Wednesday, August 31, 2011


As for courage and will - we cannot measure how much of each lies within us, we can only trust there will be sufficient to carry through trials which may lie ahead.
    ~Andre Norton

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tests of Friendship

What kind of friend am I?  Hard to say sometimes.  I’m the kind of friend who will leave a pregnant girl and run “fast”…. I mean, she SAID I should but…  I’m the kind of girl who will go to the pool with my friends to support their swimming… of course, I swim laps around them and it’s one of my favorite things to do so maybe it’s a good idea that I explain that it’s not a sacrifice…

Well, all my friends came to the conclusion that they were going to run, not race, the.....

Part of me REALLY wanted to go do it.  I know it would have been a great way to spend 13.1 miles with KC, Kristi (who really needs an epic blog name), 3L, Karasmatic, SpeeDee and to see Lion, Shy A… basically anyone I’ve ever listed in the last 3 years on this blog, including a red shirt and a former Cookie, were all there (with the exception of T, who’s running hood to coast this weekend)....  So I wanted to run...

And then what happened....? 

Well, many of you know that after Prov Half on 8/7 my hamstring got pissed off at me and we got into kind of a snit.  Hammy didn’t speak in a civil tone for 4 days, and even after things started to cool off thanks to our new BFF, Tiger Balm, it was still a little tense around here.  I eased back into my training plan and life was good.

Life being good and all, I still asked the opinion of my favorite people before registering for the race.  Mixed reviews.  “Come join us!” & “we’re going to have so much fun just running” was intermingled with “Are you kidding? We swore off that race years ago!”, “...the road is heavily cambered, so the legs...” & “Don’t leave your Nov marathon goals bleeding on the streets of Ashland!”.  

However, the e-mail that closed the door was the one from The President of the RRRC…

 ….asking the membership to volunteer if they weren’t running.

With the weather issues, they were worried about having enough volunteers. And we ALL know that I suffer from VOLUNTEERAHOLISM.

So of course, you all know what happened next.  

I shifted all my runs around for the week so my long run fell on a Thursday, and ran 5 days in a row, and got up at 4am on race day so I could run 4 miles before reporting to Water Stop #1 at 6:15am in a Tropical Storm Warning.

I had a great time handing out water, cheering for my posse, and was done with my volunteer assignment really early.  Like.  Wicked early.  I had an entire HOUR at least until any one of my friends could possibly finish the race.  Consider that one of my friends runs 7’s.

So what was I to do?  

Stay in the rain and cold?  Or go home, make coffee, and eat pancakes all morning in a toasty dry house while the storm raged around me?

What to do... what to do...

Yeah, right.  As if.

I made my way to the finish line and watched strong beautiful runners finish in 1:16:andchange, followed by more beautiful strides… until eventually the first of my friends finished looking EPIC, I might add.  So I moved to just after the finish line to congratulate that runner, and to where I could see everyone as they came across the line.  Great move on my part.  

I ran into Coach Black ("hey, you people!").  We had a nice chat about what kind of friend stands in the freezing rain and gale force winds for 40+ minutes waiting for their friends at a Half Marathon.  He postulated I could write a whole blog post on the topic… he’s right.  Of course, he was waiting for Mrs Black, and ~ah~ that meant that regardless of the weather, he was sticking it out in the rain.

The truth is, seeing my friends finish is priceless and special.  Even though I was freezing in my soaking wet cotton “volunteer” t-shirt.  Even though the wind was whipping giant drops of rain at me.  Even though I had my phone wrapped in plastic wrap.  

Of course, as a “much needed” volunteer I was happy to have a really solid excuse not to race in the slop, again.  I mean, I just did a soupy HM at Providence RNR…  and to be honest, this rain wasn't even as bad as that was... seriously people.

But there’s still a part of me that questions whether or not I chickened out.  I have had two “fine” half marathons this summer.  I think if I’d made my goal at either one of those races, I might have actually done this one.  I was afraid, a little, to not make my goal a 3rd time in a row.  What’s that going to do for my confidence?  I’m already struggling with that right now. 

(~I kinda suck at running~)

I amend that.

(~I kinda suck in general~)

Of course, what if I‘d raced and had an EPIC day?  I could have PR’d, I could have regained the lost confidence, I could have pissed off my Hammy so bad I missed next week’s long run….

Confidence is mental. 
And Training Issues are not the same as Mental Issues.
Hamstring issues (which have apparently resolved) are also not Mental Issues.

So I suspect you’ll all have to suffer through about 8 weeks of me talking about mental training while I talk myself back into my UBER goals here at NofSahm.  

~lucky you~

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


In June I was invited to run with the Advanced Marathon Training Team in Richmond.  These people (Those People) are quite something.  Knocking out 7:30's on their training runs while singing Scottish Drinking Songs at the top of their lungs, not to mention doing random things like running sub 3 hour marathons...  it's sick.  And I mean that like ~ they're freaktastic ~.

One thing that really sticks with me as I reflect on Those People is that they are a really fit crew.

If you come visit RVA and see a bunch of UBER fit people running around town in black shorts and no shirts (the women just wear sports bras), that's them.  And by UBER fit I mean they are lean, muscular, runner build 'type' people.  On the TYPE scale of runners, Those People are lean like Death Valley.

I guess, on the Type Scale with Death Valley (1) on one end, followed by the Grasslands of the midwest (2), in the middle we have the small tree clusters that dot the African Savanna (3), which is squeezed up next to Temperate Deciduous Forests of the Eastern Seaboard (4), ...I would fall at level (5).

The Tropical Rain Forests of South America.

I'm lush, thick, a little wild, quite dense, with a darkness tossed in there that even I haven't fully explored.

This "lushness" is really noticeable when you put me next to a runner type... like, say, my Bestie T.

There's just a lot of me.  It's good that my H doesn't seem to mind all the extra me there is these days.

After my run with Those People in June, I realized I'd moved beyond curvy and onto squish.  I had the equivalent of one of those foam can-coozies people use to keep their drinks from overheating wrapped around my midsection to stop my abs from getting hot.  er, from being hot.

What's frustrating about this is that I think under all that *coozie* there's a really good runner.  A much better runner than I am right now.  And I'm not going to mince.  I'm "good".  Am I ~like wow~ show stopping, Black Team Worthy, 7:30's for 15 miles?  No.  But I'm a solid little runner.  I get that.

I just... well, I could be better.
"I could be better..." are words I live by, sad but true.

So.  After my Black Team Student Exchange with Those People... I decided I was really selling myself short.  I have connections, and managed to get in touch with a nutritionist, Brooke.  This lead to my break up with Nutella (~sigh~) and Ray's Italian Ice & Frozen Custard.

Brooke really struggled with the runner thing.  We had to build a calorie schedule around my (lame) metabolism that also worked with my ever changing mileage, had enough Iron to meet my needs, and a lack of red meat to meet my lack of interest in eating cows*.  Her theory of "set a calorie count & only eat that count - no more, no less" got derailed once my long run hit about 10, and add in rest days and toss in some 3 milers for fun.... and we had some challenges to get the plan rolling.

For the most part I hung in there with the "trial and error-slash-mad science experiment", did what she said, and ground my teeth as the feedback on the scale was unchanging.

Then she decided I wasn't eating enough, and set me up on a new plan.  I've lost about 4 pounds since we started the new plan.  It's a far cry from where I'd like to be, but 4 pounds is measurable progress, and at this rate I'll be close to the racing weight goal I set by the time I get to my A race.  I just need to keep my focus.  I said as much in our last phone call.

And, I love Brooke for saying this...

"GBA gf?  If you put as much effort into your eating as you put into everything else, you could be at racing weight whenever you wanted.  For some reason, you don't.  It's the one area in your life that you allow yourself to be lazy.  Why would you choose this one area, of all things?  You have will power to get up at 4:30am, but not will power to avoid animal crackers?  It's selective reasoning that"  
(well, that and cleaning house, I'm lazy there too, but I feel we're going off topic).  

Thanks Brooke.  I (heart) you.

I shared all this because many of you who read my blog are runners, and I know ~ some of us ~ don't run to lose weight, but would still enjoy a little less coozie and a little more hotness.  I'm going to get up now, and get back to work cleaning my house.  And yes, Brooke, I'm on track today.

Because really, today is the only day that matters.  Stop worrying about what you ate yesterday.  Stop fretting about how you're going to handle avoiding animal crackers or bunny snacks tomorrow.  Just be in the moment.

*I'm not a vegetarian, and I do eat red meat including cows, but I don't eat much, because I just don't care for it all that much.  This is not a social statement, nor is this a suggestion that you need to eat or avoid red meat.  

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Everyday we make choices that could change the course of our lives or the lives of the people around us.  Left or right?  Walk or drive?  Go kayaking or sunbathe?

We're at the beach on vacation.  It's pretty laid back, lots of folks around to help wrangle my posse, so my stepmother and I decided to go kayaking out of Canadian Hole.  It's a nice flat area on Hatteras Island, sound side.

Given my propensity to move all the time, whether it's for intentional fitness or just to experience the outdoors, as well as my obsession with beating the rowing machine into submission at least once a week, I'm a fairly strong kayaker.  My Stepmother is also really fit.  Between us, we're a pair of strong women.

So that the wind was blowing one way, and the current was going another, wasn't a concern at all.  We zipped ourselves into life jackets, hopped in the double Kayak, and as we were about to leave, I tossed one of the extra life-vests in the boat.  Not sure why I did it.  Just saw it sitting on the beach near where we were departing, and I didn't want the tide to grab it while we were away, and my feet were wet so I didn't want to walk it back up to the truck, and it really can't hurt to have an extra life vest on hand on a windy rockin' day.  Besides, that life vest was mine from our Hobie 16 sailing days... i.e. about 30 years old of faded orange and yellow nylon.

We paddled out into the wind on our way out.  We were moving at a nice clip, making it more of a fitness endeavor rather than a leisurely ride.  The two of us were chatting about something, but I'm not really sure what anymore.  At some point we decided we'd gone far enough, swung the boat and came about.

Now we were with the wind, but fighting the current.  It was much tougher to control the double kayak. I was in the rear, so it was my job to steer and I kept having to drop my foot off either the port or starboard side to make a rudder so we wouldn't get blown sideways.  It was on one of these foot drops that I saw something in the water about 50m ahead on the (right) side of our little craft.  Land was to the left.

"Jean, do you see that?" I asked, pointing with my paddle.

"Where?" and then, "OH.  Do you think it's... a swimmer, or do you think...?"

"Seems to me he's not really swimming...  it doesn't feel right." I started to angle to kayak to pass between him and the sand bar.

Then Jean questioned, "I don't know if we should... he could just be playing around, what if he knocks us over?  What about that girl on the wind surfer?  She might be going there."

"We're going."  My rationale was this:  If you think someone might be in trouble on the water, you don't leave them until you are 100% sure they are not... as well as the golden rule of first aid, never ever assume that someone else will help.

Besides, I'm all about safety first.  Jean and I were both wearing life jackets.  If the kayak was flipped, we were going to float.  No danger of loss of life.  Kayaks are designed to float.  No danger of loss of Hobie.  Worst case scenario?  Loss of paddles.  NBD.

As we got closer, he thrashed his arms, and I, being the loud one, called, "do you need help?"

And we heard a weak "yes".

He was in his late 30's, early 40's, dark hair, and large round dark eyes... but other than that, I had no idea what he looked like.  Only his face was above water at this point.  Now and then his arm would break the surface.  I could see, and Jean agreed, he didn't look very good.  I reached down in front of me, grabbed the ratty life vest, and hurled it at him.  He pulled it tight to his chest, and we negotiated up to him in the whipping current.

"Thank you... thank you..." he professed with a huge smile of relief.  He pulled the jacket to his chest and floated up on his back.

Jean and I were cool, cos' we just are, and we paddled in place beside him for a minute while he collected himself.  Finally, I asked, "Are you going to make it in?  We can't tow you, but..."

"I can make it with this."  And he turned toward shore and started paddling.  Jean and I called out some Good Luck's and a "Oh hey, when you make it back, if you can, swing by our truck (add boring deets as to where we were parked along the shore line), and let us know you're OK?"

Well we finished our paddle, pulled the Kayak up onto land and the two of us collapsed into chairs with a well earned Diet Coke and Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwichs as our post workout meal.  We recounted the story to D-Dad, and I apologized for losing one of his "vintage" life vests.

A while later a young man walked up carrying our vest.  With the stress of the moment gone, I realized he was just a young father type, soft but not out of shape.  He smiled when he saw us and handed me the vest.  "Thank you both so much.  I was just coming to realize that I was going to be a statistic out there when you saw me.  I have two small kids."

We chatted for a few.  Apparently he's not a swimmer.  He was walking along the sand bar, was pushed off by the current, and couldn't get himself back.  He admitted he panicked.  "Thank you again for stopping.  I really don't know what..." and he trailed off with an unfinished thought.

So there you go.

Today, my arms are tired.

And today, somewhere between Buxton and Avon, a man woke up and probably had coffee with his wife.  Maybe he kissed his two daughters after their sticky pancake breakfast, and then as a family they all went to climb the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse or to explore one of the many trails in the national park.

All this could happen because I picked up some ratty old life vest and tossed it in the kayak.

I'm nothing special, I'm just another person.

But even so, today I'm a person who feels pretty freaking cool.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A long, long time ago...

As a child of the 70’s, its natural that I would grow up to be a runner.  Don’t get me wrong.  No one in my family actually ran in the 70’s.  I didn’t spend my Saturdays watching my dad wander in after a long run, nor did I ever see my mother do any running that wasn’t on a soccer field.  But the principles of running - humility, patience, effort and never giving up were ingrained into me from a very young age.

When I grew up, I knew exactly what I wanted to be, and sorry, runner was way down on the list.  Way down.  Because who would want to do that, when there were limitless possibilities in the galaxy? 

My goal was to be a Jedi Knight.

When you are calm and at peace, everything becomes clear.

Of course, instead of knighthood and the force I grew up to be another casualty of motherhood.  A beige mini-van driving mother of many, barely hanging onto my sanity while managing multitasking feats of greatness.  Or, if not greatness, at least of multiple tasks. 

One afternoon I mused aloud that maybe instead of developing an eye twitch, I should develop a hobby.  A friend of mine was a marathoner, so that seemed like a logical step.  Running.  Not marathoning.

Of course, what happened next is what happens in all the movies.  Someone, who will remain nameless (and alive because of it) told me off hand that I could never be a runner.  Dude.  I might have accepted I can never be a Jedi Knight.  But now I am supposed to accept that I can’t be a runner?

“Yeah, probably you’re right”. I knew I would most likely fail.  I had a proven track record of failure.  True.  I mean that literally, not figuratively.  I actually failed on the track at the Presidential Mile in High School.

I knew it was probably an exercise in stupidity.  But that sort of obstacle had never stopped me before.  And that didn’t stop Luke from rescuing Princess Leah.  Imagine that film for a minute.  George (Lucas) turns to Carrie (Fisher), “Sorry, we’re cutting your part.  Seems like it’s an exercise in futility to have this farm boy come in and save you from execution… so…” (as he makes a slashing motion with his hand across his neck).

Truly though, I love that running has brought me in contact with some of the most humble people.   Individuals who understand that effort is more important than time, and than having a good time is sometimes more vital to success than getting a good time.  Sometimes these are even the same people who "get me", and they get that I’m competitive to a fault, and they forgive me when I forget these Yoda-esque principals.

Runners, for the most part, are humble, patient, and wise.  The ones I run with know, that for me, giving up isn’t really an option.    

Well.  Giving up isn’t really an option if your goal is running related.  If you’re going to set your sights on Jedi Knighthood…  maybe having a back up plan is a good idea.

~ savor the run ~

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Captive. Not Domesticated.

I'm on "family vacation" with ~ duh ~ family in MA.  Well, technically my H's family.

We're spending copious amount of family time together.... 2 families living together in one house with a common thread, my H, as the connecting point.

The Fam is an interesting, entertaining, time consuming bunch that's for sure.... and I'm not just saying that because they've discovered the blog.  I've had more fun running, running around the cape, and playing "golf" of the mini-variety than I would have thought could possibly happen in a few days.  I'm exhausted.

And I'm a captive audience.

I can't go anywhere, or do anything without the express permission of the people in the house.  Stupid sounding, but just how it functions when we're here.  I don't mean to sound desperate, but I'm suffocating a little under the pressure of all this love and togetherness.  I need my me time... and usually this is where running comes in to play.

I can just go for a run, because no body notices or cares if I get up at oh'freaking early hour to run.  Except that this trip, I've hit an issue.  My right Hamstring has put me in a time out.  I was hoping to get out of time out today, but it looks like no.  I jogged out .8 miles this morning, walked .5 miles home, and chilled out on the porch with my icepack for a few minutes.

It looks like another day under wraps (ace), scented with the smell of frustration (Tiger Balm), with periodic waves of chilliness washing over me...  take it as you will.

After all, I'm icing the Hammy 3X per day.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In Degrees

I just wonder how long it takes to get used to seeing one's name in print...  clearly "more than twice" for me...

Yes!  I am published again, which many of you knew about... what you may not realize is that I was asked to be a regular contributor to the Richmond Road Runners Club Magazine through the end of this year.  It's a small publication.
I'm sure the person who asked me was just desperate and worries that if I don't send something in there won't be enough material to go to press.  But...
I have a regular "gig"!!!  (*happy dance around the kitchen*).
And so far it's paid off in ... ONE free cup of coffee and, of FAR MORE IMPORTANCE:  ONE piece of FAN MAIL.

Be jealous.

Anyway, before we go any further, I'd like to say a quick Thank You to Rene & Jen, who allow me to bounce ideas off of them all the time.  I don't know if they're aware of how much help they are, but, I am... and if I was getting paid, I would buy them each a coffee.  As it is... I'm not, so ...

Does anyone remember when I ran MTT last summer with Norma Jean, a guy who runs a 44 minute 10K?  He's the guy who ran in step with me for 9 miles, when the option would have been to leave my a** on the side of the road.  He was great.  I just wanted to clarify that he is the person mentioned in the article...

And I'd like to add a last note here that this piece made me think of T the entire time I worked on it.  It took 3 weeks, 4 edits, and a final draft with a name change... and she was on my mind the entire time I had the page open.  She and I share a LOT of runs that result in a "remember that time..." story.
(update:  i apolgize ffor the broken link.  i am away from my computer.  the current link should take you to the RRRC site, where you can view the Miles & Minutes publication.  when i get to a computer i will resolve this!!!  again, sorry!! you go, for those who haven't seen it, I'm pretty proud of "Degrees of Misery"

Sunday, August 7, 2011

7 Day Transcontinental Consecutive Half Marathons

Providence RI.
8,000 runners.
15 mph wind.
... and the rain.  Well.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words... so, try this on for size:
See the Red Dot?  Yeah, that's Providence, RI.
In San Francisco, they take their hills seriously.  In Providence RI, apparently, they take their weather seriously.  H and I rather enjoyed THIS little detail here....

After snapping a pre-race photo, we shlepped out into the weather and headed to the race... a short 45 minute drive.

The swish of the wipers was the music for most of our ride... until we got into stop and go traffic headed into the parking deck.  Then I lit it up with some Old School Rap.  poor husband.

We parked and navigated out to the start with plenty of time to spare.  I was immediately soaked.  People sporting trashbags, clear ponchos, throw away rain jackets, Lululemon jackets, and designer brand running gear that made lulu look cheap lined the streets.  The port-a-potty I found was clean (shut the front door!  No really, true story).

Then I negotiated my way through the opening that would let me into corral #3.  This wasn't my first time at the Rodeo, and I stepped into the corral cool and dry... ok.  cool and wet and shivering with goosebumps up and down my entire person.  The rain was relentless.

I met with my H's cousin Kev, an officer in the military who is stationed abroad but home on leave and his friend Tim, a runner who loves running so much that his face lights up when he talks about it (isn't that wonderful?).  And as we waited for the start siren, we teased and joked and talked about the fact that ALL the other cousins who'd been invited had bailed in the last week or so.  It was just the 3 of us.

As we stood in silence for the fallen soldiers serving our country, the skies opened, and what had been rain became a stinging downpour that bit into the skin of my arms and shoulders.  I contemplated pulling my shirt off and running clear.  It was already heavy and we'd yet to start.

The first miles of the race were great.  I hung with Kev & Tim, and then, we hit a short climb, I took the lead, Tim behind, and Kevin bringing in the rear... and I reached the summit, slowed down and waited for Kev & Tim to fall in beside me... and.... no Kev or Tim.  On my own from that point, I fell in with purple Lululemon shirt girl... it was a good easy pace.  I wasn't looking at my watch by now, just running on feel.  I suppose I will pull the splits off my watch... eventually...

The thing about wind driven rain that slams into your left side, is that when you turn Left...  you're now running INTO it.  What 'ev.  Do we need to see where we're going?  Not really.  Are we having fun?  Ok then, keep running.  The course was winding, there WERE points when the wind was at my back, but they never lasted long enough.

By mile 7 my clothing was soaked and dripping.  I could feel the drops hitting the backs of my legs as water funneled down my skirt like a pleated fabric gutter.

I had decided if I felt good at mile 7 I would pick it up.  But at mile 7 my legs still felt kinda heavy.  So I determined that if I felt good at mile 8 I would pick it up.  But at mile 8 my legs still felt kinda punk.  So...  The thing was, around mile 10 was a long hill gentle slope (after last week I'm a bit more respectful of what's really a hill and what's really NOT a hill)...  my left hamstring checked in with me.

Ok.  What it actually did was shout:

"YO!  PSYCHOTIC B*TCH!  Yeah, I'm talking to you... you planning on using me to run Richmond in November?  Well, your sorry a** had better Chill the F*CK OUT."

So where I had started to TAKE the climb, I dropped to the side of the course, turned around and Warfel'd up.  It was fun.  Everyone not trying for a PR should do this once in their life.  I encouraged the other runners passing me as I did a quick scan for Cousin Kev & Tim.  At the top of the hill, I turned around and picked up the run.  I figured if Hammy felt OK later, I could still bring it and make up the time.  I never felt great after that, and the novelty of the rain was wearing off.  Large drops were slapping the top of my head.  I crossed a mat and figured 2:04 (my mentally projected finish at that point) was Just. Freaking. Fine.

At one point in the last 2 miles I was running 3 strong with a group of girls in Super Hero formation.  We were skirted, they felt like my posse, it was a comfortably hard pace, but every now and then they would chime with a comment or bit of encouragement...  and suddenly a gust of wind blasted between two buildings and in step, we all "blew" a step left in a WHOOSH of wind driven rain.  

We all giggled.
And muscled on.

At mile 12 I tried to kick it into gear.  And Hammy & I were doing great with that until the last 10th of a mile climb...  I told hammy to cool his jets while I finished up, and I would get him some ice.  I pulled across at right around 2:03:30 on my watch.  It's respectable.  Not a PR, but WTFC?  

I was on the other side of the country 7 days ago running San Francisco.  I was on a transcontinental Red Eye on Tuesday.  I spent like, 1,000 hours in the car with my cranky family on Wednesday....  I didn't suck.  Instead, we will call this a,

"7 day transcontinental consecutive Half Marathon PR".  

Post race festivities included...  a bag of ice for Hammy from the medic and a seat on the curb of Gaspee Street in Providence.  Then we headed back through the mall to the car.  I peeled out of my soggy shirt and wrapped myself in a towel, and H says, WAIT!  I couldn't' take ANY PHOTOS because of the rain.  Let's get one now.  Sure.  Why the heck not?

My Take away from Providence?

holding my skirt out of the water
The route takes you all around the city.  It was gorgeous.  There were a few climbs that on a non-rainy day wouldn't have been treacherous.  There was ONE steep down hill that qualified as a hill, and I had to back WAY off down it - BUT only because it was a river of white water and cups streaming down it.  If it had been dry... alas.  It wasn't.  The course is FANTASTIC. 

It's flat enough to be fast, a few pesky climbs in miles 1-3, again 5 and 7, but for the most part, it's pretty flat.  

No Regrets.

The drive back was uneventful.  I extracted myself from the beige minivan...  My legs felt stiff, my head felt wretched, I was mentally zapped ...  so I walked through the house, out the back door, and hopped into my prepared "icebath"... and yeah, it was still pouring rain.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Half Crazy

In 2008 I ran my first Rock and Roll event.

It was a Half Marathon in Virginia Beach.
It was my FIRST Half Marathon. Period.
It was ~like~ Africa Hot.  Imagine the hottest weather you can imagine…  now imagine running in it.  I believe the temp at the start of the race was something like 88 degrees, at 7am.  And Va Beach has no shade to speak of… it wasn’t my best day.  I barely scraped over the line in less than 3 hours.  F'ugly.

I must’ve wanted to get my money’s worth out of it or something.  Or maybe I was having SO MUCH FUN that I wanted it to last.  I, personally, think RnR events are notoriously over priced.

So, anyway, after that I swore off RnR events & Half Marathons in August.

My “no August Half’s” vow lasted less than 12 moths, to Patrick Henry Half 2009 in Ashland VA.

My “no RnR” vow is being broken this weekend.  I’m running Providence Rock n Roll Half Marathon in a few days.

I’m excited for a few reasons.

  1. If I totally suck, I can drop the phrase, “yeah, well, I just ran San Fran Half Marathon a week ago” into conversation at every turn.
  2. If I don’t totally suck, I can drop the phrase, “yeah, AND I just ran San Fran Half Marathon a week ago” into the conversation at every turn.
  3. If anything goes according to plan I will have fun running with H’s cousin Kev, & Kev’s friend Tim.  Kev has spent the week sending me e-mails about how epic I am, and how he doesn’t think he’ll be able to keep up…  Have I mentioned how much I love Cousin Kev?  Tim, Kev’s friend was in San Fran (, and thanks to my more than crazy outfit, Tim even called me out on the course!  I didn’t see him though, and ~ to be perfectly honest ~ I thought I was hallucinating when I heard my name.
  4. If I finish, I will be a Half Fanatic by completing 2 Half Marathons in a week.  

Today I hit the expo at the Providence Convention Center, which is about 45 minutes or so from my in-Laws house.  The expo was fairly empty, parking was a piece of cake, and everything was very well organized. 

I don’t usually shop, but I forgot my hand held water bottle when I packed for this trip, and knowing how crowded it might be at the race this weekend I determined that I should buy a new one.  And, given the “chafe versus bra” situation, I picked up some new body glide.   


(and then what happened?) 


the Vitalsox guys were really into hearing what I had to say about getting some CUTE striped or patterned compression knee socks…  They ARE coming out with orange this fall.  I told them I’d be in touch. 

I did buy 2 pairs of socks, and will review them as soon as possible.  So far, I’m in love.  The pink ones I picked up a pretty freaking cute.

Anyway, RnR Providence is Sunday (SUNDAY ~ ahem ~) and my bib# is 3437  if you care to stalk me…  and corral #3 if you find that you’re running this weekend.

Respect the Distance.
~savor the run~

Finally, on other topics, please drop me a line at nmomof3 at gmail dot com and let me know what marathon, half marathon, or fall race you’re signed up for as well as its date…  I have a tradition of “voting the winners off” Taper Island a few days before their race, and I’d hate to miss anyone!  (And you just never know when I’ll be inspired to write you a letter… which, in my opinion, are pretty epic).

Thursday, August 4, 2011


It's always a choice.  You can choose.

When life hands you lemons... you can make lemonade, or... squeeze one into a glass of Iced Tea and thank god you're a southern girl...

But sometimes I'm exhausted by all this choosing and lemon squeezing.  My hands are tired.  I want to put on a hat that says, "Cut me the Eff some slack people".  because ....

No matter how much I believe I can “DO” at once…
No matter how hard I try to be PERFECT…
No matter what I try to be for “Others”…
AND no matter how much I pretend that I am a freaking SUPER HERO…
Or even… ~epic~…

What usually ends up happening is that I become aware of something that skims the soul… an acid burn, it peels off a layer, and ….

I wake up.  human.



Which makes me something like “marginally competent” to perform the jobs & tasks that are laid out before me.

And flawed. 

I make tons of mistakes. 

Sometimes they’re the OK kind though. I misspeak more often than I speak.  I remember things wrong more often than I remember them.  I can laugh at these things as long as no one is harmed in the making of these mistakes.  And that includes animals…. And children… of both the small kind and adult kind….

I think it’s desperately important to do that, by the way.  If you can’t make fun of your own mistakes, well, you’re missing a great target.  A target who gets your humor and who will think your jokes are freaking hilarious.  (I mean seriously, I crack myself up all the time)

Sometimes my mistakes are a bit more ~ complicated…

Not the kind you laugh at…  I’m trying to learn from them though.  And I forgive.  I forgive myself as needed, and I forgive others for their mistakes.  Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much. ~ Oscar Wilde

Anyway, my soul is burned right now, I’d like to smear a little salve on it to take away the sting.  I wonder sometimes if.... no... wondering seems like a waste of time.

I wish I was a little better at the things I’m not good at, then I would be less imperfect, and more acceptable,… but then, don’t we all?

Anyway.  Wishing and Wondering are a waste of time.  The thing to do right now is to go back to…

To being ~epic~. 
To pretending I’m a FREAKING ~Super Hero~. 
To driving myself forward with unbroken purpose toward the goals of which I have set before me.
To remembering why I think MY goals are important.
To being human, and loving myself despite that...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I Left My Heart in...

San Francisco?

Yeah, pretty much it was so much better than I thought it would be… the city.
Yeah, pretty much it was so much worse than I thought it would be… the race.
Yeah, it was freaking EPIC… the company.

I can’t organize my thoughts!  I’m beyond exhausted.  I landed in VA and turned around less than 24 hours later to get to MA to run the Providence RI Half Marathon this Sunday….

In the Non-runners are clueless category:
~ “All runners eat cliff bars.”  Instead of food, right?
~ “I know a great place you can run.”  A bike path along side of the freeway wouldn’t be my first choice.
~ “Are you ready to get up?  It’s almost 3:30 a.m.”  If a runner sets their alarm before a race, trust me. it’s freaking SET.  And double checked.  And there’s probably a back up alarm in the room.  Which has also been double and triple checked.
~ the above was made that much more entertaining by the dinner conversation 14 hours later … non-runner says, “G, you looked really tired this morning.  Were you tired?”  No.  Getting up 40 minutes before the alarm had no impact on my tiredness.  At all.

pre-race ~ naive has never been so cute.  or bright.  (or, in my case, short)

In the It’s Not as Hilly as you Fear category:
~ Yeah, it freaking is… don’t imagine for a minute that race has any flat after the first 3 miles.
~ If you get behind your pace before mile 3, say, almost 2 minutes behind due to major congestion at the start… forget it.  Stop fighting for the goal and pull out the camera.  My ONE regret of the weekend was not recognizing that my race was over at mile 2.
~ FYI – the last 2 miles of that race are effing BRUTAL.  T summed it up as “soul crushing”.  Yup.  That’s what it was…
~ I still got a 4 minute PR, so it could have been worse.
~ The course was BEAUTIFUL.
~ I LOVED meeting Kim, she's adorable on SO MANY LEVELS.  
Kim & T
T's worshiping Kim's awesomeness... ~ ahem.

In the Don’t go to San Fran on a diet category:
~ I loved every bite of every bit of food I found in SF.
~ The Ferry Building only sells deliciousness.
~ If you go to SF and manage to get through the Ferry Building without trying a vegan donut, or homemade scone, or what was that thing called that we randomly walked by and HAD TO BUY? … you’ve wasted a trip, you can go ahead and un-friend me on FB now… because we have nothing in common.

In the We are SO MUCH COOLER than you COULD POSSIBLY KNOW category:
~ We ran into Bart Yasso on the street on Friday, and he recognized us.
~ The next morning, we went to the Lululemon shake out run, and ran into Bart again…  he and I had a really entertaining exchange pre-run.... and T's (and now my) friends apparently stood there going, "wait, she really is Bart Yasso's BFF?  Seriously?  That's not a joke?"
~ Apparently Bart must’ve enjoyed my company, because he ran with me for most of the 3 mile run, despite my pace variations that had me alternating between leading the pack & hanging with the crowd….  Who knew?
~ But the COOLEST thing is that T & I went to San Fran as a “couple”… and ended up having friends to hang out with on Saturday morning, friends to bond with over city driving, friends to hit the expo with… yeah, right?  We're like THAT.  Friends to run with on race day.  Friends to give high fives as we passed on the out and back at the bridge.  And after all that, it was not weird that we ended up having post race brunch with about 16 amazing women.  Right?  RIGHT?
Yeah, we arrived 3000 miles from home...  to discover we have a posse wherever we go.

In the Random Thoughts About San Fran category:
~ I didn’t leave my heart in San Francisco.  I did leave my 2XL Swamp Lager Beer sweatshirt though.  I decided the mojo in that sweatshirt might not be good.
~ I thought about my friend Lion about 20 times a day in San Fran...  not sure, well, I would guess I know why... but we'll pretend I'm not sure why...  Anyway, about the time I was thinking of her, yet again, we passed Lion Street.  After that, I embraced my loneliness for Lion.
~ I walked around for an entire day in San Fran wearing an inside out 2XL Swamp Lager Beer Sweatshirt … looking quite homeless … because I wasn’t wearing a bra…  i.e. I rode the cable car without a bra.  I walked around the Ferry Building without a bra.  I went to brunch with a bunch of women without.a.bra.  I am the kind of person who sleeps in a bra, and wears 2 to run in… but it’s just how it went down.  Not freeing though, as one might think.  Chaffing though.  I may have scars to remember my weekend by.
~ T & I raced in our TEAM SPARKLE SKIRTS TRAVELING SKIRTS!  WE LOOKED ADORABLE.  But… you know… in San Fran… Sparkle skirts & tall socks are almost  too tame…