Monday, June 22, 2009

This past week was my first ever of 40 or more miles, topping out at 46. Yee haw! Of course, I wasn't so excited the last few miles of my 22-miler on Saturday, which is my longest run since my marathon last October and during which I developed a nasty blood blister under a callous, nor my 10 on Sunday (whose idea was it for the back-to-backs anyway). All in all, I'm quite pleased. . . . . . now if only I can figure out how to take Charlie Dog with me to SOB so we can stop for those most important doggie drinking breaks . . . .

Monday, June 15, 2009


Photobucket (Picture taken with mouths full of cake) Saturday, my niece, Brandi, and her fiancé, Josh Hanks, tied the knot. It was a really beautiful wedding, and I am very proud of what she and her friends accomplished with a rather limited amount of money.

This was a very bittersweet day for me. I held it together until the time came for family pictures, when it hit me hard how much I wish my mom could’ve been there. She loved her grandchildren with ever fiber of her being, and they her. Through some troubling times for my brother and his kids, she was their rock. And though they were young when she died (I believe Brandi was 6 and Cody was 4), they have never forgotten her.

Some of the most precious moments for me were watching Brandi and my dad dance together, and Brandi and her dad dance. The other was when my dad and I were leaving to go back to the motel. He was in some pretty bad physical pain and needed to go. We’re were almost to the truck when I heard a loud whistle. I turned around, and it was my brother trying to get our attention. And here running down the road toward us in her wedding dress was my niece, wanting to say goodbye to her Poppa.

Brandi and Josh, you are wonderfully beautiful people, inside and out. I give you all my love and know you will have a happy and fulfilling future.

Shackleford Trail, Ft. Jones, CA

My trail run Saturday. Where do I begin? My dad and I traveled to Etna/Ft. Jones for my niece's wedding. When we got to town on Friday, we went and found the trail head so I'd know where I was going the next day. The whole area is very beautiful. It's in the Marble Mountains in Skiskiyou County. Without knowing the trail, I had figured on about 5-5 1/2 hours for the 20 miles. I had planned on 5 miles in/out twice. However, once I got going, I realized this was going to be quite the trial. This trail was so rocky, it was ridiculous. It's a great trail for hiking and horseback riding; but running, especially with a time constraint? No. I finally gave up after 4.5 miles and no less than 8 water crossings, not counting the 5-6 feeders.

So with the water crossings and 20 miles of running, I wanted to keep my feet dry, if possible. Stupid, I know. But being totally brain dead, I had failed to tape my feet properly, and having them wet for a 20-mile run would've caused some real problems. However, it was on the 2nd or 3rd crossing going in that my right foot ended up nice and damp. On the way back, I was a mere .5 miles from the end, I am at the second to last crossing, I'm on a rock in the middle of the creek. It's not deep, about ankle deep. I decide to go a different way than I initially wanted. Took a large step to the left, my foot slipped on the rock, and (in my best Howard Cosell) DOWN GOES LESLIE! Slammed into the rocks on my left side, and for awhile I thought I sprained my left wrist. Yeah, I was a happy camper. It took me 2.75 hours for the 9-mile round trip. I'd say of that mileage, only about 3-3.5 miles total was runnable. When I run the Arcata Forest, I can do 10 miles in about 2:15, 2:20.

So I'm a bit irritated, to say the least, since I need to get 20 miles in and I'm on a time limit with my niece's wedding at 5:00 p.m. I head back down to Etna, having decided to finish up the last 11 miles on the highway (it's not a busy highway). Not challenging like trails, but at least I'd be getting the miles on my legs. Two problems, I'm totally and completely pissed off, and it's a 45 min drive back to the motel where I have to change my soaking wet shoes and socks and retape my feet. All in all - about an hour between runs. Plus the sun has decided to come out. Plus it's the freaking road. Plus I could feel a blister forming anyway. Plus, plus, plus . . . I started the run hoping my attitude AND the run would get better. Uh, no. The longer I ran, the hotter I got, the hungrier I got . . . the more pissed off I got. I finally turned around at 4.5 miles. From about Mile 6.5 on, it was sheer hell. I was thisclose to trying to flagged someone down to give me a ride back to town. It . . . sucked . . . sucked . . . sucked.

Once I staggered back to town, I hit the restaurant by the motel, and first thing asked for the largest glass of chocolate milk that they had and proceeded to chug it almost in one long gulp. I'm not sure I could possibly ever have a worse run. . . . . . . . nope, just not possible.

Until I can get some pictures posted here, you’ll have to settle for looking at them here:
Shackleford Trail

This was a gorgeous trail, and I will definitely go back for a leisurely day of hiking/running.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

This morning while doing hill repeats on The Hill, a family showed up - Dad, Mom, Kid about 9 yo, and two dogs. Now this is not a nice hill by any means. Three years ago before I started running, I could barely make it up it without feeling like I was going to die. The parents seemed to climb it fairly easily, but the kid, not so easy. He's huffin' and puffin' pushing his bike, and I'm thinking, "This doesn't look right. Here's a young kid who should be in fairly good shape, yet he can hardly make it up this thing?" Sad state of affairs, too many hours in front of the TV or video games, I assume. Hopefully, the family morning walks will continue, and soon he'll be fairly flying up that hill - walking, not riding. Cripes - I couldn't imagine trying to ride a bike up that thing!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

45 Lessons Life Taught Me

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's,we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."