Thursday, February 26, 2009

Photo Moments

We are creeping up on the 3 week taper time and oddly, I feel rather calm. Even with my expectations and goals for this upcoming marathon....there is an odd sense of calmness about me. Maybe its after losing Bailey that I have put things in perspective....or maybe I am experiencing delayed onset of marathon nerves....but, I do feel strangely at peace with my running and my expectations for the Shamrock Marathon.

With that being said, thought I might post some pictures from the last of the distance series runs. I just love the folks at Triduo here in old Tidewater...they take awesome pictures, get your pictures posted fast and will even take personal shots of you and your buds at the races if you catch up with one of their photographers and ask. 

I call this one "Heh??"

And this one....Could I get any happier??

Seriously, the story behind this lovely photo goes like and Running Buddy and New Runner Friend are coming down a hill and I say "Gee I wonder if the photographer will catch my sistas (aka breasts) bouncing up or down...." and the photographer standing on the side of the road says..."for an extra fee we can fix that!" and we all started laughing...hence the way too happy runner look.

Locked, loaded and ready to run....always keeping my goal pace in mind.

Running Buddy and I have been doing less runs together these days as we have grown apart a little in our distances and paces during these last few weeks. Plus, I haven't been much of a good partner since Bailey died. Running less with my partner feels like a loss to me. And it's just astounding to me how losing the most unconditional love I have ever known (my dog) has knocked me down. Last night, I was thinking how a part of my heart died with Bailey and a piece of me has gone with him. I hate coming home to an empty house and it always brings tears to my eyes.

Thanks to Sam I Am who commented the great quote about grieving being like the the ebbing and flowing and coming of the waves....that really struck me. Thanks Sam...

This weekend is my last 20 mile run before the marathon. Oddly, Im looking forward to the challenge of the 8:40 min. per mile pace I am supposed to do ....but the aint lookin' so good as a coastal storm approaches. I will post a report on Sunday.

TGIF friends!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Coming out of the dark

I think I may be coming around the bend on this whole grieving process. I still miss Bailey like crazy...but I don't seem to cry as often. Only when certain things pop up and sometimes it still hurts to come home to an empty house.

I did have an interview last week with the South Eastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue group to see if I would be a good candidate to adopt a puppy from a litter that was born 3 weeks ago. There were 70 golden retrievers rescued from a puppy mill in Suffolk Virginia about a month ago. The story is sad ....but I think I may be able to give one of those goldens a good home. It just might be what I need to heal my heart.

I have still been running and I think it's getting a little bit better. I don't dread it as much and I don't get as emotional. It's been the longest and hardest 3 weeks of running and to top it off....I hurt my right knee a little bit at the last distance I have been battling a bit of an injury. To top that one off....I caught my third round of the funk. No surprises there though...we had an epidemic flu outbreak at my school where 10% of our kids were out all in one day not to mention all the teachers including Running Buddy who got the stomach flu version. I just have the upper respiratory annoying stuff. To top of Running Buddy's woes...she fell hard like I did when Bailey died. That's a true that grieves right by your side.

We finished the last of the Tidewater Distance Series tune ups today. It was a 30k.....Running Buddy and I started together but she dropped back around mile 10 to about a 9 minute mile while I kept up the 8:30 with another runner who was pacing us.

Today's run was a success and morale booster. We averaged 8:36 for the 30K. The route was hilly and long so I feel good about today's pace. I haven't been doing any track repeats because of my knee but I have kept up with all the long runs and the mid week tempos. Last Saturday, I finished a 20 miler at I haven't lost too much considering I cut back miles and have missed 3 weeks of track repeats. It's all still up in the air.

Thanks to all my blogger friends who were so compassionate in your comments regarding my dog Bailey. He meant the world to me and my life hasn't been the same since he died. But I am so grateful for all the kind comments and prayers. Hope you all are having great runs and races and I should be back in action before too long. Only one more week to taper madness!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Golden Angel in Heaven

I am experiencing one of the darkest days of my life right beautiful golden retriever Bailey was put to sleep a week ago today. He was 2 months shy of his 10th birthday.

I can not even put into words the amount of grief and despair I am going through right now. It has been an all out effort to get out of bed in the morning and go to work. Thank goodness for the wonderful friends I am blessed to work with.

Bailey was everything to me. He was every aspect of my life. He was the first thing I saw in the morning and the last thing thing I saw before I drifted off to sleep. He entered my life as a young pup....and I was just entering my 30's. He saw me through my worst relationship breakup, the move into a new house....and countless hours of laughter, tears and walks on the beach.

My life is empty without him right now and I can only describe myself as an empty shell of who I was before he died. 

It was very sudden, although he had a tumor in his heart that was probably there for a long time. But last Sunday night, he woke very early in the morning....and began to slip away.

The lesson I learned was a very hard and painful one. Although it sounds incredibly cliche', I did learn in the most horrific and sickening way, that every day is precious and you should live it like it was your last. 

Because if I had only was my last night with my dog, that it would be the last walk, the last romp in the back yard and the last swim in the ocean.....well, I would pray that time would have that I could soak in every moment and savor it like I would never taste it again. I wasn't ready for Bailey to if anyone is ever ready to lose something they love so dearly.....but maybe, just maybe, I would have appreciated the little moments with my dog more. 

Because I would give my soul.....for just one more walk on the beach with him.

Running hasn't shown me much sympathy....and I have struggled to stay on my routine. I continue to struggle but make myself do what I know heals my soul. For now, I prefer to be alone in my running......for the sake of my partner...I try to run alone. Lord knows I'm not much company....but all I have left my running. It gets me through those sad moments.

Only 6 more weeks until the marathon...and my desire to qualify for Boston seems to have faded with the passing of my dog. I'm just going to give myself some time....and I hope to get back in the game soon.

I am thinking of you my friends and hoping you all are having good runs and races.....and remember to treat every run.....and every day as if it were your last.

Summer Vacation