Thursday, January 28, 2010

Am I just NOT listening?

Do you think that an unrelated series of events that seem to point to one conclusion could be a message from the universe? Or beyond? Or, do you think that the human brain simply connects unrelated events in order to make sense out of our jumbled messy lives?

I think I'm receiving a message from Mother Earth or Karma or Something like that, and it's telling me to "Stop Eating Meat!" Oh, I know it sounds crazy, I love meat. I do. It's fabulous. I'm good at cooking it. Too good probably, which means we eat plenty of it. Too much really because H is a meataholic. But, in the past week I've had some "things" happen...

On Monday my Professor went on a little mini-tirade about how we get too much protein ("too many meats in our meals") for the enzymes in our bodies, and the excess lipids are stored, etc and so forth. Then, after that, we dissected a rat. It was a little hard for me because I had a pet rat growing up, and while I embraced the "Medical Science produced this rat for me to dissect" theory, it was still hard to look at the little rat hands and not think about Nici's hands and the way she used to ride around on my shoulder gripping my hair.

The next thing that happened has it origins a few weeks ago when I bought a hunk of meat for Pork BBQ. It's one of our family's favorite meals. Pulled pork. (Cook a cheap cut in some Orange Juice & H2O in the crock pot for 6 hours on high, drain liquid, shred meat, pour bottle of BBQ sauce over and serve on buns). I typically buy a certain cheap cut, but a few weeks ago they didn't have it. In it's place was a similar looking cut, only bigger. Way bigger. Like, instead of 5 pounds, 9 pounds. NINE. I decided to buy it anyway. Because I figured I could freeze some of the BBQ and have a dinner made for some night when I had a test or class or something. Well, this piece of meat was, uh, a little less processed than I am accustomed to... like, there was still skin on it under the packaging. And it was gross. I mean, grosser than a little rat pinned to a dissection board, for SURE.

And then today. Today's was the weirdest. I was driving home from the witch Dr listening to some music, and I thought about the pig leg that I had prepared for my kids for dinner last night, and I was just thinking about making a chicken for dinner tonight... when I saw a dead chicken with fluffy white feathers in my lane. I moved & didn't hit it and thought... "no, that must've been a seagull and I mistook it for a.... chicken?" I thought at I passed ANOTHER one on the side of the road. And then I realized, I'm on a road that truckers must take to the Tyson's plant. So those poor chickens must have jumped to their death or been thrown from the back of the chicken truck. My next thought was telling: I guess it's better to die on the side of 288 than at a meat plant anyway.

So. No chicken for us tomorrow. And the pork is slowly getting eaten, but, I'm having a hard time mentally separating my thoughts from the food on my plate.

I think maybe it's time to break out the Tofu recipes again for a little while.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I miss you SRG

Dear SRG,

I think I miss you. I do. There is no one to make fun of in my class this semester who satisfies my mean streak the way you did. There is "Texting Teachers Pet", but I'm on the fence about her, she might actually be a threat to my status as Teacher's Pet. And, she might be smart enough to pull all this off, but I won't know until after the tests are in....

TTP is a young woman who arrived in class tonight a few minutes late, and as such she was stuck sitting in the front with me. I sit in the front for two reasons. The first is that I can't hear worth a darn. The second is that I barely make it to class on time on Wednesdays and as far as seats go, I get what I get.

So because she came in after class started, she had to sit beside me. She's about 18-19 years old, cute, small... gosh I bet she's barely 5 ft and approaching 100 pounds. I haven't seen that side of 100 pounds in, well, too many years to worry about. I think I might have been 11. ~sigh~, what was I saying? Oh, right- she's tiny. Dark skinned, and very VERY pretty, with cute glasses that make her look... 12. I wonder if she imagines that they make her look more studious? Anyway, she was my entertainment and annoyance for the evening.

She has a crackberry and is obviously in need of an intervention.

TTP sat with her phone on her lap all night, and every time our prof turned to write on the white board she would text furiously... and then he would turn around and she would chime in with a comment or question about what he was saying.... so....
Dr Zoo, "an' dats why the uh, RTP is uh, transporting the infomation...." he turns... and, cue TTP.
"SO, What you mean is RTP is the Transporter?"
Dr Zoo, "Uh, yes, dats what I mean."

I admit to having a violent thought wander through my head at one point when I considered *itch slapping her after she piped in a random thought when I knew she's written exactly nothing down nor heard a thing he'd said during the lecture. She simply repeats his last sentence. I'm not sure if he knew she was texting, or not. But still, very annoying whether he knew about it or not. This campaign to be the teacher's pet either needs to be run with some respect - aka without text-aholism, OR it needs to stop.

Seriously, if someone is going to be the teacher's pet, it's going to be someone who's actually deserving of that position. Specifically ME. So let's just get that straight.

For those of you in Richmond

I found a contractor who
  1. Shows up on time.
  2. Does good work.
  3. Doesn't cost a fortune.
  4. also does "handy man" type work incase your H isn't, uh, "handy".
Yea, crazy talk. He's on Facebook, you can find his page if you search Creative Design Homes.

Sweet Nathan Giveaway!

Check out this sweet link on Endurance Isn't Only Physical for a FUEL BELT giveaway HERE! H2O is not optional people, you must hydrate!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

speaking of comic relief


B: "Today a' scool, we payed Duck Duck Goose. And the boys they said Duck Duck Poop!"
and she dissolves in to hysterical laughter.

My entire family, H included, is trying HARD not to laugh. Not successfully, I might add.

And I'm left to be the straight man and say, "that's potty language, we don't use that language at the table."

But secretly, I'm cracking up inside, because seriously, she thought it was that funny.

The Void in my Life

I know, we're all supposed to pretend like the void in our lives was filled by our Husbands. And yes, my husband likes to pretend that too (about me), but in all seriousness, the voids in our "lives" can only be filled by ourselves and our own passion for life.

And our girlfriends.

I G, take you T, to be your faithful running mate.
To run with and train with, from this day forward, for PR's and PUs, through knee pain and foot pain, Through torrential rain and sunny heat, As long as we both shall remain injury free. And hereto I pledge to you my runningness.

We've been faithfully reading each others minds (weird but sometimes true), scheduling our lives and race calendars around each other for almost 2 years.

This injury really left me OUT of the LOOP and it left T as an island running alone in a sea of runners. How do you run without your running mate? Your exit buddy? Your navigator? Your copilot? How does anyone run without their other half? Their therapist? Their trainer? Their motivational speaker? Their comic relief? I don't know, and I'm SUPER happy to be back!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I got the WORD from the man that I can start running again! YEA BABY! It is a HAPPY DAY here in Chez moi.

This morning I leashed Desidog and dressed in my wicked cute choco skirt and put on my TALL SOCKS so I could look cute and be warm, and went for a CORE Run. The rules of a CORE run according to the witch Dr:
  1. run EASY.
  2. concentrate on FORM.
  3. stop to STRETCH at .5 miles and again at 1.5 miles, and again every 10 -15 minutes of running (hip flexor stretch)
  4. PLANKS for 2 minutes at 10 minute intervals.
  5. LISTEN to my body and stop if the knee pain gets distracting (i.e. compromises form).
I decided to do my usual 3 miles, broken into a 2 mile loop and a 1 mile loop, incase the pain was bad and I had to walk home. I started my Garmin and off we went.

It was slow. Desidog requested to run free because I was not running fast enough. I agree Desidog. An 11:20 pace is not fast enough for me either. My legs felt like lead. My stomach felt weird. My back hurt. My head was spinning. It was going poorly.

5 minutes in I stopped to stretch. I got a "look" from a fellow runner. Get over yourself dude, stretching is my new BFF.

I got up, and started to run again. At a 9:15 pace. And that's how the rest of the run went. I stopped for planks, got up, felt sluggish, looked down at watch - 9:20's until they turned into 9:15's. And then I let my mind and heart wander, and ~sigh~ this is love.

At mile 2.5 I stopped to stretch, and this time when I got back up, it wasn't exactly perfect feeling. So I jogged until mile 2.66, when I had to stop. Then I walked home for another 2 minutes of planks - which was the hardest 2 minutes of planks EVER. Total distance, 3 miles.

I think I stopped at the right time too, because 10 minutes of ice and the pain is GONE and I feel great. WOO HOO!!! I want to RUN again tomorrow... and, I think if the weather cooperates, that's exactly what I will do.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Basket Bummer

C has been playing b-ball in a league now for a few weeks. There are 4 teams, they rotate through a schedule. It's hilarious, the kids are all equally fantastic or equally bad. C's on a team with 3 stellar girls and 3 "bad" girls and 2 girls that are better but not brilliant. We had 10, but 2 girls did not return after Christmas. We really don't know why. Still we're undefeated because by the luck of the draw, we got a great coach combined with some seriously good players.

Todays game was the usual fare. H took C to practice, and the game would start an hour later. I arrived 15 minutes into the game, right as C was stepping off the court, no biggy, I didn't miss much. We were up 12 to 4, which is pretty close as far as our games go. I knew I would get to see C play 2 more "periods" before it was all said and done and that's about all the time that B will sit for anyway. Well, this is where things get a little weird.

Our coach is a lovely former college player who is focused on teaching the girls to pass, have fun, and play defense. I'd guess she's 25 at most? Young, fresh, upbeat, and totally gets with the "rec league" idea. She's black. I only mention this because I think if she'd been a white woman, today would have gone a lot differently.

The other coach is a white HighSchool Basket ball coach who is focused on the WIN, and today he freaked out on our coach. Because, he said, we weren't playing our "bad players enough" and he wanted "That GIRL" (mine) put on the court because she (the coach) hadn't rotated the bad players in enough. Uh. Excuse me. I don't care how flippin' bad at B-ball C is, do we really need to make her feel like she's THAT BAD?

I would have vaulted off the bleachers and been arrested and on CNN for sure, except that if I'd done that who would bail out OUR coach? Really she was mad, but she restrained herself. About 10 minutes later, when our team was up again, by only about 7 points, he pulled another temper tantrum because his star player hit one of our star players in the face & though no foul was called, our player left the court and got into her moms lap (hey, she's 9, why not?). Technically we didn't have enough players on the court, and his team should win by default/forfeit. The Ref blew the whistle and said that wasn't how it was played, but the coach got into our coaches face... And enough was enough... the ref backed out and said, "Hey, I'm not getting involved, I'm just here to ref a girls b-ball game".

Coach Tia stood up and said, "Fine, if this is how you want to play, we will forfeit the game. We don't need to win to have fun, do we girls? Your team can have the win, I'm not going to let my girls get beat up over 'this'." ("this" being the WIN) Our girls were a little confused but they all agreed that sportsmanship was better than winning. The parents were pretty much in agreement, that our coach was right - it's a rec league, the record doesn't matter. It's about sportsmanship...let's get out of this before it gets ugly.

So we all basically started to gather our children to leave. And then, the County Representative who is in charge of making sure these things are fair arrived out of NO WHERE and stepped in, and I'm glad he was a big man because we did sort of need a bouncer to contain the other coach who was fuming and foaming. TCRep forbade our team from forfeiting with only 2:27 left in the game, and told the other coach that he needed either shut up and sit down, or he would shut him up and sit him down.

Our game ended, our team won because frankly, our team is better. There's nothing you can say about it. The teams are randomly assigned, and we randomly got a really good team. The best player in our team is an 9 year old girl, & she's easily the shortest on the court. Our coach gathered up our girls and said, "line up, shake hands with the other team, and be good sports". UHG. This made the other coach go into some kind of state, I swear he was panting, until the TCRep removed him from the building. But he was in the parking lot, waiting for our coach. I hate to say this, but you know those CNN reports about violence after kids sports? Well, today I feel like we were only a few minutes away from one of those "And in RICHMOND today, after a girls basket ball game...."

And say a little prayer of thanks, because exactly Nothing happened. Probably because we all walked out together, and frankly, while my H & I are small of stature and did nothing to protect Tia, we were flanked by a few Dads & GrandDads serving as front guard. *and one mom in that mix who I wouldn't want to go up against.

Today was a bummer. C felt after B-ball that we all needed to get out and practice so she could be "not the worst one on the team". Up until now I don't think she'd noticed, but that coach made sure she knew. Regardless the whole event really tainted me for the rest of the season. I am dreading the next time our two teams play in about 3 weeks.

I think... yes, I think some phone calls are in order. A lot of phone calls. This County is going to be tired of me by the end of next week.

Friday, January 22, 2010


In Bermuda I started experiencing the unpleasant sensation of vertigo. Surely it was caused by extended periods of time on a boat. or plane.

Enough of this already, I'm home.

When is it going to stop?

I kept thinking, DEHYDRATION is the cause.
so I drink.
and I drink.
and I drink some more.
And yet, here it is, 9:52 am and I am dizzy.

If it's blood sugar issues, then FOOD is the cause.
so I snack.
(on sensible things.)
and yet, here it is, 9:52 am, a mere 2 hours after breakfast and I am dizzy.

Ah, fun times. As if being a neurotic mother wasn't enough, I'm concerned I'm turning into a hypochondriac.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bart Yasso likes the Socks aka - Bermuda Non Race Report

When I go to Bermuda I feel often like it's my way of recharging my batteries. This year it was especially important because I REALLY needed it. Imagine for a minute that you are a chemically imbalanced unhappy person. So, you take a "drug" to balance you, right? Let's say, for sanity sake, that the drug you take is RUNNING. The RUNNING keeps you level, sane, and happy, and then one day, you have to quit RUNNING, cold turkey, with no "ease off" time. You just one day are no longer on the medication that helps you. Imagine the withdrawal symptoms. Now, add winter (ie - not a ton of sunshine) to that scenario. Frankly, I think what I'm saying is that I realized when I was in Bermuda how terribly unhappy I've been for a lot of my December and January, because you don't know you're really missing something until you immerse yourself in it. I was missing SUNSHINE and RUNNING, all at the same time.

We arrived in Bermuda on Friday afternoon. Perhaps it would be best if I qualify it as a sunny gorgeous Friday afternoon. From the moment of our arrival T and I agreed, "this is the best trip that no one is on". Why was no one else on this trip with us? Leading up to the trip I kept thinking to myself, it's no big deal that no one else from the team could get away, because in January they're not likely to be missing much of anything... only, the weather cleared and it was the most beautiful day when we arrived. I think the weather even affected the customs officials because they were super nice and didn't even interrogate me. (ever traveled with one of those people who apparently always gets interrogated by immigration? Yea, well, I've seen the inside of Bermuda immigration "offices" twice)
After we'd grabbed a quick bite to eat at The Swizzle Inn, we decided it was too early to go over to our Hotel, and the best use of our afternoon would be to see something on the island. We went over to the Crystal Caves, which is an underground cavern with stalactites and stalagmites, a tidal pool and a hilarious tour guide named "Ron". After descending the 85 steps to the bottom of the cave, where C & I took about 20 photos, we were treated to an entertaining dissertation about the boys who discovered the cave, the volcano that created the islands of Bermuda, and Ron. No really, I think you could learn a lot about the tour guide from his portrayal of "patriotic prejudice" and why he obviously believes that Bermuda is "Better".

Once we were done with our cool tour, and had climbed the 85 steps back up to the top of the cave, we checked in at the Grotto Bay where we met a crazy looking rooster & a few cats, did some exploring and enjoyed the hotel beach as much as anyone who won't swim in freezing cold water can enjoy a beach. By 5:30 am on Saturday, I was really wondering why those cats hadn't taken the roosters out, or if we could arrange it some how....
Then stopped into the Race Expo for our LARGE T-Shirts, and after that, we went to Dinner at Cafe Gio in St. Georges. BEST value in Bermuda, along with the most amazing food. I hate it when someone talks about value and then something doesn't taste that great or something.
No, not the case, it was awesome. AWESOME. So, Friday ended kind of "late", even though it wasn't that late. Like 2 girls on a sleep over, T and I chatted for about an hour after lights out, and I had to chuckle to myself about that. Saturday didn't exactly go as planned, but that turned out OK. I wanted to sleep in, but I don't know if it was the hotel, the roosters, or the fresh air, but as far as my "sleep in" was concerned, FAIL. I just couldn't do it. I had a crazy dream about running and running and running and when I woke up my heart was pounding and my legs were twitching. So. I was WIDE awake. I wandered down into the hotel for some coffee and a quiet moment on the lawn. And the ROOSTER pictured left walked right up to me to BEG. hello, Rooster, when you wake someone up at O'dark thirty, don't bother to beg
After a small breakfast of a bagel and coffee, we got a ride over to the boat where we attempted a boat ride from St George's to Dockyard. This would have been fun, except that the Bridge didn't open for us, so we had to go "around" the island. Uh. It wasn't a smooth journey, and boats are NOT my strong suit. I guess T, C and I looked pretty lame all huddled up on the deck because at some point Mom looks at the Captain (my way awesome "stepfather" Ralph) and says, "let's turn ar
ound, I'll drive them to Dockyard instead". By the time we docked I didn't really want to get into a car and drive for an hour, so instead we went for a tour of the oldest house in Bermuda, followed by a walk on Coopers Island. That was pretty amazing.
First off, I've never been to Carter House OR Coopers Island before, so that was cool because frankly, once you've seen Bermuda 6 times, you don't expect any surprises on the 7th trip. And beyond that, the view. THE VIEW from Coopers Island... wow. About that. Again, I thought, "why didn't I manage to convince everyone to come on this trip?" We found a secluded beach at Coopers Island where T and I analyzed our running footprints in the sand. I'd like to mention here that my stride is SO much longer than I thought it was... super! After tooling around St Georges a bit we hit up the hot tub at the hotel and returned to the boat where The Captain treated us to a delicious spaghetti dinner. Gotta load up on the carbs for the big race.
After that we went back to the hotel, and fell into bed and an unmentionably early hour.
My head was sort of still spinning from the boat misadventure, so, I was happy to crash. At an unmentionably early hour in the morning, BEFORE the Rooster was even up, we woke and began dressing in our mad hot running skirts. Let me say this, IF I'd had ANY idea how much and what kind of attention I was going to receive for my skirt/sock combination, I might have reconsidered the socks. No not really. I packed my breakfast in my back pack and then we set off on our cab which we shared with 4 other runners.

In the pitch black morning, we arrived in the city at the race start. Uh. Right? Right here? I thought it must be closer to the Princess Hotel. We were 2 women alone on a street in a pitch black city, surely we were in the wrong place. But slowly other runners started to filter in and a crew of people showed up to set up the start/finish lines.
This is it, less than an hour before race start. No way was this race going to start on time.

They worked for about fifteen minutes on the inflatable start line...
and then... once they got it almost all the way up....

It was down again.
T and I passed the time cracking up over the people setting up the race, reuniting with some ladies we'd flown in with (Mary & her friend), and watching the sun rise over Harrington Sound. Beautiful doesn't even come close to describing the view, the sky was pink, T's socks were pink. Then we dropped our bag in the "bag check area". Uh. Also known as a room with a table to leave your bags on...
Then we made our way to the start line, where we were stopped by a news crew with Bermuda Sports Network and we gave an interview. Well, T gave the interview. I didn't really talk because I didn't want at any point to have to confess that I was only planning on running 1/2 mile out and 1 mile to finish. T gave a cute interview while I modeled the socks. Since the camera operator's free eye didn't stray from my top, I think I did my job well...

Then we got in the mob of runners and a guy walked by and says, "nice socks ladies" or something like that.. and T goes, "Wait, that was BART YASSO!" So I lifted the camera and...

Bart is the guy with the red and white top.

The next thing we knew it was time to start and RIGHT ON TIME, we took off.

And when I say took off I really mean we ambled out as a mesh of people at a 12 minute mile. Eventually though, we found our stride, and we ran down Front Street and just as we were leaving the city my knee indicated that the best thing would be to stop. It was mile .71. Yes, that's POINT 71. So. After that I stepped off the course, cheered for Mary and T, and all the runners who ran by and then, I proceeded to walk back through Hamilton Bermuda.

At 8am on a Sunday Morning.
Wearing something that was attention getting.
There were no spectators.
There were random workmen though...

After a cat call that made my skin crawl I cut down a street that took me past the police station to get where I was going next. I'm glad I know my way around a little, so I could make that detour.

I stopped in at the Start and talked to the Race Secretary, turned in my chip, got a quick tour via map, and after surveying my "cute socks", the Race Secretary thought I should take "this route, here" (i.e.- the most populated and safe route) on my way up to mile 12. I left her, dropped into the Princess to touch base (via phone) with Mom regarding our exit strategy, and then walked back through the course till the mile 12 marker.

I enjoyed seeing the Half Marathon winner and Marathon leader pass by my location, the women are down right beautiful to watch in motion. And then at some point I was so busy watching for T that I missed my new best bud Bart pass by me. I didn't want her to get too close without me snapping a few photos. I'm not the best race photographer, but we were dressed pretty cute, so she was easy to spot.

Then, I ran her in the last mile. Which was awesome, but I did have a bit of guilt taking the medal when I knew I hadn't finished the whole half. T PR'd! Which is awesome on that tough course!

After the race, the same news guys interviewed us again! I think we aired on local Bermuda news last night, but unfortunately, no one could see it! I keep checking back to see if we're on the BSN web site, but so far, no luck. Once our media attention was concluded we left town in a bit of a hurry, because frankly T didn't look like she felt that great. Since the course was all up hill and humid, I figured that was to be expected. To be honest, I didn't feel that great either, even though I'd only run/walked a total of 4 miles and then I realized, I'd forgotten to eat my breakfast. Yea, duh. 10:30am, no wonder I felt rotten.

After a refreshing dip in the hot tub, a shower and a nap (YAY for not having a 3 year old to chase after), we dropped back into Swizzle Inn, and then I called Mom and headed to the boat. A few hours later, we limped off the boat, both nauseous and motion sick, and collapsed into bed at an unmentionably early hour. It was SO early that at 1:50AM I woke up wide awake, thinking it was 7:50! And when the clock turned over to 2AM, I had to force myself to go back to sleep.

Then it was Monday, time to head home. Sad, but ready to return to normal, we arrived back in the US right on time, sore from running, refreshed, and batteries recharged... and with a new PLAN. Next time, we are NOT going to wander around saying, "why isn't everyone on this trip with us???" Consider this your advance notice ladies... Next time, we're all going in together. T & I did the reconnaissance mission... next time we send in the Cheetah Skirts...
Bermuda Triangle Challenge 2012
(January, traditionally on MLK holiday 3 day weekend)
A Mile. A 10K. A Half Marathon.
3 Races in 3 Days.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Photos of Bermuda "race" Weekend

I didn't have time to post my "race" recap, but here are some photos of the weekend... I can say this:
  1. Even though I couldn't "run", the trip rocked.
  2. I will do it again in January 2012, and next time I will A) actually RACE B) do the Triangle challenge which is a Mile, a 10K and a Half Marathon in one weekend.
  3. These are only a few scant photos of the fun we had, up until race day, there are no race day photos here.

Well, the pics wouldn't be complete without a Hot Tub photo!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'd like to thank the academy

All my life I've been waiting to say those words... and now, I get to say them to TMB at Racing with Babes! Thanks TMB. I've been awarded with the Beautiful Blogger Award!

Unfortunately I don't have a lot of time right now, since I'm frantically trying to pack for Bermuda, help kids with homework, and tidy my messy house. But since all I have to do to accept this award is divulge 7 things about myself AND pass the award on to 7 worthy bloggers.... drum roll please... oh wait, I'm mixing metaphors... well, then I humbly accept this honor.

  1. I only took up running as a "hobby" because I wanted to hang out with a particular group of women whom I admired, but we were all busy moms so social events were few and far between, and it seemed like the most logical way into their group. I was totally right too - they're as amazing as I thought they would be and it turns out I LOVE the sport.
  2. My car is always messy. I clean it about once a month, and it's immediately messy again. For certain that's because I always have a bike pump, 2 blankets, a light weight sweatshirt, a running skirt (in case of running emergency), a double stroller, a coloring book and a box of crayons on hand at all times.
  3. I am the only person I know who has successfully cleaned melted crayon out of mini-van dashboard, so hit me up if you need help.
  4. When I lived in Boston I suffered from depression. I don't know if it was seasonal, "baby blues", or something else, but going through it helped me be more compassionate to people who suffer with the illness.
  5. I am an Olympic JUNKIE. I will watch sports that I have never heard of, cheering for people I've never heard of, all in the name of being patriotic. HELLO- best sport ever for an ex-BMX bike racer: SNOW BOARD CROSS. Awesome.
  6. My mother lives in Bermuda. I get to go A LOT. I'm leaving tomorrow, at o'dark 30 for the airport! YAY ME!
  7. I have 3 children, ages 10 - 3, a passion for running that has lead me to complete a marathon, and a 4.0 GPA in a Nursing Program (which will make me an RN in about 18 more months). Some people might accuse me of over achievement, but people who know me well, know that my house isn't always clean and I'm always trying to fit "one more thing in" to my day.
Thanks so much for this HONOR! I will pass it on now to:

robinbb @ WestfordMommy
Danica @ Chic Runner (Danica is the ORIGINAL Road Cone Orange marathoner I talked about a loooong time ago)
the TEAM @ Run Like A Mother

Have a SUPER day today in the land of the BLOGS. The next time you hear from me, I will be giving a "non-race Bermuda Race Weekend Report".

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Good, The BAD, The Ugly and the WTF?


B moved herself out of her Toddler bed and into her "Big Girl" twin size bed all by herself. I was hesitant to celebrate this when it happened unexpectedly on Sunday night, so I just sort of laid low. But now, given a few successful nights and naps, I think a little celebration is in order. Of course there are things I can't wrap my head around about this- like how such a small body needs such a large sleeping area. She's not exactly the biggest kid for her age, but she likes having her own big girl bed, and it makes reading stories much easier.


Anatomy & Pysiology started on Monday. First off, YAY me, I have actually experienced the joy of going into a class and recognizing a fellow student. Nice Guy is in my class again this semester. I think he might be a little dumbfounded by why I take so many notes. To learn, I have to write it down. And so, The BIC pen Company is kept in business by me. Truly though, the bad, is that the professor, who we'll call Dr Zoo is from Korea? maybe. I'm not racist, don't be silly. I am HARD OF HEARING. What this means is that I spend 30% of my time in class decoding what Dr Zoo has said in his accent while the rest of the class has moved on. Uhg. And while he speaks english better than I speak Korean, I caught myself writing notes in his accent. As in, I was rereading what I had written, and it was definitely in the WRONG grammatical order. So. It's going to be a long semester. He seems pretty nice though, and has given me hope that he definitely knows his stuff & how to teach it. (as anyone who's ever been to college knows, it's not what you know, it's about what you can teach). For those who follow the blog, SRG is NOT in my class this semester. She chose to take a day class. Do not panic, upon examination of the room on Monday, I feel CERTAIN I can identify a new student to fill her shoes in the entertainment department.


Due to a new pay cycle at work, H got paid on Dec 31, and we will not get paid again until Jan 22. It's "uncomfortable" at this point, with empty gas tanks and lots of driving to do. But we're credit card free, and so, I guess it's true when they say "freedom comes with a price". We'll find a way to make it through.

(and when I say that, it's not a cuss word, it's "What the "Frick", so that doesn't count right?)

Last night I was home alone w/ the 3 kids. H was at his second job (which is how we do things like become credit card free during a recession AND afford to (barely) feed our family while also heating our home). The kids were upstairs getting ready for bed and reading (aka arguing), and I was in the process of cleaning the kitchen (aka on facebook) when the doorbell rang. It was about 7:15 or so, so I opened the shade and peaked out before I opened the door.

And there was a woman on my front porch who looked a lot like Courtney H. And since I knew I had something Courtney H was supposed to pick up I thought, AH HA! Courtney H is here to pick up her baby clothes. I grabbed Desi's collar (so she wouldn't eat Courtney H) and opened the door. Only, when I answered the door I saw it wasn't Courtney at all, it was a very angry looking woman.

"Can I...?" I started to ask, carefully keeping Desi slightly behind the partly closed door.

And the woman's body position changed and she suddenly hissed at me, "Stay away from my Husband."

At this point Desi dog morphed into Desdemona the HUGE DOG that I'm suddenly grappling with as she's lunging at this woman with huge fangs and a giant rumbling growl.

"Do.. WHAT? I'm sorry ma'am, I don't know who you are, and I don't know who your husband is. This is a mistake. Get off my porch."

"It's No mistake Susan Finn, you stay away from my Husband." The ah ha moment again for me and obviously my body language must've changed because suddenly Desi is sitting beside me like a mute. And the moment of uncertainty from the angry woman... "Are you Susan Finn?"

"I am not Susan. I am g. Finn."

And the woman bursts into tears, "Do you know her, is she a relative?" and after some more comforting by me (yes, I'm now comforting a woman who's rung my doorbell and accused me of sleeping with her husband) she managed to get herself under control enough to apologize and go back to her car.

So there you go. Just another Tuesday Night in the Suburbs.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Taking Full Credit

I have decided I need to take full Credit and acknowledge that I more than likely made the 1000 miles last year. Really, I am not a fan of taking credit where credit isn't due, but here's what I came up with...

I ran a Garmin monitored 699 miles. Plus, I didn't have the Garmin at the Frostbite 15K (when I forgot it), on a 12 mile training run (when it wasn't charged - operator error), and on Marathon day when it just decided it needed the day off and wouldn't respond. So, add those miles to the 699 (nearly 50 miles). Then, go back to May, when I ran a 5K with Tonia, and then we walked backwards through the course, and ran our kids in a mile - add that mile.... add the 1/2 miles in July that I ran with C. (twice around my in laws block, and no, she never did enjoy running as much as she wanted to enjoy running). I never used my watch timing on those days, because it's set to a speed zone to beep, and it will beep if I'm walking/running below 10:30's or so. C doesn't run very fast.

And I'm at just over 750 miles. Which SOUNDS 25% short of the goal, right?

Ok, now consider this. Three times a week at minimum, regardless of weather or other fitness plans, I walk my dogs. Year round. Sometimes I would walk with Ann & the dogs, and babies, take the kids and drop them at preschool, and go out for a 8 mile solo run. I never wore the watch on those walks though, again, because of my pace zones. SO I asked the neighbor if she would give an estimate of how many times she thought we'd walked in 2009 - except for July, she agrees - we at least averaged 2 times a week together. Given there were weeks we walked 4 -5 days, and the weeks that I couldn't walk due to the stupid knee.... she thought that 2 sounded low, but fair. So, 52 weeks, times 5 miles.... 260 miles.

I think I need to just acknowledge that if we're counting "intentional" walking miles, which I assure you - my dogs count them, I should just take credit for making that crazy goal.

Which is good, because I missed last year's RACE 100 MILES goal, but about 8 miles or so. I would have had a 10K and 5K to push me over the top, but the 10K turned out to be a 1.7 miler, and the 5K couldn't happen due to the injury.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A new Do.

I needed a new "do". Not a new hair do, I'm still growing my mane out for Locks of Love. No, what I needed was a new BLOG do. And so for weeks I've been trying to make one. And for weeks I've been failing. I don't know what to say about that. I'm not used to failing at things because generally I just do RESEARCH to learn how to make things happen, but I'm not bright enough for BLOG templates & there isn't research on that topic that is written in a way I understand. I think what I'm saying is that I'm savvy on the mac, but NOT savvy on Blogger.

But today, I had a breakthrough, and though this wasn't EXACTLY what I was trying to do, it seems to be EXACTLY what I've done, and it's not mossy green anymore, which makes me happy. So. There you go. I'm keeping it, because getting rid of it sounds harder than I have time for, and did I mention, class starts today? So as I said, I'm keeping it, for at least the next 16 weeks.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Personal Underachievement

Think I could train up to a 10K in 5 days?

No? Me either.

I am really heartsick that I can't race in Bermuda. But. To my surprise, I am not going to race in Bermuda.

How is this a surprise? I haven't run for weeks, going on months. I just somehow thought that in the 11th hour something was going to come through for me at the end of Dec. and I was going to be able to SOMEHOW at least run the 10K.

I spent 6 months looking forward to this Half Marathon. For me going to Bermuda is like GOING HOME. Imagine running a Half Marathon or 10K in the place that makes you feel like "HOME"? And. I. cannot. run. I can only run/walk a 5K according to the witch Dr, which frankly, doesn't do me a lick of good since there is not a 5K offered. There's an Invitational Mile, but my invitation must've gotten lost in the mail.

Regardless of what distance I was going to run, I thought it would be fun to run with T in a place as beautiful as BDA. Knowing that she can probably PR even if she doesn't try that hard, I thought (THOUGHT) I would even be able to keep up with her for a change and that we could cross the finish line "together" or darned close. I didn't aim to PR in Bermuda (due to the hills), I really thought this might be my travel "PU".

"Personal Underachievement". I guess, in a way, it is. I'm doing the smart thing, I'm NOT running against Dr's orders. I'm going to achieve the best possible results for myself this weekend, even though it's below the expectations I set for myself last summer. And thankfully I've now had some experience as cheering squad, course support and running people "in". I've discovered that it's almost as much fun as running.

I've decided to wait in the start corral with T (bib# on, because I have one & will NOT be photographed running bandit). And maybe run a bit with her... for a few seconds at the start. I can likely run a 1/4 mile without violating the understanding with my Dr. After that 1/4 mile I will cheer loudly before turning around and walking toward the finish... and then backwards through the course until about mile 12.6 so I can be there to cheer her for the last push. It's a loop, so it's not likely I will be able to get to a half way point (sorry T, there are only about 3 major roads on BDA, 2 of them will be closed, and I won't have a car or bike).

If my calculations are correct, I'll probably be walking backwards through the course to the hotel where H & I honeymooned, back when Bermuda was still a foreign country. And there I will wait while T takes an unguided tour of Bermuda.

She'll run out of the City of Hamilton and then off to the South Road. Incase you bloggy readers are inclined to feel sorry for T, as she'll now be running alone, let me see if I can make you feel better.... this will likely be her view:

Around the Halfway mark T will be running past my favorite village - Flatts. Flatts is a study in contrasts. The color of the water stands in stark contrast to the pink and salmon colored buildings that make up the village. It sits on the very edge of the water, which carves a blue streak through the buildings. The tidal change is very dramatic there, and the water is often churning. Flatts isn't a big town, in a matter of minutes she'll be through it. Then she'll track up along North Shore Road. Trust me when I say that the view does not suck.

This is going to be awesome. Even as I'm mourning my lost run, I will celebrate T's glorious finish! Of course, it WOULD be nice if the weather would cooperate.

Friday, January 8, 2010

1:5 Ratio

That light at the end of the tunnel, it is NOT the oncoming train! It is the LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL!!!

"I am really pleased with how this is coming along, you've shown tremendous improvement this week, and you worked out too, which really means you've come a long way in a relatively short time." This is an actual quote from the Witch Dr, in reference to my ITband/Hamstring injury.

I have been granted permission (by the Witch Dr) to RUN!!! YEAH BABY! But (isn't there always a "but"?) I can't just go out and run. He wants me to "jog easy" for 1 minute for each 5 minutes that I walk, concentrating on good form and stopping every mile of exercise to stretch my hip flexors, not exceeding 45 minutes of activity. After I do that for a week with little or no pain, THEN he will consider giving me more leeway.

Happiness isn't always in the form of chocolate, a race finish, a runners high or a slobbery toddler kiss... sometimes it can be found in the prospect of 9 minutes of light running.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Celebrity comes with a Price

I'm famous now. Sure, sure...autographs are fine, no worries.

I was featured on the front page of a local publication, after all. When I say publication, I really mean, local free press, but hey everyone starts somewhere. Here's the BOMB photo though, for your viewing pleasure!!!

Of course, the worst part of this is: I'm running. And my Dr, who has banned me from running, saw this today and, yes, it was he who brought it to my attention. Uh. SO BUSTED!

The second worst part is: I'm running BANDIT! I only completed a little less than a mile of the course because all I did was run a friend in! Knowing I wasn't cleared to run and race by my Dr, I didn't sign up to run the race. I really just jumped in when I saw her struggling (and Carla, when I say struggling, I mean actually that you looked effortless and beautiful) and I bailed on our sprint to give the correct spelling of our names to the photographer... (so, Carla... about those extra letters...) and then I ran hard so when she got to the "chute" she could hear me cheer and have the glory of the finish.

But the caption doesn't say all that, it says I finished. Bandit.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

3.61 miles of ice cold hands

I went for a 23 minute bike ride today. It's all the time I had after my {painful} visit to the Witch Dr, and I thought, you know, that isn't enough time to do much of anything... I should try to do something. So, I threw 2 layers over what I was wearing, jogged down the stairs, and when I walked outside my chest/lung function immediately put me on notice. Never mind that though - I popped the kid seat off the back of my bright pink bike, jumped on, and shot off the end of my driveway like a rocket. A really slow careful not to catch an edge on the curb rocket.

It's frigid today. Really REALLY. I was wearing 2 pairs of socks, a pair of tights, my cheetah skirt (because I knew it wouldn't fall off me if I was riding, and I was riding alone, so the "ode de cheetah" smell wouldn't bother anyone), 2 tops, a jacket, ear warmers, a bike helmet, gloves and sunglasses.

About 8 seconds into my ride, my fingers were little ice blocks. Still, I thought I would warm up, the way I warm up on a run. About. That. When I got home I discovered they were actually blue at the tips. Next time I guess I need to wear 2 pairs of gloves.

This was the first time I've ever ridden my bike with the effort toward fitness. All my other bike rides have been with kids, at the speed of a 7 year old, on neighborhood roads & short rides only.

Today I boldly ventured out onto real roads.

And 5 minutes into my ride, quaking from cold and fear, I ascended the N. Gayton Rd Hill gasping for breath with stars obscuring my vision. (for those who don't live here, rest assured, it is steep enough that I was standing on my pedals while barely moving) I felt like a poser. I swear. I felt like everyone who drove past, looked at me, and thought, "Dang, that girl can't even ride that bike".

The wind was blasting me from the front, and my neck was sadly under dressed so it started to complain to my cold fingers. Certainly I was wearing more clothing than if I was going for a run, why in the heck was I so darned cold? OH yea g, when you run, you don't go this fast, the wind doesn't rush past you with such force that it whistles in your ears. From N. Gayton I turned into FoxHall.

It's where I do my "hilly runs", and I thought, it seemed like a good idea to ride my bike on that route today. What was I thinking? Because if you're tired and running, you can run slower and still be running. When you're tired and riding, you can't ride slower and still balance! But WHEW, after each summit, I plummeted down the back side of those hills at gut wrenching speeds.

And as fast as I was going, I was distressed that I only traveled 3.61 miles in the time allowed. I surely thought 4 miles was doable since I was only going out for a short "ride". Don't ask, I have no idea how to pace myself on a bike any more than I knew how to pace myself on my feet when I started running almost 2 years ago.

I have no milage goals for 2010, but so far I have logged >1 running mile and 3.61 bike miles. I guess that will do, it is ONLY the 5th of January.

Negative Splits

I'm running through life in negative splits. Each year goes by faster than the last. This worries me a little, because I found that this year went so fast, I cannot imagine next year going even faster. My "baby", the first one, is 10 today. A decade old.

In the last 10 years I have held more than 10 jobs, moved 3 times, taken up 3 hobbies, quit 2 hobbies, and changed my outlook on life. I figured out what I wanted to be "when I grow up" and made a plan to get there from here. I've written a book, been rejected, and moved on. And in all that nonsense, I somehow have had time to raise a child from a tiny little baby into a person who's age now has 2 digits. C & I have the same number of digits in our ages. so. odd.

In so many ways it seems like 2 weeks ago that I brought her little 6 pound self home from the hospital, and then when we talk now about things and life and how it's "going", I realize that she's fast on her way to becoming a young woman. Ten. Oh my. Don't you remember when you were TEN? I do.

I wanted a horse for my birthday and asked if I could go to summer camp like a character in a book I'd read. I wanted to be a Nurse when I grew up, so I could be like my Aunt Hannah. Or, if that didn't work out, I wanted to be a Vet and Horse Race Jockey. I hated math, and my 4th grade teacher was kind of mean to me. I was the class clown. My parents were selling our house in the city and we were moving to a "big house" in the suburbs. It was my last year in private school, and by my 10th birthday I was aware of that fact. I wanted a big birthday party, but instead, we helped my Grandparents on their farm that weekend. Yea, I spent my 10th birthday weekend picking fruit, canning things, and helping my grandfather clean his garage. I remember that very very clearly.

And THAT is not what I want C to remember about her 10th birthday.

For C's 10th birthday, I told her she could do anything she wanted. Anything at all. Anyone with a kid knows it's pretty easy to hit $350+ for a large scale birthday party. So, I'm thinking $500 would be OK for a one time over the top party... yea, she didn't want a party. She wanted to go to Bermuda by herself to spend a weekend with Nana MJ. Unaccompanied minors cannot fly international. Instead I simply tagged her along on my Bermuda Race Weekend, on which, as it turns out, I'm not going to race, but that's another story for another day.

If the last ten years went by this fast, how fast will the next ten years go by?

Monday, January 4, 2010

~gasp~ a lot of #s

The insurance company denied my son's surgery. We had it pre-authorized, but since then they've reconsidered. The bill just arrived. I'm going to say that there were A LOT of numbers in that bill. Large ones, all strung together to make an even larger one.

Ok. The reason I'm telling you all this is that I just wanted to mention that I am starting to believe that the "goal towards not cussing" may not be attainable.

P.S.: Seriously, in the next envelope, a jury summons.

2010 - the year of the "future"

I dislike New Years Resolutions, because I think they're impossible to keep. I like to make "Goals for the New Year", because I think Goals are like "plans", and I'm a planner. I also think RESOLUTIONS leaves no room for flexibility, where as GOALS are something you tailor to meet your changing needs. Missing a GOAL is something that happens and changing a GOAL sounds like an acceptable way to stay on track; missing a resolution or changing a resolution sounds like something a weak person would do. SO, I'm all about the GOALS here....


The first GOAL is to continue the 4.0. I'd like to keep the perfect record going forward for a number of reasons, one being that I like to be a little smug about that sort of thing seeing as I spent so many years feeling stupid around my smart friends. This is also the year I apply to nursing school, and while they won't be using classes from my first attempt through college, they will have access to my old transcripts from Tidewater College, and the fact of the matter is that I wasn't an honors student in 1996. I'll accomplish this by READING and STUDYING - 2 "tools" in my "tool belt" that I picked up along the way.
The second GOAL is to be accepted into NURSING SCHOOL by September/October. It's got a slash because some years they tell people by Sept 30, and some years by Oct 1. I'll accomplish this by keeping a 4.0, preparing for and scoring well on my entrance exams, and applying before the deadline.

Last year I endeavored to lead my family to a "more green home". In some ways I succeeded quite nicely - I surely recycle more than before, we grew organic tomatoes & basil on the deck by sliding the plants everyday at midday toward the sun, and we all use our reusable bottles more often than not. And in some ways I failed - my kids & H NEVER remember to turn off the lights or the TV. This year I'm going to continue to that GOAL toward a green house. I truly believe that IF I kept a cleaner home there would be less waste, and therefore, I can accomplish the goal of a green home. So, add "Keep house clean" to the GOALS.
Also, yesterday, H & I paid off all our credit cards. We emptied our savings accounts to accomplish this, but, it's done. Live within my means is on the list. I will accomplish this by making the tough choices and paying with cash whenever possible. Please pray that the house I live in takes a turn for the better in the health department, because frankly, we cannot afford any more major plumbing or contracting work. We no longer have an emergency house fund. Or an entertainment fund. Or a vacation fund. This kinda sucks.
Walk the dogs at least 4 days a week. I used to do this, and then H said he was going to start doing it... so.... I'm going to take this one back. If he does start doing it, they'll get double the exercise and we'll all be happier anyway.

So, for those who didn't know, I coined the phrase a**. I also am fond of the word "effing", and when you read me quote myself as saying "son of a pooterhead" or "heckfireandshoot", that is probably NOT what I actually said... I have a dirty mouth. I grew up with a Dad with a dirty mouth, and I live with a husband who drops the eff-bomb on a daily basis. I am going to stop all the cussing. Harder than it looks. I will accomplish THIS goal by breaking the habit and replacing the words with an adult vocabulary. A few years ago I successfully changed my favorite kid friendly "cuss word" from Crap to Carp. I even plan to stop Carping. So. If I seem quieter than usual, it's because I'm trying to think up new adjectives!
I also plan to pick back up on writing the "Neurosis of the Stay at Home Mom" book. And this time, I'll back it up. It will probably be rejected like the other book, but you know what? It will be amusing to someone, and I'll try to publish it in Blogland. That's a long term goal.
Donate my Hair to Locks of Love. It's almost long enough, I just need a few more inches so I won't be BALD after I do it.

(this one is so much easier AND harder than in ought to be... there are subcategories)
-Nutrition: I'm going to try to live by the motto that FOOD IS FUEL, NOT FUN. I use food for pleasure and socialization. This is not a good lifestyle choice. Thankfully in 2009 I cut myself down to very little alcohol so that won't be hard. I overheard someone say something about "g'll drink, so we have to buy wine", and it was a wake up call. I'm not saying I'm an alcoholic, but I am saying that I am going to stay on my reduced alcohol lifestyle. Besides, it's cheaper... see above note about poorness. Accomplish these goals by not eating so much SUGAR or CANDY or COOKIES, portion control, & possibly see a nutritionist. I will also reintroduce myself to my FOOD JOURNAL... we've been apart for a while now, I think it's time to get back together.

-General: My GOAL is to get a little leaner. I'm not trying to apply to be AMERICA's Next Top Model, but at the same time, I don't think my hips and thighs should look like something off of the Biggest Loser. I will accomplish this through my nutrition goals, and through P90X. A dear friend loaned me her disks, and I have been remiss about returning them. Hopefully I can keep them a little longer. My "excuse" takes a nap every day, 7 days a week, and I'm going to use this break to get leaner. I will also RIDE MY BIKE 1-2X per week. My "excuse" has a seat on the back of the bike, so, I can simply take her with me once it warms up a bit. Until then, I'm going to have to find time to do it, even if it means begging my playgroup.

-Running: Its so funny because my goals would be SO different if I'd been writing this in Oct or early Nov.- there would be all kinds of time goals like a 53minute 10K and a sub 2 hour half Marathon, and even an ultimate goal of a 4:30 Marathon... and a weekly milage goal of 25+ miles... but instead I'm going with Get Running ASAP and Use Good Form. I wouldn't ride a horse with bad form, why run with bad form? I'm also broke, so racing is not going to be high on the list. I'm definitely aiming for a Spring 8K or 10K comeback race, the 17.75K, a "fall half" and the Richmond Marathon, which is thankfully paid for in advance. I'll have to use the rest of my running budget to pay the Witch Dr and to buy Shoes. Ultimately, I want to increase my weekly milage, but now, when I'm looking forward to 1-2 miles a week, I don't know what that goal will be for the year. I'll update it later.

WEIGHT!- Oh, I mean WAIT! Of course, there's got to be some goal in here about that... right? It's against the law in Blogland to post a New Years Resolution Blog List without it. So, this year I'm going to try to get down to a Healthy BMI. Seriously. I'm a SIZE 6 Ann Taylor Jeans and I am at an unhealthy BMI for my age, height. Isn't that sick? Yea, I think so too, but my health insurance premiums are that of a woman who is over weight because technically, I am over weight. I could stand to lose 5-7 pounds though, and that's my GOAL. If I do, my largest 6's will probably fall off my a** (whoops), I meant to say "fall off my booty" and then I'll be washing them in hot because did I mention, I'm broke? Be assured, any money I do find laying around will NOT go to civilian clothes. I can accomplish this goal by reaching for my other fitness and nutrition goals.

And there you have it - as promised - a not very amusing list of things I will do this year.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

goals to come

I have goals. I swear I do. But today I don't have time to write them here. I will though, and then you'll all be forced to read a not very funny list of things I hope to accomplish this year. I will tell you this - on the 2010 goals list are "heal the knee" and "not become close personal friends with a plumber, electrician, or a contractor", because last year, we did manage 2 out of 3 and we're now on a first name basis with our plumber and contractor. Great. Juuuust great.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Day, 1miler

Today is New Years Day, and I was supposed to race a 10k. I couldn't though, because I'm still benched. So, instead, I went as a spectator and "ran in my friends" for a grand total of "nearly a mile". It was awesome. I had a blast, and it felt good to be running, and dang, I even got to run FAST, which was Awesome with a capital A.... And you know what?

I'm benched for a reason. OMG- my knee hurts.