running

Oops, I did it again!


May 10, 2020 :: 10:35 AM

I will find my way, I can go the distance.

It’s Spring Quidditch time!

There’s a 15 mile / day limit, unless you’re running a marathon or something else with ridiculous miles during the 10 days of Quidditch.

Some people cap every day, some people try to cap and fall short, some people will kill themselves trying, and some people know they can’t so they don’t push.

Then there’s me.

I pledge low miles because I only do my Quidditch miles after work. Work never seems to behave itself during that week - if I wasn’t kicked out every day at 5PM, I’d probably still be at my desk right now. (Woo! for not having a key yet!)

I fell short of miles Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. I took Friday off. I had a 7 day streak that I was so proud of, but when your body says “absolutely fucking not”, you don’t push. I may be stupid, but I’m not that stupid.

Last Saturday, I needed to get out of my head for a little bit. I don’t really recommend my favourite way to do that (eyes closed, death grip on the treadmill, getting lost in music that is way too loud), but it works. Then, I read for a little bit. I did intervals to the Hamilton soundtrack. Whatever it took to keep adding miles. It was my first cap in almost a year.

Then, I capped again yesterday. Granted, I couldn’t do all 15 in one sitting, but most people who cap do it in chunks, too.

I’ll be back on the treadmill soon, aiming for another cap. I’ve never attempted that many miles back to back, but it will be good training for both Wine and Dine and Dopey. W&D, I’m running the 5K, 10K, and half (22 miles / 3 days). Dopey, in case your memory sucks like mine, is the 5K, 10K, half, and full (48.6 / 4 days). Capping this weekend puts me at 30 miles for two days. I haven’t done the full 13.1 miles in any of my attempts at capping, but 8 miles isn’t so bad.

Let’s talk about Wine & Dine, because I’m sure that people are wondering why on earth I’d sign up for that since I am neither a winer nor a diner. RTI was named a charity partner and I wasn’t going to miss out on the opportunity to be there that weekend and meet all my online friends. We PHRC’d runDisney - they’d never gotten so many requests for charity bibs before! (Maybe because we didn’t have to fundraise to get a bib?) It was also awesome to sign up via them because the races sold out impossibly quick. I guess the Villains theme was a huge draw.

Of course, now I’m worried that we won’t have Wine and Dine - the registrations were open well before COVID-19 started to shut down the entire world. Will they be able to have that many runners on the course? What about the necessary number of health care folks / first responders? (I mean, that was the original reasoning behind cancelling Rival Run weekend.)

To make matters worse, Marathon weekend is selling out at an unprecedented rate, too. I’d been pushing off registering through a travel agent because of my employment situation and the fact that I needed to pay for Wine and Dine. I finally thought about it the same day the TA allotment sold out. Then, the early registration sold out. General registration is Tuesday and I’m trying to keep my hopes up that I’ll be able to get a bib, but… at least my TA put me on his list in case they get more bibs. He did tell me that, although it hasn’t been confirmed, runDisney is severely limiting the amounts of registrations just in case.

I get it - nobody’s been able to race IRL in a long time and A LOT of people look forward to Marathon Weekend. There’s a huge percentage of people who use this weekend as their vacation. There’s also a huge overseas contingent. (I kind of feel that, right now, maybe the races shouldn’t be open to international registrations. Bibs are non-refundable and non-transferrable and I wonder what that’s going to mean if there are still travel bans in place. Are they going to refund all the international runners and release the bibs? There’s just too much that’s unknown… and maybe I’m an asshole for even thinking it… but… )

I don’t know. I’m going to hope that I get a bib and if I don’t, there will be long distance races around here that I can run while I wait for my chance at 2021.

You can bet your ass though, that I’ll be getting my bibs through my TA from here on out since they get access to them so early.

Run, Magic, Run!


March 28, 2020 :: 10:55 AM

Racery. In a nutshell

It’s time for Battle of the Fandoms IV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(The battlecasts are the best part, tbh. Where else can you get quality commentary and awesome Facebook translations?)

This time I’m on Run Magic Run. (Reads completely different with the commas, doesn’t it? English is amazing.) It’s a Labyrinth themed team. My other choice was Hamilton (Talk Less, Run More), but at the last minute decided to give up my place on the team to someone else.

I think I’ve talked about my love-hate relationship with Bowie before, but here, around the the 28th anniversary of my mother’s death and the accompanying reminder of the restraining order from my aunt, it might be time for a retelling…

If any of her family is reading this, well, I can promise you that you don’t know the whole truth about your sainted godmother or mother. I could bitch about my aunt all day, but I only want to talk about Bowie. (And maybe his enormous goblin.)

Where do I start?

My aunt was always there for me when I was growing up. Her house was an oasis, a place of safety in the maelstrom that was life with my mother. It was, honestly, my favourite place to be.

She had three kids, a boy and two girls. The boy, forever in my heart as Inky, is also forever four years old. In a weird quirk of life, I am 7 years older than the middle child and 14 years older than the youngest. Middle child and I, I thought, always got along pretty well. In some ways, she was more like a younger sister than a cousin.

But I digress.

Home. Safety. There for me. All things that were important when I was growing up. All things I was desperately in need of, despite my father’s best efforts to provide them at our house.

There was always music at her house. ALWAYS.

I grew up with Bowie, the Stones, Mott the Hoople, Led Zeppelin, all the great classic rock. Then, hair metal joined the never ending rotation and I developed a love for Poison, Def Leppard, and strangely, Adam Ant. (I might be one of the few people in the world who knew all the lyrics to his albums.)

But Bowie and Mick Jagger… those were her men. They were almost always on repeat when the radio wasn’t on.

As much as I loved the Stones, it was Bowie that I really connected with.

Maybe it was his shifting personas. Maybe it was the two coloured eyes (which aren’t actually two different colours, by the way). Whatever it was, when I was at home, I devoured everything I could get my hands on. Let me remind you, back in the 80s and 90s it wasn’t nearly as easy as it is now. I had to save my allowance, get a ride to a record store, find something I didn’t already own. Now, if I’m craving a particular song, I drop two bucks, get points on my credit card, and move on with my life.

My parents were officially divorced, I think on March 13th, and then my mother died on March 18th. My aunt got something like 90 percent of the estate… none of which my mother rightfully had any claim to since she never worked. (That comment the other day about leaving nothing in death is an actual line in her will and I read it in a fucking book someone gave me. Fuck public records.That book was supposed to bring me peace after my father died and I ended up ripping it in pieces and setting it on fire. I also hired a lawyer to send a strongly worded letter, but that’s another story.)

My father had to take my aunt to court for a share of the estate - CT state law said that as a minor I was due a portion - and I got $2K. Nothing compared to the thousands she walked away with. I found out later that she also managed to get the other 10% from the other person named in the will…

And then there was the restraining order.

Have you ever been served?

It is a fucking amazing experience.

I highly recommend it.

As her story goes, she was being overwhelmed with the amount of mail my father was sending to her and she asked her attorney to ask my dad if he would send that stuff directly to the lawyer handling the estate. The lawyer “misunderstood” and well… the rest is history.

She also forgot my birthday that year.

I always made the excuse that it was because my mother’s wake was on the 20th and her funeral the 21st, but FUCK, WOMAN. It would have taken two seconds to wish me a happy birthday. (Then again, five years after my uncle’s death, the grave stone still wasn’t engraved with his information. FIVE YEARS.)

Then there was the time when she blamed Youngest Cousin for playing with the answering machine and deleting all the messages I would leave.

In the end, I don’t know who walked away from who first, but the relationship between us was over.

I mourned it for a long time and I broke up with Bowie. It was too painful to listen to him.

Even today, twenty-ish years later, it’s rare that I listen to his music. I generally do when I’m sad and need to cry. All the pain and confusion of 1992 - today, really, comes pouring out. There are few things that can create a spontaneous crying fit, but I always reach for Bowie at those times.

I rarely play Bowie when I’m happy.

I never forgive and I never forget. Not sure if that’s learned behaviour (thanks, mom!) or just hardwired in my DNA, but I don’t.

Especially when someone fucks me over.

So… what does this have to do with Racery? Why would I pick a movie that heavily features Bowie (and his enormous goblin)?

Because, simply, running when I hate the fucking world is the quickest way to calm me down and make sure that I don’t go manic. Anger is my default mode during mania - and being pissed is normally the way to trigger a visit to that other side of the equation. Mania makes me do and say things I should regret, but since I have no filter even when I’m stable, I normally just shrug it off. Whatever I wouldn’t say to your face (because manners), I’ll happily do when I’m manic.

Rage running. It’s a thing.

With all my IRL races cancelled or postponed, I’ve been slacking. This might be the thing I need to get motivated again.

Thank you, aunt.

I know you come for the scathing commentary on my life and openness about the bipolar, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t include the long awaited commentary on Bowie’s massive goblin.

But first…

OK. On to the scholarly commentary…

Critical analysis of David Bowie’s crotch bulge

Who Is Jareth In Labyrinth (1986) and Why Has He Got a Bulging Penis?

The Dick Debate: “Labyrinth” Edition

And, last but not least:

Crotch Magic - Tribute to David Bowie’s bulge in Labyrinth (link in case video breaks - bonus points for use of the words wang and dong.)

Exploration and Discovery


February 02, 2020 :: 8:47 PM

I’d apologise for the impromptu concert I gave on the way home from Orlando, but I’m not sorry.

1) I travelled to Orlando solo to run the inaugural Running Universal 5K and 10K.

I did super well on the 5K, even though it rained. I’ve started taking intervals seriously and they work. I finished the race stronger than I began it, which is saying a lot. I didn’t PR time-wise, but I did pace-wise.

I did pretty well on the 10K, too. Didn’t PR, but I had a blast running through the parks and making friends with a dude in a T-Rex costume. 

I saw a lot of PHRC people and met up with a few before and after the races. Dinner Friday night, Saturday and Sunday I corralled with a Gryffinfriend, yelled “FOR BILL!” with another Claw as she ran past, was jealous of the Puff’s Cookie t-shirt… It was nice to bring the virtual into reality, even if it was for a few seconds each time.

2) Running a 5K and a 10K back - to - back didn’t suck nearly as hard as I thought it would. That’s great news for the Rival Run weekend in April, when I’ll do a 5K, a 10K, and a half over three consecutive days. I just need to get the half under control. And it will be.

3) I finally made a long-awaited pilgrimage to Kennedy Space Center on Saturday.

(I have a Challenger/Columbia license plate, so that might tell you a little bit about how important this trip was to me.)

34 years ago on January 28th, I sat in a classroom and watched as Challenger basically disintegrated upon take off.

That affected me more than I could have ever thought possible…

I practically burst into tears the second I stepped onto the property.

That was long before I got to the memorial for the three astronauts who died on Apollo 1.

Long before I saw a space shuttle for the first time.

Long before I saw the memorials to the crews of Challenger and Columbia.

In a weird quirk of timing, I happened to go to KSC on the 17th anniversary of the day Columbia was lost.

In another weird quirk of timing, Ron McNair’s family was on site. His uncle owned a bar in Hartford, CT, and somehow, my father knew Ron. I can’t remember how they met, but I do vividly remember my father’s reaction when his name was read out loud on the news. (McNair was on Challenger’s final flight.)

At any rate, the reveal of Atlantis was super powerful and I burst into ugly tears. As I stood there crying, an employee came over to me and asked if I was OK. (I was so NOT OK.) He told me about how he had worked on all five shuttles and… just a bunch of stuff. It meant a lot to him that he would come over to me and start talking.

Then. I went down to the the memorial area. I cried the entire time I was in the hallway looking at the personal mementos of both shuttle crews. I made the mistake of looking around the corner and seeing a piece of Challenger’s left body paneling and Columbia’s cockpit window frames.

I’m still tearing up thinking about how powerful that was…

 

Look at that smile!


January 12, 2020 :: 7:26 PM

13.1 miles :: 3:55:31 :: 17:58 mm—PB

13.1 - I’m only half crazy


January 12, 2020 :: 4:07 PM

hey, complete stranger, i’m proud of you—random dude’s sign at mile 11

So. I ran my first half marathon yesterday.

Well, I walked it. More like a stroll because it was so damn hot outside.

BUT. I got enough of a jump start that I could walk an 18mm pace and not get swept.

And I wasn’t tired or dehydrated when I finished.

Seriously. Somehow, I screwed up and managed to both fuel and hydrate properly.

Recovery sucked, but walking around with that medal on my neck made it all worth while.

- - - - - - - - - -

There was a lot of bitching in several runDisney Facebook groups about people walking. Too many people walking five or six in a group, people walking in front of runners, people walking, period.

But it goes both ways.

I spent the entire time on the far right side. I didn’t stop for photos. I plowed through water stops, grabbing cups without missing a step. I hardly passed anyone and when I did, I shouted “on your left / right”. I kept looking behind me for runners before I moved.

In three very tight spots, runners tried to pass me on my right. I elbowed two of them accidentally - I was swinging my arms and they basically ran into them. The third one, I managed to get in the nuts. I was reaching back for my water bottle and the dude ran into me. I heard him cuss at me, but really? There was no room on that side. I don’t know why any of them thought they could pass me. In all three cases, I had to move left without a warning and caused one poor woman to trip.

In happier news, the PHRC Cheering Squad was there, around mile 3. It was so great to see them that I promptly burst into tears.

Um, yeah. Ugly crying and half marathons don’t mix particularly well.

My next half is in March and I’m expecting it to be just as hot and humid as it was this weekend.

I’ve got ten weeks to push for a 3:30 finish time. (There’s a hard time limit for the March half.)

I got this.

- - - - - - - - - -

#dopey2021

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