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Monday, October 5, 2015

working through the discouragement

Dear friends,

What a weekend.  Sunday was the Urban Cow Half marathon that I've been training for... it was a bitter sweet day.  The Sunday before I felt knee pain from an old knee injury that happened when I was a child.  I saw a doctor and was doing everything I could to heal.  It didn't happen.  Instead my daughter ran in my place. She and my friend did the Relay, each running 6.55 miles.

Here we are taking a pre-run picture. I'm trying to have a brave smile as I see all my awesome Kaia girls excited for their races.  Like our matching shirts?  While I was sad, I was also happy for my daughter and the others.

While my Kaia girls were racing, I joined our cheer squad at mile 1 and 11.

I absolutely love this sign!  And so did the runners who passed us by.
We rang our cow bells and cheered the runners as they came through.  I was so happy to see my daughter at mile 11.

She killed it and finished the second leg of the race in 1.23 minutes. My friend finished the 1st leg in 1.40 minutes.  I was proud of them.

Marathon runners had 4 hours to complete this race. By 11:45, we were still waiting for our last Kaia girl to reach mile 11.  I had been following her training and knew how determined she was to complete 13.1 miles.  She has lost a significant amount of weight and has battled knee pain as well.  I nearly began to cry as we saw her walking towards mile 11.  I saw the determination in her face. You could see the toll on her body and spirit as she walked towards us. Our cheer squad went to meet her and we walked alongside her as she neared the finish line. I couldn't walk all the way because of my knee but I shouted out: ERICA, I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! She turned and smiled.  Have you ever been so happy for another person? I never knew it was possible to be incredibly sad for yourself and happy for another.  I guess I'm learning to be a better person.

I know if I were able to run that race, I would have been 15 minutes or so in front of her.  I heard one girl say out loud: "YOUR RACE, YOUR PACE."  I was so grateful to be part of that cheer squad. I witnesses so much in those few hours. 


Afterwards, I met up with both my daughters, son-in-law and grandchildren and we all celebrated my daughter's victory with breakfast at IHOP. It was a wonderful morning.

Later that evening, I was on Facebook looking at everyone's awesome pictures. I think that's when I let myself cry.  I had worked so hard and I wanted that feeling of accomplishment.  I wanted my cowbell.  But I know everything happens for a reason. Maybe I would have beaten myself up over my time.  Who knows.

It was then that I got an in-box message from one of the ladies at Kaia. She's 63 years old and ran the relay. She wanted to know how things went for me at the race.  I told her about my knee but asked how did she do.  She averaged a 13 minute mile.  I recalled her first run and commented on how far she's come since that first run.  

Paula, do not give up.  Eventually it pays off but you have to work through the discouragement and keep going!! 

I needed those words at that very moment.  It's one thing to know this and it's another thing when a 30 year old person tells you this but these words have so much power when a 63 year old woman who just ran 6.55 miles in 13 minutes tells you this... It  meant everything to me.  Imagine being part of a community of woman who inspire and lift you up in so many ways.

Yes, I'm working through the discouragement.... and I'm not giving up.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Flu-like symptoms after running

Happy Monday friends. I hope you had a great weekend.  Mine was pretty busy as usual. Do you ever feel like you need a day just to rest from your weekends?Yea, that's me.  Burning the candle at both ends.  My body is feeling the effects of running, Kaia workouts and family commitments.

The eyes never lie. This girl is T.I.R.E.D....

Yesterday I did 8 miles. It took me 2.15 minutes.  I averaged 15 minute mile. This sucks... Yea, I know. at least I'm not on the couch.  Jogging more than an hour really takes it out of me.  I've been missing my Kaia workouts.  I just can't shake the sheets in the morning.  I'm listening to my body and thinking it's just too much for me.

Next week is the Urban Cow Half-Marathon and I'll be glad when it's over. I gotta tell you. Every time I jog over an hour, I have flu symptoms. Honestly, who gets a low grade fever after running?

Resting and Nutrition is so important when it comes to running and Function Fitness workouts.  This girl will be glad when Sunday comes and goes.

Me thinks this is my FIRST and LAST half-marathon...

Monday, September 21, 2015


Happy Monday all. Hope you had a great weekend.  Mine was busy. I spent Friday with my grandson volunteering at an Immigration Fair.  Many current and former law students joined attorneys to share the process and procedures of being a U.S. citizen and to assist people with the DACA (The dream Act). I know immigration is a controversial and complicated subject, and one that hits close to home.  I mean, I was born in Texas which is just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from the border, so there is that…. Okay, I’ll change the subject because it’s a heated topic around these parts.

I am entering week 8 of my Urban Cow Half Marathon training. On Sunday, we did a pre-race run of the course. You could either do 11 or 13 miles. I chose the 11 miles and it was longest run ever. It was incredible to see young and old doing this race. 

I got behind a 3.15 hour pacer. She was power walking the entire time.  I was reminded again to embrace the power walk. Especially when your power walk is faster than you running.

This was a test run so I started my morning with oats and pumpkin.  I grabbed a water, and I had two GUs in my running belt.  My running partner did not have breakfast and no food so I gave her my running GUs. It was the right thing to do. After mile 9, I was losing steam. I had no more water. I was careful to take small sips.  Luckily, there was a 2nd water station set up with Gatorade. I filled my bottle as I knew I needed the sugar and calories.  After mile 10, it really got HARD.  Two power walkers had passed me. My friend was was ahead of me the first 8 miles was now walking. Her ankle was hurting. I felt bad about leaving her behind but this was pre-race. I knew the Urban Cow volunteer riding his bike up and down the course would continue checking on her. He had passed me like 5. Does this make me a bad friend?  I struggled with going ahead. She said she would just walk so I powered through...

The last 20 minutes I the run was difficult.  I did a combo of jog/walk. Another woman came behind me as asked me if I had eaten? When I said no, she handed me a protein bar. I was so grateful. I started to eat straight away.  By the time I got to the Finish to check- out, my GPS had said I completed 11.78 miles with an average pace of 14.5 minutes.  2:53 minutes I had completed nearly 12 hours.  I was so happy to be done.  I wondered if I could have done another 2 miles.  That course is longer… Do I have the inner and physical strength to complete the half?  Well, if I could do 12, I better do the 13.1 because if I don’t do it, I’ll never forgive myself.  

I wailed for my friend.  A couple of the other walkers were worried about her too.  I started to walk back to look for her and then I saw her.  I was so relieved. As she wen to check-in, I walked to get my car and pick her up.  I figured with walking to look for my friend, and getting there car, I probably did the 13.1 miles and guess what? I DID IT!

It’s interesting what goes through your mind when you’re running and walking for nearly 3 hours.  I played no music… it was just me and my thoughts.  There are some parts of the course, I can’t even remember and others I totally remember.  The last stretch on the River Road was incredibly difficult. But I knew where I was… I recalled how 2.5 years ago, I walked that road after one of my chemo treatments. I felt so thankful to be on that road again.  It was like the good Lord reminding me… you are capable. You are strong… You are alive.  Thank you Diosito… 

I am always reminded that I may not be where I want to be but I am certainly not where I was… And if I find myself in a place where I don’t’ want to be again, I know I’ll be okay… I know with God’s grace, I’ll have the strength to persevere. 


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Being Present

Happy Tuesday all.  I hope your week is off to a good start. I'm entering Week 8 of half-marathon training. It's been a challenge to do my regular Kaia workouts and my running 3 days a week.  Funny how 3 and 4 miles no longer feels scary.  I'm confident with shorter runs even though my pace still sucks but I see small improvements. I can jog a consistent 14 minute mile. Please don't laugh...

Last Saturday, I was scheduled for 10 but only completed 9.  It was tough but I know I'm capable of going the distance. I'll be wiped out by the end of 13.1 but I'm confident I can get it done in 3.5 hours. Again, don't laugh LOL.

 In between training, I did a 3 mile obstacle course with my daughters called Wipeout. Have you seen the show? I have to admit it was fun but scary.  I did the majority of the obstacles except for that one where you walk across a plank with huge red balls coming at you. If you are struck by the red balls, you fall into water that's waist high.  Even with a life jacket, I walked around. I got some great photos of my girls.  It was a great way to spend the day with my kids.

Here I am coming down a 50 foot slide.  When I look at the picture below my instinct was to focus on the imperfection of my 53 year old body but then I flipped the switch and all I see is Victory!

Look at my arms?  They look strong!  You can even see the beginnings of a waist.  I also see a woman who is fully present and in the moment. I know it sounds like a cliche... but life doesn't get any better than this....

I wish I could say my nutrition has been "on point."  Unfortunately, it has not and that keeps me farther from my goal of losing 10 lbs.  I guess it is true:  you can't exercise away a bad diet.    I'm working on getting my portions right. I've teamed up with a fellow Kaia girl and we started a soup exchange for meals.  I made an awesome 15 bean chili. Who knew there were that many beans ;-)....

Fall is just around the corner and I'm feeling inspired to play in the kitchen so if you have any great recipes, please share.

Later, gators

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Mantras...they work!

Happy Wednesday all.  Are you looking forward to the three-day weekend? I sure am.  I'm in Week 6 of my Half Marathon training. It's seriously hard to train for a marathon.  I've been having back issues and there are times I can't sleep but I'm managing.  Warm-up, stretching, icing and Epsom salt baths are my new normal.  My first Epsom Salt scared the crap out of me.  The minute I got out of the tub, my whole body tingled to the point that I could not dress myself and I just layed on the sofa for 30 minutes.  Is that normal?

Mantras have also been a huge part of my journey.  You know I always say "I'm not where I want to be but thank goodness I am not where I was..." That's worked for awhile but this morning, during my 8 mile jog, I used "I CAN DO HARD THINGS."  That really got me past mile 7. I'm slow but I'm consistent so I can work with that....

I am a little behind in training.  I should be running 10 miles on my long runs but I'm gradually improving. Last weekend, I did 6.5 and today, 8.25 so that's a steady gain. 

I'm not sure I'll ever run like this again, but I  made a commitment to myself.  If you've read PWC, you might remember that I give myself a goal to complete each year around my birthday... and so Sacramento's Urban Cow 1/2 marathon it is....

I'm a hot sweaty mess, but I'm getting the miles done. Thank goodness for Mantras.  Do you have a mantra that you want  to share? What helps you achieve your goals?  I'd love to hear any advice you have... please hit me up in the comments, if you'd like.

Two more days and it's the weekend.... Got any fun plans for this 3 day weekend?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Adventures in Hiking and feelings of gratitude

Hi friends, how's your week so far? I'm bopping along with my training.  I'm up to 5 miles without stopping, but my pace idles at 15 mph.  My running partner is at 10:33 mph. I'm jealous for sure but I remind self that jealousy robs me of my own victory. So there is that... This morning, I dd a timed mile and I really pushed.  I was third from last and I came in at 11:19.  I'm doing the happy dance.  Gosh, if I could only sustain that... but it's an improvement and I won't be greedy.  I was scheduled for a 6 mile run but instead, I did a 6 mile hike.

My buddy Pablo and I drove to Carson Pass to hear a speaker talk on the history of Lake Tahoe and the Mormon Immigrant Trail. I didn't realize how vital the Morman's were to that region. Interesting stuff until I realized I was covered in ants...

After the history lesson, we hiked to Frog's Lake where we ate our lunch.  Afterwards, we continued on until we got to the sign that pointed to the Pacific Crest Trail.

The Pacific Crest Trail spans 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington. My friend says there's a movie I need to watch about a woman who hiked this trail (I Made a mental note of that movie).  Gosh, I can't imagine walking to Mexico especially after hiking for about 2 miles on the trail. It was very rocky.  I didn't want to share this with my friend, but I was nervous. Look at them rocks?

Lots of small rocks

Elephant's Back in the distance

My friend wanted us to climb Elephant's Back by going up these rocks and then circling around.  Just look at Elephant's Back? It's deceiving for sure.  I tried to walk up but it was so unstable. I was scared to death that I would slip on a rock and fall and roll off the mountain.  I'm brave but not stupid. I could tell my friend wasn't too sure of me because he said "ummm let's try and get you home in one piece."  I was like "COOL!".

We headed back to the sign so we could hike to Lake Winnemucca.  Isn't it beautiful?  I would love to camp here but I doubt I could get my family or husband to do this hike.

After having a snack, we headed back to Carson Pass.

But first, I needed a picture to prove that I was  here.

Can I tell you a secret?  The last time I hiked with my friend  we did Mt. Tallac,  It was a goal I set for my 50th birthday. I remember being very tired. Two months later, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Invasive Breast Cancer.  The fear of that disease was with me the entire hike to Lake Winnemucca. I talking to God the entire hiking trip... I continued to Him for his grace and mercy that I was here... I think this is why I've started to blog again.  To have tangible proof that I am was here. Does that sound odd to you?  We all think about our legacy, right? 

This morning as I logged onto Facebook, it shared a memory from 3 years ago when I climbed Mt. Tallac.  Another reminder of how blessed I am.  I'm so incredibly grateful for the last 3 years. You know, I start each morning counting my blessings and setting my intentions for the day. 

I do my best to stay out of Fear.  I remind self that it's not what God wants for me or for you.  Some days are easier but I remind self that "today is the day the Lord has made for me... I shall rejoice in it."  I'm so thankful I have the Lord to lean on. I don't mean to sermonize this post. I'm just incredibly grateful for his mercy.

That's all.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Hi friends, how's your Wednesday?

I'm bumping along. This morning, I ran with my friend who does 11 minute miles and I really pushed. It was hard. But I shortened my running pace to 14 minutes.

After my 3 miles, I did my Kaia workout. It was tough... I could barely walk into my office. 

Stackin workouts is no joke.
I was reading Cup of Jo on my lunch hour and well, I couldn't resist resting my dogs... LOL.

It felt good to UNLOAD my thoughts in yesterday's post.  That was yesterday and today is today.  Don't you just love how you get a fresh start each day?

 Later, gators.