Cabo for Thanksgiving, Christmas and racing

This year for Christmas my parents gave us our gift a little early. We were all gifted a Thanksgiving vacation in Cabo. And it was AWESOME.

Image

We were there for 6 days and it was seriously the best Thanksgiving I have ever had. Seriously. I just reflected on all 35 Turkey Days and this one takes the cake. No work, no phones just fun.

Image

ImageImage

It was around 80 degrees the entire week so we spent A LOT of time poolside.

Image

Cannonball!

Image

Image

During the last few days the kids wanted to attend “kids club” at the resort which gave us a few hours to explore

ImageImage

And ride sea-doos!

Image

Image

View before a morning run

Image

Most importantly we all got to spend a week together with no distractions. That was the best part of all.

Image

Thank you Mom and Dad. Love you so very much.

And now we have just a few weeks until Christmas is here and then we will be ringing in 2014. We will be staying home (hooray!) and my FIL “Pops” will be staying at our house to celebrate. We are so glad that he will be here with us. It’s our first Christmas without Mama Kay and it’s going to be tough.

I will be running the inaugural SD Holiday Half (which is close to a sell out so register now if you want to run) while he is here and if LD can get everyone out of the house it will be Pop’s first time to see me run. It’s not going to be pretty, but I’ll get it done.

Speaking of racing, here is what I am registered for in 2014

January: Carlsbad Half

Feb: SD 10/20

April: Boston Marathon and Big Sur Marathon

November: New York Marathon

I will add some shorter races in if I am up to it. It still blows my mind that I BQ’d and got into NY. It’s going to be one heck of a year…now if I could just get motivated to train.

~~

1. What did you do for Turkey Day?

2. Any plans for Christmas?

3. Races?!

Why hello there!

Is it really almost July?! This is insane. It seems like just yesterday I was celebrating my BQ and now it’s time for fireworks. 2013 is literally going by in a blink. Let’s get caught up, shall we?

IMG_2833

My big man graduated Kindergarten. I was so glad that I got to volunteer during his last week of school!

IMG_2609

Mini me moved out of the “little kid class” and will officially start Pre-K this fall. So we had a girls day at Disney to celebrate. Bring on the cotton candy…and coffee…

IMG_2883

California Adventure earned my love ever since they opened Starbucks.

My FIL came for a visit! It was so good to have him here. We hadn’t seen him since Mama Kay passed so it was NEEDED.

IMG_2919

This is my first summer home with the kids. Man, it is so much fun! I am bummed that I missed out getting to do this when they were babies, but I feel so lucky that I am getting to do it now. Focusing on the moment and enjoying it.

IMG_2819

I started training with my brother who will be running his first marathon at Long Beach in October. He has finished 2 half marathons but since then has lost more than 80lbs! YES 80!

IMG_2905

Isn’t that incredible? We will be getting into double digits this weekend and I’m sure he is REALLY looking forward to me yapping his ears off for hours on end. What?? Good convo makes time fly.

IMG_2922

This was the view during a sunrise run this week. Stunning. This is one of the many reasons I love BCOD runs. So quiet and so beautiful.

IMG_2914

I’ve gotten back to including strength training in my weekly routine. While I never totally cut it out I did have to scale back during marathon training due to time constraints. It feels so good to feel strong again. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you know I love to hashtag #dowork. What you put into it is what you will get out. Keep a log.When things aren’t going the way you want them to look back at your training and see where you need to adjust.

I am running a 15k on the 4th of July (one of my favorite races) and then will have a month off until the Giant Half. Pretty excited for that race. I am bringing the eye black back. Oh yes, it’s happening.

~

What are your plans for the 4th? Anyone else running?

– I will definitely be sporting the Red, While and Blue!

Ahhh one last thing before I take off.  I want to leave you with this quote from my pastor. It really hit home for me and as we head into the second half of the year I want to encourage you all take a moment to reflect. Remember what’s important- it will make each day a whole lot easier 🙂

“It’s not about what you have, it’s about what you DO with what you have…What you do with a little is what you will do with a lot…but don’t get so focused on the future that you miss out on the moment” – pastor Matthew Schlesinger

WORD.

30 days: The Rug Pulled Out From Under Our Feet

30 days…

I remember getting the text about Mama Kay not sleeping well. She would wake up in the middle of the night and think that it was morning. She once sent us a text at 3:30 a.m. our time apologizing for missing a trip out to a family ranch in Oklahoma. That trip was a long time ago and L and I didn’t go. At least we got a laugh out of it. While her waking up in the wee hours was not necessarily a bad thing for her, it was effecting my FIL. Poor guy needed sleep!

On Monday April 29th he called hospice (remember she was released from their hospital) and they suggested she do a 3 day stay to give him and L’s aunt a break. They would monitor her, take the night shifts and make sure all was good. In 3 days she would return home. Sounded like the perfect plan.

They checked in late that afternoon and FIL decided to stay with her. Close to midnight they were laughing and eating and just happy. I wish we could have just stayed living in that very moment.

Tuesday is when it all changed. Tuesday is when she stopped responding. Tuesday is when we got the call that we needed to get there ASAP. Wednesday is when we packed L’s bag and prayed that she would hang on. Then the stroke happened. We broke. Literally. We prayed, our church prayed, our friends prayed, our neighbors prayed, people we didn’t know prayed. We asked for comfort. We asked for guidance.

Thursday morning we took L to the airport. It was Deja Vu. We just did this same thing at the same time 30 days ago…last time it was better. This time would be different. This time the rug was being pulled out from under our feet.

He made it the hospital and got to spend lots of time with Mom, Dad, his brothers, family and friends. He would call me every few hours to check in. The emotion during each of the calls was high. It was really hard.

Friday I booked a flight for the kids and I to leave Saturday morning. That Friday was the longest day of my life. Everyone was calling. So many emotions, so many questions. Tick, tick, tick. It was like time was standing still. I just wanted to get there. That night I got us packed got everyone tucked into bed and then around 10:15 p.m. the call came.

No, no, no. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Not yet. She was just released from hospice care. She was just on the news thanking HIM for additional time. She was just at the gym. She was just out shopping and negotiating deals at a local thrift store. She was just butt dialing me at work. NO NO NO. Please no.

Our plans aren’t HIS plans. We’re not in control. And then the flood gates opened. Uncontrolable tears.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.” Matthew 11 28-30.

On Saturday May 4, 2013 Mama Kay when home to heaven. She battled Pancreatic Cancer for 11 months. She never complained about it. Not once. She, in fact, thanked GOD for her cancer because it gave her the opportunity to speak to people about her faith. She was given a powerful voice. One we never saw her use until her diagnosis. She was a warrior. She encouraged so many. She loved, she laughed. She changed lives.

The first time I saw her I didn’t believe it. It was Saturday night. She looked like an angel. She looked so elegant and peaceful. She was finally healed.

We celebrated her life on Monday May 6th. At the graveside service the pastor read Isaiah 41:10. I lost it. That’s the verse written on my hand every race. He had no idea. “That’s just how God works” he told me. When we made our way to the church it was packed!! She was (and still is) loved by so many. She touched people she never even met. She will never ever be forgotten.

IMG_1902

I want to thank you all for sharing in this journey with my family. Thank you for letting me share my faith.This is real life. We all go through this. It has not been easy to share. There have been many times (like today) when as I write tears are streaming. It still doesn’t seem real.I don’t think it will for a while.

~

The Ojai Marathon is a week from Sunday. I will be wearing purple to support the fight against Pancreatic Cancer. I will run with my heart and not my legs. It’s going to be an emotional race. The one thing that is certain is that I will have an angel with me for all 26.2 miles that day. It can’t get any better than that.

30 days

A lot can happen in 30 days. A lot has. I’ve changed. My family has changed. One thing that has not? Our faith. It’s stronger than ever.

~

On April 28th I half dragged myself out of bed to run the La Jolla Half Marathon. I didn’t feel like running. My legs were still heavy and sore. I was on little to no sleep so the thought of running 13 miles of hills sounded awful. “Just get up” I said to myself at least 10 times. At least.

I made it down to the race start about an hour before go time. My warm up was pitiful (clearly my attitude was too). Each step felt like I had cement blocks tied to my shoes. This was supposed to be fun! Why was it feeling like work? Sigh.

When I finally found my girlfriends I perked up a bit. They were the attitude adjustment that I needed. Funny how friends can do that!

Picture 35

They had shirts on in support of Boston which quickly reminded me that complaining about heavy legs was just plain stupid. It was time to run and give what effort I had and that I did.

Picture 48

13.1 hilly fracking miles later I crossed the finish in 1:42:06 (this is a 9 min PB on this course!). My Garmin said 1:41:07 so not sure where my 1 minute watch fail happened, but it did. Still a strong effort and a great time on a difficult course.

Picture 36

Picture 20

I called my family and gave them a spot to pick me up since LJ traffic gets really bad. This allowed me to jog a cool down and finish with 15 miles on the day.

As I got into the car and told the kids all about the race. They fought over the medal (this is standard stuff when you have kids) and per the usual bragged about how cool it is when “their mom wins medals.” It.was.awesome.

After the race we had an awesome afternoon spending time together as a family. We went to a ball game in flip-flops and tank tops. We ate junk food because sometimes we just need to live a little. 

That day is so fresh in my mind.

You see that day our 30 days was approaching. We didn’t know it yet but it was. If we knew that a giant kick to the stomach was going to be delivered 48 hours later we would have frozen time.

30 days.

A reminder that we are not in control.

To be continued this afternoon…

 

Family Time, The C Word and Running RSF

On Wednesday my MIL and FIL made the trip from Texas to CA to stay with us for a week.

IMG_1891
Dinner At The Beach

Poor LD got cut out. He said it’s because the server couldn’t get over his stunning good looks. You think I’m kidding?

I can’t tell you how awesome it is to have them here. Getting to spend time with family is priceless.

IMG_1902
Girl Time
IMG_1855
Busy In The Kitchen

As most of you know my MIL is currently battling pancreatic cancer. Her faith (and ours) is unwavering but that doesn’t mean that we just ignore what is very very real. We had a very tough talk on Wednesday night. A talk that we have not wanted to had. I HATE the “C” word. We laughed and cried…a lot. That talk brought us all a lot closer together. We were reminded that the next minute, hour, day, week is not guaranteed. We have to live in the moment and enjoy it. If we don’t we are missing out on life. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to miss a single moment.

IMG_1785
My Loves

~

Today is packet pick up for the half marathon that I am running tomorrow in RSF. I decided to wait until morning to get my bib so that means I will be heading to the start at the BCOD. Nothing new huh?

I will be wearing purple to support my MIL. This will be the first time that she (and my FIL) get to see me run. This course is hilly and will probably feel tough coming off of a marathon 2 weeks ago. Regardless of how hard it feels it pales in comparison to what a cancer patient goes through each day. If I have to crawl to that finish line by all means I will do it. Take that “C” word.

~

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a StrideBox. I don’t do giveaways often so get on it 🙂 I mean that in the nicest way possible of course…

Twenty-13

This time last year I was tapering. And here I am doing it again. With only 1 1/2 weeks to go until Carlsbad it’s time to reflect back on twenty-12 and figure out just what the heck I am going to do with myself in twenty-13 (besides the obvious like fill up my DVR with guilty pleasures).

~

Twenty Twelve:

Running:

Ran: 1,618 miles. Short of the goal I had set, but still an awesome accomplishment. Not sure when I found time (mostly before sunrise) but it happened.

5amphoto

* Had my first DNF. Learned a lot from this race.

*PR’d in the 5 mile15k, Half and Marathon Distance

This.is.fun! Cheeeeseee
This.is.fun! Cheeeeseee

* Ran an Ultra Relay with girls who are now my best friends 🙂

SMCOL1

* Finally found shoes that work for me and have been injury free ever since! Dear Brooks, I heart you and your Pure line.

Personal:

* We moved to a new city and rented out our little place. (Don’t you love how I make it sound like we ventured far away?)

homesweethome

* Had a successful business year (although at times I felt royally defeated)

* My oldest started Kinder, finished his first season of pony league baseball and reminded me daily that he rules the world

bball

* My littlest continued her efforts to become a real life “mermaid” or “princess.” She started pre-k, and attempted to get me to sign her up for dance, gymnastics, soccer and softball. Ha! I love that she wants to do everything. She does not love that I make her choose one activity at a time.

233CD1E0

* We learned that my MIL was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This was the hardest part of 2012. She is an inspiration and a warrior. I look up to her more than she probably knows. She is still fighting this awful disease and we will not stop praying that she will be healed.

Mama Kay and her little Bear
Mama Kay and her little Bear

* Spent more time with family and friends. That was the best part of this year. Making time to see each other is HUGE!

~

So what’s the haps for 2013? Set a goal to run a zillion miles? PR in life? I’ve decided upon no mileage/workout resolutions this year. I bust my hiney every dang day. Period.  Hard work + dedication = life change that I committed to 3 years ago.

BCOD

(#BCOD = Buttcrack of dawn. You all know that’s when I do the most work.)

Plans for Twenty-13:

Running

* Stay injury free, explore new places and have fun. No pressure, just good times 🙂 Motivate people to move their feet!

* Races- my schedule is pending. Nothing like waiting til the last minute to register!

Life

* Continue to pray for MIL and be an advocate for her. Cancer sucks.

* Do work. On the job and in life. I want to be present for everyone I come in contact with. That means for you to. Yes you reading this 🙂

* Read the bible from cover to cover and do my best to be a good and faithful servant.

* Work hard/Play hard. Bring on vacation! Life is short so we are going to do some exploring 🙂 WOOOHOOOO!!

Pretty simple eh? I like things that way. Overprogramming is not my gig.

runner2

OK, I’m off to go over my training plan for the next couple weeks!

~

Did you make any resolutions for 2013?

Last Run/First Run

Last run of 2012 on Sun 12/30: 18 miles with my dear friend, 2:43. Goal was to survive and we did better than we thought! GO US!

First run of 2013: 4.15 miles on trails, 36 min. Tough yet awesome. Trails are peaceful and so kind on the legs 🙂

~

Christmas A Second Time:

On Saturday night we headed to my parents for a belated Christmas celebration. My Mom did her best to recreate Christmas day all the way down to the way the table was set and our meal. Please forgive the red-eye, I just don’t have it in me to edit any of the photos in this post 🙂

36512_10151400900173035_791711296_n

IMG_9002

The kids weren’t very excited about opening presents 🙂

IMG_9005

It was nice to catch up and just unwind. Traveling is so much fun but it takes a lot of me. Especially when both kids are all about mommy doing everything. I’ll miss it one day 🙂

The Eve of NYE:

Sunday I met Chacha down at the beach and we pounded out 18 beautiful miles.

Picture 17

It was cold when we started (glad the rain held off!) but it warmed up to about 50F when we were done. This run was not easy by any means but we finished strong. I am so thankful that I had her with me. I am 99% sure that I would not have finished that run solo.

NYE:

On Monday I headed to the office for a few hours before rounding up the troops and heading over to my brother’s house to ring in the New Year.

Picture 18 Picture 19

406083_10151344358858955_285890791_n

537798_10151344356628955_249164345_n

I am surprised that the H-man made it til midnight. About 11 he started fading and we just kept finding ways to keep him going. He loved it. First time to see the ball drop. So cool!

Introducing 2013:

Needless to say I was exhausted this morning and it took several hours to get motivated enough to head out for a few miles. I decided to stick to the trails today and it helped both mentally and physically. I didn’t look at my Garmin and managed the hills the best that I could. I took in the beauty of the day. The breeze felt so good. Cold at times but I didn’t mind. Also noticed that there were a lot of frogs out today.The last rain was on Sunday night so I guess they are still out doing their thang 🙂

Picture 20

And now here I sit looking at my still decorated house with no intention of taking anything down tonight. My inner lazy is refusing to box up ornaments so it will have to wait until tomorrow. For now I’m going to drink my tea and hope that dinner decided to make itself. Sigh, one can wish.

My 2012 reflections and 2013 goals are still so jumbled that a post now would be a mess. That and a lot of running chat is coming. Maybe tomorrow.

Wishing you all a very healthy, happy and prosperous 2013. Can’t wait to see what the year is going to bring us!

Running, Texas Christmas and 2013

Running.

Haven’t done it in 4 days. In fact, for the first time in months I do not have a huge load of wash/hang dry clothes and it feels kind of weird.  Almost like my world is off tilt a little. I did get a few runs in while enjoying vacay in Texas but then a big snow storm hit and, well, I just decided to sit around and do nothing. Dang it felt good. Lazy, but good.

In those few days of eat all things and no exercise came a reminder via email that I am registered for a January marathon. Oy. I am not even close to being ready for it. I have had 2 double digit runs in the past month- neither was further than 15 miles. I plan on a long run this weekend with Chacha and hope to survive. No PR plans for this race. It’s going to be straight up survival mode. In fact, if C is in town she is going to be running the same race and it will likely involve the two of us chatting away hilly miles. Misery loves company 🙂

So in knowing I need to get my hiney in gear it’s time to find some short, fast races to get me motivated. If you have any suggestions let me know. I’ll likely mix in 5/10/15ks and maybe a half or two. I am for sure going to take on the Disney double challenge in September and may head back to Chicago in October. Other than that, the calendar is wide open. This may be my last year involving any distance longer than the half so I’m going to register for all long distance races in the next few weeks before I talk myself out of it. 

~

Christmas.

It was AWESOME.

530448_10151308881443622_939201670_n

We spent 5 days in Texas with my MIL/FIL and all B/SILS, nieces and nephews. It was so fun watching the kids play and just have time to sit and talk and do NOTHING. In California it seems like we always have something that we have to do leading up to Christmas. In Texas we didn’t have to be anywhere or do a darn thing. I loved it. It snowed and we went outside and took pictures. It was -11 with gusts up to 60 miles per hour. The snow was literally sideways and we didn’t care. We just had fun being together!

13678_10151310349168622_359998453_n

My MIL is amazing. She continues her battle against Pancreatic Cancer and she has no plans to lose. We know that HE has a plan and that whatever it may be we will take away something positive. No matter that the doctors say we know that Dr. Jesus is the one that makes miracles happen. We just have to keep praying for that miracle.

She was out in the snow, she played with the kids, she baked, she cooked and she just spent time with us. I know she wanted to be able to do so much more but that’s why we were there. We were able to step in when she needed us to and handle tasks that she just didn’t have the energy for (which was very little by the way, my strong MIL). I don’t think I have ever seen someone with such courage and determination. She has faith as small as a mustard seed! Nothing is impossible for her.

The 5 days we were there flew by. Seems like every trip goes by faster. We hate it when we have to leave. It just plain stinks. We are hoping that they will come to visit in January or Feb and then we will go back again on Spring Break. Time is so precious that we cannot allow months to go by without seeing each other. We will not allow it.

We made in back to CA around 1 am on Thursday and now it’s time to get ready to ring in the New Year! I am not sure what 2013 will bring us but I do know I am looking forward to making many new memories with my family and friends. 

How was your Christmas/Hanukkah?! Any plans to ring in 2013?! Anyone want to race with me next weekend? HINT HINT HINT!

The 80s

I would like to thank each of you for your kind words on my Chicago Marathon recap. I know that every race will not be like that one but I am going to savor in its awesomeness for a little while. If nothing else I hope that it encourages us all to dig deep and have faith in ourselves. We can do so much more than we think we can.

And now…

I’m about to share a picture with you that will either make you laugh your arse off or scare you away forever. This is me, my little brother and my little sister in 1987.

At least my sister was little enough to avoid sweaters but I’m pretty sure she is rocking some sweet corduroy in this one. So why I am bringing this one out? Because this weekend we will be bringing back the 80s at this bad boy

When my sister first told me about it I was kind of “meh” on it. Mostly because I hate Fiesta Island. Not kidding. I had a bad experience at the end of RNR SD 2010 and pretty much swore off running there ever again.

And then she reminded me it’s her first 10k.

Not the 80s

And tempted me with this sweet medal

So I’m all signed up on team Punky Brew-ster and have my hot pink ready to go. No ugly sweaters in this crew but I’m sure we’ll see plenty on the course. More importantly I can’t wait to see my little cross that finish line.

Have you run a 10k?

Any advice for my little sis?

~

I’m off to watch the GIANTS game but before I go wanted to share a pic of me and my friends from a dinner date last week

Spending time with girlfriends is really important to me.  Getting to eat, drink and laugh without a care in the world is so much fun. FACT: there are just some things you can’t discuss with dudes. Thank you all for a fabulous night (even though I was a leeeeetle late)!