Tomorrow while most of you doze, with the exception of those who make doughnuts, farmers, and DJ’s, I’ll be up at 4:30AM to train. Training has been moved to 5:40AM.
It’s a half hour drive from my home…
Yes, I’ve been cleared. I was cleared on Thursday to start walking on the treadmill and to stop when I feel pain. I was cleared to train with the team on Saturday… with stipulations.
No more than 10 miles.
Stop if I hurt.
I must ice immediately upon getting in my car…
I’ve been banned from running until further notice… I can walk as long as there is no pain, but there will be no running.
I don’t know if I put this here, but when I first switched to my new doctor, I was very close to rupture. We’ve gotten me from the edge, but the key is for me to not re-injure myself.
I recommitted today to the entire 26.2. I had the option to scale back to 13, but said no. I KNOW I can do 13 miles. Been there… done that… I want to do 26.2.
I don’t care if I finish last. I don’t care if it takes me the entire 7 hour limit… I don’t care if I’m crawling, I want to complete 26.2.
Therapy hurts like hell. When he’s working on my leg, he says I’m ‘biting wood’.
I say ‘I’m trying to crawl out of my skin’ as I muffle the scream.
I’ve become the Pavlov’s dog of marathons… I walk into his office and start breaking out in a cold sweat. Yet I repeatedly go back as… I know this is all helping.
And he does this deep massage on the tendons in my ankle and calf that sends my eyes rolling into the back of my head and renders me nearly comatose it feels so damn good. I’ve offered to pay him to come to my house… it’s that great.
I hear funny stories all the time about people’s marathon ‘adventures’. None of them are funny as they happen, but are laughed at now that it’s over.
The best, so far, has been my girlfriend who completed the Marine Corps Marathon this past Sunday. She has been a HUGE inspiration for me as she has rheumatoid arthritis.
She has it bad.
Her heart was enlarged a couple years ago due to the medications they used during her infusion. They have since started the use of a different drug… she essentially has a type of ‘chemo’ treatment every six months or so… to keep the pain and swelling away.
She has done four marathons and the Marine Corps was to be her last. She did most of her training via swimming, trying to keep her cardio up, but to keep off her joints.
She has it bad.
And so the day came and she made it to mile 8 and couldn’t run another step, the pain was so intense.
She made it to mile 16 walking and her one knee hurt and the opposing ankle and she wanted to die. She hurt. She hurt bad.
And there at mile 16, stood her husband. Her rock. As she puts it, “The logical one in our relationship…”
And she made her way to him, he asked how she was, and she started to cry.
She told him how bad she hurt and how she didn’t think she could do it.
He replied, “Do you want some advice?”
She sobbed a yes, fully expecting him to tell her how great she’d done, and how hard she’d train, and it was OK for her to quit…
… and instead he said, “Suck it up, babe, and finish the race…”
And with that, she wiped away the tears, said, “Ooook” and walked off… finishing in 6 hours and 6 minutes. She and I keep laughing about it… to hear her tell it… it is so damn funny.
I pray to finish in 7 at this point.
Every time I see her she says to me, “I believe in you”.
And there are times I doubt myself and I’m so frustrated with how it’s going and I think of how much it sucks to be her, and how she pulled from within and did it… how she dug deep… and I think… I can do this.
I’m kind of nervous about tomorrow. I’ll be doing 10 miles. So… if you have any positive thoughts to toss my way… as you toss and look at the clock bedside… or any time before 9AM, I’d greatly appreciate it.
The story continues to unfold…
The stories my eldest comes home with sometimes… absolutely crack me up.
He is 13 now and has more of an adult sense of humor. The deeper thinking has set in… thinking before answering.
A little background, the boys at school like to harass each other a bit when one of them gets in trouble… if a kid gets in trouble (nothing bad), one of his buddies will say, “Oh yeah, and he did ‘xxx’ to me too” and they’ll snicker.
They have a teacher who is older and acts a bit prudish at times. I have to roll my eyes sometimes.
So Ringo was in her class when his buddy George hit his lunchbox causing Ringo’s thermos to drop to the floor.
Ringo, in Ringo fashion, said laughingly to him, “You idiot…”
Now George and he are good friends and laugh a lot at each other. Unfortunately… said teacher overheard.
He recounted the following scenario to me…
Teacher: Do you talk like that at home?
Ringo, having man thoughts now knows a woman trap when he sees one. He said to me, “Mom, I knew if I said NO, then she’d say, ‘Then why do you speak like that here?’ and if I said yes, I’d get the whole “I’m so disappointed in you” and it would extend to how you parent… so I didn’t know what to say.”
I thought that was a riot. He’s learning through life, the trap questions, to brace him for the mother of all trap questions, “Does this dress make me look fat?”
So he said, “Yes.”
Sure enough, she said, “Do you really? I’m so disappointed. Do I need to call your Mother?” to which he replied, “No…”
To which his other buddy, Shawn, doing what they do, said, “Yeah, and he called me stupid 10 minutes ago…”
I laugh hysterically at this because this is the part where Ringo imitates her, putting her hand to her chest as if she’s having a heart attack and lets out a *GASP!*
He said to me, “Mom, she ACTUALLY gasped.”
Now folks… my son called a kid an idiot. My son is 13… not two. And if in fact he’d called his buddy ‘stupid’, which he didn’t as Shawn was clowning, then he did it at 13… not two years of age.
When one is 13, the selection of words one can call another is… vast. We are past ‘don’t use the word stupid or idiot’. I’ve had to move into “Do not call someone a fag.”
It is what it is. The 13 year old vocabulary is comprised of language that is far more offensive than ‘stupid’ and ‘idiot’.
Could there be a better word selection?
Absolutely… but we’re talking about a 13 year old.
Hardly worth a *GASP!*
He told me, “They’re into this whole “I feel” stuff. I was supposed to say to him, “When you hit my lunchbox and my thermos falls out, it makes me feel bad…”
Mr. T chimed in, “Yeah, this “I feel” stuff only makes everyone make fun of you. It’s so stupid. Nobody talks like that…”
There’s that word ‘stupid’ again.
I understand the idea to get kids not to bully one another, but some of the stuff that is enacted for the good of the whole, completely demoralizes the boys… we are turning all our boys into eunuchs because some of the boys bully.
Just get rid of the bullies… grow a pair and throw them out.
Anyway, that’s not what this is about; this is really about the conversation that occurred next, as this is the part that had us laughing ourselves silly.
Ringo: What would you have done when she called?
Me: Heh. I think it would have played out like this…
Teacher: Does he talk like this at home?
Me: Did he call him a f***ing idiot?
Me: Hmmm… did he call him a f***ing sh**head idiot?
Me: Oh. Did he call him a GD f***ing a**hole sh**head idiot?
Me: Wow. He just called him an idiot?
Me: You are right… he doesn’t talk like that at home…
At which point my boys completely cracked up. Of course my son doesn’t talk like the above, but for laughs, I threw it out there and we laughed the whole way home.
Mr. T said, “Mom, would you have really said that to her?”
I replied: No, of course not, I’d have said, “In the big scheme of things, calling a buddy of his an idiot is not registering on my radar. He’s 13. Move on…”
I have to shake my head at times. I’m raising boys here, not saints. I’m picking my battles.
If a teacher is going to pick a battle over the word ‘idiot’ with a 13 year old, I hate to see what wars she must fight on a daily basis.
The kids have been asking about my trip to TN. They actually have met a few of the bloggers and so they always ask how they’re doing.
They were appalled that Denny was put on a 2nd floor of a hotel. Bones in particular. Evidently he’s been telling some of his classmates about it. All his little 4th grade friends are aghast that a man in a wheelchair is put on a 2nd floor… and they’re NINE.
Not sure about the intellectual development of the management at said hotel.
As for the dryer fire incident in general, it was laughable then… and laughable now. Only at a blog meet…
I was able to finally meet Richmond, who is as wonderful as I’d heard. She is one of those people that could play an angel.
I mean she really looks like one.
OK, people who know her are saying, “She’s NO angel!” and I know that… I’m just saying, in a crowd of people, if I needed someone to play the part of an angel, I’d point to Richmond.
Anyway, so it was cold, we were waiting outside because there had been a dryer fire and Mo and I had made our way to the side of the hotel.
We were all sleepy and trying to stay warm. Richmond had her back to the parking lot… Mo and I were facing her, and the following conversation occurred, to the best of my recollection, and I keep laughing about it:
Mo, lightly: Maybe a song would help...
Richmond: Singing is not my forte
Mo: No, I mean the Vienna Choir Boys. They're right behind you...
Sure enough… the Vienna Choir Boys were staying at our hotel, and their chaperones had gathered them during the fire alarm, having them stay in their bus until it was over.
The bus was right behind Richmond.
For some reason, I run that through my head and laugh.
Obviously my blog post about the meet, telling you who I met, is going to come out one day at a time… slow and steady.
Craziness... work... kids... marathon training... life... more tomorrow.
Filed under... Conversations with Mo and Bou.
Elisson and his wife, She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO), were at this blogmeet. I had heard they were cooking breakfast on Sunday morning. (They cook with Jimbo and Ken the BodyGuard. Jimbo and Ken do the Taylor Ham.) The following conversation occurred between Morrigan and me, to the best of my recollection.
Me: Elisson and SWMBO are cooking breakfast on Sunday.
Me: I think SWMBO is making some Kegel.
Mo: Kegel. *blink* Are you sure? Kegel?
Me: Oh. Kugel maybe…
Mo: Yeah. I thought so…
Heh heh heh…
I love Elisson and his wife. They are great people. Warm. They have done a superb job raising their daughters and now are enjoying the fruits of their labors by having them as good people they can hang with.
You can’t ask for better people.
I was glad to see them there…
We are taking the boys skiing in February. Thankfully I paid for the trip already or we’d not be going… economy and all.
I love frequent flier points.
So I need ski clothes and as good fortune would have it, my sister has them from back when she went to the Salt Lake City Olympics on the corporate tour. All her stuff is Olympic stuff and she SWEARS it kept her warm.
I’m all about being warm.
I’ve never loved my body. Its mine, its got mileage on it, I’m 43, I’ve had 3 kids, I work out a lot, but as I say, I have a lumpy Mom body. I look back at my pictures when I was 18 and think, “What were you thinking! Why did you not appreciate that body?!”
I think that a lot.
Anyway, it’s my body, I like it, not love or adore it, but I’d not hand out pictures of myself nude. Not like other people I know. *ahem* That’s a whole other funny story… Holy crap.
So Mo gave me some clothes to try on, starting with some long underwear she owns called Hot Chillys.
Now folks, let us keep in mind I’m a Southern Girl. Mostly. I’ve traveled, but the Great White North is not a place in which I have inhabited for very long.
When I think of long underwear, I think of long white cottony stuff that has a waffle texture.
What Mo handed me was sleek and black and… could pass for something Cat Woman would wear.
And the following conversation took place, to the best of my recollection:
Me: I’m not going to fit in that. You’re smaller than me.
Mo: You’ll be surprised. Try it on.
I put it on…
Me: Holy shit. Look at me…
I walked to the mirror, looking from the front and then a side angle.
Me: LOOK! I look… I look like… REALLY thin! I look… Holy shit. I look like an athlete! Look, I have no tummy! My stomach is flat!
Mo: I told you they’d fit… and it sucks in all the cellulite. There are no lumps.
Me: NO. I mean. Look. You can see my hamstrings. Look at my frickin’ legs! My thighs… my hamstrings… my calves… I look like… a runner! I look like an athlete! Oh My God. Look at my ass! Its round!
Mo, laughing hard.
Me: I think I love my body. I feel like… Cat Woman!
Mo: I’m not getting these back am I?
Ummm… just to beat any men to this… no pictures.
But don’t think for a minute that the following thought didn’t pass through my head, “Wow… I wonder if I could get all my clothing made out of this material…”
For your work entertainment, as you know I'm all about pleasing my readers...
Go HERE for your Halloween treat.
This would be courtesy of... my Mom. Heh.
This too should be filed under, “You can’t make this shit up…”
So here it was, Sunday morning at 7:05AM. We’d all gone to bed late (I was at a GREAT blog meet), but some had gone later than others. Morrigan and I looked to be able to sleep until 9AM. We were to be back at the Straight White House by 10AM for breakfast, cooked by Elisson and his bride.
But it was 7:05 and what a nasty racket, I looked over at Morrigan, and she was sitting up in her bed, banging on the alarm clock, playing with buttons saying, “I didn’t set this and I’m trying to turn it off…”
I turned on the light, looked over her head at the strobe lights and said, “It’s not the alarm clock… it’s the fire alarm.”
She turned around and said, “OH!”
I was wearing long flannel pajamas, pants and button down shirt, blackwatch tartan, and threw on my long overcoat and tennis shoes. Morrigan put on clothes and we made our way to the lobby.
I ran into Jerry who said, ‘False alarm…’ and with that, Morrigan and I went back into our room.
I wanted to go back to sleep. I found the ear plugs that Eric had given me when we went shooting the day before, squished them into my ear canals (they don’t help), pulled off my tennis shoes and coat and crawled back in bed.
Morrigan’s cell phone rang and it was Sissy. Evidently she said to Mo, “What are you doing? The fire alarms are going off.”
And Morrigan replied, “We went into the lobby and Jerry told us it was a false alarm!”
Sissy retorted, “Well, Jerry is standing right here next to me in the parking lot and there is smoke coming out from a 3rd floor window…”
I think my reply to Morrigan upon hearing this ranged from “F***” to “You’ve got to be f*cking kidding me…”
So this time I put on JEANS as no way in hell were my light flannel pajama bottoms going to keep me warm in that frigid 50 something degree air, my overcoat, tennis shoes… and then…
I said, “Wait!” and I walked into the bathroom and brushed my hair and said to Morrigan, “You know, for Mom, I should put on lipstick…”
I forwent the lipstick and we went outside to meet Sissy and Jerry and the rest of the clan, out in front of the hotel, where sure enough, smoke billowed from a 3rd floor window. (We were on the 1st.)
One fire truck had already arrived by the time Mo and I got to the front of the hotel, and a second one pulled up shortly thereafter.
I made a comment that hey, we were in a farm town in TN, and there was a fire, so we could at least oggle the fire fighters. I said something like, “Oh I’m sure they’re a bunch of farm boys. They’re probably hot!”
Jerry, who absolutely cracks me up, I swear to you, since I’ve decided he is one of the funniest people I know, he just has to start telling a story and I start to laugh, looks at me and says, “I’m a farmboy. Do I make you hot?!”
I think we almost all spit.
The firefighters were not making a calendar anytime soon.
I’m still at a loss as to how the hotel would put a man in a wheelchair on the 2nd floor. We were all milling around when we looked at each other and said, “Where’s Denny?”
We did see the cause of the fire when the firemen pulled out gobs of burning hotel towels from the drier. It was a dryer fire, aka ‘a drar fiar’.
I don’t know if the moral is, “Clean your lint trap!” or not. Not sure how it happened…
When we were let back into our rooms, Morrigan and I went back for another nap. Our room had a definitive smoky smell.
I spent the rest of the day thinking I smelled like I’d been making s’mores.
Light posting as I'm trying to get my act together from a very fun weekend...
But here is the infamous driver's license photo of which I speak. I am 31 years old, just coming up on my 32nd birthday, but look like I'm 12.
I realized I should post it to make my point when yet another airline employee laughed about it today as I was checking in to come home.
As for the hair, Mr. T was six months old and I went through some hormonal mental whack and cut off my hair, taking me back to my 4 year old pixie cut days.
And just for Morrigan, I got rid of that turquoise sweater 4 years ago... I got it in the 80s. I wore a shirt today I got in the 80s. She's never surprised... but a bit aghast.
I wrote HERE of how I look 12 year's old in my driver's license picture.
I flew Airtran yesterday, an absolutely positive experience. I'd not flown with them, consistently shying away from the airline flying with the new name since they had a plane swallowed by the Florida Everglades. But, their flight was cheaper and I figured it was time to mentally move on.
And so I did.
The staff was amusing. For instance, we were all standing at the gate and the woman talking to us on the intercom, was a black woman with a southern accent, extroverted and funny. This is just about what she said to us as we were starting to board, keep in mind her accent, because it helped in her delivery:
"Folks, we have a quick turn time tonight. It is up to y'all to check in and get on board quickly. If we do not make this turn time, it is your fault. I want your boarding passes out so I can quickly get you on, and when you get on that plane, you find your seat and quickly stow your belongings. Be prepared! And if the person in front of you is just standing there, PUSH THEM."
Holy crap, we all nearly spit. It was so funny. It definitely lightened the mood. Its hard to be all freaked about flying (I hate flying) when the staff is so friendly and funny.
Which brings me to the very beginning when I went to check in my bag...
So I walked up, not knowing what to expect, and at baggage check in, she took my license and boarding pass, checked my bag, and handed my license back to me. The following conversation occured to the best of my recollection.
Airtran: Wait. Can I see your license again?
Airtran, laughing: When did you have this picture taken?
Me, laughing: Can you believe it? The state of Florida has our pictures in the computer and you don't update your picture. I had that taken when I was 31 and I'm now 43.
Airtran, showing it to her co-worker, who is laughing as well: You looked so young!
Me: I know... I looked 12.
Airtran, still laughing: I thought maybe you'd picked up your daughter's license by mistake!
I couldn't stop laughing now.
Airtran: You still look young, but you looked 12 when you were 31!!
She handed me my license back, I laughed some more because it was really frickin' funny, and she wished me well and I thanked her for making me laugh.
The folks I ran into at Airtran were pretty nice. I'll definitely fly them again...
I am here in Atlanta, with my sister, Morrigan. She is 6 months pregnant now and is so cute! I felt the baby kick and saw her tummy tremor as the little Chubalina did its thing.
I'm so excited about this baby, I can hardly stand it.
On my flight last night there was a woman with a 2 month old sitting in front of me. I almost asked the guy next to her if we could switch seats just so I could sit next to her little Bubba. I didn't care if he screamed the entire flight... I just love babies.
I can't get warm. I know, this is nothing new to any of you, when I'm exposed to weather that drops below 70. It is fall here in Atlanta, whereas we're just now moving into the cooler summer months in West Palm Beach.
I walked into her house yesterday, and after about 30 minutes I said, "Its cold!" and I got my fleece.
She and Flam looked at me kind of like I was nuts. I checked their thermostat and it read... frickin' 69 degrees!
Good... God. WHO keeps their thermostat at 69? I was ready for it to start snowing.
I told them, "Look, my thermostat at home is at 78 degrees and that's to keep it from popping up to 85 on its own. We have to keep it COOLED to 78."
I'm sorry, but 69 is just insane. Holy crap. Needless to say, I'm keeping bundled up. I sit here and write in my pajamas, shoes, and a fleece.
And to think I have to ice my legs three times a day in this weather... BRRRRRRRRR.
I haven’t run in nine days. I’ve been told if I run, I’ll rupture the tendon.
I’ve been depressed, something I’ve not let on here.
Actually, the first three days I was OK.
Days four through six, I ignored the fact I couldn’t run by just not thinking about it.
By day seven I was a mental disaster and freaked out in my doctor’s office.
I am now a swimmer. As of yesterday, I am a swimmer.
I need to get my cardio in. Even if I can’t make it the full 26.2 and I get pulled off, it has to be because of my legs and not because I didn’t keep my cardio up.
I’m swimming a mile a day so far, with half via kick board so I can work on leg strength.
I’m frickin’ beat.
I don’t remember being this tired after swim practice when I was a kid. I’m telling you, it is wiping me out.
Today I added the fly. I did two laps, not consecutive and after the first lap (25M), I thought, “Holy shit, I used to race this?” My goal now is to be able to do a quarter of a mile in fly… not consecutive.
Being alone with myself in the pool has really made me do some reflection.
Folks, I was never a fast swimmer. I am a strong swimmer, but fast was not me. I would complete any race I was entered in, usually I finished in the middle and sometimes I finished last.
I was the kid that would say, “Sure! Sign me up!” and I’d race some absurd race I had no business racing, being smaller, not as strong, and maybe not as solid as the other swimmers, but I always completed.
And that brings me to the story I’ve heard my mother tell and that I remember living.
I was 9 or 10 and I’d not been swimming very long… probably a year. We were at a meet and I’d been signed up for the 100 fly. That’s 4 laps of fly. I think I probably hung in there the first 25 yards. (It was a yardage pool.) I’m sure by lap three, I was nowhere to be seen compared to those I was racing.
By mid lap 4, every girl had finished, and I was left struggling to make it to the finish. Of course I didn’t know I was struggling. I wasn’t aware I was dead last. I was just focused on finishing.
I was absolutely exhausted at the end, I remember collapsing at the side of the pool and just resting my head there and I remember a parent having to pull me out… and I remember…
…every parent at that meet, every member of my team, was cheering me on.
I was that last little kid determined to finish the race.
I am not fast and I’m not the most athletic, but I have always made up for it with sheer heart and determination.
November 1st is the recommitment date for the Team in Training marathon. I have the option of recommitting to the ½.
I’ve done a half. I did 12 miles 9 days ago.
I know I’m injured. I know my doctor is iffy when I can run again. I know there is concern with my coaches as to what I’m going to do and I know there is doubt.
But I have no doubt and I’m recommitting to the full 26.2 and I don’t care if I finish dead last.
I will finish.
And today I thank my parents for having me join a swim team. As of today, it is keeping me sane.
Today I’m a swimmer.
I went to the bank today to get cash as I don’t do ATMs. It’s not so much old fashioned as I find it’s easy to spend cash and not know where it goes. If I put it on my one credit card, I know EXACTLY what I spent at the end of the month. I don’t use a lot of cash, but need it for this weekend.
I do not spend on credit what I do not have in the bank. Credit Card=Money. I do not have that kind of debt.
I walked in, handed her a deposit (tutoring money!) and a withdrawal slip, and the following conversation occurred, to the best of my recollection. Let us count the Mistakes, shall we?
Bank Teller: Do you want an account balance on your business account?
Me: I’m sorry. I don’t have a business account. My husband does, but no, I don’t want a balance on his account. I want that deposited into our PERSONAL account.
She looked at the check again and said, “Oh. I’m sorry. I saw his name and title and assumed it was his business account.”
Mistake #1 why was she assuming the account without looking at the account number? You do not assume anything by someone’s name on their account. The number is there FOR A REASON.
A bit of background for my new readers, my husband owns his own business. He also is in the top of his field and lectures considerably at a very well known university located in the Northeast. This is why he is not home so much during certain times of the year and why you read of me camping alone.
He’s working or traveling.
Back to the banker.
Bank Teller: Oh, would you like to have a signature line of credit on his business account?
Me: Well, I wouldn’t know as it’s NOT my business. It’s his. But since he banks here, I’m sure he’s aware of your options and if he wants one, I’m sure he’ll let you know.
A bit more background… his job is HIS job, my job is MY job. I don’t wear his profession on my sleeve and do not interfere with his business… running or decisions. HE owns the business. It’s HIS degree. I just married into it.
I do not interfere and rarely do people know what my husband does, unless they ask.
And nor does he interfere with my career… its mine, not his.
Bank Teller: Please tell him. He may want it if he can’t make payroll.
Bank Teller: You know… because of the tough economic times. If he can’t make payroll, he can just write it on his signature line of credit.
Me: Excuse me? *laughing* He will have no problems making payroll and if he does, due to the economic downturn, I assure you, the last thing he’ll be doing is coming down here to get a LOAN to make payroll. We aren’t spendy people. We save for rainy days and we’ve saved for problems such as these.
Mistake#2: Oh where do I begin?
The nerve of insinuating that my husband cannot make payroll?
The nerve of getting into our business?
The nerve of offering up credit to someone in the event that their business does so poorly they have to resort to that to pay their employees?
There is just SO MUCH WRONG with all of the above, I can’t let it go.
First, my husband will go without paying himself before his employees ever go without. It has happened before and will happen again. His employees are paid, his bills are paid, then he is paid… and if nothin’s left over… he doesn’t get paid.
It’s called… owning your own business.
His employees are ALWAYS first and foremost.
Second, obviously nothing has changed in banking. Now instead of offering money to people who can’t afford homes, they are now offering money to businesses in the event they cannot make payroll.
If you think a business may not be able to make payroll… YOU DO NOT WANT TO LEND THEM MONEY.
I spent a lot of time just staring at her thinking, “This woman is dumber than Forrest Gump”.
I smiled sweetly at her as she finished my business, came home and said to my husband, “Find a new bank. They’re going under…”
My boys love to quote Eric, “You don’t really camp, you just sleep outside.”
This was in reference to all that we take with us when we camp… all the food, the amenities if you will. Pancakes for breakfast, steak for dinner, running water at the sites… this brought on the quote, from the Marine who didn't quite camp, obviously, like we do.
And my boys think this is hysterical.
We are one of the few families that still use a tent. Most of the families we camp with, if it’s a State Park, take pop up campers and one family has an RV. (I was asked today what that father does for a living and my reply was, “Well… he’s definitely NOT an engineer…”)
So my eldest son was talking to one of the son’s of the RV family and Ringo laughingly said to him, “Well at least we still sleep outside. You don’t even do that. You have a TV, an air conditioner and a freezer. I’m not even sure what they call what you do…”
How long has it been since I started camping? Three years according to THIS post.
And what was our worst camping trip? The Great Flood in THIS post.
And somehow, I think the Universe is conspiring against me, sometimes, in trying to beat the disaster of the Great Camping Flood. It hasn’t happened… yet, but it has been close.
Essentially, this weekend sucked.
And occasionally then… but it essentially had few redeeming qualities other than the fact we were completely unplugged and my boys fished a lot.
Where to begin…
I guess it would be the phone call from my girlfriend, who had arrived the night before at the Sebastian Inlet Park, our camping venue, to tell me, “Its hot, there is NO shade, and there are no see ‘ems everywhere.” I had the boys pack jeans and a long sleeved tshirt, just in case.
I figured the bugs came out at dusk. WRONG.
We arrived at 2PM, it had to be 85 degrees, no shade, humid humid humid, and the no see ‘ems were out in full force.
Within one hour my legs were COVERED in bites. I had no less than 100 bites on both legs. My boys took off to go fishing and I found myself in my car, changing into jeans in an attempt to combat them.
Nighttime, although I was told would be better… was not.
We were bitten… throughout the night… in our tent. They had gotten in and it was a frickin’ buffet with my boys and me being the main course.
So its hot and muggy, very little wind, there are bugs in my tent and that left us to sleep fully clothed with jeans and long sleeves, covered in a blanket and hoping that would help OR sleeping in a sleeping bag that is fit for 15 degree weather.
We opted to sleep out… which meant, we did not sleep, between the heat and the bites at any exposed skin… necks seem to be a bug fave.
At 12:00 I heard from Mr. T: What time is it?
Me, fully awake: Midnight.
1:30: What time is it?
Mr. T: Gah! When is this night going to be over?
Over and over until at 4:30, it cooled off, I crawled into the sleeping bag and we all slept for 2 hours.
Well… they slept longer, but Ringo, who actually slept through the entire thing as bugs evidently don’t like him, had his cell set for 6AM so he could go fishing. Being the good Mom that I am, I got up and gave him a small box of cereal for him to eat dry, and a bottle of Frappacino, kissed his forehead and said, “Going back to bed…”
The next day was beautiful. The winds were picking up and it was cooler. We kept saying as long as we had plenty of wind and it was cool, the bugs would stay away.
The boys fished all day, but by 4:00, Mr. T started having a bad reaction to all the bites he’d incurred; I ended up having to get something for him. By 7:00 PM he was on Benadryl and our friends with a pop up camper said, “let him sleep with us…” and so he went to sleep with his buddy, in the air conditioning, in the bug free zone.
That turned out to be a good move on our part because…
… the wind really picked up.
I realized it might be a ‘rough night’ at 9PM, when alone near my tent, a shelter my girlfriend set up for shade, not staked to the ground, flipped over and started for my fire pit.
Envisioning a 15’ x 8’ flying torch, I jumped in and grabbed it as it was inches from the hot coals. I was able to flip it past the fire with the aid of the wind, finally standing in the middle of it, trying to call her on her cell.
I could hear her cell ringing in her pop up… she and he nowhere to be found. As good fortune would have it, my eldest son, at another campsite, picked up when I called, found my friends and they hustled over so we could take apart the potential torch… or kite… take your pick. (I wasn’t sure how it was assembled, it was dark, and I was busy trying to hold the damn thing to the ground…)
By 10PM the remaining boys were with me in our tent, Ringo up against one side with Bones in the middle and me spooned next to him as he was afraid of the wind. I quietly told him over and over it would be fine… but I myself was not so happy as the wind started to pick up.
By 10:30, we were being buffeted around like a kite. The noise made it difficult to sleep, but the tent caving in to nearly ¾ of it, touching the ground and then *BOING!* popping back into place, was a bit more than I could stand. Repeat this three to four times a minute, sometimes more fierce than others and the downtime, there was the whole buffeting thing going on.
I looked over at Ringo, and he lay there, back to me, sleeping. Through it all.
The kid could sleep on the flat bed of a truck full of shovels.
Bones was starting to wig out. Over and over he pleaded, “Please, can we sleep in the van?” Quietly and soothingly the following conversation took place, to the best of my recollection:
Me: Son, will we get hurt if it caves in? It is not made of bricks and cement…
Me: So, tell me what will happen if it collapses?
Bones: We’ll crawl out.
Me: And then?
Bones: You’ll fix it.
But even I was getting edgy. It was just too windy and the tent was just getting too bouncy, and I looked out to see neighbors (people I didn’t know) surveying their pop up, taking fly aways down, and I thought, “Hmmm…”
Wondering about potential bad weather and how much worse it could get, come 11:00, I said, ‘Who wants to sleep in the van?”
Bones was up in a flash, but faster still was his older brother who said, “This tent collapsing on me is really irritating. It keeps waking me up…” and with that, he grabbed his pillow and made his way to the van.
Bones followed closely on his heels.
I grabbed their bedrolls and set them up, so everyone had a place to sleep, Ringo in the back (I had the back bench seat folded into the well… Sienna’s do that… so there was a flat place on the floor of the vehicle), and Bones across the two middle seats. I sat in the driver’s seat, reclined, and not very comfortable.
It may be good sleeping if you are 9 or 13, but it is not good sleeping when one is 43. And it made my calf and tibial tendon ache… not good. (Yes, I have re-strained it; tomorrow’s therapy should be interesting and painful.)
By 2AM I decided, “OK, I’m sick of this. If the wind calms down, I’m moving back to the tent…”
I looked out the rear view mirror and… it wasn’t there! NO kidding, as my eyes adjusted, I could make out just an outline of a PORTION of my tent.
I sat there thinking, and laughing, “You have got to be frickin’ kidding me. My tent… has collapsed.”
At 5:30, I decided to check on it, finding it to be true. A main tent pole had snapped, probably from all the other storms it had been through having compromised the structural integrity of the tent pole at the various joints, and the entire back end crushed in.
Needless to say, that was the big talk this morning. People passing my car, my asleep in the front seat, my tent collapsed behind the van… had many people talking.
So it has been two nights since I’ve had any good sleep and I am REALLY looking forward to tonight.
I am a fair weather camper. I really am…
And I do wonder… exactly what will my boys remember? I know I ask this frequently. Will they remember the Mom driven half insane by their fighting, not listening, and perpetual over stimulation of my personality, the Mom whose head surely must spin around three times while green spews forth out of my eyes and mouth as if I’m in need of an Exorcism?
Or will they remember a Mom who took them camping?
I think they think this is the norm… this ‘Mom takes three boys camping’ alone… winging it.
It is their norm… but I do wonder… what will they remember?
And for the record, dinner’s conversation tonight was hilarious as they recounted the trials and tribulations of this weekend… talking from each of their perspectives. It had me laughing.
Classic Bones was, and I swear he said this, “You know Mom, as we were laying there in the tent, with the wind whipping around us, and we could hear the tent flapping so loud we could not sleep, I looked over to the Pop Up camper and realized that Mr. T was listening to the quiet hum of an air conditioner and had no idea it was even windy.”
My husband is out of town and as I walked through the family room to tuck Bones into bed, I noticed FOX News was on.
I am raising Republicans. Its my husband's doing because I'm not so Conservative. I'm definitely an Independent.
My sons are so daggum Conservative it kind of cracks me up. I have a couple really funny stories about how Conservative my second son is, but I'm sometimes afraid I'll offend, so I've not put it out here.
He's kind of like Michael J. Fox's character on Family Ties, at times. Its very funny.
Anyway, one of them was watching FOX News, and as I passed through John McCain was doing some sort of roasting and they were showing the white tie event and his part of the roasting.
Holy crap, he was so damn funny. Did anyone else see this? Good Lord, I thought Hillary Clinton was going to start crying she was laughing so hard. It was hysterical.
Crazy tired here.
I’m taking the boys camping tomorrow with Cub Scouts. Bones is still a cubby. My husband is out of town so its just Mom and three boys again.
Camping wears me out… the planning and packing and… everything. Once I get there, I am fine, but it’s still hotter than three hells here in Florida and I hear this place we’re going has no shade. That has me a bit nervous… I hope it’s a cloudy and windy day.
Sunscreen will be our friend; I just hope it will be cooler.
I’m in charge of potato salad for tomorrow’s dinner and a cake for Saturday night’s dinner. Both are cooking as I type.
The family room is full of camping gear and my counters are over-run with food for three days. The kitchen table is full of anything that lights up from lanterns to flashlights, from charcoal to matches.
Once again as I was shopping I was overwhelmed with how much ‘fluid’ we take with us. I have gallons of water, chocolate milk, orange juice, milk for cereal, juice for just hot and sweaty thirsty kids… as Eric likes to say, “We really don’t camp. We just sleep outside.”
Six loads of laundry were done tonight as I’m working so much that I haven’t gotten the laundry done. Kids needed clothes to wear out… we were down to going naked, just about, if not wearing dirty clothes.
The boys have folded it all and put it away, packed and excited about the trip.
I’m not sure how I feel about this trip. My life is more chaotic and stressful than I could probably put into words here. I’m not having chest pains, which is always a bonus, but the internal stress level for me, is very high.
So I’m kind of bluesin’ if you will, hoping that this trip will help to cure what ails me… take my mind off the fact I’ve been banned from running for yet another four days, and it is playing some serious f***ing mind games with me.
I’ve told the boys, we will camp, we will have fun, we will laugh, we will not leave until after lunch on Sunday, but I get two hours of alone time in the gym on Sunday. They’re cool and they’ll be good about it… but it felt like a good swap.
I’m essentially unplugged until Sunday. No news is good news nowadays. No stock market, no banks, no election (Good Lord, I can’t believe America is OK with becoming Socialist), no work, no TV, no nothing… just the inlet, my campsite, lots of reading I hope, and happy noises.
That’s the goal anyway. They don’t seem to be lofty so much as of late…
We all have personal preferences in reading. The great authors of our past… we all have those we can give and take.
Give me Faulkner, let me pass on Chaucer.
Give me Jane Austin or John Steinbeck, let me pass on Dante or Hawthorne.
I think it takes a lot of reading to really understand who you enjoy and who you must trudge through, due to it being required reading.
I find it funny that I love Shakespeare, but can’t stand poetry. I never found him hard to understand, but poetry throws me for a loop. I don’t get things implied. Throw it out there for me, black and white.
Don’t make me search for meaning.
Spell it out.
And so I think that my two boys in Middle School, their latest Language Arts assignment is a GREAT assignment. And to introduce you to the assignment… the following conversation occurred yesterday in the asexual mom-mobile, to the best of my recollection.
The participants, Ringo riding shotgun, and Mr. T sitting right behind him. Bones was at band practice.
Mr. T: We got the stupidest assignment in school today.
Ringo sat reading, as he always has his nose in a book.
Mr. T: Yeah, we have to write a report on these authors that nobody has ever even heard of.
Me: Are you sure? Are you sure nobody has ever heard of them?
Ringo is now listening.
Mr. T: Yes. The only one famous is Shakespeare. The rest of them, nobody knows.
Me, looking at Ringo: True?
Me: Well, I seriously doubt this…
Mr. T: But I happen to LIKE my guy. I got some guy named John… Robert… Raul… Tomlinson.
Me, now wondering what kind of freaky mind games the teacher is playing, holy crap: What?!
Mr. T: Mmm… John… Raul… Robert?... Tomlinson…
Me: I have NEVER in my life heard of this guy.
Mr. T: See. I told you. The cool thing about him is he wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
Me: You mean Tolkien?
Mr. T: YES! That’s him!
Ringo: *blink* JRR Tolkien. *rolls his eyes and grins*
Me: Son, I feel CERTAIN that EVERY SINGLE ONE of the authors your teacher has picked is famous.
Mr. T: You do?
Me: Yes. Did someone get Jane Austin?
Me: A guy named… Mark Twain?
Mr. T: Yeah, Ryan got him.
Ringo: Charlotte Bronte. Have you EVER heard of Charlotte Bronte.
Me: Umm… yeah, and she had a sister named Emily.
Ringo: Nobody got Emily, just Charlotte.
Me: Did YOU get Charlotte?
Ringo: Yeah, I got her. And you know who she is, huh?
Me: I can’t believe you don’t know this story. Son, if you were a girl your name was going to be Bronte.
Ringo: Are you kidding?
Me: Nope. All three of you… that was a girl’s name… never got used.
And so that is their project, to bring to the forefront, the names and personal histories of famous authors. All have been assigned to students and each student will present their report.
I’m excited… I really am. I’m excited at potential doors opened…
I had a dream the other night that triggered a memory. Odd how that happens… how dreams can make you remember things you have put into the recesses of your mind.
Stick with me here… the dream is short.
I dreamt that I was somewhere, alone, but not a good place, and a doctor and nurse handed me this tiny baby girl and told me I was to keep her, take her home, and to hurry.
I got home and it was late. For some reason there was a crib in Ringo’s room, and I laid her down in it to sleep, a tiny baby, smooth white skin, bald peach fuzzy head, pink lips like a bow, she was dressed in a pink sleeper.
She never stirred.
I awoke the next morning in a panic. The baby hadn’t awakened all night. She should have. Was she alive?
I ran into the family room in a panic, my husband playing and carrying on with my three boys, as he is apt to do, as if they were all clueless there was a baby in the house. I was the only one who knew of this child that was now ours.
My mind was filled with horror… and I had nothing to feed her. I needed to run to Publix immediately and get formula. Did I do soy or regular? I had nursed my babies… what was I supposed to do? I had nothing for a baby.
I ran into the room to find her still sleeping peacefully. She seemed paler than I remembered her as I had put her to bed, but she was fine.
Immediately I went into overdrive to get what I needed to care for this child… thinking about how much my life was about to change… I had children leaving the nest in 4 years, but now there was a new baby and another life to care for and I needed to get to Publix…
…and I woke up.
And it reminded me of a story I’d never put here, a story of prayers answered and promises kept and of an amazing woman.
Before I had children, I had a girlfriend from work a few years older than I. She was married, a good couple, they wanted children, but could not have them. (She’s an engineer… we currently job share a part time job.)
It was not for lack of trying. She had PCO, although to look at her you’d not know it, and ovarian cancer is riddled throughout her family. Try as they might, on their own she could not get pregnant and with the assistance of modern medicine, she consistently miscarried at 6 weeks and 3 days.
It was a devastating time. I did what I could as a friend, but what can one do? Meanwhile, I breathed, got pregnant and carried to full term.
Where was justice for her?
And she helped plan my shower and she and her husband stayed with me when my husband had to travel and my baby was newborn and I could not yet drive.
I did not ask them. They heard about my being alone, packed their bags, and came and stayed in my home. They insisted. And she was still doing fertility shots… so where she went, he had to go.
In my life… I have never met anyone as selfless as this girlfriend. Those of you who have ever experienced infertility understand what she did.
Writing this makes me cry.
When Ringo was 6 months old, she got pregnant again, the fifth and final time, and was put on bed rest. The drugs in her body did a number on her and she would hyperstimulate. I drove up to her house, and cooked them dinner, and stayed so she’d not be so alone. It was another dark day… and I wonder if deep down inside, she knew how it would end.
And it did, but this time it ended more horribly than the other times, and she ended up in the hospital, in surgery… and I’ll leave it at that.
And something finally, inside them said, “Enough” and they decided to adopt. They went through all the international agencies to look into babies from China, Europe, the old Eastern Block countries. They researched, we talked, and they prayed.
And the only person who wanted a healthy child for them more than they did… was me.
And then one day, they received a phone call saying, ‘would you take a bi-racial child?’
They’d done all their home visits and had put their names on a list for an American child as well. My girlfriend’s answer to the attorney on the phone was one that she and her husband had discussed at great length, “If you care about the color of the child, then you really don’t want a child.”
There was a lot of background as to why the adoption might not take place that I can’t go into, but they would not know until the baby was born, whether they would be parents.
And one day she called me in a panic… the baby was born and the baby was theirs and they had to go get him ‘TOMORROW!’ and she had NOTHING and would I go shopping with her?
And I loaded Ringo up in his carseat, just over one year old, and met her at Babies ‘R Us, and we shopped and shopped for everything a newborn needed as she had absolutely nothing… I don’t even think they had a crib.
She was a wreck and I laughed. I was so happy for them. It was a good kind of wreck to be.
We spent a couple hours, Ringo playing with his fingers and babbling at us, filling the cart and filling her car and the next day, she and her husband, picked up their first born.
He is a blessing. He is 12 now and has chosen to study ballet. He’s been taking since he was 6 and is very talented. I believe he has been asked to look at the Julliard this summer, for some sort of summer class. He is full of energy and keeps everyone on their toes. He has a sharp mind and is quick.
My girlfriend, ended up pregnant on her own two more times, having two biological children. It wasn’t a case of ‘Oh she relaxed’ or ‘that happens all the time…’, but more than likely a result of the horrible emergency surgery she had, accidentally fixing something nobody realized needed to be fixed. She laughed at me the 2nd time she got pregnant unexpectedly and said, ‘Wow, I went from one extreme to another. I went from not being able to conceive to being like you and not being able to stop it!”
I grinned and said, “yes, but the problem you have now, is the far better problem to have…” And she agreed.
They have three beautiful children. And she truly is probably one of the most selfless and strong women I know.
My dream last night reminded me of her… when one loses hope in society, sometimes one only has to look around them and they will find wonderful people… and it reaffirms… that all is not lost.
We have exceeded the capability of my podiatrist for what ails me, so I have moved on to a doctor I know who is on the US Olympic team, the medical side, not the competition side, and who is a tri-athlete.
I figured if he deals with REAL athletes all day long, and not just 43 year old Moms who have decided to do a marathon, then he can fix me.
He reiterated, I’m not in good shape, that he would normally recommend I not do this race, but he also knows I’m not going to listen, so he will get me through it.
That’s all I needed to hear.
So there was intense therapy today and it hurt like hell and at one point I quit breathing and I thought my heart might stop, but I lived through it and will be up for it again on Thursday.
This is what I think happened… as long as my foot was wrapped, courteous of my Podiatrist, I was fine. The minute it was unwrapped, last Wednesday, and I wore my regular shoes out, without the support I get from my Magic Shoes, my ankle gave way and it got re-tweaked.
I laid off of it on Thursday as it was too swollen, and ran on it on Friday, as it was less swollen, and decided, ‘Screw it, this is obviously chronic, I’ll keep icing and I’ll be fine…” and I trained on it for 12 miles on Saturday morning.
Needless to say, it was not such a good scene Saturday night or Sunday morning.
And what was the probability that I would see the Good Doctor in front of the ice cream store? For 5 years I’ve never run into him or his family in public, and here I am at my near worst with my family, and there he is with his family… he looked at it and said, “Oh not good…” and I said, “Yeah, I’ll see you Monday…”
I like when a doctor doesn’t say, ‘You need to take these xxx drugs’. Drugs piss me off and make my eyes glaze over and I'll tune you out.
I like when a doctor doesn’t say, “You can’t run on it…” and then gives you no alternatives. If you’re going to tell me I can’t run/walk, then tell me what in the hell I CAN do.
I like when a doctor doesn’t tell you that it involves cortisone. I don’t do cortisone. Tell me that, and my eyes glaze over and I tune you out… and I’ll flat lie to you about how it feels, just to get the hell out of your office.
Needless to say… there are no drugs involved, no cortisone involved, and I have a LIST of cardiovascular training that I’m allowed to do until he gives me the green light for impact… i.e. running/walking.
So… as promised, a picture of my magic shoes, but first… this is what I look like three times a day, for 20 minutes.
Ice is my Friend
Here are my magic shoes… this is the INSTEP. This is the inside of my shoe, not the outside.
Here is the outside. Notice how they look the same? Yeah, that’s what makes them look weird and chunky. I am now wearing the magic shoes everywhere.
Magic shoes outside view
Meanwhile, as I was going through my vanity cabinets looking for my Ace bandages (I was told I have to have the ice on my legs with pressure), I could not believe all the crap I have from all the sports injuries I’ve had through the years.
I’ve been in some sort of activity now for over 20 years. Running, walking, karate, weight lifting… I have knee braces, ace bandages, wrist braces, I’ve got just about everything.
I’m going to be a mess in my older years. I have had a great time, but I’ve been definitely riding this body hard. I’m getting my worth out of it… that’s for sure.
I strongly suspect my husband had no clue what he was getting himself into.
It is official. I have let an HP wireless printer kick my ass today.
It is not possible to convey how much cussing has been heard from my bedroom today.
I start again tomorrow. Mmm... that would be trying to set up the computer. I expect cussing will follow.
As of right now… I frickin’ give up.
We are in the process of trying to decide on high schools for my eldest. I don’t know how it works in your state, but we have these ‘magnet’ schools, where essentially you can pick your major and then you are cloistered to some degree with the kids in your magnet.
It keeps ‘some of the kids’ away from the general population.
And when you’re zoned for a school like we are, you pay strict attention to the magnet schools as no way in hell will my kid go to high school in the school for which we are zoned.
Gangs, bad groups such as the triple K kind (don’t want to be googled for it) and just all around not good kids… are at our school.
That means my son will either go to the area Catholic high school that has one of the worst drug problems in our County or…. Some magnet school.
Then I saw this article… and I thought, ‘What in the hell has come of our society that they are truly redistricting while keeping in mind gangs?’
A girlfriend of mine just celebrated a birthday and so a group of us went to lunch with her last week.
She is just a GREAT girl. The average teenager wishes she could be in as good a shape as this girl, she’s got a great personality, and she truly is pretty, although I question whether she sees it.
Unfortunately, she was one of those unfortunate souls who happened to marry a ‘not nice’ person. That can happen, male or female. I’m not bashing men. She just happened to marry a real creep.
Really big creep.
And after some pretty terrible things, she realized she had to leave. It’s been tough on the kids, but she made the right decision.
Sometimes… you have to leave. It’s just that bad of a situation.
And the following conversation between my husband and I, happened last night to the best of my recollection:
Me: When I die, I want you to marry Terry.
Me: I have given this thought and if I die young, she’s the woman you need to marry.
Husband: I don’t see any reason to even discuss this.
Me: Why. I’ve never given any thought to a woman I thought you should marry… but I think this would be the one. She is sweet and pretty and is just a good good woman.
Husband: I’m sorry he was such a jerk… but really, you’re not going to die young.
Husband: Besides, I'm not remarrying.
Me: You need to remarry because you shouldn't be lonely.
Husband: I don't have to marry to not be lonely.
Me: You need to remarry.
Husband: You know I’ve just never really gotten to know her over all these years.
Me: She’s great. I’m telling you, she’s a great woman.
Husband: Not that *I* am GOING to get to know her now…
Husband: I’m just sayin’…
Me: Heh, I’m just letting you know… in the event… you know… something bad happens.
Husband: Yeah, thanks for thinking of me…
Our neighborhood has homes of all shapes and sizes… living on an acre gives people options.
There is a house, big huge McMansion, in our neighborhood that has at least TEN blow up Halloween decorations on the front yard. One of them even has music, which I find exceedingly irritating. I can understand Halloween night, but every time I run by that house, I have to listen to five to ten minutes of crappy fake organ Halloween music… until I am no longer within earshot.
We were on our way out of the neighborhood today and Bones said, “Look! There’s a Police car in their driveway.”
I looked over to the house, and there it was, parked in the driveway.
Of course my first thought was, “Crap. Did I come to a full stop at the stop sign?”
Upon looking again I realized the car belonged to a guest.
Said Bones, “Do you think a cop lives in that home?”
Replied I, “Ummm… no… a cop doesn’t live there.”
Said Bones, “Hmmm.”
Replied I, “I think he’s a guest there, the way he’s parked, backed in and in a good shady spot. I think I’ve seen him visiting before…”
Said Bones, “Are you sure? Maybe he’s there to tell them to get rid of those blow ups. They have too many…”
It made me laugh because with kids, more is better. Even Bones thinks it’s ridiculous.
Good Grief. Christmas is even worse.
On a side note… I am sitting here writing this with my foot immersed in a bucket of ice water. Holy crap… Lamaze breathing…
The best part about finishing 12 miles is… when it’s complete.
Good Grief, other than the completion it truly had no redeeming qualities.
Lessons learned? Yes. Perhaps those redeem it…
I completed in 3 hours, which was… 12 miles, 3 potty breaks (including one where I waited 5 minutes while a woman sang in the lone 7-11 bathroom and one where I peed in some bushes), and 4 or 5 water stops because it was hotter than three frickin’ hells.
Next week is 13 miles and I’m a bit nervous because 12 sucked so much.
And I’m doing 26.2?
Pray for cool weather. Although on miles 9 through 12, it felt like someone had poured cement into my legs, I think it was the heat. From 6AM-8AM… it is cooler and the humidity is bearable. From 8AM until 9AM… was a miserable experience. It was just too hot and all I kept thinking was, “Sunscreen… I forgot my sunscreen.”
As of this week, I start lubing my feet. The blisters I received last week from our rain run could have been prevented by my lubing my feet with Vaseline or Aquaphor. The issues I have with today… same thing. Eliminating the friction is a good thing…
Meanwhile, I have ordered a ton of Sports Beans on-line as they are cheaper that way and shipping was free. I need more than that though… that just keeps my blood sugar up, so I realized the granola bar I had with me was a good choice.
I suspect during the 26.2… I’ll be carrying a lot of food. I can feel it…
Next week I train in Vero Beach as I’ll be camping with the boys. There is potential for it to be a 13 mile run… alone. Its doable, but I felt like quitting a lot today and one of the things that kept me going was my coach and/or teammates, none of who knew how ‘done’ I was.
I’m calling the office to make sure there is a team. Thirteen miles is a long way to go alone. Essentially next week… I’m doing a half marathon.
One of the guys who sits behind me watches the Dow and the stock from Company X all day long and calls it as if he is calling a boxing match.
“Ooooh! Company X is taking it in the shorts!”
“Ouch! The Dow has just dropped 300 points!”
“Oh! Oh! Oh! Look at that! The Dow is up 20 points! It’s climbing!!!”
“Company X is coming back! Look! Look! Up a buck twenty-five!”
And so it goes… all… day… long, starting with the 9:25AM, “Hey, what times does the floor open?”
And the inevitable voice from a cube, “9:30”.
And the bookend finally yelling, “Annnnd… they're off!”
I have expect him to yell, “Therrrreeee gooooooes Russssty!”
Needless to say, between my co-worker keeping us posted blow by blow, and then of course all the politics I get, in stereo, by the end of the day, I’m toast.
I’m tired of saying, “You lost money? Really? You actually sold your stock and lost money? Oh… you didn’t? Oh then you really didn’t lose money did you?”
Over and over it goes… all day long… as I tune them out or get a bit sarcastic, preferring tuning out.
I have three kids… I’m the master of not listening.
Unfortunately today, they pushed too hard. I can deal with a lot, I can be tolerant of too much input, as long as I get some reprieve, but not everyone I work with has this luxury.
And so it went, that while I was out of the office for lunch, the blow by blow of the economy continued until my boss, stood up, and said he heard… that there was a RUMOR… that Company X was going to cut the pensions by 20%.
I wish I’d been there, because as of late, I’ve been best able to quell the turmoil… the lone female.
But I was not.
And so it was, that one of my male co-workers had finally had enough. Recently having retired from Company X, watching his investments tank, listening to the incessant political and economic gloom and doom of my co-workers, he was finally pushed over the edge by my boss’s proclamation.
And with that… he got up, turned off his computer and said, “Put me on suicide watch. I’m going home.”
And he left.
It wasn’t even 2:30.
Now do we really think he belongs on suicide watch? No. But he was making a point, that it’s too much for him.
I came in shortly thereafter, where I was met with email from another coworker as to what had occurred. The bookend confessed to me as well. Another co-worker came over and chided the bookend for carrying about the economy all day long.
And then of course they spoke about how my boss’s statement was the proverbial straw.
I told them its time to cut it out. No more. No more economics at work. No more bantering. When someone is so done that they have to leave because they can’t take it anymore… that their nerves have been so frayed that they must escape… then it’s not a good work environment.
I never blog bad stuff about where I work. I love where I work and I love the guys. But today… mmm… people need to get a clue and I’ve decided I may have to make it my mission to let everyone know… it is time to stop.
It’s too much… all of us are weary… but some are struggling to handle it more than others.
I think today was a warning shot.
I have a girlfriend that was married at 18. She is a few years older than I am. She’s been married 25 years as opposed to my 17.
So we were talking today and something came up about marriage and she said, “Yeah, 25 years. I keep telling him, I’m waiting for my gold watch and early out.”
For some reason I thought that was hysterical…
I’ve been in a real mood lately. I don’t feel like taking any crap from any one, not that I did before, but now I’ve got more of a short fuse.
I was at a Board meeting that seriously pissed me off.
The 23 year old me would have written an immediate ‘F*** off and die’ letter to everyone, hit send without thinking about it, and wouldn’t have thought twice about consequences and would never have regretted it.
The 43 year old me has written it, toned it down twice, and is still sending it… however, it will no longer be an FOAD letter, but more of a forceful ‘This is where I stand, and this is what I will not tolerate” letter.
I don’t know if its maturity. Perhaps it is a weariness that keeps me from doing what I used to do, a weariness of having to deal with the aftermath, as there will always be repercussions.
Meanwhile, I’m Parliamentarian of another group that has been getting under my skin, so I sent them a quick note today telling them I’m resigning my post.
That felt good.
I just don’t feel like taking anyone’s crap. And honestly, it’s because I’m done with this election. It keeps me in a perpetual state of “*I* AM SO DONE”, and it is making me less apt to be tolerant of crap I have been tolerating for too long.
Maybe that’s a good thing…
I am on social strike.
I will no longer be reading about the election. (If people blog it, I will read it, but the MSM is no longer on my radar.)
I will not watch TV with regard to the election.
I will not be seeking information about anything having to do with the election.
I will not be reading about the economy.
I will not be watching TV with regard to the economy.
I have not and will not check on my 401K. If you do not sell, you do not lose money.
I am too angry that people are not actually frying for what has occurred… the greed. Yes, I said fry. I think at this point, I’m OK with the death penalty. Harsh? Be glad I’m not Queen.
I told the guys at work, “I will continue to float down this river of Denial” as they check the corporate stock from Company X that we all own LOTS of and as they keep checking the DOW… every five stickin’ minutes.
It is making me insane.
I have election fatigue. I know who I’m voting against. I know in my heart what bad is going to happen when the outcome occurs that I absolutely KNOW will occur.
But I can’t worry about things I cannot control… so I will vote on 4 November, and until then…
… I’m unplugged.
Good training today, speedwise.
Bad training today, heatwise.
Good Lord we need Fall. Like yesterday.
I ended up training late tonight because I can’t do more than 36 minutes when it’s as hot as its been with as humid. I left the house at 7:15 and it was 82 degrees with 80% humidity.
I thought I’d croak.
Needless to say, this was my first ‘night training’. I came back at 8, having completed 3.64 miles at a 13.88 pace, with my goal to do a steady 26.2 miles at a 13 minute mile.
My goals are not lofty… there will be no running like the wind. That will have me complete at just over 5.5 hours. I want to complete under 6.
Either way, I do not underestimate how much this is going to totally suck.
Saturday’s run… I could tell. I was beat.
This is why it’s called, “Endurance Training”.
It is not embracing the suck.
It is enduring the suck.
But I’ll be prepared. With every single day, I am more and more prepared.
And I realized as I pounded out my 45 minutes, that I was able to burn off six Lorna Doone cookies and five hershey’s kisses.
I also burned off yesterday's residual angry energy.
You can’t beat that with a stick…
Not a banner day.
The usual life stuff, only to culminate in an evening board meeting that seriously pissed me off, to have me come home to my husband watching the debates.
I don’t do the debates.
Having to sit there while eating dinner as I listened to these guys go at it… grated on my nerves to the nth degree.
My thought of the day was: Have I been watching John McCain’s campaign the last few weeks or a version of Fred Thompson’s?
Irritating as hell.
So I’m in absolute sensory overload, seriously crappy mood, and am ready for tomorrow.
Today was an off day for training, and I could have handled pounding out a good 3 or 4 miles. It might have helped to quell the nasty burning feeling in my stomach, that makes me wonder if I’m getting an ulcer, tied in with the knot I feel twisting inside.
On an positive note, the following conversation took place at work today, to the best of my recollection:
My Boss: Bou, you are losing weight.
Me: That will happen when you pound out 25 miles a week…
Off to bed… I need to find a sensory deprivation tank. I think it would be a wise investment towards my emotional well being and sanity.
So much rattling in this head of mine as of late. Scary, it is, I tell you.
Whether to post it or not, is another matter. VW got a huge ear full of it this morning as did my sister last night. We shall see… we shall see. Election Day shall be interesting…
It has been awhile since I have written of my children. Assuredly, they are alive and well. That says much, since I have a 13 year old.
He has been on my mind a lot recently. It is hard for him not to be, as he is going through that metamorphosis that takes one from a boy… to a man. It is happening at what appears to be an exponential speed.
I wonder if I took a camera and let it play for days straight, just focused on him, if we could actually see him growing and changing, like you do in those science shows where you watch the flower open and close before your eyes.
Everyone is starting to notice now. First came the hair cut for school, that showed his face had thinned over the summer… no longer hidden by the shaggy hair. Testosterone is slowly starting to kick in, as is evident by the muscle structure starting in his shoulders.
His voice seems deeper… when he speaks, and we hear him… and actually understand what he says.
I am thinking of naming him after the Dick Tracey villain… Mumbles.
This summer, at the beginning, he was distraught as it had become evident that his Vans no longer fit. He loves his Vans.
Odder still was when I jokingly put them on… and they fit. I now own a pair of Vans and with my jeans, was told I could fit with the skateboarders.
His feet are larger than mine, and he comes up to my lips now in height, sometimes when tired after school or when he’s just awakened, he’ll lean against me, pressing his forehead to my lips. He leans in and I can still get the scent of little boy, but it is now mingled with the scent of young teenager.
I love that he still wants affection. I love that he did that the other day in public, in front of his friends, and nobody said a word. (Although it was probably an accident that it happened...) The years of ‘no PDA from Mom’ have disappeared, but I respect it and other than rubbing his shoulders, I try not to be overt with how much I love my eldest boy… not in front of his friends.
Even though they know.
As my son knows… how much their Moms love them.
A sense of peace is settling in as to who he is… we are far from the finish line, but there is more of a calmness as he charts his course to meet his goals.
We have many long talks… he does not shun me nor my advice. I always shrug and say, “The choice is yours… I’m just telling you what I see from my mistakes and my experience…”
He more often than not will take my advice… and then talk to me about it.
Lessons hard learned in middle school, he is realizing what the adult world is about. He is learning to try to play well with the big people, as the big people can surely make one’s life miserable. Ten years ago, the ‘big people’ was just me… now there are others... teachers, both good and bad, and friends' parents, and mentors…
He is learning.
Last year… I cut a deal with him, one that many viewed oddly, and in which I did not blog.
He has bitten his nails since he was two years old. I kid you not, it has been that long. He has the nicest hands and as he approached these big changes in his life, with girls on the horizon, and manly handshakes coming his way, I wanted to see if we couldn’t find some way to get him to quit this habit.
A habit I had until I was 16… that is much easier to break as a woman with manicures and nail polish.
And so I told him that I would pay him to not bite his nails for one month. It was a chunk of change… a ½ day’s wage of mine at work. And then as a follow up, I told him for 5 months after, if he maintained, I’d pay him a ¼ of that, per month.
If 30 days makes a habit, than surely six months should solidify said new habit.
And he was motivated. HUGELY motivated… and he quit biting his nails and it’s been nearly a year… and his fingers are long, his hands lovely.
His hands outgrew mine… sometime in the last few months. I have large hands for a woman my size, long fingers.
His hands dwarf mine now.
When did that happen?
And people are noticing. Family will say to me, “Wow, did you see Ringo’s hands, how much they’ve grown?”
Like a puppy, he will grow into his paws.
And last week… a little girl in his class told him how much she loved his hands.
And when he told me that, with a grin on his face, as he slid into my car, I smiled at him, feeling myself choke up and said with a light laugh, “I told you so…”
I love my boy.
And that’s his update…
My New Vans... Courtesy of my 13 year old.
(Holy crap, you can even tell by how I stand, that I must pronate when I run. How did I never notice that before?)
I have created a scale of how to rate my trainings for this marathon. Where as normally it is a 1-5 or 1-10 scale with 1 being low and 10 being high, I decided that..
… 5 is perfect. (As referenced in below post…)
A score of 1 means that I was lethargic, low blood sugar, and they were having to scrape my near lifeless body off the pavement.
A score of 10 is… well… Eric’s infamous Ravioli run. I don’t judge a good run by barfing. If I barf, that is a BAD run. Turning one’s head while barfing and continuing to run may be spectacular to a Marine, but to this Mom ‘o three, NO.
Hurling while training is… BAD.
That said, if I should push myself so hard during this marathon that I hurl across the finish line, all bets are off. That’s cool.
Some things you read just stick in your head. The Ravioli run was one. Blech.
Today’s run, was about a 3 quickly sliding into a 2, at mile 7. My blood sugar had dropped, I’d not eaten since 5AM, I had cement legs, and I was starting to feel like I was drooling as I do when my blood sugar gets too low.
Its not really drooling… but I get too much saliva and get clammy… a bit panicked.
I realized I’d not eaten and in the pouring rain, broke out the saltine crackers I had in my pocket (wrapped in plastic), and ate them, along with a Sport Beans (the extreme Sport Beans have caffeine)… holy crap, within minutes I felt so much better and was able to make it the last 3 miles without incident.
In the end, I give today’s training a solid 5. GREAT training.
Plus, since I trained in the rain, I realized I need to carry band aids. Its all about experience and learning what works…
So to recap:
1 is bad… lethargic lifeless body being scraped off the pavement.
5 is GREAT
10 is a Ravioli run. Very bad.
I have decided, once they are dry, I must take a picture of the magic shoes so you can see them in all their dorky awful glory.
Esthetics be damned, those shoes are frickin’ MAGIC.
Although I’m not exactly flying like the wind, I am back down to my 13.5 minute mile (slow and steady will win the race… in particular when the race is 26.2 and the body is 43 and not a marathoning type at that), with hopes of getting it down to 12.5, and… most importantly… no pain.
No pregnant ankles.
They are frickin’ magic shoes. I think I’m at 95% with my tendonitis.
Today was a long training, nearly 10 miles, slowed more so because I’ve been on injured reserved due to the tibial tendonitis and the last two miles felt like someone had poured cement into my legs. I was wet, tired, and sloggy.
It started to drizzle on mile 3 and continued to do so until mile 6 where it went into a full blown torrential downpour.
I mean frickin’ buckets of water, as if being thrown at us, with wind for good measure.
It was frickin’ AWESOME.
Other than the blister I have from the rub of my wet sock against my foot and shoe and the tenderness of the bottom of my feet from the fabric of said wet socks rubbing for the last couple miles… it was without incident.
I was running in ankle deep water at times, completely drenched to the bone. When we stopped, I ached so bad, I just wanted to crawl in a hot shower and let the water massage my body.
It was absolutely a fantastic training session. And on my new scale, that I will be posting, I would give this training a… 5. On a scale of 1-10, 5 being perfect, it was a 5.
Next week is 12 miles. My magic shoes and I will be ready. As soon as they’re dry, I’ll post a picture.
I got the All clear from my Podiatrist. I’m still seeing his nurse every five days for ultrasound therapy and for wrappings until… well… until I say I’m OK. I think it will be another couple weeks.
At that point, I will go on maintenance which will be to continue the icing, call when I need to have another therapy, and I’ll be wearing my old running shoes that have been modified with my orthotics on a day to day basis, except around the house where I am to wear my Birks, aka my Jesus Shoes.
I’ve been nervous about training again. I’ve been a real mess about it, worried I’d hurt myself. On Friday he said, “Its time. Get out there. Quit babying it… Go.”
And so I did.
So far so good… ice is my friend. I’m trying not to do any prolonged standing as my feet need to be saved for this marathon. Standing is tough too.
Meanwhile, I got the new training packet for the middle 1/3 of training.
A little background… Team in Training (TNT) gives you a calendar that has a daily blow by blow as to exactly HOW you are to train that day. They gave me a schedule when I signed up and it covered August, September, and the first week of October.
TNT knows what they’re doing.
… if they had given me the October/November schedule, I may have freaked and not signed up.
Pinhead. Pinhead. Pinhead.
Did I REALLY think that I’d be able to get by with 30-40 minute training sessions per day with just Saturday’s ramping up?
The three hour sessions on Saturday didn’t bother me in the least… Hell, I’ll be out there for six hours on game day.
But… I got the new schedule and for the first time FREAKED when I realized how the daily training ramps up. Holy crap.
By Thanksgiving, I’ll be training nearly 9 hours a week. I just keep looking at the numbers going, “Wait… is this right?”
What in the hell did I expect? Did I REALLY think that I could just putz around with my 30-40 minute training sessions and waltz in and do 26.2 miles?
Evidently, on some level I did.
So really, next week is when it starts getting hard core in my opinion. Up until now, I think we’ve just been dabbling. Next week is the last of my 30 minute training sessions, the 45 minuters start, and we just ramp up from there… until it’s either an hour a day or just shy of.
Tomorrow… I’m up at 4:45AM to complete 11 miles or so… I’m all about the distance on Saturday’s. I’ll work on the speed during the week. Right now my speed is slow, having taken so much time off, but I feel confident I should get a nice steady speed in the weeks coming.
Of course the rest of tomorrow will be spent… sleeping. Heh.
I’m sitting here with feet wrapped and on ice, exhausted from today, from life, and from training.
Yes, I’m back to training.
But that’s not what this post is about.
This post is about… a little wager. That’s right, cyber hands have been shaken and a wager established, upon this upcoming election.
Moi vs. Knine over at Dead Dog Walkin’.
I jokingly said to my sister in THIS post, where I said Obama would take this election, that I’d post a picture of myself in a bathing suit if McCain won, so sure I am of the outcome.
And next thing I knew, comments were flying, I took it offline, emails were tossed back and forth and groundrules were set.
If McCain wins… a picture posted here on this blog of me in a bathing suit. I don’t do bikinis. I’m a 43 year old mother of three. If I didn’t do a bikini at age 18, I’m certainly not going to do one now.
No need to scare the masses or absolutely humiliate myself. A one piece will do that just as easily.
Besides, I am rather modest.
If Obama wins… a picture of Knine in a Speedo, posted on his blog.
Now folks, I did ask again today if he was ABSOLUTELY SURE he wanted to do this. I even explained how the polls don’t look so hot today and how I have a knack for guessing, I guess one would call it.
I get good hunches.
But he said, no, he was firm in his belief, steadfast firm, that McCain is going to take this.
The gauntlet has been thrown.
Of course I don’t want to win… I truly believe that McCain is the best choice for the next four years. To have Obama take this, as he assuredly will, could be a tough time for this Country.
But it is what it is… and so the wager is on and I truly believe you’ll be clicking a link on this blog, in November, to Knine’s blog, to see the man in a Speedo.
But just in case… I’m cutting down on the cheese and the chocolate. I’m sure the training for an hour every day and 3+ hours on Saturdays will help as well.
Just in case…
Besides... this should add a little levity to this political year. Hopefully.