Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Posts tagged ‘Marathon’

Random Stuff…

Sometimes I order my brain to come up with a good idea for a blog. My brain doesn’t cooperate. Sometimes I’ll start down the path, writing about a topic that’s interesting to me; then it isn’t interesting anymore. I get sick of listening to myself.

I have a heap of abandoned blog posts. That doesn’t surprise me. I’m nice to my brain; I let it off the hook when it refuses to cooperate.

I had an idea that maybe I could record my random thoughts. We’ll see how that works:

Do you like those stickers on the back of people’s cars that tell you about the races they’ve run? You know, they’re usually white and black. They’re written in a modern font: 13.1 and 26.2. The Ironman triathletes have stickers that say 140.6. Braggers.

running sticker

I have been measuring my walks with Reggie in the morning with this awesome new app Olivia downloaded for me. Surprise! I’m not walking nearly as far as I had imagined. My walks vary between 1.5 and 1.7 miles.

I was thinking I might get a sticker on the back of my car with a stick figure walking her dog. Above the stick figure will be “1.7”. Do you think that will seem like bragging? Sure, I’m proud of myself, but I don’t need to be obnoxious about it. It’s just that when you push yourself beyond what the average person believes is humanly possible, you want to commemorate that in some way. That’s why I thought the sticker might be fun. A tattoo would be another way to go.

People will ask what the tattoo means. I’ll say, “It’s just something I look at it when times are hard, and I need strength. I know I can get through whatever challenges I have, because I walk a mile or two. Every.Day.” Then I’ll whisper it again for emphasis, “Every. Day.”

That’s gonna choke people up. Maybe I should just go with the sticker.

Scott ran an Ironman when he turned 40. That was fun. The kids and I followed him around all day. We were nervous about the swim; mainly because Scott doesn’t know how to swim. Knowing how to swim is a super big advantage. Scott spent the summer before the race learning what most people learn when they’re 10-years-old, and in level 3 swim class.

During the race, Scott’s friend was stationed near the water. The kids and I were at the point where the racers were just taking off on their bikes, after the swim. We kept waiting, and waiting, and waiting to see Scott. We couldn’t find Scott. At first I felt okay. He told me that his swim would be the weakest part of his race. After what felt like a long time, we started seeing the great grandmas in the race. They would peddle by on their bikes with baskets and a horn. I started getting nervous.

Eddie had been telling me that he thought he saw his dad on his bike when we first got to the race. I said that wasn’t possible; that was too soon. Scott said he’d be passing by later than that.

Scott’s friend called me from her spot over by the water. She asked if I had seen Scott. She told me she never saw him get out of the water. I continued to ignore Eddie. Instead, I listened to my own irrational, anxiety induced theories. Why wouldn’t I? Those theories never steer you wrong. Scott had drown. I started crying.

I called Scott’s sister to tell her Scott had drown. Scott’s sister is, seriously, like my favorite audience. We both agree that it’s always safest to assume the worst. She started crying too. She was able to check his progress from her computer. Oops. False alarm. Eddie was right. Scott had finished the swim portion much more quickly than he expected. That was actually him taking off on his bike when we first got there. Sorry kids. Dad is alive. Let us rejoice!

Scott’s sister, her family, Scott’s parents, and mine all eventually made it to the race. The atmosphere was so exciting. My brother-in-law kept us updated on Scott’s times, and how he was doing. The swim is 2.4 miles and the bike race is 112 miles. Then you get off your bike, and finish by running a marathon.

Scott was doing better than expected on the bike portion of the race too. We were cheering. Then my brother-in-law informed us that Scott was getting to the last half of the marathon. He was moving at a 12-minute-mile pace. Eddie and I looked at each other in shock. Something must be medically wrong. We both knew that Scott just couldn’t run that slow. We didn’t understand what was happening.

Scott finished the race with an impressive time. Better than he expected. Eddie and I couldn’t wait to ask him what happened out there. Did he break his leg? Did he have to carry one of those Grandmas on his back? When we saw him we said, “You were running a 12-minute-mile pace. Did something happen?”

Scott answered, “Yes. A 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile bike ride happened.”

We said, “Yeah, we hear those excuses, but you were running really slow. we mean, really slow.”

Yes. I’ve been known to pull off a 13-minute-mile myself, but we’re not talking about me. We’re talking about Scott. I don’t think Eddie and I thought it was possible for anything to slow him down.

Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I should have helped train Scott by taking him on some of my dog walks. I didn’t think of it then.

ironman

I like watching my family do cool things, whether it’s the Ironman or State Wrestling. Do you know how parents feel when their kids wrestle at State? High. Those parents may as well be on crack. The amount of adrenaline flowing through a parent’s veins at State is enough for them to be able to do all that weird stuff you read about. Moms could lift a car off a human at state, and Dads could leap from the parking garage to the Kohl center. Pupils are dilated, and it’s go time. What you can’t do with all that adrenaline is focus on silly details, like keeping your van away from cement polls. I know that for sure.

The first day of the State Tournament I drove Zeke and Olivia in the minivan. We got into the parking garage. I turned a very, very tight corner. I mean VERY tight. There has to be hundreds, maybe even thousands of vehicles that didn’t make that turn that day. We heard a bad sound as I turned the corner. Zeke yelled, “Mom, you’re too close!”

“No worries, Zeke,” I said. I stopped the van, and put it in reverse. Oops. There was that sound again. Whatever I didn’t scrape and dent moving forward, I scraped and dented in reverse. The minivan door looks like King Kong grabbed it and crumpled it like a piece of tissue paper. It’s ugly.

The craziest part of that story is that at the time, I could not even be bothered with that hideous damage I had just created. When we got out of the van, Zeke and Olivia looked at me like they expected me to be shocked or disgusted with the situation. My adrenaline was too high. It didn’t register with me that we had any kind of problem at all. Eddie was at State. Yay!!!

Scott must be better at handling adrenaline. That dent definitely registered as a problem to him. I’ve told you that he rarely drives, so I thought there might be a chance he wouldn’t ever notice, if I didn’t tell him. But, guess what? Blabby McBlabber mouth couldn’t wait to share the news.

We were in the suite at the Kohl center. Everybody was all smiles and having a good time. Then Olivia said, “Dad, you should see what Mom did to the van.” Scott can quit smiling super fast.

I looked at him and said, “Eddie made it to State. Yay!”

I took in many-a-drawn-out-lectures from that point forward. My precious husband wanted to make sure I understood how horrible the van looked. I was hoping he’d let up, but then daylight started lasting longer, and he started getting home a little sooner from work. There that ugly, damaged van would be, ready to remind Scott to run through all the tips he has for being a good driver; Just in case I had forgotten from his morning lecture. It was tiring. Then Olivia had a new friend over.

Scott was heading out the garage door with the boys to go to some wrestling event. At the same time Olivia’s new friend and her Mother were at our front door. The Mom was introducing herself to me, and we were chatting when Scott came to the front door too. He said, “Hello.”

The Mom said, “Oh, Hi. I’m so and so’s mom.”

Scott smiled and said, “It’s nice to meet you. I’m Olivia’s Dad. I just backed into your car in the driveway.”

We’re getting the van fixed, but we don’t talk about it any more.

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Rocking Retirement

You know what day is coming soon in Wisconsin, don’t you? The day we have to put away our sleeping bag coats. Guess what happens then? Everyone gets to see what you’ve been hiding under there all winter. You’re gonna be sorry. You’re gonna be very sorry you haven’t been walking the dog a few blocks in the morning, and doing 4 squats every other month while you stand at the copy machine like I have. That’s just how I roll; I’m hard core.

Oh sweet mammacita. Don’t make me put my sleeping bag coat away. I have an idea what’s happening underneath my coat, I’m just not ready to see it, think about it, or take its picture. I’ve gotten soft. I’m so far from the fit specimen I was in my competitive speed skating days. When I was training for the Olympics. The nice thing about blogs is you can just make stuff up.

I’ve never been a super fit specimen, but I have always attempted fitness. I actually am fairly interested in fitness, health and nutrition; always have been. As I’ve rolled into my early 40’s my philosophy on health and fitness has changed.

I want to tell you that I’m not vain, but I always feel weird when I lie. I’ll admit it. I feel compelled to be my best self. For as long as I can remember, I have probably spent a disproportionate amount of time thinking about how to pull off being my best self. I am relieved to say that I don’t usually think about these things in relationship to other people. People who are very healthy and fit inspire me. I just feel competitive with myself. I like thinking about my highest physical goals and how to achieve them.

My highest physical goals have changed. I still want to be strong, and I still want to be fit; not just because I want to feel comfortable in a swim suit, or see a nice number on the scale (you’re right, those things are cool too). I want to be strong because I have a vision. I have a vision of this retired lady. When I was in my 20’s and 30’s, I didn’t know this lady existed. I never thought about her. Now I do.

This lady is busy. She is excited about life when she wakes up in the morning. She chases her grandkids (if she doesn’t have any, she finds someone else’s) around and has the stamina to watch them when their tired parents need sleep; she goes on short term mission trips to help women and children in third world countries; she’s still curious and tries to learn new things; she enjoys adventures with her husband like hiking and kayaking; she enjoys her husband. You know. Like a friend. Let’s not be gross.

This lady feels good. She does not take pills just to keep her body going. She can tell she’s getting older, but only before bed, after a long, productive day. She wakes up refreshed.

cheerleader

I want to be that retired lady, only I might join a basketball league instead of the cheer squad. Do you think it’s possible? I do. But I need to revamp the routine.

Hear me on this. I’m not looking for the Fountain of Youth. I don’t want to look younger than my age. And, I am not afraid to die.

I love that song that goes, “This world is not my home, I’m just passing through.” Wait a minute. That’s such a good song. I need to sing it out loud. Okay, I did. I wish you could have heard me. That was outstanding. I gave myself the chills.

That song is what I believe. My time on Earth is temporary and short, relative to eternity. But, I also think I’m here for a reason. I like it here, and I want to make the most of the time I have. Being the best version of whatever age I currently am, is one way to do that.

In an effort to be the best version of the retired person I envision, I decided to preserve my joints. I quit running several years ago. Before that, I had run regularly since my freshman year of college; a long time. I eventually started training for half marathons and then a marathon. My hips and knees started to hurt. Not in a good way; in a bad way. In a, this-will-eventually-require-surgery-way. I could tell I was sacrificing my joints in pursuit of my running goals; and why? So I could run the slowest half marathon in the history of the world. That’s silly. I just needed to get a little older before I figured that out.

I quit the marathons and I started walking every day. That felt much better. I also did a little homemade yoga, cross-fit and good ol’ fashion strength training. I like that mix.

This winter has been sooo fleepin’ cold; my 30 – 45 minute walks have turned into 5 – 15 minute walks. My strength training, yoga and cross-fit have almost disappeared, except for the 4 squats by the copy machine. Those are intense.

That kind of fitness regimen is NOT going to help me achieve my vision. I’ve got the nutrition thing worked out. That’s important. You know what they say; you can’t out exercise poor nutrition. I totally agree. We could eat all the garbage we want, work out for hours every day, and be just as skinny as we’d like. That kind of skinny has nothing to do with longevity and good health. Longevity and good health are what I’m after. It’s the fitness portion of my plan that has been unraveling. Now I’m back.

I told Scott that I was ready to get back in shape, and I could use some help. Why did I do that? You DON’T do that. You NEVER ask Scott to help you get in shape, especially if you don’t like working very hard, and I don’t.

Scott gave me a note card. He said, “Write this down. Do 20 squats, 20 lunges, 20 jump squats, 20 push-ups, and 20 jump lunges.”

I asked, “When you say 20 lunges, do you mean 20 lunges on each leg, or 10 on each leg?”

He said, “10 on each leg.”

I said, “Oh, that’s a relief. I was thinking you meant 20 on each leg, and that would be really hard.”

He said, “Finish that cycle. Repeat it two more times.”

Then I said, “I’m filing for divorce.”

I made it half way through one cycle. Guess what? It didn’t actually feel too bad; until I woke up the next day. Oh, dear, sweet, mother of pearl. Pain. Pure pain. I thought about just cutting my legs off to get some relief.

Those legs were perfectly innocent. They were very happy to slowly walk a few blocks each morning. Then I had to get all crazy on them. They did nothing to deserve that, and they really didn’t understand the point.

Those legs are starting to toughen up. I’m still not up to even two cycles of that leg work out though. But, I’m back. Maybe I won’t ever achieve my vision, but I won’t let it be because I didn’t try.

And another thing I won’t do is ask Scott for more tips on getting in shape. I don’t need another note card. The next one might say, “Run to nearest tall building. Take body to top of tall building. Throw body off tall building. Repeat twice.” I’ll figure this one out on my own.

healthy retired lady 2

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