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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Things you probably don't want to know about me....

So I was gabbing with Kev last night...I was about an hour into my dinner...bison, roasted brussel sprouts, steamed cauliflower and beets with roasted onions and a huge dollop of horseradish....all cut up into teeny tiny bites and eaten with chopsticks and a glass or two of Chardonnay...it takes me over an hour to eat as I take tiny bites and read my book and relax...chopsticks make me a mindful eater : ) soooo back to the point...I was gabbing with Kev about what hundreds I want to do between now and McNaughton when the conversation turned to.. I don't remember... but my response was "I bet you did not know that I had waxed my bum"  Now please note that A. I specified that I only do it like 4 times a year (more in summer) and it is not my entire bum but only a small part.  B. I did it the first time because while wearing a skimpy bikini my ex BF D. noted "you have cute blond hair on your bum".  He said this matter of factly and not with an ounce of bother or care....I on the other hand felt a moment of sheer horror..and I ran into the bathroom and bent over and looked at my bum and yep...I had some blond hair there and I was pretty immediately thinking to myself "umm yuck don't like that" so later I went to CVS and bought a little waxing kit....you warm the strips in your hand stick it to your bum and pull...and there you are a nice hairless tush...miracle of miracles : )  Now after explaining all this to Kev and him laughing at me I said hey "I bet that was something you did NOT want to know about me" and a light bulb went off over my head and I decided that the last blog post I make before 2011 comes to a close will be "things you probably do NOT want to know about me : ) hehe or subtitled: TMI Michelle wtf get a hobby and stop blogging....

so..... 
1. I have and will again wax my bum...
2.  I HATE when my eyebrows grow in...it freaks me out.  Whenever I have a multi day hike or camping trip or multi day endurance event one of the first things I will do when I get home...even before showering...is to look at my eyebrows in a magnified mirror and pluck whatever stray hair has grown in. I believe this is a result of living in Africa in my twenties in a mud hut and not shaving any part of my body (except my head) and having no access to water to bathe...when I got on the plane to head to France and then from France to the United States I was looked at like a total bald hairy freak...I had a vicious uni brow...
3.  I really love to pluck my eyebrows or anyone elses for that matter and have "groomed" many a mens uni brow to help them achieve a more enhanced and neat appearance for their lady friends whether or not I was that lady...so fyi if you are a friend and a guy I may try to attack you with pluckers if I see the need to do so...do not attempt to run...I will catch you...and on my return from Africa after I got out of the hospital I was in ecstasy plucking my eyebrows back into their normal shape : )
4.  I love sugar but if  eat just one piece it will immediately leave me crazing more....so much so that I have sucked on frosted flakes to get my sugar rush...
5. I like to stick my stomach out really far and say "ugh I am so fat" to anyone who will pay attention..and even if you ignore me I will continue to do so and probably come into your personal space in such a way that my protruding belly touches you..it is best to notice the belly right away and then make a comment and then I can move on to other things...do not ignore!! I will follow you around with a plumbers butt and my belly sticking out until you say something and that can be awkward when this happens in a fine dining establishment.
6.  I crave chicken wings 24/7 and I could eat them EVERY night for dinner and have eaten them for 8 consecutive nights over one month ago....it was kind of gross but then again very satisfying...
7.  I love dry shampoo...I wash my hair two times (max) a week unless I am trying to impress (which is not very often) then I may move to three times a week.  I use deodorant every day but choose to shower a limited amount of time...again I will shower if the need arises but I have yet to be told by anyone that I smell and need to shower so I take that to heart and until I am told otherwise will only shower every other day at the most....I consider a swim in the ocean, a pool or a jacuzzi (of a known friend) to equal a shower...also a clean river but not a lake...I like to shower after a dip in a lake...I don't like smelling like fish.... now the truth is I can't swim so a "swim" really means up to my waist and at the most a floundering around splashing and or doggie paddling like a drowning rat...I DO NOT like getting my face wet nor will I put my hair in the water especially chlorinated water as it will turn it green and I have some TERRIBLE memories of green hair in ninth grade from over chlorinated town water and being teased by the senior football players who are now probably fat and bald and whose butts I could kick in most endurance events ( I am not bitter in the least : )
8.  I hate cars and all things car related...I have anxiety attacks over changing oil, filling washing fluid...and if my car breaks down I lose my ever loving mind..it paralyzes me and puts me in an inconsolable state......I bought AAA and I feel slightly better...
9.  If in a relationship I would expect my BF to be in charge of all things car, insurance and tax related...while I would clean, organize our gear, make sure the fridge is stocked and prepare the morning smoothies.
10.  When I am single I do not believe in exchanging birthday cards, buying wedding presents (I decline wedding invitations), sending Christmas cards or even buying and exchanging presents, accepting presents of any kind and sending thank you notes (which I rarely have the need to even think about doing because I rarely accept presents) there are the few people I do like to buy a present for but it will be based on finding something that I think they will love and not adding to the mounds of junk that they may already have : )
11.  I don't like wedgies and I often have them hence I prefer not to wear tight pants and or any pants if given the opportunity...which leads to the fact that I go commando not because I think it is "sexy" or "edgy" but because I am the wedgie queen....I have high hips..Peewee Herman pant look is often a factor unless i buy low rise pants....running tights...dear god they are horrible torture devices that reach up to my boobs...a body stocking..I look like a bizarre sausage.....
12. I pick my nose but try to be neat about it...and I try not to do it in public..sometimes though I forget : ) me bad
13.  I never sweat while running and actually I sweat only when I have a nightmare and then I soak the sheets....
14.   Kev and I can talk about stupid things every night for over an hour..I appreciate the friends and family network on Verizon...
15.  I know I could use a bit more common sense but I am actually pretty intelligent...I am aware that I do not often come across as intelligent though..and I am totally cool with that.....
16.  I really like to say "dude"
17.  I want to learn to ride a motorcycle but I know within twenty four hours I will have maimed or killed myself because I am a really bad driver.
18.  I still cry when I think about my cat Newmie...he is dead....obviously
19. Log is slowly ripping a mole on my neck off and I am too lazy to go to the doctor..I have been to the doctor far too friggen much in the last three years...
20.  I am totally at peace with the idea of dying.....I just hope that there are chicken wings in whatever place I end up : )

See you in 2012...dude

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Weight on my shoulders..physically and emotionally....

if given a choice I would choose the physical kind hands down....this weekend as usual I experienced both... 

So I had some big plans this weekend.... and it started off  on the right foot with printing out my receipt for my plane ticket for my Christmas get away....then a night out Thursday at Wildwood with wine and oysters and great conversation at the bar...Friday a low key day at school followed by an easy work out at Gold's then off to Whole Foods for a prepared meal and a stop at Annie's for four new books to read.  I settled down on the couch with a glass of wine, my book and dinner...and I was happy as a clam.  Saturday I would be heading to Springfield for a fatass 50k with Log.  It was my goal to run as many loops as I felt like doing...hoping I had 10 in me but totally fine with whatever I could bang out in the time limit.  I knew that the road 50k would be an issue for me.  I have road shoes but they have NEVER actually touched pavement I wear them solely on my treadmill training, and my trail runners are not comfortable on roads as they are big and clunky to keep my poor monkey feet safe...my arches are so abnormally high...seriously they are a sight to behold...so when I run it is pretty much on my metatarsals and roads hurt like hell...

So as I sat there Friday I had some thoughts floating around in my head.  Thoughts about love and training and running...that seems to be the gist of my blog with a bit of existential angst and potty humor thrown in for good measure...so Friday night I was trying to wrap my head around a question someone posed to me the other day about the possibility that I repeatedly sabotage my chances for love with a good man.

My friend C. had this to say about me over a beer or two the other day, "Michelle I have never met a woman who has so many male "friends".  I think they all start out as potential suitors and you in most cases immediately (whether they like it or not) make them into a "friend" because you have commitment issues.... you are attractive, smart, self sufficient, funny and relatively clean.... a real catch, and yet you sabotage every potential "nice guy" that comes your way by acting either like a "guy" and making them a friend, acting as if you could care less if they called or worse still you run away the moment you feel  them getting too close".

Well umm thanks for the heads up C....just what I want to hear...I am a manly commitment phobe...lovely....

Actually I am tired of hearing that old song and dance....it is all bullshit.....I want to be happy and I want a committed relationship just like everyone else.....every guy, but one, that I have ever been serious with I can call my friend and this is because I  am a good person.... when a relationship ends in 99% of instances they have fond feelings towards me because their children loved me or their parents loved me or we just had a friendship all along that was too good to let slip away just because we were not meant to be in LOVE.  It has  been a sore spot for some of the men I have dated....that ex's still call and email and check in with me....I would think that women who have crappy things to say about their ex's  and or the ones whose ex's hate them should be the greater concern...but that is a topic for another day....I have never and will never be described as a bitch..it is not who I am..I am respectful and open (to a fault at times)...I do not manipulate or use men...I just do not commit easily nor do I stay committed to someone who is not right for me....bottom line is I have guy friends BECAUSE I HAVE EARNED their friendship and respect...so nothing personal C. but feck off to all the commitment phobe comments you or anyone else tries to hit me with in the future..I am way too quick for them and I will duck...if you don't watch out they may bounce off the wall in hit you right back in the kisser...

I will admit that I have issues that cause some problems when I am in a relationship but they are NOT relationship issues... I  tend not to put my complete trust or faith in people easily...I will give them the shirt off my back but I am hesitant to accept their shirt when it is being offered to me...preferring to run around naked and cold instead of finding out that the shirt is really a 7.99 Walmart special that loses buttons after the first wash...I guess I just don't want to be let down.....



Saturday I woke up not necessarily with a clear head but I did decide to use my Christmas trip as a time to continue to think about all of this and to try really hard to be more open to the opportunity for love with a good man....I also woke up with a desire to run with log and physically tire myself out....hoping it would quiet my mind.  I was up early and read a bit before heading out to Springfield with T. D.  The course was laid out in Forest park and it was 10 repeats of a 5k loop (all roads) with one hill up and one hill down...the rest flat.  T.D. and I arrived  on time(barely) but not prepared to start the race..we still had to change and fill water bottles so we actually missed the start of the race..duh....but I snapped this pic....
as I was changing into my running tights (which I had to take off after the first loop because they were driving me batty).  T. D. and I went down to the start to get directions (which we both thought the other person was listening too so when we started to run we got lost and bickered with one another trying to put the blame on one another for not listening...ugh). So we started late and we wasted at least 12 minutes running around in circles and then we saw runners who told us the way to go... so an 8:30 race start really ended up being 9 am for the two of us...once we got started though we both fell into a smooth pace Dave having decided prerace to stick with me for a few loops...I ran pretty fast for the first 5 loops..a very comfortable pace...by the end of the fifth loop my feet started to hurt and the loops after that... well...my feet were screaming...I made the stupid choice to add the weighted vest to the last 2 loops... makes total sense to carry an extra 40 lbs when your feet hurt...duh...


When we finished we headed to Northhampton spur of the moment to hit the Japanese spa there for a quick thirty minute jacuzzi...T.D.'s knees were toast and my feet hurt like hell...I managed only about 10 minutes before I got too hot and showered and changed into fresh clothes but T.D. stayed the entire time...we hit the Toasted Owl after for football, wings and beer and then stopped into a candy store for chocolate (three pieces each) then Starbucks for a coffee for the ride home.Overall it was a great day in terms of training...my shoulder are massive right now from holding log and the weighted vest...

Sunday was supposed to be a day of training..of carrying more weight on my shoulders but sadly it all got messed up and the weight turned out to be emotional....not going to blog about Sunday as I am not sure why what happened..happened...all that I have to say about that is I drove all the way to Monadnock to hike and then returned home without ever stepping foot on the mountain...sometimes even I can't find the right words...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

cheating....

yep I must admit to my indiscretions....I have been cheating ...on LOG......hehe


Last weekend I headed up to Monadnock with Keith (another DR guy who lives in Framingham) to train with Bruce and Ryan.  I had a LATE night Friday that included a really nice meal at Bullfinches and did not get to bed until close to midnight..the alarm buzzing at 4:30 resulted in me falling out of bed slightly hungover from the three glasses of wine the night before. I brushed my teeth, dressed and wiped the sleep from my eyes with the tissue that I blew my nose with the night before (save trees) and I was out in my car waiting for Keith.  Keith brought a crap load of ...well...... crap..either he wanted to carry it up the mountain, or in case we had to build a shelter and survive a surprise apocalypse...to be honest all the crap in my trunk was actually very comforting as I miss KZ.... anyone who knows KZ  knows that he does like him a bit of the gear : ) so with a packed trunk and happy thoughts of Turnips dancing in my head....Keith and I headed out to find a DD and grab some much needed coffee.

I like the ride to Monadnock it is about 70 minutes from my place and takes me on some nice back roads. As we drank our coffee and gabbed  I felt pretty much pulled together to get my lazy ass up the mountain a few times.  When we arrived we saw Bruce running along the parking lot...we realized pretty quick that the mountain was ummm covered in this white stuf...duh..what the hell was I thinking?  I had yet to changed out my late summer fall gear in my trunk for my winter gear...so the trekking poles, crampons, micro spikes, Nemo winter tent, jetboil, booties and snowshoes were still in the attic of my landlords barn...(when I returned Saturday I went right to the barn and changed out my gear see below : ) now I am ready for winter...minus the Dions that I keep in the treefort so I can just head out my door into the woods when we get some fricken snow!!!)


(my next car will not have a back seat as it is always taken up by my packs and climbing gear)
Of course all I needed was the spikes and maybe some poles but nope I am officially an idiot and let it be known that KZ mentioned I should change out my gear as NH would probably have snow and ice on the mountain.. but noooo I was relaxing drinking wine after showering before heading out for dinner..the last thing I wanted to do was crawl around in the barn attic...so since I know myself (I have been with me for almost 42 years now) I knew that the icy top half of Monadnock would not be a place I would want to be in my Salomon trail runners..I have this fear of  falling during DR training and that would end my ultrarunning goals..and therefore I would wither away and die...it was decided we would just summit as many times as we could not carrying stuff.

I had my weighted vest in my trunk (along with a pillowcase of rocks, 6 bricks wrapped in duct tape, 3 axes, a saw...you can see why men find me slightly strange when they see my car) so I threw it on (20lbs) knowing that if it was too dangerous above treeline I would make that point the turn around for my continual summit attempts...


The vest slowed me down a bit and Ryan and Bruce headed off...Keith stayed with me and then moved ahead...after the 1/2 point when we got to the part that transitions into small craggley trees and then tree line ends I turned around and headed down.  It was fricken icy and I was honestly afraid to fall and smash my knee....I yelled to Keith that I would see those three on my second up.  I was heading down to the car to get bricks to add to my pack.  The down was slow and steady.... no where near as enjoyable as the up, although the up was difficult...I never really felt like I would fall.   I made it down and grabbed 3 bricks for a total of about 18 lbs and put them in my pack..I was now about 38 extra lbs on my back and I felt that on the second (half) summit attempt...I passed the guys heading down from the summit and they said they were heading to the car to grab a bite to eat.  I made it up past the 1/2 way mark and then turned to head back down to the car to grab another brick or two.  I passed the guys (Bruce, Ryan and Keith) as they were heading back up to summit with some big ass logs....haha I yelled to Bruce that I hoped mine wasn't that size..it was almost as long as me!! Bruce said he had a log in the back of his car for me (a baby log!)  still in length it was bigger than LOG. I  dropped my bag with bricks and kept the vest on..I grabbed log from the back of Bruce's vehicle and headed out for the 3rd 1/2 summit attempt..it was awkward with the log and for the scrambling sections I had to push it in front of me and 2x's it slipped and rolled back down to the start of the rock face....ugh...this is what DR training is all about though..things that are hard, annoying, hurt, frighten, frustrate you...seek out these kind of things so that you build up an immunity to pain and frustration...you choose to do DR so wtf...don't get pissed when it sucks...training helps to bring you to that state because lets be honest...all of us have our breaking point...mine is cold water and not being able to poop : ) the worst form of torture for me is to be forced to eat a diet completely lacking in any fiber...I would cry uncle in a nanosecond!!  I made it up directly to the sign that said 1/2 point to summit and decided the lack of micro spikes and the awkwardness of this log may make it dangerous for me (a woman who lacks grace in all of its forms) to ascend to the car...slow and steady I made my way down to the car and got inside to warm up and eat my chicken sandwich...Keith came back before the other guys having hurt his knee..it was decided we would head out now as Keith had family obligations that required us to leave the mountain by one at the latest..it was noon so we decided better Keith rests his knee than start back for another summit.

We stopped and grabbed a coffee and were on our way....good conversation actually spent the ride home laughing quite a bit...Keith is fricken funny and the two of us can be down right gross and inappropriate in our conversation topics..he has also been a good friend in terms of what has been going on the last few weeks with me...he never gives advice if I don't ask for it nor does he judge....he just listens and calls me out when I need to be called out...a true friend calls you a douche bag when you are well.... being a douche bag : ) ....one of the coolest things about DR is the people I have met through the race but also, just through the training.

Last year DR was really hard for me and I had to suffer in silence with a black cloud hanging over me but this year that won't be the case...yippeee!!! I have been made a promise that the cloud will remove itself from my sky and I could not be happier : )


Although my body and my mind are in a bit of a funk (seasonal affective disorder is real when you spend all day in a cold Tech Ed room aka "the shop" with no windows) I am looking forward to this weekend. I have a 50k on Saturday and I will return to Monadnock with microspikes and do a full summit or two with the new log on Sunday.  I love a weekend that involves training as well as "down time".  I am trying to make sure I balance social activities ; ) with training activities and so far I am doing ok....what would be perfect is to meet someone who would actually want to climb Monadnock with me carrying a log and then buy me flowers and woo me on the ride home....oh well.....beggers can't be choosers : )

Friday, December 9, 2011

I am the Queen of run on sentences........

Musings...
For the next month many of my posts will be stream of consciousness musings...much like my beloved Kerouac...I am the queen of run on sentences......
and I will bring 2011 to a close with a bit of irreverent banter....

Got my first pair of magnified reading glasses yesterday at Whole Foods...a real bargain at 20 bucks...they are pink with flowers painted on the side...I look like my mother...dear god....a few weeks back I realized I could no longer make out the words on the page when I tried to read a book... disaster!!! If I am not at my local dive bar scarfing wings and watching sports I am sitting down with a glass of cheap Chardonnay and prepared Whole Foods (usually cold steak or chicken, cold roasted brussel sprouts, cold steam cauliflower, beets, and roasted balsamic onions cut up and eaten with chop sticks) dinner on the couch...I don't have a kitchen table..in fact I don't even have a kitchen really (I have a sink and a dorm fridge and a counter top and a microwave)..no television no Internet..reading is my only form of enjoyment (that and any company I may have for dinner..if I do have company I sit on the floor with my plate in my lap and offer up the futon couch to my guest...all very posh and high end...some times I even light a candle..oh yeah you got it right...ambiance baby...setting the mood...too bad the majority of people (men) I have over for dinner involves some sort of training and or running adventure and no romance) so due to my lack of electric appliances that allow me to keep entertained seeing the words on the page is kind of important.  So I broke down and grabbed a pair of glasses and I realize you have to wear them on the end of your nose...I worry about nose stretch now...I don't want nose wrinkles...last night I put my old school ipod (that still has all the songs from my BF whom I broke up with in 2003) on the 15 dollar ipod/alarm clock thing I found on the clearance table at Staples...and I read my new book and drank wine and ate chicken wings and I was happy...f nose wrinkles... it is worth it...


Botox...hmmmm....I have a line between my eyes...they call it the "frown line" but for me it is the squint line...as I choose not to wear sunglasses at times...they give me acne on the side of my forehead...I hate acne worse than wrinkles....botox will fix that my dermatologist tells me as she is checking my moles...yep "fix" it so I look surprised all the time I think...damn.. people who know me know I am confused and surprised enough as it is...still....what does it all involve??? I mean I had my flu shot yesterday and that was a big mf needle and it wasn't too bad...and the odds of the flu shot keeping me from getting any instances of the flu is not 100% ..so botox needles are smaller based on what the Internet search tells me...it is more expensive then a flu shot (flu shot = free) but it supposedly will take some years off me...now thinking about taking years off...well that is a good thing..i guess..it depends really on how much....I look pretty good for 42 as it is...I could pass for 38 if I showered more...so botox may make me look what?  33?  Does that mean I have to date younger men since I will look closer to 30 then 40?  I have done the cougar thing in my mid 30's with a guy in his mid 20's...fun but a but difficult in the end..I was working on my PhD and he was playing beer pong...
I like men in their 40's I love gray hair and a bit of gray in their beards..I love wrinkles around the eyes and a bit of a weathered look..you see that a man has lived with a face like that..a smooth face of a 30 year old..not so much..like a babies bottom..not for me...if I did botox I guess I could counter balance a too youthful look with my magnified reading glasses..although I can't see shit with them unless I am sitting there reading a book...if I wore them out I could trip and fall..and although I look closer to 30 my 42 year old body does not bounce back as fast as my 30 year old body... I could break something..then I would have a 30 year old face but a cast on my leg and I would just end up back on my couch with my wine and my book...hmmm botox...not worth the money...rather spend it on books, wine and maybe a new futon....

Baggage...every body has it...you find some on the middle shelf right at eye level in the high end luggage store while others are found in the back of Marshalls on the dusty clearance rack..don't get me wrong...I like to search out that dusty rack...I prefer to search among the mismatched pieces with the broken handles and scuff marks for a diamond in the rough...for the piece that is missing the rest of its set...for the bright orange bag with zebra stripes that at first may seem very odd but comes to grow on your with every use....I find that those clearance pieces (although returned or rejected by someone else) can be just the right piece for me...the bag that on the outside does not show immediate promise but when you take the time to open it up...bonus..the mf'er has more storage space and secret pockets than you know what to do with...I have a bunch of odd shaped things....I often have to leave them behind on my adventures cuz I just can't figure out how the hell to store them...ohhhh to be able to bring them along for the ride...then you hit the store without really having anything particular in mind and BAM here is a piece that can fit all that is important to me and it is on sale and I have a coupon!!!!....I have been told by well meaning friends maybe it is about time that I splurge for a bit of high end baggage... but I did that once and it turned out to be a disaster..it looked great on the outside, but when you looked closely it had a few loose strings and a few uneven seams...soon enough the bag began to fall apart...it may have looked handsome but in the end it was just a piece of shit....luckily I was able to return it..seems there are people out there who prefer carrying a nice looking bit of baggage then having something that can hold together when it really matters most...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Back into the gym....

I have been slacking the last three weeks in terms of my strength training..and the reason is not over training, too busy, money issues, or even time issues...to try to explain why this week was my first "real" time back in the gym..I have to go back a few months...

At the end of September I decided to reach out to John M a fellow DR friend and co-owner with his wife of Cross fit Craic.  John and his wife are just good people plain and simple.  Well I reached out to John about cross fit and whether or not I should move away from my traditional training methods and try something new.  He sent me some things to read online and took the time to answer some questions and the end result was me walking into the Marlboro cross fit one Saturday morning for a free class.

What I did not share with John, or anyone else, was  the real reason I walked across the street from my Gold's gym into that cross fit studio...

I have always been a huge "gym rat" not the kind that stands around admiring my muscles and wearing lip gloss and cute matchy matchy gym attire...although there is nothing wrong with that..in fact If I wanted to do those things I probably could not pull them off...lip gloss always ends up caked on my lips like I just ate a glazed donut and cute gym clothes always seem to involve showing the belly...I don't like to wear belly anything so those cute sports bra ensembles...so not me....I would obsess about my forty something  tummy jiggling with every ball pike I did...I have always been head down, earphones on,  forge ahead relentlessly without a break or time for small talk kind of gym goer...not that I am unhappy...far from it..I am in my happy place when I am lifting...pyramids on the squat rack and I am euphoric...bench press negatives simply trippy with joy...back leaning against the mirror heavy barbell curls (so not to cheat) its like I won the lottery.....you may not assume I am happy and I have been told that I look bit intimidating...that is of course not based on my physical attributes ( 5"4" and 110...don't know how intimidating that can get) but it is more so my facial expressions and how I seem to be in my own world....intimidating as in "please don't speak to me I am in the zone".  I met Roy a few years ago at a gym in Groton.  He had come up to me and offered me his book to read on the treadmill. After our friendship was cemented that summer he told me a bit about what he thought of me at the gym and how he was nervous to come up and talk to me..it kind of made me laugh a bit as I am really just a big dork who often trips over pebbles and snorts when she laughs....so the long and short of this is I have ALWAYS had confidence in the gym and felt like it was a place I felt true to myself....that is until a few months past.

I had struck up conversations with some trainers at my gym, one is a really gorgeous competitive body builder and she also is a trainer and the other was also in his time a body builder and now trainer.  I train for my ultras and I also like to lift...I prefer muscles on my body and believe the reason I have never had muscle soreness or hardly any injuries running is because I strength train and I do it pretty hard core for my little self. I am often  reminded by both other runners and friends who just lift that trying to build big muscles on my body while doing ultras is counter intuitive, to want huge quads and a J-LO butt when you run ultras well that is just wishful thinking...but I have tried nonetheless.  I am also training for DR and that requires me to be able to carry my body weight for long distances...I need to have a strong grip and legs that will not crumble under weight and time on feet.  I am  like the little engine that could..I can go forever...I may not be the strongest in fact in comparing myself with other female DR athletes I would say pound for pound I would be pretty weak...in terms of most of them being able to bench press their body weight...well umm not even close on my end.....but the truth is I am tough..as Trooper Dave likes to say, "don't let her go all Cheshire cat on your ass..you will regret it"
I am like a tiny pissed off pocket book puppy, or a really nasty weasel...a fisher cat is what I liken myself to most (Dave continues to confuse a fisher cat with a Cheshire cat...and well both work equally well to prove my point so no worries there). I have different reasons for doing what I do in the gym...functional strength and muscles that do work not necessarily look good...when I am in the thick of ultra season I lean out...I look gaunt if I am not careful and in the past plummeted to 103...now I try to eat more and I have changed my training so as not to burn out my body and mind both physically and mentally...the thing is I started to take advice from these two trainers based not on what has worked for me the past 4 years but on what they train for....and I got very clouded and f'd

Now crossfit...I liked it....and yet...I didn't...the thing was I had my first injury EVER with weights...I f'd up my right shoulder so bad I could barely lift anything with my right arm the entire time I was going to CF..make that two months my friends...the pain was excruciating and it made it difficult to near impossible to enjoy what I was doing..running with log on that arm was so painful it made me want to leave log home! I could not press a 10 lb dumb bell with my right arm without pain and worse than pain a weakness I had never experienced before......it did not stop me from doing what needed to be done in terms of training but I was not happy anymore!!!! I dreaded heading there and instead of intensity written on my face there was discomfort and confusion....

So I stopped going to CF and I stopped going to my gym..for about 2 or 3 weeks I maybe made it to the gym once and spent most of the time doing light plyo stuff and training on the treadmill with the weighted vest...I felt my body turning mushy and my mind was just not as clear...the edges were a bit blurry....then last week Kev arrived and I got my tush out on the trails again. I had a 51 mile week and I although there was still lingering issues from Thanksgiving I was in a much better state of mind.  When I told Roy how I let the words of people at the gym cause me to doubt myself he was shocked, but in hind site I think I understand why it happened...

I am the kind of person that is constantly questioning my own motives for doing what I do and I hold myself to a pretty high bar...I can't lie to me...some people can lie to themselves and all the people they love and do it pretty damn well... I on the other hand am an open book...I couldn't lie if I wanted to...so I think the past few months of uncertainty are the left overs of a pretty f'd up 2011. Seriously this year was pretty damn insane so there is really no wonder that I am questioning EVERYTHING on the cusp of the new year.

It is a good thing...I am back at the gym doing what has always worked for me and I have not felt this happy and strong in weeks. I would not have cycled back where I belong if i did not try something new and then ask myself those tough questions when i did not get what I wanted from the experience..asking myself why I am doing what I am doing and holding myself accountable to the choices I make will  help me to come up with a plan for 2012..not a plan set in stone..I am far to silly at times to have a concrete plan...but an outline at least..an outline for the story that will be my training regime and my goals for the new year. I will take some of the things I learned through CF and incorporate them into my own training...my training is much like my cooking...I do not follow recipes to a T in fact I often add what ever is left over in the fridge into the recipe and make sure to throw in some cayenne pepper to give everything a bit of a kick....I get many compliments on my cooking so that seems to be working....the next time I have unsolicited advice I will just smile and say, "I will take that into consideration..thanks".

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 31, 2010 38 miles... December 4, 2011 38 miles

I noticed tonight as I updated my daily mile with Saturday and Sunday's mileage that the month of December last year was a total of 38 miles and this year four days in and I have already reached that number...it forced me to take a moment to recall where I was this time last year and where I am now...and to reflect on the changes and how I feel about them.  I am still thinking......

Friday night Kev, who is visiting from New Mexico, and I had a nice meal and relaxed and talked and were fast asleep by 8 so we could get up early and head to the Fells...Kev got to see the Tuggers (Steve, Dan and Em) and Norm was there as well as Paul L, Brenda M, Kevin M, Paul S...and I was so excited to see Stas (who  ran up to the car to give me a great big bear hug when we arrived and I was bare bummed changing from sweats into my running shorts).  I knew that the run would be tough as my mind has still been clouded as of late...I like to empty my mind when I run...and too many dark thoughts were there for me to have a sense of clarity and to reach that blissful state which for the most part is why I run in the first place. 

Kev and I managed three loops and with close to over 6000 feet of elevation change (around 2000 per eight mile loop) I was feeling those three loops...we went out and back for a total of 26.2 but I had to call it quits as I was not in the mind set to run and I was getting frustrated by the thoughts that were weighing my body down....at one point along the course I stopped and just lost it for a minute or two...I cried a bit...then when we came in after the second loop to see Em, Dan and Steve standing there and clapping...well my armour came loose a bit and I needed two hugs from Em...ans she held my hugs tight...I just looked at Dan and said it has been a tough week and he said "I know" but you won't let that happen ever again....and I knew in my heart he was right..

We left and headed to Whole Foods in Sudbury to buy some lunch and then a quick stop at Starbucks and we were back at the tree fort.  I slipped into pj's and plooped down and we ate and talked a bit...I was not in a good place..my body was tired...more than it should have been from only a marathon under our belts...and my heart was heavy.

On the course I yelled at him at one point...Kev was trying to get me to do the fourth loop..to be a positive amongst the clouds surrounding my head...and I reacted by yelling "I do not need a cheerleader" It is funny as Kev has stayed by me and held my hand both in real time and figuratively for the better part of three years...he has loved me and asked nothing in return...I do not deserve this kind of devotion but I am so very grateful for it...he has a piece of my heart and always will...and the man in my life will always need to understand and accept this....

I did not want to go out...I wanted to stay home and wallow...Kev left and headed off to Julie's.  I was on the fence about just crawling into bed and closing my eyes...then Roy called and we talked.  We had not been talking for a bit...we had another one of our arguments (if you call it that as it is hard to define) we frustrate one another because we are brutally honest and say things that we do not want to hear...this can lead to some pain and anger.  The thing about Roy and I is when it is good it is amazing and when we close down and close off from one another it is really really bad.  Saturday night we had one of those talks that is just so amazingly honest and yet positive for both of us...sharing what had happened over the Thanksgiving weekend with Roy was so helpful..as he had been there from the start and had witnessed all that was done to me....instead of judging me..he just listened : ) and that was the best gift he could ever have given me...Roy holds me to things that others do not...I can get so angry at him that I see red and blow my stack and yet we seem to never be able to let one another fade from the others life....he made sure I got my ass off the couch and in the shower and head off to this party as he knew it would do me good to be amongst friends...

Trooper Dave has been adopted into the Tuggers just because well...he is Trooper Dave..there is not a single person on this planet who when meeting T. Dave for the first time will not fall in love with him : ) He is the kind of person that deserves to win Megabucks...and he has been a real help with my anxiety and stress..he calms me and helps me to work through how I react to stress...he is my living stress ball...

So T. Dave arrived and we headed off to Julie's and right when we arrived I knew it was the best thing for me to have done....The atmosphere, the people, the music and the kids well they lifted my spirits...excellent food, a living room full of guitars and singers, children and pups running around...Kev and T. Dave and Julie and I talking running...and then just sitting and talking life with Julie with amazing melodies being sung ten feet away and the warmth of the stove......oh she and I are so very alike...she is just further along and at a place that I would one day like to be....she has been here for the entire saga of the past year and will continue to be here while I try to FIGURE IT OUT....
to think I was willing a second time to give up these people....I am disgusted and ashamed with me....but at the same time I am going to try to be kind to me and not beat myself up...this time it will end with healing and not a wound just covered up with a band aid.... 2011 is almost over and I can look back on it as filled with growth and forgiveness and forward motion...2012...well I have no idea what it has in store for me....but there is something about a blank slate that makes me smile...what colors will I choose to dip my brush in..ah the unlimited possibilities....will I f up?  Of course!  I am a bit of a hot mess and well maybe it is time to embrace this part of me..I can't be that bad if you look at the people who choose to call me their friend...

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Fells...memories past

The Fells races are connected to some of the people I love and respect the most.  I remember one of the first training runs I did there with Kev, Dan and Nipmuck Dave and I think Em was there over 2 or almost 3 years ago.  I remember running a loop of the fells race that year with Kev and we talked about nutrition, health and wellness for the entire loop and then an email from Kev opened the door to a friendship that has seen me through some of the toughest situations I have experienced to date.   I remember the winter fells race two (or is it three years now) when I crossed the finish line to find out I made the WS100 lottery. The trails make me think of Bogie and how there is no one like him and how much I appreciate his quirky sense of humor.  I remember sitting in Steve P's car after one race waiting for Kev and we talked about my cancer and his sisters death and then a few days later I received a beautiful email from his wife Deb that cemented my respect and love for them.  I remember Steve "The Bard" L's video of his last loop of the course the year I dropped after three loops..he continued on being one of the last ones out there on the course in the cold and dark and snow that video not only made me crack up but it placed him in a category of toughness that I could only dream of aspiring to...so many amazing people I have run those trails with...it is a blessing the fells is this weekend....
Kev is home for the week visiting from N. Mexico and we will be running the Fells Saturday together....let me tell you it could not have happened at a better time...I need him here to laugh at the absurdity of the situation..I need the race to see old friends and be surrounded by light and love....I need Julie's party Saturday night... I have lost a little bit of faith in humanity this week....but knowing me I will bounce back pretty quick..I am like Tigger...I bounce...it is just what I do...