Monday, July 29, 2013

Growing Up Is Hard To Do

I love getting older. I feel like the older I get, the more experience I gain in life and the more people take me seriously. Respect is earned and you appreciate life. Unfortunately, there is an aging tax the body faces and that is that it doesn't function the way it used to when you were younger. You can no longer stay up till 2 am and have a cup of coffee in the am and function fine for the rest of the day. Nor do you have the energy to run around and do a bunch of things from sunrise to sunset.

The worst part of aging for me is that my lungs do not work as well as they used to. Unlike the rest of my body, they do not grow stronger as I run, but rather remind me that as much as I want to push harder to go faster, they will not cooperate. My legs say "more" while my lungs beg "mercy". Its a losing combo.

I have learned to accept the fact my asthma will never allow me to be fast again as I once used to be as a teenager. Those days are long gone. I would rather be consistent and slower and alive than fast and having a heart attack. As an adult, you learn that winning isn't everything and that its perfectly OK to be slow.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Long ago, far away in a wonderful land of Happy Hour Fridays, we used to save money at the bar by pre-funking, or drinking before going out to drink. That way we spent less and didn't look like lushes while AT the bar. While those days are long gone, the concept of the pre-funk has lived on into other areas of life. I apply it now as I venture off next month into training for Run For The Heroes/Run Across Georgia. If you're not familiar with it, in a nutshell it is a 5 day, 260 mile race from one end of the state to the other and money earned goes to House of Heroes.

Why am I doing this you wonder? Why run 260 miles? There's a slew of reasons. First off, it goes to a great cause. I'm all for doing any race that helps a great organization, even more so if 100% of the funds raised go directly towards it (as this one does!) Second, it's a personal challenge. I have flat feet, asthma, allergies, bad vision and I'm a slow runner. But I feel like when you break it down, the run is totally doable. I feel like if I believe I can do it, I CAN do it. I WILL beat the odds. Third, it's a challenge. (Challenge differing from personal challenge.) It is difficult and dangerous, risky, and TOTALLY A CHOICE. You know what else is difficult, dangerous, risky, and totally a choice? Protecting our country both over seas and at home. You know, all the military and public safety people that risk their lives every day? I'm sacrificing 5 of my days to endure harsh conditions to honor them. My dad endured harsh conditions in Vietnam. So for my dad, my friends in the military and law enforcement, and all the strangers I don't know and their families, THIS RUN'S FOR YOU! THAT is why anyone would choose to run 260 miles. And I think it's a pretty damned great reason, don't you?

So this weekend marked RAG pre-funk. Long before all this, I plotted out a training plan that spans over the course of the next 10 months and will basically eat up all my free time that isn't spent at work or school.

This month, I have spent doing my RAG pre-funk. My training before training. Going from doing one run a day to tworuns a day, to two runs two days in a row for a total of four runs in two days. I'm 16 miles short of 100 miles this month. I have learned to slay hills that were at one point challenging for me. I know that when those hills stop, I will go on. I am better than the hill.

There's a lot more that I'll try to find time to write about in coming weeks, but this is my official pre-training notice. I am about to become a very popular sight in Columbus at odd hours on weekends. If you see me running and I'm flipping you off, please know, I'm not flipping you off. I'm telling it to the hill I am running up. And now that you know that, you'll go looking for my subtle velociraptor claw middle finger next time you see me running up a hill. Good times...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Interview with Charlie (age 5)

One of my friends did this survey with her son and had me laughing so I thought I'd ask the same questions with Charlie, who is 5 right now.

1. What is something Mom always says to you? No.

2. What makes Mom happy? Hug and a kiss.

3. What makes Mom sad? Doing bad things.

4. How does Mom make you laugh? A kiss and a hug.

5. What did Mom like to do when she was a child? Play with Barbies and toys.

6. How old is Mom? I don't know.

7. How tall is Mom? 8"   (how very Spinal Tap, I feel like Stonehenge!)

8. What is her favorite thing to watch on TV? Shows Thrones, Harry Potter and Ghost Adventure

9. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? I don't know.

10. What is Mom really good at? At work.

11. What is Mom not very good at? Marathons.   (REALLY!?!?! WOW....)

12. What does Mom do for her job? Work for payments at the City.

13. What is your mom's favorite food? Corn on the cob.

14. What makes you proud of Mom? Giving me "dreams" at night    (his bedtime stories)

15. If Mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? Lego Ninjago.

16. What do you and Mom do together?  We eat corn on the cob.

17. How are you and Mom the same? We're not the same because you don't have the same hair as me! I'm a bald head and you have long hair. I wish you were a boy.      (Uh, thanks...)

18. How are you and Mom different? Because I'm a bald head and you're a different head.

19. How do you know Mom loves you? Because you always kiss me and you always pick me up when Daddy was in New York and give me a hug...

20. Who is cooler, your mom or dad? Um....................(long pause and looking to see how he should answer)  you....???   (Well played, Charlie. Well played...)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Will Run For Breakfast

This morning I joined up for the group run at Pine Mountain for some trail running. I'm not a great trail runner and to be honest, I wasn't planning on doing more than 3 miles. This was going to be my recovery run from yesterday's 11 mile run. You know, just to work some different muscles and what not. It wasn't ideal conditions for me. A little too muggy for me and I wasn't a huge fan of the wet leaves, but it was still a decent morning. About 2 something miles in, I found this neat little pond...


It was a pretty cute little pond. Tiny, and really more a giant puddle from the rain most likely.

There were tons of cute little mushrooms everywhere. I half expected this one to start dancing around like the ones in Fantasia. 

After doing just shy of 6 miles, I still felt pretty good and thought I probably could have done 8 if I wasn't so worried about not getting back in time for the rest of the group. Luckily, everyone else did more miles and came in around the same time as I did give or take. So I didn't have to worry about that whole people waiting on me aspect I originally feared. Once everyone was back in, we crossed the street and had breakfast at The Country Store. I told Jesse we should come out here and hike one day and get food there. I think he'd like it. This was our view after breakfast.

In the end, it was a nice little morning. I had a great run and met some wonderful people including getting the joy of carpooling with one of the RAG solo female finishers and several RAG relay team runners. It was interesting to hear stories of training and running from everyone as well as what races they're planning on doing and how they're training. After logging my miles, I realized I have something like 28 miles this week, which is WAY more than I was originally thinking I'd have. I'm not complaining. Some months I'd be lucky to run 17. But to get 28 in one week, well, that's something for this not-so-great turtle runner to be pretty proud of. Here's to hoping I'll be as good of a runner as the people I was with today!

Friday, July 5, 2013

It's Been A While...

It seems like it's been a while since I've had anything positive to post about really. A lot of things have been happening over the past few months that have caused a lot of stress and cause for silence, but all in all, were necessary stresses that resulted in positive outcomes.

First off, was the move. I think every possible stress in the world I have ever had has been lumped up into this process. Everything I have done post high school has gone to making "buy a house" a possibility on the bucket list. After years of waiting for the right opportunity and months of searching, we found one we liked. We managed to get a sweet low interest rate at the same time period as housing prices being low. It was the deal of the century in our eyes. So even though the process of buying went a lot smoother than moving, we spent a lot of time getting things over to the new home, cleaning out the apartment, and basically cutting ties with the world of renting forever. Good riddance!

Second, the pug. I feel like the last time I had anything to say about her, I was still concerned about her behavior. Fortunately, she got past the terrible two's of dog years, got a cat buddy, Ghost, who punks her and puts her in her place, and is now a model canine citizen in her dog training classes. I am a proud mommy to see what a good little puglet Jinky has become and it makes me very happy that I can take her places without her going crazy. She has come very far.

Finally, Jesse has finally managed to escape the bad interest rate on his truck. Today we drove out to Union City and traded his old Silverado in for a Ram. It's twice the truck, more room, fancier, only a year old, and with less miles and we managed to talk the dealers into dropping $1000 off the sticker price, and adding $4000 to the trade in price. What can I say? I strike a hard bargain when dealing with car salesmen... Jesse is super happy to have a nicer truck and a better interest rate and I'm happy he's happy. Plus Charlie has his own big back seat to sit in and we can haul 5 people with us if we carpool (can you say PORKCHOP EXPRESS when it comes time to Run Across Georgia!??!?!)

Anyway, all the crazy stuff is out of the way for the time being. We're hoping that maybe one more stroke of good fortune can come upon our family. It involves a bet between Jesse and I and whether or not something happens. If I win, I get a Garmin. If Jesse wins, which I'm hoping he does, it will mean great things for the family. Keeping my fingers crossed. Either way, it's a win-win bet.