It’s been a long time between posts. So sue me. Or even better, Sumy.
Isle du Bois is officially my favorite trail race. Out of the two I’ve done, I like this one best. My most favorite thing of all, the trail runners. There is a nicety about these runners that I don’t always see at the mega road marathons. My friend Peggy had her first fall and everyone around us stopped to make sure she was good to go before they moved along. The happy, happy, joy, joyness about these races makes me smile.
This was a tough race – lots of sand, hills, rocks, roots and leaves covering everything. The mental and physical endurance was refreshing. We felt strong. We are strong. It’s a nice feeling.
It was a great race for both of us and is definitely on my schedule for next year. And I LOVE the race shirt. I always get excited with the long sleeve bamboo shirts. I’m easy like that.
I ordered two pictures, these are fun.
I did not order the following, but I almost wish I had. SRA says it looks like I’m trying to give myself the heimlich maneuver. It just makes me laugh. I’m easy like that.
I’m loving the pops of color on the trails this time of year. I had a great trail run with Peggy this morning – we covered some new terrain and survived. We’re like trail running professionals now, I think. We are so ready for Isle du Bois.
My running friend, David, wrote a post the other day about how Facebook killed his blog. It’s true, micro-blogging as taken over the world. It only seems apropos since we are a fast food nation – and I am the first to admit, I do love the instant gratification. But sometimes I feel it would be nice not to be sandwiched between pop-up alerts, likes and comments. And/or sometimes, I might want to do both. Or maybe not. I’m the only one in charge right now – so I get to decide.
Today’s decision: eat less fast food, give better blog. Thank you, David.
Where to begin?
An old running friend I haven’t seen in many years, called me the other day so we could catch up (READ: she read my blog and freaked out.) I briefly summarized the last several years of my life and she kept expressing so much sadness for what’s happened to me. At first I was surprised by her sadness, but then I realized when one uses words and phrases like “real live mafia”, “guts ripped out”, “toxic bacteria”, “giant flames”, “suffocation”, “stupid cat”, “spiral of death” and “fucking asshat” it kind of makes the sadness obligatory.
I really should stop talking like that.
I kept assuring her that I was not sad and everything was okay and that Kenza is good. Times change. Things change. Yes, this week has been challenging – flat tires, new tires, electrical problems, leaking roof, hormonal teenager and unexpected attorney expenses all add an ungracious element of uncertainty that questions the confidence of doing this alone – but everything is good. And it really is okay. Especially when I have a pillow to muffle my own screaming.
Finally my friend asked if I was still running. I thanked the Baby Jesus for the LET’S STOP TALKING ABOUT MY SUCKY LIFE segue because YES I AM RUNNING and it feels fantastic. And it’s about stinking time. However, I’m not quite down to my hunting weight, so the antelopes are currently safe. Safe until I give up my wine calories. Which means the antelopes will live forever.
We weren’t hunting antelopes this morning, but Peggy and I were unusually fast and went further along the trail than I think we’ve ever recorded. It was nice. And fast. And beautiful. Almost like flying. And, surprisingly, like RUNNING and not so much like pushing an enormous baby out of your vagina.
These runs are what wonderful things are made from – sugar and sugar and cake and sugar and wine. With cheese and sugar on the side. All things which I plan to eat and drink after Isle du Bois in December. Then early next year, and I am quite certain I will regret this moment, I’ll be ready for another full, 26.2 marathon. But not the training part, so lets forget about that last bit and move along to other issues.
Internet People, because I know you sincerely care about this universally imperative issue, let’s talk about my hair. We all remember those horrible past several years when my hair fell out and broke off because of all the previous unspeakable crap. If you knew me then, you know what I’m talking about. But, we can put that behind us now because I HAVE HAIR which continues to repopulate itself like hair. Imagine that. It’s those little things, Internet People – trust me. And as much as I bitch about the I UNFORTUNATELY LOOK LIKE I WAS BORN IN TEXAS massiveness of its current state, it is nice to have it back to normal – despite this stupid hot and humid weather, which makes it grotesquely unmanageable 99.9 percent of the time. I have no clue what I’m going to do with it, but I’m just glad I can finally break up with the flat iron. (Many thanks to my Martini Twin and her wonderfully talented staff). I miss you guys.
Yeah, so most of you Internet people have already figured out that I’m getting divorced. I could go on but I’m going to have to leave it right there. Between the divorce and the massive upheaval that took more than two years of my life (that I’m not going to talk about because of the firing squad waiting for me on the other side of the front door if I talk about it), I felt as though my life was unraveling slowly and painfully at the seams. Between emotion and exhaustion, I was wresting a bear that kept telling me YOU. CANNOT. DO. THIS. And I wasn’t sure if I could. It was so hard. It is still hard. But you know what? At the end of it all, I beat the bear.
Kenza and I moved into a small house about six weeks ago. Moving didn’t go without its hiccups, but every time I’d turn around another friend was there to help. I just hope they can all feel the love right now because I am so grateful they are all a part of my life. Things are finally settling down and, as cliché as it sounds, this house feels like home. And moving from a home where escaping suffocation wasn’t an option – its relief to feel at home.
I know I cheated on y’all with another blog for a few years, but I’m back over here now. And hopefully I’ll stay here as I try and put the pieces of my life back into an organized fashion.
I’m not sure what to say, but my life is heading in a better direction now – although, I have absolutely no clue where I’m going. And holy mother of relief it is so wonderful to feel again. I was numb for so long. I still have much processing to do and of course, there is a lot of self-imposed therapy. On most nights, therapy consists of a sharp knife, a glass of wine and an introspective dinner on the patio. And sometimes it is walking in endless circles. But the therapy I look forward to the most is the therapy I get on my weekend trail runs with my good friend, Peggy.
We’ve encountered a lot of things on the trails, from running 18-miles off course to being chased by a pack of wild hogs – and just for good measure throw in a few rattlesnakes and just about a million other things in between. You learn to embrace those things and just roll with it and deal with whatever the next trail run throws at you – it’s the most excitement I get these days.
Now we are going to add a million and one into the mix.
We had a good pace today and intense therapy decompression threw us further into the woods than we normally go, and right before we got to a point where we are ready to turn back, we see four men who we think are poaching. A few seconds of inspection later we realize that these four men were not poaching, but doing something else all together. We saw four, grizzly men not poaching and not happy to be discovered while they were not poaching.
We flew by them so fast I’m not sure they had time to process what just happened. We weren’t able to stop. We really didn’t want to stop. We didn’t really know what to do and eventually we got to a point where we paused on the trail and came up with a plan. And the plan was to turn around and run back as fast as we could. Hopefully they were gone, but if not we figured we could outrun them. Three of the men were, um, huge and round and we knew we could outrun them, but one was tiny – he might catch us.
Nothing is more scary than thinking four men who are not poaching and surprised to be discovered not poaching might want to convince two cute trail runners of their true manliness in unconventional, non-poaching kind of ways.
While our plan to run like hell may not have been our brightest, we couldn’t stay in the middle of the woods forever. We had no phone and no mace. (I know and shut up.) We moved forward with the plan and we did pass them – they didn’t look very happy to see us again. We flew by and our plan to be not poached was successful. A bit later, we heard maniacal laughter and the sound of motorcycles. We expected they were gone.
Today we ran faster than the day we were chased by wild hogs. On the way home we noted a smell – a new smell. Now, during these running adventures over the past few years, we’ve pretty much experienced them all – a whole lot of stinky stink is the easiest way to put it. But today is also the first day I think we’ve ever smelled fear. It kind of smells like vomit and sweat mixed with a little urine and disinfectant. It is hard to explain but imagine the first breath you take after you’ve stepped into the geriatric wing of a hospital. Not good. Especially when you realize that smell is oozing from your own body.
One would expect we’d be scared out of our minds – and yes, we were especially as we were playing the “what could have happened” game through our heads, as we contemplated calling the police, and deciding what to do. In the end, we decided not to call the police. Instead, we leaned against the car and ate watermelon. The best damn watermelon you can ever imagine.
Another run, another story. On the ride home, I just smiled because it is so good to feel again.
(Sorry to those of you who thought this blog would turn into a lesbian panty party. Its just a divorce closet. Unless Rachel Maddow asks me to marry her – then we gotta have some talks.)
Peggy and I had a ten-mile trail run scheduled Sunday. We looked at the map, planned an easy out and back loop and the next morning we left at 6:30AM, found the parking area we were looking for on the first try and began our run with the temperatures of only 76 degrees. I actually thought it might snow because we haven’t seen less than 100 degrees in over two months.
It was fantastic. We were trail-running Goddesses. Until . . . we reached our turning around place and discovered we were already 1 hour and 45 minutes into our run. Uhhh, not really sure what happened there but considering I get lost backing out of the driveway I think we took a wrong split somehow and ended up going the long way. It’s an 18-mile trail with several shorter loops. I reckon we missed those loops because we ended up doing the whole freaking trail. Not that I’m complaining, but
- We didn’t bring water for 18 miles
- We didn’t fuel for 18 miles
- It was reaching 100 temps again and
- Four hours later we sat on the side of the road and pouted because not one single person we asked along the trail [and there were many] knew where they were either. And honestly, they really didn’t seem to care. A different breed these trail people.
Finally, I flagged down a cyclist who led us in the right direction. Turns out we were sitting on the side of the road panicking only about ¼ mile from our car. Although, after running for 18 miles, ¼ mile more seems like forever and during that foreverness, my stomach started to rumble. Rumble in the worst way.
And here is where we begin the disgusting part. About a month ago I started having really weird diarrhea – the kind that makes you seriously consider swallowing a bag of concrete. And not just regular diarrhea, diarrhea supplemented with yellow pus. (See, I told you it was disgusting.) I’m sorry, pus can come out of many orifices in the body, but when it starts coming out of your ass it’s time to call a doctor. Seven specimen containers and a week later [I’ll let you fill in the blanks] I discover my colon is the lucky host of a toxic-producing, deadly bacteria called Clostridium difficile. or C. Diff.
The most popular ways this bacteria can come into your life are like this:
- Antibiotics for other infections can kill the good bacteria and the bad bacteria, AKA c. difficile, take over – re: of which I took amoxicillin after a recent sinus infection.
- From hospital stays because c. difficile is resistant to most disinfectants commonly used in hospitals – re: hysterectomy and removal of giant tumors from my gut in April.
- From nursing homes or long-term care facilities for the same reason – re: 17 days of sitting with my grandmother in long-term care as she was dying last January.
So there we have it. It’s just all around ugly. And unpredictable. Now I’m on a horrible medication called metronidazole, of which the side effects include: rash, itch, flushing, fever, bloating, headache, dizziness, vomiting, dark urine, loss of appetite and paraesthesia. And guess what? I have all the side effects EXCEPT the loss of appetite one. I feel worse on this medication than I did without it. Not to mention how I feel when the wind blows some frack air this way. Oh, AND as a special bonus – no wine while on this medication. A girl just can’t win.
I’ve been able to manage running and my colon on short distances . . . but 18 miles? Lets get back to the rumbling. I threw my toxic-infected, rumbling gut into the hot, hot car – soaking wet, covered in dirt and salt, more tired than anything you can image – and then I couldn’t figure out how to find the potty area. Impending emergency and I saw the potty but somehow drove through the gates and passed them. Perhaps I was delirious. Anyhow, a little bit of speeding and an illegal U-turn later I ended up at a filling station just in time not to humiliate myself and save Peggy from what could have been a near life-altering experience.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because running an unplanned 18 miles on the trails, while residing in a toxic gas town, with a toxic-producing bacteriafied colon and toxic-side effecting medication, uphill both ways, in Texas heat, didn’t just earn me a dirt tan, I now own that dirt tan.
I think we might be ready for our half in September! Woo Hoo. Go us – even though we walked 6 of those miles – we finished 18 miles. La, la, la. Trail girls rule!