Run For Rory

Two years ago, my stepdaughter’s best friend committed suicide. She was beautiful, smart, successful, and funny. She was well-educated and a well-loved nurse. She had everything going for her. At least, she did from the outside. On April 7, 2015, Rory took her own life. It was a devastating shock to all who knew her and left everyone feeling helpless.


According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, with almost 45,000 people taking their own lives each year.

My stepdaughter has put together the first annual Run for Rory event on May 6th. All proceeds from the event benefit Operation Care, a local aid agency that staffs a 24-hour crisis hotline. I encourage anyone near Amador County to come out and support this great cause. It will be a beautiful 3(ish) mile walk or run around the lake.

You can register at the following link:

You can also follow the Run For Rory Facebook page here:

If you can’t make the run, but want to make a donation, those are accepted as well!


Cautiously Optimistic

I met with my surgeon today to discuss my options with regard to my poor, torn ACL.

Right now, my knee is still a little too swollen for him to tell 100% if it’s a complete tear or a partial tear. He can tell from the MRI that it’s definitely torn though. A partial tear would open up a door to a non-surgical solution. Essentially, I can work through lots of physical therapy to build up all of the muscles in and around my knee to help support it if the tear is partial. If it’s a full tear, I’ll pretty much need surgery without a doubt.

Here’s what I really liked about this surgeon – he’s not rushing me into surgery, but we have a game plan. It’s still a very viable option, but we’re going to give it a month of PT (which I would be doing if I had surgery anyway). After that month, I’m going to meet with him again and he’ll mess around with my knee some more. That will tell him one of two things – it’s fully torn or it’s not (that month is enough time for the swelling and fluid to go down). If it’s fully torn, we do surgery. If it’s partially torn, I have a choice to make based on how I feel the therapy has gone – if the knee feels great, I can try life without part of my ACL. If I don’t like how it feels or am worried about future stability, then we go into surgery.

I feel like I’m rambling, but I’m so so so excited to have a plan and something to work towards. Over the next couple weeks, I get to start weaning myself off the crutches (seriously, I’m so amazed at how weak my leg muscles have become over the last two weeks) and then the brace. I start PT on Tuesday, so in addition to biking and swimming (my only two approved activities) I’ll have some exercises to work on.

Fingers crossed!

The Story of the Torn ACL

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be splinted, packaged up, and sledded down a mountain by ski patrol? No? Well, I found out the hard way…


Yup – those are my legs and my skis, strapped into a sled.

Let me rewind to the beginning. My sister won tickets for a day of skiing through work and decided to take me as her skiing buddy. Last week was a really long week for a wide variety of reasons, and both of us were super excited to have a “mental health day”. We headed up to beautiful Squaw Valley, got our skis, and hit the slopes.

We were having a wonderful time. The runs there are ridiculously long and it was an absolute blast. We were getting close to the end of the last one and had decided that we would go grab some lunch when we got to the bottom.

Then, I fell. It was not anything dramatic, or exciting, or spectacular. The edge of my downhill ski caught funny and as I fell, my boot stayed hooked in, and my knee twisted awkwardly. I heard and felt a very audible “pop” – much like bubble wrap. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel much pain. Then I tried to stand up. I instantly felt super queasy and clammy. Kati and I got me over to the side of the run where I decided to sit for a while. I tried to stand back up and get my boot back into the binding, but my knee felt super squishy and started to hurt. I knew right then that something was really wrong.

My sister skied down the hill to find the ski patrol, who came up pretty quickly. They were super funny and took really good care of me. They splinted my knee, strapped me into their little toboggan, and skied me down to the medical center, where there happened to be a sports medicine specialist (talk about good positioning!). He took some x-rays that showed nothing was broken, moved my knee all over the place, and told me I had torn my ACL.

We headed home with a brace and crutches, and the small hope that maybe the doctor at the resort (who probably sees five of these a day) didn’t know for sure. I have spent the past few days at my parents house because we’re having our floors replaced and mine is a hot mess. They’ve taken such good care of me, giving me plenty of time to rest, ice, and elevate! I went to my doctor who sent me over to the orthopedic specialists. They did an MRI and yesterday I got confirmation that my ACL is completely torn.


I had my pity party, a good cry, and now I’m ready for action. Surgery is pretty much the only option if I want to get back to riding and the other activities that I do, so now I’m waiting for my surgery date. I will be happy to talk to the doctor, find out which surgical options are best for me (there are a couple different ones), and to ask all of my questions. Most of all, I just want to get it done so that I can get to work building my muscles back up and can get back on my horse!

A Beautiful Hike

Lately I have been a very lazy blogger and a very busy girl. I guess that’s not a bad problem to have, but I like to keep this thing updated, so here we go.

A few weekends ago Mike and I decided to take advantage of a break in the weather to go for a hike. Shadow got to come along, which seriously made his day. I don’t know how he does it, but I’m fairly certain he is fluent in English… he knew exactly what the word “hike” meant, even though it’s not something we do with him very often.

We headed up to the fire lookout in Pine Grove and started walking. Here’s my happy, sweaty family about halfway up:

My Happy Little Family
My Happy Little Family

Shadow seriously had the time of his life – we ended up hiking a few miles (just over an hour). The views were absolutely beautiful. Sometimes I forget what a beautiful state and city I live in. And take it for granted.

Valley View
Valley View

It seriously already looks like spring! Thankfully after this we got a good deal of rain, so things look a little less dry, but this drought is killing us! Mike wanted to hike some more, so Shadow and I headed down the mountain while Mike hiked another hour or so. This is us on the way back down:

Me & My Dog
Me & My Dog

It was a wonderful morning out in nature and a beautiful hour with my family! Life is good!

Thoughts On Marathon #2

Just like that, marathon #2 is done! This is the marathon that I knew I could do… my final time was 4:42:37, which is over an hour faster than I ran San Diego. While I wouldn’t trade the accomplishment/experience of getting through San Diego (long story short, I had severe “tummy troubles”), this was an entirely different experience. I actually got to enjoy (well, as much as one can enjoy running for 26.2 miles) the course, the people, the music, and the overall experience. It was 22ish degrees at the start and a balmy 40ish degrees at the finish, which besides a little discomfort at the beginning (running with frozen toes anyone?) was actually nice weather to run in. I’ll take cold over hot any day!

I Did It!
Me At The Finish Line

The Signs: There were the traditional funny running signs (“Worst Parade Ever” and “Who Needs Toenails Anyway?”) and some new ones I hadn’t seen before (at mile 2: “You’re not almost there!”). One that really touched me read “Someday you won’t be able to do this. Today is not that day”. I don’t know why, but that was really inspiring to me, because it’s so freaking true. Unless you’re that 80 year old guy who passed me at mile 25. Apparently then you can do it for the rest of your life.

The Spectators: My mom was amazing… she was absolutely everywhere! It was so great to see a friendly face among the supporters. I think she ended up making it to four different spots on the course and screamed her lungs out! Kati, Nate, Mike, and Chloe all joined her at the end… it was much-needed support to get me across the line! Kati even made me laugh, which at that point in the race is really hard to do! Poor Dad was home sick, but was proudly posting to Facebook! I can’t believe how many people were out there in the cold cheering all of us runners on. I began to actually think “They must be freezing… at least I get to run to stay warm!”.

The Aftermath: I am seriously considering writing Dr. Seuss to come up with some new running inspired books, such as Oh The Places You’ll Chafe and One Gu, Two Gu, Chocolate Gu, Vanilla Gu. I went home and took a long, hot bath in our jet tub… it was the most amazing thing ever. This time around I am not nearly as in pain as I was with the first one. I am definitely sore and stiff today, but I think that by tomorrow I’ll be the “hurts so good” sore. And, I’m starting to get hungry. I wasn’t really yesterday, and I know that by tomorrow I’ll want to eat everything in sight. Hooray for running!

I am really proud of myself for doing this one. Honestly, this could not have been a better marathon experience. I felt like from the start of training all the way through the day-after pains I was able to actually enjoy the experience. My training runs were beautiful and I took time on the course yesterday to reflect on the whole process. There’s just something about setting your mind to something and actually doing it. Something that you have to push your body to do. More so than your body, your mind.

I think this might have been my last one, but I’ve learned to never say never! 🙂

Sayonara Toenails

Well, the inevitable has happened. I managed to avoid it for the entire first time I trained for and ran a marathon, but no such luck this time around.


I’m officially losing toenails. That’s right, toenails as in more than one. Two to be exact. No, you don’t have to worry about me actually posting pictures of said toenails… I will spare you the gory details. Just know that there are two that are not going to be there very soon. The good thing is it does’t really hurt… they get sore, they turn colors, and well, that’s it. Maybe that’s because I’m dealing with all of the other running pains and that’s just the lesser of evils. Either way.

All of that fun stuff said, I can’t believe that marathon #2 is next week. As in 12 days away. I can’t believe how fast the time has gone by. Training has definitely been different this time around. I’m much more aware of my body and much less stressed about the little things. I’ve actually gotten to the point that I can enjoy the scenery on my longer runs. And I’ve figured out those terrible “tummy troubles” that I had a lot of last time. My only issue this time around (besides the toenail thing) is this annoying cold that I can’t seem to kick. Hopefully that clears up in the next few days (fingers crossed!) and I can take this marathon by storm!!!

Proof That Running Makes You A Little Crazy

This morning I ran twelve miles before work. It was a beautiful morning – I started with four miles on the treadmill because it was still dark out, and let’s be real, I have no desire to be eaten by a mountain lion. In fact, I’m scared to death. So, I did some time on the TM and then headed out to my normal road to finish the last eight. It was absolutely beautiful – dare I say that fall is almost here? It was cool and clear and I got to see the sun come up. Not a bad way to kick off your Friday!

While I was running I got a text message from my sister. It was Miss Chloe saying good morning:

Good Morning!!!
Good Morning!!!

Being the fun aunt that I am, I decided to say good morning back in the same way (so that she understands, of course):

Good Morning Chloe!
Good Morning Chloe!

Yup, running actually makes you crazy. Just a little.


It’s really interesting to me how different training for a marathon is this time around. Last year every run was a mental test where I was thinking “this is the farthest I’ve ever run”. I was unsure if I could do it. Now I have confidence in my body and my mind that I was lacking last year. I know I can get through the runs, even if the worst should happen. I know how to deal with all of the little aches and pains. Dare I say, I’m actually enjoying it. I’m taking time to look at the scenery and to stay in tune with my body.

Today I test drove the Clif Shot Bloks. While they didn’t upset my stomach per se, they didn’t exactly sit well either. I ended up with a really bad side cramp that lasted for about three miles after I took them. I think that they might have been a little too much for my tummy to digest, but fortunately it didn’t rebel. I did like the consistency and taste – they were strawberry flavored and the consistency of swedish fish. I do love a good swedish fish, but maybe it’s not the best idea while running. I may give the jelly beans a try next weekend – they seem to be a favorite of many of my runner friends.

In other news, you might notice that my blog has a different look and feel. I decided tonight that I wanted a change, so I switched it up. What do you think? Do you like it? Use the comments spot below – I value your feedback!

Fitbit One

In preparation for my second marathon in December, I decided to take my training and eating (and general fitness) a little more seriously. A few days ago I invested in a Fitbit One… a cool little wireless device that helps track all sorts of fitness metrics. Here are some of the things it tracks:

Sleep: This is probably one of the coolest features in my opinion. When you go to bed (after you’re done reading, watching TV, etc) you press a button on the Fitbit and it starts timing your sleep. Through the magic of modern technology it tracks how many times you wake up during the night as well as how many times you were restless (but not necessarily awake). In the morning, you push the button again and it stops tracking sleep and goes back to steps (although if you get up in the middle of the night, it keeps track of steps too). You can then sync up with your computer or smart phone to see how long it took you to fall asleep and how effective your sleep was.

Steps: The Fitbit keeps track of steps similar to a traditional pedometer, but with an internet and smart phone interface. Your standard daily goal is ten thousand steps (recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle) which is roughly five miles. You can update this goal if you find you’re more active and too easily hitting the daily target.

Mileage: The Fitbit also keeps track of mileage – the goal is five miles per day, but again, you can change that if you’re more active.

Calories: The Fitbit tracks calories throughout the day, including the calories you burn sleeping, sitting, etc. If you’re looking to lose weight, this is a great tool to better understand calories in vs. calories out.

Flights of Stairs: The Fitbit also tracks how many flights of stairs you climb each day.

The online and smart phone tools also have some input areas – you can track things like body weight, blood pressure, heart rate, water intake, blood glucose, and food. I’m using the food tracker to better understand what helps or hurts my running… I’m terrible about remembering those sorts of things (especially over the eighteen week training program), so it will help me identify any trends. I’ve noticed that I have no concept at all of calories (or protein or sodium, for that matter) and looking at them is helping me to make healthier, more informed choices!

I am so excited about this… being a data geek, I love something that gives me data to analyze! It costs $99 (available on Amazon, at Target, or direct from Fitbit) and is well worth it if you’re looking to improve your lifestyle!


One of my favorite things about running near my house is that it’s a little bit off the beaten path. One of my favorite areas to run is this great little road that has some hills and winds through the country. Normally I see all sorts of fun animals… horses, cows, deer, etc. This morning I was treated to a rare sight… the llama. They’re used to guard sheep around here as they’re apparently very protective and effective against coyotes and mountain lions. This “little” guy was just hanging out by the creek watching me run on by.


All in all, today was a good run – nine miles. I tried a new fuel since I seemed to have some “tummy troubles” the last time I trained for a marathon. I have always used Gu to refuel, but decided to give something else a go. Today’s experiment was with Power Bar’s Energy Blends. This one was banana and blueberry. I was a little bit leery, but it actually tasted really good – they use real fruit, so you don’t end up feeling like you’re choking down frosting. It was more like a smoothie than anything. I took it at five miles so that I would have another four of running and could see what it did to my tummy… no troubles here! Next week I’m going to try Clif’s Shot Bloks. Fingers crossed!

PB Energy Blend
PB Energy Blend

For those of you that run or do endurance activities, what’s your favorite way to refuel? What works and what doesn’t?