Thursday, April 29, 2010

What Mama finds next to her bed

I went to change my linens tonight. It is a kind of ritual for me. Ok, it is part of my OCD. Don't laugh, because we all have OCD. In fact, I think that knowing someone's OCD is a really important and intimate part of knowing anyone. You can deal with that part of someone or you can't. Basic, stuff, really. Anyway, I was changing my linens, and while doing so, I saw the mini bed next to mine. A mini bed where none had been in the morning. It was made from a hot pink fleece blanket and was appointed with many lovely (read, all of my nice down) pillows. So inviting it was. Some small person must have made a nest and a haven in the shadow of my haven. Made me smile.

~11 miles in new shoes. My legs are tired. It is hard to run now. I run alone, and I am tired of running along. But I run. And today I ran in new shoes. It helped. At this point, I need whatever help I can get.

Total: ~11 miles
Total for week: ~29 miles

How to tell if your shoes are dead

Tuesday, April 27.

You know that your shoes are dead (and not just the first pair, but the second pair, too) when your knees hurt, and you don't have knee issues. Your ankles hurt, and you don't have ankle issues. Your hips hurt, and you don't have hip issues. Your back hurts, and you -- wait, I do have back issues, so strike that one. I have 2 new pair of Hurricanes ordered. They should be here tomorrow. I wish I was one of those folks who get 600 miles out of a pair of shoes, but I'm not. I get 350, maybe 400 miles, max. But I choose to do this, so it is what it is.

12 miles, most of which was accomplished by running, but some was walked. All of the above things were hurting, and I am at the part of training where my legs are just tired a lot of the time. I go up the stairs, and I feel the effort of my quads. I walk all day at work and I am aware of the additional fatigue in my legs in the afternoon. I am not a high mileage runner, and for the past few years have been a very low mileage runner, so the tiredness is noticeable. I am just at that place on the journey. If all goes well, I will log close to 50 miles this week, and over 50 next week. It is inspiring and intimidating --yin and yang. But, but, I have an ace in the hole; tomorrow, while I am being a worker-bee, saving lives and slinging pills, UPS will deliver a package to my house. In it will be two new pair of shoes. I guess what I am really saying is: Game On.

Total: 12 miles
Total for week: 18 miles

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I got canceled.

Monday, April 26

I got the call at 5:32 am. Belen, night charge, in her Tagalog accent said, "Saaaraaah. You are canceled today. What other day are you going to work?" (You don't get canceled for free, apparently) I told her that Friday would do, and I turned over and went back to sleep. Until 10:30. And then? I sat in bed and read and talked on the phone until 3pm. After that, I collected the twirly girls from the bus stop, messed around at home for a bit and finally went to the gym, where I staggered through 6 miles on the treadmill. Its official -- my shoes are toast. So I went home and ordered 2 new pair for under $140. Gotta love Donnie.

God looked out for me today. I needed to be canceled because my babysitters had meetings at school, and College-Boy had an exam late in the afternoon. So I had no child care. Again. It gets old. But, I was canceled, and for now, it is all good.

Total: 6 miles.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Forget about it

Let's just deep-six this run. Two bad long runs in a row would have me questioning all sorts of gods and deities and stuff. So...let's just chalk this run up to "LIFE CHANGING FRIDAY THAT LASTED ALL DAY" and poor hydration. I felt ok through the first 10 or so, but when I went south, I went south in a hurry. I was ok, and next thing I knew, I wasn't. I did, and ran, what I could, in the lovely Florida sunshine. I hope that my run-walk in Traverse City is as pretty as my Florida miles. Yeah, that's what I'm telling myself.

Total miles: 16 (dislike)
Total miles for week: 40.

This Is It Friday.

April 23

The day it all happened. Well, not really. What happened was that my house, the house that I left after the day my life changed, the house that holds most financial ties to the ex, the house that harbors the possibility of a new stability for me and my kids -- I closed on that house. The money that was tied up in real estate is now liquid. That is huge. It represents a future for us that is solid. Considering that a judge will have to distribute the funds, and that much argument will be made, and considering that things just never go quite as planned, I expect to get my share sometime before the next millennium. I care not. Because now, now I can dream. Not plan, mind you, but dream. I can dream of paint and gardens and appointing a kitchen and maybe of a dog and of all the things that families that are permanently permanent are. I can't smile about it yet. I can't even really think about it yet. I don't even know if I wrap my poor, sorry mind around it yet, but one day, not soon, I will will have a home of my own. A place that I can put down roots, and grow my children like flowers. The blessing of Friday was that now I can dream and wish and hope for us and know that I really may be able to make some of those dreams and wishes and hopes come true.

I ran Friday, too much and too hard --all to run away from the stress of the day. 8 miles with 6 x 3/4 mile repeats (it sounds impressive...just laugh when you read it). They were easy. I paid for it on Saturday, but I digress. I just needed to run away from the stress of the closing. Look, when the title agent and attorney are in tears, there are issues. When no one can keep track of the sheer volume of emails, there are issues. When calling in the ex's BIG BROTHER (literally) to make the closing happen occurs, there are issues. I was in a pressure cooker, and it didn't end until around 7pm. I cried. I shook. I felt like pieces of me might explode from the pressure. I was kind and dignified at closing, and all day I was a complete mess. Except, except when I was running. And so I ran farther and harder than I should have. I ran. And I ran. And it helped.

Total: 8 miles
Total for week: 24 miles

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tuesday Eleven (I Got My Hair Done)

Is there anything better than getting your hair done? Well, let me codicil that. Is there anything better than getting your hair done when 1) you are in need, 2) your stylist has been your stylist for years and is now your friend, 3) you need a chance to just sit and be? And so, my dark is now less dark with highlights. I am embracing spring and summer with a sweet new do. Next week -- small people get their hair done. What a gift, to have a place where all the girls, the girly-girls and the not so girly ones, can go and get fluffed and puffed just the right amount. We just love Connie, and she loves us.

11 miles that were supposed to be 12, but I got talking to a girlfriend and wasted precious time and so I only could do 11 (well, 11.5) before I had to get my hair done. Let's face it. Run v Hair. No contest.

I walked some. Not so good at that 2 runs in 12 hours thing, but it wasn't horrible. Maybe the marathon won't be horrible. HA!

Total: 11 miles and new spring hair
Total for week: 16 miles.

Shhh. Dirty Secret.

Monday, April 19

I like running in the rain. I like running in the rain after a long day at work. Running after work (remember, I work 12 (*cough-13-cough*) hour shifts) never means a run longer than a few miles. My legs start out tired, but generally they don't get any more tired than when they started. I always think of running after work as money in the bank....if I can start and finish on about an even keel, well, it is all to the good.

Monday, we had storms come through. Thunder, lightning --July in April. It was just kind of spitting rain when I started, and I started late due to a long, long day and long, long report. I took Pink Shuffle with me, even though she doesn't like the rain. Who knew that it would cease spitting and decide to start a lovely spring downpour? Pink Shuffle had to hide in my pocket. But I kept on, in the rain. Just running. Avoiding deep puddles. (Even if I am soaked to the bone, and my feet are saturated, I hate stepping in puddles to my ankles. Personal quirk) So, 5 miles, nicely tucked in after a long day on my feet. I don't want to run a marathon in the rain, but a few miles, at the cusp of night, when the rain is beating and the wind whipping, well, those few miles make me remember how vibrant I am.

Total: 5 miles
Total for week: 5 miles

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Damn-assed Stupid.

Don't ask. Don't tell. And don't, for goodness sake, let STUFF involve itself with a long run. Either commit or don't. Be all in, or be out. You can't fake a long, long run. You just can't. I found that out the hard way. My 2o miler ended up being a pitiful, horrible (yeah, you knew better, so deal with it and don't whine about it, it was your own fault) run. 20 turned into 15, and it was only that much because I was too damned stubborn to quit before that. Apparently, I will be walking most of the Bayshore course.

Sometimes I could just kick myself. I stack my failures up, and don't offset them with anything. I did see the SPCA walk for pets, which was cool, but I wasn't feeling it. Dodging dogs and walkers in myriad wasn't working for me, but I really appreciated the cause. Geez. Maybe next week will be better.

Appointment Guy said to fill up time with things that augment me. So, after the sucky long run, small people and I went on a picnic. Their choice. A picnic in the secret garden and play spot. They picnicked, ran about, explored and picked contraband flowers. I laid on our soft blanket and read. And napped. So tired, I was. Still, we successfully traversed the day.

Total: 15 miles
Total for week: 43 miles.


My hard stuff is hard. Yet, I don't want to compare it to anyone ease's hard stuff because I don't know what their hard stuff is. I haven't had a child die. I have not experienced any serious medical issue. I do not worry about my health, nor do I worry about my children's health. My parents are still alive. I am not bankrupt, and I am not unemployed. I am always on the edge of okay. Imagine, should you be old enough to remember vaudeville shows, the plate spinner. That is me. I spin plates. Children. Work. Home. Childcare. Meals. Church. Running. Children. Me. I keep all of them spinning, but all of the plates wobble. It takes all that I have to keep the plates spinning, to keep the balls in the air. I have me to depend on. I have no family here. I have me, only me.

Appointment Guy had me make a list of the people that I could call on for help; a list of people that I could depend on. The list was longer than I expected. Gosh. Who knew? I fail to recognize so many of the blessings in my life. (Right now, my daughter is puting lipgloss on me, and brushing my hair. She thinks I am beautiful. A blessing) I have people who are not related to me, but who may be there for me no matter what. It humbles me.

Friday I ran 4 miles on the treadmill. I ran inside because my allergies are killing me, and I had 20 to do on Saturday. I didn't want to be triggered more than necessary, but dang, those four mile were hard. Not running hard, just boring hard. I did them, tucked them under the belt.

Total: 4ish miles
Total for week: 28ish miles

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mother and Child

I haven't ever seen Mother and Child depicted in Tulip form. It was a sweet surprise and a gift to me during a time when all my surprises seem to be ugly and gifts are few. Something to relish and to cherish.

9 miles with 8x3/4 mile repeats on the treadmill yesterday. Legs weren't happy to be running, but they didn't complain enough to make me stop. I have 4-6 miles scheduled for today and another long 20 for Saturday. I am getting to the part of the schedule where the intensity starts to wear on me, but I will handle it. Every day is different, and according to Appointment Guy, my job is just to focus on the matters at hand of the day. I am supposed to be here, now. It is harder to do than I had expected, but I am working on it.

Miles: 9
Total Miles: 24

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tuesday Eleven

April 13, 2010

11 miles, none of them special. My legs were tired. My heart rate climbed again -- I am beyond ready for allergy season to be over. I think that taking so much zyrtec makes me a little sluggish. And I surely am over having to talk little walk breaks during an 11 mile run. I should be well past that. Anyway, 11 miles that finally started feeling semi-decent along about mile 10.

Total: 11 miles
Total for week: 14 miles

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday. Just Monday

You know, I am getting a little tired of being inundated with drahhhhma. There is way too much of it in my life, and it wears on me. My edges fray and my fabric loosens. Lately, the tethers that bind me to hearth and home and the vital part of everything are thinning. And so, I choose, I CHOOSE, to give to God today's teeming bowl of insults and upsets. God has to get this one, this day, for me, because I just can't. So God gets to handle today. I have faith that He will give today's drama back to me when my coping skills are back to firing on all cylinders.

I choose, instead to open a very, very lovely Chateau Meyney 1989 Bordeaux. Such a silken finish. A superb wine is a gift. A superb wine after today is a great, great gift. Oh my. This was a very good idea. Such a lovely finish. A nice way to end a day like today.

4 miles after work. I ran them because that is what the magic schedule dictates. And how can I possible argue with The Magic Schedule? (but they were easy miles, inside because I have 12 to run outside tomorrow and my allergies are still triggered) So, I have a fabulous glass of wine (which makes tomorrow or the next day look very promising), Lyle Lovett for my listening pleasure, and I don't have to get up until 7am. I'll take that.

Total: 4 miles

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The First Twenty

I wish that I had one of those well-ordered lives. You know the kind -- no one is ever late for an appointment. No one misses a game or an event because of scheduling conflicts. Meals are on-time and healthy. Homework is never done at the last minute. Laundry and chores are completed in a timely manner, bedtimes are strictly adhered to, and Sunday School is well-attended. Heck, I am sure that sex is scheduled, too. Everything goes off like clockwork, without a hitch, every day.

This occurs to me because my life is pretty close to being the antithesis of that life. I am fairly organized in a lot of ways, simply because if I wasn't the wheels would fall off this train. But once you get away from the basic organization, man, there just ain't no tellin' what will happen. We plan in pencil, Chez Sarah. Yesterday, for example. We all got up on time, dressed and out the door on schedule. And by mid-morning, life at work was spinning out of control. 4 of 5 patients (and the families) had issues. And not minor issues, either. My preceptee and I just could not stay on task or stay on schedule. We were being pulled in so many directions that I am surprised neither of us lost a limb or at least a finger. It was bad enough that when Boarder Collie Surgeon (great guy -- look, a chicken!) showed up to check on my one patient who was behaving, I started talking fast and furiously, explaining the patient's condition and telling the doc what to do. He looked at me funny and said "Sarah, did you forget to take your ativan today or what? Lets just get the chart and you can tell me what to order". Doh! I don't usually get frazzled like that. Anyway, when the dust of the day settled, and I finally was on my way home, I realized that the Relay for Life thing that I had scheduled to do was out of my reach for the night. I was supposed to be there, was supposed to walk. But I wasn't and I didn't. I worried and fretted and waited for my mind to settle down, and when it did, I went to bed. You see, tomorrow's schedule included my first 20 mile run in 4 years.

The alarm went off at its appointed time. I dutifully sat up, turned the alarm off and went back to sleep, the rationale being that I had all day to run 20 miles, so why start now when I am still tired? The rational side of me knows better, and the rational side of me knows that I got lucky today. I intentionally went slowly and carefully, because, at 11:15 it was sunny, warm and windy. The run was fairly strong through the first 15 miles, but miles 16 - 18 were kind of ugly. I had to do some walking, but I kept moving. The last two miles were not as bad as they could have been, and actually, I had the legs to go farther, but only the fuel to gut out 20. All in all, this was a better long run than any of my previous ones. I was mentally tougher than previously, and that made a good bit of difference. 20 miles would have been easier with a running buddy, but I got through it by myself. It is fire season here, so dry and windy. I noticed that during my run, my shirt and shorts were barely wet, and by the end I looked like a powered sugar donut. I didn't smell like one, tho.

Total: 20 miles
Total for week: 44.5 miles

Friday, April 9, 2010

Precepting New Nurses.

I am a preceptor at work. That means that I teach and guide nurses new to my hospital the ways of the hospital. It is something that I take seriously. I want the baby nurses to succeed. I want the "returning to work" nurses to succeed and feel accepted and comfortable, because those nurses have so many outside influences tugging on them. In some ways, it is easier to be a brand new minted nurse than one who has been out of the game for a few years. Experienced nurses can't claim "babyhood" anymore. They have to find the wheelhouse fast. And that is so hard to do. I have learned that I can't make it happen for anyone. I can want and pray and encourage and explain and hope and teach -- but I cannot force anyone into the comfortable place. They have to get there on their own. I am their hand to hold. I am their brain to access. I am their shoulder to lean on, and their person to ask for help. They all know this. But, ultimately, they have to stand on their own, almost from the start. That is what we require of the people who take care of our people. My new-back-to-work nurse is awesome. But she is scared. She used to be an ICU nurse in a small hospital. Now she is a floor nurse on a floor that takes patients WAY more critical than she was used to having. And now she has to care for five at a time. And she has had a lot of days like today. But that is how we are. Still, she has me, and I don't let my babies fail. I just don't.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sarah Sees Her Mechanic

My physical mechanic, that's what I call Greg. Done got the chassis worked on today, yes I did. From my lower back on down, I got kneaded, rubbed, pushed, pulled and maneuvered. My adductors (all of them) hate me. They got thoroughly probed and prodded. Thank goodness Greg has mastered that draping of the blanket thing, cause he was up close where I am personal and you can't wear your skivvies when you visit the mechanic. I think I feel better, tho. I know that my range of motion is better. Tomorrow I will need some ice and advil, and I know that I will be tender and sore in some spots, but a lot of the "stickiness" is gone. I have my stretching orders in hand and another appointment in three weeks.

Ten miles on the treadmill today. 2 mile warm up, followed by 8 x 3/4 mile repeats, with .10 mile recovery. I ended with about a mile of cooldown. I ran inside because my allergies are horrible and I have 20 miles to do this weekend. I decided that further triggering my allergies wasn't really in my long run's best interest, so Pink Shuffle and I suffered along indoors instead.

Total: 10 miles
Total for week: 24.5 miles

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tomorrow I see Greg.

Greg. Tomorrow I see Greg. I love seeing Greg. He doesn't make my heart pitter-pat. He talks a whole lot more than he ought to, which means he babbles. He is a sweetie, but no one is going to offer him a Rhodes Scholarship. Or a scholarship of any kind. Still, I love to see Greg. He is my physical mechanic. His license states that he is a Licensed Massage Therapist, but he is really a mechanic. He fixes my "itis-es", he massages my tight muscles, ligaments and tendons. All my deep tissues groan at the release, but he fixes me. As long as there is nothing truly orthopedically wrong with me, like a stress fracture, Greg is the go-to guy for the fix. Nothing is wrong with me, not seriously wrong with me, at the moment. I have some tightness in my IT bands. I have some not minor but not major tendonitis in my feet. My PF is quiet. But, I am working the years, and so I think some preventative maintenance is in order. The kinks are starting to accumulate, and this marathon is important to me. My Babysitting Goddess will watch the Small People (rather, take them to her powder-puff football game -- she plays defense. She broke her finger 2 weeks ago. I do love her.). And I will get a tune up.

Another Tuesday Ten

Tuesday, April 6

I couldn't control my heartrate today. I think most likely it is because we are having a horrible allergy season. I am so allergic to oak pollen, and it is just raining that stuff here. So I take zyrtec, which makes me sleepy and lethargic; it also dries me out. Between the drugs and the dehydration (oh, and the heat -- it was in the upper 70s), my heartrate was well into the 150-160 range. 140s, I can run forever. 160s, not so much. Anyway, 10 more in the bank.

My retail therapy dress arrived today. One of the many pluses of having small people who fancy themselves fashionistas is that they can help me decide of retail therapy dress stays or gets returned. The decision? Exchange said dress for a different print. They liked the dress, not the pattern.

Total: 10 miles
Total for week: 14.5 miles

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Problem with Blogging

Titles. You have to title these things. Oh, and for your blog to be cool, you have to have pictures and stuff and more stuff...and I don't know how to do that stuff. And the guy that I let myself love and who knew how to do that stuff isn't here anymore. So, I have a plain-Jane blog with no bling. The content is what it is, and I am responsible for it, but the decor, well, it is hard to be responsible for that stuff that is way out of your league. Like when I have to deal with cancer patients. I do hearts. Surgical hearts. You break your heart, the surgeon fixes it, and when you are able to take a few sips of water and can breathe on your own, you come to me. For several days. I fix you. When you leave my care, almost always you are healthier than when you came into my hospital. When you are a cancer patient, or even an orthopedic patient, and you come to my floor because you have an arrhythmia, you move me out of my wheelhouse. And then I am not so good. Chemotherapy isn't something I am versed in. And my knowledge of orthopedics is a little limited. And so I call up the RNs who are experts in those fields, because if I am not the RN who can provide the needed care for my patient, then I will find one who can. I do that for my patients. When I'm in my wheelhouse, I am all good. When I am someplace else, I am not so much, which includes decorating my blog. And coming up with pithy titles. I don't have a lot of resources here, and I realize that my blog is read mostly by me. But, if anyone has "blogging" tips, I am more than appreciative.

I ran after work today. I purposely didn't run before work because I wanted to be up and ready so that I could get the small people up a little early. You see, the shuttle made it's last pre-dawn launch today. I wanted Thing One and Thing Two to see it outside, first-hand. We watched the initial launch on TV, and then ran down the stairs to see the flare in the distance. It was spectacular. We saw those brave folk rise and rise. We saw the boosters disengage. We saw the sparkle that was the shuttle continue on. Little people and Big Person were awestruck. Such bravery, there. And Little People will remember this. Very cool.

Ran 4-5 miles tonight. My allergies are killing allergic to oak pollen (as is the rest of Florida) -- makes it a little hard to run. But, even after a long day at work, and even after starting my run after 8pm, I felt ok. And I saw the shuttle go up this morning.

Total: 4.5 miles

Saturday, April 3, 2010

18 Miles and Egg Hunts

Eighteen miles this morning. I can't decide if my long runs are giving me confidence, or killing my confidence. One has yet to go well and feel strong, but I have yet not to complete one. I am so slow, but I work so many long hours and run hard in between -- perhaps I will be a bit faster when my legs aren't always tired. Sometimes my repeats feel strong and effortless. Sometimes they are a slog. I am training alone, so I don't have anyone to push me or encourage me when my head opts out of the long run. I just haven't been able to find a running partner here yet. I will keep trying. Someone will turn up eventually.

So, 18 miles this morning. It took about 3 hours, but it included a few healthy walking breaks and some time to stretch my back and hamstrings. After the run, I scooted home, quickly showered and took the tribe for the first of a few egg hunts. We lasted at the Spring Eggstravaganza at the Y for a couple of hours. I was suddenly hungry, so I ate a hot dog. I remember why I hate hot dogs. Slimy, nasty mystery psuedo-food they are. We then went to egg hunt #2, a fund-raiser for my floor's Relay for Life team, of which I am a member. We lasted there less than an hour. All of a sudden, I was hot, tired, a little wobbly, and I needed to go home. Stat. So home we went, and skipped the last egg hunt.

And later that evening, when the sun was descending, the small people and I took a lovely, explore-y walk. Well, I walked. They biked. Light breezes and little girl giggles make the big girl have sweet dreams.

Total: 18 miles
Total for week: 44 miles.

Good Friday

Friday, April 2.

4 miles on the treadmill, neither easy nor hard. Just miles, clocked because the schedule dictates 4 miles. I feel lighter lately, although I don't think that I am. Perhaps it is because i am a smidge more fit than I was in January. It is harder to lose weight when you're north of 45 years old. Still, I feel that my out of shape self is not as out of.

Total: 4 miles
Total for week: 26 miles.

Good Friday is just about the hardest day of the year for me. I try and I fail to walk with Jesus. But I do try...I try to think about His journey. I try to think about His crucifixion, and thinking about that scares me. The violence. I don't do violence, for ever and ever, amen. But Christ endured that for me. Nails through feet and palms. For me. I have suckage in my life, but nothing like nails through feet and palms. Nothing like being strung up on timbers in the sun and heat. Nothing like that. Nothing like that at all.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Just counting miles.

10 on the treadmill today. (Again, the Spring Break - Babysitter issue) It started as a slog, but got better once the one decent treadmill opened up. Got easier still when a good friend showed up to share the run (yeah, I did some walking, but I was chatting and visiting and was totally bored with running inside). I have a few to do tomorrow, and then 18 on Saturday early before the plethora of Easter Egg hunts begins. I can't think about that right now...18 miles is too far, too hard, too everything. I wish that I had someone to run it with me. It is hard to run that far alone. I have been reading a friend's blog, and have been trying to incorporate that Zen kind of thinking with what Mr. Appointment Guy had to say. I don't know if I can live fully in the moment yet. Strike that. I know that I can't. I know that if truly focus, I can live in the moment, but if my focus strays, I wander down my well-trod paths -- the ones where I worry and fret. I am really good at worrying and fretting, but apparently those aren't great life skills. Who knew?

Anyway, I ran my sorta-long 10 miles today. I had no major emotional crises. Life just ebbed and flowed as life is wont to do. 10 miles in the bank. I may not be able to run 26.2, but I can run 10.

Total: 10 miles
Total for week: 22 miles