Friday, August 31, 2012

In Love With a City. And Feeling Like Myself Again.

Going to make this a quickie since I'm on a getaway with my hubby this weekend and I'd really like to squeeze in a nap (while he works out) before hitting up the city life.  So, you know what that is...right? A BULLET Post.  I know you love the bullets!

  • We are in LOVE.  With a city.  Called Asheville, NC.  Was this place made just for us?  I think so.  So far from the 3 hours we've spent driving around with a realtor, this place fits everything we've ever described for our perfect place to live ever since we became us.  
  • How did this random trip to Asheville, NC come to be?  Well, it is a long story really (for another day) but the best I can describe it would be : SERENDIPITY.  
  • I haven't felt this way about a life moment since I drove to Oregon in 2000 on a whim (for an adventure) and ended up meeting the Love of my best friend.  Much of this love story...a story of serendipity...can be found in this post:  The Minute I Heard My First Love Story, I Started Looking for You.    It is my favorite of all my life stories so far.  
  • For the first time in weeks, I feel like Amanda again.  I've had an emotional last couple of days.  Weeks really.  During this time, I've done a lot of reflection and "work" with myself where I've been processing things that have come up....old things that I'd forgotten and new experiences that have be unexpectedly hard for me.  But it feels good to be back on course and have this weekend with my husband to explore this fantastic city.  
  • This place is dangerous in that we love it so much.  If we move, it would only be a temporary thing...a year or so.  All of our family is in Oregon.  Family is the most important part of life and wouldn't be worth staying away from them.  Maybe we can get them to move too?  :)  
  • Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your private e-mails, texts, and comments in response to my last post regarding my "off" feelings after Hood to Coast.  Your words means so much and  made me feel loved and heard.  And a freedom to be REAL on this blog, which as come to be a public but personal journal of sorts.
  • To clarify, I didn't mean to bring so much negative focus to the social media usage on the trip but that topic seemed to strike a chord with many of you.   I surely wasn't judging even though this is a sensitive topic for me.   As I said, I was one of those people on my phone at many times.   A tricky situation since we were all Bloggers chosen to be on this team...we were doing the social networking and communicating that helps spread the word about our of the reasons we were chosen.  Easy to get out of balance.  And we all found that it was acceptable to be absorbed in our social medias while with each other even though it would be terribly rude in real life.  Maybe it was terribly rude in blogger gathering world too?...definitely something to be more aware of...did our social media usage get in the way of forming friendships that might have been if only we'd saved our tweeting, facebooking, etc. for a specific chunk of (or less) time rather than a constant/unless phone dies or coverage is lost?  Quite possibly.  I think so.  But overall, I was just sharing my reflections and FEELINGS/REACTIONS to the situation.  Not saying that it was right or wrong.  I hope this is clear.  
  • I may have come home from HTC feeling a bit of a disconnect with myself and not feeling like I was my best me (injury, feeling introverted, overwhelmed with not having enough time to dig deeper with people, etc.) but I had a great time and I am honored to have been chosen!  I hope I get a chance to do it again sometime when I am not injured!!  And when I know what to expect with such a large group of women bloggers.  
  • In the meantime, I'm excited to spend a weekend exploring this beautiful city!

Happy Friday!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I've Been Quiet...Lots to Think About and One Incredible Relay Experience

Figures, I've been waiting all day to get a chance to sit down and write.  Just for me.  And for those of you wondering where Amanda went, I'm wondering too.  And now, here I am, kids down for their allotted summer "screen time" so that Mom can have some ME time ( know, the time where I can sit down and read/write on my computer without hiding out in closets and around corners sending text messages and short e-mails so that my kids don't see me on my phone).  Here I am and I've found myself starting this blog three different ways and not knowing where to go with it.  So, you all are going to get an Amanda ramble.  Raw.  Stream of consciousness-like.  Writing in my journal type.  Really written mostly for me to process.  So, if you are reading for some sort of main point, You might not find that.  Bear with me here.

I know there isn't a running blog reader out there in blog land that hasn't heard about this relay called Hood to Coast.  You know almost 200 miles, 6 people in a van, 12 people on a team, friendships, bonding, no sleep, incredible stories, etc.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that many of you non Hood to Coasters might be sick to death of hearing about it.  Stick a freaking relay fork in it already, right?  Yeah, I get that.  But the truth is, those of us that experienced it, experienced a pretty powerful weekend that is hard to really capture fully in words.  Almost impossible really.  Many of us who were on the Nuun Hood to Coast teams had not only a Hood to Coast experience but also two or three days in Seattle leading up to the relay.  During these days, we met new bloggers, went on scavenger hunts throughout Seattle, decorated vans, stayed in hotels with strangers, and were immersed in a sea of SOCIAL-NESS.  This is where I kind of felt a little bit like I was drowning. And I wish I could have a do-over or a chance to try this amazing experience again with my social A game more intact (less of the introverted awkward Amanda that has been showing her face so so often lately).   Let me try to explain...

If I would have asked my husband and close friends to describe me a year or two ago they most likely would have said things like:

  • Socially confident
  • High on LIFE
  • Energetic beyond words
  • Lives Passionately
  • Says whatever comes to her mind (this is still mostly true but I don't roll with it as well anymore)
  • Life of the party
  • Lights up a room (not saying that about myself...but that's what my husband would always say about me).  
  • Does well with big groups of people
  • Extrovert, Wild, Easily  connects with others
  • Speaks her mind clearly
These things are all still part of me for sure.  Definitely at my core. Definitely Amanda.  But I've had a hard time seeing this Amanda lately and honestly, I think those close to me might have a hard time finding this Amanda too.  During so much of my time in Seattle and on the relay road from Hood to Coast, I found myself really struggling with how hard it was for me to be the FULL Amanda.  I was only half of me.  Or at least I only showed half of me to others.  I wasn't prepared for how hard it would be for me to be in such a large group of strangers.  Most of whom were social networkers to the HARD CORE.  In fact, more often than not, we were sitting in groups and 8 out of 10 women were staring at Our phones using twitter, facebook, blogger, etc. more than communicating with the people next to us.  I'd never seen anything like it.  Don't get me wrong, I was one of those people at times...on my phone. Not judging.   It was like we all had a license to be socially not social but still social.  Do I make sense here?  In fact, many girls were tweeting to each other from across the room.  As funny as it was, I also found myself feeling so disconnected with so many. And thankful for the many hours we went without cell phone service during the relay course.  Again, I was one of those on my phone but it was nice to have the break.

We had so much time to meet a lot of people and make many surface connections but I never felt like I really found the time to connect really DEEP with too many of the women. This was my fault too.  I came home craving vulnerability and deepness with people that really truly know and love me.  There were so many times during the weekend when I felt like the awkward high school Amanda that didn't really connect with any one group.  I know I'm not making much sense here because on the other hand, I found myself really drawn to certain people and just starting to open up to them Amanda Style...but then it was time to transition again.  I found myself feeling guarded and over compensating with a social Amanda that just WASN'T me.  Maybe this had to do with the fact that there were so many people to connect with and I do so much better when there are fewer people that I can go deeper with.  Rather than going really deep with anyone, I was surface with a lot. And I felt misunderstood in ways I can't explain. 

I came home thankful for the connections and the opportunity (SO Thankful) but also questioning what really matters to me.  I found myself questioning human relationships and what I want from them.  And I questioned why it was so hard for me to be Amanda on this trip.  Why was I so guarded?  Why did I feel protective of myself?  Why wasn't I able to connect deeper with people?  Why was I so socially awkward at times?  Why was I only able to give half of myself? Just NOT MYSELF.  And I know this has to do with some other things in my life recently that were digging at my heart.  But I'm sad for the distractions.  Sad to have missed out on the relationships and connections because of my own social overwhelmingness ( I know that isn't a word).

Since being home, I've kind of pulled myself into myself.  Lots to think about.  Lots to process.  Lots going on in my life.  At the same time that I was disappointed with how I felt socially, there were so many other highlights/lowlights of this trip:

  • The Nuun Staff was incredible.  They treated us like running royalty.  As I said before, we wanted for nothing.  
  • So many sponsors that contributed to our experience.  I will list them soon and share some of my favorites:  Warrior bracelet, Swiftwick compression socks, Tiger Tail massage roller, Oiselle shirt.
  • I wore a running skirt for the first time in my life.  And it was a sparkle skirt.  Granted, the entire team wore the skirt so I wasn't alone but this was a first for me. Never say never.
  • I was injured.  And hurting more than I wanted others to know. This was a bummer.  But I'm proud of the way that I rolled with it.  It is what it is. My first leg (leg 10) was started feeling really good.  My sore feet/heels felt good and my right hammy didn't seem to bother too much.  My first mile was 6:48 and felt like I could continue that pace FOREVER!  At mile 3 of the 5 my right hammy said Hell NO!  Hurt so so bad.  I finished with a 7:27 avg but barely hanging in there that last mile.  
  • I iced and rolled and rested the best I could but by my second leg, I was still hurting and limping least my stride was with a limp.  But I made the best of it and did what I could do.  No coffee, early in the morning, and hurt = 9:11 average for 7 miles.  It is what it is. 
Better look now because this might be the only time you see me wearing a sparkle skirt until next year (if I get chosen).    I was hurting so badly here...just wanting to run well for my team and knowing that my leg just wasn't there.  Frustrating knowing that last year I was running sub 7's on this leg but this run I was struggling to hold on to 8:30's-9:15's going down hill!  :(  But I was determined to make the most of it.  

Happy to be alive!  Happy to be running for such a great company!  Happy despite pain and injury.  Happy that the sparkle skirt was covering my "too much van food" ass.  

  • I quietly cried when I got to the van after that second leg.  I felt so discouraged.  So frustrated.  So deeply disappointed.  I wanted nothing more than to shine...for ME.  Socially, physically, spiritually, etc.  And all I could find from myself was HALF of ME in all these areas.  Such a weird and confusing feeling.  
  • I don't think too many people could tell that I was struggling this weekend.  I was pretty quiet about my feelings (I think)...again, not like me.  Instead of opening up and being deep with the other women, I shut myself in tight and gave superficial and surface.  :( This makes me sad.  I want a do-over.  
  • My third leg.  So proud.  So happy.  I knew that if I pushed too hard that I wouldn't be running for a bit.  And I'm not running right now.  But it felt good to push past the pain.  It felt good to feel happy and run faster (but still limited).  My 7:37 average for my last 3 miles may not have been the 6:45 that I had hoped for my last leg but I finished smiling and proud.  I had learned that it wasn't about how fast I was about discovering something new within myself.  That I could run strong despite pain.  That I could push past mental heaviness.  
Last leg ...finishing feeling hope and happiness. This relay wasn't about running my fastest times this year but it was about dealing with injury, running through pain and discovering another piece of myself. And being there for each other as a team! Tears, cheers, laughter and love!

  • The ride home was with some girls that I wish I would have had so so much more time with.  But I'm grateful for the 2 hours I did have with them.  
  • I hope I can do this again.  I hope that my sometimes social withdrawal and disconnectedness this weekend won't keep me from getting chosen to do this another time. I know there was so much Amanda that didn't come out.  However, I will always be true to myself....I won't apply in any other way than what is true to me.  And take me or leave me...I am who I am.  
  • Twitter.  I'm not so sure I could be a huge twitter user and still be present in my real life.  Kudos to those who can do it though.  I did learn quite a bit about it and I have one solid foot in the twitter world but I'm so sure I will ever go deeper than that.  It just seems a little too much like what I was talking about this weekend....connecting with a whole lot of people on the surface for others to see but not really going too deeply with anyone.  But maybe this is just me.  How I work.  I'm open to seeing if it holds something else for me from what I can explain right now.  
  • I found myself feeling way older than 33 this weekend.  And I guess that's always how I've felt with people...older than I am.  Much older.  Like, I think I connect more on a deep friend level with people 20 years older than me than I do with people only 5-10 years younger.  Maybe I'm an old soul...ha!  
  • I'm so thankful for the people in my life that love me.  Truly love me.  And connect with me deeply.  I'm thankful that I have this.  I'm thankful for vulnerability and depth.  I'm thankful that I can share my life so fully with the handful of people that I have as close friends right now.  And I'm thankful for the people that value me for me.  
  • I'm also so thankful for the new friendships in my life as of this weekend.  There were a few people that stood out to me more than others...a few girls that I really found drawn to. And even though I didn't go too deeply with them this weekend, I know they are still there and I have time to connect with them.  I made friendships that were the most unexpected and I was sad to see the weekend end so soon before I could really get to know them.  
  • I may not have come home feeling like I was able to fully SHINE in the Amanda way.  However, I did come home feeling like I had gained new wisdom and insight about life, relationships, love, and human connections.  I'm grateful for this.  So much.  
Really am so thankful for these girls.  Even if I wasn't my full self this weekend, gosh, I found myself loving them!  Such a great group of women.  And pretty sure that this jump (before any of my runs) didn't really help the hamstring.  But my coach says that maybe he will switch me to high jumping.  Ha!  

Lots going on in the next couple of weeks.  We are off to Asheville, NC to see if it is a place for us to move for a bit....a new adventure on the horizon.  A next chapter in our life.  Excited to see what life has to offer.  I've got the feeling that I'm really on the edge of something big in life....the next BIG Amanda thing.  Maybe that would explain my lull and unusual behavior/feelings this weekend.  


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Friday, August 24, 2012

The Beginnings of an Adventure in Photos and a Few Words

Hood to Coast weekend if finally here!  And it is off to a great start.  I'm here in Seattle with the Nuun staff and thirty running blogging women from all over the country.  I admit, I was a little anxious before getting here.  I found myself in a weird place the past couple of weeks...emotional, stressed, a little injured, and unsure of what to expect about this opportunity to be on a sponsored Hood to Coast team.  But here I am!  Here WE are!  And really, it will be hard to put this experience into words.  It really has been an incredible adventure so far and the relay part hasn't even started for those of us in van 2.  

The Nuun staff has been so very good to us.  Most of us flew into Seattle (where the Nuun headquarters are) on Wednesday, and since then, we've been taken care of in more ways than we expected. The best hosts a team could ask for!, hotel, drinks, entertainment, team bonding, swag, friendship...the list goes on. We've been treated like running royalty. What a great group of Nuun employees!   We want for nothing!  :)  They definitely went above and beyond and we are all finding ourselves feeling so very very thankful.  

Now here we go...ready to rock this relay and honored to represent Nuun!  My van leaves in 30 minutes so I'll leave you with some photos to tell a bit of the story so far.  

Off to Seattle for Nuun Hood to Coast.  A little anxious.  But mostly excited!  

Just returning from the Nuun Amazing Race...oh the things we had to do for points!

LOVE our jackets!

Jessica from Pace of Me showing us a new way to use compression shorts...a Nuun bottle holder.  Love having her as my roomie here in Seattle!
Nicole from Ricole Runs was so kind to share her KTape with me.  Thanks girl!  

So so lucky to have Molly as my roomie!  Love!

Tiffany from Heavy Medal/Running Hutch.  Pig Kissing in Seattle. What a beauty!

The first guy in Pike Place Market was all too happy to play along with our tattoo game!

Morning coffee with a great group of girls before heading out

And we're Off!!!

Oh, and I'm getting lots of Twitter lessons from these ladies.  I think I even know what a hash tag and a twitter handle are now!  Woot woot!

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

It's GO Time! HOOD to Coast but First Seattle.

I'll be meeting up with some of these lovely ladies in a matter of hours!  Unfortunately, my husband (front and center) didn't make the all-women blogger team!  Next time honey.  
A random brain calls for random post so y'all know what that means, right?  Bullets it is!

  • Hood to Coast is here this weekend.  I'm sure if you're an avid reader of running blogs then you haven't hear this news ANYWHERE else but here.  Ha!  
  • I've had this trip on my mind for awhile now.  Ever since my vlog application attempt to get chosen for the Nuun Hydration Hood to Coast Team, I've had it as a goal to be there.  And here it is.  I made the team and I'm excited to be there.  Here's my stinking long...I'm sure they fast forwarded most of it....but it earned me one amazing adventure that I'm honored to be about to embark on!  Bring it!  

  • I'll be meeting over 30 beautiful running blogger women (do those words even go together smoothly? oh well) in just a matter of hours as we all make our way to Seattle, WA (where the Nuun headquarters are) from all over the country.  Most of these women I will be meeting for the first time.  
  • I'm a pretty extroverted person for the most part.  Especially when I'm in social situations like this.  However, recently, I've been feeling painfully introverted in many ways.  Not sure why I said "painfully" but I suppose it has to do with the fact that I've had more to process lately and not all of it is happy stuff...I've kind of taken a step back from others and been kind of wrapped up snugly in myself.  At least more so than usual. But I'm confident that being in Seattle with all these awesome women will help me snap out of this turtle-like behavior and I'll be fully ready to share myself and bring the Amanda energy that I know is definitely in there waiting to dance.  
  • Why processing?  Why more introverted?  Good questions.  I went to see The Odd Life of Timothy Green.  What a great movie.  So much there.  I could write an entire blog post or two on that movie and all the ways it spoke to me.  I'll save that one.  Anyway, on my way there, my husband and I were talking and I realized just how much was stuck in this brain of mine causing me stress...things that I wasn't even acknowledging and especially not dealing with or working through.  Just stuff jammed in shoulders, back, neck, heart....all this stuff.  As I was listing some of these things and acknowledging them, there was instantly a release type of feeling.  The stressors are surely still there but at least I've made myself aware of them and have started to sort through know, the refrigerator still needs cleaned out of all the crap that has gone bad but I'm slowly throwing stuff out and knowing what's in there.  :)  
  • Stressors come in various packages.  I think that sometimes we think that things aren't big enough to matter, deal with, or allow ourselves to feel much about so we tuck them away.  Life is busy.  Emotions are messy.  We try not to stress.  But eventually, if too many of these little stressors come at once, I find myself with a whole lot of little stressors that add up to a spirt and body that is all out of whack.  Need to be better at this...being aware of things as they come so I can get rid of them and not end up carrying it all in my shoulders, back, neck, hips, and legs.  Ha!  
  • I leave in 3 hours.  Kids are sleeping, bag isn't entirely packed, and I still hope to shower, get ready, wake the kids up and fill them up with LOVE and a good final impression before heading out for 5 days, and oh, I desperately need an adjustment from my chiropractor so trying to work that in too.  But then I'll be on the plane and ready to just relax and enjoy some awesome company and what I'm certain will be a bit LIFE adventure that changes me in some way.  
  • Where's the Running At?  
  • Hmm, Where's the Running At?  Did I already say that? That could be a song...Where's the Running At...Think of kind of a hip hop beat... Yup, well, maybe I need to ask that question one more time so somebody else can answer it for me because I'm really not so sure.  I had every intention to get to this weekend feeling happy, healthy, and ready to run fast.  So so ready to feel these legs move fast!  Don't we all want this for our bodies?  :)  But....
  • Sometimes life has an entirely different plan for us....
  • As of this feet are hurting a bit.  My achilles and bottom of feet started bothering me sometime last week and my running as been sporadic.  Slow.  Not much.  This could be because of a number of things but I'm moving on now and trying to figure out how to GET WHOLE FAST!  And still finding a way to get some endorphins.  :)  
  • I won't be running or attempting to run until my first leg on Friday night.  At that time, I will assess where I'm at.  If I feel good, I'll run smart.  If I don't feel good, I'll run smarter.  What I don't plan on doing is going out there and leaving my entire running wad on the Hood to Coast course...because...really, it isn't worth it.  I will run with my heart.  I will run happy.  I will run the best I can for what is best for my body.  It is obvious I have the beginnings of...that bad word of an injury that is so, plantar fasciitis and probably some achilles tendonitis.  But as we all know, these things can be cared for.  And if we are smart, then we can move on quicker than if we are STUPID.  Stupid would be to ignore this.  Smart would be to do what I'm doing:
  • I've got my feet taped (thanks to my dear hubby who just came out of having really awful PF for almost a year), stretches to do, and an optimistic attitude about the whole thing. However, I'm not going to lie....I do feel a little like this picture I posted a few weeks ago:

  • I'm certain my teammates will understand that I might/will have to run slower than that sub 7 pace that I was dreaming of for many of my miles...if anything, just to have fun letting my running legs go...and bonus to be on a team doing it.  I know they've all been there with injury and know that taking care of our bodies is ESSENTIAL.  I know that they also know that this is crappy timing.
  • I already feel more like my extroverted Happy Amanda self just writing this.  Seriously, I've got a smile on my face and my feet are telling me that THEY WILL BE FINE. 
  • Excited to have fun, be smart, listen to my body, make new friendships, be in Seattle for a few days before and just see where this adventure takes me!  
  • And now, I'm off to shower, pack, love on my kids, schedule that chiropractor appointment, do my feet exercises/stretches, and drink some Nuun (but the Nuun All Day kind) to get me in the Nuun Zone:

Lots of amazing ladies to make up three Nuun Teams.

So, Here's to What's Next!  It's GO Time!

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Monday, August 20, 2012


This will be a quick...unedited...and sloppy post as I'm trying to dash out the door....

Today... perfect day in light of what I needed.  Quiet.  Kids were content playing with friends.  And I got some much needed self time to process.  I threw myself a little mini-emotional-like-pity-frustration party and now I'm thinking I got it all out...all those emotions are...hopefully.... OVER.  I'm pretty sure that in light of my post this morning, and really for most of the month of July,  that I'm:
  • Overreacting
  • OVERemotional
  • OVERanalyzing
  • OVERwhelmed
  • OVERtired
  • OVEReating to make up for OVERwhelmed
  • OVERlyanxious
  • OVERdoing things
  • OVERthinking
  • OVERLY angry at the nurse/cipro incident
  • Oh, and in going with the theme for today and obviously being OVERsensitive,  I might...just might have overreacted to the last comment on my prior post. Instead of waiting until I was calm (obvious from the many typos/grammar errors), I responded out of first reaction (something I try not to do)...but really? I think I would have responded the same way no matter what. Sad to hear a nurse say that the patient is the "only one" responsible for their health.  
Hoping that after some good sleep tonight, resting my body, not running for another day or so, perhaps another big cry for no reason other than the fact that I feel like it (but pretty sure I'm OVER that crying crap), I'll be ready and packed and on a plane Wednesday to kick off Nunn Hood to Coast celebrations in Seattle.

And then, by Friday night, I'm certain that this 33 year old girl will be...

               OVER the moon happy to be running her big heart out.  Bring IT Mother of all Relays!  

I'm so OVER being OVER_______.  Ha! Whatever is going on with me emotionally, I think it is a mixed bag...tweaked muscles, end of summer, possible move, processing some things I haven't talked about, two big trips planned in two weeks that involve traveling away from my kids for 4 plus days, getting geared up for another school year, soccer season starting for two of my kids....You know....LIFE!  And I love it. However it comes.

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Soul Food, Emotions, NEVER take CIPRO, Non-Injuries and Some Goals and Gratitude!

Wildwood Trail in Forest Park.  My favorite place to run.  I think I spent more time snapping pictures than actually running.  Love my iPhone!  

I guess you could say that I have a few small "body annoyances" as of last week.  I won't call them injuries yet. That could be because I'm in major denial and I've been taken over by irrationally stupid avoidance issues.  Ha!  Or it could mean that I'm thinking like an optimist.  Whatever the reason...I refuse to use the "I" (injury) word in any real context right now.  A number of things could be going on:

  • Not warming up properly last Tuesday before my 30 min at 7:00 pace on the TM caused me to snag/irritate/pull/tweak/whatever my right hammy.  Didn't feel it too badly until I attempted a track workout on Friday and realized that I couldn't run fast without pain.  After a semi-repressed cry, I went about my day and found myself (hours later and after jumping through many flaming 3-kid hoops) at the pool to do laps/pushups/ab know, anything I could think of to replace some endorphins and stick it to the injury gods.  
  • I'm also feeling some irritation in my achilles and the arch of my left foot.  What??  This has never happened to me before.  EVER.  Last night, I got to remembering that stupid nurse that prescribed me CIPRO for my kidney infection a few weeks ago.  There's a back story here that is too long to tell in detail but basically, several weeks ago I was very sick with a kidney infection and I spent hours in the urgent care on a Friday night only to be seen by a nurse practitioner who was crazy busy and spent 2 minutes with me before telling me to go pick up my prescription of CIPRO and go home.  Here's how I know she knew that I was not only an active person but a freaking marathon runner:  1. She commented on the fact that my back could be sore due to my marathon (um, had been over a week or more).  2.  I was wearing my Boston Marathon shirt and explained that I was a marathon was in my records.  Now, I know that some of you intense athletes might think of marathon running as baby talk.  However, to the average person, I'm pretty sure that marathon running would fit in a category of VERY Active person.  right?   Any doctor/nurse practitioner (IMO) SHOULD know that CIPRO is NOT a drug that you would give a VERY active person.  In fact, I'm not sure why I didn't demand another drug right away when I heard the pharmacist say "Be sure to stop taking the drug immediately if your ACHILLES ruptures.  This is one of the side effects."  WHAT??!  I think I was so exhausted from my Friday night marathon urgent care waiting room expedition and a little foggy from a fever and infection that I didn't register the severity of what he said to me until 2 days later.  2 days of taking this crap! Not only was the medication making me sick and feel AWFUL (awful drug...don't take it unless you have to).  I did some research and found out that it is common knowledge in the medical field that you most likely would NOT give this antibiotic to a very active, a marathon runner??  Runner's World had a couple links regarding this issue.  You can read them Here and Here.   These are only a couple of the many things out there warning runners against this nasty drug.  And even off of a couple days...this drug can cause long term problems with the Achilles tendons.  So, putting all hypochondriac-like behavior aside, I'm not ruling this possibility out considering I have NEVER had aching/bothersome/pain in my achilles before.  Lucky for me, I had a good friend have her doctor husband help me get a new antibiotic ASAP since the nurse with my insurance was no help in telling me that if I wanted a new prescription from them that I would have to come wait in urgent care again...Seriously?!  You already know that I have a kidney infection, 3 kids, and I'm in bed all day and you seriously need me to come in and sit for another 4 hours just so one of your medical staff can see my blue eyes and tell me that I should switch to ___________(name a good antibiotic for a VERY Active person with a kidney infection).  Come to find out from my regular doctor, who called me on Monday morning, I should have been able to have a doctor call me in a different drug.  I'm just a little angry.  Glad you all can see that I have an angry side and I'm not all about pooping rainbows and journaling butterflies all the time.  

This Girl NEEDED a Good Run!
Yesterday, I had rolled out of bed before my kids woke up and I found myself pulled towards my know, the journal that I used to write in daily but that now had a thin layer of dust settling on it.  As I flipped through the pages, it was somewhat like reading someone else's words...the lists of goals, gratitude, and memories...things I had almost forgotten about.  When I went to write for just me (not on a blog or e-mail), I felt so out of touch.  My head seemed foggy when it came to listing some clear goals I have for my life right now.  Usually, I am so in-tune with feelings come easily and I almost always have clear goals that drive my life. Goal Driven. Focused.  Intentional. These are words that I'd usually use to describe me.  (Yes, emotional and irrational at times too.)  However, when I went looking for those goals and clear guidelines for my life,  my feelings were mixed and my goals were all glopped together with nothing standing out.  I very much needed to clear my heart, be alone, and open myself up to truly LISTENING.

So, even though I knew I couldn't get in a decently paced run yesterday, I did KNOW that if I could, I NEEDED a run close to the double digits if my body would allow.  No matter how slow it was.  I needed it for many reasons.  I sent my husband and kids off to a more "traditional" church and I escaped to the forest to be alone with myself, God, my thoughts, and some amazing LIFE energy.

With my left foot all taped up and my right hamstring wrapped, I only felt a little like I was being held together by a glue stick.  But I knew that if I took it easy, I'd be okay. This run would be an opportunity to be still with my thoughts, meditate on the life surrounding me, pray,  and clear my head.  It can be really  hard for me to shut my racing thoughts off sometimes but being in the forest almost always helps with this. Yesterday was no exception.  It didn't take long to feel wrapped up in the most incredible living energy...a peace washing over me.  My body relaxed, my mind cleared, and I settled into my almost 10 mile run.

I'm not saying that I came back with an entirely clear picture of what my goals are.  But I do have a clearer head about everything.  And I do feel at peace with the possibility that I might need to step back from intense running for awhile if my body continues to struggle.  I'm going to take life as it comes.  Things happen. And we almost always benefit from these things in the long run in life.  I'm not going to lie, feeling my body struggle and not feel strong right now definitely makes me sad. Feeling my achilles ache makes me ANGRY and want answers from that nurse practitioner that so obviously acknowledged that I was a marathon runner and still prescribed such a non-appropriate drug with some awful side effects that can cause life-long problems for people.

Crying is sure to be a part of my day at least once lately when just four weeks ago, I can remember telling my husband that I don't even remember the last time I cried.

The best thing I can think of in moving on here with a positive outlook and a happy spirit is to focus on goals and gratitude.  This always helps give me some focus.  Long term goals are WAY FOGGY still but I can keep it small and start with goals for the right now.

Gratitude List:

  • Hood to Coast this weekend!  
  • I get to be on the Nuun Morning Team.  I've never been on a sponsored team before.  Hope I can perform physically.  If not, I promise to bring my Amanda spirit with a smile on my face.  
  • I have the next two days with my kids before I leave for the Nuun headquarters in Seattle and am gone until Sunday after the relay.  
  • An opportunity to make the most out of these next two days of time to create some really magical memories for my kids.
  • Good friends.  Always thankful for this.  
  • A patient, wise, loving coach that has become a very dear person to me.  I've learned a lot about patience, listening, and trusting.  Even if I stop training seriously for anything, I hope he's part of my life for the long stretch.  
  • Coffee
  • Crying
  • The ability to express myself in words (even if I feel really bad at this right now...I know it is there somewhere)
  • My Achilles isn't ruptured
  • Hope
  • The forest
  • Trail runs
  • Hearing a very clear message on my run yesterday when I prayed and asked for something.  It was a pretty powerful experience.  Might write about it someday for others in detail (or not).  It involved my kids, loving them, and realizing that I've been dwelling too much on all the ways that I wished I would have been loved and forgetting to realize just what a gift I have in being able to LOVE my kids in that way that I always craved.  My dream of being a MOM is right in front of my freaking face and somehow, lately, I've been looking past it.  Everything I need regarding love is right here!  Three bright, beautiful, children that are mine to LOVE the heck out of.  I get to love them, believe in them, guide them, help them figure this crazy wonderful world out and discover/nurture their gifts.  Wow, do things get much better than this as far as gifts go?!  I can't believe I can get so caught up in my own head/life and moving through the motions so that I don't see this motherhood thing as I should.  I mean, Holy Moly...all my dreams have come true regarding this part of my life....glad I snapped out of THAT fog.  

Some Short-Term Goals:

  • Make the most out of the last few days of summer before school starts.  I have 2 days this week and 4 next week.  So many memories to be made.
  • Practice patience and presence with my kids.  This can be hard when they fight and whine so much.  
  • Run the best I can for Hood to Coast while still caring for my body.  If that means some slower running then that's what it will be.  I only have one body here.  
  • Enjoy meeting new people and building new friendships this week. What a great experience...certain that my extrovert side will make its way out by then. 
  • Allowing myself to cry and live with feelings as they come without burying things because they seem silly and small.  Validation.  
  • Anger.  I haven't felt anger in a long time and really, I'm not a big fan of the emotion.  It can, however, be beneficial sometimes. So if I'm going to have a bit of this thing called anger then I'm hoping I can use it for something good and then get rid of the nasty emotion.  It really is toxic.  My theory:  1.  acknowledge it.  2.  Work through it/Use it 3.  Get rid of it and move on

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Past Midnight Processing

Note:  This post is in no way written with proper grammar, sentence structure, or cohesive subject matter in mind.  It is purely some random and not so random processing in the wee hours of the morning.  Starts light and ends heavier.  I'll write a normal more running related post soon but hey, this is my blog so I suppose my random, raw, personal and unedited bullets are in a safe place.  
  • Does it still count as sleeping with the girls on the trampoline even though we have all ended up inside by just a bit past midnight?
  • It was still a great memory falling asleep under a big starry sky while cuddled close together.  
  • Well, they slept.  I hadn't/haven't fallen asleep yet.
  • I really don't do well sleeping in different environments.  Um, like on a trampoline with two sweaty little girls up in every inch of my space and one annoying buzzing teasing mosquito making sure to zip by my ear every few minutes just to let me know that he's waiting for me to sleep.  
  • Dropping my glasses off the side of the trampoline wasn't a very good thing for this half-blind girl when I had to get up to pee at just past midnight.   
  • It especially wasn't very nice when I realized that my husband had locked us outside so I had to squat in my own lawn to take a pee.  Lovely.  Now we've all done it.  Who needs a dog?  
  • Unlike my son, I don't find it nearly as satisfying to pee in my own grass.  Maybe that has to do with the fact that he has a penis and I don't.  
  • I was so relieved when my oldest daughter woke up irritated when I came back on the trampoline and made my blind way over their now wet with condensation sleeping bags. Irritated her meant that she wanted to go into her own bed (after peeing on the lawn).  
  • I may or may not have suggested going into her own bed in a way that made her think it was her own idea.  Always the best route to take.  
  • I love my own bed.
  • Gosh, I love my kids.  
  • The next few bullets might not make any sense to anyone but me since I'm the only one who knows what's going on inside this head of mine.  
  • Goal:  To work on loving others as THEY ARE and not expecting them to be someone they aren't or somebody I wish they would be.   
  • Another goal:  Not expecting life and relationships to fit into perfect little is messy.  Relationships are messy.  Who determines what it means to be a:  mother, grandmother, wife, best friend, etc.?  I can't expect others in my life to fit the same mold for these relationships.  I especially can't expect the people in my life to fit inside the mold that I have decided is best for me when it comes to these roles.  
  • Again:  Truly accepting others as THEY ARE.  
  • I realized tonight (again) that I can be pretty darn hard on my mom sometimes.  Note to self: Keep going easier on her.  She's done a damn good job with her life and she managed to do a really great job with raising us three kids despite some extremely difficult circumstances.  Not so sure I could have done what she did.  
  • I'm so thankful for the gift that my husband is to me.  I've never felt more loved by any other person than I do by him.  Sometimes I don't think I deserve him and I have a hard time believing that he has been placed in my life.  And that he loves me so unconditionally.
  • I'm not so sure I felt unconditional love from another person before my husband.  Not to say it wasn't there...just not so sure I allowed myself to feel it.   
  • Everyone should have someone in their life that they feel truly and fully LOVED by.  The kind of love that is whole, unconditional, adoring... Everyone should be "that person" to another.  So often this is in the form of a parent/child or grandparent/child type relationship and when I see and hear of my friends having these relationships with their parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, it is always so beautiful to me.  
  • I hope I can be the kind of parent to my children that provides this safe and adoring love that  makes them feel wrapped up and precious.  Safe.  Adored.  Free to make learn, grow, and risk.  I hope that they can grow up and always feel like my "baby".  Like they always have someone wise, loving, and open armed to embrace them and let them fall safely upon.  
  • I'm not so sure I have ever felt this kind of love from anyone really.  This type of parental type love that I describe above.  Again, not to say it hasn't been there.  Just saying that I haven't entirely felt it. Or allowed myself to feel it.  This isn't necessarily a negative thing though. I think for much of my life, I felt like more of a parent and less like a child. I think I was able to create this kind of parental type love for myself in many ways as I grew up...I have come to provide that unconditional, adoring, always open armed, safe Love for ME.  Happy about this.  
  • Just as we should all feel loved by others, there is so much to say about truly loving ourselves...just as a mother or father would love their child.  So much comes when we love US enough to provide ourselves with:   patience, forgiveness, belief in, adoration, understanding, room to grow, the acknowledging and validation of feelings no matter how silly we might feel.... Such power in loving ourselves the way we want to (or would) love our child.
  • I haven't always felt this kind of love for myself.  Nor have I always had as much self-confidence.  I've grown into it and am so thankful for the people who have helped me along the way.  Believing in oneself and truly feeling worthy of love is such an amazing thing. It affects every part of our life.  
  • I can't believe I'm up this late.  
  • This was the most random post I've ever posted perhaps.  It started with camping on a trampoline and peeing on my lawn and it ends with some much heavier  topics.  
  • I think I might delete this post when I wake up in the morning.  But it sure was good for me to write. I'm going back and forth between saving as a draft and putting in my journal or hitting publish. This is one of those "for me" processing times where I just let my mind flow and so often end up writing the lessons that I NEED to hear at the time.  This blog has been a great outlet for me in this way. For the most part I don't have a hard time writing vulnerably but it is still scary for me to share some things.  And I'm not sure why this topic on love...especially relating to parental love and relationships feels perhaps the hardest for me to be vulnerable about.   


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Endorphin Glow

An older picture from the end of a half marathon earlier this year.  But a good one that reflects the joyful endorphin glow that comes from running long, pushing myself more, and being uninjured.  

The Endorphin Glow is officially ON again.  It's like I've returned to myself after being just a little "off" for the past few weeks.  Since my July 4th marathon, I've taken time off and pretty much kept my running to easy running and low mileage with just a few faster workouts gradually put into the mix recently.  My 5k on Sunday was my first green light to bring racing back into the picture and start training a bit harder.  Lucky for me, I have a smart coach in my life that has taught me the importance of rest, recovery even when I THINK that I don't need it, and being patient.  Thanks to him (and me for listening), I'm feeling stronger than I've felt in a long time and I'm excited to get back into some harder training.

Today's workout was the first workout that I've been really excited about since before the marathon.  I've enjoyed my down time.  I've loved the past few weeks of not having much of an agenda other than to run easy and enjoy my summer.  The last month has involved lots of fun...seeing friends, traveling, staying up late, enjoying good beer and wine, date nights, pool time...just like I like my summers. And I've enjoyed the added curves to my body that comes with lower calorie burning...not much but just enough that I notice and actually LOVE the tiny bit of extra padding. Yes, it has been fun and I've been enjoying the present moments without getting antsy for the "What's NEXT?!".   But when I saw that I had a good solid workout on the agenda today, I almost couldn't sleep because I was so excited to get up and get it done!  It is such a good feeling to have new goals and to WANT to train hard.  Such key ingredients to achieving goals:  Desire and Motivation.

Today's workout:
30 min 7 min pace
2 miles easy
30 min 7 min pace

Bummer for me that I had to do this workout on the treadmill but I'm not complaining.  At least I have a  treadmill.  And it faces out to the culdesac where the kids can play and I can still yell   talk to them.  I only had to be interrupted (briefly) a few times to break up a fight, plug a bloody nose, pull the tent out of the sprinkler and fasten a helmet.  Overall, it was a success.

Oh, and I'd consider it a benefit to training that I'm able to shout at/manage my kids verbally while running faster...this has to be good for something right?

Did I nail it?  Pretty darn close.   I actually nailed it more than if I would have done it exactly as written because I didn't let pride get in the way of Listening to my body.  For the faster parts, I kept my speed right around 8.7 (6:59 pace) and 8.6 (7:04 pace) while playing with the elevation a bit to see what felt best for my leg.   I felt a slight pull in my right hammy at the start (don't think I warmed up enough) and then it went away until the second set of 30 min.  I ended up pulling back a bit after 18-19 min into the second 30 minutes and just finishing it off with an 8-8:34 pace until 10 miles.  I still ended up with a 10 mile run in 7:36 avg that has resulted in a happy...

                                 Amanda Endorphin Glow...

....that makes me feel like my fullest self again.  Not that I was far away from that...I've just been a few notches away.

So thankful for endorphins!  There is nothing quite like them.  This bigger than lately endorphin dose just reminds me (not that I need reminded) just what a gift running is for my life.  I just feel BETTER.  My head is clearer, I'm more patient with my kids, inspiration flows more fully, I can FOCUS on things....I'm just a better me.

Thank you endorphins,

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Olympics 2012 Memories, Facing 5k Fears, and Unconventional Hugs

More details below.  LOVE running with my best friend/husband again.  

The past two weeks have been packed.  So many memories to go into my life book...girlfriend trip to Boston, family vacation in beautiful central Oregon, Cascade Lakes Relay, gearing up for Hood to Coast, making summer memories with the kids and just soaking up summer.  Oh, and the most memorable of all, and probably the reason why all these other things will always be remembered more clearly...The Olympics!  I have no doubt that years from now when I'm remembering the summer of 2012, I will remember the events that took place this summer more vividly than other summers because they have happened during two big weeks in history.  I'll remember the nights on family vacation where we all gathered around the family room cheering on the determined athletes from all over the world. The nights of being on the edge of our seats hoping for and pouring out our energy and love upon our American athletes. And our WORLD athletes. I'll remember getting up at 3 a.m, after three hours of sleep, just to watch the women's marathon live.  Or the already six times that I've watched the finish of the men's 10,000m that shows such heart, love, and friendship.  I'll remember more clearly meeting up with some of my best girlfriends for the first time and being together for the opening ceremony of the greatest games on earth. And I'll certainly remember the way the Olympics has reached out and covered us all in a blanket of hope, determination, and belief in the possibilities that life has to offer.  Each one of those Olympians has a story to tell.  A powerful, amazing, and beautiful story that touches us all.  They are using their gifts to be the best they possibly can.  Their stories are bringing us all together...not just as a country but as one world.  And what inspiration flows from them to us...all of us, young and old alike.  I'm a little sad to see it all end, but I'm already excited for the next Olympics in 2016!

Until then, I'll be using all the inspiration that I bottled up from watching and I'll be making my own dreams come whatever form that may take.  And there is plenty in store for the next four years...this I am CERTAIN!

Now for some RANDOM.  Bullets and Pictures it is:

Hugs come in unconventional ways

  • The picture above is of my view from my car when I was driving up the Cascades Lake Highway to pick my husband up after he finished his final leg on the Cascades Lake Relay last week.  I packed up the kids in the car and headed out to find our missing piece so he could join us for the last day of vacation.  What I wasn't expecting was the wave of emotion that washed over me as soon as I drove up into the higher parts and was faced with snow capped mountains.  This moment was certainly (without doubt) a Hug from my dad.  Anytime I drive into the mountains like this, I get these feelings.  Even though it isn't nearly the same beauty as driving out of the Eisenhower tunnel into Summit County in Colorado (where we lived before my dad died and where his heart was alive most fully), I still felt him for the first time in awhile.  Always a special thing for me.  
  • Thoughts from earlier this week:  "Believing we can. Putting in the training and hard work. In light of pushing our limits and running faster than we've ever run before, how much of it do you think is about the training and hard work and how much about Believing it is possible? I definitely think this would be different for everyone but for me, I KNOW that all the training and hard work isn't going to get me anywhere unless I work on BELIEVING in the Possibilities. Really, truly believing. Expecting. No doubts. Breaking out of the box. Putting fear in the garbage and running as if I have nothing to lose.... I mean, really, WHAT DO WE HAVE TO LOSE?"
  • The above thoughts kind of had to do with my reflection on my 5k fears and why I dread this race so much.  I mean, serious fear has come with this race.  Like sick to my stomach and dreading it with all my heart.  But I'm finally ready to kick that fear the curb and face this distance more often.  So much of this fear and anxiety comes from years of high school and college cross country competitions where I was racing the 5k at a very unstable time in my life.  This race doesn't have to be scary.  And I don't have to ask myself to run any faster than what I can run...I don't have to run this race for anyone but myself...nothing to lose! I'm certainly ready to kick that 20 minutes to the curb.  I mean, seriously Amanda?!  It is about darn time.  I may not be one who runs 17 minute 5ks but 19's are CERTAINLY within my reach and I think I'm usually one who is realistic about my capabilities.  The only thing that has kept me from crushing that 20 min barrier is this HEAD of mine.  So, on to mission "kicking head case to the curb" and believing....expecting a little more.  

My perfect running partner.  Although he's kind of leaving me in the dust these days.  

  • Must Run Race for Next Year.  More on this later but I did go out to race a 5k race yesterday.  In fact, we went as an entire family and we all ran.  And what a great event for a great cause.  It was the Ladybug Run and it was to raise awareness for CDH which you can read more about HERE. It wasn't just an opportunity to support a good cause but it was 1. A chance to support my friend Liz, whose daughter Finley was the inspiration for this race to raise money for CDH...her story inspires us all. Yesterday was also Finley's birthday.   2. A chance to face my own fears and race a 5k when I'm so NOT in 5k shape right now.  3. An opportunity to race with my best friend/husband again!  If you happened to click on the official results, I'd love to claim that 18:25 as my actual time since it is now on my official records.  Ha!  However, the course was short short! When I do write about this event, you'll see that this is minor (and easy to improve on) in light of how great this race was organized.  For a first time race, I'm so impressed and we will add this to our Must Run races!  Hope you do too!  It was such a good feeling to be finished and see how many people were out there having a great time...awesome community of runners/families.  And something for everyone.  
Having a delicious IPA after the Ladybug Run with Liz from 1012 Miles (also the director of the race) and Cyndie from Rediscovering Running (who was also a huge part in organizing this event). Thanks for a great event girls.

  • My thoughts from yesterday:  "My greatest highlight from today was not running for myself but being there to cross the finish line of the 1/2 mile kids run with my youngest. As mothers, we have such a gift in being able to teach and model for our children the power of 
    believing in themselves and celebrating in accomplishments. At one point during the short (but long to him) race, my son said "I can't do this mommy!" but we kept going. We focused on the things that WERE working for us...the shade from the trees, the popsicle at the end, doing our best and not being discouraged by the people passing us....even cheering the other kids on. He was tired but proud at the end. :) I love being a mom!"

I promise that the next post MIGHT be less random.  For sure I hope to write a post telling you more about the Ladybug Run so that if you are local, you can add it to your list.  Such a great event for the whole family!

What were the events from this Olympics that stand out to you as the biggest highlights?  The events that you will always remember?  I'd have to say that the men's 10,000 definitely stands out as one of my favorites. I suppose that is obvious from the fact that I've watched the finish six times already.  I also loved seeing the women's 4x100 and 4x400.  And of course, seeing Shalane and Kara together after the marathon.   Oh and...... Ha!

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

In the Meantime...Reflections on Change, Parenting, and Life.

The clock is ticking.  Well, it is always ticking.  But I can actually HEAR it.  Quiet house.  Sleeping kids.  Still morning.  And despite the grey Portland skies that I've come to just  expect these days (even in summer) and the sore throat and hurt ear I woke up with (immune system down down down), I'm feeling content and happy to have this time.  Just 
Summer Song of Birds outside my french doors
Time to REFLECT.

Life is always better when I have this time. I start my day a more grounded person.  I'm a more patient mother.  My head ends up being clearer so that I can focus on the little people around me with intention and sincere interest.  I'm overall just MORE PRESENT in my life. Not sure why I still haven't forced myself to be an early morning person so that I can have this time every day. Note to self.  But I guess I love my sleep way too much so I usually find myself starting my days with the wild rumble of a 
Enough said.  At least for my three year old boy.  Pretty sure this is the year that I start going grey. 

I'm finding myself in that in-between place that we come to at various times in our life.  I feel like I'm almost at a big transition in life...the next chapter...a new book even.  "The Meantime".   I've never been good with this time.  It forces me to slow down and just wait.  It forces me to be present in the moment and trust that things will unfold just as they are supposed to.  And more than anything, I'm led to do some mental work...reflection, goal setting, and self work while I wait for things to happen. This is the waiting phase before the next big wave of change comes.  These times in life are such blessings, really.  So beneficial to growth so I'm rolling with it.  Even if I do feel impatient and frustrated at not having a PLAN set in STONE.  I'm practicing patience and stillness.  Listening to what life has to teach me.  

In the Meantime....

Some Bullets, Goals and Randoms:

  • This has been a great summer with my kids.  Despite the normal sibling fights and whining, it has been such a nice time in life.  However, towards the end here, I do find myself going into "zone out mommy mode".  My goal for today is to really try to be more plugged in to THEM and not other, computer, other people, plans, etc. 
  • I'm not a huge yeller but I'll admit, I do lose my patience with my kids and end up responding with a yell, growl, irritated look, etc.  I wouldn't like it if this was how others responded to me when I screw up.  So, I'm really making it a huge goal to just take that extra deep breath and count before I respond to my kids when they are misbehaving.  I'm the teacher here.  I model behavior for them.  Gosh, so hard to get this one down.  If I act like a tantruming brat...they will too.  
  • Husband and I planning a trip to Asheville, NC.  Really excited to check this place out.  And it just might have something to do with the next big change in our lives.  We'll see when we visit.  
  • Change.  Change-up in life can be such a healthy thing for us if it is for the right reasons.  Getting out of our comfort zones, stretching ourselves to do things that we once feared, taking steps to making our dreams come true even when it is so damn scary, making new friends, traveling to new places, starting new jobs....These things almost always make us a better US. They allow us to grow in new ways and experience FRESH life-soil that keeps us thriving. Most of the time, I believe that when we are ready for change, the changes will come naturally. Things will just unfold and it won't seem forced.  It is up to us to be open to allowing things to happen when it is right. The past few years have been wonderful.  I've enjoyed my home, neighborhood, job as a SAHM, etc.  I've been so content and happy. I haven't felt the need to have too many changes in my life but rather to really embrace just where I have been. And I'm still happy and loving my life.  But I'm ready for something fresh. It's almost like I'm a plant ready for a new pot...I've grown wonderfully in the pot/soil that I've been in and our whole family has thrived!  And now, it is clear to me in so many ways, that I'm ready for some new soil...a different life-pot perhaps.  We all are.  I'm not entirely sure what this new pot will mean for my life.  Maybe it is just a new volunteer opportunity or training for another big race.  Travel?  A move?  A writing opportunity?  At this point, I'm pretty sure we are ready to make a big move for a year or two.  We are ready to go some place new to us and spread our wings a bit.  I think this time away will help us grow as a family and give us time to reflect on what we really want for our family when it comes to settling in a home for the long haul (until kids grow up).  A temporary move might give us that "step-back" time to make some big decisions about where we want to be when we return to Oregon...neighborhood, type of living (rural, suburban, urban....),etc.  Our kids are still young and open to adventure so this works in our favor.  And our close friends and family are fully behind us with love and support.  Even jobs are lining up perfectly.  So, all signs point to, for the meantime.  It will be interesting to see what this next school year holds as we approach a possible move.  What a great time to truly pour myself into making this one of the most memorable years we've had in this house...for myself, my husband and my children.  
So many other things on my mind that I could write about this morning.  But time is up.  I'll end with sharing this picture/quote by one of my favorite authors, Roald Dahl.  This was shared on the Teaching Children Meditation facebook site.  Always love what they share.  

Happy Thursday,

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Olympian Men Swimmers, Mosquitoes, Elevation, and Vacation Rambles

Gotta admit it, this family vacation is pretty darn awesome in every way but one of the evening highlights has surely been watching the Olympian Men Swimmers before we go to sleep.  Talk about going to bed with sweet dreams!  Who needs dessert when you can watch the after event interviews with Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps?  I had to laugh when I saw the picture below:

Okay, in all seriousness, I really am a woman that finds the intellectual mind MUCH sexier than the body when it comes to finding someone attractive as far as relationships go. But hey, I can enjoy the sights right?

Yup, those Olympic Men swimmers have some pretty AMAZINGLY SCULPTED bodies.   But I have this guy in the picture to celebrate life with every day.  I couldn't have asked for a better start to our nine year anniversary yesterday....Family, Sunshine, Good Coffee, Love, and a promise of a wonderful day together.

Happy 9 years, my love.  It has been the best 9 years of my life without a doubt!

One of the highlights of our anniversary morning was that we were able to head out on a run together while the kids stayed with the rest of family.  It was a little warmer than I would have liked and the 4,3000 ft. elevation compared to our usual sea level definitely seemed to have an impact on my lungs.  But maybe that is just because I haven't done much more than slow easy running since my July 4th marathon.   My workout was listed as:
6 miles.  2 miles easy; 3 miles in 22:15; 1 mile easy.

Yeah, nothing too hard.  Just a little bit of freshening up while still giving my body that month after a marathon to fully recover even if I feel fully recovered already.  I'm trying really hard to
listen and be patient.
The time will come to run faster.  And  honestly, I am going to have to WANT to be more serious with running if I'm going to get faster....the desire is perhaps the biggest part...desire, determination, and focus combined with trust, patience, and listening....this sounds like a good recipe for some PRs.

It was really hard for me to find that 7:25 pace for the 3 miles.  They ended up being a bit faster and I definitely needed to catch my breathing was way harder than it should have been for this pace. I'd like to blame this on the 4,000 plus ft in elevation gain but maybe it was just from being out of my best shape.

2 miles easy (but probably faster than easy should be right now)
7:09/7:10 (don't have my exact data in front of me).  Took a 30 second or less breather in middle of this one.  A sure sign that I'm either way out of the shape I'd like to be or that the elevation did in fact affect me.  Hmmmm.
1 mile easy home before a....

 4 mile hike that involved dust, swatting wildly at stupid mosquitoes and then getting to our proposed  fishing river only to find a raging white Deshutes River.  We had three disappointed kids who were more excited than anything to fish.  There would not only be NO fishing but also no sitting around due to the vicious blood sucking mosquitoes.  I guess the bitchy Amanda came out at this point and my extended family has now labeled me as "Surely NOT an outdoorsy person."  I would beg to differ.  I'm just a girl that likes "controlled outdoor experiences" and knowing what to expect?  Who knows.  I definitely love the outdoors.  But not when it comes to getting my flesh eaten alive while needing food and rest after my morning run.  Hope they still want to travel with me.  Oh wait, they are family...they don't have any choice.  :)

I have to admit, it was heavenly to come back to the vacation house, shower,  cut off another dead toenail and paint over it, slip on a sun dress and pour myself a glass of wine while enjoying "nature" from the deck.

Now off to run and get my husband to his pick up point for the Cascade Lakes Relays.  He's so excited!


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