Sunday, December 26, 2010

The morning after Christmas run

What a great morning to run.

It was raining hard during the night and so I felt relieved that the rains had subsided when the alarm woke me this morning. I jumped out of bed and felt pretty confident that it was going to be a great morning.

What I didn't know then was that it was going to be a terrific morning!

I wore my brand new Christmas present.. a bright blue long sleeve running shirt and my Swansboro, North Carolina cap. I felt toasty amidst the cool dampness in the air and the cold waters we waded through.

It's rewarding running with a group of friends. I would not have ran this morning if I was out there plugging alone. No way would I have done that.

There is strength among numbers.

Dennis fell.

I didn't see him as I was too busy looking down, dancing over rocks under my own feet... but I heard he made a spectacular flight into mid-air in slow-motion before landing in mud and sliding his way down the trail. He feels great, though. No sore muscles or skinned knees. They're the best kind of falls.

Because once you fall, you're never the same.

You run with more caution. But it's lovely when that first fall takes place, it is relatively painless... because moving forward you run with caution, but you don't necessarily run with fear.

The recent rains have changed our runs. We had to push ourselves through lots of chilly streams. But it was all worth it.

Last year, we worried about getting our feet wet. Now Heidi jumps in with fearless abandonment.

Running is fun. And this is my playground. Wishing you to find your playground today. Wherever, whatever it is.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The sound of silence

It's the silence that is so deafening.

Funny how the mind twists and turns truths like an old tired rope. All frayed at the edges.

It's the silence (or lack of response) that keeps you up at night worrying and re-living and keeping you from truly resting your spirit.
When someone stops talking to you, many things happen.

For starters, the mind starts filling in the blanks that now so obviously exists between two people.
The mind is inventive and cruel and cunning. It can tell you things so seemingly impossible, and make you believe them more than any thread of truth.

Silence can cause enormous paranoia.

You make up fears. You invent scenarios that never actually happened. You make up the problem in your head, and not the one that actually took place last week or last year or even many years ago.

What happened?
Well, usually both people are right and wrong.

I always say there are three sides to every story.

First there is the truth which actually happened.

Then what follows is that each person sees it from a different perspective which creates the other two stories.

It's the perspective

It's funny what people remember. Ask them to tell you their experience of the same event you just experienced with them and you'll know what I mean.

Where they stood and what they heard and saw and felt cannot be what you saw or heard or felt.

It cannot be.
Because its two people experiencing it from different places.

A point of view changes everything. It's not all right. It's not all wrong. It's just different.

We are all guilty of this in smaller, subtle moments: The call we forgot to return. An email that we haven't replied to. Not responding to a facebook comment on our wall. We were busy. We forgot. We're still planning on calling, writing, commenting... we just haven't yet. And maybe we never will. But it's not intentional.

I am wishing you a view to remember that it's not always personal ... the courage to rise above the silence ... and the perspective to keep you focused on your journey.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Canada Eh?

I had fun designing this one.

It's a picture map of Canada on flannel!

Travelin' through and lost your way? Just grab hold of one of these pajamas and you'll be back on your way in no time!

This was a fun project I designed for PJ'ZZZZ, located in Canada, of course!

These pajamas along with a few others I have designed are sold here. (Wish they came in adult sizes as well).

All photos are from Pjzzzz's website.

Sold only as pajamas

CX3742_Snow Monkeys

Sold only as pajamas

Sold only as pajamas


Friday, November 12, 2010

Why I love Houston

I recently returned from Houston. I was at Quilt Market and had an incredible time! I used my Flip to videotape setting up our booth and also during the show and if you're interested, go here and here. You can see the fun we all have together!

Here is another reason why I love Houston: Kooky and Creative Homes.

"Some people say this is sculpture
but I didn't go to no expensive school to get these crazy notions."

That's what John Milkovisch said about his his house. It's the Beer Can House in Houston. It was in 1968 when he started covering his house with flattened beer cans and he worked on it over the next 18 years.

When he was asked why he covered his home with beer cans, he said, "I guess I just thought it was a good idea. And it's easier than painting."

An estimated 50,000 cans adorn this house. His favorite beer was "whatever's on special." His wife, Mary and neighbors gladly pitched in to help him drink them.

Mary in front of their home in 1992 (photo of Martin Williams Agency)

Here is how the house looks now.

A Beer Can House in the middle of a neighborhood. I someday hope to return during a weekend day so I can tour the inside of the house.

I don't know how he died. I certainly hope he didn't die of cirrhosis of the liver.

And across town we came across another creative and kooky home called The Orange Show. It's located in Houston's East End.

It was built by Jeff McKissack, a retired mailman who loved oranges. He built his folk art by using found objects from 1956 until his death in 1980.

Photo by Marilyn Oshman

I was hesitant to walk around, as this neighborhood appeared more dicey than the previous neighborhood. No one seemed to be around and I didn't want to trespass. Then we spotted a volunteer painter doing a bit of sprucing up and invited us in. He said that he never really stops painting. Once he's finished touching paint up at one end of the yard, he starts back at the beginning.

It's pretty fascinating.

He collected old mannequins, tiles, tractor seats, and metal on his mail route and he was a big dreamer while stuffing envelopes in mailboxes.

All his life, he dreamed big.

At various times in his life, he tried his fortune at worm farms, a plant nursery and even a beauty salon. Sadly, they were all failures.

But he continued to dream, each morning, waking up and building sculptures with his found objects.

And then one morning. after 25 years, he finally completed it.

He was so excited!

He opened up the doors and waited for the rush of people to come. But only a curious few had heard of his 25-year project in the making and most of them walked around scratching their heads... not knowing what to make of it.

Very few found it to be a great work by one man who lived and breathed creativity.

Seven months after the opening of his life-long dream, McKissack suffered a stroke and died.

Neighbors sought to destroy it, deeming their neighborhood had gone down in value by the site of this amusement park.

Fortunately a group of people who appreciated the work of this man started a foundation that would save the property from ruin and now have it listed on the National Register for Historic Place.

You can watch a video of the Orange Show and The Beer Can house here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010



Wouldn't it be fun to be tiny (as in my favorite third grade book: The Littles Take a Trip) and then discover a child's bedroom filled with hotwheels and tracks! Ohhhh to be able to race along the actual hot wheel tracks and sit in the plastic toy bleachers as a Little.

I spoke about this a few posts ago, but incase you missed it... when I was a child, I believed that Little People might really exist. I hoped they did. I wanted a little family to take care of. To carry them in my pocket when I went off to school. Feed them crumbs from the dinner table and give them a ball of cotton to sleep on at night.

Somewhat similliar to my "transportation piece: TotTown" Here is such a land for the Littles...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Irena Sendler

There recently was a death of a 98 year-old lady named Irena.

During WWII, Irena got permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist.

She had an ulterior motive.

She KNEW what the Nazi's plans were for the Jews (being German).

Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried and she carried in the back of her truck a burlap sack, (for larger kids). She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto.

The soldiers of course wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.

During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants.

She was caught, and the Nazi's broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely.

Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard.

After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it and reunited the family. Most had been gassed.

Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.

Last year Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize.

She was not selected.

Al Gore won --- for a slide show on Global Warming.

You can read more about her here.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wine Country Half Marathon in Healdsburg 10-10-10

This photo is mostly of my running group where I was the pace leader.

I did it!

And it was a total blast!

I started out running in what people call a negative split. I didn't really plan it that way. It just happened.

Running in a negative split, is running the race quicker the second half of the race than at the beginning. The idea behind this is to start out slower so you can store up energy at the end of the race when you really need it.

And not to mention, the mental aspect it creates, passing runners one by one at Mile 12 was so rewarding. Even though it was a bit hard running the last few miles uphill, it felt a whole lot worse for the people I was passing.

I kept looking down at the tops of my shoes while I ran. Looking at the ground from that perspective, made it appear more level ground than it actually was.

I started my faster pace just after
passing the mile 6 marker. By then, my ankles were feeling great and I was pain free.

Oh wait! I'm getting ahead of myself.

Let me start at the beginning.

It was a gorgeous day. Absolutely beautiful. Although the temps soared into the low 100s by the time the day was through, at the beginning of the race the temperature was probably in the low 60s and just perfect for running.

I had so many mixed feelings before starting the race. Felt so unsure of myself. After training for this race, using the one minute run/one minute walk method, I worried I wouldn't run as fast as my last Half. I worried I didn't have the stamina to run for any long length of time.

Finally I just let it all go. I had to. I decided it was going to be my FUN RUN.

And it was a fun run.

Just not at the beginning.

The first three miles, my ankles killed me. Both were so painful, all I wanted to do was to cut them both off and throw them to the curb. But, instead, I kept pushing through, knowing either the pain would let up or I would have to endure ten more miles of a painful run.

I'm so glad I pushed myself and ran a slower but even pace at the beginning because by mile 6, I saw a few downhills and I was ready to take advantage of them and kept a steady faster pace the rest of the race.

I finished my race a minute and a half faster than my last Half. Plus I finished second in my running group, five minutes ahead of the next runners to finish from our pace group. And I felt great! Finished my race, sprinting to the finish and felt good the whole rest of the day!

I finished it at 9:42 on 10-10-10. It was a 10.9 minute pace overall, finishing it in two hours, twelve minutes.

Friday, October 8, 2010

IF: Transportation

When I was a kid, I read the book The Littles Take a Trip and totally fell in love with it and in the idea of little people! I imagined there were entire cities all around me that were so tiny that I could not possibly see them with my human-sized eyes!

I would even leave out my matchbox cars and hot wheels for them at night ... just incase....

This transportation scene I designed for Michael Miller Fabrics is called Tot Town.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Trail Running

Trail running is a blast!
Sometimes you run all the way and sometimes you fall!

I've been running up at Annadel State Park a couple times a week lately. It's gorgeous up there. I can't believe this beautiful place is so close to my home and yet I only experienced it for the first time less than a year ago. It's so incredible running past deer, cyotes, wild turkeys, jack rabbits... I even saw a baby mountain lion along my path. (Not anxious to see another anytime soon).

I have lately introduced a few running friends to this beautiful place and it's so much fun waking up early on Saturday mornings and running with them up in the hills by 7 am.

It's getting darker in the evenings and our evening runs after work are limited.

My sister Kelly and I ran last week and the sun went down before we got off the hill. Squinting into the blackness, I slipped and fell backwards against the steep hill and within thirty seconds, i had a hematoma the size of a ping-pong ball.

I went to the doctor a couple days later to make sure it wasn't fractured because someone suggested it looked like a fractured elbow. But luckily for me, the doctor said it was just a bad bruise.

So here it is Thursday night and my half-marathon race is on Sunday morning.

I have really been feeling nervous about it this past month.

Fumbling around with all these fidgety thoughts: "I'm gonna be so slow..." and "why didn't I run more these last couple of months!?!?"

But tonight my thoughts have turned the tide. And now I'm feeling happy thoughts of excitement! And I'm just gonna run and not really worry what happens. I'm just gonna get out there and have a blast! Because, truly, that is why I started to run in the first place.

To have fun!

Early Sunday morning, I will awake and lather the few trouble toes on my left foot in vaseline, put on my latest favorite running shirt and eat my banana and peanut butter toast (or two) and run like the runner I see myself in my dreams.

I'm thinking only positive thoughts for now on out.

"I can do it! I am going to run strong. I am going to have a great race day!"

Oh, thank heavens for my imagination. My optimism. And the way I love to play pretend.

It truly does ...and will... carry me onto victory.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

15.39 morning run in San Francisco

I learned a few things on this run.

I had a banana for breakfast at around 5:30 before I drove downtown to meet my running buddies to carpool down to Sausalito.

We began our run at 7:30 at the beginning of the Golden Gate Bridge and to be honest with you, the banana wasn't all that filling.

By the time we reached the Ferry Building, we were nearing the 8 mile mark. We turned around to head back and I started to feel pain in my hips. Not badly, but enough for me to hobble. I decided this was a good time to chew my single Clif Shot Blok.

I accidently brought the wrong lid to my water bottle so I was waterless until one of the kind-hearted runners in the group offered me a 12-oz water bottle. I was terrified of drinking it all early in my run, so I didn't drink a sip until Mile 9. And I even left half the bottle filled with water just in case I needed it toward the end of the run.

This might have been another mistake.

Please do not run a 15-1/2 mile run only eating a banana and one clif shot blok and waiting to sip water until Mile 9. Because if you're a lot like me, and you probably are.... it'll hurt by the time you reach Mile 11.

But.. it was FUN!

I kept promising myself, "I can do this! I can do this! I can do this!" And I did.

But to be honest, I felt as though I hit a wall around mile 8-9... and then another wall just before the Golden Gate Bridge on the return trip back.

But it didn't stop me. I kept on running. And it felt GREAT to finish.

The following day I still felt great. But I can't help but wonder what would I have felt if I hadda better breakfast and had more water and more gels?

Only two more weeks for the race and now it's time to experiment!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The first step is the most difficult

You really can do all what you want to do. Simply by getting out there and start doing it. It's not the distance.... it's the first step that is truly the most difficult.

This video is not just about running. If you want that college degree or simply want to tackle those weeds in your back yard, I hope you consider putting on your shoes and getting out there. Once you do, you'll feel your spirit soar.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sleep on it

Sleep is such a fascinating concept.

It's the process of shutting down our bodies for a time in order to keep forging ahead. To completely leave yourself wide open to danger and bodily harm. To close your eyes and go to a whole other realm.

I think of that a lot when I am traveling, especially. Watching one sleep on the bus and on planes and at the airport. Drooling mouths opened wide, sleeping in chairs and stretched out on the floor at their gate waiting for their next flight. It feels so vulnerable.

While sleeping on the beach a couple of weeks ago, the murmur of voices lulled me to sleep. Upon waking, I was surprised to find so many people around me had packed up and left while I slept. They packed up their coolers and closed down their umbrellas while I laid there in a different dimension. And it IS another dimension. It really is a whole other realm of being.

We dream in this state. It's where we ponder and wonder and figure things out.

We go to sleep with questions and we wake up with answers.

We sleep on it
... to renew and relive and revive.

It is warm out tonight. I can hear the neighbor's chatting it up in their backyard with their friends and family. Gales of laughter. Lots of conversation. Clinking glasses. I imagine their faces glowing from the candle light and the twinkling lights they have set up. I want to be outside, too. I want to sit out under the stars of my backyard and listen to the crickets and enjoy this beautiful warm evening as well.

But it is nearly 10:30 and I will be waking up at 5:00 to run 14 miles in beautiful San Francisco. I'll start at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge early tomorrow morning and finishing there as well. It's going to be a great morning!

So it is off to bed I go.

I will dream of running. I always do before a long run. I sleep on it... so to speak. And, it helps me on my actual run. I really believe it helps.

Good night.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I ran 15 miles-- huge milestone for me

I ran 15 miles today. FIFTEEN! By far, the longest run I have ever ran.

By the 12th mile, I started to hurt. I tend to waddle by that length of time.... moving left and right as i run forward.
I wasn't planning on running 15. Only 12.

(ha! O N L Y twelve).

But. Heidi called me last night just before i was headed for bed and said, "ya wanna run 17 miles tomorrow?"


She asked me while I was in North Carolina last week if I would be her running partner to train for a full marathon. I didn't think much about it and said, "yeah, sure! maybe!" But... more than a week later and nothing had progressed, I started not to take that offer seriously. And I actually started to feel relieved.

I only ran five miles while on vacation. The week before I think I ran maybe seven miles between two separate runs. The week before that, maybe only four. I have been negligent and it shows in my speed and how it feels in my body while running.

But this morning I ran.

We ran from downtown Sebastopol to Graton and back.... but we also ran around downtown first.

We planned on running seventeen miles, and it could have happened if not for us noticeably slowing down our run in this neighborhood as we soaked in all this wonderful metal sculptures in every single yard!

It's incredible.

We laughed. We sighed.
We imagined ourselves making these.
We took in deep breaths.
We stared. We marveled.

We longed. We wished. We loved.

The street is called Florence Street in downtown Sebastopol, CA.

Hardly not my best run. But by the time I made the finish stretch, it felt good that i had accomplished this milestone.

I now need to work on my speed.

The race is less than a month away and now my game is on.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I am back from vacation.

Again? some are asking. I have traveled quite a bit during the past four to five months. Some are just two or three night getaways.

But I need them. Anyone who scoffs and says to me, I am too busy to take time off... I seriously see them as someone who is on the verge of a burnout.

Getaways are essential. They don't have to be expensive. But I'm not so sure about these stay-cations people are talking about. Oh sure! They are excellent for cleaning out the garage and working in the yard and catching up on all those things on your To-Do List, but they don't slow down the mind.

And that is essential for the mind and spirit to have that recharge time.

And you know, you can even visit a friend over the weekend. When you are not home, your mind isn't busy planning or worrying about all the things that need to be done. You are in the moment and not thinking about paying the bills, watering the lawn, buying groceries.

When you are away, you are merely in the moment.

And if you're a lot like me, (and i think you are)... then you're all for calming the mind, rejuvenating your spirit and inspiring your soul.

If you haven't gone anywhere in some time, it's time to go somewhere.

Do it now.

You deserve that.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Upcoming Hurricane Earl (and flies on the butter)

Granddaddy's Home

I am in historic Swansboro, North Carolina.

It's a town I have visited often.

My granddaddy lived here for many years. And my relatives still own a home here, so happily for me, I still can visit often.

I love this town!

I am on vacation here for a week, waking up early and spending most of my time on Emerald Isle collecting beautiful sea shells while gazing out over the emerald green gentle warm waves.

Though this morning, I woke up extra early and ran. I was surprised how hot it was so early. No wind. Just very hot "heater" air. It sucked me in as I ran. Wondered if it was because of this hurricane that is 100 miles up from the coast. Is this the calm before the storm? I figured that was probably it.

So I shrugged it off and ran. I ran and I ran.

Sweat dripped and poured down my fingers... as I ran nearly five miles before giving up. The town is so small, .... i kept duplicating my route. I slowed down and walked through the old graveyard as I caught my breath. And while i ran past the cats sleeping on the pavement next to Yana's... i couldn't help feeling hungry, smelling the lingering delicious bacon smells.


So many people in this tiny town were sitting on their porches sipping on coffee. Their hair still shaped from their pillow. I waved to them, "Good Morning!" .... Sometimes twice and three times over.

I was about to quit running, when Wyonna's song, "Flies on the Butter" song came on over my earphones so I decided to run the town once more while the song played out... running slowly past Granddaddy's home.... missing him in a big way:

Old tin roof, leaves in the gutter
A hole in the screen door big as your fist, and flies on the butter
Mamaw baking sugar cookies, we were watching cartoons
Heard her holler from the kitchen which one of you youngin's wants to lick the spoon?
Yellow jackets on the watermelon, honeysuckle in the air
Daddy turning on the sprinkler, us kids running through it in our underwear
Old dog napping on the front porch, his ear just a-twitching
Fell asleep on Granddaddy's lap to the sound of his pocket watch ticking

Oh, oh, oh - Oh, oh, oh
It doesn't seem like it was all that long ago
Oh, oh, oh - Oh, oh, oh
You can dream about it every now and then
But you can't go home again


Tonight we are under a hurricane warning. Hurricane Earl.

It's calm right now. But the storm is supposed to hit tomorrow.

I'm a California girl.

I have no idea what this all means, but I've watched Big Brother and it seems they can live on (slop) PB&J sandwiches all week so I guess I'm set.

I'll keep you posted...

(This is the areal view of Swansboro below, so you can see how close we are to the water):

And here was my running route... (nearly the same route as the ariel view)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Having doubts running 1:1 intervals

I went running this morning with a few other women from my running group up at Annadel.

It was fantastic!

The fog was lifting above the lake .... and it felt magical! It was just under five miles but it was indeed the best run I've had in a long time.

And as we were standing by our cars parked down at the bottom of the hill, Kathy lifted her hands up and shouted, "Wow! I feel like a runner!"

This woman is one of the top runners in our group. She was a top placer in her age group in our last half marathon race... and yet, she didn't even feel like a runner.

Lately, none of us have felt like runners.

The group I ran with this morning are currently in training for another half marathon but this time, we are doing something completely different.

We are all running one minute intervals with a one minute walk break in between.

This is a specific plan designed to build our endurance and to better our times by running faster at our next half-marathon. And not only that, but he promises we will be sprinting at the finish line because we will feel so good.

Who doesn't want that!?!?!?

Unfortunately, we are all feeling frustrated with the results.

We are worried we are moving backwards and not moving forward. Many long-time runners in my group fear they are losing their ability to run any further than a minute without needing a walk break, as they have conditioned their bodies and mind to only run one minute at a time.

That's unsettling.

But this morning's run reminded me of the joy I felt last winter running with my trail running group. Each Sunday, I would come home from a training run after running further each week than the previous week and feeling so giddy with excitement over my accomplishment.

It was empowering, knowing our physical limits exist, but are far beyond our psychological ones.

Last Sunday we ran 10-1/2 miles. (1:1 minute intervals and attempting to run two minutes slower than our normal pace which is difficult and so far I have not been able to accomplish that goal).

According to to the handbook, when we are done running, we should feel great and feel as though we can run even further.

And that's true. We can run further.

But we don't push ourselves.

Instead, we collect our keys and get into our cars and drive home and in a quiet way, wondering if we really will break our best speed at this next race with the slow pace we are going.

I am open to new experiences. I am always desiring to learn and improve. But there's this dull sense of dread of not really believing in this particular system.

I'm worried. Can I really improve my speed at this next race by using this method? Is this method only for beginners?

We won't know until we know.

In the meantime, I'm going to set aside for additional running beyond the 1 minute intervals and hope that doesn't mess things up.

The race is on 10-10-10 ..... which actually can turn out to be a very magical day indeed.

I'll keep you informed.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Birthday

I celebrated my birthday this month so it's been extra busy.

And, in fact, it is one of the reasons why I haven't posted.

This month has been packed full.

I ran in the oldest 10k run in California. I've been volunteering as a pace coach for the Jeff Galloway Training Group. I have spent nearly every weekend going to or having barbecues with friends and family. I went on vacation. I was tour guide to out-of-state friends. And have been busy doing what I love best: Illustrating and designing all kinds of fun, cool stuff!!

But the biggest thing that I experienced this month was my birthday.

It's a milestone and thought-provoking to say the least.....

Ya wanna hear about it? Well then, you must come back and visit.

Be back in August...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Joke

So ya wanna hear a joke?

What did Zero say to Eight?

"Nice belt."



What did Zero say to Eighty-Eight?

"Where are you guys getting these things?"

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Leaving it all behind me

This has been such a lovely weekend.

I ran a short 4-mile trail this morning and as I was running along the winding pathways, I felt the weight of the week slowly peeling off me. I mentally released it to the wind... whispering, "be gone. go away!" And by the end of the 4th mile, I was sprinting toward my car.

I have been weighted down by fear lately.

All the what-ifs in my life started to invade my thoughts and i started to feel paralyzed by what could happen if my fears came to be and how would I weather the adversities?

I'm usually a positive person. I always hang out on the sappy side of optimism wearing my rose-colored glasses.

So I've been quite taken back by my reactions and the burdensome thought-processes that have taken place in recent months over personal circumstances that have began to instill fear in me.

Fear that I can't live the life the way I want to live it.

I came so close to throwing my hands up and saying, "okay. I lose!"

And then I had this Ah-Ha! moment.

You know how it is when you can visualize yourself eating a lemon? (go ahead and pretend with me ... I'll sit here and wait while you imagine yourself taking a large bite out of a sour lemon.... ). Go ahead. Imagine it. Pretend to yourself that you are biting deep into a lemon.

Did you notice your adrenal glands just tighten up? Because your body didn't know any different. It believed you when you pretended to bite into a lemon...

Whatever we put in our mind, our body reacts to it.

I started running about a year ago. And before I joined a running group, I didn't think I could run the length of a football field. And I couldn't! My body believed my thoughts!!

But while in the running group, I ran much further than a footfall field... because I experienced those around me doing it and somehow my mind was able to convince my body I could run it as well.

And I did... eventually running two 10ks and two half-marathons... and I have another 10k planned July 4th that I will run all within a one year calendar from the day I started to run.

Whether positive or negative, every word you and I speak and every thought we think is creating our life. It's also forging our future. Our thoughts are putting our future into motion.

While running along the lake this morning, I asked myself what I was really worrying about... and, then, i asked myself, would i like for this worrisome thought to actually take place and make my life its reality?

And the answer was a defiant NoOoOoOOoOo!

So I took all those negative, fearful thoughts that have been weighing me down and I left them alongside the trail as I ran on ahead without them. And it really feels great.

I really do feel that weight has been lifted from me.

And for the first time in a long, long time, I feel optimistic toward my future and look forward to a great day tomorrow.

I am wishing the same good wonderful stuff for you, too.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

And then hope poured out

I came thisclose.

It’s the worst when you allow yourself to get excited.

Did you hear my exciting news... i would sometimes casually mention during a quiet lull in a conversation I had among friends. I kept it mostly secret for a week or two, but as the final day approached for it to become a done deal... I started to whisper the news more confidently.

Wow! This is really gonna happen! And I began to daydream of the possibilities and imagining how my life could be different based around this one contract.

But then it didn't happen. She had second thoughts about me being the perfect choice for her and by the way, thank you for all the time you invested in me, and have a great day!

And when that so-called promise keeper took my bag of dreams and blasted cold water into it, what else could i have done ... but to stand there firmly, holding my head high, and clutching with both hands onto what was left of this dream I was still holding.

When you reach that sort of disappointment, you kinda get all quiet and feel a little dead inside... like everything just turned dull and muted. The world continues on, but for a moment, all is made silent around you or turned and lulled into slow motion.

Potential freelance work sucks a lot of energy out of one self and if my life wasn't dependent on that extra income, I would be more than happy to kiss it goodbye for ever.

But when you have no other option, you just keep putting yourself out there.

And, you know what? We can’t have anything really great unless we put ourselves out there again and again. Taking risks that leave us standing there only holding onto a wet useless scrap of paper can actually open up a different door for us. It can make us turn our head in a different direction, revealing new things about ourselves.

Rejection forces us to confront ourselves in a whole different way, and it gives us a chance to focus on something bigger and better. The whole point in all of it? To grow, to learn, to get more enjoyment out of who we are ... and out of life and love.

Oh yeah. And so we remember to use sturdier containers to carry our hopes and dreams in.

Paper bags are really only good for recycling.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Half-Marathon in the Wine Country

i was sick for the half marathon.

... but i ran anyway. And it was amazing!

We wore chips on our shoes, and I was the only one wearing it backwards. I worried. "Will this still work?" I pointed down at the top of my shoe.

I asked nearly everybody. And everyone reassured me it would, since it's a chip... but i only half- believed them, because otherwise why did everyone but me have their chip facing away from them and mine was facing me, if it indeed didn't matter?

I was feeling low energy and didn't feel that adrenaline that usually hits me just before a race and I sorta prepared myself by shrugging the whole thing off, "well, if the chip doesn't work, it doesn't work... I'll know how long it took me to run it and that's all that really matters...."

But that wasn't the only thing that I was worried about. I was sick with a nasty chest cold. The chills-feeling fever, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing up mucus, kind of cold. I swallowed a cough suppressant over-the-counter medicine 10 minutes before the race to help curb my cough and then the gun sounded.

"Here goes...." I whispered to myself and I took a deep breath, turned on my music, and off I went...... slowly at first, weaving in and around the slower runners ahead of me and as soon as I found an opening, I found myself running a good solid pace. Seven miles later, I was still running the same solid pace. Look at mee! I sang to myself. "Looook at meeeee! i'm running strong!"

It was by far my best race yet. I was amazed at my stamina. I ran past Mile 8 and I was running just as solid as I did when I first began. By Mile 10, I began to feel it in my legs... my I.T. Band started acting up again. I worried it would affect my running like it did during the Annadel Half Marathon up in the higher elevations. It did somewhat, but it didn't drastically affect my running.

The route was beautiful. Up and down small winding wine country roads. The weather was perfect and I felt terrific!

I loved that I didn't let anything stand in my way. I pushed past my fears of "should I run or should I not run?" because I knew my body would tell me what I could and could not do.

All I knew what I needed to do, was to lean down, lace up my shoes, and hit the pavement running... and then open myself up to the possibilities my body could or could not do.

I finished my race in 2 hours, 13 minutes.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Race Day is tomorrow

Race Day is tomorrow. And I am sick.

I've been sick for nearly a week now. Pounding headache. Fever. Aching body. Lost voice and a coughing so intense, so deep, I need to hold onto my ribs to soften the pain I feel each time I cough.

I haven't ran for a week. I've barely moved my feet. I look like the older folks you see shuffling down the street all wrapped up and shivering in the cold.

But yesterday morning, I woke up and felt a shift in my body. Was it my hopeful imagination?

Did I really feel improvement?

Today I have a worse cough, but no longer feel achy and the fever has been gone for two days now. Though I slept for more than twelve hours last night, I feel my energy returning.

It is no longer my imagination.

I'm going to go out there early tomorrow morning and run that race. My goal is to simply finish the Half Marathon. My other goal is not to get sicker after I finish the race... but to feel better and more empowered.

HA! Well, that is something only time will tell.

You know the saying, what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger... so I'm putting my trust into the alternative....

Friday, May 14, 2010

Running across the Golden Gate Bridge and along the Embarcadero in San Francisco

This video says it all. It was amazing!

I was born in San Francisco and have spent a lot of time in this lovely City, but there were places I ran that I had never experienced before.

I had to hack off 13 minutes of this video but it will still give you a good sense of our 12-mile practice run.

We started off a the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge in the pouring rain and ran across the bridge and circled around to the bottom of the hill along the Golden Gate Promenade and ran to Ft. Point, stopping momentarily to touch the wall, and then back along the Promenade to Crissy Field while we got caught in the middle of a race... and then ran along Marina Blvd, past the Safeway toward Fort Mason, up to Prospect Park and down along the waterfront toward Fisherman's Wharf ... past the boat house and Aquatic Park and we turned around at the Hyde Street Pier (corner of Hyde and Jefferson, kitty-corner from the Cannery Building). The cable car turnaround/Buena Vista Cafe/Ghirardeli Square are all a tantalizing block up on the hill on Beach Street.

We then turned around and headed back the same way we had come.

It felt a lot like we were on the tv show: the amazing race.

I am so grateful for this wonderful experience. It was so fun, I barely noticed I was running. The plus side of running in such a beautiful place.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Running in the Wine Country

This past Sunday, I ran 11-1/2 miles in the Wine Country.

After experiencing a long week of feeling lousy about myself... for feeling weak and lame and wanting to throw in the towel ... I watched another episode of The Biggest Loser on TV and I was so inspired watching these folks fight through their physical and mental barriers, I decided i needed to do that, too.

If they can do that, then by golly, I can do that! 
I woke up extra early on Sunday morning, nervous and excited and thought this: "If I can run this, then I can run the half-marathon!.."

It was a gorgeous morning outside and it was so breath-taking (in more ways than one!) to run through such beautiful scenery!

I started off running at a slower pace, reminding myself that it's just a practice run and if my ham strings act up on me, I can walk as much as I need to ... but within the first mile, I had passed everyone but a couple of runners who started off at the front of the pack and i never saw them. Ever! Even on long stretches of roads, but that was okay, as I had forgotten they were even ahead of me.  

As far as I knew, I was leading the group and I felt strong. I felt empowered! And that felt GOOOD! 

I finished the training run in 2 hours and 5 minutes and burned nearly 1200 calories. I pushed myself a little, but not like I was racing. Just enough to help me over my previous hump. I finished without even breathing deeply.

I live in such a beautiful area. I kept looking up and seeing my surroundings of the rolling hills and the vineyards and the beauty of it all kept pushing me to keep on running.

I just signed up for the Half-Marathon to take place on May 22nd.  I haven't trained like I should, (there were some weeks I only ran one day) but I guess there's no better time than the present. (And I think I'm better trained than I had previously believed).

This coming Sunday morning we're running over the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco along the Embarcadero and back across the bridge. I'm really looking forward to it. I plan to videotape my experience and will post it early next week.

(coach marc's bike)

Hey, by the way: Here's the route I ran! Impressive, huh?  :O)