Sunday, December 29, 2013

Live a Little!!!


I totally forgot to blog last week! I also forgot to exercise, or something like that.

I spent a week in Chicago playing with the kiddos, baking, finishing gifts, going to party after party; in general having a fantastic time with my family. I woke up several mornings with my pup convinced I was going to run and the minute I would step on the back porch, to the tune of -10 degree windchill and a very slippery ground, I would rush inside and wrap up under a blanket!

Well, because I'm running the Niagara Falls Women's half marathon in June with my best buddy and company, I need to buck up and go out when it is cold! I love running in the cold, so what possibly is the problem?

Well, here is the problem. I took the last six months off from intense training. You see, this year has been challenging yet FANTASTIC, both physically and mentally. I also gained six pounds since Thanksgiving. YIKES!!!

So now is the time to get back into it! I will set my goals and probably blog about them on New Year's or next week, but you can count on a continuation of the blog. Instead I just want to highlight the adventures of Sarah and Company in this blog; kind of an end of year tribute?

The year started out with plans of doing several races, none more significant than the other, rather just different. But there was so much more than just races, and that is what has rounded my life out the most and made this year so fantastic. You already know about the two five milers, one four miler, one half marathon, 10 miler and half iron man. All very cool accomplishments that I am extremely proud of. What you probably didn't hear as much about, because this blog is focused on my athleticism, are all the other activities that allowed me to live like we all should live on a daily basis.

You see, I was at Church with my family on Christmas and the priest asked the congregation whether they would be interested in receiving 86,400 on a daily basis. I read between the lines because he only mentioned money briefly, I had a feeling the 86,400 was something more significant that a dollar. In fact it was, he was talking about the amount of seconds in a day. He used the common phrase that is out there about the present being our present and we should always take advantage. You know what? He is right... That saying is right...

Here's my story:

This past year, I spent many seconds crying. Hell, I cried yesterday for who knows why... I cried my eyes out after watching Hachi: a dog's tale, a few days ago, I have cried for sadness and joy. I cried when my dog swallowed corn cobs and we talked about comfort care because he was never going to pass them. I cried for joy when the vet told me he successfully passed everything (with her help) and he was going to be OK. I cried when I went to the hospital because I felt so sick, but I also laughed...

There was a dinner with my friends after a run, in which I was told to remember that I am a lady, I don't remember what was so funny about that night but I remember the hearty laughter that left us all with sore cheeks and crampy sides. I laugh every time I am with my friends, even if I had cried several minutes before. I have laughed about my own infliction and those of my friends. I have shared the joy of crossing finish lines, I about busted a gut when one of my friends told me to shut the 'eff' up while running a race. Those have been the special moments.

I have made mistakes and failed, but also have been met with equal amounts of success. For instance I decided to fix a broken sink myself. BIG failure, but I learned how to do it myself next time. I successfully put on a conference at work, by myself that was a huge success. Of course I had help from others, but the primary work was done by me. I helped my friend with the painting of her living room and am looking forward to more weekends on the other rooms of her house.

I have gone camping, taken afternoon naps with my pup, shared campfire stories, made snow globes with my friends, decorated cookies with my nieces and nephews, went to state parks with my mom, talked TV with my dad, made apple sauce, spent days at the zoo with friends and their kids, held babies, celebrated the lives of friends, shared in my friends joys and successes, and moments of sadness.

I have talked to much and listened intently (can't say more because I don't think that is possible). I have learned from every person that has crossed paths with me in a meaningful way.

My point is this, I have lived!!! And although many of my life lessons have come from training for races, just as many of those lessons and life victories have come from the people I have chosen to share my life with.

Thank you for taking part in this journey of mine this past year. I know there will be as many peaks and valleys next year, and I invite you to continue reading (if you can handle the horrific grammar).

Your friend,

Sarah

PS, I know these pictures are repeats, but they are some of my favorite memories from this year!!!

Camping with my friends and my pup!

Volunteering with my Mom and Sister!

Riding 60 plus miles with a wonderful friend!

Finishing a half Iron Man!!!!!

Running a 10 miler.

Surfing with my cousin, nephew and sisters. 

Hiking the Napali Coast with my nephew.
Painting my friend's house.

Being goof with the kiddos!

Making cookies with the kiddos. 

Enjoying the smile of my smarty, witty, cutie niece.

Having another Thanksgiving with my parents!

Learning how to sew. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Where did all the Water Go?

I was sick recently. Sick enough to think I needed to go to the hospital. Was the trip to the ER necessary? Well, that is debatable depending on who you talk to, but I stand by that trip (my pocketbook might not, but I still haven't gotten that bill). I walked into the hospital crying and miserable. After a 5 hour stay and a bag of fluids, I left laughing; well not heartily, but still chuckling about things. 

Recently I have been running no more than 3 miles at a time, and then yesterday that changed. I went out for an unintended 4 miler. The schedule said 2 miles, my friend and I decided to go for 3 and then somewhere during the run we decided to do 4. I am so grateful we did the 4 but I realized during that run that water is necessary. I was parched while trying to make it up the effing hill!

This morning I was cleaning up from a small dinner party I hosted yesterday that involved prime rib, cookie decorating and snow globes. While in the middle of loading my dishwasher with the second round of dishes, my water quit working. Seriously, I can't even get a drip to come out of any faucet it my house. I texted my neighbor and she doesn't have water either. I can't shower, wash dishes or wash any clothes. I'm most bothered by the shower part.

All of this to say water is necessary! Drink some!!!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Why Not?

If you ask my friends what I have been talking about this week, they will tell you I have been obsessing about this message I saw on the Angry Jogger's blog. He posted a video, featuring Kevin Smith about life. I am not going to embed the video on my blog because the language in the video is potentially offensive, but if you want to watch it, you can find it here.

I got a sewing machine last week, and since I have gotten that machine I have received a million questions as to why I got a sewing machine. I really don't have an answer except it was there with this glow around it, screaming, I know you want me!!! Well, I got it and I made a night gown. There are several more projects to come!

Last winter, around this time I decided to do the half ironman. I blogged about people's reaction to my announcement of doing that race, and I was frequently met with the big question, WHY? I never really had a good answer except for, why not?

Well after watching this video this week, that talks about the reaction of critics to artists' goals, I of course related it to my ironman and then life in general. I never looked at the response of 'why not' as a good answer, but now that I have talked about it more, I can tell you that the why not world is where I want to live...

I already live in a declarative world. I announce I am going to do something and then I do it. I might fail hard, as a matter of fact, I have been failing at one goal pretty hard core for several weeks now (that changes today), but I always get up and dust myself off. If I am encountered with something new or a challenge, I want to be known as the person who will jump on the bandwagon (as long as it isn't detrimental to my health or well-being), and embark on the journey. You ask why? Well, my response - Why Not???

If I continue to ask myself why before I sign up for every race, or go out for every workout, my guess is I wouldn't make it out the front door, but every time I find myself saying why not, I end up having an experience that I am excited to live again or NEVER do again.

Take running a half marathon, I honestly didn't know why I signed up for my first, but I did. When I crossed that first finish line I thought I could accomplish anything!!!

On the other hand, there have been plenty of activities that I have done and have walked away scratching my head. A for instance? Going to an art museum... Why not go? Well because as much as I try to understand how splatters on a canvas can be considered art, I still do not have an answer. But why is it important that art exists? Two reasons, one is for my little niece who I think is meant to be an artist, and that is cool. The second is because my best friend might believe those splatters are inspiring, and for that the art might be a gift.

So what I am trying to say here, is before you respond to someone who challenges you with a new opportunity or idea, think about Kevin Smith's message (if you watched the video)... After all, if I spent to much time thinking about that first half marathon, first Olympic distance triathlon, first iron man, I may have never seen the start line, or understood what I was capable of after crossing the finish line.

Try out the 'why not' world. You might just like what you find within yourself!

And here are some pictures from this year, because I said WHY NOT!!!
After 8 hours and some change I finished my first half ironman.

The medal from the above race. 

Standing for the first time on a surfboard while in Hawaii.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Random Thoughts

I don't have much to say today, so here are some random thoughts:

I'm Full

I haven't worked out in a week and I'm feeling it, after all this week included some pretty awesome meals and delicious treats. Think big chocolate cake, pumpkin pie, cheesecake, brussel sprouts, turkey, stuffing, corn casserole, etc.

I'm feeling sluggish and tired today and I'm hoping this isn't an indication of how the entire holiday season will feel. 

I'm very thankful I have a little 10k on my schedule in the next week. I haven't run 6 miles in a single run for quite some time. As a matter of fact, I think the last time I hit six miles was when Sue and I had a fluke of a run and ended up with 9 miles because we both felt good. Those are the runs the fill me up!

The Goals

I refuse to let my athleticism rule my life again. It is just a hobby that I enjoy and want to continue to enjoy. However, I have decided that my schedule needs a triathlon in 2014. I am going to have to figure out which one. Here's the criteria the race must meet:
  1. Cheap
  2. Flat
  3. Cheap
  4. Olympic Distance
  5. Cheap
  6. Close to home (or close to my parents)
  7. Cheap
If you know of anything that would qualify, let me know.

Expletives

I need to quit swearing! Or at least simmer it down a bit. I speak in expletives all the time. Really, I just speak in exclamation points!!! Read a text message from me, and you might find yourself wishing I would quit yelling at you. I found the "f" word roll off my tongue WAY to easily while I was driving with my mom the other day. Now, she hears this word from me all the time, but it wasn't necessary in this context. 

A context it was totally appropriate? When I said the following earlier this year: "I did an effing half ironman!!!!!!!!!!"

To Do Lists

I have a number of to do lists written for this week. Basically, my life is scripted through Wednesday of this week (and yes, writing this blog will be checked off the list the minute I hit publish). I don't like lists because I think the cause you to keep your head down and not focus on the things that matter, those little interactions with friends and neighbors that really mold your life. I will use my lists through Christmas because I have so much to get done, but I won't be too excited about it. What I am excited about are all those moments with friends and family that have been sketched into my to do list, oh and the exercise that is also 'scheduled'. 

Next Week

I'm sure I'll be back with something a little more exciting next week, for now I am going to ride out my Thanksgiving coma and go to work...