Positive Energy Activates Constant Elevation


Saturday, December 31, 2011

30 Day Shred Final Results and Christmas

So today I completed the 30 day shred…it took more like 45 days with me going to New York and all but I don’t imagine the results would be very different. Let me just say this is an incredible program. And if I’d done any diet modification the results would be greater. I am very pleased. It was simple, easy to follow with plenty of modifications and less than 30 minutes a day. With my running less mileage with Dominic in tow..this program was perfect for this time in my life.

Total inches lost- 14 inches…over a freakin foot.

Total weight lost- none. After the initial 3 pound loss which came back..I hung steady at my normal weight.

How do you manage to not lose any weight when you’ve lost over a foot of body size you ask? It’s easy….be Claire. Bear in mind that I am hypothyroid and had to have gastric bypass in order to lose significant weight. She has a newer program called Ripped in 30 which I plan on buying today and including diet modification, see what happens.


Christmas was wonderful! The kids were happy…we were all together…and for the first time in years Skip and I exchanged gifts. We usually donate the money we would spend on each other but for whatever reason…this year we didn’t. And on Christmas Eve..unable to contain their excitement..my family gave me my heart’s desire.

I call him Blu.

I cried…told them that they couldn’t buy me a kayak…and parked my ass right in it. I am SO happy and excited. Although it’s kind of like getting a bike for Christmas….here’s your present…you can use it in 6 months…HA! We have big plans Blu and I. I’ve wanted one since we rented them on vacation two years ago…and knowing I would never spend the money on myself…Skip did it for me…I love that man. I was so completely touched and amazed that the kids were able to keep it a secret.
Christmas Eve
She was part of the multitude..kind of ironic.
My boys :)
Christmas morning..rocking her new hat.
Grandma is boozing...again!
Brian in his present....gotta rest from all that running.
Mug shot of a future half marathoner....ready, set...GO!

Happy New Year everyone!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New York New York

Yeah..I pretty much never want to see that place again. It was better this time…without my parents or a funeral going on…but still very difficult. Through various forms of miscommunication…we were under the impression that we didn’t have to empty the entire house. This was quickly changed when I talked to the realtor myself and realized that the entire place needed to be gutted. Added to this the fact that when we got to the airport I was informed by my older brother that he did not take Monday off so we needed to be back on Sunday…this became a big ass job with one day less than we thought we would have for a pretty big ass job. Enter a 30 yard dumpster and a 4 day mad freakin dash….ugg. Imagine dumping 90 plus years of shit in 4 days…and putting a bunch of stuff in a 16 foot POD to be trucked across the country for my parents so that when they’re gone….I get to do this again…lucky me.
There were good parts…lots of laughs and joking. Skip set 4 different alarm clocks and put them around my little brothers room set to go off anywhere from 3 to 5 AM. I bought Skip a Perry the Platypus hat that we couldn’t get off him for two days. I got to run in that beautiful Muttontown Preserve again which was stunning and beautiful…and let me keep my sanity and not kill anyone. We spent time with Alana and Brian who were Johns neighbors and my newest set of favorite people. It was good to spend some time again…with the only two people in the world who share the exact same blood as me. And Skip got to see his best friend from California who had moved to New York and they had not seen each other in over 8 years. I was also able to take Christmas wreaths for my grandparents and John out to the cemetery…Bruce took me….it was nice….but sad. I don’t think I’ll ever do it again.
The bad parts were as I expected. You can’t have that much ego in that small of a space and there not be some power struggle and childhood bullshit come up. My older brother and I have never been tight…and in a lesser way..he is every bit as lame and hording as my Dad which I HATE! And of course it pissed me off that TONS of this could have been done the last time we were there if my father had not been with us and Bruce had buckled down and realized that he couldn’t bring everything back. I mean…why bring shit back that you already have? Why transport things that you don’t need? Give it away..you don’t need it…and someone else could use it. Bullshit…blah.

Bruce getting his sweep on.

Good Stuff
I am still doing the Shred. I took 5 days off while we were out there because dude didn’t have a DVD player and the TV’s went in the dumpster the first day. So I finished day 10 of level two but am going to stay on it for a few more days before progressing due to my missing days. So I figure I’m about 13 days from finishing the thing. I will wait to do measurements again till the end and post them. Dom is still running…we’re going to do our second 5 miler tonight. I bought him new running shoes because his ghetto Vibriams just won’t cut it in the Wisconsin winter. We ended up getting Reebok's version of the Nike Frees…I can’t remember what they’re called. But we ran 4 miles Tuesday night and he liked them…but said they were heavy…lol. I need to piece together some winter gear for him and we need to start looking at training plans…I’m excited…excited to see him commit to something….he’s going to be a hell of a half marathoner.
Trail at Muttontown Preserve
Walled garden...a bit overgrown.
Mansion Ruins~stairs
I think I would run there every day.
Hope everyone is well!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

30 Day Shred Week 1..and Thanksgiving

So I have completed my first week of being on the 30 Day Shred. I did the workout 6 of the 7 days of the week. You are supposed to do it every day but I don’t buy into that. You need at least one day of rest…if you’re me anyways. I did very light mileage as in like 3 mile runs and the other days I did yoga. I didn’t do beginning measurements and I kind of wish I had…maybe I will today…but I can say that my scrubs are looser and I’ve dropped 3 pounds with no real diet modification and Thanksgiving thrown in. So I have 3 more days on level one and then I move to level two. The workout is only 25 minutes but it TUFF! I’ve progressed to using only the 5 pound weights and am pleased so far….will keep updating as we go along.


I think this just may have been my favorite Thanksgiving to date. We ended up with 15 people and it was fantastic! Here’s what was different this year.

-I cooked my turkey in a Nesco…this is amazing and left my oven free for everything else.
-It was my first Thanksgiving as a vegetarian…and it was awesome.
-My ex-husband and his three boys joined us this year…and it was crazy and wonderful.
-I made the pumpkin pies from real pumpkins…not a can. They came from my parents garden.

If every Thanksgiving from here on out was half as good…I’d be thrilled. Usually I end up stressed out and wanting to choke someone by the end…but this year was just right…with the exception of WAY to much food…but better too much then not enough.

Now with Christmas less than a month away I can sort of relax. We leave for New York a week from Wednesday and it will be good to finally put that place in order and be done with it. I don’t suppose I’ll ever go back after this but who knows..I’ve also said I’ll never run another marathon….HA!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Prodigal Runner..Sort Of

I hate when I do this…neglect this thing for so long I don’t even know where to begin to catch up. I look at it and think..why don’t you just pitch it…we will call it your ‘blog’ period….and be done….but somehow I just can’t.

New York was trying. Very hard to revert back to a life you haven’t lived in 15 or so years. To be under the same roof as both my parents and my brothers…nothing good can come of that…and nothing good did. I pulled almost 30 giant trash bags of mostly paper while I was there. The man kept everything…very meticulous and most often….not in good ways. Here are a couple of interesting highlights. When I first got there…..I immediately went to his room to strip the bed and flip the mattress so my Dad could lay down. As I was flipping…I noticed a long row of writing on the upper left hand side of the box spring. I went across the bed and saw that he had wrote down every time he flipped the mattress in marker at the top of the bed.

I also discovered similar documentation in other parts of the house. Like during the spur of the moment tag sale we had on Sunday before we left. I moved an antique clock into the bedroom because people kept trying to buy it and discovered multiple pieces of paper under it dating when he would wined it….dating back to the 60’s.

It was sad…and hard…to pitch away this mans life..things that he obviously found important. I did manage to give a pickup truck load of magazines to a steamboat enthusiast and also had the Oyster Bay Historian at the house and he had a wonderful time and took tons of things. And we sold a number of things in the sale that made people VERY happy to find….so there were good points.

The two best parts of the trip where the windmill and the wheelchair races. The windmill..pictured in the post below…was a prize in Johns life from early on. He built it when he was 15 years old…a fully functioning, badass windmill. Now the neighbors behind John have a 41 year old son that lives somewhere on the island and while we were talking with them one evening…they told us how much he had always loved the windmill….since he was a little boy. After talking with my parents…we decided to give it to the guy. We went over…told the parents who in turn called their boy and MADE HIS LIFE. So completely happy…and according to the neighbors to the north of John…who were extremely good to him and whom I have kept in contact with…told us that he came with a flatbed the week after we left and took it to his property. He sent my parents a note of extreme thanks. Good stuff there.

Now for some reason..John had 3 wheelchairs at the house. One we learned belonged to the church…and we returned it. The other two we put in the garage. And on the day we had the sale..Paul and I participated in wheelchair races in the driveway. I kicked his big ripped muscle ass there and back…and although he demanded a rematch after dark on the streets which never ended up happening…it was good…good to play in a sad time.

On the running front…things are going well. I’ve rebuilt my long run back up to 10 miles and have had a few solid ones. After the marathon…I was so completely burnt..most running I did was bad running…except barefoot. Through this fall I have been doing tons of trail running and was seriously considering a series of progressively longer trail runs put on in Illinois. Perfect to get away from normal racing and training. And then Dominic started running with me. And told me he wanted to run the half marathon of the full I ran last May. And I heard angels sing…lol. He ran his first 5 miler last week and I decided he not only could do it…but has both the dedication and heart to do so. Lofty for a 14 year old…but I am thrilled. But this changes my winter plans..because I can’t train with him for a half and do this trail series..no freakin way. So instead……I will train with my son through the winter…do speed training when he’s not with me…..run the half with him…and make Lighthouse 10 miler my A race for the year. Finally bury my hatchet with that damn race. Everyone wins.

So basically I’ve switched from base building for trail runs or running a solid half myself…and switched to Dominic running his first half without injury…and me getting ready to make Lighthouse the bitch she is to me.

I am also on day 2 of Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. Which is what I’ll do along with running with Dominic until we start training in January. This will be interrupted by another trip to New York in early December to finish emptying out the house and bringing his car back to Wisconsin.

There’s more…boatloads really. But I have my second date with Jillian and 3 or 4 miles with Brian to hammer out. Have a great day everyone and I hope everyone is well.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Heading East

Once upon over 40 years ago there was a 17 year old girl from Long Island, NY. She was an only child who loved the German language and playing the organ. The only close relative she had was a slightly older cousin named John who lived a couple towns over. When she was 17 she went off to college...got her masters and moved to Wisconsin. After teaching there for a few years she moved to Zion, IL and taught at the high school there. She joined the church to make friends and did the makeup for the Passion Play they put on every year. She had her eye on Pilot and was always afraid to do his makeup because and I quote...'he was fat an sexy'. I guess those two can go together pretty easily on the right person. They ended up getting married and having 3 of the most amazing kids ever.

Those two people are my parents, those three kids are my brothers and I...and that cousin John died this week....and we are all sad. John was a fascinating man who never married. He lived his entire life in the house he came home from the hospital in. He was an engineer and a mason. I don't remember much about him before my grandpa died and that was 20 years ago. I remember he was tall...and took VERY good care of my grandpa who still lived on the Island.

One of my big things I always wanted to do was be able to put flowers on my grandpas grave. He was very special to me....and to this day I miss him. So not long after Skip and I married....we headed to New York for that reason. While we were there we went to see John...spent some time with him. He and Skip got along famously. He told us stories about my grandpa...and my mom. I told him what we were there to do and he thought it was wonderful. But while we were there I took into account how bad the house had become...and how John himself was now almost eye level all 5 feet 2 inches of me because he was so stooped over. And when we came home I explained to my mother who hadn't seen him in many years...that we really needed to do something about him...the house....whatever. A few years later John fell...and ended up in a nursing home for awhile. My mom sent my little brother Paul and I out to see him and try and to do something about the house. We spent the next 4 days shoveling out the place and making it livable for him again. We visited with him for numerous hours and did everything we could to make sure he was comfortable and had a nice place to come home to. I felt horrible about leaving him. My parents and my brothers and I....are literally ALL the family he had left.
This picture was taken while Paul and I were out there 4 years ago.  John built that windmill when he was about 14.  My brother is over 6 feet tall...that thing is awesome.

Fast forward to 2011. Things are starting to go downhill for him. He's stubborn though....won't do this..won't do that. His legs aren't working anymore and he's back in the hospital. My mother finally gets someone one of the doctors to talk to her and he has stage 4 bone and prostate cancer....and we're out of time. The last time my mother spoke with him was the other day and he was so completely gone she doesn't think he even knew her...after growing up together...and talking on the phone weekly for YEARS...he doesn't know her. The doctor called her in the middle of the night and he had to be put on the ventilator...and he has a do not resuscitate. They take out the tube the next day....his minister was with him..bless that man....and John stops breathing...and goes home.

It's hard you see...when your life is somewhere but you're needed somewhere else. My father hasn't been in a state where he could be left easily for many years....and my mothers first priority is to him....and that's as it should be. And honestly it took John being in a nursing home to allow us to do anything for him so really....there's nothing she could have done differently....even though I'm sure there's guilt on her end....there shouldn't be.

So on Wednesday...I'm heading out East with my parents to lay him to rest. My brothers will meet us the next day. And I'm sad...although relieved that we now know exactly where he is and how well he's taken care of. And my blood on Long Island dries up.

Rest in peace John Walters...and tell my grandpa I love him.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On Becoming a Vegetarian...and Other Business

It's been over two months now since I've consumed meat of any kind. I've recently added milk and most cheese to that list. I don't miss it...any of it....is that weird? Maybe this is just the way I'm meant to be so the transition isn't a big deal. Meat doesn't offend me...it doesn't bother me to cook it or look at it....I still feed it to my family. I would rather not....but I would also never force my decision on them. Although I guess in a way it wouldn't really be different than me forcing my children to be active.

So here's whats different.

I feel lighter...not weighed down.
I feel my aggression is down...but that is a matter of debate:)
I spend a lot more time meal planning and preparing.

And here's what's not.

My running.
My weight...I can get rid of most of the major contributors to my fat and calorie content...replace them with vegetables and soy...and still not drop weight...I am f*cking awesome.
My grocery bill. Surprised? I'm not...you can be healthy without being stupidly expensive about it.
My marriage. After the initial mild spaz attack Skip has just kind of accepted it as another weird thing his weird wife does....he's a good man that one.

On running.

I seem to be finding my mojo again...thank god! I've had a solid two weeks of decent runs. I love the New Balance Minimus and have become enthralled with running trails. Not bike trails, not paved walk your dog kind of trails....but real trails...that you have to climb over things and watch wear your going...the kind of trails that make your mile times ridiculous but you enjoy every second of. This weekend I went to Pets and ground out 5.5 of the most dirty, leg thrashing miles I've ever done. I came out of those woods looking like I was wearing pants I was so covered in mud. I also found a tee pee in the woods that someone had made with branches and leaves and mud.

I'm also rebuilding my mileage. Last week was my first 20 plus mile week in I don't even know how long. My long run was 7 miles done in the Minimus and I felt solid. I want to get it back up to a 10 mile long run before I start training for my half which will start probably in February. I've been running barefoot on Tuesdays....minimal on Thursdays and Saturdays...and Sundays in whatever sounds good at the time. Its wonderful not to feel like shit every time I get out there.

On Cross Country.

Dom had his first meet last Thursday and much to his surprise...although not to mine at all....he went sub 20 for the 2 mile. It's the fastest he's ever run and he beat 3 people. He past by me at around the mile mark and asked his time and it was 8:50....he looked at me and says "you're kidding me." Didn't even believe it....but I did....that kid is ALL heart out there. He'll only improve in time and makes me so proud!

V is doing good. At his second meet he shaved 2 minutes off his time...giving him the same 5K time he had at the age of 13 which was 21 minutes. But he's tanking at the end. He'll run high 6's for the first 2 miles an then like a 9 minute mile. I really wish coach would have him doing progression runs. Dude is making him faster...but V's racing wrong. I try real hard to keep my big yap shut. They have a BIG meet this Saturday so we'll see what we see. He's looking good though. I bought him spikeless Cross Country shoes and he's learning to run in those. He'll get it together...and I imagine....figure it out on his own without his crazy mother riding him.

I also have to sign V up for drivers ed this weekend...talk about making me feel old. We're making him earn the money to pay for half of the 300 bucks the class costs. And after the initial shock...and I can't imagine why he'd be shocked...he knows we're MEAN parents...he caught on to the idea and has been pimping himself out for odd jobs amongst our family.

And on a final note...I will leave you with a Tateism from this morning. As we were walking to the car I asked her if she wanted to have babies someday and she told me..."yes...but I don't really think I should...most of my babies end up without heads."

Can't argue with that.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Aged To Perfection

Last night was special.....it was really no different than any number of nights in my 20s but last night because I was able to appreciate without time restraints the beauty that is my circle of friends of many many moons. I think we are fairly unusual because we are a large mixed group of people...from many walks of life..in many different stages of our lives....that have managed to remain in contact. A few have drifted in and out but the usual suspects stay the same.

Last night we celebrated the 40th birthday of Sylvia. I met Syl through Julie so it's coming up on 20 years that we've known each other. She is a beautiful soul that I would trust with my life and love even more. She is one of those special people that would do anything for you....or nothing but listen to you whine...depending on your need at the time. She's been at my baby showers, I watched her marry her husband Jeff with tears in my eyes....and the number of nights we've slobbered into beer with each other is too numerous to count. I remember one particular night....not the specifics really....but one of us was upset....and as we were driving away...her, Julie and I....that Bob Marley song 3 Little Birds came on the radio...and we all started singing. And it was lovely...and fixed whatever was wrong...at least for right then. She is one of the few people that I would openly sob like a bitch in front of...with no worries of judgement...and true pain for my pain in her heart.

But it got me wondering....what is it that draws us and binds us together? What makes them welcome ME back when I run off and cocoon myself in Racine for months at a time without seeing a soul but work people and family? What makes people that came together as teenagers, grow older together? Celebrate life, mourn deaths, marriages, divorces...daily bullshit?

And as I looked around a garage full of people staring out at the rain....laughing, joking...just happy to be together....again...I still don't know.

I made vegetarian stuffed peppers and brought them to the party...and after eating...my friend Scott came up to me and says "those peppers were great! they just needed a little meat." Funny guy....maybe that's all it is...we make each other laugh.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Trail Running, CC and Dom's 14th

So yesterday after bailing out of work at noon I headed over to Petrifying Springs to run as far as I felt like going...no real plan. I knew there were tons of off road trails back in the woods but had not seen any of them since highschool when we used to drop acid and sneak in there at night to tromp around. So I pulled up and put on the NBM....and happened to look up and see what could sort of pass for a trail heading straight up....cool. I ended up doing 5 miles on off road trails all over the damn place and LOVED it. Took forever but it felt incredible and I was a dirty puppy when I was done...exhausted as well....good stuff there..

Today cross country was cancelled for both the boys due to the air quality drifting over from the Minnesota fires...damn shame...such beautiful country burning away.

Vincents coach started running him with the faster kids this week and stopped over last night to drop something off for V and hopped out of his truck to chat a bit. This dude loves to talk...holy smak! But he was saying to me that he bets V shaves a minute of his time from last weeks meet and I kind of chuckle....looked him in the eye and said.."bet it's more than that." And I bet it is too....he's itching to race and now that he knows his hip is better...he's throwing himself into his training and I can't wait to see what he does this weekend. He wants to go varsity this year....he needs to run an 18 minute 5K to do that. His fastest one ever was 21 and some change when he was 13 years old. He ran a 21 minute 5K this last fall with NO training...I'm thinking the 18 minute one won't be too big of a reach. The big thing that sucks...is that his schools cross country squad is so small that they don't even have enough guys running varsity to score points at the MEETS! How freakin lame is that. They have 3 varsity guys...they have to run 5 in order to score points. There's some fast kids on JV....Vincent took 3rd out of 7 for the JV squad...but damn. How crappy to do all this training without any hopes of doing anything with it. If V bumps up to varsity they'll still be 1 short. Blah..drives me nuts...they have a million kids out for their shit football team.

Dom's first meet is next Thursday. We ran 400 meter intervals on his birthday to celebrate. He didn't even complain. I've said it before and I'll say it again...if you have to have kids....have a Dom...can't beat him. And he'll be at that meet....rocking his ghetto Vibrams and running till he barfs...cause that's how he rolls.

Each year on their birthdays...or pretty close to it....I write each of the kids a letter and tell them about their year...what the accomplished...places they went....things they liked. And as I was writing Dom's last night...I was marveling again and how blessed I am with all my children...but him especially. He was not born under the best circumstances...my ex-husband and I were already separated and had a divorce in the works, among many other things....so he had shit stacked against him before he even got here. And in spite of that...or maybe because of that...he has turned into the most remarkable person. Overflowing kindness, trustworthy with a heart that barely fits in his chest. I remember when he was really young...maybe 4 or 5...and at church before they went off to their Sunday school class they would go up and sit with the pastor and he would tell them a story. Well this particular Sunday the pastor had a little throne up there and he let a few of the kids sit there and tell what they would do if they were king. Dom was the last kid to sit in it...and when pastor asked him...Dom put his hands on the arms of the chair....looked out into the congregation and said clear as a bell " I will save the people."

And you know what? I think he will.

Happy Birthday Dom


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cross Country and Kicks

So according to facebook...I ran my first barefoot mile a year ago today...happy nekkid feet anniversary to me.

Lots has been going on...and in turn...not much has been going on. I took a hiatus from running with the exception of running with Dom 4 times a week to the tune of 2 miles a night to get him ready for cross country. It wasn't really pleasant running because he whines so much....told me he hates me when we're running because I don't let him stop....but loves me when we're done because he feels so good. I'll take it...he's ready...his first meet is this Thursday...so proud of him.

After football camp being a complete bust I pulled V out and told him he was running cross country instead. He was ok with that and went to the first practice where he proceeded to do something bad to his hip. Ice, Advil and stretching followed the rest of the week while he still went to practice. By Friday I pulled him because it wasn't getting any better...but worse. Talked things over with his coach and tried to get him in with the school athletic trainer and was told that the athletic trainer was for football....come again? Now let me point out that Case's football team has not won a game in 37 fucking games. They can't get hurt....the barely play. I was beyond pissed. Thank god that I have enough medical connections that I had both a physical therapist and athletic trainer on him in two days. After an early morning assessment with my PT friend conducted on my living room carpet we discovered what I already figured...nothing broken....weak hips...weak core...at least a week off. Strength training and yoga stretches daily for the next week...and I started running him lightly about 1.5 weeks later. Gave him back to the coach after two full weeks off and rehabbed. Basically his legs are faster then his hips and core could handle....nothing serious...just needed to even out his body. So he practiced with the team conservatively and ran his first meet yesterday. It was his slowest 5K ever...a 23 flat...but that's ok. Now we know he's healthy and ready to train. Told the coach it's time to lower the boom and start working him. I told him to run this one slow and make sure he feels ok...we'll worry about beating people and getting the time down later.

So on the first day of school....my official return to running....I ran 5 barefoot miles along Racines beautiful lake front....and it went well until about mile 4. All in all it felt really good to just go run without time restraints and worry in general. I'm taking alot of my yoga off the mat these days and all in all I feel more at peace with just about everything. Yesterday after dropping V off at the highschool at quarter to 7 I left my car there and ran 5 more miles in my ghetto Walmart water shoes. The weather is starting to turn here...and I think that really helps. But it also poses its own set of problems as to what I'm going to do with my barefoot running when it's not possible to do here anymore. I can't bring myself to buy another pair of loaded running shoes when they don't make me happy....even if they make me faster. So after trying the Merrell Pace Gloves and an interesting shoe made by Altra...I ended up buying the New Balance Minimus trail shoe. I haven't had a real run in them yet....so I really have nothing to say except that I had to buy the mens version because they didn't have the womans....and I preferred the fit to the Pace Glove and the Altra. I'm going to run with Dom tomorrow night on his birthday...14...lord help me....and I'll know more then.

The VERY loose running plan...is as follows.

Continue my barefoot running for as long as the weather allows. I know this lasted into November last year but who knows. Start introducing the Minimus during this time. Sign up for a spring half...possibly the half of the full I did last year.....and PR at the half marathon distance in minimal shoes. I want to follow an actual training plan. I had to kind of dump my marathon plan about half way through due to shin splints and other issues...and I really want to include all the bells and whistles this time and see if I can shave that time down. I don't think it is my destiny to be slow...I know I have some speed in me somewhere....and just like I told Vincent after his race yesterday....it's baby steps dude...we just have to tap it.
Hope everyone is well!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Falling Out of Love

So the big plan for today was to try to revive my running passion....it totally didn't happen. I was talking to Skip wondering out loud what the hell was wrong with me anymore. Skip took Tate up to work with him and I had to drive to get V from his dads....so i headed out a 1.5 hours early...give or take...and decided it was going to be my longrun comeback. I brought my Mizunos...thinking that maybe all the barefooting was just making me lazy...and slow. So I got myself all psyched up to run 10 miles...and when that went awesome....planning something to get me back on track with my running...another marathon perhaps....or a faster half...or even my first 10K. I was actually excited....loving the thought of mindless running that comes when I put something on my feet.

I got to the highschool and parked my car....laced up....which was weird in itself...got my gear and headed out. I felt decent for approximately 1.5 miles. After that it was pretty much downhill. I took half a gel at 3.5...and when that did nothing to perk me up...took the rest at 4. Nothing helped. I ended up cutting the run short just shy of 8 miles with a slower pace then I run barefoot. I was actually shaking when I was done. I don't know what to do anymore....I hate running in shoes and am now just as slow as I am barefoot. I ran 26.2 miles only a couple of months ago and now I can't even run 8 freaking miles. I think I may need to just hang it up for a little while....because I've tried different things and nothing seems to help. I'm in turn...frustrated as hell...or just not giving a shit. Neither of these things work for me. The only thing I like to do is yoga...maybe I should just stick with that. Is it possible that I've fallen out of love with running? Can you do that? People fall out of love with each other...why not fall out of love with a certain type of exercise. I don't think it's lazy factor....because I'm not afraid of sweating and working hard. I don't know what the hell the deal is.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I forget sometimes how blessed I am.....and then I see something....or hear something...or even feel something.....and I remember.

For many months I had this Bethany Hamilton quote on the top of this blog.

"Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness,heart, talent, guts. That's what little girls are made of; the heck with sugar and spice."  ~Bethany Hamilton~
I never new anything about her...not even that she was a surfer...I just loved the quote. It was recently brought to my attention that the movie Soul Surfer was based on her life....and still I never rented it for the kids. Tonight Tate and I were at the grocery store and she was begging for a Redbox and I relented....and am so glad I did. There are so few movies these days that make you feel good....or make you think...or for shits sake actually gives you hope....but this was one of them. Anyways....although not fantastic acting....it was fantastic content. The boys loved it and I loved the message it was sending out. His ways are mysterious...and known only to him....I needed to see that for some reason last night....and maybe the boys did too
Other Good Stuff

Is running cross country. I really can't begin to explain how incredible this makes me feel. Football was such a wash last year...and when he was dragging his feet about going out this year we kinda pulled his football card....and gave him a new one for CC. I spoke at length with the coach today and told him a bit about V and he is very excited to meet him. I told him about V's running career and how he could really stand to have a whip cracked on his ass that wasn't being held by his mother. I'm one excited girl to see how this season plays out. Practice starts this Monday...booofreakinya.

My Running-
Is quiet, peaceful and just kind of there. I have no desire to train for anything...no passion right now...and that is ok. I have been thinking about doing a half this fall barefoot but I don't think my feet will be ready....and this doesn't bother me either. I figure that probably next year...if I can get my bare feet on the ground a little earlier in the year....I should be able to do a barefoot half the end of next summer. I can run 6 miles barefoot right now...and if I can find a minimal shoe that I can stomach...things will be good. I imagine my mileage will pick up when it cools off....I can not stand summer running. I can't say I exactly miss my drive to run....its very time consuming to constantly train and assess and demand so much of yourself....and I think that my mind may be giving my body the break it needs. Will I actually train for something again? Am I just over the run? I don't know....I kind of doubt it. I've been at Tae Bo for 13 years but every once in a while I'd take a unplanned break of about 6 months where I just goofed off. I think I over trained myself for my marathon....went almost directly in Lighthouse Run and finally my body just said fuck it and my mind went right along with it. I am now in wait and see mode.

My Eating-
I guess finishing my first full month of non-meateating puts me in the vegetarian category. Not vegan, I think the official name is lacto-octo-vegetarian...or something like that. I eat dairy and occasionally eggs. I feel amazing and my adjustment to this way of eating has gone completely smoothly for me. My family on the other hand....not so much. After being hassled by Skip for the umpteenth time I cornered Dr. Foster to get a medical standpoint on it to give Skip. Dr. F proceeded to print off a number of things from the medical association and went through highlighting things for Skip. Basically told me to make sure i was getting enough protein and to take care with my nutrients and it's all good. I brought home everything for Skip and he hasn't said boo since...HA! If it was only always that easy.
So that's it.....anyone have any good news?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Updates Updates Updates

After some interesting conversation today….Skip asked me when I was ever going to update my blog….I guess it’s time. Things they are a changing….especially me…and it seems like some people don’t like it.

Let me back up.

Good times were had by all. Kentucky was very beautiful but was one of the first places I’ve visited where I just couldn’t see myself. Weird but true. Everyone was able to do what they wanted…fishing for V and Skip, swimming for Tate, Dominic got to go horseback riding in the mountains….and I got to relax. We got to spend time with Skips son Patrick and his fiancĂ© Crystal….it was awesomeness. On the way home we went through Louisville and crossed another thing off my bucket list...seeing Churchill Downs.  Don't know if I've ever talked about it in this blog but my entire youth was consumed with my wanting a horse.  I watched every Derby and read anything I could get my hands on about horses...so this was HUGE for me. 
This little dude wandered up to our campsite the first morning.
All my eggs in one boat?
And there it is...I about threw up.
My three little jockeys.
I have been completely barefoot for the last month with the exception of 2 runs that I did in water shoes after rainfall. One in Kentucky…damn it’s hilly there. And one this morning with Lori. I am relaxed….enjoying running…and honestly not doing to terribly much of it. 3 or 4 five mile runs a week…that’s it…and that is awesomeness as well. I told Lori and Skip that this is my summer of *I just don’t give a fuck*….and I don’t. Running for the joy of it…not killing myself..not being so desperately driven. If I don’t feel like running….I don’t. Although I did break an hour for 5 miles barefoot the other day…and I did like that…HA!

One of the wonderful things I did in Kentucky was take my yoga mat…run the mile to the beach…and do yoga on the beach at 6 in the morning. Nothing but me…the water…and sweat…incredible. I’m still taking my class on Thursdays and am expanding my home library. I’m doing lots of reading and I feel stronger, calmer…and definitely more flexible. I don’t know if it’s the yoga or me or growing older….but it takes me hours to become a spaz again afterwords.

This is where the interesting conversation came in. Mixed in with all the reading I’ve been doing was a book called Transition to Vegetarianism. I grabbed it at the library mostly because it had a picture on the front of a carrot in a hotdog bun. It’s an idea I’ve toyed with on and off over the years and having not ever been a huge meat eater it really isn’t much of a transition..but tomorrow it’s been a week…with the only exceptions being a couple of eggs and a salmon patty one night…I’ve been meat free. I feel good..and this book gave me lots of insight on how to do it smartly…and without becoming deficient in anything.

So Skip and I were at breakfast this morning and Tate offered me a piece of bacon…and I told her that I was not eating meat. Skip looks up from his plate like WTF? And makes a comment about how he didn’t marry a marathon running vegetarian. To which I was like WTF? No…he didn’t marry a marathon running vegetarian…he married an overweight, smoking, drinking, meat eating person that wasn’t taking care of herself. That had family history of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. And for some reason he seemed to like that better. I guess I’m still a little salty about that. We’ve both changed…it’s impossible not to when you’ve been together for awhile….you have to love the core person because the outside is going to shift around a bit. I didn’t marry a globe trotting desk jockey that people look to and listen to….so there you are. Good thing I adore that man.

So that’s my update in a nutshell. 5 miles on tap for the morning…or possibly..not.

Hope everyone is well!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Early Morning Stoned Pimp

So today I am crossing something BIG off my bucket list. Going to see Kid Rock at Summer Fest. I am so excited I am about to burst! And on top of doing this incredible thing that I have wanted to do for about 20 years……I’m going with Julie..one of my BEST forever friends whom I NEVER run out of things to talk to about. Don’t know which I like better….so I am choosing to like both best.

Running News
I have not had shoes of any kind on to run in over 2 weeks. My max run has been 4.5 miles and the going is slllooowwww. Not that I’ve ever been what you would call speedy in shoes…but going from 9 plus minute miles to pretty consistently over 12 minute miles can be a bit hard to swallow. But the enjoyment factor cancels out the slowness factor I like to think. And with the heat climbing up into the 90s some days…not having hot shoes and socks on is awesome. So much easier to just jet out the door and go. I’ve had few issues with the exception of a pretty ugly blister that came from running when the ground was too hot…but it’s healing….ugly but healing. I’m hoping to be up to running a fall half marathon without shoes but we’ll see. That seems pretty larger right now and I don’t know if my feet will be tough enough by then…..but on the flip…my determination is pretty large as well.

Yoga News
I am officially smitten. I love going to the studio for my once weekly class. I really thought I may hate classes but they’re good. The chics in the advanced class are rocking yoga broads that can do all sorts of crazy shit and gives me something to work for. And I’m getting better….my balance and strength are growing every day and poses that I couldn’t even think of doing a couple months ago are slowly coming to me. I did my first shoulder stand this week and though not pretty…or very straight…..it felt incredible because I had NO idea I could do it. A modified crane or crow pose that didn’t end up in a face plant….good stuff. And it’s pretty easy to do lots of yoga when you can’t run very far.

Tattoo News
Not shoving my feet in running shoes after having it redone has done wonders. It’s been two weeks today and although still healing, I think the second coloring did the trick. Would I ever get another foot tattoo? As a runner….probably not. But I do love the way they look.

Family News
On Wednesday morning we’re leaving on a family vacation to the Daniel Boone National Forrest in Kentucky. Never heard of it? Me either. It’s 9 hours from here by car and we’re breaking up the trip both ways. We’re leaving Wednesday morning and driving to Indianapolis and staying the night in a hotel..and then driving the other 4 hours to the campground or whatever the hell it ends up being….the next morning. We borrowed Skips moms minivan because damned if I’m going to make that drive with the three kids stuffed in the back of my Charger. The thought of going anywhere in a minivan just about brings me to tears but I will suffer through for the cargo room.

Another high note is that Skips son Patrick and his fiancĂ© Crystal are driving from Virginia and meeting us to camp. How cool is that? We have no real firm plans except that Dominic and I are going horseback riding at some point and I also want to do some kayaking if I can find a place that rents them. I really want to buy a kayak. I will be a barefoot, yoga doing, kayaking runner. How’s that for rounded?

Have a great fourth everyone!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Lighthouse Run 2011...etc.

No race recap..that’s right..no recap whatsoever. I had a wonderful time with Katie…but I don’t feel like typing it all out so there. Here’s a pic of our amazing selves pre-race and that’s it. We have big plans for this race next year Katie and I ….stay tuned. I will however…say that Tate RAWKED her little race although she didn’t win…and loved Katie to pieces…too cute.

Fathers Day
Was good. Saw all the dads in my life. I got my dad a card and copied some text from this here blog into it….but I had to buy it because of what it said on the front…

Because her father listened to her, she knew she had something to say.

Because he believed in her, she believed in herself.
Because he said she could do anything, she did.

Sums up our relationship perfectly…and I am reminded yet again how blessed I am to have been raised by a man who instilled in me such self worth…and loved me enough that I never looked elsewhere for HIS love. Thank you Dad…for being awesome…for making me awesome….and in turn making 3 awesome super people…who will go on to make more super people….and on and on it goes.

Tattoo News
I got my marathon tattoo fixed on Monday night. After much post-tattooing running abuse…my tattoo looked like I took an eraser to it. I mean seriously folks….I covered it with a piece of gauze and ran 10 miles on it 3 freaking days after I got it. I should have waited till after Lighthouse to even get it…but since I didn’t…and I’m a dumbass about MANY MANY things…I got it….ruined it with shoes…and had to have it redone…go me. And for those of you that are interested….the second go at a month old tattoo hurts like a CRAZY MOFO.

Barefoot News
The upside of ruining said tattoo…is that I am determined to NOT wreck it this time because that shit hurts. I am now completely barefoot for at least the next several weeks. I have been having wonder peaceful slow runs. I’m running 3 to 4 miles at a stretch and feeling fantastic…I’m a happy nekkid foot running girl.

Yoga News
Loving loving loving yoga. Last week I tried the advanced class with Jessika…awesome. I took it again this Thursday and holy crap. At the beginning of class she said something to the effect of hearing that she took it too easy last week. And boy did she remedy that. It made the first advanced class seem like a brownie meeting. Fantastic! Afterwords I picked up the kids from the library and we went down to North Beach and while they played at the park I knocked out 4 barefoot miles along Lake Michigan. I am LOVING Thursdays!!!

So I hope everyone had a good week. I’m still looking for my perfect first barefoot race. I know there’s a evening 4 miler in Waterford that Lori does in the beginning of August. Happy Weekend All!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mangos, Mizunos and Mad Gnomes

If I had to count all of the mangos I have eaten since it became mango ~season~ in Wisconsin I imagine it would be over 50…I’ve started keeping the stickers on my food log see?

So when Skip is out of town and I am left to my own devices I do things. Things that I wouldn’t do if he was around to stop me…..like run in my Mizuno Wave Riders 14’s that I bought and hated right from the get go. Why do I hate them? Dunno…I LOVE the 13’s..have had 3 pairs of them….but I can’t run in these to save my life. So after 3 agonizing miles..he told me not to even bring them home and if I did…they better be gone before he got home. So…they have 40 miles on them, size 9 which in non-Mizuno talk is a size 8.5 running shoe. First email takes em and I’ll even pay the shipping.

Onwards. Lighthouse is this weekend….and although I had finally decided that I was running the 4 mile race barefoot..... I have instead laced up and am running the 10 with Katie. Because there are always other races to do barefoot….but I can’t think of anything I’d rather do then run this race with Katie. This was my first race of any distance 3 years ago…and although I have a score to settle with Lighthouse…..that will have to wait for another time because my only plan this weekend is to run whatever pace Katie wants…she’s training for her 3rd half marathon…and enjoying her company. Awesome!
This guy is Skip and my 'compromise' on a yard gnome...he wanted one soo bad but I told him hell no....so he got this guy instead.  His eyes light up at night...Lori says I have a demon on my front stoop.
And who knew they sold gummie tarantulas....or that they liked mangos too?

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Things I Hate Today

-Getting up at 4:50 to do yoga before my house is insane…and not being able to get the onDemand to work
-After failed yoga…trying to get a Tae-bo DVD going and being able to get sound but no picture
-The front end up the Charger sounds like it’s going to fall out?
-People asking me if their money is going to still be there after I do their drug screen..no dude..I’m going to steal your 5 bucks and leave ALL THIS!
-Knowing Skip is only going to be home 3 days before he’s gone for another 6
-Running distances longer then 5 miles…..seriously
-Paying bills
-Vincent running a 5:02 mile for his final in gym today…and refusing to run track…I WANT TO SCREAM
-Being too tired to make veggie fajitas

Things I Don’t Hate Today
-Yoga…worked later
-Winning a 70 dollar yoga mat from the studio after being put in a drawing for buying a summer pass
-Dr. Foster swearing
-Running barefoot
-Knowing I’m going to run with Lori tomorrow
-Reading good blogs

Looks like the bad won out today. Happy Weekend!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

5 Miles at 96 Degrees

Equals stupid. I am on day 14 in a uninterrupted stretch of working out that I AM breaking tomorrow. The closest things I’ve had to rest days were the two miles I ran with Dominic last week and a 1.5 mile run with him on Sunday. And on that day I introduced V to barefoot running…now THAT was funny to watch. We haven’t talked about it since so I’m not sure what he really thought except that it was hot on his feet. I also stepped on a rock….all my damn weight on it…and bruised my foot up wonderfully. Hurt like hell…still does actually.
Monday was yoga. I took a class with Carla and she was a bit tougher then Linda. But starting next week I am switching to the Thursday yoga 2-3 class…can’t freakin WAIT!

Now today…ugg…today. Why did I run today? I guess to see if I could do it. The temperature was reading 98 degrees in my car when I left the hospital. I headed to Petrifying Springs because there’s a 2.5 mile loop and about half of it is shaded. Pets is a nostalgic location for me…..in high school we used to drop acid and head out there in the middle of the night and walk around on the trails…man were we stupid…lucky I got out of my youth alive I tell ya…LUCKY.

My foot still had a good bruise from Sunday so I didn’t even attempt any of this run barefoot. I did the first loop in the Wally Water shoes. I honestly like these. No they’re not barefoot…but for days like today…and places that are NOT barefoot friendly…these are a nice alternative. But even with the water shoes on my right forefoot was killing me because of that stupid bruise. Luckily I’d brought the Frees. I stopped back at my car and changed into them….and holy crap my feet got HOT! What was funny was that my splits in the Frees were actually slower then in the water shoes. Now all of the miles were slow…MAN were they slow. And I went through 3 16oz bottles of water and G2..and was still 3 pounds lighter when I came home. Too funny. It was miserable…give me a nice 20 degree day anytime over that mess. But with my luck…Lighthouse will be just as hot so at least I’ll be prepared.

Anywaysss…Skip is out of town again…can you believe that? HA! He’s coming back Thursday afternoon by threat of divorce because we signed up to help out at Tates school for Field Day. Then the last day of school is Friday and you guys probably won’t hear from me again till September. Want to talk lucky.

Have a great week!

Friday, June 3, 2011


So what do you take pictures of when you are 6 and steal your mothers camera?

Your dog Brian and your bear.
Your princess rocking chair.
The bathroom.
Your other dog after you makes her get into your bunkbed.
Your matching fingernails and piggynails
Your framed artwork.
Your swingset.
And of course....yourself.


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