Friday, November 26, 2010

Clark County Turkey Trot Race Report

We did this run last year in the POURING rain and think we said we wouldn't do it again. takes place less than 2 miles from home and EVERYONE we know was doing it. You know what I say..."things that suck, suck less when done with friends".

It sucks because of the weather. Last year it poured, this year it was icy and COLD!!
This is a 5k/10k fun run, like most Turkey Trots. It takes place on the Salmon Creek Trail. This is a great running path and we run it ALL the time. I know it like the back of my hand and the miles always go by so fast because it is so familiar.

The run starts at 9, we got down there around 8:30. We got registered and tried to keep warm until start time. It was so weird - I know like 30 people who were doing it, but as of start time we had only seen like 2 people that we knew! Oh well, time to start came and off we went.

It was my goal to run this 10k faster than any other 10k ever. I usually just chug along at the same pace no matter what the distance. This means my 10k times are over an hour, which was starting to annoy me. I have been doing a lot of high intensity training with Trevor. He has an MMA fight on December 11th and has been spending a lot of time in the high heart rate zones. I've been joining him on the stair mill and think that has really helped with my turnover - how fast my strides are during my runs. I FEEL faster.

So, dispite the icy path, I ran as fast as I could go. I tried to find that place where it was tough, but I knew I could maintain it for 6.2 miles. I also focused on my form, I didn't want to be all out of control.

My times were right around 9:10 per mile, which is more than a minute faster than usual. It felt GOOD to push that hard.

Once people started reaching the turnaround and heading back, I started to see some familiar faces. That made me happy. I love seeing my friends out there! I finally saw Trevor, Doug and Trish. I got a hug from Doug and kept on running.

Before I knew it, I was looking at the mile 6 marker. Across the bridge and to the finish. I don't have an official time - they had some timing issues. I believe my time was right around 57 minutes and for me, that is HUGE. I was very proud of myself. Trevor was the only one who knew that was my goal and he was proud of me too!

Within a minute of finishing, I was FREEZING. The cold crept up on me and I was ready for a hot coffee. The trot was done, off to Starbucks for a latte, then home to clean up and head for Thanksgiving dinner.

The Thanksgiving day run is a great time to think about all the blessings in my life. I am thankful that I can do these things and thankful that I have such great people to do them with.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Time to give Thanks...

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! Its all about food, family and friends. There is no expectation for gifts, no pressure, not so much noise and excitement as the other holidays. I love to be with my family, lounging on the couch, eating, drinking, eating some more. I just love it. I always have.

I was reading my posts from years past on Thanksgiving. You can read them here and here. I love to look back and reflecting on things.

I have a good life. Actually, I have a great life and I have SO much to be Thankful for. I always say that if I wasn't me, I'd be jealous of me! Sure, things are tough sometimes and there are lots of things that I wish were different or easier, but I'm not going to talk about that today. Today, I am going to list some things I am thankful for.

I started this post and was listing all the specific things I was thankful for. Then it occurred to me - there are really just a few things that make the list. These things are common thread between all the specifics. I am thankful for Love, Laughter and Health.

I have these thing in my life everyday. I go to bed every night and know that I have loved and been loved. I have laughed and I am healthy. No matter what else happens, if I can say that, I am thankful.

So to all of you that have brought these things into my life. Thank you. I am thankful for you. Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 19, 2010

It takes work.

"If you trust in yourself...and believe in your dreams ...and follow your'll still get beaten by people who spend their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy."

I came across this quote last night and it really resonated with me. It seems that so many people have forgotten that good things come to those who work for them. I grew up being told "there are no free rides", "if you want something, go get it", "don't wait for someone to take care of you, take care of yourself" and perhaps the most important lesson "learn to be okay by yourself".

I worked hard for all the good things, all the worthwhile things in my life. I was patient, did the jobs/the work that others didn't or wouldn't do. I got up early, stayed late, gave up time doing things I really wanted to do. I did this all in the name of progress.

I didn't sit around and wonder why others had things I didn't have. It hasn't always been easy. In fact, a lot of the time, it really sucked. People say that things always have a way of working out. I believe that is because someone works them doesn't just happen.

I do believe in the power of the Universe. I believe in the power of suggestion - that if you put it out there, it will be. But I also believe that you can't just put it out there, you have to work for it. Putting it out there sets in your mind that it will be and then you act in order to make it so.

I see so many people disappointed at the things they have, wondering why things aren't the way the wish they would be. Lucky isn't have to make your own breaks, make your own opportunities. It takes work. For all of us. So go ahead - trust yourself and follow your dreams, just be sure that you put in the time and effort on the way.

"You are kind of mean".

I have been kind of quiet lately. I've had lots to say, but nothing I feel safe saying here. People read this, you know, and I don't know to come across as being harsh or mean. So I've been quiet.

I am on the race committee for the Vancouver Marathon coming up next year. At this month's meeting, I was assigned the duty of Volunteer Co-ordinator. The race director said he thought I would be good at this job because "you are kind of mean". Is that a compliment?!

He later explained that he meant I was direct, not really mean. The truth is, I wish I was more direct, more mean. I don't always say the things I wish I had said. I often stew over things, I keep them down. I end up feeling sick to my stomach and unable to breath because I am so distraught about what others are doing or thinking of me. That is something I wish was different. I have been able, lately, to say the things I want to say, when I want to say them. Some of the fear of doing that has gone away. But I still fret about it. I'll say something and then wonder "was that mean?" "should I have said that".

I saw an interview with Dana White once. He is the President of the UFC. The interviewer was saying how "direct" Dana is and how he is uncensored, always says what he thinks. He was asked if he ever regrets saying things. Dana's response was this "No. I'm not that guy". I LOVED that answer. I want to be like that. He just says it and moves on. I dwell.

As much as I often act like I don't care what people think. I do. We all do. As Dr. Suess says "Say what you mean and mean what you say. Those who care don't matter and those who matter don't care".

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Off Season

After the Columbia Gorge Marathon, I decided it was time for the Off Season to begin! I felt like I had been training forever, always with a goal in mind. Last year, after the Portland Marathon, I hit the off season and gained almost 10 pounds. I felt like crap and couldn't seem to lose that weight. I didn't want to repeat that this year.

Trevor has switched from triathlon/marathon season to fight season. No Off Season for him. He has named me his strength and conditioning coach. This means that we are doing weights three days a week and lots of high intensity cardio. Quite a change from the last several months of endurance training.

My elbow is still not right and may never be again. I have strength in it and really no pain. It is more of an ache. I can lift just about as heavy as before and I have good range of motion. It is hard to describe how it feels. I can tell that I have lost some muscle tone in that arm and am working hard to get it back!!

I really want to work on my leg strength. I have IT band issues when I run and I believe that will go away when I work on my leg/hip strength.

We have been doing the stair machine at the gym. Trevor and I played a game today where I would decide what level we were on for a while, then he would. The last minute of the workout, we were running on the stairs. My heart rate was 183 and I was close to throwing up! Wow. What a great workout!

Trevor supplements these workouts with his fight training - grappling, boxing, wrestling. His fight is planned for December 11th and he is really looking forward to it.

It is difficult for me to have nothing specific to train for. I need to figure out the plan for next season. I love the off season, but I hate the off season!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Opal...the last of the original 3

When Trevor and I met, there were three pets - Opal, Wookie and Gus. Opal is the sole survivor. We have added to the family, but she is the last of the original 3. She is 13 and has aged 10 years in the last 18 months.

When we first got Maggie, she and Opal ran and played. They would bounce off the couches. It was fun to watch, but also made us a little sad. She and Wookie were best friends, but they never played like that. It made us sad that she wasn't able to play like this her entire life.

Once Wookie passed away, Opal went downhill fast. She started having a lot of issues with her hips and back legs. She stopped getting up on the couch and doesn't like going of the deck anymore. We started some treatment for arthritis a while ago. She gets shots once a month and takes pills twice a day. We built a ramp from the deck to the yard so she doesn't have to step down.

She has slowed way down. Maggie seems to realize what is going on. She used to play so rough with Opal, now she is very gentle. She plays differently with Opal than she does with Buster. Opal so wants to run and play, but she can't.

Its hard to believe she has gotten so old. It seems so sudden, even though I know its not. Last night, she seemed to get worse, really fast. Her back leg stopped working and she kind of flailed around like a fish. She keeps falling down and sometimes can't get up.

She is in good spirits, but Trevor said this morning, "if she can't walk, she will lose the will to live". That broke my heart. We have lost Wookie and Gus this year. I think I have cried almost every single day this year. Wookie was diagnosed with lymphoma in mid January and we have been saying goodbyes every since then.

I keep telling Opal that she has to get better. She has to get back on her feet. We are going to take her to a different vet - a neurologist - to see if they can find a pinched nerve, bulged disk or something that can be fixed to make it easier for her to get around.

There is no way that I am ready to say goodbye again. Just no way.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gus in pictures...

All through Gus' life, I sang to him. I am NOT a good singer, but Gus loved it. He would look at me,squint his eyes and start purring. As his days grew shorter, I sang two songs in particular. He really liked these two. I sang both of them on his last day. I miss him terribly and long to touch his fluffiness one last time. I just can't believe he is gone.

Gus loved toys.Loved laying on the bed.
Loved being in the workout room.
More of the bed.
He was our jungle cat.

Sometimes looked confused by his water.
Loved his hospice bed.
And the closet.
Didn't care that he had kitty acne in his old age.
LOVED laying in the front window. This is where he was every day when I got home. Waiting.
Loved to be with his mom.
Loved the sun.
Really loved his mom when he was sick.
Tolerated Roxie, who thinks Gus is her mom.
Thought Daisy was beautiful.
Shared the sun with Norwyn.
Will always be remembered like this....