UPCOMING EVENTS for 2015: (Under consideration) BigHorn 50K, North Carolina/DC Marathon Doulbe, TURNING 50 (not in that exact order).

It's never too late to be what you might have been. --George Eliot

Athena is the Goddess of wisdom and war. In 2005, I declared war on my own bad tendencies: sloth, being fat, compacency, and being too old for adventure.
This is the story of how I went from being someone who never stood when she could sit, to being an ultrarunner, marathoner, triathlete, and *sigh* student.
"You're never too old to be what you might have been" --George Eliot

Sunday, March 30, 2008

He's done!

I did about 46 miles this morning on the bike. It was easier than I expected; I don't know what I keep thinking that I'll always have to start from ground zero. That brings my mileage for this week to around 100 miles for the bike, but only 9 for running since I took a week off after the Grasslands marathon. I got in 4000 meters of swimming.

Just got a call a bit ago from Sweet Baboo. He finished the Bataan in just under 5 hours. He said it was tough (cha! it's like, 26 miles across the Southern New Mexico desert with lots of deep sand). "Go-go" Maria Ladd was first female (I think he said she did it in 3:28) and 3rd runner overall.

This is his fifth marathon in 4 months. What a freak I married--a big, happy, sweaty freak whose shoes are full of sand, I'll bet. I can't wait for him to get home and tell me all about it, and for him to turn off this damned pager that's been going off for 6 hours.

Thought for the day: Everyone can do more than they think they can. --David Horton.

...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Another club I've joined.

I want to show you something that I've been bugging people over here about for the past week.





Once you get past the whole, what the hell--is that her bathtub? you'll notice two things:

  1. I have hard water, and

  2. I have a black toe.

I've been waiting in breathless anticipation to see if it falls off, but then, there are no rules about it having to do that, it is what it is. I have a black toe. I'm wildly excited about this. In the past, I've had sort of purplish toes, and one that was half-black, but this is officially a black toe. So, I'm going to celebrate by getting something from here, in my constant quest to get increasingly obscure symbols to stick on my car or on my person.

I ran about 9-ish miles today. I didn't take a watch or my Garmin. It was somewhat painful, but bearable. Nice day. It took me longer than it should, given that I had to stop and do stretches every 4-5 miles. I'm never going to get anywhere if I have to keep doing that.

Sweet Baboo is down at White Sands Missel Range with several other Outlaws to do the Bataan Death March Memorial Marathon tomorrow. I think it's a training exercise for him. It's 26.2 miles across the southern New Mexico desert. I imagine he'll write about it when he's done. For a left-wing hippy kind of guy, my hubby is fiercely loyal to things military, and he takes it very seriously. He was a Marine, and now works at the Veterans Hospital, so I'm interested in seeing what insights come to him during this experience.

...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Another finish line.



I didn't work out yesterday.

In fact, I sat on my a$$ all day from about 8 am until around 6 pm.


At 6pm, I hit 'save' and then attached a file to an email, typed in some email addresses, and then hit 'send'


and so it was...



wait for it...




I submitted my finished thesis. (Finally.)

See, I finished my coursework and passed my comps for this degree in 2006. Then I just waited...and waited...and waited...and finally, I decided, holy cow - if I can do an ultra marathon, and finish an ironman, why can't I write a stupid paper? So this was the week that I finally had marked on my calendar to finish it.

I'm celebrating with much chocolate as I write this. My drug of choice today is the WalGreens bridge mix. Ninety-nine cents of pure milk chocolately goodness. My theory is, if you're really happy and celebrating something, there are no calories.

I don't want to turn into one of those weirdos that makes everything into a sports or running analogy, but I like what David Horton, who ran the the Pacific Crest Trail, said it best:

Everyone can do so much more than they think they can.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A little over 12 weeks out.


This week, I was going to rest and sit on my [spreading] butt, but my coach would have none of that. We went for slow, easy ride on Monday, about 30 miles and some change, and it wasn't so bad but I still can't lean forward for a full mile in my aerobars.

That sucks because it's hard on my wrists and back to sit up that long, so it occured to me that I need to consider moving my handlebars up a bit. I did that in spin class and found instant comfort.
It also rids me of the emotional baggage of having my knees constantly hitting my stomach, ever-so-softly reminding me that my stomach is down where my knees are instead of tucked up just in front of my spine, where it should be.

On the one hand I feel that it's somewhat enabling to make this handlebar adjustment based on the tummy proximity, but on the other hand, it's not just the tummy issue at stake, so we'll leave it as a slightly enabling move that will make aero position more attainable. So, there it is.

Yesterday, I headed to the gym with Pirate to do a 1500 swim...which turned into a 2500 swim...because she said so. That's all I can say about that. She said so.

Sunday I'll be doing a 50-ish or so mile ride with my friend Stephanie down to San Ysidro and bout, but today, I've got a yen to get on my 8-speed cruiser, "Pistachio," so I'm headed downtown to do some stuff.

I'll not be dressed in anything sleek or aero. Pistachio has no illusions about being fast. She is a true cruiser--steel frame, heavily-padded seat as wide as a park bench--the better to fit my post off-season a$$, my dears.
She has a headlamp, a tail light, a horn, bell, large basket in back, fenders, and reflective hearts, and a couple of naggy bicycle-sized bumper stickers. Gay men adore her, as do the urbanites I see downtown when I'm disguised as an urbanite myself, instead of something who parks carefully at the edge of the suburbs and rides in. On Pistachio, I wear cycling sandals, comfy clothes. Even people who aren't into cycling admire her.

And she is mine. She even has a cup-holder, to hold my lattes. Fully loaded, I'd say she weighs in around 50 pounds or more. And my helmet large and round and has a tail-light. If I can get this beautiful behemoth up and down some hills, that will be a good workout.

I'm determined to get back in the saddle, so to speak. I've thought more and more about what SW Tri gal told me a while back, and I really have had a block about cycling since Ironman Louisville.

It was just such a horrid experience, mostly becuase I was so woefully unprepared. And, this time, at Ironman CDA, I won't have that extra cushion because of the seeded swim start. I must finish in under 17 hours. In order to do this, I have to improve my cycling. I need to get over my dislike of it. I need to have fun with cycling, to really feel like the bike is my transport.

I'm ashamed to admit that I work 4 miles from home in a place that has about the nicest weather anywhere (well, except for the afternoon sandstorms) so it's time to get off the stick.

Nobody can push me but me. Time to get moving, and on two wheels, too.

...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

This is like, the best easter picture EVAR. I snagged it off Tea's blog:

This morning, all three of us in the Baboo famdamily walked stiffly to the car.

Then we walked stiffly to the ihop. I was a good girl, I had the egg beater mushroom/spinach omelet.

Then we walked stiffly back to the car.

And drove home.

54 days to the Ogden Marathon.

There must be some chocolate around here, somewhere...I've got about 2800 calories to spend, and I aim to spend them.

...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Baby's First Marathon

aka "Baby's first declaration of, 'I'm never going to do this again.'

Now, Mini-baboo was offered the chance to do this. He could do a half, or a full, or work as a volunteer. He chose the full, which carried the stipulation that he must stay with me throughout at least half of the marathon, and follow my instructions exactly. (Here we have some foreshadowing)

I released Mini-baboo at mile 12, worrying that I could not finish. I was in a lot of pain from the ole' ITB and didn't want him to worry about me. This was after programming his watch to chime an alarm every 10 minutes and giving him strict instructions, i.e.,
"Keep a steady pace that feels slower than what you're used to. Every 10 minutes, the watch will chime. I want you to stop and walk for one minute then. During that minute, I want you to drink about half of one of your little bottles-- 3-4 ounces. When you get to an aid station, I want you to eat 3-4 potato chips, and a gel (aid stations were 2-4 miles apart.)"

He then took off as fast as he could, headed down the path and out of sight, taking no gels with him and (as I found out later) ignoring everthing I told him because, after all, he is sixteen and HE knows EVERYTHING.

I found him around mile 19, sitting down on the path and complaining that his muscles were stiffening up.

"Well," I said as patiently as I could manage, "they won't loosen up with you sitting on your butt. Get up and walk it off, bo. Keep moving forward, even it's slowly." We walked together for a while; he couldn't manage much more than that.

I was getting my second wind - I'd had some terrible ITB pain between 15 and 19 but then it suddenly loosened up, and I ran ahead of him to the next aid station.
There, I laid out a care package for him: 2 advil, a cup of coca cola, some potato chips, and an order to consume all this and empty one of his bottles. The aid station guys were further more ordered that if he refused, they should slap him in the head, and to tell him I said so, and that I WOULD KNOW. Oh, yesss. I have my waysss. A mother knowsss.

A few miles later he came flying up on me again, and I asked him if the stuff at the aid station helped, and he said he wasn't sure (Oh, really?) and then after another mile or so asked if he could take off ahead of me. He flew off again and, I predicted, didn't eat or drink anything else. As a result, I finished about a quarter mile behind him, but finished, he did. It took us an appallingly long time to finish, and then afterward I walked out into a stock pond and stood in the icy water up to my thighs.
During this time Mini-baboo was demanding that if I went to the car, I should move it closer (it was about 500 feet away) so that he would not have to walk so far to it. He then declared, "I'm never doing that again. That was hard."
This was, BTW, and great course, pretty doable and very well supported. I had a lot of fun.

Later, I waited at the finish line for Sweet Baboo to come in from his first 50-mile ultra run EVAR and he has this very cool buckle that he got for finishing. You'll to read his blog, after he posts, to hear about his experience.
I don't think mini-baboo is disciplined enough to do an endurance event above a half marathon or Olympic distance without constant companionship. That's not to belittle him. It's just that he's young and impatient and not quite ready for it. Yet.

But he's happy, right now. He's tired but pretty content eating his pizza and watermelon slush. Tomorrow, I'll ask him how he feels. Sweet Baboo is awake, but fading fast. As for me, I'm going to finish my veggie lovers medium pizza with thin crust and my watermelon slush, and then I'll hit the valerian and the pillow.
...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I'd rather go to the DMV.

Yesterday afternoon, after my last parent-teacher conference, I was finally convinced by Pirate and SW TriGal to get checked out in the ER. There, I learned several things:

1) It is as bad as they say: Far, far worse than going to the DMV and the Verizon store combined, and I was at a small suburba hospital where I wasn't preempted by gunshots or car accients. After waiting 2 hours for a procedure that I was to have "in about 25 minutes" I was calm outside, but inside I was screaming, AAAAAUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!

2) My pain is not "abdominal." It is "pelvic."

3) They are free with the painkillers, y'all. Take them. Right after my ultrasound, they offered me morphine. Uh, WHAT? I asked for ibuprofin instead. I regretted that later.

4) Contrast iodine going through a vein feels a lot like you'd imagine hydrofluoric acid would feel.

5) I have a cyst on each ovary, and some sort of pelvic infection.

6) I can run "as well as I feel like running" on Saturday.

That last one was the most unhelpful. I went in around 2 and left around 9:15 pm, and was hoping that at least once during that time somebody would say, "you should run, because it will make you feel better," or, "you should not run, it will make things worse." Alas, that was not to be, i.e. "If you feel like running, run."

I was given a cocktails of antibiotics through an IV and a couple of pills and sent on my way with a diagnosis of "some sort of infection, probably in your uterus" and a prescriptions for percocet. I'm going to appear the decision with my primary doc. The pain is enough that I can't tell most of the time if I have to pee or not and I've gotten weird diagnoses from this ER before.

Meanwhile, today, Baboo, Mini-baboo, and I will head out to Texas, and by the end of the day I will have decided on whether or not to drop back to the half-marathon at the Grasslands. It's my hope that by the end of the day I'll feel enough better to make that decision. Right now, I feel like curling up into a fetal position and sleeping some more. I'll keep y'all posted.

Spring Break awaits!

...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Random, completely OCD stuff about me.


I collect Google pictures, did you know that? I love holidays and designated days, because I log in and see the special "Google" symbol. Then I right-click and save it. I don't know why. I don't want to, I have to. I've been doing it for several years now. As my hard drive was failing a couple months ago, after I'd saved my thesis files and most of my mp3s, I saved my Google pictures folder.



Here's some of my collection:

(And this is just of some of the ones from my work computer. My home computer has a much bigger selection.)


In other news, I got up at 4:30, hit the gym, swam 1000 meters, and was at work at 6:25 before most of the other teachers got there. I RULE.
In a surprisingly lucid moment, I packed my car last night with everything I would need today: 2 lunches (it's parent-teacher conference week, so I'll be at work for 12 hours), all my books for working on my thesis, my fully-stocked gym bag, including flat-iron and clothes for work--even underwear this time!--so that all I would have to do this morning is fall out of bed and into my swimsuit. Good thing, too, because I found myself walking around in circles bleary-eyed at 4:45 while my car was warming up: Where are my keys? Oh, they're in the car. Where is my lunch? Do I have the right lunch packed? Where is my PowerBar? Oh, it's in my hand. What did I pack? What do I need for work today? Okay, I think that's in the car, too. My pants are on backwards. WHERE ARE MY KEYS?Where are my shoes?

It felt good to be back at the gym, too, even though my swim is painfully slow. I didn't wear my watch, so I don't know just how slow (I wanted to feel good about it, so that was a deliberate decision on my part) but I know that in the same amount of time Sweet Baboo completed about 1400 meters. So there you go.
...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ahem. A small announcement...

Well, two actually. The first, and most exciting, is that mini-baboo will be debuting in his first ever marathon during his spring break (and mine) in Texas.

Mini-baboo will be run with me. I know my 5-minute-walk, 5-minute-run pace will drive him crazy. but he had to agree to it or wouldn't be allowed to do the marathon. If he feels pretty good after mile 20, he can take off. This will be a celebrating of sorts of his up-coming 17th birthday. He astonished me again this week by turning down an opportunity to go to Dallas for spring break, telling me, "I have two really important projects due when I come back, and I need to work on them."

Um, who are you and what did you do with my son--the know the one; he mouthed off to me, made every excuse in the world to avoid assignments and work? Huh?
Or, is this another example of the magic wrought by triathlon? Or maturity? Or both? Whatever. I don't question it! I just accept it and am happy.

The second announcement is that I ran 12 miles today much more comfortably. I had some twinges toward the end after mile 10 or so, and did the stretches here and in the picture at the right.

Just imagine flipping the picture counter-clockwise one turn: I was standing up at an iron gate about 30" or so high, with my bend leg on top of the gate, leaving forward, for about 30-45 seconds. Aahhhhh. After that, I was good to run again. Which tells me that I will need to stop and stretch at the trail run on Saturday.

6 days to the Grasslands Marathon.

Here's my distance totals for 2008 so far (Remember, I was sick most of February, so that brought my totals down pretty dramatically):

  • Bike (including spinning) 149.6 Mi
  • Run: 190.97 Mi
  • Swim: 1000 M (yeah, I know. It'll be picking up here real soon)
  • Strength/Pilates: 2:30

...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I feel better.

My gun pain finally left me around 3 pm with no reasonable explanation of why it ever occured. No fever. Nothing expulsed. It just left. So, tomorrow I run. I think my IT issues are much better. I'll know tomorrow.

I've been reading a book today that's very good; it's called, "Passing for Thin" by Francis Kuffel. Here's one of my favorite parts, where she describes joining a gym:

The world was divided into members and nonmembers,
and members had special dispensation. Active but
individual, each had her own agenda at the gym.
Girlhood is picking and choosing, and I wanted to be
one of those girls.


If you're of the mind to do so, I recommend this book. SHe really gets into the meat of explaining her thoughts and feelings while obese, losing weight, and afterwards.
6 days to the Grasslands Marathon. It will be my 4th marathon in 4 months.
If you'd have told me 3 years ago that I'd be doing this, I'd have laughed like hell. And had another slice of cake. And a margarita.

...

Depressed.

I turned 43 this week. But that's not why I'm depressed. I actually feel pretty good about turning 43, because I know for a fact that I'm healthier today than I was at 33, even if the skin is a little less taute, and a bit less evenly colored, and things just aren't where they used to be...and even though saying "43" to a group of high school kids makes them gasp and the room go quiet.

Ha! I bet you didn't know people lived that long, did you?

A rolling of eyes. "Well, of course I did. My grandmother's older than that!"

Glad to hear it.

Nope, I'm depressed because I had a 3-1/2 hour ride planned today and woke up with what I can only describe as acute gut pain and it's only lessened somewhat in the last half hour or so. I don't have any other symptoms, but if it doesn't go away soon don't worry: I will head to the DR or ER or "doc in a box" as my sister calls it, but meanwhile, it precludes a ride on one of the first nice days of the year with people I absolutely adore.

Crap!! I hate when things like this happen, don't you?

...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Teachable moment #8.

Kid sits down in the front row. "Okay, everyone, take out your workbook"... I started out. Kid starts to look in his backpack, and then sits back in his chair, dejected. Then he looks at me.

"I am fu¢#ed," he said.

I wasn't sure I'd heard right. "Pardon me?"

"I'm fu¢#ed," he said again.

A slight gasp, and then quiet. Everything I am, in working with these kids - these kids who have been kicked out of other schools and classrooms, depends on how I handle moments like this.

"I assume that you've forgotten your workbook? "

"Yeah. That's why I'm fu¢#ed."

"You know, Mike," I started, "there are better ways to express to me that you are, apparently, in quite a pickle. They may not be quite as satisfying, but they won't piss-off your teachers or your parents or get you written up, either."

"Like what?" He seemed genuinely curious

You could say, "I'm eff-kayed," said the student next to him, helpfully.

"I'm fudged!" exclaimed another.

"I'm uck-fayed," said a third.

The classroom was a cacophony of suggestions. "I'm up crap creek without a paddle!" "I'm screwed!" "Life sucks" and of course, "Is there homework tonight?"

"Well, now, there you go. See, you learned something. Can I assume that I won't here you use that expression in front of me again? And you know I have to report this in your behavior log, right?"

"Yes. Sorry. I won't use it again."

See there, they can learn. Your tax dollars at work. No need to thank me, it's why I'm here.

...

Ironman training, the 2008 version

A to-do list
-= or =-
an unrhyming poem.


Work.
Swim at least 1000 meters.
Spin and life weights (circuit class).
Roll on the evil foam roller thingy until my eyes bleed.
Spin again.
Eat.
Take aspirin.
Sleep.
Run at least 5K.
Shower.
Eat, and take aspirin.
Work.
Message.

Go to thesis/paper class.
Pilates.
Eat, and take aspirin.
Call parents and let 'em know how their kids are doing.
Roll on the evil foam roller thingy.
Sleep.
Roll on the evil foam roller thingy.
Work.
Run.
Shower.
Roll on the evil foam roller thingy.
Sleep.
Roll on the foam thing.
Eat, and take some Diclofenac.
Long Bike, at least 3 hours.
Shower.
Roll on the evil foam thing.

Eat, and take some Diclofenac.
Work on thesis, paper for class, readings for class, or dossier.
Sleep.
Roll on the evil foam roller thingy.
Eat, and take some Diclofenac.
Long Run, at least 11 miles.
Work on thesis, paper for class, readings for class, or dossier.
Shower.
Roll on the evil foam roller thingy.
Eat, and take some Diclofenac.
Sleep.
Roll on the evil foam roller thingy.
Eat, and take some diclofenac.
Work.
Go to class.
Sleep.
Roll on the evil foam roller thingy.
Eat, and take some diclofenac.
Sleep.
Work.
Roll on the evil foam roller thingy.
Call parents and let 'em know how their kids are doing.

Work on thesis, paper for class, readings for class, or dossier.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat. Weekly.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Oh, and about that run...

So, I headed out for what I hoped would be at least a 15-mile run today. I finally felt like someone had untethered that giant brick tied to my a$$ after the 50K in Alabama.

I felt fleet-footed. I wasn't coughing. I wasn't even breathing heavy. I was managing about a 12 minute pace, which felt very easy, and my heart rate was around 130 or so.

About a quarter mile into it, though, IT came back. At first, it wasn't as bad as it's been, just more of a hint of pain, sort of a warning, really. Kind of "Hi, I'm your knee. Remember me?"

I managed about 12 miles on a smooth, flat black-top path by stopping and stretching every couple of miles and and by taking a 5 minute walk break for every 10 minutes of running, but then around mile 11, I stopped to answer my phone, and stood there for a moment talking to Mini-Baboo, and then something happened. I don't know what, maybe it started to stiffen up. All I know is that the next step was excruciating.

It took me by surprise, so much so that I kind of gasped and then went down. I stood back up and hopped around a bit, shaking out my leg, because this pain is so weird, it always feels like the kind of pain you should just be able to shake out, like a muscle spasm. I walked for a bit, and eventually was able to start running again, and that lasted for another couple miles and then it came back again, after I hit about a half mile of trail that had deep, fine sand on it.

No, no, no, no, no, said the knee.

By this time it was so bad I called Sweet Baboo to meet me in the parking lot about a mile ahead. tNo matter how I moved my right leg it hurt, so I finally started SAUNTERING so as to take advantage of the rest from the pain that I got between each step. I limped all the way back to the car, and once I'd sat down for a while and it stiffened up, I could barely hobble.

I ate comfort food, and it comforted me. Then I came home and continued the aspirin regimen I started yesterday. Then I iced the knee and took a nap and right now it's feeling much better. No throbbing or anything.

Believe it or not, I'm actually encouraged: a week ago I couldn't run after 3 miles. By Thursday I was able to complete a 5 mile run relatively comfortably. Today I did a total of 15 miles. It seems that I cannot do anything downhill or technical, only flat and smooth. Tonight I'll roll on the foam roller that I bought for Sweet Baboo until my eyes bleed based on information I've read here and here. Later this week I'll get deep tissue stuff done by my friend and masseuse and fellow Outlaw. So, we shall see.

Two weeks to the Grasslands Marathon. I wonder if I'll be able to do it.

Update, that evening: I just rolled on the foam roller thing. Oh. My. God.
Who invented this torture? Who said to themselves, "Huh, I'll just try a myriad of extremely painful moves and see if any of them have any benefit at all.''
Good thing it works.


...

Ode to my Lee Riders

I purchased you in the early ninties.

There were times when I couldn't wear you; you waited patiently with my "medium-sized" clothes until I could wear you again. I took you out of the drawer in 2006, and after all these years, parts of your denim were as thin as paper towels.

And much like paper towels trying to cover my big butt for 16 years might, you came apart yestereday with a loud ripping sound when I sat down just a little too hard, and out came my left butt cheek.
In the shoe store. (Thanks for that.)

Yea, you were friendly. Comfortable. My students called you, "Mom Jeans" but We had an understanding, didn't we? You covered me where you should: comfortably around the waist, and never, ever threatened to show the top of my underwear or butt crack.

I don't even know if they make normal jeans like you any more. I suspect not.

RIP, dear friend. (No pun intended.)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Here's what I know now.

So, I went for a run on the trails. I covered about 5 miles or in about an hour, testing various things on my knee, and here's what I know now:

  • I was able to have a pretty decent run in my old New Balance 767s, even considering the ones I was wearing are in awful shape, having been run over by accident once. Did I mention that they don't make them? Now they're 768s.

  • I can run completely flat or uphill. I cannot run downhill at all, or on wind-y trails at this time.

  • When I stop and stretch, crossing my ankles and leaning, my knee (right) it feels better.

  • I can't speed up or overstride or my knee says, "Nunh-uh"

Now, turns out that one of the teachers at my school who is married to another teacher at my school and they are certified athletic trainers and coaches, and she suggested this: based on the fact that I'm not sensitive to aspirin: 2 aspirin, 4 times a day, for 5 days, don't miss a dose. She says that this will wipe out any inflammation anywhere.

Here's what else I know now: Turns out that my beloved New balance 767s correct "mild to moderate" pronation, and guess what can bring about ITB syndrome? Yeah. That's right. So, tomorrow, the Brookes go back to the running shop, and I get a pair of 768s (the newest version of my old beloved).

If you know someone who "can't run" because of a pain or another, maybe it's not them. Maybe it's the shoes.

So for the next week, easy flat runs; lots of stretching; and aspirin. We'll see how it goes.

Today's run was badly needed. Due to my annual sick month (FEBRUARY) I've barely run since the 50K about 3 weeks ago, and so I've been bombarded with depression symtoms that have come back without regular exercise.
I know "bombarded" sounds rediculously melodramatic, but that's what it feelsl like. It's like being hit with those spiky gumballs from the sweet gum tree except they're the size and weight of apples, and instead of puncturing skin, they puncture my spirit with lots and lots of bad thoughts. But, know it and I can keep on top of it. It is what it is.

So, I actually got to run a on Sunday, and then Thursday and today, so I'm back on my way to feeling better and being ready for the Grasslands marathon on March 22nd.

...

Knee pain?

I went for a run yesterday after all my appointments (I'm having lady surgery after Ironman CDA, but it's very minor. I'll write more about that later) and then my KNEE started hurting.


Oy.

I'm very distressed and uncomfortable with such a development. I mean, hey, I run my special, slothful, shuffling pace so that I DON'T get injuries, so if I get injuries ANYWAY, well, hell, I might as well speed up!
Which, of course, violates my laziness threshold.

I first had this pain the last couple miles of my 50K in Alabama.
Then I had it again last week. I tried running through it, because it felt kinda like a muscle cramp.
Not. So. Much. I limped back to the car.
I had it again yesterday. I couldn't even speedwalk when it kicked in.

Now, I'm crossing my fingers--it just so happens I had this pain - which I've NEVER had before --when I was wearing a different type of shoe other than my beloved New Balance 767s. I'm going to put them back on today and go for a run, but already I've noticed it when going down the stairs today at work, and I was wearing Keens. However, I never wore anything but 767s for 3 years until about a month ago when I switched to Brooks and then this pain started.

I'm also going to try this 5-day aspirin thing that the athletic trainer at my school told me about.

Oy. Here's what I'm worried about. Bowleggedness? Nyet. Overpronation? Nope. I'm a neutral pronator. Banked surfaces? Possibly. I tend to run to the left of U-shaped trails.

cross your fingers for me that it's the shoes. Shoes are easy to fix.

...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

How many blind triathletes does it take...


Wow, who'd have thought there were that many near-sighted triathletes around?
You, you sneaky guys with your contacts...I feel better now in my near-sighted non-perfection. POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

Just a couple of thoughts on your comments:

1. I'm very pissed that my shoes come in pink and nobody at the shoe store told me. I'm considering taking them back tomorrow (I haven't worn them yet) and making them order pink ones. yeah, well, there's all these things said about women and how capricious we are, and I never am, so I have some wiggle room.

2. Clearly, the contact lens thing is a go. I already wear the disposable contacts because I lose everything, and I strive to bring Sweet Baboo, who is in charge of the budget, as little pain as possible

On other, unrelated news, I would like to come forward and state loud and clear that my diet was totally blown somewhere between half-priced Christmas cookies and half-priced Valentine's chocolate. I'm at 165 pounds today, exactly where I've pretty much been since March of 2006, after I lost that first 30 pounds. I am determined to get to 150 before the end of this year, not to fit someone's ideal image, but to have some more tissue that is working tissue instead of hauling-up-and-down-New-Mexico-mountains tissue.

Tomorrow, I'm taking the day off to go visit the lady parts doctor. I kind of wrote about visiting this doc for another problem back in 2006 and the subsequent treatment for it. I strive to do this in a sensitive way that doesn't make all the guys out there go, "Ewwwwwww" but that is perhaps useful for someone out there.
Meanwhile, because of the odd time of time of my appointment, I had to take the whole day off. I'm not making this up. I have to take a whole day of sick leave, SOOO, I'm going to do a 5:30 am spin class and maybe swim - if I can find some goggles - and then shower and then visit the doc. Then visit the shoe store, and see if I can get them in pink. I can't believe they didn't tell me. Jeesh! And then have coffee.

In unrelated news, today at work two of my students left the room, in their words, "To get a breath of fresh air." I didn't realize it until they came back (OMG!!) and then I said, "do you realize that it's entirely inappropriate for you to walk out of class without permission?"

Their response: Geeze, we just got a breath of fresh air. Take a chill!

Not quite the apologetic tone one hopes for. I admonished them not only for their behavior but also for the resultant paperwork.

You're writing us up just for getting a breath of fresh air? You're seriously writing us up?

Uh, yeah. Take a chill, girls.
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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Random thoughts less than 4 out from CDA.

Things I'd like to throw...and the people at whom I'd like to throw them. I was thinking about that tonight, at the worst spin class I've ever been to. The cycles were bad, the instructor was--bless her heart--well intentioned. But uninspiring.
So, things to throw. Well, a soft, slightly overrippe tomato....the three guys at the back of the spin class I was at tonight who were carrying on a very loud conversation during the entire class. Holy cow, I mean, if you are that relaxed then you aren't working hard enough. And you need to be tomato-ed.

This week marks the beginning of my training for Ironman Coeur D'Alene. And, I know that triathlon season is approaching, becuase I'm getting a hankerin' for gear. Gear. GEAR! GEAR!! Yes, I'm excited because GEAR! spring is here.

I'll be swimming...just as soon as i get new goggles. I'm thinking pink. I'm thinking mirrored. I was wondering, now that I have contact lenses, can wear them during a long course triathlon? I mean, is it doable? I mentioned it to the contact lens lady who was training me to wear my contacts, and she sucked air through her teeth and said NO. However, I'm highly suspicious of advice from even professionals who aren't into running or multisport. It SEEMS like it should be okay. I've worn them for an ultra-marathon. But I haven't worn them with goggles yet. I suppose I'll train with them, and see how they work.

I bought new road shoes. I'll try them out tomorrow; they are Brookes Adenalyn road shoes. SIZE 9, because for some reason, my feet keep getting bigger. It's like they're pizza dough and when I run they just get slapped larger, larger, and larger...

I got my dirty-girl gaiters today. I'm going to wear them at the Grasslands marathon March 22nd. They are the "Fetish" pattern on the Dirty girl page. I'll review them after the grasslands trail run.

Okay, my thoughts are completely disorganized. First, work on the training plan, directed by Sweet Baboo. Then get some gear. I'm not sure if I'll do another ironman after CDA. It's like, 2 hours a day, 3-4 days a week for training, and then 4+ hours a day on the weekends.

Thursday, I go to see the lady parts doctor. About, em, the lady parts. And yes, she is a runner. I pretty much won't see anyone who isn't. They just don't GET it, you know?
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Monday, March 03, 2008

My message, to my fellow Texans.

I make my decisions based on the decisions and actions of others, not of their promises, or what they say they will do. Not on their gender, or my gender. I view how someone will behave in the future based on what they have done in the past. I look to vocation. Dedication. What they've exemplified, and actively supported.
Accordingly, the candidate who represents me chose to dedicate life, education, and vocation to civil rights law, rather than corporate law.
My choice, my opinion. For what it's worth. And that's all I have to say about that.
HOPE = VOTE



...

spring: you can't see it, but it's coming.

My grades for the 3rd quarter are due on Friday.
I received an email reminding me (us) of how and when to export my (our) grades electronically and I realized, with a start, that the semester is half over. The general panic that sets in when kids realize that after Friday they cannot do anything to affect their grade, and the associated nagging that goes along with that as they beg, beg, beg for extra time or extra credit, is eclipsed by one fact that is undeniable:
My work year is 3/4 over. There is 1/4 of the year left.

In and among all the nonsense, over-bearing parents demanding special treatment for mi hito, gang members and the kids that have been expelled from other schools (and the one or two that I wish would get expelled from this one) is the certain knowledge of the coming of my golden summer.

My golden summer.

This is the reason that people teach. Don't misunderstand - it's not that teachers just bide their time until summer. It's just that we can ONLY do what we do if we are afforded some time each year because it takes about ten weeks for the bitterness and weariness to fade, and to get our sense of optimism and excitement and dedication in full gear again.

Actually, for many of us, optimism has faded somewhat by April, and then we hang in there because we know what's coming: we plant seeds in the spring and tend them during those ten golden weeks because they, at least, are far less heartbreaking for all our nurturing and tending.

I chose to work with kids: thrown out of other classes, other schools, or whom have recently been released from jail into the public school system. Every May I throw my supplies into boxes and say, "that's it, I've had it, next year will be my last. "

But then, over ten weeks, that certainty will fade. Ten golden weeks. My golden summer.

They're not so bad, I'll think, following my late morning nap.

Next year, I'll think as I sip my morning espresso, things will be different.
I will be different, I'll think, as I head out for my morning run.

mischivious imps!
I'll think as I climb a hill on my bike.

For ten glorious weeks I will follow my bliss. Hang out with retired friends, like SW Tri gal and Hartley, if they'll have me. Unhurried. Unruffled. My clothing will be sporty-spice meets REI end-of-season-sale. I'll get up each morning, smell the fragrant chocolate flower, and then shower. I'll visit and subtly harass friends who get paid way more than me but don't have summer off. Maybe lunch with Sweet Baboo.
Maybe this year will be the year that I get that hammock, and read that growing pile of books I don't seem to get to during the school year.

And you want to give this up? Sweet Baboo asked.

Over ten, golden weeks I'll forget how horrid and frustrating it is between August and May. And in August, I'll head back for another year, full of optimism and excitement.
This year, things will be different. I'll be different.

My grades for the 3rd quarter are due on Friday.

spring is coming, and summer is right behind.

yesterday, I bought 5 packets of flower seeds.

....

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Dude. Apparently, I'm like, a hippie and stuff.

in class this week:

Student A: So, hey, Mrs. P--so, were you like, a hippie back in the sixties?

Student B: Dude. Of course she was a hippie.

Me: Actually, I--

Student B: I mean, LOOK at her. She's like, a vegetarian and stuff.

Student A: Cool. We got a hippie teacher.

Me: But I was born in the sixties. I couldn't have--


(Above: Me and my hippie friends at a showing of "The Spirit of the Marathon" movie.)
Student C: So, like, what about the seventies? Were you a hippie then?

Me: Actually, I was in elementary school in the 70s. I'm more of an eighties chick.

Student A: But you like, eat all healthy and stuff.

Me: A lot of people eat healthy. That doesn't make them hippies. I've heard President Bush eats healthy food.

Student B: Dude. Of course she's a hippie. I mean, have you even see the bumper stickers on her car? She's all, "my other car is a bicycle" and stuff.

Me: Actually, that has more to do with--

Student C: Hippie! Hippie!

Student A: And I mean, like, you never wear suits and dresses and stuff like the other teachers.

Me: I wore a suit two weeks ago. i'm wearing a dress right now.

Student A: But that's like, a hippie dress.

Student C: My brother? He had you about four years ago? And he said you had really long hair, all the way down to your butt and stuff when he was in your class. He was all like, "Mrs. P is that hippie teacher, and she's all, 'put your bottles in the recyling bin' and stuff"

Student A: Mrs. P, it's okay that you're a hippie. We still like you.

Me: No, but you see I --

Student B: In fact, it's kinda cool that you're a hippie.

Me: I AM NOT A HIPPIE! I live in a gated community by the golf course!

Blank stares.

Then,

Student C: So, did you like, get all on LSD and stuff? and go to that big, you know music thing? With all the mud?

Student B: Dude. Of course she did. She was a stoner. You know she was.

Student A: I can't wait to tell my grandparents that my teacher was a hippie! So did you like, wear tye-dyed clothse and stuff?


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(This conversation was even more surreal, considering that this web site seems to have been penned by someone who followed me an Baboo around for year. )

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