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, August 25, 2011

My wish list include parts of me that don't come off.


Dear Diary,

With respect to the portrait I posted last time. I used an online picture transformer that's here. I think it just so happens that the "Modigliani" filter happens to be very close to my own long face, long nose, and narrow chin.

Anyway.  The dentist oral surgeon and I talked about dental implants.  He showed me one of them.  These don't set off metal detectors, making them perfect for tiny small suicide mouth bombs.  They are non reactive titanium, same as hip replacements.

They sink that sucker right down
into the bone.
I have to wait 4-6 months for the jaw bone under pulled teeth to heal, and then they implant the post.  Then they wait a month or two to seat the crown.  This is actually good for me because it spreads out the whole cost thing.  Now, the top/crown (tooth) of the implant is interchangeable, and can be popped off and on, and so if a tooth nearby goes bad, it can be altered to form a bridge.  In other words, you don't have to replace each and every tooth with an implant, if several in a row are missing.

Having a tooth implant encourages jaw strength, because only direct bearing weight keeps bone dense.  I found out that after teeth have been pulled, the bone begins to atrophy.

For now I'll be getting two implants on top, which will be easy because those teeth have just been recently pulled, so there's still plenty of bone there.

 I'm interested in this implant thing on my lower jaw, though, even after having been told that a bone graft on my lower jaw would be necessary, given that those teeth were pulled a long time ago.  A tooth replacement to me is much more attractive than wearing partials.  I had been waiting for the technology to be perfected, and one dentist who doesn't sell them, smiled and said, "stop waiting."

They can make two crowns with a third
tooth attached as a permanant "bridge"
So I am. I will.  I've gone without teeth in my lower jaw for over 15 years, and I'm ready to move on.  I've avoided this, well, because it's crazy expensive, and I hate spending that much money on something that most people won't notice. 

Then again, I like to think I have another 30 years of chewing, at least, in front of me.  I'd like to be able to enjoy it.  It would be difficult to do long, long runs with bridges and partials in all the time.  If they stayed put, we wouldn't see the constant barrage of commercials for gummy substances designed to try to keep them in place.  Ultramarathoning is enough of a pain in the ass with contact lenses, much less teeth that move around.  And I fully intend to be one of those ladies in their 70s shuffling across finish lines while kids say, "your grandmother is so cool."

My body part wish list also includes laser corrective surgery for my nearsightedness.  I'm waiting until I'm 50 for that one, for various reasons. 

Oh, and having my toenails removed.

But that's another story.
...




Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I, like House MD, appreciate a fine vintage of Percocet

Dear Diary,

After yesterday's telephone call, I was at the denist oral surgeon's office bright and early.
And hungry.
and dehydrated.
And nervous.

It was decided that today, he would pull just one tooth.

In the chair, I got the needle. I also got pain that I have never had before.

For future reference: a few things have ever made me yell:
--breaking my arm
--a healthy chunk of wasabe
--childbirth
--stepping on a large roofing nail
--a large 12 guage needle directly stuck into a nerve in my mouth

A fantasy. The oral sugeon
is on the right.
Holy fuck, that hurt. I yelled, and I don't yell often. He seemed startled at my response. The needle went into my gum, then another place in my gum, and into the roof of my mouth.

(Are you enjoying this? Neither did I.) "I should have gotten some xanax," I thought darkly.

I sat for a while, ostensibly to allow it to numb...instead, I briefly went numb, and then it quickly wore off. This has been a problem in the past; one dentist suggested my metabolism was to blame. Another suggested that my nerves weren't exactly where most people's were.

 Turns out it's probably a combination of both, but this dentist now knows: novacain does not work for me.  Something called "Narcain" does.  No, I don't want to know the origins of the Nar- prefix.

Of course, it took several more needle sticks before that was clear.

While we were waiting for numbing to take hold, the denstist started talking about a minor complication.  Normally, in order to extract the tooth he would leverage off nearby healthy teeth. However, my nearby teeth were crowned. So instead, he would be inserting a small instrument into the tooth, and "tapping" it "along the length" of the tooth to "loosen it" in the socket.

"tapping?"

"yep".

I'm a therapist. I force people to be concrete. So I asked him, "is tapping a euphemism for banging on my tooth with a maul and mallet?"

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!!!
He laughed.  "Well, it's a small hammer, actually."

Oh, a hammer.   I so want to know that someone is hitting something in my mouth with a hammer.  

And it wasn't a tap, either. It was about a half dozen hits.
I'm surprised I don't have a concussion.

But the tooth is out.

And I have percocet.

One down, three to go.


...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Dental Work Begins.

Dear Diary,

Last week I went to see Denist #2, and endodontist, last week.  Dentist #2 took the time to numb me up with a heeyooge needle before saying that he could not save the three teeth that had planned root canals.  After dentist #2 said this, he said that I needed to have them pulled and get dental implants.  I went back to dentist #1, who then referred me to dentist #3: an oral surgeon
  • Pros: no root canals, which are expensive. Painful.
  • Cons: implants. Otherwise known as IMPLANT$.
Dentist #3 could not see me until September 20th for a consult...and I started hurting after my recent weekend in Leadville.  So, I called dentist #1 and said, I need to see someone sooner, because my teeth are hurting now. So his office set me up with dentist #4 for Wednesday morning.

My plan was to get the consult, set up a time for the extraction, and then go to work.  I decided I would have the teeth pulled on a Thursday, because I won't be allowed to run for 48 hours after a triple tooth extraction.  I don't run on fridays.  Right?  Right.  So,  I would take a day off work and stock up on protein shakes, since you can't suck anything through a straw and I won't want to chew for at least a day.

You know, I feel much better when my world is carefully planned. I don't like surprises.  I avoid them whenever possible. I like my world carefully and tightly controlled so that it happens just the way I expect it to.  Work can be crazy and unpredictable, and that's okay.  But outside of work: predictability.  I like things to be within my control.

Having told you this, you know that they won't be.

So obviously, I got a call at work.
  • Hello, is this Misty?
  • Speaking.
  • I'm just calling to confirm your appointment for tomorrow.
  • Right.
  • Be sure to bring your x-rays.
  • Got it.
  • And a referral letter that you have from your dentist.
  • I think he faxed it to you.
  • Good. And remember--no eating or drinking after midnight tonight.
  • Yep. Wait. What?
  • And be sure to bring someone to escort you home.
  • Escort me home? No. Wait. What? I run in the mornings. And I can't have even water?
  • Nope.
  • Why?
  • Because of the anesthesia.
  • The...the what? I thought this was a consult?
  • Oh no. If he decides the tooth--
  • teeth.
  • --need to be pulled, then he'll do that right then.
  • Really?
  • Really.  See you tomorrow at 8!  She said this just a bit too brightly, before hanging up.
SOOO, The rest of the day was spent rescheduling face-to-face meetings since my mouth may be full of bloody wadding all day and yes,  am going to work because I did not plan this and don't have it off. So here's the new plan: I will be locked in my office all day with a warning sign on the door.
WAS AT THE DENTIST THIS MORNING.
KNOCK AT YOUR OWN PERIL.

Meanwhile.

I'm having some wine, cheese and crackers right now, since this might be the last thing I eat for about 24 hours.

Yay.

Stay tuned...

...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Of bunnies and blown quads. Thursday 13.

Dear Diary,


13. Saturday, I did this run. And yes, it sucked as much as you might think. However, I did not suffer as much as I might have a year ago. I seem to be getting used to altitude. The last mile was basically climbing stairs, for a mile, over about 800 feet, starting over 11,000 feet.
And then...trying not to fall down on the descent.
I was not first. And despite starting last, I did not fimish last.

12. On trail runs, I love watching the youngsters and first timers bolt when that gun goes off. Basically, the older runners step aside and let them rush past, then offer quiet encouragement later, much later, when the course has taken its toll and they are passing them.

11. It is absolutely true that you can do more than you think you can. No where is this more true than when you are mosying down a mountain a hear a loud, deep crack of thunder, practically in your ear.

10. And by the way, having blown quads is just like having a blown tire. Other than you can't call AAA or just show some leg and get a stranger to change it out for you. And you feel like you might falll down the mountain at any second. But other than that, they're just alike.

9. Sunday, I ran the Rio Grand Half Marathon. I was good for the first eight or so miles, and then the prior day's steep descent and it's effect on my quads began to speak to me.
Eventually I just couldn't lift my legs as effectively as i had. It wasn't my slowest time. It wasn't my fastest time
2:20 or 2:21, for this course.

Found this when looking for information about caring
for rabbits.  Wrong.  So wrong.
8. On sunday Chloe the Wunderdawg cornered a rabbit in the yard. This wasn't exactly a feat: it turns out this is a completely domesticated bunny. It's small, soft, allowed me to pick it up. Definitely not going to last long out there: it is dark black in the high desert and there are hawks: big, hungry hawks. And owls. And coyotes. No, I just had to cut this bunny's camping adventure short.  MIND YOU, I AM STILL A HARD ASS.
But I cannot abide a soft furry creature with an adorable twitchy nose being someone's evening meal.

7. I gave s/he a couple of nuggets of cat food, which s/he vacumed up rapidly, but then I realized that bunnies are herbivores and cats are not, and for all I know, there might even be some rabbits in that food, which is just wrong, so wrong.
So, I googled.  AND. Apparently, they'll eat just about any leafy thing. So this week I have played the game: "what else will the bunny eat?" the Hollyhock leaves where VERY well received, as were the geranium leaves. Topping the list is apples, which we have a ton of, thanks to the apple tree in the yard. Also, the little plants that grow from the millet the birds don't eat, and chocolate mint. Not liked: basil, and wisteria leaves.
S/he shits like crazy.  It's not messy, just little tiny shit balls.  The first day or so, I think she must have been starving or something.  And then about the third day after I brought her in: constant little shitballs, which I clean up daily.  It's easy enough.  Just has to be cleaned daily.  For now, she lives in the guest room bathtub.

6. I don't plan to keep s/him indefinitely, but as s/he will eat stuff from the yard (no, i do not use chemicals on the grass) it's easy enough to keep for now. For now, I call shim "The Bunster."

5. Holy crap, my legs hurt on Monday.  And, they hurt on TUESDAY.  I did not run Tuesday.  I did not run Wednesday.  I slept in, and then woke up, blinking, 30 minutes before it was time for me to leave for work.  I mosy'd into work this week.

4. Monday, I thought about relaxing with a nice glass of wine. Then "Interevention" on A&E featured a show about a raging alcoholic, and well, it just felt awkward. So I saved it for tuesday.  And Wednesday.

3.  Today I had a root canal scheduled.  I first talked about my bad teeth a couple months back, and if you're just tuning in, no, I am not on meth.  (If I was, I would be WAYYYY faster.  Don't think I haven't considered it.)
The doc went to the trouble of completely numbing my mouth with one of those enormous, large-guage needles, and then said, oh, gosh, this tooth can't be saved.  No charge, but I drooled for the rest of the afternoon.  Meanwhile, I am planning three extractions, a couple of implants, and partials.

2.  Okay, this is by far the most important and incredible thing that has happened all year: I had a maid service come clean my house today.  Oh. My. God.  I tried another maid service, and I was all, meh, but these guys from Eco Maids: Oh. My. God.  They cleaned things that I never clean Because remember, I. Am. Lazy.  I could get totally hooked on this.  I"m already planning on what I can sell to have these guys out at least once a month.

1.  Tomorrow, the Sweet Baboo and I head out to Leadville, where he is pacing a friend of ours.  I may hang out at the May Queen aid station before dawn and offer to be a pacer for anyone who needs one that doesn't run faster than 11-12 minute miles.  We'll see.

...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Banal, ordinary snippets on being lazy and gluttonous.

Dear Diary,

One of the pictures that someone else took of the La Luz trail run
I did this past Sunday.

 13. Himself the Baboo is doing oct training in San Antonio during the MONTH of November. I have never been away from him for that long before.

12. That is, by the way, the reason I am signed up for the R&R San Antonio marathon. Some people check out the coffee shop when they teavel. I check out the marathons.

11. I am considering (just considering, mind you) attempting my first 100 miler at the end of February, here. 
(picture of buckle added for JoJaJogger)



10. My favorite work collegue and lunch partner is gorgeous. She likes to stay fit, and looks much younger than she is. She goes to the gym most days of the week. She is single, and would like to meet someone, she says, but the men her age are not only paunchy, but "seem" old. Meanwhile, the only men who approach her are 25-year-olds.
After I finished rolling my eyes at her "problem" I suggested that she hang out at some of the events I go to. "no paunchy guys there," I told her. She's not convinced. I think she thinks ling distance runners are freaks. I'll work on her.

9. I am now a firm believer in the Sunday marathin cooking and freezing routine. I have two crock pots running, usually, and when tney cool I bag and freeze the results. But I don't label them, because that would involve searching for a Sharpie and remember I. Am lazy. Soooo...Dinner is, um...dinner is whatever is in the quart ziplock bag I just took out of the freezer. I just grab whatever frozen bag is on top, thaw it out, and then decide what to do with it.

8. Moreover, I have discovered you and do pretty much anything with a generic mixture of tomatoes, chicken, chiles, and onions. Pour it over noodles and call it Italian. Layer it with corn tortillas, beans, and some cheese and call it enchiladas. Add curry, and pour it over rice. These are the ways I save time for running.

7. I am going to be so happy when the Final Destination 5 movie comes out! BECAUSE I'M really pretty damned sick of the commercials.


6. As of this morning, of the 3000 face-to-face client hours I am required to have before applying for my independent license, I have 13 left. THIRT. EEN. next up: a crazy hard licensing exam.

LUNCH:
It's what's for breakfast.
5. This has been one of THOSE WEEKS. You know the ones...most days, you've eaten your lunch by 9:30 and you spend the rest of the day prowling the halls at work looking for donuts. No? OK, maybe just me then.

4. No matter jow long I work where I work it's still jarring to hear a 4' tall 6-year-old saying, in his very sweet, high-pitched voice:
I DON'T FUCKING CARE! 
GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME! 
or, the ever popular FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKERS!  

Yes, children are the future you know.  Working with them is SOOO rewarding.

3. Sometimes when I run in the morning, I run past elderly men or couples, dottering along, and I wonder what they think.

(Actually, it's a diet Mountain Dew)
2. My lazy lunches this week: can each of reduced fat cream of chicken and celery soups, three chicken breasts cut into pieces, a bag of frozen veggies (I like the normandy mix). Throw it all in the crock pot. Cook on high 3-4 hours or whenever it seems to be done. I stir about halfway though.

Divide about 1/4 cup of brown rice between five containers and ladle this stuff on top.

1.  This week I was looking for a quilt hanger.  Sweet Baboo and I have a quilt that his grandmother made, very pretty, and I want to hang it up.
When you look for stuff on Amazon, Amazon makes suggestions for what other people bought this product also bought....  

Here are my suggestions from Amazon:



Sunday, August 07, 2011

Hiking 'The Light' - Race Report

Dear Diary,

Today I participated in the La Luz (Spanish for, "The Light") Trail Run (for me: trail hike).  There is a Wikipedia entry for the La Luz trail here.  I have stolen various photos and posted them throughout.  Ignore the ones with snow.  There was no snow.  It's August.  Anyway.  This race was declared one of the twelve most grueling races in North America.

This is the 46th running of the LLTR.  That means that the first running was held when I was 5 months' old.  I figure that also makes it one of the older trail races in NA.  Participants are selected by lottery, because it is held in US Forest Service Land, and limited to 400 participants.

Once you hiked La Luz, you get the feeling that this is a race that was put together as a result of some trail runners hanging out and drinking beer, daring each other to do some crazy shit.  Did I mention that the start is around 6200 feet altitude, and the top is around 10,400 feet?  Yes, that's right.  There is nearly a mile of vertical gain.  It's a trail that many of the locals aspire to ascend, but it is noteworthy that about a mile up the trail, where there is a post, the trail suddenly becomes slightly less traveled.


I was not expecting to do well today.  Last year I hiked this trail with Eldest Son, and it took me five hours, I think.  By the time I got to the top, my nails were gray and I had to stop and breathe many, many times.  I was gasping for air.  Also, I hiked most of this last week, and by the time I got to the other side of the rockfall (more on this later) I had already used up 3 hours.

As I had no intention of running, my realistic goal was 3:30.  
My fantasy goal was 3 hours for the entire 9 mile race.  

Sweet Baboo, by the way, finished in 2:09.  Because he's a freak.  And a bit of a stud.  I can't for the life of me figure out how he can haul 200 lbs up the side of a mountain in that amount of time.

The first 1.8 or so miles is on road, and starts just about 3/4 of a mile off Tramway in Albuquerque.  The rest of the run, about 7.2 miles, is all La Luz, baby.  There are aid stations at the trailhead, and two or three more (I can't remember) on the way up.  They are manned by boy scouts.  I got water.  I don't know if they had anything else there.  I was carrying a pack, by the way, with about 60 ounces of water in it, and my watch chimed about every 6 minutes reminding me to drink.  I also drank at least a cup of water at every aid station - I still ran out of water about mile 8.

The race director forbade ipods, but I noticed several people wearing them.  I guess I did not know these rules were optional. I didn't bring mine, and I'm beginning to wonder if this might have been part of the reason I did as well as I did.

Now, you can get a pretty good pace in - mine was about 16 minute miles for the first 6 or so miles, occasionally trotting down some flats and downhills, although there weren't many of these, until you get to the rockfall.

Ah, the rockfall.
What can I say about the rockfall on the La Luz?  Sometime in the past, there was a major landslide of pink granite angular boulders down the side of the mountain.  The trail cuts back and forth over this rock slide, which is narrow at the bottom and wider at the top, four or five times.  What we in New Mexico lack in altitude, we make up for in annoyances.  I passed one woman who had already turned her ankle before getting to the main rockslide, and as she was stepping gingerly over a rocky part of the trail, she asked me if "this" was the rock slide.

I pointed across the canyon, where a line of people were traveling up the switchbacks across the rockfall.  "No, that's the rockfall," I informed her.

"Oh.  
My.
God."  

was what she said.


NOT what is on most of the rockfall.
The picture above makes it look like a handy little trail has been carved through the rockslide, but it lies. IT LIES!  In most places, the "trail" is actually walking up and over the pile of angular boulders.  So, you watch as your Garmin tracks your traveling pace, and your average pace creeps up...up...up.

To make matters more complicated, although most of the boulders are well situated in their spots, some are not.  You don't know when you'll step on one that will move.  NOT a great place to go if you've already turned your ankle.

You'll be stepping over this after
mile 6.  A lot.  
After about mile 7.5ish, much of the rockfall is done, and you're all happy.  You're in the shade.  There's only 1.5 miles to go, right?  Who can't go 1.5 miles?  This is where things get really bad - over the next 1.5 miles the trail will ascend about 400 feet. It's especially steep here.





After mile 8, you're gasping for air, but you know you're almost done and you feel pretty cheerful.



Until, that is, you see this:


at this point, if you're like me, you're already sucking serious wind, and you're like, STAIRS? REALLY? You you shake your head to clear it of the evil mirage before you, and it doesn't clear, you realize the truth: there is, indeed, a very steep flight of stairs in the middle of this rugged trail. Because, God hates you.

The man in front of me went up the stairs on hands and feet.

I followed, gripping the rail like grim death.

By now you're getting closer, or you assume you are, because many, many spry people are bounding back down the trail past you, calling out, you're almost there!  It's just around the corner!  And you resist the urge to trip them and then eventually, it is there.  You're done.  You get your finisher's shirt, which is only given to people who are wearing bib numbers and cross the finish line.

And then there's a burrito and some green chile stew.

And then you ride the tram back down, which is cool.

Oh, did I mention my time?  It was 2:56ish.  For the first time ever, I beat my fantasy time.
BOOYAH!


Take that, VA.


...

Saturday, August 06, 2011

New, improved! The Race Report, now drama-free.

Dear Diary,    

Today, I ran the Socorro Chile Harvest Triathlon today, for the 6th time.  So here are my stats so far for this little sprint (400 m pool swim, 12 mile bike, 5k run).
2006: 1:38 Total. Swim 9:38; Bike, 47:32; Run, 37:38 No place.
2007: 1:36 Total. Swim 6:40; Bike, 53:20; Run, 34:00 3rd place Athena (different venue)
2008: 1:35 Total. Swim, 9:27 Bike, 47:23; Run, 34:31 3rd place Athena
2009: 1:45 Total. Swim 10:12 Bike 55:43, Run, 35:19, No place.
2010: 1:49 Total. Swim 9:59, Bike 1:03, Run 31:48, No place.  

I know, right?  I mean it's like: she got slower.  How did she get slower?  Well, it should be pointed out that as I've mentioned several times, both in 2009 and 2010 I managed to ride with my brakes fully engaged throughout almost the entire 12 mile ride.  

This race managed to seem even more well-run this year. I got there earlier than I usually do, which was awesome because it gave me a chance to futz around and fiddle with my transition area, say hi to people, etc.  It was a seeded swim start, and they somehow had it set up so that when you came back to transition your area would not be crowded. Don't know how they did that, but it was planned that way.  I was #209, and we went into the water in order of bib number.

It seemed less crowded this year.  I went into the water about 7:37.  I decided to relax and focus on my stroke.  Everything seemed to go well this year, including that I didn't have to look at Mr. Junk - I passed a couple of people, and came out of the water at about 9:10 according to Garmin. (2:15 /100 m. pace)

I love the way Garmin tracks swimming.  It can't really track when it's underwater, so you're actually supposed to wear it in your swim cap, but I didn't have a swim cap, so I just wore it on my wrist, and the result was this: 

I know, right?  I mean, I was apparently just swimming all over the place.  And, the swim was hilly.

In T1, I stomped on my towel and thrust my feet into my bike shoes - I never wear socks in sprint triathlons - and grabbed the rest of my stuff and took off.  The bike was just as tough as always. I get passed by lots of people who swim slowly but are much better on the bike than I am.   It goes up an alluvial plane toward a mountain, crosses in front of it, and then turns around and heads back down.  Obviously, the way back is much more fun.  

AND, THIS YEAR, THIS YEAR - I rode without my brakes on  Woot!  And let me tell you, it is so much easier that way.  Garmin says my bike was 45:17, my best time ever.  Avg. speed, 16 mph.  

In T1, I switched to run flats, again without socks, and grabbed my hat, race belt, bottle of cold, cold sports drink (which I had kept in ice), slurped down an e-gel, and grabbed my iced-bandana.  The drink and the bandana were in a small portable cooler full of ice.  
The run wasn't as hot as usual - there was a slight cloud cover, just enough to keep the really hottest part of the sun off us, and I felt pretty good (probably because I didn't ride with my brakes on).  My legs were pretty good since I didn't spend an hour riding with my brakes on: My 5k time time according to Garmin was 31:06, average pace just over 10 minutes per mile.  I started out slowly at about a 10:30 pace, so I must have negative splitted it.

I raced as an age grouper and finished 14/21, so I didn't place, but my total time was 1:32, my best time ever at this little race, so I was happy.  My goal is to break 1:30 next year.  

So that's it.  No drama, no sob stories, nothing entertaining, nothing to see here.  Move along, now...

...

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Self-pity days are what your union fought for.

Dear Diary,


13.  So I guess I'm doing a triathlon on Saturday.  I was actually feeling pretty good about not having a ride to the Chile Harvest triathlon this weekend.  Outwardly I was all, well darn it, I guess I'll have to miss it. And inwardly, looking forward to A Day of Sloth, as well as not humiliating myself in front of hundreds, given that
A) I haven't been in a pool during 2011, and
B) I have been on a bike once, and I've ridden 10 miles total, on a flat bike path, during 2011.

Police were posted at all trailheads, including this one near
my house.  
The Chile Harvest triathlon, you may recall, is the scene where, two years running now, I have done the bike portion WITH MY BRAKES ON and then struggled on the run which, I might add, occurs in temperatures upwards of 90 degrees.  It's the state team championship.  All the New Mexico Outlaws, the multi-sport team of which I am a member, go in full Outlaws regalia.

So, but, then I made the mistake of posting publicly on the New Mexico Outlaws message board that I wasn't going to be attending because my ride (Captain Baboo) has guard duty that weekend.  No sooner had I done that then the club president, herself  Dreadpirate Rackham, emailed me at work and said basically, oh no you don't missy and added some other stuff I can't quite remember.  "Your complacent ass" was in there; I remember that.

In the very center of the picture at top is some tall TV
antennas.  Can't see them?  That's how high
it is.  And THAT'S where the finish line is.  
12. Then, the next day, at 6 am. I'll be doing a foot race that goes from around 6200 feet up to 10,400 feet over 9 miles..."race" being a very loosely used term here, but after all, you get that "finisher" shirt at the finish whether you're first or last.  They do not allow earphones, given that it's a fairly narrow trail up the mountain, so I guess I'll sing to myself to keep me company.  That'll also keep the bears away.  Trust me you haven't heard me sing.  Win-win.  
Blonde.  With an E.
What makes this race even more interesting (other than the ass-busting altitude climb and the fact that I get all drama queen with gray-blue fingernails and gasping at high altitude) is that I didn't have much of a chance to do a lot of practicing on La Luz this year, owing to the fact that for a sizable chunk of my training period the trails were all closed (see picture, above) and THANK GOODNESS they opened them up just in time for me to humiliate myself TWICE in one weekend.

11.  Wednesday, I
took a SELF-PITY day (it's in your human resources manual.  Go check) and went and spent Groupons.

9. I also decided to be a blonde again. That's BLONDE.  With an e. Because I'm worth it.  And yes, I used a Groupon.

8. I will be meeting the head of behavioral health for a local hospital soon to discuss my new internship placement.  A bit more about it: It is in a local hospital.  Both of our largest hospitals here have acute psychiatric wards, which is where you go if it is determined that you, due to a mental disorder, are an immediate danger to yourself or others.
Note: Acute psychiatric wards are not for you to threaten your teenager with or to take your kid to because she throws temper tantrums.  They will be sent home, and you will have lost ground in the war against bad behavior.

As you well know, I lurves me some crazy people.  We'll see if that holds up after 9 months spending two days a week in an acute psychiatric ward.

7.  Wednesday's Pity Party slothful day of indulgence, courtesy of Groupon, was fab.  Got my nails done, got my toenails done (I pretended to be asleep to avoid the inevitable questions about missing or half-grown-in toenails).  I got a massage.  Then I ate cake.  YES, CAKE. I'VE HAD A TOUGH COUPLE OF WEEKS.

One of the pairs I bought.  
6.  I also bought some shoes on Ebay, so, I'm all healed now.  And yes, I am that easy. If you're a man, you don't want someone more complicated than that.  If you're a woman, you don't want to be more complicated than that.  I like to stick to the same thing, over and over and over.  For work shoes, I like Aerosoles, Clarks, and Indigo by Clarks.  For fun shoes, I like Naughty Monkey.

And no, they aren't wedges.  I think wedges are ugly.  I don't care who that offends.  They're frankenshoes.  So there.

5.  Text message from Daughter:
I had to block [roommate] from facebook.  
She has decided to hate me this week.

Hmm.  What to reply?
What'd you do - eat all her food?
Have you run her her long distance bill yet?
Is she sick of cleaning up after you yet?


In the end, I went with   Oh, my, girl drama.  Hope it all works out.

Taken in our back yard about two weeks ago.
4. It is officially "Monsoon Season" in New Mexico.  I talk about this every year, but here it is again: Monsoon season is a time during the year when, in the afternoons, the sky fills with dark, threatening clouds.  The wind blows, sometimes lightening starts fires up on the mountain, and there is a hell of a lot of noise that scares the shit out of my dog.
Sometimes it rains.

3. In the past two days, I've slept about 18 hours.  That's so not like me.  I feel like I could sleep more.  I suspect a creeping depressive reaction to the VA debacle.  Maybe not.

2. I'm really pissed that one of my Italian cypress trees out front apparently took a serious hit this past winter and has dead spots on it.  I always wanted some of these, and now I have them, and now it has dead spots.  I know that's a very minor thing to complain about, but it annoys the hell out of me.

1. Sweet Baboo feeds birds.  We spend a third-world family's annual salary on bird seed.  We have about a 1/3 of an acre, so there's lot of birds.  We also have a large pond.  Most of them are natives - mourning doves, finches, quail, and so on.  Anyway.  Some of them are pigeons.  At any given time, there is a large number of birds at the north end of our back yard, pecking away at the ground, looking for some of that seed.
The end result is this: in addition to all the other things that are cool about the Dream House, whenever I walk into the back yard - either from the driveway coming home or from the house, leaving - a large flock of birds rises in a mass ascension in a cloud of wings, and the end result is that every day I feel like I'm in my very own romantic movie set in Italy - you the know the scene where they run through the square, hand-in-hand, disrupting a flock of birds.  EIther that or Mary Tyler Moore.  Either way, it's kinda cool.

...