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

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

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

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Psych hospitals are not summer camps. thursday 13.


Dear Diary,

13.  This week I actually started feeling like an athlete again.  It started last week on Tuesday when I joined a bunch of the Albuquerque Roadrunners for the weekly La Luz run training.  I'm now able to keep most of the runners in sight.  They don't get so far ahead of me that I'm alone in the wilderness. 

12.  Friday, we found out that one of our local running shops was going out of business :-(
and they were selling their stuff 50% off  :-)
Sweet Baboo and I met over there after work.  Turns out the skinny bitches had already made a run on the place, so what was left was for me: I snapped up some Moving Comfort size L shorts, coupla bras, coupla running tops.  Oh, and there was a pair of women's size L CWX compression running tights.  My old ones had a hole in them.  Awesome!

11.  I've discovered that the perfect shoe for me is a man's size 8D running shoe.  Seriously.  I put in 16 miles over the weekend in a pair of men's New Balance 759s, size 8D, are my perfect running shoes.  Not a single hotspot.  

10.  Sunday, we went for a 10 mile run up in Northern New Mexico.  It was a nice out-and-back that went from 9200 feet up to 10200 feet.  Up that high, it was cool out. 
Most of the trail was totally runnable, but there were a few marshy areas where my feet were completely soaked.  Quite a few stream crossings, too.  The fun part was when we were headed into the last mile down to the parking lot, and there were people walking up the trail toward the lake, which is about a 1-mile walk.  They were huffing and puffing and asking us if the lake was very much further? and women were fanning themselves. 


9. Very soon, monsoon rains will begin.  These occur on and off throughout July and August, and comprise about half of our annual rainfall here.   

8.  Gosh, I can't believe how much fitness I lost over the spring semester.  After Sunday's 10 mile run, my body was kind of in shock, like I'd run a marathon.  I'd fall asleep, and then leap up and eat a whole bunch.  then sleep, then leap up and again.  It was weird. Clearly, I have a lot of work to do. 

7.   The weather report says it's raining outside right now.  It is not.  Is there someone I call?

6.  Current weight: 156, and holding steady. 

5.  My MIL is coming next week.  She is someone I truly like spending time with.  I realized, I needs to do me some cleaning.  Sweet Baboo will be at the Leadville Training camp this weekend (I can't go, since it encompasses two work days getting there and coming back) so my weekend will be spent cleaning.  Luckily, I love to clean the Dream House. It's one of my favorite things. 

4. Each week at work seems to have a theme.  Last week was "can I drop off my irritable teenager week," to which I replied, uh, NO, this is a psychiatric hospital, not a summer camp.  This week seems to be the week of kids who are truly, truly in distress. 

3.  Speaking of which, I'm going to get on my soapbox here for a moment.  "Moody" does not need to be medicated.  Teenagers, by virtue of their developmental level, naturally frequently change from zero to bitchy in a matter of minutes, and then back to happy just as fast.  It doesn't mean they're bipolar.
Bipolar disorder requires actual, real MANIA, which involves euphoria and at least a full day or more giddiness and sleeplessness, that losing sleep that THEY DO NOT MISS.  If a kid stays up all night, and then is tired and cranky, or sleepy the next day, that is not mania.  If a kid has a pissy, negative outlook, that is not mania. If a kid stays up all night to play video games with a friend who's sleeping over, that's not mania. 
Bipolar disorder is all the rage now, and they are giving kids very heavy-duty antipsychotic drugs with very serious possible side effects to control them. If someone is trying to diagnose your angry, oppositional kid as bipolar without mania, find someone else.  Of the 100+ kids I've seen come through with "bipolar disorder," I've only seen 4 that actually had it. 
It's a fad.  Ride it out.  Luckily, in my job, I get to change their diagnosis to something more appropriate.

2.  On a completely unrelated note, much to my embarassment, I discovered this week that when your toenail turns black, there's actually black stuff in there.  This was discovered during a pedi this week.  ew.  I know.  You're welcome for the visual.   

1.   I've been asked to put up a picture of Chloe., who I can't stop calling Sadie.  I've been trying, but she's very very wiggly.  it's hard to get a picture of her.  Here's what I have so far.  Enjoy.





1.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wear your underwear, ya freak. A Thursday Thirteen.

13.  This week Baboo was talking to a guy who is not a runner or athlete, and they were talking about health and whatnot, and the guy said, casually, "well, you know, most guys our age are on Lipotor." 
When Baboo told me that I said, What?  what guys?  None of the friends we have are on Lipitor.  And Baboo answered, in all seriousness, "our friends are freaks, Misty"
Hah.  Freaks.  My friends are freaks.  FREEEEEEAKS!  I like that. 

12.  I recently tested a new watch for Timex that I think would be awesome for sprint triathlons.  It has 2 features I like: first, you can set it to remind you to drink and eat at planned intervals.  So then, say, every 15 mintues it will chime a little tune, and when you look at it, it says DRINK NOW.  There's also one that says EAT NOW.  The second thing I like about it is that when in Chrono mode, you can just tap the screen to go to the next lap.  So, no buttons, no looking at it.  Just tap.  I've tested it in training, so I'm going to test it in a sprint soon.

11.  I also recently tested another Tech4o watch.  I tested one with a built in pedometer a couple years ago, which I was very pleased with.  The pedo watch was dead-on for walking, with about a 2% error ratio for distance, and then from that it would calculate pace, etc. 

So, the Tech4o people sent me a woman's heartbeat watch to test.  It has a heart strap.  I still have another quick test to run, but so far, it's not going well.  The first time I used it, my heart rate, when I looked at the watch, would say 35, and then 200, and then 210, and then 79.  Sometimes it just stopped working for a while.  I tested it on a cool 4-mile run around the neighborhood.  I'm going to test it again soon and let you know how it goes. 

10.  On Tuesday, we started our crazy hot hard afternoon workout by running up to tower 2 (see profile, below). It was fun, and I felt like a kid again, touching the tower and then running back down the hill. 

9.  This week's training plan (14 June - 20):
Tuesday, run 4 miles
Wednesday, run 4 miles
Thursday, run 6 miles
Friday, Yoga
Saturday, 2 Tramway loops
Sunday, 14 miles Long slow Flat run

8.  Next weeks' training plan (21 June - 27)
Tuesday, run 4 miles
Wednesday, run 4 miles
Thursday, run 6 miles
Friday, Yoga
Saturday, 2 Tramway loops
Sunday, 16 miles Long Slow Flat Run

7.  About once a month or so, the lunch ladies at the psychiatric hospital where I work show up at my door, and ask me if I want an egg mcmuffin.  they make them with cheese slices on a big old home-made biscuit.  What am I, made of stone?  then I entered it into Weight watchers: 9 points. Ulp.  Next time, I'll have to say, "sorry, I've already eaten".

6. Sometimes, I hate how condescending artificial intelligence is.  We couldn't find an entry for substitude. Did you mean substitute?

5.  About an hour before doing my Tuesday night trail run, I did another experiment: I ate some instant grits.  I am pleased to report that they sat very well with me, and I think enough of the carbs got into my system that I in no way bonked on this run, which was done with temps in the low nineties.



4.  I am now mad at the Caldera marathon, and next year, I will kick its ass.  Stupid caldera.  I'll show you.

3.  There has been a recent spate of people with motorcycles riding them into the open space.  It's somewhat analgous to someone racing around your local park, tearing up the grass, scaring the squirrels and kids.  They race around, scaring the crap out of people and animals, and by the time the police show up, they're gone.  I'm going to contact the open space people and see if there is some sort of barrier we can erect to keep them out. 

2. My tuesday night runs, (profile, above, of this week) I've been doing with my Vibrams.  I'm trying to toughen up my feet. 

1.  Besides grits, I did another experiment this week.  In case you're thinking it, I'll save you the time: My hopethesis that running without underwear would be comfortable was not supported.  Step, Step *tug* Step, Step *tug* Step, Step *tug* Step, Step *tug*... .

no, no need to thank me.  That's why I'm here. 

...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Life, after donuts.

I'm sitting here looking at the hills behind the Dream house.  The sun has just set.  The hills look much closer than they are. It's always startling for me to see a moving speck across one of them, just a pixel of color, and realize that it's a person.  The hills are much bigger than they seem from my living room.  It's all about perspective.

Last week my therapist brought up the idea of radical acceptance.  My therapist uses CBT, and of course, that's why I've been seeing her.  First, for the panic attacks.  Then the general anxiety.  Now it's to let go of ideas that I've hung onto tenaciously for decades, ideas that aren't working for me.  Ideas that cause me distress. 

So here we are: we've reached the point where I've been working on reframing my belief that, "the world is a dangerous place" to "the world is an uncertain place" and from "I must prepare for everything and fix every wrong," to "I can handle things as they come up, and everything doesn't have to be fixed by me."

So anyway.  Radcal acceptance is stepping back from something that is a problem, and separating your emotions from it while still recognizing it for what it is. 

I had a problem getting my mind around that at first.  To me, problems are meant to be fixed, solved.  As a former single welfare mother, I'm well programmed to always be in FIX-IT mode.  So, yeah.  I get involved at an emotional level.  She explained it some more, and a bell went off my head.

I remembered when I taught high school.  One day after about six years it was like a switch was thrown, and I no longer took it personally, the mouthiness, the opposition, the defiance - it was all just a function of them being teenagers.  Hey! I'd say, There's that black and white thinking{chuckle}

"Quit saying that!  I'm very unique!" they would protest. 

Of course you are, sweetie, I'd say with a grin, completely unique.  Like nobody else, and nothing that applies to anyone else applies to you. 

"Damn straight," they'd mutter

And that's called 'The personal fable.'

Yes, my therapist said, that is radical acceptance.  It is the idea of accepting something, or what will be, as it is.  Without becoming emotional about it.

At first I thought this was about my distress was about the back yard and what asshole dog was doing to it.  Let it go, I thought.  I was struggling.  I need my back yard.  In order for me to read case histories of children who have been horrifically abused, or who are seriously mentally ill, I need a respite at the end of the day.  That respite is the haven behind the house that Baboo has created for us.  When I go back there and see yet another areas destroyed, or dug up, or torn up, it's a little less haven-like.

But later on, I realized, my biggest fear is what others think of me.  I own that.  My distress has been about someone thinking I'm a terrible person if I get rid of Jake.

So, once I could see that, I decided he has got to go.  Once I decided it, I felt instant relief.  Some people might think ill of me.  I can't control that.  It is what it is. 

~~~~

Today's weight: 159.8 - I always bloat up on Sundays.  I think it's my high-sodium day or something.

I cleaned out my closet this past weekend.  I formed 4 piles:

1) Clothes I love, but they need altering (too big!)
2) Clothes that nobody, including me, should ever, ever wear (but I'm donating them anyway) and here's a tip: once it goes in the pile do not, DO NOT, look in that pile again, or allow anyone else to. 
3) Clothes that need minor alterations, like a button moved in, or a hem.
4) Clothes that are fine, and need dry-cleaning.

I was surprised at how much I had to wear, actually.  Once I'd cleared out all the junk, I found that I had things I could put together in ways I'd never thought of back when I first wore them. 

And here's the reallllllly scary part: I'm throwing out all my fat clothes.  Nothing more to fall back on, ever.  Ulp.  My magic scale number is 160.  Once I hit that, my size decrease slows down, and I'm either a 10 or a 12, no matter how much more weight I lose.  It's like a critical mass thing.  Maybe all the spaces inside me fill up, or something, I don't know. 

Baboo, meanwhile, stood in front of me this morning in clothes that were approximately eight sizes too big.

"How do these look?"

"Well, they don't do you justice."  For some reason, Baboo only buys clothes when he's at his heaviest.  So they're usually loose, but this is New Mexico, so they look appropriate, until he dips under his magic number, which is 210.  Then, he's swimming in them. 

Everybody has to figure out what works for them.  I've accepted tried lots of ways to maintain my weight, and only Weight watchers does it for me.  That, and running up and down the hills behind the Dream house, instead of looking at them. 

I haven't completely given up donuts, by the way.

But I have noticed something.  A few months ago, two coworkers and I were standing in the break room, making air-popped popcorn.  The instructions (yes, instructions, put on the wall by a seriously passive-aggressive person) said to put 1/4 cup of popcorn in the popper, and then melt half a stick of butter in the microwave, pour on, and enjoy.

First off, I don't use butter.  I keep butter sprinkles in my desk drawer. But I figured I'd treat  myself and have a table spoon or two strategically poured on. 

So, the coworkers.  Both very seriously super nice people.  One of them is heavy.  I'll call this coworker David.  David is so heavy that I actually worry for his health.  The other coworker I'll call Michelle, and Michelle is very trim and a runner. So anway, David pulled a stick of butter and cut half off. 

"Um, really, David?  A half stick?" Michelle protested.  "That seems like a lot." 

"That's what the directions say," David insisted, pointing. 

Okay.  So we waited, and then David poured a half stick of butter on his popcorn, just like the directions said. Michelle took her popcorn with no butter, and I took my popcorn, with a tablespoon or two on it.  Later that day, there were donuts.  Michelle and I split half a donut.  I just wanted a taste.  It was delish.  I didn't need the whole thing to know that.

Accepting what is means that I have to make a decision and stop agonizing over it.  Make it and move on.   I can binge, if I want, but I have to do the long runs on the weekends to build up my "binge" points.  I'm willing to give up a half stick of butter, or a few glazed donuts, to feel like I have some control over where my body is in space. 

When I was heavy, I was constantly crashing into things.  I just never could get used to taking up so much space.  That's gone now.  Some things have become old habits for me now, like dipping my fork into salad dressing before sticking it into the lettuce and taking a bite.  Or mentally calculating how far I need to run to have that particular desert. 

So I'm not crashing into people just at the moment.  I have fewer clothes to choose from, but the ones I have all fit.  I'm still the same person, but taking up less space.  I'm fine with that for now. 

...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sometimes things end badly, but at least they end. A race report.

Dear diary,

I did the Valles Caldera half marathon yesterday. It was a nightmare. The first mile, I got a lungful of smoke from a brush fire, and from the rest of the time, my chest ached and I coughed. Then, mile 2, the cramps started--side stiches on the left and right. They stayed with me until mile 12. Nothing I did made them go away, and when I ran, they were excruciating.

They stopped when I climbed, though.  Which was, needless to say, useless.  The climb up to the top at about mile 6 was exhausting.  Then, I couldn't take advantage of any downhill runs, because of the cramps.  The climbs up were horribly slow, peaking at 8800 feet altitude. 

After that, I was pretty happy to be going flat, and was doing a kind of half jog and half power walk. 

The volunteers were awesome.  Friendly, helpful, sympathetic,  Except for one.  That one would be the volunteer who watched as I went the wrong way. WATCHED. In fact, we had a conversation first. 

First, I got to a section of trail that had 2 flags on the right and 2 on the left. I looked further to the left, and saw no more markings. I looked ahead: no more markings. I looked to the left, and saw a chalk arrow pointing me off the road, so I followed it, and the marking flags. I'd climbed about 250 feet when I came to a volunteer on her way toward me, and she informed me that I was going the wrong way - I'd already been this way once. Dammit. She said, "go back to the road."

So I did. I went back to the road and started running down the road. But I didn't see any more markings. So I turned around, and walked back down to where the volunteer was, and this time, she was with a man who was a bit, eh, portly. I said to Portly, "there's no markings down that way, no people, nothing."

"No markings," he asked, surprised. "There should be.  So-and-so should be down there."  he said a name, like Bob or Bruce, or something like that. 

"Nope, nothing," I said, and I turned and headed back down the road.   He watched me go, and said nothing. 

About a half mile later, and I was hurting.  By this time it had been several miles since I had run out of water, and I was tired. As you can see by the profile above, there was a bit of climbing, and my hips hurt, too. Then another volunteer pulled up next to me on some sort of gas-powered golf cart, and asked if I was okay.

"I just have this awful feeling that I"m not on the right course," I said, accepting some water.

"Oh, no, you're not on the right course at all," she said calmly, putting water into the back of her cart.

I waited. And then, "Well, where is the course?"

She motioned to a line of trees about 50 yards to my right. "Over there. Just cross that meadow."

So I did. Dammit. I added about a mile of distance to my run, and after the part that was an unnecessary climb, I was exhausted. The cramps wouldn't stop. my hips hurt. There was just no running to be done. I crossed the finish line over 4 hours after I started. Baboo, who had started the full marathon 10 minutes earlier, was 15 minutes behind me.

~~~~~

So here's the other thing.  I find that I have to start over again, for two reasons.  First was the 2 months I spent being depressed and trying to get through 14-hours in graduate school and work, and not running.

The second is that the runs I did were so short, and intense, that I started getting faster...but now that I'm faster, I can't run as far as I used to.  It didn't make much sense to me at first, but if you think about it, when you run faster, you're pounding your feet, knees, and ankles harder.  You spine is under more stress.  So I'll be having to start over again. 

And by golly, when I do this again next year, you're going to see a completely different race report.

Cheers!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday 13.

13.  There were no donuts. 


12.  Sorry to disappoint anyone; I decided not do the meltman.  Late in the afternoon as I started sweating in my office and decided that driving several hundred miles, doing a sprint in 100 degree weather (and this triathlon is nearly insufferably warm even when the weather is in the 80s) sounded like no fun.  So I bagged it.  This is my year of fun, weight loss, and short distances, I've decided.  Except, of course, for Redman. 

11.  Instead, Saturday I went for a hike. I hiked up into the mountains behind my house--not far, just a couple miles, at dawn.  It was glorious.  I went up to about 7500 feet, I think. 

10.  Sunday, I did my long run: a trip to El Pinto with Johnny Tri, his girlfriend, and Baboo--and I had the El Pinto eggs Benedict.  These are poached eggs with green chile hollendaise sauce on chile cheese biscuits.  They are - wait for it -- TWENTY TWO WEIGHT WATCHER POINTS.  Did I know that before I ate them?  I did NOT.  I found Tuesday morning when I entered it into WW.  I had no idea that Hollendaise was solid animal fat.  Baboo was all, you didn't know that?  No, why would I?  I don't have occasion to make Hollendaise sauce.  Now even less so. 

9.  I made up part of those points by riding the Tram with Courtney and Baboo up to the top of the mountain (10,000 feet elevation) and doing about 5 miles of hiking. 

8.  Monday, I did nothing. 

7.  Tuesday, I did a brief run that involves climbing for about a mile and a half.  My goal is to run the entire thing without stopping for a second to puke. 

6.  Tuesday night, I went with Baboo to do a hike up La Luz trail.  DP has invited me every year, but I would fink out.  I'd be all like: west side of the mountain in the late afternoon with temp in the 90s, then run up the side of a mountain?  Yeah.  Sure.  But you know what?  It wasn't so bad.  So you all meet in the parking lot, and run/hike/whatever up the mountain for an hour, and then turn around and come back down. 

I made it about 2 miles up, to elevation 7800 feet up, with a belt with 2 10-ounce bottles.  This was not a 2 small bottle workout.  This was, at least, a 4-small-bottle workout.  Next time, I'll know.  I was getting a bit nauseated.  Running down was fun, though. 

5.  Oh, and I did the La Luz workout in my Vibram Five Fingers.  I'm working my way up to longer hike.  I was a little worried when I woke up and my foot hurt, I mean HURT. But then it went away. 

4.  Another conversation from work  (Again, no HIPPA violation, this is a compilation of several conversations)

So, tell me about the drinking. 

What about it? 

I understand from your mom that you've been doing a lot of drinking.

Well, you know, yeah.  I like to drink.  But it's not like I have a problem.  I mean, it's not like I HAVE to have it.  In fact, it's been almost a whole week since I've had a drink, and I'm not craving it at all. 

Tell me about shoplifting vodka from WallGreens.

Oh, that was just for fun.  You know, to see if I can get away with it.  I didn't have any money.

And breaking into your great-Aunt's house and stealing wine...was that fun too?

Well, I mean, she has lots of wine in the house.

Was your mother correct when she said that you took alcohol to school in your water bottle?

Yeah - I did it on a dare.  I gave a sip to a friend, and she ratted me out, that bitch.  They called the cops on me. 

Would it surprise you to know that most people consider lack of money, a locked door, and the threat of being expelled enough of a barrier to not drink?  

I don't get what you mean.

What I'm saying is, most people would consider those enough to stop them from using alcohol.

Well, it wasn't like I had to try hard to get it.

insight: [  ]good  [  ]fair   [X]poor

3.  Today, I hit a new low: 156.4. lbs  Of course : Wednesday.  What will happen next is that by weigh day, I'll be back up to 160 or 161, and I'll get a concillatory pity note from  WeightWatchers: Don't be discouraged because you didn't see any losses this week...  Bah.  Whatever. I put on a dress this week that I haven't been able to wear for 4 years. So there.

2. There is a big black spot on my laptop screen.  It looks like some kind of damage, but I can't imagine why. 

1.  Tomorrow, after this posts, I'll run.  Going to see if I can do a pre-work, 4 mile run. 

...

Friday, June 04, 2010

Oops, part deux. A friday fourteen.

Dear Diary,
Well, it was the holidays.  I'm off a day. 

14.  Last night while friends and Baboo were running trails in the hills behind our house, I was getting wine instead. I will tell why.  I had an incident on the highway--not an accident, an incident.  I was headed down the highway at my usual 80 mph HEYTHEREWASALMOSTNOTRAFFICGETOFFME and a red car cruised by me, putting on some distance as it shifted across all three lanes repeatedly.  The problem with shifting lanes repeatedly is that studies have shown it doesn't work--each time s/he got into a lane another care would be there, driving much slower than s/he wanted to drive, and for all his speed (at least 90 mph) s/he was actually dropping back towards me. 

So s/he was crossing again in front of me - pretty close, in fact--when s/he saw the police car.  So, s/he did what any crazy-assed speeding race car would do crossing less than 2 carlengths in front of a tiny blue Honda Fit - s/he slammed on his/her brakes.  THAT'S RIGHT.  S/HE SLAMMED ON HIS/HER BRAKES WHILE DRIVING IN FRONT OF ME AT 80 MPH ON A FREEWAY.
So I slammed on moi brakes, then realized I was going to hit him/her anyway. I turned to the left, to swerve around, and my car went up onto two wheels I'MNOTMAKINGTHISUPITHOUGHTIWASGONNADIE and I grabbed the steering wheel and turned and then the car swerved in the other direction, again on two wheels, and I had a brief second to think, this is it, I'm going to roll my car, just like in some cheap-assed movie, and dammit, Baboo is going to have to get me another Honda Fit.  I just hope the airbags work.

While all this was happening, of course, I was uttering something like, shitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshit!!!!!

But then, the car straightened out again, and once I'd swallowed the bile in my mouth, I said out loud, I want some wine now.
So that's what I did.
And that's why I was in the wine section last night while everyone else was running trails. 

13.  Yesterday morning, for the first time in months, I got up, and did some Yoga, at http://www.yogatic.com/.  It was Awesome.   I adore Esther.  I have a particular love for Yoga, but it is unfortunatley full of breathy hippie women, who I can't stand.  Esther is not that woman.  She has a very firm voice, with a slight gutteral accent, and if she ever puts out her own DVD, I'm buying it.  In the meantime, I've downloaded a bunch of her little videos and some of them are on my ipod.

12.  I started training this week.  I got up at 5:30 and by 6:00, I was out running.  It was awesome.  I love dawn runs in NM.  They are dry and chilly and you come back all sweaty but feeling great. 

11.  At work, they bought a a brief intelligence for me to use to assess the kids.  I'm still learning to use it, and so far, nearly a half dozen coworkers have quietly volunteered to let me practice on them.  They sort of lean in when they tell me this, and express their concern that I would make their results public.  They don't seem to have caught on to my sense of humor yet, and I enjoyed exploiting their fear.  Hell, there's a company bulletin board downstairs, I said. We should have a contest - give a dunce cap to the lowest score.  Nobody thought that was funny but me. 

10.  I got a lead on another job that, while not quite as enjoyable, is a decent job, a fed job, and half again what I'm making now.  Imagine taking half of what you're making and adding it to your salary.  Would you apply for this job?  Hell yes you would.  I may not get it.  But there it is.  More on this as it (or not) develops.

9.  This weekend, I am doing another sprint triathlon.  This is another one that I have done several years in a row.  This weekend, however, it is supposed to get up to 104 degrees.  This is the Milkman sprint.  A friend laughingly referred to it as the Meltman sprint.  HA HA.  Ha. ha.  ha.

8.   My training still isn't what is should be, but it's getting there.

7.  I have random phone numbers written on pages in my Dilbert calendar at work, and I don't know whose numbers they are.

6.  My Thursday night trail runs have been ruined by a class that is on the one night I didn't want it to be on.  Dammit.  But, so, anyway I've switched those to Tuesdays.  I'll be participating in the La Luz training.  I'm going to try to do the La Luz trail run next year.  It's a 9-mile trail run.  No, that's not a typo - nine miles.

There's got to be a catch, right? 

So here it is:

I'm trying to think of how long it will take me to get 9 miles at a 30 minute pace, with breaks built in for sucking oxygen out of a tank and puking.  So why am I doing this?  Well, by golly, it's practically famous and practically in my back yard, and all my friends do it and I'm a sucker for peer pressure, becuase I want to be all cool like they are.  So this year I'll do the training, to see what it's like, and next year, I'll sign up for the lottery and see if I get picked. 

5.  I'm battling Chinese spammers on my blog, and may have to switch to comment moderation soon.  So far, I'm moderating anything more than 2 days after I post. 

4.  Yesterday I was listening to one of my mixes in my office, and a 20-something popped in to tell me that, ohmygod,ijustwantedtotellyouthatiLOVEyourmusic.  There was a little head flip and pony-tail swing when she said that, and then herself bounced back down the hall to her office  I'm not sure what to think.  It's kind of like having a 3-year-old tell you that they love the way you dress, or your psychotic uncle Fred telling you that you make a lot of sense.  

3.  I'm finding myself annoyed by the swarms of locusts  mountainbikers on the trials in the afternoons, which is why I'm running in the morning.  It's not that I don't appreciate everyone out there having fun.  It's that they expect me to step off the trial and wait so that they can go by.  It's not unusual for me to encounter up to a dozen of these folks in a 4 mile run, so that's a lot of stepping off the trail and waiting.  I don't think I'm going to do it any more. I figure mountain biking is all about obstacles, and the rules of the trails around here say they're supposed to yield to everyone anyway. 

2.  So, I have weird conversations like this at work:

Me: So you said that his behavior started getting worse about a year ago, and he's refusing to go to school.  Did anything unusual happen around the time that his behavior got worse?

Clueless Parent: No....nothing I can think of.

Me: Nobody moving in, or out, or divorce, job losses, sudden changes, anything like that?

CP: No, nothing like that.

30 minutes later in the interview....

Me: Has anyone in your family passed away recently?

CP: Yes, my mother died.

Me: I'm so sorry to hear that.  When did she die?

CP: (Dabs at her eyes with a tissue) About 15 months ago.

Me: How did she die?

CP: (Hesitates) She hung herself.  She always had problems with depression.

Me: Oh, that's so sad, I'm so sorry.  Who found her?

CP: My son.

Me: (after a pause) Your son?  The one who is here now?

CP: Yes.

Me: You're saying he found your mother dead of a suicide about 3 months before his behavior started getting bad?

CP: I think so...let me see...yes, it was right before that.  He came home from school - we were staying with my mother, because our house had burned down.

Me: Your house burned down?

CP: Well, yeah, but I mean, my son wasn't in it or anything.  It happened while he was at school and I was at work.

Me: So, basically, your son got off the school bus and found his house burned to the ground?  And a few weeks later he found his grandmother dead of a suicide?

CP: Yes.

Me: So, I'm thinking that maybe these things are related...you know, to why he's refusing to go to school now. 

CP: Oh, I don't know.  I guess.  Maybe. 

(By the way, I'm not violating any HIPPA here...this is a composite of over a dozen similar conversations I've had over the past 6 months - people are completely clueless sometimes as to the things that affect their children.)


1. Today is a good day here.  The fire alarm has only been pulled by angry kids 3 times.  And I heard a rumor of donuts.  I shall investigate, and report back. 
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