Sunday, January 03, 2016

It was the best of times, it was--ah, fuckit.

What I did with 2015.
January, i again attempted the foothills fatass. I have have every year previously, i bagged after a 12 miles. I never seemed to be acclimated to the freezing cold that it always is on New Year's Day, and the initial climb up the canyon wears me out. Later that month, I did a marathon in South Carolina, and picked up that state. At the finish line, they gave us shrimp, grits, and beer.
I was selected to interview at UNM for their doctoral program.

February, I did the Black Canyon 18k. It wasn't that hard of a run, but I had a hip thing going on. When I finished (heads-up) i got a curt nod and a verbal notice that the pizza was only free for the 100-kers. That's it. It's boring, it's ugly, and totally not worth it unless you plan to do the 100k. I said fuck this, and had wonderful Indian food in town. Sweet Baboo did the 100k, and afterwards, we waited in the chilly night air for thirty minutes for his free personal-sized, wood-fired pizza. Oh, also, he did get a buckle. You decide.
UNM said, in response to my application to their doctoral program: we'll put you on the wait list. Which was crushing. It never occured to me that I'd run out of time to get my PhD. This, along with some other problems that affected my self-esteem, sent me into a bit of a tailspin. 

March, I turned 50. FIF. TY. My friends took me out to 10,000 waves, where we hung out and then went for lunch. I took a couple days off. Later that month, I tried to do the Clinton Lake 50k, and failed. I was undertrained and the trail had large patches of slick, wet mud on the uphills. I bagged it after 20.
I got a letter from UNM. I rushed home to open it. It said: Just to let you know, you're still not in.
April and May, I agonized over my hair. Should I grow it? Keep it short? In the end, I asked myself what my priority is, it is fitness. I kept it short. Essays like this one helped bolster my self-esteem while crazy assholes sought to tear it down.  I won't link to the crazy asshole, but I will link to someone talking about the crazy asshole.
For the rest of the year I was able to run an hour in the morning and then jump in the shower, 5-minute blow-dry, then head to work.
I injured my right rotator cuff, probably throwing medicine balls. I could barely lift my lunch bag.

May, i did the Lake Woebegone marathon (highly recommended) and the Jemez half marathon. (half doesn't sound like much, but it is.). I got help at work, which started freeing up more time for fitness.
I thought about why I wanted a doctorate, and it was all about teaching. So, I put myself out there and offered to take on another Intern. Two people applied, since it was a last minute decision. I selected one, and it as one of the most rewarding experiences I've had, professionally

June, i went back to the Bighorn trail run and finished a race I'd tried to do several years ago. It was a 50k, and I picked up Wyoming as a state.
And then I had my first colonoscopy. Go me.

July, i ran short runs about 3-4 days per week. I was pretty demoralized over a shoulder injury I'd gotten in April. My doctor wanted an MRI before beginning PT, and the VA was supposed to MRI it, but nobody could decide if my stapes implant was metal or not.
Himself and I celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary.
I discovered articles on how to shop in bulk and then freeze meals to go into a crockpot each day. Yet a little more time opened up for exercise.

August, we ran the Alaska marathon and I saw a moose and a glacier in real life. For an earth science geek it was a thrill. We went for a pre-run the day before through one of the parks near a disappointing town whose name I forget. The run was beautiful. The town was fully of wrecked, rusting ships.
I request records from the hospital where I had my stapes implant in 1983.
That marathon was painful, because I'd been pretty lazy with my training. It was at this time that Baboo challenged me to run every day for a month.

September, I ran 29/30 days. The hospital where I had my stapes implant essentially said, "who? When?"
I had an xray or my head to find out if anything was in there (don't say it.)
As another deadline approached to apply again to UNM, I pondered it.

October, we and some friends did a marathon double in Maine and New Hampshire, and ate some of the best seafood I've ever eaten. I ran 30/31 days.
I finally got my shoulder MRI. My shoulder was healed by then. There was no tear.
I ran 4-5 miles most mornings and then walked 4-5 miles most evenings in September and October, getting over 280 miles in October.
And then, I started coughing when the chamisa bloomed.
The deadline for the application to UNM's doctor program in counseling was November 1. As Lady Chablis said in Midnight in the garden of Good and Evil:"Two tears in a bucket, mother fuckit."
I went to a training at the Beck institute in Philadelphia and got to do a role-play with Judith Beck. If you don't know who that is, that's okay; but for me, it was huge. Himself and I went for a run along the Schulykill river, and no, that's probably not spelled right, and I don't care. We ran up the front steps of the museum. Just like Rocky.

Along the Schulykill River.

November, i coughed through most of the month. I did the Franklin Mountain 25k, which was crazy hard, with a course that was rarely flat and always covered with fist-sized, loose rocks. However, the medal was Awesome...The day after Thanksgiving, it was a crazy windy day, and I had to sleep sitting up due to asthma/coughing. The next day, I finally hooked up my nebulizer and used it in a steamy bathroom. Then I could function. But I still coughed like crazy outside. The running fell dramatically back to what it used to be, 4-5 days per week.

December, i finally admitted to myself that I was doing a lot of things that asthmatics are NOT supposed to do, which was pushing me to my threshold. So, bought a new air cleaner for the living room. There's already one on my side of the bed, so we put long-overdue new air filter in that one. We bought a HEPA furnace filter. We bought dust covers for the mattress, pillows, and dog bed. All our scented cleaners and household products were swapped out for "fragrance free," as was all my personal care products. All my laundry, including linens, started getting washed on very hot water with an extra rinse.
Slowly, the coughing decreased. I started doing steep climbs on weekends.
My Intern, who had finished up her required hours, took me to lunch to thank me. I'll miss her, but I wish her well. I got a request for three other interns. I agreed to take two, for the first time. I've only ever had 1 at a time.

January 1, 2016: i attempted the foothills fatass. I was acclimated, for the first time. I ran, slowly, but I ran, up the initial climb up the canyon. For the first time ever, I finished 20 miles of that fucker.

And so here I am.

I will be blogging more in 2016. That's one goal.


  1. So good to see you posting again....and by the way, you ROCK! (and love the hair, and the article you posted - wow, never thought of those as reasons for my short haircut...but hey, you're invisible after 30 or so, more so after 40, and I turn 50 this year, so who'll notice ;-).

    Happy new year, wish you and Sweet Baboo the best of everything this year!

  2. Awesome! You are blogging again (keep it up!) and congrats on that crazy climb. Very cool about meeting Dr. Beck. I read her book "the Beck Diet Solution" and have tried to implement her approach. I should probably re-read it. All the best to you and himself! ;-)

    1. Funny you should mention that, Zoey. I also bought her book - on Kindle. (I have a Kindle book hoarde now). I have already started doing the stuff in there, today was the first official day.

  3. I'm always happy to see your blog link come across my feed.

    I'm always pinning links to the crockpot freezer bag meals and never following through. One of these days I will, and some of the dinner pressure will dissolve.

  4. Anonymous6:01 PM

    Happy 2016- may it be awesome for you!

  5. Glad you are back to blogging!

  6. Nice to see you and catch up. Welcome back!

  7. Woohoo! So happy to see you blogging again. Loved your recap of 2015. It sounds like it was a year of growth, setbacks, more growth, and serious badassery.

  8. Glad to see you're back! Always enjoy your posts and glad the asthma is doing better!


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...and I, I have a goal.

Dear Diary, For the first time in 7 years I have a goal. It takes a lot to get me motivated.  I am the demotivation queen.  The princess...