodge them. Then the best part of all was a husband and wife BOTH pushing strollers. They started at the back and wanted to pass everyone. The trail was packed with runners and walkers and they kept saying "on your left", like all 700 people were going to part like the sea and let them through. They were SO annoyed. People. I'll tell you!

Things thinned out a bit as we got going and by the time we got to the turn around for the 5k, things really got better. It felt like we had the whole path to ourselves! Trish runs a bit faster then me, so I was pushing my pace. I tried to keep thinking positive thoughts and just stay with her. Doug was a bit ahead of us and we knew we wouldn't catch him.

After our turn around we saw our friend Angel, who was having a shin split issue. Doug was talking with her, waiting for us. Then we all ran together, we caught up with more friends Tom and Jo and ran with them for a while.

With about a mile left, there was a girl in front of us - the back of her shirt said "commitment". Dough said, "let's catch her". Well, we picked up our pace, caught her and never slowed down. My heart rate was REALLY high. We crossed the finish line in the pouring rain!! So great to be done.

Its good to have someone push you out of your comfort zone once in a while. I need that more often. I usually just go at a comfortable pace - all the time! We circled with our friends, Doug, Ike, Jo, Tom, Trish, Jim, Sherri. So many familiar faces. We waited for others to finish up and cheered them across the line - Robin, Angel, Liz.

All of our favorite people were there (well, not everyone, we were missing a few), it was the perfect way to start Thanksgiving. I looked around and saw people I was thankful for doing something I was so thankful I was able to do.

Our finishing time was just under 1 hour. Its been a LONG time since I finished a 10k in that amount of time.

Done. Now, time for everyone to go refuel with turkey. So much to be thankful for. So. Much.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I doubt that I will have time to post here tomorrow, so I better do it today.

We have yoga first thing in the morning and then the Turkey Trot 10k at 9. Dinner is at 1. I am already looking forward to laying on my couch tomorrow night!! Friday we have our big sale at the store - that will be an 11 hour day for all of us, followed by a full day on Sat and running group on Sunday morning. Whew, tired already.

For the last 9 years, I have spent Thanksgivings at Trevor's parent's house. Every year, Sheila (Trevor's mom) makes it clear that she doesn't want to have it anymore. None of us kids care, we always tell her that we've always gone there - we will always go there. Some years, my parents come - I love that. Everyone together.

This year, we are going out to dinner. About two months ago, Sheila broke her knee and is still using crutches to get around. I am pretty sure this was all a set up so she wouldn't have to have Thanksgiving. I was going to volunteer to have it at our house, but Trevor's sister in law started talking about going out to dinner and I didn't stop her! So, out to eat it is...we'll see how that goes.

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. No pressure to get the right present, just good food and usually good company. Growing up, I always looked forward to it. In high school, I worked at a bakery and we were open Thanksgiving morning for last minute rolls and pies. We were always so busy and by the time I got to the my Grammie's or Aunt Pearl's house, I was usually exhausted. I have some memories of going in to the bedroom and sleeping! I have a lot of good memories from those days and from the years with the Bryants.

So, let's see....what am I thankful for this year....

1. My health. And the health of my friends and family.

2. My friends. This year, we have met a lot of new people. We are very fortunate to be involved in the Vancouver Fit running group. Those people are amazing and inspiring. Being around them makes me want to be better. I also have good friends from my previous job and from our business contact. I feel more connected than I have in years.

3. Our business. We made it through our first year in business. We are learning a lot! I am SO thankful that we work together so well. Husband and wife in business together could spell divorce, I don't think it will for us.

4. Our pets. Our family has grown by 2 this past year. We still have everyone - we have 4 pets over the age of 11 and that scares me. We are still a whole family and I love those pets more than any words could ever express. I am probably the most thankful for them.

5. My current state of employment. I am SO happy to be doing what I am doing right now. Enough said.

6. I guess I could go on and on. But I'll stop at 6 main things. Number 6 is Trevor and really he should be number 1, because without him, none of the other things would be possible. I am thankful for my life with Trevor and all that entails. He makes me laugh when things aren't really funny, he pushes me further when I want to stop, he makes me feel loved when I feel alone. He is my best friend and because of him, I am Thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! Don't eat too much...oh, what the hell, go ahead and eat too much...its Thanksgiving!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Everyone's an Ironman...

In our normal lives, we don't know too many people who have completed an Ironman triathlon. There were two people at my job that had done them, I always thought they were crazy. Then I started blogging and found a friend friends in the blogsphere who were Ironmen/women. After opening our stores, we met one or two customers who have done a them. Then, of course, there is Doug, who we run with - he's the one to blame for our impending Ironman Canada participation. Randy, another person we run with, also an Ironman. Pretty much, though, people in our lives think its crazy.

Our friend Doug invited us to a dinner last night of his triathlon friends. They all get together every now and then. We got there last night and everyone in the room had done multiple Ironman events. Not just one, most of them had done like four or more. The person who's house it was at, didn't even have a count. ummmmmm.....I thought WE were crazy.

It was like being in bizarro world. No one acted like we were nuts, no one acted shocked. Everyone was excited about the fact that Trevor and I would be competing in our FIRST Ironman. Everyone had questions and advice and shared our love of the craziness. It felt normal. Which was strange.

I looked around the room, there were probably 6 couples there and they were all Ironman. Yet, they all looked like regular people. We had great food, great conversation and just a ton of fun. It was nice to hear their stories, learn from their experiences and start to feel like this WAS a good idea!!!

Just about everyone there has done Ironman Canada. At least three of them will be doing it when we do it next August. I really look forward to following their training and spending time with them in Penticton before and after the event.

Most of the people were quite a bit faster than me. For example, my half ironman time was 7 hours, one of the women we were talking to - her time was 5 hours and 30 minutes. UH....maybe they'll all finish up, take showers, eat, clean up and head back down to watch me finish.

It was good motivation. Nice to know that there are other crazier than we are out there. Now we have something to shoot for....thanks again Doug....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Get in the water.

Its no secret that I have issues with the water. I've been afraid of it most my life and until 16 months ago, couldn't swim one length of a pool. I have worked really hard to overcome this fear. I took lessons, I spent LOTS of time in the pool and plenty of time in the lake. Swimming, swimming and more swimming. Then there were the triathlons...the sprint distance, the Olympic and of course the half ironman. Nothing says "I've overcome my fear of water" like jumping in with 1500 other people to swim 1.2 miles in the fog covered waters of Lake Stevens...except maybe jumping in the water with 2000 other people to swim 2.4 miles in the waters of Lake Okanagan at Ironman Canada.

That's right, I've got 10 months until Ironman Cananda. The last time I was in the water was at the Vancouver Triathlon in mid-September. After that I decided to take a little break - the marathon was the next big event and I really wanted to focus on that. I didn't have a lot of training time and I was so tired of getting up at 4 am.

I've enjoyed my little break and now that I am not working, my schedule is a bit more flexible. I can go to the pool in the middle of the day instead of at 4:30 am. That is what I did today.

I headed over to the pool around 2 pm and there were a few others there. It was quiet and calm. I had forgotten how much I love that part of lap swimming. I put in my earplugs and put on my swim cap. I got in and started to swim. The water felt so good. I swam about 1000 meters freestyle and then did some drills, just to get the feel of the water. I tried not to put any pressure on myself. I tried not to think about all the swimming that will happen in the next year. I just enjoyed the silence.

After a while, I started to get a little sea sick. I have motion sickness issues and some days I have a tough time. I felt good for a while, then felt kind of yuck. I finished up my swim and spent some time in the sauna.

I guess I'm not really a beginner anymore, however, I still feel like it. So every time I swim, I feel very proud of myself. Very accomplished. So many people out there doing triathlons don't realize what a struggle that swim is for people like me. They don't understand why I get out of the lake with a huge smile on my face. To many, its not big deal. To me, it is the BIGGEST deal...every time, every lap, every event. Today was no exception.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Quote of the Day

I get an email from The Columbian newspaper every day. Its their business update and at the bottom there is always a quote of the day. Some days its stupid, some days its meaningful. Here is the one from today...

"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
- Sparrowrose Howard Thurman, American theologian and activist, (1900 - 1981).

This rings particularly true for me these days. There are so many people who are being laid off or losing their jobs. It can be a very scary time. I know so many people (myself and Trevor included) who were prisoners of their jobs, of their own success. After several years of moving up the ladder, we found ourselves in a position where we were making great money, but hated what we did every day. We built a life that depended on making that great money. It became a trap.

I believe this is the case for many people. They are not satisfied with their place in life, the career they built, but they are a slave to the money. If people take the opportunity that this tough economy is presenting, they could find themselves in a much different place. When you lose the job you thought you could never afford to do without, what do you do? I say, you figure out what it is you really want to do and go do it. Let go of all the things you had and build a new life that allows you to do and be the things you want.

Trevor and I have a lot of stuff. We used to have a lot more stuff. Over the last two years, we have learned to live with less. A lot less. And we are more happy than we have ever been. Without that stuff, we have all kinds of time and space to enjoy our lives. It has been very freeing. For so long we felt trapped. And now....we feel alive.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The dog days of Fall

As you may or may not know - Friday, October 30th was my last day of work at the paper. Lots to say about this, nothing that I feel like I can post here on the WORLD WIDE web.

Over the last week I've been able to spend some more time with the pets. Specifically, Maggie. We've made trips to the dog park and the pet store. We've gone on a few runs. All of this, really, is an effort to tire her out and hopefully make her a little more well-behaved (aka - less of a chewer). It has worked some days, not so much others.

Here she is in her wide open space.

Right now, Opal and Maggie are wrestling. Wookie is hiding in the front room, so he doesn't have to be involved. Sometimes, when I let Maggie out in the backyard, I"ll see her running circles at full speed, while Opal stands on the deck and watches.

We got her a toy that she really loves.

Instead of squeezing it with her mouth, she chewed it with her teeth. The bear needs a kevlar jacket.

When she gets tired and turns into a noodle, she is very cute. Opal likes that too.

On Sunday we took all three dogs for a long walk. We went and had coffee and left them all in the car. When we got back, Opal and Wookie were laying next to each other and Opal had her paws on Wookie's paws. I think she was telling him it would all be okay. Wookie is afraid of the beep the camera makes before it takes a shot, so he got up, but you can see her holding his paw. I love that.

Whenever I hear silence, I know something is being destroyed. I'll call Maggie and she'll come to me...this is usually what I see.

"I didn't do it"

Friday, November 6, 2009


Its always something around our house. One of us is always feeling some pain, discomfort, soreness, tiredness....

Trevor has his broken foot and is making progress towards a full recovery. He started running a week ago and is up to 2.5 miles. Pain Free. Good News!

I have been slogging along, feeling just fine...finally over my post marathon binge. I got some new running shoes last week. I wasn't planning to wear them for my long run on Sunday, but my old shoes were soaking wet from my Thursday run in the rain. I figured, what could it hurt? I've been running in the same brand of shoes forever. So, like a dumbass, I put on the new shoes, hooked up my shoe pod (that measures my distance, pace, etc) and off I went. 10 miles. A few miles in, I started having some pain on the inside of my ankle, but didn't worry too much about it.

Sunday afternoon, my foot really started to hurt. I again, didn't think too much about it. Monday, still hurting. Tuesday morning, ran again and now it REALLY hurt. Went to see Dr. Jake, my awesome miracle working and he did some work on it, but I don't think I was clear about where it hurt. Wed morning it hurt worse. Thursday - owie. By the end of the day Thursday it was swollen. I put some ice on it and made an appt to see Jake on Friday.

I was able to pinpoint the pain to Jake and after he spent some time poking and proding he said it was probably a sprained ligament. That ligament is really hard to injury. Figures. So he worked some magic and sent me on my way. No running for a few days, but I can ride the bike and do my other workouts. I have a cycling class on Monday night, I'll go see him again on Tuesday and we'll see where we are at.

Its kind of nice to have an injury during a time of year when it doesn't really matter. No stress about how I NEED to be ready by a certain date to run, ride or swim a certain distance. So I'll rest a few days. Then back to it. I swear, its like we are 100 years old!! At least with my new job situtation I don't have to be in bed at 9 and up at 4:30. I can go to bed when I like and sleep until I am ready to get up. A good plan for recovery.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The old and the young

Until recently, our house has been full of older animals. Wookie is 13, Opal and Daisy are 12, Gus is 11. We had our routine and we liked our routine. Lots of sleeping on the couch and early to bed. Everyone moved kind of slow. Everyone got along. We try not to think about the aging of our pets. They are all getting up in age and every once in a while we realize how old they are getting. It makes us sad, because we can't imagine our lives without a single one of them.

Enter the next generation. Roxie was the first on the scene. We call her "the baby". She is in love with Gus. She follows him everywhere. I think she has made him a little younger, they run and play together. Daisy is not interested in playing. Roxie is just a kitten, she's a little more than a year old now, and she really likes to play. It makes me smile to see her and Gus run from room to room chasing each other. But when it is time for bed, Gus wants to go to bed and he gets upset with Roxie if she tries to play with him when it is bedtime. Roxie has now started to sleep on the bed during the day with Daisy. I love that.

Next came Norwyn. He is about 3 and he likes to play too. When we first brought him into the house he hissed at the other cats. Gus has forgotten that and will play with him. Roxie has not forgotten and every time Norwyn tries to play with her, she hisses and runs under the bed. When we are downstairs, its like a herd of elephants upstairs - Gus and Norwyn running and playing. We didn't hear much of that before the younger cats came into our home.

Wookie is just a grumpy old man and no puppy or new dog will change that. Maggie tries to be his friend, but he is not interested. When Wookie goes up to bed, Maggie wants to be right up against him as they climb the stairs. This has been tough for Wookie and it has made him slip and fall a few times. That makes me sad, because he really is old. Maggie doesn't understand and just wants to be near him. She tries to play with him, he growls. Maggie tries to apologize and Wookie growls louder.

Maggie LOVES to play with Opal. They'll run around the living room. Well, Maggie will run around, Opal stands and barks and watches her run by. They will wrestle and roll around on the floor together. This has been exhausting for Opal. It is hard to wake her up in the morning, she is sleeping so hard from all this new activity. Some times Opal doesn't want to play and she'll get up on the couch next to me or Trevor and lay down. Maggie will jump up on the couch and sit on her, so she has no choice but to engage and off they go!

Maggie goes with us during the day. This is for a few reasons, first we want her to get used to being in public places, being in the car, meeting new people. We also need to give Opal and Wookie a break and a bit of their normal life back. When we get home at the end of the day, Maggie runs to see Wookie and Opal. She really does love them. They are her family. I think they love her too. They just aren't sure why we have a baby in the house.

It makes me happy to see them all interact - the old and young. It also makes me incredibly sad to think that the young will eventually have to go on without the old. I know that is how life works, but I don't like it. I love all these animals. There are seven of them now and that'a lot to love! I love when all three dogs are sleeping on the floor - like they are right now. I like when all four cats sleep on the bed with us. I really love how the old (with the exception of Wookie) have taken in the young. There has been no real fighting or aggression. They just roll with it and welcome the new ones into the house as if they have always been here.

This is our family. I want to enjoy them all together while I can. Its a strange mix, the seniors and the babies, but we love it and we love them. Every. single. one.