Saturday, April 18, 2015

26.2 People to Thank


Too little. Too late. But here's a long overdue acknowledgement of some of the people who have gotten me Monday's starting line.

26. Senator Birch Bayh. And all the other voices  behind Title IX, which was passed two years before I was born.

25. The coaches of Owego Scamps Gymnastics. Holly, Terry, Annie, Todd, Rich, Dave.... I know I am forgetting a bunch. But at the age of 5, I started gymnastics and therefore easily claimed the title of Athlete without any reservation. (Took me years to understand that claiming that title was difficult for some women. Huh).  I also learned early how to push myself and to be tougher than I want to be. Well, a little. I'm no Nadia....

24. Cyndy Hynes, Tony Bonilla, Kay Kushner. These were my volleyball coaches. I started playing in 7th grade and kept it up through my Freshman year in college. I was not particularly talented but found some success because of these coaches... and I happened to have fantastic teammates.

23. Julie Czerenda, Mickey Herzing, Coach VanDuzer. These were my track coaches from 7th - 11th grade. I had just enough speed and toughness to be almost OK in some races. They were patient with my adolescent drama and pushed me to keep coming back for more.

22. Lauren Jordy. My track coach senior year of high school. She gets her own billing because she was for SURE the reason I started running farther than, oh, 2 miles at a time. She had run Boston. She was wicked smaht. She thought I was pretty smaht, too, and thought if I got my head out of my own ass I could run a little faster and a LOT further. (She was smaht enough not to phrase it that way, blessedly). My roots of athleticism go back to age 5, but my roots of true running are planted right there with Lauren in the spring of 1992.

21. Allison Punger, Shannon Legge, Jodi Riggs, Katherine Ward, Sarah Centeno... and so many others. I am using these ladies' maiden names because these are the GIRLS I was with that senior year when running started to mean something to me. We ran relays together. We ran hills together (sometimes with lightning strikes for added 'zap'!). We ran to the ice cream store together.... I carry them in my heart when I run, too, and their presence makes me lighter. (P.S. Shannon is now Shannon Prasarn and GREAT GATSBY if she isn't the most rockin' fitness model you ever saw. Seriously. She could totally kick your ass. Thankfully she only uses her power for good.... as far as my FB intel can surmise...)

20. Kim Swartz. So Kim was Kim Atkins in high school and we played volleyball together.  But I use her married name here because now she helps inspire me as a runner. She has done a few 1/2 marathons and I love watching her progress. I always feel very supported by her, even though we live far apart. Her daughters (one of whom is named Phoebe! awwww!) sent me cards and bracelets when I first got injured. Just too kind.

19. Mickey Mouse. After the race, we have to head  back to real life for 4 days but then on Saturday we are heading to Disney World for a vacation with my in-laws. I would be lying if I said the idea of chilling in a Disney resort was not very appealing.

18. Jane and Eric Giessler. #20 would not be possible without the generosity of my father- and mother-in-law. They live far enough away to miss the kids a whole lot most of the year so we all benefit from their generosity. They are also very interested and supportive of  my running and are always willing to watch the boys so running can happen when we are all together.

17. Polly. I qualified just after she past away. Every run, Every race. She's in there. Pink is the color for Monday.

16. Twitter followers. I love the #BQchat. I love the links to other people's thoughts and experiences on this crazy running world. Tweets are just sweet because runners don't throw shade at other runners.

15. Facebook friends. Oh. My. Suppportness! I am so feeling the love from my people, virtual and otherwise. I can't say enough how much it means to see the "likes" and the comments.

14. Kathleen. One of my dearest friends and one of the toughest people I know. She would  not consider herself a runner, though she has donned a race bib at least once. She was going to be my 1/2 way point in my ill fated 40 mile run. Work responsibilities won't allow her to be at the race on Monday but I know she truly wants to be there. She's just the best.

13. Dimity McDowell Davis. One of "the" mothers of Another Mother Runner. She is 50% of the team that made me fall back in love with running after having kids. The books. The website. The FB page. The events. The honesty.

12. Sarah Bowen Shea. The other 50% of #13. I could put these ladies in the same line but their import to so immense that they deserve their own shouts out. And Sarah is a BQ badass who is foolish enough to think I'm funny and include me in some of the reindeer games whenever possible. xoxo, Champy!

11. Carol Viens. She's a runner and a coworker. She coordinated a huge to do at school for me yesterday. She leads a school running program for the 4-6th graders. She calls me her hero, which is insane. (Her REAL hero is Joan Benoit Samuelson but she says my name in the same sentence, so that's cool).

10. Heather. My sister. She's not a runner. She is "merely" awesome and supportive and hilarious and fierce and kind and honest (whoa, can she be honest!) and I just love her.

9. Heidi. Another sister. See #10 but she really IS a runner (not that she'll admit it) and a track/xc coach. Our scant 15 months age difference made us best friends and worst enemies when we were growing up. What I wouldn't give to live close enough to love/hate her in person every day!

8. Dr. Hennig. He was my knee surgeon. He put Humpty Dumpty back together again. I owe him a finish line photo.

7. Kevin Stanton. My PT. Oh. My. God. Dr. Hennig maybe sewed things together, but THIS is the guys who kept it all rolling. Runner. Triathlete. Neighbor. He understands, literally, where I live, what I want out of running, and exactly how to get me there. I am happy to say I have not needed to make an appointment with him in quite a few months. (Knock wood).

6. Tom. My 11-on-Sunday-year-old.  Maybe had I  not run my first marathon a teeny bit pregnant with him and maybe had he not been born on marathon Monday 2004... maybe I would not be so committed to this crazy scheme. He got an awesome new video camera for his birthday so watch for him on YouTube. (And let me know if you see anything untoward!)

5. Elliott. He's 8. He is ready for the youth track and field program this spring. He walks on my back and helps me stretch. He is incurably lovable. Also, he is pocket-sized, which adds to the sweetness.

4. Gabriel. He was 3 on April 14. He is the most demanding AND most loving creature in my life. And, he is potty trained so the whole Boston trip is going to be a LOT less stressful thanks to that!

3. Dad. Boy, what he's been through the last year or so. How many shoulder surgeries? Hip replacement. But he's coming to Boston, baby! Word is he is feeling so very much better and is ready to rock the urban scene. Wit. Insight. And just enough profanity to catch you off guard. Too bad he is not a runner cuz those are the perfect traits in a running buddy!

2. Mom. It all started with her, literally. She will be there for this race, as she has been for so many. I've never doubted my mom's pride in me. She shows up. She brings chocolate. And wine. She massages calves and shoulders and opens Advil bottles. I'm sorry for you that she's not your mom.

1. Lauren Cady. My running partner in this race. She lead  me to my BQ Fall 2013 and so much more! I am so incredibly lucky and happy and EXCITED to share this weekend with her. This is like her 600th Boston run (or maybe like 5th or 6th?) and I know she will remind me to hold back hold back hold  back hold  back on the first 20 miles. And I  know she will remind me to hit the gas to get over Heartbreak Hill. And I know we will cross that finish line in our own personal triumphant victory.

.2 Scott. My Boston medal will be his Boston medal. Literally. He doesn't know it but I am giving it to him. And he never reads my blog so it will still be a surprise. The day of my ACL repair last year he created a countdown-to-Boston on our bedroom wall. (400 days).  He seems to always know the exact amount of ass I need kicked v. the nurtured reassurance and encouragement. I cannot express how much this race is his race.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

I can't count to 18

I've just completed week 2 of marathon training.

Except I didn't.

Even though I did.

Confused? I was.

One of the annoying things about the Roman Calendar is that it's not base-10. This whole 7-day week, 4-ish week month, 30-ish day month, 365-ish day year.... it's not easy for some of us to keep track of. It's a cruel trick that we evolved to having 10 fingers insead of something more useful like 7 or 30-ish or 365-ish. (I'll let you settle on that mental picture for a minute. Kinda gross, huh?)

My problem on this occasion was that the end of the month of March overlaps a LOT with the beginning of April. How this kicked me in the butt this time around is that I gave the same week TWO different training weeks.

Thank goodness my much-better-at-counting-than-me BRF alerted me to my mistake. Of course, she alerted me of it way back on December 20th or so. I felt sorry for her for being confused about the schedule. After all, I had literally hand-written out every.single.workout. No small commitment. I knew I had to done correctly. Poor Lauren. She was mistaken, but I knew she'd figure it out.

Friday, I got a text from her suggesting I double check my 'math'. Whaddayaknow? She was right. And I was wrong. And therefore, I was a week 'behind' in training.

My low-tech, very messy training schedule. Gah...

This barely even registered on my things-to-worry-about scale, since I spent the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas running But, it's just more of a pain the ass. And in the immediate sense, it meant I needed to run 15 miles on Saturday instead of 14, with the mid-5 at race pace. (We are shooting to run a 3:45 so this means 8:35/mile). Something about trying to make those paces was a bit of a big deal.  (I am doing the Train Like a Mother marathon "Own It" plan.)

I shouldn't have worried though. Cuz there was just no bleeding way I was going to make those paces on Saturday. It was 10 degrees when I started out at 6AM. I was wearing about 467 layers and quite honestly, I never got overly warm. Every winter I have to embrace (and remember) that it's just not feasible to run your 'real' paces in such cold weather. I honestly don't know if it's the extra layers of clothing or the physics of moving your body through frigid temps, but even when I was on the flattest part of the run - the part where I was meant to be doing 8:35s - I could not make my body move any faster. My paces for 5-10 were 9:01, 8:50, 9:00, 8:32, and 8:14. I think the 8:14 was fairly desperate - I was coming up on the public rest room where I knew I could take a small break, get a teeny bit warmed up, and slug my gels and water in relative comfort. And pee, of course. Always, always, I can pee.

If you can't beat it, take a selfie with it. Truly beautiful scene.
I was VERY happy to see the end of that run and spent a bit the morning grumbling at myself for my paces... but not long. One of the benefits of being on the the dark side of 40 is realizing that this is Small Stuff and I can still call the run a success. S'all good.

Which brings us to the coming week. It's supposed to get OH-so-COLD this week. In fact, Thursday we are forecast for a low of 3 and a high of 5. (And that's an upgrade from a low of -1 and a high of 3....) So that will mean 5,893 layers for that scheduled 6-7 miler...which I'll have to head out for before 5AM... Oh, gawd I could talk myself out of this and it's still 5 days away!

Finally, here's a little resolution/goal setting I did as part of the Another Mother Runner community. I don't know if I'll get to these goals (especially the one about my kids) but it's worth the public pronouncement, in case that motivates me.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Streak, Boston, Holidays (and a Partridge in the Pear Tree)

Here we are again. My last post was about 65,000 years ago. Pretty sure it was about the melting of the polar ice caps and the coming of a frightening new era of global climate change, the obliteration of many species of animal and plant, and stuff like that. Ha ha ha. Which is hilarious, right?  Since clearly that will never happen now.

#clearsthroat #climatedeniersannoyme #thisiswhathappenswheniblogafteraglassor2ofwine #hashtagsdonotbelonginblogs

Anyway, now that we've cleared out the science-averse, let's catch up. What the hell am I doing starting up again after so much time? I dunno. It might have something to do with the need to feel accountable again. Or maybe it's yet another ill-conceived New Years idea.

My real New Years resolution is to stop freaking out on my 2-year-old when he is freaking out on me. His latest hilarious/infuriating habit:G: I love you, Mom.
Me: I love you, too, Gabe.
G: (With authentic-looking and -sounding anger) "NO! love YOU!"
He can literally argue with you for telling you that you love him. Siiiigggh.... Anyway, about ll-conceived notions.... But it's a goal)
But backing up a bit, I had this crazy notion that I wanted to do a holiday running streak from Thanksgiving to Christmas. There was no rhyme or reason, no motivating website or #hashtag . Just me thinking 'Hey, Seussical is over, Boston training doesn't start for awhile, NOT running would be so easy to do....' So, I decided to run everyday between Thanksgiving to Christmas. This turned into everyday beginning on Thanksgiving Eve since my BRF was in town that day. I didn't set any official rules for myself beyond 'run every day' but I did sort of feel like my runs had to be legit. I wanted each one to be at least 3 miles... but beyond that, pace was irrelevant.

About 1/2 way through the streak I was running with my Wednesday night "running group" (which generally ends up being just me and my PT/pal, Kevin, who graciously and generously slows his roll to Old Lady Pace for the first 3 or so miles...). Kevin asked me, "So, what have you learned from The Streak?" It's an obvious question. It's a GOOD question. And it's a question for which I honestly had no good answer. I don't even remember what I said to him. And I don't even know what I can say about it now. It really DOES feel mildly like a challenge from which a gal oughtta learn a thing or two. But I don't know. Rather than lessons, I guess I can share some observations:

  • I like my rest days. And I miss them when they are not around.
  • I like to eat a lot. And when I run every day, no matter how few miles on any given day, I like to eat a LOT-LOT-LOT.
  • Running 9+ miles on a treadmill makes my toenails start to fall off. 
  • My legs feel stronger and look, if I may say, pretty good.
  • My hips and hamstrings and back are (were) total. complete, utter cement blocks. 
  • "Don't Think, Just Go" really really really works.
  • I didn't get injured. Ka-CHING!

So, that's it. I didn't break any mileage records on the streak. And I definitely didn't break any land speed records. But I can be certain that I blew away any other run-every-day streak I ever had. I MAY have run 6 days in a row in my life, but I doubt it. So, that's pretty cool.

As of December 22nd I am meant to be "officially" training for the 2015 Boston Marathon. This was good timing since I only had to stumble through 3 more days of The Streak to call it good. I managed to do a wee bit of interval training on a couple of those runs. All things considered, I was pretty happy with how it felt. Not being injured (cross fingers) is a good place to start this journey. I have done a couple of amaaayyyzing hip-centric YouTube yoga videos since the streak ended and I am already feeling much, much better in that arena. If you are a runner - or a human - I highly recommend them!

My first official long run was yesterday. Twelve miles. It was fine. I started out at 6AM. I knew I was fairly dehydrated (fa la la la... wine and beer for the holidays)  but figured that 12 would not kill me whether or not I was 'dry'. I had two water bottles in my hydration belt and a couple of Honey Stingers (my new go-to gels). I knew I just had to trot for the first ten miles and I was going to try to get race pace-ish for the final two-ish. (I am training at a 3:45 pace, BTW. My PR is 3:40 and I just know that trying to hit those splits at **THEEE** Boston Marathon would be too much pressure. I want to enjoy the race, not focus on gunning for a crazy finish time). I did pretty well with that, hitting mile 10 at 8:21, mile 11 at 8:27 and mile 12 at 8:32.

So, that's where I am with running. I had a hair cut today, too. Like, a SERIOUS chop. It has been a lot of years since my last complete shorning and as of this moment, I am digging it. It feels like the haircut of a woman who is serious about training for Boston. Given that I got it at Supercuts (literally) and that I have an allergy to actually styling my hair (figuratively) we'll see how I feel about it in a week or so. My Spousal Unit, at least, was wise enough to say he thought it was adorable. I'm 40 years old. I'll take adorable any freakin' day!

It doesn't hide those crows feet nor the acne, sadly, but "I Gotta Crow" comes to mind...

Just cuz. My heart...

Understated boy on Christmas morning.

"Workin' on my core"... on Christmas morning.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

(Eventually)... The Agony of De-Finger

About a week and a half ago I decided my next post - whenever I got to it - was going to be "A Love Letter to Community Theater".  To sum up: Playing the Cat in the Hat in Seussical was definitely a role-of-a-lifetime and possibly the one I was best suited for: run around like a maniac, make a huge mess, cause trouble, improv at will, and basically have a blast. Oh, and sing a whole lot but not anything that has to sound real pretty or like you know what you are doing. OK! Sounds great. Audiences were fantastic. Elliott was a model theater citizen AND a joy to watch on stage - so they tell me. And it was one of those beautiful occasions when the people you encouraged to come to the show really, truly had a BLAST and left feeling joyful and entertained. Ka-ching.

Being a dork during the entre' act.

E in one of his MANY roles: The Elephant Bird. Stole.The.Show!

A small taste of the amazing set and costumes.

But Seussical was SO three days ago. So, then I decided the title of my next post HAD to be "Why I Hate 5Ks and Will Surely Keep Doing Them Anyway". See, one of the people I harangued  into coming to the show was my BRF, Lauren, who made the trek from 3 hours away in Vermont. She was happy to come but also suggested we might do the local 5K on Saturday, too, cuz, ya know... BRF is Best RUNNING Friend. As fate would have it, I also got my first-ever FAN LETTER after the first weekend of shows from a little boy who was going to be at the race. That sealed the deal. I decided to run the race. It was about 2 degrees outside (or 25 degrees, but there WAS a wind chill factor) and it was ALL UPHILL (there was one series of hills but I REALLY didn't enjoy them) and there were rabid dogs all along the course. (No, there weren't.) ANYWAY, Lauren SAID she was going to run conservatively but promptly took off like a bat outta hell and taunted me to join her. I was not in any shape to keep her pace but it DID get into my head enough that I had a pretty good race. Still, 5Ks are HORRIBLE and I HATE them. But then they are over pretty quickly and you get amnesia and surely find yourself doing another one soon enough....

The boy in front wrote me the 'fan' letter. It was his 9th birthday. He had hoped to meet Elliott. So, we showed up with the hat, a card signed by the cast and crew and a Seussical pin for him. If he and Elliott ran the kids' 2K as fast as they talked they would have broken world records! SO sweet....!

Lauren won our age group and I managed to squeak out 3rd. Woo hoo! All the frigid temps were worth it when we were able to sit with some coffee and baked goods afterward. 

But people can only take SO much running talk so as of yesterday this post was DEFINITELY going to be "Running Out of Limbs to Injure". Cuz on Sunday I woke up with an "Old Lady Shoulder". I literally could not raise it up without help from my other arm. It was freakish. Blessedly, the flute player in Seussical is also my chiropractor (gotta love small town livin'!) and she set me straight so I could get through the show. But, then Monday (yesterday) it was TERRIBLE. I couldn't even open a door knob with my right arm. Forget about trying to pick up Gabe or do something as skillful as shift my car from Park to Reverse. (One of the few occasions on which I am thankful I don't drive a stick shift!!) It was a lot better today but I had already managed to squeeze in an appointment with my PT guy. The verdict? I slouch. And I sit for long periods at my lap top with my arms out too far from my body and my eye gaze too low. (As I am doing right now, as a matter of fact!) He thinks the problem has built up over a long period and probably an awkward position in Saturday night's sleep was the last straw. As long as it doesn't bother me to swing my arms (which, as of tonight, it doesn't) I am good to run. I just need to ice it once a day and do a few stretching exercises. I'll get some strength training stuff in the coming weeks to help keep this problem at bay. Hopefully for ever....

But no, NONE of those things are what this post is about  because TONIGHT we had a somewhat epic tragedy/comedy play out. It features our hero, Elliott, and his nemesis, wooden train tracks. It seems that Elliott has, in the past, taken to sticking his fingers in the round spaces in the toy tracks. You know, the slot where the knobby thing fits in to connect the next track? Previously this has always worked out OK for him. Apparently, sometime between the LAST time he did that and tonight, his finger got wider.

The poor kid came into the dining room and, trying to remain calm, started to cry. "It doesn't hurt, I just can't get it off!" And this wasn't just any track, It was a BRIDGE, so we are talking wood and a lot of made-in-China's best plastic around it. Here's what we tried:

1. Cold water. (It would reduce the swelling and the thing would come right off.... Nope.)
2. Soap. (Scrub it up a little and it will slide right off.... Nope.)
3. Butter. (Rub that greasy goodness on there real thick. It will slip right off... Nope.)
4. Panic. (This is the point when Elliott started to freak, on and off. That also did not help get it off).
5. Ice. (See #1. Nope).
6. Get the plastic off and hope that would make the wood easier to separate at the place his finger was stuck. Got some off but not all of it. Hurt E too much to keep trying it, so... Nope.
7. Hammer and flat head screw driver. (Scott tried to "chisel" the major section of the bridge away so we would at least be dealing with a smaller object. That was too much vibration for E. He started freaking out again. So, NOPE.)
8. Hand saw. This was LITERALLY Elliott's idea. I think Scott and I were both thinking it would really put him over the edge if we tried it. But, after a few attempts, starts and stops, the major section of the bridge was removed and we were just left with a small section. At this point Scott used his finger as a 'safety' so E knew that Scott would stop cutting long before he hit E's flesh. When he got close enough, I was able to break the wood and release the finger.

Sadly, this was all a little too alarming to poor E at the time to document it photographically. I WISH it was on video. Maybe a reenactment is in order.

Or not. Yeah. Probably not.

So, that's enough excitement at our house for now. Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Runner Breaks: Perspective

It's been, as usual, a long time since I've written. The mid-late fall at our house is like a three-ring circus, and two of the rings are usually major musical theater productions. This season has been no exception. Before I go into the shameless self-promotion section of this post, I guess I ought to do a  brief update on my running.

I recovered enough from my stupid calf strain to participate in the 15 mile race that was attached to the Ghost Train Ultra marathon. The weekend was exactly what I needed it to be: a wee break from motherhood, a re- or first-ever connection with running friends, ample but not excessive travel time, and fantastic weather. I won't even attempt to do a play-by-play of the weekend since it is so far out of my brain. The mighty band of Vermont Badass Ultrababes that were kind enough to include me in their merriment ROCKED their perspective races. From 30 miles - 100 miles, I am fairly certain that each of them achieved at least one of their goals. (We runners never go out without an A, B, and C goal, ya know? So there's always a taste of success!) I was very inspired  by them and think I may dip my toe back into the ultra arena next spring after Boston. Maybe.

The 15 mile race was Sunday morning so the folks shooting for 100 miles had been running for almost 24 hours when we started. One of my goals (don't ask me if it was A, B, or C) was to just be exceptionally supportive of all of them. I have no idea how it might feel to keep your body in motion for over 24 hours straight, so my hollering to them as I went by them (coming or going... the course was out and back) may have been completing annoying or completely appreciated. The good thing about having fresh legs compared to those that have already done 90+ miles is that you aren't around for long to find out and can just assume you were just what they needed or wanted at that moment.
A short bridge I found to be way too scary for a person running on through the night. Good thing I wasn't running through the night!

Amazing VT runners. So. Freaking. Amazing.

My BRF, Lauren, had a foot injury and couldn't run either. She was a LEGIT hero and went out and did 15 miles of walking in the middle of night with some of the baddest of asses. I was sound asleep at the Hampton Inn, for the record!

I pulled a Phoebe and planned to run the course and not race it.... but then of course I raced it. Not 100%. When I met up with the Vermont Badasses who were still at it I stopped and walked with them for a bit. Oh, and there was one desperate port-a-potty stop at about mile 5... but by the end I was really gunning for the finish line. It was a gorgeous day, an insanely beautiful course, and it felt so freaking good to let loose with some speed. I was as sore as after my last marathon the next couple of days, but it was worth it.

Then, of course, after the race, I got home and faced the reality of my husband and I being part of two major musical theater productions: he is directing the high school's The Sound of Music and I am The Cat in the Hat in our community theater's production of Seussical the Musical. Elliott is also in Seussical. His show is this weekend. (I saw it last night. SO good!) My show opens next weekend. If you have ever been part of a show you know how the last couple of weeks go. It's just nuts. Plus exhaustion. Plus stress. All in all, a good time!!
We are keeping the costumes and sets a secret to enhance the "wow" factor when the curtain opens, though I kinda wish we weren't. They are so.freaking.amazing. It's going to be a great show, despite the narrator... (me).

I am, therefore, not even worrying about running. I am purely going for when-I-feel-I-can mental health runs. This week that happened to only be Monday morning and today. Today I got a bit of a bonus in because I ran 5 miles to the theater clean up (gotta scrub those toilets before the audience comes!) and then ran the 5 miles home. It was exactly what I needed. I am going to keep running (or not running) however it suits me until the show is over. Then I will look around and see if any holiday-themed races strike my fancy/fit my calendar & budget. Otherwise, I am hitting Boston training pretty hard come late December.

It's so obvious - yet comical - how it is to take a break from running when it's a conscience choice:

"Yup, too much other stuff going on... stuff that I WANT to do and ENJOY. I am going to lay off the runs for now."

Compare that to my other recent and heartbreaking breaks from running caused by not-my-fault and then TOTALLY-my-fault injuries:

"I am losing my mind. I can't function without running. I may commit manslaughter if I can't run. WHY DO THESE THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE LIKE ME?!?!?!?"

Yup, Totally obvious. And, as far as my personality is concerned, totally unavoidable. Oh, well.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


Hey, Wow! This is my 500th post! That's pretty cool. Especially since I have been blog-slacking to the extreme lately. I wonder when or if I will ever go back and re-read these things. Yeah, probably exactly one minute after some horrific virus strikes Google and everything I've written is irretrievable. Shudder.

I write today after so long a break because of a couple of unrelated happy occurrences. Well, if you believe in such things, it's possible they are cosmically-related, but whatever. Don't go consulting your crystals about it or anything.

The first thing is that my dear friend Kathleen ran her first 5K today! 'What's so great about that?' you may ask. Well, many things.

I have known Kathleen for just over 10 years. (She started out as a theater acquaintance so it's easy to keep track of when I met her: we were doing Annie Get Your Gun and Tommy was just a few months old). Shortly after we met and just before we became really good friends, she had knee replacement surgery. Because of this, whenever talk of running came up she was very supportive of me and my pursuit  but was clear about herself: Can't run. Knee replacement. Not possible.

Then, of course, there is the small matter of Kathleen facing a little thing called CANCER back in 2011. Ummm, yeah. And she did not get that friendly kind of cancer where you have a little tidbit removed and a teaspoon of chemo and then you're good to go. She had knock-you-on-your-ass, scare-the-crap-out-of-you, surgery-and-chemo-from-hell, with-a-side-order-of-pulmonary-embolism for added excitement. It is not an exaggeration to say that Kathleen thought she was going to die. And while all of us who love her never spoke of it, there were many moments when we wondered, too.

Of course, Kath would jump in here and dispute, "Well, you can't call what I did really RUNNING.... Lots of people who started in waves after us caught up to us... " Yadda yadda yadda. Typical denial from a lady who deserve some Horn Tootin'! She trained hard for this event. She started out just walking the dog and then trying to run a bit as she went along. Then she got on the Couch to 5K plan. And then she made it 3 miles with some walk breaks. And THEN, last week, I got a message from her saying she RAN the WHOLE THREE MILES. That is so huge. For anyone. But for her, that is like Neil Patrick Harris Hosting the Tonys Again Huge! (Legend - wait for it - dary!)

I did my due diligence and FB stalked her enough to share these pictures. (God bless that Journalism degree. I am a pro!)

Stranger on the Left had a the perfect sign for Kathleen on the right... (who is stranger  than most but not A stranger to me!)

Kathleen's friend, Barbara, ran with her. I didn't dare commit to the event, given my bad run of luck lately. (RUN of luck... HA!)
Knowing Kathleen was cranking out a personal goal this morning was not, however, enough to inspire my lazy butt. I say lazy, but I guess after the week we had here I had a reasonable excuse. All three boys were sick this week. And not in that convenient-but-challenging all at once way. It went like this;

Monday - Gabe wakes with major boogs and fever. I stay home with him.
Tuesday - Gabe still has fever. Scott stays home with him.
Wednesday - Everyone wakes up healthy. Yay! Off we go to school.
Wednesday afternoon - Call from daycare. Gabe's fever's  back. Drat.
Wednesday night - Gabe cracks his chin open and Scott takes him to ER. (I am at play rehearsal at the time). No stitches. Just exceptional stress and steri-strips.
Thursday - Gabe is OK but Tommy wakes up with a fever. I stay home with Tommy and Gabe because, ya know, bashed open chin and fever yesterday....
Friday - Tommy still has fever. Scott stays home with Tom. And, bonus, it's Scott's birthday. So that's fun!
Saturday - Everyone is feeling OK. Woo hoo. Getting some stuff done around the house, putting away the outdoor furniture... and, uh oh. Elliott doesn't look so good. Yup. Elliott has a fever.

My running has been going OK. I've come to grips with not doing the Ultra in a couple of weeks and I will happily just enjoying my time with my running pals and being their Athletic Supporter. I am focused on Boston 2015. And I reaaalllly wanted to get in a double digit run today. It would be my first since August. But ggggaaaaawd I was so mentally exhausted from the week. And gaaawwwwwdddd I just had no give-a-damns left.

Then, the phone rang. And it was Kathleen. And she told me about her run and I thought, yeah, I need to go do that 10 miles.

So I did. Of course, of all the hilly routes I could take around here, my unplanning feet took me on the hilliest. So I trotted along at a decent pace, listening to podcasts, contemplating the universe. (That is, if you think that contemplating the fact that I knew we had no chocolate chips NOR chocolate milk ingredients in the house is equivalent to contemplating the universe...)

Thanks and big congrats to you, Kathleen! And if you do another one, remember the Age Old Rule: "Run if can. Walk if you must. But always, always, pee yourself a little."

P.S. Everyone think BQ thoughts for the great Sarah Bowen Shea tomorrow. She is one of THEE mother runners from Another Mother Runner and she is poised to do amazing things in the morning. West coast time... so don't get your fast thoughts in too early.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

April 20, 2015

It's Thursday afternoon and I home. I have some weird combination of headache, nausea and exhaustion. Took the kids to school and tried to work but I was going to be very ineffective and very unhappy, so I drove home. (Driving makes my nausea way worse...) I went to my bed and did not get up until about 2:30. I still feel horrible and that dry piece of toast I just ate - because a girl should not live in Tums alone - is really seeming like a bad idea.

So this is not exactly the physical and emotional space I hoped to be in when I got THIS news:

I haven't received the email yet but I saw from an FB link that they were sending the notices today so I took a shot. Racers need to run 1:02 faster than their gender/age group qualifying time to get in. So, I was actually in a really good place with about 4:50 to spare.

I should be calling everyone and shouting from the rooftops. I should be imagining the finish line. I should be reserving a hotel room.

But instead, I think I am going to go vomit. Ugh.