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

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Week of may 21, uh, i mean, 28th.

Dear Diary,

Sorry I'm so late. I've spent the last week swamped with learning my new job, and feeling sorry for myself for having done so poorly at the marathons last weekend.

13. My new life started!!!!!!! This is the one where I work one job instead of two, attending no classes, NO working on Saturdays, and driving five miles (one way) to work instead of 20.

12. Of course, I now have to get ready for my "A" race of the year: the Vermont 100k. Baboo is doing the 100-miler, of course, as part of the grand slam.

11. Did I mention that Sweet Baboo ran the Lincoln marathon in 3:31? Apparently took longer than he planned because of wind, or something. Whatever. *rolls eyes*

10. I started doing Hill repeats with the peeps. (Hill Repeeps?) on Tuesday evenings? See the profile, above. This consists of running up a certain hill near my house which starts at 6200 feet and goes up steeply 100 feet. Not something you want to do on a full stomach, as one young man among us found out. (remember, boys and girls, it's polite to rowlf off the trail). The fast peeps do 10 circuits. My first effort was either six or seven, in the midst of my bronchitis thing. Two weeks ago, I did nine. Then skipped a couple,weeks due to working the last of Old Job. I have touted hill repeats as the heavy runner's speed workout. It's easier on the joints than speedwork, and easier on the shins. The downhill part helps strengthen those supporting muscles around your knee that get all shaky when you have to run extended downhills. Running downhill also helps increase foot turnover.

9. I started the Jemez 50k on two weeks ago Saturday, and the first eleven miles were pretty difficult. Then I got to an aid station and asked, where is the next aid stqation?

"six miles..." was the response. Ah, good. Six miles is nuthin'.

..."and 3000 feet up."

I did some quick calculating, factoring in the marathon double I'm supposed to do this next weekend, and the fact that I've done Jemez before, and then decided to be done.

Yes, I feel a bit like a loser but hey, I jist wasn't ready for this race. In fact, Dreadpirate, who is a bit faster than me, took nearly eleven hours to do it, so it would have taken me longer. That is not a good taper run.

8. On the Jemez course, I met Carolyn, who let me know that she lost 200 lbs a couple years back, just by running. Is she fast? No, she's about the same speed as me. She didn't even mean to lose 200 lbs, she told me. She had three kids at home, too, between age 9 and 13. That's pretty humbling, right? I mean, i dropped 40 lbs in a year. She dropped 200. Jeez.

7. So here is my new training schedule to try to get ready for Vermont:

  • Mondays, yoga. Maybe.
  • Tuesdays, Hill Repeeps.
  • Wednesdays, run to work (mostly downhill, about 5-6 miles). It's about a 500 foot drop over five miles. Extended downhill running is great for foot turnover. After that, maybe run home? I haven't worked out that part yet.
  • Thursdays, morning run (5 ish or so) and evening run, same distance.
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: Long run. Usually 18 miles or more.
  • Sunday: Hike La Luz or medium(10-12 mile) run.
  • Rinse, wash, repeat.
6. I got picked in the La Luz trail run lottery! This is the local race that is a 'run' that ascends from about 6100 feet to 10,800 feet over nine miles. You only get the shirt when you finish. Last year I did it a hair under three hours. This year my goal is 2:45. Ish.

5. The local unveresity was wanting to have participants in a body mass study. I'll get to get my bodyfat percentage from a dunk-tank. This is the most accurate way to do this. Baboo is doing it tomorrow. I'm doing it june 7.

4. This is the run I did Saturday, in New York. It was brutal. It doesn't look like it, but it is.

3. Sunday, I did a road marathon in Massachusetts (memorial day marathon). It was downhill from start to mile 8, and the uphill from mile 18 to finish. On miles on between, there was nothing but water. I had done something I rarely do, I did not carry gels or electrolytes on the run, because I've become accustomed to road marathons having aid stations with those.

Big mistake. It was eighty degrees, with 70% humidity, and I'm a big desert baby who isn't used to humidity. By the time I got some gatorade at mile 18, I couldn't get back on top of my calories or electrolytes, especially since I did a trail marathon the day before. I finished in over six hours.

The RD, clearly one of the area scholars, told me that he had made the decision to put gatorade only on the aid stations on the hill, because, I swear this is what he said, well, people running up hill lose electrolytes.

Wow, did you figure that out all by yourself, Mr. Wizard? Hey, did you know what else? People lose electrolytes running in the heat when it's or when they're running in place. And do you know what else they lose? They lose calories.

I should add that this race, which was $85, did not have food at the finish, except for the cart that charged for snacks. They didn't even offer bottles of water at the finish. They offered free beer, though. Because, when you're exhausted and dehydrated and ready to drive home, what could be better than alcohol?

Did I mention that over half of the race was run on the side of the road with the traffic at your back? There was one long curve with no shoulder and no cones. It was terrifying.

Yet another RD trying to kill the athletes. Fucking moron.

2. Mini Baboo has so far ripped out nearly half of the 1000 square feet of burmuda grass we have in the front yard, and it's been replaced with crushed gravel and low water plantings. I will post before and after pictures soon. We just got our water bill, and first time ever there is a small credit for "low water usage". It's not a huge credit, but it's a credit. I will post before and after pictures soon.


1. One more reason to hate me: As if New Job wasn't fantastic enough, there is a shower, yes, a SHOWER, that is private, about 50 feet from my office. So, on Tuesdays, I will bring in clothes and such, and a towel, so that when I run in on Wednesdays, I can go shower and be fresh for work. BOOyah!

 

 

 

 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Even good changes are sad.

Dear Diary,

13. Saturday morning I ripped about 100 CDs to The Cloud. I will try to sell them in Garage Sale, ’12, the Sequel. It turns out that since it was Mother's Day, things were a bit slow.

12. Also on Saturday, Sweet Baboo and I started stacking up books, and movies we no longer wanted. We held onto some. I'll gradually let go of these, just wasn't quite ready to, yet. The way I explained it to Baboo was, we had over 300 books, movies, and CDs. items. If even a third of those sold, that's $$$ we didn't have before, for things that we don't use or look at.

11. Having Satuday off was a miracle. The weekend was so lolong. It was fantastic.

10. Sunday, I had the garage sale. I wasn't able to put out signs, so we didn't sell much. We made about enough to buy a printer/scanner, which we did. Meanwhile, I'll be having the same garage sale next Sunday. With signs.

9. Also on Sunday, I cleaned out my dresser and my exercise closet. To do this, the book I'm reading suggests you just completely empty it out and then start putting back things that you absolutely use. So I wound up with extra socks and shirts, and the pile of little things that have fallen into drawers over the years: random, single earrings; pens, change, paperclips, safety pins, jump drives, etc.

8. Monday, Old Job took me out to lunch. I've never had a farewell thing before, and it was nice. When I left teaching in 2008, nobody said goodbye; nobody cared. It was all, "Did you turn your keys?" These guys act like they might miss me. They gave me a thank you card, and a gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings.

7. Also on Monday, my cough seems to be nearly gone. I'm looking at this Saturday, at the Jemez 50K.They changed the course because of last year's fire. Of course, as you know, I have barely trained this year, and I've been sick for the past three weeks.

In the words of the immortal Bridget Jones:fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
I am thinking that miles 10 to 15 will be particularly unpleasant.

6. With the new scanner/printer thingie. I will soon begin scanning in the oldest of the photo albums that I inheirited from my parents. These included many, many newspaper clippings of my parents when they were champion bowlers in Ohio, and when my mother was a respected artist in Alabama.



5. Wednesday. With no small amount of bittersweet feelings, I packed up the last of my office and said goodby to the coworkers I'd known since 2009. I won't be completely out of touch with them. The mental health community in Albuquerque is pretty small, after all, and we have active Scrabble and Draw It! Games going.

They gave me a placque. Placke. Plaque. A wooden thing with my name on it, thanking me for my service. And chocolate.

I turned off the light, locked and shut the door, and turned in my keys, and drove away. I hope I left good mojo to whomever occupies that office next.

It's a brave new world. One in which I only have to work one job, have Saturdays off, and can run to work. And back. I'm stoked.

4. Also Wednesday morning,I did a practice run to my new job. As in, I really ran. Turns out it's about six mikes, and takes about an hour. I'll start next week. I'm taking baby wipes and extra makeup and stuff to work, to stay there, along with cereal bars and protein drinks. I loaded a reminder for every Tuesday morninG into my calendar to take a change of clothes in.

3. Friday is ride your bike to work day. For first time ever, I'll get to do it.



2. I totally want to hire the three middle school popular girls to follow me around so that whenever I get ready to eat they start saying, Dude. Seriously? So gross.

1. I was pretty much in despair over the three weeks I spent coughing until I peed. You're welcome for the visual. I got pretty depressed and felt like a sick old lady. Three damned long weeks witout running. I was thinking, well, there goes my training. The climax, or low point, came when I was coughing AND had diarrhea AND my period. All at once. And then, as you recall, peed blood after trying to run a marathon. Clearly, god hates me.

Just kill. Me. Now.

Hey, are you coming out for hills runs? Said DreadPirate last week. Well, NO.

Then on Saturday, I went the entire day without any cough syrup. It faded quickly after that. On Tuesday, I DID go on the hill run. Still, as I said to Baboo, the 100k at Vermont in June is going to be a cluster fuck.

It's not in June. It's in July, said Sweet Baboo.

Oh, thank fuck. I may actually be able to pull this off.

All I have to do is get through a 50k and two marathon doubles, in the next month.

Yeah. That's all.

~~~~

 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Simplifying: The perfect pursuit for The Lazy.

Dear Diary,

I am a former teacher, and my husband and I moved into our “dream” home, which is a 30-year-old 1500 square foot ranch in the foothills of Albuquerque, when our youngest left home in 2008. We furnished just the way we wanted it; it was beautiful and spare.

Then I changed careers, but held onto to all the teaching supplies. We moved all our old stuff from the old house, including two old couches (aka, “giant scratching posts”), rarely used. When my parents died, I got all their stuff.

I recently have been reading two books by Miss Minimalist, I sprung for her larger tome, The Joy of Less. This is the best book I've ever read on the subject. Then I found out that she has a blog. Joy! So, I'd been reading her book in little bites here and there, and this Sunday, I'm going to have a monster garage sale. I wanted to share mostly what I've gotten from this book, mostly in the form of questions.

Oh yeah, diary, one more thing: This week, I gave Old Job the axe.  As in, I'm sorry, I can't keep this two-job thing going; it's wearing me out.  Next Wednesday is my last day.  Onward and Upward.


13.  WHY do I have so much freaking glassware and crystal?  First of all, I'm clumsy. That bodes ill.  Second, I decided last November that drinking alcohol is not something I need to do, given my family genetics and own tendency to drink it until it's gone.  Yet, I have two sizes of Irish Coffee glasses, a margarita set, a set of wine glasses, liquor glasses, etc.  I didn't even drink liquor when I was drinking alcohol.  Oh yeah.  This is going in the garage sale.  Priced to move.

Holyoke Pattern, Mikasa Bone China.
Tell your friends.  SRSLY.  I want to sell
this shit, but I'm not giving it away.

12.  WHY haven't I sold my mom's china yet?  I wrote about it here, and yet I still haven't gotten around to selling it. Well, that changed.  After doing some arm-chair investigating, I listed the pices on Ebay.  Know anyone who is interested in a set of Mikasa Holyoke bone china?

11.  Redundancy.  For me, that is the bane of my cluttery existance.  Baboo and I, each time we moved, would buy new towels for our new home, or rugs, or what have you...and then think, gosh, the old stuff is still perfectly good.  We'll hang onto it.  In case we need it...in case, you know, the world banks fail and we need extra towels to get us by.
The next thing you know we've got a linen area full of towels which, frankly, make me lazier than ever . Why wash when I can just grab another towel?  old towels: garage sale, $1 each.
And race T-shirts?  Really?  Even the good tecchie ones: I have, like, fifty of them.  In contrast, I have two pairs of running tights and three pairs of running shorts. 

10.  Sentiment.  My parents died, in my opinion, far before their time.  My mother was an artist and collected some beautiful things, but they aren't practical things, especially for a 1500-foot single-story ranch.  I can't hang all her paintings; I just can't.  But I can take pictures of them, keep the ones I can hang, and sell or give away the rest.  Various paintings: priced to move.
As for our own lives, I am very proud of the fact that years ago I switched from collecting shot glasses and other chotchkes to magnets. They take up far less room. They are our one cluttery indulgence.
If you are hanging onto something because of a perceived, future, tangible value - just look it up on Ebay. A thing is only worth what people are willing to pay for it.

9.  Garages and basements.  Why clear out clutter when you can just stick it in the part of the house where you don't have to look at it?  Our 1-1/2 care garage contains: our four bikes, a couch, several bookcases and cabinets, a mini-fridge leftover from the days that we kept things in our room that we wanted to keep for ourselfves and way from the hungry, hungry hippo, aka, the teenage Boy; tools that "every homeowner should have," you know, in case your roof falls in and you want to fix it yourself; many Christmas tree ornaments, despite the fact that for the past three years I have decorated out 4-foot tree with finisher's medals from that year; artifacts from hobbies in which we no longer indulge like golf clubs and cross-country skis, a weight bench we NEVER use...all going in the sale on Sunday.

8.  Say CHEESE!  I have tons of yearbooks and picture albums, including old poloroids of my parents grinning in black-and-white in their 1950s happy garb.  They are fading and cracking.  I suppose I could look up what other people have done with theirs, but let's face it, I am far to busy and too. Lazy. to ever get around to making craftsy things with my old photos.
Now, I also have a scanner.  See where I'm going with this? the plan: scan all pictures, put them up on Picassa for people to see, and then offer the photo albums to my cousins.
Also, Sweet Baboo had an extensive music collection when he and I got together. I had a few. along with the photographs, these are being converted to digital form, to reside in "the cloud".


7. Ambitions.  By and large, the most organized room in the house is the kitchen, which Sweet Baboo pointed out was probably because I use it every day.  I'm ashamed to admit he's probably right.  Still, there are things I have and never, ever use, such as:
  • a pastry wheel (I don't have an oven and don't like baking.  It's picky work and a lot of trouble.)
  • four can openers
  • a french press (very messy and too much trouble and I personally believe that the the "best coffee" idea is based on a combinatino of the placebo effect and cognitive dissonance. No don't bother, you won't convince me otherwise.)
  • a very expensive espresso machine that stopped working three years ago
  • several pans that do the same thing
6. Jitters.  Why do I have so many coffee mugs?  Why?

5.  Teaching supplies.  Yes, I still have these, despite resigning in 2008.  I have wire in-baskets, an overhead projector, and assorted teaching materials, lots of red pens, scizzors, rules, etc.  I think these might be useful for home-schoolers and people who are motivated to "enrich" their kids at home.  They aren't useful for me. 

4.  Books.  Honestly, I think it looks cool to have all those books, but I don't re-read them.  They sit, and collect the dust and powdery mold that aggravates my asthma.  I live 1 mile from a public library, too.  They are getting listed on half.com. Also, bookcases.  If we don't have books, we don't need bookcases. The only exception might be that we get rid of the little cutesy shelf eterges and put stuff, organized, in bins on the bookshelf instead.

3.  Double-duty.  Himself and I do not have nightstands.  We do, however, have an oak filing cabinet that we still need for important things, and I have a small wicker cabinet that I use for my magic supplies (makeup and hair)...so, they are going to be our new nightstands.  Everything needs to have a purpose.

2.  Floors.  My intermediate goal is to get stuff off the floor.  The new rule is that in a closet or other area if it doesn't fit on a shelf, cull. Don't stack things on the floor.

1.  Lazy.  All in all, as far as I'm concerned, having less means having less crap to look through when I'm trying to find something, and also having less to clean, because remember: I. Am Lazy.

~~~




Saturday, May 05, 2012

Weirdness.

Dear Diary,

I'm so sorry I've been neglecting you, Diary. It's just that this has been a couple of weird weeks, what with badgers, new jobs, illness , my mom-in-law was in town, and I've been testing sponge shoes. Meanwhile, here's some news for you: blood in the pee is no big deal.

13. *Cough* First, and certainly not least, Sweet Baboo brought a Boston bug back. And, I caught it from him. As bugs are wont to do, after a few days of crudeness it snuggled down in my chest and set up house. I've spent the week racked with deep, productive coughing spasms. Oh, well. At least it's a productive cough, right? It's kept me from running. In fact, it's kept me from doing much of anything other than sitting and sulking.

12. New job. So, Monday was the big Orientation day for the new job. Since I didn't want to be one of the sixty new employees who was remembered for her deep, wet coughs, I took some cough medicine. I also took some Dayquil. I didn't think about doubling up on the dextromethorphan because they were two different formulations. Turns out that didn't matter - I spend most of the afternoon robo-tripping without realizing what I was doing. I kept shaking my head, trying to clear it. But, I wasn't coughing. In face, I wasn't doing much of anything other than desperately trying to stay awake. Three cans of Mt. Dew and an energy drink later, I was still trying to stay awake AND I had to pee.


11. New NEW job. You'll recall, Diary, that last time I mentioned that another job had opened up at the New Job place. This one is full time, rather than the PRN for which I'd been hired, and it's in the child and adolescent unit. So, I did mention to New Boss that I was wanting to get more hours, since Old Job had told me they just couldn't have me part time, and were trying to replace me. Unhappily, I might add. They aren't happy I'm leaving.

So, New Boss asked if I would be interested in the position. I said, sure, I'd love to apply for it. So I am.

Then I found out that she might have been leaning pretty hard on folks to hire me.

10. Um. The vacating social worker told me all this and then assured me, Don't worry. Nobody here will hold it against you - it has nothing to do with you.
Uh, Gee, thanks, no. It has nothing to do with me, I thought. She might as well have added, It's just something you can feel painfully self-conscious about for the next few months.

9. Gee. So, I struggled a bit with this. I hate the idea that I'm forced upon people. Meanwhile, I'm trying desperately to learn this job, quickly.

8. Moths. We've got a swarm of them apparently, migrating through town. I just killed one while writing this. With my hand. Ew.

7. Critters. Chloe the Wonderdog erupted one night. She usually settles down, but this time she didn't. We let her out into the yard, which again, usually settles her down, but this time it didn't. I went back to bed and left the Jonster to deal with it, and then he tapped on our bedroom door a few minutes later, Mom? There's a badger in the back yard.

Baboo and I were all, did he just say Badger?

We got up to investigate, and sure enough, there was a badger cornered in the back yard. Luckily Chloe is bred to hold things at bay - she doesn't attack. I've heard they're pretty mean when cornered. We all went to bed and this one apparently didn't trust the situation, and dug his/her way out of the corner. I don't know if it's a resident. I know that we were ware that something had been digging holes near our compost bin, and we'd assumed it was rabbits, or a mole. You have to understand that from the perspective of a girl bred to the suburbs, this kind of wildlife is pretty exotic to me.

It is not a honey badger. But it apparently doesn't give a shit.

6. Sooooo, the take away message here is that if you choose to make your back yard a certified wildlife habitat, you don't necessarily get to choose the wildlife. Badgers are protected as a fur-bearing animal, and can only be hunted or trapped with permits. DreadPirate assures me that it's only after my compost bin. We'll see. I don't mind it getting in a turf war over compost with Larry the Turtle, but if my fish start disappearing, well, then it's game on, bitch.

5. Endings. I started packing up my office at old job. One of my hall mates stopped by, Oh, Misty, it's so sad...you're taking yourself out of your office.
She's right. I make an effort to have a warm, cozy office. Not only is it where I spend up to 8 hours a day, but it's a cozy oasis in the midst of a stark, clinical environment. I figure that the people in my office are not having the best day of their lives. I want to help put them at ease. So, I have lamps instead of the harsh overhead lighting, tapestry, and chotchkes scattered about. It's a very social-worky, therapist-y sort of office. I try to keep the marathon medals to a minimum.

4. Blind melon kitty is in heat again. Now she's pathetic, and annoying. But she's still amazing: she's chasing the moths all over the house. She can't see them, but of course she can hear them, fluttering against the window, or wall, or light, or whatever. She's caught a couple of them, too.

3. Shoes. Sweet Baboo bought me a pair of Hokas, and I've been wearing them for some medium distance runs (6-8 miles). They're as good as a shoe with 2-inches of padding should be. There was no miracle. I suspect all the hype is cognitive dissonance from people who have spent $170 on a pair of shoes and don't want to be disappointed. Sweet Baboo, however, had to take his back - they actually hurt him. They did something with his running stride that was not beneficial and caused pain. I'll be wearing mine to the Ship Rock marathon this weekend up in Navajo country.

2. So, back to New Job, and the people that are going ti intervi me. I'm mulling over ways to charm the hell out of these people. Cash? Muffins? My winning smile?
One of the nurses asked me if I was going to be around for a while, and I said yes, I do tend to prefer to nest. It's true. I would have stayed at the Old Job in definitely until offered something much better, and that doesn't happen too often in my line of work.

Well, tell us something about yourself then.

How to respond without alienating? How about, "I run about a dozen marathons per year," or, "I have a blog that some people read," or, "I have three master degrees?" No, no, no.

Finally, I just said, I have a badger.

1. I ran the Shiprock marathon today. I got leg cramps for the first time, which slowed me considerably. I'm also recovering from bronchitis. And, it was HOT. But the real treat was after I finished and sat down to pee and realized I was peeing blood. I went looking for a doctor, and met a PA, who assured me it was not big deal. So there's your trivia facto for the day.
...