Sunday, November 9, 2008


On this cold Sunday afternoon, I'm sitting in my warm house listening to the giggles of my boys downstairs. I just returned from a trail run with Laura. I can't help but be overwhelmed with a strong sense of gratitude. This post may be a little sappy for some but I thought I'd share.

The racing season is far as triathlons go. It was a season of growth, not in my ability but my spirit. I struggled through a string of disappointing performances and illness. I was finally diagnosed with Lupus a couple of months ago which helped explain why I got mono and why my body wasn't performing the way it "should have". I've probably had it for years but just experienced a "flair up" this Summer. I am taking medication, took some time off and recently started to experience a return to "normalcy" I know this is only temporary and I strongly believe I will be "back to normal" soon. I decided to bag doing the 70.3 World Championship this year and instead I'm training for my first marathon.

I'm embarking on a journey that will bring many changes. I will soon be a single mom, starting school full time and experiencing a huge change in lifestyle. But again, I can't help but feel incredibly grateful. There are so many things I am grateful for on a daily basis, the list is too long to recite. But I thought what I could do from here on out is at the end of each blog post, list one thing that I am grateful for on that particular day. I encourage you to do this as well. In times of stress and what seemed like impending doom, I have found unwavering strength in gratitude. It's amazing what can happen in one's life if they focus on the things that are going well rather than what's not going well. And I speak from experience.

Today, I slept in until 8:30. I am grateful for ibuprofen. I am grateful for sweet boys in pajamas in the morning. I am grateful that my boys still love kisses and snuggles (at least when their friends aren't around). I am grateful for my friend Laura. She showed up at my house at 11:30 and we went for a 2 hour trail run. It rained in the morning but by the time we went out, it was misty and surprisingly warm........and beautiful.

We grabbed some hikers to take our picture. I am grateful for a beautiful place to run and a friend to keep me company.

Here's me running in the enchanted forest. I am grateful for the ability to run, it is my medicine-even if I have to take medicine after I run right now :). I'd be way worse off to not run at all.

I am grateful for all of you, taking the time to read my blog and all the things I babble on about. Thank you for your comments, it's always fun to get a buzz on my blackberry telling me someone has commented. Even if I've never met you! And every day, I'm grateful for hugs. I LOVE hugs.

So, go ahead, try it. Just one thing a day.....I think you're going to find it's hard to pick just one thing.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Breaking into the Sewage Treatment Plant...and a little run

Amy and I met up at Audubon to do the "Sunday-Sundae" 10 mile route even though it was only Friday. It was a wet, dreary day. We headed out. About 20 minutes into our run, we came upon a road closure but I said, "ah-that's just for cars, let's keep going". So we ran around the road block but soon came to the "construction". The whole darn road was gone and there was a drop off to the water. Amy thought there'd be a trail down there somewhere and we could just pick up the road on the other side. So, we gingerly got down the hillside and ventured out on somewhat of a dirt trail.....but soon that trail turned into more river rocks, less trail....then we came to rushing water seperating us from the trail we could now see on the other side.
Waterfall ahead, chainlink fence to our right, river rushing to our left or turn around and go back the way we came. I voted, well, more like "convinced" Amy we were going to hop the fence and run through the Sewage Treatment Plant. Then Amy tells me she's never climbed a fence before. What? Blackbelt in Karateeee...and you've never climbed a fence? Just to give you a little background on Amy, she makes me look like a heavyweight. I could have chucked her over the fence with one arm. But, a seasoned marathoner nonetheless. So here's Amy, climbing her first fence (man, I love my crackberry-never miss a moment). I climbed it first to show her how it's done and of course to snap the pic.

Running through the sewage treatment plant was a real treat. Here I am being "sneaky". I think I wore my best B&E outfit.

We were soaked and tired but made it back. I shivered all the way home.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Placement Testing and Beyond

I'm going to start out by saying this post has nothing to do with triathlon.....but this blog is about my life so I thought I'd share today's events.

I have decided to go back to school. I never got a 4 year degree nor have I worked since my oldest was born (almost 11 years ago). I plan to get a BA in nursing. To do that, I've got at least 4 years ahead of me. I haven't had a math class since 1992.

I went to the community college today to take the placement testing. I was a little nervous but decided that it's better to just go and get tested rather than try to "brush up" on my math skills that honestly weren't there to begin with.

I got into the testing room and learned quickly that you're supposed to talk in a "whisper"....for those of you who know me, and my son Hayden, we have some issues with volume control. So I decided unless I REALLY needed help, it was better to just keep my mouth closed.

I started with reading and writing and that was easy. No issues there. Maybe this math part won't be so hard! It could just all come pouring back to me. Always the optimist. Second question in.....why do they always throw that "x" in there? and then square it? Those parenthesis make everything so complicated. And what's [this]? So, some of the questions, I just went for the one that I had a good feeling about. Other's I was able to answer-not exactly confident it was the correct answer but what I came up with was one of the choices so that was good enough for me. Yes folks, this was a multiple choice test. All in all, I didn't feel terrible about the test. I mean, I haven't taken a math class in 16 years-what did I expect?

Once the I completed the assessment, I raised my hand. See? I catch on quick. The gal in charge came over after printing out my results. As she walked toward me, I thought she might say "honey, you may want to check with the highschool". She didn't, she just said, "now I'm going to have you watch a math video". I'm thinking "do they think the concept of math classes will be so difficult that I need to watch a video to explain?" I was so focused on the fact that I had to watch a math video for "special people" it didn't even occur to me how gross the headphones were....until after. ewe.

I started watching the 12 minute video and felt the giggles coming on. I'm sitting there, knowing that I completely bombed this math assessment and at the same time, finding great humor in the fact that I had to now watch a math video because of it! And then trying not to be obvious about looking around the room to see what other dumb-asses had headphones on. The video ended up just talking about the different math courses available and all the different possibilities for placement. A pamphlet would have been sufficient-even for me. The lowest a person could place would be math 090. From there, it went to math 91 and on up. The good news is, I didn't place in math 090. The bad news is, I placed in math 091. DOH!

All in all, I learned that I'm going to need a few "math refresher" courses. No big surprise.

Tomorrow's another day. Now I'm looking for a job. Anyone?

Monday, November 3, 2008

A headcold, 20 miles with Laura, An ice bath and Lasagna

I woke up Sunday morning with some kind of crazy head-cold. I'll spare ya'all the details. It's gross though. Laura brought her daughter Kellie over to sit with the boys while we headed out on a 20 mile run. Lately, I've hit a lot of milestones with Laura by my side. I ran 16 for the first time with her, then 18 and now 20. I have to say, running for this long is torture for me, I enjoy triathlon training a lot more than just straight distance running. But I do understand with Ironman training I'm going to have to do it all.....sigh. Every time Laura and I go on long runs I remind her of how much I appreciate her running with me. One of these times, I need to count how many times I say it during the course of one run. Props to all of you out there who have trained for a marathon by yourself.

Laura and I are running the Vegas marathon in December so it makes sense to train together-not to mention, it's WAY more fun. She mapped our run but forgot to check elevation so the first half of our loop was climb after climb but it was beautiful. I had my phone with me so we snapped a few shots of just how picturesque it is to run 20 miles in Spokane. Every time I go out for a ride or a run, I am reminded of how lucky I am to live and train in such a beautiful place.

Here's me:

And Laura:

After having a long discussion about dog attacks, we were chased by Cujo. On the "to do" list for this week-buy mace. Someone got some good entertainment watching Laura and I trying to scare a dog that weighed as much as the two of us put together. I felt like a bad-ass chihuahua. Or as Hayden would say "chu-chuwawa".

We got back, soaked in ice baths and then headed out looking like bag ladies for some hot lunch. I had hot cocoa and lasagna-nice combo. I'm staying inside today, lookin pretty scary but I don't want to share this illness with anyone. Brutal. Tomorrow is another day.