When the Sirens Are For You

Your world stands still as everything else around you keeps going.  What just happened?  Is this happening?  What am I supposed to do?  Say?  Feel?

My husband Jim had a stroke last week.  I was home, heard him yell out and called 911.  Pressed the medical personnel to move faster and brought in family in case this was it.

The record for an ambulance to make it to Columbia from JC is 18 minutes.  Jim’s got there in 20 – it was a rainy, stormy night.

He went to the local hospital first then they sent him on.  He arrived at the University of Missouri Hospital with a team of doctors/nurses waiting on him.  He would have been life-flighted if the weather cooperated – doesn’t matter, he got there in plenty of time.  We were very lucky.  He was able to receive the “clot-busting” drug just 5 minutes before the 3 hour window closed.

It’s been a little more than a week later.  He was transferred from the very good care of the hospital to Rusk Rehab facility.

I keep trying to do normal things each day to make myself believe that life is going on and we will get back to our life together as it was before.

I will admit it that I’m a little afraid of what the future holds.  Who wouldn’t be…The evenings are the worst – tired and defenses are down.  Begin imaging the worst case.  It’s a cycle.  Just like running and the mind game that is so common with long distance racing.

We all will face these circumstances sometime.  When the sirens are coming for you or your family member, I hope you’re as fortunate as we were to get all we needed in the right amount of time.


Jim has done so much for me over the years.  Aside from the son we had together, I think the next biggest blessing was his support and encouragement of me going back to school to get my undergraduate degree in business.   I would have never done that otherwise.  Oh and by the way…William Shatner delivered the commencement speech.  I graduated summa cum laude too.  photo (13)

Below is our blended family – Rich, Carrie, Jim, me and Alex.  So proud of all of them.


Our son Alex is in his 2nd year of college.  He’s smarter than both of us together.


Here’s a  video from 2 years ago – we just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary this year…Enjoy!


Living Through Social Media

Wow!  Thanks for all the emails and messages from yesterdays post.

I love technology.

Very cool. Very Cool Green Road Sign with Dramatic Clouds, Sun Rays and Sky

I used to own a site called http://www.socialmediaspinner.com.   Still have email associated with it and through that vehicle as well as a call, I got the most awesome request from a friend of mine in Florida.

My current occupation is mission driven and I plan to stay with it.  However, it is always wonderful affirmation to hear from friends with ideas or offers of other opportunities based on such.

Social media levels the playing field. For all those struggling to get their message out…Run with it!

Running is the core message of this blog.  It’s not just physically running though it’s also the spiritual and psychological running that we all do everyday.

Rocktober is for Running

October (Rocktober) is the most popular month for half marathons.

According to Running USA:

  • October hosted the most U.S. half-marathons (288), while January had the least (83) in 2013.
  • October 2013 produced the most 13.1 mile finishers with more than 312,000 and July the least finishers with just under 53,000.

Average Age 

Females     35.6
Males:         38.6

Median Times for U.S. Half-Marathon Finishers

Males:          2:01:37
Females      2:19:48

Year Estimated U.S. Half-Marathon Finisher Total
1990 303,000
1995 420,000
2000 482,000
2004 612,000
2005 658,000
2006 724,000
2007 796,000
2008 900,000
2009 1,113,000
2010 1,385,000
2011 1,610,000
2012 1,850,000
2013 1,960,000  (new high)

Do you have what it takes???


woman walking towards unknown places

Cheers to awesome scenery along the way…

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Cheers to the wildlife that accompanies us along the way…

Enjoy the fall but by all means…give it your all!  Pass it on!

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Marathon Training is Always an Adventure

Yesterday was my long run (13 miles).  It was going to be an out (6.5 miles) and back run on a flat trail that has a lot of shade (which was important because at 6:30 am already it was 81 degrees with heavy humidity).   At my pace, it should have been a 2.75 hour run.  photo_1 (2)I had a full bottle of water, 1 Gu pack and 2 packs of salt.  I took the Gu pack at mile 5 and salt at mile 7.

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On mile 8 (1.5 miles after I turned around), I  noticed my car key was missing.  It had fallen out somewhere along the way.  I walked back to the turn around point (1.5 miles) looking along the edges of trail and then turned around and walked another 3.5 miles on other side of trail following the path I ran on – moving weeds with a stick along the way.   I called Jim who drove out to the parking lot with the spare key ready to wait there if I didn’t find it back.  Through out this time I talked to a lot of cyclists too who were more than willing to help look for it.  Many took down my cell phone number.  I also asked St. Anthony, patron saint of lost items to help.  Finally someone called me after 1.5 hours of looking and said they found it.  How awesome is that???  So I recovered my key after walking/looking for it –  5 of the 13 miles.  I let Jim know so he didn’t need to stay.

Now I faced a different problem…Because I walked those 5 miles (3 of which were due to doubling back – at a slower pace looking in weeds for my key), I increased the time I was on the trail  while the temperature continued to rise and now had another 3 miles to cover in the 90 degree heat with no more water – I ran out 2 or 3 miles back.  It was a stretch to get to the 13 and after running 8 of it was very hot and tired.

If this were along a city street I could stop at a gas station or call home and have someone bring me a bottle.  However, on the trail anyone that brings it to you has to walk or bike up to your location. It would have been too far for Jim to trek out 3 miles in that heat. There are a couple of places where the road intersects with the trail but I was so confused I didn’t know where those were from my location or how to tell someone to get to them.

My only recourse was to stop the cyclists who were the only people on the trail at this point and ask for water.  They reciprocated and filled my bottle as much as they could.  I drank it all.  I could tell already that I was getting over-heated.  Thank goodness I accepted Paige’s offer at mile 6 to give me some of her Gatorade.  She stopped by to check on me while riding her bike, as her parents were finishing their run.  I really don’t like to drink that when I run because it bothers my stomach.  However she added it to the water I had so it wasn’t as strong.  Probably helped keep my electrolytes in check.  That water was gone though maybe by mile 10 or 11.

Back at Trail Head

Back at Trail Head

When I reached my car, I pulled out the fresh bottle of water and fruit I packed that were still really cold.  I was a bit nauseous and had a pretty good headache.  I am so glad I used this Vitae thermos instead of the bottle I usually take.  That thermos kept it so cold  there was still ice in it.  So after finishing one I refilled it at the fountain and the ice chilled that water as well.  I drank 2 full bottles had an apple and banana too.  photo_2 (2)I removed my shoes and socks to help me cool down and sat there in the shade talking to people.  My feet/toes were pretty sore.  photo (5)


Everyone who showed up after being on the trail had heard of my missing key.  They all were asking if I found it and if I needed anything.

In the end, I did get a little over-heated and am staying inside today.

I learned afterwards that someone else who ran 8 miles on the trail yesterday required an ambulance due to dehydration.

If you ever think you are in trouble during a run, don’t  be afraid to ask for help.  It was someone else that found my key and water from the cyclists that helped me finish without incident. 

Below is the Map My Run stats.  I turned my app off 1 mile before finishing to save my phone battery which was about to die.  Click here to go to that link for info.

Map My Run

Map My Run

Here is a link to Google Map of how the day unfolded from start to finish.

map of long run




Training for the Marathon…Digging In

Today got up at usual time…

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Then did my thing with breakfast/news/prep for day, and ran out the door to do my 4 miles.   Mike Egan’s wife Donna, is having some serious health issues so offered the run up for her.  It was the best 4 mile run I had since October 2013.  Took pic afterwards…anne

Here’s Map My Run link of morning run…


Training for a marathon, especially early training takes a lot of heart because it’s so far from the goal – delayed gratification.  I take it a day at a time.

When it comes to a marathon, there is no game playing, no pretending – the clock never lies.  Even though clock makes me angry sometimes (when I think I finished sooner…), I think that is essentially one of the biggest things I like about about the marathon – there are no short cuts, no manipulation, no game playing…This is it – the real thing!  It’s you against the clock.  If you do a good job it pays off.  If you don’t…it doesn’t.

Wouldn’t it be great if all everythingthing worked that way.  Let’s live as if it did.

Here’s your daily dose of inspiration.  Click on link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bz8ip2ptJQ.


Running Out of Breath

photo (11)I went to the doctor this morning to get a couple of things checked.  I have struggled with my breathing/lung capacity with running and getting started this time has been harder.  Have tried breathing exercises too.  She gave me a new albuterol inhaler and told me to use a second  inhaler, a steroid, every day for a month to see if it helps. Bruce Lee once said that lung capacity was the key to a great  athlete. mkij I smoked for 16 years and quit 24 years ago.  I’m now 52.  Also, have had sibling with Asthma.  Hope this is something I can overcome.  Will blog about how it goes…

The Next Marathon

The Next Marathon

In 2 weeks training begins (18 weeks) for my next marathon.  The race is the Air Force Marathon in Dayton, Ohio (Sept 20).  It’s a long journey to the starting line.  Forces me to overcome self-doubt, anxiety, physical pain/fatigue and reinforces self-discipline to dig deep and strive forward.  Waiting for all that to kick in…

I’m not as anxious as I was at this point 2 years ago – but that’s because reality hasn’t sunk in yet.  Am I really going to do this again???!!!


So fortunate though to be running with great friends – my team – the National LIFE Runners.  We are raising money for Vitae Foundation. Running for a great cause makes all the difference and helping pregnant women in need find real help and support so they choose life is the best cause.

Life Runners Prayer

As I look to my training, I think about my diet, hydration, running, cross training and how my training schedule has to integrate into my daily life as a priority.  Here are the stats from training for my last full marathon in 2012.

  • My Longest Run (3 weeks before race): 20 miles
  • Money raise for charity: $3,345
  • Most Miles Logged in One Week42
  • Fastest Pace I Ran While Training: 8 minute mile
  • Hottest day of training run: 102 degrees
  • Cross Training: Cycling sometimes to and from my office
  • Average Pace During Training: 13 minute mile
  • Race Day Breakfast: Protein Bar, Banana, Coffee, Water, Vitamins
  • Total Miles Logged  Since April Pre and Official Training: 526
  • Illnesses During Training: 2 colds, 2 UTI’s, exercise induced bronchial spasm
  • Injuries: 0
  • St. Louis Rock and Roll Finishers: 1,900 Full and 9,500 Half Marathoners.
  • Women’s Division Marathon Finishers that were 50+: 79
  • Number of Estimated Steps to Finish Marathon: 42,000
  • Race Recovery: Best yet.  Very little swelling.  Sore/stiff – toes took a beating. 
  • Marathon Fun Fact: Running…foot impact on ground is 4 x your body weight.
  • Favorite Mantra/Scripture: Anything is possible through Christ Who Strengthen’s Me

One thing that stood out  in my mind and forced me out the door for training runs 2 years ago was the voice in my head saying, “If you don’t train…you could die.”  Sounds pretty extreme or alarmist, but it’s true.  If my body isn’t conditioned for the full 26.2 miles it could end badly.  So, that, if all else failed, pushed me out the door some mornings when I wasn’t into or didn’t feel like running.

Race 12

I look forward to the challenge and this time hope to finish with a better time.  I remember doing great until the marathon cut off from the half at the St. Louis race in 2012.  Then the miles became very lonely when the crowd I was running with all headed to the half finish line.  I reached mile 17  and was hurting.  The temperature began to rise too and some good hills were ahead – with plenty behind me too.  I pushed through but had to walk about 3 miles.  Once you start walking it’s so hard to start running again because you’re now feeling more of the pain and soreness.  As I fought back to a slow run I would then have to walk a little too.  My legs were like moving telephone poles.  I teared up as I saw my teammates that had finished knowing I was getting closer to the finish.  Then I saw my family that waited the 6 hours for me.  I had beat back the urge to breakdown which was hard.
A white fence lined the running lane the last quarter of a mile to the finish line.  It has a turn or two also.  I was praying so hard to fight through the pain in my legs it didn’t immediately register that this was it –  just trying to make it to the finish.

Then making the last turn and seeing it – was a glorious sight.  So grateful to God for moving me across that finish line.  I achieved something that I once thought impossible.

Race 101

Two years earlier I began my running journey training for a half marathon (2010).  I was a non-runner/ex-smoker reaching for something I didn’t know much about.  So I researched it.  Read a lot from online sources and books.  Then through trial and error, made it across that finish line in very cold rainy April NYC weather – just under the cutoff too.  I was so thankful to finish.

The following day, visited the NYRR club to pick up clothes bag that was left.  It was while I was there that I met a member on his way out. He heard me say something about running in the More/fitness Half Marathon the day before.  Up to that point I figured finishing behind the pack and just under the cut off was not going to impress too many outside of myself and maybe family.  He stopped in his tracks, turned around and said, You were in that race yesterday in Central Park?”  I told him I was but that I was one of the last ones to finish.  downloadHe said, “That was one brutal race.  Our club director, an Olympic runner, was treated for hypothermia along with several other runners.”  He said that there were many that didn’t finish because of the rainy cold weather – some very seasoned runners too.  I was so surprised.  He made me feel so much better.

Later, I pulled together all of my lists and information from my research then crafted it into an article and published it on HubPages in 2011.

It has since become a Hub Pages “Featured Article” and is the first one up (out of 30) under “Marathon” on their list.  Each day about 130 people read it.  To date has had  30,000 views, shared by many and still going strong.  I experimented with ads and over last 15 months it’s earned me $100 to date.  The first $50 took about a year.  The second $50 just 4 months.   Cool stuff. Maybe one day it will support me so I can live my life on a sea-shore writing that novel or something.  🙂   Yeah, I’d have to live to be 105 and don’t start writing till then.


Follow my training and let me know how your running is going.  What races are you registered for?  Is anyone else running in the Air Force Marathon?

Have a great day and let this video inspire you to the finish.