Monday, September 15, 2014

A Sunday Training Run for Trevor & the Gang

Yesterday's 10-11 mile slog through town was not pretty. It was the kind of morning that starts off with deceptively cool trade winds blowing down Hualalai. So for that first mile? I felt great! However, the humidity reared its ugly head soon thereafter, so that by mile 2, I was completely drenched from head to toe. It was the kind of day where if I looked down, I could see rivulets of sweat pouring down my legs, and if I shook my arms, sweat would fly in all directions. It was the kind of day, that even an hour after the run (while I did some gardening), I could still feel the sweat dripping from my drenched attire down my legs, into my socks. It was kind of day that when I finally stripped down to take a bath, each article of clothing felt like it weighed three pounds. Ick, ick, ick. (Hence, my desire to run the 25 miles in January, when it will be maybe 4-5 degrees cooler and 15% less humid.) ;-)

On the upside, I did locate a badly smashed, but operable iphone 3/4 through my run. I was able to see a message on the half of the screen that still functioned, and could make out a number to call. The guy who answered was overjoyed and told me didn't care about the smashed phone, that he had been out looking for it until 2am that night using a flashlight and GPS tracker trying to find it. He promised a cash reward, which he failed to bring up once we met up, so I tsk tsked and pointedly had to remind him of his promise. (JK, he did forget, but I would never have accepted had he remembered.) I'm just glad that my running has thus far, allowed me to be able to return to their rightful owners- two cell phones, a brand new motor scooter title, a wedding band (this one I can only hope, we turned it in to the police), and a driver's license. Any cash found (I think it's been close to $20 since I've moved back) is paid forward to whatever homeless person I see next.

Unfortunately, my shallow breathing has not responded to the medication I've been on for a month now (part of why my run was so painful and slow), so I've made two promises to myself-
  1. Clean up my diet. Eat cleaner, and less. The less weight I carry, perhaps the less out of breath I'll be? (So far, I'm down about 4 lbs in 4 weeks. So far, no improvement, but it can't hurt, right? Ms. Tubby put on 6 lbs this year anyway).
  2. No matter how slow, now matter how many stops...don't stop. Don't give up. (Well, unless I feel like death is near.) The 25-mile run from Waikoloa to Kona IS happening if I have to crawl it. I will not let down the donors and kids. (This is a partly selfish pursuit in that the kids are keeping motivated to take better care of myself. Because most days, I just want to lay down and not breath so hard.)
In a few hours I'm off to a long awaited  pulmonologist (visiting from Oahu) appointment (I got lucky and 'only' waited a month since there was a cancellation). Here's hoping we get some clarity so I can run easier soon! (Remember, I'm not dying. Cancer and tumors are, I think, ruled out. This is just another mystery.) If I'm lucky, I'll get issue an oxygen tank....and HOLY SMOKES, I bet the donations will roll once I start dragging that around. ;-)

Peace out...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Kona Color Run!

We joined about 5,995 others from the Big Island this morning at the inaugural Color Run. And I gotta say, the event was pretty darn amazing. Well organized, liberal color dousing, superb upbeat atmosphere, and great swag (a t-shirt, bag, two tats, a bracelet and a rockin' terry headband circa Jazzercize 1982)!

I was also super proud of Ryan for running his first 5k! No carry-carry (as he calls it)!
Crisp and clean, no caffeine (except Rich). He's loaded.
At the starting line giving his shorty a better view
They've since been warned that next time, they're being issued shower caps. It looked like they murdered Smurfs. 
Post race...this is awesome stuff to scrub off btw. It only takes about 30 minutes of maniacal scrubbing and four layers of skin. And even though its cornstarch, it permeates clothing, socks and shoes. So your whole body looks like a pretty rainbow colored unicorn pooped on it even under your clothes.
We had to strip 'em down for the ride home. Thanks to Rich for remembering to bring paint drop cloths for them to sit on. Apologies for the nipple squeezing from the nephews...not quite sure how that came about. :-|
Two loads of laundry and one very dusty car later...I'm not sure that we want to do this every year, but it certainly was the MOST enjoyable 5k I've ever run and I'd definitely love for the kids to do it again. (I'd be fine spectating and trailing them with a camera.) :-)

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Trevor Project

There have been a few changes in my life... As I'd mentioned earlier, last week I started my new job. Two days into it, it ended. This sounds a lot more dramatic than it is/was- but because my breathing still hasn't totally improved (and I have a number of upcoming appointments/tests, we felt it's probably best for me to take a step back, reduce my workload and focus on my health.

However, I don't want this major bummer to weigh me down. Because I can still breathe. Albeit, not as well...but obviously I'm still kicking. So to commemorate turning 40 this year, I've finally decided to do something I've been dreaming of doing for years now. I'm going to run from Waikoloa to Kona. It's just shy of the marathon distance- 25 miles from first Waikoloa resorts to the heart of Kona. It's mostly flat (though there are plenty of gradual hills), but it will be HOT and humid, since the entire route is along the black lava fields lining the Queen K highway. Between each town there is zero shade, zero water, zero potty stops. Which is to say- it'll be mentally grueling, but I think with the motivation of running for an amazing cause- I can do it.

It was tough choosing a cause. My mother has had breast cancer. My grandmother passed of Alzhemiers. A close family member has Aspergers. I'm a longtime supporter of The Human Rights Campaign, but I've also also been wanting to help developing nations get access to clean water and/or livestock. So why the Trevor Project? Simply put, it's because I don't often see people fundraising for the LGBT community. Particularly the youngest segment of that community. I'm not sure if it's because people are afraid of the occasional political/religious backlash, but it breaks my heart to know that children across are America are living in fear because of how they were born. I've finally worked up the courage to do something about it (thanks to the encouragement and support of friends and family, whom I will affectionately dub my 'Rainbow Coalition').

I'll be posting periodic updates here on how my training and the fundraising is going. So without further ado...I'd love to direct you to my fundraising page for the The Trevor Project. If you're moved to help the organization, I'd be grateful, you'll have a wonderful tax deduction and most importantly- many young LGBT lives will be saved.

The Lost Hawaiian's Trevor Project Fundraiser

PS- No amount is too small, or me, or to the lives you can help save. Every penny you contribute will literally help save the lives of children. Even $5 will put a huge smile on my face, and more importantly- hope in the heart of a child.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The last days of August...

The month has changed, and so has my employment status. I've gone from part-time, to even more part-time. :-) I started my new job today, which I will rarely write about due to various privacy issues (but I can say that it is not HR (for the first time in 17 years), and that it is at a school. I will also add that 2 part-time jobs should = 1 full time job, and that 1 full time job + 1 full time child + 2 part-time children = possible nervous break down.  

Backyard camping for the boys since the beach was full for Labor Day weekend (one of the boys opted to not smile and instead inhale a pudding cup). Priorities.
Ryan's first fitness class (he and we LOVED it). We're definitely signing up for more!
Labor Day with his cousins and friends at Kua Bay...
I figured out a faster way to make my marinara sauce...unpaid child labor. :-)
Ryan has gotten a job a McD's drive through (his latest garage sale find). 
The boy's favorite friend in the world...Katie! 
I told them to look 'gangsta' in this photo. Two of the four know how to follow directions.
Hitting some balls on the range followed by lunch at the Bistro Lounge (where Uncle Jon works). A very nice, white way to spend our day. :-D Ba ha ha.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Our island boy

I haven't posted in awhile, probably because its been an interesting couple of weeks-

Week #1- 2 hurricanes
Week #2- 2 birthday parties, 2 baby showers
Thankfully, things have already slowed down to a more island-like pace...

Okay, this doesn't have much to do with slowing down...but I made my own marinara sauce last week!

We had about a dozen fresh, ripe tomatoes and basil from the garden, so I figured why not try? You can only eat so much Caprese salad and salsa. My Italian ancestors must have been beaming up above, actually tasted really good! And oooh! How delicious the kitchen smelled while it simmered away. I can't wait to do it again...even my picky son and nephews loved it.

It was uber simple, since mama don't roll no other way- I sauteed onions, garlic and carrots (all leftover veggies from the crisper), then added all the diced tomatoes (4 cups, skins on), a single can of tomato sauce (that I've had for a year for who knows why), fresh basil and lots of oregano, thyme, salt, pepper and handful of grated Romano Parmesan cheese. After it simmered for an hour I added some grass fed ground beef for another hour. Mama mia!

Here's to trying to slow down this week...and next...and enjoying the little things in life- like taking the boys to the beach more and enjoying the smell of simmering marinara. Maybe that's just what I need to help with the breathing.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Birthday Weekend!

The march to 40 hasn't been easy of late. I'll be brief- about 9-10 days ago I had trouble breathing. Nothing dramatic, but a little unsettling. I felt as though I were only taking in about 70% of my normal airflow. Still, I wasn't sure if I was just imagining things, since I've never experienced shortness of breath before. I mean, I was diagnosed with cough variant asthma 2 years ago, but I only exhibit symptoms when I have a cough. So it's almost like I don't have asthma...does that make sense? At my initial doctor's appointment I was administered a peak flow test, which confirmed I was blowing a 250 (far short of the 'normal' 475 for my age). Though I was concerned, I was also relieved to confirm my suspicions. Since that day, I've been prescribed multiple strong(er) inhalers, as well as took a spirometry test/chest x-rays that haven't yet brought clarity or relief. So I've been operating at a slower, lazier and heavier than normal rate. Not exactly the way I wanted to ring in 40 (which btw, was in a bikini, with firmer, newer boobs). Instead, I've been huffing around town sounding like a creepy perv with extremely heavy breathing.

Given this turn of events, I think to be safe, you all should forward me whatever cash/jewels you were planning to leave me in your inheritance... just in case. I promise you I will spend it wisely. And in case things take a turn for the worse, please promise me this- 1) That you will sabotage any attempts Rich makes to remarry a young, hot hussy (older, chunkier, fugly women are acceptable) and 2) That you will keep my sweet son off drugs (he can't say no to anyone...I doubt drug dealers are an exception). Thank you.

I have to say, however, that this was still my best birthday...ever. Rich made such a huge thoughtful, effort to make it special for me. And my family and friends gave me some extra generous, meaningful gifts to ring in the new decade. Rich and Ryan gave me a present each day for the week leading up to my birthday-

Day 1- First book about Dubai (travel writer)
Day 2- Pillow set he knew I wanted
Day 3- Second book about Dubai (resident biography)
Day 4- A bag of organic veggie chips
Day 6- A beautiful set of towels he knew I wanted
Day 7- Third book about Dubai (Lonely Planet) with a tentative flight itinerary, and a night at the Hilton Waikoloa

The trip to the hotel was relaxing...not only did Rich tell me to read/sleep all day in the room (while he took the boys swimming), but I had a nice (if labored) walk/run/hike on Sunday. A few pics of the trip...which kicked off with a stop at a lava tube/cave just past the airport that we've always wanted to explore.

Despite the rough terrain, we hiked in rubber slippers (the official Hawaiian hiking gear).
There are some areas where the tube has completely collapsed in.
I think the cave runs about a quarter of a can see from this pic where the ground is about to collapse into the cave. Kinda freaky. Glad we walked through it before we realized how tenuous the situation is.

From there, it was off the Hilton! Swimming, sleeping, eating, reading, relaxing...the perfect way to rest my weary, aging, brittle bones.
The view from just outside our room. The Hilton tends to shove the locals toward the back of the Ocean Tower (furthest away) or the Palace Tower (not great views), but we requested and finally got the Lagoon Tower on this trip. They still managed to give us a terrible view of the parking lot (thanks, guys!), but at least were just a few steps away from this view and the pool.
The morning of my birth, I left the hotel at 6:30 to check out the surrounding area on a walk/run. I brought my rescue inhaler in case things got tight (they did, I used it twice), and mostly walked, but I took a bunch of pics. They're not great. iPhone. You know how it goes.
I ran/walked about a mile on the Kings Trail...once built by prisoners who owed taxes to the King. I believe it runs over 32 miles to Kona. I would LOVE to hike this someday.
From there I ran over to Anaeho'omalu Bay to refuel my water belt.
Then I took the trail back in the opposite direction over to the Petroglyph field. I love this section of the path where it shows how hikers have clearly worn a trail in the lava rock.

Every time I go to these fields (half a dozen times at least?), I find new pictures. These are my favorite so far.
I also swung on over to the brackish water ponds...these were so vibrantly green from the algae but I couldn't manage to capture the color or the clarity of the water. They looked so peaceful, and remind me so much of Queen's Bath type of ponds...
The end of the road...did one set of stairs (intended to do 4-5). But you know what...I'm 40 now. Gotta take it easy.
Once I met back up with Rich and Ry...we hit the pool!

The final stop...the parrots as we disembarked the train...

I think he was giggling because they were too heavy for his scrawny arms to hold up.

We ended the celebration with a final soiree with the extended ohana down at the pool.  We had a spread that looked like a Vegas buffet, thanks to my parents...and a massive cake thanks to Rose! (And I wonder why I'm chunky.) Special thanks to all the family and friends who made this day uber special (Mom, Dad, Rich & Ry, Joel & Lynne, Jon & Mika, Yuri & Mike, Karen (for my sext song), Rose and Kathy. About the only thing I really, reaaaaaally wanted that I didn't get was an oxygen tank. :-) And no, that's not really a joke.

I could make other added jokes about my age here, but let's be honest- I've been coloring my hair since I was in college, I run slower than a turtle, my bladder strength deteriorated rapidly 6 years ago, and I can't breathe. At this point, I'm lucky I'm not wearing a special undergarment designed to prevent leakage under my mom jeans. Happy 40th to me. :-)

The birthday girl surrounded by a few of the men in my life (the boyfriend prefers to remain camera shy).

Friday, August 01, 2014

The fab first grader

Guess who's a first grader today? We had him pose by the dwarf orange tree we planted a few years ago, but it's kind of hard to tell the difference between this year and last year (below) when he started kindergarten. We don't appear to be feeding either the tree or Ryan very well.

He's now in first grade and still fits those beige 24-month Quicksilver shorts, btw. Daddy genes.
Two years ago, preschool drop off was rough. Very rough. Lots of tears. Kindergarten was seamless and tear less, but still a bit disconcerting for both Ry and I simply because the school was just so big. But first grade? No problem. It helped stopping by yesterday for a few minutes to check out the classroom, restrooms, his desk, etc. But ultimately I think his comfort came down to simply being a veteran...

He quickly spotted his preschool classmate and summer play date buddy, Lil.
And he was happy to be seated next to one of his classmates from last year. We're also thrilled because he scored one of the best teachers around. Love his school!
Part of the 'big boy' process has also involved putting a few more finishing touches on his bedroom (it's taken us a year to get to it).

We let Ry pick out the wall color (we suggested a few palettes, but he was very much involved in the process and had the final say), I picked out the design, but Rich did ALL the labor. And it was quite a time consuming, exacting process that required scads of patience (not my forte). What an awesome, daddy!

Ry and I also hit Target yesterday and picked out his new lamp and bed sheets. We also got a can of magnetic paint (it goes under your regular paint color) so that he/we can hang artwork from his walls using Lego magnets instead of tacks. I'd had my heart set on a colorful dry erase wall covering that adheres directly to the wall, but our walls are too textured so we'll have to get an actual white board. Once that's done, it's time to move in some furniture, toys and clothes...and ta-da! No more little boy. :-)