Tuesday, June 08, 2010
This past Sunday was my first 5K.
I was so excited that I didn't sleep well the night before, just thinking of actually doing a real, honest to goodness 5K.
I arose at 6:30, showered and got dressed for the big day. Please notice the nice, clean knees.
Ted and I have a shouting match before we leave the house. He decided he wasn't going so I would have a photographer for my Big Event. Needless to say, HE drove to P.A.
We get 2/3 to PA, when I suddenly realized I had left my ankle timing strap home. Back to the house we go, afraid I won't make it to the race in time.
We squeak in five minutes before the beginning, and I am with the other people. How thrilling that is!!
There were people jumping up and down, some jogging in place, some stretching, some walking in place, some jiggling their bodies all over the place. Me? I was grinning like the Cheshire Cat to just BE there.
I originally thought all the age groups would be separated, but not so. There were children, young adults, and all ages mixed together. Some were doing the 5K, some 10K. All were happy and excited.
The day was overcast, the ground a bit wet, perfect weather for walking.
Bingo! It is time to start! Our crowd surges forward, some walking, some jogging, some running. I begin by walking.
I'm walking along for about the first 3/4 mile, then see some grass on the side of the road. Hmmmmm.........I just wonder! I move over to the grass, and with my red shoes which make me go fast as the wind, I begin to jog. I mean, I am TRULY, HONESTLY, JOGGING!!! I haven't JOGGED in nearly 18 years!!! See what you have done to me, Sparkies??
I am amazed, and so exhilerated. I mean, here I am, 66 years old, and JOGGING!. My red shoes want to go faster, so we increase the speed. I am really cutting up the dirt, let me tell you! I am actually passing the joggers!!!
I am having the time of my life! I can RUN!
It doesn't take me long to set a cadence, and I fall into an old, remembered steady pace. I hear my breathing, check my heart, and everything is a GO. What absolute, sheer JOY!
I run for a while, then walk for a while, thinking that I better not press this wonderful experience too far all at once. I am trying to pace myself to not stretch it out to the point of injury.
I'm moving right along, passing some, being passed by others. I am still grinning. THIS IS SO FABULOUS I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!!!
We are moving along the shore line, and it is truly beautiful. The path is level, which is okay with me. Oh, the ground is beginning to go uphill a little. That's okay, and to be expected. Uh, I go around this slight corner in the upgrade, and the path certainly DOES go up. I mean, UP!!
There is this HILL in front of me. I dont mean a "hill", I mean a HILL. A long, steep HILL that I can't see the top of. Better walk this one. So up, up, UP I walk, puffing and huffing after a bit, but I realize I can't stop now. Keep climbing, and try to keep my pace up.
This hill goes up forever. There is no end to it in sight. My pace has slowed a bit. I am huffing a bit harder, but nevertheless, keep trudging. (Like I have a CHOICE at this point???)
It gets wetter, muddier and rockier. That's right. Rockier. My new word for the day. I keep to the right side of the path...........this is NOT a road............and let the others pass me by. At least I am still moving.
I should have checked this trail out before today, I now realize, but I didn't, so it is all new potatoes to me.
Steeper and steeper we go, and where it ends, nobody knows.
At last, I hear some clapping and cheering. That must be a good sign. It BETTER be a good sign, or they are going to have to come after me and carry me the rest of the way up this mountain.
The clapping and cheering get louder, and sure enough, there are two girls at the top, letting me know the hell is about to subside.
I get to the top, and one of the girls says to me "Keep going! You made it to the top! It's all downhill from here. You're over half way through!".
I smile and say "thank you", and now change my mind that I am probably going to live after all.
Sure enough, it does get easier. The ground begins a gentle downslope, for which my body is grateful. I am back to jogging again.
Then it becomes a downslope. Not quite so gentle, and getting a bit steep. But there are houses, sidewalks and paved roads for us, which makes it better.
Uh oh. We are going off the paved roads, into the woods again. This couldn't POSSIBLY MEAN that damned hill again, could it????
Yes, it does. Ahead looms the dreaded hill I climbed UP, and now I get the distinct pleasure of climbing DOWN.
This is not a sloping hill. It is the sheer face of the edge of a mountain. And again, it is wet, rocky, grav-ely (another word from me) and hurtles down, down, down.
I better walk this part. But then I foolishly begin to jog downhill.
Hey, not too bad! I can DO this! Jog, jog, jog, breathing easy.
I see the bottom, and where we turn to go back along the water to the finish line. I get to almost the bottom, and my foot slides a bit on some gravel.
I almost regain my balance, when both knees go out on me.
I am on my knees, sliding on the mud, rocks and gravel, and then my face goes down.
I am aware of my face scrubbing along the trail, my knees are sliding along, re-arranging the pathway and rocks, and I go over on my hip.
Some time later I stop. I realize I am at the bottom, so all there is to do is get up and finish the race.
I hear people all around me, asking me questions, but I just want to get back to the race and finish this thing.
My nose is running, so I wipe it with my dirty hands, and my hands come back covered with red.
It takes me a few moments to realize this is not red mud, but maybe it is blood.
A nice lady says "Oh, she's really bleeding!". Who are they TALKING about? I look around for the person who is bleeding, but don't see anyone.
People are asking me if I am okay, and I say "I think so".
I just want to get back in the race and finish my first 5K.
So I start to get up, and WHAM!!! Hip says "NO WAY. JOSE!" My knees let me know they have no intention of carrying me the rest of the way, either.
I ask the guy how much further it is, and he says "Less than 1/2 mile". I want to do that last 1/2 mile, and decide I can override my body's complaints and just finish it.
By now I am on my third double paper towel, mopping the blood off my face. I realize I have gravel inbedded in my knees, but I can tweeze that out after the finish line.
I take a step, and down I go. I get back up, and take another fall. Somehow I am aware that Ted is in front of me, asking if I am ok.
The next I know, Michelle is standing next to me, holding me up on one side, saying she is giving me a ride back to the finish line.
Note that my knees are not clean any longer. What you can't see is how much they hurt! We have gone through a couple bottles of water cleaning me up as well as possible, and I am sure that part of the good cleaning is due to Michelle having to take me in her vehicle, and she doesn't want me to bleed all over it! Makes sense to me!!
There isn't room for Ted in her car, so he has to walk the rest of the way back.
I am taken to the medical station, where a Doctor who is young enough to be my grandson treats me with Neosporen. He tells me that I am "going to hurt a lot the next day".
Thank you for that little bit of input.
I can put some weight on my hip and knees by now, so am ambulatory. I am waiting for Ted to get back, and while I am waiting, who comes up to me?
This lady comes over and asks "Are you from Spark?". Immediately I know who this is! It is CAT!!!!
I am so happy to see her "live" that I give her a big hug...............never thinking I might get some blood on her. (Sorry, Cat, if I did!) We are told that we have to move "over there", and somehow get separated. That's okay, because I know I will see her again, in a less congested place and time.
One the way home, I begin by being regretful that I didn't finish the race. But then I stop and think.
Wait a minute!! I entered a 5K, showed up for it with full intentions of finishing it. I jogged for the first time in nearly 18 years. I RAN for the first time in nearly 18 years! I actually can RUN.
I am a winner! I may not have completed the race, but I honestly did my very best. I am so glad I did this!!
I wouldn't trade this for a million bucks, seriously! I may be 66, but because of Spark, and all the encouragement I have been given over the past year plus, I can move my body in a way that I could not even begin to dream of doing ever again.
And all this from a woman who didn't believe she could do one mile a day last September!!!
I don't know if I will ever be able to do a 10K, but if I do any "K" again, I will watch my footing and try to hold back a little on those downhill slides! I am sure I will sign up again next year!
Thanks to all of you, I had an incredible SPARK experience!!!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Today's Inspirational Lesson
Never irritate a woman,who can operate a backhoe...
Thus endeth the lesson.
Women are Angels...And when someone breaks our wings...We simply continue to fly....on a broomstick...We are flexible like that...
Monday, May 17, 2010
Winsten is a Golden Retriever.
From what I have learned from other people who are ruled by Goldens, it is common for them to visit around the neighborhood. They are totally convinced that everyone needs to be visited and greeted.
Winsten never used to take off. He was very obedient, and stayed on his own property. Not true any more.
It all started when a friend drove up the hill to our ranch in CA with this beautiful ten month old Golden in her truck. I enthusiastically greeted the dog, and said "Rita, whose dog is this?" to which she replied "Yours now".
It seems that Rita's brother had Winsten and a big drug addiction. His addiction got the best of him, and he overdosed. The family didn't want to keep the dog, so Rita was instructed to take him to be euthanized. Instead, she brought him to the ranch.
Of course, we would take him. Not because he was a Golden; rather, because he needed a good safe home.
Thus, Winsten joined the crowd of horses, other dogs, innumerable rescued cats and one peacock.
The ranch was 1/2 from any road, and located on the top of a hill, overlooking Monterey Bay. It was a very safe place for critters, and we didn't mind taking them in and providing a safe, loving environment for all of them.
At the beginning, Winsten could not for the life of him figure out horses. He was amazed at their size, and couldn't comprehend why they did not want to romp and play.
However, being a Golden, and by those rights alone, he was undaunted and mastered the art of getting the horses to play with him. Whenever we couldn't find him, he was in the pasture or stables with the horses.
The time came to sell the ranch and downsize on all the work horses bring with them.
We moved to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, which, by the way, you couldn't get us out of here with a back hoe, and Winsten, of course, came to WA with us. But not his horse buddies.
For the first three years, Winsten stayed pretty much on our property, not venturing outside of our boundaries.
I began to think all those stories about Goldens going off to visit were due to people not treating their doggies with love and affection. I mean, after all, look at OUR Golden! HE stays pretty much at home! What arrogance and foolishness on my part!
Winsten has taken to visiting neighbors. He usually only stays gone for about an hour at the most. But now he has found a small ranch close by. With horses. And many dogs. And cats.
Winsten LOVES horses. He has taken to these horses as though they are his very own.
He won't stay home.
We tried to tie him, but he chewed through the ropes and off he ran to HIS horses.
We tried a chain like thing, but he howled and carried on to the point there was absolutely no peace whatsoever.
Then we tried fencing him in. He dug a hole UNDER the fence and took off to the horses.
Night before last, he didn't come home until ten o'clock.
Last night, he didn't come home at all.
Winsten wants to be with those horses, and he is not wavering.
I talk to the people who own the ranch, and they assure me that he is no problem to them. They are instructed to not feed him, but that doesn't solve the problem.
Now before you go getting your panties in a bunch, it is NOT because he doesn't get love and attention here at home.
We walk him around our property at least five times a day, I take him on my miles-long walks every day, he hogs up 3/4 of the sofa in the evening, watching TV with us, all cuddled up like a puppy.
Winsten has two baskets of toys, and two Siamese cats who adore him and will follow him anywhere, given the chance.
He has a lovely home in which to live, 5 acres in which to romp, and is loved, hugged, played with, groomed, babied....................it is a doggie heaven here at our house!
SO WHY DOES HE TAKE OFF???!!!
Because he is a Golden, and has found some horses through the woods to the East of us.
I woke up at 4 A.M., looking to see if he was at the front door. Nope. then I thought of getting in the car and going over to the ranch and bringing him home.
No, can't do that, because it would disturb Bill and his family to hear a car coming up their drive at 4 in the morning.
I will wait till around 8, then call over there.
I have been abandoned for a horse.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
HOW TO INSTALL A HOME SECURITY SYSTEM
1. Go to a secondhand store and buy a pair of men's used size 14-16 work boots.
2. Place them on your front porch, along with a copy of Guns & Ammo Magazine.
3. Put a few giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazines.
4 Leave a note on your door that reads:
Bertha, Duke, Slim, & I went for more ammo and beer. Be back in an hour.
Don't mess with the pit bulls; they attacked the mailman this morning and messed him up bad. I don't think Killer took part, but it was hard to tell from all the blood. Anyway, I locked all four of 'em in the house.
Better wait outside. Be right back.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Here are the red shoes you all are asking about. Aren't they just the MOST??!!
A lot of you have contacted me asking where I got them, and that you want a pair for yourself. Ok. You won't be sorry!!!
Go to www.6PM.com, and look for style #: 2203-912
Item name: Osiris Uptown
Item Description: Red/Dorothy
There you have it.
The information you are seeking is all at your fingertips now.
Here's the deal about the shoes;
NOTE:Their name is "Dorothy". Does that remind you of anyone?
Yes, indeedy! Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz!! Updated, of course!
I mean, who wants to follow the Yellow Brick Road and go Off to See the Wizard in patent red shoes that will without a doubt hurt your feet after the first block? I mean, how many of us want to skip and hop all that way even wearing LOW heels like those she wore?!
Not me. I am a creature of COMFORT. (That's understandable since I have to deal with "this weight thing")
I want shoes that do not hurt my feet, whether I am skipping merrily down a road or sitting with my feet propped up on my footstool.
As a matter of fact, at my age, skipping ANYWHERE is doubtful, no matter what I have on my feet.
However, all that being said, I must admit that marching in the parade wearing my Dorothy shoes DID put a sprint in my step!! Especially when I noticed a lot of people smiling and looking at my feet as they pointed my shoes out to their fellow parade watchers.
One little girl called out "I love your shoes, and I want some too!" At which I smiled at her, and truly, actually, impressively (at least impressively to me and DH!), I jumped up and clicked my heels together!!!! AND I did NOT FALL OVER!!! To which I got a loud applause from my audience.
That little stunt is surely a result of losing some tonnage and doing my Spark thing. Do any of you recall when I couldn't hop? Not all that long ago, was it?!
So get your fingers walking across your keyboard, get your shoes, and we will all go hop, skipping and clicking on the Yellow Brick Road together, off to see the Wizard (whom it is rumored that he can do a magic mumble jumble and make us all thin as twigs).
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