Birthday Girl

Birthday Girl

Our little puppy turned a year old today.

Lucy and I woke lazily this morning long after the sun rose. My thoughts instantly became clouded as I came to with a million little things running through my mind. Those thoughts were the same that consumed me the night before.

Lucy helped put a smile on my face erasing them all for a few minutes.

As I began to stretch my legs, Lucy woke and slowly walked alongside my body showing her nose at the top of our sheets. This little black nose poked out before she fell into my body, curled close, ready for some affection. Lucy dug her nose into my neck, as I scratched her belly for a few moments.

We eventually dragged ourselves out of bed, so we could both go to the bathroom.

The sun was shinning and the temperatures were cool, promising a beautiful day. After Lucy finished doing her business, we came inside, so she could go back to sleep, and I could begin my work day.

As the day progressed, I started to knock a few things off my list . . . feeling a little better, feeling a little less overwhelmed.

After bringing Jason some Gatorade, I knew it was time to completely clear my thoughts and grab a hold of the day. I instantly thought what better way to achieve that then to bring Lucy with me to keep me smiling the entire distance.

I got ready, put Lucy’s running collar on, and we headed to the car. As we neared the Greenbelt, Lucy’s whimpering filled the space. She started walking circles in my lap after siting too long waiting for the light to change. The whimpering increased as we turned onto Lucy’s favorite road, the one that takes us to the Greenbelt.

The whimpering changed into full-blown crying as soon as we parked. I could not get my stuff together fast enough for this little girl.

Lucy was an absolute delight today as we ran mile after mile. She did not pull once. Lucy ran either a little ahead of me, or right alongside me in the grass as my feet hit the pavement.

I pushed her to her newest distance. She is such a little rock star. My little nine+pound, 1-year old puppy, ran 5.24 miles with me today!! What a little trooper. Her previous longest distance was 4.03 miles.

I think she needed the fresh air as much as I did. I know the hour we spent outside completely cleared my thoughts.

As soon as we were done with our cool down walk, we walked to Petsmart, so I could treat her on her birthday. She made friends with everyone she encountered, as they sang how cute she was.

Lucy loved her birthday bone. I’ve never seen her eat a treat so fast. She even warned the cats to keep their distance as she chewed every piece.

20150121_142039

20150121_141905

20150121_141938-1

20150121_142048

Once again, Lucy helped improve my mood. Helped put a smile on my face as I watched her little legs running in front of me.

She changed my life on April 7, 2014, when she appeared at our doorstep.

Happy 1st Birthday my sweet puppy.

 

Chilly and soggy, but gorgeous run

Yesterday Lucy and I were stuck at the house, without our run because of nonstop rain once again. This morning when we both woke, although it was in the 50s, the sun was shinning and there was barely a cloud in the sky.

I definitely wanted to make use of this rare sunshine . . . .

Lucy and I got in the car and headed to the Kingsport Greenbelt for my morning therapy, our outdoor getaway in nature. When we arrived in the parking lot there was only two cars, far less than I have ever seen. That should have been a sign of what was ahead of us, but we were there and I needed to run.

We were left with the option of only going to the left because the path was pretty wet and under water to the right of our entrance way off of the PetSmart parking lot.

Instead of hearing the crunch of leaves as we ran, the only sound was the rushing of water, the slosh of the leaves as we made contact with them and birds chirping.

There were a few areas where Lucy and I ran across small puddles of water. There were other areas where we had to cross deeper puddles that were the length of the path. Lucy was very hesitant at first, due to her not being a fan of the water, but as we kept on going she became a pro, often times leading the way.

With the wind, it was a rather cool run, which kept our pace at a rather decent speed.

On our way back, near the bridge at the start of the path, there was a tree in the middle of the path that wasn’t there when we begun. It was a rather large tree trunk. I sure hope it fell when no one was around. It just goes to show just how much it has rained the past couple of weeks, everything is so saturated.

We ran a total of 2.28 miles today. I wanted to increase our distance every day this week, but as we  neared our usual area the path was really flooded and I didn’t want to run in squishy shoes all the way back to our starting point.

Tomorrow, the goal is to go at least 2.5 miles, that is if there is no rain and the path is a little dryer.

20141015_092513

I love the serenity of the Greenbelt. My mind and soul is always refreshed once we are done with our run.

20141015_092505

I decided to look up some information about the path that Lucy and I have grown to love over the last few months.

When the Riverfront Park and The Boatyard was developed, the linear path became a reality in the 1970s. In 1989, a master plan was created for the path, which includes a trail that extends along the Reedy Creek and the Holston River, connecting the east and west side of Kingsport.

Now the path begins at The Exchange Place on the east end of Kingsport and ends on the west side along the Battle of Kingsport on the banks of the Holston River.

The length of the trail is 8-miles long. Looks like Lucy and I have some exploring to do, some increased distances to achieve.

This tidbit of information I think is pretty neat: the Greenbelt was featured in Southern Living, received recognition from the White House, as well as statewide recreation awards. No wonder it is an active path with all generations of every exercise.

Check out http://www.kingsportgreenbelt.com for more information.

After we returned back home, I had an interview with LaVerne about a bike ride she is putting together from Tucson to Phoenix, more than 85 miles long. As our conversation went on, I connected with this woman who began bike riding when she was 40 years old . . . . 12 years ago.

She told me it’s the “Freedom of cycling . . . It’s something about the quiteness and the freedom . . . You feel alive.” LaVerne said the connection with nature also draws her in while riding her bike.

I can completely relate. I feel rejuvanated when Lucy and I are done running. I know that sounds strange, but it’s so true. That connection with nature is also another big draw for me. As I run, I breathe in that fresh air, while hearing the sounds of nature. I start to feel part of nature as we are passing through on that wonderful path.

I am thankful I found a passion, a healthy passion at that.

Until next time. . .

 

Passion intensified

My passion for running has hit a whole new level, thanks to my almost 5 month old puppy, Lucy, who has joined me on my exercise adventures.

I used to run outdoors in Arizona and every once in a while with my mom when the early Florida morning temperatures allowed for it.

But, I have to admit, the majority of my running has always been on a treadmill inside of a gym. My boyfriend has been encouraging me to hit the trails outside for quite a while. Although I said I would, I always ended up at the gym instead.

My turning point was when we brought Lucy home. Although she is just a puppy, I feel more comfortable running outside with her. I’m not alone anymore, I have her with me.

It’s truly inspiring for me to see just what my body can do when we start running. I’m reaching new goals, goals I struggle with when I’m on a treadmill staring at a television while listening to music.

Today, Lucy and I headed to the Kingsport Greenbelt again. This has become our go to place when Lucy and I exercise together. It’s such a nice path that follows a creek and for the most part is very shaded. The people we pass are always friendly and it is very dog friendly. The best part, it’s only a few minutes from where we live.

image

Once we walk onto the path, all I have to say is “ready” and Lucy takes off and starts to trot, which then eventually turns into a run. Although Lucy stopped and sniffed noses with a few much bigger dogs today, she doesn’t stop and try to get affection from everyone we pass. If she starts to slow down, the simple command “come on” gets her moving right alongside me again.

When I took Lucy on her first run early last week, we ran for .81 miles before she told me she was ready to rest. Today we went 1.43 miles before we stopped and rested. I’m very encouraged by this and very excited to see what this puppy is capable of as she gets older.

After we reach her stopping point, we find a bench and sit. Lucy always climbs on my lap and listens to the birds or watches the people pass by. By this point she’s tired and has no interest in chasing the birds or the people for that matter.

I love this time with her. Just the two of us soaking in nature and enjoying our quite time outdoors.

After our break we run the entire distance back to our starting point. When I feel myself slowing down, Lucy picks up her speed. I’m not quite sure if she knows I need that extra push, but it works every time.

It’s so easy running with her. She always stays to my left side at the same pace as my feet are moving. Well this is until we head back to the car, she starts moving a little faster.

Although we haven’t conquered her fear of riding in the car, she is getting so much better on the path.

This morning when I was getting ready for our run, she became a little hesitant and was a little standoffish. When I put Lucy’s harness on she began shaking. I’m not quite sure how to make her more comfortable, or even excited for that matter.

I’m happy to say that once we get in the car the shaking stops. When we arrive at our destination she becomes very excited. Even on our way home she’s fine, but by this point she’s quite exhausted.

I’m beyond excited that my passion for running has intensified again. I was starting to hit that brick wall with my gym routine.

It’s rejuvenating to run outdoors. All that fresh air does wonders for me.

A number of goodbyes

The last few days have been wonderful and of course emotional, as we fill the moments of our days with friends and family before we move.

Last night was a perfect example of spending time with friends and family, as we all gathered at Jason’s parent’s house for our going away party.

It was an incredible night full of laughter and many unexpected presents, as well as a few surprise guests.

I’m grateful that Jen and Ed opened up their home, so we could all gather in one place. Everything was perfect, the food was good, the company was excellent and the thoughtfulness was heartwarming.

At one point of the night, Jason walked up to me and put his arm around me. The squeeze and look said it all … we really have some special friends. The farewell party really was a great way to bring some of those people who have impacted our lives together.

One of the highlights of the night was of course the time I got to spend with Dorene. What a truly great friendship, one that has only grown since I moved back to Fort Myers from Arizona. This beautiful individual has been so instrumental in helping me through the stresses of our move. Every and anytime I needed her she was a phone call, text or visit away. A friendship I will always be grateful for. The best part of our goodbye, was it wasn’t our last one. Dorene is coming by tomorrow to help me clean, wow, what an incredible friend.

As the night went on, more individuals stopped by and spent a few minutes or hours with us as they shared our excitement for the move. So many good wishes filled this already warm house, which only left me with so much joy.

Jason and I have so many wonderful friends, so many thoughtful friends who are truly excited for us. The gifts, which of course was a surprise, blew us away, again how thoughtful.

Last night left me feeling loved …

Today of course that feeling only intensified …

image

Dave and Judy treated Jason and I to a day out on the water … fishing and enjoying one another’s company.

As Jason and I left the house, my emotions and nerves were sky high. As soon as we stepped on the boat and got comfortable, those feelings started to subside as Judy and I instantly began a conversation.

As the afternoon went on, I felt like a new person. All the worries about the move disappeared as the boat gently rocked back and forth from time to time, all while breathing in the fresh air. There is something about being outside that calms any and every nerve. What great therapy. It was extremely relaxing to be on the water with three very important people in my life.

image

The best part was I caught the first fish and two out of the three that were caught. Although they were only catfish, it was still a great feeling for me!

After some time out on the water, we went back in and began our goodbyes. Although I knew this goodbye was going to be difficult, I didn’t anticipate the tears to flow as much as they did when I finally sat down in the car and reflected on everything that took place this afternoon. 

All the sweet words that Judy whispered as we hugged filled my eyes with tears, while warming my heart. It’s a beautiful thing to watch and feel a friendship grow. This woman has been my other go to person as we planned our move. So many wonderful conversations, so many incredible memories and so many helpful words as things became to overwhelming.

Dave and Judy, you gave us a wonderful gift, a day of relaxation before we pack everything into the U-Haul pod and head to Tennessee.

This past week has filled me with so many emotions, so many memories, so many sweet words that will stay with me forever.

The best part of this past week is the closeness I feel with my boyfriend. I love how we are growing together as we finalize everything to put this move into motion on Tuesday. I love this man with all of my heart … oh my goodness how do I love this man. I know this move is the right thing for us … 

Tomorrow is our last day in Fort Myers. One more day of goodbyes before our next adventure begins, a day of goodbyes that I know will leave me an emotional mess. 

One more day … the countdown is finally coming to an end.