Wednesday, March 18, 2015

In Good Time

I gave notice at my job. 

I've climbed as high as I can go here, complete with the suite and a view of the UT tower and stadium. How lovely. 

These come at a price. Though I can see the weather, I don't have time to step outside for a breath. My commute is dreadful. I won't go on. 

I'm choosing to rely on the other man for financial security for awhile, as opposed to The Man. I have some projects up my sleeve that can provide additional compensation, but my primary duties for the next few years will be home-based. 

I love my girl, and I'll never regret being present for her high school years. She is happy with the upcoming changes. 

It's all for her, and it always has been. 

March 27 sounds like a mighty fine day. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Ridiculously Long Running Report

I've been dreading this race. Terribly. I'm not so typically affected.

Since I got my coach I've been working harder on the sport that brings out my deepest fears/abandonment issues. Let's do it and not discuss further. 

Let me back up. I got a coach for a reason. Goal setting. Accountability. 

I think I need these things because I start strong in races, then at some point I realize it's so freaking hard and there's still some distance to go. 

My coach fixed this. My ass is whipped into shape. Today's half marathon taught me that.  

I still have a lot of work to do so that I can be "fast". For example, my friend won the half marathon. And I'm the slowest one in my training group. Nobody makes me feel bad about myself, and I just pretend to keep up. This must be working, because I am stronger. 

So what happened today? Do you remember the post from a few years ago where I was sitting in my car post race and being all hysterical? Yeah, today was the same course. My fourth time here. 

I warm up hard so the pack start would feel easy. We take off at sputtering paces, sometimes too fast, and sometimes halting to a walk. We jockey for positions on the single track trail. Mile 1 passes and I score my first twisted ankle. Ladies start taking Gu and it slows them down. I wait on mine and take the pass. Mile 2 twisting that ankle and wondering what the rules are for dropping to the 10k. I get a side stitch. Breathe. Run in a way that my legs move but my upper body doesn't. Squash the stitch. Awesome. Go. Run. My coach appears out of nowhere, calls my name and tells me to pace myself. 

I wrench my ankle hard. I cry out and my glorious pain echos through the Smithville, TX spicy pine tree forest. The potato shaped rocks bounce the sharp sound back at me as fiercely as my nerves shatter. I hang onto a sapling as I force air into my lungs. Jog. More. Go. Run. Nobody's here to carry me out and I'm no quitter. On this terrain, every 3 miles equals 43 minutes if I try really hard. 

I trip over a root or a group or rocks, or both. Land like a frog fingers down, palms high, booty in the air. Cool, no damage. Jog. More. Go. Run. Shake out the neck and shoulders. Whiplash.

Dance on the rocks. Think of people I love. Only positive thoughts. 

Please God, help me feel your presence. I don't doubt you're there. I just need help feeling you. I can't do this alone. 

Last fall, face plant into a clump of dried grasses. A soft landing!! That prayer worked. 

I think I may be the dragonfly. 

It's me. 

The rest comes in time. 

At the finish, a bunch of people are there cheering me on. I try to step aside and gather my thoughts, but I guess friends don't let you do that. Now I realize I wasn't running alone. 

It's so easy to give love, but I have to learn to receive it. 

In time. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Professional Help

I finally got it. Advice from a pro. No, I'm not mental enough to get a head shrink. ;) I signed up with a running coach, and I'm getting whipped into shape. 

I didn't hit my time target for Houston, and I have plenty of reasons with even more excuses. Now that I'm on this training plan, I can see that I really wasn't putting in the time or effort that it takes to reach those goals. But man, it's hard. 

I don't write here much, with the availability of Facebook and the lack of desire for anonymity. There aren't any secrets left. 

Life has settled into the routine I'd hoped for, and now I watch time float by and my daughter earn her own life experiences. At 14, she is still so sweet that her openness stuns me at times. 

I can't hope to capture these days, but only to love them. 

Don't take it too seriously ;)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It Was That Simple

There you go, then. 

I have a goal. I reach them once I set them. Commitment doesn't come easy. 

I love my financial security, but it was never my dream to sit behind a desk. I love my big fat office with a view of the downtown museums, but I can't be chained to the window blinds. 

J is with me for a minimum of four more years. I have an opportunity of a lifetime, and it had nothing to do with money. 

I thought I wanted to play with the big digs, but they howl a song I've heard before. 

I'm going after this dream with as much passion as I went after my career. 

She's worth it. 

So am I. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hills and More Hills

Damn this had been a tough few weeks. 

My attitude sucks. I'm dressed for a run sitting in the lobby at the gym, ready to hit the downtown streets. 

Frowny face girl, you were happy once upon a time. 

I feel like the traffic-stuffed streets do. Overwhelmed, indifferent, an aging network of patched repairs. 

I'm sorry to disappoint you. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mara and Me

I miss triathlon season. 

Now that I'm running more, the loneliness has crept back in. Really, Mara? Must we sip again? Isn't your thirst ever quenched?

Sit and have tea once more. At least you are company, even if you ask the hard questions. Twist my words and accuse me of being legalistic. Tell me I'm not a good friend. 

Maybe if you challenge me enough, I'll find my resilience. 

Until then, I run for no reason. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Just one post in September?

So much is going on. There's that word again- "busy". 

I finished my third triathlon in Kerrville, and I can't believe tri season is over. I can't believe I made it through one event, never mind and entire season to complete my goal of three. I wasn't sure I could finish since I sprained my ankle in August, but physical therapy does work. I'm sorry to see it end, but I'll be back next year. I'd like to do at least one Olympic distance race. (Isn't there always more to reach for??)

Marathon season has begun again, and I'm happy to focus on the run. No more sharing days with bike and/or swim. Just you and me, baby. PT also addressed my hip issues from last year, and I'll be released from that treatment next week. It's amazing to run without pain, and to not need extra recovery days that should have been running days. I can fly. 

Happiness feels easy lately. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Once Upon a Time

My hands and feet were covered in kisses, as if they belonged to someone beautiful. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mostly This

Of all intimate things, I miss kissing the most. 

It's the little things. Looking into someone's eyes with no holding back...

Maybe that's not so little. 

It certainly seems like I'm not meant to have it. 

All or Nothing

If the money is good, then why do I want something else? Is it just human nature to be dissatisfied?

I think they pay me a whole lot of money to use my brain and keep myself behind my desk. My eyes get tired of the pixels and my back hates the confinement. 

Beach dreaming, yoga missing selfishness. I do play my flute. The notes sound so fat, and for once I don't want to be tied to the music. I let my fingers caress the keys and my breath linger wherever it pleases. I turn my back to the stand and stare out the window as the notes sing for me. 

What have I given up in my ruthless quest for security and independence? Nobody hears the music because I only play when I feel free. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pieces of Me

There you go then. A whole lot of life, mistakes, and love inside that skin. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Staycation 39 End

Not quite the end yet; I have two days to go. I fully realized this as I passed my director on the trail this morning. 

Add a couple weeks, and hello to the big four-oh. 

Moms visit came and went, as did the family reunion. I especially appreciated my time with the oldest members of my family. I am loved for the best possible reasons, and I am overwhelmed with the deepest gratitude in return. 

On turning forty, I'm pretty excited about my new decade. The last year was unbelievably wonderful. It felt like dreams that I'd been working towards finally came true. I made it out of my last job and into the one that I set my sights on years ago. I finished my yoga certification and my first two triathlons. My credit and finances are actually "good". I quit talking down to myself in the mirror. I healed and laughed and loved. 

I have a couple small goals this coming year. I'll ride my first bike race and try to qualify for the 2016 Boston marathon. I'd like to give more time to my friends. It would also be nice to be a gentler, softer version of me, whatever that might mean. We'll find out ;)

I want to be the best mom for my kid. If that's the only goal I achieve this next year, I'll consider it a success. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

This is Why

And that's all I have to say about that. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Balance Wheel

Just when you feel strong, you get shoved from behind. Maybe it's your own fault, maybe it's external, maybe all of the above. 

Doubts, questions, fears. 

I think I have moments of everything. 

Peace, calm, acceptance. 

I'm all over the place. I don't know whether I want to be left alone in a cocoon or if I need to be around my friends more. Something needs. Maybe something is too much. 

I think I'm trying too hard, in any case. 

Pre-race jitters? Definitely some of that. 

Missing my kid? A lot of that. 

Get yourself together, girl, cuz this is a mighty fine life. 39 is beautiful. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cutting Through

One morning this week, as I sat in my car at a traffic light, a man with a shopping cart full of trash bags loaded with cans pushed his way across the crosswalk in front of me. A lady who appeared to be in similar life circumstances followed him. As I noted her shabby top and wondered about her situation, she looked up, right into my eyes. I felt surprised, and a shock right to my heart. I felt sameness, difference, accusation, shame, compassion, and understanding. My outward reaction was a flash of a smile through my bright red lipstick. Then she was gone. 

Another tri this weekend, this one a little longer than the last. It feels more real. I've been practicing my swim and run, and less on my bike. Balance does not come easily among the three sports. 

I do feel balanced. I'm happy at work and I'm preparing for J's return home next weekend. We FaceTime a lot and I pretend to tickle her cheeks through the screen. She misses home and cuddling with her parents. 

My love loves me. 

I am content. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Night Recap

I came home from work today, ate, and went right to bed. Sometimes tired catches up and runs me right over!

Last Saturday I went for a long run, then took a rest day Sunday. Monday, I took a vacation day and went for my longest distance yet on bike. Hello, hip! Ouch! I was out for the next two days for recovery. I ran short yesterday and took today as another recovery day, to play safe. Ten road miles tomorrow, still playing it safe. I actually missed swimming this week, and this was not a good example of a good training week. 

Also this week, I escaped to see a writer/poet/singer/friend perform some kickin live music at House Wine. On a weeknight!! Check out Jim's blog at

I had to treadmill at the downtown Y to make this work for my schedule, and now I know why I love my home gym so much. The treadmills were so close to each other that I could reach out and touch the guy next to me, and he kept looking at my pace. Ugh! What do you care?  My ego turned up the dial and chicked his ass. Damn I'm competitive. I noticed my ego, and I let it push me ahead. I used it. 

Also, I had to shower and change there, which I'm starting to get used to but I'm a little high maintenance. It's not that I expect people to think highly of my appearance; I feel I'm doing the world a favor by putting on all this makeup. I keep working on this self esteem issue. 

This week in pics:
Rainbow over downtown as I drove to work Wednesday. 

House Wine

The One and Only Jim Trainer

Who took this picture of Jason Woolery and the back of my head. 

Flower delivery at my work today! I adore my yoga teacher. Namaste. 

Friday selfie, ready to go home. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Too Beethoven

Repost- publishing issue earlier this week. 

With all my love. It was a special day. 

Swim, Bike, Run

Repost- something didn't allow this to publish June 1. 

I cycled the course for my triathlon, minus the swim and run component this morning. Turns out the cycling component is the same as what I've run as a half marathon for the last two Decembers at Decker. It looks so different on a bike!

Man, my hand hurts. Holding the handle and shifting gears is almost too much after a few miles. I don't let it slow me down. We'll get this fixed in a couple weeks, and worse than pain is taking time away from my sports. Grrr. I hate rest. 

I have the last trail run of a series of three tomorrow at Reveille, the only DNF I have on my resumé.  It's been a couple years since I've tried the course, but I feel ready and happy. This one is mine. The Houston Marathon lottery is June 4, so I've got distance on my mind this next season. Hopefully we can mix that with my new triathlon skills and start training for a big boy tri. 

I have some other ideas for next year that aren't -shock- athletics related. I'm still gathering my thoughts, but these goals feel good and come from the depths of what makes me happy. 

Snapped this after today's course ride. 

Healthier lunch Friday!!

Last weekend's practice tri

Lake swimming- I finally made peace. It's my "weakest" event, but I have challenges in every sport. I'm not worried about any event of the tri. I'm in love with all of it!

A Missing Mama

I don't believe I've ever seen so many cops in Austin.  I had to be on my best behavior during this morning's commute. Go home, Mr. Pres. We know you're just here to raise your $$. 

J has been gone three full weeks. That's it?? Surely I'm counting wrong. While she's gone, I drink too much coffee, push harder in every workout, and loudly bitch about the cellulite on my ass. 

The truth is, I miss my girl. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Friday, June 27, 2014

My Girl

I stole her blouse. Mwahahahahahaaaaa

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Thanks, BB!

An office? I didn't ask, but thank you so kindly! I love the TX flag just out the window. 

Moving day is Monday. 

My Girl

Florida, I hope you feel blessed! My girl flew away from this land of Texas on a big jet airliner yesterday. I know she's in for a lot of fun. She lives life in a grand way!

C and I took the week off before she left to give her some serious attention. We made sure she was full of parent time before she went packing. I can never get enough. She is my breath. No matter how well I'm breathing on my own, I look at her and it only gets better. 

After she left, I tried desperately for some retail therapy. Oh no! My favorite store went out of business?!?! And the little shops nearby were also empty. There was one left in the little strip mall that looked promising, but the power was out, and they weren't allowing customers in. Powers That Be, you defy my desperation! Even the sporting goods store around the corner was without electricity. 

I went home. I ran. 

C grilled up some chicken and made our house smell yummy. There are still good things. 

I miss her. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

I Tri-ed My Best

And I had fun!

I won't go into too much detail about the event itself. I'm happy to have earned my triathlete label after so much training. Accomplishments are always a mixed bag, a sense of pride combined with a restlessness because I don't want it to be over. I'll definitely do this again. 

First things first; my right hand needs some attention. I got my MRI Friday and the doc expects to put me into a fiberglass cast tomorrow. I'm glad it will begin to hurt less. 


Happy, happy, happy. I'm living the life I want. Right here, right now, and I wouldn't change a thing. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Better Start

My favorite oatmeal and watermelon that I scored from the reception area in Legal Services. Score! My favorite fruit since grapefruit is out the door- too acidic. 

Food pics aren't easy to capture. 

Swim practice today after work. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Good Things

Since I posted such a yummy-disgusting lunch, I'm following up with my yummy-health dinner. 

That meatloaf filled my belly all the way to cycling practice this evening. I didn't need a preworkout snack at all, so that pb&j will go in my daughter's lunch tomorrow. I had no digestive problems from the greasy slab of meat, just a few burps...

Cycling training is awesome. I'm only with this group one more week. I'll miss the coaches and the varied workouts. I've met some neat people, and ran my brick while chatting with another girl this evening. Lone runner no more. I'm really going to miss everyone. 

Cheers to a sense of community, bricking, and good choices. 

Brussels sprouts, carrots, celery, ginger, and a dash of white wine. 

Bad Girl

I left my food at home. Normally, I'd have oatmeal with coconut shavings and honey. I've taken to drinking coffee again, which my stomach doesn't like due to the acidity. 

So I skipped breakfast and had a heavy lunch. As I walked to the cafeteria in my building, I thought of good choices like a turkey pita for lunch and a pb&j for a pre-cycling snack after work. 

I scanned the menu board as I walked in and discounted the hot selections as unhealthy. They almost always are. I went straight for the pb&j. Success! Then... things took a turn for the worse. I saw the coffee area. I doubled back to get a tray to carry the pb&j and a coffee. The trays were by the hot food, and dang it if there wasn't a big slab of meatloaf staring at me, and no line waiting. Fried okra? The only good side this cafeteria makes. Right next to the mashed potatoes. 

In an effort for accountability, and so I remember exactly why I have to walk a bit at mile 2 at this weekend's trail race at Reveille, I'm posting this:

We'll see how bike training goes this evening. That double brick workout may end up feeling like a couple bricks in my stomach. 

Cheers to good health!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Tri-ing New Things

My J girl turned 13. Wowza. She is beautiful, weird, smart, and more than labels. She is obsessed with Dr. Who, puns, and her friends. She loves me. :)

I'm still training for my triathlon June 8. Swimming has been the hardest sport for me, though I have no fear of the water. I had to learn freestyle, become "swim fit" make time for team training and self practice, and make friends with cold, sight-rendering lake water. 

Cycling is fun and I'm strong on my cheap bike wearing running shoes. I have good balance and can power out the hills. Team training is after work, so getting organized in the morning with all my gear has been an exercise in itself. My right hand is fractured- I fell on my side at Hell's Hills trail run in March. Steering sharp curves, managing water bottles, and general time spent on the bike keeps it sore. So does opening door handles at work and holding the steering wheel in my car. MRI after June 8 if it still hurts by then. 

J just walked in and asked permission to go on a road trip with her friend. The mom would drive, and it's STORMING out. Three cities away. THREE CITIES AWAY. 

oh boy. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

In Respect

BW, rest peacefully. 

You told me once that not everything that happens is a lesson to be learned. 

Thank you for your kind thoughts during some very difficult times. 

Thank you for some really good laughs. 

I will not forget you. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Where in the World?

Life has just been rocking along!

My new, actually not-so-new, job has kept me quite busy. I have a lot of thoughts about "busy". 

I'm still finding time to run, and recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of my hip fracture. I had hoped to work my way up to a marathon by the end of this season, but healing takes time. Things that are broken can't be forced back together. They choose their own pace and demand respect, no matter how much you may want otherwise. No marathons for me by the end of May. Perhaps this winter ;)

I have changed my gears a bit and I'm focusing on triathlon training. I never thought I'd be brave enough to tackle new sports, but here I am in week five, practicing six days a week. There are so many fears to face and self-talks along this journey. I live with a premise that I'm weak, easily broken by others, and I think that sports are my way of proving my worth to myself. When people ask why I workout, I can't say this- it's socially unacceptable! I say it's because I can't sit still. Will I actually sign up for a triathlon? Who knows... I do have my eye on a certain one in June. Right now, the training is enough. I love it. 

Balance isn't easy. J is heading off to FL again this summer. I want to go with her. I want to quit my new fabulous job and laze and run in the sun. Last night I skipped swim practice to take her out to dinner. I want her to know that she comes first, and that training is NOT my life.  I love her. 

All is well in this ridiculous life. Some days are hard and lonely, but when I pause in those moments to question the truth of that, I find myself surrounded by unconditional friendship and love. 

Friday, March 14, 2014