Monday, January 31, 2011

Absent from the Body...

Present with the Lord.

As sad as I am to see C leave us, I am so grateful that I know the moment of her last breath she opened her eyes and saw Jesus. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Did you know...

That God has a sense of humor?  If you were not aware of that, I am here to tell you it is true!

I have an anxiety disorder.  Most of the time it is well under control, but there are times when it starts to affect daily life.  I cannot stand to have extra noise and turn the radio off in the car.  I sometimes will jump out of my seat and start pacing for no apparent reason--except that I feel bugs crawling under my skin.  Thank God, I have had no full blown panic attacks in a few years.  They are the worst.  I feel like I am dying and only want to bang my head against the wall.  Anyway, this is not the point about God's sense of humor, just the back story...

The last several months, business has been pretty bad.  We spent alot of time with only one or two residents.  The only inquiries were for people on hospice.  Don't get me wrong, I love hospice care, but it doesn't pay the bills for long.  Over the last month, things were getting more and more dire as our only resident is declining.  We didn't worry too much as January is normally a very busy month for community based care.  Not this year.  No calls.  I contacted everyone I knew and many I did not seeking referrals.  The stress was beginning to affect my anxiety and my ability to sleep. The bugs-under-the-skin feeling came back. I paced the house. I prayed. I tried to trust.  

Hubby and I began to discuss our options.  We considered the options with the business and the possibility of closing it and selling the house.  Not the best option with the real estate market such as it is, but we had to consider everything.  We are fortuante in that we have options.  The more we talked about the options the more some sounded inviting.  Close the business, sell everything and move to Hawaii.  We would need to live hand to mouth in a very small place.  But warm and sunny has a lot to say for it!  We have family that are willing to help any way they can. 

As time passed, I realized how much I love our business.  I love helping people--both our residents and their families.  I love the freedom it gives both of us to follow our passions.  Hubby can go play golf while we are on duty.  I can run mid-day.  Since we started the business we have been able to travel more than ever before--Washington DC, Hawaii, St Louis, California, France.  I love working with my husband.  There is no one else with whom I would rather spend my days.

Wednesday afternoon was beautiful--sunny and 50 degrees.  I ran my entire long run with a smile on my face.  I began to realize how truly blessed I am.  I have a husband I adore, a family that loves me, a career I love.  I have the health and strength to run mile after mile.  This life of mine was worth fighting for, yet I did not have to fight for it.  I just needed to let it go, to trust God to bring what was right to pass.  It was a life epiphany.  I went home, relaxed and refreshed.  For the first time in weeks, I slept soundly.  The anxiety was gone.  I had peace that God would provide however he chose whether it be residents or a sign to make a change.

Then comes God's sense of humor.  After that run, I got a call.  Someone I had toured 18 months earlier wanted to visit again.  His father's care has gotten too much for his mom and it is time to make a change.  That same afternoon came another call.  A woman who had been trying to convince her dad to move from his home.  He finally said it was time.  Both scheduled tours on Friday.  God blessed both tours.  Both have choosen to move to our care home. 

God is laughing with me.  He was waiting for me to decide what was truly in my heart.  Then he blessed far above anything I could have imagined. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Some days are like this.  They start out slow with changes in plans.  Then there is a turn and it all comes together.  A moment of clarity brings everything back into focus.  And, suddenly I remember.  I remember how incredibly blessed I am.  Today, that moment of clarity arrived, as it often does, in the middle of a run.  The sun was shining so the planned tempo turned into LSD. 

My smile grew as I felt my body find it's rhythm.  Every worry, every concern drifted away.   Each step reminded me of how much I have.  Blessings flew through my mind as I reveled in the warm sun.  The love of my husband and family surround me.  A business that I love and can help others reach their potential.  The ability to be able to head out for a run when the sun shines. 

Every aspect of my life is blessed by God.  He allows me to enjoy the life he has given me.  Sometimes I become overwhelmed and the day to day struggles seem larger than the blessings.  I begin to focus on those struggles and lose sight of what is true and right.  Today I had 10 miles to remind me how truly blessed I am.  I am refocused on those blessings.  It is time to remeber the positive and leave the rest behind.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fartlek! Hehe!

Fartlek.  Fartlek.  Fartlek.  Hehe, 'scuse me!  That word always makes me giggle! 

Yesterday was a glorious afternoon so I headed out about 3 for my run.  The dog was as happy as I was to be out in the sun. It felt like spring! That is actually a very bad thing for me. I will now be looking for more signs of spring and it is still January.  Yet that was certainly not going to keep me indoors and in denial!

I wasn't feeling the greatest so I almost switched to a close-to-home hill workout.  In the end, I stuck with the plan for 15 x 1:00 hard/ 1:00 easy.  After 1.5 mile warm up, I hit the lap button on the Garmin to start the program.  (I love that feature!  It is great to program the entire workout and just follow the beeps.)  I tend to start too fast and have a hard time finishing up on the same or faster paces.  I worked hard at going hard, but not too hard.  Run tall and strong with a straight back. 

It felt great.  I can start to see the change in my stride with the inclusion of strength training to my program.  I run stronger and can control my speed better.  I can run harder longer before I start to slump forward.  I finished the workout exhausted, but still could have managed another couple of repeats.  It felt right.  It felt good.  I told Indy what a great job he did and was telling myself the same. 

I have always hated intervals like this.  Yet the more I do speed work, the more comfortable with it.  And, believe it or not, I think I may actually be starting to like it.  (Wow, that was a lot of qualifiers.)  I feel so strong and so weak when I finish the workout.  I feel like I can do anything after a hard workout.   

Warm Up 1.5 mi @ 10:14
8:53, 8:50, 8:37, 8:45, 8:49, 8:13, 7:59, 8:20, 8:22, 8:20, 8:26, 8:23, 8:12, 7:48, 7:32
Cool Down 1.37 mi @ 10:40

Friday, January 21, 2011

Accentuate the Positive

My motto of the day!  Things are a little gloomy around here and it isn't just the weather.  One of my favorite residents of all time is declining.  Business is very slow.  I am hanging on to the positive by a thread and it is pretty thin sometimes.  I have a God who is able to bless me far beyond anything I can imagine.  Today, I choose to hold onto Him and his promises!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Running with a Friend

Normally, I am a solitary runner.  The first two years of running, I only ran with others during races.  Timing of group runs never fit my schedule or training.  And I loved running alone. It was my time--a time that was all about me.  I don't remember the first time I ran with someone on just a regular every day run.  Yet that run opened a door in my mind.  Maybe running with someone would be positive.  My schedule still doesn't match group runs.  However, I have begun to make running friends.  And, once in a while, our schedules matched.  Today was one of those days.  We ran along the Columbia River in Vancouver.  It was pouring rain and wind, but it was so much fun.  I ran taller because she was with me.  We talked about this, that and everything else.  I have not enjoyed a run so much in a long time! 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Success in Strength

Woooohoooo!  I did what I set out to do!  Four, yes, four workouts of strength training in the last 2 weeks!  I am really proud of myself for hanging in there--sore muscles and all.  And, in those 2 weeks, I have had very successful runs.  Two weeks: 2 tempos, 2 interval workouts, 2 long runs.  Ahhh, it feels so good to be back.  I love training.  I love having a goal. 

I am terrible at planning out strength training workouts so I picked up Kathy Smith's Lift Weights to Lose Weight.  So far I love it.  It has several workouts on the two discs.  Just thought I would share something that is working for me!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Just a quick update on life in my house...

1.  Hubby is home!  We spent the entire day together and it was wonderful!

2.  I registered for the Girlfriend's Half in October. It will be my first all women's race and I am really excited.  There are a number of Loopers running it for Lady Loopfest 2011.

3.  A new resident moved in on Monday.  He has declined a lot since I first met him on Saturday.  He will probably not live more than a few more days.  Sigh...

4.  I did my long run outside last Friday and my cough is back.  Yep, I am relegated to the treadmill until spring.  I will resign myself to that.  Of course, I planned a pyramid elevation workout on Monday and the elevation broke.  No more hill work on the 'mill.  Rats!  That was one way to change up the workouts and make the time go faster.

5.  Did I mention my hubby is home?!  I missed him soooo much!

Sunday, January 09, 2011


Running a small business can be challenging.  With many out of work, families are caring for loved ones at home.  Retirement funds have lost value so people are trying other solutions for care.  This leads to a slow down all across community-based care facilities.  That being said all facilities are doing all they can to keep residents longer and provide more care than previously thought possible.  All this leads to fewer residents changing placements. 

The greatest number of referrals we have received lately are people on hospice with a short life expectancy.  I do love caring for people in the last days of their lives.  I know that we do an amazing job of supporting the resident and their loved ones.  The amount of resident turnover this brings is hard on the bank account.  And my staff have little consistency of scheduled hours with the changes.  I begin to worry when our census gets so low.  I begin to think of what the options are if we have no residents for long and cannot continue the business. 

Yet, when the situation becomes more difficult, we get a call.  Someone needs a place to live.  A family is at the end of their endurance and needs help.  Often, within a few days, there is a new resident in our home.  When this happens, I am reminded again of God's provision.  I need to do a better job of holding onto the belief that God will provide.

Psalm 34:8-10

Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
for those who fear him will have all they need.
Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.

Friday, January 07, 2011


How can adding strength training back into a routine make one more sore than running a marathon?  I am having more difficulty going down stairs today than after any of my marathons!  Yesterday, I added squats and lunges back into the routine.  Today I ran 6 miles that felt more like 26 when I finished!  I just keep reminding myself that if I keep up with it I will be a better, stronger runner.  And, if I keep it up, I won't be this sore again...

Monday, January 03, 2011

I'm BACK, baby!

Ahhhh, tonight was awesome!  I had my first hard workout scheduled.  I have been taking it easy making sure I was really and truly well.  Today has been strange.  I put my husband on a plane to Hawaii and then had the whole day completely to myself.  That just NEVER happens.  I did this and that and piddled the day away until it was dark.  I nearly let it slide.  But I did it!  Wooohooo!

I scheduled hill repeats.  After a 20 minute warm up on the dreadmill, I started in with 5 x 2 minutes at 5% grade with a 2 minute recovery at 1.5%.  (My 7ish year old 'mill doesn't get lower that that anymore.)  I kept the speed the same throughout.  That way the hills were a pretty tough effort.  It felt awesome!  I loved working hard again!  The sweat was dripping and with it so much of my frustration of the last 6 weeks.  Ahhh!

P.S.  Yes, my husband is in Hawaii until next Tuesday night without me.  This is his Christmas gift.  He is spending Thursday until Sunday volunteering for the PGA tournament.  His sister works at the Kapalua Golf Resort and lives within walking distance of the course.  He will be running a laser at the 15th green.  He will mark the balls with the laser which will give the distance to the hole.  This allows the commentators to share that information.  He is really excited and I am excited for him.  Although, I am a little jealous, too...