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 “dog”

It’s the end of the world as we know it.

It’s the end of the world

That’s great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane –
Lenny Bruce is not afraid. Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn –
world serves its own needs, regardless of your own needs. Feed it up a knock,
speed, grunt no, strength no. Ladder structure clatter with fear of height,
down height. Wire in a fire, represent the seven games in a government for
hire and a combat site. Left her, wasn’t coming in a hurry with the furies
breathing down your neck. Team by team reporters baffled, trump, tethered
crop. Look at that low plane!

This is what my brain sounds like in my head.  So, I’ve started making lists.  Lists are very good.  If you can find where you put them.

Unfortunately, lists also tend to make me feel slightly overwhelmed.  It seems more stuff gets added than gets crossed off.

Of course it would help if some of the things on the list didn’t include “Find keys … again”  “phone…”

And, really, do you need to put laundry on a list?  I think not.  I think I will cross that off.  It’s not like, when I look in the drawer and have no more clean socks, I’m going to be unable to understand that laundry needs to be done.  And the very helpful — but incredibly irritating – incessant pinging of the dryer when it’s finished usually inspires me to get the clean clothes taken care of.  Someone got paid to create that sound, and it wasn’t me.  They got money to irritate people.  Dammit.  I do that all the time and I never get one penny.

Speaking of appliances, do yours say words?  Mine do.  And they say the same words every. damn. time.  Could they change up the conversation?  No.

Dishwasher:  Wasssshhh-aaahhhh wasssshhhh-aaahhhh wasssshhhh-aaahhh.  I’m so terribly sorry, dishwasher, that you find the entire reason you were created to be such a burden.

And the washing machine, WTH for, I don’t know, says DoctorPepper-DoctorPepper-DoctorPepper.  It could be a Coke conspiracy.  I do like Diet Dr. Pepper.  Oddly I sometimes find myself craving Dr. P while doing laundry.

Nahhhh.

Nah??

I got up this morning, looked at my to do list and thought, it’s Monday.  It’s not 8am.  So I turned the list over and now all I have is a blank piece of paper.

I think this is a metaphor for a lot of things in life.

How important is it?  Important enough to be engraved on a list?

How often do we replay shit in our heads that we would never write on a list?  He said she said they didn’t they did they never I never she never they always I always they always.  Particularly if the conversation in our head contains negative content more than 24 hours old.

God I wish I could turn my brain over to a clean sheet.

Anyway, it’s Monday and I have a list, I’ve had my coffee, and it’s almost 8am.  I’m going to try working on the list on the sheet of paper and ignore the list in my head.  I’ll stream some R.E.M. and leave you with this #firstworlddogproblem:

The sprinklers are on in Murphy’s favorite part of the yard.

sad murphy

Sad Murphy

Fifteen minutes later:

sad murphy 2

Sadder Murphy.  I’mma hide in this corner, here, and the sprinklers will go away.

I just checked again, now the sprinklers are done.  Murphy’s plan of action worked and they disappeared.  His world didn’t end.

I checked my to-do list.  It didn’t, either.

*sigh*

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But, no, back on the horse that may throw me.

Well, I’ve just been sitting around on my flukey bootie doing nothing.

I did do some laundry.  But only because I ran out of running gear.  A person needs priorities.

I even went for another bike ride.  Becky is an insidious person and acted like I would be doing her a favor if I rode with her.  Eventually I decided to give it one last try, since I’m registered for a Tri.  Because I’m stupid.  Maybe I should not admit publicly that I’m stupid, but, really, not admitting it doesn’t change it.  Plus it’s rather hard to hide the fact when I just typed “I’m registered for a Tri” because anyone reading that knows immediately that I am stupid.

The reason I didn’t want to ride my bike any more is that I don’t like the feeling of sheer terror.  Call me stupid (I know…) but I just don’t.  I don’t get happy with the adrenaline rush, heart pounding, head throbbing with blood rushing through my brain by the gallon, my body shaking with the flood of fight-or-die hormones.

One weekend when I was in high school a bunch of us, as we sometimes did, had a picnic in the desert.  This was always a day-long affair, everyone driving out in the boonies, kids jumping out of the cars and running all over, moms setting out food and visiting.  The dads would take us all out to some wash and teach us to shoot cans.  My brother had a dirt bike he’d bought with his newspaper route money and the bigger kids took turns riding it around.

It was my turn and I was about a mile from camp, doing no more than 25mph (it had a governor) when I hit a wash and the bike bogged in the sand, so I punched it – just as I also hit a rock with the front tire and the bike came to an immediate and abrupt stop.  I, however, did not stop, going head first over the handlebars, landing on my chin.  Prior to that moment it was never on my radar that a person can break their jaw, but I knew immediately and instinctively that I had.  I also had blood dripping on my shirt from somewhere on my face.

A few months earlier I’d sprained my ankle which necessitated a visit to the ER for an x-ray to be sure it wasn’t broken.   So far in my life – and I hope no further – I have broken my finger, my wrist, my jaw, my toe and my foot; I’ve learned it’s good to go ahead and check.  While there a young man in another room had a nose that would not quit bleeding and they were packing it full of something (cotton?  I don’t know).  That kid was screaming like they were sawing off his foot.

Thus my concern, walking the mile back to camp with a broken jaw which I could not feel because actually I was in shock, was not my jaw, but the source of blood, because I had no intention of ever letting anyone near my nose.  Fortunately it turned out it was just a big gash in my chin from the impact.

By the time we’d driven back into town and stopped at the house to get insurance info the shock had worn off and let me tell you, a broken jaw:  hurts.  Like a mother.

And they would not give me anything for pain in case of head trauma.  I hung around the ER for a few hours while they tended to other people, finally x-raying me, the tech apologizing profusely as he turned my head this way and that.  Yep, broken, up to a room where I dozed off and on, in pain, until the next morning when they set my jaw.  Still un-medicated, because they also needed me able to communicate while they set the jaw.  Which I’m grateful for, I didn’t want a crooked face but – it hurt.

I spent the next six weeks walking around with my mouth wired shut, talking funny and carrying wire cutters because if I ever got a stomach virus or bad food things could get ugly pretty quickly.

That’s the end of the story.

Until a week or two ago, when I met Max.  Mas is a beautiful dog, probably a golden-lab mix, who appeared to be maybe a year old, 80 pounds or so, and newly, deeply in love with me.  He saw me riding Matilda, minding my own business, my HR about 189 since Brain wouldn’t quit thinking about how it would feel to go face first over the handlebars, and he knew we needed to be Best Friends.  Flush with adoration, deaf to his owner’s fervent pleas, Max raced out of his yard and down the street after me, barking his joy and devotion.  I managed to slow before he reached me, getting one foot unclipped before he jumped on me.  The other foot was still clipped, and while he leaned against me in slavish love and his poor owner continued to yell at the now-deaf-with-adoration dog I managed to unclip just in time, catching myself before I went over.

Max suddenly and miraculously had his hearing restored at the exact same time the owner arrived at the scene, apologizing profusely and thanking me for my patience and understanding.  I nodded that I do understand, I also have a dog who suffers event-induced deafness.  And I couldn’t have said anything cranky because my heart was stuck up in my throat doing about 250.

Shaking and shivering I got on the bike and wobbled back home, where I leaned Matilda against the wall, took off my helmet and threw it at the wall, following that with my bike shoes and gloves, swearing loudly with colorful words that it was over.  Sorry, Matilda, that’s the end of the relationship.  It’s not you, it’s me, I want a divorce, you can have the storage shed in the settlement; there you will slowly wither and die, covered with cobwebs and eventually rust.

old bike

I knew – I knew – that Becky would not let it lie.  She was good.  She didn’t say anything.  Like, what?  I’m stubborn?  She and hubs, I know what they are thinking when they get all quiet and don’t mention the elephant in the room.

But she’s so darn little and cute when she gets stubborn, and I didn’t want to make her sad, so I finally put Matilda in the back of the car and drove to meet up near the end of her ride.  Since my biggest worry on the bike is not riding the bike – it’s the sudden and unexpected stop that keeps me in panic mode – I had the brilliant idea of riding in circles and stopping.  There I was, in the St. Phillip parking lot, riding in circles.  Ride – unclip – stop – repeat, while the ladies walking into the church looked at me like I might need an intervention.

“Hi, my name is Terri, and I bike…”

 

Well, that sucked. YAY!!!

I did six miles this afternoon and it sucked 🙂  I can’t hold a pace under 9:45 without an oxygen mask dropping from the overhead, I’m maxing my HR and my heart looked pretty much like this:

bugs bunnyOnly it wasn’t because I saw a sexy bunny.

This means that, one, I really am back to running because I’m no longer jogging along comfy just for the sake of being on the pavement.  Two, I’m running.  You can’t complain about a run if you can’t run.  Thus I had the very sweet luxury of running along thinking *&^% this SUCKS.  I SUCK.  This run SUCKS, and as I thought it I found myself smiling with the joy of a sucking run.

Again proving runners are #crazynutjobs.  But – we’re happy crazy nut jobs so you gotta love us, right?

This week has sort of sucked.  First, I guess because Jen and I had talked about him, and then I wrote about it, Tuesday night I dreamed of my brother.  I never dreamed of him when he died. I wanted to, I’d have taken any chance to see him even if just in a dream, but it never happened.   This dream was incredibly real.  Nothing special, Bret I were talking, about mom and anything else you’d talk to your brother about if you were in the kitchen one afternoon, and I remember nothing other than that.  Then I woke up, which surprised me because I thought I was awake talking to my brother, and I realized it wasn’t real.  It was SO real, and then it just wasn’t, it didn’t exist, and I started crying.  I couldn’t quit and poor Hubs was lying there patting me on the shoulder.  “Is it Murphy?  Are you upset about Murphy?” but I just kept snorting all over, my pillow wet with tears.  It was, quite frankly, rather stupid.  Here I am, again, with my body doing something I have no control over.  I mean, I tried.  I bit the pillow, I clenched my jaw, I stuffed my face in the pillow – nothing.  Just kept crying, except when I stuffed my face in the pillow because then when I sniffed I kinda choked because of course there was a pillow stuffed into my face.  I guess actually you could say it was successful, in that I did quit crying while I choked.  Anyway, I finally drifted off to sleep still crying and then the next morning I looked like I’d run into a wall.

Du Maurier

When I woke I realized I was going to have to call the Vet about Murph T. Dog because he’d been limping around since Monday afternoon and now he wouldn’t eat or drink, and he kept yelping when he moved wrong.  Mostly he just wouldn’t move at all and I had to lift him into the Explorer and back out of the Explorer and he does weigh about 36 pounds hanging there in my arms, miserable.  Then he pooped on the Vet’s front door step.  “My dog just pooped on your door step,” I announced, carrying the limp bag of dog cement into the office, “do you have some paper towels I can use?”   They were very nice and refused to let me try to pick up poop while holding the aforementioned 36 pounds of useless dog and one of the techs cleaned up my dog’s poop for me.  I’m sure this is not the first time she’s had to do that but I still felt bad.

He has a couple vertebra that have been a problem in the past and sure enough, he hurt it somehow, so they filled him with shots and I carted home two pill bottles about the size of a jelly jar.  He moped around in pain and finally hid under the bed, having eaten one little doggie biscuit and two very large, peanut butter wrapped pills.

Thursday morning he came downstairs almost sort of perky and Chunk was not upset when she saw him so I figured that was a good thing since she gets rather insulted when people don’t feel well, like it’s a bother to her somehow.  “Oh, I’m sorry I’m vomiting out most of my insides, Chunk, I know you find it offensive,” I feel compelled to apologize.  Oddly, despite her complete irritation and disdain for all things sick or injured she is strangely fascinated, roaming about smacking inanimate objects and the offender, yet she refuses to leave their side.   “Smack!  Quit it!,” she seems to be saying and it makes me think she was a neurosurgeon in her past life as my experience with neurosurgeons evidenced about the same level of compassion, not that I’m bitter or angry, just stating facts.

Unfortunately Thursday afternoon he stood up, yelped quite loudly and refused to move, just stood there, head hanging, heart pounding.  Well crap, I thought, maybe he’s ruptured a disc or something.  It was too late to call the vet so I carried him upstairs, he scooted under the bed and never came back out.  In fact he appeared ready to stay under the bed the rest of his life so this morning I had to get the mattress and box springs off the bed and carry him downstairs.  Despite not eating much in the past 48 hours I can attest that he has not lost any weight, and we repeated Wednesday morning only omitting the pooping on the door step, which made me happy.

They knocked him out with a muscle relaxer, Xrayed his back and gave him some different steroids and gave me another big bottle of pills.  Since Murphy was splayed out in a kennel like a freshman at 4am during rush week I left him there and will get him later this afternoon.  The Vet prefers – and we concur – to try to treat this medically.  Surgery is an option but I really hope that is not going to happen.  I expect if you could ask Murphy he’d agree.

So – my week kinda sucked but it’s a luxury to have a sucky week with a tough run and a sick dog because I know a whole bunch of people with way worse things going on, marriages and cancer and death so I think what you should do is ruefully shake your head at this week’s travails and go kiss your loved ones and also kiss your dogs and cats despite the fact you will get hair in your nose and sneeze.

The End.

Little Merry Sunshine

Things that did not happen in my house yesterday:

Despite laying everything out in the den and giving clear instructions, the Christmas tree did not fluff and decorate itself.

The clothes did not march downstairs, jump in the washer and then the dryer and return to their original starting positions.

Nor did the dishes do anything similar.

And the bed stubbornly refuses to make itself even thought I’ve repeatedly encouraged it.

The good thing is that everything I do takes half again as long while I lurch slowly up and down stairs, dragging three extra pounds around on my left foot.  This gives me hope that the extra time and weight will keep me fairly fit for the rest of my life since that’s how long it feels I will be in this boot.  I do see Dr. Wonderful 2 this morning so more on that later.  Personally I’m planning on him smacking himself in the forehead and exclaiming OMGOSH IT’S A MIRACLE YOU’VE BEEN HEALED, GO FOR A NICE LONG RUN! and you cannot convince me otherwise even with my foot still swollen and tender.  That’s just residue from the miracle.

Between 7-1/2 hours spent sitting in front my computer this weekend watching online modules so I can take a test to become a Certified Race Director (learning many important things such as runners should be able to see the START banner) whenever I realized I could no longer feel my butt – which (segue) by the way, has not tried to fall off once since I broke my foot.  Coincidence?  I think not.  I lean toward a conspiracy.  But more on that later, I’m still trying to figure it out and they know I’m sticking close, watching them –

Anyway, whenever I realized I could no longer feel my butt, sitting here peering blindly at the computer trying to find the sweet spot in my trifocals, I paused the video and did some laundry or washed dishes or something.  I know, I’m wild and crazy but there is no stopping me.  And I’ve decided that probably the tree could decorate itself but it’s just being helpful by giving me something to do, lurching about fluffing branches and trying in vain to kneel down on this boot to reach the lower branches, burn some calories there, Terri, get that HR up a bit.

So – ShuBootAh is being helpful too, making extra work for me.  OH – and – she is hot and I don’t mean whoa she’s fine.  That sucker holds the heat.  So I’m saving money on utilities also.

I have to say, I’m really pleased with all this positive thinking I have going on.  Most of the time I’m a bit cynical, but this morning I’m practically glowing with positivity.

You know who’s cynical even though they say they aren’t?  Hubs.  Hubs is cynical and you cannot convince me otherwise because I’ve seen his cynical eyeball roll about 1,237,698 times, and I think 1,237,657 of those were caused by me.

The other day he watched silently as I put ShuBootAh back on (I’d taken her off to get a break, putting my foot up for a minute).  I looked at him from the corner of my eye.  

“You thought I would not wear the boot like I should, didn’t you?”

He hesitated.  “I have to say, you are doing much better than I expected.”

Number of days in ShuBootAh: 18

Number of times I’ve thrown her across the room narrowly missing poor Murphy: 1

Number of days since I did so: 13

I’m like little freeking Merry Sunshine over here.

merry sunshine

Zooming through my Zoo

5:05am and wide awake again.  I think I may start trying to do the elliptical.  I hate to drive to the center just to ellipticize for 20-30 minutes but I’m going to have to do something to use up some energy and calories so I can quit waking so early with nothing to do.  The exploding head would probably blow off some energy but it’s so much messier.

exploding-head-zone

You know, it’s fairly easy to find an argument on Google for whatever you wish to find permission to do, so I did use the elliptical at Killer’s on Friday for 20 minutes.  I actually did it for about 10 minutes, with a rest every other minute because I have, indeed, lost that much fitness in five weeks and had to stop and breathe every other minute.  We will not dwell on that.  I balanced on my heel with no pressure on the forefoot and it didn’t hurt.  I haven’t tried again; I don’t want to screw anything up even though, as I said, it didn’t hurt – I’ve been burned by the Injury Fairy so many times in the past 15 months that right now I’m gun shy.  However, from what I could find on The Great Oracle Google, it’s OK to do the elliptical if I’m stabilized in the boot.  Now I shall consult the other two Great Oracles, you, my two faithful followers of my world-famous blog.  Should I do the elliptical or not?

Remember, the safety of my family, the animals and my foot lie in your hands.  No pressure.

Meanwhile back at the Zoo, waiting for the Shrine to heat up, I let Murphy out.  Hubs said, don’t forget Murphy.  I said, it’s 5:15 in the morning and it’s cold and rainy, he won’t last five minutes out there before he’s scratching on the door.  On the way out to the gym hub’s final words:  just don’t forget Murphy.

So, of course, I did and now he is not in the yard.  dammit.  It’s 35 degrees and raining lightly and I’m out on the deck in the darkness (I tell you, I hear shuffling.  Do snakes shuffle?  Maybe it’s a fox.  Rabid racoon?  I know it’s not Murphy because his collar jingles.) yelling softly (and how stupid is that?  can you even yell + softly?  Isn’t that just talking?)  MURPHY MURPHY but no response.  I’ve had no coffee.  I really really do not want to go down the steps of the deck and hobble around the yard in the dark, in my sock feet sans boot, stepping on razor sharp edges of hickory nut shells which the squirrels constantly drop from the tress, littering the path.  I go to the kitchen door and stand in the carport MURPHY!  MURPHY! and the damn cat scoots out the door and under the car.

I do not have my boot on and I’ve had no coffee.  I’d intended to get a cup of coffee and then get ready for the day.  Now I don’t have time to get my boot on because if the damn cat gets under the deck the story is over and I’ll be crawling in rainy drizzly cold wetness in the dark where snakes might live and that’s going to happen exactly:  never.  I try to peer under the car to see if I can grab her, but I can’t see anything.  Oh, wait, it’s FIVE EFFING O-DARK-THIRTY IN THE MORNING and it’s pitch black outside in the dark rainy morning in which I’ve had no coffee.  Plus I can’t bend all the way over because then my forefoot bends *ouch* so I’m kind of hunched like some crabby old cat lady whispering dammit Chunk!  I hobble back into the house and grab the broom, meanwhile trying to intimidate Mo enough that he won’t go near the open door, which is open in the useless hope the damn cat will run from under the car back in through the open door and into the house.  Plus, intimidating Mo is like candy from a baby, there’s no need and it’s mean so now I feel bad.

I swipe the broom under the car and she scoots out … and directly around the corner to the front porch which is freeking dark as night because it IS night.  I hobble after her in my sock feet on the pebbly surface of the carport *ouch* *ouch* *ouch*.  I can’t see her on the black hole of a porch so I hobble back into the house and around to the front door and turn on the porch light.  Scurrying like a crab I return to see the damn. cat. scoot back under the damn car.  

!@!#$!!!   &^%$!!  *&(*&&^!!!!  and  @#$%!!! I mutter as I sling the broom under the car, swiping wildly.  Where is the damn cat??

Oh, I see.  There she is, so cute and fluffy, sitting in the kitchen doorway watching me attack nothing under the car.

“Whatcha doing, mom?”

Munker and baby

Look at that sweet innocent face, taking good care of her baby to show me how it should be done.

Then I drove  around the block twice trying to find the dog.  I gave up and went home only to find Murphy right there in front of our house, peeing on the neighbor’s bushes.  Tucked tail, ears down, he runs into the back yard and onto the deck.  OH, look, here I am!  Right where I should be!

I’m going to have to do something to use up some energy and calories so I can quit waking so early, forced to be responsible before I’ve had coffee.  The exploding head would probably blow off some energy but it’s so much messier.

explodinghead

Hello, Old Friend

I just checked my Garmin, which is at 32% – so now it’s on the charger for a bit before I head out and I will ruminate while I wait.

It’s cool, damp and breezy, a storm coming in later this afternoon.  It will be a good day to stay in and cook with my mom.  Number One Son is getting married Friday and we are having a gaggle of people here tomorrow night for BBQ.  She and I will spend a dry, warm, cozy afternoon making potato salads, slaw and cookies while it rains outside.  The cats will wander in and out and the dog will hound our every step waiting for something to drop, CHOMP.  Homey.  Nice.

Monday I headed out for wog/slog/jog, whatever it might be called.  I managed four miles and nearly three of it jogging.  I missed doing them Sunday, but otherwise I’ve been getting my planks done every day.  It could be said they are getting easier but that’s rather like saying running hills gets easier.  It doesn’t because as soon as it does you go faster or longer.  In the article I read the author was told by her PT that she should be able to hold several planks “very” easily for 60 seconds.  I’m holding three and my arms are not quivering quite as much.  I guess that does not indicate I’ve reached the “easy” stage, much less the “very”.  But at least they no longer feel quite as much like limp noodles.  That’s good, right?

I run in the neighborhood across the street from me as mine is rather chock-a-block with a busy road you must take in order to get to the other parts of the area, so I run to the end of my street, cross the busier street and run in the lovely, quiet neighborhood there.  I headed out and nothing really hurt, just pinging.  Pinging, once a bad sign, is now a good sign.  We’re moving backward through the aches.  Peeling off the layers.

It was cool and breezy, beautiful.  This fall is not as colorful as some but there is one tree that is a beautiful orange, I don’t know what kind of tree but they stand out, so pretty.  I love my four mile route through the neighborhood which, when developed, wisely did not do any clear-cutting.  Huge oaks, shag-bark hickory, maples, large houses set back from the winding street.

Right now on this route I frequently see a doe with twins that look about half grown.  I’m guessing one is female and one is male because, first, one still has some spots on her hind quarters and the other doesn’t, and secondly because the other one tends to be further from Mom every time I see him, while the lightly spotted one is right by Mom.  “HEY! MOM!  Watch!  Look!  I’m in the other yard!”  It’s not quite on the level of finding out over Christmas dinner, when you sit back and just listen for a while as the four of them laugh and tell stories on each other, that some of your progeny went porta-john tipping one night, but it still seems more a male thing than female.  Rather like the B’ster in his Superman costume showing his “guns”.  I don’t remember my daughter worrying about her “guns”.  I think of this and it makes me laugh every time I see the deer.

It’s no wonder the deer roam, safe.  Cars stop for the deer who wander across to the other side for more of whatever tastes best.  I’ve heard you can give up on growing hostas.  A mile in I see mom and the twins.  They stand, watching me, chewing, as I slog past, talking to them.  “There goes another one of them,” mom says to the kids, “crazynutjob runner, they’re safe.  They’re crazy, but they’re safe.”

Each mile I stop for a moment and stretch my lower back and gauge.  Still hanging in there.  Still holding on.  I reach my turn-around and head back, looking at the beautiful trees, breathing the cool air deeply.  Hello, running, old friend.

Hello, back, running replies.

I’ve missed you.

But it’s not been too long this time, running reassures.

Yes.  I missed you but I knew you were there, waiting patiently.

I’ll be here always, as long as you stay strong.

I’m trying, running, I’m trying.

Will I learn this lesson, finally?  Or will I, type-A first born, headstrong and impatient, fail another test someday?

I hate to say so but I might.  And please God I will again stand up, brush myself off, and move forward again.  And again, and again.

Hunkering down with Chunker or how I learned I do, indeed, have two Brains

Chunker Munker and I have not had the best of weeks and it’s all my fault.  She is very happy to agree with that and seems pleased to lay the blame squarely at my feet; she isn’t enjoying life to the fullest following a long overdue visit to the vet.  Mo, the little sweetheart, sadly went along with the plan with a minimum of argument as I shoved the unwilling little things into their carrying cases and off we went.  Quiet little Mo evidenced a new side when we got in the car and he became extremely verbal about the situation, even resisting the vet which surprised me.  Chunk acted resigned until we got home.

I opened the carrier and she scrambled out like it was on fire.  I opened Mo’s, he jumped out and headed toward Chunk to share misery.

The little witch turned on him, soundly smacking him in the head repeatedly while yowling and hissing.  I yelled “CHUNKER!” and she turned on me, then poor Murphy crossed her path and she tried to smack him, arching, hissing, yowling.  Dammit, girl.  We gave her wide berth.  She was pissed off all night and half the next day, jumping, hissing, howling every time someone moved.  At first I thought it was because Mo and I smelled like the vet but by the next day and a change of clothing that seemed iffy.

I think she was insulted and embarrassed by the vet and taking it out on us.

I have to say, I would not be happy having my weight control issues discussed openly in front of my mom and an entire office full of staff people.  It has seemed to me lately that she’s getting a bit … fluffier, but I ignored it.

Yeah, no kidding.   She’s gained over 2 pounds since last year.  That’s a 16% weight gain.

Ooops.  My bad.  Apparently feeding on demand is not going to remain an option.  We will not mention whether I feed my own self on demand or not.  Do as I say, not as I do has been a fine motto to live by.

I told the vet my unsuccessful attempts to get her to play and that I’m feeding them both indoor cat weight control food.  He said that it’s possible her metabolism has gone into protect mode and is slowing down.  Interesting thought.  He told me about a new food that somehow increases metabolism and I bought a small bag.  I trust the vet, I’ve known him for 20 years but I still felt a little bit like I’d just bought a vacuum cleaner at my front door.

I mixed the food half/half with their old food and started the new menu Friday evening.  Sunday evening Chunker walked up to me and started batting at my legs, skittering around.  Eh?  what are you doing, little girl?  She jumped around a bit more.  I pulled out a toy.  She started jumping to catch it, chasing it, crouching, attacking.

Well who are you and where is my kitty?  It’s been a couple weeks now, I don’t think she’s lost any weight but she’s like a kitten again, chasing the laser light, running through the house with Mo, playing.

So I’m going to be doing some thinking on this metabolism idea; I know it will slow if enough calories are not consumed regularly.

Our bodies are designed to protect us, I know that.

In fact I got a really great lesson in that just this month.  Yay.  I always like learning new things.

I’m lying.  I do not like learning new things.  I like staying in my own little comfort zone doing the things I like to do.  I want my life wrapped in my squishy soft blankie in my awesome plaid bell bottom fleece pants and Chocolate Glazed Donut in my coffee cup.  I prefer being closed-minded and I want you all to shut up, most particularly the ones inside my head.

But, there you go.  Catch 22.  Which I read when I was in high school.  I was home, sick, cuddled in bed (I did not own awesome plaid fleece bell bottoms at the time or I’d have been wearing them) and as sick as I was, reading that book I started laughing out loud.  My mom came running down the hallway.  “Are you OK!?”  She apparently thought I was choking.

Maj. Major Major Major: Sergeant, from now on, I don’t want anyone to come in and see me while I’m in my office. Is that clear?

First Sgt. Towser: Yes, sir? What do I say to people who want to come in and see you while you’re gone?

Maj. Major Major Major: Tell them I’m in and ask them to wait.

First Sgt. Towser: For how long?

Maj. Major Major Major: Until I’ve left.

First Sgt. Towser: And then what do I do with them?

Maj. Major Major Major: I don’t care.

First Sgt. Towser: May I send people in to see you after you’ve left?

Maj. Major Major Major: Yes.

First Sgt. Towser: You won’t be here then, will you?

Maj. Major Major Major: No.

First Sgt. Towser: I see, sir. Will that be all?

Maj. Major Major Major: Also, Sergeant, I don’t want you coming in while I’m in my office asking me if there’s anything you can do for me. Is that clear?

First Sgt. Towser: Yes, sir. When should I come in your office and ask if there’s anything I can do for you?

Maj. Major Major Major: When I’m not there.

First Sgt. Towser: What do I do then?

Maj. Major Major Major: Whatever has to be done.

First Sgt. Towser: Yes, sir.

There are days right now that I feel a bit like Chunk when she jumped out of the carrier, I really feel like yowling howling and smacking random people crossing my path and I don’t want anyone let into my office until I’m not here.  My back is on strike.  This happened once four years ago and lasted for three months.  I could not reach my feet to put on my shoes, my back in nearly constant spasm.

I went to see Dr. W.  He walked in and I slowly stood.  “What happened??” he asked.

“I’m not sure, but last time this happened it lasted three months,” I said, with a little catch in my voice.  OMGod in Heaven, Little Baby Jesus in the hay with the cows DO NOT let me go through last year again.

“I’m not doing any steroids.” I announced.

“Oh, no – nope, this isn’t lasting three months and we’re not doing any steroids,” he intoned.

He sounded so serious that I actually believed him.

He did a little poking and prodding, a little stretching and showed me a small back extension/crunch I was to do 10 times as often as possible throughout the day, then hooked me up to the machine which is like something from Heaven, electrodes taped to my back shocking the sh*t out of the damn muscles and I hope they are sorry they ever started this.  Damn muscles.  I know I said that twice.  Damn muscles.

When everything was done I stood to leave and bounced down the hallway like I was drunk.  Why am I thinking of Florida?  Anyway, I was walking and my back was not screaming like a girl, damn wussy little back.  Waaa waa waa.

Over the past 2-1/2 weeks the visits have stretched from 2 days apart to a week.  This week I was able to go three miles, jogging 2/10’s of a mile 9 times with a 1/10th mile walk between.  Dr. W said things should return to normal quickly.

Apparently, however, phoning in the core workouts is no longer an option and I am newly committed to the stretches and core work – planks, side planks, glutes, hip flexors because what done did happen, as they say in the south, is I outran my core’s ability to function and when that happened Brain 2, the Idiot, shut the entire system down.  Done, stupid Brain 2 said, and turned on the electricity.  Meanwhile Brain 1 and I are arguing that everything is fine and would you please quit trying to be the boss??

It makes sense though.  Metabolism compromised?  Start protecting.  Muscles being damaged?  Start protecting.  It is incredible to me that our minds actually take care of us when we think we’re the ones in charge.  I’m running along thinking I’m in control of my body while, in fact, the very brain with which I’m thinking everything is copacetic is doing something else against my wishes.

Yossarian: Ok, let me see if I’ve got this straight. In order to be grounded, I’ve got to be crazy. And I must be crazy to keep flying. But if I ask to be grounded, that means I’m not crazy anymore, and I have to keep flying.

Dr. ‘Doc’ Daneeka: You got it, that’s Catch-22.

(If you’d like to read more about how fatigue – overdoing it – leads to poor form and results in injury, check this out:  http://thefunctionalgolfer.blogspot.com)

I ran in the rain and I liked i-it

It’s a lovely dreary rainy day here in Wonderland, a steady dripping grey blur mottling the surface of the lake like heavily printed dotted swiss.  Murph T. Dog is thrilled, flopped in the dining room staring forlornly across the kitchen at the wet deck, ears drooping.  Murph knows.  Sometimes life just sucks.  Sometimes you get a bath.  Sometimes you manage to get out and eat the neighbor’s garbage.  You just never know from one minute to the next how things are going to turn, he thinks, looking at me with sad dog eyes, slightly accusingly.  It’s raining in his bathroom.  He sighs and closes his eyes, He’ll sleep away this mucky day.

Chunker, in whose bathroom it is not raining, apparently found the change in air pressure invigorating, smacking poor Mo soundly as he walked innocently past, then helping clean out closets.

chunk in bag

She quickly decided to bag that idea and instead hauled her babies around the house mewling sorrowfully for all the kittens she will never have.

chunk and baby

If that’s all the better care she can give her babies we made a good decision.

I was antsy, about as agitated and stir-crazy as Munker.  I needed to get out of the house.  I have no babies to worry about any more and I was free to head out for a run.  My Garmin finally located the mother ship, searching a bit harder than usual with the clouds moving in but I’d been checking and I knew the rain wasn’t going to hit until about noon.  It being Memphis and all you can pretty much bet whatever the weather forecasters say is going to be spot on.

I am currently without a Piece of Paper to Live By from my coach.  I’ll have it soon enough and for now I shall enjoy not knowing what track work lurks next week.  Without the POPTLB I was free to slog about wherever I desired at whatever pace I decided.  Sweet Freedom, a purposeless run!

A man was released from prison.  He’d paid his dues to society and was free to go.  He wandered down the street, dazed with joy, gazing freely about.
“I can go over there and get a milkshake”, he thought, “or I can go sit in the coffee shop and read the paper”
Delirious with joy he skipped down the street singing, “I’m FREE!  I’m FREE!!!”

 A little boy stood at the corner, watching.  As the man skipped past the little boy said, “Tho what, Misther?  I’m FOUR.”

I jogged to a road I haven’t run on much but will again soon, large houses on large lots, a curving winding hilly road with little traffic, like being out in the country.  I ran down the center of the road looking at trees and houses, flowers blooming, someone trimming hedges.  I ran across the road, back and forth, back and forth, just because I could – I’m FREE – in slow easy S’s from curb to curb.  I can go over here.  I can go over there.  I’m FREE!  Nothing hurt this morning, the hand-sized Stanky Creek black and purple bruise healing well and the heaviness having moved out of my legs.

Free to run, free from a plan, free from time, I ran.  It started to mist and I ran.  It misted heavily.  I looked down at the dampening road watching my shoes pass beneath me, and I ran.  Two miles from home a steady rain started, a solid rain, no huge downpour, just steady.  I ran, soft drops of water dripping off my hat, off my nose, running down my legs into my squishing shoes until I noticed at the edge of some trees the twin fawns I’ve been seeing around.  I stopped, standing in the rain, looking at the deer as they chewed while gradually moving into the trees and then I ran again through the rain, down the hill, around the turn toward home, looking up and down and all around at the wet world, alive, breathing deeply, running in the rain.

Taper week

exploding-head-zone

It’s finally here:  Taper week.  Running less.  Eating more.

And – I’m pretty Zen.

You both know that’s not my style.  Hubs mostly looks a bit shell shocked and walks carefully through the house.  He never completely turns his back, circling around me in an arc, always maintaining some eye contact.  I do not know what that is about, since I’m so Zen right now.

And – it doesn’t make me feel like punching him.

Well, actually, it does.  But — I didn’t…

The Munkmeister and her faithful follower Mo decided the perfect place for a game of tag was my bed.  With me in it.  At 1am, and 2am, and 3am…

And – I didn’t yell cuss words at them.  Much.

I do have a twitch in my knee.  Like, sort of achy.  A twinge.  In my knee, in case you didn’t get that.

And – my nose is drippy.  I could be getting a cold.  I had to blow it once this morning.  Not much, just a bit, but still, it’s a bit runny.  It could be a cold.  I felt a bit warm so I took my temperature.  It’s normal, although that thermometer is kind of old so it could be losing degrees.

I went to get the new pair of shoes that I always have waiting in the closet and realized – I don’t have a newest pair of shoes.  Right after I realized the pair I’m in now are completely worn past the sole on the outer edge.

And – that’s fine.  It’s fine.  Really just fine.  It’s fine.

So I got a new pair yesterday.  Guess what?  They’ve changed.  Now it’s version 6.  I’ve done all my training in 5.  I wore them all day yesterday.  I hate them.

Hey – it’s OK.  I found a pair of the 5’s on Amazon, they arrive today.  And the expedited one-day delivery fee was $3.99.  So that’s a good sign, right?  Say:  YES, that’s RIGHT Terri!

I don’t know why I keep burping.  I think I have some indigestion.  Perhaps a stomach issue.  I hope I don’t get a stomach bug.  My friend went to a Flags over Roller Coasters and she got a parasite – the gift that keeps on giving.  I mean, there’s just no way of knowing.  One minute you’re playing at an amusement park and the next minute you are on first-name basis with Sue at the CDC.  Anything could happen.  I grew up in Arizona.  There’s a huge meteor crater there.   Those Russians sure believe in the possibility of being hit with a meteor now, don’t they?

No, hey – it’s fine.  I just googled it.  http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/02/asteroid-odds/  “Your odds of getting killed by a meteorite are roughly 1 in 250,000. You are far more likely to die in an earthquake, tornado, flood, airplane crash, or car crash (but less likely to be killed by lightning).”

Memphis is on the New Madrid fault line.  That sucker is gonna blow someday you know.  At least I’m not planning to fly anywhere between now and Sunday.  Anyway, Delta does Memphis so well now that there aren’t many flights left to worry over.  See?  That’s good!

I love this event’s race shirt.  I sure hope it fits.  I don’t think they allow shirt exchanges.  I’m going to be so disappointed if I can’t wear my shirt after the race.

I can’t decide if I want to go to Ihop or Subway after the race.  But what if I don’t finish the race?  I’ll be forced to go to McD’s to shame myself.  And I couldn’t wear the shirt either.  Can’t wear a shirt you didn’t earn.

No, wait.  That would be good then, right?  Because I know the shirt is not going to fit anyway.  Stupid damn shirt.  I didn’t really like it that much.

I just had my stupid bagel which I’m getting pretty tired of bagels for breakfast, but I did, I had it.  Stupid bagel.  I think the baby is moving.  I’ve named the baby Carbetta.  My little carb baby.  Who knew a person could burp that much?  And I do not understand why a cat should get insulted by my burping.  Have they smelled their litter box?  And if we’re going to talk about manners I’ve seen where you lick, little girl, all huffy with your tail twitching.

I guess I need to get some work done.  It’s hard to concentrate on work when you are as relaxed as I am.  I’m just sitting here, all relaxed even though my race shirt sucks and I can’t wear it because it’s too bigsmall and I DNF’d the race next Sunday because of my damn shoes, so I’m not in the mood to read your whiny email about your car getting stolen with your purse in it and all your ID and you need a new member card.

You are ruining my Zen.

If I only had a brain, Part 2

#crazynutjobrunner

So the alarm went off at 4:40 am and while I can’t express how happy I am to be training for another marathon, I’ve definitely hit That Point in the process.  I despise the marimba ring tone of my iPhone alarm.   Apple needs a ring tone that says, “Ok, then, sorry about this, but you’re the one who set the alarm, not me, and now you need to get up.”  Preferably Mr. Roger’s voice; there  is no way I could say “eff you, Mr. Rogers.”  I have a Pavlovian reaction to the ring; cringing, heart pounding, slammed out of a deep sleep by the marimba.  Thank God for some multi-flavored chemical laden, artificially sweetened and creamed K-cup steaming in my coffee cup; I’m up but basically making my way through the house by bouncing from one wall to the other in a (mainly) forward direction.

I have also definitely hit the point in marathon training where Taco Bell Fourth Meal happens about 12-1pm as opposed to the midnight-1am (younger!) crowd the campaign originally targeted.  The other day I had lasagna at 9am after already having breakfast.  I did at least warm it but then stood at the counter eating it directly from the casserole.  NOMNOMNOM. Yesterday:  breakfast followed by a cranberry bagel with egg and bacon (yes), then a really lousy salad followed by a nap which was celebrated by death by chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce and caramel followed by another nap. I made dinner at 4pm.  Then what do you do?  It’s 4:30, you’ve slept for two hours, you’ve eaten five times, you’re too tired to fold laundry and you still have daylight remaining, and after about three hours of Yard Crashers you’ve pretty much seen the best TV has to offer.   I’m thinking I may pay for HBO since I’m never going to finish reading Game of Thrones.

And you both know that Brain 1 and Brain 2 are of no help whatsoever.
brain one and brain two

The other day while scarfing down one of my multitudinous meals I was reading Runner’s World.  Sometimes I read the newspaper, it depends.  It depends mostly on how much I feel like screaming.  Reading the newspaper is like taking algebra so you can grow up and work from home typing stuff; you know it’s good for you for some reason but you don’t actually ever apply it in your life and it makes you feel like screaming the entire time you’re doing it.  I always read the editorial section first, it’s like eating all the Brussels sprouts first so you can have the meatloaf second and enjoy it while also getting that awful taste out of your mouth.  Plus when I read the paper I yell, making the cats run away and causing Murphy to skulk guiltily.  Anyway, I was reading Runner’s World which is nothing like eating Brussels sprouts, it’s more like Three Guys Pizza Pies.  And also it doesn’t cause me to yell, making all the animals happier.

In this article (Beyond the Mantra by Michelle Hamilton, May, 2012 issue, I cannot find a link, sorry) the author visited with a sports psychologist and implemented his suggestions in her running.  It’s taken me about 98% of my life to truly understand that what drives everything in life is not what is happening to and around me, but how/what I think about it.  The Brain.  That little wrinkled up thing in our heads drives everything.  We ‘think’ what’s wrong is that our leg hurts, or the boss is an ass (which, none of my 15 bosses is an ass, let us be clear on this) or that our spouse cannot see the dishwasher which is apparently invisible.   Then we feel like screaming after 20+ years of seeing their dirty dishes in the sink TWO FEET FROM THE DISHWASHER (meanwhile the poor spouse just wants to avoid putting dishes in the dishwasher which may – or may not – have clean dishes in it; he doesn’t know and can’t figure out, since this is a secret hidden from men from the beginning of time.  He knows if he puts dirty ones in with the clean he will get The Look and The Sigh.  His brain is screaming, DON’T MESS IT UP!!  I CAN’T NOT MESS IT UP!!  IT’S A TRAP!)

Not that I’m upset about the empty dishwasher and the full sink.

Basically, as the author notes and as my counselor noted, you think: you live.  Talking to my counselor was the first time I heard the word catastrophizer.  I thought she’d made it up just for me, but I found it later in a book.  You can look it up, it’s a personality subself.  If it can go wrong it will.  Spectacularly.  If it can’t go wrong it still will. Or it could.  So we’d better think about every possible outcome to every possible situation.

3:45 am Brain 1: OMG OMG OMG.  No, wait, it’s just the effing alarm, nothing is on fire.

3:45:01am Brain 1: OMG OMG OMG is it raining???

3:45:02am Brain 2: OhhhEmmmGeee.  So what if it is, we’ll get wet?

3:45:03am Brain 1:  We could get CHAFED

3:45:04am Brain 2:  Yes, that has certainly never happened.

3:45:05am Brain 1:  We won’t be able to see the Garmin clearly!  Our glasses will fog!

3:45:06am Brain 2:  Ok, you’re right.  We’ve definitely got a world crisis here.

It’s the words you think.  For so much of my life I tried to change the way I felt.  I’m so sad because I can’t go to the party (don’t feel sad!  don’t feel sad!).  I’m so mad because that email was mean (quit being mad!  quit being mad!) You can’t.  It’s like slamming your finger in the door.  Don’t hurt, finger!  Don’t hurt, finger!  How about, “Rats, that hurts.  Need to get some ice.”

This morning I realized that I still doubt myself.  I still doubt I’ll get the marathon done.  My friend Elizabeth asked why I would worry about that.  She said if nothing else, you’ll walk it in.  And it occurred to me that I didn’t actually think of that as an option – but of course it is.  Somewhere in my brain I either finish the marathon or … what?  Teleport back to the car?  Get caught up to Oz?  Life instantly ends?  It’s like, in my mind, there is a marathon stretching out on a road with a finish line, and I either reach the finish line or fall off the road into oblivion.  Maybe I end up wherever the Coyote ended up when he fell off the cliffs, I’m not sure.  I’ve already talked with my coach and we have my A, B and C plans, none of which have either the teleportation or falling off cliff option listed.

Think about it.  Spend a day listening to what you say in your mind.  How many things do you think you’ve missed or not tried because you talked yourself out of them before you could even start?  I’m starting that marathon, and I’m finishing it.  No matter what Brain 1 and Brain 2 think.

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