Sunday, August 6, 2017


Heroes.  We all have them. Even though I feel like these days it's hard to have them, especially because they seem to ultimately disappoint us.  I don't think heroes have necessarily changed, but instead perhaps social media has allowed us to follow their every move ....and well we're human.  We make mistakes.  Even so, there ARE those heroes that no matter what, withstand the test of time, they are just perfect, no matter if there are eyes on them....or not.
Heroes.  For me, I have different ones in different aspects of my life.  Without even knowing it, they have a profound impact on who I am, and how I go about doing it.  I have written about a lot of them throughout this blog; personally:  Dr. Z, Dr. Maynard, and my mom...professionally: Jodi Allen, and in running Kara & Adam Goucher.   But sometimes there is just one person that transcends everything, and is just plain a HERO in all aspects of life, for me that is Jane Cyr.
Heroine.  Mrs. Cyr is everything you stereo-typically would say a hero would, tough, kind, genuine, achieved, a fighter....and a survivor. I have known her since I was very very little, she was our neighbor, my mom's close friend, and when I was little, as the youngest among everyone, I felt "my buddy".  As I have grown up, I have gotten to know her beyond the lady who "liked me more then everyone else😜 (which I know is not true, but she always made me feel like I was the most important person). I came to see how accomplished she is with work and raising 3 brilliant children, how tough she is dealing with lots of hard knocks and never whining, how kind she is - absolute salt of the Earth.  She's a tiny lady, but looks are deceiving!  And strong, and humble, and so beautifully kind.
Here she is!  If you looked up "hero" in the dictionary, you might find this picture💚
I have a "thing" against cancer.  It sucks.  It's personal.  It's not fair.  It picks on the wrong people in my humble opinion.  You might recall in 2016 I ran the Chicago Marathon with her on my mind, and on my singlet.  And with every "pain cave" moment, I can honestly say I said to myself - this is nothing compared to her fight, so suck it up buttercup😳
Why cancer is picking on her, I don't quite understand.  So I am doing something, which is the only thing I know how to do...I am running...for her...because I CAN.  This is a tiny thing in the big picture, but it's what I can, and know how to do.  I am going through some healing too, which she has helped me with, so I guess in a way it's our comeback..together.  I believe in positive mental energy.  I know what it's like to fight, to grind, to hang on.  And so I want to channel every footstep to her.  I run faster then my ability would indicate - and so that extra grind and power that most runners don't have that over the course of 5 months will maybe, just maybe contribute to her fight.

Adam & I made our race schedule, it's 3 races leading up to a Marathon, all channeling a ball of healing energy to Jane Cyr.  And god willing - we both are at the line in December -  (mom owning the logistics!)

I'll be wearing this on my wrist not just on race day, but every day - - a constant reminder of her strength , power, and grit.
I know it's a huge picture, but I am in serious need of glasses, and I could barely see it!

July 30th:  5K back at Home (IL)
September 10th:  Santa Monica Classic (CA)**
October 15th:  Denver RNR 1/2 Marathon (CO)
December 3rd:  CIM (CA)
**marketing disclaimer, all races subject to tweaking😜

I am excited and grateful to say that "stop one" on the journey started out strong!  This past weekend I ran the 5K based purely on base mileage and some strength work I have been doing, and felt really good.  Even splits were the goal, and just to have FUN.  And I did both:  I came close 6:09, 6:13, 6:04.  And it felt GREAT.  And a side benefit, it was good for 1st in my hometown, which was kind of fun❤️
Hey! That's me!?  😆 Mom sent me this from the local paper the day after...Justin's 1st comment, "You and the damn watch!"  
From here we've got 5 weeks until "stop two";  and will begin to work the turnover a bit more, and hit some workouts.  As long as I continue to feel good, which I am, I feel my strength coming back by the day...and no hiccups...perhaps I can really let a little anger and inspiration out for Mrs. Cyr and me in Santa Monica😈

Heroes.Always.Win.  It's a rule.  Good guys always come out on top.  I believe in you Mrs. Cyr.  I believe in your healing.  And I believe you will come out on top.  Every single step to CIM is for you...and my hope is somehow, someway that channels healing energy to you.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Roles, Rules, Rituals, and Ridiculousness

I cannot believe a year has passed already, it seems mind boggling that at this time a year ago we were getting married - time flies.  Even though this is a running blog; it's often the "support team" around us that makes it happen, so I thought I would change things up a bit and do a fun:  "the first 365 days takeaways" 😂

We never sat down and said let's split who does what, but it actually just naturally happened that we play to our strengths and preferences.  I am the cleaner.  A) I love to clean B) I am very anal about it.  I still don't understand how Justin thinks the bed is made with all the creases and wrinkles in the bed spread --- you have to smooth it out and the pillows need to be in a certain order 😏
On the other hand the thought of "shopping" makes me nauseous.  I think it is because I spend all week in stores for work.  So Justin owns the Costco trip, and bug critter/control.  The later is truly a gift, because on the occasion that there is one roaming and he is not home I have to revert to getting a broom, putting my hand over my eyes, and plugging my ears (I swear I can hear the crunch #yuck). Anyways it's nice to have the split and not have to do it all on your own.

Some said, some understood😊  Justin is not allowed to eat anywhere but the kitchen, I call him "pigpen"  - that guy on Charlie Brown that has all the ^&*&*( flying above his head.  I swear, 1/2 the food never goes in his mouth, it's all over the floor and formerly the couch).  So we made the hard fast rule - no eating anywhere but the kitchen.  I do realize that when I travel this rule is broken because when I return the crumbs are dancing all over the couch because Mr. Davis has gone wild.  I also have a hard fast rule - no electronics in the bedroom, the dings and the beeps and the bright lights drive me crazy.  However, I have yet to be successful with the phone, I know that sucker still sits on his pillow, and like clockwork at 4 am all those East coasters start going crazy.  As for his rules, I have a "slight" addiction to Windex, and I am not allowed to use the kitchen towels to Windex because the chemicals will get on our food.  #fair   And then unsaid, but understood, he tends to get very grumpy when I work on the weekends, I can tell, so I try to do that when he is at tennis or on the Costco run😉

This one is probably my favorite, it's the little things you do that become your "things".  And before long you start to look forward to them every week💗  One of our favorite "things" is our Saturday Morning Starbucks/Nektar run.   Saturday is my shorter of the weekend runs so he is water boy and then we both come back and bike for coffee/acai bowls.  And.we.just.sit.there.  Even a year ago, me sitting still for 5 minutes, much less 2-3 hours would pretty much be a 7th world wonder.  But, one of the great things about Justin, is he has probably taken my Type "A" from off the charts to just top of the charts - - and I LOVE JUST SITTING THERE.  It's my total decompression time from training, from work, from life.  It's great. Why didn't I discover that earlier?  Our other one is Saturday night we go to church and somewhere different for dinner every week (well we try, I mean we have our favorites that always seem to win over!)  But again, it's just us time, nothing "fawncy" but it's the little things, the everyday things that I love about marriage most.

Ah yes, the shenanigans.   We spend many many moments laughing together.  There was the time I came home and the neighbor kids were picking up these leaf/cactus things in our yard, and when I asked them what they were doing they told me , "Mr. Davis gave us candy to pick them all up"....oh...really?  Great, so then I had to tell Mr. Davis that you can't do that or child services will be knocking on our door.  Oh Vey.  Or maybe the time when I woke up to the sound of a beebe gun, I literally flew down the stairs to find Justin attacking his friend the woodpecker whom he has had a  year long battle with.  We had a huge fight a few weeks later when his beebe gun somehow disappeared.  #ihavenoidea  Which, per usual, ended in laughter.  But, seriously you cannot do that in a neighborhood.  Oh Vey #2.  And me?  I behave all the time😉 That's the beauty of this blog, I write it, and control the content!  But somehow, I know him so well, if he had the opportunity I might know exactly what he would say❤

I wish I could find the right words to describe how much this guy has done for me this past year, but maybe I am searching for the wrong words, maybe I just learned the definition of love :)


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Oh vey....

99.9% of me does not want to write this.  1% of me knows I need to because of the amount of messages I have gotten, and the rather long absence I have had from, well everything.  And part of committing to a blog, to this journey, was to be real.  Life ain't all unicorns and fairies and certainly since November it has not been.

So where to start, or even do I?  I don't think anyone needs more baggage, more problems to read about, and quite frankly I feel guilty throwing up all over you with my instead I will keep it simple. Here is what I will say, I would not wish the last 6 months on anyone, ever ☹️  It's been crappy, it's been horrible.  It's definitely been the most trying 6 months of my life.

This is the point, right where you write something to the extent of "oh but I learned so much from all of this....I am stronger now...everything happens for a reason."  Yea, no.  In fact I am still not sure, what I think. But for what it's worth,  this is where I netted out.

1.  Someone or something does not give you struggles or strife to make you stronger, to teach you lessons, or because "you can handle it".  I don't believe God is up there saying, oh, she/he is tough, they can handle some serious shit, I'll give this to them.  No.  Life just happens.  Now having said that, do you grow from it.  Yes.  Does that make it easier?  No. Some days it's just about one foot in front of the other.  And that is okay.  Forward is where it is at. I am reading Ronda Roussey's book (I know an odd choice for me, but I absolutely love autobiographies because I love to see what makes people at the top of their field "tick"); anyways I am going to summarize this a bit so don't quote me, but she talks about not really believing the "everything happens for a reason" philosophy, BUT instead in believing in HOPE, that all the struggles, all the frustrations, all the strife - - in the end, WILL BE WORTH IT.  I think that is where I am too, otherwise what's the point.  And the "hope", that is what keeps you hanging on, even if by a thread.

2.  You never know what people are going through, be gentle and kind.  If there is one thing that I think I have developed over the last 6 months it is a keen awareness of other people.  Not that its my job or yours to provide psychological support to everyone you run in to; not only a) do I not want to do this, b) 99% of people would say get away and c) the outcome would be very bad 😜  But, I do think we can quietly just be aware of our effect on others.  I think I have always been pretty in tune with reading others, but more with those I am close too.  Now more then ever I feel like its just as important to be gentle and kind to the person next to you in line at the grocery store as anyone else.  You could be the straw that breaks the camel's back, OR the ray of light they needed at that very moment that gets them through the day.    Some people have an ability to grind through pain (physical, mental,or emotional) without missing a beat.  They can work, train, coach, parent, etc. without anyone knowing - - but the pain they have, the battle they are facing HURTS.  They would never tell you, they would never reach out ....but they could use you, even if just your smile that says, "hey I know you have crap going on, stay strong".

3.  Never.Ever.Give.Up.  Honestly, I don't think I buy the whole "it's part of the journey" thing anymore.  I mean if that was true I feel like I have been on an expedition up Mt. Everest.  But I do know what I want.  And I do know why I want it.  So I will keep chasing it.  The day I question what I am doing, why I am doing it, then I'll hang it up.  Until then I run.  Never stop chasing something you can't go a day without thinking about.

From here it's baby steps, I hate to say this is a waste of a year, hopefully I am gaining something from this year, even if just more mental strength.  I kind of want to put the rest of this year in my coach's hands and just focus on keeping the big picture in mind, and letting him own the stair steps there.  I can climb with the best of them, but sometimes I get lost knowing where to climb.  The good news is, we are now climbing versus getting pummeled by snow at the bottom of the mountain👍

I hope to write sooner, with good news, positive progress, and more defined goals/plans.  But for now I am in that lost in limbo phase still figuring it out 😎  And I am okay with that (for a little bit)!

Happy. Trails,

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Not out of Breath Yet...

I should be packing for my trip to LA right now.        I am not.

I should be talking with Adam planning out last minute race strategy.      I am not.

I should be visualizing the expo, the start, the miles, the pace, the finish of LA.    I am not.

I should be feeling like crap now (because I am tapering).   I am (but not from tapering).

Instead "life" happened, and LA is just not in the cards.  LA was supposed to be #myperfect........but there's "not perfect" and there's stupid.  Running LA at this point falls in the "stupid" category.  Can I have a mulligan on the last 3 months? 😓

And so I just roll with the punches.    I recently asked myself if the setbacks "suck"  so much because I can't run or because I feel like they make my dream seem so far away.  It's the later  - I really do want it.  It really is what I fall asleep thinking about and rising early to chase.  The journey might be the most important part, and I get that, but it is the end destination that makes me feel alive.  The path there is making me who I am, connecting me through the dots of life,  and a hell of a ride......but there probably are a lot easier "dreams" to chase with the same effect.  But this is my dream.  I chose it. I want it.  I still believe in it.

should be packing for my trip to LA right now.  When I pack for my next race, I will be grateful.

should be talking with Adam planning out last minute race strategy.      When we talk the next race strategy I will be stronger, it will be a better one anyway.

should be visualizing the day before, the start line, the miles, the finish of LA.    I am visualizing the OT's instead; heck that's the bigger fish to fry anyway.

should be feeling like crap right now (because I am tapering).     I am feeling super grateful for all the people in my life who have, are, or will support me as I chase my dream.  I am one lucky duck 😉

Sunday, January 22, 2017


Well, that was fun.  😢  The great thing about bone injuries, is that as long as you behave-  there is a clear timetable.  6-8 weeks.  It doesn't make those weeks anymore pleasant; but you can grind through it because you know there is a finish line.

Here's a quick snapshot of the 8 weeks; I am posting this for all the folks out there who google "4th metatarsal fracture" seeking, hoping, someone says - - it heals in a week!  So for all those people who got here via google - know this, it doesn't heal in a week, but YOU GOT THIS.  

Week one:  Standard denial, "I think I just sprained my bone on the rock, can't be a break", got xray, got boot, reality sunk in, followed by depression.  Hit the pool.

Week two:  Out of the boot because it was messing with my hips too much; told to wear stability shoe.  Started pool running and swimming, and basically hating life.  Started PT.  Tried Alter G - OUCH!  Not sure how Danthan Ritz ran the same day he had a fracture on that sucker, I felt it, and it was not good.

Week Three:  Hard core PT - - lots of stim, ice, and this thing called BFR (Blood flow release) to keep muscles strong.  Dr. Maynard doing everything he can to keep hips even.  No pain anymore.  Got up to 2 miles in the pool (at one time).   Hating Life even more if that is possible.

Week Four:  Did Alter G at 20% BW- NO PAIN!  Sweet, mood improving, just being able to run helps.  1/2 way through.  Did two really killer pool workouts.  Here is one in case you need a good one!
10 minute warm-up then 6 sets of 1:00/:30, :45/:15, :30/:30) then 5 minute tempo, then 6 sets of :90 snowballs, each :30 faster, 1:00 rest in between, then just tempo until 70 minutes

Week  Five:  17.5 miles on the Alter G - end of week at 75% BW!  

Week Six:  54 miles, 8 on LAND!  Mental mind games, will I ever run without obsessing over this?

Week Seven:  66 miles, 39 on LAND!!!  Worst part is the mental part; but just happy to be working my way back.

Week Eight:  68 miles, 51 on LAND!!  I think I beat the mental piece, I barely think about my foot anymore.  Graduated from PT too.  I actually might miss that place.  It's funny how when you go to a place so much you start to get to know all the people  - a new cast of characters  - - communities are so interesting to me.  They get you through life.

Things that worked (well at least I think they did):
1)  Took extra calcium supplement, ate broccoli almost every day, and contrary to what most think I actually ate more calories then less - I personally believe your body is working overtime to heal whatever you messed up🙈 This is not the time to scrimp.
2)  Having the Alter G - I think bone stimulation actually helps the bone grow faster  - plus I think you avoid a lot of the come back aches and pains by staying in running motion, heck I was able to run still!
3)  Dr. Maynard/Becky - or a really good chiropracter - keeping your hips even is CRITICAL.  Everything heals faster.
4)  Breakdowns, at  least once a week 😭
5)  Read books about overcoming adversity - sepcifically the book GRIT - helped me realize why I never, ever give up. It's in my DNA.
6)  Not pushing everyone OUT of your life.  I stayed on social media, volunteered at stuff, and thank God for YOGA and PILATES 😉.  Speaking of hot yoga,  I think that really helped get blood flow in my foot - which is a hard spot to get new blood circulating.
7)  Coach - Adam seems to be more in the details and more tuned in when things are NOT going well, versus when they are.  Having him really in the zone throughout this whole process helped me a lot mentally and emotionally.  He stayed positive throughout.

In fact, it was his positivity that helped me get to #myperfect 😊  I posted this link on instagram and the amount of texts and emails I got afterward confirmed I should DO this.  

I am a little weary of sharing this, but this blog is about brutal honesty so I figured it is only fair.  I tend to have some perfectionist tendencies.  If it is not exactly how it should be, I don't. 

  • Every race needs to have the perfect training cycle, if I am not at my standards for performance, I back out.  I can't just run it.
  • Every workout I have to nail or exceed the prescribed splits, or the rest of the day I beat myself up over it.
  • Every presentation, project, or meeting at work has to be perfect or the swirl in my head explodes.
  • The bed spread has to have no wrinkles in it every morning or I re-do it; Justin will never understand this.
Is this a fault?  Maybe. I probably previously would have said yes; but now I think it's partially how I have gotten to where I am.  Tell me no, I'll show you yes.  Tell me to do XX, and I'll do XX or more.  And if I don't I will stay until I do.  I am driven to sick levels.  BUT, I think there are times where this same strength holds me back from learning, from experiencing, from living.

So I am going to go through with our initial plan to run the LA Marathon on 3/19.  I realize and understand goals and expectations need to be modified.  I respect that I am not going to have the perfect training cycle in regards to time or workouts.  I accept the risk of going out there, and making a fool out of myself.  AND. I. AM.STILL.DOING.IT.  The LA Marathon is going to be #myperfect.  It is going to be the best I can do with what I have.  And it's going to be fun as hell.  I am not worrying about what everyone else's workouts, splits, training is/are - - I am focusing on the 10 week cycle I have, the amazing, now healthy body I have, and the journey that I am in.
It's, well, #myperfect.  So here we go....

I will not DNS LA....I made a commitment last year I wouldn't let it happen, so it won't✌