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

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Finding your way with a map and Baboo.

Today Baboo and I headed out to San Pedro Park Wilderness to do some hike/walk/running.

On my training calendar was 20 miles, and I didn't want to do it running back and forth on a crowded bosque trail, sharing it with weekenders cyclists pedaling 5 mph with no helmets, families walking 4 abreast, or roller-bladers and YES I am just that kind of snobby.

If I have to run 20 miles, I want my own section of trail.


We headed out with a trail map to do all this at 10,000 feet.  It was beautiful.
We even saw the magic mountain cows of San Pedro Parks.  


What the map didn't tell us was that on July 31, 2010, about 70% of the trail we chose would be under water.  


At first, I was all dainty, hopping from rock to rock to avoid getting the feetsies wet...but after several hours and several marshy, swampy meadows, it was clear to me that we were running down and up a stream with occasional dry areas. 

I just stomped through each wet area. 


For about half the run, Baboo appeared to be working diligently to stay 50 yards ahead of me - I would speed up and try to catch him, but as soon as I started running he would head off at a dead sprint until he was nearly out of sight.

He said it was because his knee hurt when he tried to run as slow as me.  Or something.

Anyway, he was able to take lots of pictures of me, and the run, and he fully redeemed himself with a talent of which, before now, I was unaware.


Now, because the trail was interrupted with so many marsh/swamp/meadow areas, it was the case that either the trail had been completely overgrown since the last time people used it, or more likely, people saw the wet marsh/swamp/meadow and turned back.

Either way, there were vast areas of unmarked areas that interrupted the trail, and you couldn't see where it picked up on the other side, and we're all spoiled by races in that we expect either flags or a corner marshal: there were neither.


I knew that Baboo had studied, oh, what the hell is it called, "Land Navigation" in college, or so I thought.  Actually, he studied it in the Marines, and just for fun, did extra training in the art and science of finding your way.

I had my very own Marine land navigation specialist - all to myself!


It's amazing to think that I would be surprised 11 years into our relationship, but there it was: he didn't just take us straight across large, unmarked, untrailed areas, he led us precisely to where the other end of the trail was.  With a map.

Don't get me wrong; I can read a map, and I can follow the sun...but I'm not sure I could be as precise as he was.




He also specialized in driving vehicles over rugged terrain, so I just sit back and relax when we bounce along the graveled roads of NM.


and picks awesome places to run.  Where I can have my very own trail.  




and no, he's still taken.  And so am I.

...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday 13: Untitled.

Dear Diary:

13 It is finally raining here.  We came home from Leadville to rain.  The next morning I got up to go to work, put the dog out, and she has two preferred places to be when it rains: huddled under a patio table that affords no protection, or sitting in the middle of the patio, in the rain, staring in at me, because sadly, she doesn't know:

I will not be manipulated.

I finally went out side with a leash and dragged her over to her shelter, a large shed that is clean, dry, and has a large doggie door in the side.  She resisted the entire time, dug in her feet, and as soon as I let go of the leash, bolted back over the sit on the wet patio, in the downpour, and stare at me. Fine.  Whatever.  I went to work. This is proof of creationism.  Dogs could not have survived for millions of years without us.  They are just too, too dumb.  Sweet, but dumb. 

12.  Now that Sweet Baboo is "tapering" (read: he's only running 50 miles this week) he's the boss of my training, and runs with me.  For some reason, this makes me run faster.  I don't know why.  It's not like I'm trying to prove anything to himself.  Maybe it's just that having a running buddy, I'm too self conscious to take my usual lazy walk breaks.  The result: faster times in training. 

11.  I have come to the conclusion that I am sadly lacking in symmetry.  How do I know this?  Behold, my evidence:
a) Whenever I wear Cw-x tights, the "supportive" seams always rotate inward on my right leg.
b) My left calf muscle has an ongoing issue, but only my left.

I have to assume that I lurch along, not unlike Quasimoto.  Next thing you know, I'll have a built-up running shoe. 

10.  This week I had a kid's case on my desk, one that I taught my last semester of teaching.  I went down to the youth detention center (kid jail) to interview him for admission.

Since I last saw him, he's used a lot of meth, heroin, alcohol, and inhalants.  He lives alternately on the streets and in hotels, when he gets enough money from stealing and reselling stuff and has some leftover after buying drugs.  The year that I taught him was the last year he finished of school.  He's not as smart as he used to be.  He's really tired. 

When I asked him if he wanted to come to the hospital where I work.  He waved his hand around the jail, and said, "I don't know.  I seem to do best when I"m in here.  Maybe I should just stay here as long as I can".

When you're 17, and resigned to a life in lockup, who can give you hope?

How do you get hope back? 

9.   I turns out that even though I had only planned to do a few long events on the last quarter of the year, the training is still sucking up a lot of time.  I had planned on doing a lot of sprint triathlons, but holy hell: I spend most of my time running.  I can't believe I signed up for a hundred miler.  I  must be crazy. 

8.  Sorry for the downer (#7).  It's just that I thought about this kid from time to time.  He was the smartest in his class.  I figured he'd be the one to make it.  You just never know. 

7.  I dropped another pound.  I went to my ticker, up at the top of this page, to enter in my new weight, and it was all, "New!  Now track your waist measurement!"  Oh, HELL no.  I am not going public with that.  My weight is one thing; my actual measurements are another. 

6.  I will share, however, that the size 10s are starting to loosen.  This is good, because I want to weigh as little as possible if I'm going to try to drag my ass over 100 miles. 

5.  My training this week:
  • Friday: 10 mile hike to the top of Hope Pass and back.
  • Saturday: 7.3 mile run around Silverthorne, Colorado, Elevation 9000 feet, rising up to around 9400 feet, dropping down to 8800 feet, and then back up to 9000.
  • Sunday: 7.8 mile trail run alongside Turquoise Lake, mostly flat, starting at 9900 feet.
  • Monday: rest
  • Tuesday: 4.2 mile trail run at home, elevation gain, 563 feet.
  • Wednesday: 8 mile road run, elevation gain, 355 feet. 
  • Thursday, 6.7 miles, road/trail, elevation gain, unknown.
  • Total mileage: 44 miles.  Not a bad start. 
 4.  It's amazing that I ran on Thursday.  I haven't stuck with a training plan and actually run a single Thursday until now.  Of course, Baboo is watching over me, so I'm too self conscious not to.  It will be an even bigger miracle of I do both of my long runs this weekend: 20 miles on Saturday, 12 on Sunday. 

3.   Wednesday's run was momentous for a very important reason: I wore a running skirt.  I have NEVER been able to wear those things.  But last night, I wore one, and only tugged the shorts down twice.  You men won't understand.  You women will. 
 
2.  I will share my favorite fast meal: steamable bagged veggies, kraft easy mac in a cup, and some tuna or salmon.  I suppose you could use chicken.  Mix it all together, and divide in half, and voila: the guilty pleasure of mac and cheese with veggies and protein.  
 
1.  Thursday is binge day.  I have decided that I will have: a donut.  More on this later.  
 
... 


Monday, July 26, 2010

Leadville Weekend pictures

First, you should know that we stayed in the "white-tailed deer" room at the Rio Grande Motel.  It was like a scavenger hunt.  I couldn't wait to see what would have deer on it next!


Behold......






This is the cabin ruins that are near the top of Hope Pass.










Nice, huh?  It's almost pretty enough to be Windows Wallpaper!
My attempt to look as cute in my self-pictures as RBR does...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Do something, whenever you can, that scares you.

Friday we arrived in the area of the Leadville trail run, and even before docking at our accomodations there was a planned run in the morning.  We started out from twin lakes: Me, Sweet Baboo, Ken, Jean, and Mo.  Some other guy showed up from Massachusettes, but he was actually from Romania, and that's all I know, so that's all I'll say about him. 

The area is breathtaking.  I took pictures.  I'll upload them when I get home.  jagged peaks that once held glaciers, well above the tree line, some with bits of snow still on them.

We started out and after a mile or so I heard a mention of river crossing,  and I, uh, HUH?  river crossing?  Oh, well.  No big deal.  River crossings in New Mexico are streams that may or may not have water actually in them, and most of the time, you can just jump across them.

So as we jogged along, every once in a while I would run across some water, pretty still, about 4 to 6" deep, where some slow-moving streams crossed our path.  Finally I asked Ken, "so, is this the river?"

"Not yet," he said.

Then we got to the river.

Oh.  Shit.

It was an actual river.  With cold water was moving fast.  I mean, it wasn't the mighty Mississippi or anything, but there was no way you were getting across this without serious wetness.  My time across, I stepped down...and down...and down...until I was ass deep in rushing mountain cold water.  I was almost freaking out, not because I was ass deep in cold rushing water, but because it was fast, with a strong current, and it was pushing me backwards.  Lucky for me I had that Clydesdale in back of me to keep me from moving.

So I came up out of the river, soaking wet from butt to feet, and then we headed up to the trail head and parted ways.  The plan was, those training for Leadville 100  would go up and over Hope pass, which is around 12,000 feetish above sea level, and then back up and over from the opposite side. 

My plan was to make it to the pass and come straight back.  They moved on ahead, and Baboo had flour in a water bottle and whenever they made a turn, he marked it with the flour, and so in that way the path was marked. 

It was a long grind.  I get pretty breathless at those altitudes, so my resolve was dissipating rapidly.  I realized as I got pretty close where I figured the pass would be and realized, I had no way of knowing when I had reached a "pass".  I didn't grow up in the mountains. 

Was there a sign saying, "HOPE PASS"?  or, "You have reached The Pass"?
A greeter?  

I hiked up for a couple hours, saw a couple of ruined cabins, and hiked a little more ways up, decided I was tired of climbing this thing and, well, hell, *I* was not getting ready to run Leadville 100 so I headed back down the path to the bottomland.  I found out later that I was within a half mile of the pass, so I'll call it good.

I took pictures. I'll up load them at home.

But then, on the way back, I was alone.  I got the river, and walked up and down the beach, trying to find away across without a 200 pound man to cling to, and I made a couple of false starts, walking back to shore when the water go deeper.  It's not that I was afraid of drowning or anything.  It's mostly that I had electronics, including my phone, in the pack and was afraid of being pushed over backwards, underwater, and ruining them.  That, and maybe hitting my head on a rock and drowning. 

I turned around and came back to shore, finally decided, I'll just wait until they all come down off the mountain so that Baboo could provide a nice anchor for getting across. 

But that could be hours

Finally, I thought, I can do this.  I can do this.  I stood there for a really long time thinking that.  I stuck my handheld in the chest strap of my hydration pack, grabbed a long stick, and stepped back into the water.  I got to the deeper part, and even as the water pushed me backward, while I was stepping backwards, I continued stepping sideways, facing into the current the way Baboo told me to do, and then, well, then I was on the other side.   

It was one of the weird, trimphant moments when nobody was around but me to know it, but there it was.  So I took a picture of the river, and now it's on my cell phone.  When I get home, I'll upload it here. 

Later we drove to Leadville, altitutude 11K or so, and ate some really awesome Mexican food. 

THIS morning, Saturday morning, I woke really tired.  I didn't sleep well, and had had about 9 hours of sleep in two days.  Baboo and I headed out to Leadville again, and got coffee, and by then I was a little nauseated, and my head was starting to hurt and pound a little.

 I'm no fool, so I begged off the run and went back down to 8000 feet to rest.  I looked up altitude sickness, and it had a list for "mild" sickness that went like this:
Symptoms generally associated with mild to moderate altitude illness include:

•Difficulty sleeping (check)
•Dizziness or light-headedness (Mmmm.  Maybe)
•Fatigue (check)
•Headache (check)
•Loss of appetite (no, not really)
•Nausea or vomiting (check)
•Rapid pulse (heart rate) (check)
•Shortness of breath with exertion (you mean more than usual? check)

So tonight, we're supposed to do an "after dark" run.  I really want to do this, so I'm going to rest and hopefully feel better to go later. 

It occured to me when I was walking around a gift shop the other day that I want to have the kind of life where I can to see, and be among, the things that most people see on TV or in paintings. Running around in the mountains is a pretty good start, I think.  I also credit Baboo for exposing me to a lot of things I might have been afraid of in another life. 

...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday 13, The Late Edition.

13.  Today is the day I'm done with the first half of my social work internship.  I simply got credit for doing my job, although I had "learning objectives".  The second half, I'll be spending fall and spring for 2010-11 doing 15 hours extra per week.  My work has generously offered me an internship that I can largely do on my own time - I'll be writing and possible conducting training for treatment foster care parents at the place where I work.  They don't care if I work on it during down time at work.  I can't say enough about how great these people treat me.  If only the pay wasn't about the lowest around, I'd stay forever.

12.  Today is the day before we go to Leadville for the weekend, so that Sweet Baboo can run with peeps and I can suck on a can of oxygen and watch my fingernails turn grey.  We'll be staying at 10,000 feet, I think.

11.  There's a lake there on the Leadville trail.  I'm taking my wet-suit. And a neoprene cap.  And neoprene booties. 

10.  I got a report from someone in mental health this week that was embarrassing.  I was embarrassed for this person.  It appeared, I shit you not, to have been written by a kid in the 9th grade.  Bad punctuation, bad spelling, some of the spelling so bad that I couldn't figure what word was meant.  Stuff like this:

This client was about The client's father works in construction and 
The clients mother is a fulltime mother who stays at home .The client 
Was having problems as an early age with ajregous behavior . and the 
client was also reputed to have problemsw ith aggressive behavior 
but this is not substantiated other than the current charges of assault .
There are three siblings who live with the father 1)a sister age 12 2) a 
Brother aged 9 3)another sister aged 6.


Yeah, stuff like that. How did you get out of college with writing like that?  I nearly went crazy trying not to go over the entire thing with red ink.  I wanted to write something at the top like, "please proofread" at the top or, "please use your spellcheck!" together with a frowny face. 

It was from someone in another part of the state.  When I politely inquired if this clinician had tested this kid for depression or anxiety, the response was that they don't have tests like that up there. Where? Up there on the moon?  What the hell?

9.  I did my 4 mile run Tuesday, and my 6-mile run Wednesday, both at dawn, and it was still hot.

8. So far, I've stayed under my points at WeightWatchers.  My weight seems to have stalled for now.  I'm not too worried, in fact, I could stay at this weight indefinitely.  Clothes fit me now.

7.  I have discovered, quite by accident - I SWEAR - that those canned air dusters really freak cats out.

6.  A few months ago I had a tense, angry teenager in my office who told me that if I couldn't help him, right now, right that second, he wasn't answering any of my "stupid questions".  He's one of about 2 or 3 kids that I couldn't get to talk to me. 

I can usually spin it pretty good to where they relax and start talking.  It's one of my special gifts, good for a very small percentage of vocations...like high school teaching, and, well, what I do now.  Anyway, I forgot about him until he asked his therapist to bring him to my office, so that he could show me how well he's doing, because he's about to be discharged.  I didn't recognize him at first, because he was relaxed and happy and smiling.  And proud. 

I've come to find out that we do a good job where I work, and I feel good about working at a place where we do a good job, and tense, angry teenagers on a path to self destruction walk out, at least for that moment, relaxed and happy.

5.  Last week I talked about kids and meltdowns.  Yesterday I had another clinician in my office and a kid had a meltdown right outside my office door.  Not only was it distracting, but she was trapped, because the kid was sitting right against the door, surrounded by counselors tying to talk him down.  So after an awkward pause, we were all, "so, how are the kids?" 

4.  I think that some people take themselves wayyyyy too seriously.  That is all.

3.  If you didn't already know about this, I'll tell you: Starbucks has a frapaccino lite that is made with syrup sweetened with Stevia.  A granda carmel or mocha frapaccino lite is 150 calories, or 3 weight watcher points.  That's three miles.  Totally worth it. 

2.  I am in a classroom right now that is not my classroom, and everyone is staring at me because they know I don't belong in here...so...I have to go now.

1.  Cheers, y'all. 
...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Race Report #2, well, you would too.

Dear Diary,

I know I did a 13.1 mile trail run yesterday, but I had to HAD TO sign up for this 10K today.  It was in the city, and it was flat, and the course was a bit boring, but I had an agenda.

Nearly five years ago, I did my first 10K.  I can't find those results anywhere, but I'm pretty sure my time was nearly 2 hours.  I remember giving up after the first 2 miles and walking most of the rest of the way.  I finished late, and alone, except for Baboo, who came looking for me and "ran" in with me.  For some reason 1:53 sticks in my head.  Since then, I've done 3 stand-alone 10K runs, including this one today.

Today, I wanted to see how my flat 10K run would be.

  1. I was tired.
  2. It was in the evening (7:00 pm) 
  3. We'd just driven back from Pagosa Springs, after sleeping badly on an unfamiliar hotel bed
  4. I'd just done a crap-hard 13.1 mile trail run.
  5. It was 99 degrees at the start, and slightly cooled off when some clouds rolled in, but not by much.
Why on early would I do a 10K today?
  1. There was free ice cream in the park after.  
  2. And pizza.  
Thus I present: The Chunky Monkey 10K, an annual event in Albuquerque.

So, I took off.  I saw a few familiar faces, and OH MY GOSH you know how hard it is to hold back?  To tell yourself "just wait...just wait...you'll pass her...don't blow out" and I did.  Baboo ran next to me (It was a recovery run or some such nonsense for MR. Thing, who ran 31 miles yesterday and had a badly blistered heel)

I finished, with a new PR: 1:06:34.  Then I had ice cream.  And pizza.  Then, the skies opened up and deluged, and we sprinted to the car, and headed home,

I'm pretty sure I'm going to sleep tonight.  :-b

So how was your weekend?

...

Oddly enough, it wasn't enough. A Race report.

Friday me and Baboo packed up the car and headed up to Pagosa Springs for the Devil Mountain ultra run. This is one of a series of runs designed to raise funds to get kids outside and what better charity is that?  The people that put it on really like trail running, so they aim to please.  It's a small race, like many ultras, very casual.  There is often no finish line, you just run to wherever they're pointing, and then someone hangs something around your neck--or-not--and you get to stop running.

I was signed up for the half marathon, since I"m still working my way back.  Himself the Baboo was signed up for the 50K.  I felt kind of glum going into this race.  It's hard to work your way up to doing regular marathons and 50Ks and then drop back to a half marathon, and watch others take off for the long runs without you.  For the rest of the day I felt kind of apologetic.

"Did you run?"

Yes, *hangs head, looks at the ground* I ran the half marathon.

I know that doesn't sound like something to complain about, but it's just that it's hard to lose so much ground after you've gained so much.  But I'm patient.  I'll get back there.  I've got a 50K and an Ironman planned for September, and a 100K 3 or 4 weeks after that.

So. At Devil Mountain, I was determined to get an overall half marathon PR, but when I saw the first climb looming up ahead of me, I thought, okay, guess I'll shoot for a trail marathon PR.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.  We drove up to Pagosa Springs and actually found a hotel at the last moment, before leaving Albuquerque.  We made our way to packet pickup, and they gave us a kick-ass T-shirt:

This is a technical T-shirt, and I love it.  It's bright orange.  I have always been insanely jealous of the one bright orange shirt that Baboo had, and now I had my own.  So THERE.

Then we ate some good pasta (and here's grumble #1 for today: Pasta, even good pasta, should not enjoy a 2000% markup, especially if you're located in a strip mall, albeit a nice strip mall. But for the rest of you, if you like good pasta and don't care how much it costs, go eat at Nellos cafe.  It was a decent meal.

After eating, we drove to the start line, to program it into the Garmin and then headed back to the hotel, where I slept very little because sometimes I'm just princess-and-the-pea fussy that way on hotel beds.

The next morning I scarfed a half bagel and peanut butter, 32 ounces of gatorade, loaded up my hydration pack with Gatorade, and we headed out to the start line.  I watched Baboo take off, and tried to ignore other people's dogs running loose.  Now here's grumble number 2: I have a dog. I like my dog.  But I don't ever assume to presume that others will like her as much, and let her run amok, jamming her nose into people's crotches, trying to hump other LEASHED dogs, while I smile indulgently and repeat, oh, he won't hurt you.  That's beside the point, moron.  There's bears, and hemlock, and people who are a bit tense prior to race time so LEASH YOUR DAMNED DOG PRECIOUS BABY.

Ahem.  Anyway.

There's something about trail runs I will never understand.  I was doing a half marathon with people who were runners, some of them fast runners, but many of them trained for this very hilly trail half marathon by running loops around their neighborhood roads.  WTF?  How is that training?  Anyway.  I took off, with the rest, and started my race

Now the half mary in trail ultras is often the bastard child of the trail ultras, kind of an afterthought, and there was no profile provided, so I made you one:


This based on the 50K profile, since we did their last 6.55 miles out and back. It's misleading. It starts at about 8000 feet, drips down into a valley/canyon thing at about 7500 feet, and then climbs up to 8100 feet at the turn around and only aid station.  I knew this, so I wore a hydration pack.  That climb looks really tiny on the profile, doesn't it?  Go ahead.  Take a look.

Why, it's only about a centimeter!  Hardly even!  Only a centimeter, even if it is at high altitude, and you know I loves me some high altitude stair climbing.  So then, it's about 1/3 of a mile or so straight up until the last brief, steady climb to the aid station, where you can pause for a moment and throw up, and then you head back.  The aid station volunteers, as always, were AWESOME, and they had watermelon, which I had thought I was allergic to for 2 years but just now found out I'm not so I'm a major pig for it anytime I see it.

I chugged 2 cups of heed and a cup of water, took a gel, and headed back.

I swear I didn't remember that downhill on the way out being that steep.

And of course, by then, the sun was out. Whew. It's one of the hottest years on record in Pagosa Springs. So, I power walked that last mile or two, until I figured I was 100 yards from the finish, and then I jogged a little ways.

Final time: 3:06, pace was 13:40ish, a bit slow for me but a PR as far as trail half marathons.  My closest to that was nearly 4 hours.  So, all in all, I was happy.  I have no cute pictures of my run like other people always seem to have but that's what I'm working on next: being able to do crazy shit and then still being cute enough to take a picture of myself (you know who you are.)

Except...it wasn't enough.  I felt bereft, sitting there, like I should be busy doing something.  I should still be out there on the trail, swearing and seething and asking myself why do I do this to myself, but instead, I was under a tent, cooling off, looking at my feet, feeling, well, unfinished.

I had some watermelon, and fended off the two unleashed dogs that were running around, humping and sniffing and trying to eat whatever they could while their owners chuckled indulgently...and then himself the Baboo came in, looking pretty strong, but I'll let him tell you all about that.  Here's his race report  

The night of the race they put on a very nice feed and handed out awards, and I was 4/6 in my age group, 16/22 women, and 49/57 finishers, not dead last.  The woman in front of me was a good 20 minutes or more in front of me, so it's not like oh if only I hadn't stopped to pee at mile 7 kind of a thing.  I just need to train better, is all.

Next up, for the 2nd half of the year:



Meanwhile, yeah, I know.  Train, train, train.

...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Yes, Virginia: Maple Exspresso Bacon Donuts exist. A Thursday 13

Dear Diary,

13.  About once a day a kid where I work has a meltdown.  You can hear them screaming and hitting walls; sometimes they run down the hall closely pursued by milieu counselors shouting into radios.

The units closest to my office are kids with Pervasive Developmental Disorders, like autism; the other unit is little kids with psychotic and mood disorders.  Some of them have been pretty badly abused, and if they had a low threshold to develop a psychiatric disorder, well, the abuse helped make it happen.

 They come unglued pretty fast, bolting away from their escorts, and run, sometimes they unroll the fire hoses and set off the fire alarm, trying various doorknobs as they go, pull pictures off the wall, (most are bolted on or painted directly onto the wall) and sweep things off counters.  It's a temper tantrum, cubed.
I'm used to it, I guess.  But there's always that awkward moment when I have a new family in my office and the screaming starts.
I'm all, pay no attention to that.


But I can tell, by the way their eyes dart between me and the direction of the screams, that they are having trouble not paying attention to that.
I suppose everyone has some idiosyncrasies about where they work.  This is mine.  Oh, and the printer breaks down a lot, too.

12.  Suddenly Chloe from the Humane society decides to be finicky.  She hates her new expensive, high quality dog fodo; she isn't having it.  So, FINE.  I'll switch her back to the cheap stuff.  Whatever.  Dogs are truly the rednecks of the animal world.  I suppose cheap dog food is her equivalent of a maple espresso bacon donut.*

11.  This past Sunday I gut-checked the swim at a local lake, as part of an Olympic distanceteam  relay.  The lake was a bit choppy on Sunday, so the fact that I completed the swim is a minor miracle.  32:59.  It's a PR for me at this distance.
<< Team Badassery

So I finished, tagged off with Tiger Lily, who rode the 40k very hilly course, and then she tagged off with Cyan, who ran the very challenging 10k in a hair over an hour. 
Even with those stats we did not win.  We had a bunch of mountain people from Santa Fe and Las Alamos down to compete with, and they are wicked fast
I'm the red cap in the middle.>>

10.  I ate too much last week.  Gained a pound. Party's over.

9.  I am now more than halfway through with my MSW.  Now, I'M NOT SAYING THAT AN EDUCATION ISN'T VALUABLE.
I'm not.  But I will be happy to be done with this latest round of busy work and classes that I must attend even though I've recently passed their subject on a licensing exam.

8.  With regard to Chloe's pickiness, you may ask why I would allow myself to be manipulated by a dog who holds her breath until she gets to eat what she wants.
Well.
Here's why:

Last week, Chloe was outside while we were inside, and she was barking like hell at the ground.  We had just come back from a hike with our 3 and 5 years old niece and nephew.  When I looked out, I saw a 3' rattlesnake coiled up, just outside the window.

Eventually, it uncoiled and started slithering away.  I watched it carefully - from inside - slither alongside the house while Sweet Baboo called to find out that a local wrangler charged $160, for the trip. Then it turns out, we have a next door neighbor who has lived here for thirty years, and he used a pipe and a rope and dispatched it quickly.  He took it out into the desert and let it go.  I have mixed feelings about that.  But it's not in my yard any more.  We bought him a pie.  The neighbor, not the snake.

As you can imagine, Chloe got a reward too:


7.  Since then, Chloe has saved us from a resident small desert tortoise, twice:

I didn't get her another bone, but I did give her a pat on the head, told her she was a good girl, and took the tortoise (Larry) to a safer part of the yard.  That's what I'm calling him. 

6.  *these exist. And that's their spelling, not mine. I confess to being curious; were I a pork eater. But having seen too many episodes of House, I do not eat three food groups: pork, unpasteurized cheese, and uncooked fish.  I stalk danger in other ways, like driving on the freeway.

5.  I learned a neologism today for certain alternative "treatments" that have no empirical support:
Woo-ology. 
I'm not doing to say to which alternative treatments I apply this to, because no matter what I say, somebody somewhere is going to say, Oh, no Misty...that actually does work.  I know a guy who knows a woman whose brother in law used it, and...

AND I'm not interested in hearing about the 2 or 3 people that it worked for.  I'm interested in hearing about the majority of people in the controlled scientific study that it worked for.  Failing that, I don't think medicaid or insurance should be paying for it. 

Why am I telling you this.  Well, it's because I've been invited to a professional workshop in how to employ a type of Woo-ology.  It's all day, and it's a paid day off work, and it's free.  I'm dying to go.  I will no doublt spend the day texting mocking comments to others. 

4.  I actually did a long run on Saturday.  It wasn't all that long, and it took forever, but it's done.  This weekend, I'm doing some Devil Mountain half marathon thing.   IM training has begun in ernest. 

Bye-bye, lazy Saturday and Sunday mornings.  It was nice knowing you.  By the way, I'm HUNGRY.

3.  My foot pain appears to be gone.  It hurt right up until Sunday, and then stopped.  Maybe the kicking in the swim did something?  I don't care; it's gone now.  As uninspired as I was about IM Utah, I'm getting pretty excited about the Oklahoma Redman. 

2.  I have provided this link before, but here it is again: This is the basis of my training plans.  I move the Saturday runs to Sunday, and on Saturday I bike.

1.  #1 On hold for the Thursdsay morning workout.... the plan is to run to the pool, swim, and run back.  I have to get a total of 6 miles of running, and 1500 meters of swimming.  I'll change this when it's done and report on how it went. 
LATER: It didn't.  I overslept.  Oh, well.  I'll swim tomorrow, run later today.  Cheers!

...



Thursday, July 08, 2010

The adventure--or insanity--continues. Thursday 13.

Dear Diary,


13.  My training is now focused on Redman in September, my "A" race for the year.  This is where I did my first half iron, and so I've seen the course.  I just have to do everything I did twice.  At Kentucky, my goal was to finish.  At Ironman Couer D'Alene, my goal was to beat the moon (moonrise that day was around 11:20.  I finished around 11:16 pm).  So, my goal at Redman.  Well, it's mostly flat.  There might be wind, or rain, but barring too much crazy weatherness, I've decided I'd like to come in before 10:30 pm.  We'll see.

12.  I've had to put a lot of stuff on hold this year because of grad school; it's severely limited my ability to train.  But it hasn't limited my ability to have completely insane ideas.  Having said that, I am considering the Javalina Jundred.  It's usually Halloween weekend.  The JJ is a 100-mile course that is six 15.5-mile loops and then a shorter loop at the end.  If you make it through 4 loops and then drop, you get the 100K "Wimp Out" buckle.
I totally want something that says I "Wimped Out" by only covering 64 miles.


11.  I will almost certain do the Ghost Town 38.5 in January.  Because I.  am an IDIOT.  But mostly because I like the folks at this race.  This year, I think we're going to find a hotel outside of Kingston or Hillsboro; since they hate runners so much there I won't burden them with my dollars.

10.  I am also considering the Rocky Racoon 100-miler this next February.  I've seen nearly all of the course, and run the 50-miler at Rocky.  It's cool, shady, and nearly flat.  Here's my race report on that.  You may recall that this race is where:  Alligators Exist.
In the Park.

9. The first weekend of December is Rock n Roll Las Vegas.  When we first did this a couple years ago, we thought that the run-through wedding chappel, that is usually before mile 5, would be a cool way to renew our vows.  We tentatively decided at that time that we'd do it at year 10.  That's this year.  So: Las Vegas, here we come.  Time to get out the Elvis and Pricilla outfits again!       

8.    Each week at work has a theme.
Some weeks, the theme was "solidly psychotic young children".
Another week it was "hey, can I drop off my PITA teenager in your psych ward?"

This week's theme appears to be, "hey, is it okay if I show up for my appointment 20 or 30 minutes late?  This has included people calling me 15 minutes after their appointment asking me where I was located. Then they get all pee-pee hearted when I tell them they have to reschedule.     

7.  I have an ambitious plan to try to run to the "Y" next week on Wednesday morning (3.5 milies), swim, and then run back home (total of 7 miles).  I'll write about how it goes.  It's not a flat run I'm contemplating.

6.  I've been blending cold watermelon into my Crystal Lite Peach and Mango Green tea, and drinking it after each run.  Oh. My. God.  It's unbelievably good.  I'm tempted to buy some more, cube them, and freeze them just for this purpose.  I thought was allergic to them, but it turns out I'm allergic to cantaloup melons, not watermelons.  Yumm.



5.  How creepy is this picture?  I ask you.  
I found it when I did an image search for watermelon.  




4. I'm all out of contacts.  Due to my tragic habit of procrastination, I'm wearing my big old nerd glasses until I make it to the eye doctor.

3.  I've learned that high winds make Chloe nervous.  Ever had a 55 pound dog jump up in your lap and try to curl up for protection?    

2.  Baboo bought me some slacks for work since mine don't fit anymore and YES, he is good at picking out clothes for me and NO, you can't, he's taken.

Anyway.  The pants have swishy flared legs. I didn't think I'd like them, but now I'm hoping the style sticks around for a while, because I like the swishiness when I walk.  I feel all cool, like I should be doing the Hustle.  If you don't get that reference, then you're probably too young to understand the occasional "hot flash" references I make here, too.

1.  I'm so glad to be running again.  I'm a bit worried about a pain I have on the top of my right food after each run.  I has that "sprain" kind of feel but it's on top of my foot and I only feel it when toeing off straight forward.
Hopefully, it will turn out to be nothing.  I'm not up to being injured again.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Ten years later, I've learned I can do anything. A Thursday 13.

Dear Diary,

13.  Everyone has made such nice comments on my pictures from last week.  And I would also like to add that I didn't photoshop a single one, like I usually do. 

12.  Things I said at work this week:
  • I can't commit your son to a mental hospital just because you tell me to.  I have to at least meet him.
  • Well, how long was the blade on the knife?
  • I can't "make" the insurance company agree to pay for this. 
  • Do you have a ballpark idea of how many times you've been suspended?
  • You know, some children find it traumatizing to live in a homeless shelter. 

 11.  Cash has a new family.  They adore him.  He also has his very own boy.  They took him for the weekend to see if he would be a good dog for their family, and he fit in nicely.  He jumps up on their roof, and they don't care.  They think it's great that he wakes them up in the morning.  It's all about fit.

10.  Current weight: 156.

9.  I went in the  hike this past weekend with SweetFace.  We got some good mom/son time in.  Here was the route, which went to the highest peak in the area:

8.  My trek up and down Sandia via the La Luz trail has taught me that if I ever want to do the La Luz trail run, I'll need to start training early in the year, because, damn, that was hard! I was all gasping and panting at the top.  The downhill was easier, but I ran out of water a few miles from the bottom.

7.  I never know how to put stuff like that into WeightWatchers under exercise.  I don't think just "hiking" covers it when you climb nearly 4000 feet in 4 hours.  I always have to put it in as part jogging, part hiking, and part stair-climbing.  I do so love my Sunday long workouts, though: they provide me extra WW points to burn throughout the week.  Yeah, I know.  I'm a sucker for a token economy.

6.  Today is my tenth wedding anniversary.

Last year, I posted a song that pretty much sums up how I feel.
Ten years ago today, Baboo says I looked very very nervous.  I was nervous.  I was about to walk the aisle, and not for the first time, either.

What if he was only pretending to be nice?

What if he became a big giant deuchebag right after I said "I do"?

But he's not, of course.  He didn't.

And I simply adore Sweet Baboo.  I adore looking at him, his smile, and hearing the sound of his voice.  I love his hands. I love the big giant running shoes that are all over the house - they are adorable.  I'm in awe of my mountain man, who can run up and down above 10,000 feet.

I love how he grits his teeth and looks very intense when he's doing mundane things, like tying his shoes.  He makes everything in my life better just by being in my life.
I love how tiny I feel when he puts his arms around me.

 Ten years ago, I said "I do".  And I did.  And, I still do.

Three years ago, I made a post about my 7th wedding anniversary, and what I said then still holds true today:
In the past ten years, I've proven that anything's possible.  I can run up a mountain.  I can swim across a lake. I can cross 50 miles on my own two feet.  I can live happily ever after.  Me.

Happiness is within all our reaches.  All we have to do is close our eyes, take a deep breath, and jump in the water.
Or run up the trail.

Or whatever.

 And that's your dose of "Awwwwwww" for the day.   
 
5.  Baboo bought me some clothes as an anniversary present.  Size 10.  BOOYAH.
Oh wait, did I say it yet? SIZE 10.  That is just one size larger than what I wore when I graduated from high school.  I'll take it.

4.  I treated myself this week to an old friend: Nong Shim Bowl Noodle.  This stuff is like crack for me.  I can't keep it in the house.  Just knowing it's there, I must have it.  something like, 7 or 8 points for one of these.

3.  I'm enjoying having a dog in the house now.  I'm in serious danger of becoming a dog person.
Chloe's personality has changed a bit now that she's an only dog.  She's rambunctious, but less naughty.  I let her on the couch.  I shouldn't do that, but Baboo does so, what the hell.  They're his couches from before we met, kind of in rough shape.  When we get new ones, though, some day: No way I'm letting her up on the couch.

Nope, No.

Okay, maybe I will.

Yeah, I probably will.

2.  Yesterday, I went to the mental health unit of a juvenile justice center to assess a kid.  While there, I had a brief meeting with an examining psychologist, and couldn't help notice that the report he'd signed off on what authored by someone with my credentials.  So at the end of the meeting, I siad, "so, one more question: how does one get a job like this?"  Bold, I know.  But I love doing this work.  I'd like to keep doing it, and working for the juvie place would be a state job, better pay.  More on this as it develops.

1. Today, and tomorrow, I'm taking a vacation day.  I'm going for a run first thing.  Then--who knows?  I hear that sometimes on vacation, people don't even schedule things.  They just do what comes up.  Sounds like fun.  I thought I'd try it.

....