Humble brag warning, but I generally can get up on a Sunday and know I can run a half marathon without too much worry. As I'm fond of saying, my stubbornness can carry me for 13.1 miles pretty easily. But every so often I get a surprise where a half marathon just kicks the crap out of me. Two times I've run the Austin Half Marathon with no issues, last year I even PR'ed at it. This year, not so much.
It started innocently enough, the morning was humid and hazy. Probably should have started to question things right about then since I hate running in humidity. I'm not good at it, I don't enjoy it, screw you humidity!
The first six miles include a fair amount of climbing and I was actually feeling okay with the hills but the fact that my sweat had no where to go was a bit of a downer. It couldn't evaporate and was just sitting on my skin making me feel really, horribly gross. We got to South Congress and as I ran with the pacers, people kept bumping into me. All of a sudden I felt like I couldn't go another step. I was drowning in sweat; my sweat and every person around me's sweat. I couldn't go another damn step until there were less people near me, touching me, sweating on me. I told Amanda I planned to start running some intervals and I would see her at the finish. Little did I know there was worse in store for me.
I managed to pick up my pace again around mile 6 and easily ran down South 1st St. At mile 8 I realized I hadn't eaten anything yet so I busted out my pouch of sweet potatoes. Now listen, I don't enjoy baby food sweet potatoes but if I'm trying to be a good diet focused person that's the best option. I usually try to down about half the pack in the first squeeze so I don't have to fight through too much more. At this race I did just that and immediately realized something was terribly wrong with what I was eating.
It turns out, that despite the 2015 expiration date and sealed top, the sweet potatoes were bad. Like fizzy, alcohol tasting, black mold bad. And I had just swallowed a large amount and still had some in my mouth. I stopped dead in my tracks, mouth full of molded baby food, looked around and tried to figure out what I could possibly do in this situation. We were on a bridge so jumping to my death seemed like a pretty good option. There were no water stops near by so I had to flip the pouch over and spit it into the underside of the pouch, carry it for a bit, and ditch it at the next water stop. Good times.
So yeah, the last five miles were pretty awful. Every time I started to run my stomach would get upset. Actually just walking was a little stomach upsetting but running was even worse. But whatever, I finished. It took for-freaking-ever but I did it. I guess I should stop over estimating how far stubbornness can actually carry me.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Last night I had quite the learning experience; I made my first trip to the ER for myself since I was 5-ish and busted my chin open. Let me lead with a proclamation that I am fine. Totally fine! Still living! Sorry to disappoint you but I still have all my limbs and gained no stitches.
Around 8pm my left eye developed a weird spot, like I had been staring at a bright light except I hadn't. I tried to ignore it for a bit but it progressively got worse and when I had a legit blind spot I figured I should tell jparks. Shortly after that I decided I would catch a cab to the ER because there was no way I could drive. I mean hell, I tried to turn on the bathroom light and missed the light switch two times, I didn't want to take out all the light posts on the 1.7 mile trip to the hospital.
As it turns out, and maybe you already know this because you're smarter than I am, eye problems are not really an ER thing. "Oh, you close your right eye and can't see shit out your left? Call this eye doctor tomorrow." Okay, so he was a little nicer than that but the sentiment was the same. Today my eye is better-ish, I can see but it takes a second or so for it to focus. I have a headache and am being appropriately lazy by sitting on the couch and watching The League.
Really, all of that was just to lead me into the best part of the ER: Bizarro World Regan and jparks! I was waiting for my room when a woman came tearing into the ER, pushing people out of her way as she ran up to the information desk. "My husband Jason Park was brought here in an ambulance! Where is he?!? Bring me to him!" The poor woman working the desk told her she needed to wait in line and Bizarro World Regan grumbled to her friend and went to the end of the line. Y'all, that's when I noticed it, she was barefoot. Barefoot in the ER!
I spent the rest of my visit trying to figure out what horrible thing would have to happen to the real jparks to make me go to the ER shoeless. After a few minutes her other friend came in wearing flip flops that were bejeweled with crystal crosses and said she finally managed to park the car. So BWRegan had the whole car ride to the ER to put on shoes. And if she didn't have shoes, why didn't her friend offer up her holy flip flops? I'm also really disappointed that I never found out what happened to Jason Park. When I was walking to my room I saw his name on the patient board but it's like the staff didn't want me snooping because they hurried me by it pretty quickly. It also didn't help that I kinda couldn't see jack shit by that point. Stupid eye ruining all my fun.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Normally I am not an Anti-Valentine's Day person. I don't feel the need for flowers, cards, and chocolate covered strawberries but if you do, then go for it. But this year something snapped and I am ready to walk down the street slapping flowers out of peoples' hands and punching all the stuffed bears holding hearts right in their stupid faces.
It started when I felt pressure to make the kids' Valentine's for school all cute and Pinterest perfect. I bought all the supplies, sat down with them, and said "nope." It all went back to the store and I picked up a few packs of boxed Valentine's because I just wanted easy. Last night I sat down to assemble the cards and the first pack immediately started to raise my blood pressure.
Where the fuck is that sticker, which was called a gift sticker on the box indicating you should not use it as decoration, supposed to go? There's no envelopes to contain them. No little slits to attach it through. The cards weren't meant to be folded. Come on Disney, help me out, give me some instructions. I don't know exactly why but this pissed me off.
Luckily I know myself well enough to know to buy an extra box of $3 Valentines because I am susceptible to Murphy's Law. Thankfully the other two sets, which contained gift tattoos, came with slits in the cards to attach those tattoos. But I still had to cut all the tiny tattoos apart, write the kids names, and seal the cards with a tiny heart sticker. Sounds easy, took almost an hour. By the end I felt like I should have done the damn Pinterest Valentine's because they would have taken less effort and time.
And this set me off into an Anti-Valentine's Day rage. I had just spent an hour putting together tiny little cards that will last about 30 seconds in the hands of kids and no one was going to tell me thank you. You always hear parenthood is a thankless job, but last night that hit me hard. There was a holiday the next morning, a holiday I had put effort into with classroom cards and a few little treats (think small boxes of chocolates and heart ring pops treats, not like giant gifts), and what was I going to get for the holiday? Nothing. Would anyone in my family even tell me Happy Valentine's day? Probably not. (for the record, they didn't). I WAS ANNOYED.
That made me remember that a month ago, when it was my birthday I was also overlooked. No cards, no gifts, sure they told me Happy Birthday but I wanted more. It was my day and I wanted to feel like it was my day. My friends gave me more recognition over my birthday than my family did. I WAS NOW EVEN MORE ANNOYED.
When I married jparks I knew I was entering a life of no holidays gifts, forgotten birthdays, and grumbles of "Why do I have to show that I love you on one specific day when I usually do it every day?" and I was okay with that. But then the cheap Valentine cards entered my life and I snapped. I don't care if it's selfish or childish but I want recognition from my family for everything I do. I want flowers sometimes. Or a card. Or whatever else normal families do for moms to say thanks. I want that. And apparently until I get that I'm going to scowl at every happy person today because I am just a child waiting for a gold star from the teacher for behaving well in class.
(To be fair I think I've been stressed lately with a few things that don't have anything to do with holidays or birthdays and that has helped push me to the breaking point. I know, I know, here's some cheese to go with my whine. I should grow up. Truth is, I'll be over this shortly and by Easter I'll be ready to throw some stupid Easter party/egg hunt for the kids)