Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007..The Year in Review

When I look back on 2007 I smile to myself. It was for the most part, an excellent year. My boys are healthy, A Honor Roll, good all around kids. They don't drink or do drugs, they don't lie to me, they actually LIKE me. I've done something right with them, or I've just been very very lucky.

I look back on my year of running and I smile. I had a great year. Somehow I was able to run just under 4000 miles and I didn't injure myself. Somehow I finished 4 100 mile runs when not long ago I couldn't walk a block. Somehow I trained myself mentally and physically to pull it all off. I've never had an injury. Knock Knock!

After DNFing at Superior 100 in 2006 I was very hard on myself. I called myself a loser in front of others. I couldn't believe that I had failed after I had trained so hard. I learned from my Superior experience. I learned that I needed to be mentally tough. Tougher than I had been. I learned that I needed to run hills. THAT is what my training lacked. I sought out the experienced ones and listened to them. I asked 1000s of questions and they didn't turn me away. They let me ask more. Thank you Pierre and Paul, for getting me out to the ski hill to work my ass off. It worked. I thought I was going to freaking die after my first Buck Hill experience. But, as Paul promised, it made me stronger..week after week.

My goals for 2007 were to run McNaughton 100, FANS 100 with a 100 mile goal, Vermont 100 and Superior 100. I finished them all and ran 109.8 at FANS. Running wise, I also wanted to run Ice Age in less than 10 hours. I knew Tom Burr was going to run in 10 and I clung to him for dear life. It was nip and tuck for a while, I almost let him go and almost decided it wasn't worth the effort. But deep down, I knew it was worth the effort. I knew I wasn't going to die, I wasn't hurt, so dig down damnet and get the 10 hours. I did.

You would think that by running 100 miles a week and eating relatively (well, very to most standards) healthy I wouldn't gain weight. Alas, I did. I was eating a bit of sugar here and there, more carbs there and here, and before I knew it I had gained weight.

I was at my 'summer heaviest' of '07 at Superior at 148 pounds. At that time I joined Leanness Lifestyle Elite and again declared myself as a sugar addict that just couldn't enjoy sugar in moderation. It's the truth.

The fat is going, I'm getting stronger and actually growing muscle. At times I find myself rubbing my arms and am shocked at how hard and lean they are. I've lost 21 pounds and will probably lose another 7 in the next few months, UNLESS I lose strength, then I'll maintain where I am. I will not allow a loss of strength or endurance because of restricting calories in effort to lose more fat.

This week I squatted 10 sets of 12 reps at 160 pounds, I can dumb bell press 2 45's for chest, bicep curls on the barbell at 55 pounds, and run 30 miles in deep snow on snowshoes. I'm getting stronger and stronger. Now if I could have someone spot me at the gym, I'd try the 50's for chest. I'm afraid I'll drop them and knock my teeth out. I'll have to stick to the barbell and bench press chest.

On the down side, of course, there is always a down side: Mom's Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer resurfaced after what we thought was 3 years of remission. After a very extensive surgery at Mayo, another session of chemo, she is doing well. Mom and Dad are in Texas for the winter. Golfing, swimming, a 20 mile bike ride today. They are doing well. I'll see them during Spring Break in March when we are enjoying Padre Island. She's going to be OK.

On the down side, I could lose my job. The budget cuts will be finalized in February and my job could be lost. I will survive.

Lastly, as I have eluded to on this blog, I had a horrendous week this last week of 2007.

Steve was picked up for a DWI on the 22nd. Merry Christmas. Yup, it was only a matter of time before he would be picked up and it happened. He has some life changing decisions to make, as do I. I don't know what is going to happen, I don't know where this will lead us but it is the shit that hit the fan, it is the last straw, it is time for change.

We have never been sober together during our marriage. We have been together since we were 16 years old. We drank heavily, together, the first 10 years, then I quit..began drinking again..quit again...he has continued. We've never had a sober relationship.

I wanted to talk with my friends about this in person, before posting it to my blog. I knew I would see them today at Afton and it was so good to talk out loud about this. It was wonderful to see them, to talk with them, to feel their support. Thank you Tom, Nancy, Alicia, Jefferey and Cheri. I really needed you today. I'm grateful for you.

Many of my running friends are alcoholics, as am I. Many of us have dropped one habit, and needed to fill the time that habit took out of our life, with something else. Many of us have opted for running.

Please be patient with me as I sort through this mess. I'll make it. I'm a tough cookie and I will land upon my feet...running.


Kim said...

Sounds like you've had a great year Julie and Happy Birthday today! 43 years young I say.

Sorry to read about Steve, I had not realized #1 that you two had been together so many years and #2 he was drinking - you are much stronger in so many more ways than I knew before reading this blog today.

Thoughts, hugs and prayers that you two will be able to work thru all this and come out on the other side - together!

Cathy said...

I am always amazed by your courage and strength. What a wonderful year of fitness and accomplishment you have had. I am very sorry to hear about your husband. How amazingly strong you were and are to make the personal changes you did in the environment you did. I hope that Steve is ready to make some changes. He has a wonderful role model. However things turn out, I wish you the very best. Please let me know if there is any way I can help. I look forward to meeting you if you come out to do the Leadville 100.

Bev said...

What a tough person you are! You are such a motivation to me and to many people. Your transparency is such a rare thing. It's a good thing not to hide behind a make-believe life. It will help get things straightened out a lot faster.

Grab onto 2008 and shake the heck out of it.

SteveQ said...

Belated happy 43rd, Jul! 43 miles in this weather - wow.

One in 7 Minnesotans has a DUI on their driving records - including me. In my case, I stopped drinking entirely for three years after that, then found I could drink on occasion without problems, but never again got behind the wheel after a drink. Each person finds their own way.

By the way, DUIs in the U.S. make one a felon in Canada. There's a hefty fine you have to pay to enter the country. It's a nasty surprise no one talks about.

Anonymous said...

I too was sad to read about Steve and know first-hand how hard it can be, as my brother and dad are alcoholics. But they are both sober now, and God has done amazing things in their lives as they've changed and responded to Him. I'm praying the same thing for Steve, and for your family throughout all this in 2008.

Ben, aka BadBen said...

Happy birthday and Happy New Year, Julie! See you in February at Psycho WyCo!

Ben, aka BadBen said...

It is a New Year dawning. You're strong, and will find the strength to do what you need to do.

zoey said...

Happy B Day Julie! Isn't life funny? You think you're training to get stronger muscles and faster legs, and you find that along the way you also became stronger and faster in other ways, too. Now those other ways, the mental toughness you've got, really comes into play. You ARE one tough cookie! I'm cheering for you....and if I get my thyroid straightened out this year, I may start blogging too. You're such an inspiration! Rock on Julie!

Runner Susan said...

You continue to be an inspiration to me Julie. Hang tough, hang strong - I hope Steve is ready to make some changes, hopefully this be a turning point for him.

WynnMan said...

Great seeing you out at Afton. What a rockin' year you had once again!

Sorry to hear about the situation. I think Colorado CC running Coach Mark Whetmore (Running With The Buffalos) sums it up pretty good by saying that to be a great athlete it takes four things...
Talent, determination, consistency, and courage. Very rarely does someone have equal strengths in all of these, but certain ones can make up for others and I think the same is true in life, as these four concepts are concepts toward an honorable life.

take care and happy belated birthday. What a run! You need to teach us how you stay injury free.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what they all said!

When it rains it pours huh? Hang in there or not, do what you need to do for yourself and your boys.

Hold on and Happy New Year.

Cheryl said...

You are an inspiration to me every day. One of the favorite parts to my day is checking in on your blog. I know you are going through a rough patch but because of your strength and character, you WILL get through this!

I will keep you, Steve and your entire family in my prayers. Take care and stay strong!