Making lemonade…maybe I should spike it?

So I’m definitely stuck thinking about the platitude, “when life gives you lemons…make lemonade.” This last year or so has thrown a LOT of health issues at me.

Last October I had the knee sprain at Baltimore half which I was told would compromise my ability to ever run, even at my slowness, again.  Celtic Solstice was my first race back and I’ll be running my 3rd this coming Saturday.  If I walk this one, it’s because I’m supporting people, not because I have to.  I’ve overcome that hurdle pretty well since then and slowly plodded my way through two marathons…acting as support for my 30:30 girls as we made it, and that doesn’t count all the short stuff or the training runs to get there.  My knees still hurt, but I know run without braces thanks to Galloway.  I have a VERY full race schedule next year and I am STOKED!  Especially because some should include my track baby, Byron, and my 30:30 partner in crime, Andi.  She may even get me to run a 3rd marathon despite all my other plans….we’ll see if I’m up for Richmond.

This August the SIPE hit at Luray and I was actually officially diagnosed by a pulmonary specialist after an echo-cardiogram to rule out any heart issues.  I’ve been rather aquaphobic since and not having the Baltimore Tri to do due to the weather made it all too easy to stay that way.  Plus I had running to concentrate on…until Megan went and signed up for IM Augusta 70.3, and I remembered that 26.2 was just a step to 70.3.  So I signed up, too.  I have over 9 months to prep and this is a VERY friendly swim course w/ current, so I’m trying not to worry.

Then in October it was time to play with the psych meds.  I think either the Lamictal or the Wellbutrin has puttered out.  I’m just not doing as well as I have before.  My energy level sucks ass.  My shrink is tentative to play with switching the meds, so we went up in dose on the Wellbutrin.  I’m not seeing a real change, so it may be time for something new come my next appt.

I got hit by a MASSIVE migraine last month that put me down for about 8 days straight.  The positive of being on the Wellburtrin is that I can now take Imitrex…the negative is that the Imitrex was not an instant cure.  Taking Imitrex and having a shot of Toradol (like liquid advil…right to the buttcheek!) still didn’t kick the bastard for about a week.  I think my run that weekend did me the most good, but I can’t just go run 9 miles in the middle of the day when my head starts to hurt.  I’ve been pretty clear since then though, so here’s hoping the migraine monster is sleeping.

The last medical malady came on Thursday into Friday…I broke out in a wicked rash for no good reason.  I haven’t used any new products or eaten anything odd.  The big worry for anyone on Lamictal is the “Lamictal rash,” because it can cause all sorts of fun like skin necrosis and death.  So the PCP took me off my Lamictal and gave me Prednisone, and I’m also taking OTC antihistamines.  Woo fun.  My energy is even shittier and I don’t know if it’s the Benadryl, the lack of Lamictal, or the poor sleep an itchy person gets when she’s a rashy mess.

But frankly…life is still pretty decent.  I have my amazeballs dog and she turns 5 on Tuesday.  She went birthday shopping on Saturday after hanging out at school while I ran an AP session.  I have a similarly amazeballs boyfriend who is riddled with his own issues, but is one of the only people I trust to scratch my back in my current state.  He has worse allergy/skin issues than I do.  He has yet to give me Christmas ideas and for that I kinda want to bop him…but he is a boy and they are a pain.  Worse comes to worse, we drive to State or WVU and I buy him stuff there.  =)  My roommate is her only darling brand of crazy and we agree that we hate people on the regular.  Her crazy Chi isn’t terrible when I pup-sit, so I can’t bust on Smithers too badly either.  He and Mira take turns irking the crap out of each other, but that is the way of canine dominance I suppose.  They bond bitching at the squirrels who taunt them on the power lines.  I have awesome purple hair and a fab stylist to thank for it.  I have tattoo plans to commemorate Philly (wanted to do it this weekend…too bad I had to break out in this damn rash!) and hope to get back to Adam for some work on my back over the holiday break.  School is tiring, but good on the whole, minus that I’ll be losing my intern of wonder this week.  She has been phenomenal!

So, yeah….life can keep tossing me lemons…I like lemonade a whole lot.  Since May of 2014 I’ve learned that I’m tougher than I ever thought when I have the right supports behind me.  So as long as you all are out there and my attitude stays in the positive 90 or more percent of the time, I should be good.  Plus, as “Breakeven” plays on iTunes, I know I always have my angel looking out for me.  It’s hard to roll around in self-pity when you know that one will never let you sink too low for too long.  Love you, Matty!  Back to work…I have a week to plan.

26.2 x 2 and plans for more…

So if you know me well, you know what my 26.2 mile “training run” in DC with Polly REALLY was. But since I wasn’t really “me” that day, I haven’t done much publicizing that as my first marathon…no flat me or selfie w/ medal pictures. I definitely have worn the shirt out though. That thing is so warm & comfy! After that very long but very enjoyable run, I was pretty stoked for Philly; it would be redemption for a shitty half of 2012, my “real” race, and another ran with some of my pack as Janelle and Charisse were also running. 

Jay and I, in standard “us” fashion, decided to maximize a Philly day. Expo quick stop for packet…and Hot Chocolate 15k registration for both of us, PSU arm warmers, a water bottle, car magnet, and a 26.2 jacket for me….then it was the Temple-Memphis game (Go Owls! Woo Alex!), back to the expo for me to get taped, cheesy pics and freebies from CGI, and for us NOT to find him his own handheld (off to FF or CCR soon for that), and off to National Mechanic for the normal pre-run dinner. Then it was the Doubletree by the airport to get stuff together, shower, and sleep. It is ridiculously easy to get stuff together when you already packed it in order of putting it on/using it.  Up at 4:45/5:00, dressed, and down to the lobby to meet Charisse, who was heading over to the start with us to save from two cars driving and parking. Jay, in standard Jay fashion, got a clutch parking spot & we were to the start, through security, bag checked, Janelle met and in our corral before we knew it.  Jay had enough time to go back to the car, drop off his backpack, make it through security (sacrificing his Fiji to save my coconut water), and see us off.  

Note: Have I mentioned that my boyfriend is the very best Sherpa in the world and I don’t even know what to do because of it? I’m not used to someone who supports my running instead of using shared trips as their own PR opportunity. He schleps my crap, makes me signs, grabs excess gear when I’m stripping on course, and drives my tired ass home. He is the bestest!

So it was cold, but it felt good as opposed to bad for about the first 13-14.  I took off my top layer btwn 2-3 and wore it around my waist until tossing it at Jay at 13. I should have kept it, because I definitely got cold going out the lonely Kelly Drive.  The wind was pretty brutal, especially as it got later.  I think the cold wind created my odd problem of the day…shoulder lock and MAJOR pain.  I think I was holding my arms in too close and tight trying to stay warm. I ended up taking Tylenol (thank you, Charisse, for reminding me I had it), plugging in the headphones, and making the decision to reside in the pain cave and ride it out from about 18 on. Janelle finally decided she could leave Charisse and I (she was going for time, we weren’t…between me never really caring about time and both of us having ran a marathon less than a month before, I gave no fucks beyond finishing this bad boy faster than Polly and I did our “DC Run”) the two of us stayed close leapfrogging for a while before she tapped me to talk her through the next mile or so.  Once we got the voices to shut up, she told me to go ahead back into headphone zone and she would tap me again if she needed to talk. We ended up walking it out pretty much from 23 on with me having one headphone in the ear away from her to keep me going and me to keep her going. I honestly think I need to be the slow runner pace and cheer crew.  Sign up with me if you just want to get that 26.2 done and I will train you up and shuffle you in. So we finished, it was faster than DC for me, I got to high five the mayor, and there was a TON of stuff left for the back of the packers. 

That is a huge thing…while all I needed on the other course was water because I had my nutrition and electrolytes figured out and wasn’t hungry or cold at the end, I didn’t care so much about their post race stuff lacking. Goal one was Polly finishing and goal two was a good training run for me, both goals met. At Philly, I needed some love at the end. The heat sheet and warm broth were LOVE! They had plenty of food, to the point that we left with a BAG of pretzels and another bag with other goodies. I had two cups of broth to warm up and get the salt in, and could have had more if I wanted. Gear check was right at the end of the chute, potties were close…Philly has got this marathon stuff DOWN. The eye candy was better in DC, the weather was better in DC, but Philly cared for us way better at the end. As it stands, I would do both races again, though probably only the half in Philly unless I cut some major time. The possibility of getting cold and cramped is too much an issue past half running time for my slow ass. 

I’m thinking Baltimore may be next year’s full unless I can snag a spot in MCM. I don’t know how Pgh treats the back of the pack at full distance…AND, I am the bitch that wants to run the half faster than her ex from college. 😉  Hell, I just don’t want to finish and have the smiley cookies gone! Plus I have a busy calendar…

March: Kelly Shamrock 5k

April: Hot Chocolate 15k, Love Run, Sole of the City 10k

May: Pgh half, Frederick half

June: Baltimore 10 miler

*August: 24 hours of Booty*

September: Charles Street 12

October: Baltimore half or full…currently it’s the half

I’ll probably also add a Firefighter ride, Larry’s Ride, and Tour de Chocolate Town. 

I’m conflicted about Tri-ing… I promised myself I’ll get back in the pool in December… I think my best bet is to sign up for some of the less expensive Piranah Sports options in 2016 to avoid spending on a DNF. Jersey State is supposed to be good though, talked to a girl at the CGI booth about it. And if Jay wants a VA birthday weekend, I can do Rev3 Williamsburg. I just don’t see 2016 being my 70.3 year after the SIPE confirmation. I started triathlon in 2013, so I’ll give myself until 2018 to do the 70.3. I do want to try Harborfest’s 1.2 at the end of summer if I can get comfortable in the water again, because I like WaveOne and if it’s just a swim, I’ll feel less shitty if I don’t finish. I guess I can always go the Du route if I can’t get swimming back, but I do not like to think like that. After all, I’m not supposed to run or anymore and I just did my second marathon in less than a month… #tattootime #onthekneetho

Oh well, that’s about it on the running update…note, I still hate people, but I like running with my people…

 Signs from my amazing boyfriend; I’ll forgive the your/you’re mistake. It was early and he slept like shit…#sherpalife  
  

How the Philly saga started and how it “ended” (though likely it hasn’t ended…); I got you that marathon to make up for the shittiest half ever, Matty. 😘 

That day or two where your blog had ALL THE HITS!

Funny how it takes me questioning my validity in relationships to start seeing some real traffic on here! 😉  Thank you to all of my amazing friends close and far, young and old, long time or new, male or female, students or colleagues or classmates for chiming in with your advice, commiseration, or just general reassurance that I’m not batshit crazy…in this instance at least. 😋  Depression is a bitch, bipolar disorder (even the low-grade kind) is an even bigger bitch, and dealing with both sometimes makes me the biggest bitch of all (or some weird crazy dog lady bedroom hermit), but you all love me anyway. That’s mind boggling and definitely makes me feel all Wayne and Garth in the “We’re not worthy!” sense as opposed to the “Party on” sense. 

I still feel a little snarky, but have been assured that it’s normal and okay, even if I claim to be “over” this (Note: I am so over the marriage…it sucked ass by the end & male friends were stepping in to fill the role left empty by emotional distancing). I also have been told that I don’t need to worry or feel responsible for Clark’s well-being anymore. It will be weird to negotiate Indoor & Outdoor (shit, when’s the indoor mtg?), but I have Jenni & Steve to help me hold it together in Indoor and the best buffer, my boyfriend and partner in crime, mutual hater of people, and someone who also possesses a 5 year old level silliness, for Outdoor. Jay could feasibly launch Clark many feet, so if I’m ever REALLY annoyed… 😂 #clarkshot 

So thank you, commenters, Facebook messagers, and texters… I have a remarkable support system. Without some of you (one in particular who knows to whom I am referring), I never would have walked out. I’m better for having walked out. He’s better off without me. (Perhaps he’s the only ex who is more The Clarks “Better of without you,” [yes, that’s the band name!] than all “Exes and Ohs” about me.  [That is my new theme song by the way!]) Now I can only hope we both find authentic happiness…

Processing…

Did you ever have something happen that kind of put you mentally into a process much like the installing of updates on your computer? You feel like it just keeps going forever, when all you wanted to do was shut it down and turn it off. I kind of feel like that and I guess I have since Saturday.  On Saturday I was texted by my awesome friend Sarah with news I quickly confirmed by hopping onto Facebook; my still-not-quite-ex-husband is engaged…ALREADY… We’re not even 100% divorced in the sense that we still do not have the sealed decree which I need to get back to my oft missed maiden name. Many people have said things like, “it’s too soon…wow, that was quick…the ink hasn’t even dried on the divorce papers…I wonder if she’s pregnant…”  I’ll admit, I was a little surprised. I mean, I was expecting it to happen at Christmas, or New Years at the latest, but Halloween? Seriously? 22 days after the hearing?

My problem is, I don’t know if I’m really upset… I feel some strange sort of disrespected, I think. I would have thought for as much as he professed to love me, I wouldn’t be so quickly replaced. I mean, seriously, less than a month after the hearing? 

Perhaps the issue is that I also never (NEVER) plan to get remarried, so I don’t understand the desire to jump back into an institution that made me utterly miserable for a large portion of its duration. A friend raised a good point though, “he might be married more to the concept of marriage than the performance of marriage.”  I mean, while I had one engagement prior to ours, he is now on engagement number four…FOUR. I wholly think he is now the president of the multi-engagement club, and when friend compared him to Ross from “Friends,” I thought it all too appropriate. 

I guess my big question, aside from “do I want to slap him?” because I kind of want to slap him, is this, “am I replaceable?” I think that’s really the core issue for me; I feel disrespected by the quickness and easiness of him just hopping into another engagement, and I now am left to question my value as a partner in a relationship.

It definitely lends cred to my thoughts of just being a crazy dog lady.

End of the MP reds…

One would expect that at the end of something, you get the blues; however, when you’re a high school teacher, the end of the marking period often leaves you seeing red.

The reason why that occurs says a lot about who you are as a teacher; you’re either seeing all the red pen on that “make up” work you took this week and have to grade and put into the grade book within the next week or do or its a bit of figurative language to describe how angry you are.

If you’re the latter, you know the anger is two fold.

You’re angry at all the students who show up at coach class (today one even brought mom) to see what “make up” work they could do to bring up their grade. Children, is it not both in your syllabus (for which 85% or so of you brought in a sign off sheet indicating you read and would abide by the policies) and on two enormous posters that reside above the two doors to my classroom that I don’t do the make-up thing? Have I not stated and restated this edict? Regardless of how much I love you as a person, your need to have my class’ grade increased for parental expectations or coach expectations, even athletic eligibility, I am not relaxing my rule in week nine of a nine week marking period! Are you daft? I already wait until the last week to grade your journals & SSRs (thank God for my amazing coteacher’s help!) to give you max ability for points there. I modeled the assessment that’s your big quarter assessment grade before we started it. I don’t know what else I can do that doesn’t erase all sense of personal responsibility I am trying to instill in you. But you are children, so despite my exasperated sighs, directing you to read the door signs, checking your grade to make sure I’m not overlooking something, I can forgive you.

It’s those other people that irk my soul more deeply…

Teachers who have the same policy I do, but then relax it in the 11th hour to save yourself some upset students or parents, you all are doing the children no favors in the long run by caving and letting them do that assignment they slept through five weeks ago! They now think all rules are situational. So once you tell everyone to put their earbuds or headphones away and one kid looks at you with that smug “I know you don’t mean ME” smile, you created that battle. But seeing other teachers creating their own misery isn’t what makes me angry, it’s the fact that this type of behavior on your part is at least half of the reason I deal with red-inducing situation one!  YOU caving makes the kids think everyone will and then I have to be the bitch with principles.

Ugh…

Combine this nine-week ritual with yet another round of NDM festival of suck re: my dissertation proposal (Can you all just stop fucking around with me already?) and a shakey depression status and you have a recipe for me drinking an entire bottle of wine tonight.

On the positives:

County XC went pretty well, saw some PRs and decided to take one of my freshies to Regionals to try to take a whole boys team to States. Wish us luck.

Indoor could be really great this year.  I think I need to reach out and recruit a few more guerilla soldiers to assist in my revolution, but the troops are looking like quite a squad is on deck.

I still love my advisor. Ang, hate them, not you.

My intern from Loyola is fabulous. I’m looking forward to seeing her teach. We’re planning together this weekend.

I can run a marathon…supported training runs where you run for two Army soldiers at once & help a running group friend complete her first marathon are pretty sweet. It isn’t a story for Facebook, but it’s a story that proves the running gods do love me…in all my fabulous and immaculate slowness! Shirts & medals are nice, but they are not always the things you need to post to prove you’re tough enough to go the distance.

Jay’s out of the cast & in the boot!

And THIS… 🐶🐾

D day…again…kinda, but not quite

So when you decide you’re getting divorced, you think there will be one day when it feels OVER, but frankly, over a year into the process, I’m still not there.  Maybe when the piece of paper comes in the mail and I can go back to my name, I’ll feel like I can 100% go back to my life…or will it just be like the process has been, a drawn out realization that ending things is never as easy as you think it will be?

Allow me to explain…the definitive talk happened in late May of last year, I moved out in August of last year, then…We WAITED. This year we filed in August, had a court date set for our hearing, and today we went to that hearing, but we’re still not divorced yet. We have to wait three-four weeks for the official gold seal stamped divorce decree. Then we’re actually, finally divorced.

So, is that when it kicks in? Is that when I feel like this is done? Or will I always feel some odd lingering lack of closure because Clark and I run in similar circles and actually do like each other well enough to maintain a friendship?  You see, I can’t really cut him off until he moves away, I move away, or one of us quits coaching…I mean, not that I WANT to do that, but sometimes I feel like it’s the only way to make this feel “done.”

I guess I’m thinking too much about this because the depression monster crept back. Luckily, I have a shrink appt on Friday of next week, so I can pose the, “should we try new meds? I think we should try new meds.” thought. I also need to stop eating poorly and not exercising enough. The only positive health things I am doing are run-related. I’ve been lax on bike time and even worse on time in the water. That whole SIPE thing is my excuse, and it shouldn’t be. I need to get time in and figure out as much as I can, because I still want that 70.3 and probably next summer. I’m already planning my next marathons…ideally next year’s run races look like:

Love Run 13.1 in April, Pgh 26.2 & Frederick 13.1 in May, 10 miler in June, Baltimore 26.2 in October.

That would allow me to earn Corrigan’s King Crab. I’d love to get the B3, again, too, but we’ll see. King Crab is the run focus. I can do the half option in Pgh and Balt if I need to. I’m more likely to do that in Balt if I need to due to a 70.3 or deciding to do MCM next year and Balt the following year. I’m thinking as long as I do my bucket list marathons by the end of 2017 (my 5th year running), I’ll be happy.

I’m not sure what my tris will look like. If I can get past the SIPE & continue in the sport, I think I’m going to give up sprints for good and stick with Olys as my distance of choice. I like that distance way better. I think when push comes to shove, I’m a half marathoner and Oly distance triathlete. I’ll do the fulls because I want to do those specific ones, not because that’s my new deal. I’ll get my 70.3 at some point, but maybe only one and maybe never an IM, we’ll see.

Oh & I may do Ragnar DC w/ members of my 30:30 pack…which will likely turn into my twisting Justin’s arm to help me set up a Ragnar Adirondacks team in the future.

I just need to fucking figure out this depression, because this chunky bitch has some big plans, and junk food, sleeping all the time, and suicidal tendencies do not work well within my scheme.

As always, Mira helps. Since its been cooler, we have been walking more. Happy pup and happy mama for that 30 or so minutes.

Jay is dealing with his own shit because of his broken foot, so that’s just holding pattern flight right now in a sense.  I can’t deal with someone else’s shit when I’m not even dealing with my own. I love him, he knows it, but I’m a pile of fucked up at the moment, please hold until we can connect you to the next available good day Ang may have.

*sighs* Time to mix my Skratch for tomorrow…15 miles with the pack in my new kicks and inserts. Whoop whoop!  I’m am actually foam rolling my arch as I finish typing. I have high hopes for tomorrow. Next week I double leg the relay for broken Jay. I’m going to hope Andi will run 2-3 and I’ll do 3-4, so we can run some together. The following week, I may pace Polly at MCM for as long as I can. She’s coming off injury.

Thank you digital diary. My batshitness appreciates the outlet.

Why I still wear my ring…

So I have a friend going through a nasty-ass separation right now and being angry both with her and for her got me all sorts of fired up…then I drank a kombucha and ate some maple cream cookies and was able to chill out enough to become reflective. 

As I was reflecting on the differences from her separation to my own, I really thought about how “lucky” I am in my divorce process. I’ve been out for over a year, our hearing is in less than a month, and we haven’t had a screaming battle in all that time. I haven’t wanted to kill him; I don’t really “bad mouth” him. I’m happy to see him moving on, even if I worry about the speed and intensity with which he has done so, and I’m happy in my relationship, even when Jay drives me crazy! But despite the “ease” with which this last year plus has passed, it doesn’t negate all the pain that led up to the split. 

And THAT is why I still wear my engagement ring. 

That’s right; I still wear my engagement ring, nearly every day. I do not wear it on my ring finger; I wear it on the middle finger of my left hand. I never had it or my band sized for fear of finger swelling with pregnancy, so it fits perfectly on my middle finger. Some might see that as a “fuck you!” of sorts, and I guess in a lot of ways, that’s just what it is. 

It’s a “fuck you” to…

Doing something to “save” someone other than yourself (Stabbing Westward, we know, “I can’t even save myself!”)

Doing something to run away from what you’re afraid of or have been hurt by

Staying when you know you need to leave

Being physically, but not mentally or emotionally present

Feeling like the only recourse you had was to be miserable… To maintain an illusion…

Marriage as an entity. It is not a road I ever needed to go down and may never be one I revisit, because it’s left such a bad taste in my mouth. 

Letting “home” be so important that I looked for something that would tie me to it rather than take me from it

Living in anyone’s box or view or perspective. (He nailed it as far as it being uniquely me…and me being my own whole flavor of crazy still appreciates that.)

I wear it as a reminder that I can walk away when there’s nothing left, and I did.