Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Days leading the BIG DAY

The Marathon weekend came so fast.  I didn't feel ready, not where I wanted to be, but I was excited just knowing that no matter what happened, I would come home to Salt Lake as a 'Marathon Finisher'.

Friday, October 7th, 2011
We Have Arrived!!

The Sports and Fitness Expo

I was seriously so happy being at the expo just knowing that I was registered to complete the full marathon.  Not to cheer Gabe on as he ran his 14th Marathon (crazy bastard) or to pick up my race packet for the Half Marathon (still amazing in my opinion), but to get my bib number, timing chip, and schedule for pain to come with my man and biggest cheerleader by my side.

There we are.....
# 3460 and # 3461
<3 side by side <3

I was being goofy grabbing all the merchandise, deciding that I was going to pick something out I can always keep and wear for future training events.  Little did I know that they gave me not one, but two shirts just for running the event.....I think I would have gone with the hat had I known ahead of time :)

I am sure I spent way too much time at the expo, but it was kind of a surreal experience for me,
and I wanted to just live in the excitement for as long as I could

Whenever Gabriel has ran an out of state marathon, we always liked to drive the route and see what he was up against.  I decided there was no fucking way I wanted to spook myself anymore than I already was.  My feelings were it was enough to see a map, and a breakdown of the miles, and best leave the rest unknown.
Gabriel has ran this particular marathon before, and there was a certain hill I remember driving up and thinking to myself, "Ha....good luck with that!!"  One could only hope they changed the route ever so slightly to surpass that hill.....(no.such.luck.)

Later that night, we were lucky enough to get to meet Gabe's Uncle Marc, Aunt Becky, Cousin Scotty and his wife Lori for dinner.  It was so awesome to get to see family while we were in town and catch up. 
After dinner we went to the famous VooDoo Doughnuts. 
They had a whole shelf of vegan options!!  Of course they did, this is Portland, but still, I was excited. :)

I went with this guy.....It wasn't long before he was missing one of those cute little arms ;)
(It's the only part of him I ended up eating.......
I have a hard time over indulging in shit that was a past weakness.)

Saturday, October 8th, 2011
The Day Before the Marathon
 This is the day I needed a constant distraction. 
I was so excited, but so worried about the next day.
I needed to 'carb' up, which I am horrible at, and wanted to just have fun with Gabe
and be in the moment as we created this experience together.

Being Vegan in Portland is more than easy, it's AMAZING.  With so many choices, and places to go, I had a hard time deciding which to start with.  My friend Stephanie highly recommended Prasad, so we headed there first.  They had oatmeal on the menu, and since it is what I have for breakfast pretty much every morning, I couldn't resist.  God, it was fantastic.  Figs, Currents, Pure Maple Syrup, Coconut Milk, Brazil Nuts and Fresh Fruit.  I am going to be recreating this one at home many times in the future.
After breakfast, Gabe and I headed over to the Rose Gardens to play.  The day was beautiful, so not to be cliche, we stopped to smell the roses.(ba-bum-bum-chhhhh)  We seriously acted so goofy while there, like always, that the crowd of serious rose loving folks gave us more than one raised eyebrow. WIN!!

I think the picture of Gabe would have worked better if it looked
like the water was jetting out of his ass.

Seriously, where is Gabe's leg??  He is going to have to hop the whole 26.2 miles tomorrow.

His very sad attempt and 'planking'. 
He even text our daughter, Addie to get instructions.

Ahhhhh, we nub each other

A guy walked by us after I took this picture, and said it was so tender.
I agree.....shadows holding hands = tender.

After the Rose Garden we hit Blossoming Lotus, another vegan restaurant.
Seriously, poor Gabe, right??  I think this may be his first experience of running a marathon and not eating Krispie Creams and drinking Red Bulls before.  He is a Saint to follow me on my foodie quest.

I had the Raw Taco Salad, which was amazing, but I think a poor choice of a high carb meal.  Lesson learned.  I always have entree envy, and as soon as Gabe's bowl of Rice, Beans, and whatever else was in it was delivered, I immediately started having the pouty face.  He offered to switch, but I let him have it.  Not that mine was the least bit amazing, just like I said, not a lot of carbs.  It's odd too, almost like I self sabotaged that, I mean, I eat carbs, believe me, but for some reason, I totally failed at carbo loading the day before the marathon.  Will it bite me in the ass the next day??  We will see.......

After lunch we went to the Grotto.  Its a beautiful garden with a church and biblical statues all around. 
We tried our best to behave, and only let a little silliness escape.

Like I said.....only a 'little' silliness escaped. :)

We went home after a quick (are they ever really 'quick') trip to Whole Foods for some things to munch on, and get ready for the next day.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Telling FAIL to FUCK OFF

I have been struggling so much with failure lately.  I feel like I have failed at so many things, that for the past 2 months, I have let it consume me.  I believe this has so much to do with the constant self-esteem battle I face, and I just don't always know how to give myself a break
The demon that is dominating my thoughts so much is the Marathon. 

The marathon, is my ultimate goal of victory.  I blogged about it, I have done months of research trying to find the best fit for me, I have made travel arrangements, downloaded training plans, scheduled every run in a planner from now until race day.  This is by far the biggest challenge I have taken on, and yet....I feel I have failed.  Well, I am not going to let myself fail.  I may have to change my thinking, I may have to realize that my goal of finishing this beast strong, will still be that, it may just be slower than what I wanted.  I said myself, that I will finish this marathon, even if it means crawling to the finish line, and I am prepared to do just that.  I remember being at Roller Derby one night, and I heard a bit of advice from another kick ass derby girl, Gina, and she said, "We are not failing if we show up, as long as we are trying, we don't fail."  Wow.  It seems so simple, and I need to believe that it is just that.  Trying is succeeding.  I do not fail if my mileage is slowing down, I do not fail if I didn't run as far as I needed to, but I do fail if I give up.  I'm not going to give up.  I am going to give myself permission to succeed, and furthermore, be happy and content with the outcome, as long as I show up.

I can make excuses, and they are real.  A son in the hospital, getting pneumonia so bad that after 2 months I have just finished yet another round of antibiotics to clear it up, going to school full time, going to work full time, Mother to three kids, daughters graduating High School, then leaving soon for college....and coping with letting her go.  It's all there, I can make excuses all day.  But what does that get me?  An excuse to fail is what it gets me.  I wont let it. 

I am telling




Thursday, June 9, 2011

100 Miler......Will my crotch ever be the same?

As much as it looks like I am 'making love' to my bike, I am actually stretching out those legs before I sit my ass down on that rock hard seat for the next 6.5 hours, and pedal till I just can't pedal no mo'!

It was a beautiful day for a bike ride.  After Noah being in the hospital for 4 days, it was nice to be back outside, enjoying the fresh air, and knowing my little guy was going to be fine. 
I thought a lot about what he has been through, as I always do, but on this ride, I especially did.
Noah always motivates me to live life to its fullest. 
This was my second 100 mile bike ride of the year, and I still have 1 left to go in 3 weeks. 
I am feeling really behind in my marathon training,
but I hope to god the torture I do put my body through will benefit my running as well. 

Things went so kick ass during this ride.  I felt strong and confident.  I even had a fellow cyclist tell me she was trying to catch up with me for almost 5 miles because she wanted to tell me I had the most amazing calves ever.  Who me?  I have never been told anything like that before.  I did my best to accept the compliment, because my natural reaction to ANY compliment I get, is to knock it.  It made me reflect on the progress I have made in my physical life, and the kind words of that total stranger made me feel like a rock star.  Don't ask to see my calves.  I am sure they were all bulked up from pedaling, and they are most likely back to their normal looking selves. 

The worst time I had during this ride was miles 70-77.  I was somewhere in Idaho, and I swear to god it took me 2 hours.  My body was breaking down.  I was tired.  I needed to empty my bladder and stretch my legs, but I had no idea when the next rest stop was.  This was when I hit the wall, and had to talk myself through it.  I heard a lady yell, 'Your doing great, keep it up!" as she passed me.  All I could think was, "Really?  If I am doing so God Damn great, then why are you passing me?"  Another few miles past, and all I could see was a big ass hill on the horizon.  I started crying.  My body was stressed, my mind was fucked, and I was done.  I stopped looking up.  I looked down at my legs, focused on my breathing, and changed gears as I needed, without taking so much as a glance up at the hill.  I climbed that bad boy before I knew it, and my reward at the end was an outhouse and some Gatorade.  I got off my bike, stretched, pissed and drank.  Before I knew it, I had my ass back on that seat, and kept saying, 'I'm coming home' over and over in my head.  I felt good, I had renewed energy....something I thought for sure was gone miles ago.  I knew that I only had 23 miles left until I could claim the victory of kicking this bike ride right in the pie hole.  As I circled the route back, and saw so many ladies headed in the direction I had just came from, and, I really felt proud of myself.  I could have gotten off my bike when I was tired.  But I didn't.  I kept pedaling even when it felt like hell.  I am not going to give up.  I have come way to fucking far in my journey to ever think that I will be anything BUT amazing from this point forward.  Those last miles flew by like nothing, and the reward at the end was my daughter, who graduated from High School this week and is off to college in a few months.  I hugged her and cried, and thanked her for being there for me.  I needed to have her there at the finish line.  To know that even though she is getting older, and starting her own journey in life, she will always be the Grand Prize at the end for not giving up, even when things are tough.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Marathon Training....a disaster week??

I fully intended to write up an in depth explanation of the Marathon Training Plan I am following.  But for now, I am making a quick post, from my son's hospital room, because this is where we ended up this fine Memorial Day weekend.

I know shit happens, and I know that training plans are a great outline to follow, but adjust as you need to.  Here is my dilemma...along with training to run, I am also doing a 100 mile bike ride this Saturday. 
Bloody Hell, it sounded like a fan-freaking-tastic idea until I have to find the time to DO the workouts layed out for BOTH events.

My training plan had a total of 16 miles to complete, divided between four days.  Sounds reasonable enough, right?  Totally....but did it, I DID NOT!  My own plans were to run and bike on alternating days with 2 long bike rides this weekend, and a 7 mile trail run with steep hills, just to humble my sorry ass.

Monday- Spin Class (nice ass kicking)
Tuesday- 4 mile run on 'dreadmill'
Friday-, notice a huge gap here??
Saturday- 40 mile bike ride
Sunday- Noah admitted to the hospital
Monday- still in the hospital

So, it is what it is.  I brought my running shoes to the hospital, so I could sneak off and run some trails up by the hospital when Noah had a crowd of visitors to keep him company, but it has not happened.  They sit in my bag begging to be worn, not so much because 'the plan' says to, but because I need to feel fresh air in my face, and see that there is life outside the walls of your child's hospital room.  Running gives me time to think, and reflect, and gain perspective so I can focus on the good that is happening with Noah, and not so much the worry you have as a parent sitting here dwelling on his health.  He is going to be okay, and I am hoping he will be released from the hospital tomorrow.  The running shoes will go back on, but for now, I am in the only place I need to be, and that is by his side.  That is more important than anything.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Derby is on the list

I want to share something to you. 
Something that I have wanted to become for years now.
A Derby Girl

Please note the date on the above picture. November 13, 2008.  This has been posted on my wall next to my computer monitor for nearly 3 years now.  I had been going to watch roller derby even beyond the date of that e-mail, when the only team was the Salt City Derby Girls, and the 4 teams that made it up.  We first began to watch them at the Olympic Oval.  Addie and I were devoted to 'Leave it to Cleavers', while the boys were all about the 'Bomber Babes'. If you have never been to see a match, let me tell you, it will make you a fan.  There is something special about it, something that makes you want to strap on skates and wear hot pants and fishnets.

I bought skates, I went around my house in circles like a clumsy fool, but I did it anyways.  I never had the confidence to go out in public to practice.  So my desire to do it was added to my 'weight loss bucket list'. This self-esteem issue I have will always be such a god damn inner battle.  There is no reason that I couldn't get out there and make my dreams come true at any size, but that is what happened.  Just like everything else in my life, I 'dreamed' of being something, rather that going after what I wanted.

The closest thing I ever became to a Derby Girl was at Halloween.
(really....I just wanted to post Gabe in his Dangle costume.....
anything to see my man in uniform. grrrrrrr.)

Then, one magical day, I noticed a post from Bill Frost at City Weekly on facebook.  It was a link to a recreational derby league called the Red Rockettes.  Are you kidding me?  Is it seriously possible that I can learn to play derby?  So, what did my co-dependant ass do?  I called my best girl Leanne and begged her to join with me.  She did, without hesitation, because she knew how much I have always talked about wanting to do it one day.  She is such an amazing friend, I can not tell you what she means to me.

After the first session, I was in love.  I came home and told Gabe, "This is finally going to happen for me"
I felt confident skating, I was willing to do the drills and learn the god forsaken cross overs that always scared me.  The group of girls who started were all there for the same reasons, to have fun with their love of derby.  A group I could relate with. time went on, I began to miss more practices.  A meeting here and there, a vacation, sickness, and before I knew it, I would show up to practice and feel completely out of the loop.  I had no idea what they were working on, I had not had anytime to practice outside of the sessions, and my shitty confidence levels began to drop back to their normal ways.  I started to get hurt, and when I would take a hard fall, (uh hum...skate in the vag anyone??) it would take me days to recover and I wasn't able to run at all for the Half Marathon I was training for.  I was at a crossroads trying to decide what I wanted, because I realized, I could not have both.  I decided to train for my runs, and then every practice that came up, I became depressed and cried all night because I wanted to be doing derby too.  I was really pissing myself off for not being able to have it all.
One thing I felt like I wanted from derby, even more than the sexy clothes and bad ass attitude, was a connection with the girls.  They are all so damn awesome, and I felt like I was losing my own 'girl' connection, by having Addie turn 18 and knowing that she would be gone to college in a few short months.  God knows I love my boys, but I was losing my daughter, and it broke my heart.  She decided to join the next session with me, and I was stoked beyond belief knowing we would experience that together before she leaves.  Well, shit happens and life plans interfere with the fun things you want, and it was not possible for her to do it.  Again, I fell back from it, and derby became another thing I felt I failed at.  Failure is the most common feeling for me.  I push myself hard, and even when I achieve something, I don't give myself credit for it.  When I fall short of a goal, that's when I fucking hate myself and I begin to doubt I will ever get to accomplish my dreams.
Leanne would call me every Thursday to see if I was going, and I never did.  I felt like if I showed up, I would be too far behind, and I am no fucking poser.  I am either in, or out.  But then, how can I have my connection, my night out with chicks so awesome I envy and still be able to live with my current goal of training hard for a marathon?  I am at a crossroads, and it tears at me like I never thought it would. 

This is where I stand, at the moment.  I have realized that my goal of accomplishing the marathon, and becoming a derby girl are the two most important things I have set out for myself.  I am not giving up on either.  The derby is going to be there, and after I run this beast, I will be able to go to derby without the fear of an injury causing me to fall short of the marathon.  I hope to keep it in my life until then either way, just taking it slow, going back to basic drills and just skate for the fun of it.  If this makes me a loser, so be it.  If it makes me a poser, so be it.  I have nothing to prove to anyone but myself.

I NEED this in my life.  These girls are so supportive of each other.  Everyone has their own uniqueness they bring to the mix, and there is something happening way beyond a recreational derby league.  It is a sisterhood, a family forming and a support base for ladies of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds and lifestyles. 

I am honored to even be associated with this group,
and I will forever be a Red Rockette.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Whole Foods Focus Group

Tuesday night I attended a focus group at the Whole Foods in Cottonwood Heights.
I was asked to come and participate in a discussion about various topics such as:
  • What could be done to improve the store
  • Where do we shop?
  • What things are important to me as a consumer when deciding where to grocery shop.
It was an interesting evening, as all cases tend to be when you put a random group of people together who do not know each other, but are all asked the same question.  I always have nicknames for people, almost within the first 5 minutes of interacting with someone.  There was "That Lady" the one who doesn't shut the hell up.  She pours her life story out at every given chance, and it is a constant battle to try and get the topic back to why we are all there to begin with.  There was the "Rich Bitch" you know, "Oh, my husband makes well over six figures a year, so where I shop doesn't matter at all"  Can it sister, go back to your empty life you filled with material objects because your husband ignores you.  Some chick was there who I have no idea what to say about.  She went on and on about how her Dad supports her and her baby, and she refuses to feed her baby anything but organic food, so he had to get a second job to support the cost of the groceries she buys, and she even made him move to a house across from the Whole Foods.  I am not sure who I wanted to punch more, the girl or her father....give me a break. 

I really enjoyed it though.  I like offering feedback on things, especially when the end results could benefit me.  I love Whole Foods, and although I can not afford to shop there all the time, it is still a place I purchase items from weekly.  They were very generous in my opinion.  They fed us dinner, and gave us a goodie bag along with a.....wait for it........$ 50.00 gift card to the store.  CHA-CHING!  God know I will blow through that stash 'o cash in no time at all.