Thursday Fodder

This poor, poor blog. I’m sorry for ignoring it for so long. I’m hoping to get back into a routine soon.

I read this article on quitting recently and it made me realize it was time to quit my New Year’s resolution of daily planks and push-ups. It was no longer bringing me joy and was making me feel like a failure with each day that ticked by. I made it 40-something weeks, which is wonderful. I was able to hold a plank for 4 minutes, and I can do 13 push-ups in a row. I feel satisfied with that.

It’s been extremely difficult to run or work out at all after my half-marathon. There was an amazing vacation thrown in the mix, but I can’t blame my lack of energy on that. I deserved that week off, damn it! I’ve gone for exactly one run of two miles since my half on October 25th. I can’t seem to drag myself out of bed early in the morning, into the darkness, and into the ear-splitting wind, when there’s no race on my calendar. Running just to… run? I don’t get it.

I’ll seek to find a new balance and a new normal in December. Once visits are over and food has been eaten, I’ll try to get back into it.

I completely forgot about watching American Horror Story last night but when I woke up at 2:30am and couldn’t sleep, something urged me to get up and sit on the couch. “Oh yeah, my show is on!” I thought. I caught it 10 minutes in and marveled to myself, “As much as I love Jessica Lange, the Countess was meant to be played by Lady Gaga. No one else could have done it justice.” Quite frankly, I haven’t missed Jessica Lange this season, and I was broken-hearted that she left. Last night’s episode really gave a dimension to the Countess that I knew was there but had yet to experience. I am, and will remain, a dedicated Little Monster.

I haven’t watched Empire in two weeks, either. I’m missing out on everything!

Last night I had a vivid dream starring the last person to break up with me. I groveled even in my dream… and even in my dream, she was a back-biting bitch. Like, “Fine, I guess I’ll let you back in but I don’t see why I should. Now help me do my chores!”

After my show, I went back to sleep and had part two of the dream, in which she read my blog and left angry voicemails on my phone, saying, “I can’t believe you wrote that about me!” It had something to do with me telling a homeless person my problems – none of which had to do with her.

The universe is telling me that it’s good for my soul not to be involved with this person right now. Logically, I know this to be true; illogically (emotionally), it’s hard to swallow – not untruthful, just hard to swallow.

An Open Letter

… to myself.

Dear derziriff,

There are some things you need to remember. These are things you need to remind yourself of when you’re feeling at your most vulnerable. Open this letter again and again, every time that scar starts to itch again.

  1. All interactions with this person left you drained. I know it sounds impossible now, when you’re caught in the death grip of nostalgia, but it’s true. You never went home feeling rotten after spending time with real friends, and you still don’t; somehow, visits and even phone conversations with this person always made you feel worse.
  2. There were some good times… but they were a long time ago. Don’t forget how long it’s been since you were able to have a normal relationship with this person. Don’t forget that you both became different people. Don’t forget that people grow apart sometimes. And don’t forget that those good times can never be replicated. Too much has happened since.
  3. Time heals all wounds. It may not feel like it when it’s been months and you’re still hurting, but it’s true. It takes a long time to get over being hurt by someone you cared about.
  4. You wanted to reconcile. Don’t ever forget this. Perhaps it’s petty to shrug your shoulders and say, “Well, I wanted to work it out and they didn’t.” But hey, you’re only human: you can be petty sometimes. Being rejected sucks. Remember that you were the bigger person, but it takes two to make a relationship work.
  5. They’re missing out on just as many things as you are. It hurts to know you’re no longer a part of someone’s life, but you have to remember that they’re no longer part of yours, either. They’re missing out, too. You have amazing things to offer, and you have amazing people to share them with. This person is not one of those amazing people, and that was their choice. Try not to mourn the loss of someone who made it clear they don’t want anything to do with you.

Read it again. Let it soak in. Read it until you believe it.



Week 45

I managed to squeak out four days of activity last week. Hooray! I continued to hold my planks at 4:00 and did two sets of 13 push-ups each.

I found myself looking at the calendar this morning to see how many weeks of this I have left. I’m so tempted to quit. For God’s sake, I’m up to a 4:00 plank! Can’t I just be done? But alas, there are only 8 weeks left so I can soldier through it.

I wonder what I’ll decide to do when the calendar rolls over to January. Will I go back to a plankless existence? I sure won’t be doing 4:00 planks multiple times a week, I can tell you that much. Maybe I’ll just scale it back to a normal person’s plank routine.

I also went running on Saturday for the first time since my half-marathon. Do you want to know the truth? I was scared. I was so afraid it would be terrible. I think the effort required in that half-marathon frightened me a little bit. It became so hard at the end that it left a bad taste in my mouth. So I set out on Saturday with one simple goal in mind: drive down to the Lake where it’s nice and flat, run one mile out and turn around and come back. Sure, it was slow for such a short run, but I did it, and I didn’t take any breaks.

Now comes the hard task of peeling myself out of bed early, in the freezing cold, to run before work again. Lord help me.

Week 44

I debated on whether to write a post about this week or not, but the final decision was made because I set out to report my progress each week in order to hold myself accountable. In that spirit… week 44 was a complete bust! Not one plank, not one measly push-up. And I’m not sorry! It was an amazing week – my first half-marathon and then an action-packed visit with my best friend. I simply didn’t care about working on my abs.

Back on the horse for this week!


My First Half-Marathon

After months of training, it was finally time to run the race!

I woke up Sunday in our motel room rested and feeling as ready as I’d ever be. I had already promised myself that I would finish the race and that would be my only goal. I haven’t been feeling well, so I knew it was better to enjoy the process than push myself and get really sick. With Lady’s help, I choked down my bagel and some orange juice and then we drove to the race site.

Our timing was perfect and I didn’t have a lot of time to fret before the start of the race. I was nervous as hell, but I mused to Erik, “No matter what distance I’m running, my nervousness is at the same level. It’s the same for 13.1 as it is for 3.1!”

Before I knew it, I was in the chute and off.

The weather started out perfectly: 50 degrees and overcast, just the way I wanted it. Wearing a tank and long compression shorts was a perfect choice. Roughly halfway back from the out and back, it started getting sunny and hot. I use the term hot loosely here. It sure felt hot. In reality, it was probably in the mid-60s.

When I began the out and back, I searched desperately for one of the many Porta-Poos they promised me. I had to pee! I finally found one and for the first time in my life, stopped to pee during a race. That was my first indication that this race had to be run differently than any other I’ve done.

On my way back to the main loop from the out and back, I watched a woman take a horrible tumble. My second indication that this race was different was that I stopped to ask if she was OK, and actually stayed there with her for a few moments. I hate to sound callous, but normally I’d just keep going – every woman for herself! She was mostly OK and sent me on my way.

I reached the main loop and that’s when the fatigue started setting in. Any of you who have read my fears about this race know that there are two uphill miles at this point. And I walked most of those two uphill miles. Everyone else was doing it too, so I didn’t feel too badly. When I reached mile 10, I actually peeked at the time on my phone: 11:06am. I mention this because it seems like up to mile 10, I kept time with my training runs! If you factor in my potty break and stopping to help the tumbler, I had managed to run my normal pace.

But then everything just started falling apart. I made it to the downhill section and knew I was in trouble because I couldn’t run the whole downhill. My walking breaks became longer and longer. And then a horrendous, aching cramp started growing behind my knees. I’ve never felt anything like it. Nothing I did could soothe it. I willed myself to just keep going, no matter what.

The mental grit was amazing. I managed to cross the finish line running, but at that point I was so beat up, tired and let down that I was so beat up and tired that I wasn’t able to celebrate. I collapsed against a fence and put my aching legs up. Everything hurt so bad. I was on the verge of tears.

Eventually I talked myself into having Erik take my photo, since I knew I’d never have another first half-marathon. Here’s me on the verge of tears:


Erik kept trying to get me to smile, which I eventually did. That was the photo I chose to share with the world on Facebook and Instagram. But before that laughing photo was taken, and the reason I was able to laugh, was because I did this:


Miserable and defeated, I went and changed into my sweatpants and flip-flops. I crawled back into the Blazer, put Lady on my lap and said, “I’ll be hungry soon. We should find a Sonic.”

We drove to Louisville and found a Sonic, and I said, “I don’t think I’ll ever do that again. Maybe I’ll just stick to 10ks.” Erik agreed with me, stating humans weren’t meant to run so far.

As my tummy began to rumble and we pulled into Sonic, I started feeling better. The fatigue started to dissipate a little, as did some of the pain. By the time I was eating my Asian Sweet Chili wings and chili cheese fries and guzzling my Coke, I began to feel proud of what I’d done. It might have been ridiculously hard at the end, and it may have been very slow, but I’d done it.

And yes, I want to do another one someday.

Week 43

Well… it was a bust. I did one plank, all week. And no push-ups. I didn’t feel well and I had a lot on my mind with my half-marathon looming.

I’d love to say that this week will be better, but I’m traveling so I won’t say I officially give up, but that’s sort of where my brain is right now. If I do my planks, I’ll continue to hold them at 4:00 like I did last week.

Mile Dedications

I’ve heard of people dedicating each mile of a marathon to someone they have a meaningful relationship with. It’s supposed to be something you can reflect on as you run, keeping your heart in the right place and giving you strength when you need it most. Well, I may not be running a marathon but running a half-marathon is a big deal for me and I intend to do the same!

Sure, sure, as I’m trudging along at mile 9 and wondering how in the hell I’m going to run 4 more miles, I may not remember exactly who I’m supposed to be thinking about at that given moment – but let’s just say that throughout the race, these 13 (actually, 16) people will cross my mind!

  1. Sharon
    Without Sharon lifting me up, I wouldn’t know I’m a queen. Without Sharon’s shoulder to cry on, I’d be lost. Without Sharon’s love and support, I wouldn’t be here in Colorado. And if I wasn’t here, I never would have started running. Everything I’ve been blessed with these last few years has a lot to do with Sharon. I miss her everyday but even with the distance that separates us, we’ll always be deeply connected.
  2. Tracy
    Tracy was the best group ex teacher I’ve ever had! She inspired me to reach new heights. I worked through a lot of bad feelings in her classes. I wouldn’t have the strength and toughness to do any of this if it wasn’t for her.
  3. John, Andy & Lionel
    On that same note, my Central Community Branch group ex teachers taught me more about mental grit than I ever thought possible. They all had very different styles but I loved each one just the same!
  4. Victor
    Another throwback to Worcester! Victor, like Sharon, got me through some of the most stressful professional and personal times of my life. On those days when I needed a hug, this certified non-hugger was there to give me one. On those days when I just needed to get out of the office, he was there to bring me to the Boulevard Diner or for Korean food. And even 2,000 miles away, we still have each other’s backs.
  5. Caitlin
    Caitlin has encouraged me every step of the way! She’s never condescending about running or training techniques, and always has kind words to say about my progress. And she was a great running buddy when she visited last month!
  6. Deanna
    Deanna is my rock. Perhaps you’re thinking I should say that about my husband, but girlfriends are rocks in a different and even more important way. Roughly halfway through my half, I’ll definitely be thinking of my upcoming trip to see her!
  7. Mom
    My mom always taught me the importance of keeping fit, not only for physical health but for mental well-being. With her recent interest in meditation, I’ve learned that running is my meditation. She also taught me about the Law of Attraction and now I know that I can have anything I want. I spend a lot of my runs visualizing the things I want in life, thanks to her.
  8. Chris
    I have a lot of soul sisters, but no one takes the place of your real sister. She’s been so encouraging of my training and races, and always reminds me to enjoy every step of every run and be thankful for my body, the air, the scenery.
  9. Julie
    As my current group ex instructor and good friend, I have a lot to thank Julie for! It was culture shock to move to my current job and not have a daily workout to go to during my lunch break. Almost right as I started, Julie began teaching boot camp after work here. I liked her immediately and made it my personal mission to befriend her. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more encouraging, generous and kind person. I really look up to her! Not to mention how fashionable she is.
  10. Courtney
    Along with Caitlin, Courtney is the most seasoned runner I know and she’s been an invaluable source of encouragement and knowledge! She helped me get fitted for running shoes, find new running routes, get equipped with a running belt, and more. And every time I’ve felt like giving up, she’s there to support me and make me feel better.
  11. Kerry
    I’ve always looked up to my cousin and I still do! She just came out of a tough year and this mile is all for her – health, strength, wisdom and intelligence.
  12. Aunt Marlowe & Aunt Cheryl
    My hiking buddies! I’ve always enjoyed mulling things over with them and hearing their advice. Aunt-niece relationships are so important and these two have been perfect role models with the insight and wisdom they’ve offered throughout my life.
  13. Erik
    And finally, my loving husband, who does his best to make it to all my races and wait at the finish line with Lady. He always asks how my training runs were, and tells me I can do anything I set my mind to. Whenever I get down on myself, he’s quick to build me back up and make me feel like a champion. I love seeing his face when I come across the finish line! He’s my partner in crime and if Deanna is my rock, then Erik is my root system.