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

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Product Review: Free Country Swimsuit, size Large.

Dear Diary,

A rep from Free Country wrote me and offered to send me a swim suit if I would review it for my blog.

Say it with me now:

Hell yes I'll take your free stuff!

What I like about the new trend in swim suits is that you can pick your tops and bottoms, mix and match. Of course, the companies get more money that way, because they can charge the same for one part of the suit as they used to for the whole suit, but whatever. I get to customize my look.

The Free Country web site has other things besides swimsuits although, now that summer is drawing to a close, they are having a pretty fantastic sale. Their swimsuits are, for the most part, pretty functional.

Right my, with the 25 extra pounds hanging on, my "look" says, "tankini." What I like about "Free Country" is that they also sell plus sizes, and while their models are not really plus sizes, they aren't Vickie Secret girls either. They look relatively like, well, normal people.

This chick, for instance, looks like she could finish a marathon, and might have even read a book.

This chick, however, does not:

And don't even get me started on how VS insists that I wear a 16, when the rest of the fashion industry says I wear a 12. Fuck you, Vickie.

Here is what ordered from Free Country. I wanted something decorative and functional.

 

When it arrived, Sweet Baboo thought that the convertable swim top was just a regular top. It can be worn that way. It has lined, supportive cups and I'm talking real support, not a "shelf bra" and srsly, is there anything less appealing than the idea of putting pair of breasts on a shelf? I would argue that there is not. It has convertable straps, which I love. I asked ahead of time, about the fabric and was told it was chlorine resistant. It is good, thick material that reminds me of speedos chlorine resistant suits. If they're the same, this thing will last forever.

Test 1: Lap Swimming with DreadPirate. Who hasn't posted in more than a year. Ahem.

Dread Pirate has made herself the boss of me as often as she can. She is a perpetual mom, and knows also that I'm coming out of about a 9 month major depressive episode, which I'm still struggling to find the words for, but plan to post about soon. She convinced me to come swimming with her at our gym.

Anyway, i like my shoulders. Whenever I can I wear racerbacks, and when I have convertable strapes I criss cross them in the back to show off my shoulders. I swam 1200 meters in this and didn't have any problems with movement, mine or the suit's. It was quite comfortable for my hour of swimming.

Test 2: Hot tub.

Eventually, it started raining, and I was all, "oh, it's raining, so I'm going to go sit in the hot tub.' One does not necessarily lead to the other but in my world, it does. of course, since the hot tub is also outside DP gave me a look that used to shame me but it really doesn't work any more, and I went over to the hot tub. No part of the suit crept anywhere it shouldn't, and I felt like I had decent coverage.

NOTE: I noticed today that this particular top is marked way, way down in $$ on the Free Country web site, so if you like it, jump on it.

Test 3: Hawaii.

Actually, I can't post about this because it hasn't happened yet. Sweet Baboo surprised me with trip to someplace warm in December! The Honolulu Marathon is there, and we'll be doing that as well as, I hope, some snorkling and surf lessons, both of which I have long coveted but never done. I'm packing light, under DP's direction I'm taking some flip flops, running shoes, one set of running clothes, a pair of lightweight hiking pants, two sarongs, and maybe a hat. And sunglasses. I'm taking this suit, too, because it's pretty and flattering and I can move comfortably in it without feeling the need to tug at it.

Over all, I'm very pleased with the suit that is pretty but modest, comfortable and durable.

...

 

 

 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Thoughts on Miley

Dear Diary,

Here are my thoughts on the matter, and that's all the attention I'm going to give it.

1 oh, holy shit my mom would roll over in her grave if i did that in public.

2 as if I could ever wiggle my ass like that. i wish i could wiggle my ass like that. Not in public. But still

3 the tongue thing is kinda weird.

4 okay, now that i've watched Thick's and Cyrus' videos, the whole thing makes sense.

5 how can lauper say that she's encouraging date rape? I though we were trying to get away from blaming rape on victims and how they act, is Lauper trying to turn back the clock again?

6 wtf, she's 20. I did some outrageous things when I was 20. My ex husband loves to tell people about them. Nobody cares, but he doesn't have a life, so he does it anyway.

7 your kid who used to love Hannah Montanah cried when she saw that? Why was she watching MTV? I mean, srsy. It's MTV. Srsly

8 the fact that Trump said "Bravo" is just creeeeeepy.

9 i still wish I could wiggle my ass like that.

10 "gas pedal?" Whaaaa tf is that?

...

 

Friday, August 09, 2013

Inspiration Friday.

Dear Diary,

This is Olga, and I wish I had this on a poster.

 

Olga cannot jump further than me or run faster than me, unlike most...

 

she cannot throw a shotput or discus further than me.

 

Yet, she is still considered one of the finest athletes in the world, because she consistently sets records in her age group in the long jump and other events.

This year, she will be 94. Not surprisingly, scientists are studying her.

You can read more about Olga here.

 

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Iowa/South Dakota Marathon Double, a belated report.

Dear Diary,

During June I got two new marathon states. We did a marathon double: Marathon to Marathon in Iowa on Saturday, and then South Dakota on Sunday. This is my belated race report for those races.

When we go to places like Iowa in June, that are green and moist and lush we are often struck with the notion of what it would be lie to live in a place like that. That lasts about a day, diminishing somewhat when I have to start propping myself up with a cocktail of antihistamines, sudoephedrine, and nasal spray. I'm incredibly allergic to many green things and some black things. I'm talking about grass and mold. These are the reasons I live in New Mexico.

In any case the Marathon to Marathon is a lovely run. It's a nice course. The weather was lovely, and given that I live and train at an altitude of 6000 feet, I felt like I was swimming in oxygen. I made record time in the fist quarter of the race. But that's when things took, literally, a turn for the worse. About mile 8 or so we turned north, and for the next 15 miles we were subjected to the smell of money that was so powerful it stayed in my nostrils until mile 23.

The "smell of money," for the uninformed, is the smell associated with a large-scale hog operation. The hogs are confined in large warehouses, and their waste flows out into "lagoons" next to the buildings. And these lagoons do not have palm trees and girls in hula skirts.

Hog shit smells a lot like people shit. So basically, a solid shit smell for 15 miles of slow running. The last three or four miles, thankfully, it began raining and rained continually. The wind blew the rain from a different direction so that I was thankfully upwind for the rest of race. I finished, in Marathon, Iowa, and went down into an old school basement to shower, and it was the Best. Shower. Ever.

We had a nice post race meal during which I was subjected to karaoke. I will tell you that you have never heard the musical embodiment of the white race until you've heard Macy Gray's "I Try" sung by a farmwife in Iowa.

We got into our rental and drove to Volin, South Dakota. This is where I lived while I was in college and the first of my many graduate schools, from 1991 to 1999. I have an old friend there, Nancy, who gave us a nice room to stay in, cooked for us, and We caught up.

An aside, which you can skip if you like:

The swan lake marathon had a special meaning for me. I lived not far away when my children were small and I was in college. There was a time in my life, pre-Baboo, when I found myself heartbroken and devastated. I had just gone through another divorce, quite unexpectedly, and my mother was dying. I was looking into checking myself into a hermitage owned by the church I attended at the time, but I needed someone to watch my kids. I asked a friend of mine, who said, "i've got a fishing shack up at Swan Lake. You can go any time you want."

So, every friday morning I would pack up the kids and a case of wine coolers and some trashy novels and head up there. No phone. No internet. No radios. no video games or TV. The kids were forbidden to take off their life jackets but could otherwise have as much fun as they wanted, within line of sight. I dragged an old aluminum chase lounge down into the water, eschewed sunblock, and read and drank wine coolers most of the day.After the kids went to bed each night, I sat out on the dock, thought about my mother, and end of yet another marriage, and grieved. I didn't eat. It was the best. diet. ever. i carefully scheduled this mini-breakdown to end when school started, and when I returned to my final semester of grad school, I was golden, thin, and at peace.

Eventually, I got better.

We all do.

But anyway.

I packed clothing for a warm run because, after all, this was the forecast: warm, sunny, dry. Turns out, not. So. Much.

The next day it was pouring. We ran through the rain in the dark to find packet pickup, and ran through the rain in the dark to the start line. I opted for the early start, and I ran through the rain, the dark, wearing a trashbag, for about an hour. On muddy dirt roads. The really fucked up part was that I had sunglasses on. So, I had a choice: run in the pre-dawn darkness without glasses and not see a thing, or run with dark, rain smeared glasses in the pre-dawn darkness and not see a thing. The rain let up, for a little while, and I ran down a well-traveled road, wondering why everyone was running on the other side until a semi loaded with hay blew by me and nearly blew me off the road. Around mile 10, and I was running down another muddy road, and it started raining again. At mile twelvish, I was miserable. I was tired, undertrained, and I had just run a marathon the day before.

I stopped at an intersection where i could run right, and finish a half marathon.

Done.

i'd be done.

Or, I coukd turn left, and do another thirteen miles. I stood there, in the rain, thinking...thinking. Then I decided: okay. I'm going to turn around and look back down the road behind me. If Sweet Baboo is right there, I will finish the marathon. If he's not, I'll take the coward's way out and we'll just have to come back to South Dakota another time.

I took a breath.

I turned around.

Mother. Fucker.

He was right there, running toward me. At first he didn't see me, because I was jacketed and hatted and standing in the rain, so I called out to him. He listened to me whine and complain about how tired I was, how wet I was, like he has patiently for the past thirteen years. Then he finished the marathon with me. As he has many times.

I just realized I forgot to fill in Nebraska. Damn.

Then we flew home.

The end.

...