Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ragnar Hawaii Adventure: Post 1

I've been home for a week and I'm still having trouble finding the words to tell y'all about my Hawaiian Adventure with Bondi Band's Ragnar team.

I'll just start at the beginning and show you lots of pictures of the gorgeousness I got to look at for 4 days.

My plane left Columbus on Tuesday night.  I had the last flight out of Cbus to LA so I could have the first flight out of LA on Wednesday morning.  Yes, that meant I'd have to hang out at LAX all night, but it also meant I'd get to The Big Island at 1pm and have much of the day left to enjoy.

I wasn't alone in LA all night.  Another teammate, Jennifer, was also flying into LA Tuesday night and had a long layover.  We were on the same flight out of LA at 7:45am.

Exhausted and excited.
I'm guessing it was around 3am.
I barely remember Wednesday night.  After being up for 36 hours, I think I passed out before my head hit the pillow....but I do remember the sunset.

Sunset Wednesday Night

There were three Moms Run This Town chapter leaders on our team.  A few years ago, an associate at a local running store mistook our group name for Moms Take Over This Town.  He spoke the truth that day.  We do, indeed, tend to take over.

With Pam and Jennifer
We have a thing for unicorns.

Thursday morning, we hiked to a lagoon.  Rumor had it that sea turtles hang out there and we can swim with them.  We can swim with them, but we can't touch them.  There's a hefty fine for touching the turtles so we were careful to keep our hands to ourselves.

The Big Island is more rocky than sandy.  We hiked over fields and mounds of igneous rock to get to the lagoon.

Hindsight: hiking over all that rock the day before we begin a 200 mile relay probably wasn't the best idea but....Hawaii.

Oh, how I love palm trees.
The Lagoon from afar.

This dude was just chillin' on the beach.  No one touched, promise.  We were told that our touch can remove protective oils from the turtle.  I'm not sure if that's actually true, but no one wanted that to happen so we didn't test it.

I sent this picture to my little ladies and told them I found Squirt!  Finding Nemo reference....anyone?


We saw lots of turtles.  They didn't come near us, but they didn't seem bothered that we were there, either.
I'm really glad I learned to swim last winter.
The current pushed me to areas where the water was over my head several times.
We took a few team pics on our hike.  Well, not the whole team, one of our teammates is the Nathan rep and he was working packet pickup so he couldn't hang with us until after the event.  There were two other men on our team.  One was the photographer and the other didn't want to be the only dude in the picture.

The ladies of Bondi Band's Hang Loose Haoles

Hangin' Loose
As far as "sight seeing" goes, this was all I did.  Thursday night, the ladies of Van 1 went to bed early because we started running at 6:20 on Friday morning!

The rest of our sight seeing was done on foot as we ran across the island.  In my teeny tiny humble opinion, it was the best way to see the fabulous Big Island.

I'll stop here.  I don't want to break the Internet with all of my pictures.

The rest of my story will come in a few days.

Have you ever run a Ragnar?  This was my third.  I've also run Tennessee Road and West Virginia Trail
Have you ever been to Hawaii?  First timer, here!

Special Thanks
~to Rebecca.  None of this would have been possible without you.
~to Kari.  Tons of planning, tons of running, tons of fun.
~to Pam.  The mastermind behind Moms Run This Town.
~to my favorite husband.  For picking up my slack so I can run wild every once in a while.
~to the Hang Loose Haoles.  Y'all are awesome.  Thanks for the fabulous (long) weekend.

Friday, September 23, 2016

This happened...

About a month ago, Pam, the founder of Moms RUN This Town announced that she would be taking one lucky chapter leader with her to run Ragnar Hawaii with the Bondiband team in October.

Over the next few weeks, Pam came up with little challenges for us chapter leaders to participate in. By far, my favorite was to ask our chapter members to post videos on Instagram talking about what they love best about MRTT.  Some of my members made videos, some wrote posts on our Facebook group page.  Regardless of how they got their messages out there, I really enjoyed them all.  It's so special how a group of women, most of whom have never met in person, can have such a positive impact on one another.

Since all of the chapter leader participants are scattered across the country, Pam couldn't deliver the news to the winner in person so she asked all of us to give her the name and phone number of someone close to us who could tell the winner and video her reaction.  Pam really wanted to see the reaction.  I don't blame her.  If I had something as awesome as a trip to Hawaii to give away, I'd want to see the reaction as well.

My friend, Megan, was my contact person.

When Pam announced that she picked a winner, I sent Megan a text asking if she'd heard anything.

Waiting is so hard.
I've never been good at it.

Much later, I did notice that Megan never said "I haven't heard from Pam."

I wrote a post to my MRTT chapter, who were all waiting on the edge of their seats for news, telling them that a winner had been chosen but I haven't heard anything so I'm not the winner but I deleted it because I'd rather make that announcement after I knew who the winner was and we could congratulate her.

Then the doorbell rang.
You must be viewing this post online to see the video.  You can't see it in an emailed version.

Megan along with two other predawn runner friends, Lyndsey and Angela, and their kids were wearing leis and Megan was holding champagne.  I screamed.  I cried.  I drank from the bottle.

Ho-leeee shit, y'all.  I'm going to Hawaii!!

I did eventually drink from a glass.
I'm not completely uncivilized.
HUGE thanks to Bondiband and Moms RUN This Town!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Adora Deer

Adora came to us 10 years ago as a tiny puppy.  She was about 7 weeks old, a little imp of a thing, with ears that didn't quite have enough cartilage to stick up all the way.  She was freaking adorable.  I mean, look at her.  So stinking cute.  She was our new foster puppy and I had delusions of letting another family adopt her once she was spayed and vaccinated.

Adora got her middle name, Deer, because A, her ears, when held in a certain position, resembled a deer's ears and B, I sang the "doe a deer" song from the sound of music (you know the one, "Doe, a deer, a female deer.  Ray, a drop of golden suuuuuuuun...") except I sang, "Adora Deer, a female deer..."  It drove Randy crazy, but Adora liked my singing....

Anyway, all of our dogs have middle names and it should have been a sign back then that Adora would become a foster-fail.

On her first night with us, Adora decided that Jackson was her buddy.  Jackson didn't share her feelings.  Adora didn't care.  She wanted to snuggle with Jack and she moseyed her cute puppy butt into his crate...he growled at her, how dare she encroach on his personal space.  Adora wasn't deterred.  She plopped down right against him as he heaved a big sigh of disgust.

From then on, Adora was his puppy.

As time went on, we came to the realization that Adora was the perfect addition to our family, if an unexpected one.  Odie, Jackson and Adora quickly became a pack.

They pack-hunted, pack-napped...

...and pack-begged for treats.

Adora Deer was the sweetest and gentlest of the pack.  Even as a tiny puppy, I never had to teach her to be gentle like I did with the boys.  She never accidentally bit my finger when taking treats, she was never one to jump up on people, she practically potty trained herself by copying the boys...she was just....chill.  Very low-maintenance.  Like I said, the unexpected, perfect addition to our pack.

We lost Jackson less than three months ago.  Odie and Adora took it well.  There didn't seem to be any mourning period for them (I, however, didn't want to get out of bed for three days).  They ate, slept, played...all pretty normal.  I was a little jealous of their ability to cope so well.

Two months after Jackson's death, Adora didn't want to eat much.  She'd eat a few bites, then walk away from her bowl.  Not totally unusual for her, but after a week of this, I took her to our vet thinking that she broke a tooth or had some other dental issue.


Her teeth looked fine.  The vet suggested that we look at her belly.  Maybe she has something intestinal going on, her blood work was wonky, it might be a gut issue.  We got meds, I made her bland meals of boiled chicken and rice, which she ate, but when we switched back to dog food, she stopped eating again. 

Back to the vet for more blood work and we were instructed to give Adora whatever she wanted to eat as she'd lost more weight.  This time the blood test results were even more wonky and over the next couple of weeks the vet went in search of cancer and found it in multiple areas of her body.  By this time Adora had lost ten pounds and, though she was taking prednisone, she would only eat a few bites of chicken several times a day and select dog treats: the stinkier, the better.  Her feet would slide out from under her when standing on the tile floor, she was losing her balance frequently and her walk was slow and deliberate.

Randy and I knew that we didn't have much time with her.  On Monday morning, she was barking out the front window and wagging her tail while begging for treats.  By Monday night, she could barely lift her head.  She wasn't eating and she wasn't drinking.  Tuesday morning, she had no tail wag and she didn't get up to go outside with Odie.  We knew it was time.  

Adora Deer, my sweet, sweet foster-fail passed away surrounded by love and tears on Tuesday morning.  Just before her heart stopped, I asked her to give Jackson our love.  I'm sure moments later, there was a lot of tail wagging going on in Doggie Heaven.

Cancer has claimed two of our dogs within three months.  My emotions swing like a pendulum between heartbroken and really fucking pissed.  Most of the time, I can keep myself together, but every once in a while, a tantrum sneaks up on me.  I'm sure, with time, that will lessen.  I hope it will, anyway.

Happy tails to you, Adora.
4/26/2006 - 6/21/2016

Friday, June 3, 2016

Bayshore Marathon Weekend Recap

In the week leading up to race day, I tried hard to not stalk the weather like I usually do.  The weather is out of my control and will be what it will be.  Still....watching the weather change from high percentage of storms--undesirable-- to warm temps with high humidity--also undesirable--was a little stressful.

I packed several clothing options ranging from capris and long sleeves to shorts and a tank and decided to make an outfit decision Friday night.

The trip to Traverse City would be a 6.5 hour drive from Columbus and since Sarah, Megan and I were well-hydrated, we anticipated many stops making our drive a little bit longer.  We left Columbus at 7am on Friday and headed north.  I don't even remember what time we actually arrived with all the potty breaks and construction traffic.  We rented a house for the weekend.  This worked out so much better than having a hotel room.  We had space to roam, stretch our legs and we weren't stuck on two double beds in a studio hotel room all weekend.

Our home away from home.
Packet pick up started at 5pm so after we settled all of our stuff in the house we headed out to get our bibs.  Bayshore is a small event, only about 7000 participants running the marathon, half marathon and 10K, so you can imagine that packet pick up is a small event as well.  There were a few vendors, but certainly nothing like the huge expo at the convention center for the Columbus Marathon every year.  It was nice to get in and out.  Bigger is not always better, y'all.

After we got our bibs, we went to dinner at Poppycocks; the food was delicious.  There was a wide variety of options on the menu.  All three of us got different pastas and all of it disappeared.

When we got back to the house, we all picked out our race outfits and went to bed early-ish.

Temps were going to be in the mid-60s at the start and it was going to get hotter by the minute so I went with shorts rather than capris.  I wanted to minimize the sunburn so I opted for short sleeves instead of a tank to spare my shoulders.

Peek-A-Boo Skirt and Circuit Tee
I slept on Friday night.  Like, all night.  Maybe it was a fluke.  Or maybe it was because the bed was so comfortable.  Or maybe I'm getting better at the mental game of the marathon.

Megan and  Sarah were both up before me on Saturday and I heard them, but didn't actually wake up until my alarm went off at 4:45am.  We'd planned to leave the house at 5:30am and I left exactly enough time to get myself ready.  No extra time to second guess my outfit or my race plan.

Speaking of my race plan....it hasn't been a secret that I'm chasing down a 4:20 finish this year.  If it doesn't happen at Bayshore, that's cool, I'll keep trying, I will chip away my time until I get there, then I'll chase after another time.  I knew when we started, the temps were going to climb quickly so 4:20 might not happen.  Plan B was sub 4:33, my current PR.  Plan C is always survival.

My plan for this particular day: start off at 10 min pace then pick up the pace a little in the second half.  I had my music turned up a little louder than I normally listen to it.  I thought if it were louder than the voices in my head, that would be helpful.  Ah, the mind games we play....

At mile 12, my average pace was 9:59.  Then the wheels started to fall off.  At mile 12.5, I thought I might need to pull over to vomit.  I think I gulped a little too much Gatorade at the previous water station.  Rookie.  I walked a little, started to feel a little better and went on my way.

Miles 13 and 14 (10:42, 10:52) were a little rough then I got myself back together for 15-18 (10:04, 10:30, 10:31, 9:54).  I knew at mile 13 that it was too hot to speed up so 4:20 finish would have to wait for another day and by mile 23, Plan B went out the window as well.

Mile 19 was rough.  It was the slowest mile at 12:36.  The sun was out, it was hot, I couldn't get enough water.  I refilled the water bottles in my belt at every water station and was drinking Gatorade and water constantly.  And I could see Grand Traverse Bay.  It looked nice and cool.  I wanted to lay in it.  Face down.  Then I wouldn't have to finish this damn marathon.  Why do I do this, anyway?  Idiot.

Miles 20-25: 10:34, 11:52, 11:21, 11:27, 11:07, 10:36.  I was struggling, but by the looks of a lot of people around me, my struggles weren't as bad as some others.

Mile 25 was at the top of a hill.  Of course it was.  It was also a residential area and there were a lot of spectators out.  That was helpful.  Keep going, Jamie.  One foot in front of the other.

Mile 26, 10:35, I could hear the finish line...then I could SEE it!

The last .29 was an 8 minute pace.  Get. This. Shit. Done.

We finished on a high school track.  There were people in the bleachers cheering and a man (the race director?) with a microphone announcing all of the finisher's names.

I crossed the finish line 4:34:42, just a minute slower than my PR time, was handed a medal, it's heavy.  I like it.  Then a medic grabbed me by the shoulders, got down in my face and asked if I was ok.  I was fine.  Hot, thirsty, tired, a little delirious, but fine.

A volunteer handed me a bottle of water.  I sucked that water down and got another bottle.  I hung out in the finish area, drinking water, until Megan and Sarah crossed the finish line.

We all need showers but first, let me take a selfie.
Once we were all accounted for, we hobbled off to find the car.

The next 30 or so hours were filled with grunting, wincing, gingerly walking and a whole lot of laughing.  I'm sure y'all won't find out shenanigans near as hysterical as we did so I'll spare you most of it.

We ordered pizza Saturday night.  When the pizza delivery guy arrived, Megan and I hobbled to the door to greet him.  We were so tired, we considered asking him to come on in and feed us.

Sunday morning, I was awake, laying in bed and I heard Sarah yelling from the other bedroom, "Someone call the fire department!"  Megan and I rushed (I use this word loosely) in to see what was wrong and Sarah said, "I need to get off this top bunk!"

And we started our day in a fit of giggles.

We all had leftover pizza for breakfast and it was decided that the pizza had to come in the car with us so we could eat it on the way home.

I got to share the backseat with the pizza.
 ...and we laughed all the way back to Columbus.

This weekend could have been a huge disappointment.

It wasn't.

I had a ridiculous amount of fun with my people, the course was gorgeous and, with the exception of miles 19-25 being too hot to keep my goal pace, I had a great run.

The muscle soreness has worn off but I won't be running for a bit.  With every marathon, I promise my legs 10 days of no running.  Usually days 1-3 I swear I'm never running again, but by day 5, I'm ready and when day 10 rolls around, I can't wait to get out there.  My 10 days of rest not only allows my body time to heal, it keeps the love alive.  I'm looking forward to Tuesday.

Have you ever run any of the Bayshore events?
If you travel for races, do you go with friends?  Or would you prefer to have your family with you?  I'd love to have my kids at races, but they don't sleep well in hotels.  It's best for all of us if they stay home.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Bring on Taper

This passed weekend was our longest training run for Bayshore!  I'm relieved that's it's over and even more relieved that my whole body, though a little fatigued, is feeling healthy.  I'm not sure how long it will take before I relax and stop worrying about the stress fracture coming back, but I'm not there yet.

Of course, the biggest training weekend of the season was also a busy one.  Isn't that way it always goes?

I ended up having to do my long run on Sunday instead of, my preferred, Saturday.

Twenty two miles on Mother's Day?  Ugh.  At least I was guaranteed a nap.  Silver linings, right?

Megan and I started at 6am.  We ran a 12 mile loop, stopped at our cars to refill water bottles then went back out for a 10 mile loop.  I won't lie.  It wasn't easy.  Actually, the last 9 miles pretty much sucked.  It was daylight, not my preferred vampire conditions, and the busy day on Saturday was catching up to me...there was a little more than a little whining coming from both of us.

At mile 20.5, I was in the business of getting it done.  I picked up the pace and I wasn't stopping until my watch said 22.


Randy asked me what I wanted to do for Mother's Day.  I gave him my list of requests:
1. Run (a lot)
2. Sausage for breakfast
3. Turkey Sandwich for lunch
4. Nap
5. Martini in bed immediately following said nap

There was no number 6.  I figured after running 22 miles that morning, I'd be half drunk after the first martini and wouldn't care what we had for dinner.

Number 1-4 went off without a hitch.  I sent Randy a text when I finished the run and he sent one back saying that he was starting the sausage.  I found a copy cat recipe for the sauce on Panera's Sierra Turkey Sandwich.  Randy made the sauce and I had a Sierra sandwich in my PJs right before my eyes got heavy.  The Little Ladies tucked me into bed and snuggled with me for a bit while I napped.

When I woke up from my nap, Randy was mowing the lawn, so I didn't get my martini delivered to my bed, but I did get a delicious Pineapple Upside Down Cake martini when he finished.

Ok, I had two.

Randy and the Ladies prepped, cooked and cleaned up dinner: porterhouse on the grill, sauteed green beans, mashed potatoes, salad and garlic bread.  (Carb reload?  Yes, please.)

I was still in my PJs.

Every peak weekend should be Mother's Day.

Monday, April 18, 2016

6 months later....

Woa.  I haven't written in 6 months.

I have no fabulous excuses.

The fact is, I didn't want to.  I didn't feel like I had anything interesting to say, so I chose to say nothing.  Also, I've been far more interested in living life than writing about it.

It's time to get back on the horse, so here goes...


Since last summer's stress fracture, I've been so, so careful.  Coming back to running was a very conservative process...painfully conservative.  I was so irritated with how freaking slow the comeback was... but I complained loudly and followed the plan anyway.  Some rules are not meant to be broken.

Eight months later, I'm back to my normal running.  I'm training for the Bayshore Marathon and it's getting to be peak weeks of training.  The mileage had increased slowly, and I have been pretty nervous to run miles in the upper teens, but my shin seems to be handling everything well.

Back in January, I started attending boot camp classes two days a week at Power Train Sports and Fitness.  This is really helping to keep my whole body strong and healthy.  For the whole month of January, I was constantly sore.  Everywhere.  OMG, everything hurt!  My muscles needed to get used to the new abuse.  By the time February (and the start of Bayshore training) came around, I was used to the new workouts and I wasn't nearly as sore.

The boot camp classes are changing my body for the better.  The scale hasn't moved much, but everything is tighter and I've had to buy new pants.  My underwear is even too big.  Underwear doesn't lie, friends.

A sad goodbye...

I've talked about Jackson a lot on this blog, especially a few years ago when he tore his ACL and needed to have surgery to realign his knee.  In the days following the surgery, Jack had some anxiety and I spent a considerable amount of time laying in the crate with him...and spent seven weeks rehabbing his leg back to health.  In the 10 years that Jackson lived with us, he has not been a low-maintenance dog, nor was he always well-behaved.  But he was ours; we loved him and he us.

Back in February,  I took Jack to the vet for lethargy and swollen lymph nodes.  After some testing, we found out that Jackson had cancer and the lymph nodes were the secondary site.  We opted to not put Jack through the stress of further examinations to find out exactly what type of cancer and where it started.  We started giving him pain meds and I told Jackson to tell me when it was time and I promised him that I would listen.

For the next month, I watched him like a hawk.  He was still eating normally, greeting us at the door with toys and barking at everything out the front window but I noticed that he wasn't resting comfortably during the day...he'd lay on his couch, but wouldn't sleep and I knew we were getting close.  The next day, on March 25, I was sitting next to him on his couch.  My face was close to his and I asked him for kisses.  The dog who couldn't ever control his licker, turned away from me.  He wouldn't give kisses.  That was my sign.

I'll spare you the details of my emotional agony.  Jackson died peacefully that afternoon in my and Randy's arms, surrounded by love.  The week following was hard.  Jackson was an enthusiastic greeter in a "hello, snout, meet my crotch" kind of way with more than a happy tail.  It was a whole butt wag.  Odie and Adora greet us at the door, but not like Jack did.  It's very underwhelming.  Slowly, we're all getting used to our new normal.

Our New Normal

The people....

Nearly a year and a half ago, my car was broken into, my purse stolen and my credit cards used.  Around this time last year, one of "the people" who burglarized my car was put in jail for 4 years but the other person couldn't be tried as she was already in jail in another county.  Winner.

She got out of jail in the fall and is back in jail for another 4 years just like her buddy.  On December 10, 2014, they messed with the wrong little runner girl.


Well, I think that's all the big news I have to share for now.  Skirt Sports should be announcing the 2016 ambassadors this month, I'm thrilled to be a part of their team again this year and I'll be sure to post when the ambassador profiles are on the website.  Until then, go shop!  Skirt Sports has some fantastic new prints this season, use the code RMR20 for a 20% discount.

Let's chat!
Tell me what's new in your life!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

BOSU and BOSU Sport Review

In early September, I was selected to participate in the BOSU FitFamily Instagram Challenge through Sweat Pink.  Later that week, BOSU sent me the Balance Trainer and the BOSU Sport to use with my kids.

As soon as they arrived, we couldn't wait to set them up!

Kid1, Kid2 and I are super excited for the Bosu Sport Kid Challenge! #bosustrong #fitfamily #sweatpink

From that day forward, we "played" with the BOSUs, for at least a few minutes, daily.

I had to lay some ground rules.  The girls weren't allowed to use the BOSUs unless I was with them to supervise (ahem, to play with them).  Safety first!  I didn't want them doing something foolish and getting hurt.  (For example: jumping from the love seat to the BOSU to the couch...they may or may not have attempted that little trick.)

I posted several pictures to Instagram during the BOSUstrong Challenge that took place the weeks before the FitFamily Challenge.

When it was time for FitFamily Challenge week, the girls and I had a lot of fun taking pictures to post to Instagram.  This one is my favorite of the week:

We were given the digital download of the BOSU Kids workout DVD.  I screened it before I let the kids loose with it.  We all loved it!  The exercises are fun--too fun for it to be considered "exercise". What I really liked was the "how to use" tutorial in the beginning.  The video explained and demonstrated how to set up the BOSU and how to "fall off" and get back on (always step forward onto the BOSU, never backward).  Very explicit.  I liked that.

After my stress fracture healed this summer and I came out of the boot, my physical therapist had me stand on one foot on the BOSU at the PT office.  This helped build back the tiny muscles in my foot, ankle and the muscles that attach to my tibia.  It was hard and it hurt at first but the more I practiced, the stronger I became.  The PT also put me on a squishy foam block to stand on one foot, but quickly decided that the BOSU was better for me because it made me work harder.

#FreeFriday here's my #BOSUstrong! #fitfamily #sweatpink @bosu_fitness @fitapproach #ad

The BOSU has definitely played a large part in my recovery.  I was very thankful to have one at home so I could do my strength exercises more than twice a week at the PT's office.

For the past (almost) two months, the ladies and I have really enjoyed having a BOSUs in the house.  I like it because the options are unlimited and it really works all of my muscles while improving my strength and balance.  The kids like it because....well...it bounces.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by BOSU but all opinions expressed are my own.  I truly appreciate all of the brands that support the Sweat Pink community.