Sunday, March 7, 2010

At a Loss for Words

Hi, Running Blogger Friends.

As I mentioned in my last post, it's been a tough week here in San Diego County.  I'm afraid it just got worse... today it was announced that the remains of Amber Dubois have been found.  Authorities aren't saying where the lead came from at this time... but somehow, they got information regarding where Amber's body could be found.  Dental records confirmed that the remains are Amber's.

I know I'll have more to say after this horrific news has had a chance to settle a bit.  But for now, please keep Amber's family, friends, and community in your prayers.

For more information:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Young Life, Cut Short

I have been pretty quiet out here in BloggerLand lately.  I apologize for missing so many of your blogs posts... I really do enjoy reading about each of my Running Blogger Friends lives.

It's been a tough week for those of us in the San Diego and LA areas.  The disappearance of Chelsea King, the arrest of yet another out-of-prison sex offender, and the discovery of Chelsea's body has left many of us a bit shell-shocked. 

I know people all over the country are heart-broken by Chelsea's tragic death.  When it hits so close to home and with the disappearance of Amber Dubois still fresh in our hearts, this week has been an emotionally draining one.  I cannot even come close to understanding what the parents of these girls have been going through.  I don't ever want to know how someone deals with the loss of a child... especially in such a violent way.

Was the man arrested in the Chelsea King case the same man who is responsible for the disappearance of Amber Dubois?  For Amber's sake, I hope not.  Considering the fact that this monster had an address less than five miles away from where Amber went missing and the similarities of the victims, I can't help but think she and Chelsea met the same fate.  Again, I hope and pray this is not the case.  I do pray for closure for Amber's family, no matter what the truth may be.

I love Lake Hodges and the surrounding trails (where the gift of Chelsea was taken from the world) but I know I will never be able to run or hike in the area again without thinking of what happened to this beautiful girl.  Just as I can't run through my neighborhood without wondering where Amber is and looking for any sign of her.

There are wild California Poppies that grow around the Lake Hodges area.  They are dainty, yet strong.  They are beautiful, and free.  They seem to dance with the wind as it blows past their happy, orange petals.  I have learned that orange was Chelsea's favorite color so I like to think that she appreciated the simple beauty of these special wild flowers as she ran past them on her long runs out at the trails.  She reminds me of the California Poppy.  And the California Poppy will always remind me of her.  I know that sounds corny since I've never met her... but the link has been made in my mind and that's OK with me.

Rest in peace, Chelsea King.  You had your whole future ahead of you and it was a bright one.  I pray that the light you blessed others with will continue to shine.  I pray for justice.  I pray for change.  I pray for your loving, amazing family.  You will never be forgotten.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Another Missing Girl

On February 13th, I posted a blog about the missing girl from my neighborhood named Amber Dubois. Many of my blogger friends expressed concerns and prayers for her safe return.

Now there is another girl missing. This girl is from a town a few miles to the south of Escondido. Her name is Chelsea King- a senior in high school and cross country team member. Her plan was to do a long run along the trails in the Lake Hodges area. She hasn't been seen since Thursday afternoon. She was out running in the middle of the day!

This has been on my heart all day. Not only is another lovely teenage girl missing, she is missing from an area I have run several times, myself. I have so many emotions brewing... sadness for her family, anger, and helplessness.

I have run those trails. I often run them alone. Not anymore. The police found her parked car at a local park, which is near the start of the trails. Her car was locked and still held her wallet, street clothes, and cell phone.

I don't know why she didn't take her cell phone on her run... perhaps because some of the area has no reception. Maybe she had nowhere to comfortably put it. Maybe she felt safe enough. It doesn't really matter, now. Personally, I don't think a cell phone would be helpful if she was abducted. I carry mine in case I fall and hurt myself, not because it makes me feel safer from predators.

I mention abduction, but I pray that isn't what happened to her.

My running group was supposed to do a trail run in the area tomorrow. It has been moved to another location out of respect to the family and in order to not interfere with searches. My group is also hoping to assist in the search, if they need volunteers. I have an appointment tomorrow but I'm hoping I will be able to join the group of volunteers later in the day.

Please, pray for Chelsea. Pray that she gets home safely.

Here is the link to the story, if you'd like to read it:

Missing Poway Teen

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fuzzy Mummy Feet

Yes, there is hope for my heel... for a healed heel.   That's how I feel after seeing the podiatrist.

Did the massive mummy taping help?  I think so.  No, it was not a miracle cure.  My heel and ankle still hurt no matter what activity I was doing.  The fact that the tape on my left (and bad) foot felt way too tight didn't help.  I think I felt more pain from my skin pulling against adhesive than I do in my heel.  Seriously.  There were times when the skin on the bottom of my feet felt like it was on fire. 

So, why the hope?  Doctor Bland left me feeling that I could do something to fix my plantar fasciitis.  He spoke of stretching, night splints, and the possibility of orthotics.  He did not tell me to toss my running shoes and get a bike.  He did not tell me to give swimming a try.  He did not mention surgery... or giving up on running.

I was so encouraged by this!  I've been wearing my night splint... even though it's very uncomfortable.  I've been stretching and using The Stick to loosen up my calf muscle.  I endured the taped feet as long as I could.  And it has all helped.  Am I pain-free?  No.  Do I feel more mobility in that foot?  Yes.

I have hope.

Ahhhh... Sweet, Fuzzy Freedom!
I took my mummy feet off this afternoon.  I was supposed to keep the tape on for three days but I just could not do it.   My skin hurt too much.  It felt like I had shoes on that were two sizes too small.  The tape also got dirty very quickly.  Combine sticky foot tape with a long-haired cat and carpet, and what do you get?   Little kittens.  On your feet.  Furry kitten feet.  It's enough to make me wonder if I should shave my cat.  I had no idea how much she sheds!

What Next?
I have an appointment with Dr. Drained-of-all-Personality on Monday to evaluate whether or not I felt the tape helped.  I'm still unsure as to what to say.  I am so tired of spending money of "fixes" that don't work.  The last thing I want to do is spend a couple hundred bucks for a pair of orthotics that do not work.  As of right now, I'm leaning toward trying the orthotics.  We'll see how I feel about them by Monday.

To answer a few questions some of you asked on my last post...

  • Regarding the Barefoot / Vibram Five Fingers running, Dr. Blah was not impressed.  I did not expect  him to be.  He said that barefoot running was good... back when people only lived to the age of 35 (which was the most humorous thing the man said the whole time).  He makes a small point but I'm not sold either way.
  • Sorry... no picture of my mummified feet.  I didn't want to horrify all of you out in Bloggy Land.  But if you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that I don't let the lack of a photograph stop me from making a visual point.  
Behold, my latest masterpiece:

More Running to Come
I am already planning to run tomorrow. And I plan to join my running group on Saturday. I can't wait!!

As always, thank you Running Blogger Friends, for the encouraging words and well-wishes!!  I appreciate you all so much!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mummy Feet and the Case of the Missing Personality

No... you didn't stumble upon Nancy Drew's personal blog.  I'm sure her blog would be much more interesting than mine.  After all, when you have a hunky boyfriend like Ned Nickerson and far-out, flippy hair, you've got to have a great blog!

On Monday I went to my podiatrist.  If I had to base my final impression solely on the office, the staff, and the doctor's personality I would warn you to run far, far away from Dr. Hutchinson and don't look back.  Fortunately, the blandness of the office, the less-than-friendly office staff, and the doctor's (lack of) personality was not all there was to my visit.

Let me get this out of the way because it just has to be told... I have had pet-rocks with way more personality than Dr. Hutchinson.  I'm not exaggerating... pet-rocks at least have facial expressions.  Sure, their expressions never change (unless you are prone to hallucinations) but they have them.  Dr. H. did not  smile the whole time I was with him.  He was as bland as white rice boiled too long in tap water.

 See?  Pet rocks have personality!

Even his two office staff assistants had no personality.  The receptionist/assistant almost broke a smile when my sweet, little five year old flashed his sparkly, baby blues her way.  Most people melt when he grins.  The receptionist was young and had gorgeous long hair.  If I had hair like that, I would smile all the time... especially when an adorable five year old boy flirted with me.

 It was as if a creature from outer space came down and sucked out all the personality from the office.  It was almost surreal. I tried to keep an open mind, though.  I was already there and I wasn't going to walk out of the office at that point.  I kept telling myself that having a winning personality is not a requirement to being a good doctor.

For all his blandness, I have to say that Dr. H. was very thorough.  He spent a lot of time asking questions, checking out my feet, watching me walk up and down the hallway, and taking notes of everything.  In all, he spent about an hour with me.  I've never had that experience with a doctor before.  After his non-smiling interview and examination, Dr. H. informed me that I have plantar fasciitis (I knew that), that I have high arches (suspected that), and explained how I roll my feet when I run (not good) .

He explained that my pain may be relieved with the use of orthotics... but not necessarily.  He wanted to tape my feet to see if the additional support would be beneficial.  If it is, there would be a good chance that orthotics would help.  And tape my feet, he did!  As I write this, both of my feet are bound with some serious tapeage.  He wants me to wear the tape for three days.  He told me to keep it on while I work and while doing my normal activities.  He also told me to... ready for this?  He told me to...


That's right!  He told me to run!  That way I would know if the tape helped during my running.   Being one to follow the doctor's orders (mmm-hmmm), I ran two miles today.  It was so nice to be back on the street.  With my feet.  My taped feet.  My stiff, mummified, aching from too much adhesive, taped feet.  And it was so much fun!  Was it pain-free?  Well, you'll have to wait for that.  I really have to get my butt to bed.

Good night, everyone!  Have an amazingly wonderful Wednesday!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sunshine and Three Things Thursday

I received a Sunshine Blog Award from Irene over at Magazine Smiles. Now, I get to pass it on to someone else! If you get tagged, here are the rules:
Put the logo on your blog or within your post (right click and save). Pass the award onto 12 bloggers, then link the nominees within your post. Finally, let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

So, here we go... I tag:
  1. Laura at My Reason to Run: Check out Laura's blog... you will see why she runs and understand the reason why I admire this mom's strength and drive!
  2. Jen at Setting You Free:  I love how real and down-to-earth Jen is!  She has made incredible changes in her lifestyle and lost lots of weight.  She is a runner and an inspiration!  Take a look... I'm sure you'll agree. 
  3. Jaime at Jaime learns to Run:  Do you ever feel like you would hit it off when someone... even though you've never met?  Well, I think Jaime would be one of those people!  I appreciate her openness on her blog.   
  4. April at Mommy's Fit for the King:  I just like her!  Her smile reminds me of sunshine.  She also scored a Running Skirt for $11 on eBay... obviously, she is smart, too. :)
And now, I'm breaking the rules and I'm stopping at four bloggers instead of 12.  Why?  Because I'm rebellious like that.   I mean, are the Sunshine Award cops going to come knock on my door and arrest me for only tagging four people?  I don't think so.

I do NOT fear the Sunshine Cops.

Three Things Thursday
  • I have an appointment to see a podiatrist on Monday.   I chose my doctor based on three things... 1) He is a former endurance runner; 2) He had an opening relatively soon; and 3) He is under my insurance plan.  I like that he will be able to relate to the runner's need to run.  I don't like that he used to be a runner.  Why did he stop?  Does he still run short distances?  Or did he give up on running due to injuries and now he considers it his calling to stop people from running?  I'll let you know how it goes.
  • I spent the afternoon helping my 2nd grade son put together a family tree for a class project.  It's the first time I've ever had to explain divorce to my kids (my parents are divorced and my kids don't know my real mom).   It was sort of bittersweet explaining the concept of divorce to my boys.  Sweet in that they are so innocent when it comes to the realities of the world.  Bitter in that I had to break some of that innocence by explaining the realities of the world.
  • I'm thinking about getting another tattoo... yes, I already have one of a hummingbird and some flowers between my shoulder blades.  Now, I think I want one on my foot.  I want this one to symbolize my life and my running.  I'm thinking a pretty compass would be nice.  It would symbolize having direction and a purpose (from God), that I'll never get lost in this life because of His guidance, and of all possibilities one can find in life.    As an added bonus, having a compass would mean I would never get lost on my runs again!  
 Do you have any tattoos?  If so, what are they?  What do they mean to you?

*The meaning of my current tattoo:  Hummingbirds are small and beautiful but very brave and very tough.  They will take on much bigger birds in order to protect themselves and their babies.  The flowers on my back are done in the colors of my boys' birthstones.  There is a third flower... a bud.  That was put there to balance out the tattoo and I left the color up to the artist.  I consider it my flower for the third child I wish I could have had.

And with that, I'm signing off!  Happy Friday, everyone!  I'm going to spend the weekend at a scrapbooking getaway (a.k.a. time with the girls having fun... and maybe getting some scrapbooking done in the process).  I will try to get caught up on the blogs I haven't read in a while, too!