"Choosing trust over doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened." -Victoria Monfort

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Being a Runner...

I love all of my bibs and medals!!

I've only been running for about 3 years now. I started at the urging of one of my best friends, who caught the bug. I did my first race, which was a relay where I earned a medal for a mere 3.2 mile run.

I was hooked! Running for a medal felt fantastic! I've since run countless races from 5k to 15k, and I have 5 half marathons under my belt (soon to be 6!!)

I don't consider myself fast at all. I run a half anywhere from a 10.9 to a 12.3. Sometimes on a half, I need to walk for a bit. I have issues with my feet, or I get overheated. For some reason, this - mixed with the fact that I have a slow pace makes me think I am not a "real" runner.

I recently offered to run a 5k with a coworker, who had never even walked a mile. She wanted to sign up for a half marathon and I encouraged her to start small. Sometimes you can have big dreams when you don't first take the small steps.  I told her I would run with her at her pace, no pressure.

Before we hit the one mile mark, she asked if we had run a mile. I said no...so we had to walk. I coached her through trying to control her breathing, because she felt like she was too out of breath. I encouraged her to get out of her head because I knew her mind was telling her to quit, because I'd been there.

In the end she did her first 5k at 44 minutes, and there were about 40 people who finished after us.

She was so thankful that I encouraged her, and helped her be the best that she could be. It felt amazing.

And...she wants to do another race!

We have already found our next one, an 8k (just under 5 miles) and this one...has a MEDAL! She is going to actually train for this one!

I read an article recently that stated "there are no slow runners". I guess I am beginning to believe this. Just because I don't blow past everyone on a race doesn't mean I am still not doing my best. And I am the only one I am competing with in the end!

If you ever felt the urge to run a race, do it! No one cares how fast you run. And you just migh be amazed at all of the support you get along the way from fellow runners...from the ones you pass, to the ones that pass you! It's a really neat community to be involved in. You shouldn't be intimidated, because in the end we are all out there for our own personal reasons!

Most of all...because we kind of like it!!

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Hiking With Little Dogs...

I am very lucky to live near the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I guess I had taken this for granted until I got into running. I have discovered so many beautiful places along the trails over the past few years.

Today I decided to take the dogs on a hike to see blue hen falls, which is a short marked path from the trailhead,  and buttermilk falls..which is a bit further, and an unmarked trail that required about 5 water crossings, and a leap of faith that you would find it.

These two rescues made my heart smile with how happy they were today just being loved dogs! Magoo is so timid, but he followed Bohannon over big logs, and climbed steep riverbed walls!

Mr. Magoo and Mr. Bohannon surveying the land! Brothers!

The boys had to cross a lot of water and other obstacles to get to the falls, but they loved it!

Blue hen Falls

buttermilk falls

There were a few rock stacks, so I left one in memory of my 5 pets I have lost over the years. 

Mr. Bohannon never sits still...he actually sat and looked out over the water today!

I have also recently found success with the thundershirt for Magoo, my puppy mill rescue that has extreme noise anxiety. I was skeptical, watched the videos, read the feedback...but I still didn't believe it.

I took a quick video of Magoo who hates medical shows for the equipment beeping..laying back down after hearing the beeps with his shirt on...and a shot of him without it on, running scared. 

And not to leave my lone survivor cat out, I recently bought her a new cat tree to watch the birds at the window feeder. 

Monday, April 06, 2015

When You Know, You Know...Losing Another Cat...

Nothing knocks the wind out of your sails quite like losing 3 of your 4 beloved cats in just a little over a years time. Of course I knew that they would all leave me one day, but having them leave so close in succession .........was a real ass kicker!


Pikachu was doing better.. until he wasn't. That's the best way I can sum up the decision to let him go.

He'd been tested for everything under the sun. Almost a grand in vet bills trying to find out what was wrong with this guy in the last two months, but nothing came to light. 

Last Saturday morning, he kept crying, and wanting held...he had been really needy for over a week..he hadn't left my side...when I was immobile, there he was. 

I could still feelt his bones thru his fluffy fur when I pet him, once a big stocky cat well over 10 lbs,  he was reduced to an under 5lb bag of bones and fur...and then,  he couldn't seem to get comfortable.

I put him on the electric blanket and I watched him sleep...his eyes not fully closed,  and his breathing slowed to a stop for longer than I felt comfortable with, a few times.

And then..something snapped in me. I had been through this before, and I didn't want him to suffer any longer. I felt like he was telling me he was ready to go. 

I reluctantly said goodbye to that handsome guy last weekend. While the decision to say goodbye never gets any easier, the decision to not let them suffer any more becomes a bit easier. 

Pikachu's Mom was my own cat. I watched him come out of the womb. I loved him from the moment he was born, and 15 years  later, I was still not ready to let him go!!

I have one remaining cat. I went from 4..to one. This girl lost her brother and her mom, and after a bout of sadness....seems to be ready to get on with her life...

Monday, March 23, 2015

If Being a Superfan is Wrong..I Don't Wanna Be Right...

Whenever I gush about my favorite artist of all time, Madonna...people actually say "she still releases albums?" Um...excuse me? She's always been relevant!

When I saw her for the first time in 2012..some people sitting next to me, who also obviously paid $200 for their tickets as well...were upset she was playing music from a new album. I wanted to push them off the balcony for being half assed-fans, but I was having way too much fun dancing and singing!

The countdown for Madonna's latest album annoyed many of those close to me. The arrival probably annoyed people even more! It's all I talked about! When her new single Ghost Town hit the airways...I screamed in the car...I was so excited, you would have thought that it was my song I was hearing on the radio for the first time!

Superfan? That's an understatement!

After 27 years of loving her,  I finally got to see Madonna. Live. In concert!!   It was a pretty magical moment, even if I had to sit alone because no one I knew wanted to pay that much for a ticket.

And now, in 2015, she is once again, not coming to Cleveland! But now that I am 39 years old, and not 10...I have the means to see her in the nearest city!! For once, being older has its perks!

I was able to first buy two tickets of my liking to the Detroit, MI concert, a mere 3 hour drive. Next step, was inviting someone to a FREE Madonna concert!  Who can resist that?

No one!

Most importantly...Madonna is FROM MICHIGAN!!  A home town show is going to be even more awesome!

One of my longest BFF's is  road tripping it with me to the big (and honestly...scary) city with me! She works for a hotel chain, so we get a discount on our room, and we got a respectable suite for dirt cheap.

I mean, there are concerts I go to that I love...but not as Iconic as Madonna...and not of an artist who has been such a constant in my life!

I am probably not going to shut up about this for the next 7 months. And then, probably never!

Monday, March 09, 2015

Cat Lady Problems...When Your Cats Get Old...

I wish I could say my absence of posts has meant that I have been off doing something fabulous which left me no time for posting.

No, I've been busy caring for another aging member of the household. I lost two of my seniors last year, and this is the son of one of those cats.

Hopefully this may find another cat person, that is going through an equally puzzling journey!

 This fluffy 14lb pile of adorable.....

..is now down to 5.75lbs for no obvious reason!

This cat had been to the vet exactly one time in his life...to be neutered. 15 years and 3 vet visits later, he is baffling us!

He had been slowly losing weight since I put his biological mom to sleep last summer, it was almost un-noticable until he pooped watery diarreah on the floor in front of me,  Then..I knew something was up. 

First vet visit, antibiotics...maybe he had an underlying infection?

But eventually... all I could get him to eat was hand-fed hard cat treats.

I tried every type of food you can imagine. Every brand. Every texture. Every package. Every can. Even tuna..and real chicken, and human baby food!

No go. Hard cat treats.

Back to the vet. His teeth were checked. He was prodded. He had a complete blood work up, and urinalysis. He got fluids because he was dehydrated. There was a huge snowstorm this day, so his blood didn't go out, and I had to wait 3 days for results.

They revealed that all of his levels were perfect, and his vet couldn't believe he is as old as he is. No thyroid, kidney, liver, diabetes....nothing. 

Still no change. still losing weight, having diarreah. I was hand feeding,  and syringing pedialyte...it was a lot of work, but there was no change, and he lost almost another pound in 2 weeks when I took him back to the Dr.

The next visit, he had a fecal test, which came back negative to parasites. No blood, no mucus. He had another check of his teeth, and feeling for tumors. Then? An xray. Which 3 vets looked at within the hospital and found nothing. At that point, she thought he had either a bowel disease, or an intestinal cancer, but felt the xray should go to a radiologist for the final say. So it did.

This time,  he got a steroid shot, which could treat the bowel disease, or cancer...it would also stimulate appetite, and water consumption

That night he ate (treats) 4 times! He got fluids at the hospital, but he also drank water on his own, and I still gave him the pedialyte. He was more active than he had been in weeks, and things were looking up!

The radioligist found....nothing weird on his xray at all. So now, the task is to get him to put some weight on! The steroids seem to be making him more interested in food..and by food I meant only treats.

And then, after weeks of expensive canned and dry food and treats trials, we finally had a breakthrough with plain old purina KITTEN CHOW!!  He had one morsel, cried for more, and ate a couple handfuls on his own!

We still don't know for sure what is wrong with this handsome fellow...but despite his pinching my pocketbook, and soaking up most of my time with feeding and watering him..I know he still has a lot of life in him! He isn't just laying around, he is still living his kitty life.

I firmly believe you know when your pet is ready to leave this life, and I'm not getting that at all.

And, until he shows me he has given up, I am not  going to give up on him!!

If this makes me a "cat lady" I wear the badge proud!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Technology Rules the World...

Like most people, I've become accustomed to modern conveniences. I love being able to watch Netflix on my phone. Taking calls wherever I am, having instant access to my email.

But the last two weeks have reminded me that I am in no way ready should tragedy ever strike!

I was at the hair salon (getting 7" cut off my hair for the new year, new me!!!) and I lost my wifi connection...it happens.

On the way home, my local talk radio station was talking about how there were reports of AT&T cell phone outages, and AT&T internet is down. Stopped at the gas station, and the credit card machines were down. Went to two ATM's...OUT OF SERVICE!! I never carry cash! I'm broke!! The radio said several restaurants were unable to take your credit cards.

I got home, and MY internet was down. I had no cell service, yet I have Sprint. I turned on the news...nothing. I wanted to listen to the radio, but who still has a radio? I use the computer for I heart radio!!! I found a small portable radio in my closet...But I had NO BATTERIES!!

As the hours ticked by without even emergency cell service.. I thought what if it's terrorists? 911 lines were all down in several counties according to the local radio station, you had to call the police direct, but if you have no phone...good luck! What if someone breaks in? I have no land line!!! I headed to my Moms at 10:30pm because I knew she would worry, and her phone worked just fine.

The next week, I'm cleaning the snow off my car, go to get back in...and my DOORS ARE LOCKED. Now, my car will not even lock if I try to lock it while it is running in park unless I lock them manually, not with the key fob.

My purse is in the car. My cell phone. My car is running. I only have 1/4 a tank of gas. The keys to my apartment...in the ignition! I have no cash on my person, but there is a pay phone nearby. I try to call work collect. You can't. I call information to find out our 1800 number because I don't have it memorized! (just as I have no ones phone number memorized for that matter) Information charges 65 cents to give you a number, but they take debit cards...helpful.

I went back home and drug a park bench to all my windows trying to break in my apartment. Good to know that it is not so easy! I finally broke down in tears and went to the circle K and asked if I could use their phone I am locked out of my apartment/car. I called a coworker to come get me, and drive me to my Moms to get the spare key to my apartment, so I can hopefully find the spare key to my car.

Long story short...sure technology is convenient, but it can also backfire on you at any time! I am making plans to avoid these things in the future!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Giving Yourself A Break, Shouldn't Last Too Long...

For my Birthday/Christmas/New Year, I bought myself a Fitbit. Because I needed a kick in the pants. I mean...a BIG one!

I always take "time off" after my "last" half marathon of the season, to eat, drink, and be merry...usually it's just a few weeks, and I'm back to running and boot camp, like nothing ever happened.

I went to Florida after this last race, and then I pushed my time off so far that my gym trainer was actually texting me ideas to try to get me to come back to the gym. (I heart her!!)

Aside from a few random 3-4 mile runs, I had not worked out significantly for almost 3 months. Fitbit opened my eyes to my laziness! I also got off of my clean eating kick. And my pants had something nasty to say about that...it went something like...."bitch, you can't squeeze much more in here, can't you see that muffin top???"...)

It's NEVER easy to stay on a path of health and fitness. If it were, everyone would do it! My upside is that over that last few years instead of a "diet", or a set time of working out, I've finally decided that I have to eat well and be active to be happy. Not just with my weight, but in the way I feel when I do those things. I feel so much better when I run faster, or lift a bigger weight!

And now...it's just 137 days until my next half marathon.

Here's to the new year, and staying on a path that makes me happy

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Exes and Oh No You Didn'ts...

Some people think that it is flattering when an ex tries to come back into your life. You think they must still love me! They realize they were wrong in letting me go!? Surely, they have seen the error of their ways and want to be in my life again!!??

Being a wise 39 years old..I think it is mainly due to the sixth sense that the opposite sex seems to have, that knows you are finally trying to move on.

Nine times out of 10, they are the ones that tell you to move on! And, after being prodded to move on and see other people, you begrudgingly seek a new relationship, and then...you know how it works. It never fails, once you start seeing someone else, the ex always comes sniffing back around.

There have been a few times that I was all too happy to try things again with a guy, and break off a possible promising new relationship.

But it was only to realize that leopards don't usually change their spots. Or, more fittingly, people don't tend to change unless they really put their heart and soul into it.

My #1 guilty relapse relationship is with ex-manfriend. We've been broken up for real for like 2 years..and I can't count the number of times I tried to make things work with this guy, or how many potentially great guys that I dated that I tossed aside to pursue what was so obviously (in retrospect) broken.

Enter in 3 months ago when I finally realized after a turn of events that I probably really did need to shut the door on exmanfriend.  I realized that in fact, I was probably holding onto something that was no longer there.

And as with most relationships gone wrong...in time I realized...despite the feelings, we just were not meant to be!

He told me to delete his number, and I blogged that if it were only that easy to forget someone. But it worked out pretty well for me. I stopped thinking about us in the future. I finally shut the door on what could have been, and I started to see things for what they were.

While he kept contacting me sporadically..I came to realize, that if he felt 1/10th about me the way I felt about him, we would be together. No questions asked, and I finally started to realize that I am the one who deserves more!

So, you know, I have been spending time now and then with a guy that I have been casually seeing, friends...but who knows where it's going, and I'm enjoying our time together..It may not be an official boyfriend, but it is just enough to get the ex radar going.

And today I was out shopping with my Mom and I got the text.

From exmanfriend.

Who told me to delete his number 3 months ago.

Simply saying Hi...and asking how I've been..And for the first time my initial reaction wasn't a pang of the heart..or wondering if this meant we could rekindle our "romance"...I was kind of ticked off because he was the one that told me to delete his number. HE thought that it would make it easy to forget about me.

But I'm grateful for what happened, because I finally realized that I in fact deserve more.

I am tired of being with guys who realize what they lost after they lose me. I want the guy who realizes what he has while he has me...and never lets me go.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Older and Wiser!

I celebrated another birthday, internets! And I must say,  I heart my late thirties (ok..I'm now almost 40!)

Sure, sometimes..I still freak out that I may never be married again, and that I might die alone, with my cats, and/or dogs licking the eyeballs out of my lifeless body...but other than that, life is pretty great!

As usual, I took an extended leave from work to celebrate my birthday/use up all my leftover vacation time I didn't have time to take because I'm too busy at work.

My best friend in the world that got engaged and moved three hours away from me came up for the occasion with her fiance. I had a delicious dinner at a swanky restaurant with them and my other BFF who was my date. After that we went to the local pub for some drinks, and we did a throwback shot of tequila.  (I remember why I no longer do those now)

With just two hours left until the bars closed, my bff, her fiance and I headed to my favorite dance spot (the local gay bar which has the best DJ and the most awesome people) and I danced until I was dripping in sweat, like I actually knew how to dance. The perfect ending to the evening!

I rounded my time off of work out with spending some time with HS friend, Christmas shopping with my Momma, taking my semi-new dog on a 3 mile run (and he loved it!)

I also spent an entire day in my PJ's watching Netflix and drinking chardonnay! Not because I was so sore from all of that dancing or anything.

I'm pretty sure, it doesn't get much better than that!

Mr. Bohannon still wanted to play after our run, while I was ready to chill.