NEXT EVENTS: IRONMAN BOULDER 2014, Run Rabbit Run 50-miler

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

This blog is about my journey as an asthmatic, hypothyroid, formerly plus-sized endurance athlete. It's occasionally interrupted with things that have nothing to do with that or whining about my weight and horrible eating habits. "You're never too old to be what you might have been" --George Eliot

Saturday, September 26, 2009

This is why you're fat.




DP sent me this link. Hilarious. Enjoy.


PS: The vegetarian version of this sandwich is veggie sausage, cheese, carmelized onions, and eggs between thick slabs of french toast.
Go ahead. Ask me how I know.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

Alphabet edition, from my trail runs.

1) O stands for Oh, MY! As in, Lions and Tigers and Bears!
Okay, well, maybe not tigers. But definitely lions and bears. WHATWASTHATNOISE? I see their tracks and...leavings on every run. I hear they're shy. I hope so. I hope they stay shy.




2) D as in Down. As in, perhaps before climbing up some terrain, it's good to stop first and consider how one might get DOWN. Trust me on this.






3) A is also for Aster. One of my favorite things about fall.








4) R
is for Rules, what rules? Oh, pfft. THOSE rules. My doggy is special. We don't need no stinkin' rules. His poo is special, too.

Also,

I don't care if they're trying to repair some of the trail. I will go wherever I damn-well please.

Who is that crazy woman taking my picture any way?

5) A is for Autopause. As in, use this if you stop and take pictures a lot, so that you don't do what I did, which is stop your Garmin and then forget to start it again.



6) W
is for Water. Look --> here's some!


7) H is for High. The altitude kind. or maybe, H is for Happy.



8) L as in Lots. I've done lots of miles in the past 7 days: about 26, most of them trail miles at or above 6000 feet, which are hilly and take a lot longer. That will start creeping upward, you'll see. I will not DNF the Ghost Town in January.


9) S is for STUPID. As in, "hey, this dry river bed at the mouth of a canyon...feeding into a drainage area..this looks like a good place to pitch our tent."



10) V is for View. I was at 6700 feet in this picture, I climbed hands and feet up the side of a large hill and wound up with this view, which is about 1/10 of the whole thing, but I don't have a panoramic camera.


11) J is for Job. Nope, still don't have one. I got a lead on a possible one, but found out that all their positions require you to be bilingual. I'm pretty sure my pigin Japanese and poorly pronounced French don't count.

12) G is for Graduate school. This is turning into a Looooong semester.

13) E is for Elephant Butte. If you're doing this on Sunday, look for me at the 1st aid station on the run. Prepare to be aided.

...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Feet Au Gratin

Last winter when I couldn't run for months and tried speed-walking instead I developed very weird, tough callouses on the balls of my feet, especially my right foot. This callous is so tough that it wears through all my socks--only my right sock--and now all my socks have holes in them right there. It was so big that it was throwing off my gait.

When did I get so asymmetric?

When I finally did start running and walking long distances again, I started developing blisters UNDER this huge, weird callous, because it's so tough and inflexible that it stays in place while my feet move over it, causing a blister to form UNDER it. After last long run, I decided, enough is enough.

So I bought one of those egg-shaped callous shavers from the cosmetics section at WalGreens and took it home. Once I got it out of the package, I recognized it for what it was: It's a cheese grater for your feet.

Now - before I hear girlie squeals like Oh Misty that's so dangerous you can really eff up your feet with that I want to say: too late. I've already used it. In fact, I deliberately waited until I saw the results to write about it.

I used it carefully, cautiously, conservatively, waited a week, ran a marathon, and then waited another week before posting about it. I'm fine. My feet are fine. I was nothing if not very conservative in using this thing. I followed all the directions and was careful, and so far have had no problems. A LOT of stuff came off. I wasn't sure what to do with it. I mean...I'm into recycling, but, there's a limit. I tossed it.

So, if you're so inclined, there it is. A cheese grater for your feet.

...

It's the simple things...that I find disgusting.

Creamed. Corn. Who thinks this is a food? Not me. It's one of the few "vegetable-type" foods (more on this later) that I find completely disgusting. And I like brussel sprouts.

I remember liking it (creamed corn) when I was 3. After that, not so much.

I hate the consistency. The noise it makes coming out of the can and hitting the bowl.

*shudder*

Creamed corn to me says, "I've given up on adulthood."

Its says, "breast feeding is not socially acceptable at my age; I'll eat this instead."

Creamed corn says, "I don't care what I put in my mouth, or what it looks like, so long as there is substantially little difference between how it looks before I eat it and about an hour after I eat it."

That's all I'm going to say about creamed corn.

Except this: I've started packing Sweet Baboo's lunches for him (I know: AWWWWWW) and since he is training for another 100-miler, they include a sandwich, a vegetable, a fat-free pudding cup, some sort of fruit, and 2 cookies or a small cup of chips.

(This places me dangeously in the "June Cleaver" category, I know. I console myself with the knowledge that June, if manifested in the flesh, wouldn't kiss her husband goodbye, head out to run 8 miles and then come in to write a paper for law class. Also, Ward wasn't training for a hundred-miler.)

So, but. Anyway. Sweet Baboo and I have discussed his eating preferences. He was getting tired of having the same vegetables from the flat we bought at Costco so I asked him, what kind of vegetable do you all like?

"Peas."

Uh-huh. What else?

"Corn--I know, 'corn is not a vegetable' but I like it."

Go on. (Using my 'listening' skills here...)

"Beets, carrots, lima beans...um...green beans, but only once in a while, you know?"

I know.

So I perused the store shelves, tossing lima beans, peas, corn, mixed vegetables, beets into my cart...oh, look at this! Creamed corn. I know without checking that he loves him some creamed corn--I've never met a man who didn't. One of the things that I appreciate so much about Sweet Baboo is that, although some (his mother) might characterize him as a fussy eater, there are two great truths to his eating: first, he'll eat the same entree 2 or 3 days in a row and not get bored, and second, he loves simple things. Jell-o. Beets. Creamed corn.

In theory, creamed corn sounds good. Cream, sugar, corn. A minor, nonscientific poll among some people indicates that I am flawed for my dislike. Yes, I still don't like it. Nothing changes that, not even peer pressure. And, my Sweet Baboo loves it.

So I bought some. Bought two cans of what is, in my opinion: gruel. This morning, I emptied one into the small rubbermaid container that I use for packing vegetables for himself. I had to turn away as it sllluurrrppped out of the can into the plastic dish.

*shudder*

Of course, Sweet Baboo was very pleased.

I don't anything very important to say today.

It's raining out...and I hate creamed corn. But I love Sweet Baboo, so I subject myself to its presense.

Meanwhile.

Sweet Baboo mentioned that he never realized until we moved to the new house and all the kids were gone how little I actually train.

Oops.

The jig is up.

...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

Arranged topically, for browsing convenience.

1. CYCLING: With regard to doing two triathlons with my brakes rubbing on my tire: I suppose that if I cycled more often I would recognize when my bike needs working on...naaaah. I'll just check it over more carefully before races from now on.

2. WEATHER. I love fall. Looooooove it. Did I mention I love fall? Yeah, baby.

3. TRIATHLON. I'm a bit relieved the season is over. I was feeling a bit burned out.

4. RUNNING. This year, I have a better place to run, that's easier to get to, and of course my leg isn't broken or nearly so, so that's good. I'm hoping to get speedier by doing lots of hill work.

5. BRUSSEL SPROUTS. These blow up in the microwave if you microwave them too long. I did not know that before yesterday. They sound almost like popcorn when they explode. (They don't taste or smell like it.)

6. ANTS. Where the hell are all these coming from? I thought we had a deal: They stay outside; I garden organically. They are forcing me to buy some nasty, ethyl-methyl-bad-stuff granules to banish them. Forcing. Me.

7. LAZY. My dishwasher is not working right. I hate washing dishes. And yet I'm so lazy--pay attention here--that it's easier to just really wash everything before putting it in rather than search through papers to find out if we got an extended warranty on it.

8. POOP. I see all kinds of it when I'm running. The kind that never seems to wash away, blow away, or otherwise degrade is dog poo. BAG-it, please!! The scariest poo is the large piles with fruit and seeds in it: this is bear poo. I've seen it very close to where I live.
UPDATE: APPARENTLY THE PROPER TERM FOR POO IS SCAT. THE MORE YOU KNOW...

9. OFF-SEASON. I can now focus on my weight since I have fewer races, targeting that stubborn 25 pounds from last winter that won't budge. I will come back next season lighter and faster. I will. You'll see.

10. THYROID STUFF. My pharmacology teacher is a genetics researcher, former pediatrician, psychiatrist, professor, a runner AND hypothyroid. He pointed out that all of my symptoms (e.g., my weight) are not remedied. When I mentioned that my numbers were good, he said, "numbers aren't the whole story. Remember what we've discussed in class: partial relief of symptoms after an appropriate trial suggests a different formulation should be considered."

11. HERBS. I'm experimenting with CLA and bitter orange. More on this later.

12. CROSS-TRAINING: I'm doing Yoga twice a week while unemployed; it helps me be not so stressed about being a bum. Plus, it's great core work. The class I attend is 90 minutes long and this morning, my shoulders, hips, and upper arms have that little soreness that says, " you actually worked us" Core work is really important for marathons and beyond. You know that slumpy feeling you have at the end of a long run? Core work helps that a lot.

13. SENIORS. No, not the high school kind. I like going to the gym during the day; I feel like that young hottie student babe instead of middle-aged and unemployed. Remember: it's all about perspective.

...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Patriot Triathlon 2009 Race Report

Today I did my last triathlon of the season, the Patriot Sprint in my old stomping grounds of Rio Rancho.

The race benefits the Rio Rancho Department of Public Safety, including the fire and police personnel, and who better to guarentee a safe race, right? They did a surperb job of this, but of course they can't be everywhere, and as I warned Marti Greer before the race--she was asking about the course--Rio Ranchoans are very serious about God's day. She laughed.
No, seriously: They will run your ass over to make it to church on time, and being as it's New Mexico, they won't even get a ticket for it, either.

But as far as I know, there were no incidents today. The best part of this race? Huge numbers of multisport athletes that I know were there. It's a race! It's a party! It's both! And, the race director has Mocha Mud, a local coffee shop, set up a tend where you can get espresso drinks before the race. Yumm!

The race starts with a seeded swim start in a 25-yard pool, and my only suggestion to Andie on what to change would be to make it a reverse triathlon. Once you've got over 400 racers, a seed swim start gets very long, and you wind up with lots of people clogged up behind that one swimming--you the know the one, the one who is doing the breast stroke in a very narrow lane, oblivious to the people piling up behind him/her.

So, 2 days before this race I had my bike looked over. Remember Socorro? Remember how I blamed my abysmal performance on nutrition? Turns out, not so much: I was riding with my brakes on (yes, AGAIN, and I know what you're going to say: Misty, if you'd get on the stupid bike between triathlons, you might even be able to notice when stuff isn't working right. To which I would reply, shut up, I don't need you telling me stuff, you know, making sense and all.)

So, I did this race without my brakes on , and enjoyed it muchly. It's a very hilly 14-mile ride, with lots of crosswind that begins and ends uphill, and so does the run. The run is about 2/3 road, and 1/3 trail, a long uphill, then a long downhill on a trail, and then a mostly flat road section that again turns uphill about 1/4 mile from the finish. I was 8th Athena, which is disappointing, but I enjoyed myself, and it was a nice day with a cool breeze.

After the race I was sitting next to Karen, former Athena, saying, boy, I sure enjoyed that 5K, with the trail and all-- and she laughed like hell.

"You didn't used to enjoy that course."

Really? Are you sure?

"Oh, hell, no. I remember you doing that course 3 years ago at the RIo Rancho duathlon and bitching like crazy afterwards about the off-road portion, you were all, 'f*** sand!! f*** trails!! I hate trails' and so on."

Really? Huh. I don't remember that. But I'll take her word for it...my idea of "fun" has certainly changed pretty dramatically over the past four years. And she's known me all of those years.

Thus ends the 09 tri season for me. Next up: Palo Duro 50K trail run.

...

Someone to Obsessively Track Today

At Ironman Wisconsin today, we have an aspiring iron couple: Mike and Jwim. I've linked to their blogs, below, if you don't already follow them.

JWim: 2463

Mike: 1304 (Mike, I was surprised to learn on his athlete tracker page, is a retired adult film star. Keep your clothes on today, Mike, or you'll get sunburned!)

Also, if you follow the blog Neoprene Wedgie: Racer 1199.

Let's send out lots of virtual cowbell today, folks!!

....

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

1. Scorpions look a lot like crayfish, in my opinion. They are both arthropods. The crayfish, lobster, or shrimp you're eating is, after all, just a giant bug. (You're welcome) Why do people eat one and not the other?

2. I'm amazed at how much I enjoy housecleaning. When I had teenagers, I always felt kind of hopeless, and ignored it until I said, "Ewwwwww, how long has that looked like that?" But now I'm doing preemptive cleaning. Dusting and sheeit.

3. The former owners of this house were going for a whole tangled cottage garden look, which uses a LOT of water and requires constant pruning and catches trash and leaves when the winds blow. Reminder: this is a ranch house in the desert. I'm going for a neater, water-wise look. I took "before" pictures, and this will be one of my projects this fall. Meanwhile, I'm cleaning up a lot of overgrowth, which is, actually, a pretty good workout.

4. One of my clients is shocked that I don't carry a gun when I run. This, more than anything, is an illustration of the type of clientele with which I work. I said, well, it's impetus to make me run faster, which she didn't see as a joke, and entreated on me once again to pack some heat for safety.

5. This Saturday I'm doing a sprint tri in my old stomping grounds of Rio Rancho, my last tri of the season, probably. Sweet Baboo is head referee, so DON'T MESS WITH ME! Just kidding. He likes to be all fair and impartial and stuff, so he kind of nods toward me when he sees me, or flips his hand at me every so slightly. it's cute. We're all, hey, honey! Wink, wink.

6. I'm pretty damned tired of hot. I'm looking forward to maybe doing a mid-day run day in the cold, autumn air.

7. So at the marathon packet pickup last week, this thin, wiry guy was introduced to me by Baboo. You can just look at this guy and know he's fast - you know the kind, they always seem poised on their toes, as though they could spring away at any second. Every move is quick, quick quick! This guy did the Valles Caldera marathon in, like, 4 hours or so--twice as fast as I did it. And as he pumped my hand, he grinned and said, "I am reading your blog!"
and I was floored. REALLY, DUDE? You're reading my blog? WHY? is it while you're icing down after winning a marathon somewhere? Still, it was cool to hear that. He finished the marathon in 3 hours and some change.

8. People are suffering, and there are wars, and I've spent my energy this week on thinking about whether to grow my hair back out. I miss my hair; meanwhile shorter hair is neither easier nor less expensive. Efficiency: Fail.

9. I found myself this week watching a 2-year-old briefly. I honestly do not know what to do with a 2-year-old. I'm not warm and fuzzy and silly. I'm more of the constantly monitoring, damage-control kind of mother - I'm not much fun, but there won't be any accidental poisonings or chokings on my watch, either.

10. I've looked at it from a lot of different angles, but can't figure out why anyone would be angry about the President telling kids to stay in school.

11. The marathon lit a fire under my butt. I'm back to running a regular training plan again.

12. Now that I've paid for my full-time tuition, all the local districts are advertising math positions. Well, of course they are.

13. Today is Thursday, the first day after the marathon that I feel like I could do a little jogging. We'll see how it goes.

...

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Slowest marathon EVAR.


Well, the slowest one where I wasn't swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 miles beforehand, that is.

My time was a shameful 6:11. A personal worst.

Still, as runs go, this wasn't even a B race. It's all part of getting me ready for the Palo Duro 50K, right?

I did this marathon last year. My time this year was nearly 30 minutes slower.

I tried to be a good sport and warn people about the hill. Hey, that hill, it's not the gift you think it is--slow down!

Everyone ignored me. And those that ignored me, I passed.


Baboo (the man I married who said he would run this "easy" and finished in 4 hours and some change) went back out onto the course and ran the last 6 miles in with me. If your math brain is fried, that means he ran 12 extra miles in addition to his marathon.

Then we went to his brother's and my sister-in-law made us pancakes. :-))))))

Now I'm going to shower.

That was marathon #12, I think. I think.

Oh, and by the way: Led Zepelin's Custard Pie makes an awesome song to listen to while running a marathon.

...

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

1. I added another social work class to my roster at the university. I should be able to graduate nearly a year earlier than going part-time. That's 14 hours this fall, though, which is grueling, but it's only one semester, right? After this semester, I'll drop down to just 3 classes, which is totally manageable for me.

2. The new class I started, Social Work Practice, started with how to LISTEN. Thank goodness for that; now I can learn how to LISTEN. Oh, and EMPATHY. In research, I did a chi square all by myself. (Did I mention I used to teach this stuff?)

3. Since I'm apparently destined to be a house mouse for the time being, I've scheduled my time accordingly. Certain days are blocked for cleaning certain parts of the house, et cetera. I'm busier than I thought I'd be. I owe an apology to all my stay-at-home and retired friends who I grumbled about them not being available for lunch.

4. Now that Baboo is home from traveling, the TV is usually on the history channel or Nat Geo. . Last night I watched a show on kangaroo reproduction. At age 43 there are still things that astonish me with their seeming implausibility and just plain weirdness. This is, I'm telling you, the kind of stuff that makes you pause with a fistful of popcorn in midair and stare, open-mouthed; there are just some things I didn't need to know.
But, changing the channel would have involved either getting up or looking for the remote, and remember, I. Am. Lazy. Soooo. I hung in there to find out that female kangaroos have 3 vaginas, and the male kangaroo penis, besides being S-shaped, is BELOW the scrotum. YOU look up the pictures. I'm not doin' it. Oh, and you're welcome.

5. Now that the seasons are changing, the winds are back. They're pretty amazing - they gust and whoosh all night long, occasionally clattering through the attic vents, moving those large, waste-management cans several feet. Luckily, I have a white noise machine that blocks it out. I've had a hard-cover book INSIDE my house blow off a table because there was an open window 2 feet away.

6. I saw this --> in my kitchen today. 4 inches long. I scooped it up into a baggie and studied it for a while, and then threw it into the back yard. I read up on them and found out that they are a beneficial bug.
Well, I don't care, they're just effing creepy and they can just go effing be beneficial outside.


7. A while back I found a baby scorpion on the kitchen floor facing off with the most playful, but dumbest, of our cats. I wonder what else will seek shelter inside our house now that the weather is turning colder. One of the downsides of living next to the high desert wilderness, I guess. Bugs and wind.

8. I'm considering tutoring math next semester.

9. Your opportunity to hate me this week: I'm in a coffee shop typing this. Still.....

10. I'm eating muchly.

11. I'm eating badly.

12. I'm watching too many crime shows.

13. I'm ready for Sunday, for a long, slow, 26.2 miles.