I am a girl who loves mountains, changing seasons, running, true backpacking, strong coffee, and knitting with high quality yarn.

When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Never a dull moment.

So, we all now about wild fires in NoCA and WS100 cancellation, and I don't see reasons to repeat hundreds of emails and blog posts. I am late on reporting it anyway. Only one thing to add: all the runners as far as I know had taken it in stride and very graciously, getting ready to roll next year, and this year - trying to find alternative or letting it slide. On that note, my runner, Steve, took his loaded truck (he was about to hit the road when I called with the news) and headed to WY to run Laramie 100.
Run he did - he finished in 26:35 for 3rd place and was very pleased about not waisting all that training and mental setting. I am pleased and proud of him too!

With Thursday morning agenda of canceling my flight to Sacramento, I suddenly came to a dead stop on what should I do. Apparently, this is my ONLY weekend that is now not filled with traveling to various races for different purposes. Wow! I better put it to good use! I had offers of going to the Oregon shore with Monika's family where Stephen was to spend a few days with them, to scout the OR100 course with Mike, to go hiking with Gail and Sid...but what I really longed for was to stay home. There is so much stuff piled up on agenda, and I am completely out of time and breath on it!

I made my decisions known, dropped Stephen off on Friday night after work, and first thing I did - hey, it doesn't happen more than once or twice a year - I headed to buy a couple of things of clothes for the summer, since, sigh, all my previous ones are too loose! What an excuse:) So I visited my favorite place of all - Goodwill store, and after 30 min left with 2 bags of things and only $50 lighter in a wallet. What's not to like??

I spent the night just chilling and getting ready for the weekend of a heat wave, hoping I will spend it productively: finally clean the house and study for my tests (I am only 1.3 of one book into 3 books for the end of August deadline).

5 am rolled on Saturday, and I was on the road...where? Gorge, of course! Liz (the WS100 not-to-be) and her crew of Kamm and Caroline had invited me for hill repeats. Now, of course, I wasn't doing no "hill repeats", but couldn't resist a quick trip to my sanctuary, nor did I want to. We met at Wahkeena falls and after short exchange of hugs they hit the uphill while I hiked behind. It was a beautiful morning, if hot - don't laugh, we do have 100F here, and at exactly this time usually, but summer was so late this year, this weekend came too sudden and too hot. I kept thinking about many wonderful things in my life I am thankful for and it made the 1 hr slog unnoticed. As the girls turned around, I joined them on downhill - and right away was hit with the pain... WTF?? I remembered that at turn-around at Bighorn I had knee pain, but it was not bad, then it was quite an attack while Mike and I ran on Thursday ( we walked on Tuesday, and I hit the gym on Wed), and I hoped it's just lingering something from the race (I never have knee pain!), and now this - it was insane! luckily, the pace the ladies set for the first downhill was good enough for me to hobble on one leg, and I kept it together.

On the second uphill Caroline stayed with me the whole way (she had over-worked in her garden the night before, and her glutes were talking) - and it was an awesome time! I don't think I ever talked to Caroline so much at one pop, and about such subjects that make people so close...thanks, darling! All girl talk, from gooey stuff to work to life's meanings. Nothing better than that!

So here it was, time to go down again, and with the first steps the pain escalated, and I couldn't even hobble. Everyone was quickly leaving my sight while I was trying to adjust the gate to some kind of "forward movement", and as I was focusing on that, I wasn't focusing on a steep portion of the trail, and tripped and flew a good 3 yards down, landing with my legs up and head kissing the ground. Oops, it only took me a couple of months to put another scar on top of my right knee again? :) The shok of the fall was quite a lot to take on, and the skin burned, but more than that I worried about what was happening with my left knee. I slowly made my way down, walking and limping...

Well, now I have to take care of it. I do not have any pain while walking, and I decided against running for at least a few days, may be test it on Wed. My goal is to be as 100% healthy as I can be for pacing job at Hardrock 100 in 2 weeks. After all, I really promised Mike to be able to stay with him. Hmm...ice, Vit I, rest and knee brace, along with ART massage next week. Keep your fingers crossed.

I took a shower, changed, and before going for a house super-cleaning session realized I don't have a vacuum. I had one from a friend when I moved out, but it broke in a meantime. So back to the car and to the store - the smallest one would do, but why not to stop at Barnes&Noble and at the supermarket for fruits and veggies! The weather is finally warm (ha! hot!) enough to stop reaching for comfort food! I did just that, and in an hour and half was back in business. My apartment hasn't looked that clean since I moved in!

So here I am, dreaming about that pool finally and a book to read (ok, study) - and the phone rings. Monika claims they forgot a few items at their house and they can't live without them at the beach! Would I please do a favor, swing by, pick them up and bring them to the coast where they are staying? Had I ever said "no" to my girl??? I quickly got the rest of my chores done and on the road by 5 pm, with full intention to get back home same evening...

Easier said than done. What was I thinking? No, I don't mind driving 2 hrs each way at all, but should have known my family and their evil plans (or rather how well they know me). Once we met, all the kids and adults swarmed me with "please, please, stay for the night" begging...and as much as I was determined to spend my time wisely on studying, it felt good...really good...family good. So, here, say hi to my family!

Dinner was superb, as always in this household, and we drank wine and laughed and hugged and talked, and then as the night fell - hit the beach for a bonfire, fireworks and smores!

It was obvious coming over and staying the night was the most fantastic idea, and I wouldn't have done it if it wasn't my guys. Stephen, who is lately beginning to come out of his introvert shell, dearly missed me already, and actually expressed it with holding hands, hugging a lot, looking at me, jumping into every picture I took, and just sitting next to me. Wow, my God, my heart melts when I think about it! He was not that kind of a boy before (neither was Alex, I think it runs in their male side of the family), and I was totally submerged into this new for me experience. How did I even think of not spending time here??? Enjoy some of the pictures below and most of the album here.

The night was gorgeous, and after all that jumping at the beach, Amanda and I took a walk and talked about boys and love, and at midnight adult finally tuned to bed, while first floor populated with kids partied hard with music:)

I slept in...I wanted to get at 5 am and go, and I did...but I closed my eyes and drifted back to a nice state again under the sound of ocean's waves heating the shore practically at the window...and I didn't open them till 8 am. I guess I needed that too. How often life makes decisions for us? We just need to trust it and see its signs...

Moni got up as soon as she heard me and made me a nice cup of cappuccino, then a bowl of muesli with banana, and sent me out to the balcony to study. Yes, I actually brought the book - I guess deep inside I knew I'd stay:) Never a better setting. I got through half a book in 2 hrs straight, and the rest of the house was finally waking up one by one. Mom made each of us breakfast "by order"! It was finally time to go home - and one more reason to make my stay more useful (as if I needed any more) was to follow Amanda as she was driving her new car with a manual transmission for the first time that far. I was to be Stan's security blanket, because the girl rocked the road! We have totally same driving style too, with speeding up to 80mph on windy mountain road, passing a few cars, then tacking behind somebody at 60mph and slogging, then repeat the cycle. I think we should hit the road together and have some fun out there!

So here I am, home at last...may be I get back to those books...but may be not. After all, life is about letting things flow sometimes, or at least listen to where it may point you to wander...


Bob Gentile said...

Ok I worn-out again :-) not sure how u do it but your busy filled weekends get me exhausted all the way in FL!!

GTR is 60 days away --woot woot!! have 45 days to get my chitt together & 15 days of taper... Game plan is NO SOLID foods for this 100, except for Soup & maybe some salt/red potatoes at night...

angie's pink fuzzy said...

i can hear the contentment in your voice. that sounds like an awesome weekend. (and i thought you were looking much much skinnier in recent photos!)

Sarah said...

Nothing like good friends. :)

Fingers crossed for the knee. I'm going to call for an appt tomorrow with an ART specialist on my side of the river. She's also certified in Graston so maybe I'll get some good pain going. : )

Anonymous said...

That Monika is a crafty one. I'm so glad that you didn't miss this weekend with friends and family.

Loose clothes are good too.

AnthonyP said...

Way to make the best out the weekend ! Take care of the knee. Can't wait to see you at the Tetons !

Larry said...

Take it easy out there on the trails this week!!! You need to be in one piece for HR for pacing.

Monika sure is sneaky! It is wonderful that you have a family that has taken you in as their own. That is very special and rare these days. It's also great to see Stephen doing so well, showing lots of affection, and smiling in pics.

It's great you had not only a productive weekend at home, but, also, a relaxing one at the coast.

CoyoteGirl said...

Fun weekend! Sometimes just going with the flow leads you to do the right things. Take care of that knee!

rick said...

My knees have been bothering me too since KM. I'm hoping it's just a recovery thing. Seems to be getting better week after week, now they only bother me at the end of a long run. Hope yours gets better soon too for Hardrock. I'm a little worried myself with a TRT coming up fast. Let's go with your plan; ice and stretching. No ART for me though, gotta save the bucks, I need some new equipment. Anyway, that knee looks sweet, I like the dust and scratches trail going all the way down:)

Maybe Alex is picking it up from the other kids? Seeing that it's ok to express your feelings like that. What a great weekend.

Carilyn said...

What a great weekend! Isn't it funny how life conspires against us to make sure we make the most of it? Good for you!

Sorry about the knee, but you always heal quickly - must be your great attitude!

HUGE congrats on Bighorn! You rocked that course (but then again, we knew you would :)

Backofpack said...

Sounds like a fun time at the beach - and a gorgeous place to stay. Too bad your knee was hurting because there's nothing quite like a run along the oceans edge. Good for you for getting some studying in too! And yay for new clothes!

robtherunner said...

The beach looks like the place to be. And you even managed to get some reading done too. I have been more likely to go with the flow of life lately as well. It's a good thing.

JeffO said...

Bobfire, fireworks, and smores! With great company. That's as good for mind/body/soul as a hot springs spa get-away. No wonder you recover so well.
Good luck with the knee! Hard Walk 100 might actually be good therapy. Wait - your runner is fast! Well, Cunningham is supposed to be "the place to be", so if you have to, bail and do some TLC!

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