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Archive for the tag “iPod”

Promise and new growth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shut up. Give me the coffee.

Car properly loaded to work and run the Road Race Series 10K – Shrine of Coffee, PB and Orange Marm sammie, tunes for the extra miles after the race (only one ear bud will be used for safety)

4:01 am.  56 degrees.

Every year, just when I give up hope, it happens.  It’s like Christmas, I finally decide that there really is no Santa and then I wake on Christmas morning.  Thursday:  103 degrees, 10 quadjillion% humidity.  Sunday: 56 degrees.  Still 97% humidity, so I’ll still sweat like an Arkansas hawg, but … it will be a clammy chilly sweat.  And, um, yay for that.

Here’s a surprise:  no matter what time I wake I’m not a morning person (pick your favorite, I couldn’t choose just one).  Back away, stay calm and leave a clear path to the coffee pot is all I ask.  Oh, and also, Shut UP.  I don’t want to talk, I don’t want to smile, I don’t actually want to breathe but that’s automatic, thank God.  Or maybe not.  Many people might be safer if I skipped breathing first thing in the morning.  Wake up, quit breathing, fall over.  Later, wake again.  It might work.

Do.  Not.  Suggest this to hubs.  He may take you up on it.

Hubs is like this: Deepest Darkest Night, alarm RINGRINGRINGRING and just as I think I will have to find a shotgun and scatter the F*ing thing into space he manages to find the button to turn it off.  Mind you, it’s the same button every damn morning, but somehow it seems to scoot to one end of the clock or the other randomly, never to be found two days in a row.

Over the years hubs has learned, and sometimes failed to remember, that I want to sleep.  Like, sleeping sleep.  Not like, “OK I’M GOING TO WORK NOW, BYE, Oh, sorry, DID I WAKE YOU?” sleep.  Because once you’ve attempted a conversation with someone, unless they are in a coma, under anesthesia or deaf then yes, YOU JUST WOKE THEM UP.  (Hubs has a hearing deficit.  I have to type loudly).  (I don’t have a hearing deficit.  I hear you in there, shaving and talking to the cat.)  (The cat is not going to answer you even if you continue to increase the volume of the conversation).  (Also, putting the cat in the shower and shutting the door does not work.  I can hear her mewing nonstop and you can, too, I know, because you keep saying, Just a MINUTE cat and I’ll let you out.  But, you don’t.)

I blame it on the 9+ months I spent without more than 3-4 hours sleep in a row, thank you so not, T1 and T2 although I know it’s not your fault that you didn’t like sleeping on your head all crammed in there together those last few months any more than I would have; altho the bed would have been more comfy for me than the recliner, it wasn’t about me.  And of course you shouldn’t be blamed for being hungry every few hours when you weighed about 6 pounds, altho it would have been nice had you timed your hunger pangs to coincide rather than splitting it up into 90 minute intervals.  This is all in the past however, and all that is left is a lingering and irrational desire not to be awakened.

As I’ve mentioned, the alarm clock has a warped sense of humor and takes delight in randomly working or not, so I set my phone alarm.  On Road Race Series mornings I’ve got to get up by 4:15am so I can get ready to run the race myself and also have all the registrations, packets, cash box, lists, etc., organized and loaded in the car.  Cat decided to be a nocturnal living alarm clock, however, and pounced on the pillow at 4:01 am.  There’s very little sense in trying to go back to sleep for 14 minutes so I got up and made coffee.  I thought something was wrong with the lights when I turned them on but then discovered I still had my eyes closed and was not, in fact, making coffee in the dark.  I was hopeful for a moment that I was sleep walking and not really awake, either, but discovered to my sorrow that I was indeed awake after a bit of hot coffee sloshed on me.  ouch.

Clutching a hot Go Cup of coffee, the Shrine of The Only Thing Right With The World At 5:15am safely buckled beside me, I head out in the cool dark morning to the race site.  I like this part, driving in the quiet early morning, hitting the freeway with the semi’s and a few out-of-state drivers apparently on vacation.  I think about where they may be going or have been. I’ve always loved driving in the dark, somehow feeling more connected to the greater world, the stars and the silence.  Well, except Thunderstruck just came up on 103 so now I have that blaring as I sip the nectar of coffee and head to the Farms.

This part I love, too – arriving at the race site in the 5:30am dark.  The finish line crew is already there, some are out on the course setting cones, some are getting the finish line set up.  This crazy bunch of nutjobs are not even all runners any more, due to injuries and issues, yet there they are, laughing, setting things up, playing jokes on one another.  Over the past 5-1/2 years of doing my job we’ve all shared ups and downs, we’ve laughed together, cried together.  They are there long before the race starts and long after the last runner crosses the finish line; they are my second family.

The stars slowly fade as the sun peeks up over the park.  There is mist rising off the ponds and I see the horses from the stable jogging along the fence as they see the runners begin to line up behind the start.  Runners stretch out in front and behind me, a rainbow of multi-hued tech shirts and hats, Garmins beeping as they locate the Mother Ship, feet shuffling.

I see Lane climb the stepladder with the bullhorn.  “GOOOOOOOOOOOD MOOOOOOOOOOORNING RUNNNNNNNNNNNNNERS!” he shouts.  The race is on, the day begins.

September 12, 2010 – the horses raced along the fence as the runners took off.  Photo Credit John Bookas.

Bruno Mars: Setting the Bar Impossibly High for the Next Generation

Apparently at some point in the not-too-distant past I thought it would be funnier than canned monkey meat to put Bruno Mars’ song “Grenade” on my iPod, knowing full well that I’d forget I did so and that at some point it would rotate to the top of the play list – hopefully while I still had a bunch of miles to go so it would be stuck in my head for, like, 80 minutes – and I’d immediately blame one of the twins since that’s who I always blame practical jokes on even though they’re 24 years old and haven’t lived at home for 6 years.  Blaming them makes it feel like they’re still here, however, so I like to do so whenever possible.

When you first listen to his lyrics you might think Bruno is a bit of an insecure masochist, what he’d do out of the goodness of his heart and the depth of his undying (well, undying as long as the grenade doesn’t blow after he catches it) love and she won’t do the same.  But meditate on these lyrics for 7 or 8 miles (which won’t be hard to do since this is one of the most insidious earworms ever written) and you will find a depth of selflessness and commitment that the next generation needs to see.

“I’d catch a grenade for ya”

When the hubs and I were dating – you know, you’re young, you’re unsure…what’s the commitment level here – you’d like to see some proof that the guy has your back.  One day we were walking through the grocery parking lot and in the next row over – YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS! – a dude tossed a grenade at a girl; just pushing her cart full of Bud Light 24 packs and a can of onion dip while the boyfriend walked behind her watching her butt and BAM – here comes a grenade!  As we stared, mouths agape, the boyfriend LEAPED into the air and landed smack on that cart full of Bud Light.  The girl got a little shook up when the grenade blew her shoes and one of her pinkie toes off, but, hey – boyfriend saved the beer.  That’s commitment.

“Throw my hand on a blade for ya”

One day a few years ago while walking through the gardens at the castle I was feeling a bit irritated because my Knight Errant was wandering the land looking for adventure and I was bored.  Suddenly – YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS! – a Black Knight jumped out the trees and tried to stab me with his blade!  I mean, sure, I refused to dance with him at the last ball.  And maybe I mentioned the rumor about the size of his blade compensating for something, but he was aiming for blood!   My blood!  And BAM – here comes Knight Errant, back from his adventures at just the right moment and he THREW his hand on that blade!  Unfortunately it wasn’t his steel blade the Black Knight had unsheathed, which made it a slightly uncomfortable situation for all involved…but still – that’s commitment.

“I’d jump in front of a train for ya”

Another time while the hubs and I were dating we went for a picnic at a park.  Pretty day, little birdies tweeting, little kids laughing, little fishies playing in the stream, everyone just all happy kind of like in The Truman Show when suddenly – YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS! – a train jumped the tracks and went careening across the intersection, jumped the fence at the park and was heading straight for me and all the happy birdies and children and fishies!  YES!  A runaway train!  And the engineer had been knocked unconscious, he was hanging halfway out of the window, his eyes rolled back in his head and his tongue lolling out – you could see he was going to be of no use whatsoever – and BAM! boyfriend jumped in front of that train!  Of course it was a train for god’s sake and it almost smashed him flat, he was in the hospital ironing things out for months.  But still.  That’s commitment.

“Take a bullet straight through my brain”

Another time while the hubs and I were dating we were at the grocery store again.  We had to do that a lot because all he ever had at his place was canned tuna, bananas and half a package of spaghetti noddles.  We were planning a nice dinner. Pot roast, veggies, canned biscuits.  It was a pretty hot day – it can get kinda hot in Phoenix in August, 116, 118, nothing special there – we’d loaded the groceries in the car which had reached about 190 degrees inside and were getting ready get in the car when suddenly – YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS!  There was a huge explosion and boyfriend jumped in shock and tripped over me and was slammed in the back of the head with a bullet!  He reached up and felt his brains squishing out – it was incredible that he was still so aware and cognizant, and he said calmly, “I just took a bullet straight through my brain.  And I did it for you.”  Since I didn’t see any blood (I don’t do blood, I don’t care if you do have a bullet straight through your brain) I looked a bit closer and I saw that actually canned biscuit dough had exploded and was squishing through his fingers, not his brains, and even though he didn’t really throw himself on me and take that bullet straight through his brain, still – that’s commitment.

“Yes I would die for you, baby”

I’m a pretty decent cook when I feel like cooking.  After 26 years of marriage making dinner every night has kind of lost it’s luster but when the hubs and I were dating it seemed important that he think I would be making nice dinners for him if things ever escalated to the m-m-m-maa-maa-maarrrrriage stage.  Sure, maybe they say you should not use a can of green beans which is buldging at both ends but “they” are always saying stuff like brush your teeth and take your vitamins and drink more milk so after a while you get tired of everything “they” say and you think, screw it.  I’m not going to listen.  I know better.  So after I made dinner I thought, you know, I don’t really like green beans that much, I don’t want any so I just gave them all to boyfriend because I’m so generous that way.  And – YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS!  About 2 am future hubs was barfing like a Yellowstone Park geyser and about the color of old milk (altho when I mentioned it he didn’t seem very pleased and the thought of old yellow milk somehow made him feel worse).  After about 48 hours he’d only lost 12 or 15 pounds and needed 3 IV’s of fluid and he was good as new.  Sort of.  I still thought he looked about the color of old milk but boy – I wasn’t going to mention THAT again – and he said, I ALMOST DIED FOR YOU(R GREEN BEANS).   See?  That’s commitment.

“But you won’t do the same”

And this surprises you why?

This is what I look like when I run.

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