Digging Deep

This is a hard week.  I’m tired and need a little bit of motivation.  I missed Monday’s run because I rode my motorcycle for four hours on Sunday.  My body was physically whipped.  So, I listened and took a break.  I want to stay focused, but I also know when to say, okay I need a break and not to take myself too seriously.

This brings me to Tuesday.  Went to yoga class.  Drive up to the studio and notice there aren’t any cars in the lot.  Not a good sign.  Hmmm, maybe class was cancelled.  Then a car rolls up and the other yoga teacher gets out.  I feel bad because I don’t remember her name, but I will remember her…no doubt.  This was the first time I’ve ever really interacted with this new teacher.  I’m excited because – hey I’ll learn some new things.  I go to “my” place and wait.  About 10 minutes pass and I realize I’m the only student.  Here is an equation for you..

Only student does not equal easy class

Guess what…she’s a runner too – that equals hip opening exercises – one on one style!

I have earned the honor of the tightest hips – meaning I do not like to bend certain ways.  Fast forward to Wednesday.  Apparently my hips were very, very angry.  Very angry.  This eight mile run will go down as the worst run ever!  I think someone strapped two concrete blocks to my feet when I wasn’t looking.  I couldn’t believe how heavy my legs felt.  Then the right hip and hamstring were howling.  The whole run was a conversation with my inner running self “Awww come on you can do it…just put your mind to it” ~ eh, be quiet.

Digging way down deep…completed but very hard.

Happy miles to you.


Mileage Recap 15 – 21 Sept

Moving right along with marathon training.  I did it!  This weeks long run was 14 miles.  I’ll be brutally honest – I didn’t want to run Saturday.  The body felt fine, but I just wasn’t into it.  I laid in bed until about 6:00 am and finally trudged out of the house around 7:30 am.  It was a nice cool morning.  I love when the weather isn’t too hot or cold.  Fall is the best time to run.  There is a crispness to the air, leaves are beginning to litter the ground and excitement that the holidays are right around the corner is building.  This is my favorite time of the year.

I started my run out with my Aunt Patty heavy on my mind.  This is probably why I was dreading this run.  I feared the mental chatter would be at its peak and that this run would be brutal and undisciplined.  I let the tightness in my shoulders sink down and proceeded to glide along.  Mind over matter.  What’s done is done, there is no changing the past and I know in my heart that she wouldn’t want me to dwell.  So I won’t.

As I made my way down this familiar path I found my footing with little complaints.  The only pain was in my feet.  Funny how running pain seems to migrate from one part of the body to the next.  Just strange.  I’m happy to say the first 4 miles I kept the pace in the 9 minute range and the remainder in the 10 minute range – not bad I think?  Seemed consistent and that’s good.

I could have done without the bloated possum road kill that stunk to high heaven, but what can you do?  Hold your breath and move on…yes it stunk that bad:)

I did see a pack of Kool cigarettes.  Yeah that’s cool with a “K” baby not “C”…woot woot!

Around mile 13.55 a song by Fleetwood Mac streamed across my iPod, Storm sung by Stevie Nicks.  It’s one of my favorite songs.  It’s a passionate song and it drug me back to thinking about my Aunt. All of-a-sudden it was hard to breathe.  Thank goodness the run was almost over.  Running is mental, no doubt about it.

Call someone special today – don’t miss out on the chance to tell them you care.  Life is short.

I have thankfully completed 28.03 miles for the week ~ 10,535.08 remaining.

Sunday = Rest

Monday = 4.01 miles

Tuesday = kettle bell work out and 1:15 hrs of yoga

Wednesday = 6.02 miles

Thursday = 4 miles

Friday = Rest

Saturday = 14 miles!

Sending Flowers to the Living

What is your favorite flower?



Mine is the tulip. It’s a simple flower and easily identifiable.  Not too elegant; too much or too little ~ simple leaves, and comes in a variety of colors.  You can add it to any arrangement or let it stand alone. Strong and powerful it is quite beautiful.  I love the black ones.  I planted some last year that bloomed this Spring and they were beautiful.  They really look black ~ interesting flower.  Not a whole lot to think about with this flower.  You can look at it and appreciate it without having sensory overload.  It’s simple and beautiful, my favorite flower.  Maybe one day I’ll visit Holland and see them in the fields.

I got off of work early today to get a jump on the weekend and frankly to have some time for myself.  I have one of those jobs where sometimes you just can’t seem to get ahead, always busy.  I work in a secure area which means cellphones aren’t allowed in the workspace.  At the end of the work day it’s the same routine. I unlock my phone from the lock box and check my messages.  Today I noticed there was a message from my Aunt Patty. A little background information, Aunt Patty is my mother’s younger sister. I’ve had an off and on again relationship with her over the years. I’ve never lived close to her, she in California and me…well all over,  but I have visited her when I could. Only in the last couple of years have we become closer. She has fought cancer on and off. She went through a bought about a year ago, completed the treatment and came out on top. My last visit with her was last April 2012. We had a great time together.  Laughed like sisters, went to wineries and just enjoyed each others company.  I was older and there was so much more to appreciate now.  We’re both bad at keeping in touch and sometimes would go months without speaking. Over these last few months I’ve been busy. Work, kid and life. Excuses.  I didn’t call. Excuses.  I would think about calling her from time to time, but then there would always be some reason why I didn’t.  Some excuse or reason not to pick up the phone and say a simple hello how are you doing.

As I listened to the recorded message on my iPhone it was her son’s voice I heard not hers. Instantly I knew. I knew. I think I’ve known for a while, but didn’t act on that feeling.  I knew I blew it before the message finished. “Laurel I just wanted to let you know that Mom isn’t doing well, if you could call me when you get this message I would appreciate it”.  Blew it, in a major way.  So busy, I just couldn’t find the time.

I called her number and my Uncle answers.  Bottom line she’s got one to two weeks left.  She isn’t conscious and is in hospice .  I hate that word.  I asked what the plan was,  “there is no plan.  She is only awake for a couple of hours a day.  If you want to come say your goodbyes than okay, but she might not be aware”.  A hard blow,  a hard reality, a hard lesson to learn and some bitter medicine to swallow.  I was not there I wasn’t present.  I was busy.  I own it.

Laurel and Aunt Patty

Aunt Patty and me in San Francisco

Natural Bridge

A picture from our trip up the coast


The beach we visited

She never stopped telling me she loved me.  I’m very sorry to see her go so soon. I will remember all the good times and the difficult times will be forgiven.

My favorite flower is the tulip.  Today I will send flowers to the living.  A friend of mine who is fighting breast cancer and having reconstructive surgery today.  Tomorrow I will run the longest I have ever run at one time and I will reflect, on living.

The meaning of tulip is: perfect love.



Let’s Talk Dirty

I know why you clicked on this link.  Hmmmm…not that kind of dirty.

I’m talking D-I-R-T-Y!  Woot Woot!  Warrior Dash Dirty!



You may have noticed on the side of this page in the “big event boxes”, I will be running the Warrior Dash Missouri on 28 September.  How this came about; I’m intrigued by these “novelty” races and thought this would be a lot of fun to try.  You would think after going through Army Basic training I would have gotten this out of my system all those years ago, but let’s hear it for glory days!  Last year I signed up for the Spartan Race.  We had a small team of people from work participating.  Unfortunately, the team fell apart and I didn’t want to do the 8 mile race it by myself.  My thinking has changed exponentially and now I would have no problem doing the race by myself.  It is what it is – if you want to do it – go for it, don’t let others sway you.  There is a lot of opinion when it comes to these races.  Like I said, don’t listen to the chatter if you want to run it.

Fast forward a year later a good friend of mine from work suggested we try to build another team and participate.  We have a team of 8 and we vary from 45 to about 25 years-of-age, and team t-shirts to boot!  I do believe I might be the oldest participant.  Sweet!

The purpose of this race is team building and frankly good old fashion fun.  The building up to this whole experience has been a blast.  Some of us get together once or twice-a-week to swing kettle bells or do some speed work.  Teammates are loosing weight and building confidence.  I highly suggest, if you’re looking for something to “bring” people together, whether it be at work or family this is a wonderful tool.

Let me put on my old Army Officer hat – it’s about working as a team to accomplish the end goal.  Not running over Grandma and Grandpa in front of you.  I say this with all clarity and sincerity as I sip my Samuel Adams Boston Lager.  What’s that you say?  No, I’m not wearing a Viking hat and have a turkey leg in the other hand.  No, I don’t plan to throw the beer bottle out on my running route – It’s not light beer silly!


Courtesy of Warrior Dash

Let’s get dirty ya’ll!

Mileage Recap 8 – 14 Sept

Week three of marathon training down!  The beginning of the week started off hot but now we are really feeling some cool weather here in the Midwest.  Perfect for running.  My training week consisted of:

Sunday – Rest

Monday – 4 miles

Tuesday – 30 minutes Kettle bell workout 1:15 yoga

Wednesday – 5 miles

Thursday – 4.01 miles

Friday – Rest

Saturday – 11 miles and 2:00 yoga/meditation.  Total for the week 24.01 miles

Felt good on all the weekly runs.  Saturday’s long run was okay.  Started around 6:30 am with a temperature in the 40’s.  It’s great running weather but now comes the conundrum of layers of clothes.  Start off cold end up hot.  I hate being cold and I hate being hot!  I wasn’t tired on this run at all.  Felt like my breathing was even and consistent.  About 3 miles into the run I felt like I had to….can you guess?  Sigh, go to the bathroom.  Good heavens!  Really?  I try to plan, ah hem, accordingly but this was just one of those days.  I know when I’m eyeing the cornfields, thinking, “ok will that one be safe” I’m in trouble.  But I managed to survive.  The arches of my feet were hurting a bit, but I battled through that too.  Noteworthy items on the side of the road this run you got it – light beer, an inhaler and….drum roll please – a pillow!  Let’s analyze and make this interesting shall we?  Hmmm – a pillow, with pillow case mind you, on the side of the road.  Fell out of the back of a truck?  Sleep-over gone bad?  Angst on the family road trip?  Do tell.

Well my friends, I hope your weekend was pleasant.  Gratefully, 10,563.11 miles remaining for  this gal.  Happy miles to you.

Passion Post

Normally I don’t like to post the motivational pictures.  Every now and then I come across a good one.  I think taking your own picture and putting your feelings to it might be better.  Enjoy ~  Happy miles to you in whatever you do…

Posted on Dirt in Your Skirt.  You can find her on the web and Facebook.

Just Run

Passion vs. Crazy Part 1- My Inner Thoughts of Why I Run

If you run long distances I’m sure you have heard at one time or another “you’re crazy”.  Ah yes, those magical two words that trash all of those hours of hard work and preparation for any event in a nanosecond.  Usually by someone who is holding a taco or a Snickers.  (Not that there is anything wrong with that I like Taco Hell every now and again and chocolate is my weakness)

On the other hand I’m sure you’ve heard the word passion equated with running.  Passion.  PASSION…it’s so easy to say.  If you say it enough, you start to feel it.  Don’t believe me, think about it.  What are you passionate about?  In other words, what makes you sing.  That single thing (or few things) that when those words leave your lips, you smile.  That is passion.  That thing, that action you do that continues to bring you joy even though the process is hard but the reward is great.  Passion.  Say passion.  See how easily it leaves your lips.  You’re doing it now – aren’t you:)

Passion in the positive: Desire, hunger, thirst, appetite, craving and ache.  Passion in the negative:  Rage, fury, fit, furor and anger.

Crazy in the positive:  Fond, keen, passionate, and devoted. Crazy in the negative:  Outrageous, ridiculous, bizarre and stupid.

Who’s to say what is crazy?  Was anything ever really achieved by the person who listened to the other who said “don’t do that, it’s crazy!”.  What if we stopped there.  We wanted to try something new or achieve a goal not so much for the guts and glory, but just to see if it could be done, but we stop in our tracks because someone said you’re crazy.  Can you imagine if you heard the words “you’re passionate, do it”.  What a different world this would be.

This is predominately a running blog.  It is a PASSIONATE running blog (don’t forget I’m walking and riding my bike too – lol).  It’s main objective is honoring my mother through running or mileage if you will, 11,315 long hard miles.  I also use this blog, that passion, to honor others as well.  I wouldn’t say running is my passion, but the process and results that running brings have intensified my passion in other goals I want to achieve.  The planning, the discipline and the joy of completion – on my own terms.  Passion can be crazy!  Crazy good!  The feeling that comes up from your gut that makes you want to achieve that special goal. It doesn’t have to be running, it can be anything really.

I was born with dislocated hips which required I wear a body cast.  My left tendon in my neck was so tight I couldn’t move my head from side to side.  The story goes the doctors wanted to cut out the tendon which would have left a large indentation in my neck for life.  My father refused to let them cut the tendon out and proceeded to stretch my neck back and forth until the tendon elongated and I could move my head from side to side, therefore, no need to have the tendon cut.  If you were to look at me you would never know I had any issues with my neck or hips.  It hasn’t slowed me down or kept me from doing anything.  What is the point of this vignette?  We all have issues, hurdles or hills to climb on the way to achieving your passion.  The beginning path may be rough but the ending glorious.

It’s crazy not to have passion.  Happy miles to you and a very happy Tuesday.

Running: Cheap or Costly?

I love this entry from Run 5K a Day. Probably because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what running means to me and how to articulate that feeling. Enjoy.

Run5kaday's Blog

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Running: Cheap or Costly?

by Patrick Reed

How much does running cost you? I don’t mean in terms of dollars and cents. For certain, ours is an inexpensive sport when it comes to the pocket book. Even the runner bedecked with the top of the trade Garmin Fenix GPS watch ($395), a set of Jabra bluetooth enabled wireless headphones ($100), the latest Nike Air Max 95 etc., etc., etc., ($149 on sale — shown below:), and all the other latest gear — say $100 for shorts for the year, $200 for tops and a $150 sweatsuit — all of that comes down to a monthly expenditure of less than $92 a month. Okay, that is almost 22 vanilla lattes a month – gulp! Still, compared to that new elite performance tennis racket or set of golf clubs — not to mention greens fees/club fees., etc., and we are well outspent…

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