Wasted Space

I wish I were stronger.  I wish my head was screwed on straighter and tighter. But the truth is is that I’m weak and I wish that I could just rip my head off my neck.

I’m so NOT myself. I haven’t felt like this in a long time. Right this second … right this very second, I can tell you that I. Don’t. Care. That I actually don’t give a flying fuck and I am just done.

There.  It’s out. I don’t care and I just want to crawl in a fucking hole and stay there.

This isn’t anything new. I have a history of suicidal ideation. My very first suicidal attempt was when I was 8 years old. I’ve wanted to die since before that.

I’m not a fan of living. I try hard to fake it, but honestly, I could really care less if I’m alive or dead. Ironic for a nurse, isn’t it? I earn my living caring for and saving others, when I can barely keep my own self alive.

Yes … I know. I know. How dare I? How dare I write these words when there are others who are dying and truly want to live? How dare I!

I NEVER asked to be born. I’ve known this since I was a small child. Here’s more irony … I was always told that I was not meant to be and if it were not a crime, then I would’ve been killed. True story.

I don’t feel my worth. I know that I have a good life. I know that I am blessed. I know all this. I’m not stupid, I just don’t want to be here. I don’t feel like I’m supposed to be here.

I am just an individual taking up space. I am wasting space. I’m just here, on Earth, waiting to leave it. I have no direction, nor do I feel as if I have a purpose.  I have NO clue what my lot in life is. I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m just here; floundering like a fish out of water; wasting time and space. I wish I didn’t feel like that, but I do.

Money doesn’t buy happiness. I know this because I’ve tried. I’ve spent a lot of money buying shit that I don’t really need or want over the years. I keep thinking that I can just keep buying stuff to fill whatever void it is I’m trying to fill. In the last week it was 6 pairs of shorts, a new ring to replace the one I lost, new purse, a new wallet when the one I have is perfectly fine, tank tops, iPad, books … I have money and things and I’m not happy. 

On the outside, I look like a perfectly “normal” human being, but what’s “normal?” Most days I wake up and just go thru the motions … faking it, pretending to be this living, breathing, happy human being, when deep down inside, I’m not. I’m a miserable, depressed, and unhappy person.  I don’t get it.

I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m severely depressed – I have been since I was a little kid. But yet, here I am … still alive, but not alive. I am walking dead. I am just a shell.

People would be quick to point out that I have this “ideal” life … Great husband, great kids … what about them, right? Yes, they’re right to point that out. I love my husband and my kids, but is that enough? It’s enough for me to NOT do anything stupid, how’s that?

I’ve cared for a lot of people who have attempted suicides in my line of work. I’ve also cared for a lot of people who have attempted and FAILED at their suicides. If I really, really wanted to … I would know exactly how to do it and succeed. But it’s just not worth it to cause my family undue pain like that. So it’s up to me to figure it out and just keep on trying to find my place in this madness, and to stifle the voices in my head.

I’ve made it this far … How far can I go? It’s so painful. It is so painful. I believe that this is why I can handle and why I crave physical pain because the pain of living is far worse than any physical pain. I need this pain to sustain me. It’s what keeps me going. It’s the only thing that has kept me going all these years, and I’ve been without it these last two months … I have had no outlet, and I have had no pain. I’m just done and I don’t know if it will ever make any sense. I’m having surgery on Wednesday and I’m seriously contemplating asking my surgeon to do my surgery WITHOUT anesthesia. Yeah … I know.

I just don’t know how much longer I can do this. I feel as if I’m suffocating. I feel like I’m drowning. I just can’t … It’s been so long. It’s been so long and I’m tired. I. am. tired. And I just want to let go … and fall …

Listen, I know that this all sounds dramatic. I know that it’s my ego, my frustration, my sadness, my anger all talking at once.  I’ve been out of commission for TWO months now and I don’t have an outlet. I don’t know what to do with myself.  I keep trying and trying to hang on and be positive. Here’s the thing, I know that I sound irrational. I’m reading this and thinking that I sound ridiculous, but my head is another story. I feel as if I’m not really going to 100% get my thoughts back together and recover psychologically.  It sucks – SUCKS – being injured, being sidelined. It’s so devastating to me because I don’t know what to do, I don’t know how to be still. Even though I know that others have had the same injury as I have and have recovered, I still feel alone. I still feel as if I’m not going to recover completely.  I also feel as if although I may recover and go on to workout again that somehow I may reinjure myself.  I feel as if I’m falling behind those who are still working out.  I feel as if I’m not going to catch up to them, that I’ll be lifting less and not running as fast. I’m anxious that I’ve been still for so long.  I feel as if so much of my identity surrounds working out, running, and crossfit that I’m not sure I know who I am.  I feel as if I’m truly suffocating. And I’m depressed … severely depressed. So that’s where I’m at … I know it’s dramatic and I really don’t care because I can’t lie. I can only express the feelings that I have and that I know. That’s where I am … and I’m about ready to let go … But I know … I know that life will go on and that I’ll recover and this will only be a sliver of a thought in my memory … I know that one day it will all make sense …

Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim.

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Stronger Than You Believe

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford said that and it came to mind today because something happened that stirred up a lot of emotions within me.

I work in a volatile environment. The Emergency Room is an environment where a lot of emotions can get heated, and the atmosphere can change in the blink of an eye. Hospitals were once considered a place of safe haven, but in reality, they not really a “happy” place to be for most people. People usually only end up there because they’re sick or because they were injured … sometimes severely. So you never really know what can happen.

The workbooks from my classes.
The workbooks from my classes.

It is because of this that I, as well as other Health Care workers who work in volatile environments, are required by JCAHO (Joint Comission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization) to be able to prevent violence in the health care setting. So … the solution is to mandate their employees to attend training to be able to diffuse violent situations, or to protect themselves should we/they become a victim.

I was in a class today, my second one in two weeks, but for a different place of employment (I work in two different hospitals). It’s funny how in my first class, when the instructor asked, “What would you do, if you were in a situation with a violent individual?” and the majority of the individuals, those that knew me, all jokingly (??) responded, “I’d go get Row.!” Really? And then again today, I was in a class where I knew only a few people, yet someone who only knows of me remarked something similar, that they had been forewarned about my “skills.”  Wow.

It was during my class today that I had an epiphany of sorts … something happened that reinforced my belief in myself. I was in a class with a nurse who was afraid.  She was afraid of what would happen if a situation (violent, irate patient) were to really spiral out of control; afraid to let herself get into a situation where she would have to protect herself or her staff.  I felt her apprehension. I felt her fear emanating from her. Our classroom setting was FAR from real, but her fear was palpable and I didn’t like it. So, while in the middle of her voicing her over-reactions, I told her not to worry, to just run, to get herself out of that situation. I’m not sure that she liked my comment, I could see it in face, but I went on, telling her that she was making the situation worse by being so fearful and letting on that she was scared. I told her that it was okay if she was afraid, that it was okay to call for help, but she had to leave the situation.  My comment was not intended to come out mean, or condescending, but I wanted her to know that she had to leave the situation because if I could feel the fear from her in a non-threatening classroom situation, imagine how heightened her fear would be in a real life situation.

The thing is, is that although I’m small, I refuse – REFUSE – to be a victim.  I’m small, however, I am so much stronger than I let on. I am not a fan of women who play small and meek. Stand up. If I’m ever in a situation where someone is trying to take me down and wants to hurt or kill me or someone that I love, you better believe that I’m going to fight. I’m going to do whatever it takes – WHATEVER THE F#@K IT TAKES – to get up.

So … I train. I train because I am afraid. I train because I don’t want to be afraid. I train to get rid of stress, anger, anxiety, to look good, to escape, to live longer, to be stronger … I train because I don’t want to look like a victim. I don’t want to be that small, meek woman who’s a easy target.  I want someone to look at me and think, “Let’s go mess with someone else.”

During my training, it was amazing and empowering for me to hear things like, “You’re strong.” “Don’t mess with Row.” “Watch how she changes when she gets into fight stance.” or “I was warned about you. Mike Miller (one of my training partners and instructors) told me about you.”

During my training, I was used as an “example” during the hands-on portion of the class. My reaction times are quick and I’m not afraid to be placed in situations. It’s during this time, when I enter into “fight stance” that my demeanor changes and I become someone or something else. The more you practice and train, the more comfortable you become. With that being said, if you are not comfortable, it’s okay to be afraid and to get yourself out of that situation. It’s okay to call for help. I would do the same if I knew that I could not control the situation. I’d still call out for help just because I know that there is power and safety in numbers when in a dangerous situation. The goal, my goal, is NOT to look like a badass. My goal is to get out alive, safely. My goal is to go home to my family in ONE piece.

I don’t believe that it serves any woman, or anyone for that matter, to play small. I know so many women who don’t own their power. OWN IT. You are so much STRONGER than you believe yourself to be. Never believe that you can’t or that you’re not able to do something … When that thought first creeps into your mind, you’re DONE and you don’t ever want to be DONE in that situation.

**Note: The classes that I took for my jobs were both for NON-VIOLENT techniques to diffuse a situation. I would NEVER jeopardize myself, my license, or any patient in the workplace setting. I would protect myself, yes, but seriously, my jobs don’t care about my self-defense or fighting skills. They want more to make sure that everyone is safe, and I understand that. The goal is to go home in one piece, remember? 

Knee Brace Chronicles

I Miss My Teacher.
I Miss My Teacher.

They say that what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.  I sometimes wish that it would just kill me … strike me down … kill me dead … I know, I’m sorry. Reverse. Rewind …  I know that my life IS good.  I lead a really good life.  I am blessed beyond belief with a great husband, four kiddos that are healthy and wonderful, I have a great career, and I am healthy sans my left knee. I have no right to complain when I know that so many would want to walk in my shoes, and live the life that I live. What’s talking right now is my complete exhaustion, frustration, and emotions. What’s talking LOUDEST is my ego. I just seriously miss my workouts because it is something that I constantly crave.  Trust me, I count my blessings everyday and thank God for EVERY little thing.

It is something that I constantly crave and I seriously am in withdrawals!
It is something that I constantly crave and I seriously am in withdrawals!

It’s been over a month, almost a month and a half since I injured myself and I still ask, “WHY?” Why? Why me? What did I do to deserve this? What lesson is it that I am supposed to learn in all of this?  Why? I don’t understand. Maybe I’m not supposed to understand. Maybe I’m supposed to feel more empathy towards those who are seriously injured. Maybe I’ve been too callous in my thoughts of others, or maybe I got greedy in my desperation to keep up with the younger girls, and in my desperation to improve because my mind is constantly comparing myself to others and needs to STOP. Maybe I’m supposed to really rest.  Maybe … I hate to admit this, but maybe I’m really just afraid.  I don’t know. All I know is that I am NOT myself. I don’t even recognize myself. I barely even want to crawl out of bed to do anything because I’ve been so depressed.  I don’t openly admit that to anyone, but yea, there it is … I’m severely depressed.  All I really want to do is lay there and do absolutely nothing. I’m really good at hiding my feelings. For one, I don’t openly share much about me. I don’t really believe that people are genuinely that interested in me either. I just do my thing, mind my own business, stay in my own bubble. But yet … WHY?

No other way around it ... When in doubt dig deep and barrel through it!
No other way around it … When in doubt dig deep and barrel through it!

I watch others who have the capability to workout and have the potential to do great things, but yet they just sit there – happier to enjoy the comforts of food and the softness of their bodies. I take care of those whose bodies have given up from years and years of it’s owner’s abuse, misuse, and disuse.  I take care of those who have basically let their bodies rust out – too many years of eating the wrong foods, watching a little too much television, providing it with little or no sun, hydrating it with the wrong kind of fluids, and definitely not providing it enough activity.  It saddens me that people don’t care enough about themselves to take care of themselves, however, when they’re really sick *then* it’s an emergency and want to be saved. Seriously? NOW it’s an emergency? It should have never gotten to the point where your heart is now failing, your lungs can’t provide you with enough oxygen, where your trunk can’t hold you up and your frame is falling apart. I have never in my entire life wanted to be one of *those* individuals. I’ve always been active, athletic, and strong. True, I could eat better, but for the most part my diet’s not the worst.  Fitness has always been my passion from a very young age.

So I ask myself again, “Why? Why me?” What did I do to deserve this? I’m sure that I can ask until I’m blue in the face and still never be able to completely figure it out, or ever get a straight answer. I did everything right except for ONE wrong foot plant … ONE. I’m so angry. I’m so, so angry. It’s my own fault. I can’t blame anyone else except for me. I’m sure there’s a lesson here, but WHAT? What is this lesson? Patience? Tolerance? Empathy? I know that there’s a reason, but I’m so caught up in my own little pity party that I can’t see straight at this moment because my ego keeps talking and won’t STFU!  And the more I think about things, I think that, yes, I know that surgery WILL fix my knee, but what about my mind? There is NO surgery to fix one’s thoughts …

SNAP OUT OF IT, ROW.! My ego needs to just Shut The F#@K Up already! (insert *hard bitchslap*)

Here’s a different perspective … I AM thankful.  I am thankful for my Physical Therapist, Todd, who got the ball rolling for me – he was wise enough to know that I needed serious help and that I needed it STAT! It’s because of Todd that I was able to get into see my Primary Doctor, get an order for a STAT knee xray, and get a STAT orthopedics referral.  Without Todd, I would have waited … I would’ve waited and just asked one of my ER Docs to take a look at my knee one night at work.

I am thankful for my health insurance.  I am a very blessed individual to have free coverage for myself and my family.  Not only that, my family and I are also covered by my husband’s health insurance.  Double coverage … BONUS!  I am thankful that my co-pays are $5.00. I have witnessed a lot of individuals whose co-pays are $50, $70, $100, and even $200 or more.  I feel bad for people who come to the ER for very “minor” complaints and end up having to pay these outrageous co-pays. Um … that’s what a clinic is for, what going to your Primary Doctor is for. I’m really sorry that your co-pay is $200 and you got a 15 minute visit with my ER Doc for your complaint of ear pain. I can not complain about my health insurance coverage.

I am thankful that I am still able to walk and even work. I know that some individuals have injures that are far more severe than mine. I also know that there are some whose injures are not as severe as mine but have taken them out completely.  I sometimes wonder about that – if they fake more pain than they actually have so that they can have more time off work? Here’s my thinking about that … eventually all that faking will catch up to you and the pain will become real, and the injury will become as severe and as painful as you make it out to be.  It’s why I can’t ever lie about being sick or about being injured.  For one, I would not know how to fake being in “that” much pain. I’m one of those people who believe that if you lie when you call in sick, that you WILL end up sick. It’s just not worth it. I can work, I can walk, there’s no need to lie and pretend.

I am thankful that I have no pain. I am slightly weirded out when my knee catches and buckles – that is NOT a very nice feeling.

Blue.
Blue.

I am thankful for my hinged knee brace, Blue. Yes, I named my knee brace, what of it?  Without Blue, my knee would constantly buckle and I really would not be able to walk.  I wear that thing at least 22 hours a day.

I am thankful for the “forced rest” because I really needed to just stop and rest my shoulder. People forget that I have a shoulder injury also. It’s why I haven’t been able to do upper body exercises as people have suggested. Yep.

I am thankful for my friends who have had knee injuries an knee surgeries who have taken the time to talk to me about their experiences.  They have listened to me, let me cry on their shoulders, let me ask numerous questions, and never let me feel as if I were alone in this whole ordeal.

I am thankful for my Orthopedic Doc/Surgeon, Dr. Wilkins.  He made me feel at ease, and assured me that he would take care of me and that I would be okay.

So … see … in the darkness of all this craziness, I have discovered some good things. But I  just let my feelings, fears, and my ego get in the way.

Henry Rollins said, “There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength.” I have to remind myself that I am so much stronger than what I believe myself to be.  I am afraid, but I am going to do WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET THE F#@K UP! This will NOT kill me.  This will NOT keep me down. I am going to unf#@k my mind and  I am going to slay this dragon because I know and believe that I can! I am stronger than this challenge, and this challenge is making me even STRONGER! Believe that!

My surgery is coming up … One week. One week! Let’s do this. Let’s get it done so I can move forward and get back out there! I’m ready! I am sooooo ready!

“If you are paralyzed with fear, it’s a good sign. It shows you what you have to do.”  ~Steve Pressfield

Catharsis – The Implosion

One day post injury. Swollen much?
One day post injury. Swollen much?

And so the saga of my knee continues into April … We pick up where we left off in March. March ended on such a bad note that I’m looking for a glimmer of hope in April.

Protesting by not sitting in the exam chair. 5 days post injury.
Protesting by not sitting in the exam chair. 5 days post injury.

On Tuesday, April 2nd,  I finally get in to see the Ortho doc and he has the same look on his face as he inspects my knee. Then he’s talking about surgery! What the hell? April’s not looking too great … I say, “Look, you don’t even know what’s wrong with it, you can’t talk to me about surgery yet.” He gives me a sympathetic look as if to say, “I do know.” He talks about sending me for an MRI and how he’ll call me with the results as soon as they results come in. So … a week to get into see the Ortho doc, now another week until the MRI. Wow! Time. Time. Thank God it wasn’t anything “serious,” right? It’s just MY knee.  MY KNEE and that’s serious to ME!!! Fuckdamnit!

In the meantime, I sell my bib for the Elk Grove, Running Of the Elk Half Marathon.  I was looking forward to running that race, and seeing my beautiful friend, Shiloh. It was a such a nice run last year. (Sigh.)

I get the MRI done the following Wednesday. It wasn’t an unpleasant experience, but then again, I had worked the night before so I really slept thru the entire procedure. The Ortho doc calls me the following day but I wasn’t able to answer my phone so he left me a message telling me that the MRI showed a meniscus tear AND and ACL tear! Wow! I wasn’t expecting that at all. Not at all.

This wasn’t supposed to happen to ME. I’m healthy and I’m strong. This Wasn’t Supposed To Happen To ME!  Here’s the thing, working out, running, exercising … I’ts such a HUGE part of me and who I am that it’s like breathing … It’s automatic and I just do it. And to have had it taken away just like that … well, it’s like suffocating. It’s as if I can not breathe! It’s as if I am dying. All the while, I’m seething. I’m mad at myself for whatever it is that I did to cause this. I’m mad at God for allowing this to happen to ME. I’m mad because I have to have surgery to repair this. I’m mad because there is no other way to fix it. If I leave it alone, it may take years for it to heal or not ever heal correctly. If I get it fixed, it may not be the same either. I’m worried. I’m upset. I’m sad. I’m all discombobulated. While I wait, I’m not allowed to do anything, more specifically, I can’t do anything because the range of motion in my left knee is so limited and because it’s so unstable. Trust me, I tried.  I tried and all it did was get out of joint and cause my lower leg to collapse underneath me. I do have exercises that my Physical Therapist has me doing to keep the muscles in my quad and around my knee strong, but it’s really not the same. I haven’t had a good sweat in three weeks.

Other things are happening all around me also – the biggest things being that my mother-in-law is very ill, and my daughter still has further testing to endure to determine the cause of her seizures. So in actuality, my knee is the very least serious of all the problems happening in my world. So I cannot and will not cry or moan or complain, because I know that my knee injury could be so much worse. As it is now, aside from it’s instability, I have absolutely NO pain. I do have pain occasionally when it gets out of alignment, but I’m pretty good about keeping it in the brace and I’ve found a way to compress it so it’s actually stable for the majority of the time.

My Orthopedic Surgery consult happens in a couple days.  I’ve got a ton of questions running thru my head that I need to get down on paper.  My playing research detective on the web isn’t doing me any justice, neither is talking to others.  What I’ve learned is that the majority of people that I’ve spoken to that have had any kind of knee surgery have had positive experiences and good results and have healed well.  Everyone’s knees are different, everyone’s musculature is different, every injury is different.  No one is the same. So what’s happening here is that I’m psyching myself out and causing unnecessary anxiety. It’s causing me to over-think and plan for things that I really can’t plan because I don’t know what will happen.

I know that my injury is not life threatening, but it’s still an injury and it still matters to me. I know that I cannot burden others with my miscellaneous whinings about how upset I am when there are others out there suffering.  I met a fellow gym rat yesterday who herniated C4 and C5 and has to see a neurosurgeon. There are so many with problems much more serious, so my thinking is what right do I have to say anything? But it matters to ME. It doesn’t make it any less serious because of the fact that it’s not life threatening. Pretending is exhausting, but the truth is, I haven’t been sleeping.  I’m actually NOT sleeping. I’m not tired enough at the end of the day to go to sleep, and when I finally do fall asleep, it’s already time to get up. I’m tired of pretending that it’s all okay when in reality it’s NOT. The truth is, is that I’m just as scared as if it were life threatening because being active is all that I know. My lack of activity has affected me greatly. I no longer have an outlet to work out my daily frustrations and excess energy. I miss sweating and working out so hard that I get to the point where I want to puke. I feel defeated. I feel lost. I feel as if I seriously want to just lay down and die.  Overdramatic much? I know, but it’s how I feel so you don’t get to discount my feelings because I seem overdramatic to you. You do not live in my body. You do not know what or how I feel. You do not perceive things as I do. I work hard to only put up a positive front and not say a negative word about this whole thing.  I go to work, and I get by everyday without complaint. So if I want to be overdramatic on my blog if I choose to, then I will.  I am allowed to grieve. It is in the grieving that I can leg go and regroup.

I was hopeful that April would bring some showers to wash away the yuck that March brought. Rain is usually symbolic for the washing away of, or cleansing of our problems and troubles. There’s still time, April is not quite over yet. I’m still hopeful. My little blog was helpful in my catharsis and the letting go and letting me let go of the things that I cannot control

4 more days until my Ortho surgery consult. Four more days … Until then, I will remind myself of this …

What's done is done. Time to just Suck It Up and move forward.
What’s done is done. Time to just Suck It Up and move forward.

To be continued …

*** Update *** I had my Ortho Surgery consult last Friday and it wasn’t as bad as the MRI made it out to seem. I mean, it’s still bad ’cause I’m injured, but the Ortho Surgeon was able to ease my anxiety a little. Next up … Surgery. Gonna schedule it soon. Can you hear that?  It’s me breathing a sigh of relief and the weight being lifted off my shoulders. Once again … To Be Continued …

March Madness … Row. Row. Style

March. March. March. When did you sneak up on me?  Seems like just yesterday it was 2012 and I was wondering where the year had gone, looking forward to the new year, and penning out my 2013 intentions.  Now here we are with the first quarter of the year gone by and I’m still wondering where the hell is time going?

206When they say that March roars in like a lion they weren’t lying!  If we were hoping for a slight reprieve from our insane month of February, March wasn’t going to let up at all.  Two more birthdays – for my middle boys who are way into their teenage years now. As nice as it is to celebrate their special days, it’s somewhat bittersweet at the same time knowing that they’re both getting older, bigger, stronger, and that much closer to going away to college. I love my boys!

"Official!"
“Official!”

March 6th also denoted the beginning of the CrossFit Games Open! I signed myself up to participate because I knew that wherever I was to workout, we’d be doing all of the Open WODs (workout of the day) anyway, and because I really wanted to see how and where I ranked fitness-wise amongst other women my age who were also participating. I needed a challenge and thought that this would be perfect!

Here’s how the Open Workouts goes … For 5 weeks, every new workout is posted on Wednesday.  No one except for those at CrossFit Headquarters knows what the workouts consist of, so it’s a surprise to everyone as we all learn about it at the same exact time, no sooner.  The Open Workouts are open for everyone to participate in, but only those who register for a $20 fee can post their scores on the Leader Board and see how they rank in their age group Regionally and World Wide.

201
13.1 – Today I Will Kill It!

3/6 Open Workout 13.1 – Burpees and Statch Ladder. 40 burpees, 30 snatches at 45#; 30 burpees, 30 snatches at 75#; 20 burpees, 30 snatches at 100#; 10 burpees, 30 snatches at 120#. The weight for the snatches are the women’s weight, for the men, it was 75#, 135#, 165#, and 210#.  Your total score equals the number of reps that you complete in the alloted time of 17 minutes.  My score = 132 (40, 30, 30, 30, +2).

13.2 Oh My WOD!!!
13.2 Oh My WOD!!!

3/13 Open Workout 13.2 – An AMRAP (as many reps/rounds as possible) in the alloted time of 10 minutes: 55# Shoulder to Overhead x 5 reps, 55# Deadlift x 10 reps, then 15 box jumps onto a 20″ box.  I did this workout twice. The first time I totaled up a score of 208, the second time around I bettered my scored by 15 taking it up to 223.  This workout was taxing for me.

Photobombed before the start!
Photobombed before the start!

In the meantime … Sacramento’s annual ShamRock’n Half was scheduled on 3/17.  I headed up to Sac with my friend, Anitra, and we ran thru the streets of Sacramento.  The course was different this year again. It was better, nicer, as we ran on all the bridges! I enjoyed the run. I had a good time, just running. I caught up to my friend, Claudia at around mile 6 and we ran together to at or around mile 8.5 where I lost her. The run seemed effortless for me, but I wasn’t really pushing it at all,  just cruising, lolligagging. 10 minute potty break in the middle really cut into my time! I still desire to hit the sub-2 goal, but this wasn’t the race for it. As much as I love this run and the weather was perfect, there’s still time to catch that goal!

13.3 take one - Wallballin'
13.3 take one – Wallballin’
13.3 take 2 - with my friend, Sarah.
13.3 take 2 – with my friend, Sarah.

3/20 Open Workout 13.3 – in 12 minutes, complete as many rounds/reps as possible of: 150 WallBalls 14#, 90 Double Unders, and 30 muscle ups.  As much as I hated this workout, I did this one twice also – back to back.  The first time taxed me so much that I gassed out by 50 wallballs and wanted so much to die! But I gutted it out and got thru it with a score of 224. I knew I could do better so I went back the next day and bettered my score by 12 taking me up to 236. I wanted so much to finish up all my double unders! Gah!  Oh well.

3/27 Open Workout 13.4 … here’s where it gets ugly … Clean and Jerks and Toes To Bar Ladder. 3 clean and jerks x 95#, 3 Toes to Bar, then 6 C & Js, 6 T2Bs, then 9, 12, 15, 18 in 7 minutes, if you are able to hit all 18 in 7 minutes, you can go to 21. If you hit 21, you can go to 24, etc. Okay … I did this workout, but I “failed” at the same time. You see, I could do the clean and jerks at 95#. It’s a little heavy for me, but I tried and I did. I got my 3/3 reps in. I was working on the second round when … “POP!” I went down! It felt as if some thing hit me … HARD to the left side of my knee. I thought that my weight came off and hit me, but it was intact, so I gathered myself up and tried to get up, but my leg would not let me. My trainer, Jeff, came over to me and yelled at me to stay down. I wanted to cry because I didn’t know what was happening. All I knew was that I was seriously injured. I gathered my things, and thankfully had thrown the knee sleeves that my friend, Bill, had given to me in my workout bag. I’m not sure why I did, I just remember that I saw them on the table and I grabbed them. Thank God I did because otherwise I would not have been able to drive home. My leg was that unstable.

I got home that evening, walked to my bedroom, and cried. Yep, I cried. I never cry. I didn’t cry because I hurt, because I was in no pain. I cried because I knew that whatever had just happened was serious and I was down and out of everything for a long time. I knew.

In the morning, I had a Physical Therapy appointment with my PT for my shoulder that was still bugging me. While there, I asked him to just look at my knee and tell me what he thought. He looked and “tested” it out and by the look on his face, I knew I was really in deep doo doo! He didn’t have to say anything, but I could tell. He told me that he wanted me to get in to see Ortho immediately, get an x-ray, etc. I knew it wasn’t broken, and I knew that an x-ray wouldn’t show any soft tissue damage. I was thankful to have gotten in the “earliest” appointment which was on the following Tuesday. Meanwhile, I had to work the entire weekend with this injured knee! Poor knee.

March Madness … literally madness.  Just know that I was NOT able to finish out the CrossFit Open.  Here’s how it went down though … World Wide in my age group, I finished 1,494 (6,675 overall in women up to age 54).  Regionally, that’s Nor Cal, I finished 96 (452 overall in women up to age 54). My goal was top 100, so I did reach this goal even without completing the entire 13.4 WOD, or doing any of the 13.5 WOD.  Chris said that I should’ve at least tried to get one rep in for 13.5, but that one rep could’ve just tore my entire knee up so … NO! I’m pretty impressed with myself. I did well for someone who is full of self-doubt and has been plagued with injuries. I can only imagine where I would have finished had I remained injury free. If you want to see my complete stats, you can view them here.

The saga of my knee continues … March Madness has come to an end, and hopefully takes the madness along with it and replaces it with some goodness in the form of April showers. They do say that showers (rain) is a form of cleansing … That’s exactly what I’m looking for.

While my training is at a standstill, I ask that you still continue to Train HARD. Train SMART. Eat WELL. And most of all have FUN!!! Train for those who cannot. Train for me because you know that I want so much to be out there gettin’ it done!

Always A First Time For Everything

They say that there’s always a first time for everything. They also say that in running or racing DNF trumps DNS. Yeah, well, for the first time EVER, I DNS’d my first race. Not just any race, but my very first and only marathon of the year, The California International Marathon. Sucks.

It wasn’t intentional. I had signed up in June after collaboratins with my girlfriend, Judy. We were going to run as we did last year – just for fun, train together, etc. Well, when we weren’t looking December came upon us quickly. I mean really fast. We hadn’t seriously trained, but we were going to run anyway.

The week of prior to the marathon, the weather was wet … Rain storm after rain storm, and it was wet all over. No biggie, we’d done this before, Judy and I.  We carefully watched the weather reports and knew that there was no getting around it, it was going to be a cold and wet run. So we prepped.

On Friday we became indecisive. I was iffy, Judy was iffy. We were sure that we would do it one minute, then unsure the next. I had Chris take me to packet pick up on Friday. We had a good time at the expo, hitting all the vendors. I got a cute outfit, played games, got free stuff …

On Saturday Judy bailed. She told me that she hadn’t trained and the weather was not the best. I wanted to bail too, but my husband knows me. He told me that I was going to run regardless because I wasn’t one to give up. So … I relented. I was going to run, even if I ran alone. So I went out – I picked up some Shot Blox at Sports Authority, then since I had joked that I would run with a floatie and goggles, we hit the pool supply store where Chris was able to find me a flotation device and some goggles. It was while we were at the pool supply store that our Suburban died. It literally died. It would not start. We had to call for a tow truck and for our son to pick us up and take us home. It was then that my fate for running CIM was decided for me. I would not run. It was as if my car knew that my heart was not set on running it, and it stopped running right then and there as if to say, “Row., you know you don’t want to do it, so don’t.” So I took it as my sign. My friends bailed, I was indecisive, and then my car died …

I had never DNS’d a race. I’ve run races while sick, while injured, with a poor attitude.  I’ve run in inclement weather – scorching hot, and even pouring down Tusnami like weather. This wasn’t an issue, but I really didn’t have my heart set on running. It sucked to make that decision, but I truly believe that it was the right decision for me. Let me tell you though, I felt somewhat sick. I felt as if disapproving, judgmental eyes were staring me down, looking at me, shaking their heads and thinking that I was a wimp. I am not a wimp. I don’t care what other people think, but it’s funny that I would automatically believe that people were talking about me.  In my head, for a few moments, I had visions and heard voices of what people were thinking and saying. Just for a moment. I had to remind myself that these people were probably not even thinking about me, that I was just making things up in my head. It was just for a short moment, but for that moment it stung a little and it hurt.  I’m a strong woman, and I’m not a quitter, but I’m also human and I have to admit that it did hurt, but it wasn’t to be, I was not supposed to run that race. I had to remind myself that this may not be the one and only time that I DNS a race. I had to remind myself that I had many more races to run. This may have been the first, but it may not be the last … so I best just learn to go with the flow and be easier on myself. A DNS does not define who I am. Life goes on … I just have to keep moving forward …099

Chronic Pain

I ache.  Everyday, I ache.  I’m sore all the time, everywhere.  My legs hurt.  Hurts to walk. Hurts to sit. Hurts to stand.  My shoulders hurt at times – sometimes to the point where I cannot even brush my own hair or lift my arms overhead.  My stomach aches.  I am constantly in a state of “pain,” it’s mostly acute, but it’s so often that it could be chronic. Listening to me, I sound like an old lady with a bunch of aches and pains.  Just me reading this description makes me think of an old lady with chronic ailments, and I laugh.  I’m talking about myself though.  I relish in my body’s soreness.  I would only rate my stiffness and soreness a 1-2 on a 0-10 pain scale.  I don’t complain about how slow I move because I am moving, and in reality, I don’t move slow at all.

I am a nurse.  I’ve seen and cared for people who come into the ER with complaints of “chronic pain.”  It’s mostly women who come in, late 20’s, early 30’s or 40’s, who have generalized body pain, tenderness to their joints, muscles, tendons, and what not.  These women always have chronic body aches and stiffness, and most times they also have chronic migraine headaches, and even depression. It’s so bad at times for these women that they are not able to function – they can’t take care of their families, nor can they go to work, and at times cannot even take care of themselves.  It’s so sad to watch these women come into the ER accompanied by their young children who appear to be taking care of their mother.  That’s the hardest part for me.

Here is what I can tell you though … The women that I have been taking care of, who come into the ER ALL THE TIME, we call them “frequent flyers,” “repeaters,” and other things like that.  I can tell you that these women are getting younger, and YOUNGER … Seriously, the youngest I have cared for so far has been 15 years old.  FIFTEEN!!!  These women know how to put up a very LOUD fuss – at times sounding like a cross between a laboring or actively dying cow, and I don’t know what.  They’re allergic to every medication except for certain “special” narcotics and anti-emetics.  And it’s sad.  Sad because we in the medical profession know that there is a diagnosis that Doctors give to their patients when they don’t know what the fuck is wrong with them!  It’s a joke to us.  Seriously, it’s a bullshit diagnosis.  Don’t get me wrong, there may well be something “wrong” with these patients, however, we just don’t know what it is. It drives me beyond crazy to medicate these individuals with some hardcore narcotics.  There is NO medication in the world that can cure these individuals.  Some of these women demand, DEMAND narcotic doses that would kill a horse!

Now … Let me tell you about me … I am a 40 something year old woman who is always in some kind of pain.  Seriously, not a day has gone by since the day that I was born that I can remember waking up completely pain free.  Well, okay, maybe since I was in 4th grade, not since birth. I am an athlete and everyday some part of my body aches.  My shoulders from doing shoulder presses.  My chest from push-ups.  My glutes and hammies from squats, squats, and even more squats.  My legs in general from running.  I have had really bad plantar fascitis so my feet hurt or ache.

Sometimes, one must go thru pain, in order to heal. Ice baths HURT!!!

There are days when I cringe to just even brush my hair or teeth, or walk slower than normal and look “funny” doing so.  Some days it hurts to sit, or hurts to stand.  Something – always something.  But what do I do about these aches and pains? Nothing.  99% of the time, I do nothing.  Okay, okay … I use a lot of ice and Biofreeze or Ben Gay.  On a rare occasion, I will take a Tylenol or a couple Motrins.  But most days, I do NOTHING … I suck it up and keep moving.  I still take care of my family.  I still go to work. And … AND I still go and workout, regardless.  I will workout thru pain.  I push my little body quite hard.  I push it so hard and expect so much from it.  I am seriously thankful that my little body can take quite a beatin’ and continue to support me everyday.  My little body is STRONG!  It’s rewards? Well, now instead of doughy, sugary treats such as a donut or cake that I would really enjoy … I remind my little body that it’s rewards are the thighs that don’t rub together to try and start a fire, or the shoulders that are shapely, the calves that are TDF (to die for), and a body that’s going to last me for a very LONG time.  I remind my body that it is healthy and strong, much healthier and stronger than so many young people.  I remind my body that it is rewarded with an occasional massage, monthly Chiropractic visits to my

I call this the “Hell-Row-ser” look … It’s my daughter messin’ around while I’m being treated with accupuncture.

favorite Chiropractor, and weekly visits to my Accupuncturist. I live with “chronic” pain – mostly in the form of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), and minor annoying injuries.  It’s all in my head.  All of it.  I do this to myself.  I do it because I like this kind of self-torture.  I love the feeling that my muscles are sore and tore up.  I do it because it actually makes me feel alive. Call me a masochist, it’s okay.

So … I guess if I whined enough, I could sound like a woman with “chronic pain syndrome.” I have some empathy for these women.  I know it’s not fair or even nice to compare myself with someone who is “sick” when here I am with my crazy aches and pains.  I mean, I would not know what to do with myself if I physically were debilitated to the point where I could not workout, or move, or do anything except lay there.  I would fall into a deep depression.  I would feel somewhat suicidal.  I would feel sick – possibly so sick that it would cause me to be even sicker.  I workout as an outlet for myself.  I workout to keep my body in good condition.  I workout to look good, feel good, to be able to eat what I wish.  I do not wish sickness or disease on anyone … I sometimes wonder how these women got to the point where they can no longer function.  They cringe at me when I suggest exercise to help them, and they literally cringe and balk at the mere suggestion of a short walk.  It’s quite amusing and very frustrating at the same time because I feel as if I’m wasting my breath as they seem to like their life as it is.  They must be getting something from it.  It’s as if they have given up on themselves and  on life in general.  I refuse to be one of those people. I would never wish this painful life on anyone, ever.

I really have no words of wisdom for anyone.  I was just sitting here in an ER full of patients whose complaints were “Generalized All Over Body Aches” when I was aching and could barely move without cringing myself.  Then I thanked God that I was achy, that I could feel, that I had feeling in my limbs, that I could run, jump, lift, push, pull, punch, kick … because it means that I am alive and moving. Here’s my prescription for you …

When I have no other words, this is what comes to mind as to what I’d really like to say …

**It’s not my intent to hurt anyone’s feeling, or to demean anyone because of their chronic pain.  I truly do have empathy for people, and as I said, I would never, NEVER wish this on anyone.  In all seriousness, I do understand, and I do only wish health and happiness for all of my patients. If I have offended you, I apologize wholeheartedly.**

Bittersweet

Our incredible journey began 22 years ago …

Twenty two years ago, I was a young college graduate, not really “just” starting my life, but moving forward onto bigger and better things. I was about to deliver my first child, a child for which I had prayed and longed for for as long as I could remember.  I was excited and happy and ready.  I had waited for what seemed my whole life for this event, and I knew that it would be of epic proportions.  Little did I know what life and God had in store for me!

My Samuel came into this world, wide-eyed and ready to go.  He was always one to do things early – talking at 6 months, walking at 9 months, speaking in full sentences by the time he was one.  I knew … I knew that he was smarter than the average child, and I’m not saying that just because I am his mother and I’m biased, I write the truth.  He could write his full name by the time he started preschool.  He took things apart, and could put them back together.  He could ride a two wheeled bike with no training wheels by the time he was three.  Always running, always going, always talking, asking questions, but always ready to settle down and be held and read to him.  We read a lot together.  By the time he was six, he was reading series of books, Goosebumps, to name one. Barnes and Noble was our second home, and still is to this day.

He had a wild imagination. Always making things up, sometimes in life also, getting himself into some mischief. But he was always a good boy.  ALWAYS.  Model student, straight A’s, in the band, swim team, water polo.  I never had to bug him to do his homework, it was always done.

From the time he was a small child, it was always drilled into his head that he would go to college – no ifs, ands or buts … He would go, but he never questioned it, he just knew that he would go, and he wanted to go.  He graduated from high school with an outrageous GPA or 4.85, at the top 5% of his class, and was accepted to several colleges, but chose Fresno State because his friends had also chosen this school.

His college years were, in his words, fairly easy.  Much easier then the rigorous International Baccalaurate (IB) that he was enrolled in during high school.  He chose Journalism as his major, no surprise here as he is an excellent writer, and Japanese as his minor.  He continued to get good grades, got the internships that he needed in his chosen field of study.  He worked his junior and senior year for the Medonta Paper, then the Fresno Bee, and the college paper.

I’m not sure how it happened though.  All I know is that I received a text message from him one day asking to borrow some money to purchase his cap and gown?!?  Oh my God!  I’m not sure when exactly he was set to graduate from college.  COLLEGE? Really? When did this happen? This was for real! I mean, I knew that it would happen someday, just not so quickly.  I had to think quickly.  I had to get into the right mindset, you know, the mindset of a mother who is about to have a child graduate from COLLEGE!!!  What the heck?

His graduation from high school didn’t bother me as I knew that he would still be dependent on me, that we would still be connected, still be my “baby.” This was BIG though … COLLEGE! Wow! This would be the event that would cut the apron string that connects us, although I know that he will always need me, this would be the event that would make him into a “man.”  And just this thought, brought tears to my eyes that rarely sheds them.  This event that would be a happy, exciting event, would tug at my heartstrings, and cause me to wonder if I did a good enough job with him, for him?

Yes, I am a VERY PROUD Mama!!!

At the Mass Media and Communications Commencement on Friday, he was awarded the Outstanding Print Journalism Student Award.  His professor, Dr. Rice, gave an excellent speech about how he has grown as a student of journalism. It was an amazing feeling to know that someone has watched over him during his time at Fresno State, and watched him grow as a person into his chosen field of study.  I felt very proud of my child, who has worked so hard to achieve all that he has.

Where did the time go though? It seems like just yesterday, I was pregnant with this rambunctious little boy. It seems like just yesterday I had delivered him into the world and held onto him for as long as I could, rocking him to sleep every night.  It seems like just yesterday that I read him countless numbers of books before bedtime.  It seems like just yesterday that we shared our love for the Harry Potter series and would have to buy two of each book that came out because we both wanted to read them at the same time and were not willing to wait!  I grew up with him.  He was my buddy, my first born, the one person I have loved the LONGEST in my life.  And here he was … graduating from COLLEGE trying to make his Mama cry!!!

Unbelieveable!  But … I kid …

Fam pic with the Graduate!

I am extremely, EXTREMELY proud of my child.  He has brought me nothing except joy in my life, and it has been such an honor to be his mother.  It has been a pleasure to watch him grow from a small infant into a smart, confident, handsome young man.

Writing this blog post reminds me so much of the book Love You Forever by Robert Munsch that we read together over and over and over for years.  The lines, “I’ll love you forever.  I’ll like you for always.  As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.” ring true and close to my heart as I remember holding my baby close reading that book to him.

As he moves forward and starts into the next phase of his life, it is somewhat bittersweet to know that he’s gotten older when I only wished for him to stay a small child so I could continue to hold his hand.  I wish him much happiness.  I pray for his continued success.  I look forward to see what the future holds for my baby boy.  God please continue to shine down on my son.  Watch over him, protect him, keep him safe.  May he always know that I love him dearly and would do anything for him.  May he always know that I will always provide him with a soft place to fall.  May he always know that I did the best that I knew how for him with what I had.

Thank you, God, for blessing me with this incredible child.  Thank you for trusting me enough to be his mother.  And to my Samuel … I will always, ALWAYS love you, son.  Always.

It has been an honor to be your Mother, Samuel. I have been so blessed by your presence in my la vida loca!

Slaying Dragons – Ninja Style

At the beginning of the year, I took the time and wrote out some things that I intended and aspired to achieve this year.  As I amped up my training, I knew that achieving some of these goals would be of epic proportions!  Some seemed far-fetched, others seemed silly, and yet others appeared to be waaaay out of reach.  Yet, they are my goals, and I didn’t believe that they are far-fetched, silly, or way out reach.  As I had written them, I whole heartedly believed that each and every thing that was written was well within my reach and definitely achievable.

2012 began full of promise, although I was nursing a shoulder injury that would not let up, or appeared to not want to heal.

The first quarter of 2012 ended so badly that I lost focus and had to reset myself.  I continued to run and do whatever I could when I felt that I was capable of doing so.  I still went to Crossfit when I could, I kickboxed still, and I even ran all of my races in March literally gagging and coughing before each race. I had gotten so sick at the end March that I literally could not get out of bed, let alone run or do any sort of exercise without being winded.  I had a really bad cough and sinus congestion, that eventually progressed to full blown bronchitis!

In April, I ran in Elk Grove without much incident, but the following week I had committed to running Hollywood with my gal pal Alexis.  I should have bowed out of this race.  I should have just let it go, and DNS’d it.  But I was committed.  I should have been committed instead.  I was sick as could be.  Fever with sweats, coughing, diff breathing … it was BAD … So bad that I broke down and asked a doc to write me a script for antibiotics! I should’ve just let it go.  That was the worst “run” ever … But it was fun.

Two weeks after Hollywood, I felt well enough to start training again.  Slowly but surely getting back into a routine, although somewhat sporadic. I took the time to start seeing an accupuncturist about my “issues,” and I had finally gone in to see my Physical Therapist, Todd, who diagnosed my “shoulder” problem as a rib joint problem.  Wow!  Who would’ve thought.  So I began working on the exercises that were prescribed to me and low and behold … the pain got better.  A LOT better!  The range of motion in my right arm had improved significantly and I could even do a lot of the moves that I was “restricted” from doing – such as overhead presses, etc.  However … I ran a race at the end of April on uneven pavement and ended up injuring BOTH of my ankles!  BOTH! Can you believe it? Although it seems as if I can’t catch a break, I don’t look at it that way.  I believe that everything happens for a reason.

May started off with a BANG!  I had a really good workout and felt like a million bucks.  I could tell that my shoulder was getting stronger.  My feet were a slightly different story, but I know that they’ll get better. Aside from running the Diva Half in SF, I have been really good about keeping my feet wrapped, compressed, soaked, and whatever needs to be done to expedite it’s healing.  I can tell you that I have forgone any running – even short distances in the meantime. I’ve been rowing instead of running. But I still continue to train.  My trainer still pushes me hard during our sessions.  He know that I am capable of so much more.  He tells me all the time that there IS a beast inside of me, and once my beast is unleashed there will be no turning back. I roll my eyes and laugh at him, and I mutter under my breath during the workouts, “Beast.  Heh.  Whatever.”

Recently though something’s been happening … I feel that beast of mine.  I feel her attempting to escape, to get out.  She has been poking her head out here and there … slowly, silently, like the Ninja that I believe I am … I believe that my beast is also.  When she makes an appearance it’s subtle … It’s a weight or a move that I poo-poohed never believing that I could lift it or do it, or a race that’s run where I hit an unbelievable time. Recently, she reared her not so ugly head when I was told to do a pull up. Mind you, I could bust out strict pull-ups not that long ago, but in recent years my upper body strength has waned. But … I hoisted myself onto that bar thinking, “Yeah, this isn’t happening …” But I would try. I would try because I had set a goal.  I would try because I trust my trainer.  I would try because … Because I heard a voice that said, “You can.”  Once I heard the voice, the voice that I knew was my Ninja Beast … I did it.  And I did it over and over and over … without difficulty.

I’m slaying dragons, accomplishing my goals, one at a time with my Ninja Beast that lays low inside of me.  Look out though, cause like my trainer says, when she’s unleashed, there is no telling what I CAN and WILL accomplish.

F*ck Yeah! Silent, Strong … Slaying dragons one at a time … Beware!

Running The Lines – Double Race Weekend Craziness

Weekend Race READY! Let's gooo!

It’s no secret that I’m a little crazy.  No secret.  For me to sign up for back to back races is no big deal. I get a lot of crazy looks, and some sarcastic comments, but I’m used to that by now so I don’t react or respond. That’s their opinion, and what they think has nothing to do with me …

It is crazy, but like I said, I am crazy but in a good way.  I’ve already discussed obsessed vs. addicted, and have decided that I am neither.  I am enthusiastic and dedicated to my fitness … I am committed.  I’ve been fortunate also to have been blessed with free and discounted entry fees into some really cool races. I can’t complain … I’ve run some really cool races this year and have been having a lot of FUN!  This weekend was no different.

I love My Noah! =)
Noah was awesome to run with his crazy Mama!

Saturday you would’ve found my clan and I in Lathrop at the first annual Survivor Mud Run NorCal.  I was able to score two entries via Schwaggle for Chris and I!  We were “IN.”  However, at the last minute, Chris was unable to get Friday night off, so my boy, Noah, stepped in and took his Dad’s place.  It was cool though, as my friend, Alexis, was running with her boys, and one of her son’s, Connor, is friends with Noah. It was an awesome morning of fun!  We were in the second wave and we had a lot of fun!  3.5 miles with 16 obstacles!  Yeah!  Too much fun!

Stopping to pose at the water stop!
Towards the finish - feeling strong.

I found the course to be fairly easy.  After the uphill start, then the downhill led us straight to the first obstable … mud crawl!  There were several mud pits, a cargo net climb, plank walk, tires, heavy net, monkey bars, pipe crawl, stair runs, rope web … It was all fun and crazy.  The only thing was was that I ran alone because my friend, Alexis was running with Lisa, and my Noah was running with Connor and another friend, Matthew.  I am okay running alone, ’cause really, I’m not ever really “alone.”  I met some really nice people along the way as I ran an encouraged those that I passed.  Also, I forget that people recognize my crazy self, and my friends working the water station recognized me immediately!  I really had a great time.  One of the most memorable moments was running by some women, saying a few words of encouragement, only for them to tell me, “Your shirt is awesome! And your ass rocks, too!” That fueled me for the rest of the run and I just had a lot of fun! A lot of people were surprised that I had enough energy to encourage people.  Heehee … don’t they know that I’m usually just talking to myself?!

DONE!!! Dirty Girl! =)
Chillin' after an ice bath & foot scrub by FF Stockton!

My stats were pretty good for the run.  I felt that it could’ve been so much better had people actually moved over and along for the obstacles ’cause I zipped thru all the obstacles, but a lot of my time was wasted waiting for others whining and worrying how they were gonna get thru!  Really? Ah, well … It was all for fun, yes, but I’m a little competitive. I was happy to have my brother, Patrick, and my sister-in-law, Camille there.  This was their first race, and they had a great time!  My brother was pretty excited.

Crazy, Fun Mother & Son!
With my son and my brother, Patrick!

For an inaugural/first event in Lathrop, it was well organized.  I’m sure it’s because of the fact that the event was held at Dell Oso Farms which has holds a yearly Corn Maze every Halloween that attracts thousands upon thousands of people from all over NorCal.  Packet pickup was organized, as was parking.  I enjoyed the post-race expo and the food court.  I love that my local Fleet Feet (Fleet Feet Stockton) was there and that I got an ice bath for my feet that was awesome!

Race Ready in Calistoga!
With Chris - Grace 4 A Cause! =)

Thanks to my friends at On Your Mark Events, Chris and I were fortunate enough to gain entry into the Inaugural Napa Valley Silverado Half Marathon on Sunday.  We were planning to run San Louis Obispo, but for one reason or another, it just didn’t workout.  This half in Calistoga was perfect.  The size was right, too!

0400 came quickly!  Chris and I left pretty early because we were unsure of the traffic.  Fortunately the drive was uneventful, and again, this event was well organized for an inaugural!  We were able to stop for our customary Starbucks breakfast and rest for a minute before the race started.  There were enough porta potties to accomodate everyone.  Same day race registration seemed to go easily for those who decided to run at the last minute.

Start!

The race started on the track of the high school.  We wrapped around the track once and headed out onto the road which would eventually lead us to Silverado Road – the main road for this half which was an out and back.  It was an awesome run – all rolling hills, beautiful scenery, water/aid stations every 1.5 – 2 miles that were well stocked and had happy volunteers!  I enjoyed looking at all the beautiful houses, the rows upon rows of grape vineyards, and counted the seemingly endless spas.  I talked to other runners, and encouraged them as we ran together.  Can’t forget that there were a good amount of Calistoga Police and CHP officers there – and they did a great job of directing traffic and keeping us safe on the road.

Signature running pose - Running Code 3 - Shaka!

For the most part, I ran this race “alone” … Silverado Road was closed to the public, so I was able to run the entire race down the middle, following the yellow double lines that separated the lanes.  I really enjoyed running the lines – following it the entire way, although it probably was not the smartest thing as the road was slightly crooked.  Another thing I enjoyed was seeing my shadow as I ran – crazy bouncing pony tail, but steady, and strong body.  I ran behind a really nice girl for the majority of the race from about mile 3 to close to the end. I would learn at around mile 10 that her name was Becky, and I thanked her for letting me run beside and behind her.  She was equally grateful to have run behind me “following my wings” from mile 7 until mile 10 then we ran together until the end with another runner named Jason.  It was fun running behind Becky as her gait is more like a “prance.”  She runs on her tip toes.  She was very sweet, and I had a nice time running with her and Jason.  As the race was an out and back, we ran together on the track towards the finish line and high-fived each other at the end.

Chris at the turnaround!

I was happy to see Chris after I hit the turn around of “the big tree.” He looked like he was doing okay, trucking away, and he laughed as he passed me saying, “I feel as if I’m running the wrong way.”  Neither one of us is fond of out and back runs, but it was still a really nice run.  The playlist that I had made for this run was absolutely perfect.  I really enjoyed be-boppin’ and singin’ along to what I had on my iPod.

The only complaint that I had about this half, and there was NOTHING that any race director or anyone could do about it – was that it was tooooooo HOT!  Seriously when we started it was already 60s.  I was sweating and huffin’ and puffin’ before we hit mile 1.  I dumped water down the back of my head and down my back at every water stop.  I have learned that I’m very comfortable in 40 – 50 degree weather.  60s and above not so much if I’m running long distances.  I’ve gotten really good at gauging the temps and knowing what to wear.  It’s funny because I can tell you that I have worn capris for only 2 races this year … I have worn shorts, a tank top, and arm sleeves or a running bolero for every other race I have run.  The weather has just been good to me this year in regards to running.  That and, like I said, I’ve gotten really good at figuring out what I’m comfortable in.

Stick a fork in us ... We're DONE!

The post race hydration and nutrition tent was well stocked.  I drank cups of cold water, and ate some really good snacks.  I sat in the shade for awhile, waiting for Chris, and got to know other runners who also sat beside me.  When I saw Chris, I got up and took his picture, and he asked me to run to the finish with him which I thought was really sweet.  So I ran beside him around the track as he made his way around to the finish line.  It was a nice, fun gesture, and I truly enjoyed running beside him.

Weekend SUCCESS!!!

Can’t complain.  I had a really great time at both runs! I’d do them both again!  I had an awesome weekend! Next up for me is the San Francisco Divas Run.  My racing schedule can be found here.  It’s going to be a fun, fun summer!  You ready?  Let’s gooooo ….