The Daily Grind

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I just wish I knew why

I wish I knew why things happen the way they do....
Or why people act and react the way they do....
If I did.....
it would help me reconcile the actions of so many people in my life
Why is it, it is so easy to praise one minute and belittle the next?

I don't want to fight.....
I don't want to sling mud......
I want to live happy..... free of anger and venom
Those traits get you nothing but pain and heartache.....
I just want to be happy
I want to be carefree
I want to laugh at the ridiculous things
Make fun of the silly and absurd things
Vent about the things that anger or sadden me.....
Without fear of it being regurgitated spitefully when life gets heated
Is that really too much to ask?

Sure we all get a upset..... We all get angry.... We all make mistakes
But it's how we deal with those issues and treat people during those times that
determines if we stay or flee to higher and safer ground....


I want peace.....

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wake up calls.....

No I am not talking about the type of wake up call you get to start your day when you are traveling. this wake up call was one of self reflection.... and in my opinion probably way over due.

Hard charging..... a simple 2 word phrase which has been used to describe me.
another 2 word phrase to describe me....Hard headed..... both are correct

Over a month ago I was standing in my kitchen and I suddenly collapsed.... in front of my kids.....with no other adult home.....

To say I scared the crap out of them would be an understatement. I was lucky my kids knew just want to do and sprang into action calling my husband and getting 911 to the house to help.

I was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where I had no less than a bazillion tests run, needles stuck in me and x-rays taken and 20,000 questions asked.

The end result.... no reason for the collapse. My fluids were fine, my chest was fine, my blood work was ok... there was a sign of infection but not one of significance and no known cause.

Bottom line diagnosis...... exhaustion.....fatigue....stress..... and a possible unknown illness. Oh and lets not forget the goose egg to my head and massive concussion and crack from striking the granite counter top with great force of which I am still trying to recover from, apparently large trees such as myself fall hard!

I was told I would need to go through a battery of more tests to determine, if my heart was ok, if my sugars, were right,if I had had a seizure or  if there was a mass in my head... the list goes on and on....

I was told to take a week off, rest regroup... relax..

None of these things I do well and it is not until I am pushed to the brink that I finally take heed. Physically I push myself to the limit, mentally I push myself to the limit, and emotionally I push myself to the limit. The difference is I usually only focus on one of those limit pushing activities at a time. This time life was a perfect storm and my body said enough already!

I have some health issues I am addressing instead of burying my head in the sand  and being much more proactive in light of what has happened last month and in the last year. I've slowed down a bit and given myself a break, I won't say its easy and I won't tell you I am enjoying it. However, I don't ever want to see the fear that I saw in my older 2 kids eyes when they were wheeling me out of the house on a stretcher. Life's to short and I need to be there for all of them... my life revolves around them and their happiness and no job, or stress or emotional baggage, or physical achievement is worth risking being here for them.

So my wake call was heard and answered though I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to slam the phone down and get back to me.....


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Music Music and More Music

I love Music....

I love to sing and dance (when I am alone)

I love to feel he beat of the music

I love to listen to the lyrics

I simply love music.

I sing like a mad woman in my car to and from work

I sing in the house when I know on one is there to catch me


I play songs over and over to feel the music to understand the lyrics and what they are meant to say

I'm into all kinds of music

My ipod on shuffle woudl give some folks whip lash

My kids love to sing with me, it is not unusal to see my car wizing by with at least one person in it singing.

We all love music!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

10% Happier.....

Couldn't we all use 10% more happiness???

Recently while I had some down time I saw a segment by Dan Harris of ABC News on his new book 10% happier....

The segment did what it was intended to do in that it sold me on the idea I needed to read this book.

In the segments on the book there was reference to meditation. I for one was not one who you would ever find meditating. I can't slow down to go to the bathroom let alone sit and meditate. I am always telling myself there is something that needs to get done or something I need to think about or plan. So while I was interested in the book I was afraid I would tire of it if it was going to have my sitting crossed legged, burning incense and chanting.

The book was a quick read and I devoured it in 2 days... a record for me but then it did help that I had a lot of time on my hands :) (that's for another post)

I found I was able to so identify with Harris's inner voice that he spoke of  that it was almost scary, however it was also intriguing. I was certainly at a point where I could use a little more happiness (can't we all?).

As I read the book I realized that I too had a voice in my head, and no I don't mean crazy voices,  and it was occupying a little more time and space than she  truly deserved. The nagging little voice causes me to over think, over strategize and be just plain over the top about stuff!!

Don't get me wrong if you have read other posts of mine, you know that I blame a lot of my drive on the fact that I was always trying to please. I still believe that to be true but I also now believe that the inner voice in my head, lets call her Wanda, likes to take my pleasing desire and kick it p to another level.

Why on earth would I fret over what was said in a meeting and how I should interrupt it, or worry that if I make a mistake I will be fired or here's a good one, what my house looks like when the cleaning people come? Why???? because Wanda was there helping me to go through every possible scenario and some that were far fetched in an effort to be in control and plan out my next move. It was causing me to be a bit frantic and ridged abut even the little stuff. No Bueno!!!!!

Wanda has clearly been working overtime in my life for quite sometime and it was time to shut her down or at least tame her a bit.

So I continued to read the book, I learned about meditation and  I let Harris take me on his journey, letting

him try the different techniques out. Some were far fetched and absurd, others made sense. So I kept reading and reading and reading.

What I found is that I was willing to try this medication thing, to allow me time to kick Wanda out for a bit and just let things be still.

I started with 5 mins, I should say I struggled through 5 minutes. Then I worked my way to 8 then to 10 and then to 12 and now I sit at 15 min. 15 min may not seem like a lot and I certainly didn't think it was until I had to sit still and only focus on my breath and then actually refocus when my mind started to wander back to life or Wanda and her craziness.

What I found though as I did this each day is that it calmed me down a bit, it allowed me to stop and be in the moment and be mindful of what I was doing instead of going through the motions in an effort to get to the next task.

I, like Harris, will tell you it is not a cure all and I still do a will struggle with my need to please and my friend Wanda who sends that over the top, but I am more aware of the need to be still and be in the moment and that is something that has not been there in a really long time.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

12 years ago today....

12 years ago today I was sitting in a hospital room unsure of what the next several hours would hold. I was praying that that you would arrive healthy and that I would be able to deliver you with little to no complication.

Your arrival was one of the greatest moments of my life... your arrival meant I was a mother, it was then and there I understood unconditional love... the type of love that would make me lay my life down for yours in the blink of an eye.

You have taught me so much over the years, your zest for life and your quirkiness bring a smile to my face each day. Your determination to conquer your short comings inspires me. Your huge heart and kindness towards people melts my heart.

I have been so very blessed to call you daughter and I look forward to all the years to come as you grow and blossom into a young woman. I pray that I am able to be there every step of the way and that your zest, persistence and big heart guide you to great things!

I love you my sweet girl,
Love Mom

Saturday, March 29, 2014

You Lied......


You said you cared about me yet your actions showed me otherwise....

You broke me down and built me up time and time again...

You said you would always be there no matter what...

You broke my spirit ...

You took my trust.....

You robbed me ....

Yet I took the abuse..

I allowed myself to be broken....

I was too weak to stand up but too scared to give up....

I will carry you with me forever, though I am not sure how....


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Disney Glass Slipper Challenge

In February I ran in my second Princess Half Marathon at Disney World! While I would have likes to have been a bit more physically prepared I knew going into the race that I was not planning to run for a time or a coveted PR. Instead I wanted to run and have fun.... and trust me fun was had!

This was the first year for the Glass Slipper Challenge, if you are not familiar with Run Disney they host several races per year in both Fl and CA. Over the years Run Disney has added twists and turns that only Disney could by having races such as the Disney Wine and Dine, The Coast to Coast challenge, where you run a race on each coast within a year and the Disney Marathon weekend where  if you are truly looking for the ultimate running challenge you can run all the races that weekend and be deemed Dopey or run the Half and the full marathon and be deemed goofy!

The Glass Slipper Challenge was just that a challenge, on Saturday you warm up with a nice 10k jog around Epcot and its back lots. Sunday you take on the Half Marathon and once both races are complete you are awarded with a spectacular Glass Slipper Medal.

So yes I was one of the many thousands of ladies (and yes men too) who decided this was the challenge for me. I was totally intimidated by the idea of running 19.3 miles in 2 days considering I have only run 13.1 as my farthest distance and usually after that I am spent for a week :)

I arrived at the Land of the Mouse on Friday and headed straight to the Princess expo to pick up my running bib and shirts and of course do some my needed process shopping. Typically the Expo is packed and Friday was no exception. I was greeted by Cinderellas footmen and stolid the expo drinking a light beer form my pink Run Disney cup!

Races at Disney are early ....Very Early! the goal is to beat the hear and get the parks open for all the other non running guests. So at 4:00am on Saturday I was up and getting geared up in my Disney running costume (this is optional but highly encouraged) for the 10k I decided Minnie Mouse was my  desired persona for the the race. My coral was sent off for our 6.2 mile adventure by Cinderella's Fairy God mother, who I would see the next day. I glided through the miles stopping to take photos with toy soldiers, Pocahontas, and goofy. I was done with my race and back in my hotel room by 815am. A nap was in order.

After a good 3 hour slumber I headed to Epcot to walk around and sample a few adult beverages in the world showcase. I was hit by a deluge of rain in several countries but I didn't let that stop me from experiencing Epcot.

I had another early wake up and much longer race to get ready for so I headed back to to the hotel to get some much needed princess running beauty sleep.

Sunday morning 4:00am came way before I would  have liked it to but nonetheless it was time to get my process on and claim the glass slipper medal as mine. I again dressed for the occasion and donned my best attempt at Cinderella. The bus ride to the start started my mind racing with thoughts of what the heck am I doing? Why did I think this was a good idea in July when I signed up? Will I really make it? Before I new it was in my coral with all my other princess friends and we were off. I again stopped many time for photo ops with handsome footmen, Mary Poppins, Pirates of the Caribbean, Elastic girl and many more friends during my 13. 1 mile journey (I believe every race is a journey). I had a blast and was floating after the finish I was hard pressed to tell you I had just run 13.1 miles.

I collected my medals and headed to the bag check pick up where I was greeted by cheers and many congratulations Princess comments.

I had done it I had achieved my goal and I couldn't have been happier! I will mostly certainly be back next year but this time I hope to have some running friends with me to make the experience even more exciting.

Here is a little slide show of my adventure :)


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Monday, March 24, 2014

Hiatus

During my Hiatus I have written a ton... some meant for public prying eyes some not. Sadly there is

no way to block blogger so its either all or nothing. So I am going with the all approach over the next several days I will post some of the writings of the past couple of months. I will then continue on as I have been contacted by many of you in the bloggy world who have told me my stories  are stories you can relate to... honestly that along with getting my feelings out the best way I can was the reason I really got into blogging.

So stay tuned more to come first up I think will be my Disney Glass Slipper Wrap up...

Friday, March 21, 2014

back in business???

Being asked to guest blog so I guess I need to open back up to the world....
Stay Tuned.....

Friday, February 7, 2014

Lessons For My Daughters:


1. You are much more vulnerable than you ever imagined.
2. You can feel alone in the most familiar of crowds and yet, you can feel comforted with kind words from a stranger who has walked in your shoes.
3. You can start laughing in the middle of crying, and cry in the midst of laughter. Both are okay.
4. Time does heal a wound, but the scar--though it may fade--will be there forever and may twinge on gloomy days.
5. Suffering can make you bend until you break. Love, faith and hope can eventually mend the pieces back together if you let them.
6. Fun, laughter, singing, dancing, a good book or movie can be a non-addictive painkiller or sedative to help you cope.
7. There is always someone who has it worse and there is always at least one thing to be grateful for.
8. Your true friends will love you when your sad, traumatized, despondent and in crisis mode. They will be there for you when and however you need them; when you are ready. And you will be there for them.
9. You can only do your best.
10. You are so much stronger than you ever imagined.

I love my daughters more than life itself. I will spend the rest of my days loving them and trying to make sure they are happy, all the while trying to spare them from life’s pain and hardships. I will only succeed at loving them though I'm afraid.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The time has come.....

I am making this blog private if you choose to continue to see this blog you will need to leave your email in the comments or inbox me your email address so I can add you to the approved list.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Let it go......

The wind is howling
Like this swirling storm inside
Couldn't keep it in
Heaven knows I've tried

Don't let them in, don't let them see
Be the good girl you always had to be
Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know
Well, now they know

Saturday, January 11, 2014

My 2014 horoscope .....

LEO – The Lion (July 23 to August 22)
Great talker. Attractive and passionate. Laid back. Usually happy but when unhappy tend to be grouchy and childish. A Leo’s problem becomes everyone’s problem. Most Leos are very predictable and tend to be monotonous. Knows how to have fun. Is really good at almost anything. Great kisser. Very predictable. Outgoing. Down to earth. Addictive. Attractive. Loud. Loves being in long relationships. Talkative. Not one to mess with. Rare to find. Good when found.


Don't know that I agree with all but some things are spot on .....

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

4 years ago today......

4 years ago today I realized for the first time in my adult life that I truly could do anything I set my mind to.... because of that day I have set goals and achieved them without self-doubt and sabotage from others.

See 4 years ago today I ran my first Half Marathon....now I am sure you are asking yourself how could a running race have such a profound effect on you??

Well it wasn't just the race... it was the journey there....

4 years ago I was at one of my lowest lows in life... the work project I had poured my heart and soul into was canceled...my complicated, abusive and controlling relationship with my mother was at an all-time peak on the crazy scale... I was trying to bounce back from a bout of postpartum depression... my marriage was in shambles...I was trying to adjust to  life with 3 kids the youngest being 4 months.... oh and I was prepping for a half marathon.....

At the time I didn't fully understand the colossal shit storm I was in the middle of...I just doing what I do best dealing...

Work - I looked for things to do volunteered for any and everything I could and kept my fingers crossed I added value and would not be fired.

Mom- I held her at arm’s length dealt with the outbursts and crazy one day at a time and prayed she would never find out what was really going on in my life for fear she would make it unbearable and potential way worse than it was

Depression- really this was the least taxing on me because I had been here before and I knew my body and mind and tried very hard to keep a balance... looking back I could and should have asked for help instead of relaying only on medication and myself...

Marriage- The worst possible betrayal occurred and was exposed in the ugliest way possible....

3 kids- kids the ages of 7, 5 and 4 months..... Are there really any words needed to describe this chaos? :)

Half Marathon- I decided to commit myself to this event when times were "good" I did so for 2 reasons 1) it would push me to get back in shape after baby #3 2) in an ever so kind way I was challenged to by being told you aren't a real runner till you do a half... that comment was never meant to insult me but more to push me outside of my boundaries something I had not been comfortable doing but certainly had within me.

Out of all the things going on in my life I could have easily and understandably chosen to bag the half and work on the other issues.

I don't do things the easy way.... never have and more than likely never will...

I continued on my half marathon journey... my training was in some respects my therapy it let me be alone with my thoughts for hours on end... it allowed me to think and it allowed me to wallow. I recall one run where I set out and seemed to have a decent pace, I let my head wander to the chaos in my life and at some point I ended up hyperventilating and tears were streaming down my face. I had to stop... I couldn't go on running and I ended up walking back 3 miles to get home. Also during my training I ended up with shin splints, now I realize it was because I was pushing too much and too fast. I was counseled by my running partner to curtail my long runs in order to ensure I could run on race day..... that TERRIFIED me. Up until that point my longest run ever was 8 miles. I had to run 13.1 miles how on earth could I do that if I couldn't do long runs anymore?

With 2 weeks to go panic and fear set in. I knew I was not going to finish this race... I was a fool for thinking I could...I doubted myself in every way possible. I was setting myself up for failure as I had numerous other times in my life.

Race day came... I was in FL for the annual Disney Marathon weekend... FL.... warm right??? No anything but, it was a bitter cold 32 degrees and sleeting at the start of the race.... this did nothing to boost my confidence. My race partner assured me I would do fine and said "this is now an epic race for you"

2 hours and 36 minutes later I crossed the finish line; I cried like a baby and couldn't believe what I had just done. It took me months, maybe even a year to realize my accomplishment was more than just running the race. It was my determination to step outside my comfort zone and accomplish something... I didn't play it safe....and I did so at a time in my life that made it that much more of an accomplishment.


So cheers to my epic race 4 years ago where I finally proved to myself I am strong and I CAN do anything I set my mind to.






Sunday, January 5, 2014

Pumpkin Dump Cake

Years ago I wrote a post about Chocolate Cherry Dump cake. It was one of the first recipes I found and tried from my blogging reading. It was also one of the first posts I did that got a lot of response. The cake was awesome and has been a bit of a staple in the Whalen house over the years.


Today I branched out and tried a different Dump Cake recipe. The idea came from my neighbor who had tried her hand at this cake but ended up bombing (yes she knows she did :) ) When I asked her what all was in it I thought hmmm.... I have all those ingredients and I certainly need to use the Libby's pumpkin pack I bought since I didn't need it for Thanksgiving.

The prep is super easy as are the ingredients. Below is a picture of the one I made today as well as the recipe. Enjoy!!!

PUMPKIN DUMP CAKE
1 (29 oz.) can pumpkin
1 c. sugar
1 (13 oz.) can evaporated milk
3 eggs
4 tsp. pumpkin pie spices
1/2 tsp. salt
1 box yellow cake mix
1 1/2 cubes (3/4 c.) butter, melted
1 c. pecans, chopped
Combine pumpkin, sugar, evaporated milk, eggs, pumpkin pie spices and salt in mixing bowl. Beat well. Pour into greased and floured 9 x 13 inch glass pan. Sprinkle cake mix over pumpkin mixture, then sprinkle on the pecans. Pour melted butter over all.Bake at 350°F for 50 to 60 minutes until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Watch closely at end. Burns easily.Serves 12 to 15.


Friday, January 3, 2014

2013—A Year in review…..


2013 was a year that I am happy to put in my rear view mirror. It was filled with more downs than ups but interesting nonetheless.

Let’s start with saying I am still in awe of the fact I have 3 kids all of whom are happy, healthy and well adjusted. Its seems that this year more than most they all have made huge leaps physically and developmentally. I look at all of them as my greatest treasure and can’t imagine a world without them in it. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be blessed with such precious gifts.

For me 2013 was a continuation of an exploration of me… this journey is one that has shown me my strengths my weaknesses and my ability to move forward.

So here is a little recap by month of all that transpired in 2013

 January ---

·        We went on our first ever Cruise over the Christmas 2012 holiday and it is safe to say we are all hooked

·        Lauren had her braces put on
February---

·        Lauren had her first (and last) trombone concert.
March---

·        Lauren turned 11

·        We went on our 2nd cruise and had even more fun! That is once we finally got to the boat after the train ride from hell!!!

·        I got to see P!nk live on the floor at Verizon center

·        We had an awesome Easter visit to Albany with the Lanzoni’s
April---

·        We  had opening day for baseball and Jackson first stint in the Pioneer Minors league

·        Sadly the events of the Boston Marathon occurred but it sparked Lauren to run with me more in support of those lost.
May ---

·        Lauren was the singing Chair in her school play and she ran her 4th 5k for the girls on the run program!

·        My girl Kirsten turn 40 and we celebrated at the Kenny Chesney concert! (welcome to the club girl)

June---

·        Baseball games at Nats park

·        A health scare for me

·        Lauren’s first sleep away soccer camp

·        Dive and swim Season at Highland Park

·        Dan started his fulltime PhD program

July---

·        My annual girls weekend with Kirsten and the scare of our lives which now is freaking hilarious to us

·        Stepped up my running in prep for a half marathon later in the year

·        Jackson went to his first sleep away camp for baseball at the Naval academy

August---

·        I made it to the ripe old age of 41!

·        We made our annual pilgrimage to LBI as a family for beach week

·        Jackson turns 9 last year of single digits

·        Izzy turns 4 (still not sure how this is possible because she was just born yesterday)

September ---

·        Izzy started all day Preschool

·        Lauren is in her last year of Elementary school and Jackson going into 4th grade

·        Dan and I went to the 1st Redskin’s game and I was able to get on the field pregame and see my old buddy Keith in his coaching debut

October---

·        Federal Government shuts down for 10 days canceling my Half Marathon

·        Ran an 8k with my girlfriend Leslie

·        Jackson took his first trip to the Kennedy center

November---

·        Ran the Wilson Bridge Half marathon with my 3rd fastest time ever and my 7th half

·        Hosted Thanksgiving for the entire Whalen clan

·        Saw P!nk again at Verizon!!!

·        Added 2 new additions to our family Wyatt and Murphy our new puppies

December---

·        Letters to Santa and they were answered (thanks kind mail person)

·        Izzy made her theatrical debut  as Mary in the Christmas pageant at preschool


All in all a great year for the family! Here is to an even better 2014 filled with love laughter and new challenges!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The highs the lows and the in betweens......

The title is a pretty good sumation of what life is don't you think?

One might also call them Peaks and Valleys....

Whatever you call it, the jouirney will be emotional, will be filled with happiness, will be filled with sorrow and will filled with just blah.

How we navigate the highs, lows and inbetweens shapes us and in some ways defines us.

But what hapens when you are tired of the definition?

What happens when you want to shed that shape and take on a new one ... a new and improved one?

Old habits die hard and it takes a strong inner self to make change.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bikram yoga

So I am usually good for anything once... however it will sometimes take me a while to get to the doing it once part.

I was encouraged by some coworkers to participate in a Bikram Yoga class, for those of you who don't know this is the practice of yoga in a studio where the studio temperature is 105 degrees. It is a 90 min session which takes you through 26 postures or poses.


Now you are asking yourself why on earth would anyone do this? I thought the same thing, there doesn't sound liked there is anything please let alone calming about sweating in a hot room for 90mins. I was so wrong!!!

So I attended a Monday night class with 2 work colleagues not knowing what to expect and certain I would not make it through the whole session.

I stepped into the room and didn't find it to me as hot as I thought it would be, that changed when the instructor arrived and pumped up the heat. I was in the back of  the room so I could watch others and gain an understanding of each pose. I was surprised by how challenging some of the poses were and encouraged by my ability to do other rather well.

About 3/4 of  the way through I started to feel as though I was waining and wouldn't make it, but we moved on to some other poses which allowed my body to rest a bit and I held on to the end.

After the class I met my colleagues in the lobby and told them I thought I was hooked. It was by far one of the hardest workouts I have had in a long time and the amount of sweat was cleansing in an odd way.

I drove home feeling somewhat like a noodle, I got home showered and was asleep within 2 minutes of my head hitting the pillow.

I have since tried another studio and I was not nearly as impressed as the instructor was snarky and a bit condescending and too touchy for my taste. I did however get another great workout but it wasn't as great or as relaxing as the first.

So if you are interested in Bikram (Hot) Yoga I highly recommend it. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids the day of class, your body will thank you for it.

Namaste!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I have a thing for poop

Don't ask me why I can't explain it but for some reason I find poop funny .... Actually I have had whole conversations that focus solely on poop.

Let's face it ...it is something we all do....most of us daily so how could it not be a large topic of conversation?


 

I think it starts from a very early age, from the time we are babies we have people examining our poop. I remember when the kids were young and in diapers, I had names for the different types of poop gifts my precious babies would leave for me. There was the BB gun poop-- you know the poop that looks like little BBs there was the runny lava poop-- that would be the poop that while you were changing the diaper would keep coming like molten lava. And then of course there was the clean poop-- that was poop that came out perfectly shaped and didn't to baby's butt and almost made you think you didn't have to baby wipe that bottom (no worries I always did)

As we get older our moms ask us on a some what regular basis if we have pooped recently. I myself remember being a kid and having my mom ask at what I am sure was an inappropriate time if I had poop and if so when was the last time.. This I would later learn being a mom myself ,is how we moms who no longer change diapers but don't necessarily see their little love bugs go into the bathroom, know that our kids are staying somewhat regular. I took it a step further with my kids  and asked what the poop was like (hard, soft ,dark, light or runny). They looked at me as if I was crazy and I was like "oh please don't tell me you don't look at it before you flush cause everyone does":)

Then as you get older their is your own poop and the poop of others in the environments in which you need to share facilities. Specifically offices, homes and as guest in homes of people you know.

Let me be the first to admit I have poop stage fright..... that is if I am in a unfamiliar place or there will be a lot of inhabitants to the bathroom I immediately lock up. No poop will pass... At all, this as you can guess posses a problem and an uncomfortable one at that! I have gotten better over the years but I have to say it is like giving birth to a small child once my bowels realize enough is enough or when they realize we are within 10 miles of my own personal porcelain thrown.

The office poop is a dance of sorts. Personally, I try to time it when there is no one there or in between bathroom patron visits.  I choose the stall furthest from the door and I do not courtesy flush (I also don't linger so a courtesy flush is usually not needed). Over the years and many visits to the bathroom and supervising the bathroom visits of others I have gained a trained ear which can almost 100% nail the various versions of poop that are making their splash. I won't bore you with all the names I have come up with over the years but there have been some doozies.

I amsure as I get older a whole new chapter of old age poop will emerge but for now I am happy with my middle age only knowledge of the subject.

Happy flushing!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Race day …always a journey...

Anyone who has ever partaken in a road race knows that it is a journey. Some journeys such as a 5k are short others like a marathon are long. As with any journey you try to prepare to make the trip as smooth as possible.

Yesterday I ran my 7th Half Marathon! I didn't prepare as well as I could have but I am happy with my performance and I am contemplating the Marathon.

However yesterday was the first time I actually took in each mile and remembered each mile, though some miles I would like to forget.

It was the Wilson Bridge Half which I have run before, as a matter of fact the last time was Oct 2010 which was not long after my mom died. I remember that race because I ended up with Bronchitis that was diagnosed 4 days before the race, a race I really should not have run. My time was not far off from my very first Half just 10 months prior so I was actually very happy with my performance.

Yesterdays race was perfect for me, early morning, small event and along my hometowns historic GW Parkway on a great fall day. Prior to the race I met up with a couple of friends and chit chatted as we waited for the start.

The gun went off at 7am and we were off. the first mile went by in a flash and when my Nike plus clocked me at 9:30 per mile I knew I needed to slow my pace if I was going to have any gas left for the end of the race. Mile 2 came and I was still at the same 9:30 pace, yet I felt like I had indeed slowed my pace and I still felt good. So I let my body be my guide. Mile 3 came and went and at mile 4 I started to feel a little warm so I ditched my dollar store gloves. In doing so I gained a little burst of energy from the chill in the air on my hands. By mile 5 I was in a groove and rocking a 10:06 per mile pace quite honestly one of the best 5 miles splits I have ever had.

My tunes were cranking and I was feeling good though my head was starting to get too hot so I ditched my ear muffs and tucked them into the back/butt part of my running tights. To those running behind me I promise while I do "have back" I don't' have that much!!!

By miles 7- 8 I was starting to feel my body slow but still felt strong and thought I was on pace to have a PR (personal record). I unfortunately missed the stop where they were giving out energy shots as I know I certainly could have used it at this point, however it would not have done much to help my legs later on.

I crossed the bridge which most don't realize has a slight incline along with the cross wind. It was a great view and I was brought back to the first time I did this race and the emotional pain and wheezing I was experiencing at this point. No pain or wheezing this time I was going strong.

Then the dreaded mile 10 came and with that the wheels feel off my bus. I knew I was nearing the finish but my legs did not have the strength they needed to concur the last 3 miles or the monster hill which was still to come.

I ended up walking off and on to help my legs make it the next 3 miles. I felt a bit beat down as I had had such a strong race to this point. I tried as hard as I could to try and keep to at least a jog but my legs told me otherwise and I started to beat myself  up for all those mornings I rolled over and didn't get out of bed to go for a training run. It was also about this time that I started to say in my head "fuck the Marathon dreams there is no way"

Mile 11 came and with it came a monster hill it was as if the running gods were saying "in your eye Whalen we are going to break you" Again a walk run style and on to mile 12. At mile 12 my head told my legs "we can do this just one mile kick it in gear sister" The last mile is always the toughest part of a race for me as it seems that mile is 3 miles instead of one. As I do in most races I took off my headphones and let the cheers form the crowd carry me in.

I happened to be wearing a 2013 Boston Marathon shirt and the cheers of "Go Boston" and "Boston Strong" were awesome and just the push I needed to get me to the end. Then I heard "Mommy" it was Lauren along with Jackson and Izzy and 2 of the kids friends cheering me on. I high fived them and sprinted to the finish.

The range of emotions that day was strong. I was nervous at the start, confident in the beginning, doubtful in the middle, remorseful towards the end and elated at the finish.

I ran a good race a strong 2:25 for 13.1 miles. My 3rd best half ever and certainly not my last.

I am still contemplating the Marathon, but I don't know if it will be here in DC like I had hoped. The one I was looking at has a 5:30 time limit and I think that is cutting it a little to close for me. So I will seek out another cold weather race and see where the training takes me.