Monday, August 6, 2018

Long time, no see (

2012 was my last post. This is 2018. To say that the past six years have been tumultuous is a serious understatement. I owe this blog a few explanations, but the short version is my husband of 38 years succumbed to liver failure as a result of alcoholism and my life was a jumbled up mess of chaos. In the middle of his descent, I had to have hip replacement surgery, which killed my dreams of ever running a 50K. Just this past spring, my only sister died from addiction too. Drugs and alcohol are never good choices my friends. Rick died in 2016. 2017 was my own recovery year. 2018 I'm back. I'm giving thought to restructuring this blog, and retargeting it. I might rename it, I might start a new one. Not sure. Lots to write about, especially about how I got my feet under me after so much personal trauma. I'm stronger and more confident now than I ever was, and funny how it takes death and trauma to make you realize just how short life is, and how precious it is. Once I figure out how to move the blog forward, I'll be back!

Sunday, August 12, 2012


The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are: first, hardwork; second, stick-to-it-iveness and third, common sense. --Thomas Edison
2012 has thrust me in to the "I gotta focus" arena. Common sense told me that I could only focus on a few things at a time, and other areas in my life may move to the back burner. This blog was part of the pots that had to be moved to the back burner so I could devote energy to the things that really mattered. Making a living suddenly became of those things that really mattered. The company I worked for was sold. As an member of the finance team, that meant a whole lot of hard work, stick-to-it-iveness and common sense for me. We worked very hard through the due diligence process and when the deal finally closed in February, I had made the decision to leave iContact. As with most things in my life, something great came my way just when it was supposed to, and I switched careers. Seriously, changed course entirely. I am no longer an accountant, and have found a job where I can apply all my skills and passions to focus on something entirely new to me, and I love it. I joined CareAnyware in May as a Billing Implementation and Training Specialist. CareAnyware has highly specialized software for the Home Health and Hospice industries that allows them to focus on what they do best, deliver care. Hospice is near and dear to my heart, and I have always desired a job working in health care. My job is to set up client's sites, and then train them on how to use the software. I get to travel and do on-site trainings too, and have already made three trips. This job is my new focus, and my new passion, and so far, I am finding it incredibly rewarding. I still continue to blow on the embers called "fifty at sixty". I focused on, trained for, and completed the Warrior Dash in May. It was the craziest challenge, and the most fun I have had on a Saturday since I was a little kid climbing trees. Nuts I tell you! I proved to myself that I am mentally tough, as there was more than one obstacle that I was intimidated by, and overcame (albeit with a lot of help from my son-in-law Ramesh). Things like two (two!) 14 foot walls to scale, rope bridges to navigate, mud pits to crawl through, fire pits to jump, water obstacles to swim, junk cars to crawl over, balance beams to run across. Through it all, my fake arm never failed me. I was amazed and empowered by the end of the run. Now that I have been working at my new position for a few months now, it is time to bring the focus back to the running. A funny thing happened the other day. I learned that Ironman was bringing a 70.3 race to Raleigh. Of course, my immediate reaction was "sign me up!". Then, after much cuss and discuss with myself, and my family, I decided to pass on it. I've done 3 half Ironman distance races in this lifetime. I think that is enough. Rather, I was reminded I am on the Fifty at Sixty path right now, and want to continue to pursue that dream. (I plan on volunteering I can get close to the action without being in the action) Happy to report the wheels are still on the cart, and I'm still running 20 miles a week, give or take. The foot is hanging in there, although there are no runs that are pain free anymore. Sigh. There's a half marathon on Thanksgiving I'm signing up for. Thinking about a marathon in early 2013. Not sure what serious mileage will do, but willing to work hard, stick to it, and bring a whole lot of common sense to my training.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Challenge and Courage

Challenge - "Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed." Booker T. Washington

Courage - "You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give." Eleanor Roosevelt

March and April calendar messages are intertwined for me. I've been preoccupied with work, and haven't found the time to blog regularly. Sitting here now, looking at both of the messages, I can clearly see they were meant to go together.

These two images pretty much sum up the past year for me. Reality check ahead. Oh yeah. One year ago, I stood out on the sidelines of my absolute most favorite half-marathon course and cheered my son-in-law on. I had an entry. I also had an appointment with the surgeon the following morning to have both feet operated on in an effort to run again. The entire year was given to recovery and rehabilitation. I signed up for this years race right away after the surgery, not having any idea whatsoever if I could walk, run or limp my way to the finish line. This year's race was to take place on March 18th. The reality check was to see if all my efforts had paid off. I planned on making a decision about pursuing the 50 mile after this race, after the finish line, after seeing how it all came together, or fell apart. So far, the wheels had stayed firmly attached to the cart, and training was going very well. But, as all runners know, you can't say how it went until you cross the finish line. It was a long year of acceptance, and courage, as I slowly regained my strength and stamina, proceeding with an abundance of caution (I am not ready for another injury...), and giving all that I could muster towards the effort. I was as ready as I could get, having done at least a half dozen 12 mile runs leading up to the race. I was excited for the test. It was time to race again. The last time I raced this course was 2 years ago. I raced a 2:36 half-marathon. My feet and my weight limited me. It was a finish, but pretty dismal for me. This year, I raced 15 pounds lighter (thank you MyFitnessPal), with both feet surgically repaired. My son-in-law, Ramesh, had been dealing with injuries for a few months now, and was not able to train, which left me training solo. This was actually good for me. However, at the last minute, he said he would race with me and pace me. This was fantastic, and I am grateful that his own injury seemed to stay at a dull roar for the 13.1 miles. We arrived in the parking lot at dark-thirty for a 7:00 a.m. start. It had rained hard that night, which worried me a little. The asphalt was wet and slippery, and the humidity was definitely a factor. The plus side was once we hit the Tobacco Trail portion of the race, the trail was kind of springy and soft, and very kind to my knees and feet. I had a great race until my usual mile 8-10 doldrums, which is my own personal demon miles. I brought 2 Gu's with me, which was a good strategy. Once the gun went off, I spotted the 2:30 pacer with his colorful red balloon. I told Ramesh, "hey, you see that balloon? I want that behind me the whole way". Ramesh countered with "hey, you see that 2:20 balloon? Let's pass that one". Push as I may, I just couldn't seem to catch the 2:20 pacer group, and they slipped out of sight during my doldrum miles. But, as we popped back out on the pavement for the last 5K, I caught sight of them again, and my pace quickened. I was determined to not leave anything out there that morning. Alas, I crossed the finish line behind them. I knew I had a great result, but in my rush to get carbs and water in me (love pizza at the finish lines), I didn't get my chip time. Once home, I kept checking the race website for results. Too many hours went by. Finally, they were posted. Major fist pump time. I had finished my half-marathon in 2:19! I was so darn excited, I was dancing around the living room by myself fist pumping. Two years later, 15 pounds lighter, and I carved 17 minutes off my time. Onward I say. To the City of Oaks Marathon in November. The wheels remain on my cart!

Saturday, February 25, 2012


"One lives but once in the world" - Von Goethe

February brings my birthday, always a place in the year to pause and reflect on the years that slipped by, and the years ahead, and where my plans fit in. This year was my 57th celebration. Hard to really get my head wrapped around. This morning, I listened to a little story about Patti Smith, who turned 65 this year. She said something that really resonated with me. She recently returned to the music stage, and said that even though she was 65, people around her kept wanting to make her into 35 again. But, she has steadfastly refused, saying she simply loved being who she is. I feel the same way. I love being 57. I love everything about it. I don't want to be anything but myself, and myself is 57. I love this month's calendar saying "one lives but once in the world". This is, and has been for quite a while, my mantra. Maybe that is the reason I adore being my own age. I am in the game fully, and in the moments fully. I don't fret about the woulda, shoulda, coulda, and I don't fret about what's to come. I flesh out today, every day. I spread my wings, and live but once.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Some pursue happiness, others create it. --unknown

One of the items on my list for every new year is go out and buy a new calendar. Preferably after the new year has started so I can get it on sale. This year, no exception. I bought a motivational calendar that has twelve different inspirational photographs and sayings to spur me on towards my goals this year. I got to thinking it would be fun to write about each months message from my own perspective. That being said, here is January! The word of the month is "Pursue".

To me, this is an action word. I love action words. I'm old enough to know things just don't fall in our laps just because we want them to. That goes for anything we desire, no matter what it may be. Simply said, if you want something, you are responsible for creating the conditions in which it will materialize.

I'm not one for resolutions, but I am looking for results in 2012. To get results, I will need to pursue certain ways of living my life. I want to increase my power to weight ratio (nice way of saying drop 20 pounds). Pursuing this means I need to eat better, eat less, work out diligently and take better care of myself. I've got the balls in motion on this pursuit, and am being rewarded already with the scale returning friendlier numbers when I stand on it. I want to have a decent half marathon time in March. Pursuing this means paying close attention to the runs, getting in my speed work (which I loathe) and my long runs (which I adore). This pursuit needs to be done with great care and thought to avoid any more injuries and to insure my success. I am signed up and part of team iWarrior, taking on my first Warrior Dash obstacle course race in May. Pursuing this has meant learning how to make my body do a pull up when it wouldn't budge a single millimeter first time in the gym. It has meant working hard on my upper body strength, which has many benefits besides just doing well on the obstacle course. I want to run a full marathon in the fall. The pursuit of the marathon means I need to balance my work and home life very carefully. It also means taking very good care of myself to allow my body to take on this kind of training regimen. I went for my annual physical the other day, and had a great chat with my primary care doctor about my goals to make sure this aging body could take on the challenges. She gave me a thumbs up, and then we chatted about how much I inspired her during our half hour together. I love it when someone walks away with inspiration from something I said or did.

So, as we head down the path we will call 2012, take ownership of your goals and dream. Use your courage, determination and vision to achieve excellence in all that you pursue. Dream big, love big and live big. Dare to transform yourself.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Rounding the Corner

As I close out the year of transition, and look ahead to 2012, I can see all the wonderful possibilities within my reach. All I have to do is stay focused, and in the infamous words of my Ironman trainer...just "race my plan". Nike said it well too with "just do it".

Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday season full of family, fun and delicious indulgences. Now, let's all plan to kick some butt next year!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'm Back and Better Than Ever!

It's been a long time since I went to bed anticipating a race. I feel like I've been in physical therapy for years. Which, pretty much I have between the elbow and then the foot surgery. I've been religiously following my trainers program, and picked a local charity 5K as my debut race, to see how it's all been coming along. To get out there, stretch it out, kick it hard, suck the wind, hang out with fit people, and feel the burn. Today was my day. I was a bit concerned though, as I have been sick with bronchitis for the past 2 weeks, and have only ran one time a couple of days ago. Last night, I was hoping for the pre-race jitters to bring a little adrenalin to my step, but they never arrived. This morning, I still hoped for some light nerves to get me moving. Again,they did not arrive. I figured I was just so seasoned that racing wasn't going to get my juices up. It was only 32 degrees at the start line, so maybe the adrenalin was just frozen in my veins! I did my warm up and felt like lead. So, I toed the line feeling like I would have a nice, solid, training run. My running partner asked me what my goal was. Gosh, I didn't even have one. I told her I would be happy with 36:00, and happier if I managed a 34:00. The gun went off, and out I went. Ramesh soon was on my shoulder, and I felt like I was going along quite nicely. A little fast, but hey, it's a race, isn't it? I heard the lady call out 10:20 at mile 1. Uh oh. Out too fast. I was sure I would crash and burn at the turn. But! I didn't. All that training is paying off. I held the pace, felt fantastic, and started a kick at mile 2. As I rounded the corner for the last 1/4 mile, I pressed hard towards the finish line. The clock turned 31:39 as I ran under the banner. Woot! I was ecstatic. I had no idea how I placed until my running partner came up and asked me. My finish slip said 94th out of 600. She asked the race director. I was floored when he said "you won your age group". What? I won? OMG! I WON! I stuck around for the awards, and happily snapped up my gift certificate. I can't even begin to express how pivotal this win was for me. I am so encouraged now. Both feet felt perfectly fine, and this is just what the doctor ordered for the emotional side of me. Just think...6 months ago both feet were sliced open, one had the big toe carved up. Lots and lots of physical therapy, lots and lots of patient time in the gym learning to stand, walk and then run again. And today, it all came together for me. I'm back, and better than ever!