14 Hours at Disneyland

Yeah, you read that right. 14. Hours.

My two teenage daughters (12 and 14) and I spent all day yesterday at Disneyland.

It was a really good day, but oh my goodness am I tired. By the end of the day my feet felt like I had run a marathon. And I was super glad I made the decision to wear my running shoes and not my Converse.

And by the way, this is what 14 hours walking around looks like.

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That is going to be almost tripled next Sunday, after I run the LA Marathon. I’m exhausted just thinking about it!

So tell me, what’s the longest you’ve spent at a theme park? And also, what’s your next race?

10 Days and Counting

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So this is happening in 10 days. I haven’t been training properly, but I have confidence that I will be able to reach deep within myself and knock it out of the park. And by that, I mean I’ll finish. I have no doubt in my mind that will happen. Will I PR? Who knows. If I do, then awesome! If not, it’s ok.

I’m generally pretty hard on myself if I don’t reach a goal, but I know this time my health and losing my dad and spending time with my family was priority over running.

What about you? When you set goals and don’t reach them, what do you do? Are you hard on yourself or do you just think “try, try again?”

“Why I Walk Wednesday”

Today is “Why I Walk Wednesday”. I’m sure if you’re reading this, then you know why I walk. Muscular Dystrophy has always been part of my life, even though I do not have it. My dad Howard was born with it, as was my brother Sam. It affected them both from the beginning of their lives up until the very end. There is no cure. There is no magic pill. Only amazing doctors and research who can help extend the lives of people who have Muscular Dystrophy.
Please help by either donating to our team or joining our team.

http://www2.mda.org/site/TR/Walk/General?team_id=56916&pg=team&fr_id=18109

Aftermath

After my last post about my dad I felt like this other blog post I read last week needed to be shared.

http://oursmallmoments.com/you-went-to-a-funeral-and-then-you-went-home/

This blog post felt like I could have written it. Only much better. It said everything I felt. My dad passed away less than a  month ago, yet I feel like I’m expected to be “normal” already. When really, to me, it feels like it JUST happened.

This part in particular, spoke to me.

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I feel like everyone needs to read this. Because eventually we will all know someone who loses a close friend or family member, but our lives return to normal when we go home. Theirs don’t. Let them be sad. Let them rage. Just be THERE for them.

A Father is his Daughters First Love

My dad recently passed away.

He was born in 1951 with Muscular Dystrophy. Back in the 50’s, not much was known about the disease or how to treat it. He never had surgery, just a back/neck brace. But really, it didn’t matter, because my dad never let it hold him back from doing what he wanted to do. He was a member of the Boy Scouts of America when he was younger, worked at a camp for disabled/handicapped kids when he was older and then backpacked through Europe with one of his friends.

He met and married my mom in 1974. They bought the house I was raised in in 1976 and then had me in 1979, followed by my brother in 1984.

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Some of the earliest memories I have are of my dad and I playing catch in the backyard and being at Disneyland. When my mom was pregnant with my brother, my dad went on all of the rides with me. He coached me through driving on Autopia and wiped away my tears when I was afraid of going on The Haunted Mansion. I still remember him telling me it was ok to close my eyes, and he’d tell me when it wasn’t scary and I could look. And he never tricked me.

To me, my dad was never disabled or “different”. He was just my dad. He was the guy who would make me laugh when I got hurt, would sit and do homework with me when I needed help, he was my brothers assistant den leader when he was in Cub Scouts, he took me to all of my dances when I was in Girl Scouts and he would never fail to tell me when he thought a friend I had was bad news. And he was never wrong.

In 2000, his first grandchild (my older daughter ) was born, followed shortly by his second in 2002. He adored them both. As they got older, he asked if he could do Saturday Night at the Drive In with them. Really all that was is the nights they would visit with my parents, they would get blankets and popcorn and lay on the living room floor and watch old movies. We’re talking Abbott and Costello, The Marx Brothers, The Great Race, Bye Bye Birdie…etc.

In 2012, we lost my brother Sam. He was also born with Muscular Dystrophy. The difference is Sam had quite a few surgeries to help prolong his life when he was younger. But one day when he was leaving work, his heart just stopped. I think that day, my dads heart broke and he was just never the same.

Over the next 2 years, my dads health deteriorated much faster than it had previously. He left the house less and less and would lay down to rest more and more.

In 2014, my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary and they threw a huge party to celebrate. Our entire family (except a few cousins) were there along with some of my parents oldest friends.

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At the end of January 2015, one day I was out running errands and had picked up some things for my mom that she said she needed. When I got to their house, I saw something that no one ever wants to see. A firetruck and ambulance sitting out front. I parked my car literally in the middle of their cul-de-sac and ran up to the house. My memory is hazy, but I remember a fireman grabbing me and telling me that my dad was having problems breathing. He said it like it was no big deal and all I wanted to do was yell at him that for MY dad it was a HUGE deal.

They took my dad to the Emergency Room in Simi, where we live. We spent the entire day there waiting for them to run tests on him. He had no signs of pneumonia or blood clots, so they gave him some antibiotics and sent us home. That was Saturday.

Wednesday, I got a call from my mom while I was at work telling me they were on their way back to the hospital. She told me not to leave work, since they’d be running tests most of the afternoon and he was ok for the time being.

I spent every evening for the next week and a half at the hospital with my mom. My aunt came down from San Francisco to be with my mom when I was at work and to stay at the hospital at night with my dad so my mom could try and get some sleep. We spent Super Bowl Sunday watching the game from his bedside.

By the middle of the following week, it had been a week and a half since my dad had eaten anything. The problem was, he needed to be on his biPap the entire time. Wearing just the nasal cannula wasn’t enough. He was not able to eat/swallow without breathing assistance. And you can’t do that because you choke. My mom told me my dad was refusing any kind of surgical procedures that would require him to be intubated. This meant no feeding tubes, picc lines…nothing.

We knew then that my dad would not be with us much longer. I brought my daughters to visit with him one last time and so they could say goodbye.

That Friday, hospice care came and gave my dad his options. He chose to be given morphine and then when he was peacefully asleep, they would remove his oxygen mask and he would quietly slip away.

I watched my dad die.

At 35 years old, I felt like a 5 year old little girl again who just wanted her daddy and still does. The pain is so great some days that I feel like I can’t even breathe.

I will never love another person again, the way I loved my dad.

I Really Stink at Remembering to Blog/ Look at my Vacation…….

Holy hell. I keep forgetting that I have this and I need to be better at blogging.

So, since my last post I had my second trail race. This one was a 6k and had some serious hills. We’re talking a 1000 ft incline in the first 3k. Part of that incline wasn’t just switch backs on the side of the mountain, but felt like we were literally running straight up the side of that mountain. I felt SO BADASS. I managed to finish 19th overall, 7th female and 3rd in my age group!

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I will definitely be doing this again next year. As of right now (because it’s a year away) I want to do the 6k again and try and beat my time. But I’ll have completed (hopefully!) my first 50k, so maybe I should do a distance longer than 3.7 miles. We’ll see!

A few days after my race, my boyfriend, younger daughter and I went on our annual PNW roadtrip. It’s now annual because this is the 2nd year we’ve done it. And we’ll be doing it next year as well. We left Wednesday midday and drove up the 5 towards Oregon. We wanted to get as much of the drive out the way as we could on the first day so we had plenty of time for sight seeing before the bf had to meet up with his friends for their get together. That night, we stopped in Klamath Falls, OR.

Early the next day, I got up and ran around town (literally!) in some lovely 24 degree weather and then we were on our way! First stop: Crater Lake.

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Then we drove up through Bend and around Mt. Hood and down into Troutdale where we spent the night.

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The next morning, I went for a run through Troutdale before we began our day of exploring the Columbia River Gorge. We hit Latourell Falls, Multnomah Falls and the Oneota Gorge.

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Sunday called for more driving adventures. We took a drive up to Mt. Hood and the historic Timberline Lodge (where they filmed exterior shots for The Overlook Hotel, which was the hotel in “The Shining” starring Jack Nicholson. Then we hit some trails and went on the historic Barlow Road, which was one of the roads the settlers took on the Oregon Trail. From there, we stopped in Sandy and took in some views of the Sandy River (also part of the Oregon Trail) and then finally, we went to Oregon City and visited The End of the Oregon Trail. After, we drove back to Multnomah Falls to get some great sunset views of the falls and the Columbia River Gorge.

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Monday was our last day in Oregon. I took a quick drive to some trails I found in Troutdale and got a quick 5K in before Hannah and I decided we’d give Mount St. Helens another try. We tried driving up last year, but it was raining and super overcast so visibility was almost zero. Yesterday was a gorgeous day, so we figured why not give it a shot. It did not disappoint.

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To say our vacation was amazing would be a complete understatement. My urge to move to the PNW is now at an all time high. Maybe one day.

After the Sick

The day after New Years, I started to feel like I was getting a cold. That was a Friday. Saturday I felt okay, but a little tired. I had a 5K the next morning, so I went to bed early that night. Sunday morning when I woke up I wasn’t feeling 100% but I (irresponsibly) decided to run anyway.

By the time I got home from my race, I was feeling exhausted. I immediately showered and got back into bed. By late afternoon, I was full blown sick. Coughing, runny nose, sneezing, headache, body aches. You name it, I had it.

I wound up taking 2 days off of work to get some rest. By Wednesday, I was feeling better so back to work I went. But I had decided to take the rest of the week off from any running or working out. Saturday I went for my first run in a week. And boy was it rough.

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I did just over 2 miles, but it was a slow going 2 miles. Sunday was more of the same, just on different trails.

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And last night (Monday) I did a treadmill 5K and finally felt back to my usual self. Tonight will be another treadmill night, which I’m ok with. I’m learning to embrace the dreadmill.

That’s what you’re supposed to do, right? Embrace the suck.

Game Changer

About a month ago, I received an email from Under Armour Running asking if I would like to test out a new pair of shoes. Because I have a brain, of course I said yes. I mean, I love shoes. Who wouldn’t want new shoes?!

Full disclosure: I have been a die hard Nike street running shoe wearer for 3 years now. I swear by them. So for me to try out a new pair of shoes was a little off. I was pretty sure I was going to hate them.

Boy was I wrong. They. Are. Perfect. They’re light (like my Nike Free’s) but the back of the ankle is made of the same material as the entire rest of the shoe and flexes with the movement of my leg/foot. It’s not hard and stiff and they don’t rub. AND they are wide enough across my toes that they aren’t smooshed.

And look, they even sent me a pair in my #1 favorite color!

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In short. These are my new favorites. I love literally everything about them. I wore them for my first race of 2015 (mentioned in my previous blog post) and was in heaven the entire time. No pain during or after.

Under Armour Speedform Gemini are where it’s at. Thank you Under Armour Running for my shoes! I wear them running, to the gym, to the store….pretty much everywhere.

New Year. New Me.

No, not really. My goals just got bigger, that’s all.

2015 started out with me being pretty sick. I’m not sure if it was the flu or just a really bad cold. But it hit me hard. I’ve spent this week recovering and as long as I feel well enough, I’m going to get in my first run since last Sunday.

Last Sunday was race #1 of 2015. It was a 5K at the Camarillo Airport, which is fairly easy as it’s just an out and back. I wound up running it 2 seconds slower than my fastest time, which I will totally call a win since I was already starting to feel sick that morning.

Also, this 5K was my good friend Danica’s first race ever! She did AMAZING!10917084_10155081147445192_8840039347808387051_n

My next race is the http://banditultratrailrun.com/ Starting my trail runs small, then gradually working my way up.

Speaking of working my way up. I’ll be working my way up to this in December. http://www.coastaltrailruns.com/mc_malibu_canyon.html

Little lady. Big Goals.

2015 Goals and Beyond

Well it’s almost the end of the year. Time for some new goals!

My big goal for 2015 is to try out mostly trail runs, leading up to a 50k by the end of the year. Luckily, there are TONS of hills here for me to practice on. I’ve already started using my weekend runs as training runs.

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Right now I’m sticking to 3-4 miles and will gradually add more in as I go.

Also, one of my dear friends is running her first 5k on January 4th. I’ve gone running with her a couple of times now, and will be cheering her across the finish. I’m sure she’s gonna do great.

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What are your goals for 2015?