Friday, November 30, 2012

No. Please. No.

Just got word that NBC will be producing a remake of my favorite movie of all time, The Sound of Music.

Kelly Woo over at Yahoo News...I know, shoot me now, reported in her online article that Robert Greenblatt from NBC Entertainment (now there's an oxymoron) said...

Maria von Trapp "was an iconic woman who will now be played by an iconic artist"

 Ummmm....excuse me?  Mr. Greenblatt, may I introduce you to Julie Andrews?

Take a listen....

Miss Underwood is, I am sure, a wonderful person and appears to have made a name for herself among the music industry, however, in comparison to the voice of Julie Andrews, well, there just isn't any way to compare the two.  

I only wonder if Blake Shelton will be reprising the role of Captain von Trapp. 

Somethings should never be re-made.  

Chocolate Chip Cookies
My Mom's Orange Dream
My kids
The Sound of Music

Dear Santa,
All I want for Christmas is for NBC to not touch this movie. Never ever.  Like Ever.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Advent 2012

I have been thinking of Advent as it fast approaches this year.  Everyone, it seems, is in such a hurry to get to Christmas.  Stores had decorations up before Halloween, neighbors had lights up weeks before Thanksgiving, and the commercials and mail ads have been hitting our home en masse!

Living in a warm climate, the liturgical seasons really help to provide a natural pause to life, a natural season that we might not have without the weather to remind us of what month it is on the calendar.  80 degree Halloweens, with 80 degree Thanksgivings, followed by sudden temperature drops plunge us right into our 50 degree winters/Christmas.  Advent is an after thought, if considered at all.

I rather enjoy the gentle warmth of Thanksgiving and fall and then lean into the season of Advent, slowly, intentionally, and purposefully.

Reviewing past blog posts about Advent, this one from my older blog seemed to bring me back to simpler times.  Funny thing is, I remember how "stressed" and "too busy"; "too worldly" we seemed to be.  I suppose it always seems that way. 

This year, Advent will be a time, once again, to focus our lives on the simple beauty of Christmas, through the preparational time afforded to us through our Heavenly Father.  How wise and wonderful He is to give us these times and seasons of preparation!

I have learned in the last many years that living simply does not mean sitting around doing things.  It does mean that in having less, we may do more work.  For instance, having convenience foods sitting in the pantry may seem to make meal prep go faster, but it does not do anything to remove clutter from our lives.  Pie crust mixes, pre-packaged cookie and cake mixes, may seem handy, but they take room and don't we already have all of the ingredients needed to make these things?

What we don't have is the time.  Living simply, to me, means stripping away the busy-ness of life that keeps me from making homemade cookies and cakes, and delicious made-from-scratch meals that my family loves.  When I am too busy answering calls, texts, emails, etc, to be "with" my family, my children, then something must change.  Yes, it means once again saying "No" to outside comittments and no one likes to hear "No".  I know I don't like saying it.  But it is necessary for the life I aspire to have.

New Year Resolutions for 2012 were simple.  No activities were going to be allowed into our lives if they did not help these five areas of my family's life.

1.  Relationship with God
2.  Relationship with spouse
3. Relationship with children
4. Health and fitness
5. Becoming free from Debt.

As we approach the close of the liturgical year and the year of 2012, we are closer than ever to these goals.  There have been a few detours and bumps in the road, but all in all, we are on the right path.

May you each be blessed by the season of Advent and may you always for the joy and peace that God has for you.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I've been doing a bit of pruning in my life and as it seems, it hurts.  But once the cut occurs, the healing begins and the peace sets in.   Amazingly, a new sense of freedom fills the void left behind by the pruning.  And then I know that all is right.

Today completes my first full week of Ironman Texas training.  It has been fun to get back to the swimming and leaving my comfort zone, tried mountain biking today.  On Wednesday I was able to get a 5K in for Heart Rate Training purposes and establish zones for the next 25 weeks of training.

I plan to run another time trial this week to double check my numbers as my Garmin chest strap has not been very reliable.  A new one should arrive sometime this week.

Week two of training will need to be tweaked a bit to allow for closures at the Y due to Thanksgiving.  Spin classes are canceled and the evening pool times have changed.  Knowing what I have to get in this next week makes it easier to adjust the schedule for the entire week.

Puppy Rosie is growing bigger every day.  She has been with us 4 weeks already.  She has come a long way on her leash training and can "Sit" very well.  She still has some work to do in the "potty-training" department, but we see hope that in the next few weeks, she will be trained completely.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Relentlessly Forward

Moving past the past and towards the future, whatever it holds.  Can't change the past and I'm happy to be done living in it.

Lessons will come slowly and I'm already planning another go at it next year.  Cactus Rose has not seen the last of me just yet.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Cactus Rose DNF

This is the post I have not wanted to write and have put off writing until now.  How does one say "I failed...again"?

I did.  I DNF'd the Cactus Rose once again, and for now, I have to be okay with that.  This DNF makes for my 6th DNF.  Not a number I am proud of.  Not a number I want to share.  But it is what it is.

Saturday morning came early, 3:30 AM, and getting to the start line was non-problematic.  At 5:00 AM the GO was given and into the dark and hilly adventure we ran.

The temps were perfect.  44 at the start, high of about 65 for the day.  I ran a nice pace, comfortable for the long haul, and visited with many faces I have seen at other races.  At one point, I took a small fall on a straight and clear dirt path, quickly got up and kept on going, somewhat embarrassed that I tripped over nothing.

Just past mile 15, I had a nice tumble down one of the hills after slipping on some of the rolling rock.  I took a quick assessment of myself and did not note any injuries.  So I kept on.  I felt pretty good, the hills were becoming more steep and as expected at Cactus Rose, more treacherous.  The pace began to slow as I navigated the rolling declines and straight up inclines.  As I reached the summit of one of the hills, I noticed I had a significant amount of back pain and as I continued down the hill, my legs seemed to have pain radiating down the hamstrings and into the quads.  I took a few advil, but after several hours, I could no longer keep the pain under control.  Music didn't help.  Walking didn't help.  Sitting down and resting didn't help.  I felt dizzy and the pain was causing me to feel very nauseous.  I tried to throw up a few times, but I couldn't get anything to come up.

As I approached mile 30, I knew I was looking at the prospect of a 16 or 17 hour 50 miler.  I thought that I could live with that.  I continued to tell myself all of the reasons I needed to keep going and that I was through the worst of the climbing, so coming into Equestrian, mile 35.5, I decided to sit for a bit, get my head together, and then continue on.  I made it over to my drop bag and attempted to bend over open it.  I could barely move.  Sharp pain shot through my legs and brought me to tears.  I looked at my pace for the past 2 miles.  I was averaging 27:00/miles.  At that pace, or probably slower, the last 14 miles would take me about 6 1/2 hours to finish.  Common sense told me that continuing would be a very unwise choice.  I sat for a bit and had a chat with myself.  Could I be happy walking away from this race yet again?  Would I regret it?  Would I wake up the next day and wish I had suffered through the last 14 miles?  I decided I would be happy with what I had and though I was disappointed to not have a medal or a finish, I knew that I had given all that I could into my training and into this race and it was time to call it.  I could live with that.

As you can imagine, Sunday morning came and everything looked different.  It's always easy to second-guess ourselves after the fact.  The reality is, I could not safely continue that race.  My mind and heart wanted to, but it would have been irresponsible to do so.  Regardless, I wish I had.

I have battled many emotions this week.  Aside from the physical recovery, which coupled with the illness I had going into the race, has been more difficult than I expected.  My back seems fine, but my legs took a beating.  Today is the first day that I felt almost myself.  My legs are still sore, but I can navigate stairs again and don't mind walking to the mailbox.

Hearing the typical "you went much further than I ever could"  from others doesn't seem to make it any easier.  Probably because I trained so hard, so long, and it wasn't enough.  I know of others who say they didn't train as much as they should have, and seemed to have a great race.  While I know I had the unfortunate experience of falling, I still feel like with the training I put in, I should have been able to gut this one out.

Am I a true trail runner?  I can finish races at Huntsville, but elsewhere, my odds are not that good. 

I am taking some time off to heal.  Physically.  Mentally.  I need the break.  I am looking at what it is exactly I am trying to do out there anymore.  Do I want to put myself through this challenge again?  Do I want to race again?  Do I want to run just for the joy of it without a goal of a distance or time?

Running soothes my soul, racing is killing my love of running.  And each DNF steals a bit more of my confidence.  

I don't know where the journey will lead next.  I do know that my family has given up a lot of time with me for me to do this stuff and this stuff does not seem to be serving me well of late.  I will focus the next few weeks getting things back to normal around the home and learning to run for the love of the run once more.