Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pronunciation Key

About 15 years ago I pledged a fraternity (yes, a fraternity) as a freshman. There were six of us in our pledge class. 2 men, 4 women. For the purposes of this story I have to name them MS, MG, A, P, S and then me.


We decided to declare our individuality by spray painting our letters on a giant bedsheet and hanging it from the front of the fine arts building. Three things to note: the fine arts building faces one of the busiest streets on campus. The front of that building houses a professional art gallery. The night we chose to hang the sheet was one of the windiest that year. 

Six of us gained access to the roof of the fine arts building about 11pm. We roped the sheet to the roof, and watched it blow right back at us. We needed ballast. We sent MS and S to the ground to tie the bottom to some bushes. Only a few minutes after they arrived the red and blue lights made their appearance. MS and S were sitting ducks. The 4 of us on the roof took off running. 

[Security guards from the school were "watching rabbits" on a boring night when they saw a group of people they assumed to be attempting to break into the school's art gallery. They called the police.]

P and A escaped quickly to the men's dormitory adjacent to the fine arts building. MG and I couldn't access that building so we started running. Not surprisingly, I was the ringleader of this operation and I was wearing a backpack full of our supplies (mainly rattling spray cans). We ran across the roof to a ladder toward the back of the building. I jumped down the ladder and watched MG start to slowly climb toward me. There was a searchlight scanning the roof. It waved above her head like a menacing T-Rex in a Spielburg movie. At the last second she jumped down and we were both hidden by an open door. 

The door led to a staircase inside the building that dropped us right inside the green room of the theater. "Huh, didn't know that door led here!" 

We snuck out a side door and tried to run-for-it toward the back parking lot. Cue another sweeping searchlight. I was running in front. I turned toward the light and began to put my hands up in the classic "don't shoot" posture. MG shoved me hard in the back and we both crashed down behind a berm on our hands and knees and crawled quickly the rest of the way to the parking lot. We hid under a car. 

The parking lot was a terrible hiding place. We crawled through it until we reached the next street. 

Did you guys know I had a problem with running? Well, we had to run. And we ran. We ran the long and far way around campus. We circled the entire school and arrived in our own women's dorm at about 12:30am. We rushed up to the room of MS and knocked on the door to find out where she was. Her roommate answered that she was not home. 

"Uh, she might be in jail," we dejectedly admitted. 

"That would be good for her," was the reply. 

MG and I went to the bathroom to attend to our wounds (cuts, scrapes and a LOT of road rash). Hours later S and MS arrived in their respective rooms after having been questioned by police. 

The next day we were hauled into the office of the Fine Arts Director. Our names had been handed from the police to the school. Since we had no intention of stealing any artwork or defacing school property they never filed a formal report. We were reprimanded, but not disciplined. 

In the end I found out that the list of names was drawn out of the memories of the pledges, who, as a part of initiation, had been instructed to learn the spelling (but not the pronunciation) of each of their fellow members. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Fourth Date

This other time, after meeting Stephan, he took me on a date downtown Chicago. I bought new shoes- cork and suede wedges. They looked a little bit like these but with brown instead of the blue.............

Anyway- they were new. I hadn't broken them in yet. I started getting blisters as we walked to the sushi restaurant. I secretly slipped them off under the table to give my feet a little break. I don't remember anything about the food because there was a DJ spinning techo music much too loud during the meal.

As we walked back to the car I took the shoes off and asked Stephan to hold them for a minute while I fished in my purse for something (possibly band-aids for the broken blisters that I was dealing with due to the shoes). I was walking and digging as I heard him exclaim, "BEGONE DEMON SHOES!!!" I looked up just in time to see the shoes sailing through the warm summer air, and landing about 20 feet below us in the Chicago River.

I had no words. I just stared at him. He grinned like he'd just caught a hail-Mary pass. And I just stared. Finally, the only words I could think of slipped past my clenched teeth, "I don't think I'm ok with that."

We walked in silence to the car.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

And Also

This is our post from 3 years ago this week. Unbelievable that it's already been three years.

Always Get in the Limo

In 2002 I was working as a lighting designer with Lightswitch at the Concert for World Children's Day sponsored by the Ronald McDonald House Charity. I was 23, engaged (to not-Stephan), and working my way steadily up the design food chain. During production it was my job to adjust the lighting for backstage interviews. I got to stand shoulder to shoulder with Celine Dion, Enrique Iglesias, Nick Carter, and Michael Bublé. It was a cool job. I wore glasses at the time.

I watched all of the interviews with the artists with an artistic eye toward the lighting. And then Michael sat in my chair. This is what I remember of the interview (which never made it on-air or onto the DVD):

Interviewer: Michael, why did you agree to do this concert for charity?

Michael (totally paraphrased): Hey. I'm just a guy who likes to sing. I'd be singing no matter what job I was doing. But God gave me the skill to sing well, and if I didn't use my gifts to give back, then why have them?

There might have been more to the interview. But I didn't hear it. It was the most honest, humble thing I'd heard all day. I was brought to tears. Later that day I saw him walking down the hallway by himself.  It was totally against the rules, but here is what happened:

Me: Um, Michael? I know I'm not supposed to talk to the talent...

Michael: Hey, no problem. What's up?

Me: I, uh, I heard that interview you just did backstage. I was the lighting person. And I just wanted to tell you that what you said was really touching. I heard a lot of interviews, but none of them were as personal and honest as yours. 

Michael: Well, I meant it. I'm so lucky that this is my job. I LOVE my job!

Me: Me to! Doesn't it make it so much fun to go to work when you love what you do?

Michael: Yeah. [Shakes my hand] It's nice to meet you. 

Me: ......

Michael: Wow. You have beautiful eyes. 

Me: .....

Michael: And your hands are freezing. My limo is right outside. I can warm them up for you out there. 

Me: .....

Me: .....

Me: ..... I'm working. I mean, I'm on the clock. I'm... I'm at work. I can't. But, um, thanks?

Michael: No problem [walks away].


Friday, December 14, 2012

Can't Even Hide.

I'm writing this on Friday evening, after a really emotional day in our country. Just... really emotional. If I were to try to type out what's going on in my brain it would echo this post by The Onion which has lots and lots of swearing in it, but definitely gets its point across.

I'm also 18 days into a run streak. That means that I've logged at least one mile every day for the last 18 days. The goal was to continue it until January 1st. But tonight.... I just can't leave the house. I had a really hard time leaving my son's bedroom, even though he was sound asleep. I seriously contemplated spending the night on the floor next to his bed.

Is that a symptom of mental illness? I don't think so. When I typed the other day that there are some things you just can't outrun- I had no idea I would actually mean it now. My brain just can't look away. There's no escaping this one tonight. I just keep turning to the skills I've been practicing the last few weeks, and praying- actually praying- that... I don't even have words yet. I'll have to get back to you.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

There are some things you can't outrun

When I was approached about changing my diet I tried to explain that I'm a runner. I get to eat more. "I'm not a runner, I'm an Eater. I run to support my habit," were the exact words I used.

The response? "You can't run yourself a new pancreas."

Touche, health professional. Which is why I'm feeling this week's diet disaster very keenly. Alright. I ate a cake. Precisely: a very large, but less-than-one-quarter of a chocolate mousse cake. Crap went down at work, I came home, saw how much space in the fridge the cake was taking up, and solved the problem.

Also, did you know that a bag of BBQ potato chips is 1500 calories? Also also... the entire bag does not constitute a meal replacement. Just in case you were wondering. But the good news is that I've now exorcised the house of all its hidden junk food. So it's peanut butter on whole wheat toast for breakfast and red beans and rice for lunch. Maybe broccoli for dinner. Stir fry. Sorbet..... you get the idea.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Untrue

I've led you guys back to Marc Parent a few times. Yesterday's January edition of Runner's World came in the mail and I skipped ahead to his article first. I can't find a link to it right now, but it was about spouses running together.

And it was very gentle. It doesn't really reflect the truth Stephan and I live with. The truth is... we can't race together. We've tried it a few times. Even training together, or running together, we usually end up fighting. Example: The Soldier Field 10 Mile. This race was a birthday present from Stephan to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. 5 years is apparently the 'stadium blanket and race medal' anniversary.

Prologue- Stephan runs comfortably at 8:30 minutes per mile. My cruising speed is about 11 m/m, 12 if I'm cranky.

Chapter 1- The run starts out great. It's a little boring, being essentially an out-and-back down Lake Shore Drive. We turn the corner at mile 5. Then get to mile 7, and I get cranky. I slow down. I think Stephan should really just run ahead. Why am I holding him back? I don't like being pushed.

Chapter 2- We start talking. "Go ahead. Leave me here." "Just keep running." "And another thing, you left your socks on the floor again." "Why are you talking about this now?" "I hate running with you." "Stop making me go faster." "Then tell me to slow down."

Chapter 3- I astop running and start walking... stomping really. The run/walk pace team passes us, and everyone gives us dirty looks. They give us a wide berth. We walk in silence for 2 miles.

Chapter 4- At mile 9 we turn a corner into the Soldier Field parking lot. I start getting choked up at how supportive Stephan always is. How proud I am to run alongside him. How selfless he is when it comes to my hobbies and my health. I would never have started running if it wasn't for him. I would not be continuing to run without his support.

Chapter 5- We cross the finish line holding hands and smiling.

Postlude- After publicly fighting during 3 races, Stephan and I decide it's best not to race together for a while. Mr. Parent doesn't cover any of this in his essay. That's ok. I did it for him.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lyrics 3

You loved me cause I'm fragile. I thought that I was strong. But you touch me for a little while and all my fragile strength is gone.

Where there is Desire there will always be a flame. Where there is a flame someone's bound to be burned, but just because it burns doesn't mean you're gonna die.

Sometimes I hate the things that you do. Sometimes I hate the things that you say. I won't lie, I won't even try. No, sometimes I know I drive you crazy. Maybe that's why we love each other forever and always.

Don't think twice. It's alright.



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Photographic Proof

So I guess I'm going to just have to buy this photo, since I'm so in love with it. I just wonder if they can crop out the weirdo guy behind me!!


There's the smile. The victory. The strength. The Toughness. 

The 13.1 miles of NOT going to give up on this one. 

13.1 miles of I'll slow down later. 

13.1 miles of Sub-11 minute miles?? You've got to be kidding me!

13.1 miles of I'm following the pace group!!

13.1 miles of DetermiNation.



Monday, November 26, 2012

Overheard: A Post for Stephan

Him: Hey! Why didn't you use my phrase?

Me: What?

Him: There was ass everywhere.

Me: Huh?

Him: "I kicked so much ass, there was ass everywhere."


Sunday, November 25, 2012

My New Shoes are Sauc's.

That's so funny!! Isn't that hysterical?? Yes. It is. And it's true. I've ventured away from Nike to purchase my first pair of Saucony shoes. I'll let you know how they are in a few runs.

You know, I was just thinking about the first half marathon I ever ran- it was last year this time. Let me see if I can dig up the results.....


Yeah. Look at that. Sigh. I was so young back then. I didn't follow a training plan for that race- I simply put in a 7 mile run with Stephan a few weeks before and kept running whenever Sawyer took a nap.

The day was cold and rainy- My iPod broke and kept updating my pace and time every 25 seconds. I never walked once in that race. It was a good race.

Which is why I decided to run it again this year. You know, just to cap off my running year and allow myself a second dessert at Thanksgiving.



Yeah, that and..............   I PR'd the half marathon by TWENTY FREAKEN MINUTES.

TWENTY.

MINUTES.

20.

10 x 2.

MINUTES.


So.... how does one knock a full minute and a half PER MILE off of one's distance pace?? Good question. I'm choosing to blame the zombies.

Here is the recap- short because I get bored of listening to myself type.

We arrived at the 5k starting line about 5 minutes after they started. Wrong starting line. Jump back in the car (pick up a guy named Pat because he was also at the wrong place) and cruise over to the half marathon starting line about 3 miles away. I started in the back near the 12 min/mile people. Which is usually my place.

I saw the 11:05 pace runners up ahead of me and decided that it would be nice to keep them within sight for a few miles. So I started running. I ran the first 7 miles under 11:00 per mile. I kept thinking, "I should probably slow down." But I never did. I actually passed the pace group. (They later caught up when I tried to answer my cell phone while running)

Guys, you have no idea how amazing it is to have any relationship at all to a pace group. The only pace group I've ever seen during a race was the run/walk pacers who passed us during the Soldier Field 10 Mile. I've never been fast enough to follow a pace group.

Until today.

I think I just kicked something's ass.





Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Something to Say About This

Ok people. I'm about to rant. It might be an unfair rant. I might feel differently in the morning. But here's the deal: sometimes people can really say things that are hurtful. They're not meaning to do it- it just comes out that way.

This afternoon I was told that I was, "weak and frail."

It was an indictment of my pulse, not my person. But still... Those words have stuck in my brain and irritated it for hours. And like a splinter in a thumb, it's grown and festered until now it's all I can think about. "Weak and frail" are words you'd say to me if you wanted to pick a fight, make me prove you wrong, or decide to inflame my temper to gargantuan size. "Weak and frail" aren't going to make a good mantra for the 1/2 marathon on Saturday.

The biggest problem? "Weak and frail" is what I'm secretly afraid of is going to look back at me from the mirror one day. "Weak and frail" is what I run to avoid, eat healthy to side-step, go to therapy to counteract. "Weak and frail" is how I spent the first 20-something years of my life before I decided to shut up and put my shoes on.

"Weak and frail" makes me want to punch something.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Taper

Definition: The training phase right before a long distance event (such as a marathon) when a runner starts to cut back on his or her mileage. This reduced training phase gives runners a chance to rest, recover, and mentally prepare for their race.


Tapering doesn't happen in life. It only happens in running. Is there any other time when you ramp up your effort and energy, rack up new and exciting goals, and then just stop? I mean, yes, that's sometimes called, "Quitting". And when we were preparing for the Nashville Marathon in 2010 instead of properly tapering, we just stopped running.

But a proper taper for a 1/2 marathon means reducing your miles the week before(ish) to pre-training levels. For me, this means a week of 2-3 mile runs. That's a 30 minute run. It takes me longer to find my shoes than to actually run this distance. Runners tend to be very agitated in this phase. First of all, we have lots of time on our hands. It confuses us. Also, we have a big race coming up, and we're nervous about it. How do we deal with nerves? By running- oh, wait.... we're running less. So we get to just sit with the nerves.

This week is also when the nitty gritty of race-day logistics becomes a reality. When do I pick up my packet? How am I getting to the starting line? Is my family coming? What am I going to wear?

[Packet Pickup Definition: Before you get to the starting line you need to acquire your race number (bib), and perhaps a gear check tag (plastic number to tie to your bag if you want them to hold it for you while you run), and any other goodies people want to shower you with (anything from Chapstick samples, nail files, coupons for smoothies, etc). You'll also get your t-shirt or other race swag- which is the real reason you signed up for the race. Anyway, you have to get in a line and sign a waver and then volunteers will hand you a bag with all of this stuff in it. This is "Packet Pickup"]

I think that runners, as a group, are generally very bad at this type of logistical planning. We're much more focused on the immediate, "where are my shoes?" questions. "How much further?" "What's going on with my hamstring?" So the tapering phase is frustrating.





Friday, November 16, 2012

Chai Tea, Tai Chi

"As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard."
~Lao-tzu



[I finally, just now (literally, 60 seconds ago) finished my internet class, "The Power of Your Awareness. Whew. That was a tough one. That was 9 weeks of 60-120 minutes of power point presentations, plus homework. Then quizzes. I learned a lot, but it was a fight there for a while. Regardless, here is a post about water.]

Ten years ago I was working in an office. The job was pretty challenging. Lots of things would come up and need to be dealt with quickly. And many many things popped up simply to make the task at hand even more difficult than it began. A coworker and I started soothing each other with this phrase, "Be water." We meant it as a reminder to flow around or over the obstacle, NOT to try to push through it. Keep moving, keep flowing, keep progressing. Ten years later, I can add something to the list of positive qualities of flowing water: persistence.

Flow. Allow. Breathe. Accept. Act.

You might bump into a rock now and then, but if you just allow yourself to flow around it, you'll keep your forward progression.

Maybe I should have been a swimmer.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wicked Which

I went for two runs on Monday morning.

For the first run I threw on my windbreaker pants, fleece sweater, baseball cap, gloves, and scarf. The wind was almost unbearable. It threw itself right into my eyes, pricking tears instantly. Every lunge forward gave the wind an opportunity to steal precious inches from my stride. My quads froze almost immediately, and numbed to an ice-bath-like temperature for the remainder of the run. My nose ran. I've never mastered the snot-rocket, but the wind was wipping so harshly that it evaporated almost immediately. My lips chapped and cracked within minutes. My throat dried out. The clear sunlight taunted me from far above my head. I ran for 3 miles. They were slow, painful miles. It was like something out of a Russian novel in it's sadness and torturous nature.

The second run had me dressed exactly the same way. But the gloves were too much. They came off. The fleece got unzipped, and I debated losing the scarf and hat. The sun was warm on my skin. I debated the intelligence of not wearing sunblock. The sweat dripped down my temples and dried in salty riverbeds along my chin. I could feel the humidity of my breath bouncing back and forth across my face. My strides were long and confident, and I ripped off the 3 miles like a jigsaw through a pumpkin.

Punch-line? This was an out-and-back run. I started on Monday heading into a 30+mph wind, and ended it with the wind at my back.

Dude. Wind. Not my friend in the winter.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Now it's a Thing

a.k.a. "Best Photo Ever Taken in the History of People Taking Photos" part II.

I go to acupuncture. It's an amazing 40-45 minute space of my week that is just for me. She talks to me, assesses me, places the needles, and then leaves me alone. For 40-45 minutes. Alone. By myself. In the quiet. With heat. Lots of heat.

It's both my Heaven, and my Hell. It's warm. But I'm not 'accomplishing' anything. It's peaceful. But it's just me and my brain. I've started using the time to practice all of the tools I'm learning through the class and the therapy and the books. I count to 9. A lot. It's a tough 40 minutes sometimes. I have to lay totally still. I don't do that in life.

And so... as a part of the therapy that's keeping me off of meds and out of a straightjacket, Jinny agreed to participate in this:


It's just now striking me that, while I am not a tall person by any means (5'4" by my last count), all of the members of my therapeutic team are shorter than me. Huh.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Grace

Warning: I'm blogging about reading someone else's blog. Heather from Dooce.com posted something last week that has been stuck in my head all day. She is introducing a giveaway to celebrate this month of thankfulness. And at the very end she said, "Again, thank you, especially those of you who have given me the benefit of the doubt. May the same be given to you when you need it the most."

Yes. Please.

It's like passing it forward, but with Grace instead of just paying someone's tollbooth toll. Give someone a break. Look at them and realize that they didn't mean what they just said. They're having a moment that they will probably look back on and regret. And you can be the bigger person, not so you can brag later that, "some jerk" did that "really annoying thing" and you just let them get away with it. No. You can give them the benefit of the doubt.

Yes. Please.

Because I'm feeling like, lately, the chances are pretty good that the person who is doing or saying something insensitive or self-centered is probably me. And I could use a little Grace until I get myself back together.




Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mind. Blown.

You guys are going to laugh at me.

No. Seriously. What I'm about to wax poetically about is totally ridiculous. It's about Pirates of the Caribbean. It's this quote:


"The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?"
~Capt. Jack Sparrow

Dude. Thousands of dollars in therapy over the last 15 years, not to mention the hundreds I've spent on books and classes, all summed up by a rum-addled fictional character in thick eye makeup. I don't even want to 'unpack' this for you ('unpack' being my favorite new therapy word, since it's generally the most disorganized part of taking any trip and consists mainly of upending a suitcase into a laundry basket and dealing with it a week from now).

Instead, I'm going to finish off this glass of wine (I know, why is the rum always gone??), maybe eat more Halloween candy (don't worry, 18 miles this week makes up for it), and go to bed early. Which is EXACTLY what Capt. Jack would do if he was a 30-ish mom in the suburbs.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Gift to Myself

I've been lusting after something for a while now. I first saw it advertised in Runners' World magazine, and then I started getting coupons. And THEN it started chasing me around the internet. Everywhere I went I saw ads for this thing.

So for Sawyer's birthday I finally broke down and bought one. And then I bought one for Stephan!!


This is a RoadID Wrist ID Sport. It's blue. It has my name on it- Stephan's cell phone number- my dad's cell phone number, a note about my allergies (none known) and the word "Survivor". I wear it on runs just in case something were to happen to me. 

I also wear it around the house because it makes me feel like a badass. 


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Overheard: In the Bathroom

"Mommy!! I peed on something!!"

Monday, October 29, 2012

3 Years Already

Yup. Click this.

4am
I’m awake. I think I ate something bad at the Plevna Bar last night. Maybe chicken strips and sweet potato fries were a bad idea at 39 weeks pregnant. Regardless, I’m in the bathroom, and I think I’ll stay here for a while. 

4:30am
Stephan’s awake. He asked me if I’m ok. I told him I’m fine, I just can’t leave the bathroom. He’s worried.

4:45am
Stephan is wide awake now. He tells me that he’s going give me until 5:15 to feel better before he drives us to Glendive. I insist it’s not necessary, this will all go away soon. He convinces me that, since we have a doctor appointment at 11am anyway, it wouldn’t be a waste of a drive, just a little safety net planning. I argue. Stephan stops listening. 

5am
Stephan has started packing the car. He drops the dogs off at Kodie & Clint’s house, gets my purse from Gary’s house, and makes himself espresso. Meanwhile, I have no idea this is going on. I’m trying to deal with the Toilet Pain. Stand up? No. Sit down? No. Lean over? No. My body tries to prove to me that it’s not what I think it is. I’m still not buying it. 

5:30am
Stephan drives the car around to the front door so I don’t have to deal with stairs. I’m wearing yoga pants & a green shirt with enormous SmartWool socks and too-small slip on shoes. Stephan’s rocking black sweat pants and a Jack Daniels t-shirt. It’s pitch dark and a light snow is starting to fall. 

5:45am
We pull into Baker to get gas. Gary’s there- a fun coincidence since he was also the only one at the gas station the night we first arrived here 3 years ago. He waves at me through the window and tells Stephan he hopes I’m not mad at him (Gary had been pushing for an October baby when I was insistent it would be November). Stephan eats a hot dog and drinks a Mountain Dew. I have a stopwatch in my hand to time the “gas pains”. This means nothing to me, as I still believe it’s just something I ate. I grab onto Stephan’s shoulder with my left hand every time I feel one, just to let him know I’m still in pain. The car ride isn’t fun. 

6:15am
We arrive in Wibaux, just over ½ way there. The snow is starting to slack off. I curse the car and try to figure out how to get back to Plevna without ever sitting in the car again. Is there a train? A bus? It’s not to far to walk…

6:30am
I squeeze Stephan’s shoulder when I [finally] realize that I’m in labor, and that we’re probably going to have a baby today!

6:50am
We’ve finally arrived in Glendive. Outside the off ramp is a gas station. Stephan stops there to use the bathroom and to get me something to eat. I ask for apple juice and a doughnut, “Let me tell you what I want in a doughnut…” I get specific. Glazed. Not doughy, as close to a Krispy Crème as you can. Stephan leaves me to time the contractions. If they’re 5 minutes apart or greater then we’ll get a hotel room. 3 minutes or less and we’re off to the hospital. He gets back from the bathroom and we take off for the hospital. 

7am
We walk into the ER, Stephan much faster than me. He’s got the paperwork we pre-signed a month ago, my purse and our overnight bag. 

7:10am
Katie is our nurse. She gives me a big pink gown that immediately reminds Stephan of a circus tent. We realize we haven’t called anyone to tell them we were at the hospital, so Stephan called his parents and mine to let them know today’s the day!

8:00am
Doctor Stewart arrives and checks my ‘progress’. She has to see patients this morning and promises to return around 10:30.

8:45am
I’ve moved back to the toilet. My brother had cautioned me not to poop on the baby. To avoid this I make the extra trip to the bathroom just to make sure nothing like that is going to happen. Once there, I wanna push. Stephan calls Katie to tell her about this new development. She rushes over and tells me NOT to push; she’s heard of people delivering babies on toilets and prefers not to do that today. 

9:00am
I’m back on the bed. Since Doc isn’t available, Katie checks my progress. She leaves to get Doc right away. I can still move freely so I try every position we can think of to get me more comfortable. I keep telling Stephan I want to push and he keeps reminding me not to. During one contraction my water breaks. Stephan, startled, says, “Did someone just throw a water balloon at you?” Stephan runs to get the nurse.

9:30am
Doctor Stewart is back. She checks me again. People just keep telling me NOT to push. Doc’s next instructions were to give a little push, and then let it go right away. She puts her fingers in my hand and tells me to focus my energy into squeezing her fingers instead. All of this sounds ludicrous to me. I start to get discouraged, but I don’t say anything. I just keep concentrating. 

10:00am
Doc checks again. She gives me to go ahead to push. Doc puts on her working clothes: huge, blue boots, a gown, gloves and a hat. The bed transforms in seconds. This pushing is serious. Stephan keeps telling me to “ground out,” which means to push all the energy out the bottom of my body. I rest between contractions and lock eyes with Stephan so I remember to breath and enjoy the peace between pushing. 

Part of a thought runs through my mind, a phrase I heard over and over again in a meditation I’d listened to during this pregnancy, “…ready to join all the women who have ever gone before you, and all those who will come after you…”

10:45am
The baby’s head is out to the nose. Stephan tells me one more push and we’ll have a baby. I can see the exploding excitement on his face. There’s one push left, but I need a break. I take a quick deep inhale. 

10:46am
With one last set of 3 pushes the doctor tells me to reach down and pick up my baby. The baby is slippery, warm, wet, and soft. He is very dark purple, with a swollen head and lips. He’s moving, but slowly, and I don’t hear any crying, but that doesn’t bother me. I hear the doctor ask Stephan if he saw if it’s a boy or girl. He takes a second and says, “It’s a boy!!” I can’t believe it. A boy? Really? The nurses are on top of me rubbing the white coating into the baby’s skin. A boy? Sawyer’s here?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Picking up the Pieces

Crash.

But while I'm down here, enjoy this quote. It's from Nora Ephron's commencement address to the Wellesley Class of 1996.

(Totally reprinted without permission.)


Don’t let the number of women in the work force trick you — there are still lots of magazines devoted almost exclusively to making perfect casseroles and turning various things into tents.
Don’t underestimate how much antagonism there is toward women and how many people wish we could turn the clock back. One of the things people always say to you if you get upset is, don’t take it personally, but listen hard to what’s going on and, please, I beg you, take it personally. Understand: every attack on Hillary Clinton for not knowing her place is an attack on you. Underneath almost all those attacks are the words: get back, get back to where you once belonged. When Elizabeth Dole pretends that she isn’t serious about her career, that is an attack on you. The acquittal of O.J. Simpson is an attack on you. Any move to limit abortion rights is an attack on you — whether or not you believe in abortion. The fact that Clarence Thomas is sitting on the Supreme Court today is an attack on you.
Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Overheard: Home from Work

Him: Wow, the kitchen looks great. And the house is spotless.

Me: Yeah. I kinda want to go for my 5 mile run now.

Him: You just ran 17 miles in 4 days.

Me: Yeah.

Him: Aren't you exhausted?

Me: Kinda.

Him: You're not living up to this diagnosis or anything are you??

Soy

****I'm editing this post; something I rarely do. Rereading it, I have no idea what I was trying to say. So here are the scraps of a post for you to put together. Just think of this as an interactive "What was she thinking???" post.****

The title to this blog was not referencing the dairy alternative. Soy, in Spanish, means "I am."

The post was inspired by someone looking at me and saying, "You have an adult brain now." Something about your brain forming behaviour connections until you are 25 years old. After that, it's all disaster-management as opposed to distaster-prevention.

Then someone else made fun of that fact that I love of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and The Lord of the Rings.

I included this link to my award winning lighting designer capabilities.

I kept up the Spanish references... and included one gratuitous link to a Star Trek website: "All of those things se fue (Spanish: Have gone). Are in the past. Today, I am. Soy. I have an adult brain and I'm choosing to exercise it starting..... ahora."

***Geeze. I'm tempted to delete this whole post. Maybe hypomania isn't as great for blogging as I first assumed.***

Monday, October 22, 2012

Night Run

Want to totally freak yourself out? Are you in a running rut and haven't done anything different lately?

Well grab yourself a headlamp, taillight, and reflective vest and head out the door after dusk. It totally reminds me of what it used to be like driving Stephan to work in Montana.

Except there are skunks. And streetlights. 

And also- that weird thing where a route I run weekly is totally different. I noticed so many new things within the scope of my Cabelas headlamp; elevation changes I never knew existed, uneven pavement, gas powered lamps, not to mention all of the halloween decorations that are up right now. There are also so many more smells at night. Admittedly, I was sniffing regularly for skunks, but I smelled fire, poop, fall, garbage, more poop, leaves, lots of my own sweat, and sewer smell. I watched my breath pass in front of the beam of the LED's in clouds. I traced my shadow across pools of street lamps. 

The voice that usually has to create things for me to worry about was given a task: Keep Anna upright in the dark. And it performed very well! Being concerned with so many actual physical dangers got my brain to shut the hell up for 30 minutes. (I also ran pretty fast!)

Needless to say, this was NOT a zombie run. I actually had the music turned way down low for fear of not being aware of my surroundings. I'll save zombies for broad daylight. You know, when it's totally pretend. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

When Running is Unhealthy

I had a bad day.

That's not entirely true. I had a pretty good day, but then someone asked me a deep philosophical question that threatened to open a bunch of mental doors I didn't think I was prepared to open. I was so upset I threw on my shoes and went for an unscheduled run. I started out way too fast. 8:30 per mile (a full minute faster than my fastest 5k pace) and just vowed to never stop.

The paradoxical vocal chord dysfunction triggered almost immediately. I didn't care. I didn't slow down; I just kept pushing. I knew I wasn't getting enough oxygen, but I just kept turning my legs over. I needed my brain to shut up for just a minute. It never happened.

What ended up happening was a total emotional breakdown in the middle of the second mile. I inhaled, and exhaled a sob- a long, painful, burning, breaking-down wail. I slowed to a walk and all the thoughts I wanted to outrun slammed into my chest and crumpled my face into a masque of pain. I was a mile from home, so I had some time on my hands.

I'd like to say I worked through a lot of things. I wish I'd been able to finally see clearly the answers to my questions. But after a 2 minute walk-break I set my jaw and kept running. The thoughts slowed down as I started crying, not from emotional pain, but from the physical pain searing through my throat and chest. I turned the run into a battle against my body- against my need for oxygen- against the physical cues to slow down.

I didn't resolve anything. All the questions are still there. The only thing I did was add 3.2 unproductive miles to my training week, potentially injure my throat and lungs, and exhaust myself for the rest of the day. I used running as a punishment instead of a reward. I used it to hurt myself instead of become stronger. Maybe I'm typing this as a warning to you. Maybe I just need to have this recorded so I never do it again. Whatever it is, here it is. That's what I did. Don't do it again.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Stealing

People often notice that I love to read. I saw this quote today and it perfectly sums up why I do:

"What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly at you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic." Carl Sagan

I'm reading The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas right now. I love it. I'm lucky enough to be reading it on a Kindle, so I have an instant dictionary with me for all of the SAT words and period references... but it's elegantly readable, and so far, very funny. I tend to read one book per week, but this one is pretty long, so I'm happy that it'll occupy me for a while.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

When to Change the Plan

Stephan and I have trained for all of our distance races with variations on Hal Higdon's training plan (while never actually using one of his plans). It includes one long run per week, and 2-3 shorter runs that increase incrementally as you get closer to your race. You never bump up more than 10% of your miles per week. You get a "rest" week about every 3-4 weeks or so (a week with lower total miles), and you have a 1-2 week "taper" week where you decrease your miles before race day. You also never run the full distance before the race.

I'm in charge of posting the weekly mileage to the family calendar and Stephan and I cross out the runs as we complete them.

But we're getting a little bored of the novice plans. So I looked up a different plan. A plan from Nike. This plan has 2 long runs per week, and increases 20%, has no rest week, runs much more than the race distance a month before the race, and puts a 12 mile run three days before the 13.1 mile race at the end of the plan.

We've been working on this schedule for about a month. It sucks. We're going back to the old way. But we've trained for so many races by now that he and I were able to put together a plan that works just out of our own heads. It's kinda fun to make up the training plan. I remember how religiously I took other people's planning: like it was the second set of commandments that Moses handed to a running buddy who mistook them for a relay baton and headed out to finish his leg but never came back.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

From the Caterpillar's Point of View

"How exactly does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so badly that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar." Trina Paulus

I have no idea who that author is. I just came across the quote this morning and it's fueled a day's worth of ruminating. Are you here to check on how the bipolar II is going? Great. That's what I'm talking about today. Specifically all the things that have changed, or are changing, in order to accomodate a life without drugs, and also without straight-jackets.

Therapy is fun. No, really. I'm actually enjoying it. I get to talk to someone for 50 minutes and neither of us is naked. Also, I get to sit down. Totally new experience.

Awareness training is also fun. But this is more fun in the "time to get your crayons and your pencils..." sort of way. It's watching a 90 minute video every week and doing homework. You know, all the things Anna actually loves doing (see the 15 minutes I spent as a grad-student).

Also, ACT therapy is interesting... although it's the reason I feel like I'm in a grade level below kindergarten. I tried to explain this to Stephan. It went like this....

Me: This is annoying. I feel like I'm taking a class on how to be a human being.

Him: Sure.

Me: I mean, what if someone told you that you need to be potty-trained, and you're 38?

Him: But... in this scenario you're peeing on the seat.

Me: Point taken.

Then there's acupuncture. I've had one treatment, and I'm actually amazed that the last 2 days have been relatively drama-free. I'm using it in conjunction with (complementary to, if you will) the rest of the therapies, so I will never be able to judge it as a stand-alone component. But still, it makes me happy.

While I was at acupuncture, the Oriental Medicine practitioner started talking about my diet. It's not too bad really. But then she suggested I cut out ALL dairy. All. Like, ALL OF IT. And I had a little tiny brain melt-down. Because, you know, I'm not changing enough of my life right now, you gotta mess with my food. And gluten. Stop eating that. The whole family. Dairy and gluten are out. Also, a cleanse twice a year would be good. Brain. Overload. Not. Paying. Attention. Any. More. Something about running also making my condition worse, but honestly at that point I was just giving her my best, "I'm totally listening to your lecture about how microwaves work, Dad" blank stare face. Too much.

Make up your own ending where I tie this all back to wondering if I'm really interested enough in flying to give up yogurt smoothies and pizza.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Overheard: In the Morning

Me: Can I give you lunch money in all 1's?

Him: Sure.

Me: Can I give you $17 in 1's?

Him: Yeah, but any more than ten 1's necessitates a trip to the strip club.

Me: Can I give you ten 1's and a 5?

Him: Sure. That's at least a Fantasy Club visit.

Me: I'm giving you no money. I would like you not to be surprised by that.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Today I...

... Drove in reverse the wrong way down a one way street

... Carried a dog in a Baby Bundler

... Cheered for the person who came in first at the Chicago Marathon

... Cheered for the person who came in dead last at the Chicago Marathon

... Had a cat funeral

... Came to terms with one of the more monumental days of my life.

6am Just Wasn't Early Enough

I wake up at 6am to run.

I wake up at 5am to watch people run.

Huh.

This morning is the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. It is a race I once comemmorated by running from an actual Bank of America bank near my house to an actual Marathon gas station about 1/2 mile away. I'm already in DNation blue. I'm carbo-loading with leftover Pad Thai. I've packed a baby carrier for the puppy that will be joining us this morning. There's also a giant tent in my car, and about 3 days worth of snacks for me. Current temperature: 41F.

I'm so excited. And nervous.

As of this morning, they've raised $1,150,945.62

Each runner raised a MINIMUM of $900. Let's pretend that's an even $1000. What does that get us?

97,835 new cancer patients contacted with personalized, cancer specific information

or

28,775 car rides to treatment for patients

or

23,020 patients given free pain medicine to help deal with treatment side effects

or

11,510 cancer survivors trained to give hands-on support

or

11,510 disadvantaged patients provided case management services through an ACS social worker

or

25,322 wigs

or

23.020 parties for pediatric cancer patients, hosted by medical students


So.... there's that. And I better get moving if I'm going to start layering all my blue and red and grab a coffee before I head out. Stay warm today, and send a few encouraging thoughts towards our 900 DNation runners (and the 45,000 total runners) about to take off this morning.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"What did you think was going to happen?" (part 2)

What a surreal experience. Seriously. First go back and read this post from a year and a half ago.

Funny, right? I mean, duh. Marathon training is hard.

You know what else is hard? Adjusting to a new mental health diagnosis. Case study: Monday sucked. It sucked from sun-up to sun-down. It sucked in the middle, got a little better toward the end, but then sucked hard when I learned that one of our cats had died. It was like a fire-drill of emotional whoooop de doooooo. By the end of the day Stephan and I just sat in bed together stunned.

So therapy on Tuesday was a blast. I showed up, got comfy in the couch, and retold the whole dramatic story. What a day right?

Answer: Welcome to bipolar II. What did you think was going to happen? Let's discuss medication again, and realize for a minute that this is new, you don't have many coping skills in place, and that... well... duh.

Touché mental health professional.

I was also cautioned to look out for emotional swings regarding the death of the cat.

Really? Emotional swings? No. Really?? (I realize sarcasm doesn't play well in a blog, so just imagine me rolling my eyes right now)

So that happened. But if you want to read a good story about trying to define yourself, and then sit and ponder how Anna's doing with the new information, a good place is this post right here

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Official

29:24

That's my 5k time from this morning. It's a personal record (PR) for me. It's the fastest I've ever run this distance in my whole life- training included. It's the fastest recorded 5k for me by more than 2 minutes.

I just kicked something's ass.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Eye of The...

Life is so busy. Seriously, you guys. Remember when we were bored??  Remember when Stephan and I went for drives to see stuff? And really... remember when I had time for wallowing in angst??

I saw a picture of a hurricane recently and was reminded that at the center of the storm is a calm, peaceful place. It's still a part of the storm- but it's the quiet center. It's the middle.

I have a favorite book. Mr. God, This is Anna was a book my parents bought me because it had my name in the title. I've read it about a dozen times. I often buy copies of it and give it to friends. The little girl in the story once tells the narrator that God lives in her middle. And so does he. And so do all the people she loves in the world. They all live in her middle, and she lives in their middles.

Tonight I asked Sawyer where he feels happy. He pointed to his mouth. Where do you feel sad? Mouth again. Where do you feel angry? In his head. Where do you feel scared? In his belly. Where do you feel love? He pointed to the middle of my chest. My body- right in the middle.

I'm cool with that.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Best Photo Ever Taken in the History of People Taking Photos"

I have dear, sweet friends. They are supportive. They are funny. They are kind. Sometimes, they're also complete bitches when I need them to be. One friend had a garage-sale last weekend and dug a shirt out of the pile and made sure it didn't sell. Then she gifted it to me.

The shirt says, "I got a black belt - in crazy."

The shirt is perfect. I love the shirt. I promised her I would wear it every day. And then... I promised I'd wear it to Therapy (I've been banned from using the word "Crazy" because it has negative connotations, I use it too much, and it contributes to my bad habit of labeling myself.... apparently).

The challenge: wear it to Therapy.

Bonus: take a picture of yourself in front of Therapy while wearing the shirt to prove you did it.

Extra life-awesome-ness points:










Get the secretary to take a picture of you AND your therapist while wearing the shirt.



Dear bipolar II,
You will not take my sense of humor away from me.
Check. And Mate.

Anna

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fact:

Sometimes I carb-load 9 weeks before a race.





And this photo is posted purely for bragging purposes. Oh... who's that calling?? Sub-10-minute-miles?? Why, yes! I'll take it!!!!



Pupal

Warning: Cheesy simile headed your way.

So there are a lot of things changing in my brain lately. Also, we're training for a November 1/2 marathon. It's the start of training, it's the start of a few different mental journeys for me. I had the thought the other day that I'd just like to have a conversation with the person I am about 4 months from now when all of these things have settled down.

It's like... think of a caterpillar, right? They start like ugly worms. (Or pretty worms, I guess it depends on your point of view.) And then they hibernate in their chrysalis, yadda yadda yadda, out pops a beautiful, transformed butterfly.

Here's the thing. When people go through transformations, they usually (unless I'm missing some amazing medspa out there) don't get to cocoon themselves away from the world to take the time to figure it out before coming out the other side. No no. We have to keep going- keep moving. You can't drop your kid off at Preschool in a chrysalis.  You can't call into work, "Yeah, I'm going to need three months off to re-learn how to breathe from my diaphragm and reset my emotions after my mental button has been pressed." And you definitely canNOT tell a cat that's about the puke on your bed, "Listen pussy, a medical professional told me that my #1 priority is getting eight hours of sleep- so let yourself outside to hack up that fur ball."

(Hee hee. I used a bad word.)

This is a tough one. Fold laundry/breathe. Make dinner/accept change. Dress child/observe the sensations in your skin. Walk dogs/learn to let go. Type blog/find inner peace.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dim Sum

-or-

A post about a lot of little things.


Alrighty people. Go getcha selves a cupa tea. This one is gonna be a doozie.


First. Zombies. Several of the Zombie transmissions are recorded under the premis that the person talking has no idea if there's anyone listening. They're talking and letting their ideas out into the universe without knowing if they're being received. Sometimes I feel like that. I type words. I hit "Publish." And then.... I have no idea what happens after that. I know I've picked up a few readers from my activity on the Runner's World Facebook page... and it's possible my family might still have saved the link. But... I don't know. Echo... tap tap... is this thing on?

Second. Scoring a different game. Cancer was a big deal. I was 29. It was Melanoma- the deadliest form of skin cancer. I loved the sun. I actually had a tanning package at the time because it helped me ward off the winter blahs. With one punch-biopsy my life changed. No more sun. Gotta lose weight. Check ups every 3 months, then every 6 months for the next ten years. I wasn't going to take Cancer laying down. I "shut up and put my shoes on." Cancer changed my game, and I rose to meet the challenge.

Third. Acceptance. (Which I realize should have been the first step... but whatever.) The morning I was waiting on the phone call from the doctor about my current Cancer condition I had my game face on. I was ready. I wrote a manifesto about it. It was titled, "If it's Cancer..." The good news: it wasn't Cancer. The bad news... later that day I showed up to an appointment with a psychotherapist. This wasn't my first appointment. I was feeling pretty invincible after getting the good news. I felt great. By the end of our 50-minute hour I walked out of the office with a brand-new diagnosis: bipolar II.

I know, I know. I've heard it all in the last few weeks...
"Aren't all women bipolar?"
"Well, there's something wrong with everyone..."
"This sounds made-up."
"If that's what's wrong with you- I wonder what's wrong with me??"
"Yeah, I knew that. How did you not know that?"
"That's crap. The therapist's kids must need braces."

Regardless of what anyone in the world says, this disease kills 20% of the people who have it. And that number rises with several factors. And many of those factors apply to me. So I can't blow this off. I gotta do bipolar with the same gusto as I would have done Cancer. I can't ignore 20%.

What's the care-plan for bipolar II?
For now, we as a family, are choosing against pharmaceuticals. The therapist told us that this is NOT recommended. This is definitely a different path for this diagnosis. But we're ok with that. Stephan is a medical professional. We really trust our therapist. We're not going into this blindly. At the first sign of the Alternative Medicine failing we're getting back onto the med-train. But for now, this week, we're focusing on three things: Sleep, Eating, Exercise.

I'm supposed to write down how I'm doing in each of those three categories and bring it to my next session. Of course, this is ME we're talking about, so I've already created a 'tool' to measure how I'm doing using numerical values so I can compare them on a spreadsheet over the next few weeks.

So, there you go, Internet (or echo, or whatever). That's what's going on with Anna lately. It does make the, "Just be Anna" directive a little more complicated. "Anna" feels a little under construction at the moment. Stay tuned for updates.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Progress

My friend Kristen recently blogged about setting goals. Specifically how acknowledging goals- writing them down, telling other people- gives them a greater chance of being achieved.

So I've been thinking about it for a while. And here's what I was thinking... In baseball, hitting a ball 3 out of 10 times is a pretty good goal. In school, 80% is passing in most cases. Bowling? Basketball? Black jack? A "good" score changes depending on your perspective. If you've been bowling and you're used to scoring 66% of the time (a really good score!!) and you start playing baseball (where a 30% average will net you millions of dollars) you're going to have to make some mental adjustments.

Well, I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this. Mentally, I need to stop aiming for that 4.0 GPA, and start playing a kinder, gentler sport.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Spreading like Herpes

So by now you guys know I'm addicted to Zombies, RUN! What you might not know is that I should really start getting a commission on this thing. A man came to do an estimate on replacing our windows and I talked so much about Zombies that he downloaded it to his phone before he even left.

With that guy, that makes 4 people in the last month I've pressured into playing the game. Do you play? Share your experience with me in the comments!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Where We Started...

This week marks the anniversary of SO many things. But my favorite is the anniversary of the first time I took running steps post-foot surgery.



It was only a 2.0 mile run. It took 30 minutes. The average pace was 15 minutes. And, as you can see from the graph above, it started out strong, but quickly faded into a walk.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

When Breakfast is the Deepest Time of the Day


"Today is my birthday!"

"No. It's not."

"YES IT IS!!"

"Ok, fine. In a universe where all time is happening simultaneously, yes, today is your birthday."

Saturday, September 8, 2012

No Title Yet

I have a song in my head and I just realized I have no idea who sings it, or what the lyrics are. Crazy, no? But I thought it started, "It's 6am and I am not awake...." but Google isn't helping. I also thought it was by Green Day.

I thought the 6am runs would get easier. Not so. It's getting darker (duh) in the mornings, so it's actually a little scarier to leave the house half dressed with earphones in. But it's also getting cooler. I headed out this morning surrounded by 57 glorious degrees of air temperature with a gentle breeze. Yes, in shorts and a tshirt. And I feel amazing. This is why I started running. It's so different to run in fresh air.

So my advice for you today is to go surround yourself with something refreshing. I'm choosing a shower next!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fifteen Birds in Five Fir Trees...


Yet another example of my stellar parenting skillz:



"Mom, why don't the goblins come here?"

"Because they are afraid of the dogs."

"And the dogs bark?"

"Yep. When the dogs bark at the goblins they run away."

[dogs start barking like crazy]

"Mom, are the goblins here?"

"No, the dogs scared them away."

"But they came here and the dogs scared them?"

"Yeah, let's think about cakes and the aquarium."

"Ok."

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Little Pieces of Paper

This is a spoiler blog post about Zombies, Run!

Dude!!!!! This is so much cooler than I expected it to be!!! So when you're running you "pick up" items like water bottles, USB keys, sports bras, etc. If you run too slow and a zombie catches up to you, you drop some of the supplies to distract them. Sometimes, you pick up really specialized things. "Artifacts" like an article from a newspaper. Or... A note from Netrophil.

Netrophil??

Netrophil.

The paper I picked up had an email address on it. I googled the address, found out it was part of the game, and then emailed them.

Dude. I got an email back. With more information about the game. These guys have websites set up, Twitter accounts, and email addresses. I can't WAIT to get to the bottom of this game- and the only way to do that is to RUN!!!

Looking Back

I didn't remember writing this post until I got to the end of it. I love my kid!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Six "Hey!" M

(get it? Like, 6am, but with "Hey!" instead of A?)

We've undergone a dramatic schedule shift in our household. The net result was that Stephan and I now spend at least 4 hours in the same bed at the same time EVERY NIGHT. It's weird. It's been 3 years since that's happened. He used to work from 7pm - 7am and we were all awake by the time he got home. Now he gets home at 4am, and the whole family is asleep for a few hours.

So what do I do with this new wonderful gift?

I use it to go for early 6am runs. When Sawyer lost his afternoon nap I lost my run. Now I can join those thousands of insane people who wake up in a quiet house and dodge morning rush-hour traffic, school busses, cranky teenagers, and finish off a 4 or 6 before anyone even wakes up.

I'm happy this is working out.

I'm stunned at what 6am feels like to my body.

Friday, August 31, 2012

This Post will be Deleted on Tuesday...

[I'm leaving this post here for now, since it's all part of the Journey. But the nurse called back this morning FINALLY and said it was simply Seborrheic keratosis a very common type of benign growth in adults]

But for now, I'm sitting still on a Friday night wondering what the biopsy results are from a little mole taken off of my cheek TWO MONDAYS AGO.

Someone knows. I called twice today. The nurse on the phone called me back and said, "The results are here, but the doctor has to call you about them."

This is going on record as the dumbest stupid thing any medical professional could have ever said to me ever ever ever*. So... you know the answer. And... you're not going to tell me. And... it's a Friday before a three day weekend. And... "the doctor has to call you" really just tells me that it's bad news.

Here are a few other things she could have said:

1. "Oh, Mrs. Koruba. Yes, we have them in, and the doctor still needs to review them. He's booked up today, it might not be until Tuesday. Would you like me to speak with him and see if it's ok for me to just call you back this afternoon?" [yes, I know this might technically be illegal. I'm willing to take that chance]

2. "Hmm, Mrs. Koruba... nope, I don't see that we have them yet. Why don't you call back on Tuesday?" [yes, I know this is lying, but it would have made me feel better]

3. "Hold on, let me get the doctor on the phone for you."

4. "Hey, yeah. I see that we have them in, and everything is fine, but the doctor specifically wanted to go over a few of the details with you himself. I'll make sure he calls you first thing on Tuesday."




*actually, a doctor once looked me straight in the eyes and said, "You know, the first step is acceptance." THAT was the dumbest thing ever. This is the second.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Copyright Infringement

So... I guess my Zombie-iPhone-game-is-a-government-training-program idea has already been done.

And it's been done well, my friends. Very well indeed.....



Monday, August 27, 2012

Chapter 1

While I was on a Zombie run this morning I passed an unmarked police car. The man inside was on a phone watching out the window. He was in plainclothes. He stared at me while he spoke into the phone.

Which leads me to this:


Zombies, Run! How an iPhone App Saved the World.

Chapter 1

We thought it was just a fun way to run. We thought it was helping our interval training. We thought it was just a game. We were wrong.... It was actually a sophisticated recruitment program for an apocalypse the government knew was coming. They had the Zombies, now all they needed was the antidote. With thousands of trained runners already up to date on the lingo, the missions, and the goals, all they needed to do was to activate a world of Runner 5's to connect the desolate outposts that had survived the initial outbreak.

Truthiness

5 days out of 7 I try to make excuses why today is not a good day to run.

Luckily, at least 2 days out of those 5 I remember I have a blog full of inspiration to click on!

I just didn't want you guys to get the wrong idea. It's not all pom-poms and smiles over here all the time.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rain Dance

I just realized why there is a drought in the Midwest. Apparently, every time I want to 'sneak in' a run and only have a few minutes to spare, it pours down rain. So, I'm sorry farmers, for my lack of enthusiasm this summer.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Overheard: Waking up

Me: Sawyer, we're going to go see Thomas the Train today! And Sir. Topham Hatt!

Sawyer: Mom, is this Christmas?




Monday, August 20, 2012

More Being

It's raining. The iPod can't go in the rain (something about eating after midnight, too). My face hurts too. So many excuses!!

Also, I wanted to share this story...

One day after being told to "Just Be Anna" I was at the bank. The teller is a nice young woman who I see there all the time. She glanced in my wallet and saw a photo of Sawyer as a baby. She asked if she could see it closer.

I also have a fortune cookie fortune below the photo. It's a little personal, something no one really sees, but I look at and find inspiration from all the time. I couldn't decide if I should share it with her or not. I mean, I was at the bank.

I told her, "The fortune says, 'All things are impossible, until they are not.'"

The teller asked, "Oh, was he a miracle baby?"

I answered, "Um, kind of.

And then the bank teller broke down and told me she was SO glad to know that, because she sees Sawyer all the time, and it's so hard to be disappointed all the time, and she knows that God has a plan, but it's just so frustrating... She thanked me over and over again for showing her the fortune cookie.

So glad I was Anna at that moment. I love those moments.