Honor Your Word… To Yourself

Olson-44 / Tiffanyaolson.com

Bein’ Silly, January 2015

There is a saying in the bible that comes out of James chapter 5. It talks about letting your yes be yes and your no be no. It’s the whole idea of taking your words seriously. If you say you are going to do something then do it. If you say you are not going to do something then don’t do it. Simple enough, right?

I was reminded of this in my car yesterday as I was making my 5 hour round trip drive to my physical therapy appointment. The running thing has been in a standstill since surgery, so has my coveted podcast listening time. Marta (Selah Reflections) texted me yesterday and reminded me about Donald Miller’s Podcast and that this drive time was perfect for catching up on what I had been missing. What I heard was great for where I am right now.

This particular show was an interview with professional golfer, Ben Crane. Among other things, he was talking about how his hip had been hurting due to the way he has twisted his body over the years swinging his golf clubs. He sought out the help of a physical therapist 18 months ago and has proceeded twice a day every day since to put the work in to see if the exercises made a difference in how his body was feeling. Ben figured that this Dr. had put years of training into learning how the body best functions and if  he was going to take the time to go to the appointments then he was going to make the effort to do what he was asked to do. He made the commitment first to himself and then to his Dr. He also admitted that there has not been one morning when he actually wanted to get up and do the stretches but that he does it anyway.

This got me thinking about how I am doing at the commitments that I have made to myself and to others.

  • How good is my word?
  • Am I doing all that I can to make my body stronger so as to make recovery easier after my next surgery?
  • Am I going to wish that I had done more?
  • What other areas of my life need evaluating to make sure that I am doing what I said I would do?

Don’t get me wrong, I have been doing the stretches… some of them. I’m in, but not all the way in. This is how my eating life has gone lately as well, I say I am grain free but grains somehow keep sneaking their way in.

So, it’s back to the scheduling drawing board for me. I need to write down the things that I know I need to do, have a space in the day carved out to do them and then get er done. At the end of the day the one I am truly letting down is me. No one else cares if my body hurts or that what I am eating could at the least make me gain weight or at the worst make the cancer cells in my body start to grow. I want to be a person of my word first to myself and then to others. I don’t want to make commitments that I cannot keep nor do I want to just “intend” to do what I have said I will do. I’m not sure what the future holds but I do know that I am going to do my part so that I never need to look back and wish I had done a better job at holding up my end of the agreement to me or to anyone else.

How are you at yes and no? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Have a great day my friends!

Tiffany

Living In Transition…

I am pretty sure that I have mentioned this before but I am a person of routine. I like consistency and having a schedule because it keeps me on track and focused. Here we are in the middle of August and my life has not had one bit of order or consistency since the beginning of June! This has been great and hard all at the same time. It began in June with a road trip with my 12 year old daughter

mennatcoronado / TiffanyAOlson.com

Nat n Me in Front of The Hotel Del Coronado

down to San Diego to see this handsome man (my nephew) graduate High School…

nic / TiffanyAOlson.com

And this beautiful woman (my niece) graduate college…

tkgrad / TiffanyAOlson.com

My whole family was there

and it was great because getting the entire family together hardly ever happens. I even got to meet my sister in laws parents from Poland! nicandphilgrandparents / TiffanyAOlson.com

My mom and Papa Freddiemom and freddy / TiffanyAOlsoncaravanned back to Oregon with Nat and I as I had mastectomy #2 mastectomy success / TiffanyAOlson.comin the middle of June and they wanted to be here to help hold down the fort while I was laid up.

Three weeks after surgery and two days after my second drain was removed the four of us set off for Arizona to visit with Mr. Wonderful’s family. I sure do love all these little people in my life…cousins / TiffanyAOlson.com And because he is wonderful, Mr. Wonderful planned a bit of adventure on the way down

Mammoth / TiffanyAOlson.com

Mountain Biking at Mammoth Lakes

and on the way home…

Bridger (our youngest) added to the adventure by getting heat exhaustion for the second year in a row which included fever and vomiting for most of our trip home. (holding a grocery sack full of puke for a half hour in the car is quite an adventure…)

Once we arrived home it was discovered that I have fluid pooling in places it shouldn’t be pooling which involves twice weekly trips to Eugene (2.5 hours away) for the entire Fall season for Physical Therapy and last but not least our house sold and closed and we moved a few miles up the river in our little town.

The Move / TiffanyAOlson.com

The Beverly Hillbillies…

I am excited about our new house adventure but we moved from a house with a ton of storage to a house with no storage (and lavender paint in the master bedroom). So while we are unpacked enough to function there are still a ton of boxes around waiting to have shelving built so the stuff inside the boxes will have a home.

It’s been a good, hard, fun, emotional summer to this point and I am grateful for all that God has done and is doing in our lives. Oh! I forgot to mention Allstars! Traveling up the coast every weekend for 5 weeks for little league baseball games in the end of June and beginning of July. We ♥ Baseball!!Baseball 10 yrs old / Tiffanyaolson.com

I think the hardest part has been trying to maintain any sort of routine in the midst of all the upheaval. I covet my early morning time. It’s my “me” time. I read my bible, journal, pray, write and run. These are the things that keep me sane and give me the strength to face whatever is going to happen that day. This is the last time I ran…

nado - Copy

It was an 8 mile run in my happy place and it was in June. Today is August 12th. With all the late nights, traveling, surgery and moving there have been no early mornings in a long time. I miss it. I miss all of it. I told Mr. Wonderful the other day that even though there is a lot to get done in the house that I need to get back to going to bed early so that I can get up early and do the things that make me feel like me. I got the okay to begin exercising again (albeit with moderation because of the fluid thing) and I set four alarms on my phone this morning so that I would get up and get on with my day.

Life means always being in some form of transition as that is the way this life is. What I am trying to figure out is how to stay grounded when the transition part takes over for a season. I want to learn how to continue to carve out my “me” time even if the mornings become impossible for a while. When I am not grounded, insecurities, fear and worry begin to take over. When I am not journaling out all of the things that I am grateful for I forget about all of the good things that God is doing in my life, when I am not reading my bible I forget about His  promises and my prayers become inconsistent. And writing? Well, it helps me gain perspective when I get the thoughts in my head in a place where I can read them and be reminded of why I am where I am or about some funny thing that happened recently or just to connect with other people walking through the ups and downs of life right along with me.

So, today I got up early. I read, I wrote, I prayed and now I am going to go for a walk. I am hoping to be able to get back in shape enough for the Prefontaine 10k in the middle of September. It’s gonna be close but I’m up for the challenge.

How do you stay grounded in the midst of seasons that involve major transition? I’d love to hear about what works for you.

Have a great day my friends!

Getting Unstuck…

Coronado Run / Tiffanyaolson.com

Runnning In Paradise … aka …Home

So I had a pity party the other morning. I allowed a circumstance that isn’t life threatening or life altering really, to creep into my heart and reek havoc on my perspective. It took my focus off what was really important in the moment – getting the kids off to school – and placed me in a position of sadness and despair. I needed to head out for a run, but rain was threatening and my calf began cramping up a few days ago and I was nervous about creating an injury before my big race. I didn’t want to run, I didn’t want to be kind to my kids, I wanted answers as to why this certain area of our life never seems to improve.

As we got into the car I appologized for my attitude and assured them that my actions had nothing to do with them. I dropped them off and sat in the car for a bit really not wanting to get out. But get out I did and as I began running I turned on the most recent podcast by Donald Miller. It was an interview with Scott Hamilton. Talk about an amazing guy with an incredible ability to keep his eyes focused on the goal and not get bogged down in the everyday. He said something that I loved, this was his description of himself….

What’s amazing is that no matter what he has faced he has used it to help himself and others win. Scott is a 4 time gold medalist, 2 time cancer survivor, he has been instrumental in research for cancer treatment and adopted two little girls from Haiti. It’s hard to come up with reasons to feel sorry for yourself when you listen to a story like that. It made my issue seem rather trivial in fact.

A few hours later I met up with my friend Tresa for coffee. (I want to be like her when I grow up. She glows Jesus.) While we were chatting we ran into a few ladies that I hadn’t seen in a while. They were spending the day with their daughter’s (10 year olds) as one of them was heading in for surgery the next morning for a biopsy to determine if the lumps in her neck were cancerous. Talk about a total slap in the face. At this moment I felt utterly ashamed at my attitude earlier in the day. I had allowed my emotions to take over a situation that isn’t any better or worse than it has been in the past.

Why do I do this? Why do I allow things to creep into my heart and create havoc where moments before there was peace? It’s crazy because here I sit, several weeks later and the situation that was so overwhelming and terrible and causing such angst in that moment hasn’t changed and yet today it’s not taking over my world. What I learned out of that situation is a few things that I need to do when I begin to feel overwhelmed by my life or even just a particular situation. Hopefully a few of these things will help you if you ever find yourself in the same situation.

Change the Scenery. Get outside or go take a drive, anything that removes you from your present state and gives you a new perspective. For me listening to that podcast was huge. It reminded me that everyone’s life is hard and has great challenges and that I have a choice as to how I am going to deal with my little world. I can either remain stuck or keep moving forward and use my experiences to help others. As I listened to that interview with Scott Hamilton on my run I remember taking a few deep breaths and acknowledging to myself that my situation, although hard, could be so much worse and that I have so much to be grateful for.

Get With People. I have a very hard time thinking about myself when I am with other people. Going for coffee, meeting up with good friends, it’s amazing how sharing life with others changes your perspective on things. I didn’t ever mention to them what had happened that morning as it seemed so trivial in light of what was going on in their lives at the moment. Again, I took deep breaths as I let the stresses of my life roll off my back so that I could focus on what was going on with this family in particular. We prayed over the little girl and I was so thankful that God had allowed me the opportunity to get out of my head and into the lives of others.

Pray. My heart was changed by what God allowed me to encounter that morning and I prayed a prayer of thankfulness. I was thankful that I had the ability to run, thankful that I have friends who love me and thankful that no matter what happens or how bad things get that I have a God who loves me and who has a plan. I prayed again for the little girl and found out a few days later that all was well. The lumps are not cancerous and she is going to be ok.

What do you do when you have a sudden uptick of emotion in your day? I’d love to hear what works for you when things feel like they are spiraling out of control.

Have a great day my friends!

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!