Friday, December 17, 2010

Just pooping in to say hi.

A brief, Happy Holidays/ Sorry I missed Embarrassing Stories Thursdays special edition ("special" here means extremely short and more of a status update than a blog entry) for you. I offer the Worst Typo I've Made Recently (and then, blissfully, sent the email without noticing): "Oh, hi! I pooped my head into your office this afternoon, but you weren't there." Well, that's lucky for you, I guess.Can you imagine if they were there? Erf.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


One important thing to note: When it comes to Embarrassing Stories Thursdays, I totally take requests. And, lo, in my inbox, one has arrived and I am nothing if not accommodating and so I give you: The FedEx Guy Story.

Once upon a time in a land called Tucson, I was a moderately pregnant and entirely ill-feeling person. The fetus was a new addition to things and our get to know you period was not going well. Moving from any supine situation whenever not completely necessary (example: bathroom) was heavily frowned upon, or at least rewarded with an uptick in nausea. Thus, I spent my days on the couch, not bothering to moan unless my husband were actually home to hear it.

During this time, he was taking a series of courses at the U of A, and he'd watch the lectures online. He'd signed up to receive DVDs of the lectures before he realized he could just log-in and watch them, and three days a week, a new DVD would arrive via FedEx (and go in an unused pile) and the FedEx guy and I would have this conversation.

FedEx Guy: Package for you!
Me: Oh, you really don't need to ring the bell. You can just leave this outside.
FedEx Guy: Nope, sorry! You need to sign for these!
Me: Okay! (I need to remind Andy to figure out how to stop these from coming.) Thanks! Bye!

And repeat one million times. (Okay, I'm exaggerating. (Ninety times.))

And then I got pregnant and proceeded to feel like total crap for approximately 12 weeks. On about week 9, I'm laying on the couch. I'm thinking some combination of "nnnughhhhhhhh" (but obviously not saying it out loud because what's the point? If a tree yells, "You did this to meeeeeeee!" at its husband in the forest and its husband isn't around, does anyone hear it? Does its husband buy it anything? The answer to both those questions is no.) and "I really need to figure out how to clean the ceiling. Ladders? Inspector Gadget? Some combination of the two?"

One important thing to note about the living room: It contained the front door. Another important fact: The door was banked by windows, and we had no curtains on them. Also, if you recall, nnnughhhhhhhh. And: Knock knock knock. I look. FedEx Guy. We lock eyes. I don't move. He knocks again. And I do the only thing I CAN do, really. Which is: Roll off the couch and lay on the floor, hidden from view less than 6 feet from his two feet, and pretend none of that ever happened.

He knocked for a while, and may have called to me a bit, and then there was probably some muttering, but eventually, he left the package (YES! Now, was that so hard? He always left it when I wasn't home, too.) and I scraped myself off the floor and pasted myself back onto the couch, where I stayed for about 4 more weeks.

Hey! This story's not over! The FedEx guy and I go on and on, to the point where I think we qualify for a Celine Dion theme song, if she's still doing those. At the end, I'll go back to the house in Tucson, say "what's up" to the new owners, and drop a replica of the Heart of the Ocean into the kidney-shaped pool in the backyard, and then casually leap over the 8 foot fence. Laterz!

Oh, but let's hop forward to my second trimester, where I'm feeling awesome and competent and like I'm going to get rid of everything and clean everything I don't get rid of or fold to within an inch of its even wanting to be alive! What's this? A box full of random crap that my parents hoisted into my arms as soon as I signed the purchase and sale on my first house? (Like, literally, I put the pen down and was suddenly holding a giant Rubbermaid container?) WELL. I'm eBaying this business. How many My Little Ponies are here? 18, including some baby ones and a small random giraffe that wears a bib? Research reveals that I should sell them as a lot, and My Little Pony freaks have super weirdo specific questions re: the ponies and their feet, so I sit down and GROOM those things. Mini comb, polish, etc. If this were Toy Story they'd be like OMG SEE? She hasn't forgotten us! She's PLAYING with us! Hooray!! but, no. Sorry, toys. It was in pursuit of the almighty dollar, and I shudder to think where you've ended up.

So, once they're all groomed and shiny, I line them up in my well-lit entry room and start photographing them. Own it, ponies. That's right. Who's America's Next Top Model, many years before that show was on? YOU ARE, PONIES. And I've got this huge belly and I'm laying on the floor photographing them and look up and lock eyes with: FedEx Man, who has been watching me photograph and encourage a giant herd of small plastic pastel ponies for who knows how long. Hello, thank you, you can just leave these I need to remind Andy to stop these from coming okay bye!

AND then I have the baby. He is very small and very cute and I have no idea what I'm doing. When he's just a week or so old, I've set up his little bassinet near the couch so he can sleep right by me while I sleep on the couch during the day, and I'm holding him and he's nursing and he passes out. Score! I say to myself. I will put him down and walk away! It will be amazing! So I carry him, still attached, across the room, and as I'm settling him into his bassinet, ruined stomach and half my chest on display along with the baby (I feel like here is a good place to note that you had to come right up to the door to see in, there were plants and all that shielding us from foot traffic), I look up and there he is again. Thinking, no doubt, I wish this lady would get curtains. Don't we all, sir. Don't we all.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's good to have goals. (I mistyped that as "foals" first, which I think is good, also. In context.)

My husband travels sometimes, and when he does, I'm a "single mom." You know, the kind of single mom who enjoys the 100% financial support and mental support via telephone but has to put the kids to bed on her own. So basically, it's no big deal at all, with the only snag being that the kids miss him and there isn't a responsible adult to be found in the whole house. (For example, I always stay up until way, way too late doing nothing or, worse, watching a movie that gives me a hangover. Not, say, The Hangover but something more like The Ugly Truth. Ugh.) In general, he saves me from myself and has been doing so for 13ish years. Bless him.

When he's away, the morning he leaves, I always set (hilariously) lofty goals for myself. This week's was something like, "Paint the bathroom! Build the basement shelves! Oh! Finally get rid of that crib! Organize his comic books by color and create an index for them!!! He'll be so excited!" and then becomes "Find top of kitchen table. Don't wash his iPod." So far I've done the second one of list two. Things are going well. I'm on my way to #1, too! He'll be so pleased.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Toot/ Whoop

SO, many years ago, before the earth's crust had cooled (in 2007ish), I got in this post-birth nesting phase (I find it much easier to do these things when the baby is on the outside and can be put down) and started frantically Freecycling and craigslisting everything that wasn't nailed down in the house. In fact, things that were nailed down were occasionally wrenched out of the floor and sold anyway. EVERYTHING MUST GO. I don't even know why. I didn't even binge before I purged.

Anyway, the biggest items to head out the door were a set of coffee and end tables, because my two year old kept launching himself into orbit off them and I was 100% done with dragging them into the bathroom, beyond the gates, and then tripping over them when I went in there. Plus I didn't really love them and I was like, Tables, I will set you free. Via craigslist. And so I did. Good bye, fair tables. Some lady is coming to pick you up this afternoon.

And the doorbell rings, and this very adorable petite proper reserved Japanese (so many adjectives) lady is on my porch, here to view the teak tables. There are some water damage spots, I explain. I don't know if they can be repaired, but I will show them to you. "Oh, I am interested in restoring furniture, I do not mind some damage," she says. Okay! I say, but let me point them out anyway, I insist, and I bend down, clutching my little newborn, with my head at exactly her waist level and about 8 inches away from her. Here, I point, and here, and "Unexpectedly loud fart noise!" her area 8 inches from my head exclaims. "Whoop!" I bust out, totally startled. Then we both turn bright red and I straighten up and I'm stammering and she's BOWING and then I start bowing and then she's all, I'll take the tables! and starts dragging them out to the car and I'm trying to help and she's trying not to make eye contact and I'm all, let me help you! and she's all, no, no, it's fine, throwing money over her shoulder as she gets into the car and peels out of the driveway.

She shows up on Gmail chat sometimes and I always want to be like, "Toot!" or "Whoop!" Ha ha. /mean.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Oh hi.

I apologize. I missed Embarrassing Stories Thursday because I was in a turkey-based food coma. Rather than share a subpar story or do one of the epic ones still in the pen no real justice, I will share with you this photo from yesterday:

Mais oui, that is me driving, and yes, that is a beer I am clutching. I do not believe that the children witnessed this. At least, that is what I'm telling myself.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Holidays! I am gross and wishing for death.

I've been getting emails from race photography places, all urging me to buy holiday cards with one of my mid-race photos on them. Ha ha HA HA: No. First of all, in about 50% of them, I look like I'm walking (I WAS NOT WALKING) and in 100% of them, I look like I want to die. (I DO NOT WANT TO DIE.)

Anyway, just to clarify, no. No, I will not be purchasing a race photo holiday card and sprinkling them in everyone's mailboxes this year. Sadly.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Reboot/ Facepunch

So, a couple of things, all ultimately related in the end. 1) It's Monday. 2) My husband and I are doing the Insanity* workout together and I sort of fell off the wagon last week because I kept getting pulled outside for a run instead or going to my exercise class because I missed The Girlz. (I have decided to spell that with a z.) But I didn't want to double up on workouts and increase the chance that my knees were going to burst like balloons. (There may have also been some laziness on my part.) I was supposed to be starting week 3 now, but instead I'm sort of rebooting week 2 and just pretending last week never happened.

(*60 days, no equipment, just hilarious painful things that you do on your own. It's HARD and I'm getting stronger for sure.)

So this afternoon, I'm flailing working out in the living room and it's all going relatively well, and then I accidentally punched my cat in the face. I'm using this opportunity to publicly apologize to him, though I don't think he reads my blog (I'll tweet it, too, increase the chances of him seeing it) and to note that this is an inauspicious start to the week. But! Thanksgiving approacheth, AND our hosts have rented a karaoke machine. So there is that, my friends. There is that. (Also: Pie.) (Mostly, though, I just wanted to use the word "inauspicious.")

Anyway: Monday. May the week improve from here, for Chewy at the very least.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Literal poop, literal fan. Hooray!

For today's installment of Embarrassing Stories Thursday, I'm cheating a bit. I don't know if I'd call it embarrassing, but it does showcase spectacularly poor judgment, and while I was a child at the time so some bad judgment is to be expected, the emphasis is truly on "spectacularly" and it being in italics. It is the real deal.

Back in the day, we had a Kirby vacuum cleaner. In fact, I'm fairly sure my parents still have it, but I wouldn't know that absolutely because following this incident, it took out a restraining order against me and I haven't actually been allowed within 20 feet of it, which made entering through the front door difficult, since it lives in the hall closet. I've spent the rest of my life entering my parents' house either through the garage, back door, or even an open window. But do not feel badly for me: It is my own doing.

Anyway, allow me to set the scene: These were dark days in my family. I don't remember where exactly we were on this scale, but my mother was either really ill or she'd just recently died. This whole time period is kind of a blur to me, actually, I'm sure I'd fail entirely at putting most events of my childhood on any sort of timeline if we hadn't moved a few times, allowing me a house background to help ground certain things. Like, "That happened in house #1!" and "Oh, that was after 1990, because we lived in house #3!"

Also important to the story is the fact that we had an absolutely terrible dog. This dog had one redeeming characteristic, which was that she was adorable, and one sentimental redeeming thing about her, which was that she’d been my mom’s dog, an almost identical pup to one she had as a child. The dog’s many, many cons were: 1) It was psychotic. 2) It bit. and 3) It occasionally pooped indoors. (It also ate photos of people, so you’d sometimes be treated to seeing your own face looking up at you from the lawn. It was hard not to take this personally, and truly I think it was intended that way. Thanks for that, Spunky.) However, I think we’d lost so many things that it was hard for my dad to say, “Well, time to kill your dog!

So, my grandmother is coming to visit! It is important that we present a front of having it together so she not worry about us. This includes having the house totally cleaned. The dog helpfully craps in the living room moments before our visitor’s arrival. My dad, delegating, assigns me to pick up the poop. I head into the living room, ready to move the poo to its watery toilet grave, and, what’s this? The shiny silver (extremely expensive) vacuum cleaner, parked right next to the poop? And already plugged in? WELL. The cogs in my brain turn like the game Mouse Trap and it takes me .041 seconds to decide that vacuuming up the poop is a really great and efficient idea.

There are sound effects that go with this story (which I frequently tell at dinner parties (we do not get many repeat invites)) which make it infinitely better. I’m not sure I can recreate them here, but: VaroooommmWHIRRRRRRFFFFFTTTT, WHIRRRFTTTTTTTT, WHIRRRFTTTTTT and then, almost immediately, the smell of burnt crap. Everywhere. On your nostril hairs. In the living room. In the point of the house furthest from the living room. Possibly even across the street. Ohhh. My father comes galloping into the room, where I’m standing with my unfortunate permed bangs, holding the vacuum tube in one hand, having an out of body experience because I’ve realized what I’ve just done.

DING-DONG. Hello! Grannie is here!

This is a good place to note that the living room was DIRECTLY next to the dining room and we would shortly be eating dinner.

I don’t actually know what conversations ensued between my father and the vacuum repair place, but I can only guess that they were not unembarrassing and it wasn’t inexpensive. This is making me realize that I should send my dad an Edible Arrangement today. Or maybe invent a dedicated Poop Vacuum (one where The Shit does not literally hit The Fan and evenly distribute it inside the inner workings of the vacuum and burn it to enhance the smell?) and share the proceeds with him. Magical, fully funded happy retirement times for everyone! See you on the links (which I think refers in some way to golf or similar rich people pastime)!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Famous People, Warehouse Shopping (Obviously)

ZOMGosh, I totally didn't post anything for Embarrassing Stories Thursdays! I was totally thrown off by Veterans Day and spent the entire day either 1) thinking it was Wednesday. I even said, out loud, that it was Wednesday, more than once, and my husband (weird, someone was listening to what I said? Not normal on weekdays, when I am usually just surrounded by children who only seem to listen when I slip up and drop some above their pay grade knowledge, like the f-bomb when I burn myself, or similar, which they then put into regular, public rotation. But general, useful growing up learning knowledge? No. That they do not hear.) corrected me every time. But I still persisted in my belief that it was Wednesday. Or 2) thinking it was Saturday, which I also did a lot. It actually turned out to be a day that existed outside the normal calendar, in the end. Some sort of mix of weekend and weekday and holiday.

Since it was Veterans Day AND my children weren't currently harboring any sort of visible germ that could fell an elderly person in a single swoop (finally, I've been waiting for a window like this for at least a month) it was the perfect opportunity to unleash us on my favorite veteran (sorry, other veterans): My grampa. He lives just far enough away to normally be safe from our invasions, but today, no. I made large amounts of lasagna and salad to make up for the chaos we bring and the damage we do to his new, off-white carpet, which is more and more off and less white for every one of our visits. The boys LOVE to visit him and he and my husband enjoy discussing the possible causes of traffic and every obscure sports team ever, and I attempt to keep the kids from breaking his stuff.

I think my favorite ever visit was a tandem one where my sister and I both went at the same time and had all 4 kids with us and they were going in his bedroom and he insisted it was fine, there was nothing they could break or get into, and then he paused and went in there to check and came out with a couple of boxes of bullets and shotgun shells and a knife. Hahahaha. So. Visits there = #1. They really are.

But! I owe you, dear and every more volume of readers (where are you all finding me? I love the internet and the fact that it means people in Denmark and South Korea know about my flights of vomit tasting,) an embarrassing story. The problem here is that I haven't been running lately, and when I am in the middle of a long run, THAT is when my brain shuts off and spits out all the stories from my past and puts them in written format. What I am doing right now, instead, is a workout called Insanity, which will probably lead to me being committed with some sort of foot fracture and a blown out knee, but check out my abs! It doesn't lead to zen headspace, but more "watch out for the couch!" and "haha, look at that guy on the screen's face" and "ow" and laughing at the instructor saying, "Rest when needed! (obligated to say that legally) BUT PUSH THROUGH THE PAIN." Which? Which, Shawn T.? I am too sweaty to comb through your contradictions and frankly I cannot do these moving pushups anyway.

Instead of a story I should just post video of me trying to do these workouts: Serious LOL. I am very flail-y and incompetent.

But! Do not worry. I will unearth a story.

So! It's 2008, and the children and I are in Costco, procuring enough food to see us through the apocalypse/ the weekend. It is election fever time, and everyone's all "I can see Russia from my house!" and coming up with elaborate security light configurations to prevent lawn signs being stolen (I am way too lazy for that, which is why our signs got stolen. Twice.) and it's utter madness.

But who is that, selecting a flat of LifeWater or SoBe or whatever, one of those drinks that I don't understand, is a random guy. Who happens to be black.

"Barack Obama!" shouts my three year old, pointing. "Mama! Look! It's Barack Obama!" Joyfully, and, more importantly, at ear-splitting volume. And, MOST importantly, the guy TOTALLY hears him. Unfortunately in this instance, my kid has reasonably good enunciation skills for his age.

So then (after turning tail and zooming down another aisle) I am saddled with the enviable task of explaining how not every black man we see is Barack Obama and, in fact, if the man in question is doing his own shopping at a warehouse store in New Hampshire, it is extremely unlikely to be the presidential candidate. If we are going to see him, it will be at a rally (which we did! And you can point and identify him all you want there, son!) or on television.

This seems to have sunk in, since it hadn't happened again. Although I've probably just jinxed myself. I do that a lot.

I feel like this was weak. I'll either have a better story next week or post video of myself trying to do the Insanity Cardio Pylometrics or whatever. It's only fair.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yesterday: Bed, Bath and Bodyworks and Beyond (-N-Things)

Ha. Yesterday. It started out fine, normal morning at home with the boys, puttering around and pretending to be Ironman (them) and trying not to make eye contact so I don't have to be, like, The Hulk or whatever (me) and then I got it into my head that I needed a Keurig coffee maker, like, RANOW. I was cleaning the Mr. Coffee and it flaked some paint off its warming tray (as it is wont to do, naughty Mr. Coffee) and I was all, you know what, Mr. Coffee? No. No. No is what, Mr. Coffee. I banish thee to the basement. You were meant to be a temporary measure when my beloved Grind 'n' Brew kicked the bucket by repeatedly vomiting grounds all over the kitchen, and you have overstayed your plastic, average welcome. I will keep you for emergencies but, let's be honest, will there be an emergency that the French press cannot handle? We shall see. Be gone.*

(*SPOILER ALERT I got a Keurig and WHOA I HAVE HAD THREE CUPS OF COFFEE SO FAR TODAY SAMPLER PACK WOOOO So much information and conversations with appliances to impart, OMG sit back and enjoy.)

So I wake the younger one from his "nap" (today instead of just the more mundane sleep, he went with a small amount of that plus a garnish of making a new and interesting smell and tearing down the curtains (curtain rods straight out of the wall, no halfway measures!) in his room "because of his rocket boots") we eat lunch and then pile into the car and head to school. Children delivered, I clutch my 20% off coupons and drive straight to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I arrive and... it's not there. Oh. That used to be a Linens-N-Things and it's been closed for AT LEAST two years AND I went to the closing sale. And my gym that I only just quit going to this year is next door to it so I've parked here probably 100+ times since it closed. Huh. Okay. It's a good thing I've only lived here for 4 years so I don't have even more history to get confused by, because this happens to me all the time. If I still lived where I grew up, I'd be like, "Let's go to Caldor! Or Zayre's!" So I've got no idea where the closest Bed Bath and Bodyworks and Beyond is. I go to places like that approximately never. Since my phone is circa 90210 and practically comes with a giant carrying case with a long curly cord that I have to plug into my cigarette lighter (and I absolutely never remember to charge it and/ or bring it with me) I head home to use the interwebs for location sourcing.

And I get barely a mile before the guy in front of me rams into a gorgeous full grown lady deer crossing the road. It was sad stuff, but somehow my once totally porous heart is hardened (I cried once because I saw a horse laying down in a field and would it be okay? WOULD IT BE OKAY? But since I had kids and got past the postpartum it's seriously like I have absolutely no room for any extraneous suffering and my brain just doesn't compute it. It's not like I go around all Clockwork Orange, or like I didn't pull over and make sure someone called animal control and the police, but while pulled over I didn't dry heave or cry hysterically for 45 minutes and then take a nap in the backseat.)

So, no coffee maker and one maimed deer later, I get home and check the internet, which knows everything. Alas! There is one nearby, right over the border in New Hampshire! I head there immediately. Coffee! You will be mine!

I arrive and it's even right there, near the door, which is surely a sign. I heft it straight onto the checkout counter and hand over my coupon and credit card and think about sending Mr. Coffee to the basement where he belongs, in the Land of Misfit Appliances. But what's this? My card is declined. Please try again, I request. Declined again! And again! The cashier calls the manager over and they both look at me suspiciously. Am I the cause of the economic collapse? Am I an identity thiever? Blast! I am neither and also I would like coffee immediately. But I have no choice but to admit defeat (FOR NOW) and go home and iron this out.

I get home! And, indeed, there is a message from the Fraud Protection Services (protecting NO ONE but themselves, since the consumer's liability is limited -- you do not fool me, Chase) saying they'd like me to call back and confirm my recent purchases. So I call and do just that, and according to the robot who answered, the problem seems to be that I've made several purchases out of state. (This has happened to us before.) Hey, robot, do you have a map? I can casually run over the state line and back. I shop over state lines all the time. I wonder how people who live near the Four Corners feel. Their cards probably get shut off once a week, minimum.

But! My card is back on! I call my husband to check in, and while we're gleefully bashing Chase, call waiting beeps. Oh. It is the school. This is NEVER good. The last time the school called it was a cheerful, Hello! Please come collect your child and take him directly to the ER to have the washer cut off his finger! So I answer, flinching because that helps. And, indeed, it's below average information: My youngest wacked another kid in the face and could I please come collect him. Erf. Awful. SO I head to the school, collect the angelic looking and even seeming (oh, but I know) child in question and cart him out to the car. And drag his other child hitting self over state lines to buy a coffee maker!

Make sure to get the same clerk and brandish my legitimate card and she cares not even the tiniest bit, ha. But! None of this matters because I have SWEET MERCIFUL COFFEE and it is in my hands. Home we go!

Then we make a card for the kid he hit (which turns out to be one of the sweetest, calmest little girls in class, and the child of a good friend of mine, which is both better and worse depending on how my brain twists this information around) and go to deliver the note and pick up his older brother.

But, really, the moral of the story is that I have a Keurig now. It's fancy and makes the rest of my kitchen look like war years deprivation in the UK in comparison. Also, so far, the coffee is meh, and I need to do some K-cup research to find what works for us. However! This solves the problem of how to make drinkable coffee while my husband is traveling, because I sincerely cannot make palatable coffee no matter how hard I try. I swear I even ruin it a little bit when he sets it all up and I do nothing but hit the brew switch. You can tell it was me because it's just that tiny bit less delicious. It is my flaw. Or one of them, at least.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Running Post! Playlist Ackshun

So I've had some requests* for playlist suggestions (*okay, one request), so here they are. A lot of them are lifted directly from the Run Like a Mother playlists, for which I have been very grateful in my quick attempts to throw something new on the 'Pod* (*I like how I saved so much time by adding the apostrophe instead of the i and THEN also adding this note about it) and not wanting to eat too much into the time available for the run.

My current list (which I usually listen to on shuffle)

I Stand Corrected - Vampire Weekend
Electric Feel - MGMT
Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z/ Alicia Keys
Stronger - Britney Spears
Only Girl in the World - Rhianna
Defying Gravity (dance remix) - Idina Menzel
My Life Would Suck Without You - Glee Cast
Hate on Me - Glee Cast
Meet Me on the Equinox - Death Cab for Cutie (I especially like this for "everything ends" -- which is a nice reminder when I'm in the crappy feeling part of a run)
Hands in the Air - Girl Talk
Telephone - Lady Gaga
Tik Tok - Ke$ha
Here Comes Your Man - Pixies
Flashdance (What a Feeling) - Irene Cara (Really never fails to make me crack up.)
Last Name - Glee Cast
Give Me a Beat - Girl Talk
Mr. Brightside - The Killers
LDN - Lily Allen
Bad Romance - Glee Cast
Defying Gravity - Kristin Chenowith/ Idina Menzel (This has all the stage talk etc in it but works for me because I love it so much.)

So! There's what I'm currently running to, with some changes to come when I get tired of it in a week or so. Please do add suggestions in the comments, because I'm always looking for more stuff.

(Dis)organized: Thanks, olden timey peeps.

So I am epically disorganized. There are rooms in my house where, if I were to let an organized person into them, they would probably have a panic attack. In fact, I did once let my cousin into my most amazingly terrifying room (and it was in worse than normal shape because I was in the middle of sorting thousands (truly, I know I exaggerate at almost all times, but I am actually not, right now. Maybe I should. OKAY MILLIONS) of ancient photos of my mom's side of the family.) My sense of wanting to share all the super awesome stuff I was finding overrode my anti-shame safety features and I was all heartily OH WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE THIS LETTER I FOUND and she stopped in the doorway and said, "Oh!" I think she'd thought I'd been robbed. Well, yes. I was robbed: Of any natural ability to create and maintain any kind of order at all. (But that letter WAS awesome.)

Anyway, so I'm tired of it. My house is about 40% functional and 60% cram everything in there and shut the door so no one will see. I know where the first aid kit is and I'm pretty sure I could dig up my passport but if you needed, say, wood glue, I would probably draw a blank and then go buy more and then the same thing would happen next time. So I decided, you know what? I'm an adult. I have an adorable house that I am straight-up ruining through ineptitude. So I went where I always go where I have a problem: Directly into denial.

But then, a few weeks (months) (okay, years) later I went to the next best place, which was the library. And, indeed, they did have the solution, as they always do. And: Free! So I got out a book called What's a Disorganized Person to Do? and I started reading it, figuring it would, if not solve my problems, at least give me some tools with which I could (sigh) solve my own problems.

And indeed, the book contained many, many helpful items. Unfortunately, my house is so completely unhelpful. Here are some tips for your pantry! (Er, what pantry?) Your mudroom can be more efficient! (Mud. Room?) Your foyer can store a multitude of items! (Hmm. Foyer?) Your linen closet! (Hmph.) Your bedroom closet! (Is the size of a phone booth!) Your garage! (Again, nothing.) Your basement! (Dungeon, size allows it to contain furnace, water heater, and not much else.)

So perhaps there is a reason my disorganization has reached epic levels despite a nearly restraining order level obsession with IKEA. My house is conspiring against me. It was built for 1850s and we've done nothing to improve it's storage abilities since then, doing things like adding indoor plumbing and owning refrigerators. (Well, actually, and adding a small addition but that's not that funny and, frankly, that addition is almost exactly the footprint of the bathrooms so we're sort of at square one.)

So my house is designed for someone who owns two outfits, no food processor, and who can store stuff in the minuscule basement because there's no furnace back in the olden times. So, essentially, I have to go buy the equivalent of a mace or a battering ram from the Container Store or the aforementioned IKEA (which I think would be, respectfully, Elfa shelves and BJURSTA items) and beat my house into submission. And so I go at it, hanging hooks and shelves and putting things in boxes and putting those boxes away etc. And, frankly, I'm failing. Everything looks exactly the same. I hang hooks and people hang random items on them immediately, almost before I can even finish screwing them in. I spend a whole week clearing a space in the basement to build some shelves and 1) my children lock me down there (really, but they did let me out (which is too bad because I stashed a book down there for exactly that eventuality)) and 2) as soon as the space was cleared, SOMEONE stored a broken down crib in it when I had my back turned.

As I see it, I am faced with two choices: A) Give up. (I am so very good at this.) Decide it will be easier when the children are older and let chaos reign in the meantime. 2) Get more battering rams and, more importantly, more game, and rule with an iron fist. (I just typed "iron fish" which I actually like better but which, sadly, makes less sense and sounds undelicious.)

I'm still deciding. But, just in case, I sort of took dozens of pictures of my house at its worst and might post them as before and then, when the shame gets to me enough to motivate me to use the iron fist/fish, after stories. Maybe. This depends, as all my potential kareoke performances (WATERLOO) do, on how much I have to drink. So: We'll see.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Why, hello, prisoner road crew.

Oh! It's Thursday! Here is your weekly slice of my mortification! This excites you mildly.

I had a hard time choosing today's story, but saw a road work crew with a Middlesex County Sherrif Department van keeping them company and those bright orange jumpsuits decided it for me. 

SO rewind to sometime this past summer, and they're repaving our road. My boys were a mixture of very excited (younger one, who likes trucks et al with enthusiasm bordering on epic) and mildly but not terribly interested (older one, who's said, "SIGH I hate dinosaurs." You hate dinosaurs? Why? "SIGH Well, I guess I don't hate them, but I'm just so tired of hearing about them. 'Oh, do you want to talk about dinosaurs?' NO." Ha ha. He's not 100% on the boy toy trifecta of dinos, trucks, and guns, I guess. Right on, sir.)  

But, despite antipathy on the older, it was still deemed more exciting than anything else going on at 8:30 in the morning (note that the TV wasn't on) so we accumulated in the foyer and filed outside. I was still in my pajamas, which consisted of a racer back tank and yoga capris, no bra. The no bra would normally keep me from the outdoors, but we didn't want to miss the show as it went past the house, so I figured I'd just hold the younger one on my lap as a visual shield and be golden. Onward, I say! To the front porch.

Oh, so many machines. There was a truck of some sort, something that made noise, some sort of giant rolly thing, who knows. It was loud, smelled vaguely terrible, and it was vastly entertaining. The road crew talked to the boys, even, which blew their minds slightly. (The older one wasn't really impressed. He rarely is, unless you have in depth superhero knowledge, like, perhaps, information about Hal Jordan's childhood or can unravel the secret of why there's more than one Robin in a way he can process.)

Oh, wow. Now the machines are mostly going out of sight. Good bye, machines! We enjoyed your -- ack! The small one is taking off! I launch myself after him, yelling, "You were supposed to be my visual shield!" (Okay, I wasn't really yelling that. It was more just a mixture of "Stop!" and things along the lines of "Dammit!" along with picturing him getting hit by a car or crushed by the rolly thing. He is, of course, loving this game of chase, and I am, obviously, not. I am not built to run with no bra, and especially not in public.

But, hark! What's that in the non-distance, pulling up right at the stop sign about 2 feet from my face? Why, it is a van full of prisoners, who have been procured to clean up our little local playground that day. Hello, sirs. Oh, please, DO gawk, that is what I'm here for, in fact, and you have been in the clink (are we still calling it/ did we ever call it the clink? Oh! A helpful list of prison euphemisms!) for so long and I sympathize. Oh, wait, no: empathize? No, wait! Neither! OMG, visual shield, you have failed me. And thusly I gather you in my arms and haul you inside and stew in a heady mixture of shame and embarrassment for approximately one hour. The end.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I came, I saw, I candied.

Man. So I have had some really poor ideas lately about what would be a good idea to consume. Say, folks, it's lunch time, I think to myself. Then I wake up an hour later surrounded by candy wrappers and with a sincere, non-joke-style headache. Wow, I think. That was a bad idea. Let's not do that again. Fast forward a half hour, suddenly feel fine, decide to have snack. Repeat previous action.

This has been going on for 3 days. It's a bad scene.

Today is also election day, and I'm afraid we're going to Pick Flick.

Actually, what I'm really afraid of is this:

But, frankly, while I'll be glad to see the back of the constant political ads, I'm going to miss the Governor's race coverage in the Boston Globe. It generally goes like this:

"Democratic candidate Deval Patrick spoke about blah blah blah at blah diner in Wakefield. Blah blah blah Deval blah blah. Republican Charlie Baker's staff handed out M&Ms and talked to children who were opposed to the taxes on candy. Blah blah blah Patrick, blah blah blah Baker. Many many paragraphs blah."

Then, near the end of the article, always, "Green Rainbow candidate Jill Stein spent the morning tending her herd of unicorns." Not exactly, it was "attended the Boston Vegetarian Festival in JP" or a pot rally, but still, it was pretty awesome. I almost, ALMOST wanted to vote for her so that Massachusetts could be run inside a Joan Aiken Armitage Story. SIGH I love Joan Aiken.

Anyway, my candy consumption is a total downward spiral of terribleness and it's got to stop. We only have crap left anyway, so you would think I'd stop automatically, but not necessarily. Erf.

Friday, October 29, 2010

File this cake under: ZOMG

Okay, so in chatting with a friend, I learned that she makes cakes as a little side business. Oh! Make Nate's cake, I exclaimed. Okay! she agreed. A flurry of back and forth email and face to face conversation left her with the instructions: Rocket ship, green. Oh, vanilla.

And then I sit back and wait, which I excel at, and which is why I outsource most things. (I would make an excellent supervisor.)

Then, it's birthday dinner time, and she slowly drives up, glacially gets out of her car (all to avoid cake damage), and delivers THIS CAKE:

Nate's eyes got about as big as the platter and he just stood, staring up at the counter. Can I touch it? Please can I touch it? SURE, I decide, having apparently zero respect for the amount of work that went into making this. One finger only, I add, slapping on a garnish of caution at the last minute, which probably kept him from completely destroying it. And so he added a healthy divot to the frosting, which was then artfully (and graciously) blotted out by Tha Cakemaker.

But really, the cake was mindblowing. Nate had the best birthday in all the land, aw. Thanks, Cake Lady!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Tale of the Door and the Dress.

It's Embarrassing Stories Thursday! (Last week's installment can be found here.)

So, rewind to the summer of 2008. The boys were 3 and pre-one, and the day in question was a total festival of heat and humidity. We were off to a playdate, and in deference to it being a million degrees out, I'd started the car and blasted the air conditioning for a few minutes before loading them up into their car seats.

Once the car was tolerable, I hustled them out there, waving to the 6 or 7 roofers working on the house across the street* (*they become somewhat important later), latched the kids in, and headed back to the house to do one last sweep for forgotten diaper bag items, etc. Then I lock the door, swiftly and smartly latch it behind me, and attempt to take a step toward the car. What's this? I can't move? WELL, it would appear that I've locked a good portion of my dress in the door. The next step, I think, not panicking yet, is to simply unlock the door. Let me just grab my keys out of my... oh shit. I hear the car running. I see the keys glinting in the ignition. I gauge the 20 foot dash between me and the driver's side door. I HEAR AND SEE THE ROOFERS ACROSS THE STREET.

So I stand for a while, locked in my door, looking around at my options. It swirls around and I finally come up with these:

1) Wait for a walker to come by. Hope said walker won't steal my car and children when I ask them for help. Picture myself running down the street mostly naked, screaming at the retreating car.

2) Remove dress, streak to keys all by myself, roofers be damned.

It takes me about 30 seconds to settle on #2. I was still firmly in Crazytown after the birth, where I worried about zombies so much that I perused survivalist websites and talked about MREs and the merits of various tents with Andy (who nodded amenably, and also purchased bulk water every time we went to Costco and only ONCE suggested that I see a doctor, bless him) and the potential baby stealing aspect of #1 was enough to make me choose the definitely naked option. In my beautiful and not at all horrifying underpants (I believe they may have been maternity underpants, and about as appealing as that sounds) and nursing tank, I booked it across the driveway, opened the car, ("What are you doing, Mama?"), snatched the keys and sprinted back to the house again.

There was no applause from across the street. There was, however, stunned silence. No hammers, no chatter, just, I assume, the shocked audio output of AWE. I freed my dress and whatever scraps were left of my dignity, ducked into the cool of the kitchen, and pulled it all over my head. Then, calmly, I walked back to the car as if nothing happened, started 'er up, and drove off. Never let them see that you know that they saw your ass, they say.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Terminator: Possibly originates in my playlist?

The other day, on a random 5ish mile run, my iPod (well. My husband's, which I bought him for his birthday and promptly appropriated for myself, but he found his Shuffle that I was replacing (which was replacing an identical Shuffle which he'd chucked in the wash (which wasn't even dirty))) was KILLING it. I had a newish playlist set to random (or, more accurately, shuffle, but how many times have I just said "shuffle" in a row? A lot of times, that's how many.) because I wasn't sure about some of the songs and how they'd fall in the beats per minute, happy feet making needs of a run. WELL. My iPod stepped in and spat out the most perfect playlist order for that particular run in all the land. About to go up a hill that looks horrible? Well, perhaps you would enjoy this uptempo ditty which you haven't heard in months and which is the perfect tool for making you forget that you might crumple into a heap at any second. This went on, and on, and on.

I feel like the next step is, obviously, my iPod coming alive and killing me (or at least making an attempt) in my sleep. Stay tuned for that update. (My husband has my login info in case it's successful.)

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Hills

I decided to enter the world of hill repeats (run up hill. Run down hill. Do again. Repeat as needed.) yesterday. It was semi-awesome, with an 80% chance of me wanting to collapse. I sailed out the door, saying breezily to my husband, "I figure I'll do it 5 times or so, see you in a bit." WELL. Was not aware that the hill I chose was a half mile, pretty much straight up. I managed twice, and would have done a third (erf, but possible), but had to get home in time to herd the offspring to church. Alas! I will just do it again later.

In other running news, I signed up for a couple of races recently: The Lowell 1st Run (Jan 1!), the Hyannis 10K (Feb 27th), and am kicking around some possible 5Ks but haven't pushed the proverbial submit button yet. My credit card is currently hot to the touch from overuse (new running shoes, a ton of Groupons I may not actually use, my youngest's birthday, and Etsy. OH, ETSY. You pain me.) To my credit card, I offer this small comfort: At least we live almost an hour from IKEA. (And I can't break my "no more until it's all assembled and in use" rule, and those new curtains are still folded, sobbing quietly in my closet.)

So, with regard to embarrassing stories, I believe I will go ahead and make them a weekly feature. I have a large arsenal, so while I'm not worried about running out (I wish), I would like to treat these stories with the respect and care that they deserve. I am Gollum and these stories are My Precious. Thursdays will be Story Time. Be here or don't be uncomfortable for me.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Today is my sons' school's UN day. This means that the parents go in with the kids and the kids dress in something that represents their heritage, and the parents/ kids (since the classroom age range is 2 years 9 months to 6, it's pretty much the parents) deliver a short paragraph about where they're from, visual aids are a bonus.

This is my oldest son's 3rd year in this class, and my UN day attempts have gone like this:

Year One: Panic! Search through memory archives and actual, physical items. Unearth tea towel I bought in Guernsey, tiny island in the English Channel which produced my great grandparents and the genes that make me very short (I bought so many pants while I was there, y'all. 28 inch inseam represent!) and bring it in.

Year Two: Become jaded. Put child in Red Sox shirt and declare that he's from Red Sox Nation. Ha.

Year Three: Today! As usual, make no plans and wing it. I vaguely remember purchasing a rugby (or whatever) shirt that said, "Ireland" (my husband's family is legitimately of Irish origin, with actual people that they still talk to living in Ireland) on it last year, but it was too big and got put "away" (which in this house means it could be anywhere) and I'll probably spend most of this morning looking for it while the kids maim each other and most likely someone gets an injury and we end up skipping school anyway since we're hanging with our peeps at Lowell General ER, again. Alas.

But, really, the big thing is this: The UN dinner. OH, THE DINNER. I will say this about the school: When they put on a food event, people BRING IT. It's like that Kirsten Dunst movie, but starring Nigella or something, and the competition is who can make the best Indian food. I have elastic-waisted pants for specifically this event. They are not flattering, perhaps, but they are useful.

However: In predictable me fashion, I completely forgot that I had to bring anything and now it's the morning of the event and I'm at a loss. Most importantly, I really don't have much in the way of actual heritage. I'm pretty much straight-up American. If you want to get into the nitty-gritty, my kids are half-Connecticut (me!) and half-Vermont (husband!), but living in Massachusetts. Probably the most accurate representation of my background (according to my selective memory-generator) would be old school mac and cheese made with Velveeta, and it's even saying something about Spam cooked in orange juice, but that can't be right, so I'm disregarding. (Dad? Care to shed some light?)

But I think that really, truly, the best path for me is this one: Go to bakery. Purchase Irish soda bread. Bash it around a bit so it looks homemade. Place on table at dinner. Immediately consume one metric ton of who know what that makes my mouth light on fire but is SO DELICIOUS. Praise self for thinking ahead with regard to elastic waist. AND wait for next year.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Time for some stories*

So I've decided that now that my big fundraising race is over and my even bigger, non-fundraising race is also over, I'm going to morph this blog into a not just running blog. (I'm still running, of course. Hittin' up some wintery 10Ks and junk for sure.) Which means: Time for some stories!

Everyone who knows me in real life or is subjected to my Facebook updates knows this: Ridiculous and embarrassing crap happens to me regularly. A lot of it is my own fault, since I have a habit of occasionally acting like a non-jerky Larry David in that I sometimes go for the worst-case scenario by accident. It's a flaw, but it's a flaw that totally makes me fun at parties.

Part of me shudders to share all of this on the interweb, but there's also the part of me that was telling my top 2 most awful to the poor woman who had the misfortune to be positioned next to me in exercise class yesterday morning before we even exchanged names. (What's up, Kelly? Also, sorry again.)

So, let's start with the most recent one! It happened over the past two days, so it is fresh in my memory (and gag reflex!)

At school pick-up the other day, another mom was obviously having A Day. I have had many Days, for sure. She plowed into the metal parking pillars and scraped up her van and I knocked on her window to make sure she was okay and, not surprisingly, she wasn't. On the verge of tears and with her younger twins shouting in the back, she said she hadn't slept much in days because she'd been sick and she's too tired to be driving and she was just a mess. I have totally, TOTALLY felt like she looked and my tank of patience was nearly full so I said: Follow me home, leave your kids with me, and go get sane. Come back in 3 hours. She was hesitant to intrude but I told her I'd hound her (she's known me for over a year and knows that's not an idle threat) so she gave in, trundled up the hill to my house, and unloaded her cargo.

We went inside, where it was straight up feral in my living room for two hours. I can handle feral: I have two boys, 5 and 2, and feral is the default. This was more of a volume issue, but it was temporary and fine. The only real issue that arose was a sudden and almost mutiny-inducing banana shortage, but some oranges were unearthed and the troops calmed down.

Then, at about 2 hours and four minutes, one of the twins came up to me, paused thoughtfully, and threw up all over me, the couch, my will to live. I compassionately dragged him onto the tile floor and gave him a bucket and went into Outbreak-style containment mode. If I had one of those giant plastic suits and wee ones for my kids*, we would have SO been in them within seconds. (*Christmas gift ideas? (My parents read this!) Probably available at one of those survival stores, like the one where I buy the "turn any bucket into a toilet" toilet seats to mail anonymously to my friends (who ALWAYS know it's me, which is a commentary that I will someday explore in therapy)) Instead I had to settle for drawing an invisible line and telling the non-barfers to stay behind it, which they mostly did, bless their non-vomiting hearts.

Anyway, towels, bleach wipes, making a bed on the kitchen floor for this kid, calling his mother and making her cut short sanity time, it's all a blur. Within this blur, I was throwing things in the washer, which already had my running clothes in it, waiting for some laundry to join it for happy wash together time.

Fast forward 24 hours, during which life happens and I forget all about the origin of this load of laundry and absent-mindedly remove it from the dryer. I see a splotch on my (favorite! Trustworthy! Worn for both of my long races to date!) running pants. I scrape at it with my nail and it seems to be waxy. From whence this material, I wonder, but idly: With a 5 year old who wears pants with sometimes no fewer than 8 pockets running up and down the legs, I've learned that even with what seems like a through pocket check pre-wash, sometimes unidentifiable things end up in the dryer. I have made my peace with this. I scrape at it, shrug, and put it aside. Next item: MORE splotches, bigger this time. Scrape at them, too. Shrug, also place aside to deal with after going through it all. After 10 items with lots of splotches apiece, I sit down and start working on them for real.

So: Identify the substance.

Step one: Using sight! It looks like wax! There was a pair of wax lips recently acquired in my household and I assume that this is the culprit.

Step two: Touch. It feels waxy.

Step three: Smell it! It smells like nothing, with the sample I'm using. This supports the wax theory, I say to myself.

Step four: (WHICH I REGRET SO VERY MUCH) Taste it! I lick it. It doesn't taste like wax. It doesn't taste like much, right now.

Step five: Try to remove it by scraping it off. Get butter knife and scrape, scrape, scrape. On splotch four, it happens: Scrape, scrape, scrape STENCH. I flashback to the couch, the quarantine starring Dustin Hoffman, the TOWEL THAT WENT IN THIS LOAD. It takes me a few seconds, but not many, and then, there it is: I licked some other kids' vomit. Suddenly, that which tasted like nothing no longer tastes like nothing and, in fact, tastes like what it is. I had a festival of gargling with several different types of mouthwash (why do we have so many different kinds? I don't know.) and, when that doesn't kill it, go for a handful of mints.

By now, it's pickup time, so I head for the school to collect the boys and tell every adult I see, because I have no filter.

It's been 18 or so hours, and I'm still not sick, knock on particle board or whatever this IKEA desk is made out of. I also still haven't managed to get it off my running pants. What did that kid EAT? (The wax lips?)

So, the moral of the story is either don't do nice things OR don't lick objects to figure out what they are since you aren't 10 months old. I think it's the latter.

*This is the original source of "Time for some stories" (or, more accurately, "TIME FOR SOME STORIES") which I recommend you read immediately. It is so good, so good, you see.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Really Simple

So I don't think that anything in Real Simple has actually ever simplified my life. I think it more makes me go, "Ohhhh, I should find my countertops." And then I go read a book. I find a more simple approach to stain removal (rather than, say, taking their MacGyver approach to a carpet stain and using an old wine cork to daub it or whatever) is to simply vacuum less and thus a fine layer of dirt will cover the more obvious stains. ET VOILA.

Anyway, so I have been getting my groove back, if my groove is defined by running more often than once a week. I've even gone three days in a row, for which I credit the fact that I've been reading this book before bed every night (and being like, "Yes!" (pause) "Exactly!" about every 5 paragraphs.) AND all of my ladiez who ran the Bay State half marathon this weekend. Y'alls looked awesome in your mylar capes AND your times were all spectacular. I was especially impressed with one sub-2 hour mark lady whom I will not name (but you know who you are, Jess.) (Oops.) and just the all around joy flowing out of the Facebook updates and dailymile posts. Whoop!

Who knew, 6 months ago, that this would become the new normal to me? That instead of, "Ugh, 13.1 miles? Not in a car, preferably driven by someone else? You are all, ALL crazy." my reaction would be more along the lines of wishing we hadn't been out of town the weekend of the race so I could have run it, too. What now? (Also I'm a smidge jealous re: the finishers medals, since my half was practically dismantling the finish line when I crossed it. And ran out of food! Dammit, people, I earned that hot dog or banana or ANYTHING.) Alas. Lesson learned: Run for swag (or be faster to get a banana next year.)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oh, hi!

Look! I've been neglecting my blog with the same enthusiasm that I've been neglecting my running! That's exciting. I like symmetry.

But! I believe that my running is ramping back up to on track. Observe:

1) I went for a run the past two days in a row. On purpose!

2) I've been talking to myself (common, non-alarming) about some big races. And when I say big I mean "all of your toenails will fall off." Or mine. Yours will only fall off if you do it.

3) I have some new goals, and they're speed-oriented. Worrying about speed (in fact, paying attention to it at all) is a whole new frontier for me. I don't think this will be as motivating as fear (ah, the fear of a huge distance race hanging over me, there is really nothing like it to get me out the door, 5 miles away, and back, and not driving one or both ways) but it's fun to have goals. I'm shooting for a sub-30 5K (I have gotten SO CLOSE, as in seconds, but haven't cracked it yet) and then to run my next scheduled official race (as of now, Dec 19th, but I may get talked into something sooner) at less than 29 minutes. Whoop?

There was probably a number 4, but I forget it. It is possible that I'll remember it later. Unlikely, but possible.

PS my parents took some pictures of the half. If they email them to me, I'll post them. HI GUYS! Public thank you for watching the two young physicians on Saturday! (Next time I'll bring tranq darts.)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Finished. Not dead. Score!

Gosh, have I seriously not yet written up my half marathon experience? Like, the culmination of all my training and transformation and the point of this whole blog, and which happened over a week ago? I guess I didn't. Here's the thing: I haven't really done much since I finished. I dragged myself into a ditch right after crossing the finish line and I just recently was found by a dog walker. I had no internet access in the ditch. Okay, not really. I actually remained mostly upright when I finished and went home and resumed normal life, minus the frantic running schedule.

So, the race: It's all a blur, like childbirth. I'm already at the stage where I'm like, That didn't hurt! Let's have another one! We wouldn't even have to send a race to college, so it's way more reasonable than an additional child.

But honestly, I met my goals, which were modest: Run the whole thing, do not die, and don't come in last. I really squeaked out that last one, and frankly that's no reflection on me and more of a reflection on the fact that some slower people also signed up for the race. I'm more proud of the fact that I managed to put on a burst of speed (well, "speed") and pass the 4 people in front of me during the last quarter mile.

I was slow, and this turtle most certainly beat zero hares, because unfortunately not one single pack leader took a nap during the race. My sister and I managed to run almost the whole race together, or at least in sight of each other. Starting around mile 7, she periodically walked and then ran faster and caught up, or ran ahead and then walked until I caught up. I suspect that this had something to do with the fact that I did not shut up for one single solitary second until she started run/ walking out of ear shot. I may have not shut up after that, either, but she'll never know. When you run out of ear shot of your chatterbox sister, does her commentary still make noise? (Yes.) At the end, I had to run ahead, because my legs could no longer do slowish pace comfortably and vaguely faster pace was my only other option, so vaguely faster it was.

My time was 2:43, which will impress you if you've never run a half, and probably make you snicker a little bit if you have. Haha, I am totally okay with this, though. Six months ago I couldn't even run a mile, and 8 days ago I ran, yes, RAN (well, "ran") 13.1! In conclusion: Booyah.

Next up, the Hyannis 10K in Feb. Who's in?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Aerodynamic Hair

So in preparation for the race, I cut off a bunch of my hair, making me more aerodynamic. I haven't tested it out but am expecting a huge increase in speed.

It may help balance out the fact that I'm sick. I have this awful hacking cough, dubbed Death Cough (big thanks to Amy for the title) for Cranky. It's keeping me up nights and it even had me in to see a doctor type person today out of desperation. If it doesn't leave me alone, I don't know how I'll fare in this race. Run run stumble hack? Just a guess. I went to CVS and bought just about everything that didn't put me on the Meth Maker lists so hopefully one of those things will come through for me. Nasal spray, organic honey homeopathic whatever, gummi candy with zinc in it? Yes, yes, and yes. And now I will go take it all.

Other than being annoyingly ill, taper week's not so bad. I ran 10 miles on Monday (it was supposed to be on Sunday, but Sunday got away from me) and huh. 10 miles is not so much in my repertoire. Nine? Nine, sure. Nine I can actually do. But 10? Oh, 10. You were rough. My route wasn't the best, but I was going for not getting lost so I made it all main-ish routes in a big loop.

Rourke Bridge

I dropped the boys at school and immediately set my watch and took off from their parking lot, down into Lowell, over the Rourke Bridge and then along a long (long) stretch of 113. This part was nice. 113 is all Merrimack sparkling in the distance, horses grazing in rolling fields, and weird lawn decor that might come to life at night and kill you. Well, it was "nice." It was gorgeous out, I wasn't too tired yet, but I should mention that the wind was blowing hard and right at me and it was tough to keep heading in the right direction since the wind so clearly wanted me to turn around.

The Merrimack

Finally, I cross back to my side of the river and start heading back toward the mothership. At this point, I start to flag. Badly. There's NO shoulder on this stretch of road and there are evil weeds, prickly ones, pushing out into the road and forcing me to choose between running through them and getting cut up or bumping out into the road and into unforgiving traffic. I choose the weeds and my exposed skin is still mad at me, but what did you want me to do, calves? Die?

Around 8.5, I'm hurting. I start picking points in the distance and making myself get to them, and then picking a new one as soon as I'm there. Over and over and over. I tell myself I can stop at 9.5, and then when I limp to 9.5, I make myself do the rest because I can't get so close to 10 and not finish. Plus I need to pick up the boys and if I walk, I run the risk of being late. So I don't.

Finally, my watch beeps out 10 and I stop running and walk. My legs immediately seize up and walking is painful, almost worse than running. I have about .7 miles until home and I limp them, stretch pathetically in the living room, call Andy and almost cry a little bit (in addition to being my husband, he's also my therapist AND exercise physiologist) and he makes me promise to drink some chocolate milk. I find a bottle of protein drink something or other that they handed out at the Falmouth Road Race check in and drink that, and feel sort of better. Better enough that I can shower and pick up the kids and semi-function in mom-role (eh -- I was below average all afternoon at that) and move on.

Anyway, it was not my easiest run. The wind against me for miles 3-7 probably didn't help matters, but here's hoping the half's a bit easier on me, or at least not worse. Ack! It's on Sunday!

Friday, September 17, 2010

So the half lurks

It does. It's lurking, right around the corner. I know it's there, though, and I'm not scared anymore. Maybe I'm being cocky, but I'm not really nervous, either. Sunday night's 9 mile run where I felt like I could go on and on (and on, and, truly, ON) was a milestone for me. Something clicked and I realized: I can do this. And I can and I will.

Today marks 9 days to go, and this week's been a busy one. With the kids both in school at the same time for a couple of hours each day, I've actually been getting in all or nearly all of my Hal Higdon prescribed training runs, and some extra bootcamp-like workouts besides. Even having company all weekend, I selfishly headed out and skipped dinner their final night there, because I had to get my long run in or pay the mental price. And I'm glad I did, because that was the run that made everything okay in my head, and told me I was going to be fine. In pain, sure. Slow compared to the rest of the smallish field of runners? Yes. But! I'm going to finish it running and I couldn't even run a mile in March, so that's what matters to me. I'll worry about going faster on the next one. (!)

This video is simple and straightforward and that's the beauty of it. Hats off to this guy, who has it so right: If you want to do it, all you have to do is do it. It's so basic and it's SO TRUE. (Seriously, I wish I could somehow manage to express myself re: running and how my view of myself has changed without sounding like I've had a partial lobotomy and they replaced the removed brain portion with a Life Is Good coffee mug. Working on it.)

And this guy's blog, too. Right on.

Monday, September 13, 2010

So I have been flat on my back with a cold (well, not really flat on my back, more like living my normal life and being like, "Errrrghhhhhnnnn" periodically) for a longish bit. I've been getting in periodic workouts but have SO not been keeping up with my training schedule. It hangs on the board, mocking me (it is a jerk) and sometimes fluttering in the breeze. Rude.

Even though the cold lingers, I went for my long run last night. Nine (point one!) miles in one hour and 49 minutes. It's 12 minute miles, which isn't fast, but it's also NINE MILES, so. And I really did feel great pretty much the whole time. At the beginning my internal monologue went something like, "WTF, WTF, WTF, WTF, turn around, turn around, turn around YOU HAVE A COLD IT IS A PERFECT EXCUSE AND YOU ARE SQUANDERING IT TURN AROUND OMG WHY I DON'T EVEN KNOW YOU ANYMORE" and then, like it always does, right around the end of mile two, my mind went blank, rebooted and came back making jokes. Sure, under the microscope of a non-mid-run mind, these jokes would all probably be completely and utterly nonsensical, so I guess it's good that I don't remember them. I briefly considered getting a mini recorder to talk into during my runs, but I know for a fact that this would be about as successful as my attempts to write down my dreams by leaving a pencil and paper near the bed. I'd wake up to the note "Walrus, Paper tusks. Melting." Thanks, self.

Anyway, my plan was to do 10 miles yesterday, and around mile 7, shortly after I got non-lost (very possible I was in Narnia or similar at one point) I was like, "You know what? I'm going to do the whole thing. 13.1, today, RANOW." And chugga chugga choo choo I set off to do so with an unnoticeable to anyone watching burst of "speed." And then, 4 minutes later, it got really freaking dark. There was rustling in the bushes. Visions of skunks and getting sprayed and then being forced to sleep in the shed, curled up in the wheelbarrow danced in my head. And thus I headed for home. But I headed there with gas still in the tank, and the conviction that I can do this, and I am no longer afraid of The Half. I am maybe even looking forward to it?

Man, who am I? In February I could barely even run one single, solitary mile. 2010 has been good to me. Ugh, barf, running is making me earnest, and not in a Goes to Camp kind of way, which is the only way I really understand. I am at war with myself. Terrible.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I have been slacking

In all senses! Blog slack? Check. Training schedule slack? Extra check! Prague? Czech! (Lame? Also check.)

Anyway. So I have this training schedule tacked up on my bulletin board (which is next to my whiteboard which inexplicably says CAR in really huge letters and has for almost a year. I think I was supposed to do something to my car a year ago. Perhaps I did? Perhaps I did not. I do have a car, at least, and it runs and I believe it's insured and paid for and all that. I even changed the oil somewhat recently. I am not sure that I CAR'd it, though.) and until Falmouth, I was dutifully following it close to the letter, checking off each day's workout as it passed. But then I ran Falmouth and spent a week on vacation on the Cape doing no running at all, and then I came home and sprinkled a bit of running on top of my cornflakes, just a taste, but nowhere near the (Mon) Strength Train, (Tue) 5 miles, (Wed) 3 miles, (Thurs) 5 miles, (Fri) Rest (I did this!), (Sat) 60 minutes cross train, (Sun) 9 miles.

The funny thing is, I would do the weekend long run and it would be miserable and I'd be taking a break in the UMass Lowell boathouse, washing my face and trying to get some feeling (but not too much feeling) back in my legs. But I wouldn't do the shorter runs. I'd maybe do one of them, if the wind shifted just right and my iPod sheathed itself in my armband and my shoelaces tied themselves. (This only happened once.) I also took a short break due to mowing over a yellow jacket nest and having them SWARM UP MY SHORTS. Running around waving your arms over your head and yelling "Ow!" is cardio, sure, but it's not enough to get you to 13.1.

But then, this week, I came to. The half marathon is THIS MONTH. It's in 24 days. That's one season of 24, if each day was one hour long. It really isn't much time. I have to get myself together. So I've decided this:

1) Any training is better than no training. If I can't get in the full however many miles before Andy has to leave for work or the sun goes down and I get attacked by skunk-bears, that's okay. Do a shorter run instead and don't worry about making the miles up later. Some run is better than no run.

2) Well, there really isn't a number two. Or if there is, I've already forgotten it. Oh well.

So this week I've gotten in two shorter than I should have gone runs and I liked them. I also incorporated some new form techniques that I read about and was pleased to see that they shaved a bit off my pace with not a huge amount of effort.

Maybe I'll be better able to get things in when school starts, giving me a new and exciting window in which to run. Or bike. (Or sleep.)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Falmouth Road Race: Check!

So, I did it. I didn't stop (well, I stopped to give my boys a kiss at their vantage point around mile 6, and then I started right up again -- stopping only counts if you do it because you're tired.) and I chatted my way up the final hill and finished at a total sprint. Which makes me think that perhaps I had energy to spare and could have paced myself better and shaved a bunch of minutes off my time (which was 1 hour and 24 minutes!) OH WELL. At least I wasn't one of the people who came to an abrupt halt at the 10K marker, thinking they were done, and then realizing that they still had .9 miles to go. Haha. I liked those people. There were a LOT of them. But the FRR is a random distance, so designed because it originally was just a bunch of guys deciding to run from one bar to another, which is a mission I can get behind, provided the second bar has a shower.

I don't know if you can see this, and this might be ethically suspect, but here's a photo of me after the race, looking like I just ran 7+ miles.

Anyway, despite some anxiety leading up to the actual race, almost entirely about administrative items (where will I park, what if I have to pee 4 minutes before race time, what if I show up and it's the wrong weekend, etc) once I was on the ground and milling around the start with the other 9,999 runners, I felt great. I ran the race with my friend Debbie (well, I hung out with her at the start until she took off like a shot and I haven't seen her since, but we pre-agreed to this), who is awesome* and who's run Falmouth before (since she is actually FROM Falmouth) and who is actually the reason and conduit to me running it at all. I was chattering about my half marathon training, and how I needed to find a 10K sometime in August to fit into my training schedule and there wasn't anything that really worked and she said, "How about the Falmouth Road Race?" and then mentioned charities give out numbers and then, less than 24 hours later, we were committed to raising random amounts of money for our chosen charities in exchange for our race spots. She chose the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress, for her son Jack, and I chose (obviously, don't you read this blog at all??) the Melanoma Foundation of New England, because Melanoma is my sworn enemy. Debbie was the top fundraiser for her charity, raising almost $3,000! Yay, Debbie!

Hahaaa. Love her.

So, drumroll....

In addition to finishing the actual race, I also raised $1491 for melanoma destruction. The MFNE is still accepting donations on behalf of me for the race, so if you, you know, wanted to tip me over the $1500 mark, by all means. In fact, if you want to donate, I'll run some victory laps around the lake and have Andy stand on the roadside, banging on a cowbell and shouting encouragement, in an attempt to simulate the FRR experience. The crowds were intense and kept me entertained the whole time. There were bands on the route, and random people reading your name off your number and yelling at you to keep it up (which kept me rubbernecking, who knew my name?? Oh, it's on my front. Over and over and over.) and super entertaining runners, like my personal favorite, the guy who was casually drinking a Corona and dribbling a tennis ball, who passed me around the 6.5 mile mark, and didn't appear to be breaking any sort of sweat. To that man, I tip my hat.

Also, for you, I will cop to one of my more embarrassing moments: My attempt to get photographed next to Chris Lambton, a.k.a. Cape Local Son/ final two in the most recent season of the Bachelorette, at the finish line.

I ran into two girls on my team (whom I'd never actually met before, but recognized due to our matching attire) on the final hill and I tapped one and was like, "HI I'M PAMELA BLAH BLAH BLAH HAHA I LIKE YOUR SHIRT" and she was like "cannot talk, dying" (because she'd been running a vastly faster pace than me for the whole race, which I treated like a sort of trot-ramble instead) and I was like "HAHA WHAT ANYWAY NICE SHIRT I MAKE JOKES HEY WE'RE ALMOST DONE WOO I TALK A LOT" and then I thought I saw the guy from the Bachelorette and the crowd was freaking out about this guy ("Look! It's him!"), who was running with a youngish kid, and I was DETERMINED to finish right exactly next to him for amusement purposes (my motivation for an alarmingly large percentage of what I do every day) so I flew off ZOOOOM and caught up with them and kept right next to them and people were all, "It's him! OMG! Woooo!!" and I'm bobbing and weaving all through the crowd with not even one iota of shame and then we finished and the announcer said, "Hey, it's Whoever SomeKid, who's been volunteering since he could walk, his parents Mr and Mrs Somekid have been running Falmouth for over thirty years, Yay SomeKid!" and I was like, Oh. Then I got some water and ate a hot dog and went home.

So, really, THANK YOU for all the donations and the encouragement. Raising this much money for melanoma research makes me a happy person. We hit the family plot at the cemetery on the way out of town and I wasn't as much of a wreck as I normally am, tidying up the graves, because I'd done something positive and proactive, so my kids rambling all over the place and chattering through their somewhat gothic visit to their grandmother's marker seemed just that tiniest bit sunnier (through a judicious slather of sunscreen, of course.)

And now, on to the half marathon with my sister in September, starting with a 9 mile run today. How much harder can 13.1 miles be?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

And the race approacheth.

Very important! I am on the road to, I believe, losing a toenail. This makes me inexplicably proud. Like, yeah, I ran 9 miles on Sunday*, whatever, but have I told you about my foot and how unutterably gross it is? Behold.

* True!

Luckily for you, I can't find my camera right now. I've taken to festively adorning my toe with a Handy Manny band-aidlet to avoid ruining people's days.

Anyway, so, yes, I did, in fact, run 9 miles on Sunday. It was mostly in a row, I stopped at 8.5, realized I was still, sadly, far from home and dinner and then, because of the siren call of the Indian feast served trough style awaiting me at home (oh how I love these long run day caloric needs), limped out an extra mile.

I made that run more interesting by stalking a bunch of friends and giving their mailboxes a playful tap as I went by. One of these friends lives at the top of an atrocious hill, which I hit at mile 5.5. Oof. Natasha, if you want me to keep whacking your mailbox (surely you must) I really would move to someplace a smidge flatter. Please.

AND THE RACE IS ON SUNDAY. Oy. I have a wee bit of fear percolating still, but it's mainly procedural, and of the will I wake up on Monday and realize I forgot all about it variety. I looked up times from last year and it's unlikely that I'll come in last, unless I walk on my hands, which I have already decided not to do, I am pretty sure. Gotta save something for next year.

On Monday I will officially be able to channel all of my freaking out in the general direction of the half marathon in September. But honestly, I probably won't. I'll just continue to haphazardly follow my training schedule and look at various running gear online and wonder about the meetings that possibly take place at the top two (only two) manufacturers of nipple guards about really, finally cornering the abrasion avoidance market and taking out that interloper, whichever the other product is.

PS Chris from the Bachelorette is running this race, apparently. This excites me mildly.

Monday, August 2, 2010

7.1, done.

I've sort of been lagging behind in my training. Part of this is me not paying much attention to the schedule (like last week I tried running 7 miles on Sunday and failed and then looked at the schedule and realized I was only supposed to run a 5K) and I've been adding weird things (like Bikram) and just generally not doing what I'm scheduled to do. Also there's been a small pub trivia addiction that's been cutting into my time. OH, and also I am lazy. So there's that.

Anyway, so this week, the big goal was to complete my long Sunday run, which was 7 miles. I tacked on a .1 to make it the exact distance of the Falmouth Road Race to prove to myself that I could do it, and I did. My left foot was completely unhelpful, cramping up and staying that way off and on for miles 3.5-7, BUT I did it anyway. My trusty new sidekick, the Garmin Forerunner 110, which my 2 year old HID from me and I almost had to leave the house without (on the verge of tears, too, such a basket case, haha) but was reunited with moments before liftoff, was SO helpful. Without it, I would have run only 6 miles, because I think I miscalculated my run or forgot a side street flourish to tack on a mile, but I realized this mid-run and was able to loop around the cemetery a bunch of times. Andy hopes I didn't do this in a way that ritually raised the dead, but I think we're okay. I didn't hear the opening notes of Thriller as I moved on, anyway.

So! I did the mileage that I need to do for the race. I even did it in an okay time, 1 hour and 23 minutes, just 3 minutes longer than they keep the roads closed to traffic. I can stop freaking out now. Hooray! I think I'll even wait until after this race to start freaking out about the half.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Shutting up

So I did Bikram again. It was perhaps not as awesome as the first time, maybe I was less distracted by the newness, and also I suspect the instructor not opening a window or a door periodically (like the first class I did) to air the room out contributed to my vague malaise by making me feel like someone was holding a sweaty sock over my mouth. But! I still felt great at the end and will go back.

Frankly, the hardest part for me is not talking for 90 minutes. So unnatural. Plus there are just so, so many jokes, way moreso than in a normal 90 minute period for me.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Okay, so I am apparently up for anything exercise-wise lately, like learning I can run has made me fearless. Perhaps this is a fallacy, because on Wednesday I got the idea (fueled by my friend Linda suggesting, repeatedly, that I join her) to try Bikram yoga. Bikram, if you're not familiar with it, is yoga done in a room that's at least 100 degrees and (I think?) 40% humidity. The room is ALSO full of extremely sweaty people, and, I learned, guys wearing Speedos. So that was exciting. But! It was fun and I felt great afterward and I'll be going back. My run the morning after was spectacular.

The place I went, Bikram Yoga Nashua, does a first class special where, for the 10$ fee, you get unlimited classes for 10 days. This is waaaaaay cheaper than their normal rates (15$ per class or 10 classes for 110$) so I'm going to try to squeeze in as many as I can while I'm still in the intro period. I may even give up tomorrow's sleep in to go! Shocking.

In other news, my big deal fundraising race approaches at an alarming clip. I got an email with the runner info and man, this thing is run with military precision and security measures. I knew that the Falmouth Road Race was a pretty big deal, but I didn't know it was this big a deal. I am NOT a big deal and will probably finish the race in traffic after they reopen the roads. I will not be passing any of the Kenyans. Unless maybe one of them only has one leg? Probably not even then.

I ran three and a half eh miles in the rain tonight. I just wasn't feeling it. I pretty much shot out the door like someone launched me out of a cannon, though. My little angels had me hearing myself saying, "Don't lick your brother" in public. Repeatedly. And then leaving Costco at a fast, loud clip. Ha. Avert your eyes, fellow Earth dwellers.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I have a new friend.

Her name is Shiny Green Bike.

She is not THIS bike

though the bike shop HAS that bike and I did stroke it lovingly while saying "shiny" to myself.

But my bike friend is the bike that's been making the rounds with me for years. It lived in my storage cubby in Medford (and survived the theft of our wedding gifts we'd stored down there!), in my basement in Melrose, in my garage in Tucson, and now, in my shed in Chelmsford. How many times had I ridden it? Zero times. It needed a tune up and realignment and I am... lacking in skills. At the time I bought the bike, I was also lacking in funds. And then I forgot about it and would see it every time we moved and go, Oh! A bike! And then, in the course of unpacking, I would forget again.

But! Now I'm in the midst of my half marathon training, and every week I see the days that say "40 minutes cross train" and I look around, briefly consider walking on my hands or pretending that the Wii Fit is useful, and go for a walk and feel like I'm cheating. I don't belong to a gym. (We are On a Break, the gym and I.) Then, I remembered the bike! I'd bought my husband a bike rack for his car for Father's Day (He doesn't have an actual bike, it's all very O. Henry), so we loaded that up with my bike and brought it down to the shop for a tune up. One week later and one embarrassing pickup ("Do you have the tag?" No. "What brand is it?" Blank. "What color is it?" Blank. [It's green. I just forgot.]) later, it's back in my arms. And, spanking new helmet on my head, I put the kids to bed, wave a wobbly goodbye to my husband, and take off.

I LOVE IT. So much faster and easier than running, so I can cover way more ground and spy on So Many More people. I am coveting gardens way out of my normal running range, now! And there's a new contender for favorite neighborhood and little house that I want to maybe steal and live in on my own for one 24 hour period per week.

So! Cross training solved. I rode 15 miles this weekend, on top of an almost 7 mile run, and now I feel vaguely dead. But happy anyway!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bonus photo!

I ran the Chelmsford 4th of July race (on July 5th?) last Monday, and look! Evidence. That's me in the green shirt and the sunglasses. I got major sunscreen in my eyes (it was hot and grosssss) and had to stop to clean them out at one point, but still managed an okay finish.

Those business-meaning stroller pushers in front are my friends Debbie and Jess. Whoo!

PR Territory

So! I have now entered the phase of my training where I'll have a personal record (PR, not just Puerto Rico or public relations for me anymore) pretty much every week. This week, I was supposed to run 5 miles on Sunday but I sort of spazzed out that the weather was cool enough to move at all that I ran 6 instead. Drunk on dew point power, I guess. It was amazingly easier than I expected (I somehow love runs that are more than 4 miles and tend to blah through shorter ones, unless they're REALLY short, like across the back yard.) though I did get lost and the restart from the stop to get directions was rough. I got passed zooooomstyle by someone in multiple knee braces around mile 4. Ha. But then I picked it up later and flew through mile 5, which counts for something.

Ironically, running this race as part of a team that fundraises for Melanoma research, I am spending WAY more time outside in the sun than I normally would during any given summer. I usually eschew the sun as much as possible due to extreme paleness and fear of death. But this has been forcing me outdoors (I have no treadmill) and even with layer upon layer of sunscreen, I miss spots or sweat it off or whatever and end up a bit redder (not horribly so, but skin that would horrify a devoted goth) which fills me with a vague sense of impending doom. I guess my plan is to go earlier and earlier and earlier as the runs get longer and longer, so I'm not in direct sunlight. We'll see how this goes. Getting up early is not a skill of mine so far. 5 months ago, though, neither was running.

Which brings me to my tally! I've logged 180 miles since I started. This leaves 20 to go until my next scheduled donut. These every 50 miles donuts run the risk of being highly built up and therefore eh, BUT! Top Donut in Lowell is up to the challenge, I am sure of it.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Confessions of an Epic Spaz

So. I sort of walked right into a door on Tuesday. Hilariously, I had just checked my email and discovered that I'd passed my fund raising goal and was headed to the phone to call my husband and make him not work for a few minutes while I peppered him with excited exclamatory statements, which he would feign excitement about while making yakkity-yack explanatory hand gestures at his co-workers so they'd know it was me calling. But, between the computer and the phone I met my nemesis: a partially open door. So I spastically walked right into it, making a normal step into a toe-killing, Street Fighter-style Chun-Li "Ya Ta!" sort of situation, except without the exuberance and triumph, and with vision going black and lots of bad words floating around in head instead.

A visit to the doctor at least revealed that it wasn't broken, but I was instructed to rest it through the weekend. So my first bit back on the pavement will be the Chelmsford 4th of July (which will take place on the 5th of July this year) 2 mile road race. I'm itching about all the training I'm missing, it's all snowballing in my head and I'll end up with this giant mass of mileage to make up (4 miles, 4 miles, 2 miles, 40 minutes of cross training, rest day [check], 6 miles!) Ack!

In other, pre-door smash news, I ran the Gate City Striders Summer Trail Series 5K on Monday night and it was great. The weather was hot soup, but the trail was shady and leafy and nice, and the volunteers were great and my friend Debbie was there for company (though she gazelled the 5 miles so we didn't run together.) My time was eh (32:18) but in that weather, and the first time on the course (I would have sped it up at the end if I'd known I was almost there!) I'll take it for sure. And I will definitely be back, Monday nights at 6:30 through the summer.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Things that I am awesome at vs average at

So I had one of Those Days yesterday, where everything I tried to do just came out on the below side of average. My parenting was low on patience, my kids were low on cooperation, and my workouts were non-existent (attempt one) and then injury and corpse ridden (2.) In short, barf.

First, I slept through my window for my morning run, which was not brilliant but not the end of the world.

My first workout attempt was my Tuesday morning class, where the kids are set free in an indoor soccer field with a ton of toys and each other to maul and the moms do a bootcamp style class with a trainer who shouts at us (nicely!) It's called Mommy Rocks and it's at the Tyngsboro Sports Center and if you're local with young kids, you should go, because it's a great workout that goes by quickly, and it doesn't get better than that. I am going to go ahead and proclaim that my arms look about 14% better since I started the class about 3 months ago. AND /plug.

However, Nate was simply not feeling it this morning, and he wailed big time and I could just tell he wasn't going to go for it, so mid warmup I scooped him up, corralled the older one, and hustled them out to the car to go home, where I would then stew about it, still in my workout clothes for a few hours. Ha. Terrible strategy. I did not feel better about this after the stewing.

But! I had to get in my 3 miles from my training schedule in, so I knew that I'd be able to go (sans stroller!) when my husband got home. Whoo! It would be sort of hot but I'd take a shady course and 3 miles isn't too long blah blah blah.

Well. I did the miles, even though I limped the whole way through random hip pain. The real standouts, though, were my crappy mood and the random dead animal obstacle course I was apparently running through. So gross. Big ones! Ones that are not NORMAL on a narrow, not uncreepy path through the woods! Gahhh. Gross.

HOWEVER, I am not behind on my schedule. I got the miles in. I can be awesome and fast later. So that brings me to both topics today: Things I am average at vs awesome at. I am an average runner. I am not fast. I cannot go especially, mindblowingly far. BUT! I am awesome at doing it anyway. I chug along. I have logged 142 miles (in 4 states!) since I randomly decided to run 4 months ago. So there's that, at least.

And this morning's run was way, way better. I skipped the Pet Cemetery route and my hip kept its thoughts to itself and despite the fact that I was lugging my husband's work gear (I dropped off his car at the shop and then ran home) and my iPod kept straining toward freedom and my pants kept falling down, it was a good run. My legs were loose and I even managed some FARTLEK, which is not a piece of IKEA bathroom furniture. Or at least I don't think it is, and I do know my IKEA.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Week One of Half Marathon Training: Done


Actually, I ran a bit less this week than I do in an average week (the new average, as opposed to the old average where I ran zero in a normal month), but I stuck to the schedule. I think I may have even skipped a mile due to jogging stroller tag alongs since I was solo in house parent while my better, more bearded half was on a business trip. I almost didn't get my scheduled long run in today, but then I went screeching out the door as soon as bedtime stories were read and somehow managed to run exactly 4.0009 miles without mapping it beforehand or really having any clue at all where I was going.

Big thanks to everyone who's donated to the CIGNA Falmouth road race (which I think I've mentioned, and possibly shout out while sleeping fitfully, is 7.1 miles) fundraiser, and who said nice things about my last, therapeutic blog entry about why I'm running. You are all what I believe the kids these days refer to as "the bomb"? Or similar exploding thing. There's still plenty of time to donate!

Oh, by the way, adding to the list of things that make me run faster: Skunks. Zoinks. I think I set a PR for the next half mile. Ah, one of the risks for dusk runs. Good times. We should have them point one at us at every mile marker in Falmouth. Personal records for everyone!