Sunday, September 30, 2012

Adventures in dog sitting

The Shark took her fam and went to the happiest place on earth.   She boldly left Jake her four legged child with me.  She assumed he would be fed, loved, and played with.  Her assumption was correct, but I think all the dogs had other thoughts as the week went on.

Day 1
Jake:  My mom is leaving.  What the aitch is going on?   Why is my crate here? Why is Amelia hugging and kissing me?  Why is Mom hugging me and saying good bye?  What the H?  And why are those other dogs barking at me?  Can't they see I'm having a "moment"?  They won't shut up.  The skinnier ones wants me to play - what is that?  I don't play with other dogs.   He keeps jumping at me wanting me to play and my Mom is still saying good bye.......wait....wait....the front door is opening and they are walking out......wait.....wait!!  WHAT THE CRAP!? They're gone?  Okay, looking around.  I've been here before - it wasn't terrible, but the fat dog keeps barking and the human - where is the human?  Oh whew, there she is.  I'll stick by her for awhile til I get this sorted out in my pea size brain.  Walking around in a daze, not sure what is going on.  I'll just stick by the human who is talking about my eyes and calling them freaky.  What the crap?  SHE'S freaky.  Fat dog still barking.  Skinnier dog still trying to play.  I gotta start sniffing stuff.  I'll feel better if I can just sniff.  Sniff.  Sniff.  Sniff.  Sniff.  *sigh*....Mom is really gone.  There are no little kids shrieking and in my face but these damn dogs are gonna make me lose it!  Oh look, there's a back door - maybe this is all a cruel joke and my Mom is out there.  Why do the other dogs have to come outside with me?  They won'  Mom?   Mom?  SNAP!  She's not here.  That's it.  I've been left.  Let me back inside.  I'm so sad that I am going to go sit at the front door and cry.  Crying.  Crying.   Walking around with a fog over my brain, I can't believe she left me here.  Crying.  Crying.  Human is laughing at me and my ascot around my neck.  Oh, oh how long am I going to have to be here and so humiliated?  My eyes, my ascot, the attempts at play, the sniffing.  I wanna go hoooooommmmeeeee.   WHOA!  WHAT IS THIS?  ANOTHER DOG?  What is this skinny little black thing?  OMG!  He bounces around like he lapped Redbull from the water dish and he wants me to play too.  NO!  Leave me alone!  I DON'T PLAY WITH OTHER DOGS!  *sigh*.......... at least black skinny dog and other gray skinny dog are playing with each other and leaving me alone.  Fat dog has stopped barking and won't leave the human's side.  Oh now look, ANOTHER human - two of them!  I don't like them.  Wait.  Maybe I do.  It just took a second to realize that they aren't going to take me away.  I think they belong to the skinny black dog cause they are super nice to him.  Wha?  Now they are trying to get me to play?  I'll play with a human, but don't let the other dogs in.....crap - now the other dogs want in on the play.  I'm done.  Aaaaannnndddddd.......add in another human.  This one is BIG.  I know him though.  He smells familiar.  He's nice.  Okay.  It's familiar.  Why does the fat one bark whenever a human comes in the door?  And the two skinny dogs?  Do they ever stop playing?  Boooorrrrring.  I'm just gonna stick  the humans.  I know that.  It's dark.  It's bedtime, I can feel it.  Wait....what?  The other dogs are climbing up on that nice soft bed and nestling in and I'm being told to go to my crate?  No.  I'm not going.  Nope.  That big bed looks softer and it has the humans that I know.  No,  I don't want to go to my crate.........FINE!  Ahhhh, I'm in my crate.  Oh, this is good.  I feel home.  I smell home.  I feel safe.  I want my mommy.  Maybe when I wake up - this will all be a bad dream.

Jack - HAH!  Look another dog to play with - YEAH!  C'mon buddy let's play!  I got a toy!  See I tug it and you get the other end and tug.   C'mon - it's fun!  Hey - come play with me!  C'MON!  What is wrong with you?  Why don't you play?  C'mon, I'll show you again how it's done.  Stop ignoring me and come play.  Really?!  I'm gonna just keep at you until you break down and play.  We are dogs you idiot, and we PLAY WITH EACH OTHER. WITH TOYS!  C'mon buddy, you can do it!  Let's play!  It's fun, I promise!  We take turns winning!  PLAY YOU MORON!  Oh, I see how it is, you're gonna sit at the door and cry for your momma?  Oh please - you are a crybaby!  If you would just play with me, I promise you'll feel happy!  C'mon, come play......come play......come play........!   Never mind.  Jace is here. Jace plays with me.  Jace - ignore this one - he doesn't like to play.  Peace out homie - we're going outside and getting our play on!

Jace - What is this?  Another dog?  Hey, he smells familiar - I think I've met him before.  OH YEAH!  He's the one that doesn't play.  Whatev's - let's go Jack, you're it!

Jordan - Dammit.  Another dog.  I remember him.  I'll bark until he remembers that I'm boss and then I'll go right back to ignoring him.  Whatev's, back on my mom's lap.  Things are just fine.

Humans - Oh that cute little Jakey.  Except for those freaky bug eyes and why is he wearing a pink ascot?  What does that mean?  At least no one is fighting and as long as he doesn't pee in our house - it's all good.

Day 2

Jake - I just woke up and I'm still here.  It wasn't just a bed dream, I really am still stuck here.  The big human gave me my food, but that skinny dog that does all the playing wants to share - Oh I'll show him how I share - NOT!  Yeah, you get that message you annoying pesky ball of play?  It's MY food and I don't share!  Where's the other human?  I'll just stick with her today and see how it plays out.  Hey - she lets me on her bed - Awesome!  Maybe I can pretend to be a part of the pack for however long until my Mom comes home.  Mmmmm....this bed is soft.  I can't imagine ever leaving it. Wait.  Wait, what....where are you going nice human lady?  My crate? NO!   I don't want to go in my  I'm in the damn crate.  I heard the garage close and nice human lady is gone.  Those two other dogs are sitting right in front of me gloating.  Just 'cause I have to go in the crate doesn't mean I'm a bad doggie.  And lay off about the pink ascot!  I'm turning around and not gonna look at them anymore. *pout*

Jack - Boring dude is still here and is a real butthead about his food.  I was just gonna sniff it is all, no need to get all in my face and pissed.  Whatever, I'm not sure he's actually a dog since he doesn't like to play.  At least he's stopped that stupid crying.  Oh what is this?  He thinks he can bogart my Mom?  Listen pal, you don't share your food, I don't share my mom.  Watch this.  I can crawl right in her lap and look at you gloating that you can't be here.  HAH take that you humorless dog......I'm even gonna sleep right here on her lap with the black thing that's always there that she types on.  Hey, what?  What's going on?  Mom, you're getting dressed?  Going out?  Can I come?  Why is new dog going in the cage?  IT'S 'CAUSE HE'S NAUGHTY HUH?!  HA HA - look at you naughty dog in your pink ascot!  You got put in the cage.  I'm gonna just show you how I get to walk around the house and you don't.  Neener, neener......LOOK AT ME!  Whatev's going back to the big soft bed.

Jordan - Oh look, that other dog is still here.  Whatever, where's my mom?  I'm going back to laying right next to her.  Mom?  Going out?  Okay, I'll be right here, want me to warm your pillow?  Ahhhhh, oh how we love the big bed.

Humans - Jake snores.  And farts something awfully fierce.  Come get in the crate buddy while we go out.  Don't trust ya not to want to mark somewhere.  Good boy!

Day 3 -
Jake:  I'm still here.  And I'm okay with it.  Not a fan of sleeping in my cage while everybody else gets the big soft bed, but whatev's, the human lady is nice to me and pets me a lot and talks very soothingly.  Fat dog has stopped barking at me is ignoring me.  Skinnier dog that wants to play all the time has figured out that I'm not gonna play.  I think he's also stopped laughing at my pink ascot.  He does make sure nice lady remembers that I'm in the cage and brings her to me to let me out in the mornings.

Jack - Dude is still here.  I kinda feel bad he has to sleep in the cage.  And I'm still not understanding the pink ascot but I just snicker behind his back.  He won't play.  Lame.

Jordan - Oh yeah, the other dog is still here.

Humans: Those bug eyes are just kinda freaky.  But he's an obedient dog.

Day 4 -
Jake:  Still here.  Still made me sleep in the cage, even though I was all snuggled in the big bed with everyone else.  I think I'm liking it here.  The nice human lady leaves the back door open a little bit in the mornings so I can go in and out as much as I want.  To be honest - I really rather like laying on the big bed with everyone else.  It's soooooo comfortable.  Fat dog leaves me alone.  Skinnier dog is getting the idea that I'm not into playing so much so he's leaving me alone too.  Both humans pet me alot and scratch my ears and let me snuggle.  I could get used to this!

Jack:  If it's the last thing I do, I WILL TEACH THIS STUPID DOG HOW TO PLAY!  Lesson one - stop trying to dominate me.  Try it again pal, and I will let loose on you.  Got it?  Other than that, I guess the dude is okay.  He's quiet and stays out of my way.

Jordan:  Oh yeah, the other dog is still here.

Humans:  Should we make him go in the crate?  Probably.  Wouldn't want to create a problem for when Tib gets back.  Besides, we've already plotted to ruin the girls in November so we'll leave the rules in place for Jake.

Day 5 -
Jake:  I'm still here and I'M LOVING IT!  Oh what a glorious day!  The skinny playful dog made sure the nice lady got me right out of the cage early and we spent the morning out in the backyard in the sun.  I watched her clean house and she never even hollered at me to get out of the way.  I decided to try that playing stuff and it wasn't too bad,  I know I'm not doing it quite right because every time I try to jump on the other dog's back he yells at me.  But we play chase and it's fun!  I don't think I've ever run so much in my life!  I really, REALLY like the skinny playful dog!  I like him so much and I was trying to show him, but he kept running away from me.  I hope he knows how great he is!  It's so fun here!  I love it!

Jack: Other dog is still here.  I feel so bad he has to sleep in the cage that I wake my mom up early to go get him out.  I finally taught the moron how to play.  He still doesn't get it that he can't "dominate" me and I have to keep reminding him I don't play those games, but he's a good competitor at chase.  At least he tries.  Props to him.  Weird thing, all night he kept trying to lick my eyeballs and lick inside my ears. WTH is THAT all about?  Does it have anything to do with the fact that he wears that PINK ascot?  Whatever, he's cool enough I guess.

Jordan:  Oh yeah, the other dog is still here.  I forget he's around now.  Guess he must not be a problem.

Humans:  He's just kinda growin on us isn't he?  But those freakyA eyes.......

Day 6 -
Jake:  I'm still here and!!!!   Nice human lady ( I shall now start calling her Mom) got up early and let me out of the cage.  Me and my friends went out to take care of business and then we ALL got to snuggle in the great big bed.  I even pawed at Mom for a second and she lifted the covers and let me crawl in RIGHT NEXT TO HER.  Neither skinny dog or fat dog said or did a thing, just arranged themselves on top of her other places and we all went back to sleep.  Oh, oh, oh how I love this!  When Mom and other big human got dressed up and left, me and my friends hung out in the back chasing each other, and rolling in the warm grass.  Chasing is great fun and I think I really like that kind of play!  I can almost catch skinny dog now!  Fat dog doesn't bark at me, she sniffs sometimes but I'm totally cool with it!  I really, really love it here.  My doggie fingers are crossed that maybe tonight I will have earned the big bed all night and can skip the cage.

Jack:  Dude still here.  Glad he finally learned how to play.  At least chase.  Poor sucker doesn't realize that he will NEVER catch me.  But I don't like that cage in the house.  It's gotta go.  It's just bad mojo and pink ascot or not, dude shouldn't have to sleep there when we got's the big, soft bed.

Jordan:  Other dog is still here.  Meh.

Humans:  That damn dog has really grown on us.  When does Tib come home again?

8:00pm Sunday night - the doorbell rings and the dogs go nuts barking.  I open the door and what do we see?

All love Jake developed for me went flying out in the wind........Never before has he been so happy to see his real Momma

That dog was so excited I couldn't get a decent shot of his pure happiness!!

Jake:  My mommy's home, my mommy's home, my mommy's home, my mommy's home!  Take me back to the noisy house right now!  I wanna go back to the noisy house!  Where's the car, lemme in the car, open the car, let me in!
That ungrateful little thing wouldn't even make eye contact with me to say goodbye!  I had to beg for a kiss and even then, it was one lousy lick.  

And then, they were gone.  Poof.  Our house suddenly returned to normal and the planet re-aligned in the universe.
Jack:  FINALLY!  Gah!  That stupid dog in his stupid ascot is GONE!  I really think he had a crush on my and I couldn't get him to understand I wasn't into that.  Always trying to bogart into my space with MY mom and the whole time, I just stayed a good doggie and welcomed him in the pack.  Glad to have my house back.

Jordan: Did that other dog go?  Huh..... back to the big, soft bed.

Next up - I will be watching her girls while she, Adam and the man-boy go ride Tour de Cure in Tuscon.  I'm already plotting how I can completely ruin them in the few short days I have them.
'Cause that's what friends are for you know.

Pity Party - the GOOD kind

There are two times a year, that I will support a "pity party".  Okay, I actually host it.

Homecoming and Junior Prom.

Ever been the girl that is TOO young to go but all your friends are going?  Or, the girl that didn't get asked?

Well I have!  And it's a drag being at home while everyone else is out having fun.  I got the idea while my boys were in high school and the last two years have made it a tradition for my Young Women who are 9th grade and older (or 14 and older - technically high school since 9th grade is Freshmen).

On the night of the big school shindig, I host a "pity party" for the rest of us!  Pity is a word used loosely and mostly in jest.  There is NO pitying allowed - JUST the partying!

Pizza, games and a movie.  All the girls get home before curfew and we always get our traditional dance picture with Jesus (did this with all my boys).

My hope is that the young women will realize they don't HAVE to go to every single school function to have a life and to have fun.  Their self esteems do NOT rest on whether or not they have been asked to a dance.
Most importantly, that no matter what....their leader (again term used loosely) mCat loves them no matter what!

*sorry Em - we should have taken the pic before you left- crap!  Feel free to snag, photoshop you in and send it back*

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Some deep thoughts about Autumn/Fall

I hate it.

The end.

Okay, no not the end because people will wonder and/or have their suspicions confirmed that I'm not necessarily normal.

Everyone loves fall.  Oh, the posts that are out there on Facebook and other blogs showing all the pictures (yes, I had some but they were only for my mother who sadly loves this season), the odes to the crispness in the air, back to school, open windows and pumpkin spice.

I say gag.

I literally hate fall.  I get a pit in my stomach and an ache in my heart.

Fall represents the end of summer.  The end of sunshine, hot cars, suntans, smells of Australian Gold, the pool, early morning runs, girls camp and late nights outside under the stars.

Instead, now it's cold air, dead leaves, brown grass and shortening days.
No more flip flops, shorts used sparingly, and back to long sleeves.

That's just the beginning.  Fall/Autumn ushers in Winter.  GAH - I hate winter.  I loathe winter.  I despise winter.  The darkness, the bitter cold, the wet, the snow, did I mention the cold?  And the dark?
Winter brings holidays which are a slight distraction but some years they just aren't enough to break through the smothering cloud of depression.  Winter means little to no actual running training for me because I just.can't.make.myself.go.outside.  Add that into the depression mix.  Winter sucks.

Oh but what about the Spring mCat?
Meh.  Okay, more them meh - BLEH!  Spring in Utah is so bipolar that one cannot even keep up with her moods.  One day will be gorgeous with sunshine and warmth leading one to hope of more to come. One has a sense of peace that things might be okay, and then SLAM!  The next day it's snowing again.  My mood swings with mother nature and ain't pretty.

Which brings me back to Summer.  The only true and living season on the face of the earth.  I bear my testimony of that one.

So as we head into fall, know this my peeps.  It's gonna get un-pretty around here.  I'll try to remain chipper, happy and full of sunshine, but there are no guarantees.  I'm giving a disclaimer right now that I cannot be held accountable for anything I may say in a negative fashion for the next 8-9 months.  It's not me talking.  It's the damn seasons.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Funny stuff I heard on the way to the office.......

Oh wait - I don't really work.

Just some funny stuff collected over the past several weeks that's prolly only amusing to me.

Corb: "What for lunch?  What does everyone want?"
Chloee: "I could get down on some Subway"

Marine Guard at the gate: "Sir, what is your business on base today?  Where are you going?"
Splenda Daddy: "uuuhhhhh........." *never a good answer when a Marine is in your face and armed with an M16*

Corb: "Wow Chloee, you raced so well, you must be starving, what do you want for lunch?"
Chloee: " I could get down on some oatmeal"

Chloee: "That adorable boy is named Jacob.  He's nice to the teacher like I am"

Luke (reading his birthday card from us and Tuffy at the dinner table with Grandma sitting in): "Happy Birthday my ....nia?....oh Nig!  haha!"
Grandma: "What's a nig?"


Luke and Tuffy at the same time bumbling: "' brother"
*note we are NOT racist at my home - the boys are being obnoxious boys*

Speaking of "the game"
Luke:  "Did you SEE that kickers face?  He was so ashamed!  I bet he didn't even take the sacrament today"

Chloee: "Hey Mimi - see that hill way over there?  Up there?  Way over there?............................   That's the middle of nowhere"

Discussing dinner.....
Splenda: "What should we have? Don't you hate this every day?"
Me: "Yes, I do. Worst part of the day"
Splenda: "I hate it worse than you do"
Me: "No you don't. Now make it happen before I end up eating another baggie of cookies as the dogs watch and I have to tell them to stop judging me again"

"Not only is your dog wearing an ascot, but now he's crying.  Wait, the crying has stopped but now he's trying to take off the ascot.  Good thing he lacks opposable thumbs, or I fear he would be successful"

"Stop licking my bed"
"Stop licking my bed"
"Stop licking my bed"
"Stop li......JUST MOVE!"

Splenda: "I'm surprised the Ute flags aren't being flown at half mast after last night's game"

Sunday, September 23, 2012

For my Mom.......

'cause who knows what they will look like in two weeks when you get home.  It could be MORE spectacular, or we could have lost them all - you never know in Utah.

Splenda and I drove up Big Cottonwood canyon, over Guardsman's pass and down into Park City today.  It was overcast and cool.

Just the way you like it.

Not fantastic pics but hey, better than NO pics eh?

(this last pic is the best because it's not mine.  I totally yoinked it from Big Cottonwood's FB page- props to them, but I did get to see this yesterday while toddling down the canyon)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Big Cottonwood Marathon 2012 - Finish what you started!

I'd heard about this one, but with St George in two weeks, the idea was NEVER entertained.  And then of course, the whole "feeling like crap" thing added the nail to the coffin of "don't even think about it"

And then....... I saw that the awesome group of runners that I am lucky enough to pace with were going to be the pacers for this one.  Hmmmmm........  offer a "sweeper" again?  It was a great experience last time, but doable for a marathon?

Packet pick up was at the store on Thursday and Friday so after much thought and physical evaluation, I decided I'd throw it out there and see if the race director was interested.  I wasn't scheduled to work until late afternoon so even if I spent 8 hours on the course, I wouldn't have to worry about work.

I met Layne Brooks and talked about what I could offer.  After he discussed it with his RD, they decided it was a pretty good idea.  Bada bing bada boom.  Within 3 minutes, I had a bib, shirt and label for a drop bag.  Sahweet!

Did the usual Friday night, pasta and go to bed early.  Not before I decided I should prob take a look at their website and check out where I should be and at what time in the morning.  Considering this was their first year putting this event on, I wasn't expecting too much and much to my surprise I was WAY WRONG.  Just navigating around the site, watching a little bit of the packet pick and I was impressed.  I didn't really know how the morning would go, but so far, I was quite impressed.

I had my alarm set for 4:00am putting me at perfect timing to meet the other pacers at 5am.  Suddenly at 3:15am, the dogs start barking, the garage is going up and wouldn't you know it one of my spawn (who shall remain unnamed but it might rhyme with Schmuke) decided to crash here rather than go all the way home.  Thanks for that son.  Really.  Thanks.  What a dirtbag!

Got my pb&j's made, Monster opened, water w/Ensure prepared, dressed and out the door by 4:30.  The start line and finish line were at a business center with tons of parking so that was a breeze.  I headed over to the bus loading, found my pacing peeps and hung out until it was time to load.

They easily identified which were half marathon buses and which were marathon ones, so the loading was easy and smooth.  I found a seat settled in and started the long thought process that proceeds every race.  This time, no thinking about my race strategy or visualizing the course.  Instead, I wondered who I would be pacing with at the back and what it might involve. Mostly running?  Mostly walking?  A combination? The course was deemed fast (I never even bothered looking at the elevation drop), so I figured it would likely be a combination of both, but more jogging than anything.  Most walkers don't tackle a marathon, especially one that gives them a cut off time of 6 hours.  And while that was specific on the guidelines at registration, once I got added as the sweep the event organizers decided that they would leave the finish line up, and with me staying with them, they wouldn't pull them from the course but allow them to finish.  Cool eh?

It was chilly at the start.  First thing I did was hit the honey buckets.  While headed to find a spot to sit and wait, I ran into Chad!  I forgot he was doing this one so that was fun!  Some chit chat, and then it was time to get the drop bags into the truck.  The pacers lined up and runners found their spots getting ready for the horn.  I hung around the back and just waited.  Layne introduced me to his Dad who would be driving the SAG wagon and then once we were sure the porta potties were clear and every runner on their way, I took off.

Hit the Garmin right as I crossed and slipped into a nice easy lope.  The sun hadn't come up yet and it was still pretty cold, but it felt good to run!  IN THE MOUNTAINS!  IN A RACE!  For a couple of minutes anyway.

I saw a runner in the distance who was taking a nice slow trot, I caught up to her and fell in step.  Karen was an experienced marathon runner but was fighting a beast of a cold.  She had debated even showing up this morning, but thought she would give it a good try and see how far she would get.  She found that trotting/speedwalking was working pretty well for her and I just followed her lead.  Wonderful woman.  See this is the beauty of pacing, you get to chat it up a bit.  More so than if you are racing.  Come to find out, Karen is also running on new knees.  Wow.  I felt amazingly proud of her!

As we went along I saw us approaching another runner.  Cute Carrie in her green glitter skirt!  Darling girl!  Her approach was also one that follows a Jeff Galloway plan.  Jog two minutes, walk two minutes.  She had a timer attached to her shoulder strap that would vibrate and tell her when it was time to change cadence.  She was also wearing a heart rate monitor that I noticed she was paying a LOT of attention to.  This was her first marathon, but she was an experienced half marathoner.  She has done a lot of Disney half's so it was fun to hear about those stories.

(look what we saw!  A moose!  I tried to get closer, but the officer tailing us warned me about getting any closer.  This was just dang cool)

We continued our jog/walk only for a little bit and then it became just a walk.  Carrie explained that she has a heart condition and she cannot get her heart rate above 120ish.  She confessed she was ignoring her doctor rules (he doesn't want her running at all) but she was keeping a close eye on her heart rate.  Problem was, it was climbing and she couldn't get it come back down during the walk periods.  And while we kept with the walking, it still wouldn't come down.   She was currently in the 140's and while she felt okay, she knew she shouldn't be there.  We got another couple of miles down the canyon when she decided that it just wouldn't be wise for her to continue.  I was disappointed for her but man, can I say....way to respect your body girl!  What a tough choice to have to make!

I used the porta john, she jumped in the sag wagon and then I took jumped in and had them drive me down to the next runner since I had no idea how far ahead they would be or if I could be fast enough to catch them.  It was about a mile and a half down the road and as we neared I could see it was Karen!  She was still at it and looking good!  I jumped out, fell in step beside her and we picked our convo right back up.  By now, the sun was starting to come up and get a little warmer.  At least warm enough that my legs were losing the purple color.  We could also see the beautiful fall colors in the canyon.

(insert gorgeous fall leaves with brilliant color here - I swear I took a pic but guess I didn't save it? CRAP)

Karen and I continued with the trot/speedwalk and I have to say, it was challenging on the steep downhill.  There were times where it was more painful to walk it than to jog it.  I did more jogging at this point, even turning around and walking backwards to alleviate the pounding on my knees.  Karen was a trooper.  She was feeling sicker and sicker and had decided that at the mouth of the canyon where it splits and sends the half marathoners south and the full marathoners north, she would head south and finish there.  Because she started at the full marathon start line she was still getting more miles than a half, but I could tell she was a little disappointed.  At least until she saw her son in law and two grandsons at the bottom of the canyon!  What a sweet moment for her!  We came to the intersection and I wished her well and turned north.

The police officer had been right behind us, and the sag wagon behind that.  Carrie was still in the front seat since the wagon had to stay with me.  She was a great cheerleader.  Since I didn't know how far ahead the next runner would be, I again jumped in and we headed forward.  Only for a few feet though. We passed the next aid station and was scanning out the windows for a runner amongst the vehicles.  At first I didn't see him, but then as he pulled away I saw the slow trot of an older man.  After pulling over, I hopped out - turned back and hollered to him "There's my running partner!  I've been looking for you!"

The man smiled and slowly kept running.  I fell in step alongside and asked how he was doing.  I learned pretty quickly that dude's are much for talking.  At least he wasn't.  I introduced myself, got his name (Rick), and then asked if this was his first marathon.  It was now about mile 15 and by his pained looking gait, I was dubious as to whether or not he was going to finish.  To my surprise, he told me that this was his 59th marathon.  FIFTY-NINE peeps.

Well, now I'm in a bit of a quandry.  Clearly he is experienced in the distance and what it takes to finish.  He likely has no need of, or want of a pacer.  As I walked/trotted alongside of him I debated what to do in my head.  Should I stay with him until he decides to sag out and then move ahead like I had already done previously?  Do I move ahead now knowing that he will sag out and he doesn't appear to want the company anyway?  As I was mulling it over and attempting some more small talk I could feel our pace slowing.  It was now an incline portion of the course and it was getting him.  We were now walking fairly fast but it was a comfortable fast since it was uphill and not down.

We chatted some more and I decided I needed to stick with what I had promised the race directors I would do.  Stay at the very back and hang with the last runner.  I had been expecting a first timer, or someone overestimating their fitness - certainly not a man who has run 52 more marathons than me!  At any rate, poor chap was stuck with me!

We talked some more, I asked a lot of questions about him and his races.  His favorite marathons etc.  Rick is usually a  4 hour/sub 5 and some change mark so his pace today was frustrating to him.  He mentioned that the older he gets the harder it is to stay fast.  He also mentioned he had an extra 25 lbs that he felt like was contributing to his slower than usual style.  Such a nice man.  The more we talked, the more I really enjoyed spending the time with him.  I was trying careful to balance the conversation so that it was enough to make the time go by and serve as a distraction but not be so much that he felt overwhelmed with a lady that wouldn't shut up!

The course was now on the foothills of the Salt Lake Valley and it is stunningly beautiful.  Nothing like looking out over the whole valley.  This valley I group up in, raised my family in, and will likely die in.  I loved it and took the chance to enjoy everything I was seeing.  As the course wound into Millcreek and the neighborhoods, I admired the trees, the beautiful homes and amazing landscaping.  The course really was absolutely stellar.

Knowing that we were still plugging along, many of the volunteers at the water stations stayed to make sure our needs were taken care of.  I ran into the Achiva man at one of the stops where they were offering water or Achiva drink.  As he offered me the drink (not knowing who he was), I grimaced and said,  "No way.  Tried that stuff once and it was the nastiest thing I have ever had in my mouth".  Then I looked at his shirt.  Then the lightbulb came on.  I profusely apologized for dissing his product but he was a great sport and explained how the formula had changed and I really needed to give it another try. He promised to send some to Glen at the store for me to sample again.

Rick had watered and was moving on, I took more time to let the BioFreeze guys rub some on my screaming left shin and chatted for a minute while stretching my calf.  It felt great to run to catch back up with Rick, so I decided that would be a good strategy to employ from here on out.  At times we stopped, I would let him get started and ahead while I stretched and then let myself run my legs a little to catch back up.

As mile after mile passed, I realized something about Rick.  He wasn't going to sag out.  Nope.  This man would finish what he started.  We passed the marker for mile 20 and in my head I thought, "I HATE THIS MILE".  If I tend to struggle mentally - it's always here.  I needed something good to talk about to get past this one.  I bravely brought up politics.

I know, I know...... but Rick is a partner in a software firm, has two sons in college and I really wanted to hear his take on how things have been for his business and what his feelings were on how things could be better.  GREAT CONVO! I didn't even notice the time or where we were at until the next aid station.  It had been emptied of volunteers but they left water and aid supplies behind.  While Rick drank, I rummaged looking for some advil in the medical baggie.  At first all I could come up with was a tampon and before I could stop myself I asked Rick if he by chance needed this.  *Facepalm*  mCat - you cannot joke like that with people you don't know! Gah!

Luckily for me Rick has a great sense of humor, we laughed, he made a joke that I won't share, I fell into serious "like this dude" and then he was back at it while I finished finding the advil, drinking and ignoring my phone.  Carrie had come over from the sag wagon to check on us.   So I stalled a little more talking with her before I let my legs loose and ran to catch up.

We continued a nice convo but as I watched him walking I could see the walk of a chafing man.  Listen, I raised three boys, I know the chafing moves when I see them.  My heart went out to Rick because I knew he had to be miserable.  He was tired, he admitted the course had kicked his butt and I think he was mentally done.  I reminded him that we now had less than a 10k left and according to my Garmin, our last mile had been faster than the mile previous to that, so overall we were doing well.  He brought up the cut off time and he kept looking at his phone to try and stay within the 6 hour limit.

I confessed then that the directors had decided last night that they would leave the finish line up and not pull him from the course.  As long as we stuck together, we were gonna finish this bad boy!  I heard a sigh of relief (or a heavy pant - could have been either) and on we went.

At mile 25 and the last aid station, the volunteers were still there and thoroughly fantastic!  Clapping, cheering, encouraging....everything a marathoner needs at mile 25.  Thank you Team in Training for not just being there, but BEING there!  As we pulled away and started on the final 1.2, I thought of those last sets of volunteers.  TT folks, in their trademark purple shirts.  What a great example of not just doing your job, but DOING your job.  BEING there.  For someone else.  And I should re-phrase - it's not a job, they were volunteering.  They stayed longer than they were asked and then took it a step further and made sure that even though it was only two old people coming through, they made us feel like we were the most important two people ever!  Love them and I thank them for their example and the reminders they taught me today.

We soon turned east and unfortunately missed the path that we were supposed to veer to, but luckily Dad in the sag wagon stopped and motioned us back.  We found it, and was now off the busy streets and on a quiet, lonely trail.  As I looked to my left I could see my beloved mountains and their bursts of orange colors.  Gosh it was pretty. Rick and I made some more small talk, heading in what we assumed was the right direction.  The sag wagon was no longer tailing us so we basically followed the trail in a comfortable silence with a few words placed here and there.

Rick didn't need the usual "you can do it" talk.  Sure, we remarked about the remaining distance, how we were feeling etc.... but this was a markedly different pacing experience.  He didn't need the reminders of his great accomplishment, how no one can ever take this from him, how he DID it!  For crying out loud, the man has more marathon experience than me!

No, this time it was about finishing what he started.  Sure he could have sagged out HOURS previously.  He has nothing to prove to himself or anyone else for that matter.  He has 58 other marathons under his belt.  Been here, done this.
BUT - he would finish because he started.

Oh, oh, oh what lessons can we learn eh?  Sure he got up at the early alarm.  Sure he got on the bus and ran at the sound of the horn.  But when things got tough (and I don't know at what mile he started to feel it), he.kept.going.   Plain and simple.  He started something and he was gonna finish it.  I thought back to the time I let one of the boys talk me into letting him quit piano lessons (there is a whole proposal drawn up, I should scan it and post it sometime - funny stuff).  I've often wished I would have made him stick with it.  At least long enough that he could plunk out a hymn if he had too.  He can't.  I let him quit too soon.  I started thinking of other things in my life where maybe I gave up, threw in the towel, and called it game before I should have.

Don't get me wrong.  There is much to be said for respecting your body, your limits, and your safety.  No shame in legitimately easing up, or pulling out if it means physical/emotional harm to you or your loved ones. we go too easy on ourselves?  Do we?  I bet we could do much harder things if we believed enough in ourselves.  And trust me, I am looking at me.  Just throwing out to the public as food for thought, but really the reminder and lesson was for me.

Rick and I finally wound our way around and saw the 26 mile marker.   Point 2 left.  That miserable .2

As we neared, I reminded him that they had promised to leave up the finish line and we could now see it.  Of course, the crowds had dispersed and all that was left was some event volunteers cleaning up.  Carrie and Dad from the sag wagon had arrived and was waiting for us on the other side of the line.  As we got within a few feet, I asked Rick if he had anything left in him for a kick.  He thought so, so as he picked it up, I hung back and watched him finish.  Word of the day.  FINISH.

Carrie happily put his finisher medal around his neck and then mine.  Someone handed us some cold bottles of water and we went to go find our drop bags.  Before walking away I hugged Carrie, thanked her for the great time and support along the way.  She is DARLING!  Hope to run with her again soon!

As Rick and I were finding our bags, he turned and thanked me.  He said, "In all the 59 marathons I've done, this is the first one that they sent me a pretty, young woman to run with me in."

Okay.  Day officially made!  I thanked him for the pleasure and honor of meeting him, running with him and being inspired by him.  I doubt he will ever really know the lessons I learned today while by his side.  Lessons about people, politics, and most importantly myself.

I chatted with Layne's dad again for a minute and he offered to give me a ride to my car.  I looked at my Garmin and because I had paused for the couple of times I was in the car, I didn't have 26.2 yet.  I laughed and told him I needed to get that last little bit, so off I ran to find my car and get my freakin shoes OFF!
I still didn't get the 26.2, but really - I'm okay with it.  I did what I came to do.  I did what I said I would.  And I feel good about that.

Check out the medal - super cool!

Just a post script with some thank you's.
First off Layne and Kevin, Dad and their RD.  What an incredibly well run event.  From packet pick up, to parking, to bus loading, to aid stations, to course, to volunteers, to support.  ON POINT!  Outstanding work.  And if you are looking for a marathon that is fast and gorgeous?  It's this one.  Make sure you get in next year, it fills fast and they had a substantial waiting list.  It's also a BQ'er and it would make a perfect one for that goal. (just wait until I get a spot k?  I wanna race this one next year)

Thanks to Wasatch to sponsoring and Glen for supporting me in my pacing cause.  Not always easy to let an employee have a Saturday off in the retail business, but he's great to support his runners and the entire running community.  This was the perfect trial for St George on my body, and gave me the confidence to know I can do all 26.2. So thank you!

My pacing peep's!  Seriously, you guys make me proud to be a part of  American Flyers Pace Racers.  Walter - killer win in the half today.  Paul, and the fun glow sticks.  All the FB messages and comments to each other full of encouragement, support and fun.  How cool is it to know that many of the pacers today helped someone achieve their Boston Qualifying goal?  Serio - it's just damn cool.  And great to meet some new ones this morning.  You are ALL the shiznat, you know it?

Karen and Carrie for sharing the canyon with me.  Great conversations, sharing stories and enjoying the scenery.  Thank you for letting me be a part of your journey's today.

And of course Rick.  The man I underestimated.  The man I was sure would sag out.  The man I wondered if he would even speak to me at first.
Dude  - you are rock solid!  Thanks for letting me hang with you.  Thanks for answering my trivial questions that helped me keep my mind off my aching legs.  Thanks for teaching me that whether or not you've done it before and even done it a lot  - 

You're not just a rockstar, you are the RICK-STAR!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Thought for the day......Truer words......

I came home from the gym and while laying with a hot corn bag on my neck decided to check my email.

Tib sent me quite possibly some of the wisest words of wisdom ever.

Yes.  Yes indeed.
I believe I can start working on forgiveness.

In baby steps.......

Saturday, September 15, 2012

My own little marathon today

This time last year, I was doing Top of Utah - my best time marathon time yet!  It was wonderful - wet, but wonderful, cathartic and I couldn't be happier with my time.

This year.....well, we all know where I'm at with running and it's not a happy place.

HOWEVER, when I saw THIS early in the morning
(yippee!  It's coming back)

and I felt pretty good, I wanted to do THIS a little bit and see how I faired.
(St George marathon 2010 - my first ever)

I waited for it to warm up a bit (wuss), got my running shoes on (felt so good), strapped on my ipod, garmin and sunglasses and headed out.

Garmin died before I even left the driveway.  Dead Battery.  CRAP

Back in the house, swap out Garmin for heart rate monitor and decide to ignore distance and instead go by time.

Heart rate monitor in and out with heart rate (perhaps I'm dead inside?), decided:  screw it - I'm going anyway.


Perfect temp, sun shining down on me, and while I was running INTO the wind - I was planning an out and back so I knew it would be pushing me on the way home.  I did an easy two and headed back.  As I came up my street and started to cool down, I evaluated how I was feeling.  Not bad.  So stomach spasm. No lightheadedness.  My lower legs were numb (have been for a few days) but I felt steady on them and they didn't hurt.  In fact, I felt like I could have gone much further!  I'd only been out for 40 minutes, had kept a nice steady pace with a couple of sprints thrown in just for fun and I still felt great.

That pretty much made my entire day!  Sure, I cleaned the house, the fridge, my car, some laundry and I am exhausted right now - but I am happily exhausted.

The two races that I REFUSE to give up this season:  St George Marathon and USMC Marathon ARE ON LIKE DONKEY KONG!

I will teach my body who's boss.  Oh yeah - she'll know that I OWN HER!

And that, was my own fun little marathon today.  Congrats to all my running friends who ran TOU and Cedar City half today!  Rockstars you are!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Light of an Angel

(image via google)

So there we have it.  The theme for the tree that mCat is gonna attempt this year at Festival of Trees.  We'll be on aisle Q so if you're local - come check it out.  Maybe.  Hold on.  I'll invite you AFTER it's finished and I can decide if it's worthy of showing off.

I got so many emails and FB messages with great ideas and suggestions.  I had a power brain storming session with Kimberly and Sheri on the drive to Logan, and I have spent a lot of time pondering and trying to picture in my head what I wanted to say with the tree.

As a dear friend pointed out to me, suicidal thoughts are dark thoughts.  I would imagine it feels similar to being smothered in a dark room, under a heavy blanket, far beneath the ground.


The opposite of which is light.  Light comes to us in a variety of ways, and at different times.  For me, I most often see light being shared by other people.  Not necessarily a nice poem, or an inspiring photo, but from an actual person.  An angel sent in one's path to lighten the load, brighten the day, illuminate and radiate love.

Angels and lights it is.  After googling several sites the consensus is that yellow is the color of the Suicide Prevention ribbon.  A yellow ribbon with a heart inside symbolizes the survivors left behind.  I'll be incorporating those as well.

I see a tree with a large Mommy Angel atop holding a yellow heart ribbon (Jill and Chloee), ornaments of lights, angels, and etched glass with positive, light evoking words ie: support, encouragement, love, friendship, listen, lift, kindness, .........

Around the tree in the display, I see several forms of lights.  Lamps, of various shapes and sizes, perhaps a chair with a light stand, mirrors that reflect all the light, mirrors with some of the same positive words etched on them - framed and hanging.

I need more.  Now that we have the general idea and theme I need more help.  What do you see?  And even more, what can you/would you be willing to donate or help me procure?

This is where it gets tough for me.  I HATE SOLICITING!  I loathe asking for help.  Loathe I tell you!  But I know I can't do this on my own.  I have many hands for decorating, I have experts walking by my side (I love you Debbi), where I lack is asking for and getting donations of materials and or funds to procure materials.

If there is anything any of you out there can and would be willing to help me in my cause, I would be grateful beyond words.  Remember that all donations are tax deductible and every cent ends up at Primary Children's Medical Center.  I will be passing on more information about that as time goes on.

And as a side note, did you know this?
Yeah, just had the awareness day.  If you're my friend on FB (and if we aren't, why not?) then you likely saw my status update bringing awareness.

This Saturday - the 15th is the Out of the Darkness local walk for suicide awareness

Splenda Daddy and I will be there.  Come join us.  It's just a walk.  No biggie.  You can donate to the organization or simply join in the walk as a symbol of support.  Either way, your presence will bring light.

USMC Heartbreak Ridge 1/2 Marathon 2012 - Part Tres

The view from a first time racer

Click Here

It doesn't get any better than this does it?

Comments off - leave the love for my Kar!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

USMC Heartbreak Ridge 1/2 Marathon - 2012 Part Deux

Alternate title:  A view from the other side.  What it's like to be on the finish line end of a race.

I was so STOKED to be able to be here for the kids first ever half.  STOKED I tell ya, what I didn't really anticipate was the complete and utter frustration, and disappointment of being on the other end.

After the kids race, they started the half marathoners in three waves.  Male Marine's first.  Male Civilians next and then all the women.  Corb got ready and lined up in the chute.  A rule is that they are not allowed earbuds and clearly the Marine's are compliant so he left his behind and instead took my Garmin so he could have something to concentrate on.

He started off great and it was exciting to see him run out the chute!  I've run with him before, I know his stride, his cadence and his general mode of attack - I figured he would kill it.  I did the one thing I rarely do and that was look at the actual course the night before.  UGH.  Hills, hills and MORE hills.  In the heat, with a course like that, knowing he was not racing just using it as a training run, I figured he'd be in somewhere around the 2 hour mark.

Next up, they sent off the civi men and then Karalee was lining up.  Cutie patootie put herself right at the start line because she knew we would want pictures.  Love it!  Kar's plan was to finish.  She had no expectations other than she knew it would be hard, it would hurt, but she would finish.  Can't ask for anything more.

Once she was off, then the waiting begins.  First of all - props to Splenda Daddy.  I have a WHOLE new respect for him now.  I have lost count of how many finish lines that man has waited at, but really, it takes a hella lot of patience.  And many of those he had Chloee to entertain as well.  This time, they walked back to the car to rest and play on the kindle for a little bit.  I started that direction with them, but then decided I wanted to say at the finish line and just absorb the energy, cheer the leaders in and try to see what it's like to be on the waiting end of the game.

(sportin her shirt and medal)

Of course that gave me plenty of time to think, feel sorry for myself, think some more, feel grateful, and then go the whole range of emotions again.  And I love to watch people, so really - boredom just doesn't get me.

I bought a diet pepsi from a vendor, found some shade to sit in and watched.  My eyes caught the flag in  a glance and I thought back to the presentation of the colors earlier that morning.  WHAT A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE!  I have done many a race - too many to even count and there are less and less that will do the National Anthem at the beginning anymore.  I find that sad.  The few that do, usually do a great job but the spectators, which are really the runners, leave a lot to be desired in their actions and respect.

The minute it was announced that the color presentation would begin, parents began shushing their little ones and settling down.  The music started and every Marine came to attention (easy to spot them) and every other civilian stood stone, cold silent.  Even more silent than the actual moment of silence previously in memory of 9/11.  Every child, teen, adult stopped in their tracks, turned and faced the flag, hand on heart or at military attention.  SILENT.  No quiet talking, no rustling of pinning a bib on, no giggles, no last minute drinks of water, no earbuds in and ceremony ignored.  Absolutley silent and respectful.  A child sneezed behind me and it actually startled me because it was the only sound in the entire area other than the National Anthem.

As I sat in the shade on the concrete stairs, my heart swelled in pride and of course tears came to my eyes as I reflected back on this earlier experience.  What a stark contrast.  These men and women KNOW patriotism.  They KNOW the sacrifice that goes into a life for their country, their flag, their people.  And not only do they know it, they SHOW it.  They RESPECT it, and they teach their children that same reverence and respect.  I couldn't have been more privileged to have witnessed it, and been a part of it.

We'll just blame that for all the commencing emotions the rest of the day shall we?  Not that it would have anything to do with the fact that I was sidelined for this race.  Or that I felt sick and hurting.  Or that my heart was DYING to run.  Nope.  None of those things caused tears, no it was the whole colors ceremony.  That's my story and Imma stick with it!

During this time, I watched as other people waiting for their runners settled in with books or breakfast. The race announcer kept playing music and occasionally updating us on past records, what to expect and keeping us apprised of time.  From where I was at, I could see the finish line but I couldn't see them coming around the final corner.  As it got close to the time that a leader could potentially fly in, I tossed my empty can and meandered over to the chute.  Just then I saw Splenda and Chlo coming up from the car.  Clearly Splenda has done this a time or two, he knows when to get serious about watching for a runner.

While there, a cute older lady asked me if I had an iPhone.  She needed help figuring out how to set the video so she could record her husband coming in.  We got to chatting and hearing about their racing (mostly him), and her last experience.  She runs in honor of her Marine son who was KIA.  She doesn't do races very often but when she does, she has a shirt with his name and she shared her experiences while running and knowing he was beside her.  Again the tears.  (that darn colors ceremony).  We got her video figured out and next thing I know the announcer is telling us the leader is a quarter mile out.  Oh my word that man came screaming in fast!

As I mentioned, the course is extremely hard.  It was unusually hot and humid so the past course records would not be broken today, nevertheless, the winning time was 1:24 and some change.  Amazing for the course and conditions.  It was another 6 minutes or so before the next runner made it in.  I loved standing there at the top of the finish chute cheering each and every runner in.   I recalled all the things I loved hearing at the last few yards and hollered those out in hopes they motivated someone else too.  I loved watching ones come sprinting in and finishing strong.  I admired the man whose calf seized up and he literally limped his way in on that cramp.  I applauded the Marine who came around the corner, stumbling a little (dehydrated), hit a pot hole and almost went down.  Instead, he righted himself and continued swaying his way in.  And with each round of applause my emotions were torn in two.  So happy and excited for the finishers, so bummed that I would not be one of them.  Bummed is putting it lightly.  I guess I don't really have the right word, just such bitter disappointment.
(for the record, these two Marine's ran in gas masks, fatigues, boots AND carried the flag - I saw another one in full fatigues, boots and carrying his loaded backback - serious respect and props to those Marine's)

Watching the clock, I figured Corb would be coming in soon.  Splenda had put himself up at the corner to video him coming in the last little bit, and I was still at the top of the chute.  When I saw him my heart LIT UP!  There he was!  Looking strong, like a walk in the park.  Perfect cadence, same stride he left with.  Looking extremely strong.  Of course, got emotional again and may or may not have made a cheering fool of myself, but I didn't care - I was so stoked for him.  He ran past and sprinted through the chute to the finish.  I noticed the clock had 2:05 and some minor change. (Official time 2:04) Well done!

After walking Chloee over to him and congratulating him, I told him I was going back for Kar.  I started to walk/trot the course backwards looking for her.  He thought she was about 45 minutes behind him so I was mentally trying to gauge how far back I should go.  Since I can't do math and figure any of that crap out, I figured I'd just keep moving.  I stopped in the shade of a tree about a half mile out right at the top of a wicked hill.  I started my cheerleading again and watched the runners struggle.  It was a brutal hill.  Right at mile 12 or so.   Off to the side, a Marine was sharing the shade of the tree waiting for his wife.  I hadn't seen him cross or go by so I asked him how he was doing.  He and his wife had gotten food poisoning last night and neither was in good shape.  He was dehydrated and pulled off to wait for his wife in hopes that they could just finish together.  We chatted for a bit and then I moved on to wait for Karalee at the last aid station which was right at mile 12.

As I got there and stood under a tent in the shade watching for her, an ambulance went by with a runner in it.  GAH!  I wanted to stop them and ask who they had.  I didn't think Kar would end up in the back of the bus, but I didn't want to stay waiting if by some awful chance something had happened.  The ambulance hit it's lights and pulled away.  I went back to watching the course and just around the corner - here she came!!

Oh my goodness she looked good!  I knew she was ready, she had hydrated, she had trained, she had done everything she could to be ready and it showed.  She smiled as she came into the aid station, got her water, and dumped some on her head.  I asked how she was feeling and her ever positive self replied, "Great!  I feel great!  This is so awesome!"  The pacer in me came out and I ran alongside her. I reminded her that she had the big hill, some down hill, another short hill and then the finish.  We talked about how she was doing, how she was feeling.  I told her how well Corbin had done and basically started the chit chatting one does when you are attempting to take a runner's mind off their fatigue and back onto their goal.  I should clarify - this girl didn't need no stinkin pacer - she was on point!  But I am glad that she indulged me.  I ran alongside her until we hit Splenda and Corb and then I backed out so they could get video and pictures.  As we rounded the last corner and headed for the chute, I pulled my famous "Ready to kick it?  When I say kick, you give it everything you got!"  She smiled and right at the top of the chute she found another gear, sprinted to the finish and I pulled off to the side.

More tears.  Tears of incredible happiness for my kids.  Tears of knowing that unexplainable feeling of accomplishment.  Tears of knowing that they had worked hard, set a goal and DID it!  I think I was even more thrilled for Karalee.  Corbin's boot camp had been probably the hardest thing he had ever done physically.  13.1 was hard, but nothing in comparison.  But for Kar - this was likely the most challenging physical endeavor she had ever done.  And she did it.  Did it strong!  So many more tears (darn color ceremony).

We found Kar at the other end of the chute and while they got water and stretched, I met Corbin's commanding officer, Captain Miller and watched other runners come in.  Again, the pacer in me wanted to head back out on the course, and run the sweep.  I debated.......but as I was thinking it over, I saw Marine's running in some racers.  THEY were running the sweep!  Totally cool!  I think that is MUCH more meaningful than some old lady  in a tank top and shorts.

I gave a final look at the parade deck with the start/finish line, the tents of vendors, the announcer and music, the runners and their support staff, the race staff, and even the blue porta potties.  
So many emotions.
Beyond happy, thrilled, excited, proud for my kids.
Bitter disappointment, sadness, heartache for myself.
It wasn't my day.  I've had plenty that were for me, but today was not one of those.

Ultimately I found peace in knowing that it wasn't supposed to be.  It was THEIR day.  Watching the glow of happiness, the light in their eyes, and even the stiff legged walk when they first stand up, all reminded me that my emotions were really happiness in knowing they found joy in the same things I find joy in.  That we have some commanalities that now bind us.  They are part of the brotherhood of runners.  So yeah, not my day, but THEIRS.

And I am so, more than totally, okay with that.

At least for today : )