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Archive for the tag “Keurig”

If I only had a brain, Part 2


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.

There goes the castle.

It’s a grey cold windy day with flakes of snow blowing sideways past my window.  None of it is sticking, although we woke to enough to lightly blanket the grass and the deck was white.  I have Italian herb bread in the bread machine (I cheat, but it makes such a nice dough!  Then I bake it in the oven, not in the bread machine.) and minestrone will soon be on the stove.  Murphy is curled up in the bed and Chunk and Mo are off somewhere asleep.  They should be, they were crazy this morning.  thudthudthudthud thundering down the hallway.   thudthudthudthud back down the hallway.  thudthudthudthud up the stairs.  thudthudthudthud down the stairs.  Suddenly the happy little felines went thudthudthudthud through the kitchen nearly knocking my coffee mug out of my hand.  Near death experience for cats.

Don’t break my new coffee cup!

grumpy cat mug

I Love Grumpy Cat. *heart* *heart*

Everything went well in Oxford and Sunday I was surprised – I was not sore at all.  Rather like someone who just bought a matching set of Ford Pintos, I was, however, feeling deeply remorseful over the Fbombs exploding in my head Saturday and showering all over poor Maggie, who happened to be running next to me when they started igniting, and was regretting my effing slightly effing negative effing attitude.  Not that I’m always Little Mary Sunshine anyway, but I’m thinking I may have also been spitting pea soup in a circle on the course.

Unfortunately Monday morning I apparently tried breathing or thinking or something and suddenly my lower back went “EFFFINGSUNUVABEECH” only louder and with a lot more intensity.  Who knew, we actually have live wires that run through our body and my back had stuck its finger in the socket.  I moved and it hit again.  My back was in labor.  I already have a back.  I don’t need to birth another.  I’m not even registered at Babies BackwardR Us.  Thank God for Lamaze classes, little did I know decades later I would be using the breathing techniques again.

Tuesday it was no better and I called Dr. Krackurback – who is out of the office on Tuesdays, oh yippee skippy – and got an appointment for Wednesday, resigning myself to spending the day walking around like a puppet on a string, jerking erratically.  Hey, it gave the cats something to look at.  Murphy slept through it all, curled up on his blanket.  Just don’t touch his blanket.  Ever.  He jumps like it just exploded and looks at you:  WHAT?  WHAT?  WHAT DID I DO?  all sleepy-eyed and confused.  It makes you feel really guilty.  Especially the 7th or 8th time.

Wednesday Dr. K explained to me that muscles are like a castle wall.  Muscles are the first line of defense.  If the muscles hold the castle then all the kings and queens and little knaves and knavettes are safe.  If the invaders start knocking the wall down, and the wall is already rather rickety – maybe made out of bamboo instead of bricks – pretty soon the wall gives in, the castle is invaded and everyone starts screaming and trying to shove knives into the knaves and pouring boiling oil all over the place.

He’d already figured out that my Quadratus lumborum is weak and gave me some exercises to do but noted it would not be a quick fix, need to get the muscles strengthened and that takes time.   (Seriously.  Quadratus! lumborum!  Doesn’t that sound like some made up word that Harry shouted at Voldemort?  ZZZaaaaat!)

No, it’s just a stupid muscle in your back.  The short of it is I slightly sprained my SI joint (castle) because I strained the QL (rickety wall of bamboo) because it’s a sorry a$$ 99 pound weakling at the beach, all white and puny and skinny getting sand kicked in its face, stupid thing.  Probably it got a bit tuckered out, poor weak little jerk, feeling sorry for itself because my butt never invited it to the Falling Off Party and later when everyone else was all laughing hahahaha at inside jokes that happened at the party the QL got jealous and decided to go remedial.

So, it’s all good.  I know what happened and how, I know what to do to fix it, and I can be patient working on it.  I took it easy this week and moved carefully in order not to re-strain anything; every day it’s better.

I can’t feel too badly about any of this – I’m in a lot better shape than Becky, who’s got a stress fracture of the 5th metatarsal and possibly 6 weeks off running.  Today we swam.  I used the swimming buoy so I didn’t kick (no need to upset QL, the whiny brat, I’d go down like a rock) all arms pulling which is great as they also need to get stronger.  I did OK, got 1750 yards.  I wanted 2,000 but was losing my form – no need for that, just another way to get hurt.

While I was swimming, backandforth-backandforth-backandforth, for the first time I thought, this isn’t too bad.  I could breathe well enough.  I didn’t have to hold onto the side at each turn.  It felt … good.

Hmmmm. I see what happened there…

…when I left the house for thirty minutes to help a desperate friend in need.

Chunker and Murphy will be spending some hours in time out.  And I’ve taken away their phones so don’t bother trying to text them.

Becky and I both work from home, alone in our lonely, cold garrets, surrounded by wadded up Taco Bell wrappers and discarded K-cups, huddled in the chill in our pajama pants and Uggs, wearing our favorite sweatshirt emblazoned YIPPY SKIPPY RUN 2001, the fleece covered with pilled lumps of thread, talking to pretend people on Facebook and blogging with our animals who are treated better than any child ever was.

Becky’s job requires actual work, as opposed to mine, and she has to type many very big words that have a lot of the alphabet in each one and include many z’s, x’s and y’s – which are the hardest keys to find, you know, stuck down in the corner of the keyboard like an afterthought.

After 7 straight hours of transcription Becky sat back, stretched, and her eyeballs fell out onto her desk.  She managed to find them although she did accidentally knock one off onto the floor and it rolled under the credenza which took her a while; she finally slid it out with a yardstick.  She wandered crookedly into the kitchen for a cup of coffee to help wipe the cobwebs from her addled brain.

Her brain intoned, “I spy with our dusty little eye that we only have three K-cups.  This is nowhere near enough to fill the IV bag.”  Then her brain started to scream, “NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  Becky wandered back to her desk, frightened and alone, all alone with only Brain and three K-cups in the house.  “I only have three K-cups to last me until tomorrow.  Good-bye.  I loved you all.” she typed to her imaginary friends on FB.

I’LL SAVE YOU!  I replied! and I leapt or lept or leaped in my trusty Explorer, Babs, and brought her coffee and saved her life and that of her family and probably several neighbors!  I was a hero!  News Channel Zippy wanted to interview me!  But I’m humble and loving and giving and told the reporter than I needed no reward or recognition for saving my friend, her family, the neighborhood and, probably, actually, the world.

And you know the rest of the story.  I left the computer open in my haste and apparently Chunker and Murphy had a little verbal sparring contest with my blog.  I apologize and I would make them write an apology too but I believe they would enjoy that too much.

Flush with her success, Chunk has become a terror today.  I heard a faint mewing and tracked her down in the closet, on a pile of boxes, trying to climb up and walk across the hangers.  When she saw me she jumped down and wandered regally down the hallway.  “What?  There’s nothing to see here,” her tail twitched.  She jumped up on the bathroom counter so fast she skidded into Mo, knocking him into the sink.  Ignoring him, she then tried to grab my arm to turn on the water, which I did just so I could watch her shove her snooty nose in the air and jump back down.  She’s terrorized Mo, attacked the bedskirt, tried to eat the fern then turned, jumped on the desk and slid to the other side falling off onto the chair, smacked Murphy on the nose for no reason whatsoever and then, when I came upstairs to work, I found this:

chunker 2.19.13

And her royal highness, seated on my laptop, was searching online:

print job

Apparently she either needs glasses or needs to dust her eyeballs because she had enlarged the screen.  And she doesn’t seem to know exactly how to spell oy vey, but I have a feeling I know what her next comments about me were going to be.

What special stoopid pills did you take this morning??

Anne set her alarm for 4am.

Just as the identity of the rapist/murderer roaming the campus trying to find me was being revealed a kleighorn began blaring.  I levitated and hung suspended in the air for a moment before I fell back onto the bed.

“What the holy hell was that??” I yelled, as Anne laughed.

“I told you, you wouldn’t sleep through my alarm.”

No shit.  I almost didn’t LIVE through it.  Between the murdering rapist in my nightmare and the Q.E. 2 barreling across the waves for me I knew I wasn’t going to have to worry too much about porta johns on the course.

Sleepy-faced runners roamed the kitchen in the rental house.  Apparently worried about famine, five people had brought 21 bananas, two packages of bagels, one package of English muffins, a personal Keurig, two dozen assorted K-Cups, peanut butter, honey, oatmeal, juice, creamer, and a grocery sack full of protein and trail mix bars.  This does not include the Gatorade being mixed and Gu’s being shoved in pockets.

What I’d been casually thinking of as a longer training run than usual suddenly became a lot more real.  Everyone else was there for a marathon, and there is a whole big wide world of difference between 26.2 miles and 13.1.  Everyone visited quietly and went about the business of fueling the machine that was their body.

I love that part of a race morning.  Focused, calm, centered, carefully considering the fuel needed, what to put in your body during the three hours between now and the race start.  Not too much, but enough.  Tying and retying shoes.  Adjusting hats, shorts, socks, HR monitors; Garmins beeping in the quiet dark morning.

This time we drove on a real road into town which didn’t dead end and had no ancient graveyards full of dead trees and broken headstones with murder rapists hiding behind them waiting to jump out while dueling on banjoes.  We parked on the levee in downtown Greenville.  It was dark, cold and breezy, but this race buses you to the start line and you run back to town, so we had warm buses to sit in.

I didn’t know anyone on my bus so I settled back in the seat (first seat on the first bus going to the half) and daydreamed with my eyes half-open.  A police cruiser pulled up in front of the marathon buses, lights flashing.  The buses started up, their lights now flashing and beaming and they began rolling forward.  I thought of the runners in there, all their goals and hopes; of my friends, all the training they’d put in, how the adrenaline would be starting for them now as the buses’ tail lights receded in the distance.

There was a BEEP and the radio announced to our driver it was time to head out – and suddenly it became real.  I’m running a half marathon.

What. The. Hell.  Was I thinking?

I’m a certified running coach.  I know better than this.  If one of the Women Run ladies came to me after five weeks of training for the 5K and glibly announced they were heading out for a nice 10 miler Saturday I’d drop my teeth and mentally call them playground names (are you an idjit??  dummy!  doodoo head!  What special stoopid pills did you take this morning??)

I’m going to run a Half Marathon on a training base of sixty-three miles??

The furthest I’ve run in five months is 7 miles and that was last week!

I’m an idjit!  A dummy!  A doodoo head!  What special stoopid pills did I take this morning??

“STOP THE BUS!!!  I have to get off!!!”  I could hear the screaming in my head but nothing was coming out of my mouth.  Odd, but fortunate.  Usually my mute button doesn’t work.

I gave myself a mental slap and closed my eyes.  In…Out…In…Out I breathed.  Look, Terri, you start slow, you walk the water stops, you’re just out there for a little jog, not a big deal.  Just go slow.  Walk the water stops.  You can always walk off the course if you need.  Dr. K said you’re good to go.

The slowest hour of the year went by in about 13 minutes and I found myself at the starting line with two friends from home, all three of us surprised to see the others there.  The horn sounded and we started up and over the Mississippi River Bridge.


Stock photo I got from the race website

The sun was rising and there was a mist in the lowlands along the bridge.  We could see a barge disappearing in the fog downriver.  It was quiet, not a lot of talk, the huff of breath, the shuffle of feet, cars and semi’s going by in the other lane.  It was windy and I thought of Becky, Anne, and Heather, fighting this wind for 26 miles.

My goal had been to walk every mile at the water stops but they had decided at the last minute not to do the stop at the top of the bridge.  At 30-something degrees those tossed cups could leave a lot of frozen liquid on the course.  I ended up doing the first three miles non-stop.  I picked out someone in front of me and made myself stay behind them.  That sounds real good on paper, but if that girl with the backside like a 25 pound bag of potatoes in the flowered tights got in front of me all bets were off.  Which is totally not PC and is mean so I probably should not have admitted it.  But it is true.

Since I’m newly concentrating on my form I watched the runners pass me, and I began to see two types of stride.  Some were running from their hips and glutes, hips swaying slightly to and fro.  Others ran with their legs; their glutes and hip flexors stationary.  Following Dr. K’s advice, I was trying to fire my glutes.  It was harder than usual to make an ass of myself but I was trying.  And then, it clicked.  Sometimes I’d lose form.  Immediately my hamstring would shout at me and I’d adjust.

I relaxed, enjoying the little boy scouts and girl scouts shouting, the middle school cheer team, the high school band.  I ran by each, cheering back, slapping palms and high-fiving them.  There was an old couple sitting in a truck at an intersection.  I thought they were mad, waiting to cross – no – they waved and yelled as everyone came by, their cheers muffled by the rolled up windows but the enthusiasm evident.

There I was – 4 miles – 7 miles – 9 miles!  I’m almost done!

I enjoyed every single step I took on that course.  I thanked every volunteer and police officer I could see.  I high-fived little kids and yelled Hotty Toddy at the adults but passed on the actual toddy.

John and I hung around the finish line visiting with the surprising number of people we knew from Memphis.  Heather came in three minutes under her BQ time and also placed!  Becky and Anne came in looking great although completely worn out from battling that wind.  Becky said this about the wind, and I quote,  (*&$$ (*)(%’ing #*&$ damn #$*&(&) son of *&$%&^^.  Then she said this about Anne, and I quote, )(*$%* good idea )*(&$#%)*(&’ing run a &*#(*$&^ marathon in the (*)&#)*(&$ Land of your (*&&^% PEEPLES.  Anne sipped her Mick Ultra, unpreturbed.  Hey, the beer was free.

They refueled, we all grabbed a baby Mick Ultra and headed home; John at the wheel, Becky, Anne, Maggie and I slumped in the seats.  Becky mumbled something that sounded like ^%$$ never again &*)*&*( Anne &*^%* but probably it wasn’t.

We stopped for gas at a little quick mart between the Wishy Washy Washateria and the Nette Belle Boutique and Tax Service.  We looked at the tamales, the potato logs and the cajun fried popcorn, but in the end we opted for, as Anne referred to it, 22 ounces of icy cold deliciousness (Becky and I went for the 12 ounce option) and we each bought a Bud Light Lime.  John got a red powerade and some crackers.

We are wild and crazy and there is no stopping us.

wishy washy

nette belles

22 ounces

Betcha thought I’d made it up.

Heaven…I’m in heaven…

I’m in heaven
And my heart beats
So that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find
The happiness I seek…

…coffee, keeping the world safe for thousands of years.  To paraphrase Ben, and I think I have before, “coffee is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy.”  And that He wants everyone in my house to survive mornings, obviously.

Trivia:  Coffee was first consumed in the 9th century, when it was discovered in the highlands of Ethiopia.

Text *Boink*

BeckyB:  ON SALE!  30% off!

Me:  I WANT!

BB:  Really?

Me:  YES!

Trivia:  Coffee was first known in Europe as Arabian Wine.

I can totally see that.  With fewer calories.  And I’ve heard that the caffeine burns a few calories.  Not as many as running, but every little bit counts.

I’m in heaven
And the cares
That hung around me
Through the week
Seem to vanish
Like a gamblers
Lucky streak

….like the cup of Donut Shop Macadamia Nut freshly brewed into my mug is quickly vanishing.  *Yum*

The dog is safe, the cat is safe, the Hubs is safe.  I love you all.   I love the world.  I love the idiot squirrels stripping branches off my trees and burying the hickory nuts in MY PLANTERS dammit.

Trivia:  The heavy tea tax imposed on the colonies in 1773, which caused the “Boston Tea Party,” resulted in America switching from tea to coffee. Drinking coffee was an expression of freedom.

I know I like to drink it freely.

I love to climb a mountain
And to reach the highest peak
But it doesn’t thrill me
Half as much…

…as perusing and giving serious consideration to Chocolate Glazed Donut and Cinnamon Roll.  Then I will go for a bike ride with the hubs this afternoon.  And I rode yesterday: 21 miles, 1:18:05.

Trivia:  In the ancient Arab world, coffee became such a staple in family life that one of the causes allowed by law for marital separation was a husband’s refusal to produce coffee for his wife.

This would never happen in my household.  Hubs is an extremely intelligent man.

I love to go out fishing
In a river, or a creek
But I don’t enjoy it half as much…

…as watching someone else fishing on the lake while I brew another cup and curl up on the patio –


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