rest in peace, sweet boy.

On Saturday, we had the awful task of putting our dog down. Hudson was 14 years old.  He was a beagle.  The last 3 years, he was a diabetic that we had to give insulin twice a day.  Hudson was also taking an arthritis medication.  Hudson, or he often went by Puppa, was my first child. Hubby and I could not wait to get a dog when we moved in together. In fact, we moved in to the house we were renting on a Friday and we got Hudson on Saturday.

I will never ever forget seeing Hudson for the first time.  He was the chubbiest little one of the litter.  His ears were so long that as he ran he would trip over them. Hudson pushed his brothers and sisters out of the way to get to the food bowl.  We got Puppa when he was 8 weeks old.

Hudson was a little bit of a mommas boy.  He would wait up for me and only go to bed when I told him ” Night lights Puppa”.  Hudson would follow me down the stairs in the morning regardless of the time.  The last few months when I was getting up at 4:30am for runs, he would be right by myself and until I left.  After I left, he would return to bed until he was ready to eat around 7am. During my horrendous morning sickness with both kids, Hudson would follow me in the bathroom and then back to bed again. He was relentless with making sure I gave him his walks. Puppa would go to the door and howl until I took him.

This dog hopped through the biggest snow drifts and loved to take sun naps. We once dressed him up like a clown for Halloween and when he was a puppy, he owned his own winter sweater that he was very possessive over. My husband nicknamed him his “RD”       ( roll dog) because he would take Hudson everywhere with him. Sneaking him in hotel rooms with us started at a young age.  Most hotels allow small dogs but Hudson was always a little ” big boned”.

Our honeymoon was spent talking about Hudson and wondering what he was doing while we were in Mexico for a week. I did research when I was pregnant with M of how to best introduce the baby to a dog.  We were hoping that the two would get along and they did. M would dress up Puppa with bows, headbands and boas.  G often tried to ride him like a pony.  Hudson tolerated a lot up until his final days. He would often sneak into Ms room and take a snooze in his “nap shack”.

4 years ago, this dog managed to tear both of his ACLS 6 weeks apart.  This was around Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The two surgeries along with rehab, was the same amount of money as my first year of college. We had a vet payment for 2 solid years.

The staff at our animal clinic referred to him as “Hudson the Beagle:” He loved to go to the animal clinic. On Saturday when we put him down, the techs and front desk clerks knew he was coming in for one last final time. The vet that we had was very compassionate and gave us all the time we needed.

We know it was the right decision. Hudson was having seizures and not eating. Walking was difficult as well.

The house seems empty and off.  Mornings and nights are strange when I do not see him by my side. Hudson slept with us in our bed and would sleep as close as he possibly could to me. I go to let him inside from the back door and he is not there.  His bowl and toys have been taken away.  Vacuuming the house yesterday was the first time that I actually did not want to remove the dog hair. My heart feels heavy.  My mind is distant. My body is numb but full of anxiety.

Just as I will celebrate his life in the loads of memories that Hudson has blessed us with, I will also be gentle with my soul.

If you have a dog, take him for another walk today in honor of Hudson.  Bonus points if he chases a cat, squirrel or rabbit.

RIP Hudson.  We loved you deeply. puppa




Time marches on

I will not throw time away doing things that are not contributing to me being my best self

Week 7 of marathon training is under way. Run, eat, “mom”, rest and repeat. The miles that I am logging is certainly taking a toll on my body. My feet have even grown and I cannot longer fit into any of my size 7.5 shoes.  Weird.

Saturdays long run is the focus on my entire week regardless if it is a Monday morning or a Sunday night.  I am very blessed to have a core group of ladies that I run with.  The long run crew usually is the same for every Saturday. We take turns picking the route and location so we do not get bored with the same old scenery. My alarm clock is set for an hour before the sun even considers getting up. The increase in miles is making me take a closer look at all my nutrition and hydration. Tailwind is my #1 choice along with salt tablets. I think these salt tablets have saved me more runs than I even wanna know.  This week, we run 14 miles on Saturday. Weekly mileage is going to be at 29. I have  not done this amount of miles prior and not with the humidity at 80%. Besides Tailwind, I think I may start to experiment with some pretzels, fruit snacks and raisins during the run. Gatorade afterwards.

The hubby is full on support with these training runs and understands when I return on Saturdays, I may not be up for a zoo trip or a bike ride to the park to play. With the hours that he endures at his job ( it is not unusual for hubby to work 14-15 hrs multiple times a week), he gladly takes lead as chief parent on the weekends so I can run and more importantly, rest.

As I lay in bed after a long run and shower, the mom guilt starts to enter.  Sometimes I think perhaps I am sacrificing too much to complete this marathon. The increase in running  is taking away from something. I no longer want to be out past 9pm as most likely, I have a run to rest up for the next day.  The hours of 1-3pm usually provide me with a daily nap.  I have been taking advantage of napping since my alarm clock often goes off at 4:30am to make a 5am or 5:30am run through out the week. This is when my 2 yr old still naps and my 6 yr gets in her summer reading, homework and a little screen time.

Before marathon training, this time was for cleaning the house, organizing, meal prep and following up on email, texts, Facebook bullshit, etc. Now that this time is utilized for simple rest, I am starting to notice just whats important to me. I am more precious with my time. Spending 1 hr doing nothing on Facebook is no longer appealing. That is one hour that I could be spending doing something meaningful and productive. You never realize how quickly time goes when you think the time you have is endless.

If I were to get diagnosed with a life changing disease or terminal illness, I don’t think I would just waste my precious time. I think I would honor what I truly want to be doing. You somehow get sucked in to other peoples lives and forget that your own life is passing you by one status update after another.

I have expressed the guilt I am feeling with other runner friends and they remind me that taking the time to do something that I enjoy is worth every minute. I do still love running. Every run challenges me in different ways. There is always mental and physical barriers to break through. Life will always be busy. Is there a perfect time to train for a marathon? Kids, house, husband, family and friends will always need me ( and I am very happy about this!)

When I first started the marathon training, my running pal who has trained for 5 marathons, told me that the actual marathon will be tough but the 18 weeks training for the event will be the hardest part. Juggling the heat, sleep, work schedules and kids is no joke. That being said, we have managed for  7 weeks. Sure the floors are vacuumed a little less and I am kind of a bore when it comes to Friday night plans, but to me, this is how I want to spend my time.

Tackling this goal of a marathon is more important to me now then when I started training. The last few weeks, I have been barely getting my runs in. My focus was not on rest, nutrition and hydration. I would awake to feeling like I barely slept. I went to see my doctor. He told me that I was experiencing  adrenal fatigue syndrome. This happens when your adrenaline and cortisol levels are all out of whack and your adrenals are unable to produce enough hormones that you need. My doctor actually prescribed napping to me. He also ordered me to bed no later than 9pm every night. I am monitoring my food intake and also taking an adrenal herbal supplement. Overall, it will take a few months to even out, but I should feel noticeable better in a few weeks. I have completed one week of above treatment and I do feel a little bit better.

Time is my most valuable asset that I can give to myself and to the things that I love. I will no longer feel guilty for running and resting. This marathon training is a short time compared to the rest of my life. That being said, I will not throw time away doing things that are not contributing to me being my best self.

What are you doing or not doing with your time?Time-1