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”

More signs a relationship may not work out in the end.

(For more extremely helpful information on your personal relationships and whether they are headed in the right direction, refer to: and  Sincerely, Terri Clarke, Advice Blogger


Between the cat and my age I’m getting up earlier all the time.  I made it to 5am yesterday which is better than usual with a nocturnal child; when I rolled over and rearranged Mooshy Pillow, ready to doze back off, Cat decided it must be play time.  Nipping at my toes and climbing awkwardly across my head to the night stand and then the dresser, knocking all my things to the floor (what the?? where’s the grace?  where’s the instinctive style of cats slinking?  God knows, Chunk got her name honestly) she quickly convinces me that I want to get up.  Or that I’m going to get up whether I want or not.

Morning ritual – visit Shrine of Coffee Pot, pay homage to hot coffee in my cup, lovely coffee, steaming coffee, glistening black nectar.  I don’t want to go in the cold dark to get the paper so I head downstairs to my office.

Knowing I have mileage on the books this morning I check and immediately sigh.  I feel our relationship is going wrong.  The trust is gone, the joy in the relationship is gone.  I’m thinking of  breaking up but it’s a habit now.  I’ve got to start seeing other weather sites but I’m at that point in the relationship that I continue to return to the safe and familiar even while I’m hurt and lied to daily.  And, as has happened so frequently recently, blandly assures me it will be 33 and partly cloudy when I set out about 7:15am, and the little icon shows mostly sun with a littlebitty cloud on it:

Partly Cloudy

That looks like a lot more sun than cloud to me.  Unfortunately has assured me of the same thing many times recently and when I cheerfully accept its pronouncements of sunny, partly cloudy weather I am constantly betrayed with steel grey skies and chill winds.

I’m beginning to feel that is no longer really putting its heart into this.  I feel it’s phoning it in.  However, right now it’s about 5:30am and still dark as night outside so I decide, like you should in a relationship, to give it the benefit of doubt.


This is what Partly Cloudy actually looks like at 7:15am:

And this is what Partly Cloudylooks like about 75 minutes later:, meet my new beau:


Running is Community, Part 2

“Running is not, as it so often seems, only about what you did in your last race or about how many miles you ran last week. It is, in a much more important way, about community, about appreciating all the miles run by other runners, too.” – Richard O’Brien

I’m really happy right now with my running.  I’m feeling pretty lucky and pretty blessed.  When I think about running it is a warm, happy, comfy feeling, like sitting on the couch in the early morning, watching the sun come up, holding a cup of coffee with the dog and cat next to me.

Thinking about the actual run I’m going to do today:  Not So Much.

I’m tired.  I’m physically tired every day right now, which I expected when I committed to this training plan.  My legs feel tired and heavy when I get up.  I shuffle off to the Shrine of Coffee, Cuisinart Automatic Grind and Brew Thermal™  in my awesome plaid bell bottom fleece pants, a t-shirt and a sweatshirt.  Hugging my mug of coffee I go to get the paper and think, well, it’s not horribly cold out.

However:  I will not be doing my run in the windless lee of the house wearing  my awesome warm plaid bell bottom fleece pants, I will be running in the open (damp, grey, breezy) 32 degree air in tights and a tech shirt.  Today I feel like being Rocky Balboa and putting on heavy grey sweats which weigh about 10 pounds.  Every run lately – while I happily and freely admit that we’re having a warmer and drier winter than usual – is cold.  The last time I ran in the sun was a week ago and before that I don’t know (and don’t want to, it will just depress me).  Grey skies, windy, damp air; I never feel warmed up.  I feel hunched and pulled in and my fingers go white and numb even in gloves.

Yesterday it was beautifully sunny when I left the house to work with my trainer, aka The Boss.  90 minutes later when it was time to head for the run?  Grey.  SURPRISE.  Windy.  SURPRISE.  Cold.  SURPRISE.  And there I was in shorts, singlet and L/S tech shirt.  Did I not just do the same thing on Sunday?  Will I never learn?

And do I have a windbreaker and gloves in the car?  No.  They are clean and folded…in the laundry room.  At.  Home.

But I’m holding an ace:  one of my BRFF’s is waiting in the parking lot for me.  Beckybee and I head into the wind.  Every time we changed direction on our course the wind came along with us.  After the first mile we got the kinks and the sighs and the groans shook out and when the 6 dogs rushed into the street at us and we found ourselves maxed on adrenaline we had each other to laugh shakily at, and when I forgot to turn my Garmin back on Beckybee still had hers running and we talked and ran and forgot the wind and in a couple minutes we’d covered four miles.

I’m holding the same ace today.  I have 7 to do and Beckybee is doing the last three with me, and that will get me out the door when the grey skies push down on my head and I want to go back to bed.

“It is, in a much more important way, about community, about appreciating all the miles run by other runners, too.”

I do appreciate the miles of others, the miles that push me out the door so I won’t leave a fellow runner stranded in the parking lot, the miles that runners post on FB and on challenge pages, the miles taken to reach the finish line for charities, the miles I see run in every weather everywhere (weather a lot colder, wetter, snowier and icier than I’m dealing with).  When I do run alone – and I like that too, I like the time for my brain to sort through everything and throw out the trash – I’m still held up by this community of runners.  Thank you all.

Runnin’ like a Pro

I thought maybe all two of the faithful followers of my world famous blog might enjoy seeing what it’s like, Running Like a Pro.  If you print this and bring it to the next Fan Club meeting I’ll autograph it for both of you.  (and, in case you missed the first half of this story: )

Run like a Pro

I am so excited.  I just saw this book advertised:  Ultimate Guide To Running Like A Pro and it’s only $9.95 plus shipping and handling.

It’s a good thing it just went on sale so I can get one fast before everyone else finds out about it, because once everyone has it they’ll all be running like a Pro too and maybe they’ll be faster Pros than me, so I need to get it fast so I can ultimately get fast faster.

Gee.  This is sort of like Christmas.  I can’t wait.  I bet it’s going to be awesome.

I wonder if you get to pick the Pro you’re going to run like.   Hmmmmmm.   I”m thinking.  Who shall I pick?

I think Deena.  I know she’s past her prime now, but I’ll pick Young Deena.

Wait.  What if someone else who buys the book starts running like the same Pro I’m going to run like?  Then we would always tie at every race.  We’d be like twins.  Or maybe we’d be like clones.  I’d be running like a Pro, but I wouldn’t win.  That would suck.

My mom would ask, “How was your race Terri?” and I’d have say, “Well, we tied…again.”

So mom would feel sad because I was unhappy because every race was a tie.

Or, what if your Pro got injured, would you be injured then too?

I’d be talking on the phone with my mom and she’d ask me, “How’s your running doing now, Terri?”

Then I’d have to tell her, “Oh, Deena and I, we broke our foot.”

Then my mom would feel sad for me.

What if I was running like my Pro and my Pro didn’t enter the same race as me and I won, would I have to split the money with them?  How about the medal?  Would we have to share custody?

I’d go home for the holidays and mom would ask, “Terri!  Show me your medal you won!” and I’d be like, “Oh, I can’t mom, Deena has it this weekend.”

That would make my mom really sad.  She’d be nice about it and all, but she’d still be sad.

Jeezum.  This book is nothing but trouble.  If it’s going to make my mom sad all the time I’m not sure I want to Run Like A Pro any more.

Stupid book.

Do you have any spare change?

Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get accustomed to the idea that I get to live in a house on a lake.  Last night I sat on the back porch as the last of daylight faded and watched drizzly rain fall over the lake, considering the constant changes of nature.  Water seems a living thing, an entity with definite moods and temperaments; grey then blue then nearly clear; smooth, then rippled, then whitecapped; moving toward me and then away.

Most of the trees are bare right now and their limbs are beautiful art, twisted and gnarled like my farmer grandfather’s hands were, telling stories of thwarted growth abruptly turning the limb the other direction, knotted and bent.  Skinny crepe myrtles with peeling bark and thin straight limbs make me think of a gangly teenager growing tall quicker than they can keep up with.

Watching nature’s seasons I find myself wondering why I continue to expect that I shall not – or should not – have seasons in my life also.  Constant change is evident all around us and yet we think somehow we will be the same, do the same, accomplish the same today and tomorrow and next year.  And when that doesn’t happen, as it never does, we get upset.  We try to change the change.  The trees don’t try to change what is barring that limb from growing in that direction, the limb changes its direction.  And when I see that limb I think it’s beautiful.  The tall straight skinny limbs just look young and awkward to me.

This morning told me it was going to be about 47 degrees and there was a icon of a large bright yellow sun with little rays coming out of it next to the 47.  

Thus I assumed it was going to be about 47 degrees and the sky would sport a large bright yellow sun with little rays coming out of it.

Thus I also assumed that a singlet with a L/S lightweight tech shirt and shorts would be fine to wear.  I also assumed I didn’t need gloves, and while we’re at it I assumed since there has been water and Gatorade on the course before (provided to me at no effort on my part by nice runners who buy the water and Gatorade and cups and leave it at intervals) that the same thing would happen again (because of course it shouldn’t change) and – thus – I additionally assumed I could leave my fuel of choice behind in the car.

So it happens then that I find myself at mile .67 with a co-runner who is wondering aloud, since we’re running a different course than usual, will there still be water and Gatorade on the course.  I look at my empty hands and panic.  NO WATER.  NO GATORADE.  I HAVE13 MILES TO GO.  WHAT DO I DO NOW?

Trying to ignore the panicked little brain cell which is screaming loudly in my head I twitch nervously and mention several times to co-runners that I have no water and no fuel.  Apparently I believe they are both blind and deaf and continue to repeat myself.

The fates having pity on my running partners, a front runner returns to report that there is, indeed, fuel on the course.

Damn good thing I spent some time in a fit over that or fate might not have figured things out and fixed it for me.

Around mile 5 I realize I’d probably have to run 31 miles before I’d dehydrate anyway, because I gotta go.  Informed that the bathroom at mile 7 is usually unlocked I spend the next two miles fretting about where I’m gonna go if it’s locked.  Why, yes, there is a forest of trees right next to the (possibly) locked bathroom but now I need to figure out exactly which tree I would use – made more difficult by the fact that I’m still a mile away from the trees and cannot see them to know which tree would work.

Spending those two miles feverishly planning my locked – unlocked – tree – locked -unlocked – tree options apparently changed fate because the bathroom was, indeed, unlocked.

Turning back toward home we head into the wind.  The greatly anticipated and attired-for warmth of a sunny day has died a lingering and sorrowful death and I repeatedly mention to my blind and deaf running partners that it’s cold and there’s a wind and I didn’t bring gloves as I hold out my bare hands to their blind eyes as proof.

Fate had apparently tired of my incessant whining and desiring of things being fixed to meet my (supposed) needs and did not turn off the wind and turn on the sun.

At mile 9 my right hip and calf begin vague crampings.  Since the day has been nothing but disappointment, fear and worry, I’m pretty sure by now that I have Butt Falling Off Syndrome and this will probably be the last run I ever have and how would I handle it if I couldn’t run because I intend to run until I die and I’m not planning death today and also if I do have Butt Falling Off Syndrome and my butt falls off I won’t be able to sit down ever again, I would just tip over.

This is most definitely not the run I had planned and visualized.  This needs to change and it needs to change now.  I need my butt to quit hurting and I need the sun to come out and I need the wind to stop and I need –

– and suddenly I realize I need to do the same every other created thing except man does:  adapt.  Change myself to fit the day before me and quit looking at what the world needs to change to meet my expectations.

Just a mile???


Winter Weather Advisories for the Memphis metro area





In addition to the 1212 in 2012 FB Challenge which I’ve joined (OK, it’s been 35 days and I’m finally admitting I’m going to try to achieve this, Karma DO NOT read this post) I’m also trying to do At Least A Mile A Day in 2012 (Karma, I’ll kick your ass, I’m telling you:  Do Not Read This Post)

Because I only do things 500% or Zero at any given moment.

It’s a grey drizzly day, with thunderstorms earlier and rain/drizzles all day long.  The kind of day that makes your brain feel dull and spongy and your eyeballs blurry.

Today was my day to walk at least a mile – it’s my day off from running and the idea is not the distance but the mental discipline of MOVING.

Moving.  One foot in front of the other.   And walking to the laundry room doesn’t count.

Feet.  Moving.  Outside.  At least a mile.  JUST a mile.

Except – I forgot.

Up at OMG O’clock (DAMN CAT)  (DAMN THUNDER)  I did some work at the computer and then worked a race, went to eat afterward, then groceries and home, put it all away, back to the computer for some more work, laundry, straighten the house, do the putzing female thing fluffing pillows, kids are coming over tomorrow, make chilli, bake some bread…and suddenly hubs comes home – and it’s 6:30.  How The H&ll did that happen?

It’s 55 degrees out with a slight drizzle as opposed to this date last year when we were slip slidin’ away on ice – and I FORGOT to walk a mile.  I didn’t miss the mile because I was slammed with ice/snow/sleet – I FOR. GOT.

And Hubs says, “OK.  Let me get my jacket.  Let’s walk the dog.”

Mile.  In the books.  Hubs rocks.

Throw down

Sunday at the cross country race I asked Brian Swanson about his new workout program.  He mentioned he was a bit sore after 110 pushups.

Oh.  Throw down.

Unknowingly, he’d challenged me.

Wednesday I told my trainer about Brian’s 110 pushups.  So she made me do them.  I got ten.  Throw Down, Terri Lee.

Thursday Brian posted his 3 minute plank.

Oh.  Throw down.

Today I told my trainer about Brian’s 3 minute plank.  So she made me do one.  I got two minutes.  Throw down, TLC

Then I had a three mile recovery run on the books.  Spoiled by yesterday’s glorious sunny blue-skied beauty I wasn’t really feeling the love.

In fact, earlier this morning I mentioned to my trainer that I’m not so much of a morning person.  She looked surprised and said, Oh?  Reeeeeely?

I think she was faking.  But I have a huge girl crush on her so it doesn’t matter.

You can only postpone a run on a grey dreary cool damp breezy day by repeatedly filling your coffee cup for so long before you run the risk of not so much going for a run as doing the Jitterbug down the block.  Fueled by the mental image of me doing the Jitterbug I forced myself out the door.  Throw Down, T

Besides, if I don’t do the run I can’t post it to which then totals my mileage and reports it to my 1212 in 2012 FB group.  Throw Down, Terrilee.

As I set out it occurred to me that running on legs with the resiliency of telephone poles isn’t fun.  THUD THUD THUD THUD, stiff-legged, I looked like Frankenterri plowing down the middle of the street.  The little kids at the bus stop looked at me in stunned silence.  You know it’s bad when children are so stunned by a sight that they are rendered unable to make fun of it.  Throw Down, Terri, move those legs.

About 1-1/4 mile in I started up Jr.Mutherhill like the Little Engine that Could – I think I can – I think I can – I think I can

I thought, THROW DOWN Terri Lee – Jr.Mutherhill is not taking you out.  I THINK I CAN I THINK I CAN and I pulled my hat down firmly and headed up that hill looking straight ahead.  Hello, Jr.Mutherhill, it’s me, Terri, and I’m taking you out.  Throw. Down.

At mile 2 I’d crested Jr. and turned to head home.  He was a beat-up little strip of downhill now and I took him down on that one too.


i almost died last night

god got mad at me becuse i went out oF the yard IN THE MORNINGso he made a storm lastnight

im sorry iwent out of tHe yard

i will neVr do it SQUIRREL i see a squirrle let Me Out mom! mommommom  SQUIRRRRREL let me oooooooUt

Death: Zero Me: One

Once again with my uncanny Cat ability I have saved Mom and Dog from certain death.  I looked death in the face and I said bwaaahahahaha death you loser I am Cat hear me roar.  Dog is mostly useless and Mom is clueless and Dad is always at Job or Working Out so there’s no one left but me to protect the innocent.

Yesterday with my super sensitive Cat instincts I knew there was trouble I could feel it in the air.  I could feel Triangular Spasmodic  Electrons in the air and I knew a storm was coming.  I ran down the hallway to tell Mom but she was too busy looking at Computer Box and telling it she was fed up with it’s onethousand-onehundred-sixty-three E Males and if Computer Box didn’t stop she was going to Pull Its Plug.   Obviously she was not going to listen to me so I got in her lap and stared at her.  Maybe I could get through to her telepathically.  She said cute little cat what is wrong with you with your eyeballs rolling and I thought OH, My Holy Mother of Catnip, she’s an IDIOT.  I was so frustrated I jumped on the bed and beat up Printer Cartridge.  I wanted to take it out on Dog but he was in a pathetic little ball under the chair quivering like jello so it would have been like teasing a kitten.

Which by the way is extremely irritating to kittens in case no one out there ever realized it you idiots.  And you think they chew up your socks and attack your ankles because they are just so cute and playful.

Anyway mom finally quit talking to Computer Box about E Males and Funny Video and went into the Den to her Chair so quivering ball of fear Dog could sit on her lap like a baby.  Once again, there they are, Useless and Clueless.  So I climbed on top of both of them so someone could be in charge and protect them until Dad came home from Work.

A Cat’s life, I tell you, it’s all about sacrifice.

It’s a lovely clear sunny day

It seems everyone is talking about weather right now as it’s so unusually warm and dry here.  A weather specialist on talk radio said we will have an uncommonly warmer and drier winter this year and so far he’s been right.  According to temps will hit a bright blue-sky high of 67 today with not a cloud to see and I’m looking forward to my 7 miles this morning in the sunshiney world; everything always looks so much cleaner and more colorful after a storm.  I’m meeting one of my BRFF’s, Beckybee Elkins to do three with her and then finish up the other four myself.

I think this morning is most especially clear and bright due to the very large storm that blew rapidly through last night.  The local TV weather geeks were having a blast, it was like they were re-living Prom Night but this time they had a date.  We had the possibility of tornadic activity and hail and high winds with triangular rigidity in the upper stratosmaticsphere  and I think possibly the reappearance of Moses with two stone tablets.

The funny thing is that the animals went crazy.  Murph, who chills like a pill, was in a quivering shivering ball underneath my chair and Chunk came screaming down the hallway, hit the doorway with a leap that put her slamming into my gut with her eyeballs rolling, tore up the front of my shirt and launched herself from my shoulder onto the bed where she attacked an empty printer cartridge (I shall never again fear death by printer cartridge, I know I’m in good hands.)

Bowing to pressure – everyone else on FB is talking about the weather, I’d better check and see if we’re all gonna die now, or later – I found myself sitting in the den with a burning candle and the large battery powered lantern, locked into place and buried under a dog and a cat.  Hubs came home and after a minute of Marco!  Polo! he was able to trace my voice and dislodge me.

The power never went out, the roof did not blow off and we ate our meatloaf and mashed potatoes in a warm, well lit house.  The animals cowered under the table.

And here’s a pic of my pretty, happy run this morning –

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