A good start!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Two Good Weeks

Hah, so much for the day by day recap of our trip. I got crazy busy over the past few weeks. Lots of good things going on, running and cycling are really coming along well. I’m pretty happy. 

So here’s a brief break down since last post. 

The rest of our New Mexico mad dash. Everything went very well. The remainder of the trip highlights … 

  • Breakfast to Nellie’s Cafe in Las Cruces. I would drive all the frack down there just to eat there again. Green chili mecca!
  • The White Sands Missile Museum. Very, very eerie out there. Definitely the kind of place where you would want to blow things up. 
    Totally the kind of place my dad would have taken us
  • Alamgordo and The World’s Largest Pistachio. We spent way too much time here. Lots of fun people to talk to and lots of pistachio goodness to eat. Unfortunately, this put us way off track. 
    I love my silly family

  • My freak out drive to Carlsbad Carlsbad. We arrived five minutes after the last elevator to the bottom. I almost cried. But people are good. Very, very good. They took us down anyhow. I really did cry. The kids loved the caverns. 
    In a hole in the ground there lived ... us.
  • The Blue Swallow Motel - by night. We got in very late. The room was delightful. The kids crashed as soon as we got there. Susan and I sat up drinking gimlets and laughing our butts off.
    True rotary Ma Bell from 1938. Still works!!
  • The Blue Swallow Motel - by day. Had a wonderful time talking with all the Route 66 pilgrims staying there. Lots of great stories as to why they were there. The owners were delightful people. I wish there was time to stay longer.
  • Chillin' at The Blue Swallow!
  • Fantastic breakfast at a diner on 66 and a long drive home. A GREAT trip. 
    Time to go home
The kids were wonderful. We made it through ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ and they loved it - SCORE!! Uneventful drive home and the beauty of sleeping in one’s own bed, again. 

Next week I went up to The Manitou Incline with a bunch of my buddies. It snowed the day before so we were dubious. But the trail was in good shape with just a little ice. The weather was gorgeous and the trail was vertical hell - just what we needed. 2100 elevation gain in less than a mile. Ouch. The rest of the girls wanted to break trail (6 inches of snow at the top) and run further up. But I had hopped into a half marathon last minute for the upcoming weekend and didn’t want to wear out my legs. So, I thoroughly enjoyed the solo 2.5 mile downhill run along The Barr Trail and had to head back home early for Girl Scouts. 

Last weekend was The Platte River Half Marathon. I decided to run this one for training, I needed 18 for the day. Nice and flat, just a short drive from home. Better yet, I just got a new running kilt in my family’s colors. Decided to take it for a test drive.

I found Cynthia before the start and had a quick visit with her. No race breakdown to share. I kept it easy and slow and had a very nice training run. Nothing more. Just right. And no issues with the kilt, it was great to run on. I decided this will be my New York gear!

Post race, I kept it quick. Found the beer and some time to visit with friends. Then had to hustle home to the family. 

Gu and beer - the breakfast of champions

This week has been lovely. Found some free time and have been spending lots of time of my bike. I’m romancing a gorgeous Cannondale on Craigslist that I’m trying to get the owner down a bit on. Come on, I want it!!!! Fingers crossed. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Road Trip - Day One - The Long Haul

“This is a roadside attraction,' said Wednesday. 'One of the finest. Which means it is a place of power.” Neil Gaiman, ‘American Gods.’
I am a huge Neil Gaiman fan. ‘American Gods’ is a particularly fun, trippy favorite book of mine. He takes the roadside attraction and makes them into mini shrines to Gods long forgotten that people are unconsciously drawn to. The stone houses, the Mystery Spots (the place, not my boob), the bizarre museums. All very significant places. Not dusty, forgettable side shows that they seem to be. 
So everything yesterday got started right on track … with a few hitches. Hitches are always expected when I’m in charge. 
My friend Carrie and the kids went out and got us Voodoo Donuts for breakfast. Somewhere around three am there was some strange rustling downstairs and, damn it, Ruby tipped over the donuts and was enjoying her first maple bacon bar. Seriously??? Wicked dog!
We got on the road and all went very well. Great music, great conversation. We got started early enough to miss any traffic through Colorado Springs. My car is an absolute dream to drive so we zipped right into New Mexico in a blink. 
First stop …
Springer … The Santa Fe Trail Museum - home of The Electric Chair and the shoe of the world’s largest man!!!

Closed. Huh, how about that?? Poor Elizabeth was visibly upset. We walked around the building peeking in windows, there was a dusty miasma of mining equipment and dioramas. But not for us. 
The building was cool. There was a war memorial on the grounds that we tromped around. We then decided to drive the main street and found a very cool and creepy flea market where Elizabeth’s spirits were lifted exponentially with this find. 

Across the street we checked out this eerie old livery stable (again peeking in windows). It was packed with old, filthy relics. We found the place fascinating until Evan spied an aquarium packed with doll parts. Oh, dear god!!! Time to go!!

And so we went. 
And there was a whole lot of nothing to see! And tumbleweeds and antelope, and tumbleweeds and antelope. We were all perfectly happy. Elizabeth talked us into playing the soundtrack to ‘The Muppet Movie.’ There was much out of tune singing. 
Next stop Albuquerque. I’m a big fan of ‘Breaking Bad.’ There’s a ton of location sites to pick from for a little geek out. I even found out where Walter White’s house was. But, as someone lives there, I thought it best not to stop by.
My choice? Lunch at The Grove … which featured prominently in the final season. Those of you who know the show, it’s where Lydia and creepy Todd commiserated … and you know what happened next. We had to take a little dork pic. I also had to snag a packet of Stevia.

And further south we delved. Next stop Socorro which we made but the skin of out teeth for poor Evan had a headache and needed to hurl. We screamed into a gas station, he did what he had to do and felt much better. Yep, that’s my boy. We headed west in search of The Very Large Array.
You’ve seen the array before … ‘Contact,’ ‘Independence Day,’ ‘The Terminator’ …
There are 27 impossibly huge dishes in an old, dried lake bed. These behemoth radio antennae pulse signals into space which is used to map the galaxy. So very, very cool.
We were prepared to find something neat. But this place just knocked us flat on our butts. Jaws gaped we pulled into the visitor’s center. These things were impossible … and went on forever. You really get an eerie sense that you’ve stumbled into a place where you really shouldn’t be. They really were stunning. 

The day was fading fast and we had to leave the array behind. Our plan for dinner was to go to Sparky’s in Hatch but time just got away from us. We high tailed it to Truth and Consequences for a rather forgettable dinner and made it to Las Cruces for the night. 
The hotel was very nice. We got the kids settled in and Susan and I hit the bar for some well deserved drinks and dessert. And we called it a night.

So good morning and away we go again.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Art of the Road Trip and Unabashed Enthusiasm

Geek (verb): Be or become extremely excited or enthusiastic about a subject, typically one of specialist or minority interest

We’ll skip the nouns … socially inept, blah blah blah, unfashionable, blah, blah, blah, bites heads off chickens, blah, blah, blah …

If you know me, you know how I love to throw myself into things guns blazing. Why not? Here we are, isn’t it great?? Over the years I’ve been able to surround myself with like minded people who follow the same philosophy - which explains a lot about my running, work, hobbies, whatever. I love it and they do too. It’s fun and life is short. 

So my kids are on Spring Break. I wasn’t able to take too much time off due to other vacation schedules at work but I offered them a long weekend. Either we can head up to the mountains and ski or we can configure some sort of road trip to the middle of nowhere. 

Guess what they picked?

Have I mentioned that my kids are a ridiculous lot like me? Have I mentioned that I think they are AWESOME???

Ideas circling like little satellites in my mind I mentioned what I was considering to my oldest sister, Susan. Boom, she took time off and was merrily on board.

So here is the plan:

Up before the sun and we are going to New Mexico - or as we call it:

Operation Tacky Roadside Attractions!!!

I have very, very fond memories of our road trips with my family as a kid. We would drive from Tucson to Los Angeles … endless asphalt and desert. Lunch in Yuma at the McDonalds with the ugly people (we weren’t particularly polite kids), freaking out about the sand dunes where ‘Return of the Jedi’ was filmed, the stone house in the middle of nowhere, The Cazbon Dinosaurs (remember Pee Wee’s Big Adventure?), The World’s Tallest Thermometer. And then to grandma’s house for off the chart good food and my insane family. Later up the coast to Monterey, Redding, Portland, right hand turn to Montana. And it would be hot, and we kids would be whiny, dad would be put out from the ceaseless bathroom breaks, and I would inevitably get road sick forcing us to pull over so I could barf. Mom and dad would have supreme control over the radio … oh, what bliss when the walkman came out, but to this day if I hear The Statler Brothers or The Oak Ridge Boys I have an uncontrollable need to hop in the car and drive somewhere cool. 

I love being on the road. I love driving. I love the journey. I love the mess, the plans gone wrong, the unexpected surprises (for better or worse). I love that a bunch of people are being stuck together and have to make the best of it. 

I love this weekend and it hasn’t even happened yet. 

And so do Susan and the kids. They are SO excited. For what? To drive hours and hours and hours and see …

An Electric Chair
The Shoe of the World’s Tallest Man
A little homage to Breaking Bad (this one’s for me)
The Very Large Array
The Taeko Giants/ Sparky’s BBQ
The White Sands Missile Range
The World’s Largest Pistachio
Carlsbad Caverns
Tucumcari and all it’s neon spender on Route 66

And whatever the heck else we find along the way.

There will be rest stops. There will be countless miles of nothingness. There will be cheesy photo ops. There will be diner food. There will be books on tape, music (including show tunes, ABBA, and Neil Diamond outside of the really good stuff), and podcasts. There will be roadside geology. There will be board games. The will be insufferably bad jokes and puns. There will be fights. There will be bad smells. There will be mistakes. 

“But why think about that when all the golden lands ahead of you and all kinds of unforseen events wait lurking to surprise you and make you glad you're alive to see?” Jack Kerouak 'On the Road'

So it is my intention to journal this trip and update the blog every evening of the trip. Look out!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Canyonlands Half Marathon #3

Canyonlands #3 in the bank. Another unforgettable weekend with wonderful people. Another great run through one of the most stunning canyons in The United States. Making this a habit? You bet I am. 

Building up to the race my life went on hold for a few weeks. My routine mammogram turned south on me in a big way. There was a concerning area (which I now call the “Mystery Spot”) that warranted further testing. And so I tested, and tested, and tested. More mammograms, ultrasounds, mammograms, back to ultrasound. It was nerve wracking - the damn Mystery Spot didn’t fit the mold of what I would expect to see - I deal with this at work every day. It was irregular (albeit, tiny) with some possible blood flow which is not good.

Finally, I had a biopsy. The next day I was at lunch with my very dear friend Ansley and I got the call. Everything was benign. Goodbye to the thousand pound weight on my shoulders and I was finally able to take a deep breath. 

And this is just the way life goes. Yes, we can do all we can to do the right thing. But that doesn’t mean things can’t turn a 180 on you. So keep working hard and take good care - but give plenty of slack and enjoy yourself. Don’t wait for a bad tomorrow, but don’t despair if it comes. Push through.

So two weeks and no running. A week after the biopsy I tried to run about 2 miles - spent the bulk of it holding on to my boob. Yeouch!!! Pretty funny, I’m very glad I was running at home. 

So, I had to let go of running for time in Canyonlands. The goal was just to get out there and finish my race. 

I drove out with wonderful, badass Cynthia. She is truly my ideal travel partner. Laid back, interesting, funny, easy to talk to, brilliant taste in podcasts, appreciative of excellent food. We had a great drive out.

Our hotel … was really something. Pretty grotty with magnificent shades of brown and yellow - though the room was perfectly fine and clean. Better yet, it was 2 blocks from our start and finish. Nothing wrong with that. 

Come play with us, Danny!!!

Race day had lots of potential. Chilly 30-40’s which is my perfect race weather. There was some musings of wind in the canyon. What’s new? We hopped on the shuttle for the long wait at the start. Shortly after arriving I found a bunch of my buddies from my running group. There were about 10 of us running and we shivered, chatted, and hit the restroom about 900 times. 

Me and my Columbines.

Go time and I was feeling fine. I got stuck in a herd of about a dozen noobs who were whining about how race starts are managed. Meh - you’ll learn kids, you’ll learn. It was about a quarter of a mile before I was able to weave away from all of them and then I was happy. Cool but warming up, gorgeous morning, no wind so far.

By mile two I was having a hard time finding my pace. I was fine with that, sometimes it takes me up to four miles to find my grove. I felt choppy and inconsistent but my time was fine so I kept at it. 

Mile four and I still couldn’t get into it. No real reason. Legs, lungs, and gut were fine. But my brain was all over the place. Squirrel!!!

By mile 5 I saw Cynthia ahead of me. Since I couldn’t find my flow I just turned up my music and focused on her. She was an excellent pacer bunny and kept me on track. By mile 8 I pulled up beside her and she gave me grief for not telling her I was on her butt sooner. By now the wind had found us and I had to hang onto my visor several times. There were white caps on The Colorado River. No negative splits today. Blech.

Well, if you're going to have a mentally tough run, do so in one of the most beautiful places on earth!

There’s a short and slightly steep incline around mile 9. We got hit by a hard gust and I walked to conserve energy. I was managing to walk faster than most of the people running up the hill. Definitely the right choice. 

Me and Cynthia. Even the tough runs are great runs. 

By mile 10 Cynthia pulled ahead and I was getting a little tired. So I ran slower to rest this mile. 

Happily, my least favorite part of the race that takes us out of the canyon and along a busy road gave us a tailwind. That definitely gave me a boost and I made my way into town running the whole way. 


Finish time 2:04:38. Better than I was expecting, all things considered. Cynthia was 30 seconds ahead of me. 

I touched base with the rest of my runner girls, looks like everyone did very well and had good runs. We headed back to the hotel to clean up and crash.

Cynthia, being the ever diehard, went to bike Slick Rock. I read a book. My plan was much better.

We were pretty beat by evening so we walked down Main Street for salty, fatty Mexican food and margaritas. Then we wove our way back to the hotel and both crashed by 9. Wild pair, aren’t we?

Give credit for depth here, the margs really weren't that big. 

And home again the next morning. 

So, now I have no clue about The Colorado Marathon in May. I need to run 16 this weekend - I suppose I’ll gage if it’s a go or not based on that. 

Oh, what the hell. It’s a go.

I may be a lot of things, but I am not a wimp. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Lost Dutchman Half Marathon

The past two weeks I’ve decided to set some silly mini vacation record. Worked out very well but, uff dah, I’m beat.

Eric was out of the country so I surprised the kids with a trip to Disneyland. They were utterly clueless until we were actually at the terminal gate. My smug meter went to eleven. We had a great time in a crowdless park kicking around with a bunch of my family. A wonderful three days.

Mad props for Evan's grumpy cat frown

Last weekend I went down to Phoenix with a bunch of my runner girls to run The Lost Dutchman Half Marathon. Three of us were running the half and five the whole. The weather was set for record breaking highs (mid to high 80’s) which was a little scary. 

Me and Brie and a little preflight drink … bottle.

Melissa had the excellent idea of renting a house in Gold Canyon which worked out beautifully. Plenty of room to kick around, nice big kitchen, and a pool with hot tub. 

But far be it for things to be perfect. Everyone’s Friday night flights were late. When we got to the car rental kiosk at 1:30 am there was at least an hour wait. The pool heater died on Saturday afternoon leaving us the delightful interaction with creepy Earl the two tongued pool repair man. Don’t ask, just don’t ask. I refused to come downstairs while he was working outside. 

But most of Saturday was ideal. Lots of time to do nothing but laze around and generate Vitamin D. And eat and nap, and eat and nap. Lovely. 

Dinner … so much better at home then going out pre race.

I ran out Saturday night to pick up my friend Cynthia, the world’s best travel buddy/roomie. We got home and went right to sleep ... busy day in the morning. 

The 26.2‘ers were gone by 04:45. I slept hard and didn’t even hear them leave. We were up by 5:15. It was an easy ride to the start. Marathon was a shuttled point to point starting at 7:00. Our half was an out and back starting at 7:15.

Milling around the start line I spied - wouldn’t you know - A DONKEY!! This is a bit of a Dutchman tradition. Her name was Daisy and she was a real sweetie, although she was insistent on trying to eat my shirt. I took this as an excellent omen and we made our way into the cue. 

Me and Daisy.

I decided to run in a skirt this race. A good friend and coworker was diagnosed with breast cancer and had her mastectomy this week. I had talked my group into running in pink and my pink skirt was just right. 

And away we go, again!! I was in real need of a good race. It’s been a long time since I was in reasonable shape. However, I was very sleep deprived and certain I was coming down with a cold. So I decided just to run comfortable. Plan 2:10, goal 2:05. 

The first few miles were very pleasant. We were basically running the out and back of the last 6.5 miles of the marathon course. I was very happy to see all the water support and cold towel stands they were setting up for the big kids. The volunteers were great. We were anticipating uphill on the way out, downhill on the way back. But we were definitely rolling along. Mile four and I found my groove. My music was utterly perfect, I found a wonderful stride, and I managed to completely turn my brain off for the first time in weeks. It was cathartic. It’s been ages since I’ve been able to completely let it all go on the road. 

Mile six with the turn around in view. This was a nice steady uphill and I reconnected with my love for chopping up hills. I felt great. My friend Jessica buzzed by me on her way back, she looked amazing. 

And around I go. Nice mile downhill and I saw Cynthia along the way. It was getting warmer but I was staying on top of water and fuel. I decided to just keep letting it flow. No negative splits in the plan, just keep running as long as it felt good and slow down when it doesn’t. 

Mile 8, getting pretty sweaty, and a stinging realization hit me. Who was running in a skirt with bum huggers and forgot her Body Glide? That’s right, this girl was. CRAP and OUCH. Oh well, no choice but to keep pushing on. 

Mile 10 and I got a pretty strong hitch in my right side. I couldn’t run it out so I slowed down significantly to work it out. Happily I did, but it took a good 5 minutes. I lost a minute or two but I was still running strong and otherwise feeling really good. 

Mile 11, I was listening to Frank Turner’s ‘Four Simple Words’ and turning up the speed. Easily my favorite running song these days. "Forget about the bitching and remember that you're blessed!" 

Right when the song ended my music completely cut off. I was so sad to lose my tunes towards the home stretch. But as I rolled into 12 I hit finisher’s euphoria. No music needed. I found that perfect place between pain and bliss and I finished strong. I felt FAB-U-LOUS!!! Mile twelve 8:45, pulled off my .1 sub 7. Finish time 2:02:51. Tell me that’s not great???

I grabbed some water and found some sad scrap of shade by Daisy and waited for Jess and Cynthia. Everyone had excellent runs and were very happy. We rested and got some food and waited for out marathoners. The rest of the crew did very well but it was well into the 80s towards their finish and everyone was hurting bad. 

I did manage to finally murder my iPhone. Upon returning to the house I had to drag my stinky, unshowered, chafed butt to get a new one - which was the most absurd 2 hour ordeal - eavesdropping on all the people being helped ahead of me and their pinhead questions made me almost lose it. For my part, it took all of 5 minutes to take care of my phone. AAARGH!!! Despite that I managed to zip back to the house and clean up in record time to catch my flight home - extra thanks to Cynthia for packing for me. 

And home again and back to the usual routine. 

And not. Now I have a cold and fate decided to plunk a huge monkey on my back. Nothing I can do about it but carry it and wait until I can shove it off on Friday - which can’t come fast enough. But what can you do??

Run on, of course!

Monday, February 3, 2014

So What's Wrong With Forty??

Saturday was my birthday. Forty. People freak out about forty. I suppose it was my job, too, to freak out. 

I failed. 

Forty is just fine. No, I’m not getting any younger. But who is? I’ve accomplished far more with my life so far than I could have ever expected 20 years ago. And I have so many plans for the future that I know that I can attain. No impossible dreams out there for me, I guess I’m too pragmatic to do that. I take my stairs one step at a time. I always have - just depends on my mood if I choose to walk or run.

It’s been an odd week. There a lot of potential things floating around in the ether. Some very big and cool things on the horizon if all falls into place. We shall see. And some head scratchers that just leave me smiling. Change is good, at the very least entertaining. 

So about all that running. I’m 5 weeks into marathon training and doing very, very well. What I have realized is that I need a plan. I train much better to plan. I need to know what to expect out of my week and how to time every work out. Then I never miss a beat. And so far I haven’t. My shorts are getting faster and my longs are getting longer. I’m almost back to my race weight which is lovely. 

But with the weather and 900 other things I’m trying to juggle right now I’m not getting outside as much as I’d like. Been spending a lot of time at the rec center and in my basement. But that’s OK. When I do get out it feels delicious. 

So ask me about my Sunday. Just not about football. 

I went for my first official donkey run yesterday!!! Happy birthday to me, indeed!!!!

I'll admit I did get pretty the night before and go out. My life is not all sweat and asses. 

Let me catch up on all things equine. 

I’ve continued to volunteer at the shelter. It’s this bizarre happy place for me in the middle of nowhere. As I’ve mentioned prior, Evan started volunteering and really took a shine to it. Last month I brought Elizabeth on board and, wouldn’t you know, she loves it too. So Saturday morning that what we do. Up early and we go out for hot drinks and breakfast for the road. Then a long, busy morning of work with silly, shaggy beasties. 

And they work so darn hard. The other volunteers dote on the kids and they do the work of any adult there. They see the results of their efforts. They feel like they are a vital part of something bigger and they are so proud of what they do. When the day is done the whole crew goes out to lunch together and I love to watch them eat. Seriously. They are famished. Food never tastes so good as after physical labor. It makes me very happy.

Through the shelter I found my racing ranch. Ross and Kay at Two Sweets Ranch have three horses, 6 donkeys, board 4 other equine, and adore each and every one of them. They volunteer their time at Longhopes and half their herd are rescue donkeys. This was just what I was looking for. 

So I opted to start working with a little dun jack named Guinness, otherwise known as BooBoo. I understand that he has a very pretty 10 minute mile pace be it uphill or down hill which is just where I want to be for trail running. 

Of course I was nervous. This was my first run. But I really took to Ross and loved his herd so I knew that I was going to be OK. The other runners were very experienced burro racers and I am pleased to say, I physically kept up just fine. And I learned a LOT about being the burro boss, finding that fine line between pushing too hard and being too nice. 

But it was a snowy run and the bulk of the trail we had to break. That was some serious WORK for me and my shorty legs!! I’m walking funny today and it was only 5 miles. 

So how does one run a donkey?

Like driving a cart. The donkey wears a soft harness (NO bits) which is attached to a 15 foot lead (rope). All harnesses have panic clips so if your little buddy gets caught it automatically releases and keeps him safe. The runner stay behind the donkey and our kids are trained to start with a Hi-yip (I like saying Hi-yip) and a little flop of the lead. And away we go. Just like that. 

It’s some serious interval training. They usually start at a fast trot but you can settle them in with a little traction. After a spell they find their pace and you find yours. It’s very meditative. 

But in the snow there was a lot of starting and stopping. Boo liked to run in untrampled snow and I far preferred to find a trail. But we met in the middle and did just fine. When Boo was unhappy with the trail he would start to hum. I’m not joking, my donkey hums. So I would let him walk a spell until he was comfortable (push a donkey too hard and he’ll shut down on you). If the rest of the runners pulled too far ahead he would start humming again so I would push him to catch up and he would be happy again. Funny little man. 

It was a great experience on a brisk beautiful morning. I can’t wait for the next time. Life, my dears, is just plain good. 

So here’s to forty. 

And here’s to me,

And you,

And a donkey named Boo.

Hey, Boo.

Monday, December 2, 2013

New York, New York!!!!

I am not a morning person. Never have been, never will be. Add a Monday morning after a lovely long weekend and you would have seen me in a zombified state shuffling around the house not making eye contact with Eric or the kids. Add the few extra pounds I’ve put on from Thanksgiving and my lack of running discipline for my Dutchman training and I was feeling seriously down in the dumps. 

There was a reminder alarm on my phone to register for The New York Marathon. Oh, RIGHT!! After my shower I plopped down and logged in. And just like that, I wasn’t only in the queue ... I was ACCEPTED into NYC! 11/2/14!!

And, for the first time ever, the world was introduced to Kathy the Morning Person!!! Woo hoo!!! Alas, only Elizabeth and Ruby Dog were present to witness such a monumental event. Ah well, it was nice while it lasted. 

So, first of all, all of you who are in the lottery - do NOT worry. That is still months away. I’ve been rejected three years in a row and this year was my guaranteed entry. However, this is the LAST year that they will accommodating this kind of entry. I barely squeaked in. Clearly, this was meant to be!!! Extra exciting that Marcia has also been accepted!!

I’ve needed something like this so very, VERY much. 2013 has not been one of my better years. I’ve had so many wonderful people pass away that I actually have to sit down and recount ... I’m honestly starting to forget, even getting used to it. That is so wrong. 

My grandmother, Ruth - “The Mama”, passed on 10 days ago. She was my only grandparent that I really ever knew. Mom’s parents passed away long before I came along and my grandfather was not exactly the fatherly type. 

The lovely Ruth McGavock

She was a wonderful grandmother. I spent many summers with her in Southern California as a kid - some of the best summers of my life. She helped build the foundation of my love for family, food, old movies, and theater. 

Just as I did, my kids loved their Mama

It’s been a long goodbye. Dementia has been cruel and it’s been a sad couple of years. While we all know that she had no quality of life and it was certainly time to go ... it stings. She was a real presence and her absence is eerily quiet. But, to make it to 93. Tell me that’s not huge. Hmm ... 93 = 15K. I feel a virtual race in the works.  

So I’m heading back to Cali this weekend for the funeral. And planning on running along the beach every chance I get to clear my mind. 

So, back to the present. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. And onward to Christmas. I suppose I wasn’t meant to run The California International Marathon as it turned out to be the exact same time as Mama’s funeral. But love and WOOT to Jill and Katie who will be running it!

I’m still thoroughly enjoying my donkeys. I’ve started running!!! Evan is now volunteering at the rescue with me and is head over heels for them, too. He’s got a very special bond with an abused little guy named Boyd. Boyd has no tail due damage from being roped. He’s extremely shy but he and Evan are buddies. Does my heart good ... though I do wish we had some property to take him home with us. That will never happen, but at least we get to see him every week. And I named one of our new females Ruth ... because I can.

My first run with Bliss - going strong

Until a dog started barking at her and she decided it was best to proceed with caution. 

Evan obstacle training with Boyd
It's all about the buddy system

Onwards to a much better 2014. Better health for everyone and better running for me. So far here’s the plan ...

  • Lost Dutchman Marathon 2/16/14

Had no clue this was the logo until after I registered …. Arizona and a donkey?? Kismet!
  • Canyonlands Half Marathon 3/15/2014
  • Lots and lots of trail running and pack burro racing all summer - I’ve got 5 races in sight if I can pull them off! Georgetown, Idaho Springs, Leadville, Buena Vista, and (the grand daddy) Fairplay. 
  • New York Marathon 11/2/14

I’m already thinking about a NYC playlist ... but this is the song has been running through my mind ever since I got my acceptance notification … after all, even the losers get lucky sometime!