Sunday, June 29, 2014

Saving it for Sunday

Sunday is said to be the day of rest. This is so not a true statement for anyone that runs OR works in animal welfare for that matter. They say that the most important night of sleep for a long run or marathon isn't the night before the race, but the night prior to that. Sleep and I are not the best of friends. Don't get me wrong. I love me some sleep, but long ago, it lost a love for me.

Friday night, I was up using my mid-woofery skills to help deliver 11 puppies ALL NIGHT LONG. They were not Humane Society of Eastern Carolina dogs. It was a poor stray a very caring lady named Ashley saw on the side of the road in the pouring rain. She pulled over and it took her an hour and a half to get the mother dog in her car. When she did, she realized she was covered in fleas and ticks and ready to deliver her pups. I saw her desperate pleas for help on a pets page I follow and the first pup delivered did not make it. I thought to myself, I can watch this unfold through posts on facebook and watch this poor lady suffer through alone, or I can offer to help her. You either run away from the fire, or you run to it. I like to think I always run to it and on this occasion, I did. I went to a total strangers house at midnight to help her. Maybe not super smart, but I don't regret it at all.

And I thought I was tired. At least I didn't
have to nurse 9 puppies afterwards.
Mamma dog was in rough shape. Malnourished, probably anemic from all the ticks and fleas. Her skin was irritated and she was exhausted. Ashley had gone house to house when she found her to find the owners and a man said he had seen her on the side of the road wandering for nearly 2 weeks. Poor girl had found her angel in Ashley. So Ashley and I got to know each other over the birth of 6 puppies. I had to leave at 5:45am so Troy could go run and then had to work the next day. I went back shortly at 9am before heading to the shelter to deliver some formula and some clean blankets. When I got there, Momma was exhausted and so was poor Ashley. 11 puppies had been born. 2 of them died. I found a rescue to take her and all of her pups as the HSEC was bursting at the seams with 4 litters already in fosters and about 35 animals at our facility. I found transport through fellow animal rescuers Brittany and Paige and before we all knew it, she was safe at the Austin Vet Clinic in Beaufort. I am very grateful to all involved in the rescue process. By the time I got off work. I was D.O.N.E. I had been awake for 36 hours before I crashed while watching Harry Potter with the kids. I don't even remember going to bed.

So there goes the whole "get good rest 2 nights before your long run" idea. I've never followed rules anyways so no biggie. My husband thankfully abruptly woke me in a panic saying "Are you going to run this morning?" I was so confused and then thought, "Oh My GOD, what time is it? Did I miss the run?" I was supposed to meet my running group in Farmville (about 25min from Greenville) at 6am. He then informed me it was 4:50am. I thought, "psssshhhhht, I got this!" I was terrified that it was going to be a disastrous long run, but then I walked outside and although there was 90% humidity, it was only 61 degrees. Halleluiah, Priase the Lord! I JUST might survive this 9 miles! Turns out the air in Farmville is nationally known (I still don't believe this, but Marion says her dad told her and he is never wrong). Maybe it was the clean air, maybe it was the good company, maybe it was the crisp temps or maybe I was just running out my frustrations with people that leave their dogs for dead on the side of the road because they don't want them anymore.... whatever it was, I'm going to need to order some more air, book the same friends, pray for good weather and channel ALL of my frustrations into every single run because IT WAS GLORIOUS!

So, I survived 9 miles this am and I actually really enjoyed it. My last mile was an 8:20 pace to boot! I just might feel like I can do this (again). At least for tonight. Thank you for following my journey and supporting my cause. If you would like to donate to the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina, you can do so by clicking on the donate button below!

Day 6 of training
Tuesday- 3 miles
Wednesday- Rest
Thursday- 5 miles
Sunay - 9 AWESOME miles (at a 9:05 pace!)

Total Training Mileage = 17 miles
Total Fundraising = $395

Donors: Megan Hardee, Kay Evans, Shelley Leicht, Chad Smith, Daniel Rankin, Beth & Abbey Gallup, and a super duper anonymous donor I've never met in person, but she's pretty spectacular in every way! THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE DONATED!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Life is Sweeter with Honey (and wine)

Well that was embarrassing.
Running is NOT like riding a bike. It doesn't come back to you quickly at all. Especially if you get back on that bike in the summer in Pitt County.

I live in Eastern NC. That means running outside in the summer is the equivalent to running in the atmosphere of a large armpit. Gross, I know, but my goodness.... I am dying. Yesterday's run was brought to you by humility and the letter "F" as in failing or fainting or fat chance in hell. I had a 5 mile jaunt downtown Greenville on schedule for 5:30am. It was already 78 degrees with about 98% humidity (like I said, big hairy armpit). I had the girls to keep me company and before I knew it, I was running with Carolyn. Why do I pick the fastest in the group? I was truly thankful that at mile 2 Christenbury Gym on ECU's campus was open, thank you ROTC, and their "facilities" were functioning. I quickly abandoned Carolyn as I ran away yelling, "I'm sorry, it's necessary!" Ain't nobody got time for that! After an emergency bathroom break, I headed back UP the hill to find her again and proceeded to sweat it out with her for another mile. As we reached the top of ANOTHER hill on Charles Blvd, I instructed her (in between loud gasps of air) to go ahead, that I was about to get even slower and I was already pretty darn slow. Carolyn is fast. She is also kind so she will stay with you at any pace, but I felt real bad for holding her back and since she ran with me when I was in shape, I am a little embarrassed that I let it get this bad! I swear as I saw her bright orange tank top fading into the sidewalk ahead, all I could hear was Kelly Clarkson singing loudly, "Since U been gone, I CAN BREATHE FOR THE FIRST TIME!"

Me and Oz
working in the office!
I slowed down and had to reorganize my "running thoughts". I couldn't think about how painful it was to keep my feet moving. So I tried to think of the reasons I was putting all of this effort into this marathon. I had given it a purpose, well, ON PURPOSE. I thought of Ozzie, our Humane Society of Eastern Carolina resident of 2 years, and how he was now sitting happily in his home with his Mom & Dad of 6 months. I had just gotten an update on his progress and how in love they are with him. My pace didn't quicken, but I kept going. I thought of some of my favorite adoptions, some of my favorite stories of how one of our animals overcame a difficult situation and not only made it out of the shelter, but also made the lives of their adopter better too! When I got to my car, I still had 0.25 miles of my planned 5 mile run left. I ran right past the car and I may or may not have cried about it, but I said I would do this for the animals at the HSEC and if they could live in a shelter for 2 years waiting for a home, I could trudge another 0.25 miles. I finished the run, yet again feeling discouraged by the journey that lies ahead.

Today I was working at the HSEC and it began to thunder. I HATE a rainy day at the shelter. The dogs stay wet no matter what we do. I REALLY HATE a day at the shelter with thunder storms. So does a dog named Honey. Honey is a sweet 2 year old hound mix that isn't fond of storms and we immediately heard her start to wimper and cry. Honey is around 55 lbs, so a wimper is a lot like a crying baby in a library. Our receptionist Melissa and I are both a sucker for a dog, so our co-worker Kat helped us set up a crate and we moved her into the office to make her feel more at home. She nervously chewed her squeaky toy, but she was so thankful to be out of her kennel and with us. She was my reminder to just suck it up and get it done. She is one of the 400+ reasons I have to run. If I can raise $100 per mile for this marathon, that is about 26.2 animals I can cover the cost for at our shelter. Seems worth it to me. Definitely seems worth it to my girl Honey. So... Day 5 may be a rest day, but I was still mentally training for the race.

Day 5 of training
Tuesday- 3 miles
Wednesday- Rest
Thursday- 5 miles

Total Training Mileage = 8 miles
Total Fundraising = $395

Donors: Megan Hardee, Kay Evans, Shelley Leicht, Chad Smith, Daniel Rankin, Beth & Abbey Gallup, and a super duper anonymous donor I've never met in person, but she's pretty spectacular in every way! THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE DONATED!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Rest Day Ramblings

Because we all know that AWSOME is my favorite word!
So, I started this blogging journey on Monday on a whim. I also started my fundraising AND my training for the NYC Marathon... on a whim. So I have done fundraising before and I have trained for marathons before, but the whole blog thing, well that's brand spanking new to me. People have told me I should blog for years now and I've never done it because of one big huge reason... I get a little b*tchy when people critique my writing.

I would like to be clear with (or should that be to?) everyone following my blog that I SUCK AT GRAMMAR and spelling isn't my bag of chips either. I don't even hide it. If a comma looks appropriate, I'll throw one in. I hate weather and whether, mainly because I think an "h" looks stupid in whether, but whatevs. You catch my drift right? When I was in the 3rd grade I got a 16 out of 100 in spelling on my CAT's (that was like EOG's back in the day). I am dyslexic (so it's super surprising I can even spell that word) and my brain flips & eliminates letters in a word that you read normally and mine only sees key letters and blocks the rest out which makes a completely different word. No lie, I worked at the American Cancer Society and one of our passwords for a website was "wesavelives" as in "We Save Lives". I was on the phone with a co-worker when the email came out and laughed and said, "Why the hell is our password "weasles"?!" It's funny until it's your brain that works that way. Weasles was what I saw. Once I stopped myself and looked again, I saw my error, but you will soon realize, I very rarely stop myself for anything. I just go. So let's wrap these special and glorious gifts I have into a box and label it, I'm 37 years old and I OWN the fact that I can't spell and have really bad grammar, but any intelligent adult should be able to follow along so shut your trap already. No grammar haters allowed!

You're almost there, that's totally fixable with a pen!
Now that we have that straight, stay tuned for tomorrow's post to see if I actually pull my butt out of bed at 4:30am for my run at Elm Street. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Well that sucked

Wallering at Mile 21 at the Shamrock Marathon.
My first run for my official training! Yay, let's celebrate! Or let's call it all off. I was kidding. I'm just going to fast walk the NYC Marathon. This is just dumb.

 Let's set it up. My last run was 1 week and 3 days ago. It was 6 miles and I survived with no major complications. I decided to start slow and low to avoid injury. Low miles, snail's pace. So it would seem that a 3 miler would be easy peazy. It would seem.

I had set up the run nicely. I planned to run with my super adorable friend Megan (AKA Polly Pocket with a side of crack or Megathon). She's super adorable and pregnant. I mean, I can keep up with a pregnant lady. Oh wait, no I can't. Despite Megan's baby bump and her lack of any discomfort, I was riding that struggle bus the entire 3 miles. Not driving the struggle bus mind you... that would take effort, I was riding it, like wallering in the back seat riding it. Side note: For my non-southern friends, click here for a definition of waller. It was hot. It was humid. It was nasty. I can't wait to do it again?

Run 1, Tuesday June 24, 2014
3 miles
9:23 pace
Low and SLOW and hot and miserable.

Total training mileage = 3 miles.

Monday, June 23, 2014

My fundraising page, kinda.

NYC Marathon

Thank you for visiting my super PAWesome fundraising page! (CLICK HERE to actually view it for realsies) Well, okay, it's a page and it has my picture on it with a lot of words. Maybe THAT isn't super PAWesome, but the paws behind the cause sure are.

So maybe it isn't incredibly impressive that I am running another marathon. You've heard me whine about all that training for years now. I assure you though, that when I am running for a reason, it makes the inspiration part of getting through mile 24 & 25 so much easier. Instead of praying to be hit by a bus to end my suffering, I concentrate on the reasons I need to keep my feet moving, reasons beyond myself. So, without further rambling... I dedicate my 8th marathon to my favorite charity and non-profit organization, the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina.

Within the walls of the HSEC, live the greatest and most deserving animals (and I work with some pretty awesome co-workers too). 70% of our animals are pulled from high-kill shelters to avoid euthanasia. We are saving lives EVERY day. In 2013, we saved and placed 387 animals into loving homes. This year, we will surpass that number by over 100 animals! Since we do not receive any government funding, nor are we associated in any way with the Humane Society of the United States, we survive solely off of fundraising and private donations. That is tough way to survive in 2014!

Please help me save more lives.
I will break it down for you:
$10 will cover the cost for us to microchip one animal
$20 will cover vaccinations for one cat or one dog
$50 covers the cost of one cat spay or neuter
$75 covers the cost of a dog spay or neuter
$120 covers the full price of a healthy dog, including vaccinations, flea and hearworm prevention, HW testing, Microchip and a spay or neuter.

Please sponsor me for my next great 26.2 mile adventure!

Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts.

Many thanks for your continued support and love -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!

Let's get this party started.

Don't try this at home. Or in the Blue Ride Mountains.
So I have a very common running injury right now called a "sprained motivation". See pic to right. As of today, that all changes. You see, I started this running journey in 2008 after watching a beautiful, funny, intelligent, loving and THE most the charismatic woman lose her battle to Ovarian Cancer. Before Emily's death, I hated running. Is there a stronger word than hate? Does loathe sound better? Okay, so I LOATHED running. After her death, I wasn't running with the thought of my pain in mind, rather I was running with the thought of hers. Within one year and 3 months, I had completed both a half and a full marathon. This really is 0-26.2 in no time and it was all through the inspiration that her memory provided me.

Over the last 6 years, my need to displace my emotional pain has lessened and my drive to get up every morning at 4:45am to knock out 10 miles is pretty much non-existent. I had to re-boot. Part of the reason I don't get up in the morning to run at the ass-crack of dawn is because I am up late at night with worry and stress from my job. My job THAT I LOVE! I don't have a typical job. I can't leave my work at a desk at 5pm. I can't not answer my phone at 1am with an emergency or not reply to an email on a Sunday about an animal in need. I work all the time. Anyone that works at the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina (or any animal shelter for that matter) works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The shelter never shuts down. We are never "closed". The animals need us each and every day and some days, it seems as though the needs are never ending. Someone is sick, someone is scared, someone needs bottle feeding, someone is breaking down emotionally from living in a confined space, someone doesn't like their neighbor and we ALWAYS need money.... All of these need our immediate attention. So needless to say, my brain just never stops.

So about that money thing... Vet bills, medications, food (which by the way, we only have to pay shipping since Hill's Science Diet donates our food! Shipping is pricey, but not as pricey as shipping plus the cost of food!!), spays and neuter (no animal leaves our facility without the SNIP), utilities, cleaning supplies, facility maintenance, flea and Heartworm Prevention, payroll and on and on and on and on. Guess who's job it is to generate those funds? This lady's right here!

Reason 1 out of 387. Azalea was adopted in October of 2013.
She was a fabulous running partner!
So today I am leading by example. I will be running the NYC Marathon for the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina. I start my training today with NO more excuses and a goal to raise $2,620 for the HSEC. That's $100 a mile. My husband will tell you, I'm pretty fancy like that. I have 387 reasons to get my lazy butt up and run every day. That is the number of animals we adopted out last year. This year we are ahead of our 2013 adoptions by over 100 animals. I think keeping a shelter open for all of the animals we will continue to save should be enough motivation for me to get my butt out the door and beg all of my friends and family for mula. By supporting me and my training through your donations, we can both do our part to keep our doors open and you can make me feel guilty enough to actually go run.

My workouts won't be glorious. I can assure you, I will question my thinking many times on this 18 week journey. Check back often to laugh hysterically at my efforts, but I promise, I won't fail.