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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 “food”

M- Minus 1

Almost exactly, as it’s 4:44am and the race starts at 5am tomorrow.  I’ve been looking at digital clocks since 2:34.  At least the numbers are all even.

What did we do before digital clocks?  Were our minds slightly less TimeOCD?  “Oh, crap, it’s 2:30-ish.”  Did that somehow seem better than those gleaming red digits that light every bedroom so brightly you can see your way to the bathroom despite the near-death of ninja cats in your pathway, their gleaming red eyes eerily reflecting the display?

I spent about an hour and a half doing everything I could think of to drift back off.  Hail Mary Full of Grace mumble With Thee should I carry the powerbar and the beans or just the beans?  But the Blessed Mother figures that’s a personal problem I need to sort out for myself, apparently, and no answer echoes in my manic brain.  FLOP.  Adjust covers.  Nudge snorfing hubs.  Red digits burn into my retinas.  2:59…3:13…3:28…

I do know what we did in the times of BK (Before Keurig) – we had to wait at least 2-3 more minutes for the coffee.  In my early coffee years, even before the automatic pause feature where you could pull the pot out and the coffee kept brewing, dammed up in the filter for a minute while you poured (DO NOT forget to put the pot back on the burner … tiny tsunami of hot liquid coffee grounds spilling across the counter and dripping into the cupboards), I learned the tilt and pour, pouring coffee into the cup while it still brewed.  Yes, you burned a few fingers but what is that compared to waiting two more minutes for coffee?

I did spend several very enjoyable minutes thinking about dinner at Vanelli’s tonight.  Particularly the meatballs.  I may order extra to take home.  With the Traitors firmly ensconced in Brooklyn and Chitown there’s no one to eat them all and leave the empty container in the refrigerator to be discovered later by a very disillusioned mother.

And speaking of meatballs – or any food – how can my stomach possibly be growling hungry at 4am?  If I did the math correctly – and there is always that – but I did use a calculator, which is always fun because when Mo hears it he comes tearing into the room and leaps on the desk, absolutely enthralled with the paper rolling out as I add, biting at it, filing it with little holes like an old punch card – if I did the math right I took in 1,635 calories in carbs alone yesterday.  This does not include the actual sandwich part of the club with ham, turkey, roast beef, cheese, lettuce, tomato, peppers, spinach and mayo (LITE) (because LITE is lighter that LIGHT) or the ham, turkey, cheese, mayo and pickles of the cuban, or the meatballs, sauce and cheese on the spaghetti, all of which is just making me hungrier.

Probably all the hyped up nervous leg jiggling is burning hundreds of calories.

I really am pretty excited.  Don’t you just love it all?  I’m thinking of tomorrow morning, standing in the Mississippi countryside in the dark which somehow makes sounds crisper, the shuffling of feet, beeping of Garmins, nervous laughter, inside jokes, and suddenly it’s time – the start sounds and off you move, one of many, united and yet each on their own journey, fighting their own good fight.

I was greeted in my inbox this morning by a friend who shared this article:  http://triathlon.competitor.com/2013/05/training/chris-mccormack-embrace-the-suck_76419.  I loved this:  “I realized that no matter how much I loved racing or how hard I trained, at some point a race is going to really suck. It is how I reacted to this moment that determined everything.”

And don’t you think that as a runner – and I know not everyone who reads my blog is a runner but it’s likely that at least one of the two of you are – don’t you think that through running you’ve learned more about life and yourself than you have about running?

I’ve learned that there is always a finish line.  You keep moving past the finish line, but there is a finish line.  My brother’s death was a finish line.  A finish line that fell down out of the sky and knocked me flat on my back in the middle of the race.

So how do you expect me to live alone with just me
‘Cause my world revolves around you It’s so hard for me to breathe
No air, air
No air, air
No air, air
No air, air
No more
It’s no air, no air
(With thanks to Jordan Sparks)

But you can’t keep lying there.  You can stop along the way, yes.  But you can’t stay stopped because eventually while you stand there in the middle of the event, stopped, they will start taking down the course and the water stops and the cones and cars are free to roam the streets where you stand and your family is at the finish line, waiting for you to arrive, to be there for you, and then move past that line with you.

And there is not just one finish line throughout your life, you have many more to cross until you hit the final one; you’d better learn something every time you get to one or you will just have to repeat that race.

I’ve learned that there are many friends, but there are not so many Friends.  The ones who help you find a foreclosed house so you can use the backyard as your personal porta-john, that feel your pain, irritation and embarrassment, and can still laugh at you until you are both crying, crying-laughing in the middle of the street until you can’t stand up.  And who also understand you do turn the Garmin off because that doesn’t count on the mileage.  Friends who didn’t get to do that run but will have you crying-laughing again in the retelling.  Friends who get the texts, the crazy I’ve-lost-my-mind messages, the FB posts and offer to join your run even though it’s not on their plan, because they know expletives mean you’re heading over the edge.  Friends that give you the remains of their Gatorade and run the last mile dry themselves, who completely understand that a Ride 5 and a Ride 6 are a continent apart the week before your race.  Friends who live far away and helped you across other Finish Lines, still as near as your heart.  Friends nearby but time gets in the way and months pass before you get together – but those months are nothing when you meet again, you are where you always were; you could go a year without seeing them and call at midnight for help and they would be there.

I’ve learned that you can hit the wall – in life or in the race – and while time seems to stand still, washing you in a shower of drenching, breath-taking, all-encompassing pain, you don’t die, no matter how much you might wish to at that moment.  I’ve learned that you may as well quit standing there and take a step forward.

I’ve learned that you have to look up, not down.  I still look down a lot.  I like to think I’m looking up more but I know there are days I spend only watching my feet shuffle.  This is why I cannot be a runner without races.  I need a goal.  I need a plan.  I need the easy days and the hills and the tempos and the long runs, the rest days.  I need the time alone, running, seeing that mama deer and her twins, and I need the run with a friend while mama and the twins look on.  I spend time looking at the road passing beneath my feet, and I look up at the tops of the trees and the sky.  You can’t spend all your time doing only one of those – you will run into something, or you will trip and fall.

We need it all.  The good and the bad, the joyous and the solar plexus blow.  If you are not a “runner” you are still running the race and I commend you, fellow runner, and thank you, my Friends, for running the race with me. Read more…

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.

Calories Calories everywhere…

Since I’m so ecstatic about being out of shape so I can burn more calories, calories now show up everywhere.  It’s like when you get dressed up all nice to go out to dinner.  Then, on the way to the restaurant to meet your friends, you realize that the rogue chin hair you’ve been waging battle with for so many years it’s gone and turned grey – but hasn’t died – has suddenly sprouted to 1/2″ in length.  Overnight.  Now all you can think of is this stupid thing sticking out of your chin like a lighthouse beam.  You’re pretty sure it’s picking up signals from Jupiter.  Others in the restaurant seem to be staring at you.  Your chin, specifically.  Although certainly you are just being paranoid.

Not that it’s ever happened to me, like, Friday night.

Meanwhile it’s become obvious that the kitty chow I got last month was very yummy and loved greatly by Munker and Mo, who were asking me about every 90 minutes for more.  Even more obvious than the frequency of the requests was the unmistakable thickening of kitty waistlines and the greatly more audible THUMP of Chunker hitting the floor.  I have responsibilities here.  We do live in an earthquake zone.

Yesterday we ran out of the Crack Kitty Chow.  I bought some ‘Adult’ cat food with reduced calories.  Now the kitty food bowls remain full while cats look at me questioningly.  “Mom?  What happened to our food?”  Fortunately they don’t seem to connect the crappy new food to me and Kroger.

I told Hubs I’d bought adult diet cat food and not only did I think the reduced calories would help them slim down, the fact they wouldn’t eat it would probably rapidly increase the weight loss.  Hubs thinks this is a great policy to pursue with the cats and not at all optional for humans.  I don’t think it’s very workable anyway, since basically the only thing I won’t eat is Brussels Sprouts and slimy stuff like eels.  I haven’t seen eels at Kroger.

So, the calorie thing now seems to be lit up like a Vegas show.  As evidenced by this post, which popped up a while ago:

M&M's

What.  The.  Heck?  That SUCKS.  674??  that’s all??

However, my good running buddy (and Mo’s first stepmom), Elizabeth, turned to Al Gore’s most awesome creation, the Inter Net Web Thingie, uncovering the data that an M&M has, in fact, 3.44 calories, making the total amount of M&M’s you can eat after running a marathon and burning 2900 calories 843.02325 and not 674 lousy candies.

The good news here is that, probably, if you are out of shape but still manage to stumble through a marathon, you might could eat even more M&M’s.  If you had enough energy left to chew.  Maybe you could just lie down face first in a pile of them, then you could eat them without any extra energy expenditure.  Perhaps the RD’s of marathons should consider a pit of M&M’s like the pit of colored balls in the kiddie section of McDonald’s.  Runners could finish the race and jump in, swimming through the M&M’s, chomping away.

Also I did the math, if you burned 2900 calories on a marathon you could eat 6.17 servings of an Enchirito and a Mexican Pizza.  If you called it even and only ate 6 servings you’d be at a net calorie loss.

And people think runners and marathoners are crazy.

Wild and Crazy. Nothing stopping us now.

I saw Dr. K this morning and my back is definitely better, so I headed out for a slow easy 4 miler in the neighborhood to practice my stride.  Beautiful morning – sunny and breezy, it was great to be outside.  Yesterday afternoon, just to have a reason to be outside in the pretty afternoon sun, I swept leaves.  Carefully, slowly, with my back straight, abs tight.   Just a few leaves.  Someday I’m going to count how many trees we have, I don’t actually know.  I can see 14 just looking out the window over my desk.  We have a lot of trees.  It will take four adult men two days to get rid of these leaves, so my little sweeping of the front porch and sidewalk was just a hobby. Sort of like me doing a slow four miler when some friends did the Mississippi 50K and 50 Miler Saturday…I’ve done 50K a few times – but 50 miles?  Wow.  That is some mental strength for sure.  Plus the 50K friends beat my best time by well over a half hour.

I’ve discovered a really great thing about being on the DL off and on for a few months.  When you get back moving again you’re not in as great shape as you used to be.  You’ve lost efficiency, your aerobic capacity is reduced, and of course you aren’t as strong physically.  So everything takes longer and more energy.  This is a good thing, because, personally, I’ve also got about five extra pounds to get rid of.  The five pounds isn’t so awesome, but the extra energy required right now is; when I got home my Garmin and HR monitor announced proudly that I had burned 538 calories.  When I’m in shape it would be about 400.  So I have a net 138 extra calories burned.

Sweet!

Now I only have 9,862 to go!  YAY!

When I had three boys living at home food pretty much disappeared with little need to remove it from the grocery sack.  If there was anything I wanted to have around more than three hours it had to be hid.  I put my chocolates in an empty feminine products box.  Never once did the boys find those…

Every once in a while I would start getting a craving for one of my favorites  – one of my favorites other than the hidden chocolate, which I had every day. One year Fr. Ernie said it was ‘no fair’ ‘giving up chocolate’ for Lent, you needed to come up with something that would be a reminder of the reason for the Lenten sacrifice, something that would have a daily impact.  I said, I eat chocolate 2 or 3 times a day.  He looked stunned.  What the heck?  Doesn’t everyone eat chocolate 2 or 3 times a day??

My weaknesses back then were Panchos cheese dip with Fritos or a DQ Peanut Buster Parfait.  There was never a specific reason;  I’d be vacuuming or looking for the missing sock in each load of laundry when suddenly my brain would announce “PANCHOS” or “PEANUT BUSTER PARFAIT!”

I’d wait for the perfect day – kids all at school, maybe I was extra hungry or I’d been busy shopping and was tired and I would get the DQ, or buy the Panchos and have it for lunch, that’s all, just the cheese dip and Fritos.  Then I was done and I’d leave the rest for the kids.

More recently my favorite blowout has been Taco Bell.  (hahahaha playground snickering, “blowout” “Taco Bell”)  An enchirito and a mexican pizza.  I eat the enchirito first, then the pizza.  I eat the enchirito first because then I cut the pizza carefully into quarters with the handle of the Spork; apparently people who frequent Taco Bell cannot be trusted with plastic knives.  Or spoons.  Or forks.  Just Sporks.  So you can see that otherwise I’d have Taco Bell all over the handle of the Spork if I ate the pizza first and that would be messy.  I use one package of mild sauce per quarter.  All washed down with a diet Dr. Pepper with just a bit of real Dr. Pepper on top because, of course.  What else is there?

The biggest issue I have with losing weight (really, what is not to like about losing a few extra pounds, right?) is the eating less part.  I don’t know about you two, but I think someone missed the ball when He was up there in Heaven creating calories.  I plan to discuss this with Him but not right away.  I’m willing to wait a bit for the talk.

Also I’m going to ask him what the hell – wait, can I say “what the hell” to Him?

I’m thinking.

I think, yes.  Yes, I can.  If anyone ever proves there’s a scoreboard I’ll quit cussing, but until then it’s open season on the swear words.  As evidenced by miles 10-13 of the Oxford Half.

So I’m going to also ask Him what the hell was He thinking when He made mosquitoes or arranged for their evolution or however it happened that things worked out.  Seriously?  Mosquitoes??  Probably it will turn out, at the end of time as we know it, that mosquitoes were actually the Super Glue of the cosmos and held everything together, and here I am, bashing them.  Then I’m going to be all like, OK then.  Sorry.  Please don’t bite me.  And I will be forced to fight them all off with a Spork.

To encourage myself to eat less and lose five pounds I announced publicly to Becky that when I lost five pounds we would have Taco Bell.  Being a good sport Becky acted like Taco Bell would be awesome.  The day arrived!  I texted: “BECKY!  TACO BELL!”

I was SOOOOO excited.  I’m wild and crazy.  There is NO stopping me!  We swam first and I was so hungry!  I’d burned even more calories since I’d weighed!  This was going to be incredible!  TACO BELL!  ENCHIRITO! MEXICAN PIZZA!!!  SPORKS!!!!

I was giddy with excitement.  I clasped my hands excitedly.  The lady at the register looked at me oddly.  “I know what I want!” I announced.  Becky perused the menu, but I couldn’t wait and maybe I did a little skip up to the counter.  The lady behind the register looked at me oddly.  I placed my order and described my Diet Dr. Pepper with the little bit of real Dr. Pepper on top.  The lady behind the register … looked at me … oddly.  I was starting to wonder if not everyone is as pleased to be at Taco Bell as I was.

Isn’t that sad to think?  Not everyone is happy to go to Taco Bell?

nah.  It’s gotta be something else.

I tell you what:  that enchirito and mexican pizza were awesome.  I felt so happily guilty, my diet blow-out, my wild and crazy diet reward, it was doubly sweet.

The next day Becky and I were working out with Killer.  I described to Killer in minute detail the awesome Taco Bell reward we’d celebrated the day before.  Calories be DAMNED!  We were unstoppable!  We threw caution not just to the winds but to the hurricanes!  Swept away!  Washed ashore in a distant land!

“Yeah.  So, about that big celebration?” Becky asked.  “I looked it up.  Your enchirito and mexican pizza?  470 calories, crazy woman.  Way to blow it out.”

SONUVABITCH.

You learn something new every day.

“They” say you learn something new every day.

I’ve never learned who the “they” people are.

Today I learned to put the dust bin back in the vacuum cleaner before you start it.

And I learned if you don’t, you’ll probably sneeze.  Maybe a lot.

Yesterday I learned you should put the beans in the coffee pot when making coffee.  Otherwise, when the coffee is done and you’re so happy because you finally get to have a cup of fresh hot coffee which you’ve had to wait for, like, at least ten minutes for it to brew, you will look in your mug, then you will look in the pot.  You will think, What the heck? and you’ll look back at your mug.  Finally it will dawn on your decaffeinated Brain that you have:  Hot water.

It will be extremely sad and you’ll have to wait another 10 minutes for your coffee.  This is also not safe for family members or pets but that’s not news to anyone.

Yesterday one of my BRFF’s whom I shall call, Um, Ursula (which you have to pronounce like this:  ERR-sue-lah whether that’s actually right or not, because that’s how I’m pronouncing it and it’s my blog.  And I still don’t like Brussels Sprouts so don’t hold your breath for recipes, although if I get the Cajun popcorn recipe I’ll pass it along) learned that if you have spicy shrimp boil with corn on the cob followed by a movie and two tubs of Cajun popcorn and then head out early the next morning to run 9 miles you will probably have a Code Cajun or perhaps a Code Jet Exhaust.

Her running buddy learned to stay slightly ahead of Ursula.

I went riding with Ursula’s hubs and learned some new courses.  It was a beautiful morning. We biked through the country roads, trees arching over the roads, pretty country houses set back from the road, lovely cool breeze and a bit of fall starting to scent the air. We hit one spot on Memphis-Arlington Rd that was downhill for at least a mile. I dropped and let Matilda have fun coasting rapidly down. At the bottom I told Mr. Ursula, if he told me we were turning back on this course, I was bagging it and going home! WOW what a stretch, no way I’m strong enough right now to tackle that hill going up!

He told me the first time he took Ursula on the course going uphill he reached the top and could hear her as she ascended.  “You *&%% hill what the &*(+ are you thinking you &^%% ‘ing *&^% idiot”.  I learned that did not surprise me in the least.  Ursula and I can sound quite like the sailor sometimes.  We do it on purpose.  Then we think we’re just ^%$$ing hilarious.

OH – hey – here’s a good thing to learn.  If you’re completely drunk on a Saturday morning about 7:30am and you want to get home, but there’s a bunch of cops in the street directing traffic and letting ladies cross to get to a race start, and you don’t want to stop so you go ahead and hit the gas while aiming for the cop, who fortunately bounces off your bumper and just lands on his butt:  about 1,487 cops are going to find your house, put your car on a flat-bed tow truck, take you both downtown, and I bet you are not getting pancakes for breakfast.

I’m learning it’s still a good thing to move slowly and think carefully while paying close attention to what you are doing when you stop your bike while clipped in.

I learned that I will not actually die immediately if I start to topple over but I might hyperventilate.

Oh – another one you might appreciate:  If you are sweaty and trying to put on your bike shorts it will take you a couple of minutes to get those suckers pulled up, your HR will be 125 and you can burn about 25 calories!  Sweet, eh?  I don’t need to actually ride the bike, I just need to put on damp bike shorts.  You can learn a lot from a Garmin.

Last week I learned if you’re stressing yourself over something and don’t get to run, you just get more stressed.  Brain loves to find an issue and jump on that sucker like it was a blow up trampoline at a 1st grader’s birthday party:  JUMP JUMP JUMP

But best of all, on Sunday I learned that you can blow out energy on a bike ride and get as many endorphins stuck to you as you can running.

Sweet!   I’m a very lucky person.  I can’t indulge my first love right now, but biking came along at just the right time and the joy of being a Newbie is filling the gap nicely.

I’ve been running, off and on, for 30 years.  I’ve never experienced a ‘runner’s high’ or endorphin rush – unless I was mistaking it for something else, like the incredible euphoria I felt when my first ever 20 miler was done.  I don’t think that was a runner’s high because mostly I just managed to drive home and collapse.  I know for certain the ice bath following that 20 miler had nothing to do with any type of physical or emotional high, and I can also assure you that sitting in the bathtub clutching a hot mug of coffee while wearing a sweatshirt is fairly ineffectual while sitting in cold water surrounded by a couple bags of little icebergs from the 7/11.

I’ve tripped lightly and sometimes heavily through the past thirty years, running and then not running, then getting back to it.  For the past 10 years I’ve been steady except for the Plantar Fasciitis detour.  Some days I don’t want to run, but once I get out there I’m glad I did.  Other times I’m ready for a run but it’s not so great.  I knew I cherished running but I hadn’t realize how much I’d come to rely on the friendships, the social aspect of the run, the runs by myself as I ironed things out in my mind, loosened up my shoulders, let the troubles slip off – until once again the chance to do so was eluding me.  I was certain there is no other activity that could fill the gap not running leaves, and I was once again sad and rather angry to be out of it again.  Friends kept encouraging me to bike, I knew I should, I knew it would help, but I knew it wouldn’t be the same.  I don’t mean this in an elitist way but I’ve always felt kind of sorry for my running friends who had to turn to biking when injured.  Sure, it probably kept them in shape but, still – it wouldn’t, couldn’t be the same as a run.

Sunday morning I got home, tired, sweaty, stinky, ready for a shower and the egg & veggie tortilla wrap I’d spent about the last 1/2 hour of the ride thinking about.  Fresh out of the shower, clean and happy, I sat down with my tortilla wrap and the newspaper.  I noticed my legs kinda humming a bit, that feeling when you’ve worked out hard and the muscles seem to hum?  I checked in with Brain.  He was pretty mellow, sitting back, legs crossed, just checking things out.  Do you remember Wooly Willy?

You would take the little red magnet and move it underneath the cardboard, smoothing all the iron filings in the same direction, lining them up in designs and directions.  That’s what running does for me.  It’s the magnet that smooths things out, lines things up, gets Brain all organized and orderly, everything in there aiming in the same direction.  And that’s what I learned Sunday:  it’s not a loss, it’s a gain.  I haven’t lost running, I’ve added biking.

How many times in life have I thought not getting something, not doing something was a loss, and it’s turned out to be for the better?  And yet I continue to have to re-learn that.

Sweet.

The legs are less sore today, which is a happy surprise since they were kinda screaming at me yesterday, particularly on the stairs.  Stairs are unavoidable in this 39 year old house which was built in 1973 after the owner’s non-stop binge on 96 episodes of the Brady Bunch.  Red-eyed and numb he decided a tri-level house was the thing for him, with the main (middle) floor consisting of a kitchen with bright blue counters and plaid wallpaper, and a dining room with shimmering pale green wallpaper and a chandelier made of 3″x6″ squares of beveled glass hanging from bronze wires.  Pretty damn awesome, but he forgot to include the bathroom.  Accessing areas of relief require a trip up or down stairs and this is not negotiable.  We did re-do the house (buh-bye, blue counter tops and disco fixture) but adding a bathroom on the main floor was not optional unless we wanted to stick it on the front of the house.  Which would be rather a southern-type thing to do, but since we’ve already got the old washtub and the tractor with one wheel in the front yard and the couch and nonfunctional Coke machine on the porch we decided to pass.  It seemed to me it would ruin the flow.

I did end up very successfully *oops* missing both the yoga and Pilates classes Monday (honestly, I was busy with work which provided the perfect excuse).  This morning I will do three little slow miles – and by the way:  It’s National Running Day!  are you participating? – and then go see Killer who will undoubtedly have several new tortures awaiting me.  Tiny little blond thing with such a pretty smile, it’s so disarming.  Every time I think, I love Killer!  Happy Day! I get to see her! and then I get there and realize once again I’ve deceived myself.

By the way, last year they busted a Bed & Breakfast Bondage house in a local bedroom community here – fine, upstanding community populated with many upper middle class citizens who were astounded such a thing could occur.  If they could look into Killer’s garage they might not be so surprised.

Yesterday I did a bit of track work, which is a new thing for me and while it went OK I did worry that the high-pitched squeal of pain from my quads might set off the  nearby donut shop’s alarm.  The owner of the donut shop must go to bed every night Praizing Jayzus that he bought that frontage lot, which a year or so later saw a high school erected about 50 feet behind him and now a couple thousand or more hungry high schoolers and hundreds of exhausted teachers drive past his haven of caffeine and sugar every morning.  When I drove out I thought longingly of his apple fritters which are reallllly good – and I’m an apple fritter connoisseur – but I kept moving, realizing that the calories left on the track would immediately reappear in my front seat if I stopped.

The best part of the day yesterday was getting the B’ster from daycare.  He’s a blast.  We stopped at the grocery.  He sat in the cart pointing at all the fruit.  APPLE!  APPLE!  APPLE!  Sure, I think guavas and tomatoes look pretty much like apples, too.  He had to hold the package of hamburger.  Until we passed the Goldfish which were not on the grocery list but you can damn skippy bet that Moggie immediately put them on the list.  Hamburger relegated to the back of the cart, he proudly held the Goldfish.  Then he helped at the checkout, happily throwing everything he could reach onto the moving conveyor.  The checker was a young man who handed B’ster one of the grocery sacks, “Here you go little Dude” and B smiled large.

At my house he found his two toy boxes and dislodged everything.  He wore his fireman hat and I wore my racing car hat.  We built a house of Duplo blox and he installed the  Mommy-Daddy-B’str Duplo people on the roof.  After that, apparently, there was a Natural Disaster and the house was destroyed.  He found a book that has his mother’s name inscribed in the front and I read it to him twice while I remembered reading it to her a few decades ago.  Next we went down to the dock where I sat and stuck my feet in the lake.  Astounded, he smiled, sat down, pulled of his shoes and socks and dangled his feet in a lake for the first time.  Traitor came over with more stuff to put in the attic.  We made hamburgers & chicken burgers and ate on the deck.  It was a sweet day.

Here’s a pic of B’ster and the story time, the Disco Dining Room and also the chicken burgers recipe which was really good.

Disco Dining Room

Copy cat recipe of Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chicken Burgers.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1lb ground chicken
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 lime, cut in half
  • 4 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 4 buns, toasted

For the guacamole:

  • 1 avocado
  • garlic powder
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  • Combine chicken, green onions, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and juice of half a lime in a large bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined, then form into 4 patties and spray each side generously with non-stick spray.
  • Heat a large grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Grill burgers for 3-4 minutes a side, or until cooked all the way through. Place a slice of cheese on top of each burger, then cover with a large pot lid, and allow to melt for about a minute. Remove burgers to a plate, tent with foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Place each burger on a toasted thin bun, then top with guacamole.
  • For the guacamole: Mash all ingredients together with a potato masher or fork.

Back in the saddle again

Sunday morning, it’s beautiful out – and I slept until 7:30 and did not run.  So now the world will end, we are all going to die and probably Chunk will chew my toes off in my sleep when she turns into a Zombie Cat.

Actually I do have my suspicions she already has (turned into a Zombie Cat, not that she chewed my toes off, because I can still see them all right now) but that she is currently able to maintain the facade of normalcy for good periods of time.

Along the lines of this digression, after which I will return to our regularly scheduled blogging, I submit for your review and input the picture I managed to get this morning when I accidentally came upon her trying to eat my table.  Note the glowing eyes which, the instant I snapped the picture, quit glowing and she looked at me ever so innocently, “Oh, hi.”  “Who, me?”  “Why, no, not eating the table legs, just um…stretching.  Yes, I was stretching.”  Below that, the “I’m so innocent” picture.  Which is the truth, and which is a lie?  Please submit all votes before midnight CST Monday, April 30, 2012.  I worry that votes received after that time might be counted by the Zombie(s); I fear I may not have much more than 24-36 hours left.  Also, I leave my favorite Smushy Pillow to the hubs who steals it all the time anyway, along with my half of the bed linens which he also always steals.  To the children, anything you can find that looks good, take it.  Since the fanciest thing we own is one flat screen TV and it’s 19″ and I got it at WalMart for $199.99 plus tax you’ll just have to take your chances on finding anything  in the house of great value.  I do love you all deeply and somewhere there are some cute baby pics of some of you.  Not all of you, I ran out of time.  But some.  Somewhere.  I did truly mean to get them in a photo album at some point in the past 3-1/2 decades.  General Hospital was quite good for a number of years, tho, and I got distracted.

Chunk:  The Truth or the Lie? V.1

And, Chunk:  The Truth or the Lie?  V.2

I want both of you to carefully review these photos and let me know which is the truth and which is the dare.

So that’s my story of how I’m worried about Chunker.

In the meantime while I was waiting for these pics to load and then I would get back to our regularly programmed blogging I wanted a snack so I got an orange.  A couple of weeks ago while I was out of town the hubs bought some navel oranges at the local unsupermarket (it’s not that great a store, but the salad bar is pretty awesome.)  I’ve tried repeatedly this spring to purchase oranges, all of which promised juicy drippy sweetness in the unsupermarket as I squeezed them in a lame attempt to look like I knew what I was doing, trying to ascertain if this was a good orange to purchase.  Arriving home, however, my hopes were constantly dashed as one after another was revealed to be dry, pithy and sour.  At last I gave up on my search for orange-y vitamin C goodness – until I returned from out of town and found the basket in the kitchen full of yet another load of oranges.  Being the innocent believer in goodness that I am, I tried one last time.  Peeling the orange revealed a fruit which was deeply, brilliantly orange, a shade of orange making the University of TN football team look pale, dripping with juicy goodness, sweeter than baby kisses.  I stood over the sink making involuntary nom nom nom noises while I shoved the orange in my face, juice running off my elbows into the sink below.  Hubs arrived home to the wreckage, orange peels everywhere, Murph the Wonder Dog stuck in one spot, his paws unfortunately glued to the floor in dried orange juice, and me in a stupor slavering over the last delectable section of the last orange.  “Fwhere didshu get fthese ornjuzz?” I managed to gasp, trying not to look guilty and shoving the last bit of orange behind my back.

“At the store,” he replied, looking vaguely confused.  No, that’s a lie, I’m sorry.  He looked completely confused.  Why was I asking him about oranges the minute he walked in the door?  Was it a trap?  Was I going to blame him for the juice all over the floor, even though he was pretty sure he knew it had not been there when he left for work?  Or was I going to ask him to pry the dog loose, despite the fact that it was obviously my fault Murph T. Dog was stuck and additionally I’m the only one who can find the mop, for, as Rosie O’Donnell pointed out once (when she used to be funny), apparently the uterus is a homing device.

“They’re so good!” I replied.  “Where did you get them??”

“At the local unsupermarket in a great big bag for a dollar.”

Oh, sure.  He waltzes in, grabs a big a$$ bag of oranges for a buck and they’re great.  I stand there sniffing and squeezing each individual orange at about $32 apiece and my oranges suck.

So anyway, that’s the story of my orange that I just ate.  It was really good.

I’ll get back to the regularly scheduled blogging in a minute but first I have to tell you what else happened when I was uploading the pics.  I need to tell you both that I am very afraid that Zombies have probably managed to annihilate the staff of Yahoo! News.  For days now every time I go to open one of my yahoo email accounts all the highlighted news is THE SAME.  It hasn’t changed for DAYS.  “Kate’s Princess Transformation” “Angelina and Brad are Engaged” “What Men Find Attractive About Women” (uh, duh – if they’re still breathing) and the one that has been catching my eye, “How Often Should You Change Your Sheets?” which then provides this sinister hint:  If you’re only washing them once a month, you could have some unwelcome visitors in your bed. 

I’m already having a lot of issues with the whole Zombie thing which is EVERYWHERE now – more on that in a minute – and suddenly I learn that if I don’t wash my sheets I could have Unwelcome Visitors In My Bed, and I don’t think they’re talking about the guys they interviewed about finding women attractive, none of whom, I’m sure, had an entire set of their original teeth and probably drive a ’74 greenyellowred pickup truck with a bumper sticker proudly announcing that you should definitely not pass on the driver’s side ‘cuz Ah Chew and Ah Spit.  So I am totally washing my sheets.  Right. Now.  Then I thought, well, I should probably wash the comforter too.  I grabbed that fluffy down-filled king-sized sucker, dragged it down two flights of stairs and crammed that baby into the unsuspecting washing machine.  Setting it on “Large Load” “Heavy Duty” I fired that little GE baby up and sat down to blog because first, now that I’ve newly committed to not working on the weekends I now have nothing to do, and second I thought you both may have been missing me.  I know that you know that I’m there for ya tho – I got your back.

Chunkermunker, however, doesn’t trust me to quite that degree.  While waiting for my pics to upload she decided once again to play the innocent and jumped up on my lap.  Looking precious and sweet she put her little nose to mine and closed her eyes, her little paw on my shoulder.  I can’t do anything with her like that, of course, particularly anything like reach the keyboard and reveal her Zombie Secret to the world but I’m sure that’s not what she was doing.  I’m sure she just loves me.  Not a whole bunch, but a little bit, I bet.  Because at that moment the washing machine went off load with the king-sized comforter full of probably 87 pounds of absorbed water and started trying to walk out of the laundry closet.  Which is right next to my office, so the walking thumping pounding washing machine was pretty loud and Chunker looked at me with her eyeballs as big as oranges (really good oranges) and she was under the bed in one half of a nanosecond, leaving me alone to deal with the attacking washer.  See how she has my back, how my safety and security are always uppermost in her mind?  Murphy would have saved me, I bet, but he was upstairs sound asleep on the newly washed bedding, letting all his little fleas have a picnic in the hills and valleys of the wrinkled sheets.

So that’s my story about that the Yahoo! News staff is probably already Zombies and also what might be in your sheets if you don’t wash them, so don’t blame me if you get eaten tonight by Zombies stuck in your sheets.

In just a minute I’ll get back to the regularly scheduled blogging about getting back in the saddle again, but first you both need to know something else about Zombies.  You know the part (above) where I mentioned that the Zombie thing is, like, EVERYWHERE NOW?  Wellllll…..I’m pretty sure I maybe be among The Chosen.  Maybe you don’t know about The Chosen since I’m sure neither of you are.  Chosen, I mean.  But when the Zombie Apocalypse comes there will be some of us who are prepared and we will be the ones who have to save the rest of you idiots who act all nice about everything – but I know you don’t really believe me about the Zombies.

This is what happened so that I know I’m one of The Chosen.  I was at my mom’s house and the neighbor invited us both to her house for dinner.  They’ve only lived there since last fall and my mom was pretty busy the past few months with my dad, so she never really got to meet them other than the times they see each other outside and shout HI! and the time the brother and his friend shoveled all the snow off mom’s driveway which was very nice of them.  So we sit down in the dining area and begin visiting with the neighbor and what do I see????  OMG.  The Zombie Survival Guide.  Right there on the shelf in front of my eyes.  Yes! it’s EVERYWHERE NOW.  So I know it’s a sign right away and I jump up and say, OH MY GOSH! and they all ducked because maybe they thought I was having a seizure or something and they looked pretty surprised and I shouted ‘I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!  YOU HAVE THE ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE!” and they nodded that they did, indeed, have The Zombie Survival Guide.  AND – they let me borrow it!  Can you believe that?  Something that valuable, and they let me take it out of their home and all the way to Memphis and they didn’t even charge me a deposit.

So that’s my story of how I learned I was one of The Chosen and that it’s all EVERYWHERE.  Also, I do have my own copy of the book, I do.  But I kinda lost it, maybe.

Now I guess I’ll talk about being back in the saddle some other day because all this worrying and all my efforts to try to make you understand about the Zombies and Chunk and Murph and oranges and being Chosen and washing your bedding has completely worn me out and I’m going to go take a nap.  On the couch.  Which the Yahoo! News Zombies did not indicate is inhabited by unwanted creatures.  Other than Murph and Chunk, of course, who, the minute I thought the word “nap” in a tiny corner of my mind immediately raced each other to the couch, leaving me half a cushion and part of a pillow.

Coffee and Zombies, Yet Still You Scoff.

Yesterday rubber band legs, this morning I can’t walk and I think everything from the top of my hips to the top of my knees has solidified into cement – cement which can feel pain.  Cement which I believe may have become sentient and seems to be making its own decisions, and I’m rather concerned.  For instance I just went to get more coffee and the cement which used to be muscles, tissues and bones decided it didn’t care about coffee or not and will be damned if we are going to pick up our knees and set our foot on the next stair.  So there we stood at an impasse, me gazing forlornly at the kitchen floor, only 6 steps above me, the kitchen with my most awesome Cuisinart Grind ‘n Brew, the Shrine of coffee heavenliness, the holder of all that is best about the world of 4:30am, the heady smell of caffeine wafting down toward me, out of reach…never again to know the goodness of that nirvana…*sob*

“MOVE YOU DAMN LEGS, I SAY:  MOVE!” I entreat my legs.  I exhort them to remember me, the one who has always fed them, massaged them (ok, fine, whenever I remember the foam roller.  Once a month is good, seriously, guys, I’m trying here), the one who, in high school, resorted to wearing men’s button-fly Levis because nothing else came in a 32” inseam and you two looked like idiots in those high-water jeans I found at Sears.  Consider all I’ve done for you, and you can’t get up the stairs for A FREEKING CUP OF COFFEE OH MY GAWD I NEED COFFEE.

This concerns me on a couple levels.  For one thing I could eventually starve to death down here because all we have is a bedroom/office, a bathroom, and a den.  None of these rooms contain anything edible unless I finally get so hungry that the vanilla lotion in the bathroom, in my hunger-crazed mind, begins to resemble a vanilla shake.  In a plastic bottle with a squirt top.  Hey, they could be putting vanilla shakes in bottles with squirt tops – you don’t know.

Secondly, and I don’t think either of you actually realize this, but I’ve long had a carefully hidden fear of zombie attack.  This possibility is real and the world doesn’t pay any attention to it.  Why do you think I run so much?  So I can wear this t-shirt (below) which informs you “if zombies attack, I’m tripping you” and I can stay ahead of the rest of you zombie fodder.  But now:  I’m stuck downstairs, weakening moment by moment, nothing to eat, no coffee to keep me from dozing off and the next thing I know, I could be under Zombie attack and helpless to save myself with my useless damn legs on strike.

And still you scoff.  There are no zombies you two say, snorting your coffee out your noses while you laugh at me (serves you right I hope your nose burns all day long and that is a horrid waste of good coffee, by the way).  Now I offer you this helpful chart (below) so when the zombies DO attack – and they will – you might have a chance of survival unless I’m near you in which case I will certainly outrun you and leave you for zombie fodder.  (DAMN LEGS, AGAIN I SAY:  MOVE!!)

http://www.zombiesurvivalwiki.com/thread/2661881/Zombie+Behavior

16. RE: Zombie Behavior

Let’s enter the brain of a ZED.

1) Is there prey around that I can see?

yes…..go to 2

no…….go to 3

2) Go toward the prey, is something in the way?

yes…..go to 4

no ……keep going

3) Is there prey that I can hear?

yes…..go to 2

no…….go to 5

4) Can I go over or around it?

yes…..keep going

no…….go to 6

5) Is there prey I can smell?

yes…..go to 2

no…….go wander

6) If I pound on it for a considerable amount of time, is it weakening?

yes…..keep going

no…….go to 1

And it cycles through this list at a persistent pace.

But, no.  With all this proof still you scoff.  I know.  I can hear you with my super sensitive Zombie hearing.  OK then, check this out:  http://www.bt.cdc.gov/socialmedia/zombies.asp

Yes.  The GOVERNMENT is aware of the Zombies and you aren’t.  Who are you going to trust?  Yourself?  Or the Government?

HA!

Got you now, huh?!

I immediately purchased the following items which I secured in a secure place in the house so I would be safe when the Zombies come even though neither of you believe me, nor do you actually care, so when the Zombies do figure out the answer  to #6 (above) and the answer is yes and the answer is you it won’t be me and as long as I have the coffee pot, the book and the emergency kit I will be fine and you will be Zombie fodder.

Additionally I will have food to eat:

And Cat will have toys to play with:

While you two run down the street screaming for help which will never come:

Don’t say I didn’t tell you.  If the TN Dept. of Transportation can figure out there are Zombies (and they can’t even figure out if there is an accident or road closing when a semi is upside down in the middle of the freeway) then you are in serious trouble and it is not my fault..

to zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz or not to zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

3am

4am

5am

You take a few days off and …

About two years ago my BRFF and co-hort in crime, DJ (aka The Deej aka Deejer) and I, along with another MRTC Board Member, G, found ourselves in Lakeland, Florida at the RRCA National Convention presenting our bid to host the 2012 54th Annual RRCA National Convention (http://www.rrcaconvention.org/  and http://www.rrca.org/services/rrca-convention/).  We didn’t really expect to get it; we were newbies, we didn’t know what we were doing and we figured the good people on the RRCA Board would see through us like xrays at the airport.  But, no, they somehow believed that we are grownups and can act in a professional manner.

Apparently they’ve never seen the texts DJ and I exchange during MRTC Board meetings.

Or, perhaps, they also exchange texts during their board meetings.  Although I kind of doubt it because they did seem rather adult and professional.

Flash forward to this week, the Big Week, the week we’ve been both dreading and anticipating with fervor and I have fever.  Really.  100.5 degrees and rising at 6am, and the only reason I haven’t face planted onto my keyboard is because I’m leaning as far back in my chair as possible to keep the stuff IN my nose instead of dripping OUT of it.  I’m supposed to meet the Executive Director this afternoon and what, shall I just sneeze all over her with my hot little germies flying (which Mythbusters clocked at 39 mph)?

I shall call the doc this morning.  I shall whine, beg, plead for drugs and since I’ve probably got nothing but the most inconvenient common cold in quite a few years, there will be nothing to do for it and by Sunday, when the convention is over, I will be feeling a bit better.

Between about 1,437,389 emails a day, work, the convention, a happy three-day stint babysitting The Best Grandson In The World and a trip to the hub’s hometown to celebrate the family matriarch’s 90th birthday, I’ve been going strong sunup to sundown which by the way I WANT. MY DAMN. HOUR BACK. Daylight Stupid Time.

Plus it’s finally become clear even to my cement filled brain that I have been overtraining, bringing me to the inevitable conclusion that it’s no wonder I got sick.

These are also the reasons I haven’t posted to my blog for several days and I know you have both been distraught, (addled, agitated, anxious, beside yourselves and probably in withdrawal). (www.thesarus.com).  I’m sorry for your distress but I do have a life you know.  Just ask my children, who are always delighted for me when I get to visit all my friend.

So, imagine my happy surprised delight when I returned to Blogger Land and found out I have been awarded the Kreative Blogger Award by http://runningthriver.wordpress.com/ who is a runner, a blogger, a creative artistic person and a thriver.  (You’ll just have to visit her blog to find out!)  Needless to say, I was blown away by the honor (seriously, not joking here).

So this is what I’m supposed to do:

First, thank runningtheriver for mentioning me in the Kreative Blogger Award!  I did not know runningtheriver until she did so and I’m already loving her blog – again, both of you – visit it and give her  a shout out!

As with every nomination, there are some rules which are as follows:

You must thank the person who has given you the award. (check)

Copy the logo and place it on your blog. (check)

Link the person who has nominated you for the award. (check)

Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.

Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.

Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.

Leave a comment on each of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated.

Seven things about myself:

1.  I was actually born in Winslow, Arizona.  But I did not stand on the corner.

2. I have four children who grew up to be awesome fantastic fun and funny people who then abruptly moved out on their own, and the afore mentioned Best Grandson In The World

3.  I’ve run (on and off) my entire adult life and running helped me meet the Hubs.  I’ve done 6-7 marathons, three 50k’s and a bunch of other races.

4.  I have the best job in the world, working from home for our local running club.  Runners rock.  Runners are very cool people.  I guess it’s the endorphins.

5.  I have the best, most patient hubs ever.  He is married to a crazy woman and my dear priest friend said he will probably go directly to sit at the right hand of Jesus for having lived through marriage to me.

6.  Several years ago when the twins left for college I filled my empty nest by adopting Dog and have recently added Cat, who weighed 6.5 ounces when I rescued her.  Hubs is incredibly patient with the menagerie although he does take offense when Dog tries to sleep on his pillow.

Seven.  I need one more…um.  I know!  I’m also the luckiest person in the world because somehow, never expecting such a thing, hubs found a house on a lake that needed some fixing up and now I live in a house on a lake.  And my desk overlooks it, and I get to see geese and ducks and even:  An Otter!  Who knew?  I thought otters only lived in Alaska!  Nope, check it out: http://www.tn.gov/twra/riverotter.html (so, of course, the poor thing is probably a bit confused since it ended up in a lake, rather than a river.  “Dude!” he muttered, looking around, “this isn’t a river and that’s not Toto.  RUN!” while Dog charged out of the house toward the dock doing 90.

And nominate 7 other Kreative Bloggers.  In no particular order:

http://middleagedwomanontherun.com/ – this woman is a great inspiration.  She completed a beginning runner program last summer, fell in love with running, and has already organized a 5K event to benefit the Ronald McDonald House which provides housing for children being treated at St. Jude Research Hospital and their families.

http://camilleherron.com/blog/ – My friend, Camille Herron, a great inspiration!  She had to drop out of running while in college due to many injuries.  She has since come back in a big way, running the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials and winner of 5 marathons among other items of note.  She’s completely down-to-earth, always enthusiastic about life, running and everything in between, a study-er and a learner who generously shares everything she knows about running.  And Beer.  (See why I love her?)

http://the-healthy-diva.com/ I’m not sure how she found my blog but she did and started following me.  I only visit her blog when I am not hungry because she posts the most yummy looking healthy food you’ve ever seen and you will find yourself trying to lick the monitor.  Additionally she posts many helpful hints about living to the best of your ability.

http://inspiringandhealthyrunninginlondon.wordpress.com/  Again, I’m not sure how she found my blog.  I live vicariously through her blogging about running around and through London town, the pretty trails she finds, volunteering for the London Olympics.  I got to visit London once and love picturing it through her eyes.

http://annewoodman.wordpress.com/ who just found me or I just found her…confusion reigns in my snot-filled addled brain.  Thought provoking, funny, incredibly well written!

http://drinkrunyoga.wordpress.com/ Again, it’s the FOOD!  OMG I want to eat the pictures!!

http://justkeeprunning262.wordpress.com/ In December I ran the Tucson Marathon (GEM of a race, if you ever get the chance, and with a 2,000 ft. drop over the distance, perfect for PR’ing) and met Britanny at the start line.  I immediately loved her due to the fact she was 1) from Chicago which I grew to love while one child was in school there and 2) completely totally freeking ROCKING a bright yellow singlet, gorgeous turquoise running tights and a hot pink tutu.  She’s busy with her own photography business and moving to Texas so her posts have been a little more infrequent right now, but she loves Tequila.  What more could you want?!

And, finally, here are some related articles from other Kreative Blogger nominees:

Kreativ Blogger Award (startupbabies.com)

The Winner Is … (cre8tivegang.wordpress.com)

Kreative Blogger Award (workthedream.wordpress.com)

Kreativ Blogger Award (wordsetcwriting.com)

Day 128 – I am honored to be a Kreativ Blogger (mydailycreativity.wordpress.com)

Kreative Blogger Award and Words Etc. (wordsetcwriting.com)

Adventures in Kreativ blogging: The awards (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

Kreativ Blogger Award (dogkisses.wordpress.com)

Nomination for Kreativ Blogger award (filipinofestival.wordpress.com)

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