Thursday, March 31, 2011

Into the wind. Thursday 13

Dear Diary,

13.  I should be reading chapter 9 and 10 in this book, but instead, I'm doing this.

12.  I am signed up to do the Country Music marathon as the first of four marathons in 10 days. The country music marathon is on April 30, and will undoubtedly be hideous, commercial, and crowded.  Plus, I HATE country music.  So why am I doing it?  Because it will give me Tennessee, state #13.  I don't plan to stick around for food or anything else, because the deep South scares me so.  So it's on to Ohio right after the marathon.  It is hillier than I imagined it would be.  I had hopes of breaking five hours - I don't think it's going to happen here.
April 30 - Country Western Marathon Elevation
11. RatBastard commented to a fellow therapist that some people had referred to him as "creepy".  I was startled, but then I remembered:
a) I normally just refer to him as RatBastard, or Mordac.  Not creepy.
b) Many of the people I have spoken with refer to him as creepy.  So it's not always about me.

10.  I am signed up to do the Flying Pig marathon on May 1, as marathon #2 of this debacle.  I have never been to Cincinatti before, but have been intrigued by this marathon since before I did marathon, when, indeed, I would have described my likelihood of ever doing one.  I understand that while in Cincinatti, I am supposed to try something called "a skyliner."  I may break my ban on hotdogs and have one at this place, especially after running 52 miles in 2 days.  This will give me Ohio, state #14.
May 1 - Cincinatti Course Profile
9. No word on the internship yet.  I understand that today is their deadline for deciding who to interview, so I will wait for the rest of the day, ignoring people and staring at my cell phone: ring, phone, ring.

8.  I'm signed up for the Wisconsin marathon as #3 in this experience, on May 7.  This will give me state #15.  I love that the marathon finisher's medal is a piece of cheese, and I love that they bill this marathon as "The Cheesiest."  Don't let the profile scare you.  Look at the numbers on the side, and also understand that I'll have five days of rest between marathons #2 and #3.  There's 40 feet between the highest and lowest points.  I think you have 6.5 hours to finish, and I might need them, too.   This, then, might represent a chance to break five hours.
May 7 - Wisconsin Marathon
7.  Yesteday I got to start doing my favoritist run EVAR again.  This is the one where I take off from home about 5:15 and run 2 miles uphill and then a long 4-mile gentle downhill, to where Sweet Baboo sit, with engine running and a Starbucks, to carry me back home.

6.  Finally, I am signed up for the Inaugural Kalamazoo marathon as the fourth marathon of my double-double in early May. This will be state #16.  The Kalamazoo marathon wanted to get people from every state for their first marathon, so they offered incentives to those who were the first to sign up from their state.  As planned by Sweet Baboo, I was the first from New Mexico.  So, the incentives: They are going to refund my entry fee, and give me a free pair of New Balance 890s, and all the fifty-staters get their own starting tent separate from the other marathoners.  Not a bad way to finish out this series.   I imagine new shoes will be nice to have; I imagine after 3 marathons my road shoes will be pretty flattened down.
May 8 - Kalamazoo Marathon
5.  Sweet Baboo bought me an early Mom's day present - he's still filling in for the kids that don't give me anything for mother's day (other than a grudging, 'whatever.  happy mother's day' after I've gone into graphic detail the pain of their birth.)  Anyway.  He bought me a Garmin 310XT.  I LOVE this thing.  It's smaller, and lighter (I'm fussy about things on my wrist) and it vibrates every mile, so that I don't have to keep looking at it, and when I get home, I just sent it down in front of my computer while I shower, and it uploads itself.

4.  In June, I'll be capturing state #17, Wyoming, the Bighorn Ultra.  It's a 50 mile race because I was stupid enough to wait until the 50K was full.  I figure that other than miles where I'm going sharply uphill, it's pretty doable.  Maybe not enjoyable, but doable.

3.  I discovered this week why I leave home before 7:30.  It's because, apparently, those people prone to get into accidents leave home at 8:00.

2.  Today I ran up a hill, into the wind, down a hill, into a wind, and on the loop I ran I was into the wind on the way out and into the wind on the way back.  How is this possible?  Because I live in fucking New Mexico.  That's how.  

1.  I had the unique pleasure of having my annual physical exam today.  Here are the order of events:
1) Nurse, who has known me for ten years, calls me back.  First stop: the SCALE.
2) I step on the scale.  She jots down 148.  
3)  We go into the exam room, where she opens the computerized charting system to enter my information in...and...
then she hesitates.  Looks at the chart. Looks at the paper she jotted down on.  
The chart, which has last year's weight, says 178.
"Did I measure you at 148?"
"You've lost thirty pounds since last year?"
Now, what made this such a momentous occasion is that every single EVERY SINGLE year I have had my physical exam during the annual uptick in my weight. After I put on my winter weight.  So his chart for me, over the years, said

Oh, yeah.  That's right. I impressed my doctor.  He was all happy before at the drop in my resting heart rate.  
ohhhh yeahhhhh.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

13 Peepy Things.

Dear Diary,

Peeps rumble.
13.  Ever have one of those verbal interchanges with someone who is so nasty and condescending, telling you in every word that they think you're an idiot, and questioning your every bit of professional competence, so  that it's all you can do not to snap your fingers, bob your head side-to-side, and say, BITCH - I WILL CUT YOU                                                                             
Oh. well.  No, me neither.

12.   I. love. American Nijnja Warrior.  I'm not ashamed to say it.  If you love it too, you'll love this commercial.

11.  There is a woman in my family therapy class who--well, I have to back up a bit.  As part of our class requirements, we have to partner up with someone and do a role play.  The role play is to simulate a family therapy session.  Two people, family role play.  Yeah, I know.  But anyway.

Peeps sushi rolls (with fruit roll-ups in
place of seaweed wraps, and
marshmallow rice crispies.  
So this woman, she watches each role play with a checklist in front of her, and then at the end of each role play, she tells people what they got, and what they missed.  She is not the teacher, nor is she a practicing therapist; she is a student, actually less experienced than many of her fellow students who are beginning to grind their teeth with hatred for her. When she does this we all kind of roll our eyes at each other.  I wonder if she knows how much she is mocked.  Probably not.  Anyway. If you do this, go ahead and stop.  You're pissing everyone off.

10. Countdown the end of the semester - I turned in an application last week to interview for an internship at the VA hospital.  If I get it, not only will I possibly be a step closer to actually working there one day, but it will be terrific experience.  I had decided that for my final internship year I wanted to work with grownups, or at the very least, clients who no longer lived with their parents. The VA is at the forefront of the latest in evidence-based treatments for mental disorders, including PTSD, and I love their non-woo-woo, show-me-the-research attitude.

If I got this, I could commute in with Sweet Baboo twice a week.  Now I'm sitting on my hands waiting for the cell phone to ring.  RING, phone.  RING.  We are admonished to take the first internship we are offered, so I have put off interviewing for any others until this one.  This means that other openings are drying up.  If they don't call, well, then I may be totally screwed.
The Trouble With Tribbles, starring
the Peeps.

9.  I thought I got a D on one of my midterms, but I was wrong; I got a B-.  Suh-weet!  I've been bummed about that all week.  I'm muchly cheered up.  My other midterms I got a B+ and an A-.

8.  I hit a new low this week: 145.  I don't put it on the ticker until I've held it for a week, so we'll see if it sticks.  I tend to hit my low on Wednesday after days of eating lightly and being dehydrated.  Still, it is a new low, so we'll see.  Dehydrated weight counts, right?  Sure it does.

7.  Believe it or not, even PC therapists say some very non-PC things, like when watching reality shows on A&E, like Hoarders and Heavy.  I wish I could share them with you.  But they would be way too offensive.
Bucket o'Peeps

6.  PEEPS!  PEEEEEPS!  That is all.

5.  The daughter experiment is better.  I put her on a schedule, which I figured would result in resentment and rebellion, but she seemed relieved, and is following it.  It divides up her day so that she is more productive.  Somewhat.

What makes all this interesting is that I teach an NEO in family systems at work twice a month.  I have 30 minutes to teach family systems.  yes.  So, but what I highlight is how we often slip back into our roles when we're around our family of origin, no matter what strides we have taken to become self-actualized human beings since leaving home.  Ergo, I present to you my visual aid: My daughter, who is no longer 23, she is a boy-crazy teenager.

4.  I binged on Japanese food today.  I know that seems like a contradiction in terms, but *urp*.

3.  I attended a DBT workshop today, and am ready to get down with my Wise Mind.  Honk if you know what that means.

2.  So I'm not running today.  I'm exhausted.  I've been getting progressively less sleep and rest at the week wears on, and I can feel  it, that sick, empty feeling you get when you're short on sleep.  And it's hell on my skin. Once a bad lifestyle choice begins to affect me cosmetically, look out. So I'm giving myself permission to ditch my run tonight, even though that will put me about 13 miles behind for the week.  I will rest and sleep.  The current plan: run about 10 miles tomorrow when I get home.  It's a seminar day, I expect to be well-rested.

Then, Saturday morning, heading out with some peers for a long hike in the mountains (about 12 miles, after which I'll run home to finish out another 5 miles.  Then Sunday, a 22-mile, mostly flat or downhill run.  Then I'll be all caught up.

1.  I'm considering the Mt. Si run in Washington state in April.  It just came up.  Himself is doing a training there, so he'll be there the week of, so all we have to do is foot the bill for my plane fare.  Plus, it will give me state #13: Washington.  Hmm.  I keep ya posted.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Less serious, more embarassing

Dear Diary,

On the heels of this morning's very serious entry comes this: I know I have a problem when I find myself sitting down with a bucket, a BUCKET, of chicken.  Yes.  Because, when my body is craving some sort of nutrient, like, say, protein, does it say to me, "you should get some isolated protein and mix it with some nonfat milk"?  It does NOT.  It says, "Get me fried chicken.  NOW!" and it says it in the deep throaty voice of a very fat woman.

And, UNortunately, it is a matter of about ten minutes to get from school/class to KFC, right down the street.

It's never a good idea for me to sit in the drive-through of ANY eatery when I am hungry.  I do not make wise decisions.  And I was.  hungry, I mean.  I had missed breakfast, and so ate my lunch for breakfast, and then ate my dinner for lunch, so that by dinner-time, I was pretty hungry.  So before I knew what was happening, I once again found myself in the drive-through at KFC, contemplationg the offerings of fried health up on the  menu, and before I could stop my mouth, the fat-lady-throaty-voice said, "I'll take the 6 piece chicken dinner, chicken only." Which was technically listed in the family section.  But lets not go there.

I knew I had made a mistake when my chicken was handed  through the window to me in a BUCKET.  Yes, bucket.  There's no denying that you have a binging problem when your dinner is in a bucket.  You are one step removed from a trough, at that point, and that can only mean one thing: MOO.  or oink.  or whatever.  To at insult to injury, the window guy asked me if I wanted plates, plural.  No, thanks.  I just wanted some napkins. He gave me enough napkins to take care of a school cafeteria, this entire experience reminding me that I was eating the food of several people.  Six, to be precise.

I arrived back to class about 30 minutes early, and immediately comments about the bucket began.
Is that for you or for the victims of the earthquake?
Hungry much?
Hey, did you bring enough for all of us, or just all of you?
Misty, has it ever occurred to you that this fried chicken thing is getting a little out of hand?

The last comment came from a fellow social work student who has known me for a couple years, and who asked it in his best therapeutic voice.  The others were joking.  He was not.

Meanwhile, across from me was another fellow student weeping, yes, weeping,  about some really shitty thing going on in her life, adding perspective to my relative shame.  There I sat, the queen glutton, with a bucket of food in front of me.

So I lied.  Well, of course I did. I took a piece out and invited others to dig in.  And they did, saving me from myself.  I spent $10 on a single piece of fried chicken and, hopefully, learned my lesson.

And that lesson would be: don't take a debit card with me on class nights.


#4: The Wisdom Of No Escape

The central not how we avoid uncertainty and fear but how we related to discomfort. How do we practice with difficulty, with out emotions, with the unpredictable encounters of an ordinary day? For those of us with a hunger to know the truth, painful emotions are like flags going up to say, "You're stuck!" We regard disappointment, embarassment, irrirtation, jealousy, and fear as moments that show us where we're holding back, how we're shutting down. Such uncomfortable feelings are messages that tell us to perk up and lean into a situation when we'd rather cave in and back away.

When the flag goes up, we have an opportunity: we can stay with our painful emotion instead of spinning out. Staying is how we get the hang of gently catching ourselves when we're about to let resentment harden into blame, righteousness, or alienation. It's also how we keep from smoothing things over by talking ourselves into a sense of inspiration. This is easier said than done.

Ordinarily we are swept away by habitual momentum. We don't interrupt our patterns even slightly. With practice, however, we learn to stay with a broken heart, with a nameless fear, with the desire for
revenge. sticking with uncertanty is how we learn to relax in the midst of chaos, how we learn to be cool when the ground beneath us suddenly disappears. We can bring ourselves back to the spiritual path countless times every day simply by exercising our willingless to rest in the uncertanty of the present moment - over and over again.

Chodron, P. (2002). Teaching #4, Title. In Sell, E., Editor, Comfortable with Uncertanty, 108 Teachings. Shambhala, Boston, US.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I honest-to-god forgot it was Thursday.

Dear Diary,

13.  SETTLE DOWN.  If you're taking my frothy-mouthed ramblings during and immediately after a race seriously, relax. I don't hate Colorado today.  I love Colorado.  I just don't want to RUN in Colorado any time soon.  Not without a generous cutoff, that is.  I'm at least gratified to read that this is one of the harder races up there.

12.  RECOVERY.  Amazingly, on Monday, I had no stiffness.  No soreness.  None.  For all my bitching and whining last weekend, I had no soreness even the next day, although my legs were tired.  By Tuesday afternoon, my first run of the week, well, I felt slow.  The legs were tired.

11.  SCHOOL.  I have cleared a major hurdle in getting the internship for my final year that I wanted, in that the personality-disordered individual (whom I will call TINY MAN) in charge of field experiences at my school has generously agreed to sign the internship application I asked him to sign to the agency where I want to go. TINY MAN, for the record, is younger, far less experienced, and far less educated than I.

This magnanimous gesture on his part required only 9 days. During this time he claimed 1) he did not receive any of my emails. I have two READ RECEIPTS that inform me my emails were displayed on his computer; 2) he informed me that he did not appreciate hearing that I was upset after I waited in vain 45 minutes for him when he told me what time he would be arriving to the school, and 3) I avoided going off on him about exactly which axis II diagnosis I would give him, and 4) no small amount of flattery, southern charm, and ass-kissing works.  I don't get it.  It always works.  ALWAYS.  He is not charmed by me.  I'm not alone, though.  None of the student in my cohort at my school care much for him either.
Mordac, meanwhile, has partially redeemed himself by taking the time to explain to me how "read receipts" work and assuring me that, indeed, TINY MAN is a liar.

10.  INTERNSHIP, 2011-2012.  Now all I have to do is interview for it and get it.  I'm still waiting to see if I get called for an interview.  Fingers crossed.  It's at the VA hospital, which is where I'm hoping to be employed some day.

9.  MILES.  I does them.  After a shaky start, my miles so far, according to my training plan:
1--10---9.2 (um~)
2--20--22 (ok!)
3--30--18 (UM.)
4--40---30 (!!!)
5---45---45 (YAY!)

8.  SPRING!  I'm wild about it!  Longer days.  YES!  Fewer things to wear!  Mostly, I'm excited because I made it through another winter, but this one was without weight gain, losing too much of my training, or major panic attacks.  My only complaint about spring:  Windy days and lip gloss.

7.  PRETTY. For my birthday last week Sweet Baboo gave me a top and a running skirt from SkirtSports in Pink Crush Play Print.  Coincidentially, it is exactly what I wanted.  How did he know?  He accidentally ordered the skirt in a small (bless his heart but no, I'm not a small) so I'm going to exchange it, but I got to wear the top at the Colorado marathon craziness on Saturday.  By the way, if you were asleep, you missed the 50% off sale at SkirtSports this week.  It's over now.  GO GET ON THE MAILING LIST.  NOW.

6.  PROUDLY LAST.  According to the results posted, I beat Sweet Baboo by over two hours in Saturday's marathon.  Hey, we wore the numbers they gave us, IT IS NOT my fault if they switched them.  Their times are off by 15 minutes also.

5.  Married, with CHILDREN.  Life after your kids move home is just aggravating.  It just is.  I teach some of the New Employee Orientation, and part of what I teach is family systems.  I talk about roles, and rules, and how when you go home, it's hard not to slip into old roles.  As in, kids who go home and start acting like teenagers again.

  THINGS I WANT TO SAY and what I actually say:

Tomorrow I want you to get on the bus and start looking for a job.

Tomorrow I want you to get on the bus and start looking for a job.

Tomorrow I want you to get on the bus and start looking for a job.

Tomorrow I want you to get on the bus and start looking for a job.

Right now, what I have started doing is turning off the Internet between 9 pm and 5 pm the next day.  If I didn't do this nothing would get done.   Meanwhile, she has lost 16 lbs in 4 weeks, which is a good start.  I am hoping that HR where I work will call her soon.  Did I mention she is on the phone 24/7?  Yeah.

4.  Okay.  This is going to be completely useless to many who will be like, what?  She needs to get a life but I'm so excited about it that, well, there you go.  I am growing my hair back out again.  I wore it very long for a long time and then three years ago tried an experiment and cut it very short, and short doesn't work for me, so I'm growing it out again.  But at work, I want something quick, easy, and professional looking.

For a long time I've used actual chopsticks, pencils, pens, what have you-to keep my bun in place.  I don't use anything that is harsh or squeezes or rubs too hard against my hair because long hair is old hair, and you need to be nice to it, or it won't be nice to you.

This little double-helix looking thingy pictured at the right is called a spin pin. I don't know if I'm the last person in the world to hear of these, but you twist your hair up into a bun, spin them in - one into the top, one into the bottom - and your hair stays in place. No tangling, no getting anything caught in your hair.  It's awesome.  And that is my non-race product review for today.

3. WOO-WOO SIGHTING OF THE WEEK.  So, I teach a two-hour new employee orientation twice per month.  In my section, I talk about assessing kids to see if they can read social cues.  A hand goes up.  Yes?
New employee: What about kids who, you know, can just sense how others feel?
Me: I don't get what you're talking about.
New employee: I'm talking about empaths, who can just feel the energy of others and know how they feel.

*cricket* *cricket*
Me: I don't have an instrument for assessing 'empaths'.

I found out later that this woman considers herself an 'empath.'  Apparently, she can read the energy of others and just knows what is going to happen next (Which begs the question, why did she ask me that question?  Wouldn't she have 'just known' how I would respond?  But anyway.) Now, the way I figure it, this woman is going to come crashing down.  I imagine it will be the first time a kid turns around, spits at her, grabs a handful of her hair, or calls her a fat fu**ing bitch!  (Because, well, she's a kid and she's having a bad day, and she's in a mental hospital, so why not, that's what they do) and someone is going to say, so, didja feel that one coming on? Didja?  

2. Coffee.  Nope, still not drinking it.  I'm in a non coffee phase.  Everytime I buy one, I drink about one third and the rest just sits.  I'm still heavy into my 2/3 diet mountain dew and 1/3 diet cranberry grape drink.  That's what I drink all week long at work.  I go over to WalGreens across the street on Mondays, usually, and buy 2 bottles of diet Mt. Dew and some diet Cranberry.  Mmmmm.  Did I mention there's an ice machine at work?  Am I crazy to be this excited about having ice at work?  I don't care.

1.  YOGA.  I miss it!  I need to get back into it.  And swimming. Maybe even biking, or spinning.  Oh, I can't wait to be done with classes!  there's so much one can do when one is not in grad school.  And swimming - I get to use the 50-meter pool on base.  Who knows?  I've heard there's these things called triathlon.  I might even try one.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

I hate Colorado, and Happy Birthday To Me.

I was very well-prepared for this race.  The only thing I forgot was underwear.  So, like pioneering women of the past, I hand-washed my Vickies and laid them out to dry each evening (Friday and Saturday).  

Now, about the marathon.  Well, first off, at this moment I hate Colorado and will probably hate it for a while.  Not that I was under any illusion that any marathon in Colorado would be easy; the Colorado triathletes and runners that come down to New Mexico and kick all our asses deserve our respect.  

It's just that  I did not expect the level of gleeful sadism that obviously went into planning this course. What I expected was ~8 miles of climbing, ~8 miles of rollers, and then ~8 miles of descent.  This fantasy was based on this profile, which was posted on the race web site:

The race began at 9 am.  The course starts out with about 8 miles during which you climb up 2000 feet.  I watched the other marathoners get further and further away, eventually disappearing from sight. I was left playing can-and-mouse with a guy from New York who was in his 60s and overcome by the altitude, and what appeared to be an older gentleman who could not run and was trying to power walk the thing.  I was under the additional stress of making cutoffs.  I basically walked 8 miles uphill, with occasional jogging, and managed to keep my pace at about 15:20.

I made the first cutoff with 15 minutes left (cutoff was 1 hour), and the second one at mile ~7 with about 10 minutes left (cutoff was .  I then had 45 minutes to make the 3rd cutoff at mile ~10.3.

That third cutoff is after a little 4 mile out-and-back.  See above, how it goes down, and then steeply up just before mile 10?  See that?   When I saw that, I was horrified: it is a 300 mile climb over about 1/4 mile, and it was covered with large, loose rocks about the size of a basketball. Then it was flattish, to the turn around.   

I left New York guy and power walk guy behind here, I think.  The next cutoff was 5 hours into the race, or 2 pm, and it was at mile 20.  No problem, right?  But in between, the middle section I thought was rollers was actually climbing and descending the same 200 feet in altitude over and over again. It was brutal.  There would be long downhills strewn with loose rocks and boulders, and then uphills covered with snow, ice, and deep, thick, mud.  At this point every time I saw an uphill I swore openly.  The next thing I knew, I was passing mile 19, and it was 1:50 pm.  I was alone, and had been alone, pretty much since mile 10.

I looked at my watch: ten minutes to the cutoff, which was about .75 miles away. I ran hard, and passed a couple of guys.  I looked at my watch: 4:54.  I passed a couple of guys walking, and ran harder.  I lept over rocks and sprinted down hills.  4:58. I turned a corner and there in front of me was the 20ish mile aid station.  I had beat the cutoff by 2 minutes.

(I didn't know it, but Baboo had finished and was in the shower at this point in time.)

Now I was free to relax, right?  I had two hours to go 6 miles, right? An easy cruise, right?

 I was mildly curious about this, and wondered why I had two hours to go six miles.  Whose idea was that?  It was mostly downhill from here... 

See there, just after mile 20, that little V?  That's where I hit the wall.  Not a real wall, but a hill that, when you look at it on my Garmen profile, looks like a wall.  It rose, over a half mile, 400 feet up.

No. NO.  This could not be the trail.  I have not ever been so bad in any life as to deserve this.  Then very, very far above me I saw a runner heading up, up, up.  SHIT.  By then all the swearing had left me, and I just stood, hands on hips, and muttered, "you have got to be fucking kidding me," and then girded my Vickies and headed up.

Before I hit that hill, my pace was 14:50. After that hill, my pace had dropped to 15:30, and barely budged from there again.  That hill took all that I had left.  Halfway up I could feel whimpy tears of self-pity coming to my eyes, but then I was just freshly pissed.  

I hated Colorado.  I hated its stupid mountain trails and the stupid RD who made this course and all the people out there that were faster than me...I was pissed at the blue sky, at the trees, and the rocks, and the water.  And being pisssed gave me some energy.

There was no powering down the hills after that.  Given that the aid station at mile 20ish had filled one of my water bottles only halfway, there wasn't any fluid for me, either, until mile 23.  

I told the hapless aid station volunteers that this was my husband's idea, and that I've better get a big "I'm proud of you" and a steak when I got back.  Then I got two full bottles of cold water and I was ready to, but by then, by then all the fight had left me. I knew the truth, as plain as the water in my bottles: I had now developed a lifelong malignity for Colorado. 

Now I knew I hated Colorado.  I hated everything about it.  I hated its magestic vistas, snow-capped mountains, deep blue skies, and fluffy clouds.  I hated the wind.  I hated the trees.  Why the fuck am I doing this, I muttered. I can see mountains and evergreens 15 miles from my house.

I now understood why the RD had made mile 20 the 5-hour cutoff.  It took me 1:45 to finish the last 5 miles of the race.  I wasn't last, but I'm pretty sure I was a contender for last place.  I finished in 6:43, and the cutoff was 7 miles.  I was dazed when I finished.  

This race doesn't give a finisher's medal.  We got one of those RedStar gift cards (Yeah, I know.) and a soup ticket, except I had no idea where the soup was or any inkling of how to get to it, so I got two orders of Burger King fries and noshed on those while Baboo perused local menus.  Then I had a small steak (yes, a steak, yes, me) and sweet potato fries.  Then we went back to our hotel room and I slept for a few hours and then had second dinner, a burger king chicken sandwich.  

Now, if you are a masochist, I'll tell you some good things about the race.  The shirts are shirts you'd actually wear.  Mine is a woman's brown cap-sleeve shirt; Baboo's is a manly blue shirt that looks great on him.  The course is exceptionally well-marked, and it's small, and it's well-organized.  

So now Colorado, state #12 is done.  The only running I plan to do here in the future is for crewing or pacing.  It's too hilly, and too hard, and remember, I. Am Lazy.  

The next morning, we drove to Rio Grande Gorge and my plan was to run 12 miles to finish out a week of running 46 miles in honor of my 46th, but the wind was strong and I was tired, so we'll just have to call it at 44.  

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The Midterm 13.

Dear Diary,

13.  Where you've been v. where you're going.  This week when we watched an episode of "Heavy" on A&E one of the people asked the question, is it harder to have been in shape and then gotten out of shape and tried to get back in it again, or is it harder to have never been in shape and try to get back in it?

I don't know what the answer is.  Sweet Baboo and I talked about this briefly - he was a heavy child, but then a high school football player, base ball player, and Marine Corps rugby player.    I wasn't an athlete, but I was thin most of my life.  So, both of us had the experience of having been smaller, or thinner, or at least in shape.  But, so, I still don't know the answer to that question; is it more painful to look at others who are smaller and see what you have never been, and want to be, or to have seen yourself at a smaller weight and know what you used to be?  Is it more painful to go where you've never been, or go back to where you came from?

I had the same problem years ago, when I went from being a welfare mother to being a college graduate, but it wasn't like I was coming from that...I came from a middle class, white-collar family, made a bunch of stupid decisions, and wound up on welfare.  I knew where I was going back to.  I still don't know the answer to that question about which is harder.

Nice thought, but utter bullshit.  
12. WHY.  I was reading DPs race report for her first 50-miler.  It's always interesting to me to read others first reports of the longer distances, and I'm curious how many shared experiences there are.  I can't explain why I do these things, but I was thinking about it while running with SW Trigal recently, and the best I can come up with is this: most things, like school, has always been easy for me.  Running 50 miles is not.
It's more of a boost to my feelings about myself, and what I'm capable of, to do something that requires a lot of preparation, and that is hard for me to do.  So maybe that's why.

11. ZEN and PAIN.  It happens in trail marathons and 50ks now.  I zone out, get busy running, but only because there isn't any pain.  I don't transcend pain until I stop having it.  It all just hurts like hell until my body is used to the distance and then stops hurting, and I look for that, and wait for it, because I know it will happen. I know how much my first half marathon hurt, and then my first marathon, and now they don't hurt at all any more.  Only in building up my endurance do I feel that.  I'm approaching that in 50-milers now.

10.  GAAAA!  This week was midterms week, and it was the week for me to be reminded of a certain person affiliated with my university who I hate with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns. I will write more on this some day when I am no longer dependent on this other person for grades, signatures, and approvals.

9.  Joy.  But, Tuesday of this week was proof of goodness in the universe: while waiting in line at Starbucks in the drive-through, an employee went around giving out little cups of coffee.  To the people in line.  Waiting for their COFFEE.

This week: a very special Twilight Zone, where Misty waits for coffee and is given coffee while waiting for it. 

Now, there are skeptics who complain about lines at the drive-through.  I just consider myself lucky to be living in an age where I can sit in my car for a few minutes, and someone will brew me a nice latte.  Nope, no bitterness here.    

8.  SLOTH.  After taking a month off from training and dieting, I am back on both. Last week was a 40-mile build-up week, and I finished 39.5 miles of it.  This week is a 45-mile week, and I'm already behind, but I'll be caught up soon.  Every 4th week is a "recovery" week, so next week will only be 30 miles.  Ahhh.

7.  Marathon: The RDs have posted the Run Through Time marathon profile, which is this Saturday's run.
The cutoff for this bundle of joy is 7 hours.  Did I mention that this is how I'm celebrating my 46th?  Oh, and did I further mention that if I don't finish this I STILL won't have a Colorado marathon?  And that there is no finisher's medal and possibly no shirt?  Yeah.  Happy birthday to me.  But, I get to spend a weekend away with Baboo, which makes it all worthwhile.  :)

6. Love. When I sit in a chair and type this wearing my fuzzy pink robe, I have a grey tabby who sits behind me and licks my furry pink robe repeatedly.  When I put on my pink furry robe, in fact, she starts purring as she walks over to me.  

5. SHOES.  I bought girlie shoes this week, all heels.  I have gotten into the habit of putting shoes into an online "basket" at and checking it periodically to see if any have dropped.  I'm sticking to Clarks, Born, Aeresoles, and Sofft for now to build a base working wardrobe. I've found that 2.5 to 3" heels are my limit, with 2.5 inch being the ideal, and I avoid stilettos because of the rough blacktop and gravel and lawn I have to walk on.
True, sometimes they sell out before they get to my ridiculously low target price (between $25 and $40), but once they're there - bang, they're mine.  My target price is ridiculous, too, but hey, there will be other shoes if they sell out.

4.  MIDTERMS.  So far, as of the writing of this, I have done well at midterm in two of three classes.  I have no results from the third class yet.  I'm not holding my breath.  That test required listing things, and I suck at that.  I can ace any multiple choice test, and I do well on essay questions, but when it comes to rote memorization, forget it.  I'm a math type person.  I can solve problems and analyze.  I'm not a parrot.  Still, this is my waterloo - I need to study the crap out of this class before finals.

3.  M-M-Movie.  Sweet Baboo and I saw the King's Speech.  Highly recommended.  I loved the use of Beethoven's 7th in the climax.  That was also used in Mr. Holland's Opus, another favorite of mine.

2. Easter Candy.  I am avoiding Walgreens for the next month or so, for obvious reasons. There are peanut butter eggs, truffle eggs, coconut cream eggs...the list goes on.  It's evil I tell you.  Evil.

1.  I am required to watch a movie about a dysfunctional family for my family therapy class, analyze it according to a theoretical orientation, and formulate a treatment plan.  Any suggestions of such dysfunctional family movies are welcome. I'm considering About Schmidt for now, but it seems complicated, and I haven't made up my mind.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

13 Random things, more or less related.

Dear Diary,

13. LOOKISM. Oldest son, who is a computer science major and apparently Part-time Sith Lord.  In his spare time, he plays world of warcraft.  He dresses all in black, head to toe, and he's tall. I make small, motherly comments from time to time about grooming and clothing choices.  So there's the set-up.

Now, he rides his bike and takes the bus.  One day at the bus stop a car jumped the curb and hit him.  He wasn't hurt, but he was knocked about 10 feet.  No ill effects.  A woman sitting next to him had a crushed leg.  Afterwards, another woman approached him and said, "You saved my life, you know."

Puzzled, he asked how.
"Well, I was going to sit there next to you, but you looked kinda creepy, so I didn't. "

Moral of the story: Don't ever let anyone put you down because you don't look the way they think you should.  You might just save someone's life.

12.  OOF!  Here is Saturday's run.  It was designed by Himself, the Baboo.  Of course.
It is exactly as much fun as you think it would be.
Yes, it is as punishing as it looks.  About 4 miles were missing, somewhere in the middle.  I'm not sure why.  I did this run with a good friend, which is the best way to do such a run, IMHO.

11.  On said run (above) as I approached around where it says mile 8 - see up there, where it's nice and flat?  (actually, it was mile 12)  at that point on the trail, it was wide, smooth, and groomed.  So of course, I went sprawling.  I tripped over something, as it dawned on me that that my foot had not cleared that last log I was leaping over, and I had a lot of momentum behind me, I was thinking


as the ground got closer and closer....I went down hard, slid for a while on my back on the jagged pea gravel that covers everything in the foothills, and found myself with with many little jagged holes in the heels of my hands.  
SWTriGal told me it the most beautiful fall she ever saw.  Apparently, I rolled just like I was supposed to, she said.  I don't remember that.  I just remember sprawling.  
What made it even more embarrassing was that I'd just gotten through telling SWTriGal that I had an advantage on the tiny, narrow trails because I competed on the balance beam in gymnastics when I was little. Of course, when I got on the wide, easy to stay on trail, I fell like a rag doll.  

10.  SHOES.  Last week I wrote about my new trail shoes.  After 14 miles of very challenging trail, I didn't  notice them.  I'll be trying them on some flatter trails soon, but I have a good feeling about them. .   

9. DAUGHTER arrived safely on the plane.  Her self esteem is at a lifetime low; a notable happening for a girl who has always been bubbly, effusive, and giggly.  But, the 2nd day after we arrived we went over to a local boutique that sells plus-sized clothing they offered her a deal: come in a model new arrivals on a Saturday and then get a nice discount on whatever she wants to buy.
She wasn't sure she wanted to do it, and I said, what's the worst that can happen?  I also told her, nobody has ever asked me to model clothing.  She brightened a bit, tentatively.
I hate to see that.  She used to be wildly and inappropriately enthusiastic and everything and anything, even more wildly and inappropriately optimistic than myself.  I hope I can help her get that back.

8. QUOTE:  There are limits to what the human body can endure.  Go find them.  (Unknown).

7. JOY.  Monday, I bagged up my running stuff and took it to work.  After work, I went to where my night classes are 90 minutes early.  Right next door to where I take my classes is a branch of the YMCA.  I changed, and ran on a treadmill for an hour before class.  Here are my observations:
  • I forgot how sweaty you get running indoors. For Tuesday, I packed a sweatband.
  • I felt self conscious in spandex shorts sitting in class.  For Tuesday, I packed one of my running skirts.
  • I was also COLD.  For Tuesday, I packed a nice warm fleece hoodie.  
  • The high schooler who took the treadmill next to me could not run as long as I did. BOOyah.  
  • I was the only happy person in the classroom.  Seriously.  The teacher asked us for one word to describe our current mood, and the room was full of graduate students with calling out "stressed!" and "frustrated!".  I called out "Happy!" and was the only one.  Ah, the magic of a good run.

6.  HOPE.  Aside from being happy, I have new hope that I'll be able to stay up on my training during the spring.

5.  FAITH. I believe I'll actually be able to finish the Jemez 50K in May.  This is the one I had to ditch last year because after making the first climb up to about 9000 feet, I could go up any more and bailed and did the half.  This year I'll finish it.

4.   LOVE. When I wear my pink fuzzy robe, my gray tabby sits behind me and grooms me.  I think that's the closest to love that a cat can express.

And then for me, there's Fried K.
3. GLUTTONY.  Monday night the teacher gave us a 15 minute break.  I went out to my car to get a jacket, because I was cold.  I'm not sure what happened next.  It's all a blur - but next thing I knew, I was in my car, headed down the road to KFC.  I made it, too.  I came back with my Kryptonite before the end of the break and sat there smugly while others looked at me, enviously.  
This is not good.  I'm getting too good at being bad.  I think I'll have to leave my debit card at home so that I can't do that any more.

2. SLOTH.  I gained two pounds during February, probably because I was recovering from Rocky and eating too much.  But no worries: I'll make up for it on March 12th, when I run in the "Run Through Time" marathon in Salida, Colorado, on my 46th birthday.  I'll finally have my Colorado marathon: state #11.

1. LUST.  This: (from Skirt Sports). Gym Girl ultra in pink crush, and Wondergirl Tank.
Oh, yeah.  You know you want it.  Unless you're a guy.  And maybe even then.

I feel bad that guys don't get to buy cool stuff like this.  The closest they come is maybe getting some stuff from Running Funky or Dirty Girl gators.

But then agani, they get all that testosterone and muscle, so maybe this makes it even.


Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Teaching number 3.

"...A warrior accepts that we can never know what we will happen to us next. We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking for security and predictability, always hoping to be comfortable and safe. But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty . This non-knowing is part of the adventure. It's always what makes us afraid.

"Wherever we are, we can train as a warrior. Our tools are sitting meditation, tonglen, slogan practice, and cultivating the four limitless qualities of loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. With the help of these practices, we will find the tenderness of bochichitta in sorry and in gratitude, behind the hardness of rage and in the shakiness of fear. In loneliness as well as in kindness, we can uncover the the soft sport of basic goodness. But bodhichitta training offers no promise of happy endings. Rather, this 'I' who wants to find security, who wants something to hold onto, we will finally learn to grow up.

"If we find ourselves in doubt that we're up to being a warrior--in-training, we can contemplate this question: 'Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?'"

From: Chodron, P., (2002). Teaching 3, Comfortable With Uncertainty. in E. Sell, Ed., Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings. Shambhala, Boston, US.


 I'm no longer involved in multisport or endurance sports. I've started my own business, a psychotherapist specializing in anxiety d...