Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Living and loving our life

I just received a phone call from my 24 year old son, who told me that his friend just updated his facebook page and he says that he has 3 days to live. Nine months ago he was coaching and playing soccer. He had finished college and had a promising life ahead of him. Nine months ago he was diagnosed with brain cancer and it was terrible news. Today, he is facing the end of his short life. I am so heavy with sadness as I write this. A life cut so short. A good human being. His name is Brian. Please pray for him and his family. Thank you.

Yesterday, Matt and I hiked a total of 8 miles to a beautiful 300 foot waterfall. It was worth the work it took to get there. We swam in our clothes in the pool under the waterfall and it was so peaceful and serene there in the jungle. I look at my life and I am so thankful for everything I have. I think about the phone call from Caleb today and I feel terrible and selfish inside. I feel heavy with this news and I can't seem to get past it. I have always been fascinated and tormented with death. Today I feel tormented. A young man with so much promise is losing his battle. It doesn't seem fair, but I have to remember that life isn't fair. I must move on from this darkness or it will overcome me in a place where blue oceans and beautiful flowers abound.

Today as you run or do whatever you do to get away and be alone, reflect if you will, on the blessings that life is to us. Life is a terminal disease. Live it. Enjoy every moment for tomorrow isn't promised. Run with joy and lightness of step. Kiss or hug someone today. Smile! If you do nothing else today, please be thankful for the life that you have. It could be gone tomorrow.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Kauai has been great! Just what the Doctor ordered, that's for sure! I was somewhat disappointed in Poipu Beach though. I was expecting a big beautiful sandy beach and it just wasn't like the beaches in Maui at all. We cracked up when, as we laid on the beach, at least 50 birds and several chickens kept trying to eat our food. I even had birds and chickens jumping up on my legs as I lay there. I have NEVER seen roosters and hens on the beach, kicking sand up on our backs as they look for food!! I've decided that the chicken should be Hawaii's state bird. Yesterday, we went up to the North part of the Island and the beaches were great. Next time we come to Kauai we will stay up north. It is much more beautiful and tropical. The beaches and the Mountains are amazing.

I ran today on the main highway and caught up to a girl that was training for the SF marathon. I was hoping to run with her, but her pace was quite slow and she didn't seem interested in running with me, so I ran on ahead. I only ran about 6 miles, but it felt like 15. I am not use to the warm humid weather and running on the road is brutal after always running trails back home. It rained most of the day today, so today was spent checking out little towns and checking out Waimea Canyon.

"Progress always involves risks. You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first."
Frederick B Wilcox

I challenge you to identify an area where you would like to see progress and see what risks you're willing to take to have it happen. Maybe a change in your diet is needed or a change up in your workout. You will never grow if you don't take a risk. Stretch yourself and get out of your comfortable box you are living in. Run farther, run faster, or just start running. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Just do it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Aloha and Mahalo from Kauaii

As I write this, I am sitting on a veranda watching the waves crash down in beautiful Kauai. This trip is a birthday trip to Matt and I am so happy to be able to spend some quality time with only him. We plan on lots of ocean fun and exploring the Island both hiking and running. The weather here is warm and I LOVE warm weather! We have not had much of a summer in Santa Rosa this year. I have missed running early in the morning feeling the warm air. This summer has had a bit of winter in it.

To catch ya'll up on the happenings of my life I want to start by telling you that I have found an amazing, ( I love that word ), circuit training class. I have only gone to it twice, but have absolutely loved it. It kicks your butt and then spits you out. I sweat like a pig there and I come home drenched with my eyes blackened from my mascara running amok. It's a beautiful feeling to push ones body and feel the power of strength fill your soul. You come home looking exactly like you did going in, but somehow you leave there feeling like a hard, fit elite athlete. That is a great feeling.

I have started running a nice 12 mile loop near my house with just enough climbs, flats and descents to give you that "feel good" feeling. I know it will increase my fitness level as I plan on incorporating that into my weekly mileage. I am doing well on my nutrition plan and have finally become comfortable without the "comfort" foods I had become accustom to for all these years. I am looking forward to bettering myself, (is bettering a word?). I want to find balance in my life, easing the demons of anxiety that have quietly come to call my body their home. I want to allow only the good in and keep out the bad if you know what I mean.

Work at the hospital has been crazy busy. I swear it is harder than running a 50 miler. The only thing different is that at work I have a bathroom to pee in and you don't get a tee shirt for all the hard work! Oh, and a 50 miler is more fun! Duh!

The Coastal Challenge is just around the corner and getting the funds together is never easy. I look so forward to running that stage race again though. Talk about a challenge!! OMG.

I am just about ready to go out for a little run this morning so that is all for now. Aloha and Mahalo!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"In response to those who say to stop dreaming and face reality, I say keep dreaming and make reality." Kristian Kan
I watched a video about this little boy and wanted to share his story. I feel so sorry for him.

The Four Year Old who Ran Forty Miles

Budhia Singh
Budhia Singh

The 4 Year Old who runs half marathons

Budhia Singh lives in Orissa, India where a third of the population live in slums and the state has the highest child mortality rate in India.

Since the age of three Budhia has been running 20 miles a day and is currently preparing to run a half marathon, his fifth in seven weeks.

Is Budhia's story an account of exceptional child talent or a darker tale of child exploitation.

His coach Biranchi Das, a local judo instructor, aims to train Budhia to become India's greatest marathon runner who will go on to win Olympic glory. His training regime begins at 4 o'clock in the morning in a typical blazing, misty dawn in Orissa.

His mother who worked as a maid for £3 a month has four children, of whom Budhia is the youngest. She was unable to feed and clothe them so took the heartbreaking decision to sell Budhia to a travelling peddler for £10. The peddler was a drunk who would beat the boy regularly. When Biranchi found him he was naked, wounded, and seriously underfed.

Biranchi Das
Biranchi Das

Budhia's talent for running was only discovered when Biranchi heard the young boy swearing at another of the Judo students. He ordered Budhia to run around the running track until he returned. Biranchi went out and forgot about the boy until his return six hours later. Incredibly, Budhia was still running!

Biranchi has no experience with athletics or long-distance running, but he has devised his own training programme which includes his belief that Budhia should not drink while running. He allows him energy drinks before and after a race, but never during one.

Budhia's coach wants him to take part in the Delhi half-marathon. No-one knows how he will cope with his first competitive race, but for Biranchi, it's an important step in his plan to turn Budhia into an elite, Olympic athlete.

On the day of the race, there is a problem. Budhia's fame has arrived before him, and with it controversy. He has been told that, due to International Rules, he can't run in the main race. He is so much the centre of attention that the race organisers agree to allow him to compete in the final event, a 6km race for all ages. At the after-race party, in the evening, he meets former Olympic champion Daley Thompson.

Tim Hutchins, the coordinator of the London Marathon, is outspoken: "Children shouldn't be training hard, for any sport, until they are fifteen or sixteen years old. For a child of three to be training hard is verging on the criminal".

Back in Orissa, the child welfare minister is taking a keen interest in the case. She thinks Biranchi is using Budhia's running talent and the media coverage to promote his own interests and believes the child's health will suffer. Biranchi disagrees and argues that he is trying toimprove Budhia's life. He is being properly fed, he is clothed, and he is receiving regular schooling.

Biranchi's plans are becoming ever more ambitious. He will have Budhia run from Puri to Bhubaneswar, then he'll run the marathon in Nayagarh, and from there they'll go to Milan. But, before this he will set Budhia an even greater challenge, one that will put him into the record books. He will run 70km, 42 miles, non-stop. With no water, this is a run that could put Budhia's life at risk.

If he succeeds, he will become the youngest endurance runner in the world, and there will be official observers ready to record his achievements.

On the day of the race, temperatures are expected to reach 90°F. Not even the elite Kenyan athletes run these distances in such temperatures.

Budhia has a police escort and medical backup. Six hours into the run and Budhia has covered 58km. Biranchi uses a water-bottle, like a carrot on a stick, to entice him to keep running. After 67km, Budhia stops. Exhausted and disoriented, the army doctor who has been overseeing the race, steps in. After a protracted delay, Budhia is taken to the central police stadium to recover. The army doctor is convinced Budhia is ill, suffering from convulsions and possible brain damage.

A Lonely Sojourn
One of Many Lonely Sojourns

Despite stopping 3km short of the target, he has still set a new record and will go into the Limca Book of Records as the youngest ever endurance runner.

Biranchi insists that Budhia runs of his own free will, he likes to run, and is not coerced in any way. The authorities are not convinced. Three days later, on the basis of the Limca run, a police warrant is issued for child exploitation. Biranchi is arrested. He is ordered to bring Budhia to Capital Hospital where the child committee want him examined by sports scientists.

The medical team include a cardiologist, a paediatrician, a psychologist, and a psychiatrist. They found his pulse-rate high, his blood-pressure high, he was under-nourished, anaemic, and suffering a vitamin deficiency.

The child welfare minister has now banned Budhia from running any more marathons in the state.


It seems like forever since I posted last. I just haven't felt very creative. Kinda blah. One thing I can say is that I sure enjoy reading other people blogs though. It helps me stay inspired and motivated!

I am staying in good shape and trying to get more quality runs in than just "junk miles". Sometimes after work, when I am dog tired it is easy to run a few slow "junk miles". I don't want to waste my time with those kind of runs. Kind of seems like a waste of shoe tread. I found a new 12 mile loop in my favorite state park that I am going to try and run on a regular basis. I am telling myself that I need to incorporate that run in at least once a week. Twice would be better, but we will see. I am going back to Costa Rica to run The Coastal Challenge at the end of January and I am so excited to be able to go back and challenge myself to this amazing adventure! Please check out their website and if you feel the need to challenge yourself and experience the most amazing adventure, please register using discount code KR2010 for a 10% discount at registration. I came home recharged and empowered after racing in this 6 day stage race. I know that you wouldn't be disappointed!

My gluten and wheat less diet is going great. I say gluten and wheat less, because to say that I am gluten free would be exaggerating. I don't watch every minute thing, but I haven't had bread or pasta for about 3 months and I feel really good. It's an easy way to eat once you get used to not eating bread. I grew up eating bread with every meal and pasta was an easy thing to fix for dinner. Since I have become serious about this part of my health, I can't imagine ever going back to bread and pasta.

Next week, Matt and I are going to Kauai for vacation. Actually, it was Matt's 50th Birthday gift from me. We are going to have a blast!! I can't wait.