Monday, August 30, 2010

Just getting it done.

Another week has passed, and here we are. I'm not really sure if it's a major case of writer's block, or something else all together. For some reason, the motivation/urge/however-I-classify-it isn't there.

And that's okay!

Because (and I know that I'm not "technically" supposed to start a sentence with 'because'. But I will anyway, because we're friends). Because that's just how life rolls...and if it's one thing I've learned through past trials and tribulations: don't force it.

So I'm not.

(But that doesn't mean that you STOP all together or give up - no, no, no - not at all.) In the end, we take the good times with the bad and simply roll with it. Which is exactly what I'm doing.

So now, I'm literally - just hanging out. Waiting for the symphony to start up again (yea yea yea!) in a few short weeks, looking forward to a few camping trips (yea yea yea!), and training for this awesome half marathon (yea yea yea!).See - here I am "just hanging". Okay, okay - it was a kids rock wall and the holds were HUGE. But - as I sometimes feel like a big kid at heart, well - I see things like this and can't help myself. Oh - and apologies to the small child or animal that I plowed over in my haste to reach the rock wall.

On the training front - I'm back to zone 1 and zone 2 only (mixed with the occasional 30-second burst of speed OR hill). I'm not bored - grateful for the ability to run and train the way I want (mostly!).

However. But. However.

I'm convinced that zone 1 and zone 2 are the "purgatory" parts of training - you're just there. Zone 3, things are heating up, zone 4 you feel like you're in hell, and anything harder than that - well, my friends, it hurts so much that, by that point, endorphins have kicked in and hallucinations of the Pearly Gates may dance across your vision.

But that's just me.

Yesterday I did my longest run-to-date (well - since Kona last year and then this year of continual illness. Ugh). It was a 1 hour and 45 minute monstrosity. And I just did it. Ever have those days? Silly me - of course you do.

The run just needed to get done: It didn't have to be pretty, I didn't need to over-think the darned thing.... it. just. had. to. get. done.


Just 1:45 of putting one foot in front of the other.

Heading south down Pacific Coast Highway from Carlsbad to Leucadia, I felt like I had to force it... I felt slow (okay - I was going slow, but s-l-o-w-e-r), and the time that it took me to reach one geographical feature to another seemed infinitely longer.... even though (according to my watch) - I was going at my normal space.

Somewhere Einstein just smiled and muttered, "Relativity, Marit."

But I told myself that - as long as I could get through the first 1:25 (don't laugh) - the final 20 minutes would be GREAT.... I would hit that runner's high, endorphins would kick in, and all that other good stuff. No hallucinations of heaven (thank goodness - because after everything this year, I'm not sure I want to experience that!), but those final 20 minutes did feel pretty darned good.

Somewhere Jen just smiled. But I have no idea what she would say.

And finally - because at this point the cat is out of the proverbial bag - my living room looks like a scrapbook store threw up. For real. Part of me is embarrassed to admit it. Because (whispered) I'm not the scrap-booking type. Seriously people, I'm not.

I'm an artist.

(And yes - you can laugh all you want).

But, between the packets upon packets of stickers, different colored paper, photos, newspaper clippings, hole punchers, staple removers, various types of writing utensils, and (the kiss of death) - the paper cutter - I think I'm getting dangerously close to crossing that fuzzy line from "creative" and "artistic" into "scrapbook-er."

In my defense, it's a birthday present for Someone Special. And as that Someone Special was either on duty or flying all last weekend, that Someone Special has no clue. But there were a lot of people who contributed something special for Someone Special - and I would just like to say THANKS (you know who you are). So by the time he gets home this afternoon, my living room will no longer look like this:
Yes, cringe all you want. It looks like a paper store exploded.

And with that, I need to attend to my "project". And then do some violin work of my own - September is just around the corner... and I can hardly wait.

Here's to getting the job done, plodding through, and keeping it real. Congratulations to ALL who raced last weekend. AND the families and friends of those who raced - because in order to do the things we want with this amazing sport, the support of friends and families is instrumental.

Oh, and House Monsters - yes, those as well.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Finding my way! (Two stationary wheels at a time)

I couldn't help it and resistance was futile. Yes, it was a zillion degrees in San Marcos when our friends Ed and Michelle walked out of some awesome pizza place with me and Nathaniel. And sure, I had just stuffed myself silly with a Margharita Pizza and no less than four diet cokes.



However.... I didn't care. Especially considering .the fact that I can no longer ride my bike outside due to the HEAVY dosage of blood thinners... And at this point, I'll hop onto just about anything with two wheels that is stationary and outside... Well, then, there you go.

And the added bonus: you can see definition in my ankle, DVT and all! Awesome!

Seriously - it feels like Christmas came early!

Speaking of early Christmas....even though I can't race triathlons, last Thursday my vascular surgeon assured me that I COULD still race....and suggested that I remain as active as possible.

Open water swiming is out - thank you very much. We all know how I feel about sharks, and given the recent sightings of a 15-20 foot Great White just off La Jolla Shores, I am NOT interested in being eaten.

However - running is a different story all together.


Without further ado...

...and with my doctor's permission....

I signed up for the Silver Strands Half Marathon mid-November. And though it wasn't the season that I originally anticipated, I can safely say that I've learned quite a bit this year. But - I'll be totally honest. I am VERY excited about the training. The last time that I trained for running-only events was.. was... wow, um, in the 1990s.

How many decades ago is that?

Wait - don't answer.

And yes - again - I have doctor's permission. (After he viewed the latest ultrasound, of course). I swear that I floated out of the office - and then, even before calling Nathaniel, emailed Jen and told her that WE were training for a November half marathon.

It was awesome.

So with that - I'm prepping for my first run test on Wednesday. Yes, I'm nervous. But I'm also going into it with NO expectations. Absolutely none. A year of Ironman training and racing, followed by a complete stop from sports all together due to a massive DVT/PE will take away any notions of speedy-ness.

Which in the long term is great -

Because all I can do at this point is throw my hands up, smile, and shout "HOORAY" - because it's those little things that make us happy, that make us who we are.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sunset & Moonrise

For some reason, it happened today. I can't explain it, as I don't really understand it myself. But, something stronger than myself pulled me towards the beach...and even though I was (proudly) wearing my running shorts + jean jacket + running shoes with NO socks, I was happy. And I grabbed the camera on the way out-
Carlsbad Lagoon Trail, taken while running (yes - I was actually running) towards the beach...I just barely hit the Coastal Highway in time for the sunset).
The Carlsbad Power Plant - looking as though the Moon blew from it's smokestack. Best. Loogie. Ever.
The Ocean and US 101 are just beyond those palms.
Tamarack Beach and parking lot ~ full of people standing still to watch the sun set.
I'm always amazed at how....
...the same event....
...can be interpreted in so many different ways...
Well hello there! And yes, I realize that I'm talking to myself, but who really cares. (For the record - that wasn't a question).
See you tomorrow!
Nightlife along the Coastal Highway.
In a rush to be going nowhere; happy to take my time and enjoy the view.
There's a sun that just set, behind this tree - I swear there is.
Carlsbad Moonrise.
Crossing the tracks!
Neat-o! I discovered a "night" setting. Awesome.

Today life was happy. Life was rediscovering a part of myself that's been dormant for (seemingly) so long. Life was good. And I know that tomorrow will be okay.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Putting together the pieces~

Slowly and surely, time is passing and we are all coping the best we can, given the circumstances. Yes, there is still shock, sadness, and intense grief. However...the sun continues to rise every morning....the ocean waves continue to kiss the sand...and life slowly lumbers forward. I've come to accept the fact that things will always be a little different...that's just how this is.

And that's okay~

I can deal with that. I don't like it... but with this incident, I think all of us - we have all lost a little bit of ourselves, a little bit of the belief that 'Everything Will Be Okay' wasn't just a helicopter that crashed. Our lives came crashing down around us, and we are left managing and dealing the best that we can, given the circumstances. One day it will make sense - for you and for me.

But every time I get sad, I remind myself that the sun will continue to rise and set...that the ocean will continue to sing her song...and that there is so much beauty in the world - just waiting to be discovered.

In the interim, I've tried to focus on the lighter side of things... sometimes the distraction works, and other times - well, at least I tried. But between the Shitty Kitty wearing her Cone of Shame one day... and the flat front car tire that happily greeted me Sunday morning - I can't help but stand back and shake my head.

When life hands you lemons - you make lemonade. And then add a quart of vodka. And then things are slightly better. But only slightly.

But before you worry - no, sadly I can't drown my sorrows in liquor like any sane person. I've got my lovely DVT/PE to consider. The Coumadin + Healthy Dose of Sarcasm seems to be doing the trick, as best as it can.

On the flip side, I've been grateful for the outpouring of support. The families of the fallen Marines have been deeply touched... my squadron friends are all being UBER supportive of each other...but on a more personal level, so many of my triathlete friends have reached out to me.

I can't tell you how much this has meant to me and Nathaniel.

Last year was tough - from the standpoint that I just wasn't ever here. Early nights and earlier mornings were not conducive to happiness on all fronts. But he was so supportive - through the ups and downs of training (which we ALL deal with). And even though he didn't always like my 8-hour Saturday workouts, he's been deeply touched by the friendships and connections this sport has to offer. And the outpouring of support that my friends and readers have continued to show.

And for that - thank you.

I've always tried to be as honest and upfront as I could be through this blog. Right now, I wish this wasn't happening... this entire year has been one of the most difficult of my life. But...I'm hanging in there. And as difficult as it's been for me, I'm grateful for all that I DO have... because I know that there are so many others who would trade in a heartbeat.

If I've said it before, I'll say it again... hug your family, tell your friends that you love them, and don't sweat the small stuff. And at the end of the day, as hard as life is (with those Total Shit Times) - the sun will continue to rise, and the ocean will continue to sing her sweet song....

And everything else is just icing on the proverbial sheet cake.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Airing it out~

These past few weeks have been busier than I thought, and - quite frankly - really tough. And it's totally true, that when one finds oneself in a time of crisis, the propensity to surround oneself with others going through the same "Total Shit Time" is great. I just haven't had the heart to write, as my own heart has been broken.

...Or take pictures.

...Or think about my non-existent race season.

And while my own personal grief has been hard, I know it is nothing compared to what the families of Our Fallen Marines are going through.

The sad truth: we are a nation at war. I found this quote by Clausewitz while rifling through one of Nathaniel's military history books. It reads:
"War is the continuation of politics by other means."

I think even Nathaniel was surprised to find his Clausewitz book in bed long after I had fallen asleep.

For the troops deployed and on the ground in a war zone, war looks very different from what I've seen and experienced on the home front. Yet the two are one and the same. Because in the end - we are all human.

At times like this, I want to believe in the best of people, that human nature is inherently good, and that everything will be okay. But I've learned - especially after attending two military funerals in three days - that it isn't always the case.

I've questioned my faith - because if there was a God, then how come horrible things happen? - and mourned our squadron's loss of innocence...of believing that everything will be okay. Because how can it - after this? After everything else that has happened? All while grieving for friends whose husbands were killed, whose young children will grow up never knowing their fathers.

I'm not a fan of politics, and at this point - am insulted when people assume that I support ___________________ because we are a military family. Yes, my vote typically cancels out the vote of my husband - however, as a professional Marine, he keeps his political beliefs separate from his military duty. And as his spouse, I support him because I love him and am so proud of him, not a political ideology.

So while I pick up the pieces of my life, I do so with a heavy heart. I wish that those who make decisions about war, could somehow actually be able to personally experience the grief and sadness it causes. It's easy to make a political statement when you have never met and will never know the people (and their families) who serve in our armed services. They are more than statistics, more than just numbers.

And yes, I am totally realistic: I KNOW that there are very bad people in this world. I understand that - and I know these people do very bad things. That is undisputed.

And therein lies the conflict. What do we do and how do we go about doing it?

I am grateful for those brave and courageous souls who choose to serve our country. Because our freedom, our way of life, is based on their selfless sacrifice.

But it's heartbreaking to see and experience the aftermath of lives lost. My jury is still out on that one - and I don't think it's something I'll ever fully understand. As someone who wears her heart on her sleeve, these past two weeks were some of the most difficult of my life. I want to believe that everything will be okay, that life and all things GOOD will prevail - but I know firsthand that that's not always the case. I am mourning our loss.

But most importantly, I just want my sun to return. The May Grey became June Gloom, which morphed into the July Sigh. I know that my sun is somewhere above the fog of August - and I'm trying to make myself believe that it's rays will reach me once again.

I don't know what else to do. I just don't know anymore.