Sunday, September 25, 2011


I'm a tad busy and lacking a solid internet connection at the moment, so I'm not going to be posting a ton on my blog. I'm in the middle of making some editing changes to the manuscript and rewriting some parts. I'm sure I will post again soon though.

I did do a time trial Sat, even though I got my period the night before. I always feel like I've been run over by a steam roller the first few days mother nature decides to inflict her gift on me. As a result, I lacked motivation, especially at the half way point of my time trial. I think I ended up jogging when my head started feeling like a cantaloupe filled with cement. Otherwise I felt OK. My foot was a tad sore. I guess I'm OK with the running effort, but at the same time, it's not easy reading all the race reports and hardcore training logs out there. I don't like feeling like I gave up, but I never have a ton of motivation when I'm at this stage in my cycle. Sleep is about the only thing I feel like I can tackle with vigor. The massage is definitely helping my foot, but it's not quite where I want it to be. My butt appears to be more than a tad tight too. When the massage therapist went to work on it, he barely touched my right side and said, "Wow, that's quite the knot you've got in there." Yes, it's the same knot I have had since the early 90's when a nurse nicked my sciatic nerve when giving me a shot. Blah.

Tuesday night or maybe early Wed morning, I will give up chocolate for three months. I bought some expensive "cookies" that are raw thinking they might take the place of chocolate. The bag said carrot cake cookies. I like carrot cake, and I like cookies. It seemed perfect. However, they don't taste like cake or cookies. Instead, they taste like hay with a strong dash of nutmeg. It was a big disappointment. Boo. However, I have two days to scarf some serious chocolate, so I bought some of that ridiculously priced Life Opening Chocolate to satisfy my chocolate itch.

I'm very disturbed that I had to endure the wild and slightly insane preaching of some Warren Jeffs wannabe, complete with a harem of repressed girls on the mall last night. He and his posse took a spot right outside the doors where I work, and he spent over an hour yelling at random by-passers. Ick. The whole thing made me sick.

Sigh. Well, I'm not saying much of anything here. Stay tuned for something more substantial once the chocolate withdrawals start to manifest.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday, lazy Monday.

I slept in today, and have done pretty much nothing since. I did get three different houses taken care of in terms of house-sitting stuff, but I have to admit that I've been in slug mode ever since. Whoo boy. I might attempt a run/jog/walk...uh, maybe I'll just aim for getting out the door later, but I should let this chocolate I ate digest a little before I attempt anything. Yes, I have until the end of the week to give up consuming the stuff for an extended period of time, so cramming as much of it as possible into my pie hole now seems wise. I'm sure I will love the decision when I'm three days into the withdrawal. I bet I will have all kinds of visions of chocolate.

I see chocolate...

It was a strange week last week with many nightmares for some reason, some drama at work and elsewhere and then a nice dinner with a friend last night. Training was up and down, but I got in two harder sessions. Unfortunately, a dog off his leash came up behind me, and nearly tripped me as I ran by, causing me to land funny on my foot in one of those sessions. Grrr. However, the foot massage went really well. Unfortunately,  the good results didn't last. Plus, my PT now thinks I have a neuroma. Oh joy. I see the Dr. again in early October. I'm still managing the pain as well as I can while trying to do what the PT said. I go back for another massage this week. I think the pain sometimes gets to me, because I noticed my reaction to my bag of groceries falling over and spilling its contents onto the car floor was a bit over the top. Do you ever get that sense of looking at yourself, almost like watching from above, and thinking, "Wow, I'm a tad out of control here"? I've done it a few times lately. It's true that my FUUUUCCCCKKKK!!! moment in the car went unwitnessed, but I'm not proud. Fortunately, I have been doing a fair job of editing when it comes to my online out of control moments, so hopefully no harm done. I did get overly involved in a thread about women's issues though. When anyone brings up women's issues on a forum, it's likely that at least one person will get offended. (I have strong opinions about that stuff, what can I say?) Still, I did manage to keep things fairly civil, as much as possible anyway.

I have to remember that it's never really about the groceries on the floor, the the recipient of the email or the forum bombing, it's about the self. I suppose when I get tired, feel frustrated and overwhelmed and am in pain, I can get a little wild.

I hate when I've been on a roll writing, and then I hit a dry spell. Welcome to the land of writer's block. Maybe I'll post a fucking picture of some yogurt and get everyone all excited. Sigh. Or maybe I'll save it for another time when my thoughts are less clouded and I have more to say.

Come on foot- hold out, so that I can run at least one more race before fall really sets in here. At this point, I'm doing as a friend suggested- training for next year. Still, I'd like my body to hold up for a few more hard sessions and another race. It would be easier to work on my fears about pushing it if I knew my foot was 100 percent. I say that hoping that it will be at least close to 100 percent again. I will likely take more time on the bike when winter fully hits. I made that decision, knowing how much I hate winter. As much as I dislike being confined to the bike, I dislike running in the snow and freezing cold more. I will still do some running, but I'm actually glad I have the bike. I think it will be less stressful on me to cross train rather than force myself out and be miserable in the cold and Arctic elements.

The perfect winter running attire

Wow, this post comes of as all me, me, me! Ha. Oh well. I'm in one of those moods.  :p

And that reminds me...

Oh! I wanted to add this, because I found it to be hilarious. This was the email I got after ordering a shirt from I bet I know a few people who could come up with some equally creative responses:

Thanks for ordering from!

Your order was shipped on 09/08/2011 with the United States Postal


Our minions have looked over and dropped their jaws in awe at the genius

that is your amazing fashion sense. It takes true genius to pick such

impeccable design and color combinations, so naturally our crews’ first

instincts were to wear Kennedy masks, stick your order under their shirts

and flee. Luckily shock collars and therefore self-restraint have been put

to use and your order is safely packaged.

After the shocking and ‘Don’t tase me, bro’s were over, a ceremonial

candle was lit and suddenly the entire 6dollarshirts crew felt a massive

amount of dopamine release in their brains as our shipping specialist

tenderly placed the shipping label containing the following request:

Shipping Info:



Tracking Info:

The package's Delivery Confirmation ID is XXXXX

To check the delivery status of your package at any time please visit:


or the U.S. Postal Service's web-site:


We know you’re eager, but please note that you may not be able to track

your order until up to 24 hours after the postmark date.

INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS: Your customs declaration number is The package's

Customs ID is  Full tracking may not be available to your location. Please

allow 2-3 full weeks for international delivery. You can contact your

local customs office with that customs declaration ID to locate lost


As the package was sent on its way to you, our entire staff skipped out

into the street and did a full out 5-minute Von Trapp family dance routine

as we sang “So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, adieu,

Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu,” in 18-part harmony.

For the grand finale, Juggy hit the final “Goodbye” note and did a

cartwheel landing in a split.

We hope you enjoyed shopping on our website as much as we enjoyed

packaging and sending you your goods. We also hope this shipment

notification won’t leave you wondering where your package is as the

6dollarshirts Crew was VERY thorough with their shipping instructions.

Please practice precautions upon the arrival of your 6dollarshirts. Side

effects include but are not limited to: Larger biceps, defined cheek

bones, increased sexual prowess, thick luscious.. hair, attaining wealth,

promotions at work, rapid increase of IQ points, winning lottery numbers,

fat loss and double rainbows.

Want to be famous? E-mail sick and sexified pictures of yourself rocking

our shirts to to be featured on our

blog/FB/website/billboards/music videos/award ceremonies/etc.


Tweet Tweet Tweedle Dee: @

Face-like us here:

Every day we’re tumblin’:

-MacKensie at ThreadPit and 6Dollar Shirts.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

No Chocolate?

I was invited to be a part of In Step with Real Women Real Fast Boulder. I'm truly honored. I feel a little bit strange though, especially because anything around 7 minute miles seems to be fairly difficult. It's not that I can't run faster, it's that my foot is making it difficult to even attempt to do so. As a result, the part about real fast isn't sitting too well with me. I mean, I was fast when I ran under 6 minute miles, yes, but that was a lifetime ago. Still, I'm thrilled to be a part of a team with some incredible athletes. I just hope I can get to a point where I can actually compete more fully. I'm going to make sure I get to the bottom of what's going on with my foot, so I can see what kind of training I can do when it isn't so restricted. 

I really wanted to run a certain race on Oct 1st, because I think some members of the team will be running it. However, I looked at the results from last year, and I might be looking at coming in last if I did run. Holy crap! In other words, it's a big race with really fast competitors. As with nearly everything I'm doing lately, playing it by ear (or foot) is the only option for me. I'm guessing I'd be better off finding a low key race or doing some kind of solo workout.    

This week, I managed a harder run on the trails followed by a medium long one the day after. That left me seriously dragging yesterday, and now this rainy weather makes me want to curl up and nap all day. It has been a struggle to do much of anything at all lately. I did have a surge of energy when I ran into a dark gray snake sunning itself on the trail Tuesday. Wow- this white girl can jump! Actually, I can't jump that high, but the little jump combined with screaming, "Shhhhiiittt!" was probably quite a sight. Normally I'm not too terrified of snakes (more spiders), but I had just watched Kill Bill II. The black mamba scene was lingering in my brain, so seeing a dark snake did cause a reaction! Fortunately, just as I thought this critter was going to take a bite of my ankle, he (or she?) lowered his head and scooted into the fields. 

Speaking of scary, I have my foot massage later today. AAK! 

The chocolate challenge:

I was dared to give up chocolate for 3 months- that's MONTHS, not weeks or days. I will be starting this torture in a week or two. Obviously I couldn't waste the chocolate I had just bought, so once that's gone, I will go on this chocolate strike. I have no reason to do it other than to prove that I can. I mean, chocolate isn't bad for you. It even has quite a few benefits, things like antioxidants and ingredients that stimulate the brain's opioid production. Chocolate increases dopamine production in the brain, which is important for people like me who tend to have trouble feeling happy at times. Still, I'm going to do it, and I'm sure I will survive. I'm not looking forward to the withdrawal, perceived or real. The good news is that, unlike alcohol and some other drugs, chocolate is not physically addicting. 

Unfortunately, by having a little bit of chocolate every day, I've created the cigarette vs. heroin situation. What I mean is that when one compares cigarettes to heroin, of the people who try cigarettes, 80 % will become addicted. Of the people who try heroin, 30% will become addicted. This is because of the reward factor. With heroin, it's one biiiggg HUGE reward, a rush of pleasure all at once that lasts. With cigarettes, it's many little bits of pleasure spread out over time. We are creatures of habit, so the more we do something, the more likely it is that it will become a habit. An addiction specialist once said heroin would be like giving a dog a big steak when he came to the door. Cigarettes would be like giving the dog that same steak but cut up into 200 little pieces distributed over time. Every time the dog went to the door, he would get this little reward. The idea is that the dog will go back to the door more if he's given little bits over an extended time, which is exactly what I have done with my chocolate- a little bit every day, and sometimes a little but more every day! 

What I regret most is the timing in this. Everything is easier in the summer. Plus, I'm going to miss out on the Long Grove chocolate pretzel rods that are only sold at Halloween and during the winter solstice holidaze. 

Long Grove Chocolate Pretzel Rods

This is completely unrelated, but I watched a crazy show called Dance Moms, and I was kind of horrified. From what I can tell, it's a train wreck of overbearing parents, a hardcore dance instructor who looks like she never danced a step in her life and kids under extreme pressure. What a fun mix! I'm still trying to recover from the episode I watched. Many tears were shed, and it wasn't just the kids who were crying. Yikes. It's like toddlers and tiaras meets Bela Karolyi or something. Clearly there are some talented girls on that show, but the whole scene is highly disturbing on many levels.   

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Catch - not 11, 14, 17 or 18

It's called Catch-22, and I don't mean the novel. I mean the frustrating situation of not being able to get the desired outcome. What I really mean is this: My foot needs Aleve, but my stomach can't handle Aleve. Either I take the Aleve and suffer the stomach ailments or I don't and suffer the swelling and pain of my foot. For a short time I opted for the Aleve, and switching to the gel caps possibly helped a little? However, I have given that up after too much grumbling in my tummy. Plus, I started to feel as blue-green as the gel cap I was taking. Suddenly the foot pain seemed like a better option.

These turn into evil gremlins in my stomach.

After the track on Monday, I was kind of struggling to get in a groove. I had a nice longer run on the trails Tuesday, but felt like I was dragging the rest of the week. My energy and motivation were on vacation, so I did most of my workout Friday on the stationary bike. Yup, that's right. I played it safe.

Oh FSM, Make it stop!
Next week I'm going to get some massage done on my foot. I guess like the main character in Catch-22, I'm afraid. Of course flying missions is probably a more legitimate reason to be afraid, but I'm funny when it comes to touch. Sensitive- who me? Yeah, I guess one could say that. Generally I can tolerate pain, but there are certain kinds of pain that don't sit well with me. Internal pain is quite different from someone digging into your muscles. I've never done all that well with the kinds of massages that make you white knuckle the table, holding back tears while praying to whatever deity seems appropriate for the manipulations to stop. On the other hand, my PT feels that there is quite a lot of restriction in my foot still, and maybe breaking up the scar tissue etc. would liberate it. Perhaps in a week we can introduce my foot to freedom. Of course, that's IF I survive the massage. Gah!

It used to be that I didn't really like being touched at all. Anyone touching me made me feel a little uncomfortable. I'd stiffen up if anyone even approached me. Some of that must have been a lack of trust, but it was also that I seem to be hypersensitive. Things have gotten better since I was little though. I still don't like clothes that bind or unexpected hugs from people I hardly know, but I'm more than fine and actually crave and enjoying another's touch once they get through my invisible body armor. This might have to occur many times over, but there comes a point where I get past the brief discomfort and embrace being held or caressed. Some people say this is a symptom of OCD, and others claim it's a symptom of mild autism. I hate that I score as "mildly autistic" or "you could be autistic" on those bogus autism charts that float around on facebook and in random forums. I think this was one of them. For the record, I'm not. I'm just a little sensitive with a touch of OCD and can tend to be a bit of a loner from time to time.

I still don't like pants though. I hate things that bind my waist. I can get used to it, but generally can't wait to get home to take off my pants.

No pants day is going to become my favorite day!

No pants!
NOOOO pants!

Yay for no pants!

Ha- I'd probably never have the courage to walk around with no pants, but I love that there are people who do it! On the other hand, I have had no problem walking around in my work shoes, a Tee-shirt and no pants in the privacy of my own home. My foot does better in shoes lately, so while it is, indeed, an odd look, it's kind of working for me in other ways. I can't say I would do this around other people though.

Switching gears here...

Apparently Health and Fitness blogs are the latest rage. People are getting paid to take pictures of not so Haute Couture and less than gourmet goodies. And people get PAID for it, man! I mean these bloggers smile and take a million photos of the mundane and get fucking PAID! And they call it blogging!!! The trick is to get 5 photos for every 15 words written. The good news is that the images don't have to be anything spectacular -- a bowl of yogurt and fruit, a cup of coffee in a to go cup, or a cut up potato waiting to be sauteed. These are the things that apparently get people hysterically excited these days.

 Maybe there's something in this pic that I'm missing?

Spectacular! Look at the lighting, the angle...wwwwooooaaa! Genius shot. 

OK, I'm horrible. I shouldn't make fun of anyone's blogging style. I'm just jealous that 42 people comment about someone saying, "Look what I had for lunch!" On the other hand, I find blogs like Chocolate for Breakfast well deserving of the many comments. Sue Ann is a good writer and makes things interesting though. Her images are not excessive, and the shots are very nicely done. In fact, the images look like they're straight out of Gourmet Magazine. I love participating in the status update threads that occur on her facebook page. I guess when it comes to chocolate, everyone has an opinion. Plus, it's fun to discuss chocolate, especially if you are doing so with others who are equally passionate about it. I wish I would have thought about a chocolate blog, but I suppose a post now and then here about chocolate will have to do.

Now here's a nice shot!

Chocolate Truffle Cake

Sigh. I have a hard time letting things go. This probably deserves its own post, but just briefly, I got into a little debate with someone. I can't say it got out of hand. It really didn't, but I seem to be overly focused on it. I'll save the details for another time, because the content of the debate is interesting. Suffice to say that it's important to look at studies in their entirety if you're going to cite them. Often, people only look at one aspect and use the information incorrectly to support something that the whole study doesn't actually show. I have found too that it can help to go one step further and look at who funds any study. If a company like Monsanto is paying for "scientists" to test their own product, you can probably guess what the outcome will be. Of course it's safe! More on that another time.

Monday, September 5, 2011

What's The Point?

Anyone who follows my blog with any regularity knows how much I like to point out there there is a point in pointlessness, or there might not be a point in having a point. In the end, there might not be any point, but sometimes having no point is the point. Maybe a trip to the pointless forest is in order to clarify things.

Today I went to the track. I was having one of those very off days that led to much indecisiveness, an enormous amount of complaining and loads of nagging worried thoughts. I was in a negative mood. Last night, I considered running a race. However, my foot was a little sore, so I tried some Advil to see if that might help without upsetting my tummy. A few hours later, my stomach was throwing a tantrum, so I decided racing probably wasn't the best idea. Instead, I slept in and went to the track with my new running partner. Even there I was very unsure of what I wanted to do. We warmed up, did some strides and finally decided to do a mile on the track. It was one of those workouts where I started out OK, and sort of fell asleep after the 2nd lap. I'm still so unsure of my pace, capabilities and my foot. I know I could have run faster in the last two laps, but I just didn't. I have these funny thoughts that go like this: "Am I running fast? Am I going hard? Maybe I'm going TOO hard! I better slow down. Oh wait! I feel OK. I should pick up the pace. Wait! I have two laps to go. THAT IS FAR!!! What if my foot falls off? OMG!!" That's when I settle. I would like to get to a point where I don't feel afraid to push it. Confidence and practice. That's what it usually takes- that and a healthy foot. Really, that is my main concern, because I'm not running with an even stride this way. It's not like I'm hopping the mile, but there is still some imbalance.

After the mile, I kinda felt done. We did some little pick-ups on the roads, but I was already feeling tired and concerned about my foot. I like to feel on top of my workouts, especially if they are harder ones. I was somewhat on top of this one, but I wasn't pushing it like I wanted. Again, it's a matter of doing what my foot can manage, and that tends to leave me a little frustrated. (Can you hear those little nagging fears?)

The strange thing is that after witnessing one of the most disturbing workouts ever on the track, I'm more OK with the way I ran than I would be had I pushed past my limits. I really need to just sit back and be patient. When we got back to the track, a Japanese woman who had warmed up about the same time we did, was pushing it pretty hard. God knows how many laps she had already done, but she was whimpering as she ran lap after lap at a pretty fast pace, much faster than my 6:57 mile. I'm guessing she was running closer to 6 min pace or under. At first it was almost funny to hear the porn-like noises coming out of her, but I soon grew concerned as she struggled through more laps-the noises increasing as her pace slowed slightly. At this point, I was wondering why she continued, but more importantly, I wondered why her male coach/companion/friend jumped on the track in an effort to pace her through two more laps. Eventually, she slowed to a walk with him in front, and first bent over, then sort of collapsed on the track, squatting down in full-on emotional break down mode with tears and everything. After a few minutes when she didn't appear to be moving from her crouched position, my partner and I ran over with water to see if she was OK, but we were waved off as if this was all part of her grand training plan and all was fine.

I don't get it. Why go to those kinds of extremes in training? It's as if her coach said, "Warm up, do a few strides and then run until you have a complete emotional and physical breakdown." Two people helped her off the track. She was still crying by the time we left. I found the whole thing very upsetting, and not just because there's a part of me that wishes I could push without the limitations of my foot. No, it was upsetting to see that anyone would go that far in a workout. What is the point? Really- What. Is. The. Point? I can't figure out what purpose this kind of workout would serve- knowing she can go to her physical limit? Knowing she can run past what her body can handle and then be unable to walk off the track? I don't think I have ever had a coach that would have allowed me to continue to the point of complete breakdown like that. Most of my coaches were wise enough to hold me back in workouts, so I could go for it in races. Well, if that's what kind of training she thrives on, so be it. I don't see the value in going to that kind of an extreme in a workout though.

In a race? Then I can see it, sure. Something like this comes to mind, but these ladies were at the end of the Ironman World Championships going for the bronze medal, not doing a track workout on a Monday afternoon.

Sigh. I'm icing my foot. It was pretty sore today. Still, if I can keep the swelling down, it will help. Yeah, there's a part of me that wishes I could push it. I'm not there yet though.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I didn't win

I'm just finishing the book Lit by Mary Karr, a poet who dated David Foster Wallace in the early 90's. In the book, Karr goes through her life as an alcoholic raising a son. The book is well written, but the whole God thing at the end is kind of a turn-off for some reason. At the point where Karr reaches sobriety, her emotions begin to overwhelm her. Soon, she becomes so depressed that she thinks about suicide. In the end, she doesn't do anything, but gets help because of the thoughts she was having and the plan she had formed and started to carry out. She claims that her suicide attempt was the lamest ever, but I think anyone who takes any action or even anyone who has a plan shouldn't consider that somehow less serious. I used to think that way too though. Somehow because I only drew a little blood and was forced to vomit an only slightly toxic level of aspirin, it didn't feel like anyone should take notice or take it seriously. Despite my attempt being pretty half-assed, it still showed how much pain I was in at the time, how confused and helpless I felt and how much I thought I couldn't take it any longer. It was never really about wanting to kill myself, it was about wanting to be out of the pain. Obviously Karr was in a similar state. Who knew we both held our own key to freedom?

Suicide is a sensitive topic. There are some people who believe that under no circumstances should anyone off themselves, and yet it's common to suggest that a pet be euthanized to keep it from suffering. Somehow it is seen as having compassion to put a pet down if the animal is in poor health and not living a quality life, yet those same principles don't seem to apply to humans. Some people even go so far as to say that suicide is "demon inspired" or a sin, though I hope that those outdated ways of thinking are changing. Some religions have even tried to create laws forbidding suicide. I'm not sure what the punishment would be for anyone who broke this law. The big exception is in the religion of Jainism, an Indian religion that focuses on non-violence. Apparently, it's not only OK, but widely accepted to starve to death as long as one feels his or her life purpose has been served. The legal issues of suicide, no matter what the religion, are a different story. In general, it is considered a criminal act to commit suicide or assist or encourage a suicide, even if it is a "mercy killing".

Many years ago, my sister-in-law (D) killed herself. She had several attempts before she was successful, and everyone around her tried to get her help. Still, we all understood why she did it. When she first was diagnosed with MS, she experienced recurring blindness in one eye, numbness and difficulty walking. These symptoms she could tolerate. She used a cane to walk, bought an eye patch to use when she experienced blindness and got used to falling down quite a bit. The one thing that pushed her over the edge was losing some cognitive function. This, she told me, she couldn't handle. When she went to an MS group support, she listened to how others would deal with their issues. There was one lady who was paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair, who said that she took great pleasure just lying in her bed listening to the birds sing outside her window. In typical D fashion, she told me that she had no desire to sit in bed and listen to the fucking birds sing. During her suicide attempts and my efforts to try to convince her to stick around, I was constantly questioning how selfish I was being. When she finally succeeded, it wasn't a shock, but there was still this great sense of loss and questions of whether or not we did enough.

Sometimes people don't get a choice though. In the memoir by Jean-Dominique Bauby, the Diving Bell and the Butterfly, the author describes his life after a stroke that left him in a condition called Locked-In Syndrome. Basically, damage to his brain stem rendered him completely paralyzed except for his left eye. In an incredibly horrific situation, he somehow managed to make the best of it. While the book is tragic, it is also incredibly inspirational. How anyone could look on the bright side in that kind of situation is truly amazing.

Wow. I guess this is a pretty depressing post.

I'll leave you with a song that's stuck in my head by the Eels: