Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ontario Mills 5k Race and a special visit from home

Thank you to everyone who left comments and who sent me emails about my Maggie.  I appreciate all of them.

The days are very hard.  I miss my dog, my house is too quiet and I just feel sad.  I know it will take time for this sadness to go away.

This weekend we had a lot of things planned and that was good for all of us.

Saturday I ran a 5k race with my sons.  This was a small local race very close to where I live.
They did awesome, much better than they did at the Turkey Trot.  They got a 4 min PR!  We followed a 2 min run / 1 min walk plan.  I am going with the time on my Garmin because there was no mat at the start only at the finish so the chrono was only accurate for the first people...first time I see this at a race.  It was ok because I did this one with the boys and not "for real".

Will the mini ambassador for NUUN!

I am really proud of them and of how well they did.
They were really happy to get a big medal!

We are already signed up for our 3rd one in March at Knotts Berry Farm!

So that was a good distraction for us but not as good as what came next.
One of my best and dearest friend from Quebec came for a surprise visit over the weekend!
That is crazy I know.
She has been there for me for every big moment in my life; she was my maid of honor, she came here when I had my kids.  We met on the first day of high school and we have been great friends for more than 30 years, we were even roomates in College.  Man I am old:). She called me last week asking if I was busy during the weekend.  She said she realized turning 45 was a big deal (she is 6 mos younger than me so her turn is coming!) and she wanted to come for the weekend!  She has 3 kids and she came with her youngest who is the same age as Jonathan ( they are just one month apart)
It was so great to see her and just have a fun time.  It was just what we all needed.  I am lucky to have great friends like her.

Pictures taken at the Los Angeles Farmer's Market.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

RIP my sweet, beautiful Maggie

Today was the hardest day.
I lost a piece of my heart.
My beloved Golden Retriever Maggie left us.
She was my first dog.
I waited more than 30 yrs for her.
She was with us for 12 wonderful years.
She was the sweetest most loving dog and so smart.
I loved her so so much.

She had stopped eating for a few days and today she was getting worst...very lethargic and not herself.  I got very worried, called Bill and said it was time to go to the vet.
He came home and around 4 pm we all went to the vet.  I wanted to be there and so all 4 of us went.
I was very worried.  I had explained to the boys that it was possible that Maggie was very sick and that we needed to be prepared for bad news.

We had time at home to give her hugs and kisses. We were all so heartbroken.
We drove to the vet.
He was so nice.
He took blood test and we waited for results.....it was not good.
He told us that he needed to take an X-ray to see if her spleen was enlarged and that if it was then there would be nothing we could do.
The spleen was extremely large pushing the stomach out of where it should be.  She had a large tumor. It was horrible to see the images.  She was bleeding internally and was in a lot of pain.
We has to make the hard decsion to follow the doctor's advice and put her to sleep.
I stayed with her until the end.
I could not leave her,
I feel so lost and empty now.
I have been a stay at home mom for 9.5 yrs now and she has been my buddy all this time.
I was never alone.
Now I will be.

And so we came home 3 hours later.
Without our beloved Maggie.
All four of us completely heartbroken.

Rest in peace my sweet Maggie.
You were so loved.
Aurevoir mon beau gros chien-chien, je t'aimais tellement

Monday, January 13, 2014

Citrus heritage half marathon aka the birthday race

Soooo here is something for you... 
Running 13.1 miles is not easy.
It is highly recommanded to actually TRAIN before running a half marathon.
Some rock star can "swig it"
Not this old gal over here.

Oh boy this one quicked my 45 yrs old butt.
I knew it would be hard.
I knew the course was hilly because I ran the 10k last year and it was full of hills.  I also knew I was not prepared for 13.1 miles.   In all honesty it was pretty stupid of me to do this but how could I pass this? 
Half marathon #25 and on my birthday.

This was an inaugural race and very close to home.
Beautiful part of Riverside where the orange groves are.
This race offered race day packet pick up and I love love that.
The start was rather late at 8 am..sun was out early but it was not warm so it was ok.

I met with my good friend Sandy (boston bound brunette sorry don't know how to link using the blogger app) and also Megan (Run Megan) and her friend Suzanne before the start.  Sandy bought me a pink sash for my birthday!  A FABULOUS sash! I thought OK lets put this on for a quick picture but she had other plans...she came prepared with safety pins and next thing I know this thing was pinned for the race!

Soon after that it was starting time!
I lined up towards the back...super speedy Sandy dissapeered and left the dust behind...I started with Megan and her friend but it was not long before I lost them as well.  I needed to take walking break more often because the lack of training was worrying me and I did not want to get injured again.

This course is beautiful and full of surprises....hills, trail...mud...orange groves, hills, roses, palm trees, wild animals, did I say hills.... This course is no joke.

Wearing that sash ended up really fun.  I had so many people wishing me happy birthday..one guy even sang to me..it was great.  There was this one guy who said it maybe 15 times...every time he would pass me..."happy birthday!"
I got a lot of nice compliments also...I guess people get delirious with the hard effort because I got a lot of "you don't look 45!" Love all of these crazy people!! My new BFFs!!

Here is mile 3 where I let go of my gloves and phone.  Did not want to have the distraction this time.

I had to walk a lot once again...at least half of it for sure.
Better than than nothing at all is what I kept telling myself.
I tried to not worry too much about my poor performance and just enjoy the views and the people around me.
The hills...some were hard and I could feel the sharp pinch I my knee when I would start running.
Had to stop twice for bathroom and at least 5 times to stretch..hip and calf.

Here mile 7 I think (pics taken by Sandy's husband..thank you)

The support on the course was great...lots of volunteers and everyone was so nice! Course was also well marked.

Mile 9 
I wanted to quit here.
I told Bill "I want to quit!"
He said the best thing he could have said "see you at the FINISH line!"

Got a hug from the kids

And I did not quit.
I am glad I did not.

Last few miles were hard but I talked to a very nice woman and that helped a lot.
The course finishes UPHILL.  That is hard people.
I caught up to that woman in front of me in the end

And I was so done.....I almost passed out at then end....felt so dizzy for a minute..Bill caught me right in time...

The medal is awesome, I love it...super shiny!

Kids were pretty impressed to see the Batmobile parked near the finish line 

So that is it for this one...my time is terrible of course.
I am resting a few days because I am hurting a lot and then I go back to real training with my brand new Garmin!

This was my birthday gift! 
Cannot wait to use it!

Next up is a 5k with my kids so no real racing for that one, running more outside and increasing the mileage.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Number 25 and number 45 = Birthday Race

Tomorrow is my birthday.
I will be turning 45.
FORTY-FIVE...that is crazy... I don't feel 45 at all...I guess that is a good thing right...

All I want for my birthday is to be healthy.  
Oh and no kids fighting at my house would also be nice.

So what does a normal person do for their birthday....running a half marathon of course.
What's better than to put myself through misery and facing the strong possibility of having stomach problems?

I could not pass this up. The race is on my birthday and it will be my 25th half marathon!

Here is the problem and it is a big one...I am NOT ready for 13 miles.
Not even close...
My last real long run was well my last half marathon....and that was a month ago...yikes...

So I have no goals other to finish.  There will be a lot of walking.
I just want to have a good time.

After that race I need to get back on a running schedule and increase the mileage.
I want to go back to how things were before my injury.
I still have bad days with the pain coming back and I guess it will always be like this.  I won't go back to running 5 days with no rest, that is a sure way to returning to the PT and I don't want that.
This was my mileage for 2013 (plus 1 mile)
960 miles

I signed up for a local 5K race for next weekend.  I will do it with my kids.
I decided to do a few of those for the winter/spring season because I did not signed them up for soccer or basketball because my older son work load in class is too much and he missed too many practices last season.  I hate to do that and it is the first time that they won't be on a team for a whole season but school is number 1 and I don't want to sign them up and miss most of the activities..waste of money and also does not make good teammates.  

Will is on the track team and we started this week.  For now it is only once a week; Wednesday morning before school.  I volunteered to help the teacher who is coaching the team.   We had 65 kids  and I hope they will all come back.  I will help with the running part...  We did very little running for the first day.  All the kids made the same mistake: going put way too fast and crashing before the end of the lap :) For the second lap I told them they could not pass me. It was funny because this lap is short and some kids were trying to cheat and cut the course short.  This is not PE! Nobody is forcing them to come to this so why cheat?! It's the "I have to be first" thing I guess.  After the second lap I asked some of the older kids to guess how far we had ran.  "1 mile!" Hmmm no not even close. "1/2 a mile!" Nope.  The lap is only 0.16 mile! I was wearing my Garmin so I had the exact distance. :). So in the end  a big workout of 0.32 mile:). I would spend a lot less time on stretching exercises and more on actually moving.  
They will have one meet in April and I am looking forward to that!

I am looking for races to fill up my calendar! If you are local and have suggestions please leave a comment!

Check out the cool running stickers I found yesterday!  I have a scrapbook for all my races with bibs and other stuff.

Have a good weekend!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy 2014

Oh I have been a bad blogger over the holidays.
My parents were here for 2 weeks and I chose to spend quality time with them.
Almost No blogging and No blog reading.

They left yesterday and it was very difficult once again to see them go.  My kids were completely heartbroken, it was so sad to see them say goodbye...and it is also very hard for me...they are not getting any younger..my dad is 80 yrs old and I worry about when will I see the next.

It is by far the hardest part of living so far away from my hometown.

We had a great time.  
We went to see Disney on Ice

I bought tickets to Cirque du Soleil for my mom for Christmas and it was awesome!!

We did our hostduty and drove to Hollywood

On the 1st we got up super early and drove to Pasadena for the Rose parade!
It was fantastic! A bucket list type event for sure!

We have played board games

Well I have done some but. It enough to be ready for my birthday half marathon in 8 days

Oh well...I was not about to leave my parents for 2 hours to go running...their last visit was 3 yrs ago.

My husband just announced to me that he might be working on my birthday race day so this kind of sucks... This means I would have to drop to the 5K and do it with my kids...we will see...

My oldest son is starting track team on Wednesday and guess who volunteered to help the teacher who is in charge of the team? This should be f u n ! :)
New shoes to run fast

I ended 2013 with 960 miles.
First time not reaching 1000 miles.
Injury sucks. I was out for about 4 mos this year.
Here to hoping 2014 will be better.
I am not doing the goal thing.
I only have 1 WISH: to be healthy.
In 8 days I will be 45 years old.  I don't feel that old.
I still hope that this will be the year of the marathon.

Happy healthy new year to all of you!