Monday, August 30, 2010

True Story

On a quiet street in Richmond VA, two runners on an 18 mile training run enter stage left...

T- "how many miles are you running tomorrow?"

G- "two."

T-  "want to join me for 8?"

G-  "maybe I'll join you for 6."

T-  "ok, see you tomorrow."

Go ahead, ask me how many miles we ran today?


10 miles.  28 miles in two days = Tired Legs.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Is this IT?

Is this just how motherhood is?  Unexpected and bewildering 100% of the time?

Tonight was going along normally.  After the "after dinner play" that our children performed, I took B down to have her bath.  My husband parked himself in front of the TV reading his email and watching the Redskins get their skins handed to them, while our older kids played up on the third floor.

I heard a cell phone go off.

H answered it, and suddenly he's in the bathroom handing me the phone, "It's Mr. Ocean".

"Mr. Ocean is calling for me?"  OK, sure, so I take the phone and tentatively answer, wondering why my neighbor and very good friend Ocean is having her H call me, instead of just calling herself....

He got off to a rough start, "Um... I don't...  We don't blame...  It's not anyones..." big breath, "So we're at the Hospital with Offspring #1, and we think he has a concussion, and we don't know... well, he said he asked G to wrestle him to the ground so we hoped that you might have seen something... did... you?  see?  if his head hit anything?"

GASP~  "I did see XYZ happen, this is exactly what I saw, I didn't see his head hit or even suspect that it could be a concussion worthy event."

And we worked through the details, I gave the run down, I hung up, talked to G, called Mr. Ocean back and gave him everything I had learned, Ocean gets on the phone and assures me that they're not mad at me or G or blaming anyone, that these things happen.  So I told them to let me know if there is anything I could do and hung up.

How do you punish your kid for giving their best neighbor friend a concussion, when the kid asked your kid to wrestle him to the ground?  And when your kid is sobbing that he broke his friend's head?  I didn't.  I probably am doing it all wrong, but I told him that it seemed he'd punished himself enough already... and that he would never wrestle a friend again, would he?

"NO"... or at least that's the gist of what I got through the hiccups and tears.

But what I am wondering is this...  is this parenthood?  Is this what went on between mothers when we all got sent to our rooms even though it was our brother who was in trouble, and our friends were forced to wait in the car even though it was their brother in trouble?  The why behind the late afternoon phone calls that were exchanged like guilt pies with buttery crusts and sweet warm centers?  Is this what I have to look forward to for the next 13... 15... 20 years?

Tri Pics

The Photos from the Pink Power TRI are up...   and if a picture is worth a thousand words, the words my pictures are worth would be...

tired, pain, strain, strugglesweat, jiggle, squish, angst, sweat, breath, breathe, jog, ache, agony, joggle, twitch, shimmy, wiggle, burntears, strain, push, torture...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Art History

My family is a family of artists.  My mother is a painter, my sister is a ballerina, my brother is a poet, even my fathers wife is an artist (and quite well known for that matter).  So, imagine my surprise when...

the art gene passed me over.  completely.

That said, I'm taking DRAWING I this semester to fill the fine art requirement for my program.  I'm half way excited about it too, not because I think I have some hidden art talent, but FINALLY when my Mother or Step Mother talk to me about balance and negative space I won't have to say "uh huh" like I know what's what.  I will actually KNOW what she's talking about.

OF course, it's a new semester.... and our favorite hobby in my house is naming my fellow students.  And THIS semester will be no different, as I have a RED HEAD in my class.  Not THE redhead.  This girl is probably smart, but the jury is still out.

Her head is shaved except for the 18 inches of long FIRE ENGINE red hair pony tailed on the top.  She wears all black, short shorts, high punk heels...and she has great legs, and even with all that, I was prepared to like her.  She's pretty and young, and I wondered if she might be a little like my sister.  Very art minded and forward.

about. that.

Instead of calling this Red Head SRG, we're going to have to name her ARG.  Angry Red Head.  She's angry at the world, angry that this Drawing I class is so boring, and she's angry that she has to be in the room with all us.  She makes rude comments about how slow the class is moving.  I get it, ARG, you can draw better than the other students. 

By the way, it's Drawing I....  I'm not the only "dead beginner" in the class.

I'm hopeful that ARG will be challenged at some point, or at least learn that honing the basic skills is what makes a real artist different from a "person who draws" and will keep her mouth SHUT next class. But then again, ... if she did that, who would I blog about?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Trying New Things

To channel Yoda...

"Do.  Or do not.  There is no try."

SO I didn't try out a triathlon today.  I did it.  Did I kick booty?  Did I like, totally ROCK?  Did I fall, embarrass myself in transition as I got tangled up in my clothing, all as some woman yelled, "Ladies, Get MOVING, don't get STUCK in transition 1"?

No.  and No.  and Pretty much.  But I did it, and it's done.

ARRIVAL:  T arrived at my house at o'early hour, and we arrived at the race at o'dark thirty.  We got set up in transition, where T snapped this photo of me.

And then we got marked and did a little wandering around.  In all that wandering around we moved my JEEP from one space to another, incase we decided to leave as soon as we finished.

SWIM:  I decided to just swim in my bra & bike shorts, leaving my top at transition.  On one hand, thank goodness I did that.  The bra was filling with water, it felt like it was being pulled down to my waist the entire swim.  Imagine what I would have felt like in my tank top?  I seeded myself in the 7:30 swim time, and I'm not sure that I did myself any favors by being so honest.  I seeded myself based on my BEST time trial, so it was a real race for me to stay ahead of the girl behind me.  I got a mouthful of water (=BAD) and I had to come up for air on that, and then, around 2/3 of the way through the swim, I felt my chip start to flap.  I had to stop and tie it back on.  It only took a second, and I let the girl behind me go ahead at that point.  For much of the swim I was stuck just behind someone who was speeding up and slowing down... I wasn't strong enough to pass her outright, but I was faster than she was for moments at a time and that was annoying.  It's really hard to swim in someone's wake like that.  She and I finished at just about the same time.  By the end of the swim I was really out of breath, and was barely able to drag myself out of the pool.  With my sponsor (more on him later), my personal cheerleader, and best friend watching.  It was a little embarrassing, I wish I could say I rocked the swim, but with two mouthfuls of water swishing in my stomach, I was off to transition feeling a little less than glamorous.

T1:  Got tangled in my shirt, got my shoes on, fell on my butt, got yelled at by some lady who was trying to give encouragement but whatEVER, got my watch on, go my helmet on... got my bike off the rack (harder than it sounds), and got moving in the right direction.

BIKE:  I mounted at the appropriate moment, and got rolling.  My gears had been jostled on the car rack, but within a few seconds PINK and I were on our way.  Pink and I hate hills.  This course was ... up.... and down... and up... and down... and I think I held my own, but who really knows.  I passed quite a few people, and got passed by some seriously beautiful bike riding ladies (form, bent over their aero bars, streaking past with a kind word = beautiful).  Before I knew it, the bike was over.

T2:  Hopped off the bike. pulled off the helmet, grabbed my GU, my visor and my glasses, and took three steps toward the exit when I realized a) my legs were worse than during any of my bricks and b) I'd already dropped my GU.  (it was on my towel). and c) that the a nice race official was waving at me, and he turned me around and pointed me in the other direction toward the run exit.  awesome.

RUN:  The first mile of the run was down hill... so what does that mean?  The last mile would be all up hill.  Bummer.  I spent my entire run thinking about that.  My first mile was probably really fast, def around an 8:30.  My last mile, not so much.  Anyway, somewhere early in the run I ran past Dave.  Dave looked surprised to see me, but I think I may have just startled him.  It was nice to see a familiar face on the course!  Down the hill, Around the lake, Up through a neighborhood, Up across an intersection, Up a walking path, Up the last hill until...

The FINISH:  The finish was on a soccer field.  My legs, already shot, rebelled at this point and refused to go any faster.  I felt as though I crawled across the finish line.  I'm sure the race photo will reveal my pain, so it's likely you'll neeeeeever see it here.  I had no idea what I'd done it in.  A VERY nice lady handed me an ICE TOWEL.  BEST.  THING.  EVER.  I rubbed my legs down with it.  Then I grabbed a bagel, and wandered up to the pool to cheer for the last swimmers.  I was done, before the last swimmers were out of the pool!  And I suddenly had a thought that the bike racks were very empty, so I started counting racks, and sure enough, T's bike was absent.  So I knew I might be able to cheer for her in transition 2.  Maybe 5 minutes later there she was, and I shouted her name.  I'm not sure she heard me.  Her transition was super speedy and she bolted out again.

I finished in 1:28:09.  It's not going to break any land speed records, but it's certainly respectable I think.

Here's me & T right after her finish.
Go check out her race report, once it's up.  It's bound to be awesome. I don't want to spoil her fun!

And remember when I said I would mention my sponsor later?  Well, it was an all female race, so he dressed in drag and did the swim, bike, and run to support us all!

me, Dr. G (The Witch Dr.), SpeeDee, and Beaver (? SpeeDee, help me out here)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Art of Taper

The art of the proper taper is something in which few casual athletes are properly schooled.  How much is too much?  How long should it be?  At what intensity should I be working out?  I can't pretend to know the answer, instead, for my sprint tri tomorrow, I simply went the lazy woman's route:

Swim - about two weeks ago I did my last swim workout.  I DID go on an "open water ocean swim with a 32 pound weight and tow float" (aka- boogie boarding with B-ridge at OBX) on Friday morning, but I'm not sure where that falls on intensity level.

Bike - about three weeks ago I did my last bike workout.  I DID go on a 2 mile bike ride with the kids, again with a 32 pounds extra weight about a week ago, so that counts as something.  Biking required the most amount of taper, because it's the longest toughest part of the race.

Run- about 24 hours before the race I did an "easy" 6 miles.  "Easy" because my stomach revolted at mile 5.2 and I had to walk the rest of the last mile.  Running required the least amount of taper, because it's the shortest portion of the Tri... other than the swim.

Runner First.  Logical Thinker Second.

Happy racing this weekend to all!  As for me, I'm just trying to get through the Tri with the least amount of embarrassment, pain, and embarrassment.  I said embarrassment twice... because I surely expect the TRI to be twice as embarrassing as it is painful.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

MCM goes Masters 40K

So, in honor of MCM Mama, I ran a 40K.

It took... 28:48:09.  (or 4:48:09)

Let me preface the rest of this race report with a word of caution.  If you're faint of heart, or emotionally involved with me, or even just don't need to have a freak out moment - don't read this.  Just skip back up to where I put in my time, and move on to the next blog.  I promise, you don't really want to read it, it's not clever, you're not missing anything.

Why did it take 28 hours and change?  Well, I ran it over the course of two days.  Here's how it shook down...

I'm on vacation in Hatteras, which normally would mean I'd be sleeping at my father's cottage, "Shutter Up".  But this trip the house was really full, and because I was the last to arrive, I got to stay at the fabulous Cape Pines Hotel.  It was totally fabulous.  When it was built.  In 1970 or so.  Anyhoo, the mattress was original with the hotel, I swear...  And I didn't get a ton of sleep, but whatever, it worked.

On Wednesday morning I woke up at 6am, dressed, got the kids up and moved them to my father's cottage, and at exactly 7am I shot out the door to run to my meet point with Dallas.  Dallas, who is amazing and drove the hour commute from her house to our meet spot, had agreed to meet me for 8 miles of my 16 miler...  more on that later.

I ran the 2 miles to Dallas, and then we set out for her 8 miles.  The SUN was STRONG.  Very strong.  By Dallas's 6 and my 8 we were really miserable.  We were shuffling along from shade to shade, alternating between a walk run, and to say we were struggling would be an understatement.  I consumed 3 of my 4 waters (32 oz) and took a Gel.  I dropped her at her car, she snapped a quick photo, I refilled a bottle of water, and set out for the rest of my miles.  What was another hour of running, right?  Um.  Did I mention the part where the heat index by this point is 101 degrees?  No?  Ok then, moving on....

Dallas & g, in stupid hot weather after running a long a** way...  I'm just sayin'.

Except that a mere two miles later I was out of water completely, sweating profusely, stripped down to the bare minimum of clothing, and feeling very bad.  Very bad.  Not like, "oh my legs sure are tired", but more like, "I'm going to catch on fire in this heat... and that'll be a relief because my head is about to explode."  I took a GU, and drank the last of my water.  About five minutes later I realized I wasn't inconvenienced by this lack of water, I was threatened by it.  My head was pounding with every step, and my lower back was starting to twinge (uh, I should be accurate, my kidneys started hurting).  At this point, I saw two men unloading their children and surf boards from a Subaru in a parking lot I was running past, and I thought, "I bet they have water...."  AND, they did.  And they were happy to share it with me.  And they were amused by my skirt (Cheetah of course), and after drinking 8 oz and refilling a bottle, they wished me luck and I continued on.  Of course by now I had called Parcheesi and was headed for home.  I arrived home at 14.67 miles, nearly 3 hours after departing.

24 hours later, again at 6am,... I woke up in my bedroom at Shutter Up.  I happily dressed for running, filled all my water bottles and headed out for the rest of my run.  I'd spent the day before rehydrating, and the first 3 miles flew by under my feet.  It was brilliant.

And then, suddenly, my legs just died.  The previous day's adventure had caught up with me.  At mile 9.2 my kidneys started hurting again, and so I just walked/ran it in.  I knew I could finish, I just needed to get it done, and I had to get back to the house somehow, so....  as I was saying, walking felt better, but running was going to get me there faster.  I finished.  40K.

Today I drank a half gallon of water and 16 oz of Gatorade, and 12 oz of coffee, and another 16 oz of water, and feel pretty good now.  Congratulations MCM MAMA on your Master's Birthday!  You're awesome!  And thanks for hosting this race, it inspired me to challenge myself, and to fully push my body to its limits!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Disney in 5

5)  The 3.5 year old Girl:  "How AMAZING!  It's a Princess!  The real Sleeping Beauty just taught me to curtsy!  I am in shock, and a bit star struck, it's impossible to speak...."
4)  The 7 (almost 8) year old Boy:  "How am I going to get out of standing in yet another stupid photo with yet another princess."
3)  The 10.5 year old Girl:  "Hmm.  The Sleeping Beauty in Epcot is prettier than the Sleeping Beauty in Magic Kingdom."
2)  The Mom:  "How cute!  The 3 year old is star struck, c'mon kids, get in the photo!"
1)  The Dad:  "How much is this Princess Lunch costing us?"

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I'm BAAAAACK... for a day

We got in last night after 9pm.  I got up this morning and ran 10 miles with MTT.  And as much as I miss T, I'm going to sleep in tomorrow.  Why is that you ask?  Well.... I'm leaving for the beach tomorrow.  Crazy. Talk.  My dad called and practically begged me to bring the kids down.  He has NH Lymphoma, and right now, he's feeling really good.  I've learned something of this disease, and that is that you never know when he WON'T be feeling well, so when he asks, we go.

In the mean time, we had a great time in D.  The kids were SUPER surprised.  We saw princesses and pixar characters, and aliens... and rode rides when we wanted to, and walked around when we had to, and stood still... not too often.  We had a great time, and are planning our next trip already.

And Jen, at Setting You Free sent me a package, which was waiting for me this morning with my mail...  so I changed out of my Cheetah Skirt and put on my lime and yellow outfit!  How GREAT are those socks???  Gosh, I look tired.  And tan.  This photo was taken around mile 4ish.

Anyway, todays 10 miler was longer than last weeks 14 miler... I swear.  We did our usual loop down and through the city and by the last 1/2 mile I was tired.  I suffered through though, and had a chance to chat it up with Pants Guy and SpeeDee after the run today at the social.  Pants Guy is hilarious, trying very hard to talk me into running the Patrick Henry Half Marathon.  Why?  I don't know why I would do it.  It's hot.  Miserable.  Hilly.  13.1 miles of pain.  Yea, sounds fun eh?  I'm keeping it in the back of my mind of things to do the last Saturday of the month.  In the VERY back of my mind.

And finally -- Disney is EXHAUSTING.  I've never experienced anything quite like it.  Ever.  Too tired to tell you all about it, so here are a few more pics....

Friday, August 6, 2010


I'm heading out today!  AND we're leaving our computers behind.  It's going to be a REAL vacation.  I do have a phone that is blog worthy though... we'll see how insane it makes me!

But the reason I dropped in today is to just let everyone know that I DID get an A in anatomy & physiology II this semester.  I understand from watching Kung Fu Panda with my kids that "Modesty" is the mark of a true Hero.  So.  I will refrain from bragging.  Besides, I think that professor gave everyone an A.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1)  So if you didn't figure it out yesterday, we're taking the kids to DISNEY!!!  We are leaving tomorrow for Jacksonville, spending the night, and then on Saturday early we arrive in Orlando!  I'm so excited.  This is the first family vacation we've ever been on that didn't include staying with someone.  And it's my first time to Disney with my own kids.  And, bonus, I get to see Chele of Furry Deviants in J'ville on Friday night, and I haven't seen her since... dunno, 1993?, and hopefully I will get to meet her man, R, too.  AND DOUBLE BONUS - MY KIDS HAVE NO IDEA!!!  My kids believe that Chele is the reason for the trip and that we will be spending the week visiting her cat rescue and hanging out on the beach near Jacksonville.  snicker snicker.

2)  My hamstring is lonely for Dave.  Yup.  That's what I said.  "The Illusive Dave" (who is only named this because T laughingly referred to him as this before a run, and it stuck) and I have become quite friendly over the past few months, and I miss him on our group runs.  He's a good running partner, supportive and at the same time, challenges me to think about how the human body is capable of doing more than we think.  He's good looking, which is a nice bonus, and he has a very unassuming personality that makes him easy to get along with and talk to... and from reading my blog, I could guess that you all may have figured out that I talk.  A lot.  When we volunteered at Rockett's Landing Tri he kept me laughing the whole day.  His blog post on that topic is hilarious.  Heck-fire-and-shoot, I'm still laughing... I want to be The ICEMAN next year for Halloween.  Dave is out of commission right now with a "damaged" hamstring.  And because his sore hamstring has been missing our runs, my hamstring has been having sympathy pain.  So starting today, and all next week in Disney, I will be taking the week off from running.  As Dave says, Don't Fight the Hammy.... it will always win.

3)  I often worried that if the time came for me to run long alone, I wouldn't be able to do it.  That's the disadvantage of having so many running buddies...  I always get to run with a lot of support, and I know I 'lean' on them.  But no worries.  On Wednesday's 14 miler, in the pitch black & pouring rain (1 inch/hour), I was alone.  My pace was terrible, and while I berated myself on the run, when I got home and thought about it, I realized, pouring rain, in the dark, alone, that it wasn't too bad and I'm just going to embrace it and be proud. I forced myself to run past my house and finish the whole 14 miles.  So, any doubts I had about a 14 mile test were laid to rest.  I can do 14 miles on my own in the worst conditions.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

We're leaving on Vacation this week!  A REAL vacation.  So, here's a little hint as to where we are going....
Sign at entrance to the Magic Kingdom - Here You Leave Today and Enter the World of Yesterday, Tomorrow and Fantasy

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

man repellent

It's been brought to my attention that I may be the dumbest person alive.  Am I the dumb girl?  With big boobies and a tan?  May.  be.

I am not a Victoria Secret model.  I'm about 25 pounds over my UBER skinny weight.  When I run I sweat.  Like a HORSE.  I breath like one too.  My face and body are caked with white salt at the conclusion of my efforts.  I'm not that good looking to start with.  Really, I'm normal, I don't break mirrors, but I don't stop traffic either.  In fact, last week, on Thursday, I ran with a girl at the MTT hill training who was Adorable.  Wow.  Like, WOW.  I had to concentrate to talk to her, she was just so darned cute and sweet.  And after we ran together a lot of men came up to, uh, "talk to us".  Not me, her.  Did I mention how terribly cute she was?

On Sunday, one of those guys came and spoke to me again.  His feelings were a little hurt that I didn't remember his name, but, sorry dude, I was introduced to about 5 guys in 5 minutes.  Anyhoo, we got his name squared away, I introduced him to DeNiece... and He invited me to go running with him, I declined based on my 10:20 mile training pace... versus his 8:30/mile training pace.  He asked me to go running shorts shopping with him, which I laughed off.  He wondered if I was running Patrick Henry Half, and would we run the same pace THAT day?  He'd like it if I was there, I could run bandit with him if it sold out.  I explained PH Half is traditionally very hot.  He then invited me biking....  and finally, he walked me to DeNiece's car.

This is just silly.  5 times in that conversation I dropped the words - 3 kids, Family, Husband, Kids...  geez, kids is usually a pretty good man repellent.  Not only that, I have about 15 diamonds wrapped around my left hand ring finger.  He couldn't be into me.

DeNiece says, "Um.  g?"

I really argued that he wasn't really into "me".

DeNiece politely says I'm stupid.

I argued that all he did was make fun of my Cheetah Runningskirt.

DeNiece points out that as a 3rd grader, that's how a boy shows you he likes you...  so, if he pulled my hair and hit me, it's probably love.

I got quiet.  There was some elbow bumping last Thursday, but I thought - I mean, I thought he liked the OTHER girl.  It wasn't inappropriate elbow bumping, I SWEAR, we just took a turn too tight, and you all know I can't run in a straight line.  I mean, geez, I run into T ALL THE TIME.

So how is it, that with all that MAN REPELLENT floating around me, I seem to have attracted a nice looking 30something man?

But the one thing I guess I never considered is this:

Man repellent is completely over powered by 'headlights'.  And after a run, my headlights are ALWAYS shining.  So there you go.  It's time to get a better bra.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Monday Silliness

Sundays run through Richmond was awesome.  AWE.SOME.

First off, THANK YOU WEATHER GODDESS!!!  Secondly, I started out nice and slow.  Any hoo- we went through the Pope Arch, past the stadium, down a very long hill  past the Federal Reserve Building, by the river, around the financial district, up the loooooongest hill I've ever run up, through the fan... really, a 13 mile run covers a lot of ground.

I even ~gasp~ took a cliff shot at the last SAG!  The SAG crew were really encouraging about trying it at mile almost 11.  Truly, they were right.  That would be the perfect time to find out if it was going to bother you.  Sure, I didn't get the full benefit from it because the run ended at mile 13, but what a great test because...I didn't get sick or ANYTHING!  Yeah ME!

I ran around a 10:10 pace for a lot of the run, and we really kicked it into gear for the last 2 miles, finishing w/ a 9:59 average.  DeNiece and I raced the last stretch in and finished laughing and gasping.

When I caught my breath, the first thing that escaped from my lips was, "THAT WAS FUN!"  I love that feeling, I really do.  A FUN 13 miles.  Were there times I was tired?  Sure, there really were, but you know what I will remember from that run?  The last 2 miles of speed and laughter.

It put me in a great frame of mind to study for my final exam.

I'm sure I'll have some more silliness to share by the end of the exam.  It's ORAL.  Set in the form of a GAME SHOW.  With Teams.  Um.  Oh. KAY.  We're just going to go with it.  It's supposedly open notes, not open book, so I've been outlining the chapters.  I figure, it can't hurt to be a little over prepared, even though by my calculations I could get about a 60% on the test and get an A in the class.

car ride ponderings

On the ride home yesterday from my Brother's going away party... (he's been deployed. to. Iraq. but I'm not ready to talk about it yet) / nephew's birthday Party, I started thinking about things.  I just let my mind wander, over hill and dale, until I settled on one thought. If I went back in time 20 years and told my teenage self that she would grow up to be a distance runner (albeit a recreational one) who thought nothing of running 10 miles on Saturday and then 13 on Sunday, she would tell me to Talk To The Hand, or some other equally weird statement that meant, "You must be insane".

Who would have thought, right?  I guess, it's just goes to show that I'm always going to surprise myself, and who knows what I'll be doing in twenty years.

Of course, the other thing I never thought I'd say at the age of 34 is: "I chaffed my belly button yesterday on my 10 mile run."

Yea, who knew?