Run. Dog. Cat. Cat. Me.

Everything you need to know about running and life and any other random crap I find bouncing through my mind like a ping pong ball. And always be sure your shoes are happy.

Archive for the tag “marathon”

Don’t stop believing

Don’t stop believing

Yesterday as I drove in the dark along the nearly deserted six-lane road, hitting all green lights like catching the brass ring on a merry-go-round, Journey started playing on the radio.  Green lights and one of my favorite songs, the day started well.

I did stop believing once for a bit of time, between my back, my broken foot, and an overdose of steroids, which makes running again all the sweeter for having known the pain.

Runners tend to see running as a metaphor for life:  struggle, pain, failure; achievement, success, fulfillment, and for good reason.  So often running, like life, is a dichotomy of both success and failure, achievement and loss, pain and joy.  We live so much of life in our minds.  “I can’t.”  “They won’t.”  “If only…”

When we run, we can be.  When I run I can look up at the sky, hear birds calling, breathe deeply, hear the soft sounds of my feet on the pavement.  The problem is, my leg hurts.  I run, I look around, I hurt.  Now, I know what causes the pain, and I know I’m not likely to break anything or do permanent damage as long as I continue doing what I’m supposed to do.  In this case, I want the joy more than I don’t want the pain.

One of the most healing moments of my life was the night of my brother’s funeral.  Everyone had left, just family members sitting around the kitchen table, wondering what to say or do, when someone started telling a story on Bret.  Soon we were crying laughing at memories of my brother who was so incredibly rich in love and personality.  Crying, and laughing.  Joy and pain.  At that moment I knew – I believed – that someday that gaping hole that went straight through me, right through the middle of me, catching on every breath, would fade.  The pain would lessen over time, and it was OK to grieve and still feel joy.

I am a person who focuses on negative.  I don’t know if I am depressive because I’m negative, or if I’m negative because I’m depressive, but I’ve finally decided that doesn’t matter.  What matters is what I believe.  What is the truth in this day?  It’s grey, cold, cloudy.  Can I fill it with warmth and light?  Do I dwell on “I wanted to…”  “Now I can’t…”?  What purpose does this day hold?

I’m re-reading Jack Daniels, who says every run should have a purpose (such as intensity or distance).  He, however, was coaching world-class college kids.  I’m not comparable to either world-class or college-aged, and I’ve decided some of my runs will have the purpose of just for the hell of it.  Because I can.  Because I can wake up, and my legs mostly work, and it’s not 3 feet of snow and I just can.

Yesterday I changed my routine and joined some friends I haven’t run with for a while to get a few miles before the sun came up.  We ran down the street and out the Greenline, just goin’ anywhere.  We ran and talked and joked, in the dark, picking out the clearly marked “snake crossing” in the dim beam of my head lamp, elated that no snakes appeared to be anxious to cross in the dark under our feet.  Too soon it was time to turn around, get back to the cars, and go do grown-up things, so we reluctantly headed back.  When the run was done my watch noted that I’d gone 3.72 miles.

I have a dangle.  This means that, if I do not run off the remaining .28, my numbers will be odd.  When I download my data, my numbers will not end evenly, there will be a .72 mile dangle.

Then some other day I will have to run an extra .28 to even the dangle, which means I will have a second dangle.

I had 7 on the training plan.

Now I have to math. 7 – 3.72 = um, 3.72 +.28 = 4 and I have five to do, so that’s 1.28, except, wait, I actually have 7 to do, and 7 – 5 = 2, so I have 2.28 to do.

Somehow that doesn’t seem right.  I think I did something wrong there.

I drove home with 3.72 miles on my watch, worrying stupidly the entire time about finishing the goal.  Hitting the mark.  I got out of the car to go run my 1.28 or 2.37 or whatever I had left and stopped, standing still in the carport.  A flock of birds circled and swooped in the early morning sun, rising and falling as they chittered, swirling upward and off into the beautiful pink sunrise, going anywhere.  I thought about that word, purpose.  What purpose do these birds have, really?  To exist.  They exist.  They move and breathe and live and give birth and die.

I turned and walked into the house.  The run was good, the company was awesome, the sunrise was beautiful, radiating pink across the sky as we walked back to our cars, sweaty from the run and starting to chill a bit.  A better purpose was served than meeting any numbers I’ve self-imposed.

If you are struggling with life or with running – don’t stop believing.  Don’t give up.  Go ahead and give yourself a break if you need, take some time off, reconsider the purpose in your life.  As much as you can – and we all know this is very hard to do, but as much as you are able – look for some joy in this day.  Make one goal, feel purposeful and believe in yourself, and believe in time.  Believe in healing and growth and purpose.

Discover New Blogs!

Liebster

I woke yesterday to a very nice surprise when Ashley at http://onedreamymess.wordpress.com/ nominated me for the LEIBSTER award!  Ashley lists coffee first in her list of likes, and also mentions she likes a little hot chocolate with her marshmallows, so you know immediately she is an intelligent person with extremely good taste.  So saying, WTH is the girl doing following my blog??

And, yet, she does, and apparently she has good meds.

JUST kidding … check her blog – tons of helpful hints about training, nutrition and healthy living!

Liebster award ~ this award is meant to generate attention for new or upcoming bloggers.

The rules are:

  • Acknowledge the nominating blogger
  • Answer 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you
  • 11 random facts about yourself
  • List some bloggers with fewer than 200 followers that you really feel deserve a little blogging love!
  • Let all of the bloggers know you’ve nominated them. You cannot nominate the blogger that nominated you!
  • Post 11 questions for the bloggers you’ve nominated to answer.

Here are Ashley’s questions to me:

1.  What began your love for fitness & health?
I’ve been ‘running’ since my twenties because it seemed the right thing to do, stay healthy, burn a few calories; I would just set out on the street in front of my house and run through the neighborhood, no training, no fuel, no plans.  Ten or twelve years ago I got involved in a running group that helped me train for my first half marathon and then my first full.  I learned about warm up/cool down, pacing, fueling and felt like a “real” runner for the first time.  But my real love for running, fitness and most of all runners and the running community began when I luckily fell into my job as administrative secretary for Memphis Runner’s Track Club.  Interacting with all these awesome people has convinced me that healthy, fit people are happier people.  Or, crazy.

2.  What is my favorite workout?
Right now going for a run pain-free would be heaven.  I have been able run three times since November when I broke my foot, so I can’t complain.  I will probably run today, I just can’t decide to do it outside, with a ‘feel like’ temp of 11 degrees and the remains of a cold in my chest, or if I will hit the dreadmill.  Or just drink more coffee, which is sounding good right now.  I think my favorite workout is long training runs with friends.  18-20 miles running on the Greenway or out in the county on back roads, slow and easy, talking about everything, seeing the trees, old abandoned houses with green growing through the roof, counting road kill, trying to find a place for an emergency pit stop.  And then, days later, meeting for lunch and crying laughing as we recount the escapades to our friends while the rest of the diners watch us warily.

3.  What is my favorite indulgence for dessert?
Oddly as I get older my desire for sweets has waned.  But I’ll happily take you out if you bogart the crème brulee.

4.  If I won a trip to go anywhere, regardless of cost, where would it be?
The British Isles and Europe by rail, with a hike along the Pennine Way.  Definitely a big dream of mine!

5.  Favorite outdoor activity?
Other than running, sitting poolside with some friends and a very cold beer.

6.  If I could have lunch with any famous person alive or passed away who would it be?
Maybe Robin Williams except I’m sure I couldn’t keep up with him.  I’d probably have to skip eating food because the insane laughter would not aid digestion.  If it were anyone, famous or not, I would choose my brother.

7.  Go-to music genre for pump-up workout?
Classic Rock.  Queen, AC/DC, etc., and then throw in Pink.

8.  President for a whole year or Superman for one day?
Since I would not be President willingly for even a nanosecond, I guess it has to be Superman.  Can I pick Wonder Woman instead?

9.  Where do I shop for workout clothes?
Local running stores, sometimes online if I can’t find what I need.

10.  Morning person or night owl?
Morning person – but only after I have coffee in my hand.  Even the dog waits.

11.  If it were possible to travel through time, would I speed up to the future or flash back to the past?
Totally flash back.  I have a shitton of stuff I’d like to give myself a heads-up about.

Eleven Random Facts About Me:

1.  I was born in Winslow, Arizona.  Not on the corner, though.
2.  I have a runner girl tattoo.  I love her.
3.  I have a really hard time coming up with eleven random facts about myself.
4.  Because, mostly, everything about me is already all over FB and blogging.
5.  I have eleven toes.
6.  I was a complete, total, utter nerd in school.
7.  But not a smart nerd.  Just a nerd nerd.
8.  Somehow, at some time in my life, I was lucky enough to realize it really just doesn’t matter.
9.  Favorite indulgence food is … Taco Bell.  *hanging head* I know…
10.  I’ve hiked to the river and back at the Grand Canyon in a day, a couple times.
11.  One of these random facts is a lie.

My Nominations:

http://runswimbikediversify.wordpress.com/  Becky, a comrade in arms, a certifiable #crazynutjobrunner, is also a triathlete who has already completed a Half Ironman and is now training for her second because she just can’t get enough of the RDA of crazy.

http://elingsjourney.blogspot.com/  Eling, like Becky, is another one who can’t get enough and is not ‘just’ a runner but a triathlete.  Like Becky and Julianne she is on a continuing journey toward fitness and if you need a bit of motivation she’s one to turn to!

http://middleagedwomanontherun.com/ Julianne is not a true newbie, she’s been around for a bit but I’m adding her as she is still striving to do her first full since St. Jude was cancelled this past December.  Are you struggling?  Need a lift?  Check her out!

http://chocolatemedals.com/ Ashley is a runner on a great healthy journey, newlywed and living in Colorado.  Through her I can live vicariously in Colorado and see awesome pics of food that I drool over.

http://smallislandrunner.wordpress.com/ I don’t know how I got lucky enough to stumble across this blog, or maybe she found mine first (too bad for her but a stroke of luck for me), but this blog is a BLAST – Ella is a novice runner who is living in Jersey (and I don’t mean New Jersey) for a year.  I am vicariously living on this beautiful little island through her as she works toward her goal of running every road on the isle.

Nominees – here are your questions:

1. Why did you decide to start blogging?
2. If you could run any race in the world without worrying about cost, which would you choose?
3.  How did you get started running (or your fitness choice)?
4.  What is the funniest/weirdest thing you’ve seen/had happen on a run?
5.  Favorite post-workout indulgence?
6.  Music or purist, and if music, what’s your favorite?
7.  Dreadmill or 25 degrees/10 degree feel-like temp?  Dreadmill or 98 degrees and 98% humidity?
8.  Go-to Mantra when it gets tough?
9.  Morning or evening workout and why?
10.  Best pre-run/workout fuel?
11.  Favorite cross-training?

WHERE have you BEEN??

Ah, wait.  That’s me that’s been missing.

Sorry there, Boy and Girl, deepest heartfelt apologies and all that blather.  Kinda lost focus and direction for a while.

Wait.  Let’s look at this another way.  I refocused and recommitted.  Rather than New Year “Resolutions” I prefer the term New Year “Recommitments”.  Like many, as the year wanes I look back:  what I hoped to achieve, how I went about it, were the goals met?  If so, how?  If not, why?

I started 2013 the same way I am starting 2014 – injured.  My goals for the year were a marathon and a 50K, working up to 58K spring 2014.  Hubs wisely refrained from arguing with a brick wall and said nothing of the loftiness of those goals in view of the fact I’d run about three times in the past three months.

The goal should probably have been to get healthy, but I didn’t know how since I didn’t know what was wrong, I only knew pain.  And I was trying to get better, I just didn’t know how.  BRFF “Becky” found Dr. W who was a huge help on the journey, and I kept moving in the right direction, albeit with a few side jaunts.  As I repeatedly discover, you do learn something new nearly every day.  It may only be that you were wrong again, but, heck – learned, right?  A year later I know that it was not a matter of doing things wrong, it was a matter of time for things to come together.  I’m very hopeful that what I’ve learned and the places and people I’ve been led to are a solid part of the solution.  That, and a bit more time.  Thank God I’m at peace, for today, at taking a bit more time.

Two days ago I ran a total of 25 minutes easy, with walk breaks and adding 5 minute walking w/u c/d for a total of 35 minutes/3 miles – the first time I’d run outside exactly 10 weeks.  I’d done a mile or two on the treadmill a couple times earlier in the week.  I figured that was safest, if anything happened I wouldn’t be half a mile from home.  Well, actually I would, I’d be further – at the Center – but I’d have the car, right?  I can hop to the car.  I’d look like an idiot, of course.

“Oh, look at that lady hoping down the hallway on one foot.”

“Well, Madge, maybe it’s a new fitness routine.  Let’s check the schedule.”

“I don’t think we should, Maude, the ‘girls’ would be flopping mightily.”

“True, Madge, true.  We could get a concussion.”

So, I ran.  It was glorious.  Bright shiny day, cold, breezy, I ran my favorite route looking at the skeletal trees, leaves thick on the ground, the drainage stream crisply frozen on the edges.  Running slowly I looked up at the beautifully twisted bare branches making sculpture against the bright sky, sharp curling grey-ish shapes against the dazzling blue.  This is really why I do it.  All those horrible hot days, the runs that feel like I’m slogging through mud, the days I feel like my head and body are not even connected, there is no communication, legs or lungs go on strike singly or in unison, those days are for this day, completely aware of life surrounding me, enveloping me, fully alive in this living breathing world.

I’m perfectly sane. Proof.

Munker is in a hell of a mood today, hauling her babies all over, mewling.  When she tires of that she smacks poor Mo in the head or jumps on the desk smacking my hands as I type.   When I leave the desk so she has no target she turns to chasing Mo throughout the house, up over the chair, through the dining room, under the table, until finally he hides.  Then I hear her thudding throughout the house upstairs and down, skidding around corners, chasing what?  invisible Mo?  Her brakes don’t always work well and once she went sliding to a stop on her butt, face planting the wall.  She sat there, looking at the wall in her face, her tail twitching semaphores spelling I-meant-to-do-that-and-you-can’t-see-me.  There is a reason her name is Chunk.

I wish I had some of her energy.  Last Sunday I did twelve easy miles.  Granted, I had trouble getting to sleep Saturday evening and had to get up at 4:30 to have everything at the race site by 5:45, leaving me with a net sleep of about 4-1/2 hours.  I got home, soaked in some Epsom salts, ate.  I struggled to hold out but by noon I was asleep on the couch.  I woke two hours later.

Hubs, out running errands, called the house.  “What are you doing?”

“Nothing much,” I yawned.  “I just woke up a few minutes ago.”

“You were asleep two hours ago when I left the house,” he commented, “why are you so tired?”

I thought for a minute.  “Well, I’m consistently doing more weekly mileage than I ever have, and I’m doing it while I’m currently older than I have ever been.”

“Yeah.  I guess so.”

Dude has done two full Ironmans (Ironmen?) and is now scheming to get into Panama City 2014.  140.6 miles in a day, all under his own power.

If I say to hubs, “I got in on that 50K” his eyeballs roll and he shakes his head.  Every.  Damn.  Time.

Sometimes I want to walk into the den and randomly shout FIFTY K!  just to see his Pavlovian response.  Sigh.  Eye roll.  Head shake.

Someday his eyeballs are going to get stuck that way, if my Grandma knew anything.

But 140.6 miles seems perfectly sane?  And – he won’t even buy the bumper sticker.  I did 26.2 and tattooed it on my body.  I’m telling you two, he is a machine, but he thinks I’m crazy.

The last time I felt this sleepy/tired on a regular basis was when the twins were little and the other two were active in grade school.  I’d get them to bed and go downstairs, physically ill with tiredness, my head aching, nauseous, falling into bed, asleep instantly.  A moment later hubs would ask me a question or say good night.

AH!!  WHA??  Wha??” I’d shout, throwing out my arms, heart racing.

“How the hell do you fall asleep that fast?” he’d question.

“I’m TIRED.”

Oh my god I got so tired of saying I was tired.

Tuesday I had 4×1200 (nailed it, happy face) and then worked out with Killer.  Killer, petite little thing, so sweet she wouldn’t say poop if she were standing in a pile of it, said, “Oh, you did track this morning?  Sometimes on days I run hard I do leg work afterward.”

Well then.  If it is good enough for Killer then it is definitely good enough for me.  Someday I want to be Killer and I emulate her whenever possible other than that part where she falls off her bike breaking bones and that kind of shit.  I nodded vigorously like one of those bobbing bird toys I wanted when I was a kid playing with dinosaurs, before I was currently older than I have ever been, but we were too poor to afford the toy so I just had to play with the baby triceratops.

drinking bird

“Okay!” I slavered, head bobbing, “Let’s do LEG WORK!”

Apparently – I’m just warning you, keep this in mind in case it ever happens to you – “leg workout” is French for “beat the holy shit out of yourself while paying someone money to tell you the most effective manner in which to do so.”

Killer seems to have a natural talent, efficiently helping you cause your own self to experience lasting pain and suffering even though she doesn’t speak French, other than a few French cuss words like “lunge”, “squats” and “step ups”.  Google it.  I bet you will find they mean “torture”, “pain” and “endless suffering” in French, although I’m not positive since I took Spanish in high school not French.  Plus all the Spanish I really cared about were the Spanish cuss words, which the teacher would never tell us.  Now days I could just Google them but I no longer give a f*ck.  That would be because obviously I’m good at using the English ones just fine now.

Wednesday I tried to stand and walk to the kitchen.  My legs seemed to think we’d just run Tupelo again yesterday.  I shuffled into the kitchen, leaning my head against the cupboard as I waited the excruciating minute the Keurig was taking, dry swallowing a handful of ibuprofen.  Banging my head softly against the cupboard I whimpered.  “Why?  whywhywhy?”

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

At least I can truthfully say:  I never accidentally ran a marathon.  THAT would be f*cking insane.

WOMAN ACCIDENTALLY RUNS HER FIRST MARATHON, FINISHES IN 3:11, BQ’S

The Embracing of the Suck.

(please see Chris McCormack and his article:  http://triathlon.competitor.com/2013/05/training/chris-mccormack-embrace-the-suck_76419) – you won’t regret it, just getting through life, it takes a lot of effort.)

Time:  3:30am.  Sound:  the irritating Marimba tone of my iPhone alarm, fortuitously interrupting the man attempting to strangle me in my dreams.  Later I came to believe I should have paid better attention to “his” intentions.

At the time I was too busy trying to be sure I’d set everything out properly and had time to fuel before target departure at 4:15.  Of course not; I got to the car with no hair rubber band and clip, which I totally had to have; after all what is more important in a marathon than good hair? I say hair that is not hanging in your face dripping sweat into your burning eyeballs, but that’s just me so I made a mad dash back to the room to get the damn things which – of course – were hiding in the very bottom of the makeup case.

The lines to the porta-johns were huge and I forgot my sunglasses in the car so I had to find Rick, find the car and find the sunglasses.  It being 4:45am you can see why I didn’t know, at first, if I had the sunglasses on making everything look dark or if it looked dark because it was, in fact, dark.  Dark is ubiquitous.  Pitch dark, o’dark thirty, don’t darken my doorway, so dark I can’t see my hand in front of my face; you can see that until I felt about on my face and head I didn’t notice they were missing.

We were all milling about when suddenly the race director whispered “go” and I heard people moving forward.  I hit the start button on my Garmin but it didn’t start because it had very considerately shut itself off to save energy.  I couldn’t see the face of the Garmin for some reason – finally explained by the sunglasses, so it took a moment to get the Garmin back on, searching desperately for the satellites it had found just 10 minutes before.  Then I had to fix my shoe – while others around me moved forward.  Not an auspicious beginning but, hey, I’ve had worse, that man dropping trou and, um, expelling in front of me and my friend, Lane, which is not her real name, was something I’ll be talking about in the Home when I don’t know my own name; it could have been worse.

I set a decent pace which was going well although I incorrectly remembered the rolling hills as more Rolling than Hilling.  I hit the turn-around and headed back out.  The knee felt twitchy and my hamstring was pinging from all the hills, but I was holding pace.

And then it gradually fell apart.  I got to the biggest climb on the back half and walked, nauseous.  At the top of the hill I sat for a moment and it passed.  I felt better for a mile or so and then, again, nauseous, hamstring pinging into my knee and up into my lower back, unable to catch my breath.  As time went by it all worsened, I’d run for a minute and get chills, spasming, nauseous, my throat tight.  I decided my Butt is going to Fall Off again.

My first child was born in the height of the all-natural, here’s-a-towel-bite-on-it movement, fear running rampant that if you had an aspirin your child would someday visit Luby’s with a gun or something.  I was young, and dumber than I was young, so I went for that.

I was also lucky, labor and delivery start-to-kid was five hours.

She wasn’t actually breathing at the end of the five hours, which wasn’t such an auspicious ending/beginning and had me concerned, but the good medical personnel took care of that in no time and she’s still here to tell the story.  She doesn’t tell the story, however, since she doesn’t remember it.  So don’t ask her.

Today’s race took, start-to-finish, five hours.  At the end I was breathing, but didn’t really care.

I thought about that as I plodded, walked, plodded, walked, counting one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two up to one-thousand-sixty, OK, walk, count, repeat; run, count, repeat; I thought of that day.

At some point in the past the decision to participate in these events was optional and I decided to pursue them.

Then I was very happy.  Euphoric, even.

I’m gonna have a BABY!  I’m gonna do a MARATHON!

In both cases I plotted and planned, training, checklists, to-do lists, target dates written on the calendar.

I consulted experts.  I paid good money.  I bought special clothing, and special food, and special shoes.  I grew full and fluffy with baby or with carbs.

The special day came and there I was, in Labor and Delivery sans medication, contractions strong enough to propel objects into space.  Contraction OUCH.  No contraction, that’s better.  Contraction OUCH.  No contraction, I still like this part better.  Contraction SUNUVABITCH.  Okay, then, this is for real.  I’m not sure I like this.  Can I go home?  Hello?  HELL-O??  No?

(Gentlemen please substitute Kidney Stone for Child.  So I’ve been told, just don’t want you to feel left out.)

What I realized this morning while Embracing the Suck is that in this race I could have quit.  I could have flopped down by the side of the road and one of the cop cars running the route would have picked me up.  I didn’t have that option in Labor and Delivery, but I had it today.

No kidding – I thought about that.  Sitting down.  That’s the part I thought about, just not moving my legs.  If I could just quit having contractions … if I could just quit moving my legs.  This could be so much more fun.

I mean, where’s the glory in finishing a race by walking?  Where’s the bragging rights? “Oh, yeah, walked the last five, threw up in the garbage can back at the hotel, too weak to stand up”?

This was the best training plan I’ve ever had, and I followed it.  I hit my paces; I hit my long runs, tempo, track work.  It should have worked.  But it didn’t – or I didn’t.  Maybe it just wasn’t the day, maybe the electrolytes were off, the carb-loading didn’t work, maybe it was just freeking hot and humid – or maybe I suck.

You can make up a very simple rhyme for sucking.  Oh F— I suck.

This can get stuck in your head.

You can start to believe it.  What the hell was I thinking?  I can’t do this.  I’m an idiot.  I’m never doing this again; obviously this is not something I’m cut out to do.

Meanwhile Brain 2 is in the background:

“WHAT the hell?  How many marathons have you done?”

“Um, seven?”

“OK, so how many did you quit?”

“Um, none?”

“And suddenly you have to quit?”

“Well this SUCKS.  It HURTS.  I’m NAUSEOUS.  My back is spasming.”

“OOoooh.  OK, then.  I understand.  People die from sucking hurting spasms.”

“Well it’s frustrating.  I should be doing so much better!  I did my training!”

“Ah,” said Brain Two, “that makes a difference.  Things must go the way you planned?”

“Well,” I pouted, looking at my feet, “they … should …”

“Ok, then, what you need to quit doing is writing blogs, you dipshit, because you don’t say what you mean.”

I remembered my dream this morning.  I was choking.  But it wasn’t anyone but me doing it; I was choking myself.

What did I really want out of this race?  A PR?  (yes, however unrealistic).  As close to my PR as possible? (yes, and not realistic today).

What did I really want last November and December when I thought it possible running was over for me?

To run a marathon.

“And,” chimed in Brain Two, “what, exactly, are you doing right now?”

“I’m embracing this f–‘ing suck, sir, and I’m doing a marathon, and I’m accepting it as it is, thank you.”

And so I walked that sucking f—er in.  Friends saw me and cheered and I have to tell you, to my chagrin, that I didn’t smile much.  Unexpected movement had a way of shooting from my right shoulder blade to my knee, and I apologize to all who did cheer me on and try to cheer me up – I was afraid to move.  I did not run across the finish line, I walked.  I tried to smile at the photographers but all I really thought about was finding some position that did not involve being upright.

And – I was.  I finished upright.  Last December I would have taken that in a box with a bow and fireworks and marching bands.  Embrace the Suck.

(Again – with many, many thanks to Chris McCormack and his article:  http://triathlon.competitor.com/2013/05/training/chris-mccormack-embrace-the-suck_76419)

M- Minus 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taper week

exploding-head-zone

It’s finally here:  Taper week.  Running less.  Eating more.

And – I’m pretty Zen.

You both know that’s not my style.  Hubs mostly looks a bit shell shocked and walks carefully through the house.  He never completely turns his back, circling around me in an arc, always maintaining some eye contact.  I do not know what that is about, since I’m so Zen right now.

And – it doesn’t make me feel like punching him.

Well, actually, it does.  But — I didn’t…

The Munkmeister and her faithful follower Mo decided the perfect place for a game of tag was my bed.  With me in it.  At 1am, and 2am, and 3am…

And – I didn’t yell cuss words at them.  Much.

I do have a twitch in my knee.  Like, sort of achy.  A twinge.  In my knee, in case you didn’t get that.

And – my nose is drippy.  I could be getting a cold.  I had to blow it once this morning.  Not much, just a bit, but still, it’s a bit runny.  It could be a cold.  I felt a bit warm so I took my temperature.  It’s normal, although that thermometer is kind of old so it could be losing degrees.

I went to get the new pair of shoes that I always have waiting in the closet and realized – I don’t have a newest pair of shoes.  Right after I realized the pair I’m in now are completely worn past the sole on the outer edge.

And – that’s fine.  It’s fine.  Really just fine.  It’s fine.

So I got a new pair yesterday.  Guess what?  They’ve changed.  Now it’s version 6.  I’ve done all my training in 5.  I wore them all day yesterday.  I hate them.

Hey – it’s OK.  I found a pair of the 5’s on Amazon, they arrive today.  And the expedited one-day delivery fee was $3.99.  So that’s a good sign, right?  Say:  YES, that’s RIGHT Terri!

I don’t know why I keep burping.  I think I have some indigestion.  Perhaps a stomach issue.  I hope I don’t get a stomach bug.  My friend went to a Flags over Roller Coasters and she got a parasite – the gift that keeps on giving.  I mean, there’s just no way of knowing.  One minute you’re playing at an amusement park and the next minute you are on first-name basis with Sue at the CDC.  Anything could happen.  I grew up in Arizona.  There’s a huge meteor crater there.   Those Russians sure believe in the possibility of being hit with a meteor now, don’t they?

No, hey – it’s fine.  I just googled it.  http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/02/asteroid-odds/  “Your odds of getting killed by a meteorite are roughly 1 in 250,000. You are far more likely to die in an earthquake, tornado, flood, airplane crash, or car crash (but less likely to be killed by lightning).”

Memphis is on the New Madrid fault line.  That sucker is gonna blow someday you know.  At least I’m not planning to fly anywhere between now and Sunday.  Anyway, Delta does Memphis so well now that there aren’t many flights left to worry over.  See?  That’s good!

I love this event’s race shirt.  I sure hope it fits.  I don’t think they allow shirt exchanges.  I’m going to be so disappointed if I can’t wear my shirt after the race.

I can’t decide if I want to go to Ihop or Subway after the race.  But what if I don’t finish the race?  I’ll be forced to go to McD’s to shame myself.  And I couldn’t wear the shirt either.  Can’t wear a shirt you didn’t earn.

No, wait.  That would be good then, right?  Because I know the shirt is not going to fit anyway.  Stupid damn shirt.  I didn’t really like it that much.

I just had my stupid bagel which I’m getting pretty tired of bagels for breakfast, but I did, I had it.  Stupid bagel.  I think the baby is moving.  I’ve named the baby Carbetta.  My little carb baby.  Who knew a person could burp that much?  And I do not understand why a cat should get insulted by my burping.  Have they smelled their litter box?  And if we’re going to talk about manners I’ve seen where you lick, little girl, all huffy with your tail twitching.

I guess I need to get some work done.  It’s hard to concentrate on work when you are as relaxed as I am.  I’m just sitting here, all relaxed even though my race shirt sucks and I can’t wear it because it’s too bigsmall and I DNF’d the race next Sunday because of my damn shoes, so I’m not in the mood to read your whiny email about your car getting stolen with your purse in it and all your ID and you need a new member card.

You are ruining my Zen.

If I only had a brain, Part 2

#crazynutjobrunner

So the alarm went off at 4:40 am and while I can’t express how happy I am to be training for another marathon, I’ve definitely hit That Point in the process.  I despise the marimba ring tone of my iPhone alarm.   Apple needs a ring tone that says, “Ok, then, sorry about this, but you’re the one who set the alarm, not me, and now you need to get up.”  Preferably Mr. Roger’s voice; there  is no way I could say “eff you, Mr. Rogers.”  I have a Pavlovian reaction to the ring; cringing, heart pounding, slammed out of a deep sleep by the marimba.  Thank God for some multi-flavored chemical laden, artificially sweetened and creamed K-cup steaming in my coffee cup; I’m up but basically making my way through the house by bouncing from one wall to the other in a (mainly) forward direction.

I have also definitely hit the point in marathon training where Taco Bell Fourth Meal happens about 12-1pm as opposed to the midnight-1am (younger!) crowd the campaign originally targeted.  The other day I had lasagna at 9am after already having breakfast.  I did at least warm it but then stood at the counter eating it directly from the casserole.  NOMNOMNOM. Yesterday:  breakfast followed by a cranberry bagel with egg and bacon (yes), then a really lousy salad followed by a nap which was celebrated by death by chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce and caramel followed by another nap. I made dinner at 4pm.  Then what do you do?  It’s 4:30, you’ve slept for two hours, you’ve eaten five times, you’re too tired to fold laundry and you still have daylight remaining, and after about three hours of Yard Crashers you’ve pretty much seen the best TV has to offer.   I’m thinking I may pay for HBO since I’m never going to finish reading Game of Thrones.

And you both know that Brain 1 and Brain 2 are of no help whatsoever.
brain one and brain two

The other day while scarfing down one of my multitudinous meals I was reading Runner’s World.  Sometimes I read the newspaper, it depends.  It depends mostly on how much I feel like screaming.  Reading the newspaper is like taking algebra so you can grow up and work from home typing stuff; you know it’s good for you for some reason but you don’t actually ever apply it in your life and it makes you feel like screaming the entire time you’re doing it.  I always read the editorial section first, it’s like eating all the Brussels sprouts first so you can have the meatloaf second and enjoy it while also getting that awful taste out of your mouth.  Plus when I read the paper I yell, making the cats run away and causing Murphy to skulk guiltily.  Anyway, I was reading Runner’s World which is nothing like eating Brussels sprouts, it’s more like Three Guys Pizza Pies.  And also it doesn’t cause me to yell, making all the animals happier.

In this article (Beyond the Mantra by Michelle Hamilton, May, 2012 issue, I cannot find a link, sorry) the author visited with a sports psychologist and implemented his suggestions in her running.  It’s taken me about 98% of my life to truly understand that what drives everything in life is not what is happening to and around me, but how/what I think about it.  The Brain.  That little wrinkled up thing in our heads drives everything.  We ‘think’ what’s wrong is that our leg hurts, or the boss is an ass (which, none of my 15 bosses is an ass, let us be clear on this) or that our spouse cannot see the dishwasher which is apparently invisible.   Then we feel like screaming after 20+ years of seeing their dirty dishes in the sink TWO FEET FROM THE DISHWASHER (meanwhile the poor spouse just wants to avoid putting dishes in the dishwasher which may – or may not – have clean dishes in it; he doesn’t know and can’t figure out, since this is a secret hidden from men from the beginning of time.  He knows if he puts dirty ones in with the clean he will get The Look and The Sigh.  His brain is screaming, DON’T MESS IT UP!!  I CAN’T NOT MESS IT UP!!  IT’S A TRAP!)

Not that I’m upset about the empty dishwasher and the full sink.

Basically, as the author notes and as my counselor noted, you think: you live.  Talking to my counselor was the first time I heard the word catastrophizer.  I thought she’d made it up just for me, but I found it later in a book.  You can look it up, it’s a personality subself.  If it can go wrong it will.  Spectacularly.  If it can’t go wrong it still will. Or it could.  So we’d better think about every possible outcome to every possible situation.

3:45 am Brain 1: OMG OMG OMG.  No, wait, it’s just the effing alarm, nothing is on fire.

3:45:01am Brain 1: OMG OMG OMG is it raining???

3:45:02am Brain 2: OhhhEmmmGeee.  So what if it is, we’ll get wet?

3:45:03am Brain 1:  We could get CHAFED

3:45:04am Brain 2:  Yes, that has certainly never happened.

3:45:05am Brain 1:  We won’t be able to see the Garmin clearly!  Our glasses will fog!

3:45:06am Brain 2:  Ok, you’re right.  We’ve definitely got a world crisis here.

It’s the words you think.  For so much of my life I tried to change the way I felt.  I’m so sad because I can’t go to the party (don’t feel sad!  don’t feel sad!).  I’m so mad because that email was mean (quit being mad!  quit being mad!) You can’t.  It’s like slamming your finger in the door.  Don’t hurt, finger!  Don’t hurt, finger!  How about, “Rats, that hurts.  Need to get some ice.”

This morning I realized that I still doubt myself.  I still doubt I’ll get the marathon done.  My friend Elizabeth asked why I would worry about that.  She said if nothing else, you’ll walk it in.  And it occurred to me that I didn’t actually think of that as an option – but of course it is.  Somewhere in my brain I either finish the marathon or … what?  Teleport back to the car?  Get caught up to Oz?  Life instantly ends?  It’s like, in my mind, there is a marathon stretching out on a road with a finish line, and I either reach the finish line or fall off the road into oblivion.  Maybe I end up wherever the Coyote ended up when he fell off the cliffs, I’m not sure.  I’ve already talked with my coach and we have my A, B and C plans, none of which have either the teleportation or falling off cliff option listed.

Think about it.  Spend a day listening to what you say in your mind.  How many things do you think you’ve missed or not tried because you talked yourself out of them before you could even start?  I’m starting that marathon, and I’m finishing it.  No matter what Brain 1 and Brain 2 think.

I didn’t see that one coming.

Well, over here in wonderland it’s been a merry-go-round of crazy people registering for races and memberships and emailing me to find out if they can contract for services.  I’m kinda shaking my head.  I understand Forbes and the like have criteria they use, formulas for determining which cities get slapped with unfittest places to live, unhealthiest population, etc., but I sure wish someone from those groups would show up at the Road Race 5K starting line, 1,315 runners all the colors of the rainbow, towing the line, Garmins locked and loaded, The Voice Of MRTC bellowing GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORRRRRRRRRRRRRNING RUNNNNNNNNNNNERS!

There was not a lot of unfit unhealthiness hanging around that morning.

There were a few people with headphones blaring so loudly that they could not hear the car behind them honking and fellow (un-hearing impaired) runners screaming CAR BACK! repeatedly.  This is what I think:  If you cannot run without music blaring so loudly into your head that you cannot hear fellow runners yelling and repeated car honking, you need to go see someone for your hearing loss.

Thus we can conclude from this story that running can cause deafness.

Here’s something you two may not know:  Triathlons can cause blindness.  True.

By the way, I did go on to do a 2nd triathlon because apparently even though I am taking my medication regularly it isn’t working properly.  I wanted to do a 3rd, which was this weekend, but I am also training for a marathon and with 20 miles to run this morning I thought it prudent not to blow out 1-1/2 or 2 hours worth of energy the day before.  I did that a few weeks ago when I did several hours of yard work and then did 16 miles the next day.  It was carnage.  Ugly, ugly, ugly.  If that run had a personality it would have been a cross between that idiot that owns Abercrombie and Fitch and the car salesman who screams the entire commercial.  Which, how the hell he sells any cars, I don’t know.  I HAVE A DEAL FOR YOU!!! COME ON OVER!!!! I CAN GET YOU INTO A CAR TODAY!!!!!  Hey, I can get me into a car today, too.  And it’s not yours.

The thing about Speedos is, no one can really wear them well.  Even Olympic swimmers.  I look at the TV and nervously slide my glance away, the anorexic young things have stomachs so flat I’m positive the Speedo actually has nothing to grip and any second now that sucker is heading straight for the floor.  Look at them next Olympics.  They have no butt, no hips and no stomach.  The poor Speedo is hanging on for dear life.  “Ohhhh no….he’s diving into the pool!!  HOLD ON!”  Meanwhile a nation of 18-22 year old females hover on the edge of the couch, watching intently.  “I didn’t know you were so interested in sports, honey,” wonders their collective fathers.

And if those incredibly fit, flat-tummied guys can’t, I can tell you for absolute certainty who else can’t:  that 60-something guy at the triathlon yesterday.  I saw him riding up and because I am so finely tuned into the universe I knew – I KNEW – this was a cluster looking for a place.  I tried not to look but it’s like going to WalMart on a Saturday morning in July.  Oh, crap.  I can’t unsee that.   OOPS, I can’t unsee that.  OH SHIT, I really can’t unsee THAT.  As someone once said, it’s like watching two watermelons fight their way out of a bag.

So I saw Mr. Speedo (that’s not his real name.  I made that up.  I don’t really know his real name and if offered the opportunity to know his real name I would decline, loudly and probably not using the manners my momma taught me.)  Anyway, Mr. Speedo rode up to the transition area on his bike in the little bitty Speedo and nothing else except his transition bag.  I’ve noticed at WalMart on Saturdays that as people age they start to sag a bit, and it appears that no specific body parts are exempt, if you get my drift.  I’m not positive but I think I heard a tiny voice coming from the direction of the Speedo say “For the Love of All That’s Holy someone save me”, but that could have been my eyeballs talking, I’m not sure.  At any rate maybe he has poor vision and XS and XL all look the same.

I walked off and tried to find someone to talk to so I could get the image stuck on my eyeballs to start to fade.  You know, like if someone next to you says, HEY!  DO. NOT. Look at the sun! you immediately stare straight at the sun even though your brain is screaming DON’T and then you have a huge orange ball floating in front of everything you look at for 10 minutes and you really can’t see anything else except around the edges.  I found my friend Johncharles and he’s easy enough to talk to that you can visit with him even if there is a large blob burned into your retinas and you can only see the outline of his head and his face is obscured.  Eventually I felt better.

Later I found my other friend, Hermione (all names, by the way, have been changed to protect the innocent).  We went over to the swim exit and visited with Johncharles.  I was turned to talk to Hermione so my back was to the boat launch as the runners came out of the water.  I saw her face contort, terror and disbelief in her eyes as she whispered, “Ohhhh…gawd…”

I knew.  I knew what she was looking at and I turned my head anyway, yep, Mr. Speedo (whom, I should amend, is, I’m sure, a very very nice man and someone’s daddy and I will get several extra days in timeout in Heaven for this blog but I can’t stop myself now, I have to finish this story so you will be warned and will know why blindness could occur).

I turned back but poor Hermione was still a bit stunned and moving slowly.  “Ohhh…no…we have…testicle.”

DON’T LOOK DON’T LOOK DON’T LOOK OMG DO NOT LOOK it took everything I had not to look but I succeeded.  I want to live to see my grandson’s sweet face one more time.

“…we have…testicle” she said, softly.

“…we have…testicle contact…” she softly updated me as my mind exploded.

“…and…testicle…is secured.” she concluded.

OCD much?

Hubs and I were out of town last week.  You might think I would feel completely free to leave town now the kids are grown and gone, no worries, enjoy the trip, relax, eat drink and be merry.

But, no.  First, I no longer have that burning desire to desert Rome as it burns, my mother and four children waving forlornly as we back down the drive, desperately repressing the jiggling as my legs begin the Happy Dance under the dashboard.  NO VOMIT!  NO DIAPERS!  NO CRYING AND FIGHTING AND STEPPING ON DEADLY LEGOS!  I’m FREE!

I can lazily drink coffee and read the paper daily now.  I don’t have to put on adult clothes to take the kids to school and work the phones in the office from 8am to noon or help in the clinic wiping snot and blood.  I don’t have to camp out in a hotel to have a bathroom all to myself.  I don’t have to hide the chocolates in a tampon box.  I don’t have to worry about organizing soccer/cheer/homework/scouts/cupcakes for the birthday party before leaving everyone.  No worries, now.  Free Free Free.

Instead I spent three days prior to leaving town waking at 3 and 4am worrying about — The Damn Cats.  What if they refuse to eat?  What if they pee on the bed?  What if they … I don’t know … jeeze, they’re CATS – how much could go wrong??  But, no…wake, roll over, worry.

Obsess much?

Meanwhile – no pressure here – every damn day hubs insists that I need to try on his wetsuit and be sure it fits.  Fine, I tried it on.  OK, right, it was on backward but what the hell.  It’s not like it’s gender specific.  If it fits backwards it should fit frontwards.  No, apparently it didn’t count, backwards negates the experience so now I have to try it on … again.

Then, after I try it on again, he thinks I need to take it to the Center and swim in the damn thing.  Remember the pool running incident (here)?  Where all the senior water exercise class people glared at Becky and me in shock and awe?  What do you think it will do to them if I show up at the pool in a f*cking wetsuit?  How long will it take management to get all the exploded brain matter out of that water?  And can they sue me for the damages?

Still hubs remains – daily – sincere in his insistent insistence that I must absolutely without doubt swim in water with the wetsuit.  I pointed out that if I fail to do so prior to the race, and it is a wetsuit legal race, I will swim in the water to warm up and I will be wearing the wetsuit.  I think that counts as swimming before the race.  I mean, what if I swim in the wetsuit at the Center and I find out it doesn’t work so well?  Is that going to change the temperature of the water Saturday?

Last week I ordered a tri-suit.  It was in the mail when we got home.  I pulled it out of the packaging.  This sucker will not fit a skinny pre-pubescent 13-year-old.  I don’t know why they wasted a 9×13 envelope to send it to me, it would have fit fine in a letter sized and saved some postage, which they handily charged me.  Now I’ve spent $79 + tax, shipping and handling on something that weighs about four ounces and I may wear only once in my life – if I can even get it on.  And hubs is happy I spent the money.  If I buy a new lipstick and he sees it he asks me how much it cost.  Tri-suit?  Wet-suit?  Bike?  Helmet?  Bike shoes?  He’s throwing money at it like it was beads in New Orleans and he might see some boobs.

I spent one morning at the hotel swimming, then got on the spin bike and did 13 miles, then ran three.  There, I’ve done the distance, so mentally I got that out of the way.  What I realized is that I do not care at all about this triathlon like I have all the races I’ve trained for.  I’m just as obsessive about getting everything organized, not forgetting anything, hoping I don’t bonk, but I don’t really care about doing the event.  All I really care about is getting it over with.

Training for halves, fulls, 50K’s, I check weather for weeks, mentally preparing for wind/rain/floods/solar flares and meteors.  I’m scared, nervous – but it’s an excited nervous fright.  It can still get ugly – marathoniritationitis (with a graphic, here) is nothing to laugh at, but there’s still an excitement about the whole thing.  This one:  if it rains, oh well.  If it’s hot, well damn.  If it’s cold, well sh*t.  Oh, well.  If I get there, and I don’t like the weather, I might just decide not to do the event, and right now I cannot dredge up any impending regret, other than I’d be forced to register for another one and go through all this again.

Last night I dreamed I had a curse that if I talked to someone it would take away one of their powers.   Unfortunately Becky asked me a question in my dream.  I replied without thinking and it stripped her power to do triathlons.

Obsess much?? This is going to be a bitch of a week…

You can’t fall off a marathon, and you can’t sink in a 50K, and all you need is some shorts, a shirt and some shoes.

The truth is:  I’m cranky and pissed and obsessed about the cats because I’m scared of this one and it’s not an excited nervousness.  It’s just fear.

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In my own words

Noli timere

The Science of Sport

Scientific comment and analysis of sports and sporting performance

It's A Marathon AND A Sprint

And a 10K and a 200 Mile Bike Ride and an Obstacle Race and Anything Else We Find!

bluchickenninja.com

graphic designer, bibliophile, spoonie

Running On Healthy

Living Life Healthy, Fit, and Happy

One Dreamy Mess

Fit, healthy, & traveling the world.

runswimbikediversify

Just. Take. Another. Step.

The Fit Mom Diary

Family, Fitness, Food, & FUN

Be Happy, Be Kind & Be Loving

A great WordPress.com site

Pages and Stories

Reflections on Writing, Traveling, and Food

Grow up proper

A raw view on life

Morning Story and Dilbert

Inspiring, Encouraging, Healthy / Why waste the best stories of the World, pour a cup of your favorite beverage and let your worries drift away…

Living the Life

Staying spirited (while attending college): happy thoughts on the happiest time of your life

Trek Ontario

Hike | Camp | Canoe | Snowshoe | Geocache | ...

Chocolate Covered Race Medals

Where I race to the chocolate bar

Exchanging Words

Everything about Anything

Seize the day!

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.

Hemingway Run

Marc Hemingway: On The Road To Berlin Marathon

Bike/Ped Memphis

Nicholas Oyler - Bikeway & Pedestrian Program Manager

Midwest Sweet Tea

A movement towards balance and self-discovery.

pipe down piper

I'm tired and I'm hungry.

Sarah Corell

Multimedia from every corner of the world.

Jack Flacco

THE OFFICIAL SITE

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

Fatness to Fitness

Practical strategies for making a lifestyle change.

Run5kaday's Blog

Daily distance running adrenaline!

hungry and fit

A young couple focused on great workouts and feasting well -- all on a low budget!

Top 10 of Anything and Everything!!!

Animals, Gift Ideas, Travel, Books, Recycling Ideas and Many, Many More

Mountains to Mats

The Modern Art of Muay Ski-Jitsu...

Philly Tales and Trails

Running adventures through the City of Brotherly Love

The Happsters

Spread Positive Vibes. Give Love. Be Happy.

findingexpression

awe, humility, hope and a few other things I might notice

kirstenmcaleeserunning

A great WordPress.com site

Hollis Plample

draws comics

Julia's Place

Musings of a retired but not retiring woman

borscht and babushkas

pioneer pursuits post-peace corps ukraine

The Better Man Project ™

a journey into the depths

jadaadele

Just another WordPress.com site

The Fit Wanderer.

forever wandering

Jello Legs

My love hate struggle with running

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

theinnerwildkat

Passions For Books, Writing and Music-however it manifests itself

run eat life

live life healthy and happy