​Rest Up Sweet Child

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Mid-year check-in because obviously, I don’t know how to keep up on blog posts. It’s not that I don’t care, or that I don’t want to write or have content, it’s more the act of sitting still and jotting things down. I’m still working on my Patagonia posts. (I say with a spirited eye-roll) Promise, they are coming. I promise!

It’s interesting how a turn of events can lead you right where you should be or NEED to be. My One Word for the year was RESTORATION. It’s not a word I would’ve chosen for myself. My One Word is something given to me every year when the new year rolls around. A gift. I’ve had a great year of restoration so far. So I thought.

Maybe going a million miles an hour isn’t quite “restorative” in the eyes of our Creator.

We’ve had another incredible year (half-year at this point, I suppose) of travel. Patagonia is at the forefront of course. Being able to backpack in one of the most beautiful, unrefined, mountainous parts of the world was unimaginable! As unyielding as it was, it still sparks fireworks in our minds and puts smiles on our faces when we get to share our adventure with others.

For us, that was what started this year of restoration. Being in the mountains has that impact on us like no other place. High altitude, hard work, relying solely on your own capabilities and surviving on what you’re carrying on your back for days and weeks is very soul-invigorating! It’s something that no one can understand until they’ve lived out the situation.
After we returned, we decided to train for some races. Half marathons are so fun! Although not my favorite distance, it’s a great challenge that doesn’t take up your whole life training. They easily fit into any schedule. The hubster decided he was going to start running (for real this time) and we set out training together for the Kentucky Derby Half. Needless to say, we ended up doing back-to-back-to-back halves in KY, NC, and SC, and he became a Half Fanatic! Secretly I’m working on him to become a Marathon Maniac…but… (laughs villainously) he is not seeing the light quite yet.

Fast forward to today. Restoration. Some FORCED REST is happening.
Last week after two weeks in California followed by a quickie 5-day trip to NYC I fell and hit my head. In actuality, I passed out and hit my head and didn’t remember it happening. I am so stubborn. Or passionate. Or determined. I assumed everything was fine when I woke up and had a big ‘ol unicorn horn on my noggin. After some discussion, we decided to go to the Dr who sent us to the ER. Surprisingly I think this was my first trip, which seems crazy for a family of adventure junkies! Oh…besided M’s stitches from a split head and A’s broken leg. Oops!
They sent me through the whole rigmarole. Checking for dehydration, blood tests, and a CT to be sure I was still as smart-alecky as ever.

Mission accomplished!

They gave me a great “headache cocktail” through an IV and had me rest, then sent me on my way with strict directions for (you guessed it) REST! Concussions require a “sling for your brain,” the Dr said.

Huh?

This has NOT been easy. The Dr gave me orders FIRST off, no screen time for three days: no phone, iPad, computer, Kindle, or TV. I missed the Kindle. Then I missed my friends, because moving away from the PNW, I still love my daily chats with my lovelies, which means being on the phone. The TV…eh… never a big deal in our house, It’s rarely used.
So basically I was told to lay down and do nothing.

Mission NOT accomplished! (I am sure you can see my furrowed brow and rebellious face a mile away)

HOW? I couldn’t. And I didn’t. I mean… I had an achey brain, and couldn’t see well and dizzy spells, and zero appetite,  but I just cannot lay in bed or on the couch and do… NOTHING. I couldn’t even read a regular book.

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Resting….. I tried and was terrible at it. I worked at being the best-rester I could be (yes I know that’s not a word), but it’s HARD y’all. I am in the middle of a June run streak with 4000 other streakers right now and HOW could I stop that? I couldn’t, so I focused on what I could do. I thought about those streakers that are newbies. The ones who have not only never done a streak, but some have never run or walked a mile a day for any amount of time. Ever! I considered how they felt, with sore feet, joints, legs, bodies. Tired after the mile, but determined to make it through this month and I channeled their perseverance, their dedication to this streak and took off walking. It was hard for me. Did I want to run? Absolutely! Running is like breathing to me, and it’s something I need daily! But I couldn’t. I mean, honestly, I couldn’t run if I wanted to. I did what I could, which is precisely what I’ve said to other streakers. Not everyone is running a 6-minute mile. Do what you can do.

I decided instead of sitting around in misery, I needed to have a mind shift. I am always a silver-lining girl. I am always looking for the good in every situation. How could I turn this around? What lesson was I to learn? I decided that I would be thankful that I could walk, that I could still play with my pup, could food prep, could listen to good music, could spend some time sitting in the sunshine AND since I’m walking at night, it’s allowed me to see spectacular sunsets.

I needed to be grateful for the act of resting.

In the past when I have had circumstances beyond my control that has forced rest upon me, I’ve come back stronger. Our bodies are such incredible machines and so intricate! I’m hoping for this outcome because, in the craziness of brain fog and a concussion, I signed myself up for an Ultra Marathon. A 50k. I must’ve really bumped my head! Ha!

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In reality, it’s been something I’ve been considering for a while and decided, now is the time. I went back and forth about triathlon this year and can’t find the right fit for an Ironman or HIM, so I have put that on the back burner until next season to focus on running. Lots of running!

Ok, ultramarathoners, I need your words of wisdom and sage advice going into the next few months of training. What tips and tidbits do you have for this newbie? I AM super excited to hit 31-miles of trails this coming November!

Today, it’s day 10 and I’m still… resting and allowing my body to RESTORE itself. I’ve realized over the last couple of days, this is going to be a process. There is no rushing in concussion recovery. My unicorn horn is going down and is a lovely shade of yellow. Not a shade that looks great with my skin tone, unfortunately, and I have a gorgeous set of black raccoon eyes now, but I am continuing to follow Dr’s orders and allow myself some downtime.

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”

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Happy New Year 2014

Wow!  I am in shock at how fast this past year has gone.  Twenty-Thirteen for us was an incredible journey of life, love and adventure!  Life moves fast, and we can oftentimes forget over the year what we have accomplished.  I made a little video on my Instagram of this past year with my family and it really brought it into perspective.

photo copyThe wanderlust in us was definitely fed as we traveled to Hawaii, Costa Rica, Seattle (a few times) Canada 2 times, Honduras, Oklahoma, drove the California, Oregon and Washington coasts and ended the year with a family Christmas ski trip to Big Sky, Montana.  What a year!  We feel blessed beyond measure!photo

As I sit here, I am in awe of how God designs us.  As a small child I always had the desire to travel, even though I came from a family that didn’t do a whole lot of traveling.  We camped often and made the trip home to Pittsburgh, PA every few years, but my parents never had the desire for “exotic” travel.  It was never their thing.  Wasn’t their dream.  Interestingly enough, it was always mine.  Same with my hubs.  His family was similar; not a lot of big trips, but they had their fare share of adventures.  He also from a young age had the hearts desire for travel.  God bringing the two of us together was no accident.  He created in both of us a heart for travel and adventure.  Had either of us been different, it might have not worked out for us.  Serendipity.  His providence.  God definitely knows what He’s doing.

tumblr_m27ph7F7bL1r6479vo1_1280We dream.  And we dream BIG!  I recently read something about dreaming that said 80 percent of Americans say they do not have dreams.  I’m not talking about night-time, as you slumber, dreams; I am talking about the type that you fantasize about, that you get excited and giddy and enthusiastic and passionate about.  The type that you sit and day dream about, or sit for hours on end with a cup of tea and talk to your hubs about.  Those kind of dreams!  This post that I read also stated “awakening and owning the dreams that God has placed in our hearts isn’t about getting stuff or attaining something.  It’s about embracing who we are and who He has created us to be.” (from the book Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldredge)  He has created in my hubs and I the dream of travel and adventure (among other things) He has placed in our hearts that desire and through our faith in those dreams, He has opened up ALL sorts of experiences.images

We have already been dreaming for this year.  We are already elated for what will be awakened in us.  We are moving into this year with renewed passion, courage, brave-determination and a confidence in He who planted our dreams.

I love the new year.  Think of those words: NEW YEAR.  You have the ability to start over.  Wipe the slate clean.  Let go of the past.  Forgive.  Imagine.  Move forward into your dreams.  What are they?  Have you sat down to consider them?  Have you made new goals?  Have you day-dreamed?  Sometimes our dreams can seem unattainable.  Sometimes, we hear a whisper of a dream in our hearts but are too afraid to go for it.  To have the unbridled courage to reach out and grasp it.  To allow ourselves to be unchecked, uncontrolled and unconstrained in our ambitions, desires and passions.

Do you have the dream of travel?  How about running your first marathon or half-marathon, 5K or your first mile?  How about learning something new?  Learning to swim or a new language or to play a new instrument?  How about learning to surf?  Jumping out of an airplane?  How about a Triathlon?  Maybe…even a chance to write for Runner’s World Magazine as I did this year (link here) Dream BIG!!

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What are your dreams for the New Year?

Elvis in Paris

Ready to Rock!!

Ready to Rock!!

Have you ever run in Paris near the Eiffel Tower?  In New York City, Hollywood & Venice, Italy?  Ran next to pyramids, flaming, hot volcanoes, sweeping, palm trees, and next to spectacular fountains?  Have you ran with Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Captain America, Spiderman, Winnie the Pooh, the Transformers, Danny DiVito, Jack Nicholson, Kermit the Frog, and Zach Galifianakis?   What about with gorgeous showgirls?  AND…have you done this all on ONE DAY?  Or should I say…NIGHT!

This is exactly the kind of fun you can have when you run the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon.  The Strip at Night!

This was my last ½ marathon of the season.  It was a quick-minded decision, spurred by a couple of friends that were registered to run it.  They invited me along, and I gave it about 2-seconds of thought before I said, “I’m in!”  I mean…C’mon, friends, Vegas, running and a ½ marathon at night!  How could I ever say No?

From the time we arrived in Vegas, we knew the 4-day weekend was going to ROCK!  And we were excited to “get this party started”

The expo was remarkable!  We picked up race packets, numbers, grabbed swag bags and T-shirts at the front end of the expo.  It was quick, well organized and we moved through with ease.  Then we entered into Running Mecca.  We all wandered through, wide-eyed, sampling products, playing games, buying running gear, seeing new shoes, socks, and wicking clothing.  We spent a good part of our afternoon there ogling all things running.  One of my <personal> biggest highlights of the expo was getting the honor and privilege to hear a talk from the amazingly, talented, US Olympian and winner of the NYC Marathon Meb Keflezighi.  What an extraordinary career this man has had.  Afterwards, we patiently waited, to get up close to Meb for pictures, and to have him autograph his book, and our race bibs.  I really wish he were my running partner.  The expo got us more excited to be participating in another Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon!

Elvis was even at the Expo

Elvis was even at the Expo

With Meb Keflezighi

With Meb Keflezighi

Our group that was running (the race) and running around Vegas until all hours of the night…er….the morning consisted of 2 girls who are RnR veterans, and have ran 3 R n R’s this year (I cannot wait to see their extra Heavy Metal BLING for doing more than one in the year) 3-NEWBIE runners, 2 that have done some smaller races, and 1 that this was IT…the first race EVER!  Out of the 3 newbies however, this was their first Half Marathon!…and there was little ol’ me…just along for the fun!

Being around the newer runners was like seeing kids at Christmas.  It was so exciting!  It was fun seeing their nervous energy, and taking everything in about the race and expo.

Race day came, and it was so bizarre to wake up at 9am-ish (after our second night of being out until 4am) and not have to be in a frenzy to get ready to race.  And well, at 9am, we would’ve already missed the start of most races.  But not in Vegas.  This race starts at night.  4:30pm.  Being that is was a late start, we really had to spend the day off of our feet (HAHAHA, that didn’t happen) and really had to watch what we were eating (HAHAHA that didn’t happen either) So, we spent the day in regular Vegas fashion, out shopping, and walking.  In fact we are pretty sure we easily covered a marathon and a half-marathon the three days we were there before the race.  (No, I’m not joking)  There is so much to see and do, that you just cannot sit still.  And although for other races, we would’ve opted to stay in and play it safe…this is Vegas after all, and all bets were off.  We threw caution to the wind.  Besides all of the walking, we danced our little legs off, ate Vietnamese food (for dinner the night before the race) we drank, we danced some more, we shopped our wallets dry, we became Mission Impossible agents, we rode roller coasters, we laughed and loved and lived everything we could of Las Vegas.

As the day went on, we got more and more excited about the race.  We walked down to the start and were giddy!  We cheered for our first-timers, and made plans for meeting at the finish.  And then we were off, with 30,000 other runners, running the Las Vegas strip at night.  I only wish I would’ve stopped one time to take a picture of how this looked.  The lights, the runners, the crowds cheering us on.  It was all so exciting.  It made the run go by so fast.  Running block after block next to towering casinos and hotels.  I ran past the Bellagio as the fountains we spraying.  We ran from one end to the other, towards the Stratosphere and though a part of Vegas that I have never been to, the infamous Fremont Street, past street performers, and fantastic bands, and before I knew it, I was heading back down the strip to the finish.  I kind of had that feeling of…”is this it?”  Not meaning I was dissatisfied with any part of this race, but that it seemed to fly by.

FINISHED!

FINISHED!

I waded through the finish-line chute where I received my medal.  This MEDAL!!!  Now…this, is a medal.  Heavy, and full of bling-y, shimmery, glitter, with the Las Vegas skyline…and, AND…wait for it….it freakin’ GLOWS IN THE DARK!  What!!??

True story!

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I continued my way through the chute, having my photo taken, getting all sorts of yummy post-race food.  There was definitely a lot to choose from. I wandered in my space blanket to the other end, and waited with a friend (we ran in together)  to cheer the rest of our crew in!  It is always so amazing and almost tearful to see a first-timer finish.  There is just something magical about it.  They think they can’t make it, they feel undertrained (jeez, don’t we all) they are in pain, convinced the finish is too far, and then…they cross that finish line!  It never gets old.  We hugged and took pictures together of our finish, and then all went back to our condos, cleaned up, ate, and guess…WENT out, again…for another 4am night of celebrating and dancing!!

I vote: one of the most fun races EVER!!  Great race for first timers, veterans, young and old!  Great course…flat, and you cannot beat the scenery.  Great crowds.  If you want thousands of people cheering for you your entire way…then Vegas is it!  Plus….you get to run..with Elvis in Paris!!

 

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We are ready to #Sweat Pink at the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon.

We are ready to #Sweat Pink at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon.

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