You Need People

You need people in your life. Without people you will never accomplish your dreams or achieve any of your goals, and all of my introverted friends just cringed… sorry guys. But it’s true and the truth is that without people to share it with achieving the goal wouldn’t be all that much fun.

The thing is that no matter what you set out to do there are people in the background or on the sidelines helping you to see it through. Running the 1/2 marathon last week was no different. Mr. Wonderful gave me the space in our schedule to train, the kids kept tabs on my progress and wanted to know how many miles I had added each week. My friends Kristy, Jenny and Karla texted me every few weeks or so to check on my progress and to encourage my efforts. They weren’t out on the roads with me but they were supporting me and giving me the encouragement that I needed to keep pushing forward.

This is Jenny…

Jenny n Me / Tiffanyaolson.com

She’s going to be mad that I posted a photo of her here because she’s a fly under the radar kind of gal. But I wouldn’t have even thought of running this race had it not been for her. Ron and Jenny graciously opened up their home to me last fall when I was undergoing radiation. Jenny had been telling me all about her boot camp that she does early in the mornings and that a few of the girls had decided to train for the 1/2 marathon next spring. When I got home I thought about it a bit and called her up and mentioned that I might like to train for it as well. We live 2.5 hours apart so we couldn’t run together but we consistently checked in with each other and our progress as the miles started piling on. On race weekend they once again opened up their home and we had the best time laughing and hanging out and getting ready for the big day.

Kristy I have known since the womb. Our moms raced to see who would be born first and I won by six days. Kristy is one of the most motivating and encouraging persons I have ever known. It would take boxes to fit all of the cards, notes and letters she has sent me over the years. She’s my own personal cheerleader.

This is Kristy…

One of my biggest fans! / tiffanyaolson.com

Look! She’s just as excited as I am but she’s excited for me! She was running 13.1 miles as well, she paid our entry fees to the race and she flew up to Oregon from California to do this with me. Kristy and her hubby have 4 kids ranging in ages 17 down to 10. She has a Senior girl in High School and a tween girl in middle school. To say that her life is full is a grave understatement. But there she is giving it her all, giving away all the glory to her lifelong friend who was on a mission to celebrate the new life she had been given.

This is Michelle…

We met through the friend of a friend. Michelle is fighting the battle as we speak. She had round 4 of 6 chemos the Friday preceding the run. This round kicked her a little harder than some of the others but here she is on race day with posters and pink and a big huge smile. She is a runner as well and had been planning on doing this race until cancer got in the way.  It was hard for her not to be out there pounding the pavement with me but it was so great to see her smiling face on that day. Miss Michelle has plenty of runs in her future but today, today she took the time in her chemo fog, no less to honor someone else.

This is Lori….

Lori / Tiffanyaolson.com

It looks like I am squeezing her neck off, but I was just so excited to see her and her husband Bill at mile 11! They didn’t know it but I had yet to run past 11 miles in my training. My legs were getting tired and I was really wanting the race to be over. Then I saw the Durlings. Mr. Wonderful was in their wedding eons ago and Lori and I had worked together at Faith Center Foursquare Church for a few years before Mr. Wonderful and I were even dating.  I was thrilled that they were there and humbled that they had taken the time out of their day to hang out on the side of a bike path early on a Sunday morning to see me run by. I haven’t seen them in years and yet, there they were, cheering me on, snapping photos and giving me the strength to finish what I had started.

This is Marta…

Marta and Natalie / Tiffanyaolson.com

She blogs over at SelahReflections.com and she is my quiet strength. She is always behind the lens taking the photos and I had a really hard time coming up with a photo of us together so I added one with her and Natalie. She is always there. Helping me shine.

These people? They are my life…

Without them I think I would find it very difficult to celebrate anything. They are the greatest gifts that God has given to me and I am so grateful for the life that we get to live together.

These photos just note the highlights. My siblings and parents and friends from all stages of life have been encouraging, supporting and walking this road with me. You know who you are. Thank you.

People. They can be fabulous, difficult, awesome, challenging and a million other things. But they are worth it and they are essential for you to not only make your dreams come true but to make life worth living. So dig in. Get messy. Do life with others and when you least expect it, they will show up. Just when you need it the most.

Have a great day, All!

Seize The Day…

The 1/2 / Tiffanyaolson

This look on my face? It was there all day long. This was in mile two when I spotted my family for the 1st time.(They got up at 3:00 am to drive to Eugene to watch me run.) My goal for this day was to enjoy every single possible moment. And I did. From the airbrushed tattoos…

The 1/2 / Tiffanyaolson.com

To the pre race dinner at Mazzi’sMazzis the 1/2 / Tiffanyaolson.com

To the pancake guy…

The 1/2 / Tiffanyaolson.com

To the starting line photos …

To Kristy pulling Bridger out into the race and him running the last 6 miles with me… (remember he’d been up since 3:00 am)

All of it. Every single moment. I have so much to share about this very special day and in the days ahead I will tell you all of the things and people that came together to make this day so awesome. But for today I just want to say, set a goal. Put something out there that feels just a little bit impossible and then do all the hard work that it takes to make it happen.

There is nothing about this life that is easy. So in the midst of all the hard do something great. Set a goal that gives you a reason to get out of bed and put in the hard work to see it through. Seeing something through changes you, it changes you for the better and makes you want to set bigger goals…

This is me a year ago…

Bald / Tiffanyaolson.com

This is me now…the 1/2 / Tiffanyaolson.com

Life is too short to sit on the sidelines… I love you all and am so grateful to share life with you.

Have  a fabulous day!

The Final Countdown…

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It’s almost here! The day I have been training for for the last seven months is finally here. Race Day! This Sunday, May 1, 2016 I will start, I will run and I will finish. This event is so much more than just a race for me. It’s the finish line for a race that I have been running since December 24th, 2015. Although there is still another surgery in my future it’s the one that is going to make me cute again and not life saving so for me this race marks the end.

When I finished chemo in June of 2015, Mr. Wonderful was so excited for me and wanted to celebrate and make a big deal of the fact that physically the hardest part of this ordeal was over. He wanted me to do a happy dance, one that looked kind of like this…

But I felt so physically ill that celebrating was not even a remote option. It didn’t feel over to me. I wasn’t done yet. So we began walking. I had been walking all along because the Dr. had emphasised how keeping moving would be beneficial for treatment. So we walked. By the last chemo session I was pretty weak and that three mile loop we had been doing became brutal. That 1st walk after my last chemo was a nightmare. I had no strength at all. We didn’t even make it halfway of our normal route and Mr. Wonderful held my hand and dragged me through most of it. But, I kept walking. I walked all Summer in Coos Bay and then all Fall in Eugene during radiation. It was after radiation that I knew I needed a big goal to truly mark the end of this road. I chose the Eugene Half Marathon to be the celebration of all that I have overcome. I chose it because I knew it would be hard and that I would have to be tough both physically and mentally to cross the finish line. I wanted it to be something big but doable. I ran a 1/2 in honor of Aimee in 2010 so I knew that I could do it but I hadn’t done a whole lot of running since then so I also knew it would be a huge challenge.

Fast forward seven months and here I am, 6 days out from the big day. I have run on windy days and rainy days and super cold days. I have listened to countless podcasts and been encouraged to keep pushing forward, I have rediscoverd 80’s music and my 12 year old has introduced me to to the upbeat pop songs of more recent times. All those hours on the road have given me lots of time to relive some of the hardest moments during treatment that I wasn’t able to fully process the first time through… the day the surgeon told me that my breast couldn’t be saved, those last moments with my mom and Mr. Wonderful before they wheeled me off for my mastectomy. The hospital stint after chemo number 3, which involved low white count and a secondary c-diff infection that made everyone who visited me have to wear protective gear (I called it a hazmat suit). In the end, several weeks after that last chemo Mr. Wonderful told me that the hardest part for him was that after chemo 6 I really began to look like death. He said he was glad it was the last one because from the looks of things he wasn’t sure if I would physically survive another round.

Every single time I have added another mile to my run I have teared up in thankfulness at what God is allowing my body to do. To be taken so close to death in order to save your life and then almost a year later be able to run 13.1 miles all at once is quite mind blowing. So, if you are out there on race day and you see me go by with tears streaming down my face, they are not tears of sadness or pain but tears of thankfulness and triumph. Cancer didn’t then and  doesn’t now define who I am. I am a Christ follower, wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, runner and now a writer. I added something to my life through this ordeal, my boobs got taken away but I finally got the courage to write and express myself and make a difference in a new way in the lives of others.

Someone asked me recently to tell them what brings me the most joy on any given day. I said for me right now my biggest joy lands right in the middle of a long run and Overcomer by Mandisa comes up on my playlist.

 

I crank it up and sing it as loud as I can. Fortunately I’m on an old country road and only the cows can hear me. But it’s truly a great feeling. I love the song because it reminds me that this isn’t all there is. Life still has lots of challenges and there are some things that we are continuing to walk through that are difficult. But because God lives in me I know that I have already won. No matter what the earthly outcome is of any given situation in the end… I win.

So, I made myself a pink tutu for the race on Sunday. Craftiness is not a talent of mine so this little beauty was quite an endeavor. And yes the photo is fuzzy and yes that’s my bra on the floor in the background… just keepin it real.

Pink Tutu / Tiffanyaolson.com

Why a tutu you ask? Because it’s fun and because I’m cute and because no matter what is going on in my life and how normal Monday is going to feel, I’m gonna take Sunday and celebrate and fill my lungs with clean air and high five all my peeps who will either be watching or racing on that day. I’m gonna laugh and take the opportunity to celebrate my second chance at life and I am going to be thankful for all of the friends and family members that have sacrificed to help us get to this point.

A highlight in the midst of all of this? My new friend Michelle McCoy who will have just finished round 4 of chemo will jump in and run a mile or so with me along the way! Talk about a rockstar!

On race day they will have a live feed of the finish line on the Eugene Marathon website. It should take me just over two hours to finish. I will be the one wearing the pink tutu.

I love you all!

Drifting…

So I was listening to a podcast on my run this morning (one of my favorite things to do). This one was with Michael Hyatt and Michele Cushatt. They were promoting Michael’s new book… Living Forward. I haven’t read it … yet, but it’s about creating a life plan. I am thinking of life plan as kind of a road map that points you in the direction you want to go and is a frame of reference for when you get off track.

A month or so ago I wrote about setting goals and my attempts at getting stuff on paper so I can hold myself accountable. In that process I came up with some things that are important to me and are the framework that I build all my other goals around. It  came down to determining what the most important things in my life are. For me, in this order it’s God, Mr. Wonderful, Our Kids, Exercise and Writing. This is my base from which all other decisions and actions filter through before I plan or commit to anything.

Discovering this base for my life has been so freeing because it helps me to breathe. Before cancer I wasn’t breathing. I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Only I didn’t realize it. I came too, in my zombie like chemo state and realized that I had drifted way off course.

Drifting, that’s how they described it on the podcast this morning. I had forgotten what was important to me and what I wanted my life to be about and was just riding one wave to the next with no real direction. I was accomplishing things and getting stuff done it’s just that in my ultimate plan for my life where I was headed and where I wanted to go were two different things. That concept of drifting hit me right in the chest, it was so freeing to hear that sometimes you just get off course. Sometimes you make bad choices and have to suffer the consequences of those choices but other times things happen to you ie. cancer, theft, natural disasters, death of loved ones… the list is endless. Sometimes you have to look up in the middle of the mess and say this situation is not my fault. I didn’t choose this, I could not have prevented it. The choice now is what am I going to do about it. You can wallow in self pity (which I have done a time or two) or you can take a deep breath, pray lots of prayers and move forward in faith that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.

I am learning that you have to be intentional with your life. You have to have a plan or life will just toss you around until the day you go to meet your maker. Obviously between the bad choices that we make and the stuff that happens to us that is beyond our control there are seasons of life when the plan feels obsolete and unrealistic but the plan is there so you can redirect yourself and have steady filters for which to process all of your life’s issues through.

I am such a work in progress. I keep thinking that I am gonna nail this at some point but alas this is so not the case. As you can see from up above my kids are one of my top priorities and my son received an award at school the other day that I knew about but didn’t write down and completely forgot about it when the day came. I was devastated when I realized what I had done and sad that he was pretty much the only one whose parents weren’t there. These are the types of things that I was trying to avoid with my new found framework. We celebrated with ice cream sundaes that evening and he is totally okay but my heart hurts that I blew it and being that with no estrogen in my body the emotions are harder than ever to control, I spent most of the rest of the day beating myself up over it. I hate letting people down, especially my kids but the reality is that no matter how much I want to be perfect and always get it right, it’s just not possible.

So I’m working at forgiving myself and being better at funneling through my framework. How about you? Do you have a plan or a framework for your life?

ps… I added in another mile! 7 and counting people! I’m goin for 8 this week, wish me luck!

Drifting - Tiffanyaolson.com

oh yeah, a little side note about the pink camo hat and red jacket thing… I actually started the run with the white camo part facing out because that is way cuter. At about mile 3 I had a hot flash so I removed said hat. At mile 5.5 my ears got cold and the pink part was too sweaty to put back on my head so I reversed it. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Cute or not cute, I finished the run! (-:

 

6 Miles And Counting…

7 Miles and Counting / Tiffanyaolson.com

And They Ran…

This is my friend, Megan. Our boys have played baseball together for several years and are in the same classroom at school. We ran into each other at school the other day while we were attending a special “wax museum” presentation. Joe was Meriwether Lewis and Bridger was Henry Ford. After we left Megan contacted me and asked if I wanted to run our long run together the next day.

I said sure but was a little nervous about my slow pace and the fact that other than Bridger I have done all of my runs alone with my various podcasts keeping me company. But guess what? It was great! The morning was beautiful. The day before had dumped a ton of rain and even hail but this day was clear and cool. We chatted up a storm until about half way through when in my out of breath condition I told her that she would have to keep most of the conversation going from that point on. We laughed a lot as our boys are very much alike. They are both on the smaller side for their age and both have very funny, loud and compassionate personalities and they LOVE to play baseball.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is hard but more often than not it is well worth the effort. Thanks Megan for reaching out. It was a great run with a great person on a glorious Saturday morning and as if that wasn’t enough, I am also one mile closer to my halfmarathon!

So step out people! Do something a bit different and see how much benefit it not only adds to your day but to your life.

Have a great day, All!

Making Adjustments…

Making Adjustments / tiffanyaolson.com

So I realized the other day that the app that I am using to calculate my runs so that I make it to race day in tip top shape, was upping my mileage faster than my body could go. I also realized that it was going to have me ready for race day 3 weeks ahead of time. Yes, I’m quick like that. So after much playing with the app trying to figure out how to make it back up a few workouts (it turns out you just scroll up) I am back on track. I repeated a few of the lower mileage workouts and got back up to my 5 miler today.

It was rainy but not too cold. I went slow and I finished feeling pretty good. (Intestines cooperated this time (: ) I am glad to be back on schedule and am looking forward to and a bit nervous about the miles yet to be run. It really does feel good to be out on the road. The challenging part is finding flat room to run, Coos Bay is pretty much all hills which is okay when your mileage is low but much harder as the runs get longer. Route planning is getting tricky as one of the flattest places in town is the 101 which goes right through the middle. So if I’m running in daylight I try and avoid that option as much as possible because as much as I am enjoying doing this, I don’t look cute while doing it and since cute is still my main goal in life, exposing myself to situations where I look less than cute is a no go.

I turned 46 the other day… 46!! While I am glad to still be here I am noting more wrinkles around the eyes and the fact that my fast run is now a 10:43 minute mile instead of a 9:30 minute mile. I don’t feel 46, high school still feels like it was yesterday. So glad it wasn’t cause I was a little wilder in those days and a lot heavier. I’m actually thinner now than I have ever been in my adult life, I don’t however recommend chemo as a weight loss option as it wasn’t much fun.

So there you have it, I’m still plugging along and learning to make adjustments as I go. What about you what adjustments are you making to keep you on track and still going in the right direction?

The Reality of the Run…

So, last Saturday Bridger and I had a breakthrough run. 5 miles. It was great. It was cold but not raining, I was nervous but we took it slow and eventually achieved our goal…

5 Miles!! / Tiffanyaolson.com

And They Ran…

As exhilerating as it was to tick off another milestone on my road to a half marathon as with all things the photo soooo does not depict the reality of the situation. So let’s add a little perspective to the situation… See those little bushes in the background? Those are sticker bushes. Bridger, being 10, had a hard time staying on the road in mile one and thought it would be more fun to run on the side. That is until one of those bushes caught him in the thigh and scratched up his leg, through his shorts mind you. I being the overly protective and compassionate mom that I am said, “suck it up Bridge, we have a long ways to go, please stay on the road from here on out.” (I felt more sympathy when we were done and I actually looked at his leg and saw that indeed there was a bit of blood… I told him neosporin should do the trick. )

These words of kindness and concern came through clenched teeth because when we hit 4.5 miles my intestines began to take over my whole body and threaten to unleash right there on the side of the road. This victory photo is an absolute miracle that it even happened. I only had time for one shot because I needed to get in the car quickly and race home as fast as possible. We were only about a mile from home and all I kept saying the whole way was “oh Jesus please let me make it.” Over and over and over again. Bridger was looking at me through the corner of his eye wondering if I had gone completely mad. I did manage to squeak in, “please do not tell anyone about this.” His response? “Don’t worry mom, I have no desire to tell anyone about this.”

As we approached the house I told  him that as soon as I stopped the car that he was to jump out and run open all the doors so that I would have an unobstructed path to get to the bathroom. I made it. Boy was I glad and it took a bit of recovery time before I was able to post my victory photo. I was soo thankful that it wasn’t blurry.

There is not one part of any persons life that is not messy. The victory photos are awesome for the victor because only she truly knows what it took to get to that moment. For the casual observer however there can be the tendency to look at the victory and then look at their own life and assume that it just comes easier or more naturally for others. There are very few things in life that come easily or naturally (except intestinal issues). The truth is that I am almost 46, my physical body is still healing from chemo, my right hip is starting to hurt which has never happened before, my miles were run at around 10:59’s and my 10 year old son, who hasn’t run in quite some time and has never run 5 miles totally kicked me to the curb.

Even with the mess, it was a great run with my son and one more milestone on the path to race day. I have a lot of miles to cover before then and I already know that there will be issues along the way. I will continue to take victory photos because they remind me of what I have accomplished and how far I have come.

Don’t forget to celebrate the moment…

Have a great day, All!

Beginning Again… (Part 2)

Cancer Nite 12/31/14 / Tiffanyaolson.com

Cancer Nite

The truth is that by the time I got diagnosed with cancer I was very worn out. All of the heavy lifting in our business came at the great cost of not having as much time or energy with the kids and a home that felt constantly in disarray. I was living in a world where I felt I could never measure up. I wasn’t 100% anywhere. Not at home, not with the kids and not at the office. When I first got diagnosed I chatted with several breast cancer survivors and they kept assuring me that as hard as this was going to be to walk through that rest assured at some point my life would go back to the way it was. The more I heard that the more I realized that I didn’t want life to go back to the way it was. I was too busy, too uninvolved with my kids, life was slipping by and I was missing it.

While I was laying on the couch staring at the wall last year I began to dream about what I could do that still allowed me to be passionate about people and helping them to become better versions of themselves and still allowed me to be around for the kids and at home tending to the stuff that keeps things running smoothly. Because more than I want anything else I want my kids to know that they are loved by God and that they are loved by us. If I am too busy to be able to demonstrate that love in tangible ways then in the end it doesn’t matter how many people I have helped if the ones that are the most important to me get left in the dust in the process.  I assumed that by the time I finished treatments I would have it all figured out, that this big plan for the next season of my life would just drop out of the sky and I could run with it. Well it’s the end of January and the “big plan”  hasn’t emerged. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not still sitting on the couch. I am helping in the office for a few hours a couple days a week, I’m running (5 miles is the goal tomorrow.. I’m a touch nervous about this.. ) as well as doing pilates. I’m in a bible study, I’ve come up with a good schedule for keeping the house clean and the laundry under control, the no grain eating plan keeps me hopping, the kids both have big projects for school that I am helping them with and then there is my blog. So it’s not as if I am doing nothing but is it enough?

I was laying in bed the other night chatting with Mr. Wonderful and I was frustrated because, I started. I stepped out. I stepped way outside my comfort zone and tackled something really huge and then I got taken out of the game, sidelined. Everything is different now, I feel different and I look different. I am wrestling with being ok with right where I am. Is it ok that every single hour of my day is not crammed with activity? Yes. Is it ok that I am still having a hard time presenting the new me to the world? Yes. Do I get to be gracious towards those who don’t understand and probably never will? Yes. But I am still dreaming and I am still passionate about my kids, entrepreneurs, podcasts, books, cooking and quiet times and  maybe on my road to figuring out what’s next for me as I share what I am learning, how I am growing, what’s working and what’s not… you will figure out what’s next for you.

5 Miles!! / Tiffanyaolson.com

And They Ran…

Have a great day, All!

Beginning Again… (Part 1)

Family 2005 / Tiffanyaolson.com

 

We all have different phases or seasons of our lives. Some of these seasons are brought on by choices that we make and others are brought on by circumstances beyond our control. When our kids were little they were my thing. I didn’t enter into motherhood until I was 33. (Hence the high level of estrogen in my system and the subsequent bout with cancer, but I digress) I was so ready to be a mom and I jumped in with both feet. I had worked for our church for several years in the youth department and knew with all my heart that upon the arrival of our daughter that I wanted to stay home and be with her. So I did. Two years later our son came along and our family felt complete. Oh we had our issues, don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of life being lived in those years including a couple of miscarriages and the sudden passing of my brother in law, Tony. But overall I felt comfortable in my role as mommy and tender of our home.

When we moved to Coos Bay my world got a little bigger as we got involved in a new church and made new friends. This is when I met Aimee. We were just beginning to get to know each other when she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. I had never known anyone with cancer so I wasn’t real sure how to proceed but we just hit it off. In the end our families kind of adopted each other. For two and a half years we did everything together. Friday nite pizza nites, birthdays, holidays, fishing, boating … you name it, we did it. But again there was reality mixed in as there were surgeries, treatments, and a gazillion trips to Portland for various tests and checkups. In the end God chose to heal Aimee by bringing her home to him. That was a huge blow as my desire was for earthly healing and for us to raise our kids together and hit the road proclaiming God’s grace and mercy and provision to anyone and everyone that would listen. It also marked the end of another season for me.

At this point in our lives the kids were now in school and Mr. Wonderful needed more help in getting our business off the ground so I entered the world of business owner and set myself to the task of relieving some of the pressure from his shoulders as well as educating myself in ways to become a successful entrepreneur. This was also the season when we discovered Dave Ramsey and his principles on debt free living as well as a book he wrote called Entreleadership. Mr Wonderful describes our little world as a ship. Our ship had been sailing in the wrong direction and was in danger of running aground. In the proccess of learning how to more effectively run our business and to immediately cut off going into more debt, our ship began to get further away from the shoreline and in fact began the slow process of turning around and heading in the right direction.

Recital 2012 / Tiffanyaolson.com

With new vision there is hope of what can be. I had a role in our business but it was one that kept me behind a desk all day and working with forms and documents. Well, I am not much of a forms and documents kind of girl and I was so on fire with the improvements that we were making that I just wanted to share it with others and see if what we were learning could benefit them as much as it was benefiting us. It was about that time that I read a book by Jon Acuff called Start. It was all about stepping out and doing something, anything that gave you momentum. The idea is that once you are moving in a direction, the way you should go becomes more clear. I wanted to make a bigger impact. I wanted to affect change in peoples lives and the most obvious thing at the time was to join my husband at the helm and get certified to be a financial advisor. So I began with life and health insurance licensing and went on to study for and pass the series 7 exam. I was flying high at this point because the series 7  was the biggest challenge I had ever taken on and I won.

Family 2013 / Tiffanyaolson.com

I began devouring everything that I could get my hands on as far as becoming a successful entrepreneur was concerned. Good To Great by Jim Collins, podcasts by Chris Locurto (which eventually led to a coaching session with him), Michael Hyatt Andy Stanley and of course the Entreleadership podcast. I was a sponge and I wanted to be the best we could be so that we could effect the most change in peoples lives and help them to become the best they could be. We hired a business coach and created a strategic plan to move the business to the next level. We implemented the plan, remodeled the office and then got diagnosed with breast cancer.

Rodolson2015

 

To Be Continued….

 

 

And She Runs… Sort of

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Don’t we look cute? We are all bundled up, ok, I am bundled up to head out for our run. Ok, it’s not actually all running but we are headed out into the wild to walk and run a bit. Doesn’t Bridger look excited? He’s been so good to me. No matter what the weather or how tired he is, he always gets out on the road with me.

And today was no exception. For the last several years here in The Coos, our traditionally mild weather has been even more mild. Lots of sunny days. Never super warm mind you but sunny nonetheless, even in winter. Well the winter this year, the winter that I decide to train for a 1/2 marathon, is one of the rainiest and windiest we have had in 4 years. I gotta admit, even in good weather, getting out on the road is something I have to convince myself to do. Once I am out I am great but changing into those running clothes and stepping outside often times is a long drawn out process of me talking to myself into it. So you can imagine what it’s like when you know you have to get out the door and it’s raining sideways.

IMG_9946a

This is what it looked like outside my door today… Beautiful? Yes. But rather not inspiring for a run. I am finding that I need to keep reminding myself of the end result. I really do enjoy the running part. It’s the getting out the door part that’s hard.

Two of my favorite things about running are that on those days when my emotions are running amok and I get out there and begin to run and begin to breathe heavy and begin to sweat all of the sudden the emotions begin to abate. Whatever I was struggling with doesn’t seem to be so much of a struggle anymore. Physical exhaustion creates emotional stability for me, its my healthy drug. My other favorite part is the sense of accomplishment and pride I feel when I am done. I set out. I conquered. I am finished. No one can take that away from me. No matter what happens for the rest of the day I can say that I finished one thing that I started and it makes me feel good about myself.

Ok, so the truth is that there is still not all that much running going on. I am using an app called 5k Runmeter. It’s kind of like the couch to 5k app except this one will take you all the way through a marathon, which is my ultimate goal. I like it because it tells you when to walk and when to run. That way I am assured that I am not overdoing it or under doing it. I had been walking three miles most days for several months before I began the app so I was used to getting some form of exercise. The runs started out at 1 minute intervals with walking in between. I am on week seven now and my longest straight run was a few days ago at 18 minutes. I had another 3 minute run mixed in there as well. I have kept the overall distance at 3 miles on each trip out. This just means that my cool down walk is longer but mentally I like the 3 mile distance and I have several mapped out courses that I can go on to change things up a bit.

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We finished! Bridger makes it fun because he’s 10 and likes to see how many puddles he can jump in along the way. I find it funny when he miscalculates just how deep the puddle is going to be and and ends up almost knee deep in water. He’s a much faster runner than me at this point but after a little coaxing has conceded to run at my pace so that we can do it together. He has also been kind enough to wait until I am well out of the way before he makes too big of a splash in those puddles.

The progress is slow, but there is progress. Seeing as we are coming up on my one year anniversary of discovering my cancer mass,  I am ever so grateful just to be able to lace up my shoes and get out the door.

I used to read an article in Runners World Magazine from a writer by the name of John Bingham. He is famous for the quote… “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” I love it because no matter how far or how fast I go, I can feel good about the fact every step I take is is one step further away from sickness and a one step closer to health.

Have a great day, All!

ps. After I wrote this Bridge and I headed out for another run. It was very rainy. So rainy that an elderly lady pulled over on the side of the road and asked me if we needed a ride. I guess we looked like we were in distress or she thought I was a child abuser by making my son run in the rain. I am glad she didn’t see us at the end of the bridge as Bridger was in tears by that point because he was so wet and cold… I’m thinkin he’s gonna bundle up next time.