Friday, July 29, 2011

Half Dedicated

I had started a dedication….  13.1 miles of cheerful silly dedication for my posse, my peeps, my coach, my friends…

You know the drill, every mile, I run for someone.  Usually this person has run a bunch of miles with me listening to my inane chatter.  Often this person has suffered through 200 page e-mails of nonsense.  I vow not to walk in their mile.  I vow to think of them.  I vow...   But this weekend, as fun as it is setting up to be, isn't all fun and games… and I’d like to run for a few people I’ve never met.  

Mile 1 – is for my kids, they’re fabulous, even when they’re driving me nuts.  They support me, encourage me, and comfort me when I need it.  Love you all, even when you’re talking back.

Mile 2 – is for my Aunt Ann.  Her Birthday would have been this week, but we lost her too young to cancer.  She was lovely, and beautiful, and full of a grace that I wish I possessed.

Mile 3 – is for my Mother & Sister.  I’m the luckiest woman in the world to have strong women like you in my life.  Between us we make quite the trio.

Mile 4 – is for my Dad.  I want to savor every day.

Mile 5 – is for my Posse.  I couldn’t do half of what I do without your support.  You GBAs are better than I ever could have wished for… and more than I deserve.

Mile 6 – is for my Grandmother.  She’s feisty and strong, and when people say I look and act like her, I am flattered… if only I could be as great as she is… even at 90.

Mile 7 - is for Mere’s Bro ~ Chris.  By Sunday it’s hard to know where you’ll be… but no matter where that is, I’m running this for you.

Mile 8 – is for Mere.  You’re amazing, and there aren’t words to describe why that is…  please know that I will savor the run Mere, because you asked me to… I will bring “GBA”, because you asked me to… and I will have more fun doing it in the moment, because you asked me to.

Mile 9 - is for Sara, for inviting us to the Left Coast.

Mile 10 – is for my Coach.  Even when he’s cranky and hot, which seems to be often, he says the right things… I’ll try not to suck.

Mile 11 - is for T.  I’m so glad you took up running, and so glad that I decided to succumb to peer pressure…  There are really no words.  Or there are 1,200.  Not a whole lot in between.

Mile 12 – is dedicated to passing all the red shirts on the course.

Mile 13 – is dedicated to me, because once upon a time, I might have doubted I could run 13.1 miles, and today, I’m going out to do it again.

Respect the distance.
Try not to suck.
Savor the run.
Always epic.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Hello.  My name is GBA** GF.  And I ... am a volunteeraholic.
A Volunteeraholic is the kind of person who volunteers for 2 races in 2 days, in extreme conditions.

Sunday was HOT!  And I'm not just saying that because I ran clear with Mustang & TMB, and then was surrounded by hot sweaty triathletes at Rocketts Landing Triathlon with Illusive Dave.  I mean, it was HOT.  The water temps were low 90something degrees, and the air temps were high 90something degrees.

1st Rule of Triathlon ... look hotter than everyone on the course.  My pals have that down.
2nd Rule ... don't drown.  also done.
3rd Rule ... have the most fun.  duh have you met us?
4th Rule ... have the hottest spectators.  Illusive, Sally, T & I so owned THAT rule.

T & Mustang Sally joined me for a run through the dark city of Richmond at oh-freaking-early hour before the racers arrived at Transition.  We ran along the waters edge, with the rank smell of rot wafting up now and again.  We ducked and darted among the streets.  A train hissed and trembled on the track elevated above us, waiting its turn to amble through the city.  A brown rat scurried across the road in the light of my headlamp.  This was the grittiest part of Richmond I've ever sampled.

Arriving back at Transition, we were amazed at how busy it was.  T & Mustang got to work Inking the legs & arms of the triathletes while I walked around admiring the hotness looking for my hot GBA/HCB/MTT buddies and carrying a dead Sharpee.

I had a great morning.

I flirted, played, hugged, cheered, and danced my way through the pre-race festivities.

Then I schlepped down to the water side to watch the swimmers get in and was given the enviable volunteer job of ... watching the swimmers emerge from their efforts and run up a ginormous flight of stairs.

It was a GREAT place to be ~ I cheered for a *hot MTT coach *did I mention the water temp was 91 degrees?, and saw KC emerge from the water, triumphant with her swim victory!  AND was able to see smiling HCB SpeeDee as well, and wow, she's epic!

Then when every swimmer was out of the water I moved from that job and joined Mustang at the finish line, where we greeted the hot runners as they finished their race.  Lucky me, I'm almost a genius and came up with the idea that they needed ice towels... so when I saw my BFF's finish, I handed each one an ice towel, and took their chips.  In SpeeDee's case, this also meant I was hugged, and possibly kissed and I'm not sure but I think there might have been some "I love you's" exchanged.

Other notables of the finish line were:
A marriage proposal by a man I've never met ~ did I mention the ice towel?
Not getting ignored by the MTT coach ~ *July, and he was definitely hot.
And having a man pass out into my arms as I dragged him to the medical tent... I have that effect on men now that I have my short hair, I actually had 2 men completely go down upon sight of me... I'm sure the 91 degree swim, 24 mile bike ride, and 10K in the elements had NOTHING to do with it.
SpeeDee, GBA**GF, and KC
It was the most intense day of my life as a volunteer.  And... Dave needs a pay raise for all he does for RMS.  And... I practically crawled into bed when I got home.  At noon.

SO ON TO MONDAY ....  Monday was WET!  and... whoa!.... I mean RAIN people, RAIN... (geez) and rain or shine, I had told my RRRC friend who usually just stands around these types of events looking hot ~July~ that I would be at the club 5K to lend a hand, so, that's what I did...

I clapped.
In the POURING rain.
For the racers as they went around a cone.
My job was done in about 15 minutes, give or take.
Then I carried the cone to the end of the street, in the pouring rain.
And arrived at the finish line completely soaked to the core, just as the rain stopped.
And by soaked, I mean, drenched, dripping, straight out of a pool, wring out your clothes ~wet~.

My presence at this point was completely unneeded.  Theoretically, I could have left, but ... well, it seems... the random guys at the finish line indicated I should stay & help... please?

shrug, "sure..."

Since these people are the kind of weird I enjoy hanging around with, it seemed like a thing to do.  There's always laughter and smiling with this gang.  I saw some familiar faces, goofed off, said hi, got rained on some more....

I was wearing a windbreaker I dug out of my H's JEEP to shield the rain... and to be perfectly honest, it didn't do a very good job.  My clothes were dripping...  so I kept it on even when the rain stopped... something about....high beams and, uh, putting someone's eye out... and... ~ um ~ never the less:


Since there were no "real" jobs to be done, I hung out under an umbrella, cheering for finishers while saying, "Stay in line".  OK, I think I said it, at most, twice?

And the umbrella owner was also directing runners as needed ...  so, maybe he said it twice?

We, the two of us, just stood around, completely useless, looking stupid, and hot...

... because, as I mentioned, it's July...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


"Look at me! 
Look at me! 
Look at me NOW! 
It is fun to have fun 
But you have to know how." 
 ~ Dr. Seuss

~savor the run~

seemed like a fitting quote today, as I'm "a recreational runner with low self esteem"/"middle child who demands excessive amounts of attention" by wearing loud clothing, rather than a "real" runner who prefers skirts because they're comfortable, socks because I'm really into being sexy on the run...

And ~ oh by the f*cking way ~ I take my running kinda seriously.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Checking In?

So... you might want to stop reading this blog because:

I am epically not cool.  

In fact, I’m so uncool that I have this wicked smart phone, and I only use about 1% of what it can do.

I text.
I e-mail like a mo-fo.
I can use some of the applications on facebook.
I take and post some pretty sweet photos to my profile.
I can navigate my way through Washington DC with a car full of marathoners rapping out ~ Old School Style.

But I got a “hey, you have a Droid, how do I check in places?” e-mail the other day… and I had to admit:

I didn’t know how.  

And worse than that, it occurred to me after I sent the “sorry, cant help” that even if I DID know how to “check in” places on Facebook, that it would be like,

Neurotic Marathoning Mom is Checking In at Kroger.

Not sure which is more “lame”...

The lack of checking in know how, or the checking in nowhere interesting.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Marathon Training Tip 1092

Don't go into a store that sells fabulous running clothes with the idea that you will just exchange the shirt you bought.

I may need to get a job to support my running (clothes) habit.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sense & Reason

Todays weather... note the Feels Like 115?

Clearly I have no sense... 
And as far as my reason?  Well, it was MTT today, Marathon Training & miserable HOT SWEATY RUNNING?  This is the kind of thing that connects people...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Giving Selfishly

On a Sunny Monday Afternoon.... we meet our heroine.
(good news for me, the hero/heroine usually survives the story... usually...)
A few hours later...

combine this...

and this...

and you get this...

Our Heroine's alter EGO...

The thing is, I don't really feel like I did some kind of selfless act.  I mean, as the stylist was cutting the pony tail (with a little cuss word and trembling hand and 900 "are you sure?"s) I felt like it was a sacrifice.  But now, the truth?  

 I love it.

...and I get the added pleasure of knowing that 14 inches of hair goes to a child who needs it more than I need a ponytail.  

Yet another reason that I either GO BIG... or GO HOME.... 
or in this case, nearly to my friend Mustang Sally's home, because H?... well, why don't I just phrase it this way?:  
He does not appreciate the sacrifice.  
Somewhere along the way, I guess he was thinking this was his hair... where I always knew it belonged to someone else.

Friday, July 15, 2011


"The will to win means nothing if you haven't the will to prepare."

~ Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winner

of course, sometimes this means 'not running'.  it's a rest day today.  i'll probably be cranky by 9am.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Chasing Dragonflies

Yesterday I ran alone, a rare thing for me because my posse is so amazing.

I dreaded it. 
I craved it.

The first few steps in the morning air were stifling.  I couldn't catch my breath.  I quickly ditched my usual vacation route in favor of a shaded dirt road that leads into the National Park.  

I ran with a pair of dragonflies, watching them on their journey.  They paced me, darting to and fro, hunting and hovering.  The humid air was thick, and large beads of sweat ran down my face, through my eyes like salty tears.  For a moment I wondered if I was crying.

My electric blue and green winged companions were haphazard as they progressed with no flight plan, flitting from space to space.  It was as though they had some invisible road map telling them when to pause mid flight and hover, or when to land on a stick and contemplate the meaning of life as it pertains to a bug with really cool wings.

They lead me on a merry chase, for about a half a mile.  Hundreds of dragonflies took to the air, tag teaming in an elaborate relay as I ran in their wake.  The natural flow of the morning carried me, and I just ran.


I felt my feet under me, the soft sand pulling and sliding as I dug my way up each short incline.  On an impulse I took the trail into the woods that I’ve run past 30 times and ignored.

The first part was sand, but before I knew it, I was on a single width packed trail in the woods of Buxton NC, dodging roots, climbing forest dunes, and flying down the other side.  I’ve never run on a trail before.

I loved it.  

I wasn’t worried about getting lost, this is Buxton, it couldn’t be that long, and I was right, about ¾ of a mile into the loop I noticed it take a turn toward the left.  I was on my way out.

The tree frogs celebrated each glorious step I took with their ethereal song filling the air.  The canopy shaded me.  It was amazing.  I couldn’t even hear my feet under me, the only sounds were my breath and the frogs.  Eminem had no Business here with me on this run.

I just ran.

I "get" this....  I get why people love to trail run.  I’ve never been closer to me on the run than I was yesterday. 

On my way home I realized I had a bit more buggy company, as all the insect repellent I had labored to apply had been completely removed by the copious amounts of sweat pouring off me.

oh, and yeah, I'm running "clear" ~ this is the only photo you'll ever get.

~savor the run~

(a side note here, after my run, C asked me to take her for a run… and really, who could decline that invitation?  She was also kind enough to take my photo…) 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

They say if you're married to someone long enough, eventually you look like them...

oh look, it's the camera ahead.
we should walk and let the group get ahead of us so we can get a good shot.
I love that we do this...

Monday, July 11, 2011

22 miles to nowhere

"Oh my...i had no idea training for a marathon would be this much fun!"

A quote from a new posse member.  Maybe she didn’t know... it's her first marathon... but there's a reason we do this the way we do it.  T & I have done it "the other way", and with a giant group of giggling people is far superior.  Are there advantages to running alone?  Sure... sure there are...

But when the weather is hot and you know you have a week of solo beach running ahead, you treasure those miles with your group.

I ran 22 miles this weekend.  Not one step was unsupported.  

Mike-n-Ike, sugar drips, running skirts and socks... are all good... 

Mid run 3L pick up... brought back good memories ...

Clearly being called out by Coach Black & Those People... was worth a free smile....

Yes, 22 miles in 2 days, and every mile was fun.  Even the hard ones.

Kc, 3L, g.
At GBA we have RULES.  The RULES we “enforce” within our GBA group are very clear. 

GBA Rule = Have more FUN than anyone else on the course.

As a team we travel as a pack, for the most part.  Our GBA crew cycles together, swims together, runs together… drinks together, shops together.  Because we’re such a large and diverse group of women (and guy) we are able to mix and match, and it’s always new and fresh.

For the first few weeks of MTT we even had a successful carpool.  As the weeks have gone on, the “pool” has dwindled, and this week, everything kind of went up in smoke.  Everyone was doing their own thing.  Which is fine, but the result was that we drove in separately. 

So T & I arrived early to run 2 before the 10, because with San Fran on the horizon, 12 miles made sense.  When we got back to the stadium after the two miles, we regrouped and set out to Run in the SNOW. (MTT Yellow SNOW)

T, Triple Threat Leslie (3L), Mustang Sally & our newest Posse member, VWB were all running together when I teased Mustang Sally about her preference to ride down to the city alone…

And Mustang Sally countered with ~like~ in a near miss on a Valley Girl accent (which is real a trick because she’s Aussie)

“Well, this week I rode down in Volkswagen Blond’s super cute car… which is way cool.”

VWBlond smiled…

And I was ~like~ “no.way.  VWBlond?

Are you trying to tell me that you think your convertible volkswagen beetle is ~ like ~ cooler than my beige mini-van?”

The thing is VWB has the cutest laugh, it makes me laugh… so now we’re running and laughing, and while running and laughing are not mutually exclusive…  it’s hard to do one and the other if you’re trying to do both well.

Fortunately for GBA we’re always able to know when to sacrifice the run for the laugh, or vise-versa.   Sometimes this means sucking it up and running through the ‘pain’.  Sometimes this means standing in the middle of the street in Twickory with our hands on our knees, tears running down our faces, trying to catch our breath so we can hear 3L as she jogs ahead continuing with her story…

after the run snack at SpeeDee's car.
me, Triple Threat L, SpeeDee, VWBlond, Mustang Sally, T
 (oh, and I'm holding the watermelon away from my white skirt)
The sunny Sunday 12 miles were fine.  My legs were tired by the end, and all I wanted to do was pick up the pace to get it over with.  We didn't though.  We ran in our "pace zone", which... is kinda hard.  

I loved the company.  I loved the moment.  I loved when T passed 900 miles and we all gave a little cheer in a joyful chorus.

The post run powwow, the slice of watermelon, the giggling and the ~nearly~ inappropriate jokes?  They made all the tiredness vanish.  Because, well, I don't really know the science of it... and I don't care to...  

Yes, 22 miles in 2 days, and every mile was fun.  Even the hard ones.

~savor the run~

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Water Boarding

if there's a hell on earth... and it exists in "Levels"...

Then in my world...

The 1st Ring of Hell would have to be sitting through Beauty Pageants.  I've done a few, and they're torture.  Painful experience that lasts a few too many hours with few redeeming qualities.

The 2nd Ring of Hell is most definitely my shower on a day when the Body Glide, running bra & I have lost a battle in the "chafe war".

I'm not sure about Ring 3.... but the 4th Ring of Hell is any Emergency Room with your own child.  Time slows to a crawl, worry eats away at your soul, truly, is there anything that a mother finds more hellish?

Well... there's always The 5th ring of Hell ... the segment of I-95 that passes through CT.  Add a beige minivan and some Disney music to the construction and NY drivers, and you've certainly got something that qualifies as torture.

For SURE though, I know now, for me the 6th Ring of Hell is a Water Park.


I don't love myself in swim wear.  I mean, it's not horrible, but no one really wants to see me in a 2 piece bathing suit all day... though that said, that's what I wore, because my skirt has pockets, and I hate to be without pockets....and no, there are no photos, nor will there ever be photos...

Adding to the awkwardness is that at a water park there's a better than good chance you're going to be surrounded by people in swim wear.  All day.

Many of the swim wear wearing people are lovely.  They're usually the ones in one pieces though.  With sarongs.

The other 89% of the people out parking at the water park eating funnel cakes dusted in powdered sugar are... yeah. and then.  uh huh.  I hate to judge.  I'm not here to judge.  I'm just... I mean...  Listen people, if you're not SURE that the bathing suit covers your entire "nip", you REALLY should look for one with a bit more to it.  And if the top isn't 100% covering your ...ah... twins, then let's REALLY take a minute here to evaluate the coverage on the bottoms... shall we?  Maybe, at the VERY least we could just go up a size?  or 3.  AND TRULY there is NOTHING wrong with wearing a sarong or skirt or blue 6X6 tarp over your suit for the comfort of all the people sharing your space.

And while we're on the topic of space sharing, can we just touch on the subject of conversation topics?

Appropriate conversation topics for a family water park do not generally require the abbreviation of the words "Birth Control"... nor do they usually include the words "screwing" or "e'ffing" and if it happens that your sister is a "whore" with multiple boyfriends, I really. REALLY. do not need to hear about it in the 3 minutes it takes my kids to go up a flight of stairs, wait in line, and slide down a slide on an inner tube.

Longest 3 minutes of my life.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

An Open Letter To Henrico Co.

Dear Residents of Western Henrico,

Please accept my sincere apologies for breaking GBA Running Rule #1 on Saturday.

I have excuses.  They include chaffing, heat, and more chaffing.  None of them are good enough to justify running through suburbia in just a sports bra, skirt & socks.

I will try to be more mindful of the GBA Rules when laying out my clothes in the future.

GBA gf.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.  
~Albert Einstein

Saturday, July 2, 2011

it's the little things...

I mean, I know what I know... and I know what I said... 

I knew it was coming... and I knew it was "there"...

but... can I just say?

Seeing my name and the words that I said printed in Runner's World magazine...?



It's an amazing thing.   

Maybe instead of signing my e-mails and insight with ~savor~ I need to be signing them with...

~slightly naughty~