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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Oops. (Thursday Thirteen)


I got so busy with work and having my son in town, that I forgot about this.  Eep.  Then I started watching the twilight zone marathon.  Howww saddddd....I remember it being cool.  Now it's just kind of--meh.  But there's nothing else on, and my favorite early evening show (BONES) has been preempted by overpaid buffoons bouncing a ball.

Tonight, I'll try to make it to midnight.  I have some sparkling wine.  We'll see.

Meanwhile: Thirteen New Year's Non-resolutions.  Things I will NOT do in 2010.

Okay.  Some of these things I wouldn't do on a bet anyway.  I'll leave you to figure out which ones they are.

13.  Once again, I will not eat anything that is bright green, like chlorella.  I'll eat Pesto, however.  I'll always eat Pesto.

12.  I am not making any weight resolutions.  Let the chips fall where they may.  None of the supplements or calorie-restrictions work, so I'm just going to focus on being healthy and fit.  If I lose weight, so be it, but I'm tired of getting an anxiety attack whenever I walk over to the scale.


11.  I won't sign up for a hundred-miler at this weight.  I'm not going to bust my ass to get thinner, but I am going to be realistic.  If I happen to drop, well, then we'll see.

10.  I will not look for any new jobs this year.  I just want to concentrate on the one I have now, which is appallingly low in pay, but one that I enjoy quite a bit.

9.  I'm not going to cut my hair any more this year.  Some trimming of dead ends, maybe.  that's all.  Right now, it just touches my shoulders.

8.  I'm not going to eat any more food at the Chinese place around the corner from where I work.  Mind you, I lurves me some greasy Chinese food.  But.  I think this place takes liberties with their MSG.  I was weak and tired and headachy after I ate there, for no reason I could think of, starting a few hours after I ate it and ending about 24 hours later.  I know, I know, I never believed before.  Now I do.

7. I won't miss my annual dental exam.  I won't miss my mammogram this year, either.

6.  I won't go back on my plan to do fun, cross training stuff.  Like climbing, power yoga, hiking, and  weight-lifting..

5.  I won't miss taking as many classes as possible so I can finish this silly degree.

4.  I will not buy Twin Peaks on DVD.  Or rent it through Netflix.

3.  I will not be a slacker this year.  I will continue my new habit of running at least three miles every morning before work.

2.  I will not, at any given time, refer to myself as a fatass.

1.  I will not stop appreciating my health, my friends, and the wondrous life I have.

...

Monday, December 28, 2009

YOU GET DOWN FROM THERE, RIGHT NOW!

We went to a climbing gym yesterday.  No pictures, sorry.  I asked for some, but the truth is that the camera phones are a bit to navigate and our camera has been missing for several months.  Anyway.

So last week a coworker had invited Baboo to go to the climbing gym and he accepted, as something new he'd never tried, and WAS I JEALOUS?  I was.

I had been intruigued by this ever since I saw the guys trooping past the the new house on the trails with big pads strapped to their backs.  For months I watched them, finally settling on the hypothesis that they were headed for some high spot in the mountains to meditate, and maybe do yoga. Never quite satisfied with that answer, since it was about 99% guy trooping by with their big giant pads, so finally I hopped the back wall and shouted to them my curiousity, and they told me they were going bouldering.

You ever do something and say to yourself, "I could do that?"  Not because you're one of those "can-do" kind of people, but because you have this distant memory of yourself climbing trees until your mother, peering upwards through the branches, demands you to come down...NOW...before you kill yourself?


Oh, I was fearless I was.  I was constantly climbing up to very high places and my favorite thing in the world was to be higher than all the neighborhood houses and then sit and wait until my mother came looking for me, and then wait until she was right underneath, and then give a shout.  The look of panic on her face was what I was after--me, the tomboy who ONLY wore boy clothes and thought girls in Alabama in the 1970s were stupid.  I mean, they did stupid things and played stupid games.  Boys had all the fun.  Girls played with dolls, and talked about boys they wanted to marry.  Gaa.  Me and my friends, all boys, would place the Barbie that one of my relatives was foolish enough to gift me in great peril, and then take turns rescuing her.  She remains buried in my back yard somewhere.  I forget where.  I buried her and we were supposed to dig her up, but then I forgot.  Probably busy climbing another tree, or something.  I was reminded sharply of my tomboy roots while watching christmas movies this past week.  My parents gave me a steel-tipped bow-and-arrow set for Christmas one year; can you imagine?  What were they thinking?

Anyway.  So, of course, all that was 35 years ago, I was nine, and I weighed all of about 50 pounds.  Yesterday was a completely different experience, and as I clung to the wall oddly worried about falling--despite the harness--I thought to myself, "Less ass is needed here, and more forearm and finger strength."

Baboo and Sweetface shouted encouragement and suggestions from below.  We all took turns managing each other's rope-and-pully system.  Before climbing, a staff member had given us all the tour and a brief tutorial on how to manage the belay system.  I eyed the pully suspiciously--way, way up there--and imagined a cartoon-like scenerio where Baboo came flying straight down while I was lifted off my feet toward the ceiling.

But reality was way cooler, all the technology worked, and besides, the floor has about a half foot of padding on it, anyway.  We wandered about, testing this wall and that, some leaning forward, some leaning backwards and some going overhead (where gravity and mass inevitably prevailed, at least for me).

Of course, I. Am. Lazy.  But remember, I am also Stubborn.  I will be back.  I felt like I was nine again, and half expected to hear my mom yelling at me to GET DOWN FROM THERE RIGHT NOW, MISTY JANE--I AM NOT KIDDING!  It was a blast, and I plan to file down my nails and go again.

If you go: forget about fingernails.  Do buy some chalk.  wear comfy clothes; girls tended to be more in yoga pants and t-shirts.  Boys wore all sorts of stuff.  Be prepared to be a bit humbled.  But if you're like me, with the echo of childhood ringing in your ears, be prepared to wonder when you get to come back again.

...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thursday Thirteen: Obscure Holiday Image Edition.

13. I'm months behind on blog-reading.  Soon, I'll be stopping by.

12.  SweetFace came in this weekend, He's here for 2 weeks. I laid in supplies: potatoes and bread and pasta.  And rice.  Lots of rice.  Three bags of cereal, couple boxes of oatmeal.  2 cartons of eggs.

Maybe I was overdoing it. I just have these memories of the teenage sweetface, who was essentially a food shredder.  He initially claimed that he doesn't eat much, but I note waning supplies of cereal, to start.

11.  It continues to be disappointingly cold.  This cold "snap" has lasted several weeks, which is annoying.  They call it winter, and an annoying side effect of it is that there is far less time to run after work.  I'm pretty close to buying one of those "daylight" lamps.  I keep checking the reports to see if the cold snap is lifting soon.  Apparently, it's expected to hang around until March.

10. My daughter converted to Jehovah's Witness a few years ago.  They don't celebrate Christmas or Birthdays.  She vacillates monthly between she "is" in the religion and she "isn't".  This month, she isn't which I suppose is handy when your birthday is 2 days after Christmas.  I guess that means I have to get her a present.  dammit.  (She never reads my blog.  She complained that I didn't talk about her enough on it.  She complains about that a lot.)

9. The aforementioned daughter is apparently upset with Seaman Jon.  She put "Jon, your an asshole" on her FaceBook page.  At first, I wasn't going to comment on it, but what the hell, I'm her mother so I posted, essentially, Dear daughter, it's "You're" not "your".  As in, if you're going to show low-class behavior by cursing your brother publicly, at least do it correctly.

8.  Work continues to be so interesting that I don't even stop for lunch.  Last week, I got up at 5 am, run 3 miles, worked 9 hours, eating cold soup at my desk, which I don't mind because I'll eat anything, and also I can't plug in a hot pot because remember--it blew a fuse last week--and I don't want to go all the down to the microwave becuase remember, I. Am. Lazy.

7.  I've decided that Fridays I will not exercise.  I will stay up later on Thursday nights, and sleep later Friday mornings.  I will snuggle.
OR maybe I'll just lay there sleeping with my mouth open.
Either way, I will have a latte, and maybe a bowl of cereal, before going to work, and celebrate my Fridayness.

6. I was hired to quickly that I went into the HR office this week and said, um, hate to bother you, but how often do we get paid, is it by check, are there holidays, et cetera....I've never worked in private industry before.  Government, schools, and non profit thrust you into orientation immediately  IMMEDIATELY.  You can't even start working until everything is signed and your credentials have been verified and you've provided the requisite voided check.

5. So, anyway.  After they answered all my questions, they handed me a list of things they needed me to bring the next day: transcripts, my NPI letter, my license.  I am to find five professional references to attest to my clinicail skills at this, the first real clinical job I've had.  Hmm.  And the forms say, "Dear ____, the above mentioned candidate has applied for a job at our facility...."
Oh.  And also, they wanted me to fill out an application for employment? 

4. It bears mentioning that Sweetface waited until the last minute (2 days before he planned to leave) to buy his ticket.  He was then, apparently, mystified that he couldn't do that online.  So then he went down to buy it in person. 

3. This week, I will increase my daily treadmill runs to 5 miles.  This week's movie:  Garden State. 

2.  I continue to love my job.  It was kind of cool the way they tossed me in there and assumed I knew what to do (I did).  Then every few days, they would add something else in to what I'm doing, assuming that I would know what to do (I do).  I apparently ask the right questions, and don't ask the wrong ones, and I do it all efficiently, and without passive-aggressive behavior.  I'm just saying.

1.  This holiday, be happy that your child is not beating her head against the wall to get the voices to stop, or tried to set you on fire because you wouldn't let her go outside.  Again--that's all I'm saying.

Have a great holiday!!
...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tentative 2010 schedule.

January 1, Egg Nog Jog 4M iler
January 17, Ghost Town 38.5 ultra, NM
March 6, Old Pueblo 50 miler, AZ
April 25, Los Alamos Duathon (Little Boy Course) NM
May 1, Ironman St. George, UT
May 22, Jemez Mountain 50k
June 12, Run the Caldera trail marathon, Los Alamos NM
September (early), New Mexico Marathon
September 25, Redman Iron Distance Triathlon, OK
October 9, Pajarito Trail Festival 25k
October (later), Marathon or Ultra, TBD

Assorted sprints and local 5ks: TBD

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

MOOD: Pensive.
MOOD MUSIC: here ya go.



1. Friday: I went shopping, and bought 2 weeks of: oranges, eggs, soup, yogurt.  I like to have those things during the day when I'm working.  I have an energy drink/protein shake  for breakfast, and then mid morning, between assessments, I'll have my orange and hard-boiled egg.  Soup for lunch, or hummus sandwich and vegetables.  (I have a lot of hummus leftover from my party.  NOBODY ate any, and it was on sale.  Hope it freezes.  Also, my favorite instant green tea.  I'll take my boiler to work, so I can have hot tea.

2.  Saturday: I ran about 10 miles.  I felt awful after.  My adductors, mostly. I think.  The muscles that lift your legs. OW.  One hot bath later, I felt much better.
Still.  OW.  Should I be hurting this much?  I thought I had a bigger base than this. Ghost Town is ONE MONTH AWAY, Y'ALL!

3. Later Saturday: Baboo had a work holiday party to go to, but he took me shopping for a few new items to celebrate my new job instead.  I had a flash of insight: "Do you realize that this will be my first job employed in my new profession?" I asked Baboo.  
"I do," he said.
I hadn't I mean, this will be the first salaried position I've held that required my mental health counselor's license.  I would not have been hired without it. I have now officially moved on.



4.  Sunday: I packed up my most useful professional books in a bag and stuck them in my car, so that they can be housed in my new OFFICE.  Also, my resistance bands.
I packed our lunches at night, a new habit I'll try to establish.

5.  Monday: I got up at 5.  I ran 3 miles on the treadmill, then made coffee.  I'm going to do this every day except Wednesdays and Fridays, when I'll do resistance training. I left for work at 7:30.  I was there before 8:00.  
They kind of tossed me in the office, and gave me a general idea of what I'll be doing.
I found the bathroom, mail room, microwave, and other important places.

6.  Monday, p. 2: No facebook, youtube, or personal email at work.  But the best thing is I'm busy, busy, busy doing interesting stuff.  I can talk about it, but only in generalities.
This hospital treats kids.
Some of them were abused.  Some of them abuse.
Some of them are mentally ill.
Some of them are cognitively disabled, and their families can't take care of them.
Some of them are substance abusers.
Some of them have families who need help, not just them.
I never meet these kids, for the most part.

7.  Monday, p. 3:  They gave me a nice office.  And kept acting grateful that I was there.  They handed me an assessment, and I worked on it for about three hours.  My job is to take information about adolescents or  children, and then diagnose and write a treatment plan for them.  It's a psychiatric hospital.  Heavy stuff.  I call social workers and schools and talk to parents.  The day FLEW by.  I worried that I wasn't doing the right work. 
Then, at the end of the day, they were all like, "so, are you coming back tomorrow?"

?? IS there something about this job that they're keeping hidden from me?

8.  Tuesday: I got up at 5 and ran 3 miles.  I watch bits and pieces of a movie while running on the Dreadmill.  This week, it's Fried Green Tomatoes.
I had three new cases.  Generally, I get three a day.  Each one takes me 2-3 hours to complete.  Sometimes they are people actually showing up.  Sometimes they are pages of information and reports and I never actually meet the kid, but in both cases I put together a puzzle, and the solution to the puzzle is, what's wrong with this kid, and how can we help him/her?  Every time a kid seeks treatment at this facility, their case goes through me, and I determine whether or not they need treatment, what kind, what's best for the kid and his/her family.  Sometimes I call a parent, or a case worker, and ask more questions.  It's interesting, and challenging, putting these puzzles together.
The hours fly by.
I mention to one of the directors the potential for being overwhelmed by the sadness and tragedy of these young, ruined lives.
He furrowed his brow for a moment, and then smiled.  "Lets not call them ruined," he said.  "Ravaged, maybe.  But not ruined."

9. Wednesday: Up at 5 again, another 3 miles on the treadmill.  Fried Green Tomatoes is almost over.  I think Friday, I'll put in Practical Magic.  For some reason, quirky chick movies work really well for this treadmill project.
As long as I can be asleep soon after 9, this works for me.  Anything that keeps me up is DISASTER. Gotta have my eight hours. 
Meanwhile.
I haven't done a single strength or flexibility workout.  So what I've decided is, starting next week, Mondays and Wednesdays will be days that instead of doing my 3-4 miles on the treadmill, I'll do a strength and flexibility workout instead.

10. Wednesday, P. 2: This week, I with a parent and child and had the pleasure to tell the parent, well gosh, your kid is normal.  of course, in behavioral health, we say developmentally appropriate.  Which means, your kids behavior isn't that far off from other kids the same age.
Yes, unfortunately, kids are sometimes insufferably annoying. Sometimes they aren't what we want them to be.  Sorry about that.
But congratulations on how normal your kids is.
Not everything is about pathology.
Some things are just life.
Sometimes life is work.
I'm feeling good about what I do.  I'm helping people.

11.  Wednesday, P. 3:  I plugged in my boiler at work to make some tea, and blew a circuit.  Lost all the power in my office, shutting down my computer, and I suspect the offices on either side of me, except that those people happen to be out today, so we'll never know.  Thank goodness.
It's cold tea for me, for now.  I wonder if a mug warmer would be okay?
They still like me.  Still want to know if I'm coming back tomorrow.

12.  Thursday.  It's Thursday.  My commute is about 25 minutes, not bad, mostly at a breakneck pace straight down the freeway.  I'm close to it at one end, work is close to it at the other end.  Far left lane.
No telephone.  No radio.  Just some music.
Nothing to take my attention away from speeding down the freeway.
I like it.

13.  Weekly wrap-up:
I like my job.
I'm actually running more now.
I was happy to report to unemployment office that I'm working.
I'm not sure how classes are going to fit into this schedule when they start in a month.
I'm working out how Ironman training will commence in late February.
I'm going to just focus on running and strength training for now.
I feel like a trained, skilled, appreciated professional.
I like my job.

...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thinking out loud.


I'm sitting here waiting for the sun to come up so I can start my long run - It's in the low thirties right now, which is the warmest it's been all week.  Damn, I am SICK of winter!  Of course, I'll probably miss the cold in July.

So, I passed my background check, and was fingerprinted, and peed in a cup, and then they asked me for my social security card.  I made a face like I was thinking really hard.  You know the one: You furrow your brow, and look down and to the right right, and maybe bite your lip...but deep inside, I knew: I was never going to find that sucker. I had moved since the last time I'd ever even LOOKED at it, and almost certainly I tucked it into some place so that it wouldn't get lost, the location of which is buried somewhere deep behind memories that I don't need, like how Led Zepelin got their name. 

Which meant I would have to go down to the social security office to get another one.  NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

They also asked for transcripts, and I couldn't find the one that seemed to be in my way for the past couple months, so I invoked murphy's law immediately, wrote a check for $4 and mailed it off to my college for copies, and of course, three hours later, I found it.  They are extra careful about background checks.  After all, their primary clients are children and adolescents. 

Then Friday, I talked to them, and they said that they wanted me to get started right away.  Could I come in oh, about 8:30ish so they could settle me into my office and set me up on my computer?  Oh, also, I was told, they were in a meeting discussing my salary, which was likely to be higher than they had originally quoted me. 

MY OFFICE!

Ask anyone I"m obsessed with offices.  For 9 years, I had a giant office through which troops of teenagers tromped every day, writing on my furniture (which I always had to clean) and sticking gum under it.  Then at the counseling center, nobody had their own office, you fought over space on a daily basis, and if you were dumb enough to try to keep your stuff anywhere, interns would take it.  The walls were thin, thin, thin, too. 

How can it be that I am finally starting a job doing what I've wanted to do, for what appears to be decent organization that treats me respectfully?  How?

Have I finally burned off a lot of bad Karma?

Maybe.

Speaking of burning, I still have a lot of catchup to do after eating so much the last couple of weeks. 
I'm going for a run.   

(PS: as I'm writing this, I'm observing a few things. Sweet Baboo, you should know that the cat licks your popcorn bowl when you're not around. )

...

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Thursday Thirteen: The Happy News Edition.

1. Last month. I hadn't mentioned this yet, but I have 5 clients, and 3 of them I got myself. The counseling center isn't working out. Again. It's like an abusive relationship, me and this place, and I'm done. I'm tired of fighting my colleagues for a room. I'm tired of not being paid.I'm tired of Evil Bill, the office manager, who doesn't trust degreed professionals with a wifi password, forcing all 9 of them to share a single old workstation.  I didn't take a vow of poverty when I went into behavioral health. I started putting in some serious effort into job hunting right before Thanksgiving.
Keep reading...

2. Saturday night we had a bling party. I highly recommend this. The rule is, everyone shows up wearing stuff they got for the year: hats, finisher's medals, everything.

One of our guys was wearing a Boston medal.
 Dude. Duuuuuude. I rubbed it, but I didn't get any faster. The most unusual bling was the paperweight that DP's beloved brought back from a run in Scotland.

We were left with a lot of food. Not, like, entrees, but homemade cookies, cake, crackers, cheese, et cetera. We're going to finish it off, because you know, it would, like, go to waste otherwise. You know.

3. Saturday, part 2. I ran 11 miles Saturday, the first decent run I've had since rolling my ankle three weeks ago. I'm not saying it was fast. I think the hilly, mixed-surface run was an average of 14-1/2 minute miles. Next week, I'll do a 14-mile long run. I'm switching my hikes to Saturdays, and my long run to Sundays, for December.  But I did it.  I was stiff the rest of the day, but felt good the next morning. 


4. Sunday. I really do think my swim time Sunday is partially due to the strength training I've been doing. I wouldn't have expected to do that well after not swimming since early September. Meanwhile, we've discovered that the local Y is less than HALF of the cost of our old gym, and is newly rennovated.  One of the branches is right next door to where I take my evening classes, meaning that if I get out of class early enough, I can go for a swim before heading home. 


5. Lately.
I've always bad for people who were out of work and having trouble getting a job, but it was always an abstract feeling from the perspective of not having ever had problems finding a job. After 2+ months of searching, I do not believe that everything happens for a reason, but I do believe that this is something good to be had from every bad thing, even if that means only that I can commiserate with someone who is going through the same thing as a behavioral health specialist.
Still.
 I don't want to get too good at knowing what unemployment feels like.
Keep reading...



6. So, Tuesday. Last Tuesday night, a fellow social work student who is super nice and reminds me just a bit of Moby, told me there was an opening at a psychiatric treatment facility for kids. The position is for their intake assessment person.  He gave me the name of the clinical director. I called. We played phone tag for a couple days, then set up an interview. I spent the weekend chewing on the skin on the sides of my thumbs.

Tuesday of this week I left 2 hours early and drove through slushy snow to the Interview.
and
I
got
the
job. 


6. Holiday weirdness. Cranberry Bean Pizza. Beans. Cranberries. On a Pizza. Um, yeah: You can have my slice.
instead, why not make some homemade Irish Cream? here's a recipe:
  • 1 cup coconut milk beverage (or you can use cream)
  • Regular can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 2/3 cups Irish whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 1 tsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
Put the thinner beverages in a blender, and add the sweetened condensed milk slowly while blending.  Add the powdered stuff last.  Let sit overnight, stir, and serve.  


7. Wednesday. I am permanently a fan of weight training.  I love how it makes me feel.  I love how easy it is to do mundane things, like carrying a basket full of cans around the grocery store (I don't use carts.  They make me feel trapped.  I'm complicated that way.)
Wednesday, I studied, ran 3-1/2 miles, did my strength workout, drove across town (to my new job site) and filled out information for my background check, got fingerprinted and peed in a cup, drove back across town to pick up my new bifocals ,
studied some more, and took my last final for the semester, which was for my Law class, once again surprised to discover how well studying works.

8. This year.  I seem to have finally shaken that "old" feeling that's been dogging me since the youngest kid moved out. It wasn't that I was happy with my new life, I am. Both my parents died pretty young, though, and I just couldn't shake this feeling that time was running out.  
Having a brand new job, though, the kind I've always wanted, is pretty rejuvenating.  I feel like my life is just beginning. 


9. Today. I'm both worried and jazzed about getting back to work.
  • Jazzed: income. Yeah . IN. COME. COME. IN. Come in, income.

  • Worried: when on earth will I have time to train? Seems to me I tried this full time stuff last year, and I was working out in my office, but I'm guessing these new people might actually have stuff for me to do. When do people who work full time train? How do they fit it in?
10. Also. I accepted the job Tuesday without knowing what the salary is or when I would start or if I'd even have an office.  It's an adventure.  While I'm a bit dismayed at the pay, it pays more than unemployment. I knew I would start soon. I didn't care. Plus, they seem so happy to have me there.  It's a job I've always wanted, at a place where employees tend to stay a long time. Win-win


11. Today, P. 2.  I'm running again, finally, but the cold is hard on my asthma.  When it's below freezing I'm pretty breathless.  Today, yes, today, I'm going for a nice, long, 8 mile mixed surface run.  My exams are over, and I've got a job offer.  I'm goin' runnin'.


12.  Tomorrow.  I'm going to work out, and relax.  it will be my last day off for a while.  I'm going for a nice long run, and do my Power 90 workout. 

13. In general.  Ultrarunners are just weird.  Here's an exerpt:

"Barkley 100 Mile
The 100 mile race in Frozen Head State Park TN in late March or early April consists of 5 20-mile loops with 10,400 ft. of climb per loop. There is no aid, no course markings, and often no trail with long climbs of 50% grade or more. When there is trail, it is not maintained, with frequent deadfall, mud, and sawbriers. The cutoff is 60 hours with a historical finish rate of 1% and a course record of 55:42. To prove you completed each lap, you must find 9 to 11 books in the woods marked on your map and bring back a page from each book. No pacers are allowed. Runners must alternate directions on the last lap. Weather: fog, rain, wind, sleet, and snow are common."

I will not say I will never be that weird, lest I be struck with the never say never curse. 
...

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Race Report. Well, Sorta.


Sunday, I did the swim on a relay team at the Jingle Bells triathlon, a reverse triathlon in Rio Rancho at their aquatic center.  I didn't do the whole race.  Just the swim. 

Some points to consider.

1. It was cold. Holy hell, it was cold. I was really glad to only be doing the indoor swim in the heated pool.

2. It was windy. Holy hell, it was windy. I was really glad to only be doing the indoor swim in the heated pool.The wind was especially nasty given the cold snap we're having, and the generally insane hilliness of the course.  

3. The race director, Mico, said that next year they aren't allowed to call themselves the Jingle Bell tri because another charity race, the Jingle Bell run/walk for arthritis, got all pee-pee-hearted and demanded that Mico stop because, wahhh, they were Jingle Bells first! (Seriously, are we at a point where someone throws a hissy ecause of something like this? Or threatens LEGAL ACTION?)

4. Our runner made me green with envy.  She finished the run in about 25 minutes.  It's a hilly, difficult run, too: fully the first mile or so is up a steep hill, and then down a long sandy hill, and then a gradual uphill to the finish.  This was a reverse tri, and she tagged off in T1 for the cyclist. 

5.  Our cyclist, herself Courtney, prevailed against a very hard, hilly course with a stiff headwind and gusts up to 25 mph.   

4.  Very well run race, benefiting the Rio Rancho Policeman's Fund.  Now that's the way to get those police out there for traffic control!

one problem....


6.  the swim is a bit of a cluster fu*k.  People get clumped up, and because you're going up and back in the same lane before moving over to the other lane, it's dangerous to pass someone.
So here's what happened:
As I ran into the pool area to begin my team's swim, there was a guy in front of me who seemed, shall we say, somewhat uncertain? about getting to the pool.  So, I ran around him and jumped in, and took off.  About halfway down the second lane, he passed me.  Fine.  But then--get this--he immediately slowed down and started breast stroking.  WTF?
I tried to pass him and he sped up.
I dropped back, and he started breast stroking again.
Worse, when he got to the end of the lane at the end it was like he and some other guys just stopped to breathe, and then when I came up on them they would take off, so I was constantly stuck behind 4-6 guys side-stroking, breast-stroking, whatever.
I was actually cursing while I swam.  Finally, I put on a burst and swam between them, flipped, bounced the wall with my feet, and shot under the rope ahead of them to the next lane, because, dammit, I wanted to get home sometime that day.
The guy that had originally passed, me, I think, was pretty annoyed at having been chicked and chased my feet for the rest of the swim, but I finished in 8:50 and got out, running across the timing mat.  Dammit. I know I could have gotten faster if I hadn't been behind the breast-stroking sisters.

Anyway.  Not bad for not having been in the pool for 3 months.  Best of all, the atmosphere was kind of energizing!  I was excited for the people there, and excited in general, and I drove back home planning my training strategy for Ironman St. George!  Westward, HO!
  

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Thursday Thirteen.

1) DIET. Holding steady at 169/168. I fell off the wagon pretty hard over the holiday week. I've been trying to climb back on it, but it's pretty hard to climb up on a wagon when you weigh this much. Ba-DUM-pa.

From the New Mexico Independent
...as of Tuesday, the
firm [Optum] had about 13,000 unprocessed
claims...down from a
high of more than
50,000 claims...
2) WORK. Still no full time offers. Even better: the contracted company (OPTUM) in charge of paying charges for the therapy I do part-time is not paying their providers. I don't know why. Does it matter why? No, it doesn't.  
 GIVE. ME. MY. MONEY.

3) Book and Author Review. In addition to the watch I'm going to be reviewing, I'm also going to be interviewing the author of a book called, "Triziphrenia" which is his humorous look at becoming a triathlete. Stay tuned; when I finish finals next week I'll be devoting my time to the book and the interview.

4) VANITY.  I ordered my first bifocals Tuesday, which means I'm old.  Of course, they are progressives, which means I'm vain. When I get used to them, I'll get bifocal contacts. Which makes me even more vain.  I don't care.

5) GRAD SCHOOL.  Finals are this week. Can you just smell the nervousness?  I can.  oh, maybe that's just me.  Never mind.   

6) WORKOUT music.  In my quest to stay motivated in my home workouts, I got ideas for workout songs on this website.  Now this song is stuck in my head.  Enjoy.

7) TONY HORTON'S Power 90. I've been doing this workout for a week now, in addition to my run training. It's about 30 minutes every day, and so far, I like it. I don't mind a bit of repetitiveness. I wear my Vibram Five Fingers, and I have a wooden floor, and that's my workout surface. There is a section called AbRipper 100 that makes me cry, which is probably a good thing. I'm going to do it for the rest of the month, and then transition over to P90X.  These are not being tracked in the Daily Plate. 

8) "Before" pictures.  I told JWim that every time I do a "before" picture I end up quitting whatever program I'm on so I wasn't going to do one before starting the Tony Horton series.    

But then this picture came to my attention when the photographer emailed me and suggested that this would make an excellent Christmas gift.
Yeah.  I'm going to put this in a holiday greeting card. It's just the worst picture that could have been taken on this particular day.  I'm landing heavy, in mile 26 of a marathon I didn't train for in early September.  I'm sweaty, and tired, and not at all enjoying myself.  My posture is terrible because I'm so tired.  There's the bright, overhead sun highlighting every flaw.
Oh, yes.  This is definitely my "before" picture; epecially since I looked better just a few hours later.

9) WORK, PART 2. Nothing yet.  I don't understand what is up with people not acknowledging phone calls, resumes and letters of interest, or even interviews, but it is apparently the new policy for administrators that employees are expendable peons, and you owe them nothing, and if they don't work for you, you owe them even less.  I'm becoming pretty frustrated. I expect more, especially in education and behavioral health, which is supposed to be all about people!


10) SPORTY HOBBIT FEET.  DP (who doesn't blog any more but is very active on facebook) wasn't lying when she said "be prepared to answer a lot of questions when you wear those."  It is quite the ice breaker! Be preparerd to explain why you're wearing them...what you do...why you'd do "that" to yourself (running long distances) and how they feel.

11) Smoke.  SMOKE!  As in, I have a wood stove, and people tell me I smell all good, "like winter".  As in, I need to either shower more or we need to learn how to get the danged thing to draft properly, because me and all my clothes carry the fragrant smell of cedar and pinon smoke with me everywhere I go.  


12) CONTEST: I think I'm going to have people email me directly about this. To enter, email me at:



13)  TRIATHLON RELAY.  Sunday I'm doing the swim as part of a team in a sprint triathlon in Rio Rancho.  That's about as motivated as I am toward triathlon right now.  I wonder if I'm a little burned out on it. 

...