Sunday, April 28, 2013

Muscle Relaxants

Well hanging out on muscle relaxants,
Trying hard to see the worst that can happen now
I never know what's holding you up
And I never know when I'm holding you too much
-Rural Alberta Advantage

My doctor told me to take two weeks off and then quit.  No wait - that's just what golf pros say.  I was told to take two weeks off and stretch.  So I did.  Then my plan was to run 15 miles today.  I talked a friend into joining me for one of the 7.5-mile laps.  And he did.  It's just that I didn't get very far into the second lap.  In fact, my second lap was only 1 mile before I knew I was done.  8.5 miles is not really 15.  Somewhat discouraging. 

But we do not do these things because they are easy.  (I know, two weeks ago I quote a band named after a JKF conspiracy theory, who sing songs like "back and to the left" and then now I reference JFK.  It's like I don't have any master plan). OK - but I'd be all right with it going a little bit easier.  BTW, I'm at 205 for the year. 

And yes, Rural Alberta Advantage is in with Muscle Relaxants.  Guess what - this band is not from Alberta.  Yes they are Canadian, but not from Alberta.  They are from the home of the playoff-bound Maple Leafs.  That's right - the team that didn't make the playoffs once while I was there is now in.  And if Boston beats Ottawa today, then the Leafs will play the hated Canadiens of Montreal.  That should be pretty good.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I want to ride my bicycle

I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I go
- Queen, Bicycle

Honestly I'm tired of riding my bicycle as evidenced by the lack of activity these past weeks. I did see a javelina the other day which was cool, I think it was a teenager. This morning was a nice ride before it got hot, and I did get some lung burn and thigh burn. My sole purpose was to justify a delicious dessert I anticipate eating when bf takes me to dinner for my bday tonight. Yay!
Headed for the open door
Tell me what you're waiting for
Look across the great divide
Soon they're gonna hear
The sound, the sound, the sound
When we come running

                     - We Come Running, Youngblook Hawke

My favorite running song of late. I did two miles on the treadmill today just so I could come on this blog and say I am at 200 for the year. Pretty pathetic, I know, but I have had worse motivations. I also did an additional two miles on the elliptical, mainly so I could justify to myself the heinous crime of going to the gym during nice weather (in reality, the reason was I just could NOT stand running another hill this week). 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It counts

Bf and I took a little day trip today to a little town up north where it proceeded to snow heavily all day. We were snuggled under the covers after a good nap when dinner time rolled around but bf insisted he had to run, so he drug me in the snow over to this pathetic little gym that had equipment dating back to the 1970s. I dutifully got on the lone bike while he lifted some weights and then got on the lone treadmill. He stumbled twice and then stopped because the treadmill was skipping. So that's 3 bike miles for me and .09 running miles for him. After that workout we picked up little seizures pizza and cookies and promptly went back to bed.

I surprise Even Me

With how much of a bitch I can really be.

It has been snowing and really cold around here, leaving me with no choice but to do the treadmill. So yesterday at work I went down at a good time, and managed to snag a treadmill at work. I was planning to do 3 miles and was about five minutes away from completing that when ladies social hour came in. The other treadmill was taken, as well as the bikes. Two of the three stupid ladies got on the ellipticals, but did not stay on long, the third sat on the weight bench, presumably waiting for a treadmill to free up. All three ladies in their business clothes, all three yakking, and as an added bonus today, even talking to each other across the gym!

So I did 4.5 miles. Why? Because I can. And because they piss me off.

They kept trying to peek at my treadmill (I keep a towel over the display) trying to figure out if I was going to be off soon.... bitches have no idea what I am capable of, I would have run a fucking marathon before I got off that damn treadmill.  Eventually, they all three went and messed around in the weight room for a while, and then left without doing anything. I was off the treadmill by that time, but the other one was still occupied and so were the bikes.

So today it is still too cold to run outside, and more snow expected. I'll be down in the gym again, who knows what my bitchiness will accomplish?

Monday, April 15, 2013

I can't even think straight

This feels like my people were attacked. Not just Americans, but RUNNERS. Runners are some of the nicest people I know. They are tolerant and accepting of all shapes and sizes and ages of people who put one foot in front of the other and challenge their bodies each day. Because we all share a common goal - pushing our bodies towards health and well being. Finding that finish line, whether it's embellished with a balloon arch or just the welcome mat of your front door. Running has given me the deep knowledge that I am stronger than I know. That I'm capable of doing more than I ever dreamed possible. I know the people injured and killed today have those gifts, either by virtue of the fact that they run, or they are close to someone who does. But today I pray for Boston. I wish I could go for a run in solidarity with you all.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Time Will Tell

I've got blood all over my hands, in my eyes, on the strings,
It's pouring out all over my favorite things.
My guilty heart is beating faster, every time I try to sing,
It seizes up and my lungs begin to sting.
-Dave Hause
I was going to quote The Hold Steady today - Lord, I'm Discouraged seemed like the right song.  But I'm not going to do that.  I ran 12 difficult miles today (really 9 good ones and then 3 problematic ones) and while I'm discouraged that I didn't make it to 16 like I planned, I'm not going to dwell on that part of it.  Instead, I will turn to Dave Huase for some inspiration.  And here is the good news - I don't think my lungs stinging will be the problem.  I don't think that blood pouring out all over my eyes and hands will be the problem.  As long as I solve this dead leg problem (or whatever the medical doctors call it), I will be fine.  I'm so much less worried about having the respiratory endurance to finish the marathon or what to eat (mmmm Power Bar gels), so I feel like most of the problems are solved.  Only one left to figure out.

Which brings me to the line about my favorite things.  I've commissioned an artist.  Wait - I'm going to say that again - I've commissioned an artist.  It makes me feel like the King of France to say that.  Anyway - when we moved from Houston to Toronto, a friend of mine drew a picture of our house, framed it, and gave it to us.  It is one of my favorite things.  And so when we moved back, I wanted to have the same thing of our house in Toronto.  I'm told that the Toronto picture is complete and in transit.  I'm hoping that I like it as much as the first one - it was a little bit more expensive. 

So here are a couple of things to add to my list of favorite things - two healthy knees (at the same time) and Time Will Tell by Dave Hause.  I was disappointed that Dave Hause didn't join up with the revival tour until after it went through Houston, but there is always next year.  And he is a genius.  Enjoy.

Keepin it real

So I've been running my whole life
Diving in, never thinking twice
Chasing down what life had in store for me
- Life Rolls On, Little Big Town

I really miss running. I especially miss the mountain. It is depressing to see the beautiful spring days roll by and I can't be out there. I've been riding my bike but it's just not the same. Not as good a workout and less feeling of accomplishment. I did 10 miles today, 6 last Thurs, and 8 a week ago. April is gonna be a bust. I have my follow up on April 30 and assuming all is healed up well, I will be back at it in May.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Winter of Forever

Since I know you guys just can't get enough of me bitching about the weather.... here is a picture of our forecast this week

Yeah... it's like that. So I did go out today, figuring I might be stuck in stupid gyms the rest of the week (I can probably go outside tomorrow if I can manage to get my ass moving early enough in the morning to avoid the wind), but it wasn't as nice as it would appear... the temperature said 42, but it was most emphatically NOT 42! It was windy, cloudy and goddamn cold.  I was running into the wind up nemesis hill, so miserable I was reduced to just begging God for some relief, which never came. That guy always did have it out for me.

I'm at 187 for the year.

Friday, April 12, 2013


I know you've seen this before
And now enough is too much
-Silversun Pickups

I only ran once during this week - I was in Portland and I ran on Tuesday around the Willamette River.  Not the whole thing.  Only 3.5 miles.  I'm going to say that I was allowing my newly troublesome knee to rest (the old troublesome knee is doing just fine - not sure how it switched), but really I just didn't go on my Thursday or Friday runs.  Hopefully that will mean that I am well rested for the big run this weekend.  We will see.

My trip home from Portland was interesting only in that when I got to my seat (window) there was a man sitting in it.  He asked if I would take the aisle instead - which I was cool with.  Until the guy who actually had the aisle seat showed up.  Then the original guy, who actually had the middle seat, looks at me and says "what do you want to do?"  As if I'm going to take the middle.  Low level con game thwarted.

With all this substitution of resting for running and the attempted three card monte with the airplane seats, it seems appropriate to add "Substitution" by Silversun Pickups to the official playlist.  Interestingly enough, I started with "The Pit" on the playlist, but it wasn't working and so I needed to make a ...replacement.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Slaying Minor Demons

Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
                           - Imagine Dragons

I have a gym at work. I should actually say, I have a "gym" at work, since it consists of two treadmills, two bikes and some elliptical machines that I don't like. There are some weights as well. I give lots of credit to my work gym for the consistency of my exercise.  It is literally right in the lobby of the building where I work, mere steps away from my desk and this has allowed me to run on days when I otherwise would not. Because I won't run outside at work. There are reasons for this, but mostly it is just flat out ridiculous insecurity. I used to manage a large team of hourly employees, many of whom disliked me, and I just always felt like I don't need work people seeing me run outside. It was somewhat irrational, I know, but I just never did get over it, and since the work gym was typically empty it made it all too easy to just stay with my comfort zone and run on the treadmill at work, even while I was pushing boundaries at home, and running around my neighborhood without a care in the world.

But lately, that gym is wearing on me. Bitch head used to be a reason to not go there during certain times (although, for anyone interested in the bitch head saga, she has been fired, apparently for having a bad attitude, imagine that), and there were other times when it was crowded, typically in January, but it always thinnned out in the end. But the last few weeks.... my god. Every time I go down there I seem to run into women who want to walk on the treadmill in their work clothes while yakking to each other. It drives me insane.

Friday I had a "last straw" moment. I went down to the gym, and found it empty when I walked in. I went to the locker room to dress out, and by the time I came out of the locker room, four women had come in and taken over the treadmills and the bikes, all in their work clothes and all YAKKING. So, I sat down on the weight bench (yes, god forbid I just spend time lifting weights, just shut up, I don't want to hear it), giving them the stink eye and figuring they would be off soon, and I thought to myself "it is a perfectly nice day outside, why don't they just go outside and walk?" only to have me answer myself with "well, it IS a perfectly nice day outside.... so why don't you just go outside and run?" To which I answered myself the most absurd thing, "when I get my tummy tuck, I'll run outside at work, then it will be okay."

Sigh. So, I spent the weekend pondering this and knowing that it is just ten thousand ways of fucked up. Surgery is not magic. It does not miraculously resolve irrational insecurities, it does not motivate you to exercise in different ways (or motivate you to exercise at all!), and I know this better than anyone.
So today, I ran outside. At work. I found a loop that is around a mile, brought my Garmin and my interval timer. And when I went into the locker room to change, sure enough it was ladies social hour again at the work gym. But I didn't have to worry about that. I did 3.3 miles.

All of which is to say, today I fought some demons. Today I won.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


You act like I don't know my own way home.
-Texas is the Reason

I organized today's run a little bit differently than the last few long runs.  Since this run was the longest run I've ever completed, it seemed wise to try to keep it close to the house.  In fact, I set it up to have halftime at the house.  I ran for a little over 7 miles, went inside and changed into less sweaty clothes, drank some water, recharged my phone for about 5 minutes, and then went back out.  Not counting halftime, I stayed on pace for the first 13 miles (despite mile #13 not really going well) and then fell off a little bit on mile #14.  Whatever - it all counts.  I found my way home (twice) and completed a 14 mile run.  Brings me up to 181 for the year.

Antique by Texas is the Reason is in to the official playlist.  I'm amused by the way they put this song together.  There are about 4 different lines, but they say the same line over and over again and then move on to the next one.  Sounds like a recipe to be repetitious and exhausting, but somehow it isn't for me.  Enjoy.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


It was a darkness all my own
A song played on the radio,
But it went straight to my heart
I carried it with me
Until the darkness was gone
-The Bouncing Souls

According to my schedule, I was supposed to run 6 miles today. I decided that I would get the same benefit by running 3 miles, but faster.  That didn't work.  I think because my run was on the tail end of the dreaded quadrathalon.  I drove for 3 hours this morning to San Antonio, worked for about 4, then drove back for another 3.  The final leg was my 3 mile run.  I didn't really have as much energy as I had hoped.

So the other thing going on is that I'm having a problem with iTunes.  Last week, I opened up iTunes and found that almost all my songs were gone.  I've purchased over 100 songs from them, but only 30 were there.  Not to mention the songs I've purchased other places, uploaded from CDs, or whatever.  It might be because I'm amazingly sloppy with my file management and have about 13 different files with music in them.  It might be because I live with a computer savvy little guy who can't help with any mysteries, including what happened to the cookies when he was alone in the kitchen.  Who knows?  But I fixed it and went through the process of deleting the duplicates (poor file management) and then the next day it was a problem again.  So iTunes - I ain't mad at ya (well, I was, but I got over it), but I am done with ya.  I'm getting on MediaMonkey and I will take my $.99 per week (OK - maybe not even that much) elsewhere.

Ironically, "Gone" by The Bouncing Souls was not one of the songs that was ... missing.  This song is pretty awesome.  If you aren't sure what catharsis is, sing along with this one.  At the first "gone" you will feel your chest expand as if you were turning into the Hulk.  Or maybe some other metaphor that makes more sense.  Anyway, it is now added to the official playlist.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lover of the LIght

You spin me high so watch me as I glide
Before I tumble homeward, homeward
 - Mumford and Sons, Lover of the Light

Note to self:  never wait until dark to ride your bike.  But if you do, make sure to wear your helmet, and bring along a headlamp.  Tonight I waited until it was almost dark to go for a ride, and as I was leaving my neighborhood it occured to me that I forgot my helmet.  The last time I rode, I thought I should probably be a responsible citizen and wear a helmet.  But sometimes I'm aware that I'm being an irresponsible turd and I don't care enough to do anything abouti.  Because despite all evidence to the contrary, I do get going pretty fast on the downhills and an error in judgment (say, missing a curb) could result in a catastrophic or even fatal injury.  And, can you imagine the embarassment of showing up in a morgue dead from a head injury sustained in a biking accident when you have a broken foot? But I digress, I forgot my helmet and I declined to go back for it.  And it didn't occur to me to grab my headlamp, even though I do own one that is used primarily for barbequeing.  So I rode along in the dark more slowly than usual, because it was pretty hard to see given my city's ordinance against streetlights, and so pedestrians and other bikers came at me out of nowhere. So now I sit slightly smelly and waiting for bf to bring me dessert, which he assured me will arrive by 9:13pm.  So sure was he of that fact that he placed a wager on it - if he is late he has to give me a back massage.  If he's on time, I have to watch a high school basketball game with him.  Why would he be interested in a high school basketball game, you ask?  Apparently it's the national championship on ESPN, which I was instructed to record earlier, and U of A has recruited TWO of the top players, so he's doing some sort of scouting.  He even went so far as to predict earlier that U of A is going to win the national chamionship next year.  However, when I proposed a wager on that particular topic, he insisted that I give him odds.  So I guess he's not THAT confident despite the confidence of his prior declarative statement.  Anyway, gotta go.  It's 9:13 and I need to prepare for my massage.  150.5 down. 

small black bugs eaten:  1
grams of protein digested:  .03
large bugs that pelted me in the face:  1
survival of nighttime ride:  priceless

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

White Daisy Passing

And for a minute it all stops but it won't last man
It's just a passing moment gone
Please slow it down
- Rocky Votolato

According to my schedule, I was supposed to run 4 miles today.  I decided that I would get the same benefit by running 3 miles, but faster.  And so I did.

Yes - my last post was about Mickey, Apollo, and Duke and then in today's post I quote a guy named Rocky.  Might have made sense to quote him in the last run.  Fine.  When we do the rewrites for the movie version of the blog I'll fix it.  But for today, we can add "White Daisy Passing" to the official playlist.  This song is perfect to prevent early overgallopping - not only is it mellow, but it actually says "please, slow it down".   Enjoy

Monday, April 1, 2013


She's talking in her sleep
It's keeping me awake
And every word is nonsense
But I understand
- Counting Crows, Anna Begins

So Saturday I did 10 miles on the bike outside again. I was telling my daughter this - that I did 10 miles and it took me about an hour, and she laughed. I asked what was funny about that, and she said, "that's, like, 10 miles an hour. Don't bikes go faster than that?" Huh. Pffft, as my sista says. So today on my 10 mile ride I focused on all the things that slow me down:

1. Easter candy
2. I'm riding a MOUNTAIN bike, not a road bike. So the tires are fat with thick tread, and they just aren't built for speed
3. My bike is at least 10 years old, so it probably weighs 100 pounds
4. It was really hot out
5. I ate a doughnut for a bedtime snack
6. Bugs flying into my mouth
7. All these bikers in shiny tight clothes whizzing past me
8. My route is mostly uphill. The whole way. Yes, really.
9. It was really cold out
10. My dang foot is broken, after all

148 down.