Friday, May 29, 2009

That's Sick

Held prisoner
and nowhere to run.
(The only reference to running here is that I was training for my first half marathon when it happen. Take heart - anyone close to celebrating four oh might find a nugget of fun. read on)

Beth over at http://www.shutupandrun/ locked me in her basement this past summer. Maybe you were getting your car lubed or at a bar in July of 2008 and glanced at a streaming live-time news show from a mounted flatscreen and saw this. It's not me. But it could've been. Here's the deal.
Last July, I embarked on a never-been-done-before-children, all-by-myself trip. Couldn't wait. I was headed to visit my dear, dear friend, Beth in Longmont, CO. I even bought a 'airport outfit'. Travel day was my ACTUAL 40th birthday - got a free glass of wine during my layover in Vegas. I thought it was for my birthday but I think that's just how Vegas rolls. Anyway, I didn't even pack my beloved running shoes - this event was no place for those puppies. Here's how my trip rolled.
(This is not for the faint of heart.)
#1 I SEE BETH. Yeah. We lovingly greet each other like two friends who haven't seen each other in years. Oh wait, we are. Never mind. No tongue though. We are in our groove within a matter of seconds.
#2 We go to a bar nearby that smells like feet when you first walk in. (Not mine because they don't. Remember the body function phobia?) The upstairs deck is way cool They spray you with water every few minutes. It's stinkin' hot.
#3 We head to Boulder for more drinks and a further traverse down Memory Lane. I laughed so hard my cheeks ached. I had no idea what was in store for me.
9:00 p.m. 'ish
I race in to see Beth's family - including their 3-legged rescue dog, Lucky and their never-been-seen-before-by-me house. Yeah. More fun.
Bedtime for Clair. I'm pooped. East Coast time and all. Beth shows me to my quarters. I get the whole huge basement to myself which includes my own bathroom with a runnable faucet. Yeah, again. 'Night everybody.
6:30 a.m.
It's coffee-time in Colorado. Or so I thought. I saunter on up the stairs to a $#$%%$$ SHUT AND LOCKED door. The only thing I hear is effing-Lucky sniffing around on the other side. Tap, tap, tap I go. Sniff. Sniff. Sniff. I hear. Back down the steps I go.
6:40 to 7:00
I exit my cell from the sliding glass doors down below IN MY PAJAMAS (did I tell you they live on a golf course that is in use at a very early hour), careful not to shut it all the way. (I'm so smart.) Up the deck stairs I go. To nothing. Nada. Locked out again. Who is this person I call 'friend'?
7:00 to 7:15
DT's from no coffee. False hope of rescue.
I give up. I crawl back in bed. It's a good thing Beth gave me a book for my birthday (Thank you) because the sorry ass book collection in my cell did not turn me on. I should, however, bone up on C. S. Lewis, The New Testament and Dickens. At least I know it. Lucky's effing limp on the kitchen floor is really on my nerves now. Must be nice.
I hear Beth in the kitchen. Now I'm embarrassed. Up the stairs I go to try again. Tap, tap tap I go. Laugh, laugh, laugh I hear. Sick. 'Oh, my God.' (laugh, laugh, laugh) 'Did I lock you out?' (laugh, laugh, laugh) 'Holy Shit. (She cusses.) 'I can't believe this.' (laugh, laugh, laugh). 'I have got to call Ken.' Sick 'Holy Shit'. (More cussing).
I'm out. More Colorado Fun.
Oh, and here are my older two children playing. I secretly liked this. Sick
Ever been held captive? What's your story? Keep it clean.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I'm Shy

Halter tops, running water and #2

Remember the Myers-Briggs test? ENFP, ISPJ, ISFP, what the HELL? "E" for extrovert is the only letter I remember. That's me. But I'm shy.

About some things. I used to dress to hide the top half of my curvy figure. After breast reduction surgery I can now wear halter tops, a complete impossibility for me before. Most people don't get the literal load shouldered by large-breasted women. Nice for certain film genres, great if they are high and tight, wonderful if your body image is healthy. Not good if they define what people know you for. This PR professional (a field where being an "E" - not the cup size, is a prerequisite) I was shy, shy, about this trait. Who knew a born double D would be a runner? Thank you, Dr. Pozez - now I really am an E, in mind, BODY, and spirit. Have you moved past something to surprise even yourself. I know an Introvert who is an award-winning salesperson. I know an "I" turned politician, and another "I" who's a top-notch pharmacist. There are more of you 'going-against-your-grain-heroes' out there and I want to know it. So folks, Strap on your halter, hold your bouncies and tell me all about it.

I'm still shy about some things. I still run the water when I go to the bathroom. Whether I am at home, my sister's house, a restaurant it doesn't matter. I've been doing it for 20-plus years. I hate port a potties not only because they are foul, but because - THERE IS NO FAUCET for me to run. I would just die if anyone heard that wretched sound singing out of my body. Ewww. How weird is that? When my children were toddlers they'd follow me into the loo, I wasn't shy about that but the water was on. I wouldn't want to scar them. Their mother actually urinates. I might as well make their appointment with a therapist now. Actually I think it's their mother who has issues. We can't even mention #2. It's unspeakable. So much so that I did no letting go for five days because of close quarters on vacation. I just don't do that kind of thing. Way beyond it. I come by it naturally. My mother sent my father out for sugar whenever nature called her. So what's your 'thing'. You know you have one. Laugh at yourself. It's fun. Most of my friends would guffaw at the thought I claim to be shy. Only about somethings. Formerly about halter tops, currently about natural body functions that I actually now encourage because I'm getting old. Change is good.

Monday, May 18, 2009

God Who?

What's God's Last Name?

"Almighty", I say to my 5-year-old.
"No. It's not," she says. "It's damnit". Help.

Do you pray before a race? On Sunday I ran the Carytown 10k in Richmond, Virginia in the 60-degree rain. As always there were runners of all shapes, ages, and experience. Love it. Because it was a small race (1175 finishers) there were no corrals or staggered starts. The start-gun was cocked and excitement was spewing. I looked just over my left shoulder and saw an older gentleman with his chin slightly lowered. His eyes closed. I watched his lips sculpt the word "Amen". Most of us were aching for one last calf stretch and plotting our starting pace - or God forbid, regretting that last glass of wine. This guy gave it up. To Him. I was moved by this and wondered if this was the ultimate racing strategy.

Sometimes I pray while I run.

'Help me up this hill.'
'God, when will this be over?'
'Jeeeeeee-zuss' (across the Nickel Bridge at the end of a 20-miler.)
Done it all.

This I haven't done. Pray at the end of a race. Usually, I'm thinking about the clock, my reward for finishing (wine, coffee, bath) or my performance. I'm not thinking about my Maker. (What was his last name again?) On Sunday, I ran my personal best 10k time. 54:47. Healthy. Pain-free.

Thank God. Oh, and please - bring me to another race. Amen.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Phat Memories

Will Prednisone Give You A Phat Run?

Last week I returned to my family doctor with a cough that was driving my family crazy. I had had pneumonia earlier in the winter and probably never got rid of it. He prescribed prednisone, a pulmonary anti-inflammatory steroid and an inhaler. There are pros and cons to using this drug therapy over a period of time. Prednisone has many unpleasant side effects and is not the mildest of drugs, but it works. When my doctor recommended it, my (immature) reaction was, "Can I run while on it?" and "Will it make me fat?" So why do we all obsess over the ultimate side effect - WEIGHT GAIN - when if fact we are GETTING WELL?

It's my fat memories, and everybody else's.

"You aren't fat, Clair." "You are phat (pee, aych, ay, tee - the good kind)." Curvy girls are phat and that's supposed to feel good.

It doesn't - back pain and notching in my shoulders motivated me to undergo breast reduction surgery nine years ago. That and running have helped me maintain a weight that feels more natural and normal to me. Body image is a huge issue for women and the messages start early. Naturally, while on this wonder drug that helps me BREATHE (for God's sake) I didn't want to miss out on running or get fat (or phat).

Then I thought... prednisone is a steroid, perhaps it'll give me a phat run (the good kind). So, on Wednesday - after my morning dose, I ran 7 miles in 57:12, good for me - it worked.

I was not completely doped up for this run. I hadn't tried my handy dandy inhaler yet. Had never used one before. When my doctor was teaching me how to use it he said - "It's kind of like doing a big, old bong hit." I remember it being referred to as a "fat hit" Maybe a "phat hit". Maybe my doctor has phat memories.

Anybody out there worry about how legal, medicinal, necessary drug therapy affects their running? What's your experience?

Monday, May 4, 2009


I got up this morning at 3:30 a.m. and ran 14 miles in 2:10.

Yeah right! Why do we need to embellish, exaggerate, lie about what we do in fitness or anything else? My best half marathon time is 2:08. Not too impressive. Also not a lie. You'd catch me in that one. There are many websites out there that keep a log of all registered races. Those dang nabbit chips are a nuissance.

Not these.


It might be a good idea to have chips on us all the time monitoring the authenticity of our progress in life, personal projects, and fitness. A website to store our data isn't necessary. Our backbone is our chip. Own it. We don't need to be better than we are today. We just are. Pick a set of adjectives for yourself (strong, happy, a good listener, patient, kind) and finish the sentence, "I am _____________________ " . If you believe it. It's not a lie. Tomorrow I'll get up early and go for a run. No, really. We'll see. I'll try. I have every intention of doing it. And that's the truth.

Recommended Reading: The Extra Mile by Pam Reed.