Category Archives: Fitness

On Finishing Last…

Okay, so… I’ve been thinking a lot the last day and a half on finishing a race dead ass last.  Not losing.  I didn’t lose.  Losing would have been quitting because it got hard, or not starting because of the rain, or not trying because it’s work.  I didn’t lose.  I ran my race and I finished.  And I’m glad I did.

But, there are things that you miss out if you are in the back of the pack.

In February, I did the Austin Half.  My time was 4:00:39.  Not really anything to brag about other than I finished.  I was hurting like hell and I finished.  Yesterday I did 10 miles in 2:38:57.  And I felt pretty damn good by the time I finished.


I learned that, when you’re last, you really don’t seem to count.

The people taking pictures… get great pictures of the HUGE herd of people crossing the starting line… coming around mile 9 or 10 or 12… or across the first street bridge or whatever.  They disappear after the huge herd passes.  I got my picture taken I think three times yesterday… Once at the start, once rounding the 9.75 mile mark and once crossing the finish line.   And that guy really didn’t want to still be there, you could tell.

The people cheering leave.  If you aren’t in the herd, you really don’t get cheered so much except sometimes by the people at the water stops.

The water stops dry up and blow away.  In the half, right were I NEEDED gatoraid and right where I NEEDED water, the tables were there, there were empty cups blowing around.  There was no water.  Yesterday, as we were finishing the last two miles, they were pulling the tables and the water buffalos.  Poof… no water for the stragglers.  The people not elite… the people not fast enough to be in with the in crowd… they probably don’t need water by mile 8-9-10-11-whatever anyway.

I’m not elite.  I don’t have a bicycle riding with me to make sure I make my time and get to the finish line in the first handful of runners.  I’m not even really middle of the pack.  Yesterday, we had the medic buggy pacing us about 7 feet behind my heels.  Okay, it may have only felt to me like they were vultures circling the feast, but, you know what, I had THREE hours to finish.  I guess technically I had until 10:00 am to finish by what I was told…   I finished in under 16 minute miles.  I finished with a good FIFTEEN minutes to spare and THAT was after they delayed the start 15 minutes.  I might not ever be a good runner, but it really is demoralizing to realize that your ass is what is holding up EVERYONE from going out and having their fun.

I paid my money.  I count.

For all of those even planners out there planning races…

Leave the water until AFTER the last runners pass.  It’s not that many extra minutes to your day.

Don’t park your porta-potty truck on the course even if you have to wait for us to pass and it takes you an extra twenty minutes on your day.  Going around you truck is a pain in the ass and tacky.

If you are the people scraping up the bodies that don’t make it, If I happen to still be up and running (or walking or crawling for that matter) BACK OFF.  You are in a buggy.  Staying 20 feet back or 30 feet back… or however far back it ends up being that I don’t have to hear you discussing your lunch plans that I’m ruining by being one of the last 10 people to finish.

I may not matter to you, but this matters to me.  I matters just as much to me, hell, maybe it matters MORE to me, as it does to mister first place finisher.

And if you are taking pictures, I buy your stupid pictures.  Usually.  If I’m actually… you know… IN any of them.  Want to make a buck (or a hundred bucks)… maybe I count too.  Probably not… but maybe.

okay… I’ll quit venting (and hope like hell I can get to sleep soon).

Just… please know… those of us who aren’t in the first half of the pack have feelings.  We spent the same amount of money to be here as everyone else, hell, maybe more.  Have the courtesy to treat us the way that you treated the guy who finished first in a course record.

Run For The Water… post race recap

starting line

Yesterday was quite a day. I didn’t sleep great Saturday night.  It was warm and humid, the windows wide open, even with the fans on, wasn’t conducive to sleep.   It was after 1 this morning before I really fell asleep.  It was good that I set the alarm for 4:30 to be sure to be up in time to get ready and go to the race. I had everything laid out before I went to bed, so getting ready wasn’t bad.  I had my “dry” clothes in the trunk of the car (since there was no bag check).  It didn’t take much to pin myself together and get myself ready to go. Took little more than that (oddly enough) to get everyone else up around and ready to go. Toast for breakfast… mental note, Adam doesn’t like butter on his. And out the door and we were off. In the rain.

I was right… I got to run in the rain.  I put my blister prevention cream on my feet.  I put my sports bra on inside out so the seams were against the shirt rather than against my skin.

I thought it was maybe appropriate to wear my South Africa Vibrams (the ones I bought in Knysna) to do the race in.  Running for Barundi fresh water in my South African Hobbit Feet?  Made me smile. The rain wasn’t too cold.  The held the start until the lightning passed.  I got pictures of me in my Figment outfit.  I got to talk to a neat guy dressed like Mickey Mouse.  He has done several runDisney events and is going to do the Dopey challenge in January.  He told me not to stress and just run that race to have fun.  It was great.  He did his first Disney half having never trained for anything.  I can do this, right?

The horn went off at 7:15 (precious 15 minutes late after the front and the lightning passed) and we were off. I started strong despite the humidity.

The first two miles were flat and relatively easy.  About mile 1 I picked up the credit card holder someone dropped on the road.  As I passed one of the police cars manning the route, I tossed it to the police officer.  I hope whoever dropped it was able to find it.  There were lots of credit cards on it.

Amandya left me in the dust by about the first half mile mark.  She took off and was running harder than she should have given she hasn’t trained at all.  I didn’t actually expect to see her again until the finish line.  I caught up with her at mile 3.  She was falling apart.  Nearly in tears.  She didn’t want to come in last.  She didn’t want to quit.  She was hurting and hitting her mental wall way sooner than she should have.

We did the rest of the race together.  Side by side, stride for stride.

The hills were horrible.
The wet and humidity made it even worse.
The view of Ladybird Lake was wonderful.  Running for the water, beside the water, in the water… kind of interesting thoughts spill through your head.
Austin loves to decorate for Halloween with spiders.
Being chased the last two miles or so by the medics and the trucks picking up the course was even worse.
We kept pace with the last 10 people in the race.

Adam started backward through the course… he usually does… It always makes me smile seeing his easy strides.  He walked in with us through the last mile.  I don’t know if he will ever know how much it means to me for him to do that.

Amandya crossed the finish line, 1828 out of 1829 finishing.  She wasn’t last.  I made sure she wasn’t last.

I was.

My feet hurt.  They hurt so bad, the whole front half of both feet.  I’m giving up the idea of my hobbit feet for distance races.  It isn’t worth it.  I love the for walking.  Training and racing, not so much.

Only my feet hurt.  Otherwise I feel incredible.  I was incredibly demoralized for a while.  I finished last.  In my head I know that someone always has to be last and I know that I did my best AND finished the race in sufficient time (had it been Disney) that I would not have been swept.

This morning, rice and chili for breakfast… today I’ll get my methotrexate shot that I didn’t remember to get yesterday today as well as my allergy shots….  I’m not training today, but I’m actually looking forward to getting my butt up in the morning tomorrow morning and getting back into my training.


Thank Goodness it’s Only My Hands

Up and trying to get some writing done.  Trying to finish my arm warmers.  Trying to stay psyched for the race.  I sit here and nurse my coffee, gulp my water and thank goodness that, for this morning at least, … Continue reading

Orencia Infusion Week

Started out to the gym this morning. Turns out they are only open 24×5 and open at 8 on the weekends.  So… a 14 mile round trip wasted at 5 am.  Sigh.

Got home and started working on stuff at home… crochet projects I want to get done, have to get done, enjoy working on… writing… answering pages on pager patrol… I realized that my knuckles ache this morning.  I also realized that they should have ached a few days ago if the last few months were anything to go by, so I’m thinking that I’m continuing to improve.

So, right now, I smell of Tiger Balm and thinking that I’m really glad that Tuesday is my infusion day.  I’m waiting until 10:30 to take my Delsym so I can hit the gym when I take my little girl to work and get my tummy shot when I get home.  I’m dwelling on trying to get better… because I need to get better for me.


All about the perspective

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So, I’ve been dwelling a good bit lately because I know that people think I’m as dumb as a box of rocks. My post yesterday kind of dwelt on that. I’ve been torn between being dumber than a box of … Continue reading

Allergy Shot Day

There is something incredibly weird about sitting with a half dozen other people in the waiting room of the doctor’s office, everyone typing madly on their laptops. The only sound, the nurse calling the next victim, the almost imperceptible click of laptop keys, and the AC keeping us all from suffocation. And every hour the bells of one of the nearby churches. It makes for a really nice backdrop.
Thirty minutes later… lather, rinse, repeat.
We are bonded by our need for the shots. The need to not want to scratch our eyes out of our head. The need to be able to easily pull our next breath. I wonder at my fellow peeps’s (that is SO not a word) reason for being here. Do they have a cat that lays on their head all night? What weirdness do they have as their affliction? Goodness only knows.
One leaves
Another comes and takes his place.
There is something really awesome about a doctor’s office that thinks enough of its patients to provide WIFI access to them. And there is something to be said for the fact that I can sit here and be at work all at the same time and not have to take a Paid Time Off day for every day that I need to take three or four hours for shots.
I’m betting most of my fellow trap-ees have cedar allergies. It seems like EVERYONE here does.
I hope, when I’m done with my five (wait… five in each arm… ten) shots today are done, I will feel like stopping at Gold’s and working out… I need to get ready for the Disney Half. I need to lose sixty pounds. I need to feel even more human again. I’m really liking this feeling better stuff that I have going on right now. I keep thinking that I really like the feeling and I really REALLY don’t want to jinx it by thinking that I really like the feeling.
Should I be honest and tell them I forgot to take my antihistamine? Nah… I brought the epipen so I should be reasonably good… and I can take benedryl when I get home.
I wonder how telling it is that I really am starting to not notice shots so much any more. Sometimes I get black and blue marks from my methotrexate shots. Occasionally they hurt. Usually not really so much. I hardly notice them. Now these? I feel the pinch. It really isn’t even as much as a mosquito bite. I still feel the infusions… No matter how good Keiko is about them, I feel them. Sometimes they hurt. Usually, I just feel them for a bit.
Yesterday, I told my boss (and my team mates) that I would be doing this today. I seem to be a running joke, at work. I’m a walking pharmacy. Yeah… I guess I am. And I have entirely too much knowledge and understanding of what all is going on in my body and the bodies of my family. Sometimes I get a little bent at being laughed at… but other times I realize that there is a reason I’m going through this crap and there are people who I have been able to help and to talk to who have had an easier time of it because I know and I understand. I’m not entirely sure what that makes me, but… if I can help one, and that one can help one, then maybe a few people will have an easier time.
Whatever it is, and whatever it takes… I really like how I’m starting to feel… There are times when I forget what it is like to feel really good, to feel like I’m human and like I really probably can finish the Disney Half and not get swept. And when I do, I know I will want to do it all again in 2015… this time with my daughter!
It really is all a trade off… and it really is just a matter of being Dory and just keep swimming swimming swimming… and only boing off of the little jellyfish (and making a pet of squishy).

188 days and counting

ImageUp… Hobbit Feet on… lots of water… out the door and into the darkness.  My favorite time to “run”

It was so quiet this morning.  Crickets, owls, and just a little bit of traffic.  Into the dark, into the quiet.

It was a fast walk… 1.7 miles out and 1.7 miles back.  I was going to do the big circle, but there aren’t nearly enough lights in the park at o’dark thirty to make me feel even halfway safe, so after a quick drink next to the pool, I turned around and retraced my steps.


Lion King and songs from the 60s kept me company.

By the time I got back to nearly home, I was cooling down to Yoga Walk.  Hair dripping sweat down my back.  Hobbit Feet feeling the road.  Stretching and listening to the quiet…

I feel sore but the shower helped… Eggs for breakfast… coffee and water… and… I can so do this again…  which makes me feel amazingly good right now

Honor Yourself

It’s Thursday Evening… Tomorrow is 10 more MTX pills and Saturday morning is Vern’s No Frills 5k.  Tonight is… time to think.

I showed up early at Yoga this morning… not WAY early, but early enough to have a chat with my favorite Yoga instructor… She noticed that I have been making adaptations to the poses frequently… keeping weight and pressure off of my wrists and hands.  Not always, but often enough that she notices.

She told me to honor my body and honor my practice.  It is less about doing it “right” than connecting with myself and doing it.  Approaching my mat with intention and doing what I do with  a Yoga purpose. She also taught me some poses that are hand specific… some she gave a name to (like spider) some she just showed me.  It is great.

Today during class we spent most of the time connecting with our breath… connecting poses with breaths… even adding some new poses, like dolphin and tree and eagle.  We also paid respect to the New Moon… by doing crescent moon pose.  It was a good day on the mat, and I actually thought.

Which was good, because when I got up this morning, my hands (both hands) hurt an 11.  It was awful.  I stooped to taking my industrial strength Anti-inflamatory.  I feel guilty taking it… isn’t that stupid…

Tomorrow (pager comp time day… woohoo… woohoo) I meet with the visitor’s bureau lady to discuss the 5k and to commit to really really doing this.  Today I emailed some people  at the school about getting some volunteers (/dev/null… great… great bit bucket in the sky… ).  I will perservere.


It’s Sunday (Walmart, Donuts and 19,147 steps)

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Today is Sunday.  Sunday we do an 8 to 8.5 mile walk (usually to Walmart) and back through the park… past the donut shop (Yeah!!!!) and back home. Today was overcast (actually it tried really hard to rain… even if … Continue reading

5 mile jaunt (10000 steps)

Walked to the grocery store today.  5 miles there and back (even got 87 cent a pint blackberries for the walk home).  It was a great walk.  I SO miss western PA in October… because I miss fall leaves… but I really love central Texas in April.  The bluebonnets are breathtaking… and because of the rain they are even more beautiful than usual.

People here are really great to watch, too.  Everyone gets their pictures taken in the flowers.  People… dogs… pictures and pictures and pictures of the posies.  These are a few of mine.

I signed up for 10000 steps (work is encouraging wellness… visa-ve Yoga… 10000 steps… even giving us a discounted rate on Weight Watchers) and today was a good day… made my 10000 steps.  Tomorrow is the Walk to Walmart (for scripts) and that is a nine mile walk…. more flower pictures…

I love spring.

I love colors.

I love days when I don’t feel like I got hit by a truck.