Sedona – Throwback Thursday to 2001

Have you ever been to Sedona, Arizona? When we lived in Tucson, we would visit it occasionally as it was always a great getaway.  It was usually cooler than Tucson, so it was almost like a break in the heat.  Sedona is considered to be a spiritual mecca and they are known for their healing massages, spas, hypnotherapy and retreats.  Regardless, you can’t beat the beauty.

One of my favorite activities was the horseback riding that I talked James into doing.  It was not his thing but he said he would try it just once.  He really enjoyed the ride… but I’m thinking it’ll be the last time I get him on a horse, hehe.

By the way… this is before the digital age, so the pictures don’t do the Red Rock justice…

Week 1 of 16 Recap — July 3 through 9

Marathon training has officially begun.  Okay, okay… I started 3 weeks ago… but now it’s the official start of the plan and the weekly countdown.  From here on out, I don’t miss a run and the mileage creeps up and up and up.  Let’s break it on down, shall we?

Monday:  Non-running day.  I always nail the first day of a new plan, hehe.

Work kind of sucked though.  Our hot water heater in the clinic sprang a leak and, thus, a plumber had to be called. After begging and pleading for same-day service, we finally found someone and only had to be without water for a couple of hours. They were good people, very gracious to come out on an almost holiday, and it only cost us an arm and a leg and a soul.

Tuesday:  2 miles.  Weak, I know.  It should’ve been 3.

But with it being the 4th of July, and with me living in a war zone, and it being hot as Hades, I stuck to the treadmill.  Did I mention I had to work as well?  No rest for the wicked.  And the 4th of July is never good for any animal, especially the wild ones.  Stress is the number one killer of animals in the wild, which is usually caused by people.  Just food for thought.

Wednesday:  Cross trained.  Yes!  I actually cross trained!!  Hallelujah, she did it!!  I rode the indoor bike for a bit to warm up and then practiced my speed walking on the treadmill.  I don’t walk fast, I’ve never walked fast, and I don’t know how people do it.  But I’m trying…

We admitted many patients at work because of the holiday, the one most notable being a baby bald eagle.  She had fallen from the nest and the parents were still taking care of her, feeding her while she was on the ground.  Sad situation as she couldn’t be re-nested.  Ironic, isn’t it, to celebrate the nation’s independence and that which gets displaced is the ultimate symbol of freedom?

Thursday:  4 miles.  I am now having to set the alarm earlier and earlier as the mileage increases.

Friday:  5 miles.  I was not aware that it was light outside at 4:30 a.m.  Imagine that!

#spottedthebunny

Saturday:  Rest day.

Sunday:  8 miles.  I didn’t get up quite as early as I wanted, so because of the intense sun, I ended up doing 6 miles on the trail and 2 on the treadmill to finish it up.  Did you know you can get sunburned at 7 a.m.?  True story!

Weekly Total:  19 miles/30 km

So tell me:

  • Did you have a good weekend?
  • Are you melting from the heat yet?  
  • If you live in the U.S., are you a fan of the noise the 4th of July celebration brings? 

 

Queen + Adam Lambert

I believe it was 1977 when I first heard Queen and Bohemian Rhapsody playing on the radio.  I know the song was released earlier, but this is from my ancient memory banks.  My mother had a pink T-bird in 1977 (I kid you not); we used to cruise around Tucson and that song would come on all the time. The funny thing is Mom loved it. So at the ripe old age of 10, I was instantly in love with Queen and all things Freddie.

In and around 1980 when I was 12, I bought the piano sheet music to Bohemian Rhapsody so I could get to work on perfecting it.  It took me 10 years or more, but I managed to master it to the best of my ability.  If you’ve ever played any Queen music… on a musical instrument… you understand.  Freddie did not compose easy music.  And I am not an accomplished musician.

When I was 14, my father bought my sister and I a stereo for Christmas along with a couple of vinyl albums to get us started, one of which was Queen. Ahhh, that opened a whole new world to us by way of music. Money allowing for a teenager, I eventually owned everything Queen.

(By the way… July 3rd is my father’s birthday… he would’ve been 88 today!  Happy Birthday Dad!)

Fast forward to 1991 when devastation hit and Freddie died.  Gone were my chances of ever seeing Queen live in concert…

But then… enter Adam Lambert some 20 years later.  Brian May and Roger Taylor (the remaining members of Queen) for whatever reason took a chance on this kid to bring Queen back to life and give fans what they wanted… one last shot to see and hear their music.  And wow, I have to say, Adam rocked the house.

 

Adam doesn’t try to personalize Queen’s songs.  He sings them as Freddie would have sung them of which I was very appreciative.  And he sings them well.  Dr. Brian May still managed to make that guitar come to life just as he did 40 years ago, and Roger Taylor… well, how he doesn’t manage to lose 5 pounds every night from the workout he gets with every show is beyond me. The older boys definitely still have it!!

I can count at least 3 times during the show when I become so overwhelmed with emotion that tears flowed, as did the entire audience.  One moment in particular was during Love Of My Life. Brian sat down with his acoustic guitar and sang the song as Freddie would have, and towards the end, Freddie appeared on the big screen with Brian and took over the singing… then walked off at the end of the song as Brian waved goodbye.

Another tear jerker was when Adam sang Who Wants To Live Forever

By the by, Adam has a new single out, Two Fux.  I’m thinking this is one we will never hear on the radio, but he sang it during the concert and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  He deserves recognition for that catchy little tune and I will definitely be adding it to my playlist.

It was an amazing time.  This is one show I would see over and over again if I could, so if you love Queen and ever get the chance, do go see it.  You will not be disappointed.

Throwback Thursday – My First Half Marathon

I had run a 10K back in 10/2013, and it was then I decided I would start training for a half marathon.  I was aiming for the Lake Sammamish Half for March, but after a little discussion with The Motivator, we decided my first half should be Rock ‘N’ Roll Seattle, 6/21/2014.

A month before RNR Seattle, we ran RNR Portland, with me running the 10K and James the half.  I remember during that race watching all the people make the turnoff to continue on with the half and thinking, “Oh how the hell am I going to pull this off in Seattle.  I’m already knackered.  I can’t imagine running another 6 miles.”

Pre-Seattle race, I remember being a basket case.  The nerves were out of this world.  And the RNR events are huge, so the amount of people that were there freaked me out as well.  But everyone else looked so calm.  Thankfully James stayed with me for as long as he could so I wouldn’t bail (lol, kidding).

It probably took me about 5 miles in before I relaxed.

The course was gorgeous (and super hilly), and I felt privileged to be able to run in areas I wouldn’t normally get to see.  Back then I didn’t carry my phone with me, just my iPod for music.  So, no pictures.  I made a mental note to carry a camera with me on the next race.  This was before blogging, so that didn’t happen.  There are a lot of races I missed out on taking pictures, and I’ve seen some amazing sights.  It’s also one of the reasons why I’m running the 50 states… for the sights.  Everyone else chases PRs… I’m there for aesthetics, lol.

And I’ll never forget the feeling of accomplishment I had when I finally crossed the finish line.  There is nothing that compares to it.  It’s why I’m addicted to racing… and, oh yeah, the bling.

I have since run 10 more half marathons and am now training for my first full.  I can imagine the above feelings are going to be escalated out of the stratosphere.

  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13

Busy Much?

The last couple of weeks have been an absolute blur and I think my brain is fried.  It’s only been 3 weeks since I ran my last race, 2 weeks since my mother-in-law Janet went back to the UK, 1 week since AJ began summer break, and yet all events seem like forever ago.  In that time, I’ve had a huge fundraiser gala to contend with, a hubby with a hurt back (who is thankfully on the mend… see here), and I’m trying really hard to wrap my head around marathon training 6 days a week.  This will now be my life for the next 4 months… work and training.  I’ve come to the conclusion that something has to give, so I won’t be doing the cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, etc., anymore.  Besides, I’d much rather keep in touch with my blogging friends than do all that other mindless nonsense… and now that James is healing, he can clean and do laundry and…  lol, sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up…

Fundraiser Gala:  One week after Janet left, the rescue and rehab center where I work held a huge fundraiser gala with dinner, entertainment, and a silent auction.  The director and I were working like mad the week before to get everything together for the event, and now I’m still quite busy tracking donors and silent auction winners and all the stuff that follows an event such as this.  No matter… we had a great time, and I’m happy to say it was a great success.

This was actually supposed to be an adults-only evening, but I was able to sneak AJ in to watch the raptor presentation.  He hung out in our room afterwards for the rest of the night.

All the tables were decorated with cute little stuffed animals that anyone could adopt (raccoons, opossums, coyotes, owls, eagles, squirrels, etc.).  They even came with their own adoption certificates.  Below are the two we adopted.  All of them were dressed up with little tulle “bow ties” for their gala evening.

Below is a video that was made in 2015.  Back then, we needed help with refurbishing the hospital area.  We were able to raise all the funds for that; however we are now in need of new eagle flights.  While the video that was shown last Saturday night is not available publicly yet, I thought you might enjoy seeing where I spend a lot of my days.  When the other video becomes available, I’ll show that one to you as well, then you can see the difference in the hospital… a little inside look of a rescue center, so to speak.  (By the way… the raccoons at the beginning really are just hanging upside down.  They were babies when they came to us and learned how to climb the chain links… all were happily released back into the wild).

Training:  Yeah, I’ve been doing that too.  I’ve had to start getting up before the sun to avoid the heat and mugginess of the season, but we all do what we gotta do.  I’m just thankful I don’t have mom duties first thing anymore (you know… making lunches, giving rides, and the biggie of waking up a child).  I won’t go much into detail about the runs right now (only because this post is getting too long), but I am hitting them as scheduled… not so much on the cross training yet… but the runs are extremely important. You can’t fake your way through a marathon if you want to beat the sweeper, haha.

Up next:  Queen with Adam Lambert!  This Saturday!  I cannot wait!

Have a great week, my friends!

Thanks to a Teacher, I Learned from a Child

The long-awaited last day of school has finally arrived.

AJ excelled in the 6th grade, and while he did well grade-wise, I mean more that he excelled as a person and grew quite a bit emotionally, and I believe his teachers played a huge part in that.

All of his teachers were amazing and deserve gratitude and thanks; however, one teacher stands out in particular. This particular teacher helped AJ develop his love for history.  And adventure. And the ancient aliens who may or may not have built the pyramids (more on that later… ).

The last essay AJ wrote for this teacher was about “Grit.”  This was not a required assignment.  But from what I understand, quite a few students completed it, including AJ.  Their reward?  A hat that says “Grit.”  Just one more way to get the kids to think and to write.  On their own.  Without any pressure of a grade or a deadline.  “Learn to love learning;” one of the first steps to school success, in my opinion.

Thank you, Mr. Larson, for inspiring my child to be the best that he could possibly be.  You have made a tremendous impact on AJ’s learning, and for that, we are extremely grateful.  He wears that hat with pride.

And for all the other teachers out there who inspire our kids, thank you so much for what you do. May you all have a happy and relaxing summer holiday!  You’ve certainly earned it!

In case you’re curious about what my kid wrote… here ya go:

What is grit? Grit could mean sand, or it could mean that you never give up and keep trying. Determined, brave, toughness–all of these things could mean grit, but there are a lot more words that can mean grit.

I would like to tell you a story of a man named James Edward Howard. He is my great-great grandfather that fought in World War 1. He was born in Ipswich, Suffolk, UK, on the 4th of April 1890. During the war, he transferred to the Royal Engineers from the Suffolk Regiment. He died June 1st, 1929. He was at the battle of Ypres when he got badly gassed. After the war was done, he suffered very poor health due to the mustard gas. His last few years, he was in and out of the hospital as he developed Tuberculosis which was his cause of death. He survived for 15 years after the war and after being gassed. This man had a lot of grit to be ill and survive for that long. That is why I wanted to share this story with you.

I used grit last year. I came through a tough time when my grandma and uncle died within a few months of each other. The thing is I didn’t get sorry for myself or get sad, I just accepted the way things happened. My cat also died 2 months after my grandma died. He had been around me my whole life but I kept fighting and never got sad or anything, and that is how I used grit.

That wraps up my whole grit essay. I hoped you learned a little more about me. Always remember to never give up, there is always hope.

Thanks to a teacher, today I learned from a child.  I learned “… there is always hope.”

Back To Normal

When I last left off, I had just finished a half-marathon and was mentally preparing myself for a hike the next day.  I’m happy to say that the hike didn’t happen as my legs were angry enough with me as it was.  We did, however, go up to Hurricane Ridge to check out the views.

There was lots of snow (yes, that’s my 12-year-old son dwarfing his grandmother and father):

Lots of wildlife:

A clear view of Mt. Baker, 180 miles away:

And lots of trees:

I even got to try the infamous Starbucks Mint Frappacino (it was heavenly and I earned it) while the boys had quite a bit of fun goofing around with the outback hats:

The view of Port Angeles at the base of the Olympics:

But alas, all good things and all holidays must eventually come to an end.  My mother-in-law went back to the Motherland this past Saturday… but not before we went out to dinner to celebrate both our milestone birthdays this year (we split this delicious morsel 3 ways):

And today was business as usual, or Week 0 Day 1 of marathon training, to which I went out and completed 5 miles plus 1.  James is still hurt, but he’s in the process of formulating my training plan as I write this.  He’s such a good sport.  He actually just gave me a breakdown of my long runs for August and September, including (but not limited to) the 2 back-to-back half-marathons I’m signed up for, preceded and followed by those gnarly 20-mile runs…  dear, oh dear, let the games begin…

Have a fabulous week!!