All righty then. I’ve just spent two hours clearing out my email boxes and catching up with things that needed to be caught up. I hate doing that. At heart, I’m really a lazy person. I’m not GOOD at being lazy, but I wish I were. There’s nothing like that message “There are no message in your inbox.” Sigh. Happiness. It’s like a countertop with nothing but a toaster. Or a kitchen table with nothing but a lamp (we’ll see how long that lasts).
While we’re sighing with happiness, I have to give a quick shout out to MJ in Nantucket, our wonderful host of two days, the woman who greeted us with hugs and the keys to her car. She just sent me wind chimes. Like I wasn’t already feeling guiltily spoiled, I just hung them in the garden, where they’re in exact tune with my first pair. Only they’re sweeter, because they were sent with love. Double sigh. This will be a short post, because I have a date with my swing in the garden.
I am a wee disgruntled today, though, because my shin splints are gettin’ on my nerves. Or on my muscles, as it were. I’ve got the classic posterior tibial (mumble something mumble) tendonitis, and the physical therapist I saw says it’s normal for a first time runner, and I just need some rest. I don’t WANT rest. (I’ve been doing everything right, though, rest, ice three times a day, elevation, ibuprofen.)
I ran four miles with my pace group yesterday in the City, and it was truly wonderful. I had a ball. It hurt some to run, but not really badly, and it just felt great to move like that. Four miles! That’s farther than I’ve ever run in my whole life. I was high off it for hours.
It hurt a lot more later, though, and I’m not going to do my maintenance runs this week while I heal up. I have, however, been reading about “pool running” and I’m going to do that tomorrow and Thursday. Being an alum, I’ve got access to the pool at Mills and I’m well prepared (and well practiced) to look stupid running in the deep end and not moving anywhere. I think I need a flotation belt, and I’ll find one of those today. They say plenty of marathoners train this way – no weight placed on the downstrike, like in running, but all the same muscles used (and the cool water keeps the swelling down). And then I’ll run again next Sunday in the pace group and see if I’ve healed enough to go back to maintenance runs…..
Oh, and might I add?
A-freaking-mazing. I may be recovering from running, but I’m not recovering from your generosity.
I may have received the sweetest present I’ll ever receive yesterday. It came in a shiny gold envelope from Wales. Inside were these:
Tiny leetle running shoes! With rainbow roving smokin’ from the heels! And a wee Italian flag to sew to something, probably my water bottle bag. I can’t even tell you how happy these made me. Can you imagine? Thinking of these, while I’m running? I could probably run all the way to Wales, just thinking of these. Well, there’s all that water in the way. Perhaps a cruise ship, then. I could run the track between meals.
I actually wondered for a few minutes, where would one GET such a perfect gift? Then I realized that Daisy-Winifred put the baby shoes together with the roving. Duh. And it made it even better. Sigh. I LOVE these.
Speaking of babies, can I tell you real quick-like why I don’t have one? I was writing to Maggi earlier about this week’s trauma. You see, a while back, I decided Maggi’s Wee C needed the Frances books. You know, Bread and Jam for Frances, Best Friends for Frances…. A highlight of my trip was knowing that I would get to read them to her. She climbed up in my lap one night, and we read several of them, ending with Bedtime for Frances. There’s a scene in which Frances watches the crack up above her head, and in her insomnia-induced terror, imagines all sorts of creepy-crawly things wriggling out of the crack. Of course, she later realizes that nothing could fit through the crack, but that’s not what stuck with Wee C. She woke screaming several nights later, convinced cracks had terrible things in them.
I traumatized a three-year old.
Maggi said they worked it out, and she’s not scared anymore, and these things happen with three-year olds, but I KNOW it’ll come out in her therapy in thirty years.
And something even worse happened this week. My little two-year old love came over. Here Winter is with Adah (can you see her tongue sticking out?).
And with his fairy godmother:
He loves him some Adah. And Adah’s a patient cat, wanting nothing but to be touched, even if it’s by a two-year old who was built as a runner. They ran and played all over the apartment, and it was wonderful to watch. Then she slapped him in the face. True, he had pulled her tail, but I was horrified. My cat! Attacking a baby! I swept her up and locked her away in my bedroom (where Digit was already, being a rather bitey sort of fellow around small people). I apologized like crazy. I was a bad, bad cat mom.
And then? We were playing on the couch? You know, that “I’m going to bite your hand, look out, here I come….” *play bite, play bite* Then I looked away and closed my mouth, just as he stuck in his fingers.
I bit Winter! There were tears. He cried, too. I told Monica to take him home, to get him out of the bad lady’s house where cats slap and people bite.
It was awful. In a funny, pathetic, weak “har har har” kind of way. It’ll be funnier next week. Maybe. I may need therapy myself.
Cari always says things that make me think. She writes short sentences that mean a hell of a lot. I admire that. I’m more of a rambling writer, and good ideas can be hidden in all the other stuff. Cari’s clear, and to the point. She’s the one who made me realize when I started running that it could be meditation that would directly profit the writing. She’s been right already. When I just can’t go another step, I think about my work and it gets me a little farther around the lake. The characters run along with me. Well, that sounds creepy. But it’s true. And I have to admit that running to train for a marathon, and running as meditation are both great reasons to run. If I were running for increased cardiovascular health, I would do it as often as I wash my car (about once a year and grudgingly).
Yesterday, she gave me another truth. Sometimes the run (like the one on Tuesday) just sucks. Just like sometimes the writing just feels awful, like I’m composing nothing but canned phrases from a dictionary of cliches. But she wrote that in looking back, it’s how many cumulative miles you’ve done, how many pages you’ve written that ultimately matter. And looking back, it’s hard to tell which were the good days and which were the bad. You just did it, that’s all that matters.
Of course, she said it in, like, two lovely short sentences. But they’re just what I needed.
I’m hungry now, and I’m mentally reviewing the contents of my kitchen. Tomorrow’s payday, so I’ve been putting off shopping. I think I may possibly be out of coffee, which might make me cry. Thank god for green tea. And I believe my toast today will be the two heels of the loaf. I hate that. I’m completely out of honey, so I’ll use jam with my peanut-butter. I realized last week that during my work week, I’m at work for such long hours that the only food I eat at home is the toast I make when I wake up. That’s it. All other meals during those four days are eaten at work at my terminal. I feel kinda silly toting in bags of food on my Mondays, as if I’m bringing all my groceries to work with me, but that’s the way we have to work it. Odd, that. I like eating at home. I like my new table!
*later — just enough for one shot of coffee. I’m all right.
Can you believe it? I’m going to add the new donors to my list over there, and if I’ve missed linking your site, please email me. And please send me your snail mail address iffen you don’t mind and if I don’t have it, because I want to drop you a note and those stitch markers, when I finally get around to making them (I will make ‘em before the run, I promise!).
I’m still astounded. Seriously. I’m kind of struck dumb now, actually, something that’s very unlike me. How do I say thank you in a way that will convey the thanks that I actually feel? I’m all right with words, but not THAT good. Let’s put it this way. Right now I’m sitting in my backyard. The wind is blowing, making the wind chimes sing, and I can hear the far-off roar of the freeway and one siren in the distance. The water fountain is running. The orange tabby that lives next door just skulked through the garden, shooting guilty glances at me. And while I’m out here, I’m thinking of y’all. You all were already part of my life, and now you’re part of this run. It might be silly, but to me that’s big, and it makes me feel wonderful. It should make you feel good, too.
And hey, my friend and co-worker Brandy joined up, so, along with Marama, we’re Team 911! Three dispatchers, out of our chairs and in the streets, running with a cause. Dispatchers don’t exercise as a whole, you know. We just don’t. We sit for twelve and fourteen hour stretches. Now we’re runnin’. That’s half the excitement, I think.
Okay, I’ll try not to belabor the fundraising/training thing. I swear I’ll try not to. It’s just that it’s so much in my mind right now….
But I did write. I got up and wrote. Thank god. Even if I write crap, if I write first thing when I wake up, it reaffirms to me that yep, I’m still a writer.
I started running, what, almost a month ago? I had images of being little and light and skimming around Lake Merritt, barely a ruffle of the sweet scented breeze following in my wake. People would smile, babies would laugh, and old men would recall the days of their gloriously misspent youth. The rowboats on the water would lift their oars, and I’d wave back generously, running lightly on.
Oh, hay-ell, no.
Today was the worst day yet. I thumped like a geriatric rhino and probably wheezed like one, too. I turned beet-root red and dripped sweat. I never thought I would make it the three miles around, and that was with four little walking breaks. It was hot as hades (anything over 75 degrees to me is too hot) and I was miserable.
I have, however, learned what NOT to do the day before you run. Do NOT drink two and a half beers and a glass of port at your friends’ home the night before. And perhaps more importantly, do NOT eat a McDonald’s Number Two (two cheeseburgers, fries, and a Coke) two hours before running.
Ach. Speaking of twos, it did feel like I was two people out there – one had to heave the other one around, and the one heaving did not like it at all.
It’s my Monday, back to work in about an hour. Had a lovely garden (MdDonald’s) picnic with my friend Monica and baby Winter (pics tomorrow, perhaps). Did laundry. Obsessively checked the marathon webpage where the total has not changed since Thursday. Did not write. Have you noticed that? Haven’t written in almost a week. I will do absolutely anything sometimes to get out of writing, up to and including sign up for a damn marathon.
Lord. I like myself, sure. But sometimes I just wear myself out.
(I did have a lovely, lovely moment last night – I was early to the dinner party, so I drove down to Ocean Beach and just sat on the sand, directly in a bonfire’s smoky path, and watched the waves and the sun goin’ down. Just was. You grab a minute today, too, okay?)
I have a table. A real one, with a leaf and everything. Look:
My friend Laura gave it to me. I love the formica top, and the red/orange stripes around the side. It’s perfect for my house – I adore it. I’m going to make breakfast in the morning, real breakfast with eggs and toast and if I feel like going crazy, maybe some bacon, just so’s I can eat at the table, legs underneath and everything.
Digit likes it too.
(I am not, nor will I become, one of those people whose cats Never Go On The Table. For those of you are, I hate to break it to you, but your cats go on the table when you’re not home. They have small card parties and get quite drunk and manage to leap off just as your key turns in the door. The countertop is a different question – I *do* keep cats off the countertop. When I’m home.)
I can have that dinner party now. Sheesh. Now expectations are running so high about that proposed dinner party that I’ll prolly never even have one. Way too much on the line now. (Ironically enough, Digit is washing his bottom right now on said table. That knowledge might prevent some people from accepting the invitation to the dinner party, so I hope that gets out.)
I actually went to a dinner party tonight at The Girls’ house. See, they know how to do it. Kira whipped up an eggplant pasta thingie (and then disappeared for no more than six minutes and came out with a mixed fruit cobbler from scratch, I kid you not). And we just sat around a chit-chatted. No stress, no muss, no fuss.
Me? Muss. A given.
Now Digit’s chasing Adah and making her emit high squeaky noises that don’t sound right for a cat to make. Oh! That reminds me of a game I used to play with a friend. We’d put Adah on the couch and then push her off. She would make an odd “OOOFSH” every time. And she loved it, purring the whole time. It would be cheaper to buy a squeak-toy, but way less fun.
Severely disjointed, this post, but I must say: Six Feet Under is a brilliant show and last night’s season premiere was stunning. Running a close second in my affections is Deadwood, which I’ve adored from the first episode. I love TV.
I’ve had the oddest tired/energized feelings today. I woke early and picked up Marama by 0715, and we went for our first real training run (which went great, by the way, running alongside the Great Highway, next to the ocean, my new favorite place to run. Okay, I only have two places I’ve EVER run. But it’s my favorite of the two).
Then I came home after a good lunch out (I’ll be the only marathoner to gain weight while training), and SAT on the couch. Stared. Thought about nothing. Just was. Felt a mite guilty about it, then I got over the guilt, turned over, and took a wee rest. It wasn’t a nap, because I’m no good at napping, but I’m getting better at just resting. With the sliding screen door open to the backyard, and a cat pressed up against my side, a wee rest doesn’t get any better.
But I couldn’t get up. And couldn’t get up. And couldn’t get up. I even called a friend and desperately asked her to come over, so I would Get Up. But she had plans that were a bit more fun, I suppose, than watching a girl sink so far into the couch that she comes up with double-point needles she forgot she had. Huh.
Then I got up and cleaned the entire house. How DOES a house get that dirty in just a few weeks? I don’t even wear shoes in the house and the cats don’t go outside. But the dust bunnies in the corners! And the grime on the windowsills! Incredible.
Now I’m tired again. But I just noticed the new season of Six Feet Under has started, and has been captured by my best friend Ovit (TiVo backwards), so I gotta go. I’d make dinner if I wasn’t so lethargic…. Maybe it’s a mac’n’cheese night. Or we can skip right to ice cream if you’d like. Okay. Let’s.
Okay, just added a list of my wonderful perfect beloved sponsors. I tried to match names with sites, but I think there are several people that I just couldn’t match instantly with their site. If your name is over there without a link, please let me know. If you’ve donated, and you’re not on the list, it’s just that the list from the marathon webpage is about three days behind, so hit me next week if you’re still not listed.
I want to make sure to THANK EVERYONE! Damn, I adore y’all.
PS – I just clicked around to make sure all the links worked, and Lorette wins best Rachael-shot photo, ever. Still giggling.
Here’s my LacyChickami. (Can you see the edge of my new windchime?)
I used about three and a half skeins of…. Oh, that’s embarrassing. I can’t find a ball-band. I bought it in Downtown Yarns in NY with Em and Cari and Iris — anyone remember what it was? I think it started with an A. Lord. This is why I don’t have children. The lace pattern is just one I liked out of a book, started at inch 12 and carried up to the top. Tres simple, tres BonneMarie!
Oh, and here’s a bad shot of me, but good of garden:
I have an unexpected and delightful reprieve this afternoon: I was going to work a twelve hour shift for my friend, but she just called and cancelled me, meaning I have all afternoon and evening off! I didn’t mind working for her, because she’s one of those Wonderful People that you’re lucky to have in your life (and she’s the other imperative half of TEAM 911, my marathon partner! You’ll be seeing lots of Marama in the future), but with this unexpected time off, I’ll have a chance to rip the straps of this tank. Somehow, even with trying it on first, I thought I got the straps right, but they’re about an inch too long, just that much too big that it creates the bra gap right under the arm. Not attractive. And I hate to do this kind of fixing, because 1) I hate to rip and 2) I hide the yarn ends REALLY well. It’s going to be a challenge.
But I have sleep! I have time! Straps, here I come.
The Debbie Bliss hooded cabled thingie, hereby known as Brick Joy, is coming along. The cables have been pissing me off – she wrote it so that the wee cables that stand alone wrap one direction, and the cables within the open cables wrap the other. I just get that kind of thing wrong. Yep, wrong on a consistent basis. So after doing both sleeves and the left front, I’ve switched the cables to all going the same way on the right front.
And I don’t care.
I had messed up a cable on the front, just like I did on the second sleeve, and noticed it only four rows up. Did I rip? No? Do I consider that a failing on my part? Kinda, yeah. [Okay, I just had a sleepy couple of moments where I stared outside at the blackberry bush that’s wrapped around the aloe vera monster (George) and I realized that were I working on Cromarty, which is Important, I would have ripped. But Brick Joy is going to be a play-sweater, so it doesn’t have to be perfect. Not the same thing at all, and I CAN be a perfectionist when it’s called for. So I’m fine with this, and the conversation is over.]
Sorry to subject you to the whole thought-process thing.
Tomorrow is our first day of training! I’ve been calling it “The Sorting” in my head, because they’re going to have us run three miles at our own pace and then sort us into pace groups (houses). I’m so excited I can’t stand it. I’m happy I’ve been doing the three miles regularly already, so I know I can make it. And I’ve been developing shin-splints, so yesterday I went to see a physical therapist who said, basically, that there’s nothing wrong with me the right shoe won’t fix. Now I have new NEW shoes, and I’m READY. Bring it.
(And so’s you know, I’m going to have a sidebar list of all the people who donate, with links to their website, if they have one. If you’d rather NOT be part of this, let me know, but I’d love to honor you in this way, if you’ll let me.)
(And more: The donate link in the post below or to the right isn’t working for me, either… Weird. Hopefully they’ll get that fixed! That’s worrisome…)
And just for fun, Adah sleeps on TOP of her basket: