Saturday, November 20, 2010


My most wonderful husband is out at the car wash with le Snoog this morning so they can "see the big noodles" (Snoog's words, not the hubs'). I've been left here to indulge in grown-up television and to use an entire roll of paper towels blowing my nose. I've never been so pleased to have spent more money than necessary on paper towels. Grateful for antibiotics, we are. The silver lining is that we're likely to be healthy next week to travel.

At least 2 of us are.
The hubs started sneezing last night.
This doesn't look good.

Another indulgence this morning...a pity party. There is a race packet at a local hotel with my name on it. Had I not had to make a choice between the two races I registered for, I'd be running my second half-marathon tomorrow morning. The right choice is to leave the packet there, to listen to medical advice, to remember that there's not time over the holidays to be non-weight-bearing, to wear a boot, to struggle up and down our stairs with a squirmy toddler who wants to "do it by SELF!". To take care of myself properly. On paper it's easy to choose right. Nevertheless, I'm feeling sorry for myself about it.

The running shoes have been sadly inactive this week. This cold-turned-sinus infection-and-mild bronchitis sucked just enough out of me to make the thought of much aerobic exercise unappealing. To say the least. My frame of mind isn't what I'd like it to be right before the holidays. Despite 3-ish years of recovery, the holidays still make me feel off-balance. Finding peace is a challenge, making peace with myself is even more so. I'd like to put it all aside and focus on something external, like making the holidays a magical experience for the boys in my life.

That's not a good idea.

One of the things I've learned about anorexia, no matter how far removed I become from it chronologically, is that there are days you can close Pandora's box, and days you have to let it open. You have to acknowledge the triggers, because that's the only way you can keep from being buried beneath them. I hate this part, honestly. I know better than to go there, to indulge in those behaviors, yet sometimes during the holidays it's a constant battle to remember WHY.

Indulgence is a double-edged sword, isn't it?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Slackety slack slack, and then he was TWO.

For all the craziness I perpetually feel like I have in my life, I've accomplished tres little this week. I ran ONCE, tried in vain to eradicate/manage/wrangle into submission the clutter that took over my house when I had a child, and attempted to shake loose the cold that's been following me and the little mister around all week.
Can't say I was wildly successful at any of it.

Speaking of the small love of my life, he is now "this many" (holds up two fingers). Amazing that he's been in our lives for two years. Even more amazing that we've all but completely forgotten what life was like before, when we were childless. To be fair, the one thing we remember somewhat painfully is sleep - all night, with occasional naps. Us, not the boy. We got the good word that he's got a spot in the 3-morning 2-year-old class at the school he's been attending, starting in June. My baby...growing up, somewhat without my permission. I've become so conscious of taking note of the hugs, and the snuggles, and the kisses, and the early mornings cuddled in our bed. They won't last forever. I intend to wring every bit of joy out of them that I can.

Running? The aforementioned cold sucked the aerobic capacity right out of me this week, so a measly 4 miles (albeit all at once) is all I can take credit for. Monday I need to get to work training for the 10K I'm doing mid-January. In theory, the training's not going to be too bad, since it's approximately half the distance I put so much effort into. In practice, though, I want to bring my time down, and that's going to take some concentrated work. All the better for keeping the holiday stressmonster at bay, too.

I should come back to this later tonight. We're on a craft/session beer kick around here lately, and there's a fresh new mixed 6-pack in the fridge waiting to be experimented with. Most of it is from Harpoon. I'll tip the glass and let you know what we think.

Happy football Saturday....

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I set a goal.
I researched the best way to achieve it.
I put a training plan into place.
I followed through, even when I didn't feel like it.
I got injured, but didn't let it stop me.

If you can believe it, you can achieve it. On Saturday, October 30, I earned the right to call myself a runner. I am a HALF MARATHONER!!!!!

To backtrack.....the last time I posted, there was a real possibility I wouldn't be running at all. My right fibula, just above the ankle, was trying very hard to break. Long story made short, I essentially had to stop running just about completely with 3 weeks to go before the race. It would be nice to say the hiatus didn't affect my training or my performance, but it affected both. Fortunately, there were just enough miles in the bank for my body to remember what it needed to do.

So, the race report, in probably more details than you thought you needed (but I'll try to keep it brief):

It was chilly in NOLA the morning of the race, that kind of clear, nonhumid chilly the Gulf Coast isn't exactly known for. I got up at 5:15, and since I'd pulled everything together the night before, there wasn't anything to do but fuel up with a PowerBar and get dressed. Chip on shoe? Check. Number on shirt? Check. Dad dropped me off at the start area and I paced around, stretching a little and trying to stay warm. It had been a long time - and by long, I mean since grad school kind of long - since I'd been at a start line to run, not just stroll along for the cure or Christmas or whatever, and I had nervous energy to spare.

We lined up en masse behind the start line and waited for the gun. It was a good 3 minutes before I got to the timing mat, so I had a little bit of a walking warmup and a chat with some people around me. Then it was geaux time....and I crossed the mat and took my first running steps. Slowly, carefully, trying not to go out too hard and burn all my energy before I needed it. It took about a half-mile to find a rhythm and a place in the pack.

Somehow it had escaped me that we'd be running in front of our hotel. Surely the family didn't catch on to that, I'd see them at mile 13. Nope.....I saw a bright purple LSU shirt in the distance and knew immediately it was Dad. He was talking on his phone, and as soon as he saw me, he started frantically pointing up to the balconies. At that point, I got the best lift I could have asked for. There on the 8th floor were my Mom, the hubs, and my sweet boy yelling and cheering for all they were worth. I knew they were proud of me, and I was thrilled to be out there.

I pulled out my earphone to get my times at miles 1-4, and was pleased. Here's where I'm going to condense a bit.

Mile 5: wow, Extra gum. FAIL. And are you serious, there are already people running back toward the finish? Who are these freaks?
Mile 6: my ass...oh God, my ASS. Not kidding, my left buttcheek seized up in a dead cramp. This is unpleasant. I know why, too. We were running down a TERRIBLE street and my leg was starting to hurt, causing me to alter my stride.
Mile 7: Audubon Park is lovely. What a nice run! Perhaps I'll walk a bit here because oh God, my ASS! there it goes again!
Mile 8: Just how big IS Audubon Park? Let's have another GU.
Mile 9: What have I done? May as well keep going forward, it would be an 18-miler for me to turn around and go back the other way. At least I don't have to use the portapotty.
Mile 10: I got married in this church! (the mile marker was literally in the front yard of the church) And oh yeah...take Airplanes off the playlist permanently. No one needs to hear "I could really use a wish right now" at mile 10.
Mile 11: Don't bother, highschooler. I'm not taking my earphone out. Who cares about the split time....because of my ASS!!!!!! can i take off my buttcheek?
Mile 12: looky, it's my friend Colleen! she ran a MARATHON. Surely I can drag this carcass another 1.1 miles. Hand over the gatorade, runner girl, or I'll cut you.
Mile 13: holy crap. HOLY CRAP. i've done it. every muscle below my waist has a cramp in it. but in just a few minutes......

I have to tell you that at this point in the race, two women came up to me, one on either side, and informed me we were all three sprinting the remainder of the race. We would cross the finish line, sprinting, together. I will never, ever forget their faces, even though I have no idea of their names. In that moment, I was superhuman.

And in that moment, I crossed the timing mat and finished the New Orleans Jazz Half Marathon. I took the medal I was offered and fought back the tears. Didn't even think to look at my time. Ultimately, it's not a time I'm proud of, but an accomplishment I'm prouder of than almost any thus far. My Dad found me first, then Mom, then right behind her was my husband with my sweet boy. I'm not sure they've ever been prouder of me than they were then.

And then we went directly to the beer tent........

Seriously, though. It was my first half, but not my last. Running is something I do because I love it. It's not about punishing myself, but about rewarding myself. It's not about losing weight, but about gaining sanity and balance. It's about knowing I can push myself for the right reasons, and about learning more of who I am in the process. I'm a better person, wife, mother, and friend for taking on this challenge. I raised almost $3100 for Children's Hospital of New Orleans. In that moment, I was a rockstar. No one can take that away from me.

(yes, I'm already signed up for more races. 2 5Ks, a 10K, and a 12K, to be precise. the next half? hmmmm. stay tuned.........)