Monday, May 23, 2016

My Girl

I got Chloe when I was dating a guy that I ended up marrying.  He was physically and emotionally abusive to both of us, and when we left that situation I always thought of us girls as "war buddies," having gone through things together that only the two of us would ever have to know about.  I know that we were both so so lucky to have each other when we did.

We found Blake when Chloe was about 3 and he immediately took to her, and her to him.  She was definitely his little girl, too.

As you know, we just moved to Seattle after Christmas..making the cross country road trip from DC to Atlanta (to see family), then to out here and I will always be happy for that week long adventure we all had together, just the three of us.  

In early March, Chloe blew out her knee...we had the surgery later that month.  She developed pneumonia from the anesthesia, but was bouncing right back-quicker than we could have guessed!  We actually were just at the vet on her last Saturday morning (a month after her surgery) and everyone was complimenting on how well she was healing and getting back to her old silly, bouncy self.  

Then, that very same Saturday evening, Chloe just started acting really "off."  She wasn't able to get comfy...she was super lethargic...and just uneasy.  When she would get up she would literally walk over to a corner and just stand there.  It was so sad and weird!  We thought maybe it was an upset belly (Blake let her have a piece of steak when we grilled out Saturday evening).  She wasn't really eating much Sunday (unless, of course I cooked chicken and fed it to her in bed-always a princess)!

That Monday, Blake and I texted all day worrying about her.  I cried off and on throughout the day, just knowing things were not OK.  When we got home  and she was still unhappy, we called our vet (who we have grown to love so quickly!) who told us we should immediately take her to the hospital.  Chloe's gums were white and our vet was concerned she was bleeding internally.  

We went straight to the hospital (where her surgery was done) and they confirmed that she was essentially bleeding out, internally.  She had a ruptured tumor in her spleen, that we wouldn't have even known she had.  IF they were able to clean it all up and remove the damage and the tumor, there was only a 25% chance that the tumor would not be cancer and she would likely only have another month or so with us. 

It was all just such a shock.  After doing so well with her knee.  And for this to all be so unrelated.  It was just super crappy luck and timing.

Saying goodbye to my little girl was the hardest thing I have ever done - but I am so grateful I was able to be there with her when she needed me the most. Thinking if things had happened differently, if she had been home alone and in pain...I just can't bare it.

In the weeks that followed Chloe's departure we have been shown SO MUCH love and support from literally all over the world.  It's been overwhelming, in the nicest possible way!  People knew what a special girl we had and loved her just as much as we did, and will continue to.

It's now been a month without her.  Coming home is still rough, not having her there to greet us.  Our schedules are so different now, not needing to make time in the AM to take care of her and get her ready for her day, as well as our own; no longer being in a rush to get home after work to see her and let her out.  I still have a hard time being around other dogs, particularly large ones without wishing my girl was there too.

And so, I leave here on the internet a few more of seen before, and never seen before pictures of my wee little best friend.  She was hands down the best girl ever and I am SO lucky that I had those 11 years with her.  Her absence has left a void in my heart, but the memories I have with her will last forever.  A fellow runner/blogger friend shared this with me and it resonates so true. "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."

Rest in peace, my baby girl.

Chloe Gilbert Ohlstrom
February 22, 2005 - April 25, 2016


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Where has Kathrun been?!?!

I know, I know.  I have been totally MIA-it's been an eventful Q1 in my world!  

Well, after Christmas, we made our cross country road trip and moved to Seattle. It was actually a really fun adventure.  You can see #xcchloe on Instagram to see how that all went!

Cross Country Road Trippin'

Just as we finally were getting settled and acclimated to our new city, Chloe blew her knee out in early March (literally right after her 11th birthday!).  After appointments and xrays galore, she had surgery just about two weeks ago to repair her CCL (same as an ACL in humans), then developed pneumonia from the anesthesia.  She finally got to come home and we have been babying her a lot.  So not a ton of time for much else!  It's been a ride, I tell you!  And still lots of recovery to go.

Chloe post surgery.  So sad!!  Glad we are feeling better these days!
But, in between all that, I have managed to get back on track with my running.  I totally attribute that to the Oiselle Vole√®.  I have a great group of Thursday morning birdie runners that I see weekly for 3-4 miles...and I have done a couple of races, even FINALLY PR'd in the half!

At the Oiselle Flagship store, watching the Olympic Marathon trials with my Oiselle team!

Carrie and me pre-Valentine's day 5k

Shannon, Carrie and me at the Oiselle store, sporting our American Runner trucker hats!
So far in 2016, I have run the following:

Love 'em or Leave 'em Green Lake 5k - Green Lake is an EXCELLENT location for some nice runs.
Lake Sammamish Half Marathon - I finally PR'd!! By about 2 minutes. :-) 
Go Long 520 10k - a 10k over the world's longest floating bridge!

So that brings us up to date...upcoming races scheduled include:

Brooks Trailhead 10k
Rock n Roll Seattle Half Marathon
Lake Union 10k

And, are you ready for this?  

I have registered for marathon #2!  I'll be running the Portland Marathon, October 9th!  I have a new Seattle Oiselle friend, Carrie, who will be going on this adventure with me.  It will be her first full marathon!  I'm SO excited for her! 

Been spending some time exploring our new city and new trails!

This is the view from our rooftop deck.  Amazing, I tell you!
So here we go again!  Spring races and a summer full of training!  I am so grateful for the Oiselle Vole√®...they have made this move and transition so much easier.  I have made many great new friends and have gotten back on track running.  

I hope to get back on track with the blogging too!!  


Do you have any big goals this spring/summer? Who else has a fall marathon on tap?

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Running Survey


Lots of things going on in my household right now, primarily coordinating a cross country move during the Christmas holidays!  That's right, if you don't follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you might have missed the news, but after Christmas, my little family of three is relocating to Seattle!  Crazy times.  Just crazy.  But all that is for another post.  Today, keeping it light and easy, I'm posting a running survey (a la early 2000's MySpace posts?) I have come across on both Kathryn and Mar's blogs in the past week or so!  

So here we go!

1. Would you rather run along a beach path or on a mountain trail?
I think beach path.  Um, hello?  Beaches are the best.  And also, lack of hills or, uh, mountains?

2. If you could choose the flavor of Gatorade at your next race’s aid stations, what would it be?
I'm not a Gatorade drinker at all.  Strange as it might sound, I think it's the consistency of it...too syrupy.  I am a Nuun girl, all the way!!  I love the Cherry Limeade the best, but all the Energy flavors are excellent.

3. If I gave you a $100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing that you would purchase with it?
Right now, likely some socks and rain running gear, given the upcoming move. :-)

4. Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and decide then how far and fast you want to run?
Both.  If I'm training for a specific race or goal, I like having it all planned out and being prepared.  But during the off-season, I just like to get up and go and see how I feel.

5. Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end on the uphill?
UPHILL.  The last thing I want to do after giving it my all on course is to have to go uphill at the very end.  Does anyone say differently??

6. When you can’t run, what type of cross training do you choose to do?
Primarily the elliptical, and I'm hoping after the move to get back to a Bikram yoga studio.  Miss that so much!
7. What’s your preference –> out and back or point to point or loop runs?
Loop.  Point to point is fun if you have the logistics all figured out, or a fan club on course to meet you at the finish, though.
8. If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner, it would be a…?Go get fitted for the best shoes possible and buy some great socks.  Oh, and a running buddy, for sure!!

9.  Do you ever see any wild animals while out on your runs?
Haha.  Nope.  Not in DC.  Though, I take that back.  There was one time on the Mt Vernon Trail last summer I came across a deer.  That's about it though.
10. Ever gotten lost while out on a run?Thankfully, no.  I thought I might at the North Face Endurance Challenge last spring, but fortunately, I kept on trail.

11. If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days, what would that meal be?
Breakfast food.  Easy.
12. Capris or shorts…what do you run in most often?
Totally depends on the weather, but I do love my Distance shorts from Oiselle.  LOVE THEM.
13. At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go?
Usually a good 2-3 miles.  
14. What do you do with your key when you run?
If my shorts have pockets it's there.  Otherwise the pocket of my Nathan handheld.
15. If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one would it be?
Do you have to ask?  2014 Marine Corps Marathon.  Remember? Best day ever!!

Now - your turn!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Too much 10k? No way.

Happy Monday, you guys! And, more importantly, Happy November!  Wowzers has this year flown by!

Since we last "spoke" I have run a couple of was sort of a spur of the moment decision, which we will get to momentarily.

October 25 was Marine Corps Marathon Day!  Though I was a little pouty having decided not to run the marathon this year, I still had such a fun day!  I ran the 10k first, then met up with some birdies and we manned our Oiselle Cowbell Corner for the marathoners.  

It started out quite a chilly and very wet morning...but fortunately for the marathoners the rain eventually pushed its way through.  It did rain for most of the 10k, though.  I met up with my pal at the start, stood in the LONG porta-potty lines and then made our way to the self seeded start along the National Mall.  We plopped ourselves in for the 1:00-1:09 wave.  As you might recall, I did Clarendon Day in about 1:05 and so I was hoping to do a bit better this week.

The course is ALMOST identical to the final 10k of the it definitely was a bit nostalgic running along the National Mall and into Crystal City like I did just a year before.  The bridge was as miserable and long as usual...but I was super excited that there were already spectators out in Crystal City to cheer the 10kers on before the marathoners got through - I wasn't expecting that! 

Since we finish just like the marathoners do (but without as much pain and tiredness), we turn up that last little 0.2 hill and are greeted with Marines high fiving us all the way to the finish.  :-)  My unofficial finish time was 1:04:49 - so a little better than Clarendon Day!  Ha!

Obligatory finishers pic with the Marine Corps Memorial
After the 10k, I wandered down to the Finishers' Festival to round up any pals that were going to the Oiselle Cowbell Corner with us to cheer on all our teammates!  We had a great group of cheerleaders and were perfectly placed right as the runners were exiting that dreadful bridge at Mile 22.  Everyone had so much fun cheering and hollering for all the runners, and we especially loved seeing our Oiselle birds flying by and/or stopping for hugs!!

Amazing signs by Caitlin K!

Sights from Cowbell Corner MCM 2015 - by Taylor Coffey
Just a perfect Sunday, I tell ya!

This past week, I thought I was super excited to have absolutely no plans for the weekend....but then the more I thought about my 10k...the more annoyed I got...and I decided I wanted to get even closer to a one hour time.  (As you might recall, my 10k PR is from the Atlanta Peachtree Road Race in 2009!!  I did that in 1:00:28.  It's about time to do better, right?!?!)  So, last minute decision - I registered for the Potomac River Running Company's Parks 10k. I don't think I have run a PRRC race, I'm pretty sure this was my first one! 

I had been contemplating the Pacers Veterans Day 10k, but then when I got the email about the PR one, I decided - same price, same route, but a long sleeve tech shirt and a medal?  I'll do that!!  I convinced Emily O to run with me and we had a great morning run (followed by biscuits and mimosas)!  

The course is an out and back from West Potomac Park, out just past the tip of Haines Point and back.  Emily, though speedier than I, had run 10 miles on Saturday, so she humored me and ran more my speed. :-)  As you can tell from the pictures, though it was a COOL, WINDY and RAINY morning, we had a lot of fun!!
And we are off!

We had an official time this week of 1:04:17.  Ha! So only about 30 seconds faster than last week's MCM10k!  Baby steps, am I right?

Medals!  Always love getting bling. :-)
So now, I'm thinking I need to go ahead and register for the Pacers race this coming Sunday, anyway, right?  Between trying to knock some more time off my 10k, I also have run an uneven number of races this year - 11!  That is just a weird number, I need to round that off, right?  Am I just being ridiculous?  Ha!  I might follow the weather forecast and make this decision by Wednesday....

Have you made any last minute race decisions?  What motivated you to make that spur of the moment decision?  Can we even believe it is November, already?!?

Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday 5: 5 Things I Love!

This week's topic is 5 things I love...I could go on and on and on and make a really long list....these days I have been trying to be a bit more positive, and be more grateful for things!  

1. Chloe.  I mean, is this really any surprise?  She's basically all I ever instagram about, really...

2.  My running team/Oiselle.  Again, this is all over the blog, my Facebook and my Instagram.  I have really appreciated my team alot this summer and early fall in keeping me busy with races and get-togethers while Blake has been gone.  I know myself, I have a tendency to very much be homebody...and then get pouty if left alone for TOO long.  So I have really grown to love getting to know and hang out these girls!!

3.  Snail mail. Really...why don't we send more snail mail??  Isn't it the best?

4.  My pjs/bed.  I love being all cozied up.  Sitting on my couch in my pjs or curled up in the bed.  LOVE it.  PS- Blake and I were just discussing this weekend the importance of a GOOD mattress.  Spend the money people.  We got a Tempur-pedic a few years ago and it has been worth every penny.

5.  Being "home."  By "home," I mean, my parents house in suburban Atlanta.  I only lived in their current house maybe about 2 or 3 years off and "home" is more about being around family and the "things" you grew up with and whatnot.  I can nap way better at my mama and daddy's house than anywhere else, without a doubt.  

This weekend is MCM weekend!!  Good luck to all my friends and teammates running!  I'll be running the 10k and then heading out to Mile 22 for some cheering!  Can't wait to see you all on the course!!

As always, thanks to Mar, Courtney and Cynthia for hosting the link up, which is celebrating its 2nd birthday today!!  Keep it up, ladies!!  We love it!

Monday, October 12, 2015

ATM Weekend Recap!

What a whirlwind weekend, full of miles for me!  

Before we get started on little ole me, let me just say WOW and Congratulations to all my sweet friends, teammates and followers that ran Chicago and any other races this weekend!  I love having the Oiselle Facebook page where we can cheer each other on and know what's going on with everyone, and it looked like an amazing weekend of running for everyone!  Way to go, you!

As for me, I had a 10k fun run Saturday and then the Army Ten Miler Sunday.  So 16 miles.  I have not run that much in a weekend since last summer's MCM I wasn't sure what to expect!

I got up early Saturday morning to meet at City Sports in Georgetown (which, did everyone know is going out of business?!?!  SALE CITY!) to run the Run 10 Feed 10 Fun Run 10k.  This run was brought to my attention by Colleen (LiveFreeandRun) a couple of weeks ago.  I love everything that the Feed Project stands those bags are I decided, OK...I'll run it and get that handy bag!  

See? How cute is that?
And the cute bracelets, too!
Though Colleen is much speedier than I am, she was also going to be running the Army Ten Miler the next day, so she stayed slow and ran and chatted with me the whole time.  It was great getting to know her "in real life" now and it definitely helped the 6.2 miles go by quicker!

It was a BEAUTIFUL and clear day - started in the upper 40s or so and finished around the mid-upper 60s.  I ran in a long sleeve the whole time!  Have I mentioned my love for fall running?

We ran down M Street, towards downtown, across in front of the White House, over by Watergate, then headed over the Roosevelt Memorial Bridge and into Northern VA...on to my beloved Mount Vernon Trail...then back over Key Bridge into Georgetown. It was actually a really great route.  I might have to start incorporating that into my route mix!

Hi President!!

Post Race with the goodies!
 We ran the 10k in probably about 1:05 to 1:10 I would guess...just based on the time we started.  Haha.  My Garmin was having a hard time finding its satellites in Georgetown, and Colleen's failed to start when she thought she started we aren't real sure.  But that's how it was supposed to go! Just a fun leisurely run around town, right?

Saturday afternoon I just bummed around the house cleaning and straightening up and getting ready for the main event of the weekend, the Army Ten Miler.

I had done Packet Pick up for ATM on Friday during the workday to avoid too many crowds and hoping Metro would cooperate better then than on the weekend.  That ended up working well for me! 

Sunday AM was a bit cooler than Saturday had been, but with promises of getting warmer!  I managed to have everything I would want or need on my person, and not have any extra clothes, so no bag check was needed for me.  I quickly found some Oiselle teammates as we were all gathering together for a pre-race pic!

Courtesy of Courtney
I was also tickled that a dear friend from Southern Bird Camp, Amy, was in town spectating for a friend and we got to see her and catch up for a bit beforehand, too!

Courtney, Colleen and me
Several of Courtney's Arlington Road Runners Club members were in the same wave as we were, so we all started off together.  Courtney ended up running ahead a bit, so her pal (now my pal!) Jessica and I stayed together until about mile 6 or so...then I slowed down a bit.  It was another great day getting to know a fellow runner!  :-)

The course itself was pretty typical for DC road races, though I do have to say - those blocks along Independence Avenue were without a doubt the MOST FUN EVER!!  You are running out and back so you are crossing paths with people ahead and behind you...I stayed as close to the center of the road as I could in order to high five people the whole way!  Everyone cheering and keeping each other pepped up - I love that stuff!  :-)  

I finished the 2015 ATM in about 1:48...not terribly impressive, but considering this week was more running than my little legs have seen in a while, I can't be too down!

After the race, we met all back up (surprisingly sorta easily!) and ended up deciding on a spontaneous brunch!  We headed to Arlington for some Tupelo Honey biscuits and mimosas and then called it a day.  I, myself, was definitely ready for a nap!!

So - all in all, a really great weekend filled with miles, smiles, friends and food.  :-)  

I'm giving myself a rest day permitting, I'm going to meet up with Courtney and Mar this evening to check out an event at Busboys and Poets and then maybe a bite to eat.  Then some more miles in Tuesday and Wednesday before heading out to San Francisco one last time while my guy is there!  One last run along the bay Friday morning!!  

Then, just counting down the days for MCM!  I can't wait to "redeem" myself on that last 10k and then cheer on ALL my friends and teammates that are running the marathon this year!  It's sure to be another great weekend and Sunday!

What about you?  Did you run any races this week?  Did you have fall-like weather?  How's your Race-tober coming along?  (Can we believe it's halfway over?)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Clarendon Day 10k & Navy Mile Spectating

I'm not feeling too clever with the title today, my friends.  Sorry!  :-)

Just thought I would pop by the old blog and share the last couple of super fun weekends with my beloved Oiselle DC team!!  Have I mentioned my love for Oiselle?  Our team is so much fun!  We have a great group leaders always organizing and planning fun for us!

Last weekend was Clarendon Day.  We had girls running the 5k, the 10k and the Double!  My goodness, no way I would have wanted to do that Double!  Haha.  My 10k time was a not impressive 1:05.  Oh well.  But how much fun was it along the course to see all the singlets on the out and back!  It just put a little pep in my step!

It was a Pacers race, so as usual, super easy packet pick-up and very well organized - start to finish. Some of the team met up between the 5k and 10k races for a quick group picture....then met up afterwards for some brunch and fun!  It was so great to meet some of the new birds, as well as some of the original ones I just hadn't connected with yet!

Team DC (and Julie was in town!!) pre-10k

After a delicious brunch at Lyon Hall post-race

Then, this past weekend, we got a group together to watch Kate Grace (one of the Oiselle Haute Volee - Elite) team members run the Navy Mile.  It was so fun to spectate that race and to see her return to racing!  Kate came in 4th with a time 5:00.02!  

How cool that her New Balances match the Oiselle kit!?
Men's Elite Heat

 After the race, the team got to meet up with Kate for a coffee break, which was super nice of her!  Kerri Gallagher was there cheering and met with us as well!

It was a great weekend of sisterhood, as you can tell!  We also had a few teammates out running this weekend all over...and have several more running this weekend coming up!

I will be making my appearance at the Run10Feed10 DC Fun Run on Saturday AM and then the Army 10 Miler Sunday!  I'm a little nervous having planned those two the same weekend...but I just plan to take the 10k slow pokey so that I'm rested and ready for Sunday morning.  We should have another great Oiselle showing Sunday both spectating and running.  

Then I'll be off to San Francisco for the last trip of this adventure Blake's been on.  I cannot believe how quickly the 5 month program has gone!  He'll be wrapping things up in about a month and heading back home.  It'll be nice to get things in a groove and figure out what the future holds from here.  

October 26 is the Marine Corps Marathon weekend.  I'll be doing the 10k and then a bunch of us birds will be getting together to cheer on the marathoners!  I CANNOT believe it's been a year already since my MCM debut!  Crazy, y'all!  Just crazy!

What about you?  Run any races last weekend?  This weekend coming up?