It has been a month since I heard the news. It’s been a month of doing absolutely nothing. By choice. But, But. but! Isn’t that what they say? The choice to do nothing is still doing something? I chose to ignore.
In truth I ran in purple this weekend with you in mind. Doesn’t that contradict everything I said I feel? Nothing I said I would do? A prince’s power to make me think of you. A Purple Reign. The night before I got the word. You are still a heartbeat; alive and kicking they say. You just don’t have as much to say. Duly noted. I won’t say it either.
But, let me back up and just say “But, I ran.” I know I will sound like someone else when I offer up excuses, but they are all true. I wasn’t feeling well before the Purple Run. I was tempted to turn a ten into a five and call it good. No. I could only tell myself came here to run. Not make my excuses. The temptation was fleeting and gone before I could really chew on it. Instead I threw up.
This was a good run, all things considered. A solid sub ten minute mile the entire way. Through crowds of meandering families strolling with their strollers and dogs I managed to break an hour. Boston in my ear, telling me he’s going to buy me a beer…right after a run to the Dunk. It’s only an app but it had me giggling. I like my Boston.
I have moved on from this. I’m setting my sights on a half. My first since September. I have moved on.
Categories: Charity, Confessional, life, running
Tags: 10k, Confessional, friendship, illness, insane meoments, love, pace, purple run, race, run, running
There is a line from a Barenaked Ladies song, “when we are happy we both get fat…”
First off, what do you think of me for mentioning BNL? Is my age showing like the crooked hem of a slip? Am I outdating myself because I still love Gordon? Ah well. Suffice it to say some things Billy survive. BNL is one such thing.
I have been happy but I haven’t gotten fat. One thing I have been is away.
They say good music comes from the stuff of heartache (just ask Adele). The same could be said for my blogs. It seems I only write on this side when I have some b!tching or crying to do. Through tears and tirades this is where I come to lay it all down. I’ve always said writing is the best place to work out the demons. I slay them with words and when I’ve exhausted every evil rant I calmly step over the carcasses and move on. When I don’t have anything to rave about, well, there are no demons to slay. No words to wield. The arena is dark and I fall silent.
Here’s my life in a nutshell: I have healed from the groin/quad injury enough that running is back in my life. I’m not running four times a week; sometimes it’s only two, but I’m back and. And! And, (this is important) I haven’t completely lost the mojo. Two weekends ago the Kisa and I took advantage of the gorgeous weather and went to see Ashley. I was able to put in 7.5 miles at a sub ten minute pace. If you know anything about the way I run you’ll get it. You know I’ve always been happy with a steady 10:26.
I’ve also been visiting the yoga studio a lot. Christene, Rebecca & Matt have become my go-to gurus for working out the hips, quads, calves and lower back. I’d like to say my practice is daily but some days are better than others. Five times a week would be less of a lie.
Lastly, I’ve been meeting up with Nicky and Jordan for strength training. I hobble after sessions with them, but it’s been worth it.
What else to tell you? The drinker has stopped his 3am tirades. The reader is gone, baby, gone. Mountain man had a heart attack from which he should recover. I had a dream about hugging an old friend goodbye and woke to realize she was never a friend in the first place. Is it wrong to care more in dreams than waking life? My mother refuses her stent. My sister refuses it all. So strange. It’s never enough.
As I creep towards the middle of week two of the Stronger Challenge I am noticing small changes. Some good: Monday’s “Fire” challenge was more fun because I was able to keep up and push myself even harder and Tueday’s “Iron” was a success because I didn’t quit on the pushups this time around. My arms hurt, but in a good way. Some bad: last night’s run was a little wonky. 3.16 miles in 33 minutes. Slow! And my ribs hurt and not in a good way.
Once again, I am slacking on the yoga. The reason? I run out of time. If I’m not joining Nicky on the floor or running on the treadmill I’m spinning in my head. Confessional: I am being tormented by crazy guilt. Without going into too much detail – I have this friend who is a raging alcoholic…and I mean RAGING. We have had a very distant, as really not close, relationship. In the past we never even so much as spoke on the phone, exchanged a Christmas card or knew each other’s birthday. Bordering on acquaintance more than friend, I would say. When she texted the words “help me. can we talk?” a week after Christmas I opened the door and we talked for two hours. I haven’t been able to close that door since. It’s nonstop. The cries for help. Trigger=panic words like Goodbye. I care about nothing. I’m fading fast. On and on it goes. All hours of the night. Last night I shut my phone down for fear that I would never stop responding to the wolf cries. Exactly when does it stop? Does it stop when I turn a cold heart into a frozen solid shut heart? Does it end when she suddenly kills someone on one of her bleary, one-eyed, drives to the liquor store? Or does it end when she finally makes good on her promise to hang from the rafters? Of course not. The question then becomes How far-reaching will be my guilt? Can I will myself to go blind with indifference? Will I really breathe a sigh of relief when it ends, no matter how?
The truth of the matter is thus: The iron is in the fire. It’s burning. It’s only a matter of time before I am branded as the girl who can’t (won’t?) help.
Categories: Charity, Confessional, life, running
Tags: Confessional, family, friendship, games, guilt, insane moments, running, strength, training
A look back at 2015:
- January – a return to a favorite and very romantic B&B tucked away in northern Vermont & a return to the run (36.1 miles)
- February – took part in a very difficult intervention & ran 72.4 miles.
- March – lost an aunt, PR’ed St. Pats (it rained), revisited Jersey, & ran 75.5 miles
- April – certified active shooter trained, made the decision to end Just ‘Cause & ran 79.7 miles
- May – visited Toronto for the first time, ran a half mara, & walked my final time for Just ‘Cause (it rained)
- June – ran a 6k in honor of fallen firefighters & made the decision to train for a full mara (ran 23.1)
- July – visited Chicago for the first time & ran a 5k for the homeless (July total 37.9 miles)
- August – visited Glens Falls, NY for the first time, experienced Magnaball Madness & ran 70.2 miles
- September – made the decision to write a cookbook, ran a 5k for an AIDs foundation, made a new running friend & ran 95.4 miles
- October – Peaks & Monhegan, lost a high school friend, ran 92.4 miles
- November – visited Vegas, ran a mara for my cousin (it rained) & lost a friend.
- December – got crazy sick, lost a friend, slowly returned to the run (ran ? miles – 7.3 so far).
For the year:
- Read 118 books
- Lost 4 loved ones
- Ran 625.5* miles (only 5 charity races) *not counting Dec
- Saw 17 concerts
- Reviewed 11 books for LibraryThing
Looking back on all this, there is heartache hidden among the numbers. There were eudemonic moments in there for sure, but every run’s initial intent was to work out a worry. A lot on my mind in 2015!
Looking ahead. I want:
- For the run:
- To run St. Pat’s faster (it’s become a tradition to PR this #$% race!)
- To redeem myself for Alton Bay
- To rerun Worcester 6 even better
- To run WMAF for the third time
- For the books:
- Read & review 120 books for the year
- Start writing the cookbook
- For family:
- Spend more time!
- Find the balance between irenic and antagonistic
- Finish the blanket I have been knitting for the past 11 years
- Conquer the challenging arm balance poses I abhor.
Categories: Charity, Confessional, life, running
Tags: 2015, charity, Confessional, death, family, friendship, music, numbers, races
Soggy. Soppy. Sappy. But by no means sorry. Before I am led to the abattoir for my recent rantings, let me assure you I am not milquetoast or talking clishmaclaver. Honestly, I speak the truth and there is strength in my resolve as well as my words.
To put it firmly. I had a falling out with someone I thought would always be by my side. I put a lot of faith into that relationship and when it failed I started to see other houses burning as well. The conflagration was strong enough to set my whole network on fire. And I let it burn. What does one do when she is under attack (real or imagined)? Fight or flight. Can I help it if me & moi chose both? Can I help it if I’m the one who blew on the flame? Even if I wasn’t the one to light the match. That’s my fight. I am fleeing from potential harm in the off chance my armor is not strong enough to withstand the heat. But, I’m not running away. Speaking of running…
I was supposed to run two miles last night and you know what? I didn’t feel like it. I didn’t need it either. I still have a nagging pain behind my knee and my toe has been talking. Excuses to some, but signs for me, myself and moi. Slow down. Instead I made German spatzle and practiced double pigeon (clam) poses. Why clams? You know. Since I hate them so much. Tomorrow night I will tackle two more miles. I’m hoping New Guinea and I can come to an agreement about closing our eyes for the entire two. I need to sit in the sweet spot of my run and turn a blind eye to the bull.
I have always been the pushover peacekeeper. To my detriment I never decide to take the wheel and drive. I’m the one in the back seat, plotting the fastest, convenient, and simplest route. I’m the one never saying a word. If I were at sea, I would be adrift with the tide, meandering with the pull of the moon. I can see me now, bobbing and ducking under the waves. Sinking until eventually I’m more under than not. Finally I drown.
But, no more. I’m starting this thing called Done. D.O.N.E. It sounds terrifying and terrific all at once. Take Christmas cards. I used to mail a card to everyone in my address book, taking care to care. I mean really care. It was rare if I just signed my name and called it good. I really tried. I’d promise myself year after year not to be let down if I didn’t receive one with half as much thought in return. But, every year it was the same thing. I’d feel slightly slighted. This year I’m not sending cards to family or friends. Fukc ’em. Instead I signed up to send 10 random cards to 10 random strangers. I specifically requested international addresses. That way, if I write to a serial killer it will take him some time to find me.
The other thing I’ve started is Over. O.V.E.R. It sounds stupid, but when it comes to my running I’m starting over. Really, from scratch. This week I ran 66 minutes and covered 6.28 miles. No big numbers, No big deal. It has been two months since I ran with carefree joy. These days I run with demons called pain and worry, one for each shoulder. I need to get past them.
Okay. So my real issues are not with Christmas cards and mileage. I’m talking in code for relationships put asunder and death did us part. I’m not ready to confront the walking away I must do…nor the going away you just did.
Categories: Confessional, Hilltop, Holidays, life, running
Tags: Confessional, death, depression, family, friendship, Holidays, home, insane moments, pain, running
Lately all I’ve been doing is writing about running. Blah blah blah. I’m a scarred record with the hiccup of “the run, the run, the run” and now it’s making even me a little weary. So, for something a little different, here are some mini rants:
I sit on a committee. I sit on a lot of those things, but there is this one committee that is driving me nuts. The very name of the committee indicates the membership has one focus and one focus only. Pretend it’s the cafeteria committee. As a member of the cafeteria committee you would know your charge is…well…all about the cafeteria, right? You would expect other cafeteria committee members to know whether or not said cafeteria has….say…forks. Right? So, why was it such a snide remark when I suggested committee X members take a tour of X before our next meeting? Maybe because some members have been on this committee for over ten years and still have never seen the second floor? I bang my head against the wall every time I see committee X on my calendar.
Yesterday I said goodbye to one of my oldest friends. We didn’t keep in touch daily, weekly or even monthly. We had that relationship – you know the kind – when you can go for a very long time without speaking and one day pick up right where you last left off. One laugh together and we don’t skip a beat; we’re right back into the mischief of being fourteen again. The last time we were physically together we were elbow to elbow in a dive bar, laughing about the old days. There was nothing left to do but laugh. Yesterday, I was in that same dive bar just before her funeral. It was with a shock that I realized it was the place we had our last unknown hello and goodbye. What would we have said differently had we known? In reality, I’m glad we didn’t. We went our separate ways; drifting off into the cool September night still giggling from girlhood memories. I will remember her that way. Always.
I saw a mother-daughter blog this morning that prompted a rant. The mother is a public figure and very protective of her daughter’s image. The daughter is rarely seen in public and is never referred to by first name. Fans don’t even know how to pronounce her name because, despite seeing it in print, they have never heard it pronounced. By anyone.
So, needless to say it was a pleasant surprise to see mother and daughter together in a website portrait within this blog. A stunning black and white. But, it wasn’t long before rabid fans glommed onto it and the comments started to scroll. Here’s what drives me nuts. People who don’t think. Comments like, “why is her daughter dressed like an old maid” and “why the school marm outfit, mom?” are truly vile and unnecessary. This child is only twelve years old. Who cares how she is dressed? She doesn’t earn her living in the public eye. There is a reason why parents keep their children hidden. How do you explain to an intelligent, worldly, sophisticated little girl that the world is in an uproar over something as trivial as her choice of clothes?
Categories: Confessional, Librarianship, life
Tags: acceptance, angry, celebrity, Confessional, friendship, grief, insane moments, love, parenting, work
For the sake of my weird knee bruising and bruised confidence, I am officially taking today off from the run. Physically, I’m missing out on five little miles. Psychologically, I’m missing something as big as Mount Everest. The idea of not running because of an injury sucks molasses. I refuse to let this downtime shake me, but how can it not? Last week I raced against rain clouds at Ashley, dominating a great pace. Tonight I will be grounded. Grounded like the Edmund Fitzgerald and just as sad.
Something worse – In the name of love I will be skipping Thursday’s run as well. Physically, I will be missing out on ten miles. Psychologically, I will be missing my friend Susan. Kisa is taking me the five hours by car to Maine to attend her funeral. Up and back in one day just to say goodbye. My heart breaks over and over again every time I think of her death. I could barely watch the news report of her beyond recognizable, crumpled car. No one could walk away from such a wreck much less survive and so she is gone. Really gone. But, really it’s all about me. I’m mourning her passing because of what I have lost. I will miss her. What am I saying? I AM missing her. Me. Me. Me. I am ashamed I cannot think of anyone’s pain but my own. Thousands of people love her just as much. I need the run just to even out my heartbreak.
So. New plan. Maybe twelve on Wednesday? I think it would work. It has to work. It’s not five plus ten for the week but it’s something. And, And. And! If the knee is wonky afterwards I can give myself a couple of days to recover before Saturday. Because I have to run Saturday. I just have to.
Categories: Confessional, running
Tags: Confessional, death, friendship, grief, insane moments, marathon, run, running, train, training
I have always been a lone runner. Over the years my motto has always been “I train alone, I run alone.” In races over six miles I even run without music – that way I am truly alone. No words of encouragement from Imagine Dragons. No Clash or Sirsy to piss me off. No Natalie to inspire me. For me, running is a cerebral thing. The run gets into my head and enables me and myself to get out of it. I enjoy crawling out of my dark psyche and finding the bright light of happiness. Running alone is what I do. It’s just the way I am and always will be…or so I thought.
I have been posting running related blurbs on FaceBook for some time now. A comment about mileage here, a picture of the Toronto half there. I didn’t really think too much of it and I certainly didn’t consider someone might be paying attention to any of it. Wrong. At a birthday party several different people started conversations with “I see you are running all over the place.” My first instinct was deny, deny, deny. Well, I’m not really running “all over the place.” I trained for Toronto and then promptly (as planned) stopped. I haven’t run a single step in three weeks. It will be another week before I begin again. But, the conversation prompted revealing plans and I found pleasure in the promising.
The next day we’re at a cookout when a known 5k racer called me his hero for running a marathon. He must not have been able to read the fine print on my hardware. I couldn’t correct him fast enough. Only the half! Just the half! To my dismay that did nothing to deter his admiration. Throughout the party we kept circling back to one another and the run, sharing opinions on apps, stories about crowds, comparing courses, confessing hill strategies. At the mention of hills I encouraged him to run St. Pat’s (my favorite race, duh). Later he said he was looking forward to the Worcester Six, a race we are running at the same time. Notice I said at the same time and not To-Geth-Er. Totally different things. When we finally got around to my least favorite subject, pace, he admitted to a slowness that surprised me. No. That is an understatement. His pace shocked me. With his runner-typical physique I assumed he would smoke a 5k with a sub-21, easily. When I got around to admitting mine he smiled and announced we would run the Worcester Six together. Come again? Run together? Together, as in side by side? As in potentially talking to one another? To the surprise of me and myself, moi readily agreed. Agreed and even said, That Would Be Fun. Alright, who kidnapped the loner? What the hell? One weekend I’m tackling airplanes and bombs, the next ants and Jenga. Now I’m agreeing to run with someone who knows nothing of my debilitating hangups. Have I gone completely mad? Here’s the thing – By the time the W6 rolls around I will have been off the run for a month (a month!). So many questions swirl in my head. I have no idea what shape I’ll be in after walking 60 miles. Will I have monster blisters? What about race day? Will I be able to keep pace with Mr Bo? What happens if I suck?
Having said and questioned all that, I’ll tell you a secret. I’m looking forward to finding out.