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

Friday, May 29, 2009

Random, unrelated thoughts.


<-- 1) I ate a bag of these yesterday. Not as in "snack bag," either. A whole bag with about 6 servings. Then I ran a hilly 5k after work. There! All fixed. I will run a hilly 5k every single day of my life if it means I can eat Poor Brothers Sweet Maui Onion Kettle chips.

2) Sweet Baboo and my sister-in-law have been helping me learn to appreciate beer. I have always envied beer drinkers and how refreshing the stuff looks, kinda like...fizzy apple juice.

Too bad it doesn't taste like fizzy juice. After nearly 2 months of their best efforts, I still cannot stand the stuff. It's bitter fizz. Fizz should be sweet. As in Fanta. Or wine coolers. Or just skip the fizz. Call me unsophisticated, just bring me a glass of Black Beauty and you can call me whatever you want. Am I the only one who feels this way about beer?

3) Our scale is broken, and I'm happy about it. I'm not being snarky, as in, it's obviously broken because I don't weigh that much, but as in, no numbers, no beep, nada. It used to be that it was the first thing I saw as I stepped out of the shower, its siren song calling to me

-= Misty! Misty....come, step on me...I'll show you that you are indeed
becoming a light and delicate flower =-

and then I step on it, just like Charlie Brown keeps running at the football, gaaaaa! it shows the exact same group of numbers it's been showing me since November. Crap!
Sure, I need the reality. ON the other hand, it furthers my unhealthy body issues. I'm so conflicted! Should I love the scale, or hate the scale?
I have decided I'm not in a big hurry to replace the scale.

4) I am a bit smaller. I noticed that as I put on my skirt this morning. "It's the cycling," Sweet Baboo said.

In one day? I'm smaller because I did one 30-mile ride?

"Yep."

I can live with that.

5) A friend from work, Dvora, brought me a loaf of what I call hippie bread. It's an obscure-label bread made from spouted hemp instead of what and it's full of seeds. At first I was like, oh, great, what is this?

Now I'm hooked. On hippie bread.

The only store in town that carries it is La Montanita, and so now I have to go completely out of my way to get some, so that every day I can have my one slice of hippie bread with almond butter, which another friend has thoughtlessly gotten me hooked on.

Damned hippie bread.

So then today, she offered to go by and pick me up some...Oh, I SEE HOW IT IS. The first fix was free...after that, I gotta pay...

but now I'm freaked by something a coworker said to me: does anyone know if eating hemp makes you blow positive on a UA?

...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

In which I get some perspective.

Earlier yesterday DP and I had an exchange about someone complaining about how long and hot a run someone took their dog on. Turns out that the large, healthy animal in question was, in fact, taken on a 5 mile run, and it was 79 degrees. That got me to thinking about some of the things I did in the past that, at the time, seemed arduous and difficult, both to me and others around me.
Thanks to MAPMYRUN.com, I can now investigate and see how long they really were.

Investigation #1: Often, my mother could not pick me up from school on time, so I (age of 10) chose to make the long trek home. Oh, how I suffered: me, my backpack, and the long walk through the wooded suburbs in Alabama. Why, in winter, it would sometimes get down to the forties on occasion.
heavens!
I mapped this. From Green Valley elementary school to my old house, it was a whopping 1.1 miles utilizing all the shortcuts I used to take.

Investigation #2: Middle school. Hoover, AL. I did the President's Physical Fitness test. Oh, how I kvetched about being made to run around the track at school for what seemed like hours. and HOURS. I fanned myself, walked when the coach wasn't looking, grousing, what are we, communists? OH, how I suffered.
I looked this up. Turns out that this was a 1 mile test, and most kids finished it in about 15 minutes or less.

Investigation #3: September, 1984. I got tired of waiting for my ride home from work. I decided to hoof it, walking along the railroad tracks that I knew ran behind our apartment. When I got home nearly an hour later, there was much hysteria from inlaws and my family. Why didn't you wait? Why didn't you call? OMG DO YOU KNOW HOW DANGEROUS THAT WAS?
I mapped this...the afternoon walk through a completely flat, Dallas suburb, was 2.2 miles.

Investigation #4: It was a bad, bad break up in 1998. Angry and grief-stricken, onc day I put on my cheap trainers and headed out the door. I walked for a while, and then saw a hill. I charged up the hill full speed, making it about 1/3 of the way up the hill, and then walked the rest of the way up, lungs burning, heart pounding, stomach rebelling. Then I turned around and walked back home. I discovered, accidentally, that this made me feel better, and did it a couple more times after that, but never more than once a day. Here's the profile of the outbound portion of that run:







Eventually, though, I wasn't angry any more, and after about 2 weeks, I stopped running up that hill.

Investigation #5: 2006. I did a half iron in Oklahoma City called, "The Redman Half". I remember it being quite hilly. Up and down...up and down. Then I did the half marathon and finished in the medical tent with goosebumps and an IV drip.

I mapped that single loop bike ride.


Drumroll please. Here it is:






Huh. Okay. Well, maybe it was the run that whooped me??





Well. It's all about perspective, I guess. Few things scare me any more. Some things nauseate me a bit, but I still toe the start line.

The more you do, the more you know you can do.

Have fun. Go to mapmyrun.com and map out some of those daunting experiences that you had long ago--it's really good for your mojo, to see how far you've come.

...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Best Diet. EVAR.

So here it is, the best diet ever:
I've arranged the first 55 miles of each bike course (Ironman Coeur D'Alene and Ironman St. George, respectively) side-by-side. Click, and enjoy. I mean, I don't know about you, but I want to throw up just looking at it.

I figure if I post it on the refrigerator it will reliably take away my appetite and I'll be lean and mean by September.

September...but Geekgirl, isn't Ironman St. George in May?

Ah, yes. It IS! you see, I have reneged on my plan to not doing an iron distance in 2009. My name is GeekGirl Iron Misty, and I'm an addict.

Dear Misty:
Thank you for registering for the 2009 Redman Full Distance Triathlon.
Your Registration is confirmed, and you may use this email as your
Registration Confirmation...

The Redman is where I did my first half iron, and I always wanted to come back and do the full. It's small, great shwag, and I remember the support being fantastic. Plus, you can packet pickup on the day before the race, which is on Saturday.

Win-win! We'll see.

I also remember it being incredibly hilly. Of course, that was in 2006 when I was just a triathlon infant.

Now when I look at the profile, I realize that it's all relative.


We'll see.


...

Why my 9 mile ride was 16 miles long.

So, Sweet Baboo caught me during a lull in my synapses and convinced me to commute to work today by bicycle. This is quite a feat for him, for several reasons (I am She-ra, Queen--nay, EMPRESS--of excuses.):

1) I only like to ride my bike if the temperature is between 62 and 64 degrees F., and it's not too windy or sunny or cloudy or raining.

2) roads, traffic, sidewalks, cars, other cyclists, people walking (with or without dogs), animals, plants, and buildings make me nervous, so I try to avoid cycling wherever these are present.

However, once I agreed, I was stuck--I am a woman of my word. I did the commute, which was actually quite nice.

I've prepared an illustration of why a 9-mile commute is 16-miles long using a sophisticated, graphical representation. I forgot to add in that on the lower left side exists Kirtland AFB, so we can't commute through there.

Still, although I arrived to work somewhat sweaty, I enjoyed it. I had onhand some "WetOnes for Sensitive Skin," antiperspirant, and cologne for just such a sweaty occasion. I carried my lunch and my work clothes in my backpack. It was pretty nice; I love doing things in the morning.


Of course, this commute TO work was mostly downhill and coasting. The commute home, much less so. And, it got cold. And it rained. whine, weedle, moan.

Once again, I squished the profile to make it ever-so-more dramatic.

By the time I got home, my whole body was screaming, PASTA! NOW!

...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Getting Ready for BSLT 70.3

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. --Dr. Seuss

Yesterday, I did a very short ride after dinner on Danger Kitty to ensure that she hasn't forgotten who I am, and climbed up a road near my house. It was awful. I had to stop twice just to catch my breath and swear.

I didn't have my Garmin with me, so I loaded it into "map my ride". The result was immediately disappointing. The map and profile were not nearly as grueling as it had seemed to me at the time, so, I squished the profile to make it more dramatic. Here it is:

I seem to have lost my nerve, particularly with respect to going downhill. I kept hitting my brakes and just kind of squeaking my way back down. I did the whole ride in the big ring, because I need to build up my cycling legs pretty fast. BSLT has a lot of short, intense climbs on the bike, and the bike has always been my weakness.

The plan is to do this ride once on 2 evenings a week until I can do it without stopping, and then, do it twice on 2 evenings a week. This is in addition to a longer ride on the weekends that incorporates a long, 6-mile uphill grind. A good friend once told me, "I hate hills, but I love what they do for me." I've noticed that as I've become more experienced in many things, the stuff that seemed scary and un-doable before seems less scary now. And so I hope it will be with steep hills and bicycles.

Meanwhile, absolutley NO change on my weight so far, meaning that I'm still hauling 170 pounds of my butt up whatever hill is in front of me. Crap. It's not that I care so much about the appearance. I just want less to haul around.

This weekend begins the first of a series of long, hilly hike/run things that Sweet Baboo will be taking me on out into the Sandias to get me ready for the "Run the Valles Caldera Marathon" on the 13th. I also, having been suitably humbled in the pool at the Jay Benson tri, am returning to swim-training with paddles.

I have one month to get ready for a half iron. One month. Crap. That went by fast.

...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Friends Don't let Friends Drink....


That's what I get for getting all giddy about having succesfully launched the last of the picachus.

This morning I picked up Mini-baboo's diploma, himself in Dallas on one last vaca before heading for Navy boot camp on the 16th.
Mostly, as I was telling DP on the phone earlier, it isn't so astounding that they were all gone, and they're all employed and housed, but that none of them is pissed at me. Thus far, not a single one has taken me to task for ruining their lives. In particular, my oldest, who had the most responsibility heaped on his young shoulders when I was a single parent, remarkably, still speaks to me.

I joked in an earlier post about "putting it in the book" but truthfully, I was quite overwhelmed as a young, single mother of three, and not always the calmest, sanest mother one could hope to have. I was a full-time college student, usually exhausted. I yelled a lot. I was always losing my keys; they spent an inordinant amount of time trying to help mom find them. And, unlike those nice, stable, married moms, I had boyfriend drama. (All that ended in 2000, of course). Despite all this, they like me well enough to visit, call and email, and occasionally ask advice. This leads me to believe that I am perceived as neither frightening or stupid. I hasten to add that it's not the perception of me at issue here. It's the relief I feel that I have not ruined their lives.

So it was in this state of giddiness, with a glass of cabernet in one hand, and staring out at the hills in the other, that I dramatically declared, sign me up!! as Sweet Baboo was looking at the information for the "Run the Caldera" marathon out at Valles Caldera (that's pronounced, vah-eeyez, boys and girls. )


I have about 3-1/2 weeks to get ready for this.

Friends just don't let friends drink and sign up for marathons, y'all.


...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Oh, the Places You'll Go

Yesterday Sweet Baboo, Daughter, Daughter's Husband, Oldest Son, and James (Mini-baboo's best friend) and I sat in the upper bleachers at the Santa Ana Star Event Center and played whatever games were on our phones (Brick-breaker, Solitare, nothing, a game I'm not familiar with, another game I'm not familiar with, and Sudoku, respectively) for nearly 3 hours.


Shortly before all this started we converged at the outer door to the center and I handed outadmission tickets for Mini-baboo's graduation, stopping after all present had received their ticket, and said, wondering, "why do I have an extra ticket?"

Oh. Crap! We'd forgotten to pick up Mini-baboo's best friend. We'd driven 30 miles, arrived 5 minutes before the ceremony was to begin, parking our 2 cars quite some distance away. I looked at Sweet Baboo helplessly. "Can you go get James?" and then, Baboo gave me his patented, patient look. "What's his house number?"
Oh. Uh. I dunno. It's a white house, I think. I think it's past the 2nd speed hump. There's, uh, a brown mailbox, I think.

Pay attention for a moment and you'll see why I married him: he looked at me with his patented, patient look, and said, Okay, making him just about the best sport in the world. He returned about 30 minutes later with said kid, and we sat side-by-side and played our phone games,
except for the moment when Mini-baboo's name was called, and we yelled like crazy and then immediately went back to playing our games.

My favorite part of the ceremony was during the commencement address, when the speaker gave, as part of his advice to the seniors, "Quit showing your underwear. It's called underwear for a reason. And quit talking in text," eliciting a cheer from the audience.

Eventually, they were declared graduates, and whoops and confetti hit the air.

I noticed that when the kids sprayed their confetti around, that some of the confetti went up, some of it hit the floor immediately, and some of it floated upward and seemed to hang, suspended, in the air. I wondered if it were an analogy for life after high school.

Then we all went home for an open house for Mini. Friends and family from
our triathlon team came by to say good-bye to the teams' youngest member.

DP's people gave Mini-baboo a copy of Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss. Mini-baboo good-naturedly chased about six kids around the yard until, eventually, he'd had enough of small kids and then went off with his older brother for a while.

We started on his cake while he was gone. He didn't seem to mind. My very favorite moment of the day came when a fellow-triatlete, Mighty Mike, told me sincerely what a good kid Mini-baboo is, and how we'd done such a good job. Mighty Mike is a probation and parole officer. It's all Baboo, I assured him. If it weren't for him, Mini-baboo would have had long, blue hair and probably be not as respectful as he is.

Today he'll travel to Dallas for 3 weeks to visit family, and then to Navy boot camp.

As for me, I've had visitors for the past 18 days straight. I am simply looking forward to having a bit of quiet and being able to leave the doors open again, and getting back into my training routine.

And so, he is launched! In 3....2....1.....

...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

2009 Jemez Mountain Trail Half Marathon - Race Report


If it hadn't been so steep,


if it hadn't been from 7000 to 9000 feet above sea level,

if the trail hadn't had so much loose, fine sand and/or scree all over,

if I hadn't weighed as much as I did,

if I hadn't been so undertrained,

This would have been easy and fun.  But it was all those things, and so was I.  So it was HARD. and...maybe a little fun.

I mean, of course it was hard for me.  Maybe it was easy for DP and Sweet Baboo.  But for me, it was the kind of hard where you're kind of stumbling along, thinking very dramatic thoughts like, so this is what it's like, to be close to death, and you're stopping every 20 steps or so to take deep breaths, watching a line of people ahead of you, snaking up...and up...and up the mountain.

And then.  And then, well, nearly everyone who ran past me felt the need to tell me, that's not the top you know.  Up there.  Once you get up there, it keeps going up for quite a ways.

Um.  Yes.  thanks for that.  

Well, going back down wasn't as much fun as you'd think.  But at least it wasn't up any more.  By that time, though, I'd run through most of what I had in the tank, and I would perk up immediately after coke, or a gel, and then about a mile later, wear down.  

In any case, I'm done now, and I'm happy, and I beat my goal by 4 minutes, and I want to do it next year, and I'm really, really, glad I did the half marathon instead of the 50K (!).

Oh, and on this trail marathon, there is a climb straight up a steep hill at the end to the finish line, via a trail 18" wide cut through rock. 

It was sadistic.  It was cruel.  And wholly unexpected.  What other surprises were in store, I wondered.  Ice?  Ball bearings?  Would people leap out and spank me as I went by?  

In any case, there went my "kick".  I kind-of stumbled, half jogged to the finish line, 3:56:23.   (The Garmin says a little more because I forgot to turn it off.)

DP, ever the consoling friend, said, "Told ya it was hard." 'Cause she's all warm and fuzzy that way.

Shower time - My legs are filthy dusty brown from the ankles up--and oddly enough, my feet are filthy, too.  Both Baboo and I brought some trail home with us on our clothes and in our shoes.

Things I learned from this race:

Okay, one: when you're really, really, really tired deep into a race and you trip and go down, you go down HARD.  AND, it takes a LONG time to recover.  OOOoof!  

Two: Tusk, by Fleetwood Mac, is an awesome song to listen to as you're running through the woods.  You're all, YEAH!  I'M TRAIL GIRL!  ROWR!  

Three: My hubby is a stud.  Baboo did this one in 2:41:10.

I'd like to shout out at the girls who were so nice to me and said hi to me, but the ensuing glucose depletion in my brain wiped out all their names.  I remember seeing Robin...and Diana.  The rest is a blur.    

...

Friday, May 15, 2009

T-minus 4 days and counting.

Happy NRYBTWD.


I have to miss out on it because I'm going over to pick up Mini-baboo and begin getting ready for graduation weekend. He'll hang out at the Jemez trail run with us tomorrow and then on Monday, he graduates. It's official.

GRAD-U-ATES.
My left eye has stopped twitching.

Expected to be in attendance are my two other grown children; one of them is my oldest son who is in the Army and who I haven't seen in 5 years.

This first-born child left in 2002 for the Army, shaking his fist and declaring that he would some day have way more education than either of us (What is that, some kind of threat?) while simultaneously declaring there was nothing more that any school could teach him that he didn't already know or could figure out for himself. He returns to us for this visit slightly humbled by life and the US Military. He's pretty ready for college, I think.

The middle-child, my daughter, left us a few years later, declaring that I was all about rules, rules, rules and that she would never live her life that way. She is married, and employed, and calls me often to ask my advice.


Tuesday morning, we'll go over and pick up mini-Baboo's diploma, and he'll go down to the Navy recruiter and pee in a cup. This was his choice.
Meanwhile, I sent him this card yesterday:


and this one a couple days ago:


'cause I'm all about the love.

After peeing in a cup, Mini-baboo will head to Dallas for 3 weeks of R&R. Then he comes back here for a week, pees in another cup, and a week later he ships out. He says he can't wait to get out of New Mexico because it's too hot, and I'm sure that, buried in that statement was the undeclared and I'll finally have some freedom.


It was 82 today by the way, with 18% humidity, typical for May/June in Albuquerque. Gorgeous.


Mini-baboo will be headed up to the Chicago area for boot camp. In June.

Don't you just want to pinch his cheek and tell him how cute he is? Run along, Mini-baboo. Enjoy your freedom, and your life, and the balmy Chicago summer.

...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Many run-on sentences and some sentence fragments today.

  • My training plan involves at least 2 5am 5k runs, as soon as I can get my crap together enough the night before to make up for the fact that practically as soon as I stop running I have to get in the car and go to work.

  • I'm also planning on doing an afternoon run once a week, to get heat acclimated for BSLT 70.3 at the end of June.

  • 2-3 times a week, I walk a couple miles with a coworker at lunch. She's training to racewalk a 5K, so she enjoys being with someone who can keep up, which is what it's all about: I can now keep up with a novice racewalker.

  • I am intrigued by Crossfit, as it is the preferred training of Catra Corbit, who is someone I aspire to be like, although slightly less colorfull or naked. (Okay, maybe just as naked but only for Sweet Baboo.) AndraSue is also doing Crossfit, and so I'm curious about her experience.

  • But I'm pretty sure I'm much too lazy to actually do it.

  • I am lukewarm about my performance at Jay Benson. On the one hand, I'm slightly slower than the last time I did it, but on the other hand, I'm happy that although I'm heavier and haven't trained I didn' really do all that bad. There's always next year.
  • Baboo and I are thinking more about how much we like being home now. There are no surly teenagers and we love the new crib (I just know Baboo will adore me calling it a "crib.") so we may start limiting our craziness to just one or two trips a year, and do more local events.
  • I thought I would be depressed that this is the first summer since 1991 that I haven't had the summer off, but I'm excited to be able to do early runs in a T-shirt and shorts.
  • I had houseguests here for 10 days, and they left yesterday, so now, I have 5 days to straighten up and prepare for all my grown children, who are descending on me like locusts (did I just say that out loud?) in honor of Mini-baboo's graduation. I'm getting increasingly old-lady-cranky: Don't touch my stuff. Don't sit there. GAA! What are you doing? Don't change the volume on that!

  • I used to grumble about HS graduations (what are they so excited about) but I'm so excited about this event that I just can't put it into words.
  • I have mixed feelings about the order of the waves at Jay Benson: 1) All men, 2) Women up to 44, and then 3) Clydesdales, Athenas, Teams, and women over 44. It's like, we're going to let the real triathletes go first, and then you all can go. (And, it was mother's day.)

...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day! (Race Report)

Yesterday as is my favorite Mother's Day tradition I turned off my cell phone and participated in the annual Jay Benson Triathlon. There were a ton of people that I saw yesterday, being as it is a rather large local event, including DP (of course), SW TriGal, Tiger Lily, and Natalie. Sweet Baboo was head race official, and Bones was assistant ref.

I started out in the third wave (40 minutes after the first wave took off) because, as you know, whenever you have heavy, older runners on a warm day you should put them last so that it's as hot as possible and the water is as warm as possible. Happy mother's day. My run wasn't all that bad, about 11:02 pace, but I felt pretty good about it.

I didn't feel so good about the bike, though. I clearly need to work on that! I averaged 16.1 mph, slowing down pretty dramatically toward the end. Toward the end of the ride, my friend Sarah blew by me, shouting words of encouragement, and then I KNEW I had to get a move on because the swim was her best event. I hit T2, and it's a long T2, and I ran past her in transition, hitting the pool and swimming my guts out.

The first 50 meters felt pretty good, and then it was all downhill from there. Or uphill, as As another teammate, Cathy, said later "There's no way that wasn't and uphill swim. Where did that current come from??"

I backstroked, side stroked, breast-stroked, and crawled, staying ahead of Sarah's swim cap until I finished, staggered across the timing mat, and then nearly fell over in the chair while they got my timing chip. Holy. Cow. No placing - but I finished.

So that my mother's day! I did my first triathlon of 2009, and my first one since August of 2008. I watched DP's people do the kiddie triathlon, dumped the requisite amount of guilt on the youngest kiddo who, I would hasten to add:

Will. Graduate. It is fundamentally unchangeable.

After the triathlon we had a bit of a cookout with other Outlaws, and then Baboo and I snuck away to watch the new Star Trek movie. WHICH I loved.

and after a week of houseguests, things are getting back to normal again. At least, they will be, for about 5 days until the next batch descend upon me for Mini-Baboo's graduation.

and now I will sleep.

Add later: Now here's what I can't figure out. I'm beginning to suspect that some competitors ran in the wrong wave, an earlier wave that took off 20 minutes before. This was the first year that they had a third wave, and a friend of mine said that she wasn't told as packet pickup that she was supposed to be in a particular wave. Take a look at the results, a couple of the master's Athenas ran a 20 minute, and a 16 minute 5K? Does that seem right? Am I just being weird? Even the overall winner didn't pull off a run that fast.

Note a bit lower, where the runner of the "midtown mavins" team did a 10-minute 5K. Amazing! I call B***S**t

Of course, none of this matters for my placing; none of it affects it. But it points out a glaring problem with CCR timing. They need to have timing mats at the start line.

Meanwhile, I'm comparing all my times and I'm definitely slower than the last time I did this race.

Time to get to work...


...

Friday, May 08, 2009

Product review: The LeBistro Automatic Pet feeder.

None of this has anything to do with running or triathlon.

Update: I've been on Levothyroxine (Synthroid) for about 5 weeks now. The first two weeks, I had an eyelid twitch, which my opthamologist said was from stress. In any case, it's gone now, and I haven't had it for over a week. I have not lost any weight. I have, however, noticed my energy level is better. I don't have this crushing fatigue that makes me want to cry when I get up in the morning.

Part of this is also possibly due to the new cat feeding machine that feeds the cats at 4 am, so they wake me. I must digress to share this miracle of modern technology. This thing. Has changed. My life.

BEFORE:
About 3 am, Whitney would jump onto the bed, run back and forth on me just long enough to wake me up, and then zoom off before I came up swinging--Just kidding!--reached for the squirt bottle that I keep on my side of the bed, for just such an occasion. She would repeat this about every 10 minutes until I got up.
As soon as I sat bolt upright the 2nd cat, Lily, (very much like this picture) who is an unholy cross between a cat and a screetch owl, would start come over to my side of the bed and meow. I mean, loud. Really loud. And we have a noise machine in the room, too, to mask outside noises, and I'm hearing-impaired. You can't sleep through this.

Attempts to shut out the cats resulted in Lily hurling her very large, heavy Maine Coone cat body against the door so that it rattled in the frame, scratching, picking at the door with her claws, clawing at the floor and howling.


Baboo, of course, slept through all this.

More than once, I picked her up, put her in the garage, and tried to go back to sleep, but by the time you've carried a heavy struggling howling cat across the house naked, you're pretty much wide awake.
So. Finally, I very dramatically declared that either the cats spent the nights in the garage or we get this automatic feeder I'd been researching. (Baboo, of course, is always bewildered as to why I am so dramatic. All I have to do is ask, after all. But being dramatic often more fun.)

So I ordered this thing from Amazon, bought 3 D batteries, programmed it.

AFTER:
At first, not so much of a change, and I despaired. Then I read about "attention-seeking" behavior and waited. Now, after about a week, the cats have clearly realized that the machine is the God of Food, and are ignoring me. I don't even see them until I get up. I set the clock for 4 am, 2 pm, and 9 pm. This schedule was chosen to give them full bellies late in the day, So they'd sleep more at night.

Just before a feeding, the cats shark around the machine, meowing, but this is way down the hall where I can't hear it, so who cares. Then the Le Bistro makes a little whirring noise, and dumps out its payload of nuggety goodness. You can choose up to 3 feedings, between 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, or a cup of food.

I'm sleeping all the way until I want to get up, which makes a huge different in my motivation level.
You won't find it at triathlon supply places, but it might as well be.
Maybe sporting-goods stores should have a section for "motivation". It would have all manner of gagetry to simply ones life and allow time (and sleep) for more training.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

In which I love feeling my body move.

A few years ago, when we first started all this running and stuff, Baboo said to me the something that caused peals of laughter:

Sometimes, I just love to feel my body move.

I think I even responded something snarky, like:

I love to feel my body laying on the couch.

But this morning, I got it. I really got it.

I hadn't run since Sundays 10K run/5k walk thing, and I felt like I needed to. I would have run last night, but we went to dinner with relatives. It's been a bit of a stressful week, and I have a triathlon this weekend, and an ultra the next.

But, that's not why I dragged my 170 pounds out onto the hills at dawn this morning. I can't explain what drew me up and out of bed early, but I laid out my clothes and shoes and ipod last night, then went out. I went up and around and down the hills. It was only for about 1-1/2 miles for about 25 minutes before work, but that's all I needed.

There was no Garmin, no objective, no target pace, and no plans. I just moved easily and enjoyably over a known loop around the trails, not caring how I looked, or how fast I was going.

I felt my heart pounding, my chest heaving and my lungs burning; the air was cool on my skin; I felt strong as I crested small hills. I rounded one corner and the early morning city was spread out before me, the sun not yet on it.

I finished and walked into the kitchen, and told Baboo how wonderful it was and how great I felt and then I told him, if he was my patient, I would prescribe this for him every day.

And that's when he reminded me of how I mocked him for talking about how he liked just feeling my body move.

I walked back into the house and loved everyone and

everything and

life is good

and I loved, just loved,

feeling my body move.

...

Sunday, May 03, 2009

2009 Run for the Zoo race report.


Nearly 4 years ago I did my first 10K. It was a grueling, discouraging ugly experience in which I was dead last. I did not record my time anywhere, and can't find it anywhere on the Internet, but I believe it to be around 2 hours.

This was interesting to me because today I did a 10k on roughly the same course. There were a few different streets, but it was in the same neighborhood. I was prepared to do my Galloway-style one minute walk/one minute run thing, but surprisingly, I found that I could run out the whole thing.

About the first mile, I was passed by a guy with a jogging stroller, despite a ban on strollers, (remember, rules are for suckers). I just dug in and tried to keep an even pace. The first two miles of any road running I have a burning right where my feet join my legs, in front. I don't know what to make of it, but it abruptly stops hurting right about mile 2. Poof, gone, just like that.

This happened today, and I did wind up walking a minute or so trying to figure out how to ease up the pain, but finally I just sucked it up and ran. As always, the pain disappeared about mile 2, and then I surprised myself by holding what is (for me) a decent pace for the rest of the race.

I finished in 1:10, which is almost a PR for me. I felt good and wasn't all breathless like I usually am. Considering that I'm still pretty heavy and just getting back to my training, it's another encouraging experience. My hams are paying the price for my adventure, though.

Afterwards, Baboo and I joined some family for the 5k walk, on which I did not PR. I was pretty impressed by my young nephew, though, who walked the whole thing and then a couple miles back to our relatives house, for a total of about 5 miles. Like I told him, he went further today than any of his classmates ever have, and statistically, ever will. I have to credit his mom, who takes him for walks often because she's a big believer in kids being fit.

(Oh, he's FOUR, by the way.)

...

Friday, May 01, 2009

Headline: Pandemic Leads to Hypochondriacal Drama

So yesterday my day started with this email:
========================================

From: (deep south relative whose identify I'm protecting)
To: Misty
Subject: Swin Flu

Hey are you feeling any flu stuff? How are things in Mexico?

=========================================
At first, I was puzzled. Mexico. How the hell would I know how things are in Mexico?

Then I was optimistic. I bet she's extrapolating! She knows I work in a hospital, and knowledgeable about events in some places in the world. She much think, then, that I would know how things are in Mexico.

Eventully, I was sadly resigned. This relative, who doesn't read because it's boring and hasn't left her state in about 40 years except for brief, safe vacations around other like-minded people who believe that knowledge is a Tool of the Devil.

AND who just mailed me a check. To my address. IN NEW MEXICO for the NAMI walk.

She, does, indeed. Think that I live. in Mexico.

I puzzled over my response. How to you take advantage of a teachable moment without being condescending?

As far as I know, there have been no reported cases in the entire state of New Mexico. I'm not sure about Mexico, as those cases are very far away.

Her response: How far away?

Me: About 1000 miles. Actually, geographically speaking, they are closer to you, so keep your eyes peeled.

I have received no response yet.

========================

No long after, I got the first of a series of emails from the hospital administration, that came about every 30 minutes, providing updates on how important it is to wash your hands and is it just me that is disturbed the administrator thinks that hospital personnel need to be reminded several times daily about hand-washing?

Then I got this text on my cell phone:

SON: DON'T FEEL WELL. THROAT SORE. COUGH. TIRED.

ME: U DO NOT HAVE SWINE FLU. GO 2 SCHOOL.

SON: STAGE 5. I'M SCARED.

My youngest son, 18, never admits fear unless he's trying to get something. I'm positive he's been counseled other teenagers, something like that: Dude. Just tell your mom you're scared! I swear to God, they'll give you anything if you do the little boy thing. Go for it!

ME: TOTAL B*S*. GO TO SCHOOL, ALMOST HOMELESS MAN.

Later on, I did pay him a visit. He's doesn't even have a fever. He does, however, have another unexcused absense. Please, oh please, just let him graduate.

Later on, a voice mail from my daughter. I love her, but she is a bit dramatic. Therefore, her ring tone, by design, is very hard to hear. I frequently miss her calls. (Email me if you want to know how to do this.)

Hi, Mom! No, I'm okay, I just wanted you to know that {cough} that I've been sick for about 10 days now {cough} [personal note: she was not sick 3 days ago] and nothing has worked, so, I'm going to go to the clinic to get tested to make sure I don't have swine flu. I just wanted to call you so you wouldn't worry. Okay, bye! I love you mom!

All this was delivered in a loud, clear, energetic, very happy voice. I also got an email very soon after, saying the exact same thing, along with a very long poem she wrote about love. Reasonable people know that calling and saying I wanted you to know I'm going to the hospital so you wouldn't worry is some sort of linguistic oxymoron. I'm not sure what to call it, speech-wise. In behavioral health, we call it "bomb-dropping."

But my girl is all about drama, and an epidemic is a drama-queen's very best friend. She always, at any given time, is convinced that she has every single disease or condition currently reported in the media. She has a couple of real problems; she is about 100% overweight, is pre-diabetic, and has 20/400 vision in one eye.

But she won't exercise. or stop eating so much candy. Or wear her glasses.

But anyway. Late yesterday, my oldest child, a 25-year-old son in the US Army, wrote me an email:


I think I'm lactose intolerant.

I'm not sure how I got such hypochondriac children who tell me this stuff but don't have time to do to the doctor. I have always modeled the whole, quit complaining, suck it up, put your head down and do it thing. Where, oh where, does this come from?

Okay, I have to quit now. I feel a sick headache coming on.

...