Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I really have no business thinking I can do this stuff...

I have even less business saying it out loud...

And I most certainly have no business pulling it off.

And yet... I do.

I had decided to take on the Laguna Hills 1/2 Marathon for the first time. I'd been there cheering for others for three years, and this was my chance. Just because I train nearby, I thought I knew the course. Hell, turns out I didn't even know where the start line was!

I had pulled an all-nighter Saturday night. And had only napped for about an hour on Sunday... And didn't go to bed until about 10 on Sunday night.

On top of that, I hadn't been taking care of myself in the two days prior to the race. I might have forgotten to eat dinner on Saturday night before heading out to the ultra... And I hadn't gotten to eat breakfast other than the Starbucks I'd gotten on my way to the swap meet, and every free sample I could find that morning...

My stomach was not in great shape... I'd had a bit of the gas all day on Sunday and by Sunday night, everything pretty much exploded... My poor little butthole was raw... Stuffing a Tucks pad in there actually made it feel worse. I was not thinking that my race the next day would even happen, much less be a success. I lay down gingerly atop the covers, with my ass feeling like it was on fire and just thought cooling thoughts until I finally fell asleep...

I woke up Monday morning at 4:15 or so, and started getting ready... I didn't dare try to poop.

I had decided to wear the shoes I'd bought the day before. And new socks. And my new sports bra. At the last moment, I changed my mind about the socks and the sports bra. But the shoes were new. And I knew this was against the rules... I'd also stashed some new gels in my hydration pack... Another broken rule...

But I found that I wasn't really looking at this as a race... I was looking at it as a training run... A chance to really kick off my training for the 50-miler I'm doing in the fall... And because I'd hung out with Ultramarathoners just the day before, I decided to really be like them and not take the shuttle back to my car after the race... I could add another 1.5 that way! (Turns out it was actually 2.)

There was so little traffic that I actually began to worry that I had slept the entire day away and it was really Tuesday. No backup at the exit off of the freeway... I was not even two hours before the start and yet it was eerily empty. I knew this race wasn't huge, but I hadn't realized just how small it really would be... And then realized that when there's race day registration, it's a pretty small race. LOL.

I sat in my car, staying warm... Ended up chatting with Zabba and Facebooking for a bit... She helped me finalize my plan for walking back to my car after the race... I ate some Sports Beans and drank some water...

Finally, I went to use the porta-potty and then ate my peanut butter and jelly sandwich... I met up with a TNT pal and caught up a bit... He said he was just going out to have fun, since he'd done no more than 2 miles so far this season... I said I was kicking off my training... His jaw dropped and he repeated slowly, "Kicking off training with a half-marathon? Wow." And I'd done about 7 miles the day before in the wee hours of the morning.

We helped a couple of people attach their D-Tags, and then headed into the corral. It was the first time I'd ever not gone out of my way to be at the back of the corral...

We were in the perfect spot for the National Anthem, and I was crying pretty hard, thinking about the people who sacrifice so much for my freedom, and especially missing the Chief...

And then the gun went off and I was off and running...

And running...

And running...

And walking and running...

I ran farther than I'd ever run before. I played little games with myself to get myself to run just a bit farther than I thought I could before allowing myself a walk break. And I never faltered. Well, once I faltered. But I still prevailed.

I was actually inspired to write another mile-by-mile, which I haven't done in ages... (For those of you new to my blogging, I used to post a mile-by-mile blog for every race I did... Just different things I saw and thought during each mile...) I may actually get around to it...

But a few things that stand out in my mind are as follows:

I hit the Mile 5 marker and the volunteer yelled "One-Oh-Three!" And I thought, "Wait. What???!!! 1:03?? I usually hear or see that number at Mile FOUR... Not five... Holy crap, I am on fire..."

And then I finally saw the place where I used to stand and cheer... And I looked down below to the bike path where we would move after we saw our friends at that first spot... And it wasn't until I made a few quick turns before I realized that I had had no clue as to the hell those runners had endured during the four miles in between sightings....

But then I did it. And I came out on the other side... And I tried new gels and fell in LOVE with one of them... And every chance I got, I jumped OFF the bike path to run in the dirt... Hopping over plants and rocks and stuff... It was great fun.

And I kicked ass. And I finished strong. And I crossed that finish line with a new Half-Marathon PR... Nearly six minutes faster than my previous PR, set on a flat, fast course 19 months ago... A lifetime ago...

And then I got my stuff and walked uphill 2 miles back to my car to finish it off...

Every rule I broke on that race course was a risk that worked out in my favor... Recovery, however, has not been sweet... I did the electrode thing for 24 minutes and they made it sound like my muscles would be all better... So, I walked the 2 miles to my car and drove to TF's house...

Where I decided I could afford to skip the ice bath.

That was not a wise choice... CB does awesome BBQ and I enjoyed the meal and the company (and the shower!)...

But when I got up to yoga on Tuesday morning, I found that I could barely touch my toes... And I pretty much hobbled around all day as though I'd done at least a full marathon the day before...

This running stuff is pretty hard when you first get started, apparently...

And I need to have a bit more respect for the distance I ran...

A half-marathon isn't something I'm good enought yet to sneeze at... Especially when I do it in the middle of a 22-mile weekend.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pulling an All-Nighter.

When I was in college, I worked in a nightclub. I made more money than I should have at the age of 22 by serving drinks in very little clothing... If I didn't work happy hour, my shift generally started at 9 or 10. I would nap before work and then get all cute for my shift. I rarely got home before 3:30 in the morning...

Last night I napped for about an hour in the early evening... And left at about 11:45 to drive out to where there was an UltraMarathon happening... I got there at about 12:30 and looked for LT. Turns out he was napping. He'd been feeling ill and was taking a break...

It ended up being better for me... By that hour, most people still on the course were walking... Just my speed... I was trying out my new Injinji socks (sorry about making you google, k2b!) under a pair of Wright socks. I wanted to try out my new headlamp... So, I did... I did a lap with a small group, and then jumped in with this guy who had just completed his first 50-miler ever. He'd never gone further than 36 miles, so every step he took was setting a new PR. I walked with him for several loops... He tended to slow down on his own.

I spent a lot of time in the barn, just watching, listening, helping out when I could, calling out encouragement to the smaller and smaller field of athletes... I learned so much about footwear, moleskin, socks, nutrition, gaiters, etc... It was overwhelming...

I had planned to just stay a couple of hours, but then LT woke up and seemed surprised that I was leaving "already"... (Hey, you were sleeping for the first two hours I was there! LOL!)... I stayed... I would have liked to see the finish, but I did get to see someone complete his 100-mile goal...

I ended up staying until I needed to leave to meet my Girlz for some swap meet fun... And I was loopy. Stupid. The Starbucks barista laughed at me because I couldn't seem to formulate the word "run". Yep. I was having difficulty articulating that little one-syllable word.

And I was sober.

I bought two pairs of trail shoes today. And another pair of street shoes. I'm testing out some new nutrition, and I'm going to mess with my socks on longer mileage and see what really works for me.

I am breaking every "race day" rule for tomorrow... Because 13.1 is just a training run. I'm trying out a few new things...

And I'm excited about finally getting to participate in tomorrow's race... For the last three years, I've been a spectator, a cheerleader. Tomorrow's my turn.

And another big race changed the date so that's major competition for my race. Which means all the potential cheerleaders for me won't be around. Because they'll be at the other race.... Which is cool. I was kinda bummed, but I'm just going to get out there tomorrow and see what I can do.... And then go hang with TF who actually got everything on my list. Whee!

I'm excited... I'm upping the mileage and feeling good so far... I'm going to be smart about this... Looking at race schedules... Wondering if I really need to try the Big Bear Marathon. (Elevation kills me, and the 50-miler isn't nearly the elevation I was worried about...) Hmmm... Maybe I should contemplate this after a good night's sleep... And a quick little race.... With a kick-ass playlist...


And in the "eerie little connection" (aka "only in MY world", aka "OF COURSE!") genre:

The RD for last night's ultra showed me the beer that he'd stocked for those runners who completed 100 miles... It was from a brewery I know... In a town 75 miles away... Because it's next door to the coffeehouse where I completed my first novel.

As I was typing, I got word that LT completed 101 miles... And finished only 10 miles behind the winner... And that's with that 3-hour nap he took around midnight... (I was stunned at the sub-10s he was pulling at 4 in the morning!)... I congratulated him on getting his beer, which was, apparently, a surprise to him...

A hundred miles in 24 hours... Wow.

I don't think I'm THAT crazy... I'm only doing 50. In about 20 hours or so.

Okay, rambling. Need sleep. Goodnight.

Monday, May 18, 2009

My List of Three...

My last post was 9 days ago...

And the lessons I learned that day have stuck so far... One day, I will explain the magic that happened that day... But for today, know this:

Each morning, I think of a List of Three... Three things for which I am grateful. I take a moment to write down my List of Three... And I keep that List nearby. Usually in my pocket. And when something threatens to get me off-course, I pull out my list. And I read it to myself. And it makes me smile.

People I see on a daily basis have noticed. And commented. I am different.

I am anti-baggage. I've actually managed to cut some of it loose... Shocking, I know. But I am at peace. I've said my piece, and I'm moving past it. I'm driven to achieve my newest goals. I've spent time with someone with whom I was, shockingly, comfortable. And it was with this kickassedness, that I approached everything else last week. And a kind stranger even asked me out to dinner. Wow. I must be putting off more positive vibes.

And awful stuff happened. One student's dad died last week. And I was sad for him. But I couldn't stop smiling at the students who were still in my classroom... And another student lost a young cousin in a random accident. And, again, I was sad for him. I cried with him. And I smiled at the rest.

And I was sick this weekend... Like, called my friend from the toilet, sick. To tell her I couldn't make our run on Saturday. Because I had them. Ugh.

But I was still smiling. And in a good place.

And there was this loveliness of a day where I was hanging with the kidlet and then met up with two amazing and beautiful women with whom I had connected through an Angel... And they lit a fire under me and got me thinking about a future and I actually took the steps to move forward in something that could be big (more to follow as it comes to fruition!)...

And it was with happiness and excitement that I wrote my list of three for today... And because I didn't have pockets in today's pants, I left the actual list at home, but kept the three close to my heart:

1. S & D, who got me to get on that website and start it...

2. M, who called to see if I was okay after last night's earthquake.

3. My new bracelet. (It reads "spreadgoodvibes")

Yesterday's list included DebuTaunt. And her imminent end... I was grateful that she would soon be at peace...

And today, I told my students that she would die today. How I knew, I don't know, but I knew she wouldn't make it through today.

And then I saw her sister's post. "Debby Greer-Costello, mother, daughter, sister, blogger and fan-f_ckin'-tastic friend passed away peacefully this morning surrounded by love."

And I stood in my classroom, watching my students copy some notes from the Elmo, and I couldn't stop the tears from falling. And one of my girls noticed, and asked why I was crying... And I told her. And she was nice about it. They all were, actually. It was weird. These are 8th graders. Probably the most self-centered age ever. But they were kind to me today.

And during the last hour with them after lunch... We laughed. One student caught me giggling when I read the oh-so-sensitive response from JC, and we talked about how humor has always been a coping mechanism of mine. I admitted that I was the girl who was leaving the hospital with her dad an hour after her mom died and said to him, "So, we'll get you into a grief group, find you a nice widow..." This is my humor. ::shrug:: It helps me deal with shitty things like my friend dying. My friend who was the one I thought would beat it.

And right after they left, I got the call that my son was sick. Had thrown up at school.

I grabbed my stuff and left.

The poor kid was pretty much covered in puke. He was resting quietly when I got there and I trundled him into the car and he proceeded to puke pretty much the entire way home.

Got him upstairs and into the bath and he was already feeling better...

And then I became that mom whose ex- comes over to her place to hang out with the kid while she takes the car to get de-puked at the car wash place. The boys hung out while I got stuff done, and while I was out, I still found myself smiling.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm not NOT feeling this. I'm crying. Hard. I wanted to go for a run, but didn't get the chance. And am trying to not go make myself a big ice cream sundae.

But I think that because I'm free from the other baggage that I can focus on this and all the positive stuff too.

And while it fucking sucks that there's an 8-year-old girl out there who doesn't have her mama anymore, I am all the more grateful that there is a 6-year-old boy in the next room who does. And she's teaching him this gratitude thing.

Light and Love... x3.

RIP, DebuTaunt. Your assignment, dear DebuTaunt, is to Rest in Peace. You've earned it.

Sweetest of dreams. Tomorrow's list will be a bit longer than three.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Today was one.

Apparently, I was ready for what the Universe brought me today. Because a thousand things I'd planned for didn't happen, which brought me to where I was today.

And, ordinarily, when I'm beaten over the head with the ClaRiTy stick, I am all raw and fragile for hours (sometimes days!) afterwards.

This time was different.

I am lighter. But purposeful.

And tonight, I trusted myself. And I think it will be good.

This time, when I realized it's not all about me, it was different. Because maybe, just maybe, I am the messenger. And I can do that.

I am grateful for every tangible thing I brought home with me. I am grateful for the phone calls. I am thankful for my openness to what is coming next. And what is right here before me.

I am grateful that I only re-read it once before hitting "send".

And it's with so much Light and Love that I quote, "Let's start at the very beginning... A very good place to start... When you read, you begin with ABC, when you sing you begin with Do Re Mi..."

I seriously love my ABC necklace. Seriously. But with laughter, of course.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Okay, this one was a tailspin.

Okay, so the good thing about being all in tune with myself is that I know when I'm getting off-track and I do something about it.

Sunday wasn't a tizzy. It was a full-fledged tailspin... But I didn't want to go there.

So, I got a little quiet... Avoided the internets for a bit (damn internets. Checking on someone I care about showed me things I didn't need to see)...

Spent lots of time crying... Cupcake heeded my call. And calmed me enough to get through my Monday.

And I called my therapist. Who couldn't really fit me in, so I would just see him at the usual time on Thursday... I said, "Well, do you have a moment for me to ask you a quick question??" He listened as I mentioned three things... Mother's Day is fast-approaching. The last baby I lost was due last Mother's Day. And one other. He said, "Well, my quick answer is "yes, I will see you tomorrow at 7:30!""


I did spend some time with M today and mentioned a few of the things that were bothering me... And he told me that perhaps I needed this reminder that not everybody places the same value upon a friendship. That, perhaps, a particular friend is more important to me than I am to her... And reminded me that when a relationship ends, one doesn't usually get to stay in touch with the other person's kids. Even when one person can be a grownup about it and not deny the kids.

After a wonderful dinner with him and with the kidlet, I was off to therapy... Where I used a half a box of kleenex... And he reminded me that I am a person who loves love. And that other people may be on a sort of cycle... That, yes, he or she may love me a lot at a certain time, but then they hit a place in their cycle where they don't love me so much... And maybe it's hormones or whatever, but during that down, they may deny that there were ever the ups when it came to me.


Wait, so it's not always about me?

So, apparently, I have to be patient and shit. Yeah, that's gonna happen.

But at least it gives me some clarity. But it also brings me back to the crossroads I faced before... Can I accept that in someone? Or not.

So, there I was, thinking that while it had only been two days, not too many people had even seemed to realize I'd been offline... Did I really even matter?

And then I got IP's text. Telling me that they were still at dinner. She was drunk, and I was already in the parking lot, but she took the time to think of me and made me know I was wanted there. And that felt so good. So validating. I felt loved.

And Q... Who was on her third Cadillac... I was glad I was there because I would make sure she got home. And she listened. And didn't seem to notice my eyes that were glowing red and my nose, all puffy... And we talked about how there are people in my inner circle (and maybe even the 2nd or 3rd circle!) who would take a stand for me... And how I don't think it's wrong to expect that. Because I'm not hoping for something I wouldn't do for someone I love...

And I've proven that over and over... And I told Q about how I got that friend request on Facebook... From a guy who seemed to think that because it had been something like 14 years since we'd seen each other that we would catch up and be all buddy-buddy. Oh, but wait... There was history... He'd taken advantage of a friend of mine way back then... And while I haven't talked to her in at least 12 years (no falling-out, we just grew apart), I was still loyal to her. And explained to him that 14 years hadn't been long enough and if he wanted me to explain, I would take the time to do so.

But at the end of the day, I knew he'd done a horrible thing to someone I cared about and I couldn't be a part of that. I don't want that in my world.

And I'm not looking for drama. I'm not looking for someone to cause some huge scene. But I'm looking to be closest to people who would go to bat for me. People who want me around in their own worlds because, for some reason, they think I can add something to theirs.

I'm looking for people who add something to mine... Branching out a bit... I have a plan to run with a colleague this weekend.

And I've got another therapy session in just two days. Which is good. Because at the end of the day, I'm always a mom who has an amazing little boy... I will celebrate being his mom on Sunday (as I do every day)... But I'm also a girl who is without one. And that's hard.

Okay, I'm embracing that. Expressing that. And now, going to bed.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Eight steps forward...

...and maybe a few steps back.

ClaRiTy came several weeks ago... In finding that "the spell had been broken"... And it was liberating and wonderful.

And I totally thought I was just going to let it all go... Just be grateful for the role this person played in my life... Glad to have experienced that beautiful little pocket of time... And to just let it go... Because I'm now all zen and stuff...

Um, yeah.

Apparently, I'm still me.

And even though I'm being all strong and deleting phone numbers so that I can't do stupid things with technology during weak moments, I am, apparently, still going to have weak moments. And even though I don't want them to think that they matter, I still want to think that I matter to them...

And even though the season is over, or the reason has been fulfilled... I still would like to know that I mattered. That I was important. That I left a footprint on their past, just as they did mine.

I just think that when you share something huge with someone, it's supposed to matter. Not that it has to be the central thing forever, but it still had to matter...

Because certain things still matter to me... Certain days during my year are still going to matter...

And when you tell yourself for two years that this particular person was so important, and that they were wonderful, loving, caring, and took such good care of you in your time of need... But then you remember that they weren't actually there. Like, yeah, they cleaned you up and fed you and stuff... But later... When you were hitching up the big girl panties and going for that painful procedure... By yourself. And the one person who should have been there with you not only wasn't there, but didn't even call until much later... Or maybe didn't even call at all... Maybe you were the one that called... ???

Wait. That person was actually kind of a shit about the whole thing.

Ummm... Okay, what now? The illusion I've created for myself might not actually be the reality in which the rest of the world exists...

And there will be those in the "You're the bigger person, you should say these things so that the next person doesn't have to hurt the way you did..." camp.

And there will be those in the "You've grown so much... Leave the past in the past..." camp.

But where's the part where I'm getting the closure I deserve so I'm not sitting here crying as these waves of clarity wash over me???

Maybe while I ponder this, I should stay far, far away from the technology...

Signing off for awhile...


Hey, if the glass slipper fits...


I can't believe this woman tells anybody who'll listen how much it hurts her feelings that she's called a Stalker. Even my dad called her out on it when I gave him the proof. And she's still doing it. What I wonder (and must bow to the skillz she possesses that are far madder than mine) is how the fuck she found my secret blog? The one that only about five random people even have the address for.


I am reveling in the loveliness that is the week after.

I had forgotten that in my family, we don't flip out about milestone birthdays. Nope, we go one before. Dad's midlife crisis was at 39, not 40. I had a tough time at 24 (Oh, not going to reminisce about that one right now!), then at 29. Thirty was a breeze. I started training for my first marathon at 30. And everything since... Wow. Nope, I didn't have a problem with 30.

This one was not a milestone birthday. But after crying several times a day leading up to the day? I think that's what was getting to me. Because I am a big dork.

M had asked me a month earlier if I wanted to go out with him for my birthday. Just the two of us. And never followed up on it. Until I said something. Not expecting it to change. Just expressing that it bothered me. Quietly grateful for the reminder that this is something on which I had decided not to compromise. And that it was okay.

But then he asked. And we made a plan. And he followed through. And he actually suggested the restaurant. And wore a collared shirt. And smelled nice. And we had a nice time. And I'm not reading anything else into that.

But the actual day... With so many cards, emails, comments, etc... I was really touched by the messages of Light and Love from so many... And running into someone who no longer matters... It felt fucking fantastic to know damn well that I looked good, and felt good about myself, and when he asked me to call him, it felt so good to drive away, leaving him staring, knowing I'm done. That left me strutting.

And then I spent the evening with wonderful girlfriends who showed me how well they know me and how much they love me. I was crying over my gifts. So unexpected. So thoughtful. So wonderful.

I finally got some time in with k2b, which was wonderful. He doesn't understand that there was a time when I was having panic attacks from making eye contact with a man... It was right there towards the end of my time with the HRT. And I was a mess. And I'm not that person anymore. It feels good to be able to hold my head high again and to smile at a stranger and not freak out if they respond kindly. I am finding myself able to accept the smiles and hellos of strangers again.

I really appreciated the mileage with CoffeeLady. I loved feeling the effects as I went down three flights of stairs today.

It does bug me a little that I deleted a significant phone number and I don't think that person even knows it yet. It does bother me that it doesn't seem to matter to that person... It occurred to me today that with Mother's Day coming, I will probably hear something. I believe I am in a better place this year, and will not end up sobbing on the sidewalk.

I would like to know that my job is secure. That would be a lovely bit of knowledge. I am hopeful and confident, but it would be nice to have the proof.

When I spoke to the kidlet after visiting with k2b, I was impressed that he asked about my friend... And then told me to "drive safely home, Momma..." He just touches my heart.

I bought some new running clothes. A pair of pants in a size I haven't worn since I was 15 and anorexic. It was lovely to realize I'm healthy now.

Therapy is a wonderful thing.

I will, most likely, be in a relationship at some point in the future. But right now, it's actually nice not to be. I like hanging out with my kid, my girlfriends, my friends. And my friends who are boys. I am enjoying just being comfortable having conversations without thinking that they might be thinking about something more. Not that I don't wonder sometimes (Hey, I'm human, and I have attractive male friends!) if they are thinking about the possibilities... But I'm actually consciously burning bridges and breaking spells... And while it's a somewhat painful process, it is mostly okay.

I need a nap. Or maybe a Cherry Dr Pepper. Hmmm...