Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oh, Ship!

Being the opposite of how I was feeling last night when I wrote this post, this day could not have started out better. I think I just needed to get some things off of my chest. And, yes, grief is not a straight line. It’s more like an obstacle course over high mountains and low riverbeds.

This morning, after feeding the kids French toast and getting them out the door, I had this text exchange with Sam who, in all of his adolescent glory, fails to remember things like permission slips, where he put his iPod and what time I’ll pick him up.

Sam: Did I leave my order forms on the counter?
Me: Yes (not for a second offering to bring it to school because I am mean)
Sam: Ship!

I guess “ship” falls in the category of “fudge” or “heck.” Where you almost cuss, but don’t. Kind of like, “I ship my pants!” when you don’t really mean you sent your pants via UPS.

Sam tends to misplace all kinds of crap and blames it on me. How did the mom become the scapegoat anyway? I mean I carry you for nine months with your ass wedged under my right rib, and I push you into the world, a watermelon through a straw. I let you suckle at my breasts for another nine months, only stopping because you got teeth and started crunching down on my tender nipple like it was beef jerky. Now I am to blame for everything.


Yes, this is yours truly. Don’t vomit. Sam actually came out looking like that. Not kidding.

Honestly and at the risk of sounding annoying, Sam is about the best teenager (with dementia) any parent could hope for.

After the text exchange, I picked up Joie and we head to the foothills for a 7.5 mile trail run. It was over cast, pretty nipply and lightly snowing. In my mind, this is perfect running weather. We had never done this trail before and quickly found ourselves unable to talk due to heavy breathing (yes, Joie is that attractive). We scaled boulders. Yes, as in very large rocks (3 feet wide in some places). Sometimes it was tough to see where the trail was. Over the first two miles we gained about 700 feet. For those of you who don’t know what that means, get on your treadmill and set the incline at 8%. Then glue a few rocks to the belt and go for two miles. Voila!

Once we reached the top, we cruised for a bit and were afforded the most amazing views of the Continental Divide. We only saw one runner and a gaggle of hard core girl mountain bikers. These are not my pictures (obviously because my pictures suck), but this gives you an idea of this trail. Just pretend that it is cloudy, gray and snowing. These are taken on the Bitterbrush Trail where we were (Lyons, CO):

Yes, this is part of the trail.

Trail Photo

You all need to come out here and do this run. It is one of my favorite trail runs to date. Second only to my run with Dean, because I need to remind of you that anytime I can. Yes, that happened over a year ago, but is their a statute of limitations on bragging and name dropping?

This run sealed the deal that Joie and I are signing up for the Turkey Track Trail Marathon in June. It begins in the small town of Pagosa Springs, CO (southwest part of the state, elevation 7,000 feet). It is actually 26.33 miles, so I’m calling it my first ultra and you can’t stop me. That last .13 miles is going to be hell.

I’ve never done a trail marathon and cannot wait. I think the best part about it will be getting to train in this ugly shit-hole landscape called Colorado. Plus, after the marathon the website states there is a “killer party at Pagosa Brewing.” Colorado microbrews after spending the day running the trails? Perfection.

Three things healed me today. 1) Being out in the beauty and grace of nature, 2) running, and 3) being with a dear friend who loves me. Then I went to the grocery store in my running tights and showed the greater public my almost-45-year-old drooping ass and crotch creases (aka “the toe”).

What is your next big, “A” race? Have you signed up for it yet? What are you waiting for?

Ever done a trail marathon or ultra race on trails?

If you have a teen, what change are you seeing? Dream child or demon? Sam is dreamy thus far. Time will tell. I was a pretty ornery teenager, so karma might be a bitch.



  1. I'm training for a half iron distance triathlon in July of this year. I'm basically starting over with training as I'm coming off a nasty flare up of sorts regarding my neck and shoulder blade. Anyway, 70.3 here we come! Would LOVE to do a trail run. Maybe after the 70.3 Don't want to hurt myself... I am clutzy.
    My son is two. Dreamy thus far, minus "no" and "mine" and "don't say that, mommy." Can't complain. He rocks. But, my husband and I were both pretty good yet pretty naughty teens. Fantastic!

  2. My oldest son has only reached 11 so far but already acts like a teenager. Overall a great kid though. That's funny, both my sons blame me for misplacing their things all the time. Awesome job on your run and entering your 1st ultra:) looks like a fun trail!

  3. Once upon a time I did the Boulder Back Roads marathon and I thought about signing up for the Leadville 100 until I watched a girl leave her house at 5 am to run and return back running at 5pm= "What were you doing all day, couldn't be running could it?" Yep- training for Leadville. AH! Only place better than those lovely Rockies- Santa Barbara baby!

  4. As always, a treat to read.

    13.1: check
    26.2: check
    Various adventure races, 7-12 hours, 36-48 miles: check
    100+ miles cycling: check

    70.3: nope...next on the list this September, with a number of sprint and other tri's leading up to it.

    The challenge: Todd floats like a rock. But paddle hard enough, and even a rock will move through the water. You heard it here first.

  5. I have a toddler, 20 months(a long ways away from teenager). And he said Shit yesterday. To put it in context, my son hates getting dirty. He somehow got a booger on his tiny finger and while sitting in the middle of the living room he puts his hand in the air, with his finger pointed up, and in disgust shouts "Oh Shit!". I was dumbfounded. I walked over and he was so irritated over that piece of snot on his finger. I couldn't help but laugh, I just hope next time I can hold in the chuckles to tell him not to say shit!

    Amanda @HappyMotherRunner.Blogspot

  6. LOVE your womb face!! Aw, you and Sam have a great relationshit...I mean, ship!

    Sounds like the trail was worth it!

  7. So glad you had an amazing run! I would like to come to CO over the summer, hopefully I can run these trails if the trip pans out.

    My big race for the year will be pushing out my own watermelon, bouncing back and hopefully running a marathon by the year's end.

  8. Crotch creases ... good name for a band.

    Do you wear trail-running shoes for your forays into the boulder-strewn wilderness? Putting together a very long-term plan for a potential trail ultra in the Fall, and trying to decide if I need to take the plunge on some more hardcore foot gear. Would like to avoid having to convince my wife I need yet another pair of running shoes.

  9. My next biggie is RnR New Orleans marathon. I have to pick a goal, I guess. I think 3:05 is pushing it given the probably hot weather but hey, if i miss it there's always next year.

  10. Haha! Jess @ Blonde Ponytail is pretty funny "relationshit"!

    I will totally go to Colorado and run those crappy trails with you, but 26.33 miles is 13.23 miles farther than I ever wish to go, so I'll just root for you in June!

  11. I am so relating to your teen drama. It sucks. He use to adore me, now everything I say is wrong. Trail runs sound hard but fun, especially with a friend...who loves you. My next race will be my second half on march 3rd. Lets hope I fuel smarter this time around. Xo, hope you continue to be comforted by those around you.

  12. I go to the grocery, etc, in my running tights all the time. Unattractive? Yes. But at least I am either on my way to a workout or on my way home from one, unlike all those women in "yoga pants" running around flabby and lying to themselves.

    Sir Mix-a-lot might like me, but at least it's firm. Ish. ; )

  13. The only race I have on the books this year is a half in May and it definitely won't be an A race. I love, love, love trail races. I did a trail marathon and a 50K last year and enjoyed them both immensely.

    As far as running with Dean goes, there is not statute of limitations... flaunt it for as long as you can. :)

  14. I somehow started reading your blog and missed your Dean K name drop. Enjoyed the re-read. I'm almost finished with his 50/50 book. Way to go on having a good day. Glad it was a zig zag "up" kind of day.

  15. Trail runs are the best! Glad they're helping you find some peace.

    I did a trail half 2 years ago, a trail marathon last year - which I plan on doing again this spring, and am planning on my first 50K trail run called the Stump Jump this fall. Running on trails is harder than running on the road in some ways, but spending several hours in the woods is my idea of heaven! Enjoy your training :)

  16. I have a 50k trail race set for the end of June....I've done 1 marathon so piece of cake, right?!?

    My oldest son is 15. He is great. Quite smart, really. But I tell you, he does not have an ounce of common sense in his gigantic brain stuffed noggin! It's even worse when there are a group of the boys together. Throw a teenage female into the equation and it's a wonder any of them can form one coherent thought together!

    All I can say is: I'm glad I don't have girls! ;-D

  17. Love, love, love the trail running. And it doesn't get better than in CO. The views! (Based on the photos, now I need to try *your* trail, as I haven't done that one.)

    Turkey Track looks fun, and not too much climbing (about 1800ft?), which is great on rough terrain. A terrific piece of prep for that run would be this one: http://www.protrails.com/trail.php?trailID=331
    We did it last summer. If you park out on the road, it's about 16mi or so and it is hard as #$@&*#$. Higher than Turkey Track and more climbing, so it would be an awesome training run. Scenery is fantastic, too!

    Also, my 8yo son forgets stuff ALL THE TIME and I have stopped delivering it to him. Apparently, I am also mean. :)

  18. I'm currently training for a 50k-Way Too Cool, in Cool, Ca. & then will be running the AR-50 (miles) in April. The 1st half of AR-50 is on the bike trail & the 2nd half is all trails!! This will be my 2nd time for both races & I love the trails.

  19. My son was a pretty good teen with the exception of being a horrible student. I need to do that trail with the Foxes, looks amazing!! Pagosa will be beautiful for a trail ultra! Worth it just for the beer! They also have the hot spring so you can soak your sore bodies..

  20. *waving my hand high up in the air*...me, me, me, I want to come run with you on that trail! I can drive to Lyons. Will you wait for my sorry ass at the top, please?

    And yeah, my 21 year old still blames me for everything...it doesn't get any better as they get older. :(

  21. Thank you for the laugh today it was much needed. One of My dearest friends died of ovarian cancer Today and pretty much until now I've cut off all of my social networking; I was going through my posts just reading things and came across your post, I'm glad I read it. I laughed so hard at you going to the store on your tights lol!
    My "A" race will be my first marathon and I chose the Chicago marathon.
    I have a 6 year old and a 22 year old so I've been where you are and going there again! My oldest is just like me and YES karma is a bitch because he acts just like me...I didn't realize how annoying I can be sometimes lol! Both boys are good boys.
    Thank you again for the cheering up.

  22. Got a 20 mile mountain trail run on Feb 4th in the Uwharrie mountains of NC (not Co but very beautiful !)

    then two marathons and hopefully my first ultra in the fall...http://www.ultraroc.com/
    hoping to do the 50K not a pure trail but a mix of surface

    My son is 10.5..so we are on our way to teenagedom...he has always been the one to loose / forget stuff..he tries and it breaks my heart to see him beat himself up because despite really trying to remember stuff there is always something he forgets...but hey at least he is trying and cares enough about it!

  23. My kids are only 5 so it's hard to tell what sort of teens they may become, but if I have to predict I'm going to say my son will be dreamy (but maybe a little too girl crazy) and my daughter will be....tough. She has a disgusting hair chewing habit and has already blamed me for it. Seriously. She actually said, "That's YOUR fault, Mommy, because you haven't gotten my hair cut."

    I'm definitely going to try that trail in Lyons. Don't know what my next A race will be, but trail running will be part of the plan.

  24. there's no limitation on name dropping with The Dean K. I ran just 8 miles with him and it was just a year ago and I still plug that on my posts here and there...

    my boys are just 6 and 7 but I can tell that the older one will be dreamy and the youngest will be the one with girls lining up at the door and loving every minute of it.

    next big race is Surf City where I will complete the Beach Challenge and get a big whole medal..and a nice surf medal also!!! I plan on wearing them for at least a week !!

  25. That trails looks awesome! Great job getting some wonderful healing.

    My A race is Massanutten Mountain Trails 100. (as in miles)

    Yep, yep. marathons and ultras on trails. I wouldn't do them on the road. yuck.

    My teen is a 20 something who still behaves a bit like a teen. I wonder if parents ever think their kids are "ready" to be completely on their own.

  26. What is your next big, “A” race? Have you signed up for it yet? What are you waiting for?

    My next serious race is the Platte River Half. I just finished the Houston marathon with a big PR and am excited to see what I can do with the shorter distance.

    Ever done a trail marathon or ultra race on trails?
    I've done a few 50Ks on trails, but my absolute favorite trail race is the Pikes Peak Marathon. I've done in 3 years in a row and I totally expect to be one of those veterans who does it for the next 20 or so. A trail race is SO much more enjoyable than a road race. Less pressure, better scenery (even if it's the rear end of the person ahead of you walking because you can't pass on single track..), and they offer you pb&j and cookies at aid stations!

  27. I just signed up for the 500 Festival it is in Indy. I am still a newbie so no marathons or ultras for me YET. I have done some trail running at the Dunes and absolutely LOVED IT!!! The trail you did looks rockin'!! What an awesome run that would be...your are blessed to be surrounded by such beauty :))
    As for teenagers...Hahaha..I have three!! My oldest son..will be 20 next month. He was and is a sweetheart! Peace of cake...my other two are girls, 17 and 14!! Ugh the hormones!! I can't say or do anything right one moment, the next we are best friends and every thing is perfect. They always tell me I cant admit when I do something wrong and truth is it's really them. They say this "phase" is kind of like a hill...you start out at the bottom, 12yrs old the party begins...and it really peaks and gets rough around 15-16 and then it starts to calm down from there. They are suppose to be on level ground somewhere around 18-20. So far, from my experience, its pretty accurate. Have fun ;D

  28. oh Hall Ranch!!! I love Hall Ranch and esp. love that rocky section in the photo. My boyfriend, taught me how to ride that section on my mtn bike - both going up and down. i love riding past guys that are walking it...hee...hee...

    since I'm a new runner I really don't have an "A" race - I'm just trying to get through April and all 4 races on the schedule...then back on the bike!

  29. Next big A race....BOSTON!!! Can hardly wait!
    My son is 11 and a student IN my class. He's a keeper...even with all of his quirks.

  30. Hate to tell you this but I don't know if teens grow out of forgetful. I have a very forgetful 59 yo husband (no it's not dementia - he's always been this way) and a forgetful 18 yo who could teach his Dad something about forgetful. I think it's genetic.

  31. Seriously, what would we do without you to make us laugh on tough days? Janine

  32. Next race on the books is either a 15k w/ my mom...walking. She has always wanted to do it ,and I feel I should offer to walk it w/ her, although everything in my competitive body wants to run it, even though I'm not in shape for it. Currently training for a 5k in March, the colon cancer 5k in honor of my g'ma. Got my last PR there....TWO years ago, so hoping to blow it outta the water if all goes well. Would love to train for another 1/2 soon, but I live in FL, and who am I kidding? i don't run in this sauna in the summer;)!

    PS, that trail looks COOL! and, glad I'm not the only one going to the store looking like a camel toe stinky sweaty mess! HA

  33. I am training for my first ever 1/2 marathon- My blog about trying to get into some shape other than round- http://runnerwannabe-imgonnarun.blogspot.com/ The race I will be running is the Oklahoma City Memorial 1/2. So excited! Teens are great most of the time. Not sure if boys are different than girls, but my girls are the queens of drama. They pick at each other which drives me crazy, but they still give me kisses and sit on my lap, which I love until my legs go to sleep or their boney butts poke me too hard. My son is only 2, so we shall see how that goes when he hits that age!

  34. Congratulations on a great run through a very beautiful area! I think I need to check out the Pagosa Brewery!

  35. Great photo!

    I'm already signed up for the Platte River 1/2 in April (hoping to break 2 hrs) and then I'll go from there. I'm for sure doing another full this year, just don't know which one.

  36. Wow! You sure have beautiful scenery and trails to run on! I am envious!
    I don't have teenagers yet, but my oldest daughter is 6 years old...and has teenager tendencies from time to time. My youngest daughter is 4, she hasn't gotten there yet. I can only imagine what having 2 teenage daughters will be like!
    My next "A" race is my FIRST MARATHON - May 6th in Mississauga. I am pumped! I have not signed up yet....and I keep asking myself what I am waiting for. I think it freaks me out a little!

  37. Wouldn't the rocks come off after the belt goes around? Or at the least screw up the floor underneath? This doesn't make much sense to me. Please go back and try to come up with another analogy....thanks.

    Anybody can run 26.2 miles it is the .13 that really kills you.....I hate that f'n Match.com commercial.

  38. The weather was "nipply"...?

    Can you describe that so I'll be able to appreciate it the next time I'm caught out in that kind of weather..?


  39. My next half is in March. For the life of me I can't remember the name right now.... something about shamrocks and there's beer - in VA Beach. That's all I have planned so far this year.

    My teenagers (18 & 16) are awesome. My 18 year old "is an adult now" so he just says shit (etc) whenever he wants. I think he's trying to shock me... HA! if he only knew. Anyway, don't let the teenager stereotype scare you. They're not all bad.

    Some of the comments on this post have me laughing out loud in my cubical. I love your blog!

  40. So far, with the 17yo and 15yo, the teenage years have been the best yet. I love this time with them. I might change my tune when the girls get there though...(12 and 10).

    Next big events are HIM in aug/sept (can't reemmber) and IM in November.

  41. Why thank you for affording me the opportunity to "ame drop" m next big race: BOSTON, BABY!

    Super exciting on the trail ULTRA. You really seem to be loving the trails and you sure have enough of them to explore around there. Congrats!

  42. I'm working to set a new PR at Green Bay Marathon in May... would love to get a qualifying time! Next year, I'm aiming for my first ultra- a 50k in Minnesota!

  43. That trail sounds awesome! Yay for signing up for the trail marathon! I'm doing my first ultra in June too! Woohoo!!