Run. Dog. Cat. Cat. Me.

Everything you need to know about running and life and any other random crap I find bouncing through my mind like a ping pong ball. And always be sure your shoes are happy.

Archive for the month “February, 2012”

Positively Positive

While I would describe myself as a realist rather than a pessimist, I do think it’s fair to say that most realists are probably a bit pessimistic just by nature of realizing that things are pretty much as they appear – which means, sometimes, pretty crappy.

The hubs, however, always thought I was a pessimist.  For example, if you have four-year-old twin boys in the middle of the den floor playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with empty papertowel-tube swords in a fort made of all the couch cushions (which, by the way, if you have any children in your home under the age of, oh – 16 – and you buy a couch with unattached cushions, it’s your own damn fault and don’t come crying to me because I learned the hard way and I guess you’re just gonna have to, too), and you put your cup of diet coke in the middle of the coffee table, and your wife says, “that cup is going to get knocked over” maybe the husband thinks the wife is being negative, while the wife is simply and fully aware of the fact that the beverage is not long for this Ninja Turtle-inhabited world.  And also that the husband has done the same thing in the same situation 8 times already which is why the supply of cups in the house is rapidly dwindling since four year old boys can destroy plastic as easily as glass.

Anyway, I’ve decided this Lent to try adding instead of subtracting.  I’m going to try to add a more positive outlook on things.  I’ll pay more attention to the positive realistic things and try to ignore the negative realistic things.  I’m going to add healthier food.  I’m going to keep working on adding more miles – altho I do wish I could subtract the fascist plantars in my feet.

This morning was a great chance to add some positivity in my day since it was supposed to be 15-25 mph winds with tornado watches.  Watches are different than warnings.  It’s like Code Yellow vs. Code Red.  One thing I’m positive of:  Memphis weather is psycho, and Code Nothing can go to Code We’re All Gonna Die in about a minute.  Also I’m still having relationship issues with weather.com, as you both know.  We broke up early last week and then on Sunday weather.com was so nice to me, gave me a beautiful sunny, slightly breezy, not-too-warm not-too-cold day and you know how it is when they bring you candy and look so remorseful; we were back together although I did state emphatically that This. Is. The. Last. Time.

I was positive that Cat was using my undercover toes as batting practice at 5:15 this morning so I got up and decided to be happy about the fact that God made coffee as I visited the Shrine of Glorious Coffee Making Perfection, pouring dark steaming nectar into my favorite mug *sip* *sip* *sigh* now I don’t have to kill anyone, you can all come back into the house.   I’ve got an hour on the books with Cheryl, aka The Exorcist, Jr.  Despite the fact she insists she’s just a trainer I am convinced she does not sleep and spends the dark hours of the night dreaming up new tortures.  Something about the way her eyes glow and spin when she thinks I’m not looking, I don’t know, it doesn’t seem right.  After the reign of terror I’ll do 5 easy miles.

Weather.com gaily informed me that today I am looking at:

Scattered strong thunderstorms. Damaging winds and large hail with some storms. High 73F. Winds SW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

This does not sound like weather I want to do 5 easy miles in, but I’m willing to wait and give things a chance (see how positive that was?)

I worked out with Cheryl and she didn’t seem to want to kill me completely dead, so that  would be a positive thing.

She has a gym in her garage and we worked out with the door open.  That was positive.  It’s also probably the reason she didn’t seem to want to kill me completely dead.  The neighbors might notice.  That would be a good thing – another score for positveness.

Plus it was pretty funny watching her chase the recylcing down the road when the wind blew it out of the recylcing bucket.  That was defnitely positive.  Made even more positive by the fact that she was running in a pair of Danskos instead of running shoes.

The wind kept blowing and the clouds kept growing larger and darker and I wavered – should I chance a run outside or stick with the treadmill?  (I didn’t call it the *D*readmill – Positiveness)

I did a mile on the *T*readmill and decided to chance running outside before my brain fell out from boredom.  I wasn’t hearing any sirens, there were no end-of-the-world warnings screaming across the bottom of the TV screen and the rain hadn’t shown up yet.  See how this positivity thing is really falling into place for me?  This is getting encouraging.

I headed out and the wind wasn’t too bad until I turned the corner.  Then the wind managed to be blowing against me when I ran south.  Then it blew against me when I ran west.  Then it blew against me when I ran north.  But just think, it was like doing speed work without having to actually run fast.  My HR was 156 at a pace that should have been about 140.  Positively positivness.

And when I was finally headed east on the final 1/2 mile, the wind was at my back.  Suddenly I was running what should have been a 165HR pace at 136HR.  Honestly, this positivitiy-ness thing is working pretty good!  I’m not even too mad at weather.com that the promised damaging winds and large hail haven’t shown up while I sit here with the window open and the sun occassionally peeping out of the clouds and a warm kitten sleeping on my lap.

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Marathonirritationitis

MARATHONIRRITATIONITIS

A few years ago, facing the last taper week before her first marathon, one of my BRFF’s and co-hort at The Bad Table at board meetings, DJ aka Deej aka Deejer, asked me, “How does anyone stay married when they have to live with a marathoner?  I am such a bi&&** this week – and my team mates are too!  I’m going to kill my husband, I’m going to kill my child, I’m going to kill the dog.  I’m going to eat the legs off the table and follow that up with 2 gallons of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey with hot fudge sauce!!  I’m going to wear my Nike shorts with my Brooks s/s.  No, I’m going to wear compression tights with a Nike singlet….OH MY GAWD I’M GOING CRAZY!!!”

This poor runner is suffering from a little known disease, MARATHONIRRITATIONITIS (maruh-thon-ir-i-tey-shuhn-eye-tis), a serious but seldom fatal (except to family members) and short-lived illness which is, surprisingly, found only in one particular group of people.  Not limited to age, race or religion, curiously, all sufferers have one thing in common:  every one of them run marathons.

Signs and Symptoms

Marthonirritationitis symptoms include but are not limited to:  irritation, irritability, grumpiness, lack of focus, inability to pay attention, and loss of concentration.  In addition to being slightly out of sorts symptoms include wandering aimlessly through the house hugging a gallon of Ben & Jerry’s, carrying one running shoe and 12 pair of socks, trying to find the suitcase which is in the middle of the floor.  People have been known to pack three jog bras and no shorts while slathering Glide on their underarms and Right Guard everywhere else.

Marthonirritationitis is most often followed by a period of extreme euphoria.  These symptoms include but are not limited to:  obtaining a shiny medal object at the end of the trigger (marathon) and hanging it in conspicuous places such as their rear view mirror or on the refrigerator over the top of their child’s A++ test.  Other victims have been seen wearing the shiny object out in public, where they frequently imbibe in high caloric meals which include large amounts of alcohol while laughing loudly at anything that is not remotely funny to any other human, occasionally lapsing into a blank stare while silently mouthing the words I did it I did it.

Following this brief period of euphoria is a longer period of deep and sincere remorse, whereupon the sufferer is forced to ask the previously offended and offensive family members for, first, their forgiveness and second, help standing up from the couch, kitchen chair and/or toilet.  Victims are often seen creeping sideways down the stairs, clutching the stair rail as though it held the meaning of life and sobbing while stepping out of the car or off a curb.  Other victims are seen shuffling sadly into convenience stores purchasing quantities of bagged ice in a useless attempt to stave off pain by immersing themselves in the dreaded Ice Bath, originally invented for stubborn victims of the Inquisition.

Diagnosis

Physical examination, x-rays and blood testing are most often useless.  Diagnosis usually follows a family member exclaiming, “For crying out loud!  What is WRONG with you?!”  The innocent, well-intentioned and unsuspecting family member then learns the meaning of ‘Near Death Experience” as the hurled object embeds itself in the wall beside the family member’s head.

Treatment

Sadly there is, at this time, no known cure, nor is there any medication known to be of more than superficial benefit.  Beer, Ibuprofen, beer, hot baths, wine and beer seem to remedy most of the symptoms which follow the euphoria.

Prognosis

Marthonirritationitis usually lasts 5-7 days.  Oddly, most victims tend to suffer periodic relapses despite the pleas of frightened loved ones.

Butt Falling off Syndrome – Little Known, Little Understood

I’m sitting here on an ice pack and I’m cold.  Plus, I decided I’m sleepy so I’m drinking an ice cold Dr. Pepper.  Few people truly understand the echoing ramifications of Butt Falling Off Syndrome, the layers of complexity it adds to daily life, how simple routines become, truly, a pain in the a$$.

The serious lack of information available to the public is about to change!  I am thrilled and proud to announce that I have been named the BFOS National Spokesperson by the Asses of the World Club and the National BFOS Ass., which have recently joined forces to better combat this little known issue.

You, too, could be suffering from BFOS and not even know it!  But now there is hope.  After months of hard work by many dedicated little people, we are revealing –

HERE!  NOW!

ON MY WORLD FAMOUS BLOG FOR BOTH OF YOU TO SEE!

OUR NEW POSTER, TO BE DISTRIBUTED NATIONALLY!

(Don’t you think the pics of me turned out well?)

(my mom is going to be SO proud!!)

(if you print this and bring it to my next fan club meeting I’ll autograph it for you.  $2 ea.)

*CLICK ON THE POSTER FOR A LARGER VIEW

Exercise and the Exorcist – Part 3

Yesterday was a BEAUUUUTIFUL DAYayayayay!  (background tunes for your listening pleasure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V8nu6e8eFY)

I woke:

The sun is shining! ♫ ♪ ♫

Birds are singing! ♫ ♫ ♪

Pretty trees are reflected in the sparkling lake!  ♫♪♫ ♪ ♫

And I’m GO-O-O-ING FOR A RU-U-U-U-N ♫ ♪ ♫♪♫

Which is a massive 360 from how I’ve felt for the past couple weeks.  After the CD Smith fiasco when Butt Falling Off Syndrome reared it’s ugly head at 9 miles (hahaha reared, get it?) I limped the last 3.5 to the car, bagging the 16 mile run at 12.5 and very happy to do so, although I do sincerely thank Doug and Sara for all their honking support.

But (haha – oh, nevermind) somewhere near the end, as I ran with nothing in my head but a vision of the car and the mantra *don’t quit* *don’t quit*, these words suddenly swam past my eyes like a Crab Shack banner behind a plane at the beach:

HOW…MANY…MILES…ARE…ON…THESE…SHOES?

Over 500.

Email Kelly:  I have over 500 miles on these shoes.  You think, a clue?

Immediate reply:  YES.  (ok, thanks)  GO BUY SHOES.  (yes, Ma’am)  SEE ME THURSDAY AT 3pm (sh*t)

I can’t actually tell you what type of child I was.  I think I was a tentative, insecure and rather shy thing but there’s no telling, there are only my memories and my mother’s; like all mothers, she’s biased.  Probably I did actually hang the moon.  And – while I know that both of the faithful followers of my World Famous Blog will not believe this – I was a child who followed the rules.  Rules existed to keep you intact.  Outside the rules:  Scary Mordor-like place.  Go outside the rules and Miss Morgan will put you in the corner during story time and all the other kids will turn in their seats watching you walk to the corner in disgrace.

For example, here’s a fairly standard running rule:  Turn your shoes over every 250-300 miles.  If you’re a younger person or you have the top 10% of perfect feet which God passed out you can go further and/or you can wear minimalist shoes, and also I hate you.  However, if you are an older female with fascist plantars living in your feet and very high arches you will probably need a bit more support.  Additionally – how fair is this? – the only place your body loses weight as you age is your metatarsal pad, thank you so not.  The one place you need more cushioning, buh-bye.

Follow the rules.  If you don’t buy new shoes:

I now have shining new shoes with the purchase date written large on the heel in black Sharpie.

Thursday Kelly announced the good news:  my butt was no longer on sideways.  The bad news:  I was more sore in more places.  I was not allowed to run Friday; if I felt like it I could plod a couple miles Saturday.  I did not feel like it.  This time, despite the exorcism and new shoes, there was no bounce, no spring in my legs.  Sunday’s long run of 18 miles was a heavy legged pain fest which was put out of my misery when I bagged at 16.

I’d done my run along the streets while the Finish Line Crew was working an off-road race and met up with them afterward for dinner at El Patron, a little gem of Mexican food heaven.  It was a bit tough for Beverly and Mike, sitting on either side of me in the booth, as my leg constantly twitched and I stretched, wiggled and squirmed like a two year old high on birthday cake, trying to calm it.  Beverly looked at me.  “You need to be taking potassium and magnesium.”

|: Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! |:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__gnmuzq6HI

As a runner I sweat a lot.  Really – a lot.  Like, in the summer on long runs at the end I’m leaving wet footprints.  I’m careful to carry ECaps and drink Gatorade and take gels.  I forgot that in the winter I sweat too, which is why it took me five minutes to get my (sweaty wet) tights (glued to my thighs) off Sunday, as I hopped on one foot in the portajohn at the race site, trying to get changed.  (God only knows what the people outside the thing thought of the bumping and groaning going on inside a 3′ square PJ.) (Mommy, do you think someone needs help?) (NO.) (But someone could be hurt.  They sound awful) (NO!  Let’s go, Honey.  We can eat some cookies that are only meant for the runners, come on.)

Twitching and jerking, I drove immediately to Walgreens where I purchased the large sized magnesium and potassium and have been downing them like M&M’s since.

Everyday my legs feel better.

Follow the rules.  Don’t fuel properly and you’ll go down in flames.

It’s not in the bag…yet

It’s 7:05am Sunday, the day of my long run, and I have 18 on the books.

No, I am not blogging while I run.

It’s 39 degrees, raining and 11mph winds.  For once weather.com got it right – first time in about 10 days which, if it were a professional baseball player instead of a professional weather forecaster, it would get fired.  Yesterday.  Not that I’m bitter.

Additionally, I feel like I’ve been dragged behind a bus – I’m exhausted (HAHAHA exhaust-ed), my legs weigh about 800 pounds and they feel like overcooked spaghetti.

I texted Sara:  I’m bagging, so sorry, hate to leave you on your own and she replied she was doing the same thing.  We’re planning to hook up later, maybe noon.

Since I have all this time on my hands – having been up since 4am so I could run at 6am – I have done laundry, re-arranged the den, cleaned the kitchen and had breakfast.  For breakfast I made an omelet.  I sauteed all the leftover peppers and onion I had, threw in some black forest deli ham, two egg whites and an egg, and topped it with reduced fat cheese and salsa.  I also had 1-1/2 slices of homemade bread because before I made breakfast I was messing around online and read this:

When training, you want to eat enough, but not too many carbs. The amount of carbs you eat as you train for a run is almost just as important as the training itself! A normal American Adult should shoot for eating around 45-65% of their calories from carbs, a runner should eat closer to 60%.

This means:

If you are eating around 1200 calories per day….
-540-780 of your calories should come from carbs, which is about 135-195 grams of carbs.
-720 of a runner’s calories should come from carbs or 180 grams of carbs (which rises as race day gets closer and training tempo increases).

For more info check the whole blog – http://initfortheshirt.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/my-new-favorite-sub-shop/

I have probably not been getting enough carbs the past couple weeks as I’d cut out bread due to the fact that I also read a couple weeks ago that a serving of bread is the highest source of sodium in our daily diet.  When I checked the cupboard I found that a serving of my multi-grain bread has 170mg of sodium and a serving of Tostitos multi-grain chips has 120mg.  So…it’s a trap.  Especially in view of the fact that it was a total fail when I tried to use the chips to make a ham sandwich.

However, I have a solution:  my bread machine – in which I will now start making whole grain bread myself and will not add so much salt.

Ta.Da.  And it could help explain the tiredness and heavy legs.

Then I saw that my friend Camille had posted a video of the proper way to use a foam roller http://camilleherron.com/how-to-foamlacrosse-ball-roll-the-critical-body-parts/.  Watching the vid I realized I have not been making good use of the foam roller which could also explain some of the issues with my legs.

Maybe it’s not a bad thing to be a bit flexible in the running plans.  If weather.com is right – and it’s on a roll now, batting .100 here – the sun should come out about 11am, I can still get my run and in the meantime I learned valuable info, and the den looks nice.

Also I have a softy snoring, velvety soft kitty asleep on my lap *ooooommmmmm*

Damn.  I. am. good.

Exercise and the Exorcist – Part 2

It’s been established that you know about my terrible problem, Butt Falling Off Syndrome, and I want to thank both of you for your cards and flowers.  The donation to Asses of the World Club was probably excessive but I know you meant well.  And I don’t mean to complain but I think it could have been worded better.  Something about In Honor of the Biggest Half Ass We Know doesn’t seem quite right.

So … I went to visit the Exorcist.  Since the walls are padded no one heard my screams.  I was told no exercise for 24 hours which meant no run that Friday.  Saturday I worked a race with wind chills in the low teens; after 1-1/2 hours I was so cold and shivering so hard that I couldn’t  have run if she’d been chasing me with a Yanni CD.

Sunday dawned grey and cloudy but what would you expect since weather.com said it would be partly sunny?   At least it was a balmier 21 degrees with only a breeze.  I was so fed up with being cold I totally over-dressed (as it turns out, two pair of running tights, two L/S tech T’s, a vest and a windbreaker are not overdressing in a breezy grey 21 degrees).  I never got terribly cold although my 18-hour Hot Hands wimped out in 2 hours.  I had the sense this time to carry my Shot Blox for fuel.  Which, by the way, when you carry Shot Blox in your pocket and it’s 21 degrees they freeze solid and when you try to bite one off they clink solidly against your teeth.  Be careful unless you want to help your dentist pay his kid’s tuition.  If you suck on them for about five minutes they thaw a bit and then you can spend at least 10 more minutes trying to chew them and vainly attempting to suck them off your teeth, where they are stuck like Gorilla Glue on my kitchen counter.  It will give you something to think about besides the pain in your ass.

Sara was fighting a cold and I was fighting asthma and we were unanimous in our cold grey breezy misery.  The same route that a couple of weeks ago passed like time lapse photography was now a. run. in. stop. motion.  Some geese flew by and to pass time I told them the sad story of the socially inept goose that lived on the lake last year.  I felt so sorry for the poor thing but really, if you’re going to go around dive bombing the other geese and refuse to play nicely you are going to find yourself, at some point, an outcast; they will probably not invite you to their 4th of July festivities and you’ll just have to hide behind the pontoon boat next to the landing and watch them party.  It seems geese are not known for being socially correct.

Doug then pointed out that geese fly in formation and constantly support and encourage each other as they fly south for the winter.  Apparently geese do not honk continuously while flying so that socially awkward adults who are home alone will run outside, look upward and say to no one, OH!  Look!  Geese!  Not that I ever do that.  The geese honk to encourage each other – which is not what the other drivers on Germantown Parkway are doing at you when you’re doing 35 in a 50 and straddling the middle lane, just so you know, guy in the huge shiny black SUV talking on your hands free device and waving both hands in the air as you steer with your knee.

Helpfully, Doug demonstrated by honking.

Sara honked tentatively.

WTH, I honked.  We honked Doug honked Sara honked Terri honked.

Nasal Honk.

Gutteral Honk.

Bass Honk.

Soprano Honk.

honk honk.

It seemed to help.  We felt oddly cheered.

And then.  CD Smith, may you rest in peace, I hate your road.  Up down Up down Up down.  You couldn’t have a flat road in your name?

And … what is that?  Oh no it is not.

Oh, yes.  It is.  Running is once again a pain in the ass and I have 3.5 to get to my car.

Exercise and the Exorcist – Part 1

As you both know, I have Butt Falling Off Syndrome (https://rundogcat.me/2012/02/05/do-you-have-any-spare-change-i-can-have/ in case you forgot).

I forget stuff all the time so I assume you might also.  For instance, right now I cannot remember where my phone is.  I could call it but I keep the sound turned off.  I do this because otherwise I keep getting little pinging noises all the time because I get lots of important emails in my important position as a secretary.  Or it could be FB updates.  Anyway, I could figure out how to turn that pinging off and set the phone to ring only when someone calls but I just haven’t gotten to that yet.  I mean, I’ve only had the phone for four months.  I’m busy.  So you see that I could try calling the phone to find it, but I won’t be able to hear it ring.  And that’s why I can totally understand if people forget stuff.

But anyway (HAHAHA BUTT anyway)  I was talking about my Butt Falling Off Syndrome which I have.  After the sad run in the not sunny not warm day a couple weeks ago I made an appointment to see The Exorcist, aka “Kelly S”.

To anyone else The Exorcist looks like a very pretty petite redhead.  She looks like that to me too, when I first enter her chambers.

Hi, I’m Kelly.  Don’t I look sweet and nice?

But this is what she is thinking:

The sad part is, I continue to return.  That’s how much I want to be able to run.  I will endure pain so I can endure pain.

(Think about that.)

(Seriously.  Think about that.)

(Are you thinking about that?)

(If you’re a runner you didn’t even need to think about that, did you?)

The Exorcist is kind of like all those movies that you don’t really watch all the way through because the Drug Lord is slowly breaking the undercover cop inch-by-inch.

Nice, Nice.  You enter her chambers.  Yanni is humming or whatever he does that makes you feel all calm and zen and united with the universe.  Muted lighting.  Soft warm colors.  Pillow.  Comfy.

She lightly kneads your back and shoulders.  “Hummm.  Hummmm” she says.

*sigh*  *relaxing*

“Well what the h3ll did you do?  Fall down a flight of stairs?” she queries.

“Um. No.  Just running.  You know, runnin’ runnin'”

“Well, your butt is on sideways.”

“WTH?”

“Crooked.  Your butt is on sideways.”

OMG.  I always suspected.  I’m half-assed.

I don’t know who this LisaO person is

Well Mom went to Work Out and Run so I thought I’d do a little web surfing while she’s gone.  I love looking at pictures of baby kittens don’t you think baby kittens look cute?  Not as cute as me, I was the cutest kitten anyone ever saw but still kittens are cute.

Dog is not so cute.  Right now he’s licking himself and he smells like stinky lake water but then he doesn’t have the personal hygiene habits we cats do.

So I don’t know who this BRFFLisaO person is but I can tell you what, she is next on my list. Imagine my surprise when I went to check Mom’s blog and found that my plan had been outed by this LisaO person who obviously is a devious person and probably not to be trusted.

Anyway now I’m just going to lay low for a while, scale back my plan of attack and let Mom get relaxed and trusting again.

And the rest of you out there need to learn to mind your own business if you don’t want your information posted all over Catbook.

Plotting my demise?

It’s Tuesday morning and I am not obligated to be anywhere today.  I can run later this afternoon when the sun comes out HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  Weather.com says the sun will be out this afternoon and I am basing my plans on that, innocent trusting idiot that I am.  Yesterday weather.com promised us rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow, sending the citizens of this fair city into a spiraling morass of fear, concern and confusion about the predicted state of the roads, closing of schools and did they have enough loaves of bread to live through the night when they got snowed in, all while secretly hoping it would, indeed, be The Storm of 2012 and we’d all be forced to sit in our warm homes doing nothing but FB and Farmville.  Since it never got below 32 degrees we all sighed resignedly and went back to being adults.

So anyway, here I am at the desk avoiding anything remotely resembling grownup work and blogging instead.  I’ve probably never mentioned this, but I have a pair of plaid bell bottomed fleece pants that are without any doubt The. Most. Awesome. Fleece. Pants. Intheworld. which I am wearing right now, sitting at my desk, warm and comfy with my cup of coffee, thank you baby Jesus in your little wooden crib that your daddy might have made for you.

Chunk is being horrid today.  I do not know what is going on with her.  Last night she treated the bed as a trampoline, my undercover toes as batting practice and pummeled Murph’s poor head like a tether ball, then sweetly climbed on me, put her little soft nose up to mine, sniffed, and plopped down, gazing up lovingly.

Chunk gazing lovingly at me.

At 2am she was awkwardly crawling across my head and trying to attack the night stand which I can promise has never done anything to her and she ended up shut downstairs.

This morning she played undercover cop with the bath towels (like I don’t know she’s here?  eh?  look at the size of that butt!)

Later, returning from the Lourdes of coffee pots with a fresh load of brew in my handmade pottery cup, I see the monkey asleep on my keyboard (she jumped when she saw me)

She bolted out of the room like her ass was on fire and I couldn’t get a pic of that.

Five minutes later she was back, sucking up, crawling on my lap and kneading my incredible fleece pants into a bed.

Here’s the thing.  I’ve been thinking about this and I’ve been assimilating all these clues.  And then one of my BRFF’s, LisaO, sent me this chart (Below).  Suddenly I see.  (background music for your listening pleasure:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tlU-1u1JC8)

1.  Kneading on me – every day, and while we’re at it, is she really accidentally awkwardly walking across my head every night…?

2.  Hiding in dark places and watching me – I did see you under that towel, girl.

3.  Excessive shoveling of kitty litter – I decided no photo of the littler box, I know both of you will be grateful.

4.  Sleeping on my computer – –

5.  Staring contest – – –

6. Sprinting at light speed out of any room I enter – – – –

She’s plotting to kill me. 

If you don’t hear from me in the next few days, someone send help.  Meanwhile I’ve shut myself in the office with the coffee pot.  I figure I can always call for pizza delivery, they can pass it through the window.

It’s as it is.

I was awake early this morning, worrying.  I’ve gotten a lot better over the past year about not doing that – my mantra and my deeply felt belief is that It’s as It Is.  Both of my faithful followers might be surprised to learn that despite my flippant public approach I would actually describe myself as deeply spiritual.  I look at this world and I cannot believe there is not a plan, that this all happened randomly.  I don’t believe that God exists to fix things, I don’t think God exists so that loved ones don’t get sick or to change something we don’t find comfortable, and I find it difficult to pray for God to do so.  Whatever Being is able to cause all this to happen probably has a larger plan in mind than whether I wish my mom would not get sick.  After years of struggle I’ve come to realize I prefer that.  If God, in whatever guise you like, can create all of this from nothing His plan has to be a little better thought out than mine; He probably doesn’t need my advice.  And, frankly, I find it a bit frightening to believe in a God who would.

While they are crazy people and are not to be trusted, my friends have encouraged me for quite a while to start a blog.  I held back for a couple reasons – I felt embarrassed, mostly; posting a blog is rather like taking out a billboard sign saying, Look At Me I’m Special You Need To Pay Attention To What I Have To Say.  But I also had to decide how much of myself I would put out into the world.  Years ago I had a friend whose main coping mechanism was humor.  I decided that wasn’t such a bad thing and I use it often.  However – is my blog going to be only that, or am I going to be true to all of myself?

The other side of that is how well I can manage to be true to myself and still honor the privacy of the people in my life.

Like most people *at my age* – not a term I like – I’m dealing with aging parents.  They know how old they are so I don’t think I’m violating a privacy to mention that. Last April the aneurysm which plagued my father’s brain for years had reached the size of a ping pong ball and required emergency surgery – a craniotomy.  Here’s my advice:  If at all possible, never have a craniotomy.  I’m considering having my scalp tattooed:  No Craniotomy Zone, inside a circle with a slash.

And since my mom told me if I don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything,  I will not tell you what I think about world-famous neurosurgeons with God complexes surrounded by a phalanx of residents plowing down hospital hallways looking neither to the left nor the right; it’s rather what I think it would be like watching the Tour d’ France peloton pass by, lots of action but no personal involvement with the onlookers other than if they happen to toss an empty water bottle your way.

Needless to say, my dad is now in a nursing home.

As an only child who lives 1,400 miles from my parents, this creates a bit of a juggling act for me and my family.  I visited them six times last year, my husband and three of my kids made it over there and we’re tag-teaming each other pretty well.  I have some awesome cousins and my aunt who live within a few hours drive of my parents and they have been great about visiting and helping too.  My mom is in good health and taking care of things well but she’s not a teenager anymore and she gets tired and worn out with it all.

Of course all day I wonder how things are going over there, I feel a constant sadness for my parent’s situation, but oddly I don’t worry about them very much.  I don’t know how to describe it, but I feel calm about the situation.  It’s as it is, nothing I am able to do will change it.

What I worry about and what I pray about is knowing what I need to do and how to do it; when do I need to take action and when do I stay still.

And I’m worrying about that now because yesterday I talked to my mom and she is sick.  She sounds horrid and she slept most of the day.  I wanted to call this morning and see how she’s feeling but I bet she didn’t want the phone to ring at 5am.  She’s had pneumonia before, and dad had it last month, does she have pneumonia?  If so what actions need to be taken?  How sick is she?  Do I need to fly over?  Should I check out flights now or should I wait?  I’m already mentally packing a suitcase and figuring out what I’d do about getting Dog and Cat taken care of.   You know what else I’m doing?

I’M WORRYING ABOUT MY TRAINING PLAN.  

For the love of all that’s holy, I’m worrying how to get my runs done if I go help my parents.

Runners.  We’re all crazy you know.  But I’ll be a lot crazier if I don’t get to run and if I’m crazy I’m not going to be any help.

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