Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Running goals

I am a very goal oriented person.  I like having something I am working towards.  In theory, my running goal was to run a marathon by the time I turn 40.  I have about 5 months to go and I can totally do it but my question to myself is why?  It seems pretty arbitrary.  I am a runner.  The distance, time, pace, none of that determines my runner status.  I get off my ass and run. 

I wanted to run the NacHalf about 2 week ago.  I trained for it.  I got injured.  I sat out.  I'm slowly going back to running.  I'm covering a 5k a week.  Way less than the 10 or miles a week I was running before.  5k seems to be just long enough for a workout and to clear my headspace.  Which makes me question running a marathon, if 5k clears my head, what are the other 23 miles for?

I could train for a faster mile time.  Maybe aim for a sub 10 min mile?  Work my way back up to running a 10k without intervals, which I was doing before switching to intervals to help me get through 13-miles.  Maybe after my dad's surgery, I'll get my head back around to the marathon.  5 months is a long time and I'm not just sitting on my ass.  I am still running and moving.  If I can run 13-miles, then with some training I know I can cover 26.  We'll see. . .

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Running in silence

I got a new hydration backpack as part of a Black Friday sale and much to my delight it arrived yesterday.  Now, I've been resting my hip and ankle in hopes of restarting my running so I didn't have any miles this week at all.  I was excited to try out the new pack and to try out my hip so I got myself together and hit the trail at the local zoo.  It was awful!

So what makes a run awful?  It can be lots of different things and don't worry, you'll hear all about my run of suck.  Like a said before I had a new pack which should have been my first clue that this run was going to require patience but dummy me I totally thought this new piece of equipment would make the run better somehow. Filling the pack was easy and it fits great.  I really thought I was going to be too fat for it but it is fairly adjustable and I had plenty of room to spare. 

One of the things that is essential for a run for me is music.  The only time I don't need music is if I'm running with someone, otherwise music is a must.  I also use the Nike+ running app to track my miles and tell me my pace and distance as I run.  Along with those, I also an interval timer to help me stick to my Galloway running.  I know lots of people run/walk as their body tells them but my body always says let's sit on the couch and eat potato chips so I need the timer.

As is my custom, I start my interval timer and Nike.  Nike pulls music from my phone so I just zip up my belt and go.  Today for some reason I decided to turn off my WiFi, which I did not realize would affect my Nike app.  It was an outdoor run without any WiFi so why waste the battery power?  Well, that was a mistake.

I usually use a knock-off Flipbelt to hold my phone and keys as I run but today I had my new hydration pack!  So many pockets!  I was excited but it adds a complication, I can't just drop my phone into the pack, I have to put the phone in the pack and then strap the pack on.  Nike can be set to have a 9-second delay in beginning tracking on your run.  So I set myself up for a 9-second delay instead of my usual 3 and I quickly dropped my phone in the pack and off I go.  I put in my headphones and nothing.  I forgot to pull in the headphones in my rush to get going.  No biggy.  I stop the run.

Take 2 - I plug in the headphones.  I don't worry about restarting the timer.  I know the cues and I figured I was still in my warmup anyway.  Again I move quickly to put the phone in the pack and the pack on my back.  I can hear a cheer from the Nike app.  (If you don't use Nike+, you can add friends and those friends can be notified when you start a run and they can send you cheers along the way.)  Cool, so I'm good to go, I thought.  I run my first few intervals but I notice there is no music.  I knew I had gone about 1/2 miles bases on my intervals and yet no feedback from Nike.  FUCK!

So I stop and look.  Sure enough, Nike is on and is timing me but hasn't recorded any distance at all.  So I stop the app again.  Great 1/2 mile not recorded, no music, and I notice the GPS is red, in other words, it can't find a GPS signal.  I'm in the middle of the woods.  I've run this trail several times before so I know it is usually spotty there anyways.  I'm playing with the settings.  I need music.  I want to record my run.  What do I do?

Take 3 - I turn on the WiFi, suddenly red become green.  Okay, one thing is taken care of.  I look at all of the music settings within the app and I can see it has no music.  At some point, it lost access to my music files.  I'm not wasting more time.  I change the setting to no music and start Amazon music.  I have music. I have GPS.  I reset the timer.  I quickly start my run on Nike+.  I toss the phone in, again and again, the pack on my back.  Once I'm moving again, I put in my earphones and they are blasting!  I try to turn them down on the volume control on the earphones but nothing.  No change.  What to do?  I can stop again and risk losing all of the working settings or just deal with it too loud and try to be a bit more aware of my surroundings since I can't hear anything but my own thoughts.  Fuck it, just keep moving.

After about 1/2 miles, I have a true conversation with myself.  I'm out here alone.  No one to talk to.  Haven't been on a run with anyone in over a month.  Without music, I'm too aware of being alone.  Now, I've been struggling with being alone.  I'm an introvert and shy to boot.  I like being alone unless I don't.  With my dad's surgery/cancer, new job, DH's new job, and lack of self-care due to injury, I have really needed to reach out and talk to a friend.  Someone who knows me and what is going on or at least doesn't mind hearing about what is going on.  I've ended up pretty friend-less of late.  Everyone I know is so busy.  This is when hanging out with non-losers is an issue.  They are all too busy for me, right now.  So alone I am which in my mind turns into I'm not good enough for anyone to take time for me.  I'm alone and I deserved to be alone.  I don't have friends because I'm awful.  You know the dialog.

That dialog tends to quiet down during my runs.  The longer the run, the quieter the dialog.  I recenter.  I find those good parts of me to focus on.  I thought maybe it was the running itself but after today, I think it is the music.  When I hear Brandon Flowers singing about the crossfire, I feel like someone understands me.  When I don't feel like fighting the demons inside of me, Lilli Lewis reminds me to breathe for just a moment.  If I can put two moments together then I can start moving toward putting 13 miles of moments together.  I'm not as alone when I run Fitz and the Tantrums in my ears.  Music soothes my soul.  It becomes the voice of reason when my own voice says stop fighting and just drown, no one will notice see so and so won't answer your text, see so and so never invite you to the movies and they just went, you're not worth anyone's time so just accept it and disappear. 

I won't disappear.  I think I'm finally in a headspace where I have accepted that I'm great at helping people move on from me and that that means that yes I am alone.  People move in and out of my life pretty quickly and that isn't actually a bad thing.  It is hard to accept that I have let people get to know me and then they drop me but I would rather hurt than be numb.  Right now I'm in a hurt season.  Nothing to really do but breathe, run, and blog.  Oh and let Lilli keep me moving forward.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Curly Adventures - Week 1 - I'm the world's worst mom

So last week after many weeks of watching one of my Ringsister from Hollins document her hair transformation, I just asked, "What are you doing to your hair?  It looks amazing."

I think I need to back it up a minute.  Why did I care about her hair?  One it does look amazing but two, Gymgirl!  Gymgirl has hair that is a blend between "white" people hair and "black" people hair.  Mixed kids can just end up with all kinds of hair and hair combination.  Now, my family has lots of curly hair but the texture isn't something we are use to.  I've watched Gymgirl's hair get more and more dull and tangle like crazy no matter how much product I put in it.  See Baby Lala has my hair but with gorgeous curls.  I want Gymgirl to have beautiful hair and I know I see people with curls wear their hair loose and relatively tangle free.  I needed help so I reached out.

Back to the current hair adventure.  She has switched to the Curly Girl Method (CGM).  Which basically is no shampoo and lots of moisture.  So I was right about needing product but I was using the wrong stuff.  So I read everything I can, I'm ordering the book with my next check, and watch 100s of youtubes about the different steps.  Ringsister added me to a fab Facebook Group and I read everything there, twice. 

Saturday, I was ready to begin.  Gymgirl was not sold.  So I CGMed up my own head.  I use to back in the day have lots of loose curls to super wavy hair but many years of straightening it had left it pretty flat and dull.  I want my curls back!  So I did one last cleansing shampoo then put on a thick layer of coconut oil and waited an hour.  I rinsed that out, added some Suave conditioner, rinsed that out, squeezed and scrunched my hair then added some gel.  I'm not sure I'm actually do any of the CGM right but hey it was my first time!

My hair looked good.  Crunchy but good.  My waves looked nice.  I almost left the house but instead I put on some pjs and watched tv.  Gymgirl was still not convinced. 

Sunday, Gymgirl's turn.  This child hates having her hair done.  That was my main reason for going to CGM.  They say once you get it down right, you can cut your hair time in half and kiss the tangles away.  I wash Gymgirl's hair.  I apply a thick layer of coconut oil and then let it sit of like 3 hrs.  Gymgirl hates coconut oil in her hair.  Apparently that was her number 1 issue the whole thing.  Rinse out the coconut oil, add in the Suave, finish with gel.  Her hair looked amazing.  Her curls were super bouncy and tangle free.  Success!

Not so fast.  You did read the title right.  So why am I so awful?  Well my hair is still looking good.  I've cowashed twice since Saturday and while I don't have the refresh routine down yet and my hair is still transitioning, seriously I'm very happy.  Gymgirl not so much.  You remember that Gymgirl has lots of allergies?  See I though since she had been using Johnson and Johnson Baby products without a breakout then we were good.  I was so wrong!  Tuesday, Gymgirl complained that her head was itchy.  She had a major breakout all on her scalp and  around her hair line.  Wednesday, the breakout had spread down her arms and back.  It wasn't worse yesterday but it won't better.  She won't let me touch her hair!  I know I need to wash out the products currently on it but she is fighting me.  So tomorrow, I'll wash it, then cowash it in not Suave, and use a curl souffle instead of a gel.  We'll see what happens!

You know I"ll give you a run down about how week 2 goes!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Lessons Learned on the side of the HWY 259

I was happily on my way to work this morning when disaster struck: flat tire!  This morning has been the coldest so far this season; I believe it was 31 or so.  I was not looking forward to getting out in the cold to fix a flat tire. 

As you know I commute almost 2 hours and at that point I was about halfway to work.  I wasn't sure how far from the next gas station was either which meant I needed to make a choice as I drove.  Initially I was planned to slow down and ride on to the gas station.  If my tire had suddenly gotten a nail the there was no reason not to push and get there.  Then my plan got blown when I noticed my PSI dropping very quickly.  I didn't want to chance ruining my wheel and wheel well and car in general for not stopping soon enough.  I've seen way too many people driving on sparks just trying to get to the next gas station.  Also playing this, my car alarm for the tire pressure went off as a had crested a hill and I noticed the quick down in PSI as I was going up the next one.  If I'm going to stop I need to do it before cresting because being on the downward side of a hill on the highway can be really dangerous.  As is people don't move over when they have plenty of space and warning, I can image it would worse if they don't see you til the last minute.

So I pull over.  It is freezing outside.  I don't want to step out of my car.  One is it cold and two 18-wheelers and cars are flying by next to me.  Once it is safe to step out, I assess the situation.  FUCK!  I can see a massive hole on the inside part of the wheel; the reason I was losing air so quickly.  I know how to change a tire.  I've done it before and way back when I was learning to drive my dad made sure I knew what to do.  I knew exactly where the jack was but the spare not so much.  Owners manual to the rescue!

I drive a Chrysler Town and Country mini-van; do you know where the spare is?  Well it is directly under the console of the car!  Which meant I had to clean out my console to even being searching for the spare release nut.  Seriously, Chrysler!  I'm a mom with a minivan.  My console is so full of crap!  Earrings, spare pens, change, a jump drive, nail clippers, and so much other crap all covered in a sticky semi-dry layer of I think Polynesian Sauce from Chick-fil-a.  All of that crap is now all over my floorboards.  Again, thank you Chrysler designer who is obviously either a man or a much better mom than me.

So I get the spare moving  down then I release I will need to lift the minivan to actually get the spare out.  Time to jack up the van!  See if you said hell yeah, you fail.  First you loosen the tire nuts.  YOu don't take them off, you loosen them before you lift so you have the ground to help you torque the nuts loose.  Well, you should be able to torque them loose but my very wonderful DH had a tire replaced for me and at the time they rotated all of the tire, and don't forget it is freezing, so the nuts won't move.  They don't give a millimeter!  FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now I know I can't do this myself.  But I don't panic.  I don't even call my dad calling!  I was so good.  I called our Geico roadside assistance and like the miracle workers that they are, I'll have help in 90 minutes.  I'm not happy about the wait but hey at least I had a professional on the way!

Okay now I have 90 minutes to kill.  First things first, I pray.  One for safety cause people are driving crazy and two for some chill cause you know I wanted to freak out and cry.  Then I texted my boss at 7:15 am.  I don't talk about my work much but my boss is awesome!  She called me and wanted to know if I need to use her AAA.  I love that woman.  Next drop DH a text to call me so I can let me know that I"m about to kill our weekly budget.  Next I post on Instagram.  If you want to see my busted tire you can see it on my insta: latina_dr_of_ed

Since I knew I had to wait I turned the van off and just waited.  When everything seemed totally bleak Sharon Bruises suddenly appeared out of nowhere!  I forgot she was having to commute this week.  It was truly a nice surprise to see her face.  You know she was the only person to stop to offer to help me!  She couldn't get the nut to move either :(

Once the wrecker driver showed up things moved very quickly.  Turns out my spare was also flat.  To Geico's credit the upgraded me to a tow and covered that.  Shout to Geico Roadside Assistance!  Shout to Wayne Griffin's Towing in Henderson Texas! 

So as we were driving to the tire shop, Wayne told me why he didn't allow me to sit in his truck cab until he was done loading and securing my van: for my safety.  He proceeded to tell me stories about horrible wrecks and other dangers of being a wrecker driver.  If I am not in the cab then if someone were to hit the wrecker, I could possibly get of of the way but if I am in the cab basically the van will crash the cab killing me.  He also let me know that a wrecker driver is killed on average every 6 days! 

So major lesson:  GET OFF OF YOUR FUCKING PHONE WHEN YOU ARE DRIVING!  Don't kill someone cause you want to snapchat.  Don't kill someone cause you want to tweet your current location.  The wrecker driver is just trying to make a living and doesn't need your dumbass ending his life for a fucking filter. 

Minor lesson:  Check your spare tire.  Know where it is and make sure it has air in it.

General lesson: Learn how to change your own tire and/or get a roadside assistance service. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

to run or not to run, the NacHalf?

So yesterday I ran for the 1st time in 9 days.  I've been bad but I have a good excuse!  No excuse is good but here goes: my hip and left ankle have been killing me!  When I was working out with Run Life 365 a few times a week, we would make sure to stretch afterwards.  I believe it was that stretching routine that kept my hip doing well.  It had stopped crunching when I did squats and yes I would feel sore but not pain.  Well for the last few weeks, I'll workout but not stretch and now I'm paying the price.  The crunch is back in my hip so now I'm stopping myself and stretch randomly during the day.  I don't know if it my IT band or my bursitis is back, either way it hurts.

As to my left ankle, you know the drill.  Did everything but break it during derby practice back in September 2015 and so now it randomly hurts.  This time the pain isn't so random.  It is running on the street.  The NacHalf is a street/sidewalk race so I did some short runs about 2 weeks ago for a total of 5 miles over 2 days on the road.  I can normally handle short road runs without a problem but my ankle hasn't been happy since.

I did run last night with a brace on my ankle.  I can't tell if I had it on too tight or if I have the wrong type of brace on but by the time I finished my foot was numb.  Once I took the brace off my ankle felt naked and weak.  It was strange.  Maybe I just need to wear it more.  Also I was running indoors on a nice flat track so maybe the brace was overkill for the track.

So as of right now, I'm iffy for the NacHalf.  I believe I could cover the distance but I'm not sure if the cost to my body is worth it for right now.  Maybe I need to back track a bit and train back up.  This is race season so there will be other races.  I know I can do it.  Just because I haven't done it in a race format doesn't mean I can't finish a half-marry but I do want a finisher medal so I'm going to have to just set my mind and money on a race.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Wetback American

So in 2011, I setup the Wetback American blog and never did anything with it.  Giving the state of the world today, Wetback American is now active and open for business so to speak.

I try to keep this blog light and fun or at least focused on me and my family.  Wetback American is focused on political dialog.  I hope to see you reading over there too.  Enjoy and dialog with me!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Celebrate good times . . .

Or rather, we never seem to take the time to celebrate.  I have a love hate relationship with celebrations.  See I tend to build things, events, moments up in my mind and then when they come to pass I'm almost always disappointed.  I'm not sure if it is function of being introverted that I mostly talk to myself rather than others or growing up poor so there really wasn't money for celebration.  We don't celebrate enough.

I have 100s of examples.  I defended my dissertation and nothing.  I graduated with my doctorate and nothing.  No cake, no eating out, no party, no coffee date, like nothing!

For Baby Lala's 1st birthday, DH and I just had her attack her cake at home, even Gymgirl wasn't at home for it.

I get this wonderful job that I love and again nothing.  No even ice cream.  What is wrong with us!?

I ran my first half-mary distance and barely got any likes from my friends on my post about it.  I had to post it to a running facebook group to get some praise.  Not that I run for praise but it is nice when people give you a high-five.

So we don't celebrate enough.  We need to change that in 2019.  Everyone more celebrations!