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 tag “BFOS”

There’s a WHAT? In the WHERE?

The pork chops turned out pretty well.  Maybe a little dry but after four hours of yard work I was too hungry to know for sure.  One reason I think the pork chops were OK is the next day for lunch I finished the leftovers straight out of the casserole dish without taking a pause. The dog looked worried and hid under the table.  I don’t know what he’s being so picky about, does he hear himself when he eats?

Flush with success, Wednesday I made Trader’s Joe’s knock-off turkey chili-lime burgers and potato salad, which meant Thursday I could stand in front of the refrigerator and eat potato salad out of the plastic storage container.  Yum.  Crunchy celery, smooth creamy dressing, the tang of onion, salty peppery mushy potato goodness.  *happy place* *sigh*  *death by potato*

I think soon the Food Network will be calling me to host a show.  It’s been a long time since my last brush with fame and no fortune as the Poster Child and National Spokesperson for the National Butt Falling-off Ass.  Now that I’m healed they’ve tossed me out on the street like a used newspaper from the bottom of the litter box.  I’m not bitter, I’m far to large-hearted for that, and I fully deny remarking that all their asses had obviously fallen off and landed on their shoulders.  I’m not one to hold a grudge, and I’m not watching stupid AMC only because they happen to have nothing good on.  At all, ever.

What should the focus of my cooking show be?  Hmmm.  “Spices:  From Salt to Pepper?”  “Conundrum: Cream of Mushroom or Cream of Chicken?”  “Pass on the Pasta OR:  How I learned to cook a Spaghetti Squash?”

The best thing about it all, though, is I’ve overcome my irrational fear of returning to Kroger.  I’ve learned that Olivia Newton John was soon to open a show in Las Vegas but has postponed it due to the sad fact that her sister has brain cancer, and she intends to spend her time helping her sister.  In view of this very awesome and selfless act by a very classy lady, I’ve decided I can no longer remain small-minded about the guy playing B17 even though I do still have the damn song stuck in my head, doing yard work, pulling weeds, muttering lyrics.

Secondly I’m no longer afraid of finding a bath in the Kroger un-bathroom, AKA the Ladies’ Room.  It appears there are far worse things you can find in a bathroom:

+++++++++++++++++++

SALINA, KS by the Associated Press April 23, 2013 — A central Kansas woman likely won’t remember her first circus for the clowns or performances — it’ll be the tiger in the bathroom.

The big cat had escaped briefly after its turn in the ring Saturday at the Isis Shrine Circus in Salina. Staff members blocked off the concourses at the Bicentennial Center as the tiger wandered into the bathroom, where one of the doors was blockaded.

About that time, Salina resident Jenna Krehbiel decided she needed to use the restroom. When she walked in the door that hadn’t been blocked off, she found a tiger standing about 2 feet away, The Salina Journal reported.

“You don’t expect to go in a bathroom door, have it shut behind you and see a tiger walking toward you,” Krehbiel said. (right??)

Chris Bird, manager at the Bicentennial Center, said the bathroom was only 25 feet long.

“Once she saw the tiger, I’m sure she knew to go the other way,” Bird said. “Overall, it was a scary, surreal moment. I am glad no one was hurt or injured.”

The tiger was captured within minutes and returned to its enclosure.

Krehbiel, a social worker, said she didn’t scream or run because she is trained to stay calm.  “Looking back, it was a scary ordeal,” she said. “At the time, I was thinking I just needed to get out.”  (how many times does a social worker run into tigers in the bathroom??  Note to self:  do not pursue social work.)

Krehbiel said her 3-year-old daughter had a different reaction.  “My daughter wanted to know if it had washed its hands,” Krehbiel said. “That was her only concern. I think that shows the thoughts of children and that they wouldn’t have known there was danger.”

There goes the castle.

It’s a grey cold windy day with flakes of snow blowing sideways past my window.  None of it is sticking, although we woke to enough to lightly blanket the grass and the deck was white.  I have Italian herb bread in the bread machine (I cheat, but it makes such a nice dough!  Then I bake it in the oven, not in the bread machine.) and minestrone will soon be on the stove.  Murphy is curled up in the bed and Chunk and Mo are off somewhere asleep.  They should be, they were crazy this morning.  thudthudthudthud thundering down the hallway.   thudthudthudthud back down the hallway.  thudthudthudthud up the stairs.  thudthudthudthud down the stairs.  Suddenly the happy little felines went thudthudthudthud through the kitchen nearly knocking my coffee mug out of my hand.  Near death experience for cats.

Don’t break my new coffee cup!

grumpy cat mug

I Love Grumpy Cat. *heart* *heart*

Everything went well in Oxford and Sunday I was surprised – I was not sore at all.  Rather like someone who just bought a matching set of Ford Pintos, I was, however, feeling deeply remorseful over the Fbombs exploding in my head Saturday and showering all over poor Maggie, who happened to be running next to me when they started igniting, and was regretting my effing slightly effing negative effing attitude.  Not that I’m always Little Mary Sunshine anyway, but I’m thinking I may have also been spitting pea soup in a circle on the course.

Unfortunately Monday morning I apparently tried breathing or thinking or something and suddenly my lower back went “EFFFINGSUNUVABEECH” only louder and with a lot more intensity.  Who knew, we actually have live wires that run through our body and my back had stuck its finger in the socket.  I moved and it hit again.  My back was in labor.  I already have a back.  I don’t need to birth another.  I’m not even registered at Babies BackwardR Us.  Thank God for Lamaze classes, little did I know decades later I would be using the breathing techniques again.

Tuesday it was no better and I called Dr. Krackurback – who is out of the office on Tuesdays, oh yippee skippy – and got an appointment for Wednesday, resigning myself to spending the day walking around like a puppet on a string, jerking erratically.  Hey, it gave the cats something to look at.  Murphy slept through it all, curled up on his blanket.  Just don’t touch his blanket.  Ever.  He jumps like it just exploded and looks at you:  WHAT?  WHAT?  WHAT DID I DO?  all sleepy-eyed and confused.  It makes you feel really guilty.  Especially the 7th or 8th time.

Wednesday Dr. K explained to me that muscles are like a castle wall.  Muscles are the first line of defense.  If the muscles hold the castle then all the kings and queens and little knaves and knavettes are safe.  If the invaders start knocking the wall down, and the wall is already rather rickety – maybe made out of bamboo instead of bricks – pretty soon the wall gives in, the castle is invaded and everyone starts screaming and trying to shove knives into the knaves and pouring boiling oil all over the place.

He’d already figured out that my Quadratus lumborum is weak and gave me some exercises to do but noted it would not be a quick fix, need to get the muscles strengthened and that takes time.   (Seriously.  Quadratus! lumborum!  Doesn’t that sound like some made up word that Harry shouted at Voldemort?  ZZZaaaaat!)

No, it’s just a stupid muscle in your back.  The short of it is I slightly sprained my SI joint (castle) because I strained the QL (rickety wall of bamboo) because it’s a sorry a$$ 99 pound weakling at the beach, all white and puny and skinny getting sand kicked in its face, stupid thing.  Probably it got a bit tuckered out, poor weak little jerk, feeling sorry for itself because my butt never invited it to the Falling Off Party and later when everyone else was all laughing hahahaha at inside jokes that happened at the party the QL got jealous and decided to go remedial.

So, it’s all good.  I know what happened and how, I know what to do to fix it, and I can be patient working on it.  I took it easy this week and moved carefully in order not to re-strain anything; every day it’s better.

I can’t feel too badly about any of this – I’m in a lot better shape than Becky, who’s got a stress fracture of the 5th metatarsal and possibly 6 weeks off running.  Today we swam.  I used the swimming buoy so I didn’t kick (no need to upset QL, the whiny brat, I’d go down like a rock) all arms pulling which is great as they also need to get stronger.  I did OK, got 1750 yards.  I wanted 2,000 but was losing my form – no need for that, just another way to get hurt.

While I was swimming, backandforth-backandforth-backandforth, for the first time I thought, this isn’t too bad.  I could breathe well enough.  I didn’t have to hold onto the side at each turn.  It felt … good.

Promise and new growth

It’s a beautiful late Sunday afternoon and I’m watching the sun set behind the trees across our little cove of lake.  Earlier this afternoon I felt the first hint of spring in the air, that indefinable scent or feel, somehow different from a winter day with the same weather.  Perhaps it’s a slight change in the look of the sunlight or the stirring of the animals.  We have a bluebird couple at our suet and a flock of cedar waxwings stripped our holly bushes bare last week.  A few daffodils and crocus are popping up and their bright colors on the rather monochrome landscape seems especially cheery.   Geese and ducks have been absent for a while and this afternoon I can see several little groups floating around.

Tomorrow’s forecast is rain, thunderstorms and winds, with the days following in the 40’s/30’s.  Since I’m seeing posts from people trying to decide to run inside or out with a 13″ snowfall I have no problems with our forecast returning to winter for a few days.  It will fight its way back.

Saturday morning the alarm went off at 5am – not a completely indecent time of day.  And it wasn’t a kleighorn blaring like an oncoming cruise ship, which made the entire transition smoother.

I did question what I was doing, thinking I could do another half.  Yet there I was, and there was hubs, and there we were in the car on the way to Oxford, Mississippi at 5:45 am in order to make race day packet pickup.  It was little surprise when we got there and it was grey, cloudy, 34 degrees and windy.

This race had everything in common with the Greenville race:  cold, grey, windy; fantastic volunteers, very well-organized, excellent course support, cheering townspeople; endless beer and pizza at the end.  So, to one-up Greenville, Oxford, however far in the distant past, decided to be built, not in the delta, but in the rolling hills of middle Mississippi.  Unfortunately, I overlooked that fact.

My main concern going into the race was that I wasn’t in shape for these hills.  It didn’t occur to me that my butt would attempt to fall off at mile 9.  Butt has been behaving so well lately.

There has to be something in the stride going uphill which pulls that piriformis/sciatic nerve and I’m truly looking forward to talking to Dr. K about this next time I see him.  He loves to talk about his work and explains everything so well.  I find it fascinating so I’m a good audience.  I like knowing the how and why as I’m sure you do.

Sure enough, by mile 10 I was walking every hill not because I didn’t have the strength to run them, as I’d worried, but because my leg was singing soprano.  Who needs an iPod?  I was mad because I was scared, and every negative tape that could possibly play in my head got air time.  I walked the final (uphill) 1/2 mile to the finish line.  Poor hubs, smiling at me, and all I could say is “I have nothing good I can say right now”.   Pizza, a small beer and dry clothes went a long way.  We headed home and I wiggled and twitched the entire way.  Butt was definitely feeling worse.  I cared – but I didn’t.  I knew this was part of fighting my way back, one way or the other.

We had a wonderful Saturday afternoon running errands and celebrating the 3rd birthday of the B’ster.  There’s no way to feel in the dumps watching a three-year old open gifts of cars and trains and spooning in pizza and ice cream with chocolate sauce.  I look in those beautiful dark eyes full of total joy and melt.  I hold it in my heart and try to absorb it.

Yesterday evening hubs was online.  “Terri, it looks like you’re 3rd in your age group.”

WTHeck?  Sure enough, none of the fast women showed up and someone Mastered out of the age group.  I placed third.  I’m not being facetious here, I know my time and I know the area runners.  I placed because they were not there.

I don’t care.  LALALALALALALA!  I placed!  Happy Dance!  At mile 10, if I’d known where the finish line was, I would have thought about walking off the course.  I wouldn’t have walked off, but I would have given it some very serious consideration.

I will take that finish and 3rd place and put a bow on it.

AND – this morning Butt was back to where it was before the race, still there but much better.  I’m less stiff and sore from the race than I was from Greenville two weeks ago!

The joy of this is not only in the running.  The joy is that I’m learning to work with this.  I’d like to be a person who can immediately stick an issue in the correct slot in my brain and not go off track, but apparently I’m not.  I expect most people are the same way but I’m not trying to figure them out, I’m trying to figure me out.  I don’t know where the manual is.  Maybe when we die part of the afterlife is that we all get our owner’s manuals back and everything finally works and makes sense.  I hope so.  Still, I’m happy that despite the fact I could not think of anything good to say at the end of that race, I eventually shook it off.  It took a while, and some focus, but I made peace with whatever the next day would bring.

I’m growing, I’m learning, I’m changing.

At this juncture of winter and spring, as we begin to see the promise of new or renewed life, the somber greys/browns slowing budding with fresh green, the bright yellow or purple of buds frozen in the earth, what promise do you see in your life?  What new growth do you reach for?

HI! It’s me, Chunk!

I thought mom would never leave.  she’s been hogging the computer all day.  then she had an emergency, she said oh my gosh this is bad Becky is out of coffee!  and she ran through the house and got in CAR which I hate, stupid thing.  I don’t know how she can help Becky when the only place that CAR ever goes is to the horrible vet that puts things up inside where things should not be put up inside a self-respecting cat and then pokes you with needles while the entire room stinks and reeks of dogs which drool.

I wanted to get on the computer because I have to google doctor krackurback and send him an email and tell him thank you for fixing mom’s butt.  I don’t really get it, since it’s mostly her head that gets upset about stuff, but humans are just funny things and you have to love them anyway.  So anyway her head is much happier now.  She doesn’t say oh my aching head I wish I could burn off some energy.

yesterday she came home and said oh sweet little chunker you are so pretty!  then she said oh my little MoMo you little sweetie you’re so sweet and then she said Murphy!  Do you want to go outside? and of course he’s such an idiot he said yes but then as soon as he was outside he wanted back in because he needed to smell mom’s shoes.  He said her shoes smelled like dirt and grass and moles and squirrels and all kinds of stuff.  He liked them a lot and then he rubbed his nose all over them and finally I said Murphy jeeze get a hotel.

Dogs drool.  I wonder if mom knows there is drool all over her shoes.  ick.

anyway she said oh Munker I had so much fun I ran cross country today.  Which I’m telling you, I love her but she’s so stupid.  I know that country is big.  I googlemapped how to get to Petco and it’s a long way across the country.  I don’t think she could run that far in one hour.  She said she ran ten Kays across country.  Whatever ten Kays are she was happy and said it was a pretty day out with the sun shining going For A Run like she did.  But I know her friend  Ms Kay and I don’t think there are ten of them.  Also Ms Kay doesn’t run.   So, you see how she is, even on her good days.  No wonder me and Mo have to take naps.  She wears us out.

Also it’s real nice she left for a while because she’s been singing again.  She has the radio on and she is singing and it’s awful.  It’s like that time she stepped on Mo’s tail and he screeched and yowled and ran and hid behind the dryer for thirtyseven hours.  Only worse.  Louder.  Screechier.  Endless.

I wanna ROCK and ROLL all NITE and PARTY every DAY
I wanna ROCK and ROLL all NITE and PARTY every DAY

Then later she should have put on a sweatshirt because she was

OOH OOH OOH cold as, cold as
I, i, ice, (you’re as cold as ice) yes (Right here she would give a little bounce in her chair and fist pump the air)

(Cold as ice) You’re as cold as ice, cold as ice, I know
(Cold as ice) You’re as cold as ice, yes I know
(Cold as ice) You’re as cold as ice, you’re as cold as ice, cold as ice, I know

So if she knows so much she should turn the heat up.  I love the heat.  I love to sit on top of the heating vent.  it’s so warm and cozy and I love it.  I curl up on top of the vent and the nice hotness keeps me so nice and warm.  then mom is like, MUNKER!  no wonder it’s cold in this room!  But it’s not cold at all!  It’s wonderful and warm.  So again you see she’s basically an idiot.

Oh shoot I hear CAR!  I gotta go!

Also, HI MR. DAGUMMETT!!

Sunday Sunday….

Sunday Sunday, so good to me,
Sunday Sunday, it was all I hoped it would be
Oh Sunday morning, Sunday morning couldn’t guarantee
That Sunday evening my legs would still be here with me.

HAPPY SUNDAY BOY AND GIRL!!  How are you both doing this fine cloudy grey morning?  I had a little crash and burn yesterday.  I’ve been trying to watch the calories and behave and I’m not doing so well with that.  Behaving, in my opinion, is usually rather overrated.  Of course I do not mean you/we/I should not behave within the confines of law.  I’m looking at the self-imposed rules of behavior that we seem unable to quit placing upon ourselves, then self flagellating when we inevitably fail after being harder on ourselves than we are on anyone else.

What kind of rules you do find yourself imposing on yourself – and immediately resisting?

Today I will floss morning and evening for 60 seconds.  I will only drink 12 cups of coffee.  I will not shout cuss words at the Letters to the Editor.  No.  I have to modify that one.  I will not shout cuss words at the letters if hubs is still in the house.  No.  Here:  I will not read the Letters to the Editor if hubs is still in the house.  I will not go to the secret hiding place of the Lindor Truffles.  Ok, I will go to the secret hiding place of the Lindor truffles but I. Will. Not. Pick them up.  Ok, I will only pick up three.

So.  I quit.  I ate everything I wanted.  We went to a Mardis Gras party and I carted around about three plates of food.  I did not snort.  I did kind of gnaw on a rib bone just to be sure I’d gotten all the bbq goodness.  But I gnawed very lady-like.  I’m going to do the same thing today.

I have this idea that all the people around me are mature adults, and I’m living with the brain of a two-year old.  I seem unable to dispel that notion, partly because I try to act like a grown up but find myself responding to a stupid email with the term “Poopyhead” and “Dipshidiot” which I think is very funny and I like to say it out loud because I like how it sounds and rolls off my tongue.

So.  Today I’m not going to bother thinking I’m a grownup.  I’m going to eat whatever I want, and I’m going to drink however much coffee I want.  I’m going to run the Winter Off Road Series 10K this afternoon – slow and in the back – and I’m not going to worry about am I doing too much too soon or will my butt fall off or will my legs crumple.  Because probably none of that will happen anyway.  Like Erma Bombeck once said, of course worrying works.  99% of everything I’ve worried about never happened.

One thing I will not do:

oreos

But that’s only because I don’t feel like it.  Too much mess.  And I’d have to go to the grocery store.

Plus I still know where the truffles are hidden.

What are you going to allow yourself the freedom to do today?

Let’s face it.

*Boink* Terri, how’s your face?
*Boink* Good, how’s your butt?

I’ve well established my love for running. Even when I don’t like running I love the luxury of not liking it. You earn that right by doing the leg work and getting through the good and the bad, the happy and the sad and … oh … wait, I feel a song coming on – Oh, yeah, play it –

Let me be the one you come running toOoOoOoooo…let’s, let’s stay togetherrrrrr…

If I can’t run, you can still go ahead and crank about your run, because I’ve been there. You earned it too.

As always, good comes with the bad. I’m far enough along in life now to know that. I am not far enough along in my journey to embrace it at the time the train leaves the station — but maybe I’m a bit faster on accepting the journey before it’s over. I’m going to have to live about a million years to get there, though, stubborn first-born that I am. Maybe you have to get so tired of failing that accepting finally seems the better option. Because, let’s face it, once you get through a tough time there’s no Karma anywhere that says, OK, they’ve had enough. And my butt falling off, while the focus of many blog posts, is nowhere near the hardest thing I’ve ever faced, or may face someday. Other than pain, it’s kinda funny to have your butt fall off. You can be the butt of many jokes. “No, butt really, how are you feeling?” “Not to butt in here, butt…”

The falling off butt has been reprimanded and sternly taken to task. Killer is talking to Dr. Krackurback and they will come up with new contortions to strengthen whatever is weak. Glutes are like the playground bully – the biggest guy on the field, he makes the little guys do his work while he rests on his a$$ putting on useless weight. Literally.

I am incredibly and undeservedly blessed with an awesome array of friends. Friends who share my warped sense of humor, who love to trade barbs, who listen to me bitch and don’t try to fix me. Friends who understand why starting out a run with two socks and ending it with one sock is a world of humor that can be mined for days. Friends who understand that posting the words “Taco Bell” on facebook can create a day’s worth of interaction.

Oddly and inexplicably, Monday morning I woke not thinking “WHAT DAY IS IT WHAT TIME IS IT WHAT DO I NEED TO DO” but, “erm. My face is hot.”

I’m not Sandra Bullock or Charlize Theron. My face is not HOT.

No, my face was hot – bright red blotches – like I’d spent 12 hours at the beach under a polka-dotted umbrella.

By Tuesday afternoon it was not just red, it was firehouse red and it was everywhere and it burned. Lotion, cold compresses, nothing alleviated the heat. I called one of my BRFF’s. “I think something is wrong.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.” I text’d a pic to her.  “I think my face is falling off.”

“Oh, sh*t yeah. You need to see a doc.”

Three hours later at the 24 hour clinic (thank God for Suduko on Iphone) I was called back. The triage nurse was entering my info in the computer as I sat down.

“So..” she said as she turned in the chair, “What’s going on?”

“There’s something wrong with my face.” I could see it in her eyes. Oh…sh*t…

The Doc couldn’t decide what to do and initially offered a steroid shot and dose pack. “No! nononononono! No, I’m sorry, sorry – don’t mean to be rude, sorry – but, no. No steroids. Sorry. No.”

“no. nope…nope..nope…” I trailed off, shaking my head, staring at the floor, thinking of 2am ‘roid fueled house cleaning.

oh, hell no

Another hour later with an entire elbow of purple bruise (I told her my veins roll…she didn’t jump on the train) and a beet red face I walked up to the outdoor window at the Pharmacy. The doc had thrown a steroid creme, some Zyrtek and an antibiotic at me in hopes one would stick. The tech looked up. I could see her trying not to see my face. You know — don’t look don’t look don’t look — ah, sh*t. Then you see in their eyes, I hope I didn’t flinch, I flinched, didn’t I?

I have no idea what happened and I’m still pretty disappointed I didn’t morph into Sandra Bullock rocking with her Newtons, here, but my face is much better and never fell off. I’ve totally got that nail polish, tho.

sandra bullock

AND….I’m going for a run today!  It’s 33 degrees, misting ice but the sun is coming out and the BRFF’s are heading out!

Let’s face it:  Life is awesome.  Even when it’s not.  And the sun always comes out again.

Just keep swimming

old-slide-puzzle

I’ve had trouble writing lately. Not with the writing, but with the focus. I’ve been scattered, disorganized, distracted, flitting from one thing to another, suddenly forced to stomp out the flames of something I’ve forgotten or ignored until it became an issue.

I’m very lucky – and aware enough of that luck to be grateful – that BFOS has not been life-changing for me. It has changed my life in that I was unable do something that I enjoy, that defines me, directs me, focuses me. But it has not changed the way I can live day-to-day, to clean my house, go to the grocery, be with friends.

It is, however, a constant presence. I live in awareness of my body, not focused outside of my body. I expect neither of you walk around Kroger thinking, “I have an arm. I have an arm. I have an arm.” Since last fall there is always a knowledge, an awareness of my leg, and I do not like it. I get into the car and shift in the seat until I can get comfortable. I literally feel my right leg every time I take a step. It’s narcissistic except I don’t love it.

And – I had not realized that until today.

In a continuing effort to solve this stupid puzzle, to get the numbers in sequence, I saw a neuro last week. I’d put it off for weeks because I’m tired of this merry-go-round, but I finally made an appointment. Considered to be one of the best in the mid-south, Dr. Neuro walked in and sat down, took off his glasses, rubbed his eyes. “I cannot see anything wrong with your back,” he stated. “I’m sorry, but there is nothing I can offer to help you, that disc is perfectly healthy.” He punched around my hamstring, trying to find some trigger point that does not exist (I’d have already gotten the Finder’s Fee for that if it existed, as many times as I’ve uselessly prodded, rubbed, rolled, tennis-balled that damn leg). He was wonderfully nice, thoughtful and painstaking, but what can you do when a healthy person doesn’t need you?

Next on my list was chiropractor and then some deep tissue massage, because as much as I want to just quit trying, I’m too damn stubborn. Meanwhile one of my BRFF’s, “Becky” started having some back issues and had gone to a new chiro. She called, singing, “You have got to go see this guy!”

Friday I got in to see Dr. Chiro who also poked all around in my hamstring to find the Phantom Source. Nothing. He started manipulating my leg and hit the hot spot. The doc explained that we have a small muscle, the semimembranosus, which runs along the hamstring on the outside of the leg from the hip. This muscle is innervated by the tibial nerve, which is a branch of the sciatic nerve. He believes I have a mixture of irritation of that branch of the sciatic, along with Meralgia paresthetica, which is the ten dollar name for numbness or pain in the outer thigh not caused by injury to the thigh, but by injury to a nerve that extends from the thigh to the spinal column, along with piriformis syndrome, in which the piriformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the buttocks and referring pain along the course of the sciatic nerve.

In other words, as we’ve always known, I have a lot of damn nerve. Also, apparently, I’m impressed with multi-syllabic words.

He did some pressure point therapy on the outside of my thigh and hip which had me grateful for having learned proper breathing techniques during Lamaze classes and sent me home with a set of stretches.

This morning I realized that I actually don’t “feel” my right leg any more than my left, which is when I realized I had been for the past few months. It does actually feel better and so I hold out hope.

Meanwhile I will
nemo-1-1
even though it’s a truly ugly thing.

Having bailed on two classes I resumed swimming hell last Tuesday. First, we warm up. Then, we do some drills. Things like swimming with one arm extended permanently in front and stroking with only one arm, or an exercise called the “Dolphin Kick”. WTH. If I wanted to swim with dolphins it would not be at a YMCA in the mid-south. Look around: No dolphins in the Mississippi River.

I have lost a lot of conditioning, as evidenced by the skyrocketing heart rate in 10 seconds flat, and I have firmly proven that you can inhale enough water to lower the level of a swimming pool. This does not, unfortunately, have any beneficial effect on your sinuses or asthma, although you will be well hydrated. It occurred to me that perhaps I could walk down the lane, extending my arm and pretending to swim, but apparently you can also see through water. I call bullshit. Don’t those little kids pee in the pool enough to make it opaque??

Oh, and guess what? There’s a deep end. What kind of special idiot put a deep end in a swimming pool? You cannot walk on the deep end. Well, you could. If you had one of those diving suits like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Only then the ginormous octopus legs would surround you and drown you. Which I’m watching for, carefully. You never know.

Next she giddily announces we are going to do 5 – 100’s, then 5 – 75’s, then 5 – 50’s with a 10 second recovery between each set. This is like me going to Italy and thinking the first day I’m going to know what the waiter just said to me. Point to the picture on the menu and hope that’s what you get. I looked at Becky. “swim to the end, 25 yards, back, 50, back to the end, 75, back here, 100”.

gonna pee

NOW the kid finally pees. Cue maniacal laughter. Dammit, I’m gonna do this. I swim 25, hold the side of the pool, gasp for 30 seconds, swim back. Slow going but I’m gonna kill this sucker. I’m gonna kill it, and I’m gonna get stronger. I’m Wonder Woman. I’m Swimming With the Fishies Woman. I get to the shallow end, gasping.

I see her blurry face hovering above me. I lift my foggy goggles. “How many 100’s have you done?” she asks.

“HUNDREDS? I’m doing TWENTY-FIVES!”

BSOD

While I would not be the first to admit it, because I am very happy wallowing in my own misery, there is something worse than BFOS, and that is the BSOD.

BSOD

Which, unfortunately, I woke to last week.

They do a have a few things in common, the most obvious being they are both a huge pain in the a$$ followed by the 2nd most obvious, you are jumping on a merry-go-round right here and now in a vain attempt to find any solution.

My current vain attempt to find resolution on the Falling Off Butt is a trip to a Neurologist which will happen Tuesday. I don’t want to but have been mercilessly nagged by friends and family for weeks to please make an appointment which I finally, grudgingly did. If he comes within 20 feet of me with a steroid he’d better never plan on having children.

Being my own IT department at Chez Terrilee’s Running Club Secretary’s Top Secret Laboratory, I quickly triaged the situation.  Upstairs at one end of the house:  The dead or dying laptop.  Downstairs at the other end of the house:  The still useful desktop.

Here’s a thought:  bring the laptop downstairs and try fixing it there, next to the working computer.

But, no, that never, in six hours of running back and forth, occurred to me. First I’d google the most recent error message on the desktop and run upstairs to implement that fix. Then I’d run downstairs to google the next step, run up the stairs, run down the stairs, six hours. The next day I could not figure out why my knees hurt so much. Finally it occurred to me I’d done six hours of a stair workout…in Uggs.

Anyway, eventually I came to the realization that nothing was going to help so I held a pillow firmly over the screen until it quit kicking. Resolutely, sadly, I closed the lid on my laptop for the final time and stuck it in the Closet Of Death. We all have one, the closet where you stick everything you no longer need but have no idea what to do with. I thought I heard a faint whirrrrrr and sigh as I dropped it on top of that ugly quilt someone gave the twins when they were babies. They probably quilted it while watching Top Gun. You can’t really say too much good about color combos of the 80’s, not that I wasn’t extremely grateful for the quilt at the time. Now I just do everything beige. Light Beige, Medium Beige, Beige Beige. It’s boring, but I won’t look at pictures 20 years from now and say, what the h@ll was I thinking? Because everything will be beige including me, and I won’t be able to see anything. The pictures won’t paint a very colorful history of our family, little beige squares stuck in a photo album, but there will also be no evidence of my poor taste, evolving hairstyles and expanding waist.

There’s something else that might be worse than BFOS, and that is the BPOD:

BPOD

Swim class, or as I like to think of it, Torture, is on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Last week I spent Thursday putting the laptop out of my misery, and this past Tuesday I spent eagerly awaiting the highly touted ice and snow storm. I was less eager than usual because I had not taken time to buy several loaves of white balloon bread, 13 gallons of milk and some firewood being sold by the side of the road out the back of an old red pickup truck to use in our gas fireplace. Fail to plan, plan to fail. The cats glared at me accusingly. “What kind of mom are you?,” I could see them thinking. Meanwhile, the television screamed.

“RIGHT HERE, ONLY ON THE BEST STATION IN TOWN, NEWS CHANNEL ZIPPY, THE LATEST UPDATE ON SNOWMAGEDDON 2013!”

“BOB! TELL US THE LATEST NEWS CHANNEL ZIPPY WEATHER UPDATE ABOUT ICE AND SNOW AND POSSIBLE POWER OUTAGES!”

“WELL, BILL, AS YOU KNOW, HERE AT NEWS CHANNEL ZIPPY WE ARE CAREFULLY WATCHING OUR WEATHER UPDATES WHICH INDICATE ICE AND SNOW AND POSSIBLE POWER OUTAGES!!! STEVE, WHAT CAN YOU TELL US?”

“WELL, BILL & BOB, HERE AT NEWS CHANNEL ZIPPY WE ARE CAREFULLY WATCHING OUR TRAFFIC WEATHER UPDATES, WHICH INDICATE ICE AND SNOW AND POSSIBLE POWER OUTAGES!! IN FACT, SEVERAL CARS HAVE ALREADY WRECKED ON THE FLY-OVER IN JOYFUL ANTICIPATION OF ICE AND SNOW!!”

“WOW, BILL & BOB & STEVE” SOLEMNLY INTONED NEWS CHANNEL ZIPPY ANCHOR SALLY SUE, “WE ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR YOUR DEDICATION TO GETTING OUT ALL THE LATEST NEWS AND WEATHER UPDATES ABOUT SNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-MAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGEDON 2013!!!”

I tried to turn off the TV but apparently at the hint of ICE AND SNOW the television becomes sentient and immediately stations itself on NEWS CHANNEL ZIPPY. You can beg and plead but you are not going to see anything other than large words superimposed over photos of last year’s SNOWMAGGENDON 2012 while Bob joyfully exclaims the worst that could possibly happen, so I kept watching, anticipating, ready for the power outage so I could try to rewarm my coffee over my dad’s old Zippo lighter, but nothing happened. No snow. No ice. No power outage. It was like being five and getting clothes for your birthday. And while I watched and anticipated, swim class passed me by. Darn.

Things are going swimmingly, thanks. And you?

Where have ya’ll been??   Sucked into a black hole?

Oh, wait, that’s me that’s been in a black hole.

First the Munker got sick.  For a day or two I thought it was really cute that she kept sleeping on top of the heating vents, funny little kitty, curled up on the vents in the winter.  Then I came downstairs one morning and realized she was still in the same spot and same position she’d been in the night before.  Mo and Murphy were right there with her, where they’d been the night before – never moved.  Stayed with her all night.  And of course it’s New Year’s Eve day (does that seem right?  eve day?)  They got her in but it took almost three hours.  Temp 104.6, probably viral, and she’s pissed about being at the vet’s.  I mean Pissed.  Like, all over the carrier.  Later she said this sh*t’s for the birds and so she did.  All over the carrier.  I started wishing I had a cold just so I couldn’t smell anything.

This is what I decided for 2013:  Since running is still not really working for me,  I would try to do some type of exercise every day.  Not many people make this type of resolution, but I’m just like that.  Cutting edge.  Most people resolve to eat more sweet potato fries.  A few decide to be radical (mostly New Yorkers) and pledge to drink at least one 32 ounce soft drink per day.  Not me.  After I got done giving the vet most of our retirement account I went home and loaded up my shining new Jillian’s 30-Day Shred (LOSE UP TO 20 POUNDS IN 30 DAYS!) video.  I figured, since I haven’t been working out a lot, I would start with Level 1.  It wasn’t too bad until the next day when I needed brush my teeth and my arm only reached my neck.  I don’t have teeth in my neck.

I did the Level 1 workout and checked my Garmin.  Wearing my HR monitor the Garmin said I’d burned 238 calories in 28 minutes.  Doing the math I figured I’m only going to have to do Level 1 for six hours a day to LOSE UP TO 20 POUNDS IN 30 DAYS.  So, I hopped up on the hubster’s trainer for 30 minutes.  Now I only have to do the shred video for 5 more hours.  Today.

You’ll both be surprised to learn that I did not, in fact, do the video for five more hours.  No.  I played some Spider Solitaire, which I think the Russians or North Koreans have invented to keep us U Ess of Aye citizens distracted while they plan to invade our golden shores and take over AIG, that Golden Boy of All Things Right About the American System.  Also, I think that damn game is rigged.  I mean, how can you have a win percentage of 23%?  That’s un-American.  Win percentages should always be 100%.

Now, suddenly, it’s January 18th and so far I’m up to December 31st on my awesome blog that you have both been distraught to read.  My life is a whirl of inactivity and boredom that I cover up with many fascinating stories.  There are so many to choose from.

Here’s a Teaser:  My crazy friend “Becky” talked me into taking a swim class.

Oh, wait, it’s not really a swim class.  It’s really a Master’s Swim.

Master’s swim does not include clutching the side of the pool at the end of each 25 yards and gasping for breath.

No, yes.  For me, it does.

swimming cat

Here, There, Everywhere .. and … RUNNING!

Good morning, Boy and Girl.  I suppose you’ve both been frantic, wondering where I am and why I haven’t written lately.  Well, in addition to the usual – my toy job, the holidays coming up, getting the guest room ready for company 🙂 (mom and T1 and T2 are all coming for Christmas!) I decided this was the perfect time to finally tackle a project that’s been stairing me in the face daily for the past two years.  November, 2010 the hubs and I found nice wood stairs under the baby blue carpet.  There was not much sense in redoing the stairs at that time since the construction guys needed to go up and down them.  I’ve had every intention, every time I went up or downstairs for the past two years, to finally finish them.  It was like a piece of popcorn kernel stuck in my back tooth.

stairs 10.2010

We did get the dining room done, replacing the wheelbarrow with a table and chairs.  While I personally thought the hanging wires added a certain charm, we also had the walls rewired properly.  Hubs kept muttering something about ‘electrocution’ and ‘construction permits’ and ‘she keeps walking through that room with those wires hanging loose’.  You’d think he thinks I’m clumsy or something.

Every time I gave serious thought to redoing the stairs my brain started to sort of spin as I considered getting all that done while three animals tracked paint through the house while I struggled to get the job finished.  Finally I caved and called a painter.  He started talking about sanding and oil-based primer and additives to help the paint dry faster in the cool damp weather and sanding and oil-based paint and sanding some more and some more paint and three days.  I said, “How much and can you start tomorrow?”  Yes, and yes.  Boy am I glad I didn’t try to take it on, they spent about 20 man-hours on the job.  Every morning they would arrive, do their job, tape the stairs off with billowing plastic (cats cowering in the downstairs hallway, haunted by the specter).  We lived downstairs and I had to go outside and around the house to get to the kitchen from Tuesday to Friday.

Don’t they look nice, now?  Chunker is sneaking down…she had to inspect.

stairs 11.2012

So, that’s where I’ve been part of the time.

Also, some of the time I went for a run or four.  YES!!!  I RAN!

The MRI of my hamstring showed:  Nothing.  Surprise.  Not sure where to go from here but I’m not doing anything until after the first of the year and will probably have a neuro check out my hypochondriac back/leg.  It still has the electricity running through, but my butt doesn’t hurt much at all, and the night cramps have (mostly) stopped.  Maybe all the steroids have finally kicked in.  Maybe all the rest and stuff helped.  Maybe I’m just a nutjob.  Maybe my mother is right and Satan is attacking me and all her rebuking has finally scared him off.  Or he doesn’t like billowing plastic, I don’t know.

ANYWAY:  I ran!  Screw it!  It hurts anyway.  Last week I did the Women Run/Walk Memphis intermediate 1 training program: warm up, 40 minutes of 3/3 walk/run and a cool down.  This week I did four miles, with walk breaks at the miles.  I felt it; my muscles had that nice warm hum of soreness the next day.  My leg also had that nice cool hum of cold water streaming through it, sometimes supplanted with little bits of electricity.  I continue to stretch and ice and heat and do voodoo.  The cats don’t like voodoo.  I don’t know if it’s the odd mask with tufts of paint brush hair sticking out, or the screeching.  I, however, am not doing the voodoo for them.  I’m doing it for me.  Also for the neighbor’s irritating dog, Barkahoula the Rowfer with the massive subWOOFer: I do not desire the dog to suffer serious damage but long-term laryngitis would be heavenly.

Then I thought it would be nice to put lights on a few bushes outside.  That took two days.  I got halfway done with the front and ran out of lights.  So I bought some more.  Except the wire was white and it looked like crap on the green holly tree.  So I bought some more lights but I didn’t realize they were that grid kind and when I put them on the tree it looked like a checkerboard.  So I bought some more lights but this time I read the label (seriously, when I grew up right after the dinosaurs all died when the supernova spaceship crashed into Russia, you bought Christmas lights.  There was a box.  It had lights.  You buy them, or you don’t.  One color, one brand, one box.  Go home.  Put the damn lights up.  Get a beer and watch the game.  dammit.)

Then, I had all these strands of lights with white cords.  Well that’s a waste.  I looked at the  front porch.  mmmm.  The porch is … white! So I wrapped the lights around the porch columns.  Except then, I didn’t have quite enough.  So I had to go get a few more.  It looked pretty nice, especially at night when you can’t see all the cords all crisscrossed and that one strand that only lit up half the way, so I staple-gunned the unlit part to the back of the column.  It sticks out a bit, but like I said, in the dark…

THEN I thought, well, I have those stupid grid lights, I should use them.  So I wrapped them around the front tree.  Except the cord didn’t reach the power strip.  So I had to go buy another cord.  Do you know that it’s not real easy to find a two-pronged cord any more?  When I was growing up you had one cord.  It had two prongs.  Plug the little bastard in.  Get a beer.  Watch the game.  DAMMIT.

Also, I made a craft.  I’m not really sure what overcame me.  A couple of weeks ago I saw these little trees with their burlap-wrapped cement base at Kroger for $4.99.  My drug addled brain seemed to think this was an incredible thing.  A little fake Christmas tree, with a burlap wrapped base, for $4.99.  This cannot be anything but a great deal.  I should get…THREE of them.  And I should get a bunch of shiny little ornaments and tie them to every single branch of the tree!!  Yes!  So, I did.  It took me five hours to do one tree (OK, I’m not exactly little Miss Crafty, right?).  The other two are sitting in the corner.  Two years from now I will hire a professional to finish them.  (NO I WON’T!  If hubs ever reads my blog he’ll have a heart attack thinking I really mean I’d pay someone to put ornaments on a 2 foot fake Christmas tree.  He seems to think I also drive down the road throwing bills out the window on the freeway.)  (You might want to drive slowly along the shoulder of I-40, it could pay off.)

Before

christmas

That the top of the little fake tree was twice as tall as it should be and its little branches were all squished up and bunched together just made it, somehow, more loveable.  Just what I always wanted. My own little bunny rabbit. I will name him George, and I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him.

Here’s George The Christmas Tree, finished.  He turned out nice, you think?  Worth 5 Hours?  Maybe.

tree

I did also enjoy watching all the “Crashers’ shows on HGTV while decorating George.  It made me feel somehow connected to all those people smashing down walls and installing massive showers and single-handedly lifting granite counters into place, finishing an entire bathroom or kitchen in only about 31 more hours than it took me to tie all those balls on George.

“Tis the Season!  HO HO HO!

Hey.  Anyone out there want to rake some leaves?

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