off i go...

to the wild warm blue yonder of hawaii...

most of my time will be spent lounging on the beaches near maalaea bay on the southern shore of maui.

near this pool:

by these whales...

no idea what the internet will be like or where (not taking the laptop...too much responsibility and it's just another thing to carry with. plus mark needs it at home..)

so i'll blog when i can, briefly, if it's not really all that nearby, and let everyone know of the adventures with gram mcgowan and what we do or i go off and do on my own. not sure really what's in store for this trip except some good home cooked meals (gram has always cooked well!) and my race on sunday the 25th. once i get that 13.1 miles done, then it's *really* time to relax!

for now, i have a few things left to do here at home, then it's time to get on the plane for the 4000 mile ride to honolulu. i have lots of movies with me (taking the portable dvd player) and books and knitting and magazines and an iPod with podcasts. hopefully that will keep me well entertained :)

so stay warm to those in the cold, stay cool to those in the warmth, and we'll chat on the other side...

common ground...

so here's the thing.


if you are one, you get it.

if you aren't. cool. no problem.
(i won't think any less of you if you don't want to ever run.)

runners all start at the same place.

square one.

(like on pathfinder on the price is right. i love that show. i would love to be a contestant)

you start at the beginning.

and work your way up. step by step. literally. (like duana likes to say :)

if you go the wrong way, or something bad happens (injury, set backs, etc) you pause. stop. heal.

and keep going when you can.

heck, this is a general life principle, right?

everyone who runs has to earn the place they work up to.

every step builds onto the next. all of the blood, sweat & tears. (and those 3 are all part of running...)

sure some folks are more adept at things like athletics. just like some are gifted singers, painters, scientists, librarians :), etc.

but almost anyone who runs starts, literally, at step one. and at so many ages. and from so many backgrounds.

heavy. slim. old. young. disabled. you name it, there is that kind of runner out there. i've witnessed it all at every race i've been to or ran.

seriously. to see an 70+ year old person finish a *marathon*?? or the dad pushing his disabled adult son for miles and miles race after race? i have absolutely no reason not to register and run my first 26.2 this year...

and we runners are all just 'average' folks for the most part.

if we weren't, running wouldn't be exploding in numbers like it has been the past 10 years.

those who do run, in any capacity, really understand each other. we relate to each other. we can strike up completely random conversations at a race without a hitch. we can talk about PR's and what GU we like, and hitting the wall, and 'what model of asics do you have?', or 'is there a medal to that race?' and the list goes on.. and getting that high of loving to talk about your passion with those who also share in it is just plain enjoyable...

when i first started running it took me a solid year almost to feel like i wasn't faking it to be considered part of the 'club' of those who ran.

now i'm proud of it and feel like such a different person than 3 years ago.

the things it's done for me physcially are secondary.

and contrary to popular belief, i DO EAT. i do eat 'bad' things now and then. i also am lucky to have tall thin genes in my family...but i get the 'go eat something!' line a lot....grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

and on that note, it's amazing to me sometimes how folks will say things like 'who's chasing you??' when they hear i run.

yeah, it can be funny, i know they're kidding. but in a sense, there *is* a stigma by non-runners to judge those who run races. i really don't get why. i know that some folks are totally passionate about some things that are not my thing. but more power to them to love something they do...

on the other hand i have that camp of folks who are like 'you go girl! run like the wind! me? i'll sit back and have a frosty cold one, but you go!'

and i'm happy to have those supporters too...seriously. i think of those folks during my races often! support is SO big in this sport...

i've been corresponding on a fun social level lately with leah. found her on facebook :) (that's amazing!) leah was part of a major documentary on marathoning. (she's 2nd from the right here with a bunch of other cool peeps from the movie)

and it's been so very cool! to know that i can just talk and support someone in chicago, who i've never met, in a way that she and i and so many others understand. and i *love* that! i hope i can meet leah in person some day...and thank her for being so inspirational ~ this 2 hour film seriously *did* change me and made me believe...

i run for me.

i run for my friends.

i run *with* my other friends.

i run for so many reasons. everyone who runs does.

it's a feeling that NO ONE can understand unless they try the sport, and become hooked like so many of us who take part have.

it takes time.

it takes dedication.

it takes discipline.

and quite honestly it takes a solid 6 months, to me, to even scratch the surface of 'what am i doing?? why the heck would i want to freeze my arss off on a 10 degree morning at 7:30am to go run outside??'

but the end result?

it feels *phenomenal* when you realize what you are capable of.

a pride you can't describe. and to meet folks along the way that become family, soul mates in all kinds of senses, well, who on earth wouldn't want that?

now if i can just get folks to stop asking about why i don't have kids....

sigh. thanks for reading. enjoy whatever it is that is your passion and do with no holds barred. it's the best thing...

(steps down off the soapbox)

getting it done...

so in 2 weeks, i'll be here.

and i'm not blogging this to rub in that i'm going somewhere warm & sandy. scout's honor!
i wish i could find someone(s) else to go with me! much as it'll be great to visit with Gram, i really would love to hike and adventure a bit with folks 'my age' too :( so i'm honestly not quite sure what i'll do there a lot of the time, but i plan to find somethin'! (as i don't sit still too swell)

in the course of staying on maui, i'll run some. surprise surprise, i know. but it's pretty cool to me to be able to collect running medals from all over the place if the opportunity is there :) kinda like my camping friend Kelly & her kids trying to camp in all 50 states..and they've been to more than half at this point I believe!

so the first maui oceanfront marathon & half marathon runs on january 25.

i'm not exactly ready. my longest run to date in the past 3 weeks is 7 miles.

i am running 10 miles tomorrow morning, and 10 the saturday after that.

and then it's game time.

so to get me through 13.1 miles all by my lonesome (I'm pretty sure Gram won't be at the race...can't imagine she wants to go) i have created a list of 13 people who mean a ton to me and i am dedicating each mile of the race to those individuals. some are my runners. some are family. some are other vip's in my life. so i am glad that i can dedicate one mile at a time through a whole race to those peeps...

how i'm going to remember who is what mile i haven't figured out yet. i am going to take my camera on the run just cuz, so maybe i'll tape a little list to that or write the names on my arm :) that would work too...

other than that, still waiting for libraryland big wigs to get the lease all signed for our temporary space. we hope to close up april 1 and reopen may 1 in the new spot for just over a year. our main building is going up and out a bit and we'll be big and brighter and shinier and better. but there will be a lot of growing pains in the middle i anticipate. but it will never be boring, which is always good.

so off i go now...i'm behind in a few things to start my day off. stay warm to those in the cold and put on your sunscreen to those in the warmth....~jd

what i did in 2008...

(outside of workin' many hours and traveling unrelated to running...)

i ran like i didn't know i could.

in my first 'real' season as part of a running team, i earned 5 medals (there are 6 in the was for dragon boat paddling, 2nd place! and hey it's still a race, and still a medal :)

i ran in 12 races. from 5K to my first, second and third half marathons.

with a dozen amazing women on my team.

i just unearthed my pile of race bibs tonight and was curious how many races i had run since i picked this sport up in january 2006.

overall i've run 23 races total in my career so far.

11 of those were in 2006 and 2007 *combined*.

clearly 2008 was it's own creature and boy did i find a calling...without even realizing how i'd take to the sport. i never knew i had it in me.

so in 2009. my first big race is january 25th, on the island of maui.

then in april i go to DC to a) see my best friend gail & family and b) to run a 10 mile race.

and as i've declared, and sat down with the coach and the CJ at breakfast today to plan it all out, i will be a marathoner as of june.

and i started an official tally of how many miles i run this entire year. something i've never really kept track of.

today was 7 and it was one of my best workouts, especially alone, EVER.

the next posting will return to the regularly scheduled program sans running....

work has a major upcoming change happenin. it's going to be a very interesting next 14 months in library land...

happy new year to everyone near and far! ~jd

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