Friday, April 1, 2011

Say La Vee

I was a French major in college. I have nothing to show for it except for some memories of almost getting arrested in Paris for jumping the turnstile at the Metro without paying. I can also still order a “cafĂ© au lait et pain au chocolat” at Whole Foods.

One thing that has stuck with me, though, is the phrase “C’est la Vie.” So simple and poignant. “That’ s life.” 

I wish I had learned earlier that when faced with challenges and adversity, we have choices. We can resist or accept. We can wallow in the negative, or we can make the best of what is before us. So much of our suffering comes from continuing to resist what is. We get caught up in the victim mode, telling ourselves, “It’s not fair. I don’t deserve this” or we beat ourselves up, “I should have known better. I should have done better.” Fact is, life does not move in a straight and perfect line. It is messy and painful and wonderful and curious.  The joys don’t come from having it all and it all being perfect. The joys come from learning how to be present enough in our lives so that we don’t wish to be somewhere else. So that we see and appreciate what and who is around us, even when it’s broken and imperfect.

And, here’s a little secret. No one has the perfect life. We are all struggling in our own ways.

Yesterday was a good lesson in letting go, of being able to say “C’est la vie.”

Let me bore you again and tell you that since I can’t run much, I’m  cross-training to get in hours of endurance activity without impact. I have been promised this will help me run the Boston Marathon “to complete not compete.”

Yesterday’s plan was to cycle for three hours. I mapped out my course, estimating that I could do about 50 miles in three hours without totally killing myself.  I got my fuel ready:

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I prayed my 20 year old bike could take me the distance, one more time. Yes, I have only one water bottle cage. I am a loser. Or just really tough. Water’s over rated.

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I even paid a few friends (Ironman types) to ride with me for an hour or two.

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I had a parting shot with the dead squirrel we found in the yard.

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And we were off.

The first hour flew by. It was warm, sunny, slightly breezy. Suddenly, a few powerful gusts of wind made themselves known. Before friends Leigh and Mark headed for home Leigh warned me : “Seriously, dude, you weigh like 30 pounds. Do not get thrown off your bike by the wind.” I laughed, thinking it was funny, not reality.

I was almost to Boulder when the freaking wind started provoking me, trying to kick my ass. By this time I was riding right along the foothills and was getting hammered. I was almost thrown off my bike into the road several times. A few times I thought, “No eff’ing way. I haven’t come this far to get thrown off my bike and not be able to run Boston.” (…and leave my kids motherless).

I veered away from the foothills and with the wind at my back started flying. As in 30 mph with no effort whatsoever. Problem with that picture was I noticed cyclists coming the other way struggling, crying, having tantrums, shitting themselves and and passing out.

Yeah, 30 mph had nothing to do with me being a stud and everything to do with the wind propelling my ass forward.

I knew once I hit the turn around point at 25 miles I was going to be in serious trouble. I would be riding into the wind almost the whole way home. And the wind had started gusting upwards of 40 mph.

At the turn around  I ate a PB & J and took in the view of Boulder. I sighed as I got ready to head into the relentless blowing. TWSS.

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It sucked. At first I almost didn’t mind how much it sucked because I knew that the resistance was giving me prime training. What pissed me off was I was going about 4 mph and I continued to struggle to not be thrown into a ditch. I continued on.

You know when you are running or biking and the flags look like this and you can hear them whipping, you are in trouble.

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My plan was to be out there for 3 hours. I was coming up on 2.5. I was tired of fighting to stay on the road and tired of battling the wind. I still had 15 miles to go. There was a moment where I stopped resisting and chose to accept. Screw it. I called Ken and asked for a pussy pick-up. He didn’t even mock me. He just made me ride in the way back.

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I’m okay with it, I guess. I hate giving up more than anything. Except being flung into a ditch and dying. 35 miles is still 35 miles.

Sometimes our best laid plans get laid to rest before we can take them to fruition. C’est la vie. It was still a damn good workout. And, yes, let’s put it into perspective. There are worse things in life than a windy bike ride.

Ever request a pussy pickup during a ride or run? It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

What are you resisting today?

Yes, my vagina is still intact,

SUAR

54 comments:

  1. Yes, yes I have. And ultimately a pussy - I had my first eight mile run on tap for last Sunday. I made it three miles. To the Starbucks, actually. Stopped and called my hubby and said "I'm a pussy. Come get me."

    I have no defense. It doesn't matter that I had a cold and it was 22F out. I'm just a pussy.

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  2. Old lady tri-ingApril 1, 2011 at 6:59 AM

    Que sera sera. I did have a pussy pick up on a bike ride -after I actually was blown over into the road. Scared the crap out of me.

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  3. Never had to call for a ride, but I did once have to stop random strangers who were walking into their house so I could ask for first aid supplies. Because I'd face-planted on their sidewalk and was bleeding all over the place. It sucked.

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  4. Was a French major in college. So not the only one to jump turnstiles in Paris to avoid paying.

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  5. I had a breakdown on a run once and called my husband to come pick me up. I know exactly how you feel, but I also know, you couldn't have gone any further. Sometimes backing off is the smartest thing to do! Sounds like you had the intensity of a 3 hour bike ride, so I wouldn't worry!

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  6. It sounds like it was a killer workout anyways, and I don't blame you one bit for calling for the pickup. It's not like you're training for an ironman. Just cross training.

    I haven't needed a pussy pick up yet, but it's not because I'm tough. It's because I'm new enough to this that I haven't ventured that far from home yet.

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  7. Wind.. If I even try to ride my tri bike in 15 mph winds I literally get blown sideways! It scares the hell out of me and I have ALWAYS given up, turned around and gone home. I PRAY TO GOD we don't see a windy ride come our half IM!!!

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  8. Dang, I probably wouldn't have lasted ten minutes.
    I call for rides all the time. I don't feel ashamed because if anyone gives me crap I just ask them who was the one running and who was the one sitting on the couch...

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  9. Note my pussy pick up of yesterday. For far less compelling reasons that you had. Thanks for understanding, though. Good timing! :-)

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  10. LOL A PUSSY PICKUP!!!!!

    I have never bailed on a workout yet. Not that you are wrong for doing it, biking in the wind blows goats (not a pretty sight).

    I would have put the bike on a trainer and never left the house LOL.

    Ummm are you humping his leg in the first picture?!

    Did your husband think he was actually getting some Pussy AT the pickup? Pretty mean of you to tease him like that ;)

    Trust me though, I didn't run more than 2 or 3 miles at a time all winter. The bike saved my ass from throwing this season away. GREAT way to keep your legs conditioned. Just have to work on your breathing for running since it requires more intensity.

    Great job!!!

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  11. Only once when I got a flat. I am such a pussy I can't change my own darn tire tube.
    But I probably would have called under these circumstances!

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  12. Many times - I don't have a problem with it at all. Feels damn good to be done.

    PS - my husband has the same truck. um. weird.

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  13. I once got clipped by a car on a country road at night and flung to the ground. The guy got out of his car, dragged me to the side and drove on. I did not have a cell phone, so I had to walk my broken butt back into town pushing a bent bicycle. The first place I found was a gas station, where the attendant watched me shove asprin between my teeth because my jaw wouldn't open. I wanted a ride SO BAD, but I only had $.50 and I'd used it on asprin. So now I consider walking my bike the pussy option, even though it takes hours.

    Although, one time I was really really drunk after a "beer bike ride" and a friend went and got her bike rack so she could drive me home because she thought I was dangerous. By the time she got back, two beers later, I think she was right.

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  14. Great post about being happy with "what is". Sorry to hear about you ride not going as planned.I've never had a pussy pick up, i end up walking the rest of the way back and swearing at myself the whole time!

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  15. I wince when I think about when I was training for my first full marathon and during a 10 miler I cried on a curb for a half an hour while I waited for my brother to come pick me up. I was 5 miles from my car and my IT decided I was NOT getting back to my car by my own power.

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  16. I requested a pussy pickup when I re-fractured my heel at mile 10 of a marathon. And I'm resisting both cycling and yoga today. And another latte.

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  17. Great post and really good perspective on it. Sometimes pushing through is the best course of action, other times the risk is just too high when weighed against a larger goal. With Boston only a few weeks away, you definitely made the right call.

    Congrats on a kick-ass ride! And, I mean the bike, not the pick-up.

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  18. I know you're not supposed to spit in the wind .... or pee in the wind .... but never heard about not biking in the wind. Nothing wrong with getting retrieved off a ride by a truck, as long as there's a gun-rack in the cab, rod-holders on the front bumper, varmint lights on the roof, a deer carcass in the bed, and something inappropriate hanging from the trailer hitch.

    I think I may have lived in North Carolina too long.

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  19. You're a beast for even getting out there yesterday. I rode the 5 miles from class and back and wanted a pussy pick-up.

    I don't carry my phone when I run so it's either I make it home on my own, or I don't, or I hitchike a ride and still don't make it home.

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  20. Awesome story! I have an ex-husband who hitch hiked back to get the car once.

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  21. I've had to get a pussy pick up on a run before. My brother came and picked me up, and didn't mock me once. I must have looked really bad for that to happen.

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  22. That pic of you and Sammy Squirrel has a certain je ne sais quoi that made me seriously LOL! You are still a nail…even with the pussy pickup by the pickup ;-) You were out there for a helluva long time!

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  23. UG...I hate hate hate spring wind.

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  24. Glad to hear about your va-jay-jay. Found out this morning that my ovary isn't where it's supposed to be. Sounds worse than it is. Gives a new meaning to pussy pick-up for me, I think...

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  25. Ah, training wind -- or at least that's what my husband calls it. It sucks. I'm glad he didn't mock you.

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  26. It's posts like this that keep me reading.

    I've yet to have a pussy pickup. I also haven't increased my distance enough to need it. Bikes scare me. You're a stud.

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  27. LOL! ain't no shame! I've done the same. HEAD WIND SUCKS!!! I get blown over. 2.5 is close to 3 in my book!
    LC

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  28. Nice work Beth! We have almost no trees, just cornfields here. It makes windy runs and bikes such a challenge and really brings out my nasty attitude. That being said, I know the wind makes for a great workout and whether you biked 35 or 50, you got one!

    Pussy pickup-ha!!

    Can you believe in two weeks you're going to run Boston??!!!!!! I'm really SO happy to see how far you've come. Have a great weekend:)

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  29. I've definitely had a pussy pickup. about 15 miles out from my house. I had taken propanolol (a medicine that strictly lowers the heart rate) that morning and had not thought about how that might affect exercise later that day, (yeah, i'm a moron sometimes) and went for a 35 mile ride......I struggled the whole ride and felt like I was trying so hard to go so slow! At one point I became extremely dizzy, extremely cold and fell off my bike at a gas station. I was with a group of people and 1 stayed behind with me at the gas station where I stayed dizzy and cold. A marine in a truck offered to drive us home. I don't remember his name but I'm so lucky he was there!

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  30. pussy pickup hahaha. i've never had one but that's because i don't carry my phone with me. there definitely have been workouts where i've crawled back home because i couldn't go on. i wish i had a pussy pickup at my service.

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  31. You have GOT to play my guessing game today :)

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  32. Oh yeah! I'll never forget my pick-up call! Mile 17 of my last long run before my 2nd marathon. My legs totally locked up. I felt like such a fool crying. I didnt drink enough. That'll teach me.

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  33. Does a "poopy" pick up count? I've had to call my husband for that before. Not pretty or sexy in any way : ( He's a good man!

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  34. Pussy Pickup, *snort*. Well you made it home in one piece and that's the most important thing!

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  35. I have called for a pussy pick-up before...when my lower intestines got the best of me on a long run. Hubby picked me up and didn't make fun of me even once (I think he was afraid I would crap his car if he did). Never fun, but sometimes those pussy pick-up calls are totally necessary! And I think even running in really strong wind is scary, let alone riding a bike. Nice job doing as many miles as you did do.

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  36. i would've called for a pick-up if i could've on the "recreational" bike ride we took from Breckenridge to Frisco and back last summer while we were on vacation there. you know, one of those bike rides where you rent the bike from a local bike shop, and decide you're going to tow your child behind you while they read a book and eat snacks and you sweat and grunt up every hill (at altitude!!). it was fun...on the downhills.

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  37. Yes I have! Callaway Gardens marathon with 3 miles to go. Yes just three but it was not a well marked course and the course marshal people pulled the course way too early and I had no fluids. Just a bad experience. So my friend came to pick me up. So sad.

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  38. the wind on the bike makes me grumpy grumpy grumpy!!! i am one of those cussing cyclists that was going to other way! awesome ride, though. :)

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  39. You are of course right about accepting what comes being the beauty and mystery of la vie. HOWEVER, je deteste le vent, et aujourd'hui je double deteste le vent pour vous. Le vent de Boulder SUCKS ce printemps. Je souhaite qu'il n'y aurais du tout de vent a Boston pour vous.

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  40. Hey chica, 35 miles is 35 miles that the legs got to work.

    I am doing Boston too and I will be one of the sweepers, if you want to be with me at the back and wave to everyone with me, I would love some company :).

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  41. 35 is far, and still an accomplishment by all means! It's the furthest I've ever been on the bike, and I'm not entirely sure the vag would still be in tact if I pushed that distance....blech.

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  42. I haven't called for a pussy pickup but Jamie did ride home once and then take me to the ER (where I was then admitted for 3 days). We have CONSTANT wind here and I think I'm starting to get used to it. But last ride (yesterday) I was SO PISSED at the wind that I got off my bike and had a temper tantrum. Kind of like a 2yo. :) I'm real mature like that.

    Glad your bagina is still taking the heat. :)

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  43. Ugh, thats the worst. I don't have anyone to call for a pick-up, but I've definitely taken the pussy metro ride with my bike instead of riding all the way home.

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  44. Yes! Humiliating and debilitating. I called the wife back in November at mile 9 of a 14 mile run and it led to me downgrading to the half M in January. Crap, what bad memories.

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  45. I have decided to shut down and headed home early from a run since I was not too far away to make it back. Never had to call for someone to come pick me up so far.

    LOL @ pussy pickup!

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  46. I am resisting Blogging. That is why I'm visiting some of my bestes Blogging friends like SUAR. She sends me bikini pics. I dig her.

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  47. This wind here in Denver has been ridiculous!!! I can't run (whaaaa) so been riding and I swear it's worse on the bike.

    The first time I hit 30 my bike, I thought I was some big rock star .. thinking, apparently, I just ran 30. Turns out, 30 isn't that big of a deal I guess. But 35 is!! :)

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  48. I actually got a "pity pick up" once from my husband. We were having tropical like storms that came out of nowhere and it was getting dark fast so when I had been gone for over 2 hours he came to get me! Boy do I wish I had a picture to share. I think I was more embarrassed that he had seen my struggling at the end of that long, horrible run than the fact that he felt so sorry for me! He had packed up the kids and went out looking for me! Good thing my long run routes are fairly predictable!

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  49. Best post ever! Yes, true happiness is enjoying what we have in life.

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  50. So glad you documented this story - this makes us 'pussies' feel justified in some odd way. Right now I'm resisting jumping in my car, driving 2 hours, and running my first 1/2 marathon that I've been training for for 13 weeks. About 2 weeks ago I started having some knee issues and now instead of scoring my first 1/2 bib, I'm figuring out where I'm going to squeeze PT into my schedule. Damn!

    Can't wait for your Boston debut! I'm so exicted for you.

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  51. If you called for a pussy pickup here because of the wind, you'd need a special cell phone plan. I've only called once for a pickup; the photos in this post explain why. Oh, and you probably don't want to be eating before clicking. I'm just saying.
    http://keithsodyssey.blogspot.com/2008/09/more-ow-graphic-followup.html

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  52. driving in a car 35 miles sucks... i cant imagine riding a bike in the wind. mad props! i wouldnt have even made it that far!

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  53. O-kay, I have been riding with those wind gusts and have been scared to death about being blown off the road or into traffic! I don't blame you for calling it quits! I would have done the same thing!

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  54. Not a pick-up, but my running buddy and I did have to cut our run short yesterday. Doing a half marathon next Sunday and we'd planned to just run 8 miles yesterday. He pulled his calf muscle in the first mile, and I'm recovering from a week off due to a ROTTEN cold. After a Boogie Break about every mile (brought a pack of kleenex with me, I've never mastered the Snot Rocket), and several stops to stretch the calf, we both called it quits at 6 miles. Better to live to actually run the race than to konk out before it gets here!

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