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, April 30, 2010

Somewhere between half empty and half full.

Last week, on Monday night, I came home after being gone from my house for 14 hours (which were my Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays all semester long) the first thing I did walking into the house was to glower at Jake, aka a$$hole dog, because of the constant phone calls and emails that he'd gotten back out again.  He had been running back and forth for a while between our house and then neighbor's house, being spoiled rotten because they had just had to put their dog down and really love Jake.

He quickly tired of that because it neither aggravated me nor cost me money and headed back into the neighborhood again.  All my neighbors love Jake.  Of course they do  They don't  spend as much money and time on him as we have, trying to contain him and his destruction.

So I glowered at Jake.  I just didn't have it in me to be happy to be home, or to respond to his happy wagging tail.

I looked at my watch as I set down my briefcase: 9:15 PM.    I looked around.  There was nothing to eat.  "I'm going to bed," I said, and I know I said it flatly because I felt flat.

Sweet Baboo followed after he put the dogs to bed.
"I miss the way you used to be," he sighed, "optimistic and happy."

"Yeah, well, I miss me too," I muttered.  Then I went to sleep, until 3:30 am, when my largest cat woke me, as she does every morning.

It doesn't seem like things used to affect me this strongly.  My outlook this semester became completely skewed.  Everything was a reflection of how crappy the world is.  What was once minor setbacks or glitches now seem like proof that everything sucks.  Flat tire?  Suck.  Cable company runaround?  Suck.  Naughty dog?  Suck.
I never thought a single semester would take so much out of me, but I never took on so much before.  And, my best means of coping was thwarted by a bitter, wet winter.


And as the semester dragged on and I exhausted my coping skills, my optimism and happiness accounts were drained. My normal self sees everything as a sign that things will always work out, and that people are generally decent.  I felt a constant sense of dread and anger that I couldn't shake

I knew things were bad when I found myself wanting to slap the crap out of every cheerful person I saw.

Now the semester is over I've had some free time.  I'm coming back,  slowly.  The world looks a little prettier today.  The apple tree, wisteria, and lilacs are blooming.  Just yesterday, I told Baboo in the car excitedly, I love running down our street in the dark because of all the motion detector lights that go off as I go by.  It's like they'll all doing the 'wave', just for me.

That's the old me talking.  The old me is what gets me through another Ironman or ultra-marathon when I've run the numbers and the numbers say that I won't make it.  It's an important part of who I am, this unrealistic belief that things will always work out, people are not intrinsically bad, and for every start line, there is a finish line and I will cross it.

I have to be careful, though.  It doesn't take much to make me feel tired and discouraged, all over again.  It's like I've had an ultra marathon of stress, and I need time to recover.  I need some serious down time for that to happen.

I need some good long, runs, too.  Then I'll feel better.

..

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Boring, boring, boring. A boring Thursday 13 on vacashun.

13.  Yesterday morning I got up and did a quick trail run over a couple miles of trail next to the house.  I always hate the last run of the week, when I haven't run a few days.  My legs are tired and heavy.  Tomorrow will be better.

12.  Yesterday we also started installing the "invisible fence'.  I guess I'd have to say that the system works.  Jake is a little freaked out right now.  We'll do some more training tomorrow, but today he went trotting up into the barrier zone, and then when he tried to leave Chloe, who wasn't wearing a trainer collar, was cornering.  So he's yelping, and she's barking, and it's an ugly, ugly scene.  I brought him in, but he's a little freaked out right now.

11.  I'm using this time off to change out some of the hardware around the house.  The former owner, as I've mentioned before, desperately wished she lived in 19th century England.  So I'm busying myself this week changing out a couple of light fixtures and door hardware.

10.  I ordered a Pizza online from Dominos.  It was so cool!  I'm just saying.  Cool.

9.  Today a guy started fixing the door from the break-in in February.  After this, it will be like it never happened.  Almost.

8.  Jake was a little more cheerful today.  Cheerful enough to exploit the one corner where there is no electric fence coverage.  Fucker.  Yes, I know that's a swear.

7.  Baboo, too, has been working hard on creating our garden sanctuary.  I'll post pictures of our work for the week soon.  Here's one, of the new and old light fixtures in our hallway.  The sconce on the right is what I can only say looked to be inspired by a bordello.

6.  Tomorrow, my exciting day includes working on 2 different essays, putting new house numbers on my house, and changing out the "I wish I lived in New England"-inspired front lights for something a little more modern that is actually a security light.

5.  I also ate popcorn today.

4.  I'm also going to make a couple of simple little window hangings tomorrow.  Just so you know.

3.  I'm watching Futurama, and I'm wondering how a robot gets a pot belly.

2.  Got a FaceButt post from SW Tri Gal today, who is herself at St. George, Utah.  She said that she drove the bike course and "it's not worse than Silverman".  Yeah.  Looks like I dodged a bullet on that one.

1.  Good thing I had Hank the Handiman come over and shut down our furnace for the season.  Especially, since, you know, it's going to be windy and cold for the next three days!

...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

4 days to, well, Albuquerque.

I won't be in St. George this weekend.  Sorry.  I really hope I haven't let anyone down.

On top of everything else that's been going on, (me being untrained, the daily new expenses of things falling apart, Dogs tearing things up and escaping, my sky-high stress level), now we find that Sweet Baboo is pretty badly injured (knee).  That was pretty much the last straw.

So, vacation is here, in the Dream House, making it more of a Dream House.  We're going to have the door replaced that was kicked in this winter.  We're going to install the invisible fence for a$$hole dog.  We're going to get the sprinkler valve box that won't shut off fixed or replaced.  I'm going to install a couple of light fixtures, and some new house numbers.  Plant some peonies.
And maybe I'll even have a clean house at the end of all of this.

I will swim with Baboo.  We'll hang out at a coffee shop in the mornings.  And do rides together.

I went to my last class for the semester tonight.  I still have 3 large papers to write, but it will all be over by the weekend.  I will run at dawn.  And do Yoga. And see my house in the evening before it gets dark.

It's gonna be grrrrreat!

...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

6 days, and counting.

On Sunday Baboo and I rose at 3:45, got ready, and drove up to White Rock, New Mexico.  It's northwest of Santa Fe, south of Los Alamos.  Up there, at 6300 feet above sea level, I completed the Atomic Man Duathlon.    I've done this one 3 times before.  What was different about this time was that I PRd, beating my 2009 time by 13 minutes.

I like this little race.  I've only missed it once, and I forget why that was. What always suprises me, as Karen and Sara and I were talking about in low, hushed voices this morning...is how many people complain about how hard it is.

SRSLY.  Who comes to a race in the Santa Fe national forest in northern New Mexico and complains about terrain?  So, it's challenging.  You climb.  Your lungs hurt after.

But not my legs.  I'm not sore.  It was a nice little sprint.

Just a little sprint.  But right now I feel the closest to normal that I've felt in a long time. 

Now, I would never, ever compare a little duathlon to an Ironman.  I certainly know better.  But, I was surprised by my time, and how I felt afterward.  I took a 15 minute nap.  I don't know what my endurance is like, but maybe, just maybe, I can struggle to the end, to the finish line of another Ironman.  As Cody said, maybe I can "gut check" this.  We'll see.  I'm prepared for either success or failure.  It doesn't define me.  It's just a day in the country.

Baboo and I went to the store and bought foodstuffs for the trip.  First off, I'm not sure whether I can get good espresso drinks in this part of Utah, so I bought some Hills Brothers sugar-free instant Double Mocha mix.  It kicks ass.  Also got some low-fat poptarts.  I'm sticking to stuff we can microwave in our room.

494.  1645.  Those will be the numbers we wear on race day.

Reallllly hoping this isn't as painful as I'm thinking it's going to be.

...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

More things to bitch about, and reasons to be hopeful. A Thursday 13.

13.  There is a bird sitting outside my window at work.  He's been there for about three weeks now and he's desperate for a mate.  At first, the continuous chirping was charming.  Now I'm turning up the music to block it out.  How much of a bitch am I do complain about chirping birds?  Am I a horrible person?

12.  Oh, and there's this: Current water temps at the reservoire at St. George are a brisk 55 degrees. 

11. The little college where I'm going is really big on end-of-semester potlucks for the last class of the semester before finals.  All three of them.  Do I have time to make a dish?  I do not.  I have volunteered to bring a cheese and fruit plate for each of them.
One of the professors insists that we make whatever we bring "with our own hands".  I work full time and go to school full time and don't have a wife at home to make some of this crap, as this professor does.
 he said, "I'm going to have my wife make rice."
Well, he can suck it.  I'm not even going to cut up the fruit and the cheese.  I will, with my "own two hands" wash the fruit and take the cheese slices out of the package from Costco.

10.  Sunday, I did hill repeats on the boulevard near my house, which involves traveling about 8 miles out north, and then decending into the valley over 5 miles, dropping 1000 feet in elevation. Then I climbed back out, descended, climbed again, and the went home.  As I was coming back up, I felt a little sick, which tells me that I'm not trained enough yet.  My stomach isn't ready for the intensity.

9. Wednesday as I lay in bed talking with Baboo I have come to a decision: St. George.  is likely to be a - excuse my language - a cluster fuck.  My longest ride since 2009 is about 52 miles.  My longest run since March is about 12 miles.  My longest swim since September 2009 is 1800 meters, with paddles.  I am not willing to risk kidney failure to try to drag my untrained body around a challenging course just to be a symbol of something.

8.  But, I do need a vacation. And I miss my friends, who I haven't seen much since the semester from hell began. So I'm going to St. George.  I've decided to take all my stuff: bike, running shoes, wet-suit. I will decide after we drive the course if I'm doing it or not. I am giving myself permission to not do this.  And trust me when I tell you, it's taken weeks of agonizing and discussions in therapy to work this out.

7.  Just by having decided this, I feel a sense of relief.  I feel happier and more relaxed.

6.  In just 2 weeks, I'll have my life back again.  I'll be able to come home in the evenings.  I'll be able to garden after work.  I won't spend my weekends perseverance on papers to write.  For 3 full months it will be thus.

5.  Every week at work seems to have a theme.  Not too long ago, I had kids, one after another, with psychotic disorders.  Then another week was "sexually maladaptive week".  this week is angry pissy teenager week.  There they sit, glaring at me, answering me with clipped, paranoid, hostile ideation.  It's a scene.

4.  I received a letter at work letting me know that I was now cleared to work with substance abusers and sex offenders.
uh, thanks for clearing that for me.  I don't think so.

3.  In therapy i've been working on why i became so overwhelmed. here's part of what's come out: Crisis is defined as what happens when your ability to cope is exhausted by too many stressors.  In the past 6 months, I was laid off, then I couldn't get an interview for months. Then I rolled my ankle, and for 4 weeks, I couldn't run.  For weeks after that, I couldn't run on trails.  In December, the long crappy winter began.  I started a new job, and only had time to work out on weekends; every weekend sleet and snow would pelt the area.  In January, my car was broken into.  In January, I also started full time graduate school.  I was afraid of rolling my ankle.  I was afraid to run downhill.
In early February, I had the first panic attack.  Then our house was broken into.  The panic attacks continued.  In March, I did a second run I wasn't properly trained for, and suffered mightily.  Also in march, it finally started warming up enough for cycling, but again, many weekends had very crappy weather.

2.  So it turns out, according to my therapist, that they've seen a lot of people who are endurance runners who are injured, and about a month after the injury, when they're returning to training, the panic attacks begin.  They think it might have something to do with the body not being used to the feeling of increased heart rate, respiration, et cetera.

1.  But today, just today, i'm feeling good.  even if that fu**ing bird won't shut up.

...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Question of the Day.

Yesterday I got a call from Sweet Baboo at about 4:15 in the afternoon.

"Do you know where Jake is?"

Jake?  You mean a$$hole dog?  Because if he's calling me in the middle of the afternoon, from home, asking where he is, then today he's a$$hole dog and the dollar signs, folks, are there for a reason, not just to clean up my language.

No.  I don't know where Jake is.
But I do no one thing: There was a reason I didn't want any more kids.  And it had a lot to do with phone calls in the middle of the day.

As Sweet Baboo was standing there talking to me, he saw Jake come back over the wall, from the open space, where he'd escaped to.  Mind you, when I say open space, we're talking about the boundary between Cibola Wilderness and the city of Albuquerque.  At this point, I don't think Asshole dog will be around much longer, because there are hungry spring bears waking up, hungry enough to probably catch even a fast Blue-heeler, shepherd mix.

But, so.  I take my status as a parent very seriously.  And, we're out of money until the next pay day, I guess...so I had to tie him up.  I hate that.  My neighbors hate it, too, because he's barking continuously.  He has a long tie, access to water and shelter and shade, but of course he's Jake the A$$hole dog, so he wants to be able to roam, even though he has 1/3 of an acre with cool shade, warm dry sunny spots, and a large running water source.

It also occurs to me, right now, that there was another reason I didn't want kids.  It had something do with the sucking sound I heard every payday.  Kids, though, grow up and become people you like to talk to.  What does a dog become?  A larger, noisier expensive child who never grows up?

Chloe, for the record, is relatively well-behaved, stays in the yard, entertains herself, and doesn't cause trouble.  She will run with me.  Jake will not run without Chloe, and I can't run them both at the same time.   She does not tear up drip lines just because she can.  So.  Do I untie Jake so my neighbors can get some peace and the bears can have breakfast, or do I leave him tied up so that he's safe and my neighbors hate me?

That is the Q.O.D.

We're going to have to put an underground, electric fence on our credit card.  If this doesn't work, Jake is either Smokey's breakfast or he goes back to the pound, for a third time (He'd been surrendered twice when we got him.)

...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Future thought.

I've lost an inch off my thighs, and about 12 pounds.  I think last week I was stressed and dehydrated, because I gained a couple pounds this week but didn't change sizes.

This year as I turned 45 I had the time pause and think and I came to a couple of realizations:

1) Forty-freaking-five.  Holy crap.  That's older than, well, than I imagine many of my high school teachers would have been when I was in high school, and I thought they were old.

In other words, I'm older than what I used to think was old. 

2) I have been in college almost continuously for 20 years.  I started working on my Bachelor's degree in 1991, and then wondered from one graduate school degree to the next, including a couple of PhDs I never finished.  Don't get me started on why.  I rarely take a straight path to any destination, either literally or figuratively.  I meander. 

Meandering to my eventual destination is my third special gift.*  It makes a nice counter-part to Baboo's way of doing things, which is very tight, organized, and efficient.  He got his Bachelor's degree in 3 years, taking exactly the amount of credits he needed to get it. For my bachelor's degree I accrued 183 credits.  He's made me think more about efficiency.  I've made him learn to relax, because if you're all about efficiency and deadlines, but have to live with me, you'd go mad, otherwise.

All of this, of course, ending up where I am now.  Could I have done this with far less schooling? maybe.  But it's unhelpful for me to dwell on that.  One thing that is certain is that it's not like the journey is more enjoyable, I wind up overloaded and stressed because I've taken so long to get things done that they are piled up on top of other things I'm trying to get done, like this spring, when I've been trying to get ready for an Ironman, work full time, go to school full time, and deal with two new dogs.

Meanwhile, pretty soon, I will get to see my house in daylight.  My dogs will know who I am.

This third master's degree is kind of an analogy to Ironman.  After I've done my third, or fourth, one--I've made my point.  I'm ready to move on.  Or not.  I don't think it could ever be argued that I've gotten some shit done in my life. 

After May of this year, I want to take a step backwards, at least for a few months, and enjoy working out for a change, instead of feeling locked into a training schedule.  I'll do my last Iron distance this fall and then be done. 

I want to focus on what I like, running and swimming.  The swimming I'll do for fun, and the cycling will be cross training, but after this year, the most triathlon I'll consider doing is a half iron.  Maybe I'll train for a 100K.  Or not.  I'm stil thinking about these things right now.  I have one last iron distance race I signed up for over a year ago, and I'm committed to it, in OKC, in September.

There's nothing terribly entertaining in all this.  It's just me thinking out loud today. 

I guess I should get up off this couch and go ride my bike.


*the other two having already been mentioned yesterday.

Friday, April 16, 2010

yeah, I know.

Why NOT drop out of Ironman St. George?  Why not? 

Well, because I have three special gifts, only one of which is relevant to this.  That special gift is an almost pathological stubbornness when it comes to finishing what I've started.  I paid an entry fee.  I have to show up. 

Last Saturday I did indeed head out on what was to be an epic "hill repeat" workout with *Courtney*. The plan for the day was three loops that involved going north on the boulevard near my house, which then turns west and drops about 1000 feet over 5 miles into the river valley, then return to start, which I call "the big grind" and repeat twice. With that, I figured I get three climbs in and about 70 miles.

Here's what actually happened:


It was two times, not the planned three, because as I crested the hill the second time, I realized that I'd headed out without sunscreen and had already probably guarenteed myself an unpleasant week. I was right. By that night I could not wear normal clothes, and my run the next day was scrapped because I couldn't put anything on that would touch my back, shoulders, or upper arms.

Which, for us gals, pretty much guarentees we can't go out in public without getting a citation, much less get in a 15 mile run. No bra = no running, don't even try to argue that point with me.  So, I spend the day wearing a soft shirt and working on sprinkler systems instead.
  • Monday, I wore the same cycling top I got burned in to work, covered by a light shrug. Nobody noticed.
  • Tuesday, I did nothing other than whimper, whine, and complain. Which is my 2nd special gift. 
  • Wednesday I did the last of Satan's spin class, and then did 1600 meters in the pool with paddles, then went to work. By Wednesday night, I was able to actually sleep on my back again.
  • Thursday I woke up and decided to have a weigh-in. Here in the GeekGirl household, there are strict rules for weigh-ins:
  1. no clothes
  2. first thing in the morning, before eating, drinking, or breathing too much.
  3. if at all possible, after visiting le toilette.
  4. It doesn't hurt to be a bit dehydrated.
I bumped up a pound or two during my sunburned pity party, but dropped back down again, so no weight loss this week. I'm holding steady at 164. ish.

This weekend, I will try to get in 4 climbs over at the big grind. I'll try to also do that planned 15 mile run, or more if I feel like it.  I'm not obsessive about my training like some people and like some other people, or even their friends but then again, they are much faster than me, so maybe they're right and I'm wrong. Maybe.

I'm not sure I'm going to do another Ironman after this year.  The training is grueling and time-consuming and cuts into my TV watching time.  We'll see. 

...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Thursday thirteen, the boring, stressed, whining edition.

  1. There are only 3 weeks left to the semester.
  2. There is only 2 weeks of training left.
  3. There is also 2 more weeks to study for finals.  
  4. One way or another, I'll know whether I'm going to finish St. George soon.
  5. I'll get a month off from school before summer school starts.  I'm only taking one class, it is on doing work with couples.
  6. The next 4 weekends starting the weekend after this next one will be grueling: duathlon, Ironman St. George, sprint triathlon, and then mountain marathon.  I'm not sure why I've done this to myself yet again, but so much for my month off.  
  7. Meanwhile, what will I do with my empty evenings?  Why, after work, I'll....I'll...I'll go home.  And do....nothing.  Catch up on Shear Genius, or something.
  8. The dogs are responding to obedience training, slowly.  Chloe is going to take some extra one-on-one, because she's aggressive to other dogs and people.  
  9. The cable company isn't going to charge us for cutting through the cable, because apparently they are responsible for the part that goes form the cable box to the house, even if they did loop it through our back yard (which wasn't even necessary). 
  10. We found out that the guy who was hired to fix our door, the one who told us that our insurance company was only allowing $350 for a new pre-hung door, that one: he told State Farm taht the door unit would cost $800.  I wonder what he was going to do with that other $450?  Hmm.
  11. Elsewise, things are looking up for us.  There is a light at the end of the long, long tunnel we've been traveling through since I was laid off last August.  
  12. Still pretty unconvinced I will be able to pull of St. George.  
  13. My weight loss stalled a bit this week, mostly because I ate like a pig.  But sometimes, you just gotta eat like a pig, you know?
...

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Ooops.

Wow. Well, on Thursday, I didn't have Internet at home.  So here's fourteen for Friday.

14.  We accidentally cut through our cable when putting in the fencing for cash.

13.  I'm tentatively happy to report that my weight loss seems to be increasing.  No lectures, please.  And, yes, I am eating and staying hydrated.  Today I woke up at 163.4 lbs, nearly 16 pounds down from where I started.  Although this seems like a lot, it is more like the weight loss that I used to be able to achieve when I was younger.  It may, or may not, have anything to do with all the 12-hour sudafed I've been eating because of my allergies. 

12.  Cash, the dog who channels Houdini (I'm in a good mood today so he's "cash" instead of "A$$hole dog") is contained for the moment.  Sweet Baboo discovered a hole in our defenses and filled it, and he's stayed in the yard ever since. 

11.  Chloe, the dog who channels Iditerod racing dogs, received a new gift yesterday: The Gentle Leader.  Click on that link.  Our little jog this morning was awesome. 

10.  Only 3 weeks until Ironman St. George.  Ulp.  Yesterday I did my 2 hour Satan's spin class, which I cut to 110 minutes so that I could jump in the pool.

9.  I pulled off about 1000 meters in a little under 30 minutes, which is appallingly slow (3 minutes per 100m, which translates to over 2 hours, but I wasn't hurrying.  I hadn't been in the pool but once since last fall, so I wanted to reintroduce my shoulders slowly.  My swims for the next few weeks will be using paddles and my Tempo trainer.  The Tempo trainer is legal in the swim at IMs, so I'll be taking it along to St. George. 

8. I am stressed, suffocating, and overwhelmed.  It seems like there is no portion of time in my waking hours that isn't promised to some other person or entity.  I know that I've done that to myself for the most part.  Still: stress.  Like I said a few days ago, it's the best diet ever.  But not good for training. 

7.  I am seriously looking forward the first week of may, because I will be done (or not) with IM St. George, so I can stop worrying about that either way, and I'll be done with the current semester. 

6.  I had no cable or Internet at home so I had to work on this during my lunch hour.  But then Wednesday and Thursday I got slammed at work and couldn't work on it.

5.  Thursday I had to turn in a short paper to a teacher who so far has not liked any of the short papers I've turned in.  I have a B in that class.  I've accepted this.

4. So I woke up at 163 pounds.  To put this in perspective, I was at 158 when I did Ironman Coeur D'Alene.  Do I think having lost weight will make up for a general lack of training?  I do not.  But I don't think it hurts, either.

3.  Spring is really here.  I'm very happy about that.

2.  In less than 4 weeks, I'll have my answer about whether or not I can pull off an Ironman by cramming for it.  I'll also be finished with my final exams.  Life will be glorious.  I can't even imagine a summer without being gone 3 nights a week.

1. So what was the first thing we watched when we got our cable restored?

was it a stimulating documentary?

was it an award winning movie?

was it mind food, guaranteed to fill our heads with knowledge?

no.

It was Shrek 2.

and it was great.



...

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Cram for Ironman, Week 2ish.

Weight: 165.2.  I've lost 12.8 pounds so far since January.  That's 12.8 pounds of non-working tissue that I won't have to haul up and down the hills at St. George.  Two of my favorite pants don't fit any more.  I mean, they slid halfway down my hips and don't have belt loops.

Stress is like, the best diet EVAR.

What stress, you might ask?  Well, first, last week was a bit of a derailment.  The pollen count soared, and my energy level and ability to breathe plummeted. I finally settled on a cocktail of 12-hour sudafed during the day and Nyquil at night just to be able to sit at my desk at work. I couldn't do much during the week; I even had to skip my spin class.

But, by Saturday, I was able to do my hilly laps around the house, finishing up about 10 miles or so.  Now, on Sunday, I had planned to do cycling laps near my house that involved ascending and descending 1000 feet of 5 miles repeatedly.  When I started to head out, Jake came running after me.  He's the heeler mix that should have been behind the masonry wall that surrounds my house.  and yet, here he was.  I put him back in the yard, and when I turned around, he was out again.  I had no idea how he's getting out, but my ride was shelved since I was home alone.  I used the time to write papers.


Monday morning I did not get to run because I drove instead to pick up oldest son, (ex-soldier turned college student) who was wrangled into dog-sitting while we worked.  (pictured, right, looking very dapper)  Then Monday night, he and Sweet Baboo put up a barrier at the spot where Jake, whose new name is Cash, or A$$hole dog, depending on my mood, was going over the wall.  

In doing so, the cable/internet was accidentally cut. So, we don't have cable, or internet for now.   And yes, we will have to pay the cost of repairing the line if we want cable restored from this company.

Tuesday morning, I got a nice little run in, and then showered and headed to work.  Before lunch, my neighbor called me to tell me that he was out, running around the neighborhood again.  Another neighbor tried to take care of him while I was still at work, but Cash, aka A$$hole dog, jumped his wall, too.  So, thanks to Cash, aka a$$hole dog, I now know more of my neighbors, since they've been bringing him back to us all week.  But I'm afraid of wearing out my welcome.

So, I gave up my lunch hour to go across town and put him in a storage shed DON'T LOOK AT ME IN THAT TONE OF VOICE, HE HAD WATER AND IT WAS COOL OUT until Sweet Baboo got home.

Cash, aka a$$hole dog, has just earned himself a 10 x 10 x 6 foot high chain link kennel parked on cement, because between my car break-in in January, the house robber in February, the bill for the IRS, the dog adoption fees and obedience classes, we are not in any position to fence our entire yard.  In fact, he has to live in the garage during the day until the next payday in order for us to get the kennel.

We really didn't expect this glitch.  We figured our huge yard, with warm sunny spots, cool shady spots, grass, gravel, a large pond with clean running water, would be a happy doggie place.  Not so much with this one.  There are those who have tried to console me by telling me he'll "outgrow" it.  All I can imagine is him getting bigger and better at going over walls.

So with a severed cable and internet line, I'm writing this from a local bookstore and hotspot.  Did you know that there are at least six magazines dedicated to tattoos?  There are.  There is an endcap right in front of me with six different magazines dedicated to tattoos.

I do not like dogs today.

...

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Excuses, excuses.

Woke up this morning at 165.2, a new low.  Weigh day is really tricky because the day before weigh day, in weight-watchers, is the last day to use up all your activity points.  I usually blow out with a pizza the day before, so that on "weigh day" I'm heavier than usual.  This time, however, I decided to have a big bowl of popcorn.  Which is not heavy at all.

My planned workout today is to leave from my house, go up a major boulevard, which climbs about 200 feet over 8 or so miles, then levels out at 6000 feet, and then descends over 5 miles to just over 5000 feet.  Then, turn around and climb back up and come back home.  The plan is to do this 3 times, which should be about 70 miles.

But for now, I'm sitting here trying to figure out why I won't get up and go on my bike ride on what is, arguably, the most  beautiful day we've had in months.  I can't use the excuse that it's too cold.
 I figure the next step is to get dressed, so I'll go do that.

Yesterday I had a handy excuse: Jake kept getting out so, by golly, I had to stay here and watch him.  Well, then Baboo fixed it so that he couldn't get out, so I'm out of excuses.  Then he fixed my flat.  There goes another excuse.  Dammit.

I have to keep reminding myself that if I do this ride, I'll lots of weight-watcher points, which use over the week to nibble, nibble, nibble.

I'll go get dressed now, I guess.  Then it's just a matter of going out the door, right?
Right.

UPDATE, an hour later: I did get dressed.  I was actually psyched, and ready to go.  I wheeled my bike down the driveway...then saw Jake running up and down the street.  I put him back in the back yard, and he was out within minute.  Little $#it.  I have no idea how he's getting out.

No ride until I figure out how to keep him safe.
...

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The 10 commandants, according to Jake and Chloe.

Everything must be smelled.  There are no exceptions.

Everything is to be tasted and chewed, at least once.

Even if there is lots of room, the best place to wrestle is on mom's feet.  This is not a metaphor: Right. On. Top.  (These are 40+ pound dogs, remember.)

When the owners have guests, the best way to stay out of trouble is to pull out whatever is in the bathroom trash can and take it out into the living room.  And chew on it.

If you can find a way to get out of the yard, you should.

If your owner runs toward you, yelling and waving their arms, that means it's time to play tag.

If it is within reach, you may eat it.

Owners like to play games with you.  They'll do it by filling in your holes.  You should dig them out as soon as possible to continue the game.

The also like to put plants in the ground for you to pull out, so make sure you do that.

The best, really best chew toys are those little black hoses that go through gravel in the garden.  I think they're called "drip lines".

...

Friday, April 02, 2010

The Ironman Commeth: Friday Fourteen, the April Fools Edition.

14.  Oh, C'mon.  I'm disappointed nobody took me seriously.

13.  In the great tradition of, well let's face it, everything in my life, I'm now attempting to cram for Ironman St. George.
How does one do that, you ask.  Well, here's my first bike since last August.  Next week I'll be adding 25.  The following week, another 25.  I'm also doing Satan's spin class on Wednesday mornings.  I credit Satan with the fact that I was even able to pull of this ride, even as slow at it was.  


12.  Here's my road run training.  These are 3 loops near my house.  That way I can set up a little aid station on my front sidewalk.  Next week it will be 5 loops.  And then 7.  And then 9.  Then taper.  I also do one of these loops 3 days a week with the dogs, and I'll be trying to follow that with a second loop before heading in to work with a wet ponytail.

11.  Swimming: I'm going to be doing lat pull-downs every other day at work.  Lots of them.  For an hour.  On Mondays, I'll swim.  Then head into work with a wet ponytail.   If I can pull this off, it will be a honest-to-gawd miracle.  SRSLY.  Call the pope.  

10.  I have been attacked by pollen.  I feel like crap.  I can't run.  i can barely breathe.  Dammit.    

9.  I rearranged my living room this week.   

8.  I'm signed up for Ironman St. George on May 1, Jay Benson Sprint a week later, and then a week or so later the Jemez Mountain Trail Marathon.  I'm not sure why.  But I did.  
So.
Courtney wants me to do a triathlon on May 29, but I think not.  I think I'll take that weekend off. 
Maybe I watch old movies all week.  
Or maybe I'll just sit and stare. 

6.  My kid arrived last week on Thursday night, flown back home by the Army, and moved into his own apartment the next day. He starts college this summer.  I don't know why it is so shocking that he seems so grown-up, after all when I was his age, I had three kids.   
In many ways, I envy him.  College was hard with three kids.  He won't have those distractions.  He has a little efficiency apartment a few miles down the bike path from the college.  His G.I. bill will provide a monthly stipend and all his tuition and books will be paid for.  Plus, with the passing of the new healthcare bill, we'll be able to put him on our insurance for another 18 months.  But the one thing I can't get over is this: I am old enough to have a kid that is old enough to drink.  WOW. 


5.  Weight: 167.  I've lost 11 lbs since starting weight-watchers in January.  I'm averaging about a pound a week.  Again, it's not about size, or appearance.  It's about having less butt to haul up and down hills.  I'm hoping to finish at IM-St. George, but I'm actually hoping to actually do well at the Redman in Oklahoma, because it will be my last Iron-distance triathlon.  
4.  Why hello insane Ironman training hunger, fatigue, and sweat!  I'd almost forgotten about you.
Almost.  Meet your new friends: graduate school exhaustion and 40-hour work week.  I'm sure you'll make great roommates.

3.  Speaking of dogs: The staring at me while I eat is getting old.  It was never cute.  But now it's just annoying.  

2.  Clicker training has started for Jake and Chloe.  Very excited about this.  So far, I've learned that I can make them sit before I feed them.  And they do.  (They picked that up real fast)   Two things I know today: Jake won't go for a run without Chloe.  And clickers don't work on cats.  

1.  I had to do a developmental assessment on a fictional character, a child, for a class.  I picked Eric Cartman.  

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Ahem.

I've decided that running is just silly. .I mean, think about it: all that sweating and hard work.  I think it's easiest just to take diet pills.

Cheers.