I won

Yesterday was a day I had been preparing for, for a number of months.

For fun, on random Saturdays and Sundays during the year, I get up out of my nice, warm, comfy bed before the crack of dawn to run 13.1 miles with a bunch of other weirdos.  Why do we do this you ask?  Do we all think we are going to win?  Hell no!  We do this to prove to ourselves we can push our bodies to the brink and our minds just a bit further….oh, and of coarse the added benefit of the hardware, bananas, and chocolate milk at the finish line!

I originally had all these grand plans for my 9th half marathon.  I have had a stressful spring and summer, haven’t felt much like running or training for anything.  When I committed to running this race, I felt like I was re-committing to myself and my health.  I set up a training plan with the best of intentions.  Then life continued to happen.

The stress from the spring and summer carried over into the beginning of the school year, never slowing down.  I think it actually started doubling its efforts to crush me in September.  My drive fizzled and my training runs tanked.  Oh, I still completed them, if you can really call it that, they were just terrible runs.

As the date on the calendar kept getting closer and closer, my expectations for success got lower and lower.

Then Friday hit.

It has been a particular bad stretch of days at the Ye Ol’ behavior school.  At the end of each day, we look at our imaginary score card for the day to see who won.  The students have been being extra behaviorally disordered this week, pushing us to our brink and challenging our last nerves.

Well, my one last nerve broke on Friday.  They won….Big Time.  While trying to talk to a student about one of his behaviors, he unleashed on me, a whole different set of aggressive behaviors leading to me filing an assault charge, leaving work early, going to the doctor, and being an emotional wreck.

Their win defeated me.  It broke me.  Not only was I physically hurt, but I was emotionally devastated.  And now I was supposed to take my already sore body and push it 13 miles?  At one point on Friday night, I nearly called my bestie who was driving me to the race to cancel.  But I just couldn’t.

Mind over matter.  You hear that expression all the time, but it wasn’t until I started running long distances, that I truly experienced it in action.  A distance race is so much more mental that physical.  My physical body might be damaged, but my spirit wasn’t broken, yet, and I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel.

The race we registered for was a trail run on the Wabash Trace in Iowa.  Many races are of the out and back variety, but this race was not.  For our race, we were shuttled out the start line and left, literally, in the corn fields of Iowa with nothing to get ourselves back to our vehicle with but our over-priced running shoes and our hearts.  It was truly an ingenious plan.  Once you start, there’s no quitting!

Despite his best efforts to injury or maim us with his poor driving skills on gravel roads, our shuttle driver delivered us safely to the start line.

photo copy 13

Hey, at least it wasn’t a short bus……

It was nice to see they support crew gearing up for the event.

photo copy 16

I do believe it’s extremely rude for them to be eating donuts, smoking, and drinking coffee in front of all of us.  F*#$ers!

And could someone please fix the bathrooms?

photo copy 15

This one wouldn’t flush!

At least they were kind enough to leave me something to play with before the race started.

photo copy 18

Corn!  Yippee!

All jokes aside, when you get down to it.  It’s just you, mind and body, pushing yourself to the finish line.

photo copy 13

Let’s do this.

The race started out pretty decent.  The weather was perfect; in the 60s, overcast.

I cruised through miles 1, 2, 3, and 4.

There weren’t that many runners signed up for the race, so by this point, the trail had really thinned out.  It felt like you were all on your own.

This can be good and bad.

Although the scenery was beautiful, a wandering mind is not always your friend.

photo copy 7

With my legs burning in mile 5, my mind replayed my week.  Have you ever seen someone cry and run at the same time?  It’s not pretty and doesn’t do wonders to help you keep up your pace.  I was starting to feel crushed and wondering how I was going to make it to the end.  My physical body was teetering on the edge as it was, now the last of my mentality looked like it was throwing in the towel.

Down, but not out.  Not yet.

Mile 6 called for a change and a mental refocus.  Yes, I had shed tears, but they were out and it was time to keep pushing forward.  My first step was to change up the music.  See you later Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean.  Hello Snoop and Dre.

Nothing kicks your pace back into gear like a sippin’ on Gin and Juice followed by Salt N Pepe’s Expression.  It was just the pick me up I needed.

I was cruising into mile 8 when I got leid.

photo copy 9

Hey, freak-o.  Get you mind out of the gutter.

I hit my wall around mile 10 1/2.  To put it mildly, it sucked.  Luckily, about this time, we emerged from the trail into the town where the race would end.  Now, if you’ve ever participated in or been a spectator at a race, you know how uplifting a crowd can be.  The cheers…. the encouraging words…. the signs.

Oh, the signs.

Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of my two favorites, (I feared, if I stopped to snap pics this late in the race, I might not start again) but here’s what they said.

“Go Total Stranger Go!”

and

“Worst Parade EVER!”

Ha!

As I trudged up and down the hills of the town towards the finish, (Seriously, who puts hills at the END of a half marathon???) I got my Tootsie Roll groove on, had OPP thoroughly explained to me frame-by-frame, and learned who the Real Slim Shady is.

I rounded the last corner, saw the finish line, took a deep breath, and finished hard.

What do you do after you cross the finish line?

photo copy 11

This Is How We Do It…..  (Sorry, I couldn’t resist one last one!)

The ups and downs of the week.  The physical pains and the emotional drains.  The falls, the walls, the failures…  Followed by getting back up, trying again, pushing through, and finding success.

My final score card from the week???

photo copy 10

I won!

 

Such a charmer

He’s at it again ladies and gentlemen.  These are the first words my lovely betrothed said to me this morning.

“Wow!  You look like 60!   Could you shower and put some make-up on.  I mean.  You’re supposed to look hot.  That’s what I said yes to at the altar.”

Does anyone remember where I put my shovel?  I’m suddenly feeling the need to do some gardening…..

Total failure

I should have known the minute that I stepped out of bed, that is was going to be one of those days.

The first thought in my head when my alarm went off was, “When can I go back to sleep?”  Waking up exhausted is never a way to start a day.

I got out the door to work without any trouble.

Now I know most people LOVE a vacation day, a holiday, a shorter work week.  But when you work with behaviorally disordered kids, changes in routine become something to dread.  It was like they all called each other on that extra day off and planned special ways to try to drive us bat-shit crazy today.  I found this online today.  It about sums it up.

1170876_569983129729008_971752474_n

After breaking free of work, I got home for the second half of my shift as mommy/household manager/taxi service.  Just looking at the evening’s schedule was enough to make me break out in hives.  Not only did I have to get the kids through their homework, but I had fire up the Soby-Mobile for trips to Voice at 5:30, Baseball at 7, and Swimming at 7:20.  Oh, and I had to get myself to a school board meeting at 7pm and at some point feed everyone a healthy, nutritious dinner.  Sure, right.  Just let me break out my flying Jetson Spacecraft and Star Trek teleporter.

The evening’s homework load came with a decent amount of complaining and whining, from me, not the children.  I think the kids noticed the ‘mom is losing it’ look in my eyes and put those pencils in overdrive.  Lil IP finished her work and we ran out of the door – late – racing to Voice lessons.

Getting out of work at 3:30 has spoiled me.  Did you know that attempting to get across town at 5:15 is a pain in the ass!?!?!  It’s like every last person on earth with a driver’s license and a vehicle got out of work at the same time.

Multiple weaves in and out of traffic, one kind-of yellow light run, and one near miss of being T-boned and the girl was dropped safely at her lesson only 3 minutes late.

Just because one is not physically present with the text books, does not mean that one gets out of the rest of homework duty.  Oh no, I spent the duration of the lesson on a conference call with T-Dog attempting to get the rest of his work completed via Verizon.

Activity one ends and we rush back across town to attempt to eat dinner.  And by attempt to eat dinner I mean.  “Quick.  Open the fridge and nuke something.  No, we don’t have time for plates.  Put it in your mouth and chew.  Swallow already.  We’ve got to get out the door.”  From 0 to Dinner in 12 minutes flat.  It’s a new record.

Grab the water bottles.  Get the swim bag.  Roll out the baseball gear.  All aboard for Round 2.

As I tore down back roads to the second set of drop offs, I kept a close eye on the clock.  I had 20 minutes to get two offspring delivered and be at my location.  Possible – maybe.  Likely – no way.

I knew I was in trouble the first few minutes into the trip.  Why is it that when you are in a hurry, you find yourself stuck at every light and behind every slow, unstressed, calendar free driver who does not understand why you need to be somewhere in such a hurry?  No seriously…  EVERY LIGHT AND EVERY SLOW DRIVER.  Eleven minutes of the twenty were used getting the boy dropped off.  Crap.  By the time I got the girl to her location, I was already supposed to be seated in my meeting.  Guess who was walking in ten minutes late…..

I get to my meeting, sit down, exhale, and try to focus on the discussion at hand.  Twenty minutes later, my phone starts going off.  Two calls from IP and a voicemail from an unknown number.  I hit decline and send IP a text to pick up T-Dog and Lil’ IP from their activities.

I’m just about to declare tonight a success…I got everyone through their homework, fed, and to their activities, when I got this text.

photo

What?!?!?

Shit.

Apparently I dropped my son off at practice that didn’t exist.

I have totally failed as a parent.  I guess this is another year I won’t win mother-of-the-year.

My son sat outside of a building for an hour because his crazy-ass, over-stressed mom read the calendar wrong and took him to a practice that is scheduled for tomorrow.

On the upside, he was 24 hours early for tomorrow’s practice……

 

 

 

Freeloader

At the end of each day, I like to wind down and prepare for dreamland with a big cup of steaming hot coffee.

What is that you say Kerry?  You like to fill your body with caffeine right before you drift off to dreamland?

Yes, yes I do.  Caffeine stopped having an effect on me in 1988…about the same time I stopped growing in the vertical direction.  I could fall asleep mid-sip, which makes for high upholstery cleaning bills and a new definition of a wet dream.

The other evening, Kimmel was just finishing his monologue, which was my clue to wrap up my evening and hit the hay.  I grabbed my mug for one last swig when…

What the %&$#!

photo copy 6

Apparently someone else has a shares my addiction to coffea arabica…. greedy freeloader!