Monday, December 1, 2008

Slippery When Wet, the unlikely story of a broken finger

As I approached Tiger 2, I had 2 choices; run straight down Tiger 3 and be at the trail head in <30 minutes OR take the TMT down for an additional hour of running downhill in the mud. I ate the rest of my peanut butter and honey tortilla, gave Struth some biscuits and decided to take the TMT down. The wind was howling, so much so, that at times it was it drowned out my iPOD. Whoa. But I was having such a good time. Why stop in 30 minutes when I can keep up the fun for 60 minutes by taking the TMT? So down the TMT I went....literally. I totally wiped out on one of those wooden bridges that covers the little streams. As soon as I put each shoe on the bridge, I instantly felt my feet slip under me. I tried to brace myself but as I stood there trying to take a step, I kept sliding until I literally slid right off the bridge and I felt right into one of those little streams. It felt like slow motion, like when you are in a dream and try to run but you are not making any progress. Struth came running towards me and was concerned, but I was fine, albeit stunned. We kept on running. I approached another one of these bridges and thought I to myself, 'now be really careful....the last time'...and whoops, I was down again and this time I used my hand to break my fall and out came a yelp and a *%*#@$%! By the time I got to my car, my finger was swollen, throbbing and painful. Oh, it's just a finger....
I wrapped it for the rest of Saturday and then again on Sunday, making clapping for the Seattle Marathon runners interesting. I still had my voice though. . . .
Today I consulted my boss, an MD. "Do you think this is broken?" I asked. He urged me to go get an x-ray, as did countless others. So I went and indeed, it is broken.

I will NOT run on my hands for awhile. At least until it heals.

Also, today is December 1st. Does anyone know what day it is? It's the birthday of the fabulous HPT! Homer has a message for you!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I am Crushing Your Head

Does anyone remember the show Kids in the Hall? This was a Canadian sketch comedy with 4 guys in it. I loved watching the show. It was very funny and unusual. There was a head-crusher on it who pretended with fervor that he was really crushing people's heads. And he had a funny accent which made it just that much funnier. What does this have to do with anything? Well, today I crushed the head of the lack of motivation. I have been definitely feeling less motivated than usual but do find that once I finish whatever it was that I lacked motivation for, I feel much better. Mostly, this can be linked with running and training in general. I know I have to get up for work, I know I have to cook and eat meals and I know that tomorrow, I have to go to the dreaded dentist. But I don't have to run or go to the gym, it's just that I know that I like to do that. Finding the motivation for this has been a struggle the past few weeks. But today, I took a turn and crushed the bobble head called UN MOTIVATION. I don't really know how I did it, but I know when it happened. My alarm went off this morning at 5:15 AM. I was prepared to make one of the following decisions. 1) Get up and go swimming. 2) Get up and do some strength training or 3) Go back to bed. So, I sat there, upright in bed with my eyes closed envisioning me doing each of those activities. I had a strong inclination to go back to bed but I thought, well, I'll just get up and brush my teeth and then, if I really want to go back to bed, I will. I actually have got up, brushed my teeth, go dressed for some activity and then gone back to bed, so I know this deal with myself was not flawless if I was really going to do option #1 or #2. As I was brushing my teeth, still with my eyes closed, I was trying to figure out how I could shuffle things around this week if I did go back to I could still get in the running and cross training. I was stressing myself out and I hadn't even had my eyes open for more than a minute total. This is when I turned the corner. I thought to myself, seriously, is it really that bad to just get UP and go to the gym? NO!!!! It is NOT!!!! And suddenly, I felt motivated to go. I went. I did some strength training and I was so motivated that I worked myself pretty hard; jumping rope, doing burpes and a few other maneuvers that got my heart rate up. I was feeling good! Then I went to work and when I got home, I was so excited to go for my mid-week run. I had a great run, it was so beautiful out, a perfect night for running. I took Struth of course, he seemed to have fun as well. I did the same loops as last Wednesday and I finished 5 minutes faster than last week. WooHoo. So, sometimes, as quickly as motivation can leave you is as quickly as it can come back.

Just a quick recap of the very nice weekend in Seattle....lots of fall colors still remain, but mostly with the fallen leaves that coat the ground. Friday, after a swim with HPT, my favorite person to swim with, (Bob is up there too!) and some wimpy weights, I went for a walk with Struthie and Bob around Madison Then Saturday, back to Madison Park so Struthie could swim and Sunday, off to Tiger for an awesome trail run. Perfect conditions and the perfect company-my faithful companion and my long time running partner...Struth. One of my favorite things on the trail is to see him running in front of me with his tail high in the air waggin'. He enjoys the trails as much as I do, maybe even more. Some photos of the weekend!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (A.K.A. the couch)

After a 4 day weekend, I came home from work today and all I wanted was 2 things. Number 1) To lay on the couch all night. Number 2) LET myself lay on the couch all night. I usually run Wednesday night, a mid-week longer slow run. But with the darkness and the intermittent rain, I could not get motivated. I thought the couch was the best thing and I did not want to leave it. So, I started making deals with myself. OK, I'll turn on the TV and if I haven't seen this particular episode of "King of Queens" then I will sit on the couch before I run. I turned on the TV and whoops, I had already seen that episode. Seriously, I have not seen that many episodes of this show so I thought I was playing it safe by making this deal with myself. So, plan B. OK, I have seen this episode, but I really like it, (so I told myself), so I will watch it anyway and then I will go running. When the show was over, I did not think I could tear myself away from the couch. The couch was so inviting and comfortable and warm and dry. But, I did. And this is how I did it.
1) I looked for a sign that I was really doing the right thing by leaving the couch to go running. I got my stuff on and grabbed my iPOD. When I turned it on before leaving the house, the song "I want to be your lover" came on by Prince. Well, obviously this was a sign that I should leave my one lover (couch) for another; running. So check, this was my sign.
2) Look for something different to focus on while running. I did this in 2 ways, (see number 3 for the 2nd). I did a few loops and checked my times for each loop. Earlier, I had talked to Brian Morrison at SRC and we were talking about 12 and 24 hour races where you are literally running a 1 to 1+ mile loop for a given amount of time. We agreed that at first running in circles doesn't sound like the best fun ever, but the idea has potential. The thought of running for a given amount of time to see how far you can go is different and refreshing instead of running a certain distance for time. So, I implemented that thought process on this run.
3) As I was listening to my iPOD, I tried to envision myself singing karaoke to the songs. Why I did this, I have no idea, but it sure did make the time pass. So many songs I would never sing at karaoke. Too much time in between the lyrics.
after 101 minutes, I was back at my doorstep after a longer slow run. I did it, I overcame the lack of motivation and left my couch. I was really happy I did, as I knew I would be, but it just took some coercing and some mind games.
I realise listed here are not 50 ways to get up off the couch to go running in the dark rain, but it's a start. After all, it's just the start of the long dark and rainy month and I am sure I will have more nights like this one.....

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Well, there is not much I can add to all the commentary in the papers and on the radio. But in my own words, I am so excited that we have a elected a president that can speak in complete sentences and so eloquently. In all seriousness, and not to sound cliche, the election of Obama is proof that indeed change is not only possible, but it does happen. The potential of his presidency is huge and I hope that his message of unity is heard so that his leadership can bring us to see brighter days for not just for our own country, but globally. He is only one man, however his leadership skills surpass any that I have seen in a political setting since I have been alive and I find it inspiring. He inspired so many people to vote, which was one of the many things that got him elected and his acceptance speech drives the point home that we all need to work together to make necessary changes. The fact that we have elected him as our next president, (oh why do we have to wait 2-1/2 more months!) is proof that there is hope. For all the people who have never voted before this election and then voted for Obama, what a sense of empowerment and that yes, you can be an advocate for yourself and your future. In the spirit of empowerment, voices are heard and again reminding us that there is hope and change is possible.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Return of Muddy Paws

Well, although there were sun breaks this weekend, there was also the return of the rains. So, running with 4 muddy paws is back in action. Struth and I headed to Cougar this weekend for an easier run. We ran the first 2 hours on the crunchy tri-colored leaves lining the trails. I felt fairly comfortable without seeing what lurked under the leaves because I know the trails at Cougar very very well. I was cautious but still worked the downhills as that is one of my weaknesses in trail running. As I was headed back to the parking lot to pick up Francis for the last hour, it started to rain. And then it just kept raining and raining and raining. Francis, Struth and I ran an hour loop and finished up pretty muddy. Good thing I had just done laundry and had a stack of clean dog towels in the trunk. I used about 3. It will continual towel laundry and baths for Struth in the coming of the rainy months. The best thing about giving Struth a bath is not that he smells so good after, it's watching him tear around the house with the crazies rubbing his back all over the carpet. It's such a contrast to a moaning Struth in the bath tub that clearly looks so unhappy.
It was a fun run and besides the usual pleasure of trail running, I got Francis out of retirement and back on the trails. Also, I have taken my favorite hat that Hallie gave me out of the closet and it's back in action as well with the colder wetter weather. Thanks for the hat HPT!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Enchanting Shag Carpets

On Sunday I headed up to the Enchantments with Seattle Running Company. Wow. I had never been there and have always wanted to go. I was a bit hesitant because I thought I wouldn't be able to keep up with all the fast people and I knew it would be an all day event and yada yada yada. The night before I kept having dreams that my toe fell off and I had no balance for running. In my dream I kept looking at the space where my toe was meant to be and wondering just when it fell off and bummed that it would not grow back. I woke up at one point and thought to myself, this must be a sign that I shouldn't go. But when I woke up at 5:30, without an alarm, I thought, well surely this is a sign that I should go. So I got up, walked Struth, made coffee, grabbed my bag and was off.
On the ride to Leavenworth I was in the SRC van with about 6 others and the time passed quickly as we were all talking and made some stops to pick people up on the way. In no time we were at the Snow Lake parking lot where we dropped off a few cars and loaded up the remaining cars to head to the Asgard Pass Trail head. Scott trying to round us up here get our running stuff was COLD!
We mushed into 2 cars from about 4, so it was a crowded 6 miles to the trail head were were starting from.
It was pretty cold but I decided to wear shorts and bring plenty of layers, a windbreaker and LOTS of food. We were a pretty good sized group, maybe 15 or 20, but of various different speeds which made the 8 party limit easy to accommodate.

So off we went...running up towards Asgard Pass. I was trying to take pictures and trying to keep up with Wendy WJ, Ponytail Glen and Linda. My photos didn't turn out too well at this part as I was concentrating on keeping up. I have a hard time starting on a hill, so I was panting like crazy. I purposely did not wear my HR monitor because I didn't want to know how fast my heart was beating.
Too bad there were No Dogs allowed....I was missing Struthie, but thanks to friend Cari, he was being well taken care of. . . !
We ran and walked through such beauty. I was so excited to finally experience the Enchantments. I can see why it is called the Enchantments.
I came across a bridge that goes SOMEWHERE...

And that somewhere was Asgard Pass. Wow, what a climb. There were times when I needed my hands and feet, times when I thought I was headed in the right direction, (but was not), thanks to Wendy for yelling down to me to tell me which zig zag way to get to the top of the very windy Asgard Pass.
There were some great views on the way up. to the top of Asgard Pass and turns out, I had just missed seeing a mountain goat. I remember seeing a bunch on my backpacking trip at Ingall's Lake, was hoping to see some here, but the views were so spectacular that missing a goat was no big deal.
Linda, Jonathon and I ran from Asgard Pass from rock to rock, lake to lake, stream to stream and through what inspired 70's shag carpeting. No kidding. The leaves on the trees littered the trail with the most brilliant colors and textures. I was continually amazed at what I saw and stopped regularly to snap a few photos, some turned out a little crooked as I was multi-tasking. But here's some of those sights to see.

We had plenty to drink thanks to Scott's filter, which is giardia proof.

As we reached the forested decent running switch back after switchback, I was still running through brillinat colors and snowcapped mountains.
After we were all done running, some of us headed to Gustuv's for dinner. Linda and I celebrated with what Enchantment Ale! Delicious.
It was a great day running, with amazing views, fun people which led to a awesome night's sleep and some stiff legs on Monday. What more could I ask for????

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Color of Fall

Today I slept in until 10AM. Extraordinary. Although I did stay up to watch Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live. I love the rap Amy did....too funny. Although Sarah Pallin seemed to be ok with people making fun of her, that doesn't sweeten the deal for the Republican ticket, it still stinks no matter how much freshener you spray on it. OBAMA/BIDEN 2009!

I decided to take it easy on myself today. Yesterday I had a great run with none other than Struth E. Moore. My leg still bothers me from time to time, left over from the injury just before Boston Marathon. Yesterday I had some tugs while running so today I just went for a long walk with Struth along Lake Washington. I took my camera because fall is here and the leaves are changing colors and falling from the trees. The colors of fall are so unique. They are unreproducible outside of nature. That is one of the reasons why fall is like a holiday. The chance to see these colors comes only once a year. So today, I put aside any ambitions I had to go inside a gym and spent the time outside in the fall air enjoying the day with my babe Struth.

I came across this column with a message....."Let Go".
I decided this was a message for me to let go of things I am housing that do not serve me in a positive way. So I started to think of all these draining things one by one and one by one, I let them go. I started off with a quick list and then spent time thinking about the less obvious drainers and eventually let them go too. I almost blew away with the gentle breeze I was so light. Good thing friend Matt called and joined me for the latter half of the walk as he keep me from flying away.