Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 in the books, speaking of books, and the path ahead!

Well that happened fast, 2016 already in the books.  It seems like everything I read is talking about how excited everyone is for the year to be over and how much they cannot wait for 2017.  2016 was actually very good to me (minus the last month #yuck) and I will forever have some GREAT memories!  In a year of Instagram for me, here are a few of my favorites....
This Spring coaching these girls was one of the highlights of my life for sure :)  I still think about them everyday.

In May I ran my first real race back - at Bolder Boulder - it was a pretty much perfect weekend.
My sister, and my 3 nieces/nephews came - and my coach :)
I have to include this one, because this sign is now framed in one of our rooms!
I married my  best friend, and this truly was "thee best day of my life"
My girls at rehearsal dinner... Missing is my sister (probably chasing one of her amazing kids around)  - but these girls are so special, absolutely salt of the earth.

The Chicago Training Cycle with W, one I will never ever forget, we literally ran stride for stride all summer long - at 4 in the morning, in ridiculous heat, through the ups, downs, through it all.

And CHICAGO!  No words can capture how hard I worked to get back here.  It was a very special day.  And hopefully a harbinger of what's to come.

Unfortunately, the honeymoon foot incident put a bit of a damper on the end of the year, and most of my vacation time has been consumed with PT and rehab; but it doesn't seem like work to me because it's my dream, it's my passion, it's my breath.  New Years' Day marks 5 weeks, and I am getting very close to being able to hit the roads again; I can taste it.   Injury for an athlete can almost take your voice away; so I have been reading a lot.  Here is "CB's Book Review" - if you are interested ;)

From Left to right:
1)  Dandelions Growing Wild:  This is a running read - BUT I think anyone would love it.  Talk about overcoming adversity - dang.   To me it seems that some people get A LOT to overcome, and knock them down one by one, and some just get small little pebbles.  Either way it doesn't matter, what you get is YOUR journey and you walk it as only you WOULD and you COULD.

2)  GRIT:  Awesome read about what drives some people to no end, why some people are so GRITTY, why they are GRITTY, and what GRIT means.   Now first a disclaimer, I don't necessarily think GRIT is 100% a good thing.  I think GRIT can be overwhelming and all consuming.  But I do think it is important to understand if you have it, so you can understand why you are* (as insane as you are).    It was funny as I read this I related to every single story - never the smartest or fastest, but always the grittiest.  I think it helped me actually in the last few weeks understand why I do what I do - why I am so driven, so focused, so disciplined - to a fault at times.  There is a quote in the book that just totally resonated with me:
"It sometimes feels like we have nothing left to give, and yet, in those dark and desperate moments, we find that if we just keep putting one foot in front of the other, there is a way to accomplish what all reason seems to argue against."

3)  How Bad Do You Want It?  This is a strict sports Psychology book, that I wouldn't recommend unless you are competing in something.  It might be boring otherwise.  My favorite nugget from this one is EXPECTIONS are everything - if you expect and embrace the "pain cave" to come; you almost get a thrill from it.  Never get too cocky or too complacent - assume its coming, embrace it, and take it head on.  Makes me ready to take on my next race :)-

4)  You are a Bad Ass  Oh man, no matter what, read this!  I loved this book, totally a kick in the pants - and gets you riled up to create YOUR life.  We often are a results of our past experience and upbringing - which can be a great thing - but you also have to set your own mental paths for what you can and cannot do.  I have been told NO a lot, and believed it.  I think physically I can qualify for the O trials - it's been the mental piece that has stopped me in my tracks.  This put a few new tools in my toolbox to tackle that!

5)  When Breath Becomes Air:      Absolutely oustanding book about a Dr. whose goal is to integrate the patient's feelings and emotions (basically bedside manner) with the science.  My opinion only**  But there are very few doctors who have both, if you find one, you are blessed.  Ironically, during the course of the journey he himself is diagnosed with cancer - and everything he has spent his whole life working towards; now he never gets to use.  As he dies rather swiftly after diagnosis.  A book about not waiting until the perfect moment to do something - because you might not get tomorrow, a book about legacy, and the impact, the purpose, the meaning of YOUR life, a book about life - and the purpose of living.  A deep one, but a GREAT one.

6)   Man's Search for Meaning:    So this was REALLY deep, recommended to me from a list of books you must read.  It was intersting for sure.  The author was actually a prisoner in the Holocaust and he survives (obviously :) - - Essentially the whole book is that you can survive ANYTHING if you have a greater purpose - if you feel you are alive to do something, to achieve something, to be there for someone.  It can be your meaning in life is to be a phenomenal parent, leader, business owner, or it could be to qualify for O Trials, or a cancer saving doctor - it doesn't matter - what matters is that DRIVES you day in and day out to be the best you can be; and sometimes that means just surviving.  Deep - but good.

So, 2017 - the path ahead!  I am more focused and determined then ever to continue chasing my dream.  I feel like every year I gain more GRIT, more experience, more miles in the bank that will pay off.  In the short term, first things first is to get healthy and back to the roads; which is very close.  I have been running on the Alter G - and close to my full body weight.   Past that, my goal is still to run on 3/19 - - but I need to learn to be okay with not having a perfect training cycle; as obviously I am already behind.  I am going to take it one day at a time; and do whatever it takes to get to the line.   Then spend the Spring and Summer getting faster; focusing on a Fall 1/2 marathon PR - - all leading to my goal race in January 18.  
I also am excited to announce I will be coaching again this Spring! As for work - continuing  to be the best leader I can be - building our regional team to be as strong as possible.  And in every thing I do, my goal is to get out of my head - - focus on me, and what I am doing in the very moment; not worrying about everyone else, the next task,  the next day, but be present, be happy, be alive TODAY...because that is the only thing for certain.

All the best  - here's to an amazing 2017 for all!

Sunday, December 4, 2016


Yea.  Lately those are about the only two verbal reactions I can muster.  :(    My next post was supposed to be a super happy one, a random update on training, a 1/2 marathon race recap, and perhaps plans for the Spring...and an exciting Honeymoon adventure story.  But then, well life happened.  As usual, what I planned never came to fruition.  And you think I would be used to it by now, but for some reason - it never gets easier, just more routine. I know exactly how to dig myself out, how to grind, how to get back.  But unfortunately, for the dream I am chasing you don't get points for comebacks, only consistency, progress, and victories.

After Chicago, I bounced right back into training and the consistency and all my prehab/strength work was finally paying off - I felt AMAZING.  Off to Kauai and then when I came back, I was really excited to do some serious damage in a 1/2 marathon.  Life was GRAND.

Kaui was definitely not your typical lay on the beach vacation - it was an amazing adventure!

the only sunny day we had we made the most of (trust me, no sun, CB does NOT do water, I am always cold) This was an awesome snorkeling adventure!

The runs were absolutely epic here, you would be running in a sunny sauna, then pouring rain, then a rain forest, then a desert, it was like 10 different ecosystems in one run.  Crazy.

We hiked the "Sleeping Giant" in pouring rain, but it was still amazing!

This was the Waimea Canyon Hike, we took the  unbeaten path and found this gem!

Just chilling on a rock at the edge of a cliff.
And then the next day I was a moron, it was pouring rain, and after probably pushing myself too hard at a morning track session in ridiculous rain/wind we went hiking - - and I stepped down, way down, on a rock in  the water and I knew immediately.  Of course, I ignored it, I didn't want Justin to know, but I knew.  I broke something.  24 hours later I really knew.

What I will not do is be fake with you.  I do not think anyone reads blogs to read a bunch of fluff.  This is real - or I would not do it.  Having said that, this entry is more for me then updating friends and family :(  It is so much easier for me to write my way through life then actually say it.  I'm absolutely, positively, 100% devastated.  I spent my entire 2015 fighting, fighting, fighting to come back.  2016 was amazing, and then one very, silly step at the end now zeroes out all the work, all the progress, I had made.    And at the same time.  I know:  
The good news is setbacks like this sometimes make you step back and look at things - and the MRI and blood tests show my bones are strong as hell, everything is in the right thresholds, and it was just a freak accident.  And so you motor on.  I know how to do this, I know how to keep my fitness in the pool, I have an amazing doctor in Dr. Maynard who is my lifeline  throughout this, I know how to rehab, and God knows why but I have a coach who still believes in me, even when right now when I am struggling with believing in myself.    I'll be back. Because it is in the journey  that dreams are made.  And man, will I have one hell of a journey to look back on.  When I went through the ankle injury in 2015 I had 4 phrases I said every single day that drove me to keep fighting, to not give up.  I never stopped saying them actually, but now I cling to them more then ever.

I know it's nuts, I know I am nuts.  I should hang it up, it's not happening.  But I can't, I won't, I want it too bad.  Maybe more now then ever before if that is even possible.