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, July 28, 2011

Sweat it out, or laugh it off.

Dear Diary,
I spent most of last week warding off the inevitable blues that strike when bad things happen. I did this partly by focusing on good stuff.


13. For instance, Princess was dropped off by her mom (me) at her new dwelling. I drove her and her things and tried not to leave skid marks as I backed out of the driveway.
Happy points: +2.

12. Himself the Baboo and I threw open the doors and acted like grownups. Grownups without nosy houseguests. We went to Costco and re-stocked up on all the things that Pricess had helped herself to.
Happy points:+3

11. Coincidentally, at the same time that herself left, the oppressive heat lifted. It rained nearly every day. Access to the trails was open again. Like a curse had been lifted. Yes, I am melodramatic, why do you ask? Happy points, +3

10. So Sunday, I hiked up La Luz, and did it faster that last year, but it still took me much longer than I thought it would. I estimate it will take as much as 3.5 hours. It's 10 miles, and it rises from 6200 feet above sea level to 10800 I sweated like crazy and smelled pretty bad when I was done...I think it makes me feel better to do that, because I'm like, HA! Take that, stupid VA....I can climb a mountain. AND, I found out that the La Luz cutoff is 5 hours. Happy points +2

9. This weekend, Ima start a groupon week.
Saturday, hair, lunch.
Wednesday, body, feet, nails, lunch
Just what I need. Take that, VA!!
Happy points: tbd

8. Each week at work seems to have a theme. This week's theme was BAD PARENTS.  One parent told me that the length of time it might take to treat her kid "just wouldn't work for her."  Another no-showed, then tried to come 40 minutes late to the second appointment, then demanded someone see her when she was told she'd missed her appointment (denied) Another mother complained to me that her teenage son, who has low BMI, "eats too much".
I know it can be shocking, the amount of food they eat, i said soothingly.  Then she complained about other developmentally normal behaviors of teenage boys...I'll leave you to imagine what those might be.
 
Whatever.
Anway: Distraction points, 10

7. I have been reading every article on tips and tricks and hints about the iPad so that I will be a power iPad user user..ser...ser. It does one really good thing for me; it forces me not to multitask. That is something badly needed.
Happy points: +1

6. I have noticed that the nicest, most expensive hotels charge for wi-fi, up to $15 per day in some places. Really Albuquerque Hilton? Are you really going to milk that cow for all its worth? I'll pick Best Western or Holiday Inn, thanks. And you can keep trying to figure out why business is falling off. Happy points, -2

5.  I discovered #6 when I went to a psychopharmacology seminar on Thursday - oh, hell, that's today.  They had no tables for us to sit at.  I had to claim the empty chair next to me for all my snacks, drinks, and other stuff.  And then I had to pay AND DON'T TELL ME NOBODY FORCED YOU TO PAY FOR WIFI, MISTY since I was not a guest of the hotel, I was not going to ask about a microwave, so I ate my food cold. Happy points, -2
But, the speaker was good, and interesting, and funny, and I enjoy the topic. If I wasn't 46, I would so totally go to medical school and study psychiatry. Happy points, +2
But, the the hotel was full of teenagers, and I sat outside during lunch and smellled the smoke and watched them work their way toward emphysema. Happy points, -3

4. Wednesday night I ran with Baboo. With Baboo (mistake #1) and on a full stomach, too (mistake #2). still, I got in another 3 miles before it got dark. Happy points, +2

3. Interesting articles here and here. Comments welcome. Happy points: +0

2. I used to mock pre-cooked, packaged bacon.  Of course, my eating is way out of control again.  But about the pre-cooked bacon: Now I totally get it. Happy points: +3

1. In the end, though, I don't know where my future is, professionally.  I used to have this very clear picture in front of me, this vision of my future.  Now there's just a blank.
I'm so pissed at the people who took away my vision.
I'm so angry that I have to start all over, making a new picture, with that uncertain, unknown future.

Well, what the hell.  I guess I've done that before.

Happy points earned this week: 10. I think. That's 10 more than I started with.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Angry tears and happy tears: Thursday 13.

Dear Diary,
It's been a bit of an up and down week.  

13. Princess found herself a part-time job and was not interested in getting another job, and why should she? She had a very nice guest room, fully furnished, and cable, wi-fi, food, etc. With her part-time income, she was inelligiible for most apartments.

  I was in despair.


12. I finally became proactive, because the best way to get out of feeling depressed and helpless is to do something. I found her a room. She is paying half the rent in a very small house with generous access to buses. She will have to buy herself towels, linens, plasticware, food, cable, wi-fi...
Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out, Princess! Oh, and if things don't work out, here's a brochure for Joy Junction. 

11. Sunday, I slept a full night. I was four pounds down. I ran 13 miles when i got up in the morning. I ran this elevation profile, on trails and roads, and I did it in 2:48, faster than my first half marathon. My first half back in 2006, was almost completely flat and/or downhill.

10. Sunday night, I did a local 10K. It was 94 degrees out. I did a 10K a few weeks ago, on the same course, in the same temperature, at the same time of day, after running 10 miles, running the entire time, in 1:15. This time, I decided to "Galloway" it, and I did this one was 1:09:42, using the Galloway method. My pace was about 11:10. I also wrapped a bandana full of ice around my neck. For road races 10K or longer, I'm becoming a devote of the Galloway method.

9. This week I began another new adventure; New employee orienation at the VA hospital, where I was selected to be in a highly competive internship back in May. I took an oath of office, had a TB test, was fingerprinted electronically.  I was jazzed.

8. Tuesday morning, I ran the first of what will be weekly hill repeats. This is a .95 mile hill that changes abouut 400 feet in vertical altitude over its course. Jog/hike/stagger up, jog down. Twice. Then add a litttle at the end.

7. So.     Then.

On day two of my four-day training at the VA, I was called in and told that not one single instructor, including those I hadn't met yet, wanted to work with me.
 It didn't make any sense. I felt blindsided, and I left in tears. Before my internship began, it was over.
Then unbelievably, before I left, I was told you should apply for any open position here because those people who don't want to work with you don't do the hiring.
What. The. Fuck?

6. Interestingly, I did not go home. I went to work at the children's hospital, where I feel competent and happy.  They were happy to see me, since they weren't expecting me until Friday and unexpected problems had come up.  I ate my lunch. I did some work. I felt better. But I cried when I told them what happened.  They were as confused as I was.

5. I talked to professors, mentors, advisor, friends, colleagues, fellow students, and supervisors about what happened at the VA, and they all said the same thing: Smells like political bullshit to me.  

4. Wednesday morning I woke up with swollen eyes and went for a run, and decided that I absolutely, positively, was going to quit social work school. Social workers were petty, bitchy, heiarchical, and back-stabbing. I absolutely didn't want to be one.  Fuck them.  FUCK SOCIAL WORK SCHOOL.

3. Later that morning, I went to a local hospital's acute ward to visit some kids. As I was leaving one of the social workers asked how my internship was going. I only cried a little when I told her what happened. Her mouth fell open, and without missing a beat, she offered me an internship. Just like that.

2. I am now finally free to say that I am happiest working with children and families. I kept finding myself headed in that direction, time and again. I believe this is where I belong. It is where I feel that I'm good at what I do.

This VA is not where I belong. I am not cut out for it. I don't like conflict. I don't like asserting myself. I don't want to be a leader. I don't want to join the fray. I don't want to feel like I suck. I like to fly under the radar, doing my job. most of all, I do not like political bullshit.

1. So it's been an emotional week. But there is running, and fried chicken, and Jose Cuervo Lite Margaritas.

 And today, at work, I made a parent so happy that she cried.

....

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mostly one-liners.

Dear Diary,

Yes, she is that spoiled.
No, I don't know why.
15. I spent most of my free computer time this week working - see #3 for explanation.

14. I think it's safe to say I don't much like being a parent these days.

13. But I do like being a runner. I am right back on track with my running again. After several months of not being terribly discipliined, I am finally back into the habit of making up missed miles and making sure thatt I get all my miles in.  Which brings me to today, when I ditched my run.  I now have 12 miles to make up, somehow.  :-/

12. #13 is important, because I put on five pounds last month.

11. WeightWatchers just updated their app for ipad. It rocks. They also have a kick-ass kitchen-helper app.

10. The running is keeping me from wrapping my hands around a certain surly twenty-something's neck and squeezing.

9. There are ants in my house that are particularly bad this year. It requires that I keep pet food put up. :-( and not leave anything sitting out too long.

8. This has been a tough week at work. Hug your kids.

7. I am also back on track with my eating. It was getting a llittle out of control. I was temped by stress to fall back into my old ways, in which I would buy a whole rotissere chicken and sit out on my car and eat it. (ugly, but true).

There is a dress code, you know.
6. Thursday evening, I drank cheap beer and and made "Chicken Helper". Now in my defense, it was whole grain chicken helper, to which I added lots of vegetables. The cheap beer I have no excuse for. It's interesting, though, that Bud Light is the only beer I can drink, being as I hate most beers and think they are a cold bitter mess. I've been told that Bud Light has no taste, which would explain why I can drink it. So there you have it: I have dental problems, eat chicken helper, and drink cheap beer. I am one step away from hanging up laundry wearing my bra and shorts and curlers.

5.  Stress has also made me not sleep well.  Today, instead of running, I slept in.  Later I will take Herself the Daughter to look at rent houses.

4. I have prepared a "move-out" box for Herself the Daughter that has TP (the cheap kind), laundry soap, and cup-a-noodle (Might as well get used to it now.  Life is WAYYY different outside mom's house, princess)

3. This next week I will be attending four full days of "New Employee Orientation" at the VA for my internship.

Ah, dinner by candlelight. 
2. I am beginning to feel, finally, like a mental health professional. So that's a new identity for me. I was a mother, then a teacher, and then a runner, and then I didn't know what I was for a while.

1. Work related: Here's a little tip from me.  If, in the process of knifing your boyfriend/dealer to death, you assign your mother POA for your kids, make sure she's not homeless.  (The lives some people lead.  Jeesh.)

...

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Untitled. The on-time version.

Dear Diary,


13.  One of the reasons I"m on time this week is this: from Think Geek, it's a ipad case with a tiny built-in keyboard.  Bliss!  Between this an an app called Blogsy, I'm much more able to do everything I want from the iPad.

Now: The tooth saga.

12.  Okay.  I was born with very soft enamel (a genetic gift from my father), was a mouth breather, and then had braces as a kid and as a kid was a lazy brusher.  And there you have it: a recipe for dental disaster.When my braces were removed, I had cavities wrapping around every single tooth. Since then, it's been an uphill battle staying ahead of time and age.

11. By my 20s, I'd had had six root canals, paid for by my parents. Later, as a student and single mom, I had molars on my lower jaw pulled, since I could not afford root canals. After I graduated and got my first real job, I had more three root canals, bringing the total to nine.

10. haven't been very public about this because, well, it's embarassing. When I think about the shape that my teeth are in, I feel like I am one step away from an off-broadway version of Deliverance.

9.  After a decade of no lower back teeth I've been chewing on my front teeth, putting increasing stress on those teeth, and shifted my jaw forward. Those teeth are now giving way.

8. I have put this off for years because even with good dental insurance, the cost is pretty enormous and I. Am cheap.  But, I have finally decided once and for all to take care of this. I'm to have two more root canals which, thankfully, are my last. I'm also about to get partials for my lower jaw.

7. I am pretty excited about this. The expense is going to be enormous, but hopefully this will be the last of it. To be DONE.  That.  Is exciting.

So pretty soon I will start smiling bigger than I used to. Look for it.

End tooth saga.

6. I am running every morning, back on a training plan, and sticking to it. Mostly. I love the way I feel when I go to work, all mellow and stuff.  I love the feeling of accomplishment when I put in those numbers each day.  MOSTLY,  I love knowing that when I come home, I don't have to run in the heat. What's the point? I'm not training for any long hot races. So, I get up insanely early run in the dawn, when it's cooler, sit out for a while with Baboo and drink coffee, and then heard for work.
AWESOME.

5. Unfortunately, just in time for this revelation, they shut down all the parklands around the city, including the trails, to protect the lands from idiots with fireworks. So, I'm running around the hilly neighborhoods where I live, which itself is not all that unpleasant.

4. My internship starts the week of the 18th. I am STOKED. We had to pick two rotations, one in medical social work and one in behavioral health. My rotation in medical social work will be a split rotation in 1) poly trauma, which includes TBI and comorbid PTSD, and 2) spinal cord injury. So I will be working with some of the newer veterans.

3. During the two days I am at internship each week, since I won't have an office there, I bought a bag. Well, of course you knew I would use this as some excuse to shop...anyway, I needed something to haul around my phone, wallet, ipad, and sundries. It's called an Uptown Bagg by Baggellini. It's a crossbody bag. I got one in charcoal gray.  I searched and searched, and so, well, maybe I'm the only one who is excited about it, but this is my diary, so there it is.


2. My morrning runs are getting to be a habit. How much of a habit it will remain when its below freezing I do not know, but hopefully by then I will have put together my treadmill room. Unlike many, I don't mind running on the treadmill in the winter, so long as there is a dvd player and movies.  I enjoy running some of those mornings with Sweet Baboo, although I often run much faster than I should, and wind up blowing out around mile 3 or 4.

1. Sweet Baboo and I began Salsa dance lessons this week.  It is harder than I expected, or maybe it's as hard as I expected but I somehow fantasized I would be much better at this than I am.  Of course, it's only one lesson.  We had to switch partners continuously, and there was a guy in there that reminded me faintly of Ben Stiller in the scene in "Along Came Polly" where he's dancing, but overall, a great time. We both had fun.

Enjoy!


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