Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008...Bring It!

I no longer make New Year Resolutions. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't believe in them. I have made many, many New Year Resolutions. Over time, they have become ingrained habits. They have become a lifestyle for me. As I look back into my journals (I've been keeping a diary since I was 8) some of my resolutions have been to quit smoking, to quit drinking, to drink less than normal so that I no longer have black-outs, to lose weight, to get in the gym 3 x a week, to be kind to my sister, to make time for my extended friends and family, to run 15 miles a week, to enter a race a month (this was when I was running 5K-10K's), to eat veggies 3x a week...so it goes. I have tackled each and every one of these resolutions and they are now daily habits.

A few years ago I began to set goals instead of making the resolutions. I find that by first setting big goals, I can then break them up, creating smaller steps to reach those goals.

For 2008 I am setting a goal to run 5 100's. Shit, it seems so far fetched when I look back and see that my goal was to run 15 miles a week and a 10K race a month. I figured if I entered a 10K a month I would show up on race day, trained to run 6 miles, and that I would continue running, training for the next race. That is exactly what happened.

That is what goals can do for a person! Achieve them and create greater more grand goals.

2008 will bring McNaughton 100, FANS with 115 mile goal, Leadville 100, Superior 100 and Javelina Jundred 100. I try to add a new race each year. Last year was Vermont, this year will be Leadville and Javelina.

To complete this goal I will run Buck Hill once a week beginning as soon as the snowboard season is over. I will work on my speed as soon as the track is clear. Speed work on a track is better than on a treadmill. I'm asking many questions of those who have run Leadville. I've heard from more than one person that to run Leadville in 30 hours one should be able to run a sub 4 hour marathon. One woman I spoke with believes this is key to beating the cut offs.

To stay healthy I will make sure to take a day off each week. I'm not so good at this. I enjoy running every day. I've been very lucky that I have not suffered an injury. I'll try to remember that I need to recover.

Stretching..for 5 months last year I hired Lisa Smith to help me train for the 4 100's I ran last summer. Among other things, Lisa taught me the value of stretching. Every day, for 10 minutes, I began to stretch. I didn't like it at first. I set my watch and would stretch, mumbling to Lisa under my breath. Eventually it became a habit, I now enjoy stretching.

For 2008 I will maintain my weight loss. To do this I need to stay away from sugar and processed carbs. At times this is difficult, but necessary.

I look at 2008 and don't know what the hell it will hold for me. This past week I have felt like crawling into a bottle of Bailey's Irish Creme. Yum. I did not. I never would again, but I do feel like that now and again.

Yesterday I went to the Dr. for my 6 month pap and the first of many 6 month cancer screenings that I have become accustomed too. I had blood tests, scheduled pelvic/abdominal ultrasound, went back for a mammogram in the afternoon. Because my Mom's ovarian cancer resurfaced and there still isn't good testing for ovarian cancer, my Dr. is strongly suggesting a total hysterectomy. 6 weeks of recovery. As long as the ultrasound that I am scheduled for comes back negative it does not have to be done as soon as possible. I can schedule it out. I think I will have her refer me to Mayo as my Mom's surgeon believes she wouldn't have had the second occurrence nor the second surgery had she attended Mayo upon her first occurrence.

So, when to schedule? I told my Dr. I had um, 5 100 mile races to run. She rolled her eyes at me and said she wouldn't lecture me as long as the pelvic ultrasound came back negative. If it doesn't, then I'll have another plan.

She chuckled when she looked at my cholesterol level and blood pressure. She told me she recalled when she had to tell me that my cholesterol level was too high (230) and that now it is better than she ever imagined (145). She told me that she is no longer concerned about my blood pressure (100/60), but clicked on her screen and reminded me of what it once was (160/80). She let me know that my BMI is now 19, that I shouldn't lose more weight..she let me know that last year it was 21. She looked at me and exclaimed "You have really changed since I first examined you, 12 years ago. You have become who I picture when I describe a person of health, wellness and athleticism." I told her that when I first wanted to become a runner, it wasn't just that I wanted to run. I wanted to be a person who lived what I felt was a runners lifestyle. I didn't want to smoke cigarettes any more, I didn't want hangovers any more. I wanted to get up in the morning, to feel good, to run in shorts, to wear a running bra while running down the street because I could. I wanted to be happy with who I was. That is who I wanted to be.

I told her I am now that person. Tears were rolling down my cheeks and she put her arms around me. She told me she was proud of me.

I couldn't tell her about Steve, I didn't want to go there. I told her Thank You and Have a Happy New Year!

I went to work for a few hours and had to go back to the clinic for a mammogram. As I left the radiologist, I told her "I was just told I need to have a hysterectomy, so please don't tell me I have breast cancer after you read these ex rays" She said "well, bad news comes in threes". I wanted to ask : does a DWI, a totaled out truck, loss of wages, a huge financial expense count as 1? I didn't go into my life story. I just smiled and said Thank You and Have A Happy New Year!

It's interesting. At the end of the summer I wrote into my journal : "As I have to go back to work next week, I can't help but think that things won't be the same next summer. I had a wonderful summer with the boys. We hung out for 8 weeks and I never tired of them, we never got on one an other's nerves. We hung out at the pool, they had their friends over, we had a wonderful time. I ran many miles, ran many races, enjoyed each and every day of my summer vacation. I don't know why I feel that it won't be this way next year. It feels like something is going to change. It feels as though my life isn't going to be the same, as I know it now. It feels like this is the last summer as I know it."

I did know at that time that my Mom's cancer had come back, I thought maybe I felt something would happen to her, I thought maybe something would happen to Topaz, I felt a foreboding. I didn't know that the referendum would fail, that budget cuts would be put in place. That I could lose my job.

Who knows..2008 could bring a loss of employment, an ending to a 24 year marriage and surgery. Or, it could bring a new, more rewarding career, a stronger marriage and I suppose, surgery either way.

I'm not one to wallow in the negatives, some call me overly optimistic, living in a dream world.

I say 2008..Bring it On. Bigger and Better than Ever.


Anonymous said...

Great for you, having such an upbeat attitude! If only I had as much willpower as you. Congrats on all you managed last year, and good luck for '08!

Bev said...

Awesome! Yes things will change. I like to think of that as mostly a cool thing. You just really never now what you are going to get in a years time. I do think you can influence the direction of the change. Live a positive life, the change should lean toward the positive. Live a negative life and guess what, you get crap back. The other cool thing is that you can start towards change at any time. Everyday holds many second chances.

I'm no expert, but you might check out the book, "Boundaries in Marriage" by Henry Cloud. It could help you approach the decisions for your marriage.

Carilyn said...

Hey Julie,
I've been out of pocket the last week and have missed reading the blogs. I am so sorry to hear about the end of the year problems. Sounds like you have a lot of friends around you, but know that you have a lot of friends all over the country, too. I'm thinking about you and know that you will use your incredible strength to get through this.

flatfoot freddie (fer da' hitman) said...

Reading your blog this evening really pumped me up. You had an incredible '07, and appears this year will be even better. Good For You!!! Wishing you Happy Days, John

Anonymous said...

If you end up having surgery - hystersisters.com is a helpful website for finding out options, how to handle the surgery, etc. Its a great resource.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

happy birthday and happy new year!

RunBubbaRun said...

Sorry to hear about the crazy things happing in your life right now.. I like your great attitude towards all of it..

Look forward to reading about your 100 milers in '08.

Happy new year to you and to new beginnings.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Julie!! You'll make the best of everything Julie, because that is who you are.

I am still trying to run the Catalina Island 50 in a little over a week Julie. I have a little PF I am managing, and then got a herniated disc in my lower back a few weeks ago. Ugh.

But I am running in the pool, swimming and trying to recover for the race. Something always jumps in to try and stop me, but I won't let it - not again.

Thanks for always inspiring me to more Julie. I haven't posted much, but I am always reading. I am sending you strength as I overcome my little issues so you can overcome all of yours - I believe you will.


keith said...

wow. you're handling all of this with such grace and clarity. you really are an inspiring story.

i hope things work out for the best. they usually do.

Lisa Smith-Batchen said...

Living in a World full of dreams is why you have been able to chase and follow through with so many.
You keep on going after them!
Happy New Year

Anonymous said...

Do you not think of anyone else but yourself? Posting on an internet site your husband's DUI is so unrespectful. How would you like it if he posted an embarrassing picture of you at your highest weight on the internet? Maybe all the time you spend running and training and fine tuning YOUR body should be spent with your husband and family. Running more 100's this year required more time spent away from them. It seems you have your priorities in the wrong place. Maybe you should ask yourself what you are running from?

Julie B said...

Thank you for the supportive comments, I do appreciate it greatly.

Phil, please let me know how the race goes. I will be sending strong vibes to you! You got it!!

Anon, I think it is interesting that you don't post your name but leave the most negative comment. That's OK, I knew there would be negativity. It's about honesty. It's about not hiding behind a make believe life. It is what it is. I ask myself quite often what am I running from. It's not a new question.

Again, thanks for the support.

Emma said...

To Anon,

I think Julie has posted "before" pictures of herself on her blog. I think it's beyond OBVIOUS she's hiding from nothing. It takes a great deal of courage for her to post what she does share. If you don't like it why don't you just move on instead of posting insulting comments. It's just not necessary. I will never understand why some people seem to LIVE just to spread negativity. Thank goodness for the good ones like Julie.

Julie...I've been meaning to shoot you an email. You are amazing my friend. You are such an inspiration to me and obviously so many others. You have achieved so much and no doubt will continue to do so. Keep it up girl. We are all cheering for you!


PS Can you keep people from posting comments anonymously?? It's funny someone can have such strong feelings toward you yet not have an ounce of courage to say who they are.

Anonymous said...

"Unrespectable" isn't even a word.

I seriously can not even imagine defending a drunk driver. How self-fish is being a drunk in the first place and not to mention getting behind the wheel of a car and putting others lives in danger. I hope Anon, that you or any of your loved ones never are across the center line of that on coming car.

Ever live with a drunk??

Yeah, respect isn't even in the equation. Sadly, it appears you formed opinoins without having a clue or you would have not had the audacity to chastise Julie with poor grammar. Maybe you are a drunk and don't like seeing things like that in print, too close to home maybe? So she should stop running and become what, an enabler? Let his poor choices rule her life?


Ben, aka BadBen said...

Life mimics what we encounter in a 100-miler: You toe the line on race day, take it one step at a time, and deal with the issues along the way. Sometimes you stumble, sometimes the terrain puts-up walls of stone or a deep, muddy swamp. Many times you feel like lying down and just giving up. But, when we can't run, we walk...one step at a time, and we get through it.

Hang in there, Julie. You're a tough one.

Happy trails,

Anonymous said...

3 definitions found

unrespectable - Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

Unrespectable \Unrespectable\
See respectable.

unrespectable - WordNet (r) 2.1 (2005) :

adj 1: unworthy of respect [ant: respectable]

unrespectable - Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

18 Moby Thesaurus words for "unrespectable":
derogatory, discreditable, disgraceful, dishonorable, disreputable,
ignoble, ignominious, infamous, inglorious, notorious, seamy,
shabby, shady, shameful, shoddy, sordid, unpraiseworthy,

So those who think unrespectable is not a word maybe should take another grammar class. I don't agree with driving drunk, nor am I a drunk. I still think publishing somebody's dirty laundry out on a website is unrespectable no matter what the circumstances. If you peel back the biases of your life you might see my point.

Travis said...

I agree with Ben, though I can't speak exactly to the 100 mile reference (only 50 mile). You're positive attitude is great and that sort of thing has effects on those around you. I wish you all the best in 2008, keep pushing hard and I look forward to sharing some trail with you in April!

zoey said...

In New Mexico, once a month they take out a full page ad in the major newspaper, of all the DWI's for the past months. Complete with booking photo and blood alcohol levels. Talk about not keeping things private, Anon! LOL. I think quite a while ago they realized that keeping things 'private' was really 'enabling' the person with the problem. Damn Julie, you are ROCKIN the blogs!!!

Anonymous said...

I hope my loved ones care enough about me to choose not to spread my issues around on the internet. I hope they choose to look for help from qualified sources and to others close to the situation. By the way, New Mexico is small compared to the world and shaming someone isn't the most successful way to treat a person with an alcohol problem.

aharmer said...

Julie, Good luck with everything in 2008.

Anon, remember that Julie is not advertising anything...she is posting personal information on her personal website. She's not asking anybody to agree with her posts. You have the right to your opinion as does every reader. In my opinion the least you could do is let her know who it's coming from.

marathonP said...

Thanks Julie - I'll let you know how it goes. I have a herniated disc but hopefully it'll clear up and I'll get clearance to run from the doc.

Thanks for inspiring me Julie, thanks for guiding me, thanks for supporting me. Without your TOTAL honesty Julie, I wouldn't connect with you as I do.

Thank you Julie for your incredible example as an ultrarunner, but mostly for your example of how to live fully and honestly. Your HONESTY is your most incredible and extraordinary quality Julie and I thank you for it.

The internet is wide open though Julie, and anyone can just log on and attack you just by clicking their mouse - no qualities of friendship or trust required and that's not real life. In real life you get some protection from such people and you get some choice in who you expose yourself to.

I love to read about how you live Julie because you are incredible, but maybe taking this blog "private" and including only those you trust to post might be appropriate and more like real life, when you converse with people you can trust, and who don't attack from the bushes. I've seen this happen to you before and I hate to see it - you are too precious to be exposed to this girl :)

Love you Julie, big hug, phil

olga said...

Ben summed it up well. Happy Birthday and New year, Jul!

Lisa said...

Hi Julie;

Some tough stuff in your life right now. It appears you have a lot of support of people thru this blog to help keep you encouraged. I have to agree with anon that posting the DUI was probably not the best choice to make. Though maybe some good will come from the fact that you posted it.

People with addictions already have a plate full of shame. Especially ones who have tried to break from the addiction but return to it in full measure. Again I have to agree with anon, that more shame thru public humiliation, (i.e. New Mexico newspaper) isn't very successful. I guess it takes looking the shame in the face, recognizing it's control over you and admitting that you need help is the first step to overcoming the addiction.

By the way, good job on turning your life around. I think you will be able to go thru all this rough stuff and turn it around again in an even better direction.
I wish you well.

Anonymous said...

The answer to the question "What am I running from" is an easy one to answer in your case, Julie. You are running from your past. When your past rears its ugly head i.e. your husband's drinking (which you did with him for years alongside him), you freak and "run away".
You are at a crossroads now, Julie. You must re-evaluate your life goals. Do you:
A.) mend your marriage by helping your husband heal from his latest problem thus being an even better role model for your boys, or
B.) add another 100-mile race to your itinerary, better your times, and possibly lose some weight in the process?
If you pick the latter, then I have to agree with anon. You are selfish indeed.
Make the right choice, Julie. You are strong. You've proven it time and again from what I've read in your blog. You overcame alcoholism, now is the time to help your husband overcome it too. Educate your boys about alcoholism. It is hereditary and they have it coming from both sides of the family.


keith said...

There are ways to keep people from posting anonymously in blogger, and i think it shows a lot of courage to

a.) leave the negative posts up there and

b.) respond with self control and respect to anyone who feels the need to heap negativity on an already shitty situation.

julie, you're just being honest. i think living with nothing to hide is one of the most challenging things a human can do, but there you are doing it. that's why you're an inspiration to me & so many people who read your blog. don't stop and don't change.

you're obviously a great mother and an outstanding wife; it's quite demanding dealing with addiction - your own or someone elses. don't believe a word of it when someone tries to shame you by saying another's bad situation is your fault.

and i can't help but respond...anon, by saying one is "running from something" by taking care of themselves and being healthy is about the #1 dumbest thing i hear from people that have nothing to do than crap on other's dreams and ambitions. the only thing julie and people like her are "running from" is whatever motivated them to start running in the first place (usually a substantially unhealthy or dark place). keep running towards the light and the positive i say...

don't believe a word of the negative, julie. you rock.

sorry this was long. i was worked up. if anyone didn't deserve to get kicked while down, it's you.

zoey said...

Ugh. I'm sorry Julie, I just can't seem to keep out of it. These women make me physically ill...The message is always the same: "It's your job as a woman to give it all up for your man, even if it's a passion, you give it up, or it'll be your fault he's not well. And what are you doing having a passion anyway? Selfish. Real women stay home and are endlessly available to all. That way you can be both bored, depressed, and taken for granted.

There is no one, myself included, who can pass judgment on your relationship and the decisions you face. Where do these people get off thinking that you need to cut back/out the running to address these issues? Running is the thing that will get you through this. Who are these self righteous people who claim to "know" what YOU are running from?! Y'all can just take those judgmental, pious sticks out of your asses and turn and look at yourselves for a moment.

And for those who feel that the public disclosure of DWI is 'shaming' and "not effective", those are your opinions, which you are entitled to. But they are not facts. While people with addictions may have shame, they are also notoriously selfish and stubbor. It very often takes a jolting event to get through to them. Although there are many treatment strategies today, all are based on direct honesty, and end to the 'secrets', and confrontation of enablers who clear the way for the addiction to continue.

Julie B said...

Thanks again, all. I appreciate you coming up to bat for me. Really, I do. Keith, you are right. I could delete the negative posts, get rid of this whole post..but I'll leave it. We are all entitled to our own opinions. It is about being honest, as you said.

I didn't feel that I was shaming Steve here. Not at all. He doesn't need to be shamed publically by me. I live in a very small Township of 1900 people. Our County has 4 very small cities, there are 4 weekly newspapers published and each one runs the County arrests for DWI and other bookings. It's the Monday morning water cooler talk, sad but true.

It's about honesty. I would have felt like a big liar had I not posted about what it going on in my life. Steve's decisions affect me. This is my blog. So I write about what is affecting me. Today my life isn't all sunny and rosey and wonderful. So I write about that. Selfish? Sure, it's my blog.

As for not spending enough time with my boys? Come on. I almost want to defend myself; but I don't need to. Do you really think the boys don't know that alcoholism is in their genetic makeup? Sheesh. Give me SOME credit..that would be like having daughters and not telling them that they are at risk for ovarian cancer. Hello.

No need to apologize, Zoey, I enjoy your posts.

Now, we are heading out for the movies.