Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I slept in a little today. I was supposed to run a fast five, but my husband's warm body and my clean sheets held me in bed for longer...I dreamed good dreams and thought how wonderful life is at this very moment. And it is a very good life.

I took my 12-year-old in for a junior high school physical and DTaP vaccine, and she is healthy and beautiful...but I wish she would keep her room clean, lol.

Mid 70's today..."cold" front, lol!!!! Gorgeous with the massive oaks dripping with Spanish Moss and the redheaded woodpeckers and Blue Jays playing tag in the front yard. Our Lowquat tree is done with fruit, and the geckos are out in force.

I have a 3 and a half pound roast beef cooking in the oven, and a fat spaghetti squash ready to be baked.

I have children who giggle and a husband who is my hero. I am the luckiest woman on earth.

Monday, April 28, 2008

OK, I got a minute....

It has been almost a year since my last 5k. I truly love a longer distance race like a half or full marathon so much more, but since participating in the S3 (explosive training) program at my gym, I decided to see if all the hard work paid off. When I first signed up for this training a couple of months ago, I noticed my long distances were suffering because my legs were so fatigued due to the excessive hamstring and glutes conditioning exercises. The trainers insisted my sprints and quick runs would improve, and that I would find a new way to utilize my legs when I get to the point that I am "breathing blood" in a race. Apparently my "quick twitch" muscles will get more active and "propel" me better toward the finish line. And eventually the long distances came back to me better than ever.
Now I am not your typical runner, I am of a bigger build...only been running consistently for about two years....I do a lot of weight training and other disciplines (I am doing a triathlon in June). I overpronate and my gait isn't as efficient as I would like. But despite these setbacks, I love to run and I won't allow the negative to invade my "zen" when I am on the road with the wind at my back. I will concede that the suicide sprints in S3 replaced my intervals, the relays were my "repeats", and the sledding we do on the field and in the gym replaced my "fastest paced" short runs. To make a long story short, I am not fast. I will never be fast, but I had it in my mind that if I could get to a place where I could maintain the sidestitch and the panic for 3.1 miles, then I certainly can wipe 15 minutes off my marathon times. This is logic to me. Please don't laugh:).
My best 5k in a race was 27:50, my best 5K on the treadmill was 26:and change. I wanted a 26:15 this weekend. I chose a local 5K that was on the small side, and the route is actually on the streets I run every week. I looked at the previous year's results, and I came to the conclusion I could have a slim chance of obtaining third place if I really put myself into this thing. I went to bed early the night before, and I set my alarm for well over an hour before my husband and I would have to leave for the race. I wanted to make sure I didn't have any GI issues, and I need to fuel up and hydrate so food and water wouldn't be scapegoats for me later when I wanted to rationalize my poor performance. My husband and I ran 2 and a half miles to the race site (which, in retrospect, supports my theory that I always do better in a matter the distance...with a short warm-up run) and we took our places at the start.
I purposely downloaded the fastest songs on my iPod whether I liked them or not, and put a key song at the end of the playlist. The key song would be my warning that I wasn't going to achieve my goal. I had all the music timed out perfectly (comes back to bite me in the butt, but I digress). I would not wear my Garmin, I would not look at times, and in fact, I was going to try to avoid visualizing the mile markers (yeah, right).
The race starts and I take off like a wild woman, elbowing my way through the slower folks (although I am the one usually being elbowed). My husband disappears from my view, because he is on his way to a PR. "You are too fast," I tell myself. This is where my brain gets multiple personality disorder--"Slow Down" "NO! I can't!" "Yes, you can--just ask your legs, they will agree with me." "No, my legs feel just fine." "Are you sure"? "We HATE this song, fast forward to the next song." "No, I don't even want to waste the energy lifting up my arm and pushing the button." "This gum sucks, spit it out." "NO! I am not stopping for water, I need this gum." And it continued like this until mile 2.5, where my husband warned me not to look at the finish (I am running parallel to it and I have to cross a huge field and then one lap around a track to reach it). What do I do? I look at it. The finish line is so far away, that the brilliance from the sun would take a gazillion light years just to cast a small shadow on it.
It is at this point I knew I was going too fast, but I couldn't slow down. I had a big cramp in my side and sweat was pouring into my eyes. I remembered one of the S3 trainers saying to pull strength from the hamstrings and glutes. He said runners have overdeveloped quadriceps and that could be an undoing in a situation such as a 5K. So I focused on swinging my pelvis more and pulling from my behind. It worked. I am on the field headed for a hill that I had to climb to get to the actual track. A lady I passed before caught me in the lane next to mine. She looked to be about my age--I thought I was kissing third place good-bye. I was concentrating so hard on keeping it together for the race, I didn't really notice anyone else. My husband was on the side waving at me, but at this point I couldn't muster up the energy to even acknowledge his presence.
Then I saw it. I saw the time clock. I couldn't believe my eyes. I thought it was a mistake. 25:00? Me???? I was yards away and I had to have it. I just fight back my urge to vomit and I lengthen my stride. I am getting closer. I am there. I hear the "beep" crossing the mat, and my husband yelling, "25:32". Really? Did I really just do that? I am heaving, hands on knees...the lady who passed me up comes over and says, "Thanks for giving me that final push." I tell her, "Good race". I get some water and cheer on the other runners coming in. My husband wants to stay for the results, so we wait. We talk to other runners, I get a banana. I congratulate a 12-year-old girl who beat me by 20 seconds. My husband goes to look for the results, and this woman comes up to me and engages me in conversation. He returns with a big grin on his face. He is holding one finger up. I scream, "YOU GOT FIRST PLACE???"...."No," he says, "You do; I got third." I said, "No way!" He insists it is true.
The closest I have ever come to placing in a race was maybe 6th or 7th. I never expected first. BUT, in fairness, it was a small race...and my age division was just very kind to me that fair Saturday morning. I am COVETING my new 5k time. I don't feel that slow anymore. I received a gold medal and news that I beat the second place winner by just three seconds.
I had the best run home. I am shooting for 24 next time.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


I actually want to dedicate a portion of this blog entry to that S3 class which has had me at personal odds from DAY ONE. I guess if you stay with it, it pays off...and pay off it did. This slow long distance runner participated in her first 5k in almost a year--and not only received a PR, but I got first place in my age division. Shaved better than 2 minutes off my personal best, and if I didn't have guests...I would say more....promise to do it tomorrow. I am on cloud nine.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Carrying on the Tradition

I spoke with my father yesterday. We were trying to coordinate times for his visit today, and he made mention that some of us never had the luxury of "sleeping in" and "not having to worry about our children getting off to school in the morning." He is referring a telephone call several weeks ago when he and my mother called to wish one of my children a happy birthday before she departed for school in the morning. I was half-asleep when I answered the phone and I know I sounded otherwise groggy. Mind you, my children all are very independent and get themselves dressed, fed and off to school in the morning. They have a system, and it works. And it allows me to "sleep in" until 7:30.

I told him they are good kids, and that they have an "ecosystem" within the house. Everyone knows what chores belong to whom, and that it is expected to be done before that child leaves for school in the morning (not the afternoon chores, but the simple morning chores such as making lunch and doing ponytails, etc.). He asked how I was able to do that, and I simply replied that the children were held accountable and they knew their personal responsibilities. He lamented why he couldn't ever have my brother and I to adhere to any such "system", and that I was a "lucky" person. Memory is short--my bother and I got ourselves off to school just fine, thank you. Way after my parents left for work. I then said that my youngest son was a bear, and a very difficult child to deal with whereupon he exhaled and said, "GOOD." "Good?" I replied. "How can you wish such a thing on me?" I am thinking how he could wish such a thing on anyone. He thinks I was a terrible child. I was oppositional and defiant. I was disobedient and irresponsible. I take ownership of that, absolutely. But I am also of the school of thought that children are very much the reflection of their environments and the embodiment of the examples set before them.

I refuse to blame myself for some of the behaviors my parents have assigned to me. I take personal responsibility when my own children misbehave or if they indicate a negative thought process or behavior. I am their role model, after all. But what gets me is, how you can still hold a grudge against a 38-year-old mom of six kids--4 of whom are schoolaged and all 4 on the A/B honor roll--when she is a responsible, loving mother? Why do my parents still bring up the same old shit, and feel the need to remind others of it? Don't they realize this is a direct reflection of thier own parenting skills? Still, they insist it is a genetic thing...that they had no input.

This "vagrant" young lady...Navy veteran, Registered Nurse, Happy Mother, Efficient Mother...

I have that 5K tomorrow. For once it would be nice to be a winner. But I bet if I bring home a medal, my parents would simply say, "You are going to ruin your knees."

They have never been to one of my marathons. They have never been there for any of my races.

I promise as long as I am on this earth, that I will be there for each and every one of my childrens' accomplishments if feasibly possible...and that I will at least be on the phone for them.

I am so ashamed that at my age, I still would love the support of my parents in this way. I need to learn and let it go.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Possible 5K to Consider

There is a 5k this Sunday near my neighborhood, and I searched the results from last year. Turns out I would have placed second in my age division, so I am considering the challenge this time around. Hopefully no big guns turn out, and I may get a potholder or something, lol!! My 5k time hasn't been a focus since before my last two marathons, but I think I can rally. We shall see. I have been working so hard on the multi-disciplines, that it's been nearly a year since I competed in a 5k.

I ran a modest 3.31 today with a slower than average pace and still had energy to spare for lats, chest, shoulders and back. Finished with some good hamstring exercises and quads. Life is good.

Thankfully the weather has been cool, inseasonably so. I am considering swimming in the late afternoon and churning out a mile.

Oh, by the way...I splurged last night and had a little ice cream cake. I am going to hell, lol!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


S3 kicked my ass today. We pushed a sled across the field outside, and LORD HAVE MERCY what a buttkicker! Then we had to relay medicine balls and use bands around our ankles to go across the field, only to sprint to the beginning and do it all over again 2 more times. Then we had some repetitions in the weight room with pull ups, presses, triceps and I don't know if I really want to quit this class~~~what do I do? I was literally breathing blood and my heart got pumping; I couldn't even speak at times. And this is an ANAEROBIC CLASS! If they implement more of this type of training, there is no way in the world I wouldn't be ripped. I m going to have to throw it by the man and see what he says. Another hundred bucks of personal training, and I don't know if he wants to swing that...especially when he thinks I can do it all on my own, anyhow. But I do love the class atmosphere. It is organized and fast paced, and there is no room for distraction.

The only thing that seems to be lagging a little is my running; I know I am not logging the miles that I usually do, but I don't have any long distance races coming why sweat it?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Too Good To Be True?

I did it. I surpassed hubby's expectations (and mine). You think you know yourself pretty well--but I never give myself enough credit for certain things. I completed a swim mile, and it was easy as pie. I just felt like, "Is that it?". Bob was amazed, he said; "See? See how the running has conditioned you?"

Truth is, I was always a good swimmer. I just never treated it as a long distance activity. So I am at week two, with only 30 laps to complete slowly...and I cranked out 36 with the last four a sprint and WOOHOO WOOT! Well shit peoples! I live in Florida, practically grew up on the beach. So I did the swim mile, hopped on the bike for 5...then a quick 8 minute mile sprint running. It's good! It isn't impossible! Now I am feeling competitive. I have to squelch that.

It is such a shame that at 38, I found something I truly like. What would have been the options had I been younger?

Busy day today, feeling like I am 18 again--no shit. I would love to spread the love about fitness.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Chocolate Pudding, Triceps and a "Shout Out" to Soleslide for reading my blog

And never forget Johnny:). I am on day one of this miserable nutrition plan and already I an HATING IT. I already know I can't follow it perfectly--that would require me not to use my artificial sweetener in my coffee and the obliteration of my precious cottage cheese (yeah buddy, try and pry that from my cold, dead hands). I did really well today, and my triceps are literally trembling like scared little girls after my afternoon workout. I am DETERMINED to get stronger. I just don't want to be that Athena placing in my category, I want to be that woman placing...period.

My husband made chocolate and vanilla pudding tarts topped with fresh berries tonight. ***SIGH*** Now he is on my shit list because I can't indulge. I am following this thing through, I assure you. Your girl is out for a 10 miler tomorrow. The mission is, "NO SUFFERING OR WANTING TO QUIT". Translated, "pace yourself, or you will blow your wad and be a pussy."

I have to make this short and simple---I am putting highlights in my hair for the long journey back to my blondeness. The brunette was fun for a change, but it really isn't me.

OH! Before I head out--please pray for my Lindsay's soccer coach. He kept her on the bench for 75% of her game today for no good reason. Lucky her stepdad was there and not me--cooler heads wouldn't have prevailed. Nobody puts Lindsay in the corner!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Best Weather Ever

I bribed my oldest with a ride to school if she stayed home with the little ones this morning so I could do about 7 or so. THIS is the BEST time of year here for running. I took off at dawn, it was in the high 50's. The humidity is offset by the lower temps (and they are a little low for North Florida right now). Virtually no wind, and I had a stellar runner's high at about mile 4, with a sweet negative split. How come some days I just got it, and some days I don't? Seems there is no rhyme or reason to the quality of runs I achieve, unless of course there are some underlying circumstances like a slight illness, etc. Giggled to myself thinking about how my Gel Kayanos are for heavy runners...and how I am not heavy anymore. I told my husband today I know I am just the happiest person alive. Every mile expended is another year shaved off, and I feel fucking fantastic. I even managed to pull off a birthday party for Shelby today, and I had a HUGE slice of ice cream cake.

So my friend Alison and I decided to put our diets in check and begin a regimen of "clean eating". This all begins Saturday morning. No processed foods or "white" grains and pastas. All things not from nature will be obliterated from our intake. This ought to be one hell of a challenge because I am going to have to keep a separate pantry from the rest of the family. Good news is, I can totally trust they aren't going to want to have what Mommy's having, lol!! Junk out, good stuff in and let's see if I become a more efficient machine. The old man isn't very happy about it; he does not want me losing any weight. I figure a good 5-10 pounds of fat in exchange for the lean muscle mass won't be that much of a difference and all parties involved will be fine.

Bless his heart, he offered to take me and Alison for a little "ladies only" get-together at a friend's house and pick us up so we don't have to worry about driving! How cool is that? We can get a little buzz and not have to worry about a thing.

Have I mentioned how wonderful life really is? IT IS!! IT IS!! How I got to be so lucky, I will never know.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Naptime Quickie.

I got the baby down for a nap, and I am just waiting to take my final exam in a few days. I am totally prepared for it. So I get to steal a few moments to blog. I know my BMI and my body fat composition. They are within normal range. In order for me to increase my lean muscle mass, I have to lose about 5-10 pounds of fat. I can't possibly add any more workouts to my already overloaded routine. For example, yesterday I was up at dawn for a 5k....then to the gym for back, shoulders and core for over an hour, and then the bike for 5 miles. Then I returned to the gym in the early evening to swim a little over half a mile. Today I had the S-3, and I am sore sore sore. I have to get in a long run tomorrow morning (preferably 7 if my schedule allows), and then to the gym later for triceps, biceps, chest and core. After my S-3 cycle ends, I have to add more hamstrings, dead lifts and extensions into the addition to spin, runs, and swims. YARGGGHHH! See what I am talking about? All this with six children and school. I have to do it if I am going to be more efficient. But I have to say my hamstrings and ass are looking fantastic--the man also noticed, so this is a really good thing.

The good news is, my swimming is a hell of a lot better than I gave myself credit for. I completed that swim in about 17 minutes. The sprint triathlon swim is a quarter of a mile in the ocean. I have to breathe with every stroke because it is so freaking aerobic. I am hoping the buouncy of the salt water will help a little to save the legs--fishtail as opposed to kicking so much. Either way, it is what it is and I just gotta do it. My biggest fear is the bike! I get nervous when I am biking in a group; it's a lot more challenging than driving in commuter traffic.
ANYWAY, I digress. My original point was, I have to build the lean muscle mass and the answer is diet. I have to change my diet. WAHHHHH! I thought the point of all my endeavors was a good reason to be able to eat whatever I want? How do I even go about this? Is this going to be the measuring of everything I put into my mouth? Making sure I have the right serving size, the right number of this food group, the removal of that kind of fat...?

It all sounds so very complicated. Am I really ready to add this extra feature into my already overloaded lifestyle? Is it possible? I wish they had a show like the Biggest Loser that caters to nonoverweight people trying to get better conditioned--like Fittest Loser.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tempo Runs Can Be Opiods

Since I have to swim today, I decided to throw in a quick 3.1 tempo run at sunrise. Just me and the birds and the commuter traffic. AH, but what a run it was. Fantastic. I felt like my legs were just going going going on their own, and my effort was minimal. I blew it out of the water. Not my fastest 5k, but close enough to where I have no guilt. Then off to the gym to do back and shoulders...did some core and then 20 minutes on the bike. I am swimming later in cool temperatures. That ought to be interesting. Swim to survive...

Observation of the day--mommies at the gym. They cluster in little oracles, babies on hips, crosstraining shoes in pink and purple. They chatter about sippy cups, scrapbooks, clearance sales at Baby Gap. They put a moderate effort on the elliptical for 40 minutes, and then throw around a few 5 pound weights. They ponder playdates and plan baby showers. Every day the same thing. Minivan in, minivan out. Potty training on, potty training off. A trip to the Wal-Mart for some flank steak and diapers, and a date with the hubby to watch television later. I thank the sweet Lord every day that I am not one of those mommies. I am ME. I see beyond the landscape of Little Tykes and baby pink Crocs. I watch the news, I read the paper, I care about who is going into office. I care about the state of the economy and environment. Little mundane mommy moments roll off my skin like toddler tears, and I never once forget who I am. Never once. I am not the sum of my children. Things impact me and drive me to act and be vocal; and of that, I am not ashamed. I just don't spout off things as facts without backing myself up with research. I am nobody's fool.

A little on the superior side I am today? Perhaps. But this is my blog. I am the pilot.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What I Am Thinking About At This Moment...

...many years from where I still am. I am still stuck sometimes in the late 70's/early 80's with the music, the lack of today's technology, the style, the luxury of living under a parental roof with all of my needs being met and my only thought the change for my next pack of cigarettes and a dimebag. I still recall the care of my perfect feathered hair--the hot roller forming perfect tubules framing my face....the purple eyeliner and mascara...the use of an letter opener to zip up my Sergio "druggie" construction boots with the lambswool peeking out (Philly style, in the house).

What happened to that? I can answer that in one fell swoop--when my cell phone died last year, I celebrated. I celebrated a freedom of not being connected. I could go to the damn store and buy a freaking gallon of milk in peace. Nobody asking me where the hell I was. I went randomly, without makeup. Stinking of running shorts and BenGay.. I used to REEK of innocence....of trusting without doubt....that the worst thing that could happen was the "Ruskies" pushing the button. I WAS OUT THERE, and no one could call me. There was danger in that. I couldn't get caught. Thankfully a school nurse wasn't looking for me then to tell me my child had a fever and was in need of being picked up from school.... BUZZKILL, could you imagine picking up a sick kid in my independence moment? These two parts of me in tandem....

In the basement with "Boston", "Saturday Night Fever" or "Dark Side Of The Moon" on the Hi-Fi, and that was (and continues to be, my friends, the BEST music EVER) the SHIT. Thinking of five minutes in the closet, thinking at that time EVERYBODY smoked, and that college wasn't essential to having a life. Looking forward to the roller rink and some AC/DC...I saw every drug run down the pike. Here I am this"mom"....I know I got so very lucky. Lucky I say now. FUN I said then. How youth is so trivial and flippant. But here I am, missing those days of "innocence" and dismissive thinking. Days spent by the creek smoking pot....tripping on acid to the laser light show of Led Zeppelin. I passed out in the lobby high on marijuana and PCP. WHO DOES PCP anymore? Is that even available? How lucky I am to be here....

I wonder if anyone my age misses those days as much as I do....and I do...because I have enough of me to miss that and enjoy the moment I live in now. I suppose I just bring these memories up because they are so much of who I am NOW. Those soundtracks of my life--Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Rush....they bring me back to the girl who got into those size 2s....the clogs...the darkness of the hallways in junior high school, the Bonne Belle root beer lip gloss flavored life of benevolence at the cost of ignorance. The ever present desire to get somewhere else no matter the cost--as long as it wasn't where you were...without looking stupid...being altruistic and playing the game....

This is where I am. Tonight.

Priorities, Priorities

I set out to run this past Saturday morning without any plan of action. I decided to let my legs decide, so I only ended up doing 7.15........a slow 7.15. My legs were incredibly heavy and when I returned home, I lamented to my husband. I received no sympathy. He told me the S3 class has probably fatigued my leg muscles so much, that I just don't have the energy to do those long distances I covet so much. He said I never give my legs a chance to rest. The next morning I went on a scheduled 20 mile bike, and damn it all to hell, it happened again. I know he's right. I have to make a decision about S3, and it isn't as hard as I thought. Running is my priority--pure and simple. S3 is only a short-term program to jettison one into shape. Well, I am in shape. I have to complete the month of April since I already paid for the class, but after this--it's me and the road, baby.

We fell onto some good fortune this weekend, and so I have no fear about these birthdays coming up--three of my daughters within 3 weeks of each other! It's almost as bad as Xmas. There won't be any parties, but kids can have kids sleep over if they want. And of course there will be cake, lol! My son is deep in the throes of the terrible twos and what a stubborn one he is! He is literally running the house at this point, and I suspect a visit from Supernanny any day now.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pulled Calf Muscle and Sexual Chocolate

I pulled my right calf muscle somehow in S3 class the other day. I went for a 5 mile run yesterday that turned into a 4.3 because I just couldn't hack the pain and weight of that taut muscle ripping up the back of my leg. You can literally see how pulled tight it is with your bare eyes. So I had S3 again today. I used sports cream and ibuprofen, and I managed to get through. I don't think it is injurious, I just think it is almost in a "tetany" for lack of a better term. I feel better after the class than I did before...although the suicide sprints were difficult because of the constant turnarounds, and the straight up gasser sprints weren't difficult and I was running 6's. I REALLY REALLY REALLY need to get in a 24 mile bike and a long run this weekend. I don't see myself doing the first series of triathlons...probably have to wait for the next round in the Summer.

Every day I wake up thinking, "I am going to eat better for my body and not for what I want at the minute." Every day I fail. Now I know there is no way I could possibly add any more exercise into my daily routines, so it is all nutritional. You get what you put into your mouth. I want 1% body fat GONE, I want leaner muscle mass in my quads--and I am for certain food is the culprit because I have been allowing myself nutritional license when I prepare my meals. Never mind eating what the kiddos eat, but the chocolate chip yellow cake I made yesterday was my latest victim.

What's got me thinking lately is why in the world anyone would want to vote for John McCain? He plans on maintaining Bush's economic protocol, and it is just more of the same old shit, different day. While my family and the families around me struggle more and more with each passing month, and the gas prices continue to rise, and the investments continue to values deteriorating. This is not to take away from the personal responsibility of the consumer. ABSOLUTELY! I get that. Irresponsible homebuyers taking risks with variable mortgages, and the lenders that encourage them...America's oil companies making record profits this year while we stand incredulous at the gas pump. Meanwhile, children continue to be the highest population in poverty and over 26 million Americans are on food stamps...and we continue to dump billions of dollars into an impossible war because two men can't concede that perhaps they made a mistake. I love my country, but it needs a little housekeeping.