Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Just when I thought I was getting somewhere...

Without any set goals for fitness, I'm working without any pressure. After all, my sole goal in running is to cross the finish line in one piece. With such a low standard, I can easily exceed my expectations.

Feeling good about my completion of a 10 miler on Sunday, I willingly agreed to a one-on-one session with Judi, the personal trainer at the Y. So I showed up at 7:45 this morning to warm up. 40 minutes on the gauntlet (that torture device that looks like the escalator from hell) and I was feeling strong if moist. Then our session began.

We started the hour with intervals of lat pull downs, single leg lunges with a weighted biceps and shoulder lift, and abs on the bosu with a medicine ball, 3 sets of 15 reps, 12 reps, and 25 reps, respectively. After that things got harder. At some point during the hour (was it during the bridge with a triceps lift, or the back extension with a weighted twist?) I needed to take a moment because my 6:30 English muffin was making a reappearance.

There would be no histrionics before the trainer today. For all my big talk of half marathons and 5 AM training runs, I was nothing more than a quivering pile of aching muscles by the end of the session.

What a devious machine, this body that houses my proud spirit, in never allowing me a moment of glory. I forecast a lot more lifting and sweating in my future.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

omg - totally not lol

ilana, my DD uses this desktop computer for her important work like MSG for her BFFs. She sometimes D/Ls PICs for her MYSPACE Profile

i found this on the hard drive with the file name "mario lopez nude" OMG! CU L8R. GTG strangle someone!

Sweet October

Always my favorite month of the year, first because of my October birthday, this month is filled with wonderful change. Even Florida's stubborn insistence on heat and humidity cannot withstand the change in the weather that late October brings.

Growing up in New York I relished the first chance to put on those new corduroy and woolen clothes we had purchased for back to school; the scratchy feel of a new jacket before it was broken in or abandoned in the school lost-and-found. The leaves, with their sweet smell of decay and omnipresent crunch underfoot, white noise for my nose and ears. And Halloween, the day of endless possibilities. Up North we do not have the ridiculous tradition of waiting until sunset to begin the festivities. Trick-or-treating my way home from the bus stop, in costume from a day of candy and parades at school, I would empty my bag of loot before I even really got started.

This morning, during my predawn run, I caught a glimpse of those Octobers. The wind blew, and I jogged across wet fallen leaves. I can't go back in time, and I don't think I'd really want to. But a cool October morning can take me there if only for a moment.

Dead Run

I wasn't going to blog about this, but my peeps in blogland have pressured me into writing. I can't keep my nose out of any challenge, and this is a writing challenge at that! A blog a day for 30 days, starting 10/28.

Sunday was the longest race EG and I have ever run. The Pumpkin Run was a 10 miler, 0.7 longer than the Gate (although my satellite GPS device clocked the 10 miler at 10.87). This was run on an early Sunday morning in late October in the Evergreen Cemetery in downtown Jax. There were two races running simultaneously: a huge crowd ran the 5K, and the 10 mile continued thereafter.

Starting off with the 5K crowd, it seemed like it would be a whimsical race. Many pumpkin runners donned their festive orange T's. Others wore costumes. Wonder Woman ran with Superman (did you know they're going together?). We blew by a sixty-something fairy godmother, in spite of her wand and fairy dust. Things were good.

We trudged along at our "long run" tempo, and skipped the turn-off for the finish mats at the 5K mark. Two more loops around the cemetery and we'd hit the big one-oh. The crowd thinned. Running alone through a cemetery on a gloomy October morning, trusting the flimsy race signs placed intermittently between rows of headstones, we hoped we weren't lost. We passed few people. Two ladies, schlepping and chatting among the dead, ran slower than we did. I think maybe they were on ventilators. Occasionally a really speedy runner would zip by in a whir, completing lap two and heading for the finish as we dragged through lap one.

Mile marker seven was at a turn; left to the finish mats, right for the final 3. "Turn left to finish!" the volunteers shouted at us. I shook my head and laughed between my labored breaths, pointing right. For the last three miles we were the sole live beings moving through the cemetery. Even the friendly water station volunteers had deserted their posts, leaving the gatorade-filled cups on the wet tables.

Alone but proud, and just a little more than 2 hours after we started, EG and I crossed the mats to mark the first official ten mile race we completed. There were no fireworks. The crowd didn't go wild. But these two out of shape forty-something parents of a teenager ran ten miles before most people got out of bed that morning.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Junior High School Birthday Girl

I resent the world that wants her to hurry and grow up, her teachers who say that everything is solely her responsibility. Thirteen and Junior High School doesn't mean that she's an independent adult. With the world just beginning to open for her, careful guidance and nurturing are vital to her success. "Figure it out, you're not a baby anymore," is neither nurturing nor supportive. It's negligent. Parents aren't entitled to or responsible for her getting her work done, so they say. We are her teachers, no matter what they say, and we'll continue to battle the system on her behalf.

Her daddy says that the most frightening part of being the parent of a 13-year old is that she has reached an age that he remembers being. I contend that the most frightening part is much bigger than that. No longer a small child, yet so far from being an adult - how strange are these years of in-between-ness. Hard to imagine that it may be as few as six more years that she calls our home her home. What will the future hold for our girl, who still asks to be tucked in, to have me turn on the bath water for her?

Until then, we will enjoy filling her childhood with potential for many wonderful memories. Birthday parties and school dances. Family vacations and intensive study sessions. Dance recitals and doctor's appointments. Nighttime snuggles and afternoon shopping sprees. Don't hurry, my girl.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


6 years more than Mozart. 2 years more than Dr. King. 26 years more than Anne Frank. Forty-one complete years of me. Forty-one tally marks stack like a cord of cut firewood, yet I feel like the same insecure tall kid on the top riser of Mrs. Loge's fourth grade chorus.

Alone tonight, in my Oklahoma City hotel room, steps from the site of the Muir building bombing, I type at my laptop, ignoring the quiet distractions of Oprah's guests and the murder of crows assailing the Sycamore trees beneath my eighth floor window.

This is my real New Year's Day, never mind the Roman, Jewish, or Modern Western calendars. No ball will drop in Times Square, but I will celebrate, appraise and resolve all the same. I will toast myself with a tall iced tea (unsweetened) over my grilled chicken Caesar salad in the mediocre hotel restaurant. I will evaluate riches, with family and friends, health and good fortune, my blessings are too many to count. I will resolve to become better – more patient a wife and mother, more learned a professional, and more charitable to me, the tall one singing Soprano in the back row.