Monday, February 25, 2008

Willy Nilly

This post is not going to read very well. I'm tired. The week-end was filled with 4 hour run Saturday, 3.5 run Sunday. Waw! I'm tired.

Last week was a weird week that only got weirder. Saturday morning put the cherry on the weird sundae. I can't go into details, it wouldn't be fair to the other person involved to discuss the situation. But it definitely reinforced the fact that life can throw a curve ball right at ya when you least expect it.

Dennis, Caroline and I were running yesterday. It sucked. I was tired physically and emotionally. I wanted to quit, go home and crawl into bed and not get out for a week. I must have twisted my ankle 100 times, ok, I'm exaggerating, 20 times, on the icy, snowy rutted surface we were running on. You know how it works, you run, you twist, you stumble, you try not to use 4 letter words. At about mile 8 Dennis had to fix his shoe/foot. I was helping him and this runner just casually trots by us. Just happy as could be. The way I usually feel when I'm not so freak'n tired. Bouncing his way along. "Show off" I softly said. Well, Caroline and Dennis were shocked. You would have thought I called him a dirty bastard.

Wasted 90 calories on Hammer Gel. I've been trying to watch my calorie intake lately. Nothing extreme. I've noticed when I hit 40 things definitely have slowed down. I used to eat and eat during marathon training without any trouble of gaining anything. Well, those days are gone. Anyway, took the Hammer gel with terrible results. I should remember to stick with what I know what works. I definitely need caffeine with my gel. An hour after taking the Hammer I took the old reliable Power Bar Gel and felt better after 20 minutes.

Saturday's run was great. Got out on the road at 5:10 and was done by 9:20. Caroline joined me again. The run went quickly. We ran about 3 miles on a frozen path but we were cautious. With about a mile or so left Scott calls me and gives me the news that just kind of threw me in a spin. Ugh!!! I get home and have to get Gracie ready for a Hannah Montana Birthday Party. Imagine 25 little girls with blond wigs singing and dancing for 2 and 1/2 hours. Needless to say the day only got weirder.

Week in weird -

Go to see my niece at school. Google map her school to get directions. Print them. Drive down there. The directions take us to a grade school. The kids are excited to see a playground at their cousins college! Um, we are definitely lost.

Go for my run Tuesday. I'm headed up my street and see what I think is a dog. Kind of small and manege looking. Get a little closer. It's a coyote. I live in suburbia. I yell scat and he slowly moves along. He almost looked like he needed a friend or a good piece of meat.

Gracie's looking pale. She fought an ear infection 2 weeks ago. Remember, we went to the Dells. Well just before the trip the infection started. The doc didn't say not to go on the trip but did say "use your best judgement". Well I didn't use my best judgement because she still has the infection. The doc was being nice when he told me "it was the antibiotic failed here". Hmmm . Did he really think that would make a catholic raised mom feel better?

One good thing, one very good thing is the swimming workouts with our club. It amazes me. We have found 2 people that love to swim. They love the sport of triathlon. They truly want nothing more than to watch people improve their swimming. That's it. No money, no clothing, no dinner from time to time. Why is life like that? Some people want you to sign a contract in blood and hand over your first child when they give you something and others do it for the pure enjoyment of just doing.

I won't be asking what this week? Can life get any weirder? I know better than to ask that.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Fresh Popcorn

The training program called for a taper last week. It felt good. Saturday the club had to be in St. Charles for a uniform fit. I was asked to get there early and help out with things. So I skipped the group run and ran thru the neighborhood. Woke up at 5:15. Gracie got up to so I laid down with her for a couple of minutes to get her to fall back to sleep. Got back up and she asked me where I was going. "Running" I told her. "Mom" she asked, "are you running in your pajamas". Now that's a sight I thought - running down the street in my flannel jams and slippers. Hmmm. Caroline was nice enough to get out of bed early and meet me. The run went quickly. It was cold. It felt warmer than 4 degrees. I think the fact that the sun was out and there was little wind helped.

Made it to St. Charles. Didn't get lost but it seemed like it took us forever to find the bike shop that was having the fit. St. Charles is a beautiful town. Small, quaint. New buildings mixed in with the old. The shop was on the Fox Valley river. I could have sat there all day looking out the window watching the river go by. I was late but the prez of the club understood. He actually had plenty of help. Before long the store filled up with club members and then our group arrived. It was pretty funny watching them all walk in at once. I still have to double take them, you know seeing them in street clothes as apposed to running or biking stuff. We had a great turn out.

I absolutely hate, HATE trying on bike clothing. And this stuff wasn't just bike stuff - it was "TRI stuff". Which meant if should fit like skin. Oooo, ick. White pasty legs in tight spandex that shows every bump and curve, just not a pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon. But did it for the good of the team :) Some of the group placed their order and headed out for some lunch. The line was long and I was right in the middle of it. Was hoping I would be able to meet up with the gang but knew it wasn't going to happen. I think everyone was excited about finally getting something to wear that was going to show solidarity.

Woke up Sunday to rain hitting the bedroom window. The wind was strong. Yuck. I had 2 1/2 hours to get in. Good grief. I checked Waterfall Glenn Saturday before heading out to St. Charles. The snow was packed down, it was definitely runable but with freezing rain, well it would make for a slick run. A lot of people said Saturday that if it was raining they weren't going. I called one of the club members I thought would be heading out and got the voice mail which made me think he wasn't going either. Stayed in and decided to go later in the morning. Took the kids to my mom's. She was watching them all day for me so I could run and then Scott and I could have the rest of the afternoon and evening to ourselves. My run plan was to leave my car at with my mom, run home and pick it up that night.

The rain had stopped. Got to my mom's and realized I was way, way over dressed. It was sunny and felt like it was in the 40's. Took off a layer of clothing but for some reason kepted my ear warmers on. The was beautiful. It was windy but told myself that would only affect me for half the run, the other half I would have the wind at my back. Besides I had the sun for the entire time. Snow and ice were melting and water was every where. I stepped in a couple deep puddles, woo it was cold. Was 4 miles from the house when I started to notice the sky was turning. I started hearing was I thought was boxes falling in a large warehouse. It made sense since I was running near an industrial area. Then I thought I saw lightening. Good grief, was that lightening and thunder? Called Scott, told him the weather was starting to turn and it was getting dark. I was going to head back to my mom's and get the car because to get home I would have run on a street that didn't have much traffic but the speed limit was 45 mph. I didn't want to be on with rain, thunder and lightening. Picked up the pace and got about 2 miles from my moms when the sky opened up and let loose. I could handle rain, even lightening but a down pour ice pellets started coming at me. And of course I had to run in the direction of the wind gust. My face wasn't covered and the sting each time my face was hit was harsh. Ugh! Ok, how long is this going to last? Purposely turned down a street I didn't need to go down to get out of the direction of the ice. Winter in the mid-west, ah nothing like it. It only rained/iced for about 5 minutes. Long enough to completely soak me.

The hot shower felt good after the run. Scott and I decided to see the Bucket List. I really enjoyed it. And for the first time in a long time we got fresh popcorn. It was warm when we got it and it didn't taste like cardboard. Woo Hoo! What a way to end the day. Life is good. :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Endless Halls at Glasier Canyon

We headed up to the Wisconsin Dells Friday afternoon. The kids have reached the age that they ask - "Are we there yet?" Gracie was the first to ask, 10 minutes from the house. Then Zak took over asking every 10 minutes for the next hour. We stopped for a potty break at the Belvidere oasis, that put a damper on the question until we were 20 minutes from the hotel.

Check-in for our room was a mess. The computers went down which caused a back up in the lobby. Luckly the kids didn't mind. We watched people sledding to Hannah Montana music for 30 minutes while Scott waited for our room key. Finally we got to the room, barely unpacked and headed for the pools. We swam til 7:30 and got back to the room, ate some vegi sandwhiches and watched Spiderman 3.

I planned on being up and running by 7 a.m. Scott was teasing me because our room was 2 doors down from the workout room. He said I must have called and requested it. :) That's funny cause I absolutely hate running on a treadmill. I have read other bloggers and they refer to it as the "dredmill". Well, didn't get out there til 7:30. Got on and it took me about 5 minutes to figure out what I needed to do to program it. The machine wouldn't go any faster than 1 m.p.h. So got off it and moved to the next one. At least I knew what to do this time. Realized that I could only program the time for 30 minutes. UGH! Ok, just start already. Finally 15 minutes later I was moving. And knocking my fists on those goofy handrails. I told myself I was going to run outside this year but with all the snow and not really knowing where I was going I decided to suck it up and run indoors. The half hour dragged. Even with my music and the TV on. The exercise room filled up and people were actually waiting to get on this ridiculous thing. So after 30 minutes I got off. Went back to the room to put my water away and decided to run the halls. Heck, kids were running up and down the halls until 11:30 p.m., I didn't think me running at 8:15 would hurt anyone.

I was off. The halls were endless at this place. I would guess a good 1/4 mile long on some floors. The wing we were staying in had 5 floors. I passed alot of doors that smelled like bacon was cooking on the other side and some that had garbage bags full of beer bottles. Huh? Ok, I don't get that. A couple beers good, bags of empty bottles while your kids are swimming? Keep running. I was waiting for someone to come out and complain. Or security to see me on the hall cameras and ask me to stop. But that didn't happen. I would come across some little ones, waiting in the hall for mom and dad to go down to a pool with them. Some of them would start running with me. We would go a couple of doors and then I would turn them around to go back to their door. They would be laughing and giggling. I would actually see some of them again on my way back up the hall and they would race me again. It helped the time pass quickly. Other than those children I was surprised at how empty the hallways stayed while I ran. There was the occasional bottle neck but for the most part it was clear sailing. Ran an hour and a half total.

We swam the rest of the day. Running under buckets of freezing cold water and then leaping over enormous waves. Zak gave me a scare in the lazy river of all places. He slipped off the tube but wouldn't let it go, keeping his head under water with the rest of his body flailing. Scott grabbed him and he choked up some water, he was fine. We were off to something a little less threatening. We were busy all day just being a kid. At 5:30 we were back in the room, ate dinner and the kids were sleeping by 6:00. Sammy came up with us. After the kids fell asleep, Scott took Sam to the arcade. They were back by 8:30. The kids woke up when they came in so we ended up watch Ratioulle. Me and Scott missed most of it. I'm getting old, I can't stay up past 10 anymore.

Got up Sunday morning and ran the halls while Scott took the kids to the indoor play area and arcade. I was surprised by all the stuff they came back with. It was time to go. The drive home was a slow one because of the ice and drifting snow. Saw the capitol building when we passed Madison. Can't believe Ironman Wisconsin is over. This September I'll be up here as a spectator cheering my tri-mates on. Well, onto different things. Pekin IL. Hmmm, wonder what the trails of Pekin look like. I'll find out in about 11 weeks. :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


In the 1980's I was given a gift. I gave it to myself. I started running. I used to watch a girl I knew from high school run around the neighborhood. I always thought she looked so cool. So I decided to try it. I didn't have an inhaler back then so the longest I could run would be about a mile. I would watch her and dream that some day that would be me.

I started using an inhaler in 1984. It was the magic mist I needed to keep me feeling good if my asthma got out of hand. I didn't run great distances then but I did run. Maybe a mile or a mile and a half.

During the 90's my husband started a second job as security for concerts. He was also coaching football which left a lot time to myself. We were married young and most of my girlfriends were still doing the bar scene. I was never comfortable with that. I had a habit of drinking more than I should and then saying something so stupid that it would haunt me for weeks. Other friends, like my sister were having babies and most of us know that new mothers are in an entirely different world than someone without children. That was when running became my friend. Sure I would go to the health club with Cin and we would run the indoor track and talk but like I said she had her single life. The streets in my neighbor would fill my time with something to do. Besides, having alone time can be filled with a lot of eating and TV. I would run and think, and pray, and sing. Remember the Sony walkmans that held the cassette tapes? I would carrying it with me on the long runs. We are so spoiled now. My first marathon I trained for in snow and grey cotton sweat pants. Trudging thru snow up to my calves, I didn't know any differently. I think that's why I hate using weather as an excuse when I do poorly in a run. Because when starting out I just thought the weather was something you ran in no matter what. Hot, cold, snowy, icy, slushy, didn't matter. Running was my friend I could count on. It never let me down.

I got used to being alone out there. I liked it that way. Even when a friend asked me to join the CARA marathon training team. I baulked at the thought but then remembered the marathon that past fall. I bonked big time and never wanted to let that happen again. I ended up in a faster pace group than my friend and never really felt comfortable with the people in my pace group. Don't get me wrong, they were very nice but I think I was just used to running alone. Ok, this is getting long and I really have a point to all this please bare with me. Just one more thing about being alone. I've been kind of shy my whole life. Afraid I'll say the wrong thing so I usually kept to myself. Never liked meeting new people. I stayed at the same job for almost 12 years because of that fear.

Just after the kids were born I joined the tri club. I needed to do something other than talk to the grandmas. It was just what I needed. I think I went to every talk the club had that summer. I never went to any of the runs, swims or rides tho. The group was way to fast for me and I didn't need to embarress myself. Beside, I could run just fine alone.

Well, some how, I volunteered myself as president to the club. I must have had a strange lapse in judgement. Tri-mates please don't take offense to that comment. But for me to agree to that, well like I said above, I've always been on the shy side out of fear of saying something really stupid. Before I knew it I was training with the "Big Dogs". And realizing I was missing out on a whole lot. I let my fear rob me of sharing my love for running.

I have met some of the nicest people I know. I have memories with these guys that are priceless. I can remember the first time I met each and everyone of them. Calling them by the wrong name for a couple of weeks and no one caring. Getting my friends lost on long runs and they would just laugh about it. I'm sure they were thinking, ok, we were only supposed to do 10 not 15. I thought I had it good back then, by myself.

Who knew back in 1993, as I ran alone, counting the miles down that 15 years later I would be running with a group and literally laughing the miles away. That I would have friends that would "watch my back", replace broken yax trax, share absolutely beautiful poetry or give me a light to run with when it is 5:30 in the morning. Thank you tri-mates. My gift of running has given me more than I could have ever imagined. My life is truly blessed.

Monday, February 4, 2008

An Act of Violence

Just one mile from where I live a human being walked into a store and bullied 6 other human beings to a room and shot and killed them. Just one mile from where I live.

Today at my childrens pre-school a young girl held her daddy's hand as the other children played and giggled before entering their school room. The principal made an announcement and asked that the parents not mull around the halls after they see the children enter their classroom. This was for "safety reasons". That was all she said. Once the children entered the room the one little girl still stood there holding her daddy's hand. She wouldn't let it go. He didn't force her to enter the classroom. The dad then asked if he could talk to the principal privately.

This little girl is 4. She has been affected by something not even an adult can explain. Life can be so good sometimes and then it sucks.