dog-ma

i have no idea why i’ve never really written about this but there is a facet of my life that sometimes adds a little crazy. for the past nine years mini-me and i have had a dog. a sweet, uncharacteristically calm border collie named kiva. we often thought about getting her a friend but really one dog seemed enough given our schedules.

Kiva

My girl Kiva

but a couple years back we helped rescue a pit bull that some asshole tied up and abandoned outside the ice rink where mini skates. we couldn’t bring him home given the uncertainty of his behavior but we started visiting him at the county shelter where he was taken until we found a rescue group to pull him. we named him vinny, after vinny lecavalier of the tampa bay lightning (hockey. ice rink. get it?) and a month or so later he was adopted and off on a new life!

Vinny!

Vinny!

after that we kept visiting the shelter. it was after all right across from the ice rink. and though it was heart breaking to see hundreds of dogs in tiny kennels, many of who we knew wouldn’t ever get out alive, we figured that even the little bit of love we could bring them was more than many had ever seen. i still wasn’t sure about another full-time dog, but i started considering fostering and a few months later i was suckered by a huge pair of pleading eyes that begged to be saved.

Baylor <3

Baylor

baylor, as we named him, was an emaciated boxer mix who was so scared he had to be carried out of his kennel the day we took him home. he was with us for about three months before a couple in town visiting saw us at an adoption event and today he’s an absolutely gorgeous specimen of a dog living the life in new jersey with his daddy.

next came dana. a sweet blue pit who was brought into the shelter without the litter of puppies she had obviously recently had. a shelter volunteer said she cried for them every night and she was unlikely to get adopted due to patches of demodex mange. she was still with us when i started dating the trainer who came with two dogs of his own and though i was close to foster failing, i knew that IF (and at that

Dana

Dana

point it was a big if) i ever wanted to foster again, i had to find her a home of her own so we would have room. it wasn’t long before the trainer was basically living with us and three permanent dogs in a small house was enough! the trainer posted her on his company Facebook page ~ it helps when your boyfriend owns a dog training company! ~ and a couple weeks later she found a new mommy, daddy and two little boys who adore her!

Hendrix and Ellie ~ the trainer's dogs

Hendrix and Ellie ~ the trainer’s dogs

suddenly i got the label of dog rescuer among my friends and a couple months later i got a text from a running buddy about a stray living in the parking lot of her office. the security guard who worked there was interested in keeping her but he was going out of town for a few weeks and she wouldn’t come close enough for him to catch her anyway. enter me and a bag full of wendy’s cheeseburgers. and that afternoon luna came home with us. a planned temporary stay until her new family was back in town.

Luna

Luna

This rescue brought to you by McDonald's cheeseburgers

This rescue brought to you by Wendy’s cheeseburgers

not long after luna left us, i got a text from a total stranger! a business acquaintance of luna’s daddy. she needed help with a seemingly aggressive pit behind her office building. again, armed with cheeseburgers i found myself in a situation that i feared would not have a fairy tale ending. but my apparent dog whispering charms calmed the fearful beast and that afternoon cali joined our pack. she ended up getting adopted by the newest employee at the trainer’s company. and suddenly we were back to three. phew. relax.

Cali

Cali

but i was addicted to watching a shelter facebook page. and one day i found myself keeping tabs on a pretty little tripod named dixie. i even went to visit her and was charmed in spite of her very distant demeanor. i didn’t take her home that day. i figured the allure of a good story would entice someone to adopt a three-legged dog, but everything changed when an assessor decided to label her “rescue only” (meaning she had to be pulled by a rescue and not adopted by an individual) citing no aggression but simply “areas of concern” as the reason.

Dixie

Dixie

and then two days later she was #1 on the euthanasia list. PISSED. ME. OFF! i knew in my heart that dog was not aggressive. and a couple messages to a rescue i had some ties with allowed me to pull her with them as my backer. i literally had to stop mid trail run and call from the woods to ensure they didn’t put her down. and hours later she was on the way home with me.

as expected dixie was not aggressive at all. she loved our pack. she didn’t really give a crap about us humans though so we actively sought to find her a new home that had at least one other dog and it seemed we had found perfection when a young couple with another tripod took her home.

three days later, and with the 100 percent desire to give ourselves a little break, i was driving out of our subdivision when a puppy jumped out in front of my jeep. i was able to stop before hitting her and when i got out to check on her, she ran right to me. i looked around desperately for the owner who i was sure had to be running after her but hours later after knocking on multiple doors and putting up signs on every tree possible, charlie came into our lives. that one earned me the nickname the human dog bone from the trainer’s dad. so much for our break! we now had an eight month old puppy, that was not housebroken and had vicious diarrhea and a case of food aggression. it had been years since i’d had a puppy and the energy level, though adorable in so many ways, was exhausting!

Charlie

Charlie

just as we were adjusting i got a call from dixie’s adopter. their other dog had attacked, unprovoked, and dixie was at the emergency clinic. thirteen stitches across her butt later, she was back with us as they knew they couldn’t risk her being hurt again.

so there we were. with five dogs. and when the trainer went out of town last week for a conference i seriously thought i was going to lose my mind. but this past saturday charlie got adopted by an amazing couple. and dixie … she’s suddenly become an absolute people lover who won’t let me walk past her without begging me to rub her belly or let her kiss me all over. we’re not certain what our plan is for her. we always come back to our previous decision that keeping a fourth means we limit our ability to ever foster or rescue again but damn that little tripod is growing on me! not to mention she kinda balances out my ocd 😉 …

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September 23, 2015 at 11:47 am 6 comments

the long way home

there’s only one way back here. i know that. i don’t write the happy. i’m too busy being happy. i don’t write the ordinary. there’s nothing exciting about that. but i write the run and maybe if i recommit to the miles, i can recommit to the words. or vice versa. i don’t care which. i just want both.

i had been contemplating another attempt at 100. not really seriously but that little nagging voice in the back of my brain starting asking “when” and i couldn’t shut the bitch up! so i started looking at races but seemed i had a reason an excuse for every possibility. too hilly. too far away. too soon. i knew it was all fear based. apprehension and self doubt that kept me from simply saying “why the hell not?”

then it happened. A2 made the announcement that, for the first time ever, croom zoom was approved to add a 100 mile option. and just like that i ran out of excuses. local. some of my favorite trails. early january. best race director. and multiple friends willing and able to pace and crew.

the race is jan. 2, 2016. that gives me a little more than 16 weeks to train. maybe not ideal for a 100 but given my long runs of late have been in the 20 mile range i’m not far behind what a training schedule should be.

but the obstacles are there. mini-me’s cross country meets are typical on saturday mornings diminishing my prime running hours. and a back and forth between here and there with the trainer takes me from the comfort of my home trails and puts me where i’m not familiar. but i have to do this. for the love of the run and the love of the written word.

i’m coming back … by way of a hundred mile journey.

September 10, 2015 at 3:35 pm Leave a comment

coming up for air

holy crap. it’s been a long time since i’ve written. i’ve had lulls in my posting regularity before but i think this might be my biggest break. i’m not even sure where to begin to catch up … with you or with me, myself and i.

i suppose i’ll start with the abridged version of the race report i could have and should have written after iron horse. this might be better anyway. all the hoopla and lead up i could have shared would have come down to one simple statement … i DNF’d the 100k. but the race director is one of those that let’s you drop down and still get a finish for a shorter race so i finished the 50 mile distance. with a PR of one minute and 19 seconds mind you. i was upset. mad at myself for not pushing through. irritated that i was running the race of my life up until about mile 35 when suddenly everything went downhill fast. my knees were shot and this stupid nagging pain started shooting through my ankle. i tried. i walked. i cried. i caved. come to find out my talus bone was rotated backwards. so i suppose i had valid reason to be in pain but i still kick myself in the ass for not pushing through to get that buckle.

i’ll throw blame though … it was the trainers fault! he was way too amazing as support and crew. too willing and able to walk the entire damn thing with me if i had wanted to (he did the last five with me). but most of all, way too warm and comforting and the desire to walk 12 more miles in the cold was quickly masked by the desire to crawl into the cozy race bed he had built for us in the back of his element. yup … all his fault 😉 running has been sporadic since then. the chiro popped the talus back but my knees took awhile to fully recover. and i no doubt need to drop the pesky seven pounds of happiness i’ve gained the last few months, but i’m getting there.

yes, i am happy. ridiculously giddy gaga happy. i’m dumbfounded everyday by things with the trainer. things are so good that … wait for it … he is moving in with us! in some way already has. but we’re actually in the process of redoing some things in the house i own out in the ‘view that has been tenant occupied for the last four years. new paint ~ inside and out. new floors in all the bedrooms. and what unexpectedly has turned into a renovated kitchen complete with new cabinets, granite and appliances. on one hand, i’m freaked. i haven’t lived with, or even wanted to live with anyone other than my kid in almost 13 years. but somehow it all makes perfect sense.

so yes, i’m happy. but i’m also a disaster. the past few weeks we’ve been in limbo. living out of boxes and on camping chairs with half our stuff here and the other half there. we’ve been battling contractors and robbing peter to pay paul. i don’t do disarray well. not at all. i’ve probably cried more in the past two weeks than i’ve cried in the last two years simply over things like counter-top clutter and a missing pair of shoes. i’ve probably crossed the line into crazy-psycho-over-emotional chick territory … but i have no doubt that we are building a beautiful home together.

there’s so much more to share ~ including that my kid got her learner’s permit and my mother’s cancer may be back ~ but i’m going to have to ease back into this writing thing.

May 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm 1 comment

life, love and the pursuit of a buckle

i was absolutely dumbfounded to wake up sunday morning and realize it was the first of february. the past couple months have simply flown by in a whirlwind of elation. i’m in awe of life right now and i’m trying not to let the pessimist realist dumbass in me question and destroy where i am out of fear or lack of trust.

things with the trainer are amazing! from date one the comfort level and ease of who we are together has been like nothing i have ever known. the give and take. the communication. the mutual respect and adoration. the only worry i sometimes find myself with is that we’re moving too fast. he’s not just met but has spent time with mini-me including staying over while she’s home ~ something the hunter NEVER did in all our time together! in fact we’ve set up a routine of when he’s here versus there. he lives an hour away but with a second location of his business being here, he needs the set days to schedule appointments. he’s got a spot in the closet. stuff in the bathroom. food in my fridge. i always thought sharing my space and my individual world with someone would be hard for me given my set-in-my-ways independence. but every time he leaves to go “home” the house seems empty and far too quiet. of course that could be the fact that he comes with two big, high energy dogs as well 😉 lol.

outside the disgustingly cute crap that is my relationship, there’s more to be thankful for! as always, i won’t go into details about work but long story short, i never moved into the new role i was going to take. instead a needed staff change led to the director reorganizing our team structure and she is transitioning me into an assistant director role over digital marketing campaigns and content creation. totally. kick. ass! it comes with a lot of work. especially given the “downsize” in team. but we’re in the process of hiring reinforcements!

as for the run. this weekend is iron horse. the race that would have been my first attempt at the 100 mile distance. but with the entire month of december down due to injury from the florence marathon. and january’s long runs never exceeding more than 20 miles, i’ve decided to play it smart. well … sort of. seems a few people think i’m still certifiably insane to be attempting the 100k! 😉 i thought about cutting down to the 50 mile. really i did. but i’ve been there, done that. and if i can’t have the 100 this time, at the very least i want a new distance PR. and besides … the 50 only yields a medal. but a 100k finish will earn me a buckle! and i want!

one of the best things about this weekend is that the trainer is going with me. if you’ve been around long enough you’ll know that my ex boyfriend, the hunter, found every excuse to not be at my races, including my first half ironman. that one was the straw that broke the camel’s back and we broke up a few days after i got back home. maybe it’s because he’s new to my crazy, but i’ve given the trainer every opportunity to not go with me and he won’t hear it. throw in the fact that he’s been running with me and plans to both crew and pace when necessary and i swear this guy is a dream come true. i have forewarned him that i will likely yell at him, ignore him, hate him, need him, cry on him, and all together, scare the shit out of him at one point or another this weekend but he’s assured me he can handle it all.

so in conclusion of the summary of the month gone by, i think things are summed up with this simple statement … i am damn happy!

February 3, 2015 at 3:41 pm 4 comments

music is love in search of a word

for the last few years, i’ve picked a single word leading into the new year to best define what i want from the months ahead. not a resolution per se. i don’t believe in making some halfhearted promise to myself that is bound to vanish with little to no care. but a as a writer, i love the concept and how i can use one simple word to guide my actions.

last year my word was gravity. a need to stay grounded in the present versus the obsessive ten-steps-ahead planning i tend to falling victim to. living in the moment wasn’t always easy for me but no doubt i found myself paying more attention to and trying to curtail my need to look so far ahead. it may sound silly but i even added a few songs that incorporate the word gravity to a playlist that i found myself listening to whenever i needed a reminder.

as i have each year, i’ve put a lot of thought into my word for 2015. i’ve changed direction. i’ve questioned my choice. i’ve tried not to let the last month of a new relationship play a factor in my decision but truth be told, it has to. because i have no doubt he’ll be around for much, if not all, of this year. it’s no secret i’m incredibly independent. i don’t see myself as hiding behinds walls or insecure with who i am. quite the opposite actually. but i struggle with letting anyone play a consistent part of my life. and not just personally. even professionally i tend to find myself in positions where i do it all. projects from point A to point Z with little to no need to rely on others. but even that is going to change this year as i transition into a new role. though i know i would be just fine going it alone, ultimately i don’t want to. don’t think we are meant to. so that said, i knew my word for 2015 had to define a level of sharing, unity, teamwork and togetherness.

a fact few know about me … my first major in college was vocal performance. music has always been a part of my world though stage fright and a lack of confidence in my voice have limited it to background noise. the trainer (as i’ll call my new guy) also was is a musician though his drums are currently buried in his garage. but when he aimlessly taps out a beat on my leg while we’re driving. or when he belts out random lyrics of a song he’s listening to while in the shower. i can’t help but smile and remember the beauty of music and the happiness it brings to my world.

my life, for years, has been a melody. strong. able to stand alone. but a melody can sound empty and almost lonesome when compared to that which includes the balance … the counterpart …

the harmony. so here’s to 2015. a year in which i will embrace the added dimensions that harmony can bring to my life.

January 6, 2015 at 1:17 pm 1 comment

new year. new start.

i made a comment to a friend on new year’s day how i find it funny that my writing seems to correlate to my running. i know this blog is in some ways mostly running related so i suppose that would make sense, but the last month has had had so many stories to tell yet with no miles i’ve had no words.

on new year’s day i also ran for the first time since the florence marathon. time down due to an injury from one of those tales not yet told. the basics … minor calf muscle tears mid-race (that i of course stupidly pushed through in spite of numerous attempts to try and convince myself to quit) followed by major swelling from back-to-back flights home that led to more tearing and the concern of a blood clot in my leg. an ultrasound cleared me of the clot, but the calf needed to heal. i didn’t argue and i didn’t push. i simply stopped running with a very uncharacteristic acceptance of the fact that this injury would likely take my 100 off the table. and though i probably could have handled a few miles earlier in the week it seemed fitting to wait until jan 1. a new start per se. and this year who i ran with made the relevance of a new year’s day sunrise run far more symbolic.

i know some of you are waiting for that story. you’ve seen pictures or the status update on facebook. i am officially <gulp> in a relationship! so i guess it’s time to tell.

i’m not sure what made me go there again. i long since gave up on the world of online dating. maybe it was not being able to run and needing something to fill my time. or maybe it was the thought of spending the impending holidays alone again but mere days into the temporary lapse of sanity i knew it was a mistake. the same faces. the same bullshit. i was about to delete, yet again, but then someone caught my attention. a click of a wink and a line or two later we bonded over 4 a.m. sleepless emails that eventually turned to texts then talk. when we finally agreed to meet for a drink i almost prayed he’d be nothing like i expected. disappointment is familiar to me. the fear hope of something more wasn’t.

they say that you’ll know. you won’t know how. you certainly won’t understand why. but from the moment your eyes meet or your skin touches it simply all makes the most irrational sense and you know better than to try to find the ever elusive answer. i’ve felt it once before. with boston. and truth be told it’s likely the reason why a part of me never believed i would feel it again. a soulmate is forever. a once in a lifetime that only a lucky few get to experience. and in spite of the tangled web of love we wove, i’ve always treasured every memory of boston as my one and only chance. so who was i to think i ever deserved a second.

but it feels as though that’s exactly what i’ve been given. my rationality screams at me to breath. take it slow. but with time off work and off the run the last month has been all about us and it’s felt right. but now starts the real test of balance. his world there. my world here. back to work. back to the run.

but for some reason i’m not too concerned. i trust his feelings in a way i haven’t trusted in a long time. and maybe even more important i trust my own.

I have no idea what to expect but i can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for me … and for us!

January 2, 2015 at 1:38 pm 6 comments

100: take 12

i suppose it’s time for a training update. i’m not really sure how i went from a last post at week five to being at week 12 … or is it 13? i’m still not sure i have things straight after revising the revised plan to reflect the revised race registration. so as to not to confuse anyone … me in particular! … maybe counting down is a better way to do this.

no matter how i try to change the count, iron horse is in 12 weeks. and looking at it that way scares the shit out of me. given how quickly the last couple months have flown by, i know this race will be here before i know it. training has been ok. october started off great! solid miles including two weekends of strong back-to-backs. but mid month things went to hell when i fell victim to the flu mini-me brought home from school one day. a full week out of the office trying to take care of me while caring more about a kid with 103 degree fever. by the time i was back up and running i was mentally out of sorts, behind at work, lost on numbers and the chaos took weeks to recover from. likely still isn’t. so i’m nervous no doubt. and can’t seem to wrap my brain and life back around what needs to be done. if i can’t get it together soon, i’m in trouble. that i know.

the hundred aside, i also have a marathon in two weeks. realistically my mindset for it has to be that it is just a training run but it would have been great had i been trained enough to take it sub-4. but i can’t complain especially given this marathon training run is in florence … yes italy 🙂

outside the run there is so much going on. i can’t even talk about work. for multiple reasons. it’s all good but i’ve had an excessive amount on my plate. add in issues with one of my rentals, a kid who is sick yet again, trying to get ready for our trip, and so much more. i’m exhausted. but as they say …

life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserevd body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “whohoo what a ride”

November 17, 2014 at 6:28 am Leave a comment

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the best of times

5k pr ~ 24:23
10k pr ~ 52:49
half marathon pr ~ 1:55:10
marathon pr ~ 4:10:41
half ironman pr ~ 5:57:50
50k pr ~ 5:33:23
50-mile pr ~ 11:32:39

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