Wednesday, February 25, 2009

YT 50K, Puyallup Style and more...

We totally lucked out on the weather Sunday. The forecast was for rain all day - we had one short shower in the morning, then it was clouds and sun for the rest of the run. The rain came to stay for a couple of days after we were finished. Lucky!

I anticipated a long stretch of solo running towards the end of the 50K. I knew Rick and Margaret were going to run with me for 10 or so miles, and that Jenny was going to run as long as her ankle held out. I talked to Wendy Thursday night, and she said she'd jump in somewhere for a few miles. Friday night Rob called to share his plan - run dog miles, then join me for the last eight. Okay, he called it yo-yo miles, I call it dog miles - where you run out and back, out and back over and over, just like a dog off leash. Rob figured that he'd accumulate a bunch of extra miles that way and we'd get to run the end together. As it turned out, another Maniac was there and asked if she could run with us too. So our group started out with five, then Margaret and Rick dropped off, Wendy jumped in for the last seven, Jenny's ankle held up for the entire distance and Rob ran with us for the last eight - so we finished with five runners too! And, to top it off, Monica rode out on her bike to pace us in to the water stop at her truck, then moved the truck a few miles and did it again. What fun!

I finished feeling good, satisfied and tired. Eric, the best RD ever, was cooking grilled cheese and soup at the finish, and oh, was it good! Lorri and Steve had us over for a wonderful dinner later that night, letting me completely relax. It was good to be home for a weekend, and even better to share all that time with friends.

Lasik update:
Great! Fantastic! 20/15 in left eye, 20/20 in right eye the day after surgery! I didn't think I ever felt my contacts, but since surgery I have noticed every single day that they are not in and that my eyes feel great. I especially noticed it during the 50K , where I would normally experience contacts glued to eyes about halfway through. I highly recommend getting it done.

Now for the big change in my life... The trickle down of the economic crisis has reached me. The severe budget crisis our state is facing has led to deep cuts at the college, which in turn has made the decision to completely eliminate my program, Parent Education, at the end of spring quarter. I face this with a deep and abiding sorrow - we have served our community for 36 years, supporting families and children. I have been personally involved in the co-ops and Parent Education for 20 years - starting as a parent when we lived in Redmond, continuing as a parent in the program here in Puyallup, and working as faculty for the last 15 years, and in my third year as coordinator. This job has been my passion and the loss will leave a huge hole in my heart. I am trying to face the change with a positive attitude - looking for that new door that is going to open, finding new and exciting pathways in early education. I must admit that I am currently on a roller coaster of emotion - positive and happy one day, sad and searching on another.

This has been new ground for me, as I've never been in a managerial position in times like these. I've had to talk to my five staff members, and the boards of five preschools, and next week attend a parent meeting for over 140 families to explain the situation. Fortunately, I work for wonderful people at our college who will be there to bear the burden of that meeting. My stress levels have been pretty high for the last few months as the college administration has worked through this decision.

I guess I can look at this as a life has pushed me out of my comfort zone in many ways. My goal, as it always is in times of crisis, is to walk through the experience with grace, to hold my ethics close and my head high. I have been blessed with a wonderful group of friends who have listened to my laments, have helped me see clearly and helped me find laughter through out. Spring quarter will be a process of winding down, packing up, and moving on. I'm slowly beginning to look forward to whatever might be next, but in my heart, parent co-ops will always be my first love.


Bret said...

So sorry to hear about the job. Thats tough. Like you say I hope this change leads you to another phase in your life that is also rewarding.

Funny isn't it? Oh just another 31 mile big deal! Oh how we change. Nicely done.

Lasik...dang it. Now Gail really wants it too! That is excellent news that it is working out for you. Any problems with night vision?

Wes said...

I am sorry to hear that the economic situation has affected you this way. I think a lot more of us are going to be challenged before its all over. You have already proven what a strong spirit you are. You will pull through this with whatever support you need from family and friends! I'll be thinking about you in the days ahead.

olga said...

That is big, Michelle, long term project to cut like that...I know you will face it and make everything the best it could be under circumstances.
Glad lasic was such a hit! And agree with Bret - ha, 31 miles, piece of cake:)

Thomas said...

I'm really sorry to hear about about your program being canceled! You seem to have a very positive attitude towards things, but the people you were serving are basically left behind.

These things do happen a lot these days, on our side of the world as well as on yours.

Laura H said...

So sorry about the program being cut - it hurts on many levels. As always, be where your feet are and be okay with the roller coaster ride. Sounds like you are managing to stay centered and present in all of it - most of us have been there or will be there. Good luck and keep on truckin' with the running! I love reading about your 'no big deal' 50Ks! :-)

Donald said...

That's terrible news about your program ... although, as you said, not altogether shocking in the current economic storm. We've got all kinds of great programs that are either hanging by a thread or have been eliminated completely, as yours was. It's all very sad. Good luck in finding a different road to travel.

robtherunner said...

Actually, I ran the last 9 miles with you.

I am sorry to hear about the program as well and I wonder what kind of role you could play in the public education system with your early ed. credentials. Budget cuts there may prevent openings as well. Keep your eyes open and I know you will find what you're looking for. This is an opportunity even though I know it is a sad way to come about it.

Anonymous said...

Michelle – I’m so glad the surgery has worked out well. I may have some questions for you if I ever get in a position to have the procedure. You still see well at night?

I know you’ve been a tremendous advocate for the parents and children with whom you have worked. Your passion has been so evident in the brief conversations we’ve had over the past few years. In that short time you’ve taught me a lot about people, child development and lots of other topics.

I look forward to the new opportunities this experience will bring for you. You are likely ready for a new challenge. I know the parents will miss the resource you have been to them. But the people I feel the most sorry for are the kids you’ve impacted through your efforts.

Jack said...

Sorry to here about your job and the program cut. Remain optimistic, another door will always open for those that are patient and keep the faith.

Sarah said...

I'm so sorry about your program getting cut. But I know you'll land on your feet. I hope bigger and better things are in store for you! : )

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry about the loss of your program/job. What a sad time for you and the families. I pray that wonderful new opportunities will await you!

Sunshine said...

Oh Michelle.. my heart is breaking with yours... for the wonderful program.. years of development.. personal investment by many...
And the crushing end... loss for you.. staff .. parents .. children.
Time to celebrate all that was, grieve what will be lost.. and hope for what can be?

I try to keep from being angry at those that want Congress to only give tax relief and not fund the good things.

We are now trying to figure out how to live on Social Security. Sigh.

DELIGHTED for your eye surgery results. What a joy to run.. without contacts or glasses.. and actually SEE!

Will the runners who were in Birmingham be checking out our 4 posts of pictures etc. ?

Ongoing good thoughts and prayers for you all in these transition times.

Mama said...

You have succeeded in walking through this with grace. It is sad to see such a huge part of your life end, but the potential for new biginnings and growth is also huge. I know you are being open to the possibilities of what your life can become. You are an amazing woman and you will land on your feet.

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

LAst Sunday was a fun run and this morning too! I am sad along with you that the parneting program was cut. But, as you said, another door will open and patience will be key. We'll all be there for you!

Joe said...

Oh, Michelle, I'm so sorry to hear of the shut down of the program and your job!! That's really tough, especially with your passion for the topic.

Yes, it will be up and down... you'll make it. You have the right perspective. Yet it still hurts.

Hang in there... you can see clearly... literally and figuratively!