Happy times all the way around

This has been a great weekend, and it’s not even noon on Sunday! I just know it’ll be fine the rest of the day too.

So after I typed up my little message on Friday I went to meet Gale for the CVNP Full Moon run. I thought I had read they would have headlamps to borrow, well I arrived and they had headlamps to PURCHASE. I should have my own soon, but I didn’t want to buy it there and then. Even if I wanted I didn’t have the money. Plus, I overheard this run was only to be 3 miles, and that was a lot of money when all was said and done for a “fun run”. So, I went back home.

Sat morning I woke and got ready for the Ohio Outside Trail series! I was able to sleep in because this park is less than 15 minutes from my house. Also, not gonna lie…slept in my clothes from the night before since I didn’t go trail running after all. All I needed to do was add shoes and go for it!

I arrived at the park a little tardy, gathered my stuff and put it in the car. LOVELY hoodie (for signing up for all three races) and a glass for this particular race. Currently I am fond of the glasses as gifts thing.

We began the double loop course at 8:30. I knew this course, I’ve taken Emme on it many times. It’s not flat or fast, and it IS beautiful! I was amazed to find myself running most of it, I thought I’d be a lot more out of shape and sore. I never heard the mile 1 beep, but when I heard mile 2 I looked down and saw I’d done it in just over a 12 minute pace. Which is good for me for the trail! I cleared the first loop in under 30 minutes (like 26) so I was thinking I was on my way to under an hour AND a PR. Not bad for a week after a 50K huh? Well, legs had a different idea. My calf muscles started to twinge and my IPOD died and I started having trouble breathing (didn’t use my inhaler or take my meds) so the second loop wasn’t as strong. I kept making myself run though, I had nothing to conserve for this weekend! I started full out sprinting in the clearing but came to an abrupt stop when I nearly ran into a gathering of 10 people. Apparently a girl had fallen and was bleeding very badly. 911 was called, and I saw her later and she had a nasty wound on her head. It was either her or someone else who busted open on the course! Not that this kept me from running, but it did make me question how much I needed to be pushing it after all?

I finished the course in 61 minutes….but it ws only 4.66 miles long. Oh and I was only about 3 minutes behind Gale so AWESOME! I like that it’s a double loop, you can push it the second time….I like that each of the 3 runs are the same place. With the changing weather it will be “different” each time, but I’m hoping to get my time lower and lower each session. Throwing it out there…but wouldn’t a cut of down to like 45 be amazing?? Haha. I’d be happy to get it down even into the low 50s.

After the race I hung around the house pouting about Halloween…but WAIT! There is good news!

I HAVE A COSTUME!!

It’s a secret. Ha. But I’m SO excited about it! I came up with it myself. It fits ALL my criteria

1. It’s sexy
2. But not too “slutty”
3. It’s FUNNY
4. It’s comfortable
5. I won’t be ashamed if pics go up online and clients see me
6. I cold use it on a run.

There may be other criteria, but you get the point. Also, the whole thing only cost me about 15 bucks. How awesome is that?? I bet you’re all excited to see what it will be…don’t worry you’ll see pics after the party next weekend (squeal)

Mom and I went shopping for the pieces parts, so that was fun. I got to show her how my voice typing on my phone does NOT work. Example: I said to both her phone and mine (same phone BTW)

“I am going to the cheap store, if you would like to come with me”
Hers typed it PERFECTLY

mine?

“Cheap store if you like to lick me”
My phone has a dirty mind.

Later that night we went to dinner with my sister and to see A CHORUS LINE

I was not impressed with this play/musical. It’s long running and award winning, but to me it was kinda boring. I like high energy things, with costume changes and lots of scenery. This was barely anything. Sorry to people who are fans. I’m glad I went though, I LOVE going to plays! But I wouldn’t go to this one again.

The night ended with random movie watching in the living room with my Mom.

Today I am being miss Susie Homemaker. I am finally bringing the sweaters upstairs from the basement…with god as my witness. And I am doing laundry, or else I have to stop wearing underwear. And I am cleaning my room (sorta) and I am putting away my 50K trip stuff and about 3 bags worth of trips to Mr B’s. Yeah, I need to do that or else the sweater with the PB&J is going to turn into a FOB situation. Yikes. Finally I am going grocery shopping. 1-because I can’t live on noodles all week or fast food. 2-I think he knows this…but I need to get the stuff to cook dinner for when B comes over!

Hope everyone else is living the good life. I’ll be back Wed-ish with pics from the fun run at Halloween. Oh and I don’t think I’m being the same thing that night…we’ll see though!

You’ve come a long way, baby

Who remembers that terrible ad for Virginia Slims? For whatever reason it popped into my head this evening. I’m in a reflective mood tonight. Maybe it’s because I’m on my 3rd frappe of the week? Don’t judge me.

So how have I come a long way? I dunno, but it seems when I get down on myself as I have this week, the universe has this way of placing hints in my path to snap me out of it. For example, once when I went on an errands run I found myself parked next to a small 1995 blue civic. Just like my first car. When I got out of my nice big beautiful SUV I looked at the two of them sitting neat to each other. And it’s amazing to me I have a car I’m happy with and proud of.

So what’s going on this week? Oh I’m frustrated…with work, and school, and love and life. When am I not?

Mainly work and school this week. I dunno. Tonight I went to McDonald’s for dinner. I hate McDonald’s food. Mostly. But I am obsessed with the Monopoly game. Really, it’s not good. So I buy everything super sized to get more pieces and end up throwing away half my dinner. At least I don’t eat it. (shrug). I’ve never won anything except free food I don’t redeem so who knows what the point is? And whatever I ate messed up part of my braces, so now I have to go over Monday and see if they’ll fix me up. Sheesh!

The McDs I worked at has recently remodeled…ok they did it over the summer. I stood in that lobby and stared at the changes. It’s lovely in there now. It was not lovely when I worked there. And the kids at the registers call me “ma’am” and the managers are the same. That’s right….they are the same. And it makes me stop when I tell the girl “I worked here about 10 years ago”….and the truth is I started there September 1998. What have I done since then? I spent several years of my life there…some of the HAPPIEST times…mostly when we would drop whole boxes of fry boxes on the floor, and still never win at Monopoly! I’ve gone to undergrad, gone to grad once, gone to grad twice. I’ve have countless boyfriends, I’ve considered moving, I have moved, I learned to drive a bus, I learned to answer a multi-line phone, I got a cell phone, I’ve left the country a few more times, I’ve learned all about mental health, I took myself to the movies by myself. Little things and big things, and I can’t imagine, living the past decade+ still smelling like fries every night.

Earlier today I had another little “encounter”. One of my ex’s called. Why did I answer? I dunno. I was bored at work and needed to kill a few minutes? I told him about how I’m stressed for Halloween. Why? Because I have negative self-esteem. It’s so low it’s negative. And all I want is to be a “cute” or “sexy” something! That’s all I want. But I tell myself I don’t think I’m cute or sexy and I tell myself the guy I’m seeing doesn’t see me that way either. And he’s so wonderful he’s going to the party with me and I don’t want to embarrass him! While I’m expecting EX to think I’m fishing for compliments or tell me something majorly overly sexual and make me gag…he says almost the perfect thing. He says “Babe, you are sexy; I always thought you were sexy. Sexy isn’t only about your fitness state it’s your manner and state of mind”.

#1 I LOVE pet names…Mr B doesn’t give me pet names lol he probably thinks that’s too cutesy. But I LOVE being called Babe and Hun and Sweetie and songs where the rap guy says “baby girl” I am a sucker for those things. Apparently as educated as I am I have a weak spot for trash. #2 he managed to let me know WHAT was sexy about me, without it sounding cliché or like a line. #3 he also managed to say it without making it sound like “well your body DOES suck but I like you anyway”. And I KNEW he was right…because I had a ton of confidence and spunk when he met me. Grad school has killed that in me. Le Sigh. And work…where I’m always being reminded at both places how I’m not good enough…how I need to try harder and how I am “almost” there. I miss the days of not going to class, being important at my job and basically just living each day where I was doing it “right”. Problem was…I knew I wanted more. And in a few short months I’m gonna have it!

I read something in another blog today that struck me, and I’m probably butchering it:

Regrets are mistakes we didn’t learn from.

It’s OK to have a past…it’s OK to think about the past…it’s OK to say the past did not go as you would have wanted it to…but are you repeating the past? Are you stuck in a circle and refuse to put one foot out to redirect?

I’m opting to redirect. It might take a minute or two, but it’s the right choice.

Oh and funny comment of the day?

Boss asks me alone in her office why I was measuring my hair with a ruler

Me: I wanted to see if it was long enough to donate
Boss: Not work related
Me: I know, but important
Boss: As long as you aren’t looking up costumes…that’s all you’ve done this week!
Me: Hey! I was clocked out, I can do what I want on my breaks
Boss: Every break every day all day long???
Me: I don’t smoke and my boyfriend is out of town, what should I be doing?
Boss: (laughs) OK good point
Me: (leaving) Besides, it’s a very important decision!

BTW: It was a year ago I was riding in the car with my Mom to attempt my first marathon. And it was a week ago I was in the car on the way to my first 50K. Huh. Maybe I really have come a long way … baby?

Oil Creek 50K: Race Report

Today I am well into recovery, I make it up and down stairs without too much pain and my back and shoulders are talking to each other again. I’m enjoying a day off from work and all I have to do is get my braces tightened (ew) and see clients at the clinic. Hopefully they all show up this week!

I’d say my journey for the race began Friday. I spent the morning relaxing at Mr B’s. He left P90x stretch DVD in the player for me, so the cats and I wiggled around. Then I spoke to Pati and had to steal paper for her address hahaha. Which I felt like a creeper going into the computer drawer, but I remembered I needed paper last time I stayed over and he said he didn’t care. I left him a nice card and stole a string cheese and was out the door. A quick lunch at Wendy’s where I only ate my piece of grilled chicken and stored my potatoe and I was headed home. Once home I ran around like a crazy person trying to pack anything and everything. I started out the door, thinking I was done and realized I did not pack underwear. Seriously. So back into the house and revising my packing list to make sure I DID have everything.

Finally out the door a lil late and on the road. Arrived at Pati’s and back onto the highway and on our way to Titusville!

Arrived at the Middle school a liiiiitle late. Gale was nice enough to get our bags for us and we made a bee line for the food. A bit of pasta and some salad and we listened to the meeting. Afterward we chatted with a few friends and got ready to turn in for the night in the gym. Not many people opted to sleep in the gym, which I thought was odd. A few tents were pitched outside even. I placed my mat and sleeping bag and wandered out into the cafeteria to finally eat my potatoe from like 10 hours earlier. I sat at a table and chatted with Nick B. It was great to get to talk with him…met him at one of the training runs and I really admire him as a runner. He’s in with all the “cool kids” and I always feel like I’m not good enough to mingle with the elites. But, he was very nice and helpful and even convinced me to sign up for Regis run this January.

Suddenly, 9 PM lights were out and it was bed time! Curled up on the floor and went to sleep. I wasn’t sure how long I’d sleep, so I set an “emergency” alarm for 545. Lights up at 4 AM for the 100 milers. I groaned and crawled deep inside my sleeping bag. Next thing I knew…alarm was going off. Yikes. Seriously? EVERYONE else was awake and moving. I stumbled into the locker room to change and a woman I did not know says “Well, hello there sleepy head”. Yea I was being made fun of all morning…last runner up! And I slept through 3 waves of nosie.

I managed to get it in gear and before I knew it we were all gathered outside under the finish banner…to start. I hoped I’d see the sign again while on my feet and the horn sounded. We all started jogging toward the road and bike path and trail. I didn’t want to run too quickly, and worried if I made a HUGE mistake in not eating breakfast. Also bothering me was how cold it was and my hands were numb and I left my gloves in the gym.

Before I knew it we were on the bike path and into the woods. Pati and I chatted and enjoyed the first section. Along the bike path we saw a guy duck into the woods to pee, the funny thing is…I found out later on FB, this guy proposed to his GF at the finish line. How romantic is that? According to the website it’s a 7.1 mile journey to aid station #1. I did not have Garmin on since batteries only last 10 hours and I planed to take longer and I wanted it for the end of the race. Aid station #1 won as the best last year, so we were anxious to see what they had to offer. The terrain wasn’t anything too intense. General trail hiking with a few hills and rocks here and there. The theme for #1 was Christmas. There were lights and I think music? And “presents” on the ground where you could leave trash. I enjoyed a treat of M&Ms, goldfish, hot chocolate and a banana. Went to the bathroom and saw Ed, who has just seen Gale about 30 minutes before. We adjusted our gear and went off up the switchback you might recall from my training run posts. As we climbed the hill I thought about how we’ve already done over a 10K, a major race for some people! And we were not even 25% finished.

At the top of the switchback I took a picture and then took another of my feet with the view. I was happy to be on a part of the trail I knew and we talked and walked for a while. It was nice to be comfortable and we paused for pics of old buildings and other sites. When we reached aid #2 I was floored at how strong I felt at the half way point. Mind you “hiking” over running was probably making the BIGGEST difference. Not to mention, the company, the thrill of racing, and actually drinking water as I should. I felt great at the half way point and was really thinking this was going to happen!

We saw American flags as we ran along the road and started signing. “Coming to America” “Born in the USA” “ROCK in the USA” and finally just saying the pledge. We’re silliy but hey it was OUR race!

Saw Nick and asked him about those important oranges he told me about! Saw Amy and Jamey and Rajan. I cracked my back on the table, put more Triglide on my feet and grabbed extra socks in case I wanted “gloves” later that night. It was only noon, but I had to consider it may get cold in the woods before we finished. Snacked on heed and sandwhiches and used the bathroom. My hands were so swollen it hurt to have anything touch them! We didn’t hang out too long…and were off into section 3! There was a possibility we could do this in 10.5 to 11 hours.

Partly into section 3…my fave and one I knew the best….I wanted some of my supplies. Only I found out my pocket was stuck! This panicked me and no matter what I said or did I was hung up on not having some of my stuff. We asked some aid workers to help at the half way point, but they couldn’t get it. We tried to run parts of it too….but by the time we made it to Miller Farm we had lost SERIOUS time! I was angry with myself, there was no excuse to faulter where I should have been strongest!

Aid station #3, I snacked on more of what had been working all day and went to the bathroom. The aid workers were probably the most interactive and helpful of the whole day. I also opted for pop over a coffee chew and went on up the hill and into the cemetery area. Small issue….pop did NOT sit in my stomach very well. I was already upset about the pocket, and I was MORE upset about my time, and all of this combined with stomach issues and I was crying and in pain. I tried to listen to my IPOD but I was getting worse and worse, trailing more and more behind Pati. We were only a few miles into this last section and I finally accepted that I was going to have to drop. I could barely walk I was feeling SO SICK. Other runners were stopping to ask if I was OK as they approached. I felt like I was a baby and needed someone to pat my back and burp me. Or just needed to puke. But I never puke so I just can’t do it on command.

I tried to burp or whatever and nothing was helping. It was breaking my heart as the sun was going down and my feet weren’t moving. I tired to tell myself there was a 17 hour limit and if I sat down and slept or rested I could finish…but I knew once I stopped moving, I would cramp up and be done. Somehow I found myself doing some verion of praying or meditating or something. And I said “I can’t do this, it’s not that I don’t want to, or I’m complaining, or it’s hard…I CAN’T do it anymore. I know I should find it within myself, but I am DONE and I need something to happen here.” The next thing I knew we came up on a hill and at the top of the hill was Rajan, Amy and Jamey.

Pati caught up to them first, and I dunno if it was the shock of seeing other people or just timing in general…I found myself suddenly able to burp. And all the pressure came flying up out of my stomach and it was HEAVENLY. I secretly called the girls my guardian angels and later told them this. The bells on their packs made me smile and think of Emme at home playing . All I could do was focus on following on their heels and getting out of the woods. Having other people was great and even with Rajan running ahead into the distance, the 4 of us travelled over the rocks and ledges until the slow trip down onto the street.

A sign warned “Runners in the road” as we made our way to Drake Well Museum. Jamey and Amy chanted “We’re runners in the road” and we all jogged or some version of jogging down onto the grass and around the museum. After the mile loop we found our group back on the road and the bike path and into the darkness. There was a comfort to the darkness and when we crossed the bridge toward the school Amy and I were powerwalking together. She said “Let’s do this” and we started to run for the finish. We heard cheering and she sped off in front of me and I tried to hold back from crying too terribly hard (tears of joy). I had missed my goal, but not by much and really my only goal was to finish.

As I ran under the sign I knew I was crying. Race director Tom hugged me which really brought on the tears because I kept telling Pati how badly I wanted to have someone hug me. An aid worker even since I wouldn’t have anyone at the finish. That hug felt amazing. I paced around in a circle as I always do after a race…and tried not to have an asthma attack or pass out. Eventually I stumbled into the gym and took off my extra junk. Saw a sign for “free massages” and told them never thought I’d see something I liked more than the finish line.

A night of texting and talking and showering and enjoying everyone’s company. Everyone I had met made their goal of distances and I was so happy. A long drive later I was crawling into bed between 1:30 and 2:00 am.

And I’m happy to say, I’m happy with how I did. I still like running, I still like the race and I don’t wanna die and hide or hate myself. Unlike the marathon, I don’t feel like the world is a disaster or that I’m falling into a deep depression. In fact, I look forward to my other 2 runs this month and as mentioned earlier, signed up for the Winter Regis Run in Jan. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience for a 50K and I don’t regret a moment.

I have decided though, no more distances above the half until my business card reads “Julie LPC CDCA. Which is going to be May darn-it!”

Here are the split breakdowns according to the Website. Then my Garmin information from Aid #1 to the finish.

Aid station # 1 – Wolfkill Run – WK
Loop 1 – WK1 = 7.1 miles / 11.4 K

Aid station # 2 – Petroleum Center – PC
Loop 1 – PC1 = 13.9 miles / 22.4 K

Aid station # 3 – Miller Farm – MF
Loop 1 – MF1 = 22.7 miles / 36.4 K

FINISH – Titusville Middle School – TMS = 31.1 miles / 50 K