Meet my new running buddy!

When I was a kid, growing up we’ve always had a dog and up until 7 years ago? (I am so terrible with time) I’ve had a dog in my adult life as well.  The kids have been asking for another for quite some time now and I’ve been putting it off.  Well, I finally broke.  Maybe it was the fact that I felt guilty cuz I told them we MAYBE we could get one after I got back from our Grand Canyon run, maybe it was that I really wanted one.  Whatever the case may be — I love our new pooch and am so glad that I caved.

I had an idea of the kind of dog I wanted us to get, the kids did too.  Although their requirement was; it had to be cute.  My requirement was a little more particular.  I wanted a dog that I could run with and I don’t mean 5-10k’s. I wanted a dog that, after properly trained could run a 50k plus with me!  So we started checking all the local shelters and some not so local ones.  There were so many dogs that needed adopted and it was so hard not to just adopt the first few we found.

After a while of searching we thought we finally found one.  It was in a kennel just over an hour away.  He was a Blue Tick Coon Hound and would’ve fit perfectly with our family.  I visited him, told the shelter about our house, our cat and played with the dog for about 20-30min.  I thought it was a good fit, so I told the kids about him and a couple days later we drove back down to visit.  I again told the kennel about our house and cat and we played with the dog outside for about 45min.  I asked the kids if they wanted to take him home and they said, “YES!!”  So we went inside to fill out all the papers.  I filled them out and the kids played with the dog through the glass door he was behind.  It was then when one of the workers noticed our form and quickly came over to let us know we couldn’t take him home because he wasn’t good with cats!  I was kinda pissed and the kids a little heartbroken.  But as I keep saying — everything in my life seems to happen for a reason.

So our search continued.  One night I was on our local “Buy/Sell/Trade” Facebook pages and came across a post from a family that had to get rid of one of their dogs.  I checked out the pictures and their description.  Many people that are getting rid of dogs on those sites get harassed about doing so and a few quite deserving so because it seems they are trying to make a buck or are basically a “puppy mill”.  Not this family.  They adopted two puppies from the same litter and as the dogs got older they began to experience “litter-mate syndrome”.  I’ve never even heard of that before, but apparently male dogs from the same litter will become combative and fight.  Which is what they were doing.  It was obvious that this family loved these dogs.  They’ve already had them fixed, put them through obedience training, had an invisible fence, plus their kids loved them.  They didn’t want any money for the dog, they just wanted to find it a good home.

I showed the kids the pictures of the dogs and submitted our “resume”, telling them about our family, our home, and how we would love to come meet them.

Our first glimpse of the dogs

Our fist glimpse of Cato and Finn!





We scheduled a time to come meet Cato and Finn and at this time weren’t sure which one they were going to part with.  When we got there the kids and I were so hoping it was going to be Cato.  Not that Finn wasn’t cute or playful, but it was something about Cato.  Maybe it was his two different colored eyes but when they said it was Cato that they were willing to part with before we even said anything — I had a feeling he was going to be ours.

The kids played with the dogs for a little while, while I chatted with their current owners (Joe and Lisa).  Well… long story short (yeah right, huh?  Too late.)  We took Cato home.  Their kids were pretty sad to see him go, but I think since they knew he was going to a good home they were able to deal with it easier.  Not to mention that I’m now Facebook friends with Joe and Lisa and their kids are Instagram friends with Jeremy and Emily so they’ll be able to see what Cato is up to.  Plus we suggested meeting up from time to time with them at the dog park for visits.

Well… without further ado.  Let the barrage of photos begin — say hello to CATO!!!!!

Cato's first night at his new home

Cato’s first night at his new home

Cato is an amazing puppy.  Well behaved (except maybe barks a little too much), attentive, obedient (as much as a puppy could be) and is turning into quite the runner!  I’ve started him out slow.  First with just a few miles building him up to where he is now — 10miles.  He won’t be a year old till the end of March so I’m not going to let him go any further till after he’s one and gets a check up.  Properly trained, he should have no problem busting out a 50k with me!





I’ll end this post with a quick little video of Cato testing out one of his new harnesses.  Such a well behaved dog – love him and yet again, proving what I always say — Everything happens for a reason.  More exciting news along those lines later, very exciting happenings!!



2013 in a word — “Learning”, 2014? “Training”

Well, New Years day has come and gone and I’m sure I’m THE last to blog about it – same thing as being “fashionably late” no?  Ok, no – I’ve just been a bit lazy.  Then again, it is still January – I’m OK 🙂

With all of the things that I am excited about and need to update my blog about —- my running plans for 2014, and oh yes… 2014 is going to be epic!  Several destination runs (including a run across the Grand Canyon and back), my first 50k of 2014, what the kids are up to, and then several other more serious topics that are stirring in me which I have to get out!  I decided it’s just easier to start with a new year’s type of post…..

2013 was a heck of a year, aside from learning more about outward things such as: running, cycling, swimming, finances, gardening, home repairs, and unfortunately our judicial system, I’ve learned a tremendous amount about myself, relationships, about parenting and which battles to stand firm on and which really, in the grand scheme of things – are not all that important.

While the term “failure” sounds pretty harsh for lack of a better, more encompassing term, by definition, it is the best fit.  In each one of these areas, in one way or another I’ve learned something through failures.  Be them in DNF’ing a race, blowing my budget, a non-existent garden this year, in who I am and my take on things, in looking back at a journal I used to keep and realizing a real root cause of a problem I was having, or even in silly arguments I used to have with the kids over things that in hindsight were no big deal.  With each failure I’ve grown and learned something.

So with 2013 being summed up as “learning”, my goal for 2014 is “training”.  Training as in, not learning through failure but being properly prepared for success.  A couple of nights ago I was laying in bed watching TV – The Aresenio Hall show.  It’s sandwiched between two of my favorite things to watch – Fox 8 News and The Big Bang Theory.  While the show is usually on just to pass time because I’m too lazy to reach over to grab the remote and change the channel,  a segment came on that couldn’t have been more aptly timed.  Malcolm Jamal Warner came on and I wasn’t reallypaying much attention at first but then, then it spoke to me.  I thought “That’s it!”

Sorry about the video quality – the original link from the show for some reason switched to “private” and was no longer viewable…. This is the only other one I found.

Click here — sorry about the quality, original link was gone and this is the best I’ve found.

“It’s only 25% physical.  It’s really about the 25% mental, the 25% spiritual, the 25% emotional that I need to make sure that I could endure this obstacle course that the game of life leaves before me.”

I’ve been working on only 25% of the training I really need.  It’s about time to strive for the other 75% that I’m missing out on.

Multi-Purpose post — CSA, BR Training, Relationships

It has been a few days since I posted and topics are building. I probably should have made this three posts, but will break it up in three sections instead. Read on as far as you would like…

I’ll start with my usual start of the weekend post regarding our CSA pickup, then blog about the most amazing training run ever. I figured those are the “up” things that happened this weekend. Then for those that continue on — maybe a little relationship advice — don’t worry, not a whiney, “whoa is me” kinda thing — remember my blog title? 🙂

Lettuce begin —- (bad joke, I know :))

Week #4 of our Summer CSA has arrived and with it a welcome addition of some fruit! My fridge is so full of greens that I really have no clue what to do with them, so I’ve begun giving them away to friends of mine that do. In this week’s pickup;

Fresh Fork Market CSA – Week 4

  • 1 Qt of yogurt
  • 1 pt of black raspberries
  • assorted tree fruit
  • 2 ct zucchini
  • 1.25lbs Italian sausage links
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce
  • 1 bunch of kale

I love the yogurt and always use it in place of sour cream – over baked potatoes, in tacos – you name it! I think I have a plan for many of these ingredients. I also think the kids will not be too happy with the Greek Style Salad I plan on making. They’ll live tho 🙂 I am very glad that fruits are now available. We have raspberries in our yard that I planted a couple years ago, but many times the chickens beat me to them!

Any recipes you could share for ingredients I’ve posted?


On to BR training –

This race is now 4 weeks away and the excitement is building! We had our first night time training run (remember the race? 100 miles, 30hrs — non stop?) The race starts at 5:00am on the July 28, a lot of my running will be at night. Everyone was excited about this training run — what a turnout!

BR2012 Night-time training run – I’m front and center!

This run was a 26.x mile night time training run. We started at Little Meadow aid station in Cuyahoga Falls and ran the last segment of the race. I’m sure you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about right? I thought you did 🙂 in case you aren’t familiar with the area, you could check out the route and our pace/elevation and results here. A couple things to point out about this run; we started at 9:00pm and finished at 3:00am, we ran through a crack neighborhood at 2:00am…… Prior to this group pic we all needed to sign in on a checklist with our names and cell numbers. It was a requirement that each person carries a cell phone at all times so that the coordinator, if approached by a ranger, could call any name on the list and show him that he could contact each and every person out in the woods/trails. Dan B. also made sure to give all of us his cell number in the event we got lost. The part about the crack neighborhood? Dan further went on to explain that there is about a 1.5-2.0 mile section of the race that runs through a “crack neighborhood”. He said that on race day the police department helps to direct runners and provide aid. Since this was a training run, he instructed us to stay together. There was an aid station setup about a mile away from this section and we were to all leave that station in groups. He said that, “as long as you are not alone and don’t look vulnerable, you should be alright”. Boy, did THAT make the women in our group feel good, NOT.

Pre run briefing

It was a good thing he gave us his number! My group ended up lost in said crack neighborhood! We called him several times but only reached his voicemail — I guess another group got lost in the woods and was tying up his line– yes, this IS stuff I consider fun! lol. We weren’t lost for too long, though. We ended up going straight instead of making a left. We never were approached by anybody, but I think with each of us carrying a baggy like this one

Ultra Runner “drugs” – S caps, E caps, tylenol….

We probably could have bluffed our way out of any situation! We finally got a hold of Dan and his first statement was, “GET OUT OF THERE AS FAST AS YOU CAN!” We only had to backtrack about half a mile so it wasn’t too bad. And actually aside from the EXTREMELY loud, close, barking dogs, coyote crossing the road in front of us and a couple cars full of people yelling things out the windows at us, it wasn’t too bad.

One part that made this run so much fun was a friend of ours, Charlie, couldn’t make it. It wasn’t that it was fun BECAUSE he couldn’t make it, but the night Charlie said he couldn’t join us we were at one of my favorite post run places to eat and drink. After several tall, draft Guiness’s my first thought was – WE NEED A FLAT CHARLIE! I had to make one the next day and bring him along for our run.

Our newest running friend – Flat Charlie

Everyone got in the action of carrying him and taking pictures with him. We ended the run with a 3:00am cookout and finally made it home at 6:00am….

Some Charlie sightings –

Flat Charlie out on the Buckeye Trail

Flat Charlie getting a drink at an aid station

Flat Charlie – River Crossing

Way to finish Flat Charlie!

For those reading my blog that are training for something or just working out — How is training going? What are you training for?

Lastly for this post — Relationships… Don’t worry, I will try not to post about this part much. I’d like people to read my blog, get a laugh out of experiences I have with my friends and family, and maybe learn a little bit about things such as CSA’s, and fitness activities. As well as a personal diary of my own to look back on and remember events in my life. By no means  do I want people to visit my blog and feel sorry for me. I feel that I need to reveal some of my personal side to give “my readers” (sounds funny to type) an idea of who I really am.

I found out some distressing news. “News” that I sort of figured but never confirmed or really even wanted to believe. To make a long story short… you know the part of the movie “The sixth Sense” when Bruce Willis realized he was really dead? Maybe a little like that.

Now I ask you…. In keeping with my blog title and my belief of not giving up, when is enough enough? Is it giving up, or being realistic? I love this woman and kid with every part of me. And honestly after all this if she said she was sorry, wanted to work on things and come home, I would welcome her with open arms. As I know my kids would as well. After confirming her new, ridiculously quick dating status and who this person is from her too, I did however, edit my FB status from “married” to — nothing.

As you probably suspect seeing that I have kids already, I’ve been divorced before. That one unfortunately was pretty easy for me. I was better prepared when she left. The problems I’m experiencing now are different. This has completely blind sided me. I know things will get easier, I know we will be fine in the end and everything happens for a reason, it’s this being in limbo that sucks. Now another problem I struggle with, once my blog is read by more people, and eventually her; will it completely destroy any chance or hope of reconciliation, at this point – would that be a bad thing?  Would things remain as is or improve? They are no longer home, doesn’t seem like it can get any worse.  I guess only time will tell….