Tuesday, January 31, 2012

*cough cough*

You know that opening scene of The Princess Bride where it's Fred Savage coughing over the sound of a video game......  what do you mean you haven't completely memorized every second of that movie?
Will Feral also answers to O'malley Cat.

Anyway, that is what sleeping in my house is like.

We all go to bed, snuggled under our covers, and we all get about 2 hours of sleep.  Then the coughing starts.  It's enough that it wakes me up.  I then sleep/listen/wonder and worry for most of the night while my son gasps and struggles for air.

The bad news is we're on week 8 of the cough.

The worse news is, my Pediatrician says she thinks the culprit is a furry orange beast named Will Feral.  All signs point to a cat allergy.

Does anyone want my delicious orange kitty named Will Feral?  He'll kill any kind of rodent you need killed... he's got mad skillz like that.  This whole situation makes me sad.

Mostly, I'm sad about this because my kids are going to hate me for getting rid of the cat.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I have a deadline looming.

I've written NOTHING.

I can write about anything running and I can't think of anything to write about.


What do you like reading about?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

An Open Letter to Depression

Dear Depression,

I'm running again, so get lost already.

Oh don't think I didn't recognize you.  I have seen you before.  I felt you before I could see you.  I felt you before you even got out of bed this morning.  

I don't care that you think sleeping is optional during the night time hours.  That's when runners sleep.  I don't desire to examine any aspect of my life between 1am - 4am.  You are a sick b*tch if you're into that.

When my alarm goes off at 4:30, don't even consider hitting the snooze button.  I'm a runner, and a student, and a mom.  This is my one shot to get my sweat on and I am getting up to run or swim, even if you tell me not to.

Napping isn't congruent with my lifestyle either, so the inescapable weariness you're ladling onto me midday is not going to cut it.  I will keep shaking it off, I will refuse to crawl into my toasty warm bed until a respectably late hour after the sun has set.

The aching lump that chokes me, the one that can't be washed down by water, tea, or hot coffee is just going to be ignored.  So is the unquenchable thirst, the sour taste, and the tightness in the back of my jaw.

Fighting you is making me tired, but I will win.  You've celebrated your little "victory" too soon.  Sorry but your a** is going down.

Go suck it.  I don't have time for you.

I'm a runner.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

ath backwards

Today I ran into a friend of mine as I finished my run.  We chatted for a second, and he asked what I had done this morning.

"I did a little over a mile swim and a 4 mile run.  Feels great to be running again."  I was ~high~.

"OH!"  His face blossomed into a huge smile.  "Hey, today is my first day of Iron Man training and we're doing a 2000m swim and 4 miles!  You're right on track!"

"Oh no, that's my thing, I'm no Triathlete.  Actually", I mused, "I don't even know that there's much -lete after my Ath these days..."

He disagreed.

But I can't really get into that....

Monday, January 23, 2012


I volunteered at the FROSTBITE 15K this weekend.

You know those, "You Know You're A Runner When..." challenges/thoughts Red puts up sometimes?  Well, this weekend was a YKYRinRVAW just waiting to happen.

The Frostbite 15K is traditionally freezing cold, well organized, and fairly competitive.  Not a lot of "noob's" out there running a 9.something mile race in January.  Well, this year was no exception.  It was cold, well organized and fairly competitive.

I knew, given that I've run 2 times in the last 5 weeks, that while I could probably finish the 15K, I would not be competitive (with myself or my A.G.) and would probably injure something.  I must like being cold because... no, no I hate being cold, but I went out in support of my peeps anyway.  About 4 minutes before the start buzzer, the Head course marshal wrangler & the race director came up to me and pulled me off the finish-line and sent me to mile 4.

Mile 4 is a point where you have runners going both ways and 3 streets converge at a busy intersection.

It was my job, with my "co-marshal" to try to keep the runners on course, keep the cars from running over the runners, and to wrangle the intersection.

I was flipped off by one car traveling about 35mph.  Yes I know it's your God Given Right to kill a runner today, consider this my random act of kindness as I attempt to prevent you from ruining your life.

And another car, I managed to slow with some frantic hand waving.  As she pulled past me I got a blast of cigarette smoke in my face... Thank you, that was ~awesome~, as a runner I rarely get to experience that toxic air.... only in Richmond....

These were not the only stupid cars.  Yesterday the folks traveling this area of Richmond were insane.

Or, maybe they're always insane and i just never notice.

That said, my "co marshal" and I had a good time, and just when I thought there wasn't going to be another YKYRinRVAW moment he explained to me why he was volunteering.  I laughed, as he explained he's trying to accrew points in the Grand Prix event.  I explained, "I don't usually run enough races to qualify.  Last year I probably could've won my A.G.  I write for Miles & Minutes, I get a lot of points that way..."

YKYRinRVAW the guy who stands at the intersection with you says ~ "Oh, you're GBA_gf!  You write some good stuff."

Yes, Richmond VA, the smallest city in the universe, where everyone knows your name...

~savor the run~

(and stay safe)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Big Boy Shoes

I ran.

2 miles.

in these, size 6 boys shoes.

No pace goals, just on feel.  And it felt GOOD.

Double bonus, "on feel" turned out to be respectable.

Now... I just have to resist the crack a little longer so I don't end up back in rehab.  Babysteps.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Fifth

Today marks the beginning of my 5th week without running.

That's a long time for me.

Without running and training, I have a hard time blogging.  It's a schedule like everything else in my life, so I have that going against me.  My schedule is off.  Additionally, when I'm warming up or cooling down is often when I come up with my best ideas.  My insights are driven by the things I see, hear, taste or feel... while running.

My writing outlet is, well, my other outlet.  So I am not producing any visceral writing.  Nor am I running.  This is a toxic combination.

As the weeks have gone by, I've become overly sensitive, obsessive, and anxious.

And cranky.

I know this for a fact because my H was kind enough to gently point it out to me.  ~um~  

Might have to rename the blog the Neurosis of the Slogging And Half-Crazy Marathoner of 3....

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tomorrow I slog

I have days where I "rally!" and can embrace the pool with sadistic GLEE.

It's just that today isn't that day.  Today I hate the pool.  And yet, tomorrow I slog.  I will get up before the sun, eat something light, and go to the pool for more torture.  I will beat myself until I can barely stand.

My heart craves a run.  My head tells my heart to get over it.  My run tells me it's not speaking to me until next Saturday, so don't bother calling or 'just showing up'.

I just want to run.

But I cannot.


Tomorrow I slog.  Because I must.  I have to.  It's what Those People tell me I should do to stay strong.  The Q agrees it will keep me fit so I can step back into my run.  Even Harry Potter says he's done it, and he's pretty much ~ epic.  But don't tell him I said that, or that I named him Harry Potter, but if this isn't Hogwarts, I don't know what is.....

And so what now?


Tomorrow I slog.  Because, I must.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Yesterday I was called to the school to deliver an "appropriate outfit" for my 12 year old.  She would not be able to return to class until I delivered the clothing.  Outraged, I half expected to arrive at school to discover she had changed her clothes after leaving the house (something I did regularly in middle school), however, I arrived to discover she was in fact dressed as she departed.

Tell me, what is so offensive about this outfit?  I know "technically" why it's in violation, but I just don't "get it".  To me it looks age appropriate and WAY superior to some of the other nonsense I see running around on middle schoolers these days.

IF you're wondering, the answer is:  The dress is too short.  "not to her fingertips"

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Challenge - REAL WOMEN

Ok real women.

A few people who've come by NofSahm in the last few days don't "know" what I look like.

Not to "toot my own horn", but I'm not a completely unfortunate looking woman.  On film.  Don't ask me to talk about the woman who lives in my mirror.  We have a tumultuous relationship.  But on film, I don't entirely suck.

So, in honor of the fact that I suspect you ALL DON'T SUCK EITHER ~

Post a photo of yourself on your blog that makes you feel beautiful, or epic, or Galactically Bada**.
Or all of the above is OK too.

It doesn't have to be a beautiful photo of you, if you prefer to keep your looks on the down low, have privacy issues, etc.  But post something that makes you reflect on how not only are you "good enough", to quote a friend, but how you are ACTUALLY SO MUCH BETTER THAN GOOD ENOUGH.

I'll start.  This is the photo of me on New Years Eve.  This is what I looked like when the clock struck midnight and 2012 began.

I hated this dress.
I felt fat that night.
I had mentally punched myself in the face about 200 times in the 48 hours before this photo was taken...

And it's also the photo that reminded me that women, for the most part, are blind.
Including me.

leave a comment and let us know where to find your beautiful photo.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

the torture below

I have this theory.

We talk big.  “My worth is MORE than my appearance”.  But society tells us that IS NOT TRUE.  Appearance and worth are sadly tied, and until society changes the rules and the collective media comes to its senses, we have to live with it.

My Identity is tied so firmly to My Run, that when I'm run-less, I start to question everything.
Even things that are unquestionable.

I think that many many women are blind and only see what they think they see.  And they’re deaf, and can only hear what they think they know.   And sometimes they’re surrounded by thick dark impenetrable evil that cloaks the world.  The view from behind the darkness is distorted and false. 

For example, one of my friends is particularly stunning.  She has a laugh that’s like champagne and a smile that’s lovely.  But the reason that men stop what they’re doing to stare “inconspicuously” as she walks through a room is probably not champagne and smile related.  She seems to have no idea that her legs are the kind of legs people dream about, and yeah, I mean that how it sounded.

Another friend is so pretty that the first time I saw her photo I had to draw her.  Her beauty is classic.   Fresh, blond, fair, and tall, it's no wonder my son has a crush on her.  She’s athletic and strong.  Sometimes I hear doubt from her.  DOUBT?  WTF?  Why does someone who looks like you doubt her beauty?

Come to think of it, most of my friends seem to have no idea what they look like.  One or two realize they’re beautiful and either don’t seem to care (“I’m worth more than my looks”) or just roll with it (“I consider it a public service”). 

The rest see the worst, the flaws, the imaginary fat, the thick thighs, and the childhood scars.  They see what I never even notice, or what doesn’t exist.  They have no clue what they really look like. 

I wonder:  Do I have any idea what I look like?

Probably. Not. 

I caught myself in the mirror the other day and thought, “I’m ugly.”  It was a passing thought, but I didn’t bother to banish it.  For some reason, it rang of truth. 

I pulled a fleece over my head, put my hood up and went to the gym where I destroyed myself in the pool. 

Ragged breathing was all I could hear as I churned in the dark water.  Then when I could scarcely breathe, I ripped the gay purple visor off my head, abruptly breaking the bubble gum Britney and Fergalious feed,  I snapped a pair of black goggles into place.  I raked my body down the pool and back again for a few hundred meters, punishing myself with brutal speed.  My arms ached, crying for mercy, but I had none.

I kept thinking about how ugly I am.  That I am unwanted.  I am impossible. 

I don’t know; it was just a thought that wouldn’t go away.  Nothing could break through the shadows.  The lifeguard sat witness, blessedly unaware of the torture below the surface.

I soaked in the pain, ignoring the fire in my lungs and swallowed back the iron I tasted as I sucked in the chlorine laced air.   Recover, breathe, catch, kick, pull.  The rhythm served as punctuation.

I might be ugly, but at least I. can. f*cking. swim.

An hour later I could barely pull my weary body over the side onto the cold floor.  Clutching my towel to my chest, I stumbled toward the locker room.  Pink hands that were too tired to adjust the nozzle of the shower turned a knob, and my skin was pricked by water that quickly grew too hot.

Ah, the torture continued.

It was when I went to dry myself that I realized I must be possessed.  The still trembling leg I was drying was not fat.  It was muscular and curvy.  A quick inspection of myself revealed what I was beginning to suspect. 

I am not a Victoria’s Secret model.  Thank f*ck.  Imagine the stress that goes with that gig.

I am real.  I will never get fired for aging.  And not one part of me should be berated or punished the way I punished myself because I am real.

I have seen photos.  I know on film that I am not completely unfortunate looking.  WHY did I suddenly look in the mirror and NOT BELIEVE? 

The answer is simple. 

I am blind.  I only see what I EXPECT to see.
I AM DEAF, and only hear what I think I already know.
And when I say women are surrounded in evil, tell me friends, what would make my beautiful friends think they are anything less than exquisite? 

The darkness needs to go.

Next time that your friend tells you “you are the hottest mom ever”, see the honesty in the message and believe that you are THE HOTTEST MOM EVER.  When your husband , wife, brother, sister, guy or girlfriend says, “You are stunning”, I hope you will listen with your mind open to hear the truth of the message.

And I hope you will pay it forward.  Share the message with the beautiful people in your life.

You never know if the message you send, or comment you make, will be the light that breaks through and illuminates a path for someone who’s drowning in the darkness.

Gear CHECK - Slogging

When you leave home to go for a run, you probably really only NEED a few things.  A good bra if you need one, a light if it's dark out, tall socks… hell it seems like shoes are even optional these days.  Oh, maybe a watch.

Slogging requires a bit more crap gear.

Slogging = Sucktastic Pool Jogging.

It might suck, but it is HARD if you do it right, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if I did this all the time (which would be expensive as it would require a lobotomy and or a therapist and quite possibly daily medication) I would be SUPER fit.

1 shuffle iPod + plastic wrap + a little packing tape =
water resistant iPod shuffle.  I don't recommend using
your son's, like I did, because his taste in music is ... not
the same as my taste in music.
Anyway, after 1 week of slogging I’ve learned a few things.  When packing your gym bag, be sure to bring the following with you:

1)  A visor with an up grade – one of Those People took mercy on me the other day and gave me a hint on how to get my iTunes Rolling in the Deep end of the pool.  

“My loneliness is killing me… I must confess I still believe….”  

Yeah, trust me, when you’re slogging, these lyrics start to look down right Genius.  Of course, Interpol’s No I in Threesome is pretty genius too… for other reasons though. 

2)  Belt it Out – I tried “pool running” without floatation this summer.  Um.  You know what?  You need the floaty belty thingy so you can concentrate on form and counting.  Yes, counting.  I track my cadence in the pool, just as I do on land.  Ok, thats not true.  On land I don’t have to think about it.  But in the pool, I sometimes count to check it.  And frequent heart rate checks are another way counting AND the belt come in handy.  

3)  Intervals  - DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT THEM.  They will SAVE YOUR LIFE.  I'm serious.  They serve as a way to break up the time blocks into bite sized pieces so you don’t choke to death.  Additionally, watching the clock gives you something to look at… other than the lifeguard who is pretending not to be looking at you like you’re insane.  Accidentally making eye contact with the lifeguard is to be avoided at all costs.  

Now, true, at some pools staring at the lifeguard could constitute a full body contact sport.  In my case, however, that’s not a plan.  At all.  I’m way better to stare at the clock and see that I have 1:30 left in my interval.  The other day I did 3X 5 min at Tempo.  But equally good is 1min Tempo/1 min recovery jog for 10 – 15 minutes.  Or today I did 1:30 Tempo with a 30 second recovery for 10 minutes and seriously, the 10 minutes vanished.  Speaking of eyes…

I googled "image sweat"
and got this, and...
you're welcome.
4)  Gonna Make You Sweat – I have it on good authority that if you have sweat dripping into your eyes, you’re doing it right.  So make sure you bring it to the pool.  And you might want to bring your water bottle too.  

5)  BRICK HOUSE – I found this UBER intense brick workout online.  It would be too much for the (novice) pool runner slogger like me, but it did give me some ideas.  I do some slogging broken up by swim sprints.  Or, some swimming broken up by Tempo slogging.  It's been a great way to make the slogging more appealing to me, a fairly strong swimmer.

…. I guess maybe "Properly Fitting Swim Suit" should be on this Gear List somewhere, huh?  I’m sure that as the weeks go on I will be able to add to this list.  Who knows what mental state I’ll be in by next Thursday.  Xanax could make the list...

Ok I'm kidding.  I find slogging weirdly satisfying.

As long as I am sweating and in a little discomfort I’m OK in the pool.  Okay, in a “If I can’t be outside doing what I really love to do” kind of way.  But then again, I’m the kind of stupid who thinks running 26.2 miles is fun… so I must really like being miserable.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

One Mile

I am sorry, I hate this time of year.  I hate that we all spend all this time writing down our "goals"...  it's insanity.  I decided on 12/28/11 that I would just start my 2012 "goals" right then.

Why wait?

I have some goals.  They're SMART.  Specific, measurable, a...something that starts with a, r... something that starts with r, and time specific.  OK, clearly they're not that smart.

They're not that interesting though.  And they're not that relevant to everyone else in the world today.  However, on my 2012 list is my new mantra.

I love having a mantra.

I love Respect The Distance so much that I'm considering getting it tattoo'd on my body.  Because it really doesn't matter how far you're running, or if you're running at all.  Are you in school?  Motherhood?  A sucktastic beige minivan?  Are you racing a marathon?  Are you racing a 4m run in 100 degree heat and 80% humidity ~  damn straight you better respect that distance.  13.1?  50K?  5K?  Every distance deserves respect, no matter how short or long, real or imagined.  The day you don't respect the distance is the day you will fall on your face.  I could share a story here, but I'm not going to....(shudder).

Galactically Bada** became my mantra at mile 23.5 of a marathon.  I said it once, and it instantly became my mantra for the rest of the year, and the rest of the year after that one.  Some things just stick.

Don't tackle the red shirts is one of those things that wasn't funny at all, until one day it was hilarious.

So while the rest of the world is worrying about what goals they will lay down for 2012, how they'll achieve them, what they'll do to make the year's worth of goals attainable, etc.  I've decided to just try a new mantra.

Take it one mile at a time.

Whether it's nursing school, foot pain, training plans, core workouts, drills, cleaning my house, choosing healthy foods, or actually running a mile, my goal is to try not to get caught up too much in what lies before me, or what's left behind me, and instead to just worry about the moment I'm in.

~savor the run~

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Personal Ad VS The Resume

I am in the process of beating my head against a solid wall writing my resume.



If this was a creative writing exercise I would be in heaven.  But it's not, it’s a …

Wait just a darned minute.  

Yeah, it totally SHOULD be a creative writing exercise.

I have a friend who’s really far more clever than I am who believes, “there really should be more space on a resume spent on life skills and personality traits than what nonsense you did in a different job...”

And you know what, she's right.

Now.  The only thing is... as I'm hashing through this creative writing exercise resume I realize that it reads... well, it kind of resembles a personal ad.

You know?  The gist of it goes something along the lines of:

"Galactically badass marathon running blogger enjoys trying new things.  Works best in fast paced dynamic environment.  Able to multitask.  Creative and goal oriented.  Mostly responsible, except on Tuesdays. Values punctuality."

*important safety tip:  resume writing should not be done when on a break from running.  the ego can't handle it.*

Sunday, January 1, 2012

What flavor?

"Are you injured?"

The question startled me for some reason.

As that person stood there expectantly waiting for my answer, I realized he asked because he wanted to know.  Not because he would launch into a lecture about how I will destroy myself running, or because he was judging me for running back to back marathons, as the non-runners in my life often do, but because he was curious.

I'm an injured runner.
If runners are ~weird~, injured runners are ~FREAKING Neurotic~ and ~weirdly defensive~.

I folded my pride into a little square and neatly tucked it into my back jean pocket.

"Yes" I admitted.  "I'm sentenced to pool activities for a few weeks."

It pleased me when the sympathy that flooded his face was quickly replaced with wisdom and a wry smile.  "The best pool for aqua jogging is this pool.  They play music in there so you won't go crazy.  Oh, and rig your iPod *this* way.  That way you can have music if you need to Jog in a Y pool."

Visiting Coach Naked Black chimed in, "Oh, and I used to bribe the life guards to talk to me."

Coach Black is always good for a smile.

The Y life guard is male.  The pool is rather nippy, er, chilly.  If I want conversation, I probably won't need to bribe anyone.  Just sayin'.

All this talk of aqua jogging, swimming and coming back stronger helped me realize something.

Being injured once in a while is part of being a runner.  The fact that GBA has been a relatively injury free team is probably more luck than anything else.

How one handles an injury determines what kind of runner they are...

Do you give up and take up roller blading or shuffle board?  Do you embrace your injury and convalescence, consoling yourself with thoughts like, "is there a flavor of ice-cream that will make today more bearable?"  Or do you fret for 12 hours before stepping back to figure out exactly which track will get you back to your drug of choice running with the least amount of lost fitness.  I know what kind of runner I am...  I'm the kind who "just keeps swimming".

By the end of my encounter with Those People, I had 20 different ways to aqua jog from several seasoned aqua jogging runners, suggested places to do said jogging, and reassurance that if I do it right, I can get back out there as strong or stronger than ever.

And the best news?  With a glint in his eye, Coach Black added in, "Swimming will tone you from top to bottom."

Thanks Coach.  I'll make sure to stop eating junk food so that we can ALL appreciate that toning later this year when it's time to run clear.

~savor the run~