UPCOMING EVENTS: Hartford (RI) marathon, Newport (CT) marathon in October,
Soldier (GA) marathon, Pensacola (FL) marathon, and Pilgrim Pacer Marathons (KS) in November

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

Friday, March 26, 2010

To Himself, who reads my blog.

I don't like neediness.  But I don't like standoffnish either.  Pick a place in between.  For instance, the dogs are okay some of the time.
Other times, they send me screaming. You have never sent me screaming, BTW.



I'm hoping to decorate our home in a kind of mountain cabin atomic mid-century motif.
In other words, it's how I imagine a person might decorate their mountain home in the late 1950s or early 1960s.  It only makes sense to me.  But that's okay.  Here's an inspiration picture:  

I'm not a fashionista.  But I do like to be well-dressed.  I like clothes that show my shape, skim my hips...but don't appear come-on-ish.  I like being subtle.  Kind of a cross between Audrey Hepburn and Marylin Monroe.

My 2-year-plan is: work where I'm at >> finish my MSW >> graduate >> get my LMSW >> get a job at UNMH or the VA. 

Sometimes I liked being girly.  
Sometimes I liked being athletic.  
Sometimes I like being tough.  
Sometimes I liked being vulnerable.  
I'm complicated.

Even when I'm cranky, or depressed, or anxious, I still think my life is better than it would be without you.

I'm much happier when I'm not in class 3 nights a week.  I know that now.  When that ends, in less than 6 months, things will be easier.  *I* will be easier. I will be less cranky.  I will be done, more or less, with who I planned to be.

I want to run more.  I'm working on it.  I'm trying to carve out more time to do it.  Now that it's spring, I'm hopeful for lots of morning runs.  I will complain.  I will stall.  Even though I want to. 

I'm terrified of doing 100K.  Which means I'll probably try it, at least once.  When I've committed myself to something, no matter how terrifying, I can't back down.  The feeling of failure, of being a quitter, is more terrifying to me than any start line.

That time you told me my ass looked good in those pants was the best thing I've heard in a while. Anyone can go to college.  Not everyone can have an ass that looks good in pants.  Sayin'.

Even though I complain, and whine, and wheeze, I do appreciate how much harder I work when I'm running with you.  I still need a run or two alone each week, to be lost within my self.  But when I'm with you, I work harder than I might otherwise.

I also wish I wasn't so messy.  I'm trying to figure that out.  I've solved other problems, I know I can solve this. 


I was very serious about the surfing thing. There's less than 5 years to plan for this. 
I fully expect the two of us to be able to do this:


<3 M
..

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring is just peaking around the corner, and training begins! Thursday 13

13.  We had a deal, me and winter.  I have my spring birthday, and then winter goes the fuck away.
And there it is: the longer winter drags on, the more probable it is that I will swear like a sailor.
Friday night, we heard the wind howl and watched snow and ice blow sideways past our window. By the end of the day Saturday it was still cold, but at least the sun was out.  I put in a nice lilttle trail run.  It snowed twice more the same week.  It was chilly.  Winter is really hanging on.

12.  Some friends and acquaintances have decided that my taste in wines is for shit.  Well, they said it nicer than that, but there is it.  They have offered to take me to a wine-tasting event, with DP as my DD.  That way, I can be a truly tasteful alcoholic. It'll be fun.  I'll write about it.


11.  no, doggie, you can't have any of my popcorn--no, No.  NO!!
NO DOGGIE, THAT'S A BAD DOGGIE!!!

10.  My sister called me on my birthday 2 weeks ago to say happy birthday.  Oh, and also to tell me that our cousin committed suicide.
Um.  I'm pretty sure that Emily Post requires that you wait until 24 hours after the birthday to impart news that a family member has suicided.  Is this covered in any etiquette books?

9.  I was totally going to ride on Saturday.  Before the whole ice and snow thing.  No, seriously.  But this Sunday, I'm ready.  I'm planning an 80 mile ride with a friend of mine who is tiny and fast.  She says we're going to ride slow.  I'm wondering what slow is to someone who finishes an Ironman hours before I do.  

8.  I've gone a whole two weeks without a panic attack.  I think I have a handle on them.  Now I'm just working on anxiety in general.

7. Some days I have these runs that are so awesome - my lungs fill and and empty, I feel fas, and strong, and feel like I could keep going longer.
Welllll, Saturday was not one of those days.  It felt heavy and difficult. And slow.  My lungs ached, I felt like I was suffocating.  I was going to do two 4.2 mile loops, but I stopped at one.  Well, at least I got out there, right?
But then Sunday was better, and then Monday, and Tuesday I got faster each day.  

6.  I signed up for the Jemez Mountain 50K.  I did the 25K last year.  It was grueling.  This will be, too.  Why do I keep doing these things?  Why?

5.  Sunday Baboo and I woke up. We were going to go bike riding/training, and then....nahhhhh, we spent the day bed, doing important things like updating playlists on our ipods and looking for late 1950s-early 1960s stuff on Ebay.

4.  I've always believed that a good dog takes the pup to obedience classes, and I'm ready to put my money where my mouth is.
One of the disadvantages of having a house with wrap-around windows is this =>
as well as the constant pawing on the windows and doors.

But not for long.  The pups are going to be attending Civilized Canine class at the local Animal Humane.  We have clickers.  We are STOKED.


3.  I have been told I will be able to do my internships both of them, where I work.  The second year one has to be outside of regular working hours, so I'll be working on a project in my own time.  They are going to totally work this out with me--how awesome!

2.  Daily doggie sprints are up to 2.2 miles now.  These are runs that go up and down hills near our house.  Each week we add another 1/4 mile or so, and I do them every week day except Wednesday.  Tuesday my pace was 10 seconds faster than my Monday pace.  It was 11:22.  That might not sound like much to the fast among you, but for me, it's blazing.  Especially on hills, which are getting easier.  I still have a fantasy of getting a sub 10-minute pace on a s 5k.  I've done it at sea level.  Just not up here a mile above sea level.  I've heard that hills are "stealth speed work," and the best kind of speed work for those of us who don't weigh 120 pounds (Not that there's anything wrong with that)


1.  Sweet Face is on terminal leave after 7.9 years in the Army.  His plane touches down tomorrow.  Soon will commence the attempts to suck him into running and multisport.  He commutes almost exclusively by bike, so there's that.  Buwahahaha.

...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

There's always puppies and wine. Thursday Thirteen, the early edition.

13.  I ran last week on Thursday, and oh, my GAWD it was a pathetic site.  My left leg, especially, was all, oh no you didn't.  It was 1.5 miles.

12.  I was exhausted all week last week, until I finally decompensated, exhausted, over the weekend.  I'd forgotten what those endurance events do to me.

11.  Friday, on my Birthday, I had a giant food binge.  Then I went home and napped. All in all not a bad day.

10.  Okay.  I've offically burned through whatever calories I burned last weekend.  Unless I want to blow up a a million pounds, it's back to weight-watchers.

9.  I ran again on Saturday.  It was slightly less pathetic.  It was slightly less pathetic during my morning "doggie sprints" on Monday and Tuesday, too.

8.  This semester ends the first week of May.  The first week of may is also when Ironman St. George occurs.  I can't figure out to fit in 3x medium and long runs a week, 2 long swims a week, 1 long bike and 2 short runs per week, full time work, house cleaning, I am signed up for the Redman Triathlon in September, but I may have to bag Ironman St. George.

7.  Not one single one of my kids called me or texted me or emailed me a happy birthday.  I've decided that all three of them must have joined some "no birthday" religion.
As a person who respects diversity, I can totally respect that.  Especially when their birthdays roll around.

6.  I'm having trouble getting used to the dogs.  They're just so there all the time.  I'm having trouble getting used to that.  I keep tripping because when I"m in the kitchen, by golly, I expect that there will be floor and air behind me, but there's not: there's dogs, who seem content to be tripped over rather than move.

3.  I was invited early this week to a "lunch and learn" workshop to awaken my inner indigo.  I had to look this up.  Oh, my.  I'm almost tempted to go, just to see.  Almost.  But for a few moments there, as I read the wikipedia entry to Sweet Baboo, there was much frivolity and mirth.

2.  I did Satan's spin class yesterday morning, and I must have worked hard, because when I got to work and did my usual little hop onto the first stair leading up to my office, my body just sort of barely plunked upward.  My legs were all like, oh no you didn't.  We thought you gave up this cycling crap.

1.  My back tire blew up in a major freeway yesterday, leaving me with no choice but to coast over into the far left shoulder.  Three thoughts on this:
     a) Some days it pays to wear a pencil skirt, low-cut sweater, and pumps.  I had all kinds of help.
     b) Some days, it just doesn't pay to have 40 pounds of random crap laying on the cover to where your spare tire is.  I mean, gym clothes...books I meant to mail to people...stuff I meant to take to Goodwill....I moved all of it and got the tire out before anyone arrived, saving myself the humiliation of having to do it in front of them.
     c) I can ill afford a tire as it is, but I know from experience they'll try to guilt me into buying a whole set, warning that all sorts of horrible things will happen if I only replace one tire...my car will fall apart...cats will marry dogs, etc.
     d) So now I have to take time off tomorrow to go buy a tire, because i take the freeway to work and I can't take the freeway to work using a space-save spare.  Dammit.
     e) There's always puppies.  And wine.
...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Top O' The Morning To Ya!

Run.  Do I really feel like running.  Hmmm.  I do not.  Because, by the way, I DID A 50 MILE FOOTRACE LAST SATURDAY.

The problem is that about 99% of my friends are endurance athletes, pretty driven ones, too.  So no excuses.  I've tried it with Dread Pirate.  She usually just fixes me with a look.  It's a kind neutral look that arouses all sorts of anxiety, and I immediately start apologizing.  "I know.  I know.  I should work harder."  To which she usually responds something along the lines of I didn't say anything.  It's up to you if you want to be faster or do better.  

Anyway.  DP called me on the phone earlier this week.

Are you doing the Green Dress Run this Saturday? 

What the hell is a green dress run?

You put on a green dress, and you run.

What if I don't have a green dress? 

They have some there for you.

So, is this like, for St. Patrick's Day or something?

Do I really have to answer that?  Listen, it's fun.  It's a handicap run.  The faster runners are seeded last, walkers and slower runners first.

Ahhhhh.  You had me at "slower runners first." 

So, I arrived this morning, early, and got first pick of the wares.  I had decided to shoot for and hope for a 13:30 pace, because, lest you forget, I DID A 50-MILE FOOTRACE LAST SATURDAY.   This was my ensem.
 
I was the first runner to take off, along with an 11-year-old.  She flew off the start line and hauled ass downhill.  I tried to keep up with her, but I couldn't.  Damn.

However, like many youth, she blew out before mile 2, when it turned uphill.  "Are there any more hills after this?"  she whined.  Oh, how cute, I thought.  I remember being like that.   
Except that I whined like that in my 40s. I still do.  
Anyway it's a pathetic state of things that I felt pretty proud when I marched past an 11-year old.  

SRSLY.  What else have I got?  

At mile 2, there was water and Bailey's Irish Creme, just a taste, and then mile 3ish there was water and Gatorade.  I ran along the trails, my legs pretty much aching because, in case you forgot, I'm happy to remind you: I DID A 50-MILE FOOTRACE LAST SATURDAY.

Here's the rest of the crowd.  

These are Dread Pirate's photos.  I stole them.

I pulled off a 13:36 mile pace, not bad for hauling myself up and down hills on trails.  Soon, I'll post the garmin profile. 

...


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Post-race euphoria, forty-five, and it's freezing. Thursday Thirteen.

13.  I had been curious to see what an entire day of endurance event with the Sweet Baboo would be like.   No matter how loud my whining, or whimpering, or bitching, or complaining, he is nothing but patient and supportive.  Not only did he hoist my 160-some-odd pounds across a few streams, but he also said, You're not as heavy as you think you are.  Which, in 10 years, may be the sweetest thing to come off his lips.  MWAH!

12. I learned this past week that of all the places one should be certain to put sunscreen, the backs of my knees is one of those.

11.  I had one panic attack early in the race.  I had been snapping a rubber band on my wrist when I get the queasy, shaky feeling.  However, I didn't have one with me, so I slapped myself.  Not kidding.  It worked, too.  Never came back.

10.  I'm turning 45 this week, which I will now admit might be middle-aged.

9.  One of the doggies is under the weather.  Poopy, poor appetite, and she lost a tiny sharp tooth, so I'm assuming she's teething.  Meanwhile, apparently, dogs love pumpkin.  So I mixed it into her food to get her to eat.  Finally, we got her some softer food.  She's been inhaling it and seems much better.

8.  At work, people asked me how my 'marathon' went over the weekend.  When I oh, so casually said, "Well, it was actually 50 miles, but I finished it, and you're so nice for asking!"  the response was priceless. Then I hopped up the stairs.  Yes, I actually felt that good.  Hopped.  Up the stairs.

7.  I'm still spending weight-watching points.  When I went to enter my ultra, it wouldn't let me put in more than 480 minutes of anything, so I put in 480 minutes of jogging-walking combination, and 480 minutes of hiking.  That could cover it. I got, like, 52 points off that bad boy.  I don't intend to spend them all.

6.  I've woken up ever morning this week exhausted and needing coffee.  I'd actually stopped drinking coffee in the morning.  I'd forotten what these things take out of you.

5.  Of all the things I hate about computers, I hate the little "touch screens" the most.  My thumbs bump it as I'm typing, if I foget to turn it off, and as I'm a speed typist, I don't realize that the cursor has jumped to another part of the page before I've typed several words.

4.  It's Thursday and my buckle is still in my purse.  I've been carrying it around all week, in case anyone wants to see it.  This weekend, I'll find the belt I want to put it on.

3.  I have this teacher that I've avoided since I had him nearly 2 years ago.  he's awful.  He doesn't go over a single thing in class, and then tests us on it.  But at the last minute, he was switched with the teacher I did pick. I think he knews, too: on the first day of class, he said, "well, I thought I'd never see you again, Misty" and I was speechless, which of course doesn't happen often, and I finally said, 'Yes.  And here I am.' while I was thinking, "not as much as me, dammit"  So anyway.
He never reads the syllabus.  When we finally asked him about this assignment, which was a developmental case assessment based on a character from a film that he assigns, he was all surprised, and said, 'oh, I'm supposed to give you the name of th film?' And were said, um, yes, and he said, oh, just go pick your own film or character.
So my developmental assessment is on Eric Cartman.  I don't expect he'll even read it.  But I'll enjoy writing it.

2.  It's snowing again.  WTF.  Enough already.

1.  Last night I went to a dinner with a bunch of ultra runners.  They are all super, super lean, definitely have bodyfat in the teens, not a soft chin in teh bunch.  I noticed that they ate salads, occasionally sharing a small pizza with others. not me.  I had my own pizze, and chocolate pie.  I guess that's why I'm not a sharp-chinned ultrarunner with 15% bodyfat.


...

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Old Pueblo, by the numbers. (Race Report)

Fe-Lady was accomodating enough to let us crash in her guest house.  She has a great house, very Tucson.  I felt pretty pampered!  The guest house was super, with a brand new mattress on the bed, a sink, fridge, and bathroom.  I wish I could have stayed longer to enjoy it more.  This time of year, Tucson is pretty nice.

It was pretty great not having to worry about random hotel stuff.

Saturday morning we got up about 3:30, and dressed and headed out, so that we could drop off our drop bags and check in.  We got long-sleeved techno shirts, and a copy of the map in a protective sleeve.

Sadly, we drove to the race without the camera, so, no pictures.  Oops.

So now, I present: Old Pueblo by the numbers.

50: How many miles that course was supposed to be.

51-point-something - how far we actually went

2: How many of the downhills weren't covered by a thick layer of soft-ball to apple-size angular rocks.

1/3 - how many miles we got off course before heard someone calling to us, to warn us that we were off course (whew!)

10: The number of pounds I've lost since Ghost Town, and that I didn't have to haul around the course.

"About 7" How many stream crossings a well-intentioned volunteer told us we were be facing.

at least 15: How many stream crossings there actually were. At the beginning of the race I was all what a happy little mountain stream!
By the end of the race, I was shouting, I'm pretty $#@&ing sick of this $#@&ing stream!

And I'm not even counting the parts of course that WERE the stream.

42.5: The mile at which Sweet Baboo actually hoisted my 160-something pounds across a stream.  These weren't streams you could just hop across.  They were 8 to 12 feet wide, and up to about a foot or two deep, and my feet already had duct tape wrapped around them because of developing hot spots and blisters.

4: Number of times Sweet Baboo carried me across streams.

18.5: The number of hours it took me to finish the Rocky Racoon 50-miler in 2009, which was pancake flat.

16.5: The number of hours it took us to finish this, most unflat run.

Between 33 and 40: The mile markers between which I seriously bonked.  I didn't know what was wrong; I thought it was dehydration, so I drank; then I thought it was electrolytes, so I took a couple of E-caps; I was staggering and hearing things.  Finally figured out it was food.  I ate some.  I felt better.  Perked up.
Started doing some more power-walking, because after mile 40, running was gone, y'all.

33: The mile marker where I was hoping we would get pulled. I was exhausted, felt like crap, and couldn't conceive going another 17 miles.  They waived us on.

40: The next aid station were I was hoping we'd be pulled.
They waived us on.

46: The aid station where I had decided I was going to finish this thing.

20: The number of miles the last 4 miles felt like.

2: The number of times I rolled each ankle, but just enough to scare me and make me swear.

0: Number of times I fell.

6: The number of blisters I thought I had on my feet.

1: The number of blisters I actually had (the rest were just hot spots)

2: Number of toenails I may lose.

7: time in the evening that my phone apparently went dead, because I left it on to search fruitlessly for a signal (Sorry Pirate.  I couldn't answer you back.)

~12: Number of time I nodded off uncontrollably on the way home today.

0: Number of times Baboo nodded off, since he was driving.

4: Number of egg McMuffins & hash brown patties Sweet Baboo ate on the way home today.

2: Number I ate.

2: Number of happy doggies who leapt all over us when we got home.

2: Number of kitties who ignored us when we got home (but we know that they were happy by the way they ignored us)

1: Number of pints of Haagen-Daz Dulce De Leche ice cream I think I've earned.

0: Number of times I'll wake Baboo when he nods off at home.  And the number of 50-milers I want to do in the next couple months.

Thud.
Zzzzzzzzzzzz.............
...

Thursday, March 04, 2010

The weekend commeth: Thursday Thirteen.

13.  Last week, Sweet Baboo contacted me at work, bereft.  He was convinced that the new pups had swallowed ornament hooks.  "They aren't eating," he said, or drinking, and they were lethargic.  "Wait until tonight," I advised. "Everything I've read says that when they do swallow something, it's usually a piece of something they've been chewing."
Well, Baboo got home first and discovered the following: the large block of suet, nuts, and seeds that was hanging in the back yard as winter food for the birds was dramatically depleted.  And, he noted, the last couple of piles the dogs had left had lots of seeds in them. 

I guess It's hard to be bouncy and hungry when you have a gut full of beef fat.  (They're fine now, by the way.)

12. A woman in my office last week (in a children's mental hospital) wanted to admit one of her kids.  I asked her if any siblings had been here and she said, yes, years ago, "way back in 2006".  When I asked why, she refused to answer, telling me that "I'm not going to discuss that with you,  that's private".  yeah. She then proceed to tell me a lot of other private stuff, but continued to decline to tell me about her other kid.  I mean, lady, we have the records.  Whatever.

11.  Doggies went to the vet last week.  They are healthy, about 30 pounds each.  No problems, despite the half pound of suet they consumed.

10. I am happy to report that being dragged around the block by a dog at 6 am means I get to say that I "ran" in Weight Watchers.  I've historically, always had to log my workouts as "jogging" in weight-watchers my fastest runs were slower than a 12-minute mile.  Dude.  I'm totally stoked that I can say that I was "running".  It's huge to me.  It's only 2 points extra earned each time I run a doggie  .  Still.  HUGE.

9. Last Tuesday I had a bad eating day.  What did I eat you may ask.  Well, let's just not go there.  Suffice to say I consumed about 36 points,

8.  2 years ago, Sweet Baboo bought me this fleece tube hat thing while we were doing the Colorado relay Anyway, it sat on my shelf for two years while I thought, Hmm.  Weird.  Then finally, I took it out to use it, and Oh. My. God.
I love this thing.  It keeps my hair out of my eyes, and isn't as hot as a hat.  I'm looking for summer versions, if anyone knows of any.

7.  March 26th, we begin "Civilized Canine" classes together. More on this later.

6.  I am now keeping a "panic attack diary" in which I write such things as, what was I doing when it started? What was the first physical symptoms?  What was I thinking?  What did I think after it started?  What did I do? How long did it last?

5. Amazingly, petting my dogs has stopped a panic attack.  I can't explain it.  Still.  I can't take my dog everywhere.

4.  Although I'll never tell them, lest I hurt their feelings, I have a favorite dog.  Shhhh.

3.  This weekend is the 50-mile Old Pueblo.  I had a pretty relaxed take on failing, succeeding, whatever, until Baboo reminded me that there is a buckle.  A BUCKLE. I have to finish now.  I'm no longer relaxed about this.  I am, however, severely under trained.

2.  I'll be staying at herself's house, FeLady, this weekend.  We have lined up a dog watcher and feeder.  I have taken a day off.  For a BUCKLE.

1.  Sweet Baboo just woke up from a nap.  He has no clue that a little while ago, I was talking to him and he fell asleep while I was talking.  I love him anyway, because he cleans up all the dog poo.

...