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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 “healthy-living”

Snowmageddon part 47 & Queen

Well, boy and girl, it’s time to panic and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.  We’re all gonna die.

Monday, November 25, 2013:  Today A chance of snow and sleet before 10am, then a chance of rain and sleet between 10am and 1pm, then rain likely after 1pm. Cloudy, with a high near 40. Southeast wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
Tonight Rain likely before 7pm, then rain and snow likely between 7pm and 1am, then a chance of rain and sleet after 1am. Cloudy, with a low around 32. East wind around 5 mph becoming north after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 70%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
Tuesday A chance of rain and sleet before 7am, then a chance of snow and sleet between 7am and 10am, then a chance of rain after 10am. Cloudy, with a high near 44. North wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

So:  you need to quit reading this stupid blog right now and go kiss your loved ones and hold them tight before Snowmageddon savagely rips you asunder.

I do believe that’s the first time I’ve ever used “asunder” in a sentence.  I’m kinda proud.

To any innocents out there that accidentally trip across my blog, I apologize for wasting your time and if you don’t live in Tennessee Snowmageddon may not affect you but I will still keep you in my prayers just in case and will offer this word of explanation.  At the hint of the possibility of the word of SNOW and/or SLEET Tennesseans immediately grab their car keys and rush to the grocery to stock up on wood (yes, at the grocery), bread and milk just in case they get snowed in for weeks and weeks under the 1/4″ spotty dusting of snow.

Meanwhile I’m sitting here safely ensconced in ShuBootAh, which I have not thrown across the room in 6 days and about, oh, 20 hours, so now I can be proud of both that and “asunder”.  Which I would really like to do to ShuBootAh.  But I won’t.  Not that I don’t frequently invent scenarios in which it is torn asunder by savage beasts while I plead no.  no.  please.  stop.  So I’m just sitting here, not doing anything, just sitting.  Interminably sitting, except when I LurchThud to the kitchen for more coffee, scaring the shit (literally) out of poor sweet Mo kitty who scrambles quickly under the bed or behind a chair.  He loves me but he hates ShuBootAh.  And, by the way, my BRFF “Heather” got 49 majillion points for naming the boot.

If either of you wondered, and I’m sure you didn’t since you’re #crazynutjobrunners yourself and surely already know, there is a correlation between the mileage you are putting in and the number of hours you’d like to sleep if Satan had not invented alarm clocks.  Unfortunately, for me at least, there is also a direct correlation between the number of hours you can’t sleep and number of miles you are not running and this past weekend found me wide awake before 5:30 both mornings.  Also, unfortunately, it found me full of energy.

Sooooo by 8:30 Sunday I was up for three hours and I’d already made coffee, read the paper, made more coffee, had breakfast, did the crossword while drinking coffee, watched TV with some coffee and even, desperately, pulled out some needlework to do.  I thought I might vacuum the house (silly idea, I know, but those fluffy balls of cat and dog hair floating up off the stairs and floor continue to stubbornly refuse to disintegrate).  Sadly, I can’t get the vacuum, me, and the boot down the stairs and I’ll be damned if I take the chance of slipping and hurting any other part of my body.  Then I thought of just setting the vacuum on the top stair and kind of holding on but sort of push it down the stairs (which I’d really like to do, in truth, but not because I’m afraid of falling), however the realization that it would smash into a bunch of pieces upon landing on the tile below was enough to dampen my enthusiasm for any part of the activity.  The second realization, that I would then have to explain to hubs that we need a new vacuum when 5 seconds previously we had a perfectly good one pretty much did a Niagara Falls on the idea.  Washed out completely.  So I stuck the vacuum back in the upstairs closet and sighed.

I THUD lurched around the house a bit, aimlessly, swinging my arms.  Maybe that will use up some energy.

And maybe Bill Gates is pulling into my drive right now to announce he wants to give me $10 majillion dollars.

I had some trouble getting out of the pity party.  Everything that distracted me was lame.  It was such a pretty day, cold and crackling crisp, 25 degrees when I woke, but I’m OK with that, I run in the cold and don’t mind it – too much – as long as it’s dry and not windy.  I tried not to look out the window at the beautiful morning as every time I did the zing shot through my head.  “Dammit”  “I can’t run

NOPE quit, stop, do something.

I went back to the den and sat down again, pulling out the needlework and started scrolling through the 987 channels which had nothing good on any of them, I think I need to pay for HBO.

BUT, wait, what is this?  A 2-hour special on Queen?  Followed by a 2-hour special about Freddie Mercury??

I wasn’t a huge hard rock fan in high school.  Heck, at 13 I was still a Monkees fan (yes.  I was a complete nerd, walking around in my high water jeans since I’d hit 5’8″ the year previously and there was no Gap store in my mall, offering jeans in Tall, nor would my South Dakota farm-raised mom understand the need for specialized jeans.  When she was growing up she had two sets of clothes:  Milk the Cows outfit, Go to School outfit).  I used to think maybe Davy Jones would some day visit Phoenix and be walking down the mall, and I would be at the mall and I would be walking along and he would see me and little fireworks would pop around in the air above his head and he would fall in love with me.

I’m lying.  I didn’t really think that would happen.

But – you know – it’s not like it’s completely impossible, like Bill Gates driving up to the house would be.  And you can see, by my relating this sweet innocent dream, that I was not born the cynic I’ve become.  I look back at that 13 year old and pat her on the head.  It’s OK, you’re doing fine.

Anyway, I digress.  Queen.  I do love hard rock now and play it loudly as I drive around town, me, Queen, AC/DC and my AARP card, I’m rocking it out now, wild and crazy, and no one’s stopping me.  It was particularly fun for me as I got to go to Switzerland once and hubs and I took a day trip to Montreux, where we got our picture taken in front of his statue.  What an incredibly talented man.  I never knew he sang opera.  You learn something new everyday, they say, those “they” people.

026

Rainbow Farting Caticorn

Apparently I now have a claim to fame, thanks to several of my friends who have posted this picture on FB for me (and thank you because I’ve laughed out loud every time).

farticorn“…you like me, right now, you like me!” (did you know she was actually making a joking reference to a line in Norma Rae?)

I have recently been a rainbow farting unicorn, a caticorn, a giraffacorn and some others I’ve forgotten.  I strive, but as you know from the boot tossing incident I tend to fail frequently.  Sometimes when I fail I don’t feel like getting up any more.  Then I have to fight my brain and sometimes that is hard.  I’ve talked a bit about being a depressive.  Maybe if you are a person who does not struggle with depression you might think that depression is a feeling of sadness.  Like, I’m so sad, my grandma died.  Or like, I’m so sad, I just lost my job.

These are definitely things to be sad about, since both have happened to me I know, and you would be sad about them for a while, until the happy memories of grandma dulled the edges of the sadness, or until you found another job and realized maybe it was a better job anyway and nannernanner doo-doo head to your former boss.  Even the incredible breath-taking-hole-in-the-middle-of-your-chest sudden death of a sibling or parent still dulls over time, the sadness fading to a sorrow of loss, unless you cannot process grief properly.

Maybe depression should be renamed nothing-sion.  As the years have passed and with medication and counseling and falling down/standing back up I think I am in a much better place than I was 25 years ago.  It helps that I am not exhausted by working and parenting four kids, I am no longer at the mercy of raging hormones monthly, I have time to rest if I need and I have much less mental input throughout the day that I have to process (7am, bus arrives at 7:10:  “I need to bring an orange t-shirt and twelve cupcakes to class TODAY!” “Honey, did you get the dry cleaning?” “WE DONT HAVE NO CHEEEERIOSSSSSSSS” scream the 4-year-olds as the dryer DINGS the end of the first of six loads).

I still fight it every day though.  It’s insidious and difficult to catch, little ziiiiings of feeling … nothing.  Just nothing.  A hole of meaninglessness.  So you have to ignore it, you have to think about something else and you have to do that with a brain that doesn’t want to.

Thank God, medication got me to at least 80%.  Maybe 90%, it’s hard to determine since it’s not quantitative.  The rest of it is thinking.  Thinking about thinking.  Thinking of something nice or happy or funny to break through the Wall of Nothing that sits between my brain and my eyes looking out at the world.  Sometimes when I’m on a run I completely feel.  I feel.  I feel the sun, the breeze, I feel life and I feel connected to the ground and the sky and the world and it seems to matter and exist and have meaning, and I forget about the Nothing for a while.  Which is likely why I threw the boot.

My counselor gave me a book years ago, “Learned Optimism” which was an incredible help.  I actually pulled it back out the other day but haven’t gotten started on it yet since I found a new Anne Rice novel that has me intrigued.  In this book I learned that you cannot change a feeling, but you can change the deeply ingrained and habitual tiny little thought that zings through your head the nanosecond after something happens which then causes the feeling.  It takes some work to find the little words, I kept a notebook for a while which helped. “AH sh*t” “it always” “they never” “what’s it worth anyway”.  This might help anyone as we all have the thoughts, depressive or not, and most of us are not aware of the little zing.

Part of the trick is to get that switch in my brain toggled to “on”.  And that is where the rainbow farting caticorn comes into play.  If I were a rainbow farting caticorn I would be an awesome being.  I would be unique and I would have a purpose and reason for being.  (I know, we all are and do but depression tells me there is nothing, and while I know it’s lying, it sometimes lies very convincingly).  So I take the RFC and consider what it would do in a particular situation.  It would rise up and be awesome is what it would do, because by reason of being an RFC it automatically assumes awesomeness.

This post has taken a very different turn than I expected when I started out, intending to laugh about Caticorns.  I’m going to let it stand, however, because maybe this happened for a reason.  Maybe someone out there feels the same way and maybe they can think about being a RFC too.

Lastly, please don’t try to ‘cheer’ me up – it’s not necessary or needed, I’m fine.  And it doesn’t work anyway, it’s like telling someone with no arms to open a present.  Let them figure it out, they’ll be OK.

Pride goeth before a fall. And after.

I was really pretty proud of myself.  I’m disappointed now, of course, but then I disappoint myself more than I make myself proud so I’m used to that.

But, then I considered the fact that I’d lasted much longer than I expected so I felt rather proud again.  Not really, really proud like, Oh, Look, I did an Ironman.  Or like Oh, Look, I invented something that will save lives.  More like, Oh, Look, I managed to not kick a kitten.

JUST KIDDING I would not kick a kitten.  You know, unless it got right in front of my foot when I was walking and I didn’t see it and it sailed through the air by accident, so I think that should not count.  Plus she’s just fine.  She’s like three years old now and still shows no adverse effects and also she was so damn tiny, I really did not see her.

I was so committed to being rational and patient, too.  I practiced thinking patient rational things.  I said them out loud to other people.  “Well, I’m just going to look at this as my reset button.”  “I’ll just wait until January and go back to the beginning.”  “This is probably a good thing to happen.  Maybe I’ve finally figured out the cause of all the issues.”

And I meant it.  I really did.  I listened to me talking and watched my brain, and brain was nodding in agreement.  Brain was all zen and calm and agreeing with everything we said.  I thought, wow, I’m actually calm.  I’m being calm and focused and not letting this upset me, and I felt proud of myself.

The thing that frustrates me, among about 10,000,000 other things, is that I suspect there are some people out there that never threw their boot across the room mentioning its very questionable parentage.

Pride goeth before a fall.

Yesterday  morning I thought, Oh, look, I’ve had this @#$%& – @#&(‘ing boot since Thursday and it’s Monday which is going on five days and I didn’t throw it across the room yet.

Just in case you ever need to know, the damn things don’t break easily.  This is probably a good thing, though, since I don’t want to have to call the grumpy receptionist at the podiatrist’s and tell her I broke my foot and my boot, please ma’am may I have another? because the way she sighs on the phone the papers on the other lady’s desk probably blow all over in a whirlwind and you know that would be my fault also.  

Pride goeth after the fall too.

Getting the boot.

I abhor Velcro.  Velcro is in collusion with this damnable boot to drive me over the edge, clinging fearfully to the wrong side of the boot, grip of iron, it won’t let go “NO NO! you can’t make me!” as I desperately attempt to get even a fingernail slipped between the clinging Velcro and the boot.  I try folding it neatly back upon itself so when I put the boot back on I can just unfold it and tighten.  No.  The moment I turn my back all the Velcro straps flop open and take turns sticking to each other and the other side of the boot.  Nanner Nanner Nanner they say, passive-aggressive payback because they know – they KNOW, they are SENTIENT and they know that I secretly hate the boot and, thus, I hate them.

THEY started it.  Both boot and Velcro black as night, I can’t see the end of the Velcro strip hiding like cowardly Velcro chameleons behind the boot, my foot held captive as I stretch to the left and to the right trying to peer at the back of the boot.  Oh, I know what you are thinking, there, all smug in your shoes.  You’re thinking, just take the boot off, straighten the straps and put the boot back on.

I can’t!  They KNOW!  I tried!  I took it off, I pulled the Velcro nice and straight and slid my foot gently into the boot not to disturb them.  Distracted trying to keep my jeans from bunching into a baseball-sized-knot rubbing a sore on my ankle, I looked away for just one second – just one! and they turned into super-glued velcro spaghetti.

I am an adult.  I am stymied by a strip of fabric.

Even better, today when I finally got the boot on – and Boot needs a name, by the way, so we are having a naming contest, winner gets 47 majillion points so post your nominee to the FB post linked when I publish – I got to wrap it in garbage bags and duct tape it shut so I could wander around the RRS half marathon all morning in the rain.  I bought a rain suit at Bass Pro Shops.  It was a size medium.  I failed to realize that many of the Bass Pro Shop customers are hulking males who can heft big guns and large dead animals.  The result was me hobbling around in a garbage wrapped boot (which probably further angered the Velcro, I’m sure they all felt I was dissing them) in rain suit pants which reached from just below my armpits to about 5″ past my heel; rain coat hanging halfway to my knees and to the tips of my fingers:  lurch-thud, lurch-thud, lurch-thud.

And I’ve been nice to Boot.  I even decorated it yesterday.  It’s not Boot’s fault that I hate it, I’m trying to be fair here but if Boot and Velcro continue with this attitude things could go bad fast.  Which is a hollow threat because they both know I have no control in the situation.  *Sigh*

boot

Today one of my BRFF’s, “Lisa” brought me some awesome little foot/toesies covers to wear so my toes don’t get cold.  Her sister “Robin” (which may or may not be their real names, identities obscured at random to protect the innocent who never asked to be publicly associated with me) was in a boot (sadly) but (happily) she loves to knit and made the little Toesies.  One is a kitty, so guess which one I chose to wear first?  And you are both lucky I’d already put it on because while I love you both, faithful lonely followers of my World Famous Blog, I don’t love you enough to return to battle with the Velcro.

toesie

Isn’t it cute?  I will love him and squeeze him and call him George.  The Toesie, I mean.

Despite the travails of the Velcro War and lurching about like a man-made monster we did have fun today, in the rain, working the race.  The MRTC runners are AWESOME and we love them, crazynutjobrunners currently under- or un-medicated but we won’t tell.  After the race started another BRFF, whom I shall call Sara, and I drove the course, hubs in the backseat, doing the driving himself which I have no idea where he got that from, “watch out for that car!”  “watch out for that runner!” and how he saw them, nose deep in the newspaper in the backseat, I have no clue but should not be surprised because he did the same thing with the kids. Didn’t have to even look up.  DO NOT PUSH YOUR BROTHER DOWN THE STAIRS, he would state, calmly, in his booming voice.

We honked and beeped and waved at the runners, sometimes when the rain was not pelting sideways at one side of the car we’d open a window and shout at them.

GO RUNNERS!  YOU LOOK GREAT!  YOU CAN DO THIS!

They would wave back, rain dripping off their faces, miserable, whipped by 20-30mph winds with gusts.  They definitely earned their stripes today.

At the turn around we waited for Sara’s Doug which she says sort of like  ♬♪Doug♪♬ all syrupy so we almost got diabetes.  She jumped out into the pouring rain and waited for him, giving him a kiss and hopping back in the car.  Still staring at the paper hubs muttered, Terri wouldn’t jump out in the pouring rain to kiss me.

Well of course I wouldn’t.  My leg is currently firmly stuck to the fabric of my car seat by an angry rogue strip of !#&!’ing VELCRO.

What a difference a day makes. Or, part of a day. Or, part of a morning.

The Smackdown Wagon ran me over this morning after my happy, positive post.

sad kitten

This is proof to me that resolving to be positive and upbeat is stupid and sure to lead to disaster and disillusionment.  I’m pretty sure googling 50K training plans prior to my run this morning did nothing to divert the Bad Luck Fairy hovering over my head waiting to strike, with Fate winging it in the background just in case Bad Luck Fairy took a swing and missed.  Or just in case Fate is feeling particularly like a bitch right now and wanted to do some slapping when BLF got done with her hits.

foot

Pain Level 5 – There’s a little man in my 3rd metatarsal using a jackhammer and he has a friend helping him.

I guess my original thought – that my foot was swollen and sore from 7 hours in a pair of pumps (I KNEW I should just wear my Toms and ask the photogs to focus knees and above) – was, actually …

wrong

… and what I had talked myself out of for the past three days was not a serious case of negative thinking, hypochondria or making a big deal out of nothing but is, instead, a stress fracture of the 3rd metatarsal and apparently the little men in my foot with the jackhammer intend to hang around 6 – 8 weeks.  My run started out so well, too, basically pain free – you  cannot call an occasional piriformis ping “pain”.  It was a lovely morning, I felt strong and loose, having the best run I’ve had in weeks, maybe months.  Just lovely, centered, feeling strong, feeling lined up, feeling my feet hit the ground and spring back up.

At mile two the sore spot on the top of my foot started to feel like a sore spot at the top of my foot.  At 2.5 the sore spot started to feel like an extremely sore spot that wanted me to stop and sit down.  Being a mile from home that was not optional but foot did not care, and at 2.75 foot said screw you lady and started screaming. I limped 3/4 mile home which took about 25 minutes and hurt more with each step.  I called my favorite podiatrist and before noon I was in his office, strapped into a boot and being told I would be doing exactly NO.THING. until he sees me again in 2-1/2 weeks.

This means all the plans I recently made after I cancelled the other plans I’d previously made will now have to be cancelled.  I’m pretty sure I feel a little bit like crying but it also feels a lot like watching a train wreck in a movie.  You know it’s coming, you know they’re going to hit and all you can do is watch and wait, other than the fact that I can’t change the channel and of course you could if you were watching a movie.  Which I’m not.  I’m pretty sure I’m kinda pissed at fate right now but I’m also feeling kinda smacked down and don’t really feel like tempting fate any further at this point, because I’ve done so for over a year now and it doesn’t look like I’m winning.

So once again I prove you can’t argue with fate and if you’re sitting here with a busted foot it’s not going away.  Just like labor and delivery, once that baby starts it’s not stopping so you can fight it as much as you want or you can try to shut up and take what comes.  I’m not so good at that but at least it looks like I’m going to get a chance to practice, right?

Just a little flesh wound.

You can make dinner while standing on one foot but I would not recommend you do so while stirring the popping spaghetti sauce, ouch.

But it’s OK, just a little flesh wound.

Seriously, just a little pop of boiling spaghetti sauce on my arm, I’d rate it point-zero-one on a 1-10 scale.  I had a conversation with a friend one time, discussing another friend with terminal cancer whose stated pain level was 9 or 10.  We considered for a while.  How bad can 10 feel?  We all know 11 is one louder, however the pain scale only goes to 10 so it took a while for us to develop a new pain scale:

1 – my head hurts

2 – my head hurts like a little man inside is pounding it with a little hammer

3 – I’d like to get that little man out of my head and kick his a$$

4 – the little man in my head is using a jackhammer

5 – the little man in my head has a friend helping him

6 – the little man in my head and his friend are close to breaking through

7 – the little man in my head and his friend have broken through my skull and are now dancing in my eyeballs in celebration

8 – the little man in my head and his friend who broke through and did the celebration dance are now stabbing my eyeballs

9 – the little man in my head and his friend who broke through, danced and then stabbed my eyeballs just set my hair on fire …

10. … and … now they just tore my arms off.

Lately I have had ample opportunity to answer the question “Please rate your pain on a scale of one to ten.”  It’s a conundrum.  My ten could be your 20.  Or it could be your 3.  Maybe pain scales should note that a 10 means someone just sliced off both your arms but if you consider it just a flesh wound please choose 2. I ponder what number to choose on my current pain level.

I had my first two children sans medication.  It was the thing to do for some reason.  Don’t take an aspirin, just breathe deeply, you can do this.  So, I did.  I was alone in a room, waiting for something to happen, four weeks early with my girl child.  The woman in the room next to me screamed.  OMGOD HELP  HELP ME SOMEONE HELP MAKE IT STOP.  I was fairly sure someone was actually in the room with her who could help and it appeared they were either refusing or she’d made them promise to do nothing no matter how she begged.

Let me out. Let me out of here. Get me the hell out of here. What’s the matter with you people? I was joking! Don’t you know a joke when you hear one? HA-HA-HA-HA. (*@#$$, get me out of here! Open this $%&%# door or I’ll kick your rotten heads in! Mommy!

Hour after hour I was there, alone, with a couple of Home & Garden magazines to peruse which, by the way and to this day, I hate.  As I repeatedly gazed at gardens that would never grace my home I promised myself – if there was one thing in my life I was going to make sure would happen it was this:  I was not going to make a sound whenever girl child decided to appear.  Tear my nails out, I don’t care, I am not going to make noises that can be heard through walls by unsuspecting, lonely and frightened people.

So – I’ve had levels of pain but pain is complicated by duration, exacerbated by sudden stabbings or electricity jolting through muscles and who knows how much pain it really was, it’s different for everyone.  I’m gratefully past all that, again, and want to remain that way.  I will continue to strive to finally, totally defeat the current issue. Which brings me to stirring boiling spaghetti sauce while balancing on one foot.

Dr. W, as you both know, has been fantastic help since the first of the year and will remain forever my hero since my back did not spasm for three months as it did a few years ago – even without Butt Falling Off Syndrome that alone is enough to put him on the top shelf with all the really big trophies.  Yesterday I tried something new –  Structural Integration – and … just … wow.  I hurt this morning, but it’s a good hurt, ach-y in my neck and shoulders and oddly (because I never do so) I find myself stretching as I walk to the Shrine Of Keurig or sit at my desk, rolling my shoulders and head, and it feels good, looser.

I suppose most people who show up bruised and battered at Lucia’s office are pretty dorked up, I know that she didn’t seem to see much of me that wasn’t torqued one direction or the other.  She started from the bottom up and the first thing she asked me was if I’d badly sprained my ankle at some time in my life.  Yes, indeed I did, 6 months pregnant with the twins I fell stepping into the garage, the Goodyear Blimp of motherhood, landing awkwardly.  The ER doctor said I’d have been better off if it had broken and indeed, it hurt for most of a year if I moved wrong.  Side note:  a fat pregnant woman hopping through the house and office on one foot is pathetic and frightens innocent bystanders who fear the hopping could jolt loose a child.  It didn’t.

She rotated my left foot, then my right and suddenly I realized that my left foot seems to be attached very loosely by about 2 worn out rubber bands, flopping slightly as I stride, the right foot landing firmly while the left foot rolls to the outside before deciding to embrace earth.  Who knew?  Apparently just because the brains and I live in this body does not mean anyone is actually taking charge at the helm, and also apparently my left foot has been flopping about for 25 years refusing to carry its load, thank you foot, I’ll remember that at Christmas, coal in the stocking for you.  In the meantime we will be spending a lot of time, you and me, standing on you without the assistance of right foot.  But no longer will we do so in front of a roiling saucepan.

When I see them Dr. W and Lucia give me instructions, which I then carry carefully to Killer, who assists me in planking and squatting and lunging and monster-walking because in addition to no one firmly at the helm I’m also irresponsible and do not self-motivate properly.  Yes, yes, I nod, slavering happily, yessir, Dr. W, yes ma’am Lucia I’ll plank, I will balance on the BOSU ball, yep yep I skip about in their offices like a puppy but already Brain has seen a chicken and run off after it.

So I thank you, Dr. W, and Lucia, and Killer, and all of you in service industries who help people who are hurting, sick, in need.  I only have aches and pains, I do not have terminal cancer but I did watch my father die day-by-day for a year and I know who the caregivers are – givers because they care.  You are all very special people and I thank you all for making this world a better place while I sit at the computer answering emails and hanging around my watercooler named Facebook, posting pictures of cute kittens, unicorns and zombies.  You rock.

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.

Daylight Stupid Time, Part Deux

I’ve never liked math but I can add, subtract, and multiply, although I usually multiply by two (mother of twins joke ha ha)

I say I can add and subtract but I still spent last night counting on my fingers repeatedly to be sure that if my clock currently said 9:37 and I reset it to 8:37 I had, indeed, calculated properly.  Most of the time I would not care.  I would just go bed and worry about it in the morning whenever I awoke because how much difference can an hour make on a Sunday morning when the only children you have, have four legs and feed themselves?

Unfortunately I knew that this was Road Race Series morning out on Singleton Parkway and I also knew that due to my job I have all the registrations, all the forms, all the chips and B-tags, safety pins and ties, the cash box, the CC slips and all the shirt check lists in my vehicle.  If I show up an hour late to a race, arriving 15 minutes before the race starts, my new name will be $#@*’#$@ #$(*&% with several !!! added on the end and there could be a lynching although my greater fear is being stuck headfirst in a port-o-let that has been visited by many nervous runners.

So I did what I do when I’m worried about things – like most people – and I woke repeatedly during the night looking at the clock, thinking it all through again.  Then I checked my phone, but it’s not 2am now, or maybe it was and now it isn’t again, but it will be and will my clock say 2am then or did it already say 2am and then needs to say it again when it isn’t 2am again?

Finally, exhausted, my head pounding, I fell deeply asleep only to be rudely awakened by sweet Mo tapping my cheek with his soft little paw.

Baby JESUS in a basket in the RIVER!  What TIME is it? I thought as I scrambled for my phone, belatedly realizing that was Moses in a basket in the river.  4:13am.  I turned the phone off and back on again, in case the phone doesn’t turn over to the right time unless you turn it off and back on again.

You laugh, go ahead, but how many times have you fixed some program by turning the computer off and back on again?

Four men rode in a car: a mechanical engineer, an electrical engineer, a chemical engineer, and a computer engineer.  Suddenly the car stalled.
The mechanical engineer said, “It must be the pistons; let’s repair them and be on our way.”
The electrical engineer said, “It has to be the spark plugs; we’ll replace them and be ready to roll in no time at all.”
The chemical engineer said. “No, it’s got to be bad gas; we’ll flush the system and be on our way.”
They turned to the computer engineer. “What do you think we should do?” they asked.
The computer engineer shrugged and said, “Get out of the car. Close all the windows. Turn off the car. Then turn the car back on and open all the windows.”

The phone popped back up, little white apple glowing and soon proudly announced it was 4:15 am just as the duck quacking alarm commenced to announce it was time to get up.

It could be a trap, you never know.  I could have set the phone wrong, like I could have told Siri that we now live in Pennsylvania and she reset the phone to their time.  I wandered downstairs and turned on the computer to google “what time is it in Memphis, Tennessee” and while I waited for all the windows to reopen I went upstairs to turn on the Keurig so my brain would start too.  Hope springs eternal.  Oh, look, I left the cup of water out on the counter.  May as well drink it up.

HOLY SH*T what the $&*% is THAT?

Because I think it’s ridiculous to spend the money on soap dispenser refills I buy cheap clear dish detergent and thin it with water to fill the soap dispenser in the kitchen.  In all my worries and concerns about DST and the RRS half marathon I’d forgotten I’d done that last night before bed and since it was all bubbled up I left it on the counter to settle and yes, I know what you are thinking and yes, you are right.

I spit the soap out into the sink, my eyes watering, my nose and throat burning, coughing and gagging, spitting, nearly retching.  I took a swig of (REAL) water and gargled, bubbles foaming up out of my mouth and running down my chin, spitting, gargling, foaming, spitting ACK ACK ACK

I gargled and spit, gargled and spit mouthfuls of foam into the sink until finally there were no more bubbles.  I tried some coffee but it tasted funny and I couldn’t figure out why until just now.

Everything loaded in the car I headed to the race site, throat still burning, sipping some juice, fumbling to find some ACDC or Ozzy Osbourne when I noticed – the clock in my car is right again!

In a hopeless place

Well, Boy and Girl, my two faithful followers whom I’m sure have been completely bereft in the dearth of recent posts on my world-famous blog, I thought I would update you on the two Brains thing.

Apparently in addition to one Brain being able to completely hijack all reasonable or unreasonable plans, intentions, or actions on the part of the other Brain and myself without any advance notice, the Brains can also, apparently, completely disengage and watch from a distance as someone does something ridiculous and in which either Brain may refuse at the last moment to participate, leaving me standing forlorn at a start line or 7-8 miles into a trail.

My proof comes in the form of a happy email announcing gaily the confirmation of my registration for the Sylamore 50K.  That would be the registration I completed this afternoon while sitting here on my Biofreezed falling off butt.

Brain 1 is tee-heeing like a kindergartener, she said BUTT.  Fine, laugh away jerk, where were you when I noted on the application that I am a male who desires a large shirt?  Thanks for noticing when I got the confirmation. 

Thanks also for noticing the shirt error first, so I could email the RD with the size change and then noticing 13 seconds later that I’m now a male so I could email the RD again to request a sex change without having to travel to Sweden.

You can see that I’m trapped in a hopeless place – which, thank you so not once again, dear Brains, now I’ve got Rhiana’s We Found Love stuck in my damn head, is it not bothering the two of you, since you’re the ones IN my HEAD?  Apparently not, as you aren’t shutting the godforsaken earworm off.

Interestingly registration filled up in less than 30 minutes leaving many runners sad.  They are sad they are not going to go run 25K or 50K in rocky hills in Arkansas in February where it might well snow on you while you cross the freezing creek not once, but twice.

You know friends, it’s no wonder your non-running buddies look at you and back away just a bit.  Here I sit, on the DL, having just scrapped plans for two distance races, Biofreezing half my body – and I just paid good money for another race.

Are we crazy?  Stubborn?  Stupid?  Delusional?  No wonder friends and family shake their heads and sigh.  And those are friends and families that are runners!  Sir Hubs hates marathons.  Every time I register for a distance race he just gets The Look and sighs slightly.  Hubs is currently plotting to get into Ironman FLA 2014.

FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, THERE’S A FREEKING MARATHON AT THE END OF THE IRONMAN.  (I’m yelling now, aren’t I?) AFTER he swims over 2 miles in a flipping ocean and bikes 112 miles and is probably getting just a tad tired and still facing a 26.2 mile run.  How the hell does he get to the conclusion that I’M crazy??

Brain 2 just chimed in that I might want to note that Hubs is not talking about his brains in 3rd person.

I’d like to point out that Hubs has brains that actually work, but I won’t because then I’ll be arguing with my own self and it’s all getting rather confusing.

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)

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