Friday, April 29, 2011

Adrenaline RUSH

A universally accepted fact of life:  Nothing makes you realize your limitations like resuming running after a few months of "forced rest".  Due to my time in a boot and general laziness on my part, I am weak.  I hate that weak feeling, and it's causing imbalances in my running posture, or, that's what my Witch Dr said when I had my stride analyzed last month.  

Seeing as I ask Q pretty much everything, it only made sense to find out what he does to stay so fit.  Well, when my coach isn't coaching, or booted, or cycling, or running 12 minutes at a time, or avoiding his blog, or beating a rowing machine into submission, or standing around RRRC events looking hot (it's been in the 90's here...), he works out with Team Adrenaline.  

I had actually looked into Adrenaline in January.  Sadly that went down as the month where I was wrapped up in the drama of the F’ankle.
And by that I mean literally. wrapped. 'effing. ankle.

I’ve been stalking observing Adrenaline for months as I was gimping out to my car after my daily swim.  It looked wicked.   Like Galactically Bada** meets group fitness.

Curiosity lead me to the Adrenaline website, which gives a nice explanation of what it is that they're trying to do out there in the Y parking lot:

“It’s very easy to get stuck in one way of training and after a while that gets boring and it’s not very efficient,” (Founder & CEO Paul Caminiti) says. “No matter what the sport, I always felt that training should be as exciting and rewarding as game day.” ... Working from that simple belief, Caminiti started Adrenaline Sports USA, Inc. Adrenaline uses dynamic group training techniques—all done outdoors—to dramatically improve speed, explosiveness, agility, core strength, endurance, flexibility, and mental strength...

I am SO down with improving speed, explosiveness, agility, etc, so the DAY I was cleared by HD for full activity I contacted the owner.  Paulie & I, can I call you Paulie?... exchanged a few e-mails about my f'ankle and became instant BFFs (shh, don’t tell Bart).

On Wednesday a.m. I showed up to participate in a (complementary) Adrenaline training session.  I went to properly introduce myself to BFF Paulie... well, a handshake wasn’t enough for me & my BFF, he opened his arms for a quick hug.  ~gasp~  So, you all know how I’m not a hugger?  Ah ~ I totally make exceptions.  Shallow?  Yes, absolutely.  Go check out the “about” section on Adrenaline’s web page…  ‘nuff said.

So, I’d love to give a whole recap of the class.  I really would... but I can’t remember all that much about it...  I can tell you that about 30 seconds into the class my quad started to quiver, in fear perhaps?  And on the second set of running repeats over a line of mini-cones my legs felt like I’d just completed a 15 mile bike ride.  There was also a moment there where I was distracted by the fact that my arms and shoulders felt like they'd been doused in gasoline and lit on fire.  By the third set on shaky legs through the cones of torture (forget “water boarding”, those people in Gitmo need to be way more worried about 21 unassuming child-sized orange cones…) I realized that I had lost the ability to count past the number 4, which is sad because I’m pretty sure I felt I had mastered that skill in preschool… and I can also confirm that right around the time that I was considering laying down in the dirt and calling Parcheesi my BFF Paulie sent us on some hard laps around the parking lot while he yelled things like “TURNOVER!” and “LENGTHEN YOUR STRIDE!” and truly, I might have been running fast, but I wouldn’t know because my legs were completely dead, and the other guys in the class totally crushed me.

They had time to sit down, check CNN on their smart phones, brew some coffee... and I was still running.   I’m not sure, but I think the one guy went home, showered and came back to applaud my finish with the rest of them...   As I finished, staggering over the "line" like a drunk, there were high fives exchanged....

...and all this in an hour... and I think I was laughing or smiling at least half the time....  

It's one of the better "highs" I've ever gotten.

If running is Heroin, well… Adrenaline is like crack.  ONE hit, and I was hooked.  I am SO going back to spend more time with my BFF Paulie.  Working out with them is going to make me a stronger more balanced athlete, and that is going to make me a faster runner.  

So here's the good news for the Richmonders - the first class is free.  Print the waiver, and come enjoy a free high class.  No worries, it'll only take one visit to know how GBA he is..., er, at running the class... yea... I meant the class.

The good news for the non-Richmonders.  Adrenaline is not limited to the Richmond area.  There are multiple locations across the country.  Look them up and check them out.  Seriously, if I wasn’t in nursing school, and had time, and didn’t live here (where the founder & CEO already resides), and I was going to open my own fitness franchise… this is what I would be doing.  Its wicked.  Fierce.  It's, for lack of a "real" word, GBA**.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

An Open Letter To my Biology Lab Group

Dear Cute Boys Who Sit at My BIO Lab Table,

You are truly the cutest boys I have met in my entire college career.  I'm including all the cuties from the early 90's through the current date.  Your cuteness is as undeniable as your youth.

However.  Cuteness and "awe shucks ma'am" doesn't excuse you from doing your homework.

I would say it's safe to say at this point that I'm over the cuteness.  It's not that cute any more.

Kind of like when you get a new puppy, and the puppy can do no wrong, until the puppy chews through the power chord of the brand new phone?  Or pees on the antique oriental carpet?  Or worse on the antique oriental carpet?  Yes, that is how I feel about you now.  You are both less cute than a 12 week old puppy who has worse on the antique oriental carpet.

Of course, this annoyance COULD be because I sent an e-mail last Wednesday stating that the group project was due "Next Wednesday at the end of class" and all of you arrived without your work completed saying you thought it was due "next wednesday".  Well that statement was true... last week.

Today however, the project is due.  It's time to be turned in.

If you had done your work, I could be home. right. now. working... on other things.

You know what?  This professor adores me.  And I really don't think I am speaking out of place here...

I could take the unfinished project to her and turn it in.  After all, this is a group project defined within individual grading parameters.  I know I will not be held responsible for the lack of effort on all your parts.  I should have no mercy.

And yet, here I sit.

At least you are cuter than SRG.

Type A Student Runner Mom

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


We know I like to train hard.

Yea, too hard sometimes.  I have a tough time balancing easy days with hard days.  In other words, I have a tough time being smart about my training.

Before starting my Marathon Training plan with MTT/Sports Backers in June (giggling like a school girl!) I wanted to do 3 things.

1) Train for a TRI and race it ~ this means becoming a stronger cyclist.

2) regain some of the run speed I lost due to the F'ankle.

3) get stronger (and did I mention I bought a new bikini?).

SO I put together a training schedule for myself for my TRI/Speed/Stronger Plan... and can I just say?  That's a tough plan to build.  It has to have enough run that I can incorporate speed, enough ride that I can get stronger to take time off the bike portion of the TRI, enough strength/cross training that I accomplish my goal, and enough easy days/recovery that I won't get hurt.

I realized during the pre-construction that due to the fact that there are still only 24 hours in a day, and at least 6-7 of those must be spent sleeping, my (continued) PT efforts were going to have to serve as some of the strength training.

I should also say, I'm not a coach.  Nor am I a triathlete.  I'm fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who are coaches and triathletes, and they would have DONE THIS FOR ME if I'd asked.  I channeled my inner 4 year old ~ I wanted to "do it myself".  So if you're looking for a custom TRI plan, don't steal this one.  Contact TMB or SpeeDee or a local coach or, and get theirs.  This one is all mine.  If it works, well, I'll let you know and THEN you can steal it, OK?  That's not to say I didn't run a rough draft of this past a coach to make sure I was on track & not going to kill myself.

I put this together last week (as you can see by the date), and into the 2nd week I'm mostly on track.  I cut my ride a few minutes short yesterday (routing error compounded by laziness) and added 10 minutes to the run (run love compounded by above note on cycling laziness).  So far though, that's the only change I've made.  Um.  Cutting the bike and adding more run isn't going to make you a better cyclist G.  Yea, I know, thanks...

Cycle Hard = 3-5min intervals with a warm up and cool down
Run Hard = Repeats/Track work with a warm up and cool down
Swim Hard = 300m warm up, 8 X 50m intervals, 300m cool down
Run "easy" or 3 "easy" = skippable run.  There are a few built into my week.  If I am not feeling it for some reason, or the ankle feels even 1% stressed, I will skip it that day.

I'm not worried about not doing "enough" running, I'm more worried about doing "too much".  It's just SOP for me to over do things, add miles here and there, so I am working hard to TONE IT DOWN and be sane for a change of pace.  Yea.  On May 23, I'll let you know how it turned out!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


On Easter Sunday we had an opportunity to go to the CIRCUS!  Yes, a HUGE thanks goes out to TMB for the 4 tickets to Ringling Bros Circus!  It was a GREAT way to spend the day with my family.  Because isn't that what holidays are about?  Spending time with family?

The "theme" this year is FULLY CHARGED, which is wicked fun...

We saw a cute baby Zebra, a few miniature horses, some jugglers, and THE CUTEST FEMALE CLOWN EVER.  She was adorable.  Even B'nut, who's not a fan of clowns thought the bee clown was STELLAR.... and all this before the show even started!  Here's my quick take on it - if you're going to the circus, you MUST go to the pre-show.  It's fun to get down on the floor, talk to the entertainers, see them up close, etc.

Then we got our popcorn, sodas and headed to our seats.  IF you are taking a small person (and by small, I mean 4ish) I recommend the "cheap seats", and here's why.  The circus is BIG.  The animals are big, the music is big, and the explosions... yea, big.

By sitting far away, it scaled everything back for B'nut so she could enjoy it more.  She sat on the edge of her seat the entire show.

I give the circus 2 thumbs up.  The music was great, the clowns were great, the big cats... were WOW, the elephants were cute... and everyone, including my H, got into the show!  Truly everyone enjoyed The Greatest Show on Earth!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cycle LOVE

Ok, Run, this isn't a competition on who I love more.  My heart can fit you both... as I like to tell my children, Love Multiplies, it doesn't Divide.

So.  I love OC.

OC is fun, she's fast, with her new derailleur she totally kicks some epic booty.  She likes a challenge, she really enjoyed racing Illusive on his bike last weekend  (we named Illusive's bike Double Stuff).  OC isn't afraid of the dark, and we ride often before the sun is even up.  When she's not out with me, she is tucked neatly in the garage next to a little shelving unit that holds my helmet, shoes, gloves, lights, mirror, etc.

So, you know that phrase, thou shalt not covet?

Meet G, my son.

"Mom, when you are tired of your orange bike, can you pass it down to me if I learn to clip in?"

Whoa.... what?  When I 'get tired' of my orange bike?  I won't 'get tired' of my orange bike, but ~ if I decide to replace the orange bike, and at that time you have grown and are tall enough for the orange bike, we can negotiate at that point.  notice the words, 'if' and 'negotiate'?

"How tall do I have to be before that will happen?"

I looked him over and thought, oh snap, this could be coming fast...  Well G, your legs have to be as long as my legs are now.  I bet by the time you are 10 or 11 that you will be tall enough for OC.  He's 8, btw.

"So will you teach me to clip in?"

Yes, I will teach you to 'clip in'.

"Right now?"

um.  no.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

I thought about it and decided, this morning after I got up and hid eggs at o'dark thirty, I was going to go out and stretch my legs with a little speed.... and then I promptly went back to bed and snuggled with H for a few minutes.  

Probably NOT a brilliant idea on a day the forecast high is 90, but, whatever.  IT seemed like a good idea at the time.  So when I finally did drag myself out of bed, it was warm.  Never the less, I had RUN on my mind and RUN in my heart and RUN is what I wanted to do ~ so it's what I did.

The sun was UP and SHINING when I started my 6 mile loop.  How. Odd.

I knew I wanted to push the pace a little today, but admit to going out without a solid plan.  I jogged a mile warmup while I thought about what I needed to do, what made the most sense, what I thought I could manage while also concentrating on knee tracking and form so my Witch Dr wouldn't have to kick my a** later this week.

I knew a TEMPO RUN (my favorite kind of speed workout, I admit) was probably out of my league ~ the form assignment would be hard to maintain for a steady state.  And I don't know my own limitations, so a progressive run could turn ugly if I brought it too early, or... turn tepid if I didn't bring enough.

Repeats.  Repeats were the solution.  I knew I could manage to push the pace AND concentrate on form, because the recovery would give me time to reorganize myself after each hard effort.  800M repeats sounded scary seeing as I just (and I mean JUST) got off "restriction", so I ultimately decided to do 2 minute intervals (which worked out to 400's or so).

I'm too embarrassed to tell you exactly how it went down.  I can't hold the pace I would like to hold for 2 minutes without REALLY struggling.  Really.  Really. REALLY struggling.

That said, I brought it for the 4 I managed, and figured that if I did 4 well it was better than doing 6 poorly. I hope that logic applies to training.  Truly I do.

AND since it was Easter, when my 6 miles of bliss was over my daughter wanted to take my "easter outfit picture" ... funny how one person's torture is another persons bliss...

~Happy Easter ~

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hey! Wake UP!

After yesterdays post, which i really enjoyed writing by the way, today's post is a little off topic.

It has nothing to do with running.  or mothering.  or nursing school.  or ethics professors who suck.

But I had some news to share, and I decided it couldn't wait.

About a month ago, I fired my insomnia.

Yea, seriously.  And, since there are people out there who suffer from this wretchedness, I thought, I ought to share what I changed in my life to eliminate it.  First a little history, so you can appreciate what kind I had ~ incase it's the kind you have ~ because there are several kinds of insomnia.  I had the kind where you wake in the middle of the night and watch the clock count down while freaking out that you only have "3 more hours.... 2 more hours... 1 more hour..."

When I was 18 I was "liberated" from my parents house.  I had come to believe that I was "too dumb for college" and that I would never be successful at it, so I took a few random jobs here and there to pay rent at a place I shared with a few friends.  It was fun, but it was stressful.  I never knew how the rent was going to get paid, and from month to month the roommates changed out on a regular basis.  Over the course of several months I lived with a college girl, a Drag Queen Beauty Pageant winner ("Miss Gay MD"), a woman who's husband was deployed overseas, a girl who was clinically depressed, and my brother's girlfriend.

The hours we kept were pretty wild.  Out until 2am most nights, and up by 5am to feed the horses.  I was grooming for a fantastic horse trainer who taught me a freaking lot about horses, and every day I got a 2 hour break in the middle of my day.  So I napped every day from 12:10 - 1:55.  I mean, how could I NOT?

Eventually, my brother's girlfriend and he split, I got tired of musical roommates, farm living, and the party scene, and I moved in with my brother.  It was ideal.  We're close, get each other, and knew how to live together without cramping each other's personal space.  I look back at that time as one of the best in my life.  I took a retail job, had a nice looking boyfriend for about 10 months, and once again, was living in a constant state of stress.  During this time, the boyfriend noticed that I was awake every morning at 3am.  He thought it was adorable, and took up calling me at 3am.

FLAG ON THAT PLAY.  If the boyfriend is calling at 3am, it probably means he has... a wife.  Yea, I was so naive and completely missed all the signs.  I probably missed them because he was doing random s#*t like proposing to me on moonlit beaches... I'm just sayin'.  

Still, once we broke up, the 3am waking continued.  And for almost 18 years, I was awake every day between 2-4 am for a few minutes... an hour... more....

When I'm running myself into exhaustion, I can keep it at bay.  Insomnia's a monster, it feeds itself, rewards itself, and anyone who has ever suffered from it knows how hard it is to force yourself into bed when you know that there's a chance you may be awake half the night.

In the last year though, it had gotten so much worse.  Especially during my troubles with the fankle.  I was up till midnight dreading my night of misery, and waking at 4am to go workout... and just laying in bed counting the minutes until it was time to rise because there was no pressing need to get up if I wasn't running.  There were plenty of times I was waking at midnight and staying up till 4am before dozing for an hour.  And that is when I broke a tooth.  Apparently I grind my teeth at night, and I cracked a tooth... pretty much cleaved the back off.

Fortunately I have a gifted dentist who saved it, crowned it, and insisted on my purchase of a new expensive custom made mouth piece to save the other teeth in my head.  It was too late for a second tooth, by the time the mouth guard had arrived, about a month after I ordered it, I needed another crown.

I thought the mouth guard would be awful.  I thought it would take months to adapt to sleeping with it.  Since it was custom, it fit like a glove.

Night one - I slept through.  I've been sleeping through since.

Has my stress changed?  No.  And the insomnia resolved before I was running major mileage again.  I'm not really running that much right now ~ 20 miles a week.  And because I'm sleeping better, I'm able to get up a 1/2 hour earlier and squeeze in an extra swim before my run these days, or get in a longer ride on OC.  Not to mention that with increased sleep I feel better able to handle some of the stress in my life, even though the stress is still huge.

I just wanted to share this, and suggest that if you're an insomniac, go to the dentist.  You might be grinding your teeth and jaw at night, causing yourself to wake.  Take a chance on an expensive custom mouth guard.  It might be the best money you've ever spent.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


It's spring, and the leaves are budding.  Have budded, really, in the last week.  Pollen is swirling through the air, a fragrant dust cloud that lingers on the lips and tongue.  I can taste its sweetness in every breath.

The trees are lush, blooming and green.

Lately, this week in particular, I have been crazy high after every run.  I'm not sure why, but the buzz sets in around mile three, and by the end of whatever mileage I'm running, it's a full-blown drunk-fest.  And like a good brew, it goes straight to my head, intoxicating me and tempting me.

Just like the last sip of a robust wine’s rich heavy spice makes you crave another glass, I finish each run wanting more.  

“I'd like to order another glass please, and fill it to the top so I can be so full of run that it's sloshing in my belly and I'm in no good condition to drive.” 

Of course, that's not safe, for me, or any recovering runner.  I'm buying my run by the glass right now.

Perhaps it is compounded by the change in seasons, the sunrise is not a surprise at this point.  It's expected and still new enough to be enjoyed.  The pink wash over the sky is a welcome change from the inky black of winter running.  Perhaps it is affected by a change in temperature, or by the weight of the spring air, but the run these days has been down right bliss.

I am allowed to run.  I am savoring every step.  Next week I am free and clear of all my Md’s restrictions.  Speed, tempo, mileage, pace… are all mine for the choosing.  Like a menu, I need to choose wisely or risk heartburn. 

It is empowering to look forward and think that the only limitations I have now are my own limitations.

Amazing what my run does for my sense of control, purpose, and power.   

~savor the run~  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dear Boston Marathon,

Dear Boston Marathon,

I'm sorry we missed each other.  I was here in VA, you were in Boston, and the traffic ~ whew, I just couldn't get it together to get there from here.

I imagine it was a great day.  I hope you enjoyed meeting my friends who came to see you with their BQ times or Charity $ raised.  I also hope that everyone I know who was out on the course had a stellar day, and is enjoying their sore quads today with the pride that comes with knowing they ran a good day at THE Boston Marathon.

  ~Boston Boston Boston~ the wind carried your name to my ears all day yesterday.  The streets and internet were audible buzzing with ~Boston Boston Boston~.  At least a dozen times in the past few days I've been asked about you, Boston Marathon.  It's complicated.  I never know HOW to answer the question, "Are you ever going to run Boston?"  

I usually answer with, "not likely."  Because it's not impossible, even with the new faster times.  If there is anything running has taught me it's that nothing is impossible.  

Despite saying that, I will not be aiming for a BQ time anytime soon.  Not because I don't want to run The Boston Marathon, but because my goals are more "me-centric" than "B-centric".  I will continue to train for marathons because I love to run.  And because I love the personal satisfaction that comes from training and testing my limits.  

If one day my goals become BQ focused, I promise, you'll be the FIRST to know.  Fair enough?

Hope you're enjoying your recovery day!

Until next Patriots Day,


Monday, April 18, 2011

OFF Balance

It's complicated, this cycling thing.  I had to get CLIP-LESS pedals so I could get CLIPPED IN to my bike....?  This seems an oxymoron to me.

Now, if you're a cyclist, don't try to argue that it isn't insane.  It's insane.  In all other things in life, if you get (something)less, you don't have that thing.  For example.

LACEless shoes have no shoe laces, and you wouldn't get laced into shoes without laces.

PENNIless individuals have no money, and you wouldn't get pennies from someone who's penniless.

TOPless beaches have no tops and... wait, that's a bad example.

Still.  I find the language of cycling to be just that much outside of my understanding.

The thing is, regardless of the language nuances, once I had the clipless pedals ON the bike, I no longer had the mad skillz needed to ride it...  so, I arranged to meet Coach Q at The Creek for a lesson.

He started by putting OC in his trainer while I put on my new (ugly as sin) "whiter than white" white shoes.

I hopped on OC.  And for the life of me, could not get my feet clipped into the pedals.  Total fail.

"Relax, you're over thinking it."

Probably good advice for anything from ethics papers to clipless pedals.

"It takes getting used to, flip the pedal with your toe."


"Without looking."

I was still struggling with coordination.  Is that left foot or left hand?

"There's a life cycle at the gym with your name on it."  ~nice~

Eventually, we got the tension adjusted ~ meaning I was able to relax ~

...and get the tension adjusted ~ meaning I could physically get the foot in and out of the pedal ~

...and I managed to get clipped, unclipped, clipped, unclipped, "Oh Hi SpeeDee and Lady Em".

...clipped, and oh snap - I have an audience?

Once it seemed I had mastered talking to my audience and clipping and un at the same time with only minimal razzing and harassment from the gallery, Q decided it was time to move OC off the trainer.


It's all good though.  The plan was to ride in some grass incase I fell, and we stopped to talk a few seconds of strategy.  This is why it's important to travel with your own coach.  

"The trick is unclipping, stopping and 'leaning' the bike in the right direction, in the right order".  Sounds simple right?  Something about the mischievous light in Q's eyes indicated that the simplicity was all in the language.  Here we go again with the cycling language thing...  

So remember when you were a kid and you learned to ride a two wheeler, and your mom or dad ran along beside your bike with a horrified and stricken expression on their face in the event you should crash your bike into their car, a handicapped parking sign or a brick wall....?  No?  Oh... well.   Me either.

Q's reflexes are REALLY fast...

Fortunately, mine are fast too... and I was able to unclip and catch myself, before OC and I took Q out on a lateral.  I did NOT fall, I'm just stating it for the record here.  I nearly fell, that's really not the same thing.  I'm not sure, I may have screamed, or perhaps shrieked is a better word.... but I didn't fall.

After a few passes, we mutually decided it wasn't really working.  It rained all day Saturday, and I was having to work too hard to get the bike going in the grass.  I needed to just go for it.

I walked the bike out onto the parking lot, visualized what I was trying to do, clipped in my left foot, rotated the pedal, took off, settled into my saddle and clip... like I'd been doing it my whole life.

All that fear that I would suck, crash, and burn was wasted energy.  I have good balance, and you know?

I don't suck.  It's nice not to suck.

Once I'd done a few successful passes, terrorized Q by "appearing" to be aiming straight for his car (I was in complete control), Q determined that his work was done and that his car was safer elsewhere.  He gave me some last words of advice and left to do his Sunday thing.

So, Lady Em and SpeeDee took me and OC out for a ride.

OK, Lady Em is HCB/TNT, but she's a GBA cyclist.  Follow?  (Lady Em is on Dee's team ~ HCB, and on TNT, but she's a galactically bada** cyclist)

We rode a hilly route, and I was HOT baby!  no, really, like warm & over dressed.  Again, each time I unclipped and stopped and started and clipped in it was like I had been doing it my whole life.

OC and I were totally one with each other, and by the end of the ride, I was feeling GBA.

(me & Lady Em)
SpeeDee knows a thing or two about being speedy, and she spent a few minutes tweaking my form, and WHOOSH ~ what was that orange flash?  Oh, just g and OC riding a GBA sprint with their new clipless pedals.

When we were done, we realized that it was one year ago this week that I met Lady Em and SpeeDee at The Creek to learn to ride Pink/RB.  *Pink's new owner named her Raspberry Beret.  We celebrated the anniversary in the best way possible.

We had some PT and a little picnic together on the hot asphalt.

It felt good to be in the sunshine soaking up some warmth and friendship.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In the SPIRIT of Volunteerism

The weather totally funked my pink from top to bottom plan with the wind, rain, chill that came up the east coast, but on Saturday, I showed up to volunteer for my local Road Runners club.  They were doing a contract race, which means they hired out their equipment and volunteers to wrangle the finish line of a 5K/15K. 

As some of you may recall, my last outing with this group of volunteers was a bit sketchy.  Like.  You’re wearing a lot of pink”, sketchy.  I was nervous, but not really.  Here’s how the day went down, and I think you’ll probably catch on to the major change that led to success.

I got up, and went for a run.  I showed up for the volunteer duties, freshly showered, still glowing from my endorphin high.

I wore H’s windbreaker that completely covered me from my neck to my hips, as well as my navy/pink “B” Boston Red Sox cap.  I had a hunch that there would be sox fan out there.  And I was right.  (by the way, I actually hate baseball, it’s so not my thing, but wearing a red sox hat is license to act like an a** if you want… no I’m being serious)

I arrived about 10 minutes late, but I had cleared the late arrival with a friend on the board so it wasn’t a BFD.  *See above note about endorphin high. 

I arrived, said hi to a friend, nodded at another familiar, and turned around to sign in… and there he was.  The person who completely stumped me at the last volunteer outing.

Isn’tcool.  Only, I may have to change his name after yesterday.

Isn’tcool was standing at the volunteer sign-in sheet when I got there, and damn if a) he didn’t recognize me or b) he read my blog and has a wicked sense of humor or c) he recognized me and remembered exactly what he said word for word from a month ago and has a wicked sense of humor. 

Because as soon as I walked up to him his eyes widened, his face broke in HALF with a huge smile and he said, “Are you here for us?!”

*See above note about endorphin high.

As some of you know I have a deep voice.  It’s not a man’s voice.  But, it’s not a little voice either.  It’s radio quality (true story), low and can be snarky and off key, or, if I choose, very much like butter over hot toast.  I made a call at the moment Isn’tcool asked the fated question, probably a bad one, but see above note about endorphin high…., I poured a little warm honey on, “Yes, Isn'tcool," I purred, "I’m here for you.”

He tipped his head back, cracked up laughing, and when his eyes came back to me he took in my Sox hat, grinned and said, “I almost wore my Red Sox hat today too.”  And just like that, we were cool, names exchanged.

Setting up the finish line turned into a competition over who could give each other the most crap.  I could never win that competition, I’m just not quick enough on my feet, and I don’t know the people that well so I had a shallow well of ammunition.  But I’m getting there.  I made friends with some very tall people.  Like, seriously, am I a hobbit?  Mom, it’s ok, you can tell me…

I know my strengths….  So I got a clipboard and joined the gang under the tent.

And we had wicked fun mocking each other.
Mocking ourselves.
Mocking various people doing stupid things on the street. 

Like, parking their cars behind the finish line tents while saying, “I’m leaving early”.  Well, Dude, good luck with that, because we’re not leaving for hours

The weather once again demonstrated the concept that no experience is more connecting than shared misery.  Seriously, we were soaked, cold, listing to praise music… soothing praise music that didn’t work with dancing,…   while standing under a tent with blowing rain soaking us while we called out 3 and 4 digit numbers as runners/walkers/runners went by…. 

To be honest, I wouldn’t have traded the day for anything.  See above note about endorphin high.

It is such a great way to pass the morning.  Surrounded by socially awkward non-running runners, watching non-runners running. 

Every time I join this group of people for a few hours, I learn something.  Sometimes the lessons are harsh and not running related.  Sometimes they’re running centric and educational.  

No matter, I think that today's lesson was, choose to have a good attitude, be prepared to work hard and laugh harder, and show up to volunteer when you’re still glowing off an endorphin high.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday's Thursday post...

yea... it's like that.  Yesterday I started to write a post...  instead I spent the day researching legal euthanasia in the netherlands for my ethics paper... so... here's my post, plus a few other thoughts...

1. Now that I’ve gone, and now that I’m back, I can say with conviction…  Vegas is not my cup of tea.  Vegas is like a slice of imitation cheese wrapped in plastic.  It looks like cheese, sort of, but it’s fake, and I don’t think there’s really any milk in that stuff…  so Vegas is fun, but it’s more like the “idea” of fun…  like the idea of cheese…

2. This week Pixie Green (PG) came down to The Glen for a business meeting.  It was too fabulous for words.  She is funny, and fun, and we had a great time at dinner, and then the next day on an early morning run.  Once a while back I had raved about sushi on my facebook wall, and PG mentioned always wanting to try it, but…  So, I decided that if we ever got together, we would go for Sushi, and I would bring her over to the “dark side”.   And I did, she loved it.

3. My level of exhaustion is palatable.  I can taste it in the food I eat, the air I breathe and the run I savor.   School is completely crushing my spirit, requiring me to wear brighter socks, more pink and lime, and generally do everything in my power to keep myself going.  I would never recommend a mid-semester trip to Vegas the week of class registration.  Just saying.

4.    Oh, one other small and nearly insignificant detail...  I signed up for this little race called the Richmond Marathon, and plan on training (again) with the Sports Backers MTT...  Can June just get here already so I can RUN MTT?

Monday, April 11, 2011

An Open Letter to my Ethics Professor

Ethics class isn’t going too well.  I’m struggling to submit papers that meet the high standards of my professor.  I’m hanging on to an A at this time with a .1.  This is not a comfortable position going into the final push of the semester.  The final paper is worth 1/3 of my grade, and I have no reason to think it’s going to go that well.   

Last month I wrote a paper (Paper #1) that was not well received.  My professor sent me a nice (scathing) note that indicated he did not appreciate my writing style.  Because of his note, I completely researched how to write paper #2, and then constructed it using the dry unappealing writing style he indicated that would most please him.

But… I have reason to believe that I did not execute fully.

Take this latest e-mail to me, from him. 

“Dear Virginia,

Thank you for your timely submission of (Ethics Paper #2).  While I appreciate the content of your paper, as well as your willingness to think critically on the topic of (Kant’s Categorical Imperative), your paper was lacking in technical writing proficiency.  I know I had previously indicated to you that your writing is weak (uh, yea, THAT’s what I thought he said).  I also know I directed you to a page that would help you write a better academic paper, and so I do not need to tell you where to find this helpful resource again (oh no, he didn’t…).  Please review these guidelines before submitting your next paper.

Again, I appreciate your efforts,
Ethics Professor”

And my response… it’s still a rough draft…

“Dear Professor of Ethics,

Thank you for your critique of my paper exploring Kant’s Categorical Imperative.  I’m sorry you find my writing unacceptable for your high standards.  I reviewed the guidelines you set forth before submitting my paper.  I will further consider your submission requirements before writing my next paper.

By the way, you f*cking suck.

Thank you again for your critique,


It’s still rough though, so I’m trying to figure out how to add, “I’m sorry your academic writing skillz were too weak to score you a job at a university and that you are trapped in a position as an associate professor teaching online classes at a community college”… and do you think it’s too over the top if I also include a post script with, “Oh by the F*cking way, I’m a published author.”

Yes?  No? Maybe some of the language is weak?  Do you think the message of general suckage is fully communicated?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

This Weekend!

So we had a GREAT weekend away ~ fun, sexy, and a great re-directing of ourselves as adults who converse with adults about things that do NOT involved iCarly, Hannah Montana, Dora, Jack & Annie Books, the dilemma of going from training wheels to 2 wheels etc.  As I said, it was great... and I'd LOVE to tell you all about it.... but...

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas... so... yea.

we did go with friends who took some great (and not so great) photos... here's one that's blogworthy.

We're about to catch a flight home, and back to reality... so, hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wall Plaques and Paper Weights

When H & I were first married we agreed.  "For our 10 year anniversary we will stop our lives for a weekend, and go away together and celebrate the accomplishment of being married for 10 years."  Given the divorce rates in the country, I honestly think a 10 year marriage is deserving of street fair, fireworks, and a cheesy wall plaque or paper weight that says, "TEN YEARS OF SERVICE" on it, don't you?

Well, 10 years came and went, and we were busy... and poor, and 11 years came and went, and again, busy, poor and so 12 years... yea, you get the point.... well, 13 years is next month, and guess what?

We're still busy and poor... but that doesn't seem to have stopped us this time!  We're finally going on our TEN YEAR kid free ANNIVERSARY getaway!  

That's right, I said kid free - we have bowls of cat food filled up around the house and a litter box, so they'll be fine, right?

OH, all right... I mean, I can't exactly tie them to a chair can I?  Well, that's why my Dad is so cool.  He's arriving tonight to kid wrangle.  Too bad his blog is dry and about all kinds of money stuff (if only I ever took his advice, we could have afforded this trip ages ago) because I have a feeling that the weekend will be as blogworthy for D-Dad as it will be for me & H.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Best... The Worst...

You know the BEST thing about finishing your workout by 6:19am everyday?

You are F*cking FINISHED with your workout.  No DRAMA from the kids, Husband or pets can interfere with your need to get HIGH ON ENDORPHINS. *endorphins people... I swear.

You know the WORST thing about finishing your workout by 6:19am everyday?

You are F*cking FINISHED with your workout.  The DRAMA from the kids, Husband and pets will drain the HIGH FROM the ENDORPHINS by noon.

Is it tomorrow yet?

Monday, April 4, 2011


Sometimes its hard to live far away from your BFF.  You never know when you will see each other next, and are reduced to Facebook stalking messages to keep in touch.

Take my BFF Bart for example.  He travels the world, but lives in PA, so it's hard to connect to each other on a regular basis.  No worries though, he happened to be in Richmond this weekend!  So even though I wasn't racing the Monument Ave 10K, I still went by the expo to say "hi".

I walked up, and realizing it's been a while said, "Hi, Bart!  Always nice to see my BFF in Richmond... of course, it's been a while, but I'm your 'Richmond BFF, g'".

He laughed out loud, hopped out of his seat, and proceeds to shake my hand all while we're laughing at the silliness.  It was fun...  my rehab *sprained ankle might have stopped me from racing the Monument Ave 10K, but nothing was going to stop me from getting a few treasured moments with Bart.

Kc, my BFF Bart, and me