One More Day with Charlie

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Hi everyone!  I have not posted recently, been pretty busy training for my next half in September.  I have not posted mostly because my running has not motivated me to post.  Not that I am not running, that is happening for sure; had one of my best runs ever last weekend.  It is just that I have not been motivated to post about running.

When I started this blog I did it with the intent of blogging mostly about my journey “From Here to Me” and right now involves a lot of running and lifestyle changes.  For some reason I have not been able to write about these things lately; so I am thinking maybe a change for a bit.

Maybe I will post what it is like to be a peri-menopausal 49-year old with the goal of sliding into fifty fit, fabulous, and sane :).

Today my post is going to be about Charlie.  Charlie is our 15-year old Russian Blue, he is affectionately known as Charlie Man around the house.  Charlie came to us about 4-years ago when a neighbor of ours passed away.  Timmons’ (our neighbor) family did not want him and asked if we would take him.  Being an animal rescue household, we were not going to say no; and every day since has been a joy.

I want to tell you first about Timmons, our fantastic neighbor.  Timmons was a WWII vet who had been a prisoner of war in Germany, as a career (he was long since retired when we met him) he was an Ad Man, you know in the 50s and 60s like on Madmen, after retirement he became a fixture in the Louisville area social scene.

Timmons was also married for over 30 years and had children.  30 years into his marriage he let everyone know that he preferred the company of a male partner and from that day forward was able to live his life with a man he loved; they were together for over 30 years.  We loved Timmons and miss him dearly.

Back to Charlie – when we first took Charlie we also took a chair from Timmons family and a pair of Timmons pants.  For a month Charlie laid in our bedroom on that chair and pair of pants.  It took my daughter visiting from college to bring him out of the room.  Since that time we have all fallen in love with Charlie and his charming ways.  A few days ago Charlie, who has been getting thinner, was showing distress in his breathing so we took him to the vet.  It turns out his lungs were full of fluid; so we had the vet drain the fluid and brought him home.  The vet said with medication, which we started that next day, and follow-up he could be fine.

Well, last night Charlie had a seizure, it was scary and sad.  My daughter works part-time at the local animal shelter and she was working today, so we thought we might decide to put him down.  She was working until 6 pm so she asked that we wait until the end of her shift.  But today Charlie had a good day.  He ate some, laid with me while I napped and laid with my husband a bit, this is pretty much his normal routine at 15-years old.  We decided not to take him to the shelter, and I took the day off tomorrow to see how he does tonight and tomorrow.

My daughter’s other job is at a Vets office, so she will talk to them on Monday and see what they say.

We never want to see him suffer, but we certainly do not want to take away his life if he is feeling better.  This is a really tough decision; how do we decide when quality of life is not good and it is time to end it?  I am really struggling with this decision.  We love our animals like family, so on one hand we do not want them to suffer, on the other, we do not want to lose them.

So, here we are, enjoying one more day with Charlie, and perhaps another, or maybe not.

The Yearning!

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Do you yearn to run?  It has been a crazy couple of weeks culminating in a 22-hour work day Sunday into Monday and three very long days since.  With all of this work I have only run one time this week for about 30-minutes.

On my way to work today one of the songs I have on my running play list came on the radio, and then I passed someone who was running; and the yearning began, hard and deep.  I sincerely wanted to pull my car over, get out and just start running.  Had I not been in dress pants and a pair of loafers, and 10-minutes late for a meeting, it might have happened.

I have also noticed myself waving to and cheering on runners this week as I drive by them.  I have done that before, but this past week it is every runner that I see.  I am throwing thumbs up, fist pumps, waves, you name it, if it is a positive reinforcement sign, I have thrown it this week.

A little over a year ago if someone would have shared with me his/her desire to run and how much they enjoyed it and needed it, I probably would have scoffed and made a comment.  Something like “I only run if I am being chased.” or “I only run to get the phone”.  NOW, I understand that yearning that comes when your routine has been sidelined.  How you can feel that desire to run and how you can think about it to the point of distraction.

Tonight when I get home, loafers and dress pants off , running shoes and shorts on; I will satisfy this yearning tonight!

Anticipation…

Anticipation

I do not like anticipation, waiting, surprises; I am a person of action and these things make me crazy.  If I had to pick a weakness this would be it, I am not good at waiting.  I was the kid digging through my parent’s closet weeks before Christmas, and I am the person who hates when someone says “I have a surprise for you!”.

If I am waiting for something to happen, I want to be planning while I am waiting.  I think it is why I need a formal training program when getting ready for a race; it is also why I always need to have some sort of race scheduled at some time in the future.  I would love to say I am a dedicated athlete who has spent my life worshipping at this temple that is my body.   Truth is, that I have not done that, but at some I point realized that I am a planner who does not like to fail.  If I made my goal to get healthy, stay in shape, and train for a PR in every race, these things would keep me going until all of this healthy eating and exercising stuff just became part of who I am.

I am anticipating something different right now, something a little more personal and I am struggling with how to keep myself busy while waiting.  Any planning I have to do for this event is short and can be completed in a couple of days and the event is still a couple of weeks out from today.  So the good news, it is keeping me focused on my physical training and eating because these things keep my mind off of it.  The bad news, I would have to be running every waking hour to not think about it…Ugh!

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So, what I really need to do is practice patience and keep a positive attitude as I wait for the next new adventure in my life :).  And remind myself that sometimes it is OK to be the passenger and not the driver.

Altruism and Grace

I am going to forego my running updates (well at least in part, I will mention it in the end), to discuss giving and forgiving.

I had a situation this weekend where at some point I said to someone “Take off the saint hat, it does not fit”.  It was certainly a mean thing to say and I probably should have explained myself better.  So, that is going to come out here, today, in my blog.

When you choose to give, when you choose to forgive; you have to do both without expectation of something in return.  You have to decide to do each out of kindness, out of a sense of humanity, you have to be altruistic; you have to offer grace.  If that is not your intent going in, you will be disappointed.

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Altruism is about selflessness and grace about giving and forgiving without strings.  These are both hard, I think they must not come natural to a lot of people, they certainly do not come naturally to me, but every day I keep them in my mind so that I may grow into them.

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Now on to my running, something I do for myself.  I Did a couple of short runs this week and tomorrow my daughter and I are going to do a trial run on the hills that are part of the course for our race next week.  Next Saturday we run a 10-miler, the 3rd race in a three race series.

And what about altruism and grace in running?  I give my all to running, I do not expect to win every race, I do not expect to PR every time I go.  I go to give to myself and sometimes to forgive myself for that piece of cake I ate last night :).

 

My Race Moments

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I had a race this weekend and as I explained in yesterday’s entry I almost let my excuses talk me out of it.  Today I want to share some things that popped in my head, and not just yesterday but on other race days.  It is funny what you think when you are racing, or when you are prepping to race.  So, here are a few of my race day “moments”.

That Moment When…

  • The alarm goes off at 5:45 am…on your day off
  • You lay there for a second thinking, “I really could just go back to sleep”.
  • You get up telling yourself maybe; when you know that now that you are up, it is definitely a yes.
  • You are tying your shoes and you get all excited!
  • You are at the start line, waiting for the race to start and everything around you disappears.
  • You are 1-mile into the race and you wonder “why the hell am I doing this?”
  • You reach the half way mark and you KNOW why you are doing it.
  • You are still a mile and a half from the finish line and the elite runners have already finished and are going by you running the course backwards.
  • You cross the finish line and you think, “When is my next race?”

That pretty much sums up the thoughts from my doubt to a successful finish and why I love races.  It is a challenge; a challenge to overcome my own demons, my own voices telling me why I cannot do it.

What are your race or running “moments”?  Why do you run?

Be a Crafty Runner

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So this weekend I ran my first race since the Half in Disney, and it was my birthday, and I got Bon Jovi tickets, and yesterday (Monday) was National Napping Day (which I celebrated in style).

What more could you ask for in a weekend?  At my age not much, it was a full and fun weekend!

The race was on Saturday morning, a local 5K, and the first in a 3-race series that takes place over the next month.  A 10K on the 23rd and then a 10-mile on April 6th will complete the series.  There is a local Half two weeks after that, I am still thinking about that one, not sure I am quite ready for another Half yet.  I really did enjoy the 5K; it was a fast and flat route which made it an amazing way to start a great weekend.  I will definitely not be giving up this running thing any time soon.

My daughter, who runs with me, had a great idea; she wanted to scrapbook all of our bibs, a way to save them and something fun to do.  So after the race we cleaned up and went to the craft store.  My other daughter decided she wanted to crochet again, they did a lot of crocheting with their Grandmother when they were little and thought it would be fun to start again.  We were already going to the craft store, so why not?

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At the store we picked up cute scrapbooks, scrapbook paper, stickers, glue, etc.  Then it was time to go get the crocheting stuff.  I should state that I know nothing about crocheting and the most creative thing I have done in a decade is buy a cute sparkle skirt and put it together with a t-shirt to make a costume for the Princess race.  That being said, there was a woman in the “Crocheting Department” more than willing to help.  She showed us which needles to buy and suggested some yarn.  Total, less than $10, for that price I can try anything…or so I thought.

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We came home from the store feeling all crafty and stuff, decided that the scrapbooking would be easier so we would save that for a Friday night dinner and wine evening and dove right into the crocheting.  We Googled You Tube videos to see how to start the yarn and the first stitches.  Let’s jump right to the end of this fiasco; the middle part of the story is painful.  By the end, my daughter, the one with the idea in the first place was cursing, I gave up, and my other daughter made a blanket while we were trying to figure out the slip knot (Not really but she definitely got it).  So this Friday will be a crocheting 101 tutorial taught by my daughter, wine, and scrapbooking.

Thankfully I have a long run planned for Saturday; it will give me a chance to relax.

Nike, take me away!

 

What a week!  Not only have I not posted to my blog, but from Saturday to Saturday I did not run or go to the gym.  This week really got away from me, but today, finally, I got to run.  Who needs Calgon when you have a pair of Nike’s and a running path along the river.

It has really been a stressful week and not working out or running has really been bugging me, but the upside of this is that as I was out there today it made me realize I really do love doing it. As each step was taken, as each landmark passed, as the mile markers were behind me, the stress just went away, like it was blowing away in the breeze I was leaving as I ran. (Whoa, that is sort of deep!)

I am not the fastest runner and I spend some of my time walking, but I am out there moving away all of the stress from my week.  I will never go without it for 6 days again, it made me somewhat grumpy this week.

I did not do the six miles I intended to do today, but I did to four miles and the 5k part of those 4-miles was under 40 minutes and the whole run was 50 minutes, so better than last week.  I will be back out there tomorrow morning and back here tomorrow night.

175 days smoke free and 166 more nights sleep before the Disney Princess Half Marathon.