And a Wee Bit ‘O Luck to Ya…

Yes, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! I could also say St. Patty’s Day but every time I do it makes me think there should really be a Happy York Peppermint Patty’s Day somewhere around here too. ;)
leprechaun runner
I hope you’ve all been having a great one and doing a little celebrating yourself. I’m not a drinker, so if you are feel free to have my leftover beers. I do love everything green, though, and you could find me noshing on some green chocolate chip pancakes. (My dad used to make those for us when I was a kid on St. Patty’s Day.)

It’s a fact that my all-time favorite color is lime green and so let’s hear it for a few more oh-so cliched Irish holiday inspired items:

* Don’t steal my lucky shamrock. Do you believe in luck? Do you have little trinkets, rituals, or things you swear to others you know don’t really bring you luck but you have them/do them anyways just because, well, it couldn’t hurt? Hey, I own up to the fact that whenever I see a clock reading 11:11 I make a wish to myself. ;)

* Leaping Leprechauns! Those little guys have springs on their legs, or maybe they have just been doing a ton of plyometrics. ;) I HATE doing those plyo’s, this girl can’t jump, but they work wonders for your speed. So get to jumping like a wee, green man!

* Corned beef and cabbage, say what? I’m not a big corned beef fan, I do like cabbage. But don’t shy away from all red meats if you do like them because they have iron, which is super important for runners! If you don’t like red meats (guilty) then seek out other iron rich foods…hey, spinach is a leafy green that contains a lot of iron. It could be cut into the shape of a clover too…maybe. Teehee.
* Pranksters! I wish I were really good at pulling off great pranks and such but I am so gullible that I usually end up being the one pranked. That said I use sarcasm like it’s going out of style and plenty of times people think I’m being serious and sometimes that gets me in a wee bit ‘o trouble.

* Spuds! I am in love with the spud, I’ll take me my fair share of potatoes and then some. My favorite is probably a big ‘ol baked potato loaded with chicken, broccoli…and actually cottage cheese. Is that last one weird? I don’t care, I like it. And for you skin haters…you’re missing out, the skin of the potato contains nearly all of the awesome vitamins and nutrients found in the potato…so choke the skin down if you have to. Jk.

* Friends and merry, good times. You picture people celebrating St. Patty’s Day and you think of parties, people, and good times. I’m all for that…whether you are a fellow sweat obsessed runner or not, you can be my friend. :)
skate boarder
Have a wonderful Saint Patrick’s Day and I think I’m going to talk to someone about instituting a York Peppermint Patty’s Day too! ;) (naturally then, we’ll need a Junior Mints Day…just saying.)

1) What did you/are you doing for St. Patty’s Day?

2) What is your favorite St. Patty’s themed item?

3) Do you believe in ‘luck’ or do you have a lucky item/ritual?

4) Do you like potatoes? Are you a fan of corned beef and cabbage? How do you make sure you get enough iron? Pick any of those and answer…hehe.

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Eating the Heart Out of Life: Digging for Positives and WHY the Journey is Worth it to You

How do you ‘eat the heart out’ of life? How do you celebrate the positives in life? Cherish even the little, fleeting moments, soak up what the moment may bring, and savor the deliciousness of what makes you smile?
eating cotton candy
Sometimes we can all get stuck in the hustle and madness that is our day to day schedule and blitz through a day without really even having ‘lived’ it…or sat down for that matter.

It’s also easy to get stuck going through the motions; sometimes it’s because you’re not exactly loving whatever it is you HAVE to do and going on auto-pilot is much easier. Hey, not everything we do in life we look forward to…we all have to scoop the dog poop one way or the other so to speak.

This happens in training too…the vast majority of those miles and workouts are not going to be filled with rainbows and sunshine. Unicorns won’t be frolicking around and shooting stars out of their behinds in your wake. Not every race will bring a PR…not every long run will go to plan.

But we don’t just run for the good times, because if you did that you might only run once or twice a year. You run for the quest of those ‘good times’…you keep putting money in the bank for the days you can then make a withdrawal. You stick to the path for the journey because even in those crappy runs there is the nugget of accomplishment when you are at least done and you put in work. Then, you REALLY should soak up those fantastic ‘ups’ and successes when they come…you worked hard for them!

eating ice cream

A vat of ice cream could be in order after a FAT PR!! :)

But I think it’s important to remember that regardless of what you’re going through, where you are, there ARE positives. It may take some thinking at times, and during these times it may call for just going outside, turning your head to the sunlight and forcing a smile.

FORCED smiling, forced laughter can even feel good…liberating…and turn into a real smile…if even for a fleeting moment. And if that still doesn’t quite do the trick, try thinking back to something in childhood that made you smile…and if it’s taking a huge bite out of cotton candy…then by all means, indulge yourself.

1) How do you eat the heart out of life? If it’s tough to force a smile in the moment, what’s one way you make yourself remember how?
Usually thinking of my family or things I loved as a kid…Disney movies are always a sure fire way to time warp me back to an 8 year old me!

2) In training, what’s the ratio of the days you feel ‘great’ compared to the ‘not-so-awesome-but-it’s-done’?
Depends where I’m at…but have to say the ratio gets skewed when you’re only cross-training!! Haha.

3) Why is all the training time meaningful or ‘worth it’ to you? Is it PR’s, so you can eat like a runner, so you can be faster than your husband, because it keeps you sane???
The last one for sure! :)

4) Last thing that made you smile?
I was telling a story and my brother interjected this side comment that totally made my day…he didn’t even mean to, but it just made me stop and bust out laughing.

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Keeping it in the Family: What Age is Appropriate for Kids to Start Running Competitively?

Are you the only runner in your family? Did you start running because an older sibling got into it and because you thought anything they did was cool, you laced up to go run too? Or did you come from a family of runners?
family running
Everyone starts for different reasons and some fall into the sport (or get cut from everything else and decide to give running a whirl, like this girl!). If you are the only runner your family may just collectively think you’re crazy but allow you your quirk.

But if you come from a family of runners, or if your parents were runners, did you grow up naturally assuming that you’d get into the sport. A recent article in Running Times HERE got me thinking about families that are runners.

Lots of times when two really fast harriers get married (and there are no shortage of runner couples…us run-a-holics tend to travel in pairs…or groups) there are the obvious jokes, “Wow, you guys will sure have fast babies…get ready to watch them in the Olympics!” Genes play a part, sure, but it doesn’t guarantee natural talent, or that the child will ever have a passion for the sport. Heck, they may turn out to have a desire to get into curling!

Sure, when a running prodigy does pop up with a lineage of fast genes that’s all well and good too as there are cases of those.

My question rather, is that when should a kid officially be a ‘runner’ or follow the sport exclusively? Racing competitively and putting in those gut-busting, tough as nails workouts? Similarly WHY are they doing it? Is it because they love the sport or is it because of their parents’ passion for it, or their parents’ desire to watch them excel?

Both my parents were runners, but I didn’t have any desire to run until about 8th grade. I never thought I’d be a runner, I liked soccer and other sports where you were running to get to something not just in circles. But when I joined a local team in 8th grade it was a club that had all levels and there were itty bitty dynamos that could kick my butt…and they weren’t even out of grammar school. I’d see kids not more than 7 putting in more miles than I’d care to think about and doing bi-weekly track workouts.
boy runner
I’d see their parents yelling at them like the coaches of teams playing in the Super Bowl from the side-lines. Now, not all of the parents were like that, don’t get me wrong…but it seems like the younger the athlete the more intense the parents. Doesn’t that seem a bit off to you?

On the flip side I’ve been privileged to be around elite level runners, or previous record holders, who are now parents themselves. A great number of them actually tried to steer their children away from the sport of running and into other things because 1) they didn’t want other people putting pressure on them just because of their genes and 2) they didn’t want their kids to feel any pressure, real or imagined, from their parents to follow in their footsteps. The parents felt that if their children got into running that the kids would be the ones to find it themselves. If they then wanted guidance or advice from their parents they could come and ask for it.

I think that’s the best kind of attitude, regardless of how fast the parents are…and shouldn’t that apply to anything in general? Shouldn’t we all find our interests and pursue them of our own free will?

But back to running…it is a HARD sport both mentally and physically. Put that on developing kids and it’s a lot to ask; when is it too young to seriously start running? I’m not talking about casually tagging along with Dad on a mile or two jaunt around the block or popping into a kiddie run if Mom and Dad are at a local road race. I mean really vying for PR’s and consistently training?

My thoughts are that kids should be involved in sports of all kinds and stay active…try everything because you never know what they’ll fall in love with. The soccer, rugby, basketball and the like…keep them running around and instill the desire to MOVE. Then if they happen to want to get really into running around junior high or high school those years of sports set the stage for a great base.

I think that’s where I stand…and if you DO happen to be a family of all runners then that’s well and good! I just don’t think the sight of parents yelling, veins bursting from their temples, at their kids is right, regardless of the sport or pursed interest.
PS- Just a heads-up that my BIC Bands GIVEAWAY will end Monday so if you haven’t entered yet and want to, mosey on over! :)

1) When did you get into running? Were you really active as a kid and play lots of sports?
I played, and stunk, and all the usual sports.

2) Were your parents, or anyone else in your family runners?
Both my mom and dad, but that’s it.

3) What age do you feel is appropriate for a kid to pursue running exclusively or competitively?

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Santa Done Me Good! The Ho Ho Holidays Recap

Well, I have to say the big fat man was good to me this year! Bear with me as I take a quick moment to get a wee bit sentimental as I am one lucky runnerchick to have such an amazing family and wonderful friends…it’s been a great past few days as we’ve made the holiday tour of duty!

Woke up today and decided that it’s never too late to try and give Rudolf a runfor his money. I lost, but I did get in a little tempo run on the treadmill…even had the distraction of the last dregs of Christmas movies playing. Then because of this little foot of mine I did my cool-down on the elliptical, all in all a great way to start the day, though I was especially tooty-fruity, I guess those last bits of sweets last night put me over the edge!

on wesley's lap

Little bro's pretty close to Santa...

Now on to the REAL news here, THANK YOU Santa for the Garmin!! How did you know? Actually I was fully surprised since it must have cost you an arm and a leg, but maybe you were able to outsource and substitute the appendages of some poor, unlucky elf…I only hope for fairness he was on the naughty list.
paul frank pants
You also know that it’s the stocking of a runner when there are sports bars and socks mixed in with the candy-canes. Though, the Paul Frank pants wouldn’t make for a right pick for getting my sweat on…

I also really loved the bracelets my sis got me: Trust Your Journey charms, one for each of us.

I hope the parentals enjoyed what I got for them…I promise I didn’t get it all sweaty. My mom is a bit of a sucker for the ‘personal touch’ type things so I did her a bit of art and got it screened onto a purse. A portrait of my two younger sibs…

shay and wes

Little bro, little sis, little Tito pup

For the siblings I got them a little something but really I know there is nothing like adding in the cash money.

The gifts though aren’t the holiday (wow, I think I may actually mean this, which means I am no longer my 8 year old self…I’m getting old) and the true joy was in fact just sitting around and chatting it up with the fam bam.

1) How as Santa to you this year? Were you a good runnerchick or runnerdude?

2) Did your own workout offer you up a not so tasteful reminder of the last few days of foodfest, I only hope the burps had the air of candy-canes or something sweet?

3) Name one of your highlights from the holidays.
Me: “Which one is from Santa, which one do you want me to open up first?”
Dad: “The present that says ‘From: Santa’ on it.”

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Is There a Grinch in Your Stocking?

While I tend to be a positive person, I know there are times when even the most Cindy-Loo-Who’s of us get a little cranky. Even if the big fat man in a red suit is watching, I also know that sometimes it is fully warranted to let our Grinch flag fly.


If only we lived in a gumdrop mountain meadow things would always be AWES-TATIC!! (Art: Cait Chock)

Now, before you start thinking I’m being a proponent for holiday un-cheer or being an unkind, thoughtless person (because I’m NOT…trust me sometimes things in this world stink but the best you can do is laugh about it and move on) my point is that there is also a line of what you should let roll of your back. Being that the holidays are super stressful for many people, let’s have a little mutual vent session and remind ourselves that we should pick our battles.

Pick your battles people, a wise little diddy because in life we always will come into contact with people that are difficult to get along with but we must. Whether they are a boss, a family member, or co-worker…you can’t go full Grinch status on them because there will no doubt be ramifications.

girl smiling

Am I smiling on the inside?

* The fake smile: akin to the ‘charity laugh’ this is a good weapon to whip out…you may be dying on the inside to claw their eyes out with a candy-cane but plaster this on your face, breathe, let them say whatever they are going to say and bite your tongue. Best uses are for when granny starts telling you that your choice of clothing isn’t right.

* Kill them with kindness: similar to the fake smile this one is different in that it takes a little more effort HOWEVER you can get a kind of twisted sense of relief in telling yourself that you are ‘outsmarting them’ because you KNOW they are being jerkies but you’re going to be the ‘bigger person.’ Best uses are with people that are your ‘superior’…think a boss or someone you have to stay on their good side. Or an unstable neighbor that if you got on their bad side you’re afraid you may not live to see another holiday.

strong girls

Workout those frustrations and get stronger...a double win. :)

* Run away: literally…I have to say one of the best ways to vent frustration is to take it out workout style. Have a nice interval session and the feel-good endorphins can be a lifesaver.

* Just walk away: Leave the room, get out of there…if you sense a volcano is about to erupt do you stay at the base of the mountain? Best uses: really anytime, it’s sometimes better to be ‘rude’ and leave mid-conversation than risk saying something you really wish you could take back later.

* Pick the battle: now, don’t be a doormat and sometimes you need to stick up for yourself. But proceed with caution and here are some things to keep in mind: speak in a calm, even tone and don’t raise your voice…start yelling and no one is going to listen. Use ‘I’ statements…”I feel that….” avoid using the term ‘you’ or ‘you did this’ because that automatically puts the other person on the defensive and they won’t listen to you. Finally, it may sound sappy but stick with the ‘this is what I’m feeling’ or ‘this is how it makes me feel’ and here is why, people can argue or who said or did what, but they can’t dispute how you are feeling. Kind of a tricky little loophole. :P

The holidays are AWESOME yes, we love each and every one of our family members and friends, right? Of course we do…but the holidays can be very stressful too. Have you watched the Griswald’s Christmas Vacation as of yet?

1) Is there anything making you feel a bit Grinchy as of late, EVEN during this awesome above awesome time?
To avoid a TMI moment I will just say I have a roommate that just can’t seem to get their aim right when using the bathroom…seriously?!

2) What are you most looking forward to this holiday season? What are you looking forward to the least?

3) How do you plan on handling any potential volcanos?

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A Self-Massage Survival Guide and Running Through the Holidays

You know how I was saying not too long ago about runners being in a sort of constant pain from one thing or the other? If you want a real laugh take a gander at this chick the first few steps of any run…*snap crackle pop*…it isn’t coming from the Rice Krispies.
old person
I know I’m not the only one, it’s hilarious (in that kind of way) because regular runners and even record holders/world-class athletes alike have a tendency to look a bit like Frankenstein before they are ‘warmed’ into that run.

On-going ‘this’ or ‘that’ is part of the game but we’re riding a thin line between a flare-up or actual injury that can keep us out. Staving them off is a bit of a battle, if you will, and the best way to win is to stay ahead of the enemies…err, game…err, injuries…hehe.

In case you missed it in the January issue of Running Times I did a piece on one of the ways to stay ahead of the game and be proactive in staying healthy: self-massage. The article is now available online if you want to read it HERE: Self-Massage the Runner’s Way. We all can’t afford regular massage therapy sessions, although I think we’d all LOVE it, but we have two hands and can put them to our own use. :)

Moving on because there has been to much bummer injury talk as of late and there are much more happy and exciting things to talk about! Namely the holidays…no matter what you celebrate I believe there is at least one thing or the next that warrants holiday status.
dogs at christmas
I’m really lucky that this year I don’t have to do any of the big travel…I’m not a fan of being stuck waiting in lines for eternity at the airports or having a security check that’s just short of a body cavity search. I jest, never had that pleasure, but for whatever reason I’m ALWAYS that unlucky ‘random’ person who has to go to that separate line and have the personnel unstuff and sift through my bags. I’m beginning to think I must look like some kind of creeper??

Though when it comes to the holiday season and traveling, people admit to sometimes finding it hard to squeeze in their workouts. Personally it would take something short of the apocalypse for me to not do something, but then again I’m also rather lucky to have a family who are pretty understanding as they too are fitness enthusiasts.

But if you’re NOT from a family of runners or have some extended travel plans, here are a few tips and tidbits:

* Get up early. Or that can be even earlIER if you’ve got a morning flight. I’ve gotten in runs outside of 4am to hop a flight…it’s not easy prying yourself out of bed but at least you don’t have to stop for any street traffic. The getting up an hour earlier also comes in handy if you’re staying with people who don’t ‘get’ the whole running thing; if you’re up and done before it ever effects them or impede plans that can win you some brownie points or at least help you avoid getting any flack.

* Adjust. If you’ve only got a short window of time and you want a quickie interval workout, then opt for faster farleks. You can bust out a good speedy 8-10×200 meters (200 recovery jog), with a short warm-up and cool-down in that time and it’s a quality workout that you could use anyways.

* Rope in others. A big thing with the holidays is of course family and friends, do the whole ‘kill two birds’ thing and go out for a run…everyone likes some company, right?

In the end though, if you end up needing to scale back your workouts or *gasp* miss a few days it’s not the end of the world. Consistency over the long haul is the most important thing, and there ARE bigger things in life than running in the end…hmmm, even if that was a bit painful to admit. ;) jk.

1) Do you do much self-massage? Are you lucky enough to go in and get actual massages from others?

2) Best thing you do to be proactive on the running injuries front?

3) Are you traveling for the holidays? How do you get in your runs or do you take planned time off?

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Two Days in a Row…My Bum is Feeling It

They say that putting the treadmill at 1.5% grade makes it equivalent to running outside. I don’t care who ‘they’ are but I’m telling you that running outside is harder, one and a half, schmone and a half. ;)

running away

Road vs. Tread

Okay, no, I know that there are differences between ‘real’ running outside and running inside. On a treadmill your strike, footfalls, and gait are able to stay exactly the same. Even on a flat road, you will make some turns, there are variances in the road, you move to avoid a branch or rock, slight elevation, slight grade down…normal stuff. All of these things add up.

The other big difference is that on the tready you actually don’t use your hamstrings at all. The way the belt moves, it works only your quads; the movement of the belt actually drags your leg back and thus takes your hammies out of the equation. So going outside it’s a little bit of a shock to the backside of your legs!

So in an effort to return to being a ‘normal runner’ I’ve taken it to the streets. Well, not the real streets, but outside on the bike trail. I feel safer there, still working against a little residual ‘I’m a weenie and cars kinda freak me out’ fears, but a bike trail I can manage. Now that I’m living closer to an awesome bike trail I’ve been going there.

It’s also a slap of reality, I’m also able to go faster on the tready than outside…most of that I think is just ‘me’ though because I’ve never been a real power runner, so the difference in paces I think is more overt just because I have strength that needs to build up.


This guy kicked my tush today. :)

Today was a good one, hillier than I’ve been doing…I say this and laugh because I ran with a good friend of mine (actually, it’s so funny because he’s about 7 years younger than me and I remember when he FIRST started running, him going out to his first races and now here I am running with him…PS-he kicked my butt and was way too nice to admit I was definitely the dead weight holding him back…haha!) and when I said, “So now we’re done with the rolling hills, this is flat from here on out, right?” his reply was, “Oh, yea, I forgot about the hills…haha…ya, I guess those were them, I was distracted talking!” I guess the only thing I can feel better about is that at least I was able to hold a conversation the whole way through. ;)

Ahh, but I loved it. The other great thing about the bike trail on the weekends too, you see tons of runners getting their miles on. Oh, and bikes…but runners are better. ;)

So kicked Sunday off to a good start; backtracking a bit, I also had a great Friday when I went out to On the Border with my fam and my little sis’s boyfriend. Mexican food and good conversation always makes for an awesome night. As for the boyfriend, all I have to say is this: this was just a ‘regular’ day, no special occasion and he brought her flowers. Earlier in the week he picked her up from school with a surprise: a limo waiting to drive them to San Francisco. Ummm…where were guys like these when I was in high school?!?!


san francisco

Sis and the BF at San Fran


So, fun Sunday runs…like the title notes my hammies and bum are feeling it a tad but it’s a GOOD feeling. The feeling like I’m back among the outside runners…and YES, regardless of what David may think, those WERE rolling hills!! ;)


Update: this runnerchick somehow made a dorkette mistake and a few paragraphs were repeated in my post!! What was I doing?! Anyways, you no longer will see double but that’s only thanks to the amazing Christina for telling me!! Thanks so much and I emplore you all to go and follower her blog because it’s totally stalkworthy! :)


1) What were/are you up to this weekend?

2) If you’ve spent a lot of time doing treadmill vs. outside running, do you find you can go faster on the tread than outside, even if you have it at the 1.5% grade?
This is true for me even when I do hard workouts on the treadmill vs. if I do the same workout on the track. It gets me frustrated when I can go faster on a treadmill tempo and then I take it to the track and I’m slower…what’s the dealio?!

3) Have you ever been surprised with a trip in a limo?
No…but sign me up.

4) On the Border is Mexican…love me my Mexican food…what’s your favorite Mexican dish/food?
Bean burrito, Baby!

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A Tribute to Kikko and a Confession

It’s so easy to take people for granted, that they will always be there. This applies to pets too. Dogs have a way of working their way into a family I think that is unlike other pets…though this is admittedly coming from a ‘dog person.’

When I was little I was dead-set on being a vet…that was until about the age of nine when I realized how much schooling was involved. Later, being that I really can’t stand vomit (blood not so much, I think I would have enjoyed surgeries and such) I know it was the right choice…I really can’t stand vomit, and poop too.

boston terrier kikko
I  always begged my parents for more pets, when I was just starting high school we got our first Boston Terrier. We named him Kikko, after the soy sauce, because my dad is half Chinese-Hawaiian and we had rice about every single night for dinner and the Kikkoman Soy Sauce was as much a staple on the table as a fork. (Yes, we stink and don’t go ‘all the way’ and use the chopsticks…lol.)

Kikko started the Boston Terrier ball in motion. My dad was adamant with: ONLY ONE DOG. But he fell in love with Kikko off the bat and it was then him talking my mom into letting us have more. Three more dogs later, and yes by now I’ve moved out and away.

When I was up in Portland those visits were actually pretty far and few between, so come Christmas or whenever and I did step foot into the door this was the usual scenario: dogs rush up in a stampeded of paws, snorts, sneezes, gas attacks, and barking, trying to asses if this was a stranger or not. Not Kikko though, he didn’t bark like the ‘stranger’ kind of bark, it was more like a bark of recognition and greeting, like, “Hey you, it’s been awhile.”

The others realized it was me after a bit and plenty of pets. We called Kikko the ‘old man’ and he was getting up there in age for dog years. He got slower, didn’t put up too much of a fight if another dog wanted the ball; he reminded me of the old soul who watched from the deck in his rocking chair, content with life and watching over his brood.

Every time I came home to see them I felt a lot of guilt. Guilt over the fact that I didn’t see them more, like I abandoned them. Those first ‘stranger barks’ only exacerbated that.

When I moved out I got a cat, Baily; like I said I’m actually a ‘dog person’ and wanted a dog but I lived in an apartment that allowed no pets at all and getting a cat was a stretch. When I moved back to Cali, I’d be lying if I didn’t harbor fantasies of getting a dog; my sister was the one who got the fourth Boston and I was asking all up and down about where she got hers.

Kikkoman was the old soul in the rocker, but I still never really thought of the day his chair would stop rocking. Sort of like it would be on an infinite pendulum; it’s easy to take people for granted and feel like they’d always be there.

kikkoman soy sauce

A week ago my dad texted me that Kikko was at the vet’s; he hadn’t been eating or pooping for awhile. Back and forth to the vets, it ended up that he had a very serious infection and had to have surgery on his intestines to remove 4 growths and 4 inches of intestines. He was put into ICU and as of yesterday at 5pm my dad let me know that he’d seen him, that he was doing better, but had to stay at the vets for another 3-4 days.

I think we all though, started to breath sighs of relief, as it looked like the trooper would pull through. A little over an hour later my mom let me know that the opposite was true and Kikko’s rocker had stopped rocking.

They always say that when anyone dies to remember the good times and focus on those. Looking over pictures has helped, but it hasn’t killed the guilt. I’m guilty I wasn’t able to really say ‘good-bye’ and that’s my fault.

boston terrier sumo wrestler

When I was up in Oregon there was an excuse for not seeing him, but now I’m only miles away and I should have gone to visit him. Yes, he was in the vet’s some of those nights/days. An excuse. Yes, I was in the midst of a fight with my mom and that’s why I really didn’t want to go to the house. An excuse. Yes, we kept getting ‘good news’ that he was getting better after every time back from the vets and thought all would then go back to normal. An excuse.

I deal with things a lot with words. I talk too manically fast and scattered to make much sense sometimes, but writing I am able to be more concise, get to at least some of my points, and express a bit better what I’m thinking or feeling. Is a blog the best platform for this, I don’t know, but I tend to write about enough other things on here (farts, gurgly guts on runs, random tangents) that I needed to pay tribute to my little guy.

Kikko, I’m sorry. I hope you know that I love you, always have, I never failed to notice that you never forgot who I was or thought I was a stranger if months and months went by and you never saw me. Your departure hit me hard; this sounds horrible and I hope PETA doesn’t come after me for saying it, but your loss I think hurts more than if my cat died…we aren’t supposed to admit favorites between pets I suppose.

But I will remember the good times; picking you out as a pup, posing with you for our Christmas card, taking you on that one awful walk you reeaaaallly wanted to stop so you just laid down on the pavement but the momentum of the other two dogs still dashing forward made you sort of drag along before everyone stopped, herding you into the crate at night, and hearing your not-so-soft snoring.

It’s easy to take people for granted, that they will always be there. Your rocking chair may have stopped but it will forever still be sitting out on the porch right where you left it.

<3 you Kikko.



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Summer’s Over and High Schools Need to Stop Messing Around With Our Sports Programs!

I’m typing this while coming down off of a Sharpie induced brain fog. I’ve been doing art work for the past three plus hours and because I’m still old school and draw/sketch, then ink my stuff out with actual pens, I’m blessed with pen headache.

That’s okay, I’m over it. Today was also the very first day of high school for my littlest brother!! He’s the fourth and last (by word, he better be the last at this point…haha) of the Chock kiddlets to work their way through GB High. My sister is also a Junior there now…cut to picture…

my siblings

…Wes on the left, Shay in the middle, the one of the right is my brother’s good friend. Again, I wish I looked half as stylish and amazing as my sister.

I still can’t believe how old they are getting. And upon writing that I’m feeling more and more old fartsty and like a parent myself!

Second thing, last night I watched a movie called ‘Racing for Time.’ Or at least I think I’m remembering the title correctly, I’m horribly embarrassed and appalled to admit it was in fact a Lifetime Movie, but hear me out before you automatically close this window.

I read the little recap on it and it was about a man who starts a track team for a girls’ youth correctional facility. It had running so I thought I’d try to force the Lifetime credit down and hope it didn’t come back up. ;)

Of course it was laced with the typical feel good, warm and fuzzy subtext, but overall I think it was pretty decent. I did like how the corny ending was staved off from being unbearable by the fact that (spoiler alert…haha) while they did rise above and end up technically winning the big race against ‘normal high schools’ they were DQ’ed for a bad handoff on the last leg. The trophy went to the catty girl’s team who made some snippy remark at the starting line.

Though the message at the end was that despite being DQ’ed they were still winners. They’d overcome personal and social barriers and at least been given a chance to feel like a part of a team. Hopefully they would carry over that discipline upon their release and create a better life for themselves…yada yada yada. Before I go all Lifetime on us, I’ll just say that I think the movie was pretty inspiring but for a couple other reasons.

First, implementing sports, especially running or ones that involve a great amount of discipline, WILL build character for those who participate. Along with plenty of other things. I think what this guy did by starting the track program is admirable (I’m not sure if it was based off of a true story or not) and should be done in these types of places. That said…it should be continued or reinstated in any other school, YMCA, rec league, etc everywhere.

In the Runner’s Log I made for one high school, GB actually…haha, I heard from the coach that just to participate in a sport a student has to pay some ginormous fee (it was close to $200 I think) and on top of that pay to the individual sport that they are participating in…each separate sport. On top of that, parents are again nickel and dimed for all those other things…thankfully running doesn’t require too much equipment.

football player

Yes, we should even save football...haha. :)

And this is a school lucky enough to even still have sports to their students. Don’t even get me started on cutting youth sports, then even their phys. ed classes…I mean I could go on about how wrong that is for days. I also just think it’s wrong that you’d have to pay an arm and a leg to take part, what about the kids who don’t have those kinds of resources? To coin a playground phrase….no fair!

Back to the movie, the other thing I liked about it (while it was a sprint 4×100 race and it would have been way better if it was a long distance one) is that it did show how our sport really is the best. So brownie points for Lifetime on that one.

1) Do you feel like an old fart when you listen to yourself sometimes?

Yes, not just in the above example but anytime I make a comment about the weather…really, Cait?! I mean, really?

2) Cutting youth and high school sports teams and PE classes, what’s the situation like where you live? I think the whole thing is just disgusting.

3) What’s the last movie you saw?

4) Did all your siblings go to the same high school as you? Was one of them there at the same time as you?

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Fear Factor Recasting – Overcoming the Fears We Battle

Cue Joe Rogan. So I am bringing you this post as a major alert: CHECK OUT DIS CHIC CHICKPEA…do it now!! Haha, now I usually try not to bust out the all caps in multi-word format that often because it is annoying, but Amy over there posted a poem she wrote that really is too amazing to ignore.

It’s about fear. It is ever-present but needs to be pushed out of our lives. She really puts it best, but it also got me thinking about fear and so now, as always, I can’t just shush-up and will ramble on with my two cents.

girl depressed

I think pushing fear from our lives in sort of like an ongoing battle, you shove one out the window and the door knocks with another. Sometimes I think it’s almost impossible to avoid opening the door, or I guess rather the door gets thrust open against your own will. So then, it’s up to you to rid yourself of the intruder.

There is also the little fear spectrum, or rather a speedometer. Worries and fears sort of blur together in my mind sometimes, and it’s a matter of placing a particular worry/fear on that odometer. Is it running at a 4 minute mile pace or is it walking at 20 min/mile pace? Sometimes it looks like a speed demon but when you stop and actually clock it, it’s going much slower than you thought. Sort of like that red sports car vs. the cops thing.

Amy’s poem also comes at really, a perfect time for me. I’ve got my own little knock-knocks on the fear door and actually, should I be completely truthful they’re already sitting in my lounge sipping coffee. I don’t like to really admit some things, I like to either be positive or make enough jokes out of it that I laugh it off, but then again I don’t like to lie or feel like I’m being a hypocrite either.

I would sort of feel like a hypocrite if I posted up this amazing poem about giving fear the finger and then not put the disclaimer that I’ve got my own fears and worries. I’m not sitting in an empty room, I’ve got Fear Nasties too. But, I also have other people in it besides fear and worry. Those people are there to help me oust Nasty Thing 1 and 2 out the window. In some cases those people are actually battling against the very same fear as you.

puppets in graveyard

Our Fear Nasties Graveyard

The tough thing I’ve learned is that those ‘good’ people are sometimes hard to find, the Fear Nasties can really crowd the room and the ‘good’ folks can get buried in the back. Here are the sticky points: 1) Identifying there ARE actually other people in the room besides you and the fear dudes 2) actually believing that they are there (yes, this is another step) 3) reaching out to them and saying you need their help and 4) actually getting the fear thangs out the window.

chock family

The Fam

Getting back to the fear speedometer, if the things are more just worries, sometimes you can take a step back and realize that you’re making them ‘faster’ than they really are in your mind and if you start thinking more rationally or logical you can come up with some sort of solution. If there IS no solution than your solution is that whatever it is may be out of your control, so the best you can do is accept that it is out of your control, then distract yourself until the thing works itself out or you learn something new about the situation. Push it out of your mind as best you can.

Lots of my ‘fears’ are actually just my over-worrying. Fear in my mind is more gripping, heart-stopping, or it’s an enormous weight that is pressing down on my chest. Fear seems shorter, or like a climactic eruption. Worries to me are the slow build…I think they can lead to the gigantic fear eruption as the weight just builds to a point where it feels like it’s crushing you.

Worries are more my problem. I’ve briefly brushed on that fact that I’ve got OCD where I made fun of myself, and if I told you all of my worries I’d laugh right along with you as I said them out loud. But laughing them off inside is far harder, and it’s a matter of forcing myself to discredit these worries. Of course I’ve got actual ‘real world’ worries too, like we ALL do…and there are becoming more of those, so that adds to my lounge room of folks with Starbucks cups.

As I again catch myself in an epic ramble, I don’t want to make this too personal, my intention was to identify that this particular poem is something we should all read, digest, then read again. Because it’s a reality check: do you want to keep living with Starbucks sipping, uninvited, fear nasties with a speed rating taking up space?

I know I don’t, and I know I’ve pushed plenty out of my room before with the help of the other ‘good’ people in the room. I think the digesting part for me has also been admitting that there will always be new fear/worries or whatever knocking on the door, some of them the very same worries I already pushed out before, and I need to really listen when they start knocking. When the knocking gets louder, barricade that d*** door and if the door bursts open anyways, rally the troops, open the windows, and get to chucking!

woman kicking butt

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