Thursday, March 31, 2011

Three Things Thursday: Yoda edition

1)  "Much to learn you still have."...  every time I look at my blank April training schedule I have to consider how much I don't know.  It's a freaking. lot.  I have about 18 sources of training plans ~ at least 4 of which are human and GBA.  So while there's a part of me who wants to try this on my own, there's another part of me that knows better....  April is about building the base.

2)  "You will know... when you are calm, at peace, passive...."  I recently spectated the National Marathon.  After I sent the runners off to run their races, I had almost two hours to burn.  I went to my car, sat down, and pouted for a minute about my "lost marathon".  But I had Ethics to read, and thoughts to occupy me, a phone that communicates with e-mail ~ plenty to do for a student.  What I did however was read an excerpt from a book unrelated to Ethics class, and meditate on what I had read.

The passage I read was, essentially, about circumstances in our lives beyond our control, and how we choose to live through them.  As I sat in my beige mini-van I decided ~ "I have a choice.  I will choose to have the Best Day Ever."  And it was.  It didn't go to plan, but then, what does?  It had some rough spots, have you run a marathon?  I could only "do" so much for the girls who were running, as running is a solo sport, but I gave them everything I could.  I made the choice to have a great day, and I did.  I can choose my reaction and my attitude...

3) "No!  Do, or do not.  There is no try." ~ and I have to wonder, don't you think that if Luke had said, "Tri" and not "try", that Yoda would have had a different response?  Of course, maybe Yoda meant Du...   Either way, I'm TRI-ing in May, on my 35th Birthday, thanks to a totally GBA birthday gift from SpeeDee.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cycling as a Language

Whenever I go into The Bike Store, I always feel like I felt my entire trip to France.

I speak enough of the LANGUAGE to get by, I can communicate my immediate needs, but the nuances are just enough “off” that it’s VERY clear that I’m from the town of RUNNING and that CYCLING is not my first language.

Every time I cross the threshold the sales men attack me, salivating over the possible upsells they can add on… it’s probably because a few times I’ve gone in and truly just said, “Oh, do I need that?  Great, I’ll take it.  Do I need one of these too?  Ok then, I’ll take two of those…”

Well Today, I went in for ONE ITEM.  A true test of mental strength:  Going into The Bike Store for only one thing.

Yup.  I went right into that store.  Went for the item I needed.  Went to the register to pay.  And the sales guy immediately started in on, “Those aren’t the droids you’re looking for…”

Seriously dude?  This is exactly what I need.

“I use XYZ product.  It’s what the serious cyclists use.”

Whoops – wrong direction to take here fella, I’m not a serious cyclist…

“I think it’s best if you get This and That.”

I need to phone a friend... can I get a lifeline...?  This says it does both this and that, in one for half the cost.

“This is better, and it’s what the real cyclists use…”

hmm.  Really?  If this isn’t what the real cyclists use… why do you sell it?... (blank stare)… I used to be in sales… the proper response is, “Well, we have to sell it, for people who are just casual cyclists, but you said you have a road bike, so you’d probably appreciate a higher end product…”

“Do you want a job?  We’re hiring…”

And that my friends, is how you go into the bike store, to buy ONE item and leave with only ONE item and a job offer.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Survivor - National Marathon '11

An Explanation for Why the Hot Doc’s Rules Don’t Apply in Washington D.C.

National Marathon, 2011.

Friday = arrive, Expo = fun because we were in good company, Dinner = excellent, my morale = a few rough moments because I wasn’t running, Music = "Old School", beige mini-van = no ego, bed time = decent, and 4something am = wake up…

The Hotel had a shuttle.  We contemplated using it.  Glad we didn’t.  The shuttle was a complete fail.  As in- me to the pack of runners freaking out on the sidewalk, “We have 2 extra seats in the van… anyone want them?”  Meet John and his wife Jackie.  First time marathoner, and first time marathon spectator.  John was a red shirt.

The METRO didn’t open until 6am, thus pretty much every runner had to drive in…. that’s not an issue right?  I mean, it’s not like the city of Washington DC is tough to drive in on a given day...  50 minutes into our 5 mile drive the van emptied of Runners.

I managed to park, illegally in the grass, and sprint a half mile to start corral #7 to meet Jen, see IronJ & KC off to the Half, say Hi to Kty and give T her last instructions.  “There is no Parcheesi.  There is no wall.  I will see you around mile 13.”  Snap a few photos.  Race start.

I ran with them for ½ mile or so…. And walked back to my car to read.  Fortunately, I have a Kindle with a really good book in it for a non-running runner. 

I exited my car with a new sense of purpose and refocused vision, and wandered up to the Armory to find mile 13.  No mile markers to be found.  No idea what road is which on the postage stamp sized map in the program.  I ended up waiting “around” mile 14 because, I knew I couldn’t miss her at that point and I was afraid to move.   Met a woman named Tennessee from Brooklyn, we cheered for random people ~ GO BEARD GUY!  GO CRAZY PANTS DUDE!  HEY AMY & AMANDA, HAVE FUN OUT THERE!     

I connected with Lion  (an adorable HCB who gets major points for driving up to run in ShyA & SpeeDee) around now and we waited together for our respective Posse members. 

I picked up T for about 5 or so minutes at this point.  I know about what pace she was running, and “about” where she was on the pace band, but no way to truly know for sure or give update because there were no mile markers on the course.  No seriously.  There were also no H2O stops to be found either.

At this point I left T with the words, “I’ll see you at MILE 21”…  and jogged back (it’s a soft J) through the course.  Said HI to Cass’s Paul as he ran by me, and then I saw Lion with ShyA and SpeeDee 100 yards back.  SpeeDee (love you, but…you) looked terrible.   I was worried.  Very worried.  ShyA left her to run her own race, and then Lion & I left SpeeDee with the words, “Don’t’ worry, we’ll COME BACK FOR YOU”.

Lion and I were a little lost in the city.  Headed to Lion’s car to drop off SpeeDee’s stuff… and suddenly I looked at my watch and said, “we need to be ON the Metro by now… oh, S#it”.

We hoofed it to the Metro, bought our tickets, and I looked at the map.  From the M stop on the other side it was a short ½ mile walk to the course.  But I looked at Lion and said, “Here’s the thing.  We’re going to have to get oriented when we get up there… it’s going to be tight… if T’s running the fast pace, I might miss her…”.  We changed trains, rode to Anacostia (all while I'm thinking in my head the joke of the weekend was "let's not get accosted in Anacostia") and the station on the other side was definitely “rough” feeling.  No worries, I’m sure there’s someone from the race somewhere up there is my desperate hope as I’m riding (while jogging) up the escalator toward the daylight.

Lion and I were washed in a blast of sunshine as we stepped onto the street, and when our vision cleared we realized…  This was bad. 

Bad in the way Bruce Willis would use the word in a Die Hard movie back when he had some hair...  Bad the way Mel Gibson would use the word in a Lethal Weapon movie back when he had some morals… it was definitely the old school use of the word.

Remember that short ½ mile walk?  Well.  The underpass under the freeway was a no go, blocked due to construction.  We were going to have to run for it.  HD’s rules were temporarily going to have to be suspended.

Here we were.  2 white runners jogging through ghetto.

Female.  Cute.  Lost.  = A trifecta of badness.

You know what would make this story more interesting?  The part where the two or three guys thought we were worth chasing.  Insert 7:30 minute pace here.  Lion’s a sport, and didn’t even panic when I quietly said to her, “Fast runners back.”… insert 7:15 pace here.  Survivor = outlast.  I knew we couldn’t out sprint anyone, but thank you endurance training… crack smoking doesn’t apparently provide that benefit. 

Thank GOD (I mean that too) for the street side sermon going on and the nice preacher who waved us down and said, “You girls looking for something?”

“We need XYZ Street,” I gasped.

“OK.  You see where that car turned there?” uh huh we nod, “You all turn there and follow it to the end…. And. don’t. stop.  OK?”  uh huh we nod. 

And the tempo pace continues as I’m now racing the clock to TMB’s pace band.  IF T’s on pace, I’ve missed her.  How will I know?  Poor Lion had to listen to me freak out a little.  She’s a trooper.  Because I know if I’d missed T there was no way I would know.  We arrived on the course and walked backwards to the H2O stop to fill our bottles and recover.  We’re scanning the crowds for anyone we knew…. And there she was… I breathed.  I had missed her at mile 21.  I never would have forgiven myself for missing her at mile 22.5 (which is where I ultimately picked her up). 

I hopped into the course and started running with T.  She looked really good.  My prepared statement of “suckage” wasn’t relevant.  Instead I tried to think of anything I could to cheer her or occupy her thoughts.  I really should have prepared SOMETHING… and....

THIS part is T’s STORY.  Go read it if you want… but it's hers to tell.  

Mile 26.X ~ I hopped off the course as she entered the chute and sprinted to try to catch a photo.  I couldn’t get close enough.  I then pushed my way through the crowds to meet her at the food tent.  As we walked through the line I realized, oh yea, I haven’t eaten in HOURS.  I wolfed down a bagel.  Took some photos.  And when I felt recovered, I texted LION.
“ShyA is in.  I can’t find SPEEDEE” is her reply.  I sent the posse to the car, spent a few minutes looking for ShyA, and when I didn’t find her, I started backward through the course.

And this is where I learned a lot about marathoning, coaching, and being a general GALACATIC BADASS.  Inspired by Pam at Thirty S....

I saw a girl really struggling.  I called out her name off her bib… she looked confused and hopeless, and so... I hopped on the course to run with her for a minute… “Hey,” I said, “Do you hear the sound that’s like a dull roar?”… “Yes…” she nods…  “THAT is the sound of YOUR VICTORY.  The finish is right there… you can practically see it.  Go get it.”  Her face lit up, she smiled and thanked me… and picked it up.  I turned around…

…and continued to jog back looking for Dee.

A beautiful girl with a long black ponytail said on a gasp of pain, “Am I close?” and I hopped out on the course with her and said, “you’re right here, see, look at that turn?  The finish is right after that turn.  You can do anything for two minutes right?”  “...but I hurt so bad she cries…” and I said, “Well then, I think you better just run it in so it’s done sooner...” and I picked up my pace, and she matched me while saying "Thank you for running me in...", and I cheered LOUDLY, "GO GET IT!" as she left me to head for her marathon finish.  I turned around…

…and continued to jog back looking for Dee.
HCBs:  Lion, ShyA and SpeeDee  
In the meantime I shouted every BIB name I could READ, cheering loudly… "GO BEARD GUY!"  “Hey red shirt – run hard!” I shouted.  I stopped jogging on the bridge and stood.  I knew my mileage was kind of high for the fankle.  Things hadn’t gone to plan.  But I told SpeeDee I would come back for her.  So that’s what I was doing.  And there, down the bridge was a white spec with tall socks… and somehow I knew it was her… so I picked up a jog, and ran to her and Lion waving and dancing wildly.  Lion and I ran her to within a half mile of the finish, and I hopped off and walked so SpeeDee could finish her race.  We bumped into two Smiling HCB J’s said "Hi", and then went on to find SpeeDee and ShyA in the masses.  I stopped to send a few text updates and then walked the HCB’s back to the car, taking random photos of their victory.

Over all, it was a good day.  Half Marathoners were pleased.  T got a XX minute PR.  ShyA came within minutes of a goal time and got a HUGE PR.  SpeeDee finished in the way she wanted, goal achieved.  Lion and I bonded and survived to tell the tale.  My coaching debut was over...

And yes, it was a good day.  I think I learned more about running while I was spectating/"coaching" at National marathon than I have ever learned running a marathon. 

Final thoughts?  This was the first and last Team GBA outing to this race as far as I’m concerned…  National Marathon is too large to be that disorganized.  There are too many OTHER spring marathons in the WORLD to make this a repeat event.  Skip National and do Shamrock instead... or even better?  Come run the Monument Ave 10K for your spring race, and run Richmond in the fall. 

OH, and reflecting back on the HD’s rules... I ultimately only ran about 9.5 miles, not the 12.5 I thought... and most of those miles were run between a 9:30 and 10 minute pace.... 

Thursday, March 24, 2011


If you all remember, I have a joke about Tapering Marathoners.  They all. go. crazy.

The phone conversations and e-mails this week have demonstrated that TAPER MADNESS can strike even the most seasoned marathoner....  but that's not something I'm going to elaborate on...



SPEEDEE - you will KICK A** and I WILL BE THERE FOR YOU this time.

ShyA - I'm glad I've gotten to know you in the last few weeks, you're STRONGER THAN YOU THINK.  Believe in your own greatness.

TMB - KNOW YOUR PLAN and RUN your plan.  TRUST YOURSELF the way I trust you.  STAY IN THE MOMENT as though I was there with you.  THERE IS NO BANK do not try to create one on race day.  And remember, no matter how it goes down, DO NOT TACKLE THE RED SHIRTS.

Half Marathoners:

IRON J -  I'm so excited!!!  I know you're going to ROCK!  It's been so fun watching you come back to running.  You inspire me more than you could POSSIBLY KNOW...

Kc - Sending HAPPY VIBES TO THE ANKLE.  May the force be with you.  The sub 2 is SO YOURS, relax and ENJOY IT!


MCM - Dude, if there's a person out there who makes this look more laid back and FUN, I don't know who that person is...

a little shout out to Katie ~ I'm sorry for your loss, I'm sad you won't be there.  I know you would have rocked it, and I know there is a reason this has happened.  Thinking of you on Saturday, and know that you will GET YOUR MARATHON when the time is right.



Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I'm the first person to admit, I am married to my technology.

I am never without my DROID....

I use my MACBOOK PRO daily...hourly....

I have a Kindle, because books take up a lot of space....

I love my GARMIN in a way that is definitely bordering on obsessive....

But I don't watch TV, I broke up with, and above all else, I don't run on dreadmills unless there is some desperate reason.... like...  I'm having a hard time thinking of a good reason... oh, black ice.  Black ice is a good reason to run on a dreadmill.  Other good reasons include not leaving your children home alone.  But to go to a gym suggests the kids are grown or supervised ~ so, why get up, and go to a gym to do something that can be done on your own street?

Today, I broke my own 'rule' though.  I needed to check something out with my running form.  This required running in front of a mirror.  I don't have a dreadmill, and if I did, it probably wouldn't be accompanied by a floor to ceiling mirror anyway.  So, I hit the Y at 5:04am.  There is one PERFECT dreadmill that lines up with the free weight mirror, and I figured getting to the gym when it first opened would ensure I could grab THAT ONE.

Yea.  I was 4 minutes late.  It was occupied by a woman running quite fast, gripping the front of the treadmill firmly with both hands.  She looked very uncomfortable.

2nd choice dreadmill wasn't terrible in the mirror department.  I couldn't see foot strike, but I could see head/neck/shoulder and knees, so, I went ahead with dreadmill/mirror plan.

It's mind numbing to me though, that anyone would choose to run on a dreadmill at a gym at that time of day, when the neighborhood where the Y is located is well lit, tree lined, side-walked and... did I mention well lit?  The weather today was perfect for running, cool, crisp, sweet spring air....  it was a near miss, I really almost blew off my mirrored dreadmill outing.

Everyday, after my hard core swim, I walk past the people on the dreadmills (PODs) to go run outside.  The PODs are all miserable looking.  Grimacing, hanging on for dear life, POUNDING out the miles while watching Fox News, CNN and CNBC.  These people are abusing their run.

A run should be savored or nurtured...  not endured or suffered through.

As I was running on the 'mill next to a very large male with a foot strike that can be heard around the world I was focusing on my head movement, my foot strike, my "rpm's" (steps per minute), my arm swing.  I was unable to let my mind "go".  That's not to say I'm not concentrating on all these things when I run outside, I just think that there's a falsified intensity gleaned from running while staring at your own face that prevents freedom of mind.  Sure, I wasted no time deciding on a route that would loop me back in the 3 miles I needed.  True, there was no need to slow my pace when I approached an intersection.  Absolutely, in no way did I have to work to 'control' my pace to The HD's specifications.

Just as sure though, the air wasn't as sweet or cool, the pace wasn't naturally flowing, and the run wasn't as free.

I really just want to stage an intervention.  I want to go up to all these people and say, UNPLUG yourselves and go OUTSIDE!  The air is beautiful and clean, the roads here have very few cars on them, the street lamps provide enough light to run by, and the news is not worth watching.  Your day will be BETTER if you disconnect and unplug for a few miles before your day, I promise.

But as Plato says ~ these people are not ready to see the light.

~savor the run~

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Revised GBA recovery to run non-plan plan... eh?

So, unless you've missed it, I'm running again.  It's nice.  To be honest, it's more than nice.  I'm still in the honeymoon phase with RUN, where we're both blissfully happy, and no one is sweating the small stuff... actually, because of the Hot Doc's rules, no one is really sweating much at all...

Anyway, I decided I better go take a look at my recovery plan, see where it stood, take a look at where the miles are going to fit in, etc and so forth.  My goal is to run 3 days a week for a few weeks, and add a 4th day when the milage gets too high to "fit it in" before 6:30am... and to do it all in a non-neurotic way without a real "training plan" to fret over....

(ha ha ~ have we met?  Yea, $2 that there's a plan created, posted and revised by Thursday evening)

... other goals include not spraining ankle, not making fool of self on gym dreadmill, not re-injuring ankle, not injuring new part, avoiding soft tissue damage, completing all PT exercises as prescribed, and building back to the point where a 6 mile run is "easy" no matter how hard I run it....

This means all my runs are sort of the same distance.  I don't really have a "long run" on my schedule.  It's weird.  Who only works out for an hour on a Saturday/Sunday?  Oh, wait, I mean, I don't really have a long run on my 'non-schedule'... because it's not really a schedule, it's really a plan... er, wait...

Anyway.  What's really going on here at Chez Moi?

A lot of swim/run, run/bike doubles to balance out the "not quite enough time with my RUN".

Oh, and a funny thing about April's "not my problem right now" schedule... well, when RUN returned to me early, suddenly, April took on a whole new look... but that's 2 weeks away, and I'm not rushing into anything.

~savor the run~

Friday, March 18, 2011

Runners are weird

Runners are weird.

Take 5 or 6 runners out of their running clothes and ask them to volunteer at a 5K, and what you're going to get is a half crazed group of socially awkward individuals.

And knowing this, I still gave up my morning a week ago to help run the finish line at a 5K right here in town.  Ultimately my job was to write 3 digit numbers down 400 times in 35 minutes... on your mark, get set...  It was fun.  A British Guy and I had a good time mocking ourselves, talking about tea, and writing 400 3 digit numbers down in 35 minutes.

So. Why am I continuing this post, since we've established a level of "fun"?

Here's the thing.  YES...  I had a really good time.  A really good time.  I would totally do it again.

 But the reason I had fun had pretty much NOTHING to do with the group of half crazed socially awkward runners.  Sorry guys.  You kind of sucked.

Here's the thing.  There's a group of runners in our local Road Runners Club who volunteer ALL THE TIME.  They are the bread and butter and martyrs of the club.  Without them, the club would not function the way it does.  No way.  It just wouldn't happen.  I get that.  Absolutely.  However, I have put in my time this year, and I have handed most of those people a bib number and T-shirt at packet pickup recently, I certainly don't expect to get treated the way I was treated upon arrival last weekend.  Oh, did I say martyrs?

I arrived and introduced myself to the Guy in Charge.  He was pretty nice.  Name withheld to protect the Nice.

I signed in, was told we had nothing to do for a solid 15-20 minutes, so I went to say "Hi" to a friend.  Name with held to protect the Cool.

I then saw after a few minutes of chit-chat that I was disrupting the usual flow of Nice and Cool, and decided the smart/polite/stupid thing to do was leave the comfort of my pal, and go join the non-running runner volunteers.  I actually know two by sight from around town, and figured I speak the language RUN, I could pull this off.

I mean, HEY ~ What could happen?

Well.  Apparently without my skirt/socks/pigtails, I'm COMPLETELY unrecognizable and look stupid.  Because when I joined the half circle of conversation, one guy, who Isn'tcool got in my face... about 4 inches from my face... and said, "ARE YOU ONE OF US?!?!"

Never in my life have I so had the desire to say, "Nope, lost my way there for a minute....clearly I do not belong.  I'll just head on out now... got shuffleboard team tryouts today..."

But is that what I did?  No.

See above note about stupidity.

Instead I smiled and said, "Well, YES.  I'm here to help."

Isn'tcool says, (and this is a direct quote, burned into my brain for the rest of my life) "OH.  Well." awkward pause,  "You're wearing a lot of pink."

I'm wearing... WTF...  did he just... no... seriously?

In my head I'm thinking ~ I showered ~ I'm not a completely unfortunate looking female ~ Do I have spinach in my teeth? ~ Am I dumb looking in pink? ~ Do I clash? ~ Would this man even know if I clashed? ~ Are my headlights on? ~ Is this like wild kingdom where the pack senses an injury and cuts the injured runner out of the group to be eaten by lions? ~ Are there lions?

Because with the words, "...a lot of pink" still hanging in the air, the martyr'd volunteers, busy talking about how they are the only "ones who do anything for the club", actually moved a few feet away from me, leaving me alone, so they could talk amongst themselves.  So, with that, I learned why the club is having trouble getting volunteers out to the races.

I also learned that I'm apparently uncool.  Epically so.

The next time I volunteer, perhaps I'll put that in as my middle name... "g. uncool finn"...  hey, whatever, it works.  Oh, and if you're there, scanning the crowd for uncoolness, I'll be the one who's dressed from top to bottom, in a f*cking lot of pink.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Coach ~

So next weekend I'll be taking T & SpeeDee up to DC to run the National Marathon.  I'm literally taking them, since we're planning on driving the "beige minivan".  I also plan to save all my run for the day, wait on the course, and run/coach T in... and go back for SpeeDee if I'm OK to do so... and run/coach her in.

I think this is interesting for one major reason.  I'm not the coach here.

SpeeDee is not just a coach, she is one of the coaches for a PINK power force here in the Richmond area, Sportsbackers MTT team PINK NATION.

T has been "my" coach for a long time.  Heck, she was my coach before she was a coach.  And when I ran my GBA marathon last November, T was waiting for me at mile 22.  It was probably one of the best moments in my running life.  There were a lot of things that day that were "the best moments", and T definitely had her hand in pretty much all of them.  Like "Remember that time..." when TMB completely refocused all my energy on the finish line when I still had an entire mile left to run?  I just hope that I can be half the coach she was for me at mile 22 of the marathon next weekend.

~shiver~ these are big shoes to fill.

To be honest, I am not sure what I am going to be able to offer either of these GBA women on race day, but for the day, it will be my job to spectate, cheer, carry stuff, and heck-fire-and-shoot ~ if coaching is needed, then that's what I'm going to strive to do.

Just call me "GBAg, Temporary Coach of GBA Team Red Sox Nation".

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Run

I am musing off of someone else's blog today...  Forgive me friend, for my thieving ...  

Recently, I read something that haunted me for days... 
it was not intended to haunt, but never the less, it did:  

"If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was..."  PoQ  

When I got up Monday, I really didn't know what the day was going to hold as far as "a run" was concerned.  I had jogged out a mile after Sunday's ride, so I knew there was a chance I would have to skip the Monday run, depending on how the fankle was acting.  Adding to the pain question was that The Witch Dr and I had worked Fankle over pretty hard before the cycle outing (that's why it's important to travel with your own Witch Dr, people), and I knew it might be sore.

I hit the pool at 5something in the morning for a GBA swim...  and while I don't know that I looked EPIC in the pool,  I can tell you that I FELT galactic for the entire mile.  My fastest swim mile to date, <28min.

Afterward the fankle felt loose and light.

So once I dropped B'nut off at Preschool, I blew off all my obligations for the morning and went for a "jog".   (Mel, I'm not sure, but I think it's a soft "j")

There are Hot Doc rules.  HD says I can run.  HD says that there are Pace Rules.  Milage Rules.  Ice Rules.  Rules.  Some Rules that make. no. sense.

But I try to respect the nature of the Rules, even if I'm not going to exactly follow them.

When I jogged out to the end of my driveway, I pulled my sleeve over my watch, and decided to just. run. easy.

I was lightly running, with a strong core.  (been doing random "drills" for a few days now, and already can feel the difference in my running posture).  I ran easy, around the long loop of my 'hood, over a bridge, under a tunnel, alongside a lake inhabited by geese, and back to my house.  3 miles, in close to 30 minutes.  Normally, I would run this route ~a bit~ faster.

I initially thought I would resent the forced pace.

But those rules made me do something I might not normally do.

I listened to my breath.
I tasted the morning.
I smelled the sunshine.
I felt my soles.
I filled my soul with the run I have been craving.

And I made sure that I savored this run ~ in honor of the injured many, and out of respect for my run.

Today I either cross or rest, and that's going to be fine.  My run is waiting for me on Wednesday, and waiting until then will make me appreciate it that much more.

My run has come back to me.

~Savor the run.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Why I Married My Husband

The warning:  this blog post is So FAR beyond TMI, it's NOT. EVEN. FUNNY.  So if you're going to be embarrassed, just skip it.  But, if you know me, and my H, then you'll have to appreciate just how totally GBA the whole conversation was... really.

The scene ~ 
dinner in suburbia, a kitchen table, with a table cloth, 
real plates, 3 cups of milk, 2 adult beverages.... and a family of 5.

Topic of conversation ~ 
Goldfish Crackers.

G (son of 8 years) - did you know they make chocolate Goldfish?  

C (daughter of 11 years) - Can we get some?

H (husband of 13 years) - kind of defeats the purpose G, I thought GOLDfish were supposed to be cheesy?

G - No, these are chocolate though.

Me - Well, Cheese and Chocolate, they go together like... like...  (in my head I'm thinking of things that don't go together, like "chocolate and orange juice", but before I can get the words out ...)

H - like K & Y.

my. mouth. drops.  AND I CRACKED UP.  Full belly laughing, H & I are DYING while we try to put ourselves back together.

G - WHAT?!?!

C- Wait!  What is KY mom?

Me (through the tears of mirth) - H?  Would you like to field that one?

H (without missing a beat) - Kentucky.

And it looked for a minute there like we were becoming SO boring.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

West Creek Story

When you’re GBA
You’re Galactic all the way,
from your first pair of Brooks,
to your best runnin’ day!

You’re never alone,
You’re never disconnected!
You’re home with your own;
When HCB’s expected,
you’re well connected!
HCB’s met the GBA**’s at West Creek today...
and despite the fact that we’re two running groups, we all showed up with bikes.
BadA** bikes.
The Witch Dr showed up too, to surrepticiously check out everyone’s bike fit ... but I think he just wanted to see if it was true ~ that the GBA**’s have taken to wheels.  (and thanks to him, my bike fit is MUCH improved!)
And while he was there the Witch Dr mused... could this be the next great musical?  
West Creek Story?  With the HCB’s and GBA**’s... and HCB Dee & GBA** G have been spending so much time together... one might hypothesize that we are in love.
And it’s true.  
We are in love.

With our TREKs!
...which brings me to the next song...
I feel pretty
Oh so pretty
I feel pretty and pretty GBA!
And I pity
Any girl (or Dave) who isn't riding with us today

I feel stunning,
And entrancing,
Feel like running and riding, don’t you?
For we’re in ~
with a galactic bada** crew!

Earth Mama Mer, Kc and g!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

An Apology to 6:30am

Dear 6:30am,

I know we were supposed to go out running this morning, and I'm sorry I stood you up.  I hope you didn't have anything special planned for us, and that I have not inconvenienced you in anyway.

See, when 4am woke me up today, I was so excited that I couldn't go back to sleep.  After laying in bed watching the clock count down, I figured that you & I had been cool for years, and that you would understand why I went out with 6:10am instead.

By the way, yea, the run, was really nice... we're definitely going to see each other again.  Soon.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday's NEWS


guess which blogger just got the WORD that she can return to running pretty much... well... NOW!!!!!!!!!

Yea, that would be me!

Lots of guidelines, lots of rules, lots of Drama, Llama Llama... but I am STILL so FREAKING THRILLED!!!!!!

I wonder if I can fit in a two mile jog after H gets home....

Another Shared Link

The National Debt, A National Disgrace

This is not my usual stuff, but this is something that everyone should at least TRY to understand.  Read it with a critical eye and try not to get caught up in the "party" stuff, because the person who wrote it is one of the more non-partisen individuals I've ever encountered.

Thursday, March 10, 2011



On Sunday, I was swimming at the community center with my 70something year old speedo wearing companions when it happened.

My sensible black Speedo, which has been fighting the good fight with the Twins for a while now, lost a key battle.

Not really a big deal, until you go back to the first line of this where I mention the 70something year old swimming companions.  I don't actually know them, they're just the same 3 guys who are in the pool when I get there every week.  And the one guy I like to call 76 year old Speedo guy always gets out and "hangs out" flirting with the 60something year old lifeguard while I finish my swim.  He does it every week.  It's, ah, quite a view from the pool, I'll say that.  I mentioned the Speedo right?

So as I was finishing a kind of hard set, the front of my suit scooped some water or something, and when I stood up to grab a drink, the suit... didn't stand up with me.  Yea, I'm pretty sure I totally flashed 76 year old Speedo guy.

I can't be sure how much he saw, but there were some signs that he saw something.

His eyes got pretty huge, and he blinked.  Hard.  Twice.

It was dicey there for a moment.

I thought there was a chance the Life Guard was going to have to perform some kind of CPR or something.

In the mean time... I just started the next set, I mean, there was no need to worry about it, he seemed to be in good hands.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bone SCAN & the Art of Flirting

I'm shameless.

I'm sorry, and I humbly repent...

So, bone scan was Tuesday, as you all know.  Well it's a real process, you go, you get injected, you hang out and get some images... and then you go back a few hours later, get some more images.

Well, let me introduce you to my new BFF, Former Navy Guy Nuclear Medicine Tech "S".  45ish, average, nice guy.  I like nice guys.  Seriously, sometimes the guys who aren't THE BEST looking are far more interesting to talk with than the hotties because they've spent some time developing their personalities.  And I was right.  He was fun to hang out with for a few hours.

We met, filled out some forms, checked some boxes...

He mocked my running.

I mocked my own running.

This made him laugh.

After this, I TOTALLY had his 'number'.  I knew exactly what to say to get a smile, a chuckle, a laugh.  My Bro's in Iraq with the Navy.  Well, Tech Guy S was in the Navy.  So, we talked Navy.  Oh, they were both sub guys.. sweet!  We talked Subs.  Next thing we know we're talking Tidewater, Groton, PT, Swimming, and you know, I don't think I'm ALL that and a cup of tea in a plain black T-shirt and baggy Jeans, but by the end of our time together, S and I were pretty tight and...

I think it's fair to say he was eating out of my hand.

Maybe he just likes brunettes?

So after the 2nd set of images, which looked pretty good to my untrained eye, S says, "Hang on a sec... I'm going to run these back to the Radiologist and see if he'll look at them for you... got it?"

UH, yea, I hear you.

Five or so minutes later he comes back to me and says, "Hey, you're ALL set to go..." and then he whispers, "Radiologist says bone scans are clean!!!"

SaWEET!  (an actual quote, what can I say, I'm not that articulate in the the moment)


HA ~ I'm validated ~ this was NOT an overuse injury!!!  I just TOOK A BAD STEP!

What does this mean?

Nope, I have NO CLUE what it means.

Right now, until I get the word from The Hot Doc, it means, well, not much.  I am hopeful that the two weeks off of impact activities has healed anything that was going on in there and I can EASE back in to heroin use in general running.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Unsolicited Advice for the First Time Marathoner (4)

So, it's the week of The First 20 Miler of your Training Plan.  No worries right?  You ran 18 last week, and you're cool as a cucumber.

Wait, you're NOT cool as a cucumber?  Well why the heck not?  It's only 20 miles...

Obviously, no one in their right mind uses the word "only" in front of "20 miles".  I'm all about the idea that you need to Respect The Distance, and your first 20 is actually the hardest thing you will ever do marathon training.  Much harder than a marathon, I promise.

So here's what I want to mention today.... no matter how the 20 miler goes (or if it was last weekend, no matter how it went), it doesn't make a lick of difference on race day, as long as you completed the 20 miles (or darned near....).

Maybe it was, or will be, the greatest running moment in your life and you finished with a smile on your face, your hands in the air and a spring in your step.  Congratulations, you are in the 1% of the population who has had that experience.  Go pat yourself on the back, take an ice bath and skip the rest of this blog post.

Or, maybe it will be like my first 20 miler.  Here, let me take you back.  It's October, in Central VA.  This could mean 30 degrees with icy patches, or it could mean mid 80's with high humidity.  lucky me, after a two week cool down, my first 20 was on that 80 degree day.  I was carrying water, I had a route planned, and I was with my exit buddy.  We were together and this was like, totally, going to be IT.  We were prepared, and had had a fantastic 18 miler the week prior.... flash forward 3 hours to us shuffling along side a road, nearly out of liquids, sun blazing down on our salt crusted bodies.  I seriously considered laying down in the dirt and taking a dirt nap before finishing the run.  It was the hardest thing I have ever done.  Every fifty meters or so, my feet would slow their shuffle until I was walking.... walk for a minute.... drink... a few drops because I was going to run out on the next sip... pick it up, "run" for a bit.... feel my feet slowing... damn, I'm walking again.  And the cycle repeated until I stumbled blindly to the end of the 20 miles, wishing that I was dead and convinced that if my life depended on running another 10K that I. would. never. make it.

I was ready to walk away from 2.5 months of marathon training because I would NEVER make it.

Only guess what happened next?

I had a stellar run on my drop back week.  I mean, like the easiest twelve miles EVER.  And I started to wonder where I had "gone wrong" in my 20.  I examined my food diary, and nixed the previous day's menu from my diet.  I considered my sleep habits, and went to bed early for a week.  I fueled my body with H2O.  And I called on every runner I knew to see if they would take a "leg" of my 20 mile run so that me & T would have company.  I also came to understand that I finished my first 20 because I made myself do it.

When the next 20 came around, I was a nervous wreck, and, of all things, I was running a low grade fever.  Still, I sucked it up and started the run.  It was hairy, oh sure.  It had a few touchy moments (like remember when T lost her panties on Gayton Road?), but...  at mile 20 we were a half mile from the start point, and I had no intention or reason to stop and walk.  I was mentally able to push to the finish.

My first 2 twenty milers were the two hardest runs in my life.

My first marathon was not defined by either of those 20 mile runs.  On race day I brought a valuable lesson to the start line.  I had learned on those 20's to understand the difference between wanting to lay down in the dirt on the side of the road, and having to lay down in the dirt on the side of the road.

And they are Two. Different. Things.

(by the way, that "low grade fever"?  Turned out to be Swine Flu.)  

got an idea?  got something you're dying to know?  got a TMI issue you don't know how to answer? please leave it in a comment.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Danger Will Robinson

I'm in a bad spot here folks.

I woke up this morning and realized...  I don't really remember my leg hurting in the last 24 hours... for that matter, I don't really remember my leg hurting at all.

Why am I putting that boot on again?  Why am I not running?

I feel fine, honestly, I think I dreamed the whole "injury" thing...  it probably never really hurt that much at all...  I was probably just being a wuss.  I don't really need a bone scan or any other tests...

I think I'll just go for a run during preschool and check it out....

~ no. I know, I know, "logical thinker first" ~

Sunday, March 6, 2011

warning labels

OK, I don't have time to write my own post today... and probably don't tomorrow either.  (lame, I know), so I thought I would share something I read... no, what I want to share is something I watched.  There's a video linked in Q's blog this week that will make you want to take your boot shoes off and run, or jump...

I don't have time to extract the video, and dig up a snappy quote, and give credit to Q for his PoQ, and give credit to the guy who's video we're watching, because, well, school is kicking my butt... so instead I'm just going to link you... 

Wait, actually, snappy quote found ~ Q's opening line of "This blogging s#*t is hard.  I have no chance of coming up with interesting words on a regular basis..." is probably pretty on target with the way most of us feel at one time of another out here in blog-land.  

Take me... today, for example...

Anyway, be warned injured runners, the video in this blog post deserves a Golden Moo "hot coffee" type warning label...  

Caution:  Contents of this blog may cause you to want to run.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Drama Club

I never watched Dawson's Creek when it aired originally.  I was a little too ... you know I was going to say "old", but I think probably "jaded" might be a better word.

However, when my oldest child was born in New England, in January, and Dawson's Creek was in syndication airing 3 episodes a day from 10am to 1pm... well, I picked up watching it and was able to see the entire series in a relatively short period of time.  By the way, I never really was satisfied with how it ended.  Why not just give the people what they wanted?

SO anyway, we have this place here in the local area where the real cyclists go to ride called W. Creek.  And every time I think about going out there to ride, I envision the Drama of the naive girl who moves to a new town.

in this case:
me= naive girl
new town= sport of cycling
drama= my complete and total lack of cycling etiquette knowledge.
additional players= "real" cyclists who know what they're doing and go fast.
supporting cast= Kc and her bada** white road bike (insert name here).

I felt I was getting in a little over my head, so I spent a few hours this morning doing a little research.  Isn't that how everyone spends their Saturday mornings?  Recently, for no reason at all, I was accused of being obsessed... (shrug)... I don't see reading for 2 hours about proper bike technique as obsession.  I see that as education.

So after my self assigned reading was complete, OC and I hit the Creek.

I was only a little nervous.  But as I said, Kc and (insert name here), came out to ride with me.  So, we were clueless together.

By the way Kc's bike needs a name.  Jen, aka bike naming GURU of Setting You Free has suggested a few GBA** sounding names, but feel free to chime in.  Kc is fiery, her bike is cool.  I'm 100% certain that this can be put together to make a White Hot name.

As I was saying, Clueless ~ another show I never watched.  But I did see the movie, and now that I think of it, yea, Kc and I definitely giggle enough to qualify...

Anyway, we had a great time.  Lots of giggling, lots of downhills, & what goes down, must go up... and yes, it was fun.  But (isn't there always a but?) the thing that was frustrating for me is that I'm...


as GBA as my bike.  My bike is awesome and I know she has SO much in her.  I can feel the potential each time I put my hands on the bike.  Do not make fun of me, put your hands on my bike if you doubt me and see for yourself...

There's something I'm missing.  Some thing.  I can see it in the riders on the other side of the road.  I can feel it in my ride.  My cadence.  My position.  Each time I see a bike pass me I know there's some secret I'm missing.  I cannot feel, think and breathe with my bike yet, and, there was a time, once upon a time 20 years ago, when I could do that...  

I'm admittedly looking forward to getting out and practicing with OC again to see if I can master this, at the same time I'm dreading the sensation of "sucking at cycling".

Friday, March 4, 2011

REVISED gba training plan

Some of you may remember that I had a GBA coach create a GBA training plan for me?  Well, it obviously became obsolete when my Hot Doc reduced my milage to 4 miles at a time, and then sadly, Tibia & Fankle combined forces to shut down my running all together.

So I spent a bit of time (8 days) whining, and eating chocolate, and drinking beer (which is funny because I'm not much of a drinker), and skipping swim workouts and sneaking out at 5am riding my bike in the early mornings.

Eight days, 4 pounds, and one slap across the face later, I am here, with a new custom GBA plan created by me.  I tried to stay true to the gba qualities that made the last plan so.. well, gba.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pity Party OVER

Please do not take this the wrong way....  But the time for pity party has ended and it's time to pack up and go.

I'll wash and return all the dishes early next week.  Don't worry about helping to clean up, I'm good.  If your keys are in the "bowl" because you've had too much fun and cannot drive, please call a cab.

This party has ended.  It's a new day.  And starting now, we're going clean and sober.

well.... clean and mostly sober, I have new hobbies to consider here.

Last night I was WHINING to a friend and I got a verbal slap across my face.

Not the "awe, it's all good" I was expecting.

No, she said, "No.  I do not accept that statement.  That's an excuse.  You are a marathoner.  You CAN do whatever you WANT to do and DO IT WELL, so don't give me the I can't EXCUSE."

Damn.  That stung.

But Yeah, I needed that wake up.

So starting today, it's a new day.  The recovery training plan is "UNDER CONSTRUCTION".  I assure you, NO WHERE on that training plan will it say, "WHINE about your missing RUN."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Top 10 Reasons "Not Running" isn't a BFD

10 ~ Found the time, finally, to organize the music in my iTunes Library... you know how it gets... music flying all over the place, finger prints where they don't belong, the wrong disk in the wrong case... just a freakin'. mess.

 9 ~ I'm learning all kinds of new vocabulary from various sources, and practicing using it in my day to day conversations.  I'm not going to front though, it's hard to do sometimes with a straight face.

 8 ~ Getting caught up on all that pesky supplemental reading I've been meaning to get to... priceless.  My eye is twitching...

 7 ~ Ethics papers are much easier to write when your self discipline is being tested.

 6 ~ I've gotten in touch with my inner angry rapper ...  Eminem, " just means so much more to so much more when you're rappin' and you know what for ..."

 5 ~ You know that movie 28 Days, where Sandra Bullock goes to Rehab and has that really steamy kiss with Viggo on the couch?  Ah, yeah... I haven't watched in a while either...

 4 ~ Did I mention my really sweet RIDE?  Yea, well, it is freaking GALACTIC and I truly do love it.

 3 ~ Some of my favorite people aren't running right now, I'm thinking of forming a competitive shuffleboard team... the uniforms are going to be the best part.  Try outs are this week.

 2 ~ The BOOT is like, wicked hot.  No, I mean, hot hot, not HOTT, and I'm not having to keep the heat turned up as high.  Saving money for running shoes....

 1 ~ I'm experiencing NO negative side effects from the sudden drop in endorphins at all.  I'm really not sure why my husband moved to a hotel for the week, I think the IGOR like clomping from my boot was disturbing him or something....