UPCOMING EVENTS for 2016: Puerto Rico Marathon (March), Virginia/Pennsylvania Marathon Double (April), Cedro Peak Ultra 45k (April), Quicksilver 50k (May) NUT 50k (June) Lake Tahoe Trail 50K (July), Cloudsplitter 55K (October)

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

Athena is the Goddess of wisdom and war. In 2005, I declared war on my own bad tendencies: sloth, being fat, compacency, and being too old for adventure. This is the story of how I went from being someone who never stood when she could sit, to being an ultrarunner, marathoner, and triathlete. Along the way I've cried, laughed, fallen, gotten up, lost, won, hallucinated, been dehydrated, DNF'ed, and been DFL.
I also swear. Alot.
"You're never too old to be what you might have been" --George Eliot

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

There are a multitude of ways to contact me.

Dear Diary,

I hate talking on the telephone.

I talk on the phone all day at work. I get off one call, and can have between five and thirteen messages waiting. The last thing I want to do when I leave work is talk on the phone.

I'm deaf in one ear and have been since about age 2. A neurologist told me that the auditory areas of my brain were probably mapped for something else, which is why I prefer not to get information that way. I prefer to see faces, or text and pictures. Also, since I only have one ear, I only have one shoulder available for holding the phone. I can't switch to the other wide when my arm gets tired or if I want to do anything. And chances are, I want to do something other than sit on the phone, like cook. Or eat. Or clean. In any case my shoulder is permanently jacked from phone use at work. It's pretty painful.

I also hate the feeling of a phone pressed up against my face. I remember when phones were curved so that one end was near your mouth, and one end near your ear. Why was that changed? That was a good design. Now I have a piece of plastic alongside my face -- only one side, remember -- and it gets all greasy and make-uppy. Sometimes I accidentally disconnect my call with my face. Bad, bad design.

I get shitty reception anyway at home. My neighbors each get perfect reception. I get half of a bar. Sometimes I remember to forward my phone to my home number. Sometimes I' don't.

I consider the phone something that you use to share information. Briefly. I haven't spent hours on the phone since I was dating my husband back in 1999. You get on, exchange information, and get off. Send me a text, or an email, or PM me on Facebook.

So why am I writing this here? Well, because I have said these things every year, once a year, to my daughter I have BEGGED her to email me. She will not. She has occasionally texted me. She then gets all pissy, i just want to hear the sound of your voice, is that so bad?

So I'm going public: Yes. Yes, it is. I actually have a pretty busy life. You will note that I respond almost instantly to your emails and texts. The fact that you continue to insist on doing this your way, even though it causes me pain and discomfort, tells me that you are indeed quite selfish and are unable to delay gratification. You have two siblings, both of whom are happy to text and email me, and they still feel loved and don't try to emotionally blackmail me. They respect my hearing problem, my painful shoulder.

Also, when I get on the phone with you, the vast majority of the time you are doing something with somebody else, and then laughing and giggling and distracted, you say, what mom? Sorry, SORREEEE, MOM. I was just telling my roommate something.

You are impossible to get off the phone, too, I suspect you call me when you can't find anything to do, because there are long pauses during which you have nothing to say, especially after you've said, so whaddayadoin'?

The answer to that question has always been, I'm talking on the phone, and nothing else, because I can't do anything else.

Until you get it each and every phone call will be answered with a text. I realize that in some circles that means I'm a horrible mom. In others, you're a horrible kid. But I still love you. Now write me a note.

The end.

...

 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dear Diary,

I've spent the last week in a Crossfit gym on the edge of the desert with no air-conditioning, learning Olympic weight-lifting.

Yes, Dear Diary, I who hates the smell of rubber, hates to sweat, hates hard work, has been learning how to do cleans, snatches, and doing squats with a barbell until my ass is so broken that I can barely sit on it, much less get out of a chair.  And, I've loved every single minute of it.  Even now, as I write this, my legs sore and shaky, I'm finally enthusiastic about something again.

This is the new training regimen that Sweet Baboo has us on.  Tuesdays and Thursdays, we

do the weight-lifting thing.  Mondays and Fridays, if I can nut up and brave the still chilly air for an outdoor swim, I swim.  We swim.  All week long, I'm running, the Hanson marathon method training program for beginners.  Wednesdays, we sloth.

Crossfit is always something I've been kind of interested in, sort of peered at sideways, both fascinated by its simplicity and yet somehow, repelled by some of the spokespeople who remind me somewhat of late night car salesmen hopped up on cocaine.  I'm not going full crossfit right now, just experimenting with the weightlifting.  I can appreciate the power that it builds.  I've been wanting to get into weight--lifting but somehow was bored by the machines at the gym...the dusty, basic garage-turned-gym that we do our weight-lifting classes in, for some reason, is much more appealing.

Sweet Baboo has always been my best coach, as long as I follow his plan.  I've just been so discouraged, and felt so heavy and slow, that I haven't been doing anything.  I think the weightlifting is encouraging because it doesn't depend on being lighting fast.

Even more encouraging, the coach/teacher guy says I'm a "natural".  Maybe he's just being encouraging, but if he is, it's working.  In the present moment, the answer to my ever-present question, I wonder what else I can do? is this.

Now if you'll excuse me, my body is screaming for protein. I really want a steak.  For now, I'll settle for some Greek light yogurt (90 calories, 16 g. of protein  BUya.)

...

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Very Fast Persons

Dear Diary,

I used to refer to the lightweight (i.e., anyone lighter than me) and fast people as "tiny bird people," a somewhat derogatory term until three things happened: 1) some of them became my friends, 2) some of my friends became them, and 3) Sweet Baboo, who is not tiny, became very fast.

Thus, I now refer to them in my mind as Very Fast Persons. You may know some. They chatter about how they're going to try to get under 3:30 FOR THEIR FREAKING MARATHON TIME but then again, "maybe I'll just relax and turn in a relaxed 3:45 time instead."

I wish my skin was this smooth when I'm standing up.

Occasionally , we'll be talking about someone else, but if it's the day before a marathon and we're all competing, er, participating in the marathon, well, eventually the conversation drifts towards working on maintaining an 8 minute pace for 26 miles and not going out too fast, and I start counting the holes in the ceiling tiles, or cracks in the sidewalk. Or whatever.

And so it was at the Lincoln National Guard marathon in Nebraska. We flew in with friends Bones and Miki, and met up with Chief. Chief, Baboo, and Miki are all in the National Guard and they, along with Bones, are all Very Fast Persons. In contrast I try to remind myself that I am a Very Brave Person, or at least, at times, a Somewhat Interesting Person, given that my all time Marathon PR, two years and twenty pounds ago, is around a 4:45 and yet I keep showing up for these things. I think I garner a fair amount of respect, too, even from Very Fast Persons because, after all, in about 3 to 3-1/2 hours they are done and off their feet and resting, and I'm still at least 2 hours out, on my feet, blazing past the walkers with my 12- or 13- mIle pace.

Now, I am in no way saying that everyone doesn't have their concerns. it's just that the concerns are different in the back of the pack. For me it's chaffing and finding a decent bra, and whether or not my new running skirt makes my thighs look heavy. These are both things that tend to fall off my radar when I am in the lower end of my weight. The comparisons I tend to make of others in my corral are different, too. When I'm feeling svelt, I might mentally compare my muscle tone to another Female and wonder what age group she's in. When I'm zeftig, I console myself with things like, "well, my breasts are bigger than hers, so there." Then I feel better.

Consistently, though, since I am merely a Very Brave Person and, at times, a Somewhat Interesting Person I consume my time with having something cute to run in and having a good mix on my shuffle, and wearing lots of Sportslick

And so it is with spirit in mind that I make no attempt to tell you, dear diary, what I might have done to move faster, so much as what I might have done to move cuter and having fun. I tried three new purchases for this one, first, I wore my new Brooks running skort, which has "Marathon Maniacs Diva" embroidered on it.

--> FYI, ipad has just informed me that there is no such word as "skort." Helpfully, it suggests "snort" as one option.

Second, I wore my new Aqua Flood shuffle (purple) and skull candy earbuds (pink and black) and third, I wore a belt that holds gels (black, with pink trim).

I haven't done a big City marathon in a while and they are both interesting and challenging. This is one of the marathons that has a major corporate sponsor (The Army National Guard) and thus, so far, has managed to avoid being taken over by the Rock and Roll series. The day of the marathon was forecast to be in temps mostly between the forties and mid sixties, at least during my run, and mostly cloudy. The course has very gentle rollers, lots of local support--including locals handing out odd things such as donut holes. This is a sports lovin' town, and those are the best towns to run a city marathon in, especially when it's not football season, because the folks are looking for someone to root for, so, it might as well be you. Since the bib numbers are personalized, they'll shout out your name, too.

The good: mostly flat, some gentle rollers here and there, good weather for heavy runners, a nice finish in Husker Stadium at the 50-yard line. There are lots of porta-potties but you will wait in line. The marathon is well-organized, with friendly guardsmen at aid stations that are about every mile, I think. There are pace groups all the way up to 5:30 finishers, something you don't normally see.

The bad: lots of cement. Not blacktop, cement. You'll get a bit beat-up on the course. Also, the first thirteen miles are pretty crowded, given that the half marathoners start at the same time. Also, the massage people left right as I finished. No massage for you!

My finishing song, or songs, are that one song or song sequence that I find particularly motivating, and so will back up my shuffle and play them over and over, especially in the last 5k. This time it was "Rock Me Tonight by Billy Squire" and "Little Bird" by Annie Lennox.

I used a mostly 1:1 Galloway run-walk, and finished just under 5:30.

And I'm tired. And I smell. So this is the end of my report.

....