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 “happy”

It’s a beautiful day

It’s a beautiful day
Don’t let it get away
It’s a beautiful day

After the day-long rain yesterday we have an almost-chilly breeze this morning.  The phone just rang, a little voice chirped asking if Moggie and Papa want to go to Panera?  You bet, little buddy!  I have the windows open and put on tights and a sweatshirt, after breakfast I will go sit on the patio and think about life and goodness and try to put a little back out into the world.

I hear crickets (although it’s no longer dark) and birds chirping loudly across the cove.  Does the chill air make their squawks louder?  Or do they carry better on the cool dry breeze?  I sit with my fingers suspended over the keyboard watching the branches sway, the rustling leaves shushing, the little waves on the lake running into each other appearing to flow into and out of our cove simultaneously, trying to take it all in and hold it in my heart and mind to pull back out for the next hot humid run, the next complaining email.  But those are far away now and I don’t need to consider it.

Smelling my hot coffee and feeling the breeze through the window I am remembering the times my family spent camping with my parent’s friends and their families.  We would drive up to the Mogollon Rim (which we pronounced Mug-ee-own), all the kids piled in the back of someone’s station wagon or camper with two designated adults who’d apparently drawn the short straw, the rest of the cars driven in the caravan by adults incredibly pleased to be in a car sans children.  Most of them smoked at the time so we all sat, crammed together, windows open, hot Phoenix air slowly turning cool as we drove further north.

At Payson we turned off, east, heading upward, trying to scare each other with tails of the Mogollon Monster.  Zane Grey’s cabin was a little off the highway and we stopped there at least once, tiny little cabin up in the woods all alone.  It was destroyed later in a forest fire.  I liked to think of him alone on the side of the hill, tucked away in his snug cabin, fireplace blazing, writing the stories my dad loved to read as a child.  I felt connected to a stranger who’d made my father happy and this in turn made me happy.

We’d turn of onto a narrow dirt road and drive until it ended somewhere, piling out of the car, our parents throwing up tents and throwing down sleeping bags while we kids stampeded all over the forest, whistles around our necks, climbing, exploring, playing in streams for hours until our internal clocks returned us to camp just as lunch was being laid out.  Cramming our faces full we ran back out into the woods.  At some point the fathers would holler for us and we’d head out to the meadow where a hill rose over the other side.  The dads would line cans up against the dirt berm and teach us gun safety and how to shoot.  We learned north from south, east from west, we learned if we didn’t know where we were to immediately sit down, stay there and blow the whistle until they found us.  We learned the smell of pine forest and campfires, and the feel of cold clean streams on bare feet.

In the evening after dinner and a final hike we all settled down, kids in sleeping bags in tents or under the stars, millions of shining stars no one can see from their backyards over the glow of cities, millions and millions of stars stretching forever and I’d stare until they seemed alive and moving, thinking of all those worlds out there.  Did someone out there look up into their sky and wonder, too?

Our very sober and hardworking parents would pull out a cooler of beer while we all huddled in our sleeping bags, the oldest of us valiantly trying to stay awake because as soon as Mr. Marquardt pulled out his guitar we knew the fun was starting.  We faked sleep until we heard him start singing the Rang-dang-do song, my dad – MY DAD – loudly singing the chorus as they all laughed.  Bret and I looked at each other, no need for words:  mom and dad are … human …

And we would fall asleep in the cool night under the stars, content and safe with our very human parents.

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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.

Exercise and the Exorcist – Part 3

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

I woke:

The sun is shining! ♫ ♪ ♫

Birds are singing! ♫ ♫ ♪

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

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

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

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

HOW…MANY…MILES…ARE…ON…THESE…SHOES?

Over 500.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everyday my legs feel better.

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

Slide 1.2 A Sweet Run, Visual

This is what I looked like getting my paper before I learned of Les Baxter and His Orchestra

All two of my followers have spoken in defense of January

Poor maligned January, it is actually a home to many happy events: marriages, babies, birthdays; it is a rest stop between the busy-ness of the holidays and the rush of spring, a harbinger of the new growth to come, a time of reflection and renewal.  This makes me very happy because I felt sad for January.  I felt it had gotten the short end of the deal but now I realize that January, just as everything in this world, has it’s time and it’s place.  And so I have created a piece of art to honor January that I shall name … JANUARY.

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