Monday, June 9, 2014

13.1 Thoughts on Being Half Crazy

(car magnet from

1.  October 14, 2012 - It all started that day when I did my first 5K, CHOC Walk in the Park, and I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to make it through the untimed, leisurely stroll through Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

2. January 5, 2013 - New Year's Race 5K - 1:01:33
    February 10, 2013 - Live Ultimate 5K - 51:51.80
    March 10, 2013 - Knott's Coaster Run 10K - 1:40:39
    August 31, 2013 - Disneyland 10K - 1:44:11
    January 18, 2014 - Tinker Bell 10K - 1:39:04
    April 5, 2014 - Hollywood 10K - 1:37:12.5

3.  Things that only make sense during a race - Random people standing in front of their houses offering food (like bacon and fruit and pretzels and water) to strangers, and the strangers gladly and thankfully accept the offerings, no questions asked.

4.  That moment when you're watching one of the spectators standing on a lawn, and you wonder why a guy is wearing a big scarf wrapped around his neck during an already-warm morning, and you suddenly realize that it's not a scarf, it's a giant snake, just as you hear the people behind you remark on it.  And just as you're moving further into the middle of the street, away from the man, your friend has noticed the man also and is right next to you telling you not to look and shielding the view from your eyes.

5.  You wonder why you're walking funny all of a sudden, like you're having trouble keeping balance without situating your feet oddly, and your friend points out that the street is sloping downward and suggests moving toward the middle of the street where the road is not slanted.

6.  At one point, there was a little girl, maybe 5 or 6, who was standing with her family, presumably in front of their house, cheering on the race participants.  I could see her looking at the people individually, and then she saw me, and she came up to me as I went past her.  "May I run with you for a little bit?" she said to me.  "Sure," I said, "but I think you might be faster than me."  She did run but kept right beside me for about half a block, and we chitchatted a bit.  When we got to the end of the block, she stopped, and I said thank you and goodbye to her.  It was so sweet, and it definitely gave me a boost for a little while.

7.  A hill after mile 10 of a half marathon is just mean.

8.  Thank you to Jen for doing the entire race with me, for sharing the experience with me, for helping me navigate my first half marathon, for giving me tips on how to handle certain obstacles and for making it all so much more fun.

9.  Thanks to God for giving me a good race day on my first half marathon.  Many physical challenges have arisen, and some days, even walking half a mile would be impossible.  But so far, a bad day has never fallen on a race day, and this was no exception.  The two weeks prior to the race were very challenging, and I was concerned how that was going to affect me during the race.  But come race day, I felt ok, and during the race, I battled "I don't want to", and while that has its own challenges, it was something I could overcome, whereas "I physically cannot do this" is not.  I put off doing CHOC Walk for a year because I was worried.  What if one of the really bad days happens on race day?  What if I sign up and then that day, I can't even get out of bed?  And I finally decided, if it happened, I'd deal with it, but putting it on hold for "what if" meant it was never going to happen.  Thank God for taking care of me on my race days, no matter the obstacles that might arise beforehand.

10.  Thank you to Robert for coming down to San Diego to cheer me on.  I was so happy and shocked and grateful when he first told me he was coming, and for a multitude of reasons, it was so nice to be able to spend the weekend with him with us, and to see yet another friendly face after the finish line.

11.  June 1, 2014 - Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon - 3:41:37

12.  Thank you to everyone who worked to put together Rock n Roll San Diego, and a special thank you to all the people who worked and volunteered during the event, and an extra special thank you to all the spectators who stood in front of their houses and on public streets giving out support and cheers and encouragement.  Thanks to all of you.

13.  Special thanks to everyone who has given me encouragement and support from one race to another, from one difficult training outing to another, in every victory that has occurred and in moments when I wonder why I'm doing this and am discouraged beyond words.  Every little bit has helped, believe me, in ways I can't properly express.  Extra special thanks to everyone who has patiently helped me by answering the many questions I've had, and especially for those times when I've been offered unsolicited advice and tips, because I don't even know enough to ask the right questions yet.  Your sharing of your knowledge and experience with me is greatly appreciated.

13.1  I did it, Margaret.  I did it!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Ohana means family and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten

A little over three weeks ago, I received a phone call early in the morning.  The call was from the family member of a friend (M), telling me that M had unexpectedly passed away the night before, and he'd wanted to let me know before I read the news on Facebook where the news might be posted by mutual friends.  I spoke to him for a bit, and I spoke to another mutual friend afterward as well.  My first concern was for M's family and in particular her daughter.  And I thought of all the people M had touched in one way or another.  M and I met due to circumstances vaguely related to our mutual love of Disney and Disneyland.  We didn't live near each other, and I saw her periodically when she'd come down for a visit to Disneyland, but we mostly kept in touch through Facebook.  The news didn't really start to process until the day progressed, as I saw posts from mutual friends and others about the impact that M had on their lives.

Because I'm fortunate to live in relatively close proximity to Disneyland so as to be able to make frequent visits, I often post pictures of food items, merchandise and random other things that I find interesting (partly because I have friends who are Disney fans who don't live locally), as well as non-Disney-related updates on my Facebook page.  I've continued to do that the past several weeks, but something seemed off.  I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but something was missing.  And then I realized what that was.  I was used to seeing M "like" my posts and pictures or making a comment here or there or sending me a private message.  When I'd check my page to see if anyone had responded, I realized I was looking for a response from her, a response that was no longer forthcoming.

Over the past 15 months, I've gotten involved in doing races (walking, not running), and in about 3 weeks time, I will be participating in my first official half marathon race.  M had been very supportive of my efforts, and she knew what personal difficulties I had along the way, and she was always encouraging.  She found out that I liked the Sport Beans from Jelly Belly as a way to maintain energy during training and races, and one of the times she was down here, she brought me a bunch of different flavored Sport Beans for me to try.  She said that once I figured out what I liked, I should let her know, and she'd get me more, because she had the ability to get them at a discount.  I thanked her for them, and a few weeks later, she asked me about them.  I told her that I hadn't quite figured out the fueling thing yet, and that the supply she'd gotten me would last for a bit and I'd let her know after I'd figured everything out.

Last week, I was in a Sport Chalet browsing for some accessories.  I walked by the little section with the various energy refueling options.  My first inclination is always to go by to take a look, followed quickly by the realization that I didn't need any new stuff and would only need more Sport Beans, followed even more quickly by the further realization that M would be very upset with me if I bought them myself instead of letting her know what I wanted, as she'd asked me to do.  This time, that last thought stopped me in my tracks.  I realized that I'd be buying my own Sport Beans in the future, and that I wouldn't be able to tell M which ones I preferred.  And I burst into tears.  Odd how seemingly random things can bring about such strong emotions.

M completely believed in the concept of Ohana, and there were so many people that she counted as a part of her family as a result of that.  I'm glad to have been considered family by her.  When I do races and do my training, I often think of her.  And I'll continue posting pictures and updates on my Facebook page, and I'll know in my heart that she's reading them and hitting "like".