Saturday, November 29, 2008

My three kids have been home for the Thanksgiving Holiday and it has been nothing short of great. We hiked, ate our favorite foods and just had a lot of time to catch up. Chelsea brought her puppy Bentley home and he is doing great. That has made us all happy. Matt's son Lloyd is home too, so the whole gang has been here. Lot's of laughing and commotion happening at all times.

Naomi and I ran yesterday in Annadel for 1.5 hours. It was a chilly, foggy morning and we had a lot to talk about. Unfortunately, we only get to run together about once a week. We have been running together for over 15 years. We have even backpacked with our families a couple of times, but that was years ago. Naomi has been a great friend and she even paced me at Western States 100 and Wasatch Front 100. I have a feeling that pacing me sent her over the edge and she will probably never pace anyone again. LOL.

On the racing side of things, Suzanna won the Quad Dipsea yesterday!! Yaaahhh!! I knew she would. She has been running so well lately. Way to run like a girl, Suz! I don't know her time, all I know is that she kicked royal booty in the womens race. For all of you who have run that race, you know it is not a walk in the park. That race chews you up and then spits you out. Four. Times. She will running Hurt 100 in January. I am sure she will rock there.

Today was a nice 7.5 mile run in the park with an upper body weight workout tonight. I am feeling good and getting excited for my race in Costa Rica.

Have a happy Monday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Yesterday Wally and Karen and I ran in the Marin Headlands covering 13+ miles. It was a nice day for a run and we managed to finish before the rain hit. Wally is training for a half marathon in December and he wanted to familiarize himself with the trails there.

This morning I woke up early and got to the gym for an upper body workout before work. It was the perfect start to a busy day at the Hospital. Yes, the Hospital was BUSY!! WTF! Why is it that so many people line up to have surgery two days before Thanksgiving? Is it the perfect excuse not to cook? What possesses someone to WANT to have surgery during the Holidays? Amazing.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I hope you all enjoy your day and that it is spent in a special way. Have a safe and fun Holiday!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Running "down" to the river ---Ha!

Here is my daughter lying with her "baby", Bentley. He is home from the Hospital resting and recuperating after having life threatening internal injuries after a heavy object fell on top of him.

Yesterday a group of friends ran on the Western States 100 trail from Foresthill to the river and back to Foresthill. 31 miles of beauty and sweat. The weather was great and the company was even better. Everyone is training for something and a few in the group are running WS 100 this June. I don't think I have ever run this section in late November and so it looked so much different. The river is low, as we have had little rain. There is something so refreshing about running somewhere different for a change. I felt a little lighter and motivated running in one of my most favorite places.

Foresthill is at mile 62 in the WS100 race. We ran down to the Rucky Chucky river crossing which in the race is at 78 miles. For any of you that are planning on running WS100 for the first time. Listen up. When you hear someone say that you run "down" to the river, don't believe them. There is a lot of ups and downs and you don't want to be surprised. Running "down" to the river is just a bunch of BS if you ask me.

It was a long day but sharing the trail with friends always makes our runs so much fun. I hope you all had a good day doing something that you love. Whatever you do, MAKE IT COUNT!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Running on the Western States 100 trails

Tomorrow morning, really early, I am leaving for Foresthill to run on the Western States 100 course for 31 miles. I can't wait. Hopefully, I will take pictures and have them to show off. If not, well, then I will just have to tell you about it.

Today was a sad day as my daughter Chelsea's puppy is critically ill after having a book shelf fall on him. He only weighs 5lbs and I am just worried sick about him. He is just so cute and my heart goes out to Bentley. He has internal injuries and is bleeding. I will let you know when I know more.

I ran for 2 hours today in Annadel with Suz and it was another beautiful day. It was cold and crisp but the sky was blue and we had a great run. Running in comfortable socks make any run more enjoyable. I just love my Drymax socks! They are the most comfortable socks I have ever worn and I will wear them tomorrow for my long run. I encourage you to try them out and see for yourself. I guarantee that you will love them the first time you try them. No more Injinji's for me!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I ran alone today

I ran alone today and loved every minute of it. I have become so use to running with friends that sometimes it is hard to get myself up and out the door to run by myself. It was a cool, damp, and foggy morning and the air was so fresh that it was exhilarating. My feet moved quickly and lightly as I ran along, careful of the Newt's that were out enjoying the damp trails. I ran without my ipod and enjoyed the sounds that I heard and it made me more keenly aware of the deer and the squirrels that live in this park. I was reminded how much I love running alone today. I reflected on my life and even shed a few tears.

I ran past the spot where my best friend in High School was murdered by a psychopath in 1978. She was 21 years old. I wondered how her life would be now if she had been given another chance at life. I was on a road trip in Iowa with my Mom and siblings when my Dad called to give us the horrible news. I will never forget that day.

I thought about my health and how lucky I am to be so fit. I thought about what makes us who we are and how I have gotten to this point in my life. I thought about the love I have for my children. Yes, I have spoiled them. I have spoiled them because I have loved them so much, that I want them to have everything I had and everything I never had. When you have children, it seems that you just can't give them enough. So you love them, and then love them some more. The love is so deep that it can take your breath away.

I also thought about my diet today. I am eating low carbs and enjoying every minute of it. I have found that a low carb diet makes you less bloated, more lean, and makes you feel damn fast. Yeah, it's true. I feel really fit right now and I am pretty sure it's this low carb thing.

Today I thought about my dad and that the anniversary of his death is quickly approaching. He was only ten years older than I am right now, but he really died long before his real death. (Does that make sense?) He was a man who had it all and then lost it all. He was loved by everyone, and then he became almost unlovable. Alcohol can do that to a person. Vodka was his lifeline and it led him to his demise. I know I have talked about this before on my blog. I don't want to be redundant, but it is an important message that I think is crucial to talk about. Substance abuse of any kind ruins lives. Not only yourself but everyone around you. Am I angry? You betcha I am. I got screwed out of having a father who was "there". My parents split up because of alcohol. I feel cheated, letdown, and empty at times because of what alcohol did to my family. My father was powerless to the addiction to Vodka. He became a person he never wanted to become. I hate that his life was cut so short because of a clear, odorless poison that ruled his life. I tell you all this story, because it is what I think about when I run. If it helps anyone to take a look at their life and change things for the better, than I have made a difference. I am who I am because of what my life has been made of. I was so lucky to have been so loved as a child. Both of my parents made loving us a priority, just as I have done to my kids. We could not have been loved more. I am thankful to my Mom for providing that balance when my Dad could not love us enough. I know I am rambling. Sorry.

Lastly, I thought about how lucky I am to be a runner and to live in such a beautiful area. I am so happy for my health and I was reminded yesterday at work when two of my patients under 30 years old, had Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Take a moment and reflect on your life. Change the things you can and make a conscious effort to change the things that you might think are unchangeable. Make today count. Start exercising and eating healthier. Stop smoking, drinking or whatever your vice is that is keeping you from being the best you can be. We are given today. That is all we know for sure. Happy trails, my friends.

Listen to those inner signals that help you make the right choices-no matter what anyone thinks.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tremendous Tuesday

Yesterday, after a long day at work, I met up with Suz and ran up the Goodspeed trail to the summit and then we added 10-15 more minutes down the fire road and then back up the steep trail. After my fast run on Sunday and being on my feet all day at the Hospital, I was just shot. Suzanna kept reminding me that it was good training to run on tired legs. Yeah, right. We were out there for almost 2 hours and I worked up a pretty good sweat. I do have to say that it did feel good to be out there. We finished just before dark and it was still so beautiful out there. We talked a lot about our "epic run", that is happening on Dec. 13th. We are running from Pt. Reyes to the Golden Gate Bridge. It will be approx. 70-75 miles on trails. Last year we did it around the same time and it was just an awesome adventure. I can't wait to do it again this year. If anyone reading this is local, and wants to join in, let me know.

Courtney has been home for a few days visiting from college and she left this afternoon. We had a good few days of visiting and enjoying each other. I miss her already. Next Wed. all three kids are coming home for Thanksgiving. I am so excited to see them. Lloyd is coming home too, with his girlfriend, and so we will have a full house for a few days.

Matt and I went and applied for our passport today. Our trip to Costa Rica is quickly approaching. My training is going well and now I have to start thinking about what gear and things that I will need to bring. I need to beg, borrow, or steal a light backpacking tent to sleep in during my race. I just may buy one if I can't borrow one from someone.

I didn't run today, but went on a very short walk with Courtney. We pet the neighborhood horse and I got zapped by the electric fence. I got a good upper body workout in and I cleaned our ceiling fans. Wow, all in all, a good day.

Saturday, I may be running up on the Western States trail. We are planning on running from Foresthill to the river and back. That will be about 31 miles. Stay tuned for that exciting report. Have a great day tomorrow.

The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach. Benjamin Mays

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Perfect running weather for November

I've had a few good runs this last week. The longest run was 3.5 hours, but I felt like I gave it a good effort. The weather had been gorgeous and from the mountain we ran on Thurs., Suz and I could see San Francisco. That's amazing because S.F. is 60 miles away. We both were sweating like pigs that day. Maybe it was the warm weather or maybe it was just humid. It felt good to sweat out the toxins that must be floating around in our bodies, despite trying to be the healthiest we can be. We discussed politics, religion, and life as we huffed and puffed up and down the trail. One of the greatest things about having a good friend, is that you can discuss anything and still respect each other whether you agree or disagree with each other. I like that about my friend, Suzanna. She is a true friend, even if she is a Democrat! LOL.

For years my calves would get so tight during uphill climbs, now I notice that it is my hamstrings that get so tight. It's time to join a yoga class and see if I can't loosen these legs! I mentioned a few posts back, that I was desperate to find something that would help with my Restless Legs. I started on Melatonin 5mg. and an Iron pill, and I feel much more rested. I am actually dreaming!! That feels good.

Today was a fast run that made me feel like I had been worked over. We sprinted down a flat road for a short stint, but it felt really difficult. I think that running fast is a good thing, especially since they say that the way to run fast, is to run fast!! OKAY!!!

Watch the Brooks Dream video and help a great cause!

This video captures the fantasy of the perfect run. Brooks will donate five cents for every view of the video between Nov. 13 and Dec. 21. Brooks will donate up to a max of $25,000 to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, earmarked for the support of Breast Cancer research. Thanks so much, Brooks!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

World Run Day

Today I drove with Wendy to China Camp where we met Geoff and several others to run on the beautiful trails and to donate to a charity of our choice for World Run Day. I met and ran with Leslie and it was so much fun. Leslie is a strong runner and it was fun to get to know her. We finished our run with coffee and muffins. It was a delightful day on this 9th day in November. I hope you all got outside today. Winter is almost upon us and the days are short.

This skull sits among candles and flowers during Day of the Skulls celebration in La Paz yesterday. Aymara Indians revere the skulls of their relatives and believe they protect them from evil and help them attain their goals. Relatives decorate the skulls and carry them to church or cemeteries to be blessed. I really think that this is my Dad. It certainly resembles him and that was his brand of cigarette. Yeah, I am sure that is my Dad, he was always up for a celebration. Always the life of the party. I miss him and think of him often. Oh, and he would get a kick out of my little joke about this being him. I can hear him laughing now.

Have a great Monday and make it a good week. I am taking tomorrow off from running but will hit the gym for some upper body work.

One can never consent to creep-when one feels the impulse to soar. Helen Keller

Friday, November 7, 2008

A rough week

It's been a rough week. Wow, I wasn't sure if I was dying or just being a hypochondriac. I had a headache for 8 days and I was butt tired. Running was a major chore and my eyes and face felt like they belonged to a seriously sick person. The only thing that sounded exciting was sleeping. That is not me, people. Yesterday I pushed and pulled myself out the door to do a LONG run with Suzanna. I tried to be positive and pushed myself to do the best that I could. It was brutal and it hurt. Mentally, I wanted to throw the towel in, but that would only mean that I would have to turn around and run or walk LONG alone. It just wasn't going to happen. By the time we finished, I was feeling better. It felt good to be running in beautiful weather with my good friend. We had a lot of catching up to do. Running and talking while sucking air made for some interesting conversations. I think I started talking only to restart several times, as the hills were killing me.

Today, I am glad to announce that I AM BACK! I woke feeling so much better and I do believe that I will live to see another hill. Suzanna and I ran for 2.5 hours today and it really was enjoyable. The weather is amazing and I am thankful to be feeling alive again.

This afternoon, Matt and I went to Tom's Memorial service. It was a true celebration of his incredible life. I saw so many old friends there and it was really cool to hear all the stories about his amazing life. Tom is with his maker now and I know that brings so much happiness to his wife Sandie and to their 3 sons. Rest in peace, my friend, you are loved and will never be forgotten.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My name is Kelly and I am a square

"Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way we cope with it is what makes the difference."

This quote from an unknown author made me think today. As I mentioned in my last post, I have been dealing with a medication to treat my severe Restless Leg Syndrome. It is a nasty med with lot's of side affects. For someone like me, who hates taking any drugs for any reason, this has really tested me. On one hand, I am desperate for a good night sleep EVERY night. On the other hand, I cannot justify taking medication that is dangerous and makes you into someone you don't want to be for a night of sleep.

I do not do drugs and I do not drink alcohol. I am a square. Period. I have seen first hand what drugs and alcohol do to families and people. My heart and soul has bled out into the streets as I watched my Dad drink himself to ruin. I have cried and promised myself a life without anyone or anything controlling me. When I watched my Dad spiraling down into a life beyond belief, I made a promise to never drink again. That was 27 years ago and I have held true to that promise. Today, while I was on day 5 of this new drug, I made a decision to toss those suckers in the circular file. I am done with them. Kaput. Over. I will research other options and figure out what is best for me. I am so happy that I am the type of person that I am. I am a strong woman. I love the person that I am. (well, mostly). I do not want to change or alter my personality and who I am, because I like me. No, I don't want to feel lethargic and compulsive. I want to feel energized and excited for each new day. I want to LIVE and that is what I am going to do. Sleep or no sleep. God gave me the ability to run and for that I am so thankful. It has helped me run from my problems and has helped me run towards happiness. I am blessed that I am a runner and I really need to feel positive about that gift, even if my legs continue to run in my sleep.

Thanks for listening my friends.