Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Recap..... The one where I ran

It's time for the obligatory 2011 recap posts! If you're new here (and some of you are, thanks for joining!), let's play get to know me, yes?

I started running in October, 2010, that must be said first. Ready? Go.

January - 23 miles
January was a tough month. There was a leukemia diagnosis. There was a 3 week long hospital stay. I ran the Suck It Up, Buttercup Virtual 5K hosted by Baby Weight My Fat Ass. I also ran my first EVER double digit run!

February - 53 miles
I learned a bit about pacing, and learning to run your own race. I registered for my second half marathon, before I even ran my first, and simultaneously raised over $2000 for Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. I started loving my ugly runner's feet, thanks to Zoe at Run, Zoe, Run. I had my first bout of Taper Madness. I registered for my THIRD half marathon. Oh, and then I ran my first half marathon, in 3:07, and had... pretty much the BEST time ever.

March - 44 miles
I recapped what worked (and what didn't) for my first half marathon. Kid #1 placed in her first race, and then asked to race again, so we registered her for the Disneyland 5K. I cross trained, and remembered my Elliptical Hatred. I decided that Racing Weight freaked me out. I ran my FIRST Marathon! But spread out over 2 weeks... Oh. And, I registered for my... Forth half marathon.

April - 65 miles
I had a tough long run. I set incredibly lofty goals for my second half marathon. I ran the Jelly Bean Virtual 10K - first 10K = instant PR! And then I decided.... time isn't really my biggest priority.

May - 20 miles
....and 13.1 of that includes my second half marathon (2:32:xx). I ran my second MARATHON... again over 2 weeks, in the I Can't Afford the Actual Race Virtual Race, hosted by Barefoot Neil Z. I had fun with electrodes to cure my peroneal tendinitis.

June - 37 miles
For the second year, I ran the Corona del Mar Scenic 5K, this time with kid #1 and my BFF's husband. She beat us both. I beat him, and PR'ed by 4 minutes from last year (33:05), and #1 took 2nd in her age group. Again. That chick, man... I started a new training cycle for my third half marathon, and was attacked by geese on day 1. I ran The Boring Runner's Sweat Your Thorns Off 5K. I kind of followed Run Less, Run Faster, and ran 400's for the first time.

July - 41 miles
I met new friends. I traveled to Florida, and didn't run an inch while I was there. I fit into The Skinny Jeans for the first time in 6 years. I destroyed a 4 mile tempo run. I ran 800's for the first time, and they suck. And then I killed a 10K for my birthday (1:06:05).

August - 57 miles
I briefly lost my running mojo. But then it found me again, in the form of 400's. I still hated 800's. I made up ridiculous speed work routines to keep myself amused. I ran the Wet n' Wild 5K, and met Rose, and she was RAD! And, I finally moved down a few notches on my favorite (only) belt...

September - 50 miles
Kid #1 ran her 2nd 5K, and I ran my 3rd half marathon! Team Jam was born, and my collection of Disney medals grew. I got jealous of the Hood to Coast teams, and decided to run a Ragnar in 2012. I ran a $15 10K with The H... and I beat him!

October - 67 miles
I met a bunch of my Ragnar teammates (Team So Much Cooler Online), thank you, internet. I got Taper CRAZY, and set CRAZY goals for my FORTH half Marathon, Long Beach. I didn't hit my A goal, or my B, but I PR'ed, and I didn't die, so there's that. I dreamed of race redemption. I ran the Chapman 5K with all three kids, as part of Team Sparkle! Kid #1, again, placed in her age group, AND set a 22:08 PR! I finally tried trail running, and fell a little bit in love. I ran the Operation Jack Richard Leary 6-Hour Challenge, hit my highest mileage to date, 14.15 miles, and, at the same time, demonstrated my love for birds.

November - 21 miles
I ran the fastest I've ever run. And a few days later I set a new 5K PR (30:53). I did something crazy, and challenged Becka to 20x400. And then I did it, and it was exhilarating. I found out Jerk Shin was a probable stress fracture, AND registered for my first FULL MARATHON on the same day. I noted ways you can be smarter than me by listening to your body. I became a FitFluential Ambassador!

December - 47 miles
I got the green light to run!!!!! Then Gabby kicked Jerk Shin, and I took a precautionary week off, because PHAWK that hurt. I played spectator and baby-sitter extraordinaire at the Holiday Half 5K. And, surprise, #1 landed ANOTHER age group placement. I published my race calendar for 2012, and.... it's pretty much INSANE. I told Another Mother Runner why I run. And I closed out the running year by volunteering at one of my favorite local events, the Operation Jack Marathon, with #1.

That's a wrap, folks. 525 miles. 10 finish lines. And a billion Team Sparkle skirts later....







Adios, 2011.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Life's under no obligation to give us what we expect. We take what we get and are thankful it's no worse than it is.

That quote might sound a bit fatalistic. But it's not, to me.

One year ago, today, my oldest (Lora) was babysitting my youngest (Gabby) for me. Lora told me Gab seemed like she wasn't feeling well, that she was sleeping off and on all day.

Gab had been getting over a cold, for days, I thought. Weeks, probably, now that I'm far enough removed from the situation to really think about it in context.

I had taken Gabby to the doctor a few days before, because of a lingering cough, and some red dots around her eyes. The doctor said the dots were just from the cough. That both would go away.

So many people use New Year's as a fresh start. It seems so clean, a blank slate, to move in any direction you want.

One year ago, this weekend, we moved in a direction I hadn't really imagined traveling.

I spent New Year's day in the Urgent Care, then the ER, then the Oncology ICU, knowing nothing, except that this year was going to be different.

We didn't yet have a diagnosis, a prognosis, a treatment plan.

All we had, was the knowledge that our 4 year old was in danger.
In June, I posted a rundown of a day in Gabby's life - on this particular day, we spent 9 hours in the outpatient infusion center, where Gabby receives her chemo treatments.

I've been following Alene from Journey to Badwater since before this year's Badwater race. When she posted a few months ago about her work as an infusion center nurse, an idea was hatched.

The Day in the Life post was one of my most visited posts to date; I still get emails about it today.

Over the next 5 months, I'll be fundraising for the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. During this time, I'll be sharing more of our experiences, as a cancer family, as well as the experiences of those who work with families like us. People like Alene.

Everyone is reached by cancer eventually - that's a shitty fact, but it's true. Not everyone knows how deeply it changes the dynamics of a family, of a person.

It's never been an option for us to quit fighting, to quit being hopeful, or to quit enjoying our lives. That, to me, is what the quote up there really embodies. Is it ideal? Of course not. But life rarely is. Life sometimes fucks with things in ways that are not cute or amusing. But how you handle it, that's really where you have a choice to shine, or to sink.

We choose to shine.

Enough sap. Alene's post:

A Day in the Life of an Infusion Center Nurse by Alene Nitzky, RN

(note: all patients described in this post are composites, to protect patient privacy. The details have also been altered for confidentiality, but this is a typical day and these are real events.)

I arrive for my shift at 7:45 am. I've had my coffee, and a good breakfast that might last until 10:30, read the local paper, glanced at the obituaries to see if any patients are listed, and said goodbye to my husband leaving for work, and gave the dogs their work morning treats. I drop my lunch in the break room fridge, get my stethoscope, penlight, hemostat, sharpie, and pens out of my locker, and I clock in at 7:53.

I walk by the inpatient oncology desk and look at the board, to see how busy the unit is, and whether any of our patients have been admitted since yesterday. It's my last shift before the New Years holiday, and I have scheduled 8 days off in a row. I'm looking forward to my vacation, but I have no wishes to be anywhere else today.

I enter the back door of the infusion unit, drop my water bottle and stethoscope behind the nurses station, and look at my assignment for the day. I say hi to the unit secretary and all of my coworkers. I feel comfortable here, it's a supportive environment, and we help each other get through the day. I've never had a job this good in my life, and I never have a sense of dread coming into work.

Why do I do this? It's an opportunity to be nice to people, those who are at the sickest, most vulnerable they've ever been in their lives. If I can do one thing that makes their day better, makes them more comfortable, or gives them information on how to make their experience better as they are going through treatment, like referring them to a social worker, or telling them what will make them more comfortable from the bone pain from their Neupogen injections, then it makes my day.

Many of our patients come in for chemotherapy or treatments related to cancer therapy- injections, blood transfusions, lab draws, dressing changes, port taps. We also administer biotherapy drugs, immune globulin, and other drugs for patients with immune deficiencies, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, but also we infuse antibiotics, which is a good portion of what we do at the beginning and the end of the day.

My work makes a difference, and I know it does without having to be told, and the patients tell me anyway.

It reminds me every day to be thankful for my health, for my ability to do the things I can do, and any troubles I have in my life are really dwarfed when I put them in perspective.

I have to be careful not to get emotionally too close to anyone. There are always certain people you connect with, whether it's sharing mutual interests, their attitude, the things they say or do, their life story, or something. Maybe they are the same age as me, maybe they remind me of my dad or my sister or even myself. We have conversations about all sorts of things. When you get to know the person, after weeks or months of treatment, it's a strange feeling. You become attached in a way, even if you don't intend to. You start each session at a higher level of understanding of the person's needs than you had before.

Before I started in oncology, I worked in ICU. People were sick there, death was a regular occurrence. My coworkers there, and many of the other nurses I know from other units, want to know how I can stand to work oncology.

“Isn’t it depressing?”, they ask.

No, it’s not depressing at all. What’s depressing are the 35 year old diabetics who complain about not being seated right away when they come in an hour early for their half hour appointment, and raid the galley for soda and Oreo cookies. They are getting antibiotics for a wound that won’t heal. They hate having to come in every day for 8 weeks, and when the doctor says they need to extend it for 2 more weeks, they throw a temper tantrum and blame us.

It’s sad when you’ve been on the patient’s team and get to know them, and watch the ones who progress in their disease and either gradually, or suddenly, fade away. But most of the time, by the time they get to that point, you are thankful for the relief they get from a life that revolves around symptom control, leaving no energy for living.

I have two chemo patients today- one is there for stage 4 colon cancer, the other has pancreatic cancer. The colon cancer patient is getting Avastin and Irinotecan. He’s my age. His labs were drawn yesterday. I get his vital signs, check his height and weight, listen to his heart and lungs, ask him a gazillion questions about side effects, nausea, diarrhea, neuropathy, fatigue, life in general, tap his port, and call the pharmacy. I bring him a menu and a phone so he can order something to eat.

The Avastin takes 30 minutes, and the Irinotecan takes an hour and a half. I call the pharmacy, everything looks good to go ahead, and I give him his premeds, Aloxi and Decadron. Before the Irinotecan I will also give him atropine to prevent diarrhea. He wants to know how much longer this chemo regimen can go on, it's cycle 14 and he wants to talk to the doctor, to see what to expect. He's working through chemo, and he goes to work every day. The only reason his coworkers know he has cancer is because he's bald. They didn't know until his hair fell out. He doesn't feel like giving up, but he wants to know how much longer he might expect to keep going on this regimen. And if it's worth it- is it keeping the disease from progressing?

When the chemo arrives from the pharmacy, he's just gotten his meal tray. I gown up, set up the bag on the pump, find my chemo buddy, we double check and get things started. He's going. He doesn't need anything else right now, so I move to the next chair, where the pump is alarming. I hang a flush on the antibiotic to help my coworker. Then I check on my other two patients, who are almost done with their infusions, I can disconnect their lines, flush their PICCs, and send them home.

Lunchtime passes, I turn my assignment over to a coworker so I can go eat, and when I come back a half hour later, the Irinotecan is still going, and my patient is watching TV, having finished his lunch tray. My one o’clock antibiotic didn’t show up, so I help a coworker with her 1:30 patient, who arrived early. My other chemo patient is getting Gemzar. It’s one infusion and he’s done. He likes to be in a bed rather than a chair. His labs were already drawn too, so I premedicate him and he waits. He never likes to talk, and he hates having his port tapped. He doesn’t want cream or spray, he just endures it. After I do my assessment and tap his port, he wants me to pull the curtain. His friend arrived with him, he sits in a chair next to the bed, flipping through the pages of a book while I do my work.

My next patient comes in on the dot at 3 pm. She needs her labs drawn, needs Neupogen, and based on the results of the CBC, might need blood, platelets, or both. Her appointment might be a half hour if the lab is quick and nothing else is needed, or she might be there until 10 pm getting several units of blood and platelets. Today she plays on her Ipad, talking to a dinosaur, which she shares with me for a laugh. The dinosaur talks back. Then she goes back to sending emails. She says, if I didn't have this Ipad, I'd have gone crazy a long time ago. Her cell phone rings, it's a friend who wants to know if she can go skiing this weekend. Probably not. Her platelet count was 8,000 a few days ago, before her last platelet transfusion. I draw the blood from her Hickman catheter, send the tubes off to the lab. On a good day, the results are back in 30 minutes. Sometimes it takes an hour. We won’t know what she needs until we get the results, so she waits.

She was a college student going about her life. She had some dental work done, it didn't heal, and she kept getting sick. Finally she had labs drawn, then a biopsy, and her life was suddenly transformed from a carefree 21 year old one semester away from graduating, who went skiing on weekends and waited tables at a restaurant, was planning to go to graduate school, and now she has little control over her life from day to day. Most of her days are spent sleeping or talking on the phone when she feels like it, and then her afternoon appointments here. Every day. She had to drop all her classes, and graduation has moved from a light at the end of the tunnel, to a hope-filled dream. Her mom moved up here to be with her during treatment. They have an apartment together. Her family lives two hours away. She had to move out of her housing situation with roommates, too risky to be around so many other people with her neutropenia.

Twenty-one year olds should be hanging out with their friends, not worried about whether they can go skiing because if they fall, they might bleed to death.

As it turns out, all she needs is her Neupogen today. She gets a reprieve. You'll probably need platelets and maybe blood in the next day or so, they are trending down, but you're not there yet" I tell her the good/bad news. It's good news today, she won't have to sit there for hours. Maybe tomorrow. I draw up her injection, she chooses her right arm for the poke today, and she's out the door 5 minutes after her lab results come back. On her way out, I wish her Happy New Year. I won't see her until after my vacation. My words sound too casual, though it's likely, with her young age and relatively good health she started with, that I will see her then. Nothing is guaranteed.

My first chemo patient is done for the day. I untap him. He gathers his coat and laptop, thanks me for my work, and I say, “Happy New Year.”

He smiles. “That has a special meaning in this place, doesn't it? This is my second New Year since I was diagnosed a year and a half ago. It's not going to be my last, either.”

He hesitates. “And if it is, well, it is.”

He shrugs, looks at me and smiles, wishes me a happy new year, and walks out the door.

I move onto the next patient, getting Thyrogen for thyroid cancer, before undergoing radioactive iodine treatment the next day. Her cancer is most likely curable. It's a quick injection. I wish her luck with her treatment and a happy new year.

The patient getting the Gemzar is done with his infusion. I flush him and leave him tapped, he has another appointment tomorrow. He’s nice enough, but I get the feeling that saying Happy New Year to him might provoke an angry response. I wish them a nice holiday. They smile and say thank you. I think that was the right thing to say.

I have a break. My last patient of the day doesn't come in for a half hour. And all he gets is a half hour antibiotic, and a PICC dressing change. I stock the galley with cups and coffee supplies, then I stock the chemo cart, and move on to the blanket warmer. After that, I stock the supply carts for the next day.

When my last patient leaves, the charge nurse asks me if I want to go home early. Everything is done, there’s only one patient left finishing his infusion, and then she’ll be done, too. I say yes. We wish each other a Happy New Year, share a hug, and I pick up my stethoscope and empty water bottles, repeating my morning routine in reverse.

I am tired, but not drained. I only worked ten hours today instead of my usual twelve. I know a vacation will be good for me, but I don’t feel in desperate need of one.

It’s seems so easy, but maybe it’s not.

Happy New Year has a lot of meaning in this place. Nothing is guaranteed but hope.

Alene is an ultrarunner and RN in oncology, and works in an outpatient infusion clinic. Her blog is Journey to Badwater

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Three Things Thursday , plus one...

I pushed my schedule back a day, took Tuesday as a rest day, and ran last night - was scheduled for 6, but I only left myself time for 5 before I had to meet someone for dinner. 5 miles, 54:55, 10:58 avg pace - aka, speedy fast for my slow self. I'm pleased.

1. Jill at Run with Jill organized a rad blogger gift exchange for Christmas! I love Secret Santa's. My gift arrived last week, and man... I'm a little in love.

I was seriously JUST telling the H that we needed a calendar!

Thanks, Running with Whit!!

2. Ohhhh, leukemia. You think you're sooooooo tricky. Lulling me into a false sense of security that we tricked the pukies, only to have a kid puking on my bed at 5am this morning.

That's not effing cute, leukemia.

3. Let's discuss bullies. A few weeks ago, we were at the mall, shopping in some anime store for #1. Gabby coughed. I'm not normally super concerned about a cough, but I always check with her, because (see above for reference), leukemia is shady. But it was simple, and quick, just... "Gab, you okay?". And she was. But some obnoxious girls, probably #1's age (12 (almost 13), fyi), thought it was fucking hysterical. "baby, are you okay?? COUGH COUGH". Really? Really?? That's funny? Um. Okay, then. They shut up FAST when they realized I walked up DIRECTLY behind them, and started to walk off, but not before mumbling something about the girl with little boy hair.

Admittedly, her hair is.... challenged.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

But, really. How fucking lame that the best plans you have for the day are making fun of a kid undergoing chemotherapy.

And it wasn't something I was even going to blog about, but another situation with bullies caught my attention, and then I got all types of heated....

4. I'm straight lifting some of this from Sarah OUaL's post, because she said it well, and I couldn't have improved upon it.

If you don't already know, the OJ Marathon raised about $40,000 to fight autism the day after Christmas. It would have raised about $500 more if not for two Grinches residing in the Longhorn State.

On the same day as the race in Southern California, runners across the country participated in Satellite runs that contribute to the cause. From a group of girlfriends running off their Christmas cookie binge with a 10K to a hardcore athlete going out to tackle 26.2, participants completed the run at a location and time of their choice and received a bib, shirt, and medal, for their efforts.

John Strohmeyer offered to coordinate a satellite run in Houston, guessing he’d have about 10 people. With at least five starters and three finishers, it would be an official marathon according to Marathon Maniacs.

So in theory 10 people show up, run 9 laps around a three-mile loop in a park, one guy sits at a table pouring water and Gatorade and money gets raised for charity. Perfect, right? Yeah, so much so that 29 people signed up! Basically, a fun run that counted as an official race and raised more than $1,500 — everybody's happy!

Well, everybody except Michelle Wolpert and Ron Morgan of Houston Area Road Runners Association — Mrs. and Mr. Grinch.

Michelle and Ron caught wind of the charity event and got pissed. If they weren’t allowed to host a big race in the park, well damnit neither can this grassroots foundation raising money for a good cause! 30 people running laps around the park? Absolutely unacceptable. Nuh uh, not fair.
They went to the park director and got the event shut down. PERFECT! Congratulations, throwing sand in the sandbox and tattling can still get you what you want as adults.

Except shutting down the event wasn’t enough. Shortly after, Ron sent out an email blast to every running club member in Houston planting seeds of doubt about all the good Operation Jack does.

John (OJ Houston) worked with the parks department and eventually did find a new location for the race. Four days before the event. A lot of runners ran at the new location, but a lot of them didn't. The debacle ended up costing the charity about $500 in refunds.

Bullies are LAME.

Michelle can be reached at and Ron would love to hear from you at

Sam, the founder of Operation Jack, has worked countless hours to raise funds for Autism research, in the name of his son who won't even know. Michelle and Ron there, they just reached over and took $500 straight out of the pockets of Operation Jack.

I would stab someone over $500.

Or, you know, spread their contact information all over the internets and recommend that you email them, let them know what you think. Spread the word, tweet, facebook, smoke signal, whatever.

Because bullies, they don't really like it when you call them on their crappy behavior.

In case you missed it, Michelle can be reached at and Ron would love to hear from you at

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

You might be a runner if these are your Christmas gifts...

Operation Jack Marathon/Half VOLUNTEERING, and PFTW

Last year, I registered for the OJ Half Marathon on a whim, then backed out when I realized my longest run prior would only have been 7 miles. I'm impulsive, not stupid. So instead, I volunteered at an aid station, made a new friend, and had a great time.

This year, I registered for the half (again), and dropped out due to Jerk Shin. So I volunteered.

After doing that twice, I think, next year, I'll skip the registering part and go straight to the volunteering part.

If you don't know what Operation Jack is, click here to learn about this great cause.

This year, #1 wanted to volunteer with me! We had about an hour drive, and had to be setting up our station by 6am, so that meant it was still very, very dark.


I picked the most obnoxious outfit I could put together...

(the Team Sparkle skirt is new, Merry Christmas to meeeee! thanks, H!)

The race is run on the beach path, and the course? It's beautiful. I mean, if you're into this sort of thing.




We filled a million teeny cups...

I swear I'll be dreaming of yelling "Water! WATER!" for days.

Speaking of water...

No hydrant water here, VEGAS RNR...

All told, we got there at 6am, and left when we were told the last runners were through, around 12:45. We passed out a jillion cups of water or electroyltes, a ton of GU, and saw Sarah and ChaCha kicking ass.

What 6.75 hours of playing in sand looks like, on the fourth round of dumping...

And what the 12 year old looks like on the way home...

Anyway, a quick news clip about the event, including the tiniest 9 year old boy ever - and seriously, that kid was FAST. And AMAZING. He looked like he was definitely hurting when we saw him (we were at 2.5mi on the way out, 10.5 on the way in), but wow. I have some opinions about little kids running an event of this distance, but I don't want to minimize what the day was about. All told, the event raised about $40,000, benefiting the Operation Jack Autism Foundation and Train 4 Autism.

I said it last year, and I'll say it again. If you've never volunteered, DO IT. It's worth every second.

Quick Plan for the Week

Last week recap, Monday nothing, Tuesday 5 miles slow, Wednesday nothing, Thursday 5 miles less slow but still pretty slow, Friday/Saturday nothing, Sunday 7 miles easy, followed by 6 hours (literally, on my feet in the kitchen, 6 hours) cooking. Then Monday 6 hours handing out water. My legs by Monday evening were tired. But almost entirely pain free. Which makes me pretty optimistic.

This week...
Tuesday: 6 miles
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 5 miles (with a little speed?!.....)
Friday: yoga? (hahahaha)
Saturday: 8 miles, slow

Monday, December 26, 2011

Why I Run


I'm featured on Another Mother Runner today, talking about Why I Run... Click here to read all about it!

#1 and I just got back from volunteering at the Operation Jack Marathon this morning... recap tomorrow

Hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas, Happy Chanukah, mellow weekend, whatever.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Fifteen...

5 miles again last night. Still slow and steady. Infinitely better than Tuesday, though, so that's good. It took all of my willpower not to play with the speed on the treadmill and finish sub-55, but alas. I refrained, and finished 55:23. SO CLOSE. Stupid restraint.

1. I'm having some friends over for Christmas dinner (with their pinch-able-cheeked baby), and we just pinned down a dinner menu yesterday: Fried goat cheese (for her and me), roasted brussels sprouts, pull apart cheesey herb bread, mini scalloped potatoes (again for her and me), duchesse potatoes (for everyone else), rib roast, and some sort of pear dessert, because I have a ton of pears.

2. Thank you, Pinterest, for having lovely pictures of all of these things. Are we friends on Pinterest? We should be... Click HERE.

3. Deciding this was no easy matter....

4. In retaliation for denying duck (I'm assuming...), her husband sent me this beautiful thing...
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
But. Why? The only explanation is they hate me now.

5. I checked in with my little brother this morning (okay, he's, like, 23, so not SO little, I GUESS).

6. I still have one more piece of shopping to do. That will be done today after work. Hopefully.

7. And even after that, I have food shopping to do. Bah.

8. Plus wrapping.

9. And decorating. I mean, we're decorated, but not for dinner with guests. And normally I wouldn't, but now that I got all geeked up on some fancy dinner party, I feel like I need to decorate.

10. Do you see what I did just now? Created my own stress vacuum in my head.

11. I've lost 6 lbs since early November. That includes Thanksgiving, so we're clear. And I didn't NOT eat anything I wanted. I ate all the things that I dreamed about. And it was all glorious.

12. Take THAT, holiday chub.

13. I feel like kind of an asshole. Everyone in my office is exchanging gifts and giving me things. I had NO IDEA they did this here, so I have... nothing. I mean, I brought hummus and pretzel crisps to the pot luck, so there's that, I guess..... Sorry, folks.

13.5. Plus, I fired three people in the last week. Yeah. I'm an asshole.

14. I am SUPER DUPER excited about the girls' Christmas gifts. And The H's.

15. I am SUPER DUPER MEGA excited for the gift the H got me (WEEK of AWESOME coming up...)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Three Things Thursday

I ran 5 miles, slow and steady, Tuesday night. Nothing exciting to report. Not the best run. Not the worst. 5 miles more than 0, though, so there's that...

Let's discuss gym etiquette. All of my gym time is done in the tiny fitness center in my apartment complex. There are three treadmills, a stationary bike, 2 ellipticals. All in a row - treadmills nearest to the door. Tuesday, while I was running, I was on the first treadmill - right next to the door. I left the door open, because, hello, that room gets to be a JILLION degrees if it's closed, and the AC's aren't running, and since it was cold out, it makes sense to leave it open. Right?

Apparently not, if you're the dude who wants to play on the elliptical (not exercise, PLAY), while talking LOUDLY on your phone. Because consistently, that dude comes in and shuts the door.

Sadly for him, I was feeling extra pissy Tuesday night, during a semi-crappy run, and opened the door back up. I mean, who DOES that? Rude.

He was NOT a fan of me. But the other woman on the next treadmill over, she sure was.


Thanks for all the well wishes for Gab. That's the thing with leukemia, and chemo, is it's kind of a roller coaster. Some days really, really suck, and some days, it's like there's nothing wrong. We seem to have figured out the right cocktail of meds/food/sleep to put a stop to the puking, so far, fingers crossed, knock on wood.
And she's feeling a bit better. Her hair is a little challenged, though :D

Christine at Oatmeal in my Bowl posted yesterday about words to inspire her in the New Year. I'm not really a big fan of resolutions - the way I see it, life is so fluid. Things change. I love the freedom of being flexible and not tied to something if circumstances change.

But I love her idea of 3 words to inspire her in 2012.

If I had to pick 3...
  • Health
  • Gratitude
  • Generosity

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

“A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?”

I actually completed TEN races in 2011: 2 5K's, 2 10K's, and 5 half marathons.

Crazy, since I didn't run a single mile until October 2010.

I was going to say that 2012 would be a bit mellower, but.... let's be real.

Races already registered and/or committed to:
Tinker Bell Half Marathon, Jan. 29.

Mermaid Half Marathon, Feb. 12.

Race on the Base 10K, Feb. 25.


RnR Seattle FULL MARATHON, June 23 -- did you know that's 26.2 miles????? WHO DOES THAT?

San Francisco FULL MARATHON July 29 *---no, but really. WHO DOES THIS TWICE?

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon, Sept. 30 (?) *

Holiday Half Marathon, Dec. 12* ----I want that damn snowflake


But that's not all.

Potential races, that I'd like to do, but I'm not committed to yet, or that I am planning on fitting in....

And... IF the weather looks good, I plan on registering at the expo... Long Beach. Full? Half? Undecided. Oct. 7.

Things I'm DEFINITELY NOT RUNNING, but plan on spectating....

Operation Jack, 12/26 - I'll be volunteering at the 2.5 mile water stop! If you haven't already registered, sorry 'bout your luck. It sold out!

The Southern California Half Marathon, Jan. 7. This runs literally 20 feet from my house, so if you'll be there, I'll be there cheering you on!

Carlsbad Marathon, Jan 22

If you will be at any of these (and, seriously, HOW COULD YOU NOT I'M AT ALL OF THE RACES EVERYWHERE), let me know!

*still need to register

Monday, December 19, 2011

Plan for the Week....

Oh, running.

So glorious.

To recap last week...
Wednesday: 2 miles!
Friday: 4 miles!!
Sunday: 6 miles!!!

All of it pain free.

Like magic.

For this week...
Monday: Rest (and dinner plans with my favorite OC bloggers)
Tuesday: 5 miles easy
Wednesday: yoga? (<--I keep saying, so one day it might come true...) Thursday: 5 miles easy Friday: Rest
Saturday: 7 miles easy

I have to say, I am SHOCKED that I was able to run those miles last week with no trouble. Of COURSE it was a bit slower than I was in October, but... I definitely could have kept going. I was sure I lost all endurance, but apparently not.

I was sent these Celliant socks a few months ago, before Jerk Shin, but didn't have a chance to really test them out before now.


And I pretty much love them. I'm not sure about the technology they profess to have, because I'm not super sciency, but from their website...
Celliant is a revolutionary technology that harnesses the body's natural energy through the use of minerals and fibers. Products containing Celliant have been clinically proven to increase blood flow and blood oxygen levels in the tissue and help balance temperature.
They FEEL great. I've never noticed how my feet felt before, so I can't compare these to regular socks, but my feet didn't feel tired, or hot. They are SUPER comfortable, too, which is unusual for me, because I am stupid picky about my socks.

Bottom line: Highly recommended!

Um. Did you see there's ANOTHER RunDisney announcement? Bah. At least it isn't preceded by ridiculous clues, I guess..... (but, seriously, RD, please stop. You know I can't resist you....)

Weekend photo dump!

Christmas shopping is OFFICIALLY done! Wrapping, less than done. Oh, and stockings. Also not done. But so close.

Next year, I swear it, we are taking a vacation instead of this presents business. It is SUCH a hassle, and we are powerless to cute things we see while shopping for paper towels at Target (and hence how we wind up with too many things for #3, and scrambling to up the ante for 1 & 2). It's just not how I want to spend my holidays.

Or maybe I just need to be more organized, and stick to a damn list.

You know. Either one.

Anyway, after months and months of scheduling conflict (aka, laziness), I made it down to the Irvine farmer's market (if you're local, it's on Campus, in the Trader Joe's parking lot, every Saturday).

Gosh it's glorious. I love shopping here.

We ended up walking out with
  • purple cauliflower
  • heirloom tomatoes
  • parsley
  • satsumas
  • golden beets
  • green onions
  • radishes
  • lemons
  • purple potatoes
....and some other stuff I can't remember off hand.

All under around $20. Shall we discuss again the expense of eating healthy? If you're in SoCal, at least, there's no good excuse why you can't.

Somehow, I've missed this, but Gabby's been decorating our Christmas tree with...
Leaves. In the ornaments. Of course.

She spent the first half of Sunday just about like this...

the last few weeks have been not so great for her. For the most part, she's had very minimal side-effects from her chemo - occasional sleepiness, nausea, general blahness. But man, since her last lumbar treatment, she's been pukier than normal. One of the chemo meds we give her at night has to be given on an empty stomach, but before she sleeps, because it makes her nauseous; but now she's waking up in the mornings puking. We have an anti-nausea med that we can give her, but she hates it... so I guess it's like picking the least awful option for her - meds at night that she hates, or puking in the morning.

Stupid choices that a five year old shouldn't have to make.

Man, it pisses me off.



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