My little red tether is my anchor in running with my friends. A beautiful guide dog has been my tether/anchor in mobility and independence for 17 years: 1. Pantera 2. Cricket, and now my beautiful 3. Georgina (Georgie). A life of family and friends is my joy and anchor in life.

The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. CC Scott
Showing posts with label running. Show all posts
Showing posts with label running. Show all posts

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Going Together

“In Africa we having a saying, 'If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.' ...Before I go back home, I want you to consider us, Katie. Ponder what it would be like if we went together. Not alone and fast but together and far.”
― Robin Jones Gunn, Coming Attractions

Saturday I ran the Utah Valley Marathon. I have run another marathon and also several half marathons as well as lots of 10K's. There was something unique about this run. I had spent much of the training working through an injury. Lots and lots of hard work in physical therapy, podiatrist, ortho doctor and exercises recommended. Times in the training where I simply had to stop because I couldn't run further. I have been trying to find the balance of training while respecting the TLC that my injured IT Band required. Why not just stop? Steve and I were visiting about this last night. He was talking about my determination that he has supported for almost 30 years :). Something very special and part of my persistence with this run is my two friends that were also training for this marathon. They are my neighbors so the ease of training was literally right outside my door. I don't take this blessing lightly at all. I also knew I didn't want to do anything that would create long-term injury. All that being said ... I am SO GRATEFUL that we did it!! These amazing women (and wonderful friends) supported me every step of the way. When I needed to walk a bit up the hills - they were there for me. When I needed to stop and stretch to reduce the pain they were there for me. They easily could have taken off and run and got a much better time on this day. No, they stayed with me the whole 26.2 miles. When I mentioned to them - I am holding you up I can call Steve and Georgie to get me so you guys can go ahead -- Brenda shared there is an African saying: 'If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.'   We were in this together.  We laughed and met people along the way that inspired us as well. One man was walking barefoot to create further discussion and action for all those children who do not even have shoes. Story after story we heard. One man told me my shirt should say - Brave Runner instead of Blind Runner. I can tell you that running blindly is easy with guides. I put my trust in them and we run. Running with the uncertainty of when the injury was going to flare up and what level of physical pain could I run through did feel brave. I have done lots of hard things in my life. However, I haven't pushed through physical pain like this before. I am so very grateful for this experience. It pushed me in new ways and in the end I (thanks to the WE) stepped up to the challenge.
Selfie near the beautiful Bridal Veil Falls - the day was beautiful and just right temperature.
WE DID IT!!!!!

Along the way was Steve, Georgie and my parents as well as Brenda and Suzette's families.  The cheering and encouragement gave us such a lift.  After we were done and visiting, Georgie had settled into her space.

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much. -- Helen Keller

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Village of Support

Saturday I will be running my next marathon with my two amazing friends and running guides - Brenda and Suzette.  I am so very grateful for their friendship and their willingness to run tethered with me for a full marathon.  As if running a marathon isn't enough - their willingness to also guide me is inspiring!  Love these beautiful women!  (We will miss you Melissa).

My first marathon two years ago was a wonderful experience.  We worked hard in the training and did well.  Looking back, I didn't fully appreciate the blessing of training and running a marathon without an injury!  Well, there was a concussion in there to heal from :) but otherwise simply a lot of hard work and yes, fun.  

Last year, in training for our next marathon I broke my foot on our 16-mile run.  Instead of running a marathon, I spent a couple months in a boot and further healing my seismoid fracture.  Thankfully, after three months I was back running 10K's and a half marathon.   On to this year to begin training once again for another marathon.  Just before leaving for Guide Dog for the Blind for training with my new guide, Georgie, I broke my foot (different bone)!  We were in the middle of training for the marathon.  So, instead of continuing my marathon training at GDB on the treadmill,  I spent the evenings icing my foot as it healed from the latest break.   I returned home and after a couple more weeks was able to resume running.  A couple weeks later I began to have challenges with my IT Band.  Did I need to turn in the running shoes for a while?  Oh, the balance of being driven to a goal and listening to my body's needs.  I decided I would do everything possible to run this marathon while being wise.  I also agreed that if a doctor or other professional told me not to run, I would listen to their advice.  There are other marathons ... however, this one was in place with my two friends training as well.  I have spent the last two months with a physical therapist team, a podiatrist, and an orthopedic doctor as well as awesome friends helping me reach the point where I am excited and ready to run the marathon on Saturday.  I have been inspired by the professionals who have believed in me and have done everything possible to make this happen.

We are grateful the doctor, physical therapist and podiatrist are all in the same building!  Some days have even been able to coordinate appointments.  Georgie knows the routes well to their offices!  She has learned that find the elevator means not the first one that is the freight elevator.  She has even learned the routine of machines at physical therapy.  She has learned that I'm okay while x-rays are being taken.  She has become my cheerleader waiting on the entry way rug until I return from a run.  She is part of the team!  

I don't know if the IT Band will act up at mile two, mile ten, mile twenty or not at all.  Perhaps there will be something else totally different that will flare up.  I know that I have put in the preparation and given 100% for this goal.  Whether I cross the finish line in the time we hope for or reach a point where I am injured, can't walk and have to call for help; I am grateful for the journey.  I have learned much.  I have gained a deeper appreciation for the blessing of being able to run.  I am grateful for the incredible village of support that have helped me along the way.  Husband,  forever cheering me on; doctors and physical therapists who have helped me have a 'game plan' throughout the process and amazing friends.  They have walked me back to the house when the pain flared up - been willing to stop and stretch or walk up the hills to keep the healing process going.  I recall going in to one of the doctors and telling him - I know I'm injured and I don't want to do anything crazy.  However, I really want to run the Boston Marathon for my 50th birthday and need your help to make that happen.   He said: We will support your determination.  I love that and thought ... do I support others determination?  

I have returned from each run to two yellow labs sitting on the entry rug eagerly waiting.  They will be there greeting me at the end of the marathon no matter what the outcome.  They seem to know Its about the journey and being a part of the support.
Rounding the corner back to our house.  Final run before the Marathon on Saturday with Suzette.   Steve was just pulling out and took a quick picture :).  

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Sixteen days until our next half-marathon. We ran 11 miles today. Thank you, Alanna, for carrying me at mile nine :)-- really the whole way! Feeling grateful that the body seems to be saying mostly  - go for it!  Cricket is ready to go outside ... really Cricket - it is 19 degrees.
We are off to work where three new nylabones await Cricket :).  Her favorite is the Five-Senses Bone.

I can easily get caught up in planning events - goals for the year.  Good quote on our office board today:

 Life is lived in the pauses, not the events.  Hugh Prather.  

Monday, December 23, 2013


Alanna and I ran ten miles Saturday in preparation for our upcoming half marathon!  I am so inspired by her in so many ways ... one of which is that she just picked up this guide running like it was no big deal :)! It felt so great in the midst of a snowy day!  Excited!

I wore out my vest that Shannon gave me three years ago - time flies!  This is my new vest ... love it!  And, my new shoes ...Hoka (loving them more each time I run with them) that are part of my Christmas so Steve wrapped them in a box that I could pull out and use until Christmas :).  Isn't that a grand idea :)!  He also has a pair of Hoka's under the tree for hiking.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Creativity in the Journey

This morning took some creativity with transportation.  It's all good but as I was working on my ride to work, I found myself reflecting on the opportunity that Retinitis Pigmentosa and the transportation challenges gives me to utilize some creativity!  Its not just a hop in the car and get to work journey :)!

I love my raised dots on the dishwasher and oven.  Someone's creativity in finding a useful, simple technique that I am benefitting from.  Thank you!

With this warmer weather I want to find bright colors to wear.  I pulled out this blouse - kind of an orange I think and this green sweater.  I was wondering if they would go together when I remember that I had a necklace these two colors so they must, right!  I pull out my phone and send a photo on an outfit often to get the vote on matches or not because I like to be creative and try new things together.  I am excited for my day of work which I think is often simply helping people create some ways to express and share who they are and what they are feeling!

How are you expressing your creativity today?

If you are following our running journey :).  Today was four miles with 13 on Friday.  Countdown to the marathon:  week 11!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

A good haircut ?

Today was a day to unwind from a busy week at the office.  Steve is off enjoying some hiking and biking with his brother in the sunshine.  I have many dear friends. Just spent a two-hour lunch with one ... so fun. I ran with two friends this morning - 9 miles today on our journey to the Ogden Marathon. They are incredible. Another dear friend said Becky you've got a really good haircut and color. Take a picture so we can remember :).  Thank you iphone for helping me take the photo.
I love my running shoes.  It was time to get another pair.  I chose the same style - different color.  These are bright yellow with bright pink laces!  Describing the shoes makes me giggle -- sometimes I describe things to people like they don't see it :).  Cricket and I have a special friend with us today, Dahlia.  She is loving being outside on the deck with the sunshine.   

Have a great weekend!  We hear melting outside - yay!!

Friday, February 22, 2013


Perhaps this picture describes my mood! Just came back from a great 4 mile run in the snow! Yesterday was 12! We are on week 13 on our training for the next marathon!! Sweet Cricket is always at the door to greet me. Love this girl. She is such an example of love and support. As you can see from the background (deep snow) it is going to be a while until we get to dig in the flowerbeds ... in the meantime, I start buying daffodils and tulips to have around home and the office. They give me hope and energy that spring is coming. In the meantime, perhaps we got a little extra workout running in the slush!
Hope you have a great weekend!

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Yesterday we went for our run - an eight-mile run as we prepare for our marathon in 15 weeks! I love having a schedule, setting a goal and going for it.  In order for me to run, I rely on a running guide. I am so very grateful to have some friends that are willing to not only run with me but take on this aspect! I can't speak for them, but I know I have a lot of fun!  Even if I could run without a guide, I can't imagine doing it without them ... it is just so much more fun to share in the journey! I care deeply about them and love the opportunity to run and be their friends.

Yesterday one of my friends that has run with us ran the first time as my guide runner. She was awesome. I have found myself reflecting what that must have been like for her. I don't know what its like to be on that side of the tether especially for the first time. I think it must be much harder than on my side. I just go for it with no worries at all. Like Cricket when we are walking, they have to be aware of what is all around us - share verbal cues, go around obstacles, traffic, etc, etc. I am SO inspired by them.

Hope you have a cozy, relaxing weekend. I think Cricket has the right idea :).  Although her body language seems to be saying - when is this winter going to be over! Hang in there, Crickers
In our dining room -- now, are 96 hygiene kits prepared by some wonderful women and girls.  As the items began to arrive, I felt inspired by the work of so many to make this service possible.  The girls wrote such sweet notes in the bags ... "Somebody loves you", "You are special"  "Have a nice day"  "I care about you" to mention a few.  Their sweetness and love is inspiring and I think will be felt by this community.  

The power of love gives meaning and purpose to life.  Love reaches beyond the borders of our challenges, and we find ourselves doing what we came to earth to do.  Ardeth G. Kapp

I'm sitting here doing my braille homework through the Hadley School for the Blind - all free of charge.  Inspiring story of making a difference:

Hadley's History: A Dream Realized

When he lost his sight at age 55, William A. Hadley faced many challenges. A former high school teacher, Mr. Hadley taught himself braille so that he could continue to enjoy reading, but was frustrated to find that there were few educational opportunities for blind individuals.
Mr. Hadley's dream was to help others acquire communication skills that foster independence. Together with Dr. E.V.L. Brown, an ophthalmologist and neighbor, Mr. Hadley conceived the idea of teaching braille by mail. In 1920, the school opened to its first student. When Mr. Hadley mailed the braille course to this Kansas woman desperate to continue reading, one wonders if he ever imagined the eventual result: a school that would become the single largest worldwide educator of blind people.
When Mr. Hadley died in 1941, the school had 800 students enrolled. Today, the Hadley school has an annual enrollment of more than 10,000 students from all 50 states and 100 countries.
We at The Hadley School for the Blind remain committed to realizing our founder's dream for decades to come.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Home Sweet Home

What a day - freezing rain that made everything a sheet of ice. No outside guide work for Cricket today.  We didn't leave our office all day.  Feels good to be home. Home sweet home.

I am not such a fan of grocery shopping especially when it is crowded, but tonight was fun.  We ran into several friends including Cricket's vet. Cricket was so excited to see him as she tried to stay calm in harness with her tail just a wagging!

We also had a man come up to us and shared that he had been a puppy raiser. We thanked him! He was so kind he said -- the real gift is seeing the dogs matched and helping someone else lead such an active life. Then he said - you guys look like a good together :), ah sweet.

I've been in a cleaning out mode for the last month.  I am loving the progress being made in my office/dog room/laundry room (one of my favorite rooms in our house!  Now onto my closet. Does anyone else do this? Sometimes I transfer my winter clothes back to the basement without even wearing some of them.  So, I'm on a quest to wear them  -- rediscover some clothes I forgot about and discover some clothes that I can say good bye.
I had forgotten about this peach (I think) sweater and these pants (both Ann Taylor).  I love this black blouse and wear it all the time.  All keepers.  Sweet dog - definitely a keeper!  
We didn't run this morning.  Contemplating hopping on the ellyptical this evening.  Its just not as fun as running outside.  I can do it, right!

Later - I did it while Steve was next on the bike.  Hopping on that tandem sounds like so much fun!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sunshine & Love

Smile Cricket! Aren't these such cute little happy road blocks :) she is in between!
We were so happy to find some sunshine for a few days!  We ran the trails, walked and explored the trails with Cricket, cheered on a friend that was in a run, and enjoyed time with my parents.  No picture with them :< in my cute necklace and boots in black and brown they gave me with birthday money.  Fun!  Back home to 10 degree weather but mid-week a balmy 39 degrees is expected - that will feel warm :). 
We can't forget the reason for this three-day holiday:  Martin Luther King Day.  One among many quotes that I love from him:    

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Oh it felt great to run this morning. This cold, inversion weather has kept us indoors for the last week. I went to lunch with a friend yesterday. She didn't realize I was running or that I had run a marathon (guess I need to wear that t-shirt more often :). I laughed as she said - you've got to let me know so I can be at your next finish line cheering you on. Great message, right! Ogden in May ... here we come! Pretty excited that I took this picture on my own with my iphone with voiceover. I'm learning s l o w l y!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Get out and live

We are in for the Ogden Marathon! Yay! Just registered and at the bottom it read, okay Get out and live. It just struck me what a powerful message.

Snow has come. We had a short run this morning in it.  Such an adventure!

Have a great weekend.  We may just be sledding this weekend as we:  Get out and Live!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Running in Fashion

This time of year when flip flops are changed to boots is a nice time to be brave of my nail color! The color of my toes is the color of my skirt for the GDB Oregon Fall Luncheon on Friday! Mint green? It is also the color of a jacket and layer for running that I just found at TJ Maxx! Is part of feeling like a runner that you enter a store and want to check out the running clothes first :)? If it is, then I am a runner.

We ran 5 miles this morning. I was feeling pretty sluggish before we started -- headache and really sore eyes. We came back and I feel great! Is it the enjoyable time outdoors with friends or is it the running? Either way, its great. Beautiful day here in Utah with Cricket enjoying some sunshine on the deck. Wow. So different than in other parts of the country. Wishing you well in your part of the world.

Monday, October 15, 2012

One step at a time

Yes, we are still running! A few miles on this beautiful crisp fall morning. Love it. Also love these fun socks, that say 26.2 in pink, and this fun bright shirt from Running Girl.

Yesterday one of the messages in church was: we can improve our lives with daily small incremental changes. One positive, small step at a time and the race is just ours. The analogy of running a marathon was used. We don't walk out the door and run a marathon - we start one step at a time gradually getting there and doing our best. We had family pictures taken over the weekend. Can't wait to share. Shewas amazing. Have a great Monday.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Another post on running a marathon

Hope you aren't tired of hearing about my marathon journey! I used to think - people really take a bus ride at 5 am to the starting point of a marathon? Last Saturday morning when we boarded the bus in the dark of the early morning, there was excitement in the air. The bus was full of chatter and excitement. We had to take seats somewhat separated from each other. I sat down and knew there was someone next to me, but he was quiet. I had time to just reflect on what was to come and felt gratitude and excitement for the experience! We were not far from our destination when the man next to me said - Sorry if I've been blocking your view. (Apparently he was leaning over toward the window.) I laughed and explained that didn't matter! He then shared that his wife had signed him up and he had embraced the plan and was doing his first marathon! The picture below is us before we started the run. It was chilly + I was excited so I was shaking! A sweet friend/colleague in my office gave me running gloves which she and some of my other colleagues had signed. I felt warmed up by putting on her thoughtful gift.

We will embrace running again in a few more days. I'm ready!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

WE did it.

We did it. I feel immense gratitude and love for these incredible women (Suzette, Melissa, Brenda). We did it (oh, I said that :).  We ran a marathon today.
Steve joined in at Mile 20.  Someone commented that he had wings on his back and was an angel ... yep! 
A hug from mom and dad at mile 16 gave us much energy!  

Thank you so much for those who wished us well. Incredible. Each comment, cheer, email, text meant so much!  I reflect on what the running store manager told me -- "You will learn things about yourself".  I did and I will share! Our story is here.

Friday, September 14, 2012


I just returned from three amazing days in San Rafael, California.  I have the wonderful opportunity to serve on the Guide Dogs for the Blind Alumni Board and have been there for meetings and much laughter.  Love the opportunity, the people I get to associate with, and the dogs.  It was also awesome to get to spend time with Mimi and Cabana before our meetings started.  The last three days have been spent working hard and also enjoying each others company and lots of good food (which I'm told is the marathon training plan at this point). I had an interesting plane ride home ... that story another day :). I just seem to have adventures.  I appreciated a text from Steve indicating - Amazing. Be strong.
In the morning my friends and I will meet at 3:40 AM to begin the journey to start the Top of Utah marathon.  I am touched by the well wishes.  We have followed a program of preparation that has been so much fun.  As we marked off the final run on Wednesday before the Marathon, I thought this has been amazing no matter what the outcome on Saturday.  Also, I reflect back that there was a time in June that it seemed that this dream would need to be put on hold for a while.  Gratefully, I was able to resume the training in July and here we are!

I am touched more than words can say by the goodness of friends that are friends and also serve as my running guides.  I put myself in their shoes and have such appreciation.  Family and friends will be there to cheer on ... so cool!  I am excited and look forward to sharing a fun picture of us at the finish line.  Go girls! If you'll be at the run - watch for the foursome in peach/pink shirts :)!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A day of Educating on Guide Dogs

We spent a little time today at Petco sharing information on Guide Dogs for the Blind. One of the cards shared says: to Donate $10 text GDB to 20222. What an easy way to support a great organization that offers this amazing gift free of charge to people throughout the US and Canada who are blind. Another bookmark shared has some fun Did you know? Guide Dogs for the Blind was created in 1942 to aid servicement blinded in WWII. Happy 70th GDB!
This evening we enjoyed the Musical 9 to 5 at Hale Theatre with Cricket being a good girl lying quietly by my feet. The man sitting next to Steve had many questions about Cricket. It was pretty special to hear Steve telling him all about the process and how special our guides are. It was fun to share in what was a day of educating.
Steve and I ran three miles today. Next Saturday at this time our Marathon will be complete!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


This little clip will bring a smile!  Thank you, See Beautiful for sharing and have us reflecting on What I am.

What I am ... energetic today.  We are tapering down getting ready for the marathon on the 15th!  Three miles in the morning.  After not running for two days I have had so much energy today.  One of my colleagues asked me today - can you please share your energy :).   Our office hums along on Wednesdays with most of my colleagues there - what fun we have together.  Such a privilege!  

When we go to our home in St. George we often do some shopping.  I'm not sure why going to Target is so much more fun there :).  Perhaps life is just going at a slower, relaxed pace there.  One of the projects for this visit was to decorate above our cabinets.   This basket is the bargain of the day!  Steve's basket regularly 39.99 priced at 3.99 (90% off)!  Other bargain - Gap Long and Lean Jeans - $12 -- one of my favorites.  Steve is super patient as is Cricket :) one of my requests was to walk through the mall with him describing what is in for Fall!  Purple/yellow was one of the combos so I had fun pulling out my yellow shoes for this outfit.  The nights are getting shorter with Fall in the air.  I'm told the leaves are changing.  Football season is here.  For the most part, I love our season changes.   Anyone else looking forward to pulling out those sweaters?  I just wish it didn't get cold.  

Monday, September 3, 2012

Celebrating Guide Dog Month. Cricket is Patient & Forgiving.

For fifteen years now I have had a guide dog by my side.  Devoted to watching out for my safety in work and play.  Pretty incredible.  However, there are a few times when Cricket does not join -- cycling and running are two of those times for us.  Cricket recognizes our cycling gear. She is so patient and supportive of our adventures. I love that inspite of us leaving her for a couple hours, she greets us happily.  She is so forgiving!  She has wonderful house behavior during her quiet times which I so appreciate and thank her puppy raisers.  You all are SO amazing.
We spent the weekend in St. George, Utah.  They have a beautiful, amazing trail system to run, ride bikes, and go for walks with Cricket.  There were several trails that had been washed out with the flooding of the past few years.  They are all back now.  We were so happy!  We could ride for miles.  We opted for a 15 miler one day and two 25 miler bike rides.  It is still pretty warm down so we rode early in the morning which Cricket liked, too.  We could feed her and she could go back to bed while we biked :).     
Steve is a great narrator - lizard on the left, lambs on the right, rabbit just crossed the trail - pretty cool.  Great cross-train for the marathon coming up in 10 days - yikes :)!  
We also ran our 5-mile loop this morning on this trail.  Steve is able to give me verbal cues on this trail as we run side by side.   

Back home and ready for a busy week at the office.  Happy Tuesday that feels like a Monday :)!