December 2007 Archives



You know you're a runner when, 10 miles into your 11-mile run, with sorely taxed legs (emphasis on the SORE) exhausted from gaining and then losing major elevation on rocky technical terrain, dragging heavy, wet shoes (from crossing the snow-melt-fed creek by wading through instead of boulder-hopping, because you're sure you'll end up on your ass in the water anyway so better to guarantee just wet shoes instead of risking a wet body), no water or fuel left to consume and a wicked stiff cold headwind slowing down your granny shuffle, you can't stop the smile from spreading across your face and the joy from blossoming through your body.

Damn, it feels good to be in the double digits again.

New Mexico


I sit at the long log table, holding a cup of hot cocoa to warm my hands as the sun pours through the myriad of windows. I hear muffled yells of little boys chasing each other around the large yard outside and I smile. A rangy juniper tree is nestled in a corner, lit with multiple colors, its branches hanging low from the weight of numerous ornaments, but not low enough to reach out and grab your leg as you walk on by. The smell of freshly baked cornbread permeates the air. My legs are relaxed from multiple soaks in hot springs located just outside the front door of the large lodge; my mind is dancing on thoughts of the cold hike my five-year-old son and I took this morning, a cold hike through snow to cliff dwellings high above a creek. He braved icicles, below-freezing weather, a cough and carrying his own camelback (filled with water!) to reach the top. It snowed on us the day before. Snow! Big, wet flakes floating from the sky and melting the minute they touch the earth. I smile at the thought of Ash drawing pictures of everything awesome he sees - a green notebook full of a little boy's most precious thoughts - a rendering of flower art, the hot springs, the wood fire, the lodge. I was nervous about this vacation; nervous that a single mom of a crazy little boy would have a meltdown. I worry that I cannot relax. That I will need to leave early, to return to civilization. But I am comfortable here, at this great big lodge on the edge of the wilderness, run by a family with three rambunctious boys who Ash loves, run by owners who make the most incredible breakfasts each morning. I am comfortable - and in this moment, I am happy.


Ash and I cross the Gila River

Cliff Dwellings


My little hiker

Ash and Mama

Trail to the past


Hectic Holidaze


Okay, haven't had much time to blog; I'm trying to catch up with y'all! I missed this week's C2U post with all the craziness. I know at least three of you are relying on those posts - thanks for letting me know! I'll be back after the holidays.

My company holiday party was fun last Tuesday and Ash's birthday party was a chaotic blast of fun on Saturday. I've just about finished all my Christmas baking, shopping and wrapping, and I've got lists and lists written in preparation for my vacation with Ash. We're leaving Thursday morning and will be back Christmas Eve, in time for Ash to have dinner with his dad's side of family. Christmas day, he and I will head up to my family's gathering in Mesa, and then it's back to work for me the next day.

I've gotten some running and some spinning classes in, although not nearly as much as I wanted. I'm not going stress about it during the holidays; I'll wait until after Christmas to hammer down.

Long-time readers of my blog are familiar with my past and my hard-won mental/emotional stability that I am currently enjoying. Like all people, I struggle with insecurity on a regular basis; normally I can manage my insecurities rather well. But with the stress of the holidays, I lost it last week. I totally fell back into old grooves of feeling like I needed to be different, need to be better, to be good enough to be loved by someone. I started worrying about the future, and what little words of fear dropped into a disagreement might mean in the long run. I really sort of turned things from a molehill into a mountain, thinking the world was ending. But with the support of friends, time spent journaling, a good session with my therapist, and the abiding affection of particular person who insists he wouldn't have me any other way than just myself - insecurities and all - I am feeling better. I am slowly pulling myself back into the present, focusing on the present moment, where I am right now, and not worrying about the significance of a raised eyebrow and what that might mean 6 months from now. It's still too easy for me to get sucked into overanalyzation and worry, but I'm working on it. I think my vacation with Ash will be good space and time for me to ground myself, pull myself back in and remind myself of what's most important in my life.

I forgot! Last night I went to a fanTAStic concert - KT Tunstall, Indigo Girls, Brandi Carlile and Ingrid Michaelson. It was amazing. Such great voices, beautiful songs. I totally fell in love with Ingrid Michaelson :)

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Sucks to be me


Now if that just isn't the most self-pitying, self-absorbed title, I don't know what is. But that is exactly how I felt at about 10:30 yesterday morning, as I walked two miles back to my car, having cut short an already cut-short long run. Men, if womanly topics make you uncomfortable, you won't want to read any further.

Let's start at the beginning: the sinus infection. I got antibiotics to treat it. I saw, but didn't really think about, the warnings on my birth control pill that state antibiotics may interfere with the medication. I wasn't worried, due to the timing in my cycle that I was taking the antibiotics. I knew I wouldn't be getting pregnant. However, I didn't realize that I was on the brink of PMS onset.

I realized last Thursday that I was very cranky. Way more than normal. So cranky, I turned Thursday's lunch run into a speed session, and followed that up with an intense evening spinning session. And by Friday, I wanted to bury myself in a mountain of pinto beans and cheese (my usual cravings, but stronger than normal), and there was no way in hell I wanted to move my body. Friday night was fun at a Christmas party. I awoke Saturday morning to discover a major hurdle to my 10-mile scheduled long run: heavy downpours outside. After checking the weather and discovering that Sunday morning would be cold but had no rain forecasted, I decided to spend all day Saturday with Chris, exhausting myself by watching a basketball game, doing Christmas shopping and watching the Bourne Ultimatum.

Sunday morning, I was ready for my long run. A little worried about running in weather, as it's been awhile, but I thought I was mentally ready. First, I couldn't find my clothes. Then, I couldn't find my gaiters - panic attack! After tearing the house apart, I found them in my duffel bag. Next up, my water bottles were all dirty. I did NOT feel like washing dishes! I tore the house apart some more, looking for my camelback, and realized I must have left it in the car. I threw on my fleece, and braved the cold in short shorts and flip-flops to get the camelback. Once inside, I realized the bladder was missing. F$#&. I went back out to the car and got the bladder. Everything else was going along fine, until I couldn't find my trail running shoes. Again, tear the house apart as I almost start crying. It's not supposed to BE this hard! I found my shoes after looking on the floor of my closet three times. Duh, right in front of my nose.

I head out of the house and stop by Ike's to pick up coffee and a scone. The coffee is delicious as usual, but after I get in my car and start driving away, I reach into the bag and instead of pulling out a chocolate-frosted chocolate espresso scone, I pull out an unfrosted cinnamon scone. Ooooh, disappointment cuts through me like a knife. When you are cranky, tired, scared of a looming long run that you have no energy for, have already panicked three or four times in one morning and are experiencing REALLY STRONG CRAMPS even though you aren't supposed to start for two days, you really do NOT want a cinnamon scone, even if you normally like cinnaman scones.

But I didn't cry. Not yet. I made it to Sabino, and pulled out my phone to put in my pack when I realized I had a message. It was Chris, informing me that a soccer teammate had been out to Sabino already this morning, and the creek made all the trails impassable. F*&$. F*&$. F*&$. I called Chris back to get details and then whined and whined and whined about my morning and about how I didn't know what the hell I was going to do. He suggested Esperero Canyon. I called a friend who knows the area very well and agreed that Esperero would be a good choice: a few side streams to cross, but nothing major. Of course, that meant my 10-miler would become an 8-miler, but oh well. At least I was still going to get my long run in.

I tried to ignore the freaking out feelings I was struggling with: I hate that trail. I'm scared of mountain lions. And being out there alone. I tried to hike it once and I just didn't like it. I tried to ignore the mental block against this trail that I have.

I ran to the restroom quickly before I left, only to realize that the reason I was feeling so crampy and so cranky: I started my period. Two days early. F*&$. Damn antibiotics. I had supplies, and soon I was ready to go on my way.

The first .75 mile was okay. By 1.3, I started heading up up up a big, steep hill. A few folks were out, but not many. My garmin made a strange sound, and I looked down to realize that apparently, I was going so slow up the steep hill, it auto-paused itself. It wasn't counting any of the time or distance as I trudged wearily up up up. What a blow. I have it set to auto-pause WHEN I STOP. When I STOP. Not when I get below a 2-mile-per-hour pace. When I STOP. I guess I was going so slow up this hill, it couldn't register my pace.

I was so depressed. What was the point of trudging up the hill if my efforts didn't get recognized on my device? (Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was thinking I shouldn't really attach so much significance to an electronic device, but my emotions were too strong for that to come forward.)

I topped out and headed down, tripping and cursing and then stopping abruptly when I heard something in the bushes. (Something that turned out to be the cymbals kicking off the next song on my iPod.) I was really feeling cranky by now, and when I made it to Bird Canyon's creek, I just did NOT feel like jumping over it and heading up into the mesquite bosque on the other side. With my luck, I'd fall in. And the trail ahead just looked scary. (I told you I was a scaredy-cat.)

So I turned around at 2 miles in, and walked out. Didn't run a single step. I hate running with a camelback and did not want to feel it bouncing around on me. I was cramping more. I felt like a petulant child - I just wanted to throw a fit and be done with it. I felt like a failure. Like there was no way I could be an ultrarunner. What kind of ultrarunner lets a few disappointments, fear of mountain lions and her monthly cycle get in the way of training?

Once I arrived back at my car, I called Chris in tears. Poor guy did really well just listening to me whine and moan. After I got home and showered, we went to my favorite restaurant for brunch and comfort food, before heading home to play scrabble and watch football. We eventually fell asleep on the couch, but woke up in time for Chris to head home and Ash to come over.

Ash and I had a great evening, and I also managed to clean the house and get started on the last custom art order for Christmas (unless anyone else wants to order some! hint, hint :) ).

I'm feeling better today, although somewhat ashamed by my feelings/behavior yesterday. I know why I did what I did, and I know I'll be okay. I also know I have two to three weeks of lowered training coming up to get through the holidaze before I really begin my training in earnest in January. So it'll be okay. Right? Right.

C2U: Week 10


Let's add two miles this week; your mid-week runs are 3, 3 & 3, with a long run of 8 for a total of 17 miles this week.

I'm wondering if anyone is finding value in these weekly posts?

At last...


Runner Susan featured my artwork in her Holiday Gift article at! How awesome is that?! Thank you, Runner Susan!

I bought a new computer tonight, yay!

It's amazing how the comments trail off when one doesn't have the ability to comment on others' blogs!

I missed my two-year blog-o-versary on Nov 10!

Okay, waaay too many exclamation marks there. I'm just excited to be blogging from home at 10 pm.

It's defninte: a sinus infection. I'm on antibiotics and am feeling a bit better. I ran one day, but not the other. Am doing well.

I'm totally ready for the busy holiday season (including Ash's birthday), although I feel quite overwhelmed. I think I'm just PMSing. Running tomorrow and Friday, Christmas party Friday night, followed by a wicked-ass hike on Saturday (gotta prep for ZG's steepness!). Rest on Sunday. Another Christmas party on Tuesday, then Ash's birthday party, then Ash's birthday itself, followed immediately by our vacation, which ends on Dec 24, just in time for Ash to be whisked away to his dad's family's activities for Christmas eve/morning, then back to me for my family's Christmas day festivities, then I go back to work as Ash goes on vacation with his dad, then the New Year, then back to school for Ash. Enough running in there to have a few 20+ mile weeks, and after the new year comes major training, woo hoo!

Sinus infection


I'm afraid I have a sinus infection. I go to the dr tomorrow to confirm. I've been having symptoms since Thanksgiving weekend, and have mostly stuck to my run/exercise schedule (I missed one day). Headaches, tons and tons of green mucus, tired, pressure in my nose/head, post-nasal drip (a little). Living on ibuprofen and sudafed. I wanted to do 2-3 miles today and 3 tomorrow morning.

Should I continue to run? Am I making things worse?


C2U: Week Nine


This is a repeat of week seven: mid-week runs of 3, 3 & 2, with a long run of 7, for a total of 15 miles.

I don't have a schedule topic of discussion this, tell me - what's your favorite part of running?


angie's explored by trail running (and mixed-media art)


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2007 is the previous archive.

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