Friday, May 28, 2010

What a Pain!

Someday I’m going to write another book entirely about pain. In the meantime, I’ll share a few thoughts about the subject. I do not believe that life should be lived pain free. Rather, the goal is to live life in spite of pain.
I am a runner. This is a relatively new definition of me. I began running two and a half years ago. I don’t especially love running. Running loves me.
Why I run …
It is a cheap form of exercise. The only equipment needed is a good pair of shoes. No membership fees, no fuel expenses, nor any special gear is required. A few cute running shirts and pants are fun, but they are not critical to participation.
It is convenient. Just step out the front door.
It improves other parts of my life. I have greater endurance during other activities such as waterskiing and snow skiing. It makes me sweat and that has to be good. I have a great blood pressure reading.
I am afraid of age onset diabetes.
What I have learned …
Running hurts. As a non-runner I often supposed that running was easy for runners. It is not. If running were easy it would be called walking.
Injuries happen. They are mostly of the strain and tendonitis type, but injuries do happen.
RICE. Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation.
Vitamin I. (Ibuprofen)
Pain does not always mean “Stop!”
Pain sometimes means “STOP!”
Where the fun is …
5Ks and 10Ks.
Sprint Triathlons.
It’s not about them (those real runners passing me) it’s about me.
Talking about the races. Wearing the goofy race t-shirts. Thinking about the next race. Cheering on fellow racers. Looking around and seeing how far you’ve come.
Mostly, the fun is, knowing you are doing something painful today that will help you stick around longer tomorrow.

Monday, May 24, 2010

That's What I Thought

All he wanted was one little cake. What was so difficult about that, I thought. Throw together a shortcake from scratch, just like I often do, I thought. So that’s what I did, I thought. I opened the oven. What is that, I thought!

The shortcake had risen two inches above the sides of the pan and began spilling over. It’s a soufflĂ©, I thought. But it’s too fluid to be a soufflĂ©, I thought. Shut the door and cook it a little more, I thought.

Recheck the recipe, I thought. I scanned the ingredients. Too much baking powder, I thought. No, it checked out fine. Too much milk? It measured correctly. Not enough flour? Check. Check. Check.

Check the cake, I thought. I opened the door and discovered it was definitely a short cake! One half inch of goo covered the bottom of the pan. Globs of goo spotted the floor of the oven. Oops, I thought! Gotta clean the oven, I thought!

Review the recipe again, I thought. I’m losing my mind, I thought! Two eggs. One cup of sugar. One teaspoon of vanilla. Wait! ONE cup of sugar? I distinctly remembered using TWO. Dummy, I thought.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Is There a Support Group?

My name is Carol and I am a hoarder. This is evidenced by the number of bath towels I recently placed in a trash bag, tied neatly in a knot, still residing near the back door, thinking about making its way to the garbage cans outside. One might wonder at my actual hoarder status as I have taken steps to discard my old towels. I repeat, they are still residing near the back door.
It is difficult to part with said towels as some of them were acquired when I married – twenty-four years ago! It was a year for towels. Some brides receive blenders. Others are blessed with five or six irons. I received neither of those. There must have been a terrycloth liquidation that year. The volume of towel gifts I received might explain why they are still in my closet, except for the fact that several of them have been in use since week one of my blissful marriage.
How many bath towels are needed by a household of three? Three? Six? Forty? As many as you can stuff into one closet? Of course, there is always the possibility of company. It would be a crime to run out of towels when guests are about. However, the twenty-four year-old towels are simply unfit for guests.
As I emptied the closet, I wondered, “Why do I hang onto things so long?” Could it be I have a primal fear that if I discard them they may never be replaced? What if I come upon a rainy day and I have no storage of bath towels? This might be a valid concern but for the drawer full of new bath towels in the spare room. They belong to my son – graduation gifts! How many bath towels does one college student need? Five? Ten? As many as he can store at his mother’s house?
I think I’ll tackle shoes next.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sticky Situation

Sitting sweating in the sun
Seeing sprinters swishing by
Sipping soda seems so silly
Still some sugar satisfies.

Sitting sweating in the sun
Screaming, “Stride! Swifter! Stride!”
Someone steps and screens my vista.
Seething springing I soar high.

Standing sweating in the sun
Soda sticky down my side
Sinner says, “So sorry, Sister!”
Surely doesn’t she seem snide?

Sweating sticky in the sun
Sobbing softly sans my pride
Sort of sad I spilled some soda
Still sugar would sasitfy!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Balanced Man Triathlon

And so it began ....

Our names were changed for a few hours. My daughter became 176. I became 166, as in, "Good job, One Sixty-six!" Thank you, SigEp Frat Boys, for your enthusiastic encouragement!

We bravely hung our bikes on a rack and looked around to see what other more seasoned athletes were doing in preparation for the big race. We should have had a hand towel to dry our feet before donning our shoes and socks. We opted for our large bath towels. They actually came in handy as we were able to cover our shoes and socks from the inclement weather threatening from the north ... and south ... and east ...and yes, west! It seemed more important at the time than a dry towel for showering after the race.

Then a "safety" discussion and overview of the course. Proceeding to the pool I discovered my seldom used swim cap was older than I thought. It began to tear from the back. The advantage of being a strong swimmer, but not an extremely swift swimmer is that one is quick enough to avoid the first heat (these swimmers begin at the sound of a horn) yet slow enough to ensure additional heats behind him. The timer begins timing when the swimmer chooses to push off. The faster heats to follow give one the impression that she is actually ahead of other races when she transitions to the bike leg of the race - a much needed emotional boost.

Biking. All I can say is some people are really fast! And ... I am grateful for the use of my husband's road bike. Oh ... and there really was a killer hill!

A little hail fell during the bike leg, however, we did not!

Running. Difficult. It felt slow - really slow. However, our times were good. I can think of a couple explanations. Either, it wasn't a true 5K, or cross training and Jelly Belly Sport Beans really work, as well as, the sound advice I've always given my children before a competition, "Prepare. Hydrate. Carbo load. Pray. Do your best."

Was it my best? I don't know. I'm going to have to try again to find out, because, you see, I'm hooked!

Check out our results here.