Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My Oh My..What a Year

Another year has yet again flown before our eyes. I remember being a kid and it felt as if it took Christmas foreverrrrr to finally come back around. Now it creeps back up on us like it was just yesterday. This year has been a rollercoaster. I don't think I will ever forget so many dates from this year. The first part of the year was great but seems as soon as June came around it started to slide down hill. We had our dog, Sampson put to sleep his heart just couldn't hang anymore. :(  He is still so missed.

Then the biggest heartache of 2015 hit in September when we lost our home to fire. Since that day, we've been staying with friends. It was hard seeing all your belongings go up in flames but you quickly realize that its just stuff. New memories can be made and new items can be purchased. Thankfully a few sentimental items were saved that day. We also lost our outside dog Eva the week of the fire.

Even while dealing with the fire, I was still training for my first marathon. I am still not too pleased with my finish time but with all things considered I am happy. I could have quit but I didn't. I even did 10 miles the day after my house was on fire. Mind you it was walking but still I did it.

Since my marathon, I haven't felt like running much at all. I still do but the motivation just isn't there. I think the stress from the fire finally caught up with me and the training from the race. I did run my first race, the Running of the Turkeys 10k shortly after Thanksgiving Day. I ended up finished 2nd in my age group. So woot woot to that. :) However, the motivation still isn't there to run much. But I know it will make its come back soon. I did reach some of my running goal for the year. I finally beat my mile PR, however that's the only time. The goals that I didn't reach I have already carried over to next year and hopefully I crush them.

There was some great news towards the end, so the year wasn't total sadness. We found a house and should be moving into it later next month. We are super excited and can't wait to move in. Well, kinda move. We really don't have much of anything. We could seriously make one trip and probably all in one vehicle. ;)

So here is goodbye to 2015, you came in quietly and left like a bull. May 2016 be the best yet, surely it has 2015 beat right?!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Mission Accomplished

Twenty-Six Point Two....TWENTY-SIX POINT TWO!!! Holy smokes, I finally did a marathon and I am still in shock over it.  Did I really just do that?! This may be my longest post, hopefully I don't bore you. ;)

We arrived in DC on Friday and headed off to the the expo. I love race expos. Just the energy flowing thru just gets you pumped even more to run your race. Everyone is just super excited to pick up their bib. It's just an awesome feeling.

The only part that sucked about this expo was the HUGE line for the Brooks Store. Whew! It was insanely long. But it was worth picking up some gear. Well..Ray probably wouldn't agree. He was such a sport and stood in line for over 2 hours to check out while I looked around at some of the vendors.

Having fun at the Brooks Photo Booth

This isn't too much MCM stuff is it? ;)

How cool is this shirt?! And that patch?!

After the expo we headed to Chinatown and ate at Matchbox.
Their pizza was super yummy.  

Saturday was spent just lounging around. I planned to do a shake out run but ended up walking 10 miles on Friday so I just rested instead. And eating....lots.  I also got to meet up with my longtime college buddy, Lorra. I haven't seen here since 1997. We met up and ate at the Noodles & Co and chatted away. It was so great catching up. After eating some yummy carbs, we headed back to the hotel to chill before heading down to the pasta dinner with Team Fisher House. The next morning it was race day! 

I suprisingly slept pretty well and got up the next morning to see Fisher House had decorated all the team members rooms. 

I didn't think to get a photo of it on the
hotel door so I had to improvise ;) 

The morning of the race it was raining, I guess now I have the running jinx of it raining on race morning like Miranda does. ;) It wasn't a hard rain which I am totally cool with. It rained a little off and on during the first couple of miles but then was clear. We stood what seemed like forever in the line to go thru security. And I guess we did somewhat, by the time we got thru and up to the team tent a quick potty break and it was go time.  I barely got to my corral and honestly I still don't think I made it. By the time I got past the arches, the earlier corrals were already moving up to the start. I jumped in where I could and hoped I was somewhat near my goal time. I think I got in with the four hour finishers. Because it was was near mile 3 that I saw the 4:45 pacer come past me. Oops.
Ray would come follow and meet me at certain points (having the location turned on my phone helped a lot. ;)

Mile 4

At Mile 12 or as it is known with the Marine Corps Marathon, the Blue Mile. A mile in honor for the heroes we have lost. Each side of the has the photo of a hero. And then as you get further into the mile, you reach the families & friends of the fallen holding American Flags. I knew this mile was going to hit me hard in the gut. I would run by each photo and tap each one. I went around one runner to stop and walk and as soon as I did I recognized a face I knew. I immediately stopped to take a photo and send to his brother Franz.

*Please keep the Walkup's in thoughts and prayers. Franz's father passed away yesterday.

Mile 19

Taking a selfie with the Marine at Mile 20.
Beating the Bridge

Running the hill to reach the finish line.
Yes, a hill at .2 of the 26 ;)

I didn't run the race I wanted or had planned but when does that ever go right for me?! Maybe that's my problem. I keep setting the wrong type of goals. I had two goals for this race and both were not attained. First goal was to finish in 4:45 and backup goal was around 5:15. I finished the race in 6:39. Which still isn't bad, I mean this was my first marathon. But I rocked my 24 mile training run and finished it in 5:05 and then I bomb at the race. :(  I wasn't pleased with my time for the first few hours after finishing. I sprinted at the finish and I knew then I could have ran harder during the middle of the race. I was disappointed with myself but then Ray and a dear friend told me that I just did something that only 1% of the population ever do. RUN A MARATHON!  Soon after that I was feeling much better. Well all but the quads feeling like I drove them into a concrete wall. ;)

After crossing the finish line you're suppose to
get a finisher jacket. But they were already out of them.
A sweet fellow runner sent me hers since it was my first marathon. 

Since becoming a marathon finisher, I've been mentally going back over the race just to see what may have went wrong. And I think it has to do with my watch. After I missed my first goal, my mind started telling me "oh look you aren't hitting that finish time." And after missing the second missed goal I was like screw it. I'll walk it in. And I hate that I let my mind win. Win at telling me to quit. Win at telling me to walk. The mind can be so cruel at times. But it can also a motivator and push you to greatness.

Marathon training was something I thought I wouldn't survive. Heck I barely did with my house burning down right when some of the most important training runs were about to take place.  But I made it and I made it to the finish line. I beat the bridge and I ran with the Marines. I can finally say I ran a marathon.

And I'm already planning my next one........ Hey I gotta beat the mind next.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Middle

Whooo Hooo!!!! I completed my first marathon!! Twenty-Six. Two Miles!  I still can't believe I finished and I'll tell you all about the course, the goodies and more but first I need to blog about the Middle Half first so let's get to it.

The Middle Half was my last "long" run before the Marine Corps Marathon. I had high expectations on this race before our house burned down and when it finally came race day I was ready to just get it over with. Since the house caught fire my heart just hasn't been into running. And I hate that. We've been working hard on our contents list for the insurance and its just getting old. Listing your item, the year purchased and where you got it is just blah.

But I got up on Saturday, October 10th and laced up my running shoes. My goal was to finally get a new PR in the half, something I've been chasing for awhile now. I've also had a goal of running a half without taking a walking break. Two goals that I hope to make soon. The Middle Half is a super flat course and perfect for those who are just now getting into running. The course is great as is all the support given along the way. It was a little chilly before the start of the race and a little rain while we were driving down. Which was a given because Miranda was running it. ;) Anytime she runs a race, its usually raining at some point. ;)

Ended up finishing the race in 2:46...still chasing that PR.

At the start of the race

Coming in Fast

I love the race photographers giving runners
a free photo from the race.

I wanted to puke here. 

I love the shirts they give! 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Up in Flames

                                       "Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times.
                                                   If one only remembers to turn on the light."

Training for a marathon can be tough. It's suppose to be. If it were easy, well then everyone would be doing it right? My training for the Marine Corp Marathon has been going pretty good. I've made it a point to hit much of my training runs as possible. I was on a mission. A mission to run with the Marines.

But then life hit. And it hit hard. So hard I wasn't sure I would be able to continue. 

You're probably thinking by the title that my training, all my hard work just went up in flames. Nope. It didn't. Instead our home did. 

Two weeks ago, I was at work and waiting for the day to get over. The next day, I was to run 19 miles. Shortly after 10:30a, I got a call from a number I didn't recognize. Instead of answering, I just hit deny. They called again and I denied. The next call was from Ray and his only words were "our house is on fire." I grabbed my purse and jumped in the car and sped home. As soon as I was on the highway, I could see the black smoke. 

My heart sank when I reached our drive. 

The fire started in the garage when a 4 wheeler exploded and by the time I arrived it was making its way across the breezeway and up in the attic. Ray had just been on that 4 wheeler just moments before. A few of our neighbors arrived to help where they could before the firefighters arrived. Ray grabbed a few items that he could like pictures in the living room and of course his guns. ;) Thankfully, he kept the ammo near the front door so pulling out the drawers in a cabinet was all that was needed. He didn't want the fire reaching the ammo and possibly setting them off. 

I wasn't worried about the items inside. I did ask about my cedar chest that was in my office. Ray made if for me when we were dating and it was given to me one Christmas. It was full of some of his baby items. I always told him if we ever had a fire, I wanted it out. Even if it had to be dumped out a window. Sure there were a few more things I thought about but its just that...things.  Ray and Lila were out and that was most important. New memories can be made. New items can be purchased. After the fire was put out, the awesome volunteer firefighters asked if there were any items we would like them to get if possible. First thing I said was the chest. I told them where it was and moments later it was being carried out the front door!!!!!! I was so excited. It was in perfect condition. 

My wedding dress even made it out in perfect condition. The box was wet but we pulled it out and it wasn't wet,  burnt or anything. The firefighter asked was I getting married soon. I replied with "I've been married to him for 13 years. He can't get rid of me." Slowly, more and more items were being pulled. Surprisingly, most of my running gear made it. My Garmin and running shoes were toast but I still had shorts, shirts and socks to run in. And my winter gear made it too!!!! I recently moved it to my office otherwise it would have been gone too. A few of my "normal" clothes made it too. However, Ray's side of the closet was gone. :(

This flag was right beside the garage door in a flower pot.
The flower pot was melted as was an ADT sign.
The flag was untouched. 

The one day I decided to leave the lease car for Ray to drive to work. ;) 

A few days later we went back to see what we could salvage.
I found Dumbledore's Wand that I got in Orlando.
I tried the Reparo spell but it didn't work. ;)

Training has been slow since the fire. I've been trying my best to keep on running but a few days I've just been exhausted. The day after the fire, I was suppose to do 19. My running buddy, Miranda even went to Fleet Feet to pick up my running shoes that I had ordered just a week before. Along with a few other items I lost in my running bag. Instead of 19, we walked 10. 

Today was a doozy. I had 20 on the schedule to do but decided since I hadn't ran much I would do 22. Instead I did 23.37 miles. Oops. I wanted my time to be better but I am very pleased with it. I did 'Beat the Bridge' today so I'm very happy. *beating the bridge is a must at the MCM race. You have to be across it before 1:15 or you are picked up. 

Miranda even surprised me on the last 4 miles of my run.

Ray and I have been very blessed since our world turned upside down. Our awesome friends, Jessica and Chaz took us into their home. I think the girls are quite excited we are here. ;) Lila has made new friends with Champ and Ginger. She even has a part time momma too. ;) Some people have said I am taking this so well. That I have such a great outlook. The day of the fire someone said to me that I was too calm. I guess being around positive people who've made it thru tough times helps to change the outlook. 

Now...let's get ready to run with the Marines on October 25th. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Saying Goodbye

Saying goodbye is so hard. Last Saturday, I had to say goodbye to my best friend. It was the hardest day I've ever had. My heart is broken.

 We got Sampson shortly after we were married. I remember the day Ray came into Wal-mart, where I was working at the time. He had been to Murfreesboro and had a surprise for me. I wanted a yorkie for the longest and I wanted a girl. He went to Petsmart (I know...adopt don't shop. We later heard the store was getting puppies from mills. And the store closed. But we still rescued him). Anyway,  all they had was a boy, I was a little disappointed but once I saw him my heart melted into a million pieces. I guess he claimed me as his human when he peed on my leg one night when I failed to listen and take him outside. ;)

Sampson was 11 years old when we had to make the difficult decision. He started having issues with his heart about a year ago and was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. But even with that diagnose he still played like a pup. He would run after Lila and play as if nothing was wrong. But last Thursday, he took a complete 180 turn within a matter of minutes and he was breathing very heavy. I knew in my heart this was the end. By Friday afternoon, his meds still weren't helping with the breathing so I called the vet and took him in. The vet confirmed what I already knew. There was nothing more that could be done. Dr. Keele said he didn't think he was in pain, but he was in distress and soon his adominal muscles would fail and he would drown. Hearing those words, I busted into tears.  He suggested they could put him in an oxygen chamber to help him out or even send him to a cardiologist in Nashville. But those were things that would only be a quick fix. I couldn't keep him alive forever. When I said no and asked the process of ending his pain, he asked if I wanted to do it then. I couldn't. I was alone and I didn't want Ray coming home from work and then finding out Sampson was gone. He needed to say goodbye as well.

Once Ray was home from work, I gave him the news with Sampson sitting in my lap. He was like me, already realizing. We cried like babies but he's family. We took him for one last ride that night. We hoped he would just pass in his sleep. But he didn't.  The next morning, I fed him some chicken pieces and we left early enough for one last stop at Starbucks to pick up a puppuccino. He at first didn't want any but after a bit started eating it. Ray didn't want me to go, but I had to be with him. Even if I was a blubbering mess, I couldn't do that to him.

The staff at All Creatures was amazing, they had a room set up with a bench for us to sit on. They gave us as much time as we wanted with him. The vet came in and gave him a sedative to make him go to sleep. I believe he knew what was going on. He didn't fight or yelp or anything. He was ready. I don't think I'll ever forget the look in his eyes. I held him in my arms as he fell asleep. Poor Ray had to leave before that ever happened. I didn't stay for the final process. My heart couldn't take it.

We had one last photo shoot together. :(

I'm so glad Lila was still for this one. Normally, she's all
over the place. 

One last stop at Starbucks

We brought him home and buried him in the front yard near the steps. His favorite place to go potty every morning. So much so, that his urine was killing the grass. ;) We did a pawprint in some clay and I did a few prints on some paper. I added his collar to his neck and put in his favorite toy. Lila came over to sniff him and she even looked down into the hole after he was placed. I think she knew then something wasn't right.

This was taken a few days later. We picked up Lila a new bed
and toys. She went outside to potty and brought along her pup.
Dropping it where Sampson is buried. 

A few of the memories I will cherish of our sweet boy...

- His love of riding in the car. Seriously, if you made the mistake of saying "ride" he would perk up and run around the house. And you had better be ready to head out the door once you brought out his car seat. He would jump on you and run to the door. And sometimes he would do a little growl as if to say "hurry up."

This was in the drive thru line at Starbucks. I wonder if our eyes
get that big once we reach the window?! ;)

- His love for treats. He knew where I kept them at under the sink and if I left the door open he would sit there waiting for you to get him one.

- We had a few nicknames for him and he would totally answer to them all. ;) The names were: Sam, Tina (when the hair on his face would get too long) and Fatty. Fatty ended after he started to lose a bunch of weight. On Thursday, he weighed 10.2 pounds.

- The corner of the couch being his spot. If Lila was there he would stare at her until she moved. And his struggle for jumping up on the couch. Sometimes I would have to help him up. #shortdogproblems

- His subtle way of letting you know the water bowls were empty. He would toss them around with his nose.

- His excitment for when it was time to eat. He would grab up a toy and take off to where the food was kept tossing that thing like crazy. I guess he liked to eat. ;)

- His super long tongue. Bless him, he couldn't keep it in his mouth.

- And him willing to put up with the camera in his face. Here are a few of my favorites.

From his birthday session this year

My heart is broken.........