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Wisdom Teeth Begone


High on Percoset, with chipmunk cheeks swollen to high heaven, I'm at home on a weekday, craving a burrito but stuck drinking a smoothie. At least Tucson is home to the Best. Smoothie. Shop. Ever. XOOM JUICE!

I tried going into work this morning. It didn't pan out so well. Oh, the pain! But I didn't want to take a Percoset at work (uh, high at work? no, thanks.), so I hit up Xoom Juice & the library with a pounding head before making it home to pop some pain meds and feel better.

And feel better I do. But man, these swollen cheeks are driving me batty. And no running sucks. And apparently, my bloody mouth leaked all over the place on Tuesday (I found blood droplets on the balcony outside my door, not to mention my sheets, towels & comforter!). The laundry is piled up to the ceiling. I'm down to my last set of PJs (although I think I still have a few clean pair of underwear). I have no desire to drag my sorry ass to the laundromat to clean things. I can barely lift the laptop up to my lap to type this post (speaking of which, is this all TMI? Will I regret this when my brain's on straight?!). But I did manage to shower this morning. And put some dishes in the dishwasher. And I think I emptied the cat litter last night.

I've been told that although I was knocked out for the surgery, I cried the entire time. Chris was in the waiting room and could hear me. They had to give me more meds but that didn't stop the crying. Is that normal??? All I remember is falling asleep, hearing the doc say, "She needs more," then getting rolled out to the car, then climbing the damn stairs to my house (which I apparently flipped off), then vomiting. And vomiting some more. Yeah, that was fun.

At least the teeth are gone, though, so hopefully once I'm healed, it'll all be worth it. I just want the swelling to go down by Saturday, when I have to:
1. Register Ash for soccer (in person - what an impression!)
2. Meet a few single parents in person (for the first time ever, again - what an impression!)
3. Take Ash to a birthday party.

Will I have enough energy? Will I look okay? Geez louise, I sure hope so.

Oy vey


It's Tuesday afternoon, and something feels off in my midsection. I ignore it, thinking that it's just minor aches and pains. I haven't eaten since 4 pm, but I'm not hungry. Throughout the evening, the pain and pressure in my pelvic area worsens and the pain during urination is almost unbearable but I still ignore it thinking I'll go to the doctor in the morning, so I put my five-year-old son Ash to bed. A half-hour later, I realize I need to go to Urgent Care. This hurts, and now there's blood.

I wake him up and we go; I forgo eating dinner so we can make it before they close. It's a relatively quick process - in and out in an hour-and-a-half - and my sleepy son is doing well. I feel sorry for him as we go to the nearest 24-hour Walgreens so I can fill my antibiotic prescription. I get to the counter and wait. And wait. And wait and wait some more. The pharmacists are all busy. I am worrying that it's 10 pm already and my son needs to be in bed and how long will it take to fill the prescriptions after they get them - but they won't get them because they are taking too damn long! I realize I am hungry and I open a granola bar that has been lurking in my purse. I eat a few bites as a pharmacist finally comes over to help me. She asks if I've been there before, and suddenly I know something is very very wrong.

I feel sick and I think I'm hyperventilating. I say so out loud, thinking this is very similar to an episode I had 15 years ago. I think to myself that if I can't catch my breath, I'm going to pass out. The world goes gray, then black, and I see a train rushing at me and I think there's a train wreck. I realize I'm dreaming and it's time to wake up and I bolt upright. There's a weirdly familiar guy looking at me, and I realize he's a pharmacist at...where was I? Walgreens? You mean Walgreens isn't part of the dream?

Ash - where's Ash! I panic, but he's right next to me, freaked out. I hear people running around, there are so many people here that weren't here a minute ago. They are asking me questions, giving me tissues, telling me how I threw myself backward from the counter rigidly as though I had a seizure and how I landed on my head and kept my eyes open the whole time. Someone is asking Ash if he wants to look at toys. Don't let my son leave!

The paramedics arrive and ask me to call someone to help with Ash. His dad is not answering his phone; neither is Chris. I'm scared for Ash, who is up too late and freaked out. The paramedics are insistent that I call someone - anyone - and I keep trying Chris, hoping he hears his phone - I know he's awake, he's preparing to leave for MI for 8 days the following morning. Finally he answers and relief floods my body.

Chris arrives in record time and the paramedics insist I go to the ER even though I don't want to. I know I didn't take care of my body today - I didn't eat enough. I know I've been running on fumes for the last four days, barely able to put one foot in front of the other as I moved my house and worked through intense deadlines and meetings. I know I have a infection raging inside my body.

They hook me up to an IV on the way to the hospital and it hurts. I am scared for Ash, worried about my meetings the next day and really worried about Chris getting ready in time for his flight out the next morning.

I wait in the ER three hours (Ash gets to visit me once) before I'm finally told it'll be another six (!) hours before a doctor sees me. Screw this. I know what's wrong with my body and my son needs to go to bed and my friend needs to pack. After a big emergency, someone finally comes down to see me about my request to leave, has me sign a waiver and asks me to keep someone around for the next 48 hours to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Finally, we leave. I get Ash to sleep around 1:30 am and I have a fitful night's sleep. This morning I have a meeting at 9 am, but I know I can't make it. I text a coworker, who jumps right in to cover me, and wait for Ash's dad Johnny to finally get all the messages we left on his phone the night before. I can't meet him at our normal meeting spot to exchange Ash; my car is still at Walgreens. Five minutes after our meeting time, I get the call. He comes over to my house to pick up Ash and offers to watch Ash this evening while I continue to recover.

Chris comes and gives me a ride to my car before he leaves. I'm tempted to ask the Walgreens manager for the surveillance tape so I can actually see what happened.

When I arrive back home, I discover two more caterpillars in my living room (one of which has created a hole in my carpet under a box - can anyone help me identify? I tried to upload the photo but it's not working) and realize my internet is still not working. I have one more meeting I need to attend and at least two hot deadlines to make today. I can't do it. All I want to do is lie down on my bed and rest my head. And so I do.

My coworkers and clients are gracious and understanding, for which I am grateful. I have a massive headache, but think that the reason I don't have a bigger goose egg on the back of my head is because I was wearing a plastic clip to hold my hair back and it shattered as I fell. That's two in one week, dammit!


Could be...


According to the doctor, it could be bursitis/baker's cyst or runner's knee. I said I was worried about tendonitis or a pulled hamstring. He seemed to dismiss that (or maybe just not comment on it?). I'm getting x-rays and an ultrasound tomorrow.

On a different note, my sister and her family are going through an incredibly difficult and sad time right now. For those of you who pray, she is asking for prayers. For those of you who don't pray, please send positive thoughts. They need a lot of strength to get through this.

I love you Kate!

So Chris is off to Indiana for the weekend, to catch up with friends. He says to me before he leaves, "you know they are going to want to see photos of you....can I just point them to your website?"

"Sure!" I say with a devilish grin and a joke about making sure I take his photo off the site first (he's a little reserved - not exactly the type of person to post his mug all over the 'net...not like *some* people I know...ahem...).'s my shout out: Hi to Chris's friends! Do I pass muster?! (Is Chris just totally embarassed that I've done this? Is he all red and dying over there?!) I hope you guys are having a lot of fun :)

Okay, back to my regularly scheduled programming: running.

Or more like, the lack thereof. I mean, I know I'm in my taper and all, but shouldn't I still be running, oh, just even a little bit? I skipped Monday night's run thinking, oh, I've got time this week; only ran 2 miles Tuesday morning (cranky!); stuck to my "no-running-on-Wednesday" rule; and I was supposed to go out tonight, except the dentist this morning said, "Hey, I've got an opening this afternoon; let's do your root canal!"

I'm contemplating running after the root canal, although I've heard horror stories about the pain...and that's even if I get the root canal. They've already called and bumped me back an hour due to a more urgent emergency that came up in the meantime. Chris thinks I should go spinning - not as much of an impact and I don't have to worry about forward motion and all. Of course, he thinks I need more cross-training in general anyway :)

My only other times for running this week are tomorrow morning and Sunday evening, since I have Ash. I may end up with a much more drastic taper than I was anticipating! Yikes!

UPDATE - Thursday evening
The root canal is done. I'm numb. I decided it was stupid to go for a run and/or do spinning tonight; I need to let my body heal. They're putting on a crown, so they drilled away my entire tooth after filling the root canal and putting in a post. I have a fake tooth that's bugging the crap outta me in there now. I have to keep it for about three weeks until I get the permanent crown.

I'm tired. I'm ready for my roasted corn chowder soup and the movie "Stardust".

UPDATE - Friday morning
Just finished 3.25 miles and am feeling good :)

How I turned 30


Angie, Barb & Daniel at the start of Angie's 30th Birthday Run!

It starts Thursday, when I learn I have 16 cavities and $5000 worth of work that needs to be done on my teeth. That’s what 12 years of no dental appointments will do to a girl. No cavities at all growing up, and then BAM! I learn I also need a root canal. I am depressed and panicked and in need of a dental plan, stat! And that root canal – can I get it done before Zane Grey? I am in so much pain! I research dental plans and come up with some possibilities to mull over the weekend. I am bummed to start my birthday this way, but I know I will find a way to pay less than the original quote and I will take care of myself from now on.

The celebration starts Friday afternoon, at work. An American Idol happy hour kicks off the festivities at 4 pm in the conference room: bread, fruit, cheese, beer, wine and a karaoke machine. The conference room door is adorned with the American Idol logo along with photos of me: Halloween as leftovers, Halloween as an ice dancer, Christmas portrait looking coyly over a shoulder, a random candid photo of my head thrown back and my mouth frozen, open with laughter. We laugh and giggle and dance and sing YMCA, Dancing Queen, Friends in Low Places.

I leave the laughter and song behind to join Chris and his nieces at his soccer game, where I spend joyful quality time with a friend's infant in a little bear outfit, holding him, snuggling him, walking him, quieting him, helping him fall asleep while both his parents run to their hearts content during the game. My friends Barb, Daniel and Mary stop by to check out the game and meet the team; Mary is contemplating joining. I return Little Bear to his parents, and head to Trader Joe's with Barb, Daniel and Mary to pick up wine, frozen pizza, cheese and crackers. At Mary and Daniel's house, we dissect the beauty queens on display at the Miss USA pageant and decide that Miss New Jersey should have won, but not just because Jersey is Barb’s “homeland,” although that is part of it. Chris joins us after the team’s post-soccer dinner and we play Cranium, try to find "Cops" on TV for Barb and try our hand at Wii before finally, at 1:30 am, heading home.

I sleep in Saturday morning, and enjoy the luxurious space of time to myself for the entire day: I read, I paint, I clean, I cook, I read some more, I shop. I can’t remember the last time I had such a long time period of me and only me to think about. I am relaxed.

At night, we join Chris's nieces, mom and dad at a posh restaurant to celebrate his dad's birthday. Us girls make sure to dress up. After dinner, we wander through the nearby outdoor upscale mall, Chris’s younger niece pretending to stalk us, his dad running the wrong way down the escalator and trying to convince me and Chris's older niece to do the same, salivating over Tiffany & Co. and BCBG Max Azria.
Sunday morning dawns windy. I am thirty, for real. All the lead up, all the anticipation, comes to bear. This is it. I am no longer in my twenties. I open my eyes to Chris singing me happy birthday softly. I am excited and ready for this new decade.

I’m also excited and ready for my birthday run. Barb and Daniel pick me and we head to Sabino Canyon. The road up Sabino - part of my favorite, Phoneline Loop - is closed till June, so we travel over to Bear Canyon and Seven Falls. The four miles out are warm and fun and full of laughter and joy.

Daniel poses at the Falls

Angie at 7Falls - it's cold!

I chase Daniel down to the base of Seven Falls, yelling that I’m going to get him! Unlike previous training runs to the Falls, I decide to take my time at the turnaround. I strip my shoes and socks off to wade in the water. Barb gingerly makes her way down to the base of the falls, choosing her way carefully, making sure to avoid tripping, falling, hurting herself on the trail. We'll make a trail runner of her yet!

Barb approaches

She joins in me in the water, then starts wandering down the slick rock. I open my mouth to warn her about just how slippery the rock gets when mixed with water when she walks into a pool and her legs slide out from under her. She splashes down, landing on her left wrist and her bum.

Barb ices her just-broken wrist

It takes us awhile to realize just how badly she is hurt. I tell her to keep the wrist in the snowmelt-fed water, to "ice" it and keep the swelling down. After a few moments, she pulls it out of the water, and a huge bump has formed. A fellow hiker at the falls introduces herself as a pediatrician; she pronounces the wrist broken. The doctor finds a stick, wraps it in medical tape and tapes the splint to Barb's broken wrist. The doctor also provides ibuprofen. After a few nervous moments of a gray-faced Barb whispering that she is going to throw up (she doesn’t), Daniel and I tie her shoes back on her feet, pack up our stuff and slowly start making our way out.

Barb's splint

Once on the move, Barb feels much better. We walk about a mile before she declares herself ready to run. We take it easy and slowly speed up as we make our way down-canyon. She keeps the broken wrist protected, held close to her heart.

One tough chick

Three hours after our start, we arrive back at the car. Barb insists on our coffee ritual after the run, and the woman behind the counter at Ike’s is shocked to hear that we are stopping there with an injured runner and have not taken her to the ER yet. She is also shocked to hear that I am thirty. You don’t look thirty, she says with a furrow in her forehead. Why, thank you!

Barb drops me off at Chris's before heading to get donuts at Mary and Daniel's. She takes her time showering before heading to the ER with Mary.

After making me blueberry pancakes, Chris takes me to see "Juno,” which I love. Ash comes back that afternoon from his weekend field trip, and the three of us head to Fuddrucker's for my birthday dinner, where Barb, Daniel and Mary join us after Barb gets out of the ER, bringing me donuts from the morning. After dinner, Ash and I take Chris home before heading to our place. Ash crashes, he is exhausted, and I finalize the dental plan I need. If I’m understanding the plan correctly, I will end up paying only $1500-$2000 for what is needed. I am relieved.

It was definitely an awesome weekend, even with the broken bone and dental woes, and I am happy to be where I am in my life.

A Lark in the Park


This past weekend was an overwhelming blast of fun. On Saturday, Chris, Ash and I headed up to Mesa to hang out with my family. Saturday night was my first of many birthday parties planned over the next month - this one with my family. Seven kids under six years old running around screaming their heads off, my sister and her husband, my step-brother and his wife along with my mom and step-dad eating cake, wading in the pool, and eating my mom's awesome tacos and burritos made for a fun time.

We stayed overnight, and the next morning, my mom, Chris, Ash and I headed to the Phoenix Zoo for "A Lark in the Park 5k". My mom is trying to get into shape, and likes power-walking (and running a little bit). We ran a 5k about 18 months ago, which was fun, and I was looking forward to this one. It was two loops through the zoo: we got stalked by a tiger, ignored by lions and flamingos, screeched at by parrots, dusted by rhinos and cheered on by Ash and Chris. We worked on jogging vs running (my mom laughed that she had two speeds only: fast or slow), talked up a storm, enjoyed some companionable silence, and worked our butts off to beat the girl in gray pants (which we did, go mom!). We finished in 43:38, a great time for my mom, and an enjoyable time for me (still recovering from last week's major mileage). (Photos to come)

Once we made it home, Ash went to his dad's, and Chris and I headed to a wedding, which was beautiful and a lot of fun.

Monday afternoon, I headed out for six miles around my neighborhood. Boy, let me tell you, an evening in heels does not make for a comfortable run the following day! Plus it was hot. But it felt really good to be out there. Plus - I got to run with my new Nathan pack! (My birthday present to myself.)

This morning, I headed out for an additional six miles with the pack again. Even though it was cooler than yesterday, it still was a tough run. (Those damn heels!) I'm looking forward to resting tomorrow, spinning or running on Thursday, running six miles on both Friday and Saturday mornings, and then heading out for 8-10 miles as my birthday run on Sunday!!! This is my final week before a two-week taper. Yay!

And finally - I'm in the March/April 2008 issue of Marathon & Beyond! The article is "Mountain Running: East vs West". They interviewed me a couple years ago, so they used my married name instead of my maiden name, which I'm currently using. If you are interested in reading it, e-mail me (I've got a PDF of the part I'm in).

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



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


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