Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Break and Appointments

The small people are out of school this week. Totally forgot that when I made The Appointment. I spent Monday at work trying to suss out someone to babysit for me. My college girls who are the backbone of my childcare life were in class, as was College Boy. Friends were out of town, others were busy with appointments of their own. Co-workers' daughters and sisters were unavailable. There was nothing left to do but cancel The Appointment, which I really and truly did not want to do. You see, I knew if I canceled, I wouldn't reschedule. Classic me. My busy gets in the way of life. I worried this and fretted that and made big sad eyes at everyone, but it wasn't until my cracked open place widened and my dear, dear friend at work peeked in and saw the abyss, that The Appointment became a certainty. She simply was not going to give me an excuse to defer, to avoid. She, a keeper of a mother's greatest sorrow, offered to do something to help. It didn't come to that -- Miss Kati, my could-be-daughter, walked in and said "Sure!" when I asked if she would watch the small people for a couple of hours -- but the blessing was that I needed my friend, and she was there.

So, I went to The Appointment. This might be a good fit for me. It is too soon to tell, but he didn't want to muck about in all the big owies of my childhood, or the trauma of my teens, or my mommy and daddy issues and all the injustices served upon me all my life. Whew. Talked about the fairly recent here and now and the incident that brought me there. I didn't have to cry. Straight talk, straight up. I was worried that I was walking that dark, enticing path towards unraveling. He smiled and said "Oh, no. Not at all". And he gave me tools. Simple things, but, like a hammer, a simple tool is effective. 50 minutes went quickly, but not so quickly that he didn't have time to pray with me. I shared prayer with a counselor. I am an Episcopalian with a Baptist-channeling priest; an Episcopalian with a Pentecostal co-worker who prays her love for me (ain't no one can pray like a Pentecostal); an Episcopalian who now has a therapist who prays with her. There might be something to that. Anyway, since I am not actively crazy, I am allowed to roam free. At least until my next Appointment.

Totally forgot to schedule Spring Break into Marathon Training. And so, because we are on Spring Break time, I did NOT do my sorta long run on Tuesday. Instead, I ran 8 miles, with 6 x 3/4 mile repeats and a cooldown on the treadmill, as I was lacking in -- you guessed it -- babysitters.

Total: 8 miles
Total for week: 12 miles

March 29th. 9pm

I gave myself a break last week, which was a good and necessary thing. A break is just that -- a little hiatus in the schedule. So, after my second day in a row at work, I found that I had 4 miles staring me straight in the face. After work. At night. Babysitter agreed to stay over. And so I laced up and headed out for just under 40 minutes, which had to be 4 miles. It doesn't even really matter. I ran, and it counts.

Total: 4 miles
Total for week: 4 miles

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I had a good day today

I worked today, and got floated to another floor (nurse-speak for getting sent to work on a floor other than your own). I loved it. I had a great assignment -- total cake. Three patients, four by the end of the day, all of whom required little attention. Basically, I babysat and gave meds. I only gave one narcotic. I made rounds, checked in, did little things, but for a good part of the day, I got to sit and do education, sit and visit, eat a real lunch, and visit some more. It was so much fun spending time with nurses that I know, but don't get to see very often. And we all had a fairly relaxed day (well, except for the guy that was transferred to us in really bad shape, and who spent less than 45 minutes on the floor before another nurse and I wheeled him to the unit).

I like that floor. Every time I go there, I say that. I like that floor. They have the whole teamwork thing down pat. It was nice to be in the midst of that today.

Tomorrow I will be back on my floor, precepting my orientee. She is and will be good. Tomorrow she gets three patients by herself. I will have two, which should make for an easy day for me, right??? It doesn't work that way. What is required of me is to be in charge of all 5 patients, but I have to let go the management of three of them. I am still responsible. The assignment is mine, but I delegate to her. I have trouble with that, but it is what needs to happen. I have set us up for hard assignments for the next month -- she needs to see as many surgical patients as possible. She has the chops. She just needs to re-enter the game.

So, today, I was really glad to have a day where I spent as much time visiting with my patients as I did taking care of them. I was glad to have time to laugh, talk and gossip with other nurses. I was glad to have a long lunch. I had a good day today.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The reason for the run

Last night, after work, Soldier-Son came over to gather his car and the few belongings remaining here. He was angry, which has become his middle name. He didn't want to purchase the car for the small sum of $1,000. He wanted me to give him the car. I allowed that he was entitled to his feelings and his argument, but this was not a negotiation. One deal, take it or leave it. He sputtered and fumed and ranted, but in the end, he paid for his car and had it taken away. He probably won't ever talk to me again, but he hasn't talked to me in a year, so that won't be a change. I could tell that he still wants me to love him, but he just can't accept that right now. A very hard place to be.

When I could finally turn my brain off to where I knew that I could sleep, I also turned off the alarm. My long run for the week happened on Tuesday. I was tired and emotionally spent. I needed to sleep until I was ready to wake up. I am 47. I have taken a beating this week, and so I forgave myself for opting out of 18 miles and sleeping in.

I awoke at 8, which is late for me. I didn't leave the house to run until after 10. I started from the Y, as this is one of my favorite routes. I planned 8 miles, but I knew after 2, when I just wasn't getting warmed up and my legs were still leaden, and the run was still slow that I would only be doing 6 miles. I needed walk breaks --the wind was killer and it is oak pollen time, so between zyrtec and the sneezing it was tough. But as I was passing the turn to the next lake, which would make it an 8 mile run, on a whim, I took the turn.

Running around Lake Morton, wondering why in Sam Hill I had turned, I came upon a lovely young woman crossing the street. Beautiful red hair and a green sweater. She had been looking at the swans, and was turning to leave. So sad she was. So very, very sad. The misery of the ages was in her bearing and her eyes. I stopped. She looked at me. I turned off Pink Shuffle. I said to her, "You look as sad as I feel". She said nothing, just stood there looking at me. "It is a guy, right?" She nodded. "I am so sorry, honey." And we stood there, looking at each other, and she started to cry. She said, "I just need a hug". And so, right in the middle of the street, two hurting strangers met and held each other.

We must have hugged each other for at least 30 seconds. I told her, "You feel like you can't live through this, but you will". She said, "Thank you". We hugged one more time. I said, "You are a beautiful woman. It will get better, but not today. But it will get better". She nodded. And we parted ways. I hope she is well. I hope that she remembers that today, a stranger cared about and cared for her. I don't think you get many of those encounters in life...random connections that are good, and selfless and loving. I needed that hug as much as she did. Perhaps that is why God sent me around that lake, because that connection surely was the reason for the run.

Total: 8 miles
Total for week: 21.5 miles.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I skipped my run today

I skipped it my run. Skipped my repeats. Totally blew them off. I had just too much going on to run. 7am, put Miss 8 on the bus. 7:30, leave house with Miss 6 for her little dental appointment with Dr Conscious-sedation-cavity-filling-teeth-extraction man. Smallest of all drank her Demerol-atarax cocktail with little protest (yukky stuff). 1 hour later, she was napping in my lap ("tickle my back, Mama"). By 10 we were post-sealants and into the lidocaine injections, She is my hero. Not a moan, not a groan. She let the dentist know when it was hurting, but she didn't flinch, didn't complain. A couple of fillings and two extractions, and we were home. She did the drunken sailor walk for a while....and drooled her drinks. Most of her Wendy's Frosty went other places than her jammies. She complained of a "fat lip" for a few hours. Tried to talk. HILARIOUS! By 2pm, I convinced her to nap, and nap she did...all that narcotic caught up with all 58lbs of her.

And then, Tim came home. Tim. Soldier-boy. Soldier-boy who hasn't talked to me in almost a year. He came home to look at his car and to decide if he wants to buy it for the cost of a grand, a tow and some repairs. 2005 Tauraus. 78K miles. Cant kill that car. He blames me for not protecting him from John. I can't fault him for that. I didn't do a good job of protecting anyone from John. I couldn't protect myself from John. And when I finally took a stand against John, I didn't protect anyone. I simply up and left and hid. So, he probably has a point. I did the best that I could. Sometimes that isn't enough. I was gracious, tried to be loving. He was distant, but I could see that he wanted me to talk to him. He can only give so much, but it is a start.

So, to recap: in the last week I have been to court to face the Monster, sweated out the acceptance of a contract, received a txt-pic of the guy's truck I was seeing--sent to me in the early morning --in another woman's driveway, dealt with my own psycho-bitch episode, worked some intense shifts while precepting an "old-new" nurse, took my baby girl for fillings and tooth extractions, and finally was able to see my soldier boy.

But, I remembered that the Tooth Fairy needed to come.

Can you blame me for blowing of the repeats today?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

This week's running

3.5 - 4 miles yesterday. I ran harder than I should have, knowing that today I was facing 11 miles. Those 11 turned into 10.

10 miles today. I made them. I walked some. Runners need to eat. Runners need to think of food as fuel, and we need to feed the machine. But I couldn't stomach anything yesterday, or even today, and I didn't eat much over the weekend, so my run wasn't up to par. I am not going to argue if there is some weight loss, but really, I know better than this. I keep saying that. I just don't follow through. Maybe some of my hard-core is gone. Maybe the laser-focus that I need is just spread throughout too many places. I don't know.

I made my miles. At least my commitment is that strong. At least my focus is that focused. I need something to center my days. I have running. No matter what, I will run.

Total miles: 3.5 miles
Total miles: 10 miles
Total for week: 13.5 miles

I think I need a safe place to talk

Yesterday was simply horrendous. Something in me just snapped from all the stresses that I have been dealing with lately. And from that snapped open place came such maliciousness, such jealousy, such just pure ugliness that I am wondering who the hell I really am. I did something horrible to hurt someone with the absolute intent of hurting them. Me. I did that. Me. I didn't think that I had a mean bone in my body, but apparently I do. It is humiliating. Of course, I apologized and offered to make things right, but the damage was done. I, Sarah, simply don't do that kind of thing. I remember the one and only time I said something ugly to a stranger. I was a teenager. I remember the look on her face when I said it. And it still bothers me, 30 years later. When the Ex hurt me, I ran away and hid. When the relationship that I thought was truly right for me ended, I licked my wounds and tried to be nice. I don't say mean things to people. I am unfailingly nice to grocery store clerks, gas station people, and sanitation workers. I talk to my neighbors. I call people "Dear" and "Darlin' ". I can't explain what happened to me yesterday. Everyone at work from doctors to housekeepers (or almost everyone, because you just never know) likes me. And I like them. I am sweet and kind to my co-workers. I am an ultimate team-player. I help when I don't have time to help.

But yesterday, I was the mean-assed bitch from hell who intentionally did something really terrible to hurt someone who had hurt me. I retaliated. All of that goes against who I thought I was. Perhaps I am not that person after all. Perhaps I still am, because the guilt I feel is beyond any guilty feeling I have ever known. I feel shame. I feel petty, and I feel small. And when I called to apologize, I got forgiven, not abused. It made my soul just shrivel. I deserved the worst, but I didn't receive it.

So, I made an appointment to talk to someone. Because I can see that for the last 4 years, I have been driving hell-bent for forever, trying to make it out of the abyss and haven't dealt with all the stuff that I have had to absorb. I slap tar over the wounds and just keep moving forward. I think that is why I cracked. I think the tar finally just didn't hold. But, I think I need to share the stuff that I can't even share here with someone. Which is why I have an appointment. Me, opening up to someone. Don't put your winter coats away just yet. Hell may be freezing over soon.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Children laughing.

Really, is there any better balm to a sore soul than the sound of children laughing? Sometimes, I need to remember the small, sweet, simple things. Laughter over nothing at all. Happy small people and happy small people noises. Sometimes, God humbles me.

Rainy Sunday

It is Sunday. It is raining. And I am not out running. Quelle surprise! I made it through yesterday's run in the cool, sunny, breezy day that makes me love Florida. So, today I don't have to run. Today I can coddle my bruised heart and ego, cuddle in my soft, soft flannel sheets and fluffy comforter and simply read while it rains and rumbles outside. Got Lyle Lovett on my playlist. My pants that were too tight a couple of weeks ago fit much better this morning. It is going to take a while to readjust to the loneliness. I will have to work more, read more, and run more. I know these ropes. One day I just won't be so lonely anymore. My heart will stop aching. But that won't happen today. What WILL happen today is that I will change out of my church clothes, get my book, and tuck myself in. The small people will play in and out of my room. We will rest and listen to the world being watered.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Emotional miles.

It never, ever bodes well for a long run, when, the evening before said long run, you see the guy you have been keeping company with for a couple of months leaving an apt complex where a nurse who is also a "good friend" lives. Combine that with no answers to txts for hours prior to this, no calls back from voicemail. All of which are really abnormal. And then his first txt back is "sorry, I was visiting , meeting her new cat (please, can we get a better euphemism???), and I had the sound turned off on phone." Are you kidding me??? That phone is your is on 24-7.

So, even though I am JUST keeping company with him (meaning tons of talking and txting and all that other stuff -- yeah, that, too --) I had a hard night. And to be brutally honest, even though I knew I was going to run the longest that I have run in eons, I had a liquid supper of the chardonnay kind. Lots of calls to friends for support. I love my friends. But nutrition-wise? Not a good idea. When you are running 16 miles in the morning, you have to prepare. Seriously, you have to feed the machine that is going to propel you forward. I know this. Really, I do. I know lots of things. I just have to remember to know them. Sometimes knowing and remembering gets lost in all the sad stuff. It just does.

So, 16+ today. I did it. I made it. I was PAINFULLY aware of my nutritional deficits. I was nauseated from 12-15....all because I was just too empty. I had to walk now and again because there just was no fuel in the tank at all. I was burning glycogen, not good carbs. I know better than that. I do. And it ticked me off that I know better and didn't take care of that because I was all emotional about a guy. Again. Upset, worried, confused about a guy. It has to stop. Like Johnny Depp said in Alice in Wonderland, I have "lost much of my muchness". I intend to find that "muchness". And not only will I find it, I will live it. And I will pass it along to my small people, so that they have a full compliment of muchness. People of the female sort need a lot of muchness.

I ran just under 17 miles today. I have 10 weeks to Bayshore. I will, without a doubt, make the distance. Even if I have to crawl. I have that much "muchness" in me.

Total: 16.5+ miles
Total for week: 37 miles or so

Repeat Day

Nothing was really outstanding about this workout, but it was a nice little run anyway. I did 2 miles warm up, 4 x 3/4 mile repeats, and a final repeat as a cool down. 6 miles. Each repeat was a little faster than the previous one. I didn't get tired until the last mile, and I really didn't feel that I was working all that hard. I purposely didn't go faster or longer, because I had 16 to do the next day, and the prospect of running on fatigued legs wasn't working for me. So, I did the reps anywhere from 7.5-8.2 on the mill. Next week I am going to try for a little more intensity, esp since I have committed myself to a 5 mile trail race (wicked trail, too) early next month. Wow. I am thinking about racing again. Maybe there is hope that the old Sarah, the one with goals and dreams and aspirations, might actually still exist.

Total: 6 miles
Total for week: 20.5 miles

Friday, March 19, 2010

Oops. I was a bad Mama today.

Or maybe not. We played hooky. I had a HORRIFIC day yesterday -- I came in to work on my day off for 6 hours (which turned into 7 hours) to cover for someone. And then I went to court to yet again confront my ex, this time about a contract to sell the house that he wouldn't sign. 45 minutes turned into 3 hours. I didn't get home until almost 8pm. My son, who came home from college to babysit, kept the small people safe until I got back. We ordered pizza, delivery. We almost never do that -- one of those single mom things. Anyway, I decided that we needed to have a good end to the week. So we played hooky. Kept the girls home from school, we all slept late, I went for a run when College Boy arrived. Nice little run, too. And then, the small people and I went for pedicures. Yep...I took 6 and 8 for their first pedicures. They loved it! How much fun it is to completely pamper your little bundles of estrogen. Kids pick great and purple. The nail techs gave everyone a design on our big toenails. Fabulous! I did, however, get chided by the nail tech about the state of my hands, which have been sorely neglected for the past several years. I may have to bite the bullet and get some serial manicures until things shape up. What a terrible thing to be forced to do. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of fluffing, puffing, and polish to make things better.

Facing the Monster


March 19, 2010

I spent yesterday in court. I don't think that I can even count anymore how many days I have spent in court. And I am a nurse, not a lawyer. For a while, it seemed like I was there on a monthly basis. I have been separated
since 2006. I have been divorced since July 2008. And still I have to go to court. And still I have to face the monster.

When I am in court, I don't face him alone. I have my lawyer, the one to whom I have paid from a nurse's salary a year's gross pay. I have the judge, who hates the monster, but who lets him ramble. And I have three bailiffs. One for the judge, one for me, and one to guard the monster. I never leave the court room alone. And by now, when there is a hearing, a bailiff is present when I walk off of the elevator. Everyone in the room is concerned for me.

I have a domestic violence injunction in place. It is, I believe, permanent. That part is unusual, but it is necessary. However, I am not stupid enough to believe that an injunction, a piece of paper, will keep me safe. I am contemplating buying a gun. Those who really know me would be utterly shocked by that, but, it is what it is. I am almost four years separated. Two years divorced. He has a new wife, a new baby and one one the way. But the vitriol still simmers. As one of my people, RuFuS, says, my ex is winding twine rapidly around his big ball of crazy. It frightens me. It is so disturbing to watch someone come completely unmoored. He is psychologically in the equivalent of 3rd degree heart block. Things are beating, but there ain't no communication there between reality and his mind. I live with this all the time. When he finally becomes totally untethered, who will be the first victim? Hopefully, it will be me, because I will be prepared. But I expect that the first victims will be my small people, who have already had to cope with things that small people should never know about. It destroys me, knowing this. But I have to be ready. I have to anticipate what might happen. I am a single mother. No one gets my back. I have to be able to face the monster. And win.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I am crying a lot lately. I don't really know why. I have a lot going on, and I have some big heartaches that are pricking me. So, I cry. I detest crying. I am the one who gets up, brushes off and walks on. It makes me nuts when I cry. And it makes me more nuts when I cry and don't have anyone to help me through it. When I was on that ledge, I learned that crying does not ever help. Feeling sorry for yourself does not help you move forward. I learned to take stock, figure out the best path and move forward. Tears get you nothing. Action gets you somewhere, to a place beyond the abyss.

I haven't recovered from my latest heart-bashing, although I really should be beyond that. I miss the hearth and home, the domestic stuff. I miss the relationship part of that relationship. I have to deal with the ex in the next few days. He scares me. And so I am crying. And I am crying alone. I hate crying.

Tuesday ten.

It is Tuesday. Time for my sorta-long run. 10 miles today. 10 not fast, not slow, thank goodness Pink Shuffle acted well, lets just run for a bit miles. I realized nearing the end of the run that 10 miles isnt mileage that I worry about anymore. 10? I just do it. Git 'er done. 1o miles is just that. 10. Slow, steady, but not hard. This gives me hope.

I have an appointment with Greg, the Massage Therapist Guru. My appointment isn't for a couple of weeks, but Greg likes me -- and he is already calling around to fit me in sooner. It amazes me how many people really like me. Huh. Who knew??

Miles: 10 miles
Miles for week: 14.5ish miles

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday morning sweet early miles

I really have got to figure out how to do this more often. I mean run in the EAM. I have forgotten how much I love running in the tranquil, early hours. This is one of the hard parts of single parenthood. I can only run early when small people are with their dad. Actually, I could get up and run every morning, but it would mean leaving an 8 and 6 year old alone in a house before daybreak. I just can't do that, although I know that other people can. I mean, the kids are asleep. But. I just can't do it. I don't have a problem leaving them in the daylight hours, when I can shoo them to their little friends' homes for a bit....but I can't leave them sleeping home alone. I need to look long and hard at how I can run early more often. There just has to be an answer.

Small people were at their dad's house. I woke up a little before insanely early to run. It took me a bit to get going, which is odd for me because I usually wake up, stretch, blink for a minute or two, and then fire on all cylinders -- but I had a slight zyrtec hangover. I had this because I am in the middle of yet another mistake. Maybe not in the middle. Maybe still at the beginning. Or maybe entering the end. But no matter how you slice it, probably still a mistake. Really. This is me. How could it be otherwise? Anyway, got to the Y, noticed that the best treadmills were empty, eschewed the empties and put shoes to asphalt.

The thing about running that early is that you can sneak in a few miles before your body realizes what it is doing. 4 miles really does feel like 2 miles, because the brain doesn't comprehend the first miles. So, I ran just shy of 5 miles. Pre-run, I was crying. Post-run, I was still teary. But mid-run, I was ok. I think that I need to run a little bit more and think a little bit less. I really, really hate it when I cry. I simply have got to figure out how to do more early morning, sunrise-watching running. Anyone want to join me???

Total: 4.5 miles

I think God is telling me something....

I think what God is telling me is that Bayshore will be run in the rain. At least, that is what I am preparing for. Three long runs so far in this training cycle. Two long runs done in the wind and rain. If nothing else, I know that I can run 14+ miles with soaking, sopping heavy shoes and not get huge blisters.

It wasn't actually a terrible run, not in the beginning. My legs were a little tired, but not completely dead. Because there was a good possibility of thunder and lightning, I decided to run a route where at the farthest point, I would be within three miles of the Y, where I start. Good decision. This is a nice running route, but it is quite hilly, esp for central FL. Bad decision. I ran the first three easy, stopped at the church on the corner for a drink, and headed into a residential area with a bunch of half-mile long cross-streets between 2 main roads. These are fun to run because there is a nice little rise and a slight downslope on each cross-street, so each street has a small hill in either direction (out and back). I was running along one of the main roads between turns onto the cross-street, out in the pouring rain, just trotting along, when an SUV pulled up beside me and a young man and a young woman offered me a ride. I mean, who the hell is out in the rain in the winter in Florida?! I politely declined. They offered again. Truly, they looked concerned for me. I explained (while running) that I still had 10 miles left to run but thank you anyway, at which point both went kind of slack-jawed. I turned onto my side street. The car followed, the man asked if I was sure, and then wished me luck. I have never, ever had anyone offer me a ride while running before. Heck, no one ever even honks at me. Anyway....kind of funny.

The first 10 miles were fine. I felt slow, but strong. The last four, however, I whined, I pouted, I pissed and I moaned. By the end my shoes were so heavy I could barely lift my feet. I was saturated with rain, cold, and all I could think about was how warm a jigger of bourbon would feel in my belly. Thank goodness that it started to thunder when I was a mile away from the Y. That thunder turned what should have been a miserable 16 mile run into a slightly less miserable 14 mile run. It was an out, an excuse, and I took it. If I had absolutely had to, I would have made the 16 miles. But it was probably a better call to quit early, and save the wear and tear on my body. I already have some stiffness and a blossoming tendonitis on the dorsal part of my right foot. I can hear massage therapy calling my name. 3 weeks in and I need a small tune up. The joys of distance running -- welcome back, Sarah

Total: 14 miles.
Total for week: 33 miles

Puking Girl, Round 5

Wednesday's repeats were supposed to be followed by 4 easy recovery miles around a couple of our downtown lakes. The operative word in that sentence is SUPPOSED, as in "planned, but not accomplished". And why was this not accomplished? Because, for the fifth time since 2010 began, I was home with a puking daughter. Five episodes of nausea, vomiting, and general GI upset since the beginning of the year. It is only mid-March -- this does not bode well. The odd thing is that we are all stupidly healthy people. We rarely get sick, rarely get colds. No one is diabetic, has heart disease, hypertension or breathing issues. Baby hasn't had to use any asthma medications in 3 years. So why all the illness all of a sudden? Mind-boggling, it is. Needless to say, we are keeping the big throw-up bowl very, very handy.

Anyway, after smallest of all didn't vomit for 12 hours, I took the girls to the Y and ran 4.5 easy miles on the treadmill. It was necessary. I had been cooped up in the house for too long, yet again. And Mama doesn't coop well. So, it was the Y or infanticide.

Total: 4.5 miles
Total for week: 19 miles

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Treadmill Repeats

Is there anything quite as numbing as running on the treadmill? Those folks in the northern hinter-lands spend lots of time and mileage on the mill this time of year. Those folks in the balmy south spend winters running outdoors. We save our treadmill time for the summer, when it is too hot to breathe outside. Except me. I like running in the heat. Humidity, not so much, but heat generally doesn't bother me. So there really is no reason that I should be doing my interval running on the treadmill. No reason whatsoever, other than I am a big baby about interval training. I need a track, preferably one with a decent surface. There are several of those around here, but I am a little bit limited by my single-parenthood. I can only run during the day when small people are in school. The HS tracks are in use during the day. I actually could (and have) go at night, but small people don't tolerate that level of boredom well, and so usually find themselves in one predicament or the next, which doesn't lend itself to a good workout. So, because I am a big baby, I do my repeats on the treadmill. I suppose that is penance enough.

Yesterday's workout was 10 miles with 10 x 1/2 mile repeats of increasing speed. That sounds really sexy, but as I am still a turtle, the sexy isn't there. But, I did end up running the last 3 repeats at about a 7:10 minute mile or thereabouts, so they all weren't totally slow. 3 mile warm up, 1 mile cool down, with 60-90 sec recovery between repeats. I was tired at the end, but not completely done in, and the repeats themselves didn't kill me. I think that next week I will progress to 3/4 mile repeats.

My next project is to find a stapler or something to seal my mouth closed after 5pm. Because, if my butt gets any bigger, it will need its own zip code. Geez.

Total: 10 miles
Total for week: 14.5 miles

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


EAM. That is medical-speak for Early AM. Meaning, morning labwork drawn at about 4 or 5 in the morning. EAM.

I ran EAM. I don't usually wake up and run at this time, although I need to...I used to do it several days a week. I ran before work. I ran in the dark-to-light hours. I like running during the moments when the birds wake. I do. I like running in the tranquil time.

And so I ran this morning in the tranquil time. 4.5 miles with a hard finish. I felt good -- fairly strong. I didn't sleep much the night before, but, well, I can't really complain about that. I really needed a decent run to blur the edges of that last hard long run. I feel better about my fitness today, not by much, just a smidge, but better. And I kind of liked the fatigued feeling in my legs, until hour 9 rolled around. The problem with running before work, for me, is that I am up and moving and on my feet for a 13 hour work day. I do get maybe a 30 minute lunch, but that isn't a given. I have hope that as I continue to run pre-work, my legs will just get over being tired and sign onto the program.

At least that is what I am telling myself will happen.

Total: 4.5
Total for week: 4.5

Sunday, March 7, 2010

15.5 miles.

My long run for the week, and I lived to tell. Yet another really bad long distance run. At what point do you say "ok, I am a back of the pack runner" when you have always been a mid-pack runner? These long runs are simply killing me.

This run hurt. Lots. As in, it has to get better or I am going to quit. I hate hurting this much. I hate thinking that I totally suck this much. The one and only thing that I have going for me at this point is that little glitter/sparkle thing I have in me. That is the thing that won't let me stop, won't let me quit. I may not do well in this marathon, but by God, I will make the distance. Even if I have to crawl. And I know that because that is what kept me going today...I would have made my distance, even if I had to crawl. Maybe, just maybe, I am a little hard core. Or maybe I am just really stubborn in a quasi-OCD kind of way. We will see.

Total: 15.5 miles
Total for week: 37.5 miles

What a hard weekend.

I was supposed to run 15 on Saturday, but my son, MR I AM IN COLLEGE AND DONT TELL ME WHAT DO DO "forgot" to come home. So, because I really couldn't leave the girls home alone for close to 3 hours ( ya think???), I ran 5 miles. Not bad, not good, just logging some miles in absence of the long run. Oh yeah...I did eat enough to compensate for a long run that didn't happen, thank you very much. Which might be why I can't fit into my jeans as comfortably today.

Crud. Gonna go to the Strawberry Festival and then hopefully go for a ride on a bike with a guy I kind of like a lot. After I get the run in.

Miles: 5

Total weekly miles: 22

Friday, March 5, 2010

In which Sarah helps a patient die well. How's that for hard core?

I did some of my best nursing today. I didn't save a life. Absolutely nothing dramatic happened. On the contrary, everyone was alive, quiet, stable and at baseline. But, in a way, I saved a patient. Not by me alone, of course, but he was saved indeed. He was saved from tests, from needle-sticks, from indignity piled upon further indignity. Saved from further injury. I greatly facilitated the transfer of a terminal patient to a hospice setting.

A life that is fading with no hope of recovery should traverse softly down a pain-free hill with loved ones at bedside here and there until death occurs. Dignity and respect. Those are the best gifts you can give someone. Dignity. Respect. If you base your entire life on those as a premise, you will do well. In life, and, as in this case, in death. Once the basic needs of existance are met, what we, all of us, need is dignity and respect. Think about our career, our relationships, our parenthood, our recreation. What do we want? Dignity and respect. Something like that should be easy, should be effortless. It isn't. So many people and so many opinions are in the mix. If your dog or cat is terminal and actively dying, you put them to sleep, because it is the kindest thing to do. The terminology among us lay-folk is "put to sleep". How kind, how compassionate. "I love you so. You have been my world for so long. Sleep well, my love". That's what we tell our pets. Dignity and respect.

I hugged the patient's daughter when he was being transferred to the hospice house. I hugged and kissed his wife. They cried. I would have cried, but I don't cry anymore. Still, I held them and cared for them. I cleaned, dressed, and hugged my patient. I walked with him and held his hand as they rolled the stretcher to the elevator. That is what nurses do sometimes. We give when we can no longer cry. We do all we can to help our patients survive, but when it is their time to die, we hope that they die with dignity and respect.

Miles: 15.5
Miles for the week: 37.5

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Trust. Part One.

When I blithely hopped onto the mill today to talk with a good friend that I hadn't seen in awhile, I didn't know that I was going to get a gut-check lesson in trust. As in " I'm crying and running and don't touch me and just be there for me for right now" trust. I don't know if men experience this, but women do. Sometimes women just need to have a safe place to spill, a place that doesn't include touching, comment or judgment. I ran a good 10 miler today, but the best thing that I did was to love my friend.

Sometimes, God humbles me.

I felt like Winnie the Pooh and the Very Blustery Day

Today was scheduled to be my mid-week sorta-long run. This run seems to always be the key to my marathon fitness, and it generally is my favorite run of the week. It is long enough to be a little fatiguing, short enough that I recover in a very short amount of time.

I woke up several times during the night, startled by the banging and clanking of shutters and loose stuff, and windchimes playing some crazy staccato tune. That front that everyone was talking about finally made its way here. By the time that I finally made it out to run (after the "get the girls up, drive them to school, obligatory morning talk to mom and visit with the elders at the Y" thing), the temps had dropped, the sun was gone and the wind was wild. 10 miles, in the wind. I fully expected the worst. I did not, however, receive the worst. It was a fun little run with a few stupid spots to it. Like, when I accidentally spit into the wind. Or when the wind blew the drinking fountain water all over my face. Stuff like that. I wasn't warm, but I wasn't absolutely freezing. I did get blown around a little bit, but I didn't get totally stopped in my tracks. I was fairly tired at the end, but not so worn out that I thought twice about jumping onto the treadmill next to a good friend to chat for a bit (she was running, I walked). So, all in all, a good run on a very blustery day.

Total: 10 miles
Total for Week: 17 miles

Monday, March 1, 2010

Boys on the couch

Mama's Boy is home on spring break. He is in a hard place right now, but that is another, abyss-related post. Still, he has brought a college friend home tonight. And so, I have boys on the couch. They are so big, so long and tall, but still, they want a Mama to tuck the blankets around them. They can't sleep unless the TV is talking . Therefore, I am going to bed, knowing that the TV is on and that there are boys on the couch.

Running Repeats

I hate speedwork. I am the biggest baby in the world. If it hurts, I don't like it. If it requires lots of effort, I want out. But there is this little, tiny, ferocious bit of glitter that lives in me somewhere. It isn't actually a spine, because I think I lack that; instead it is some sort of sparkly hard-headedness that appears at odd moments and gives me direction. And so, I had a sparkly sort of run today.

I was expecting a horrible run. I was/am having residual ex issues of a highly frustrating kind. (I get all of the equity out of the house -- nice house, wanna buy it??-- and he won't sign a contract. We have had 3 offers, and he won't sign. The courts won't help and move too slowly, so I get screwed from all directions. Makes me crazy. And frustrated. Therefore I cry. Because, really, what else is there to do??) I have never run well when I am upset. Frequently, I blow off a run when I am too emotional, because I know that I will quit within the first few miles anyway. I just can't keep my head in the game, can't get to that running zone. Anger and frustration keep me too much in the here and now to have any sort of decent run. But, I have made the decision to commit to running Bayshore. And I am OCD enough to have that kind of decision matter. Really matter. That is where that little, tiny nugget of IN YOUR FACE glitter comes into play. My running schedule becomes my bible. If I am supposed to do it, I WILL do it, no matter what. No matter if I have to crawl. And so I had a sparkle-run today.

I do repeats on the treadmill at this time of year. All the HS tracks are in use during the day when it is most opportune for me to run. I kind of think that treadmill running is cheating, but on the other hand, it is much harder than outdoor running. The treadmill moves for you, and you don't get the resistance of incline and wind and all the other outdoor stuff. Yet, you have to deal with monotony, impact, and monotony. I don't use the incline on the 'mill, because every time that I do, I get a whopping case of Plantar Fasciitis (PF). Did I mention the monotony? Today was supposed to be 6 miles, with 6 1/2 mile repeats of increasing speed. Doesn't that sound intense? I'm going to go with that, cause it sounds cool....HA!

So, Pink Shuffle and I took our pissed-off selves to the Y and hopped on the treadmill expecting the worst. 2 mile warm up. I like the music. Ponytail is twirling (always a good sign), and my heart rate isn't climbing much. Sooooo....Let's do 7 repeats. Just cause I feel good, and I don't often feel good. Pink Shuffle is happy, I am running and happy, and all is well with the world. Well, except for my hamstring, the one that got twitchy and sore during my soggy 14 miler. Might have to see Greg, massage therapist dude, about that. Still, Pink Shuffle and I nicely clocked 7x1/2 mile repeats today. Easy-peasy, ponytail-twirling, sparkly repeats. 7 miles total, including warm up and cool down. Yay me.

Total miles: 7
Total for week:7