Old Lady Running.

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I saw the girls.  Four of them in their late 30’s.  Dressed to the nines in matching running gear.  One girl was in lilac from head to toe.  They looked amazing.  Glowing.  Of course they passed me, cruising around a 10 minute mile, chatting.  No one out of breath.

At first I started to feel ashamed.  Here I am, trying to recapture my fitness from 2012, slogging out 3 miles at a 12:30 pace. Some runners would laugh at that. (Not my friends, but you know.)  I really had to go to the bathroom, but I was unwilling to stop, trying to break the obsessive habit of a one mile stop.

I looked down at my ragged clothes, the gear I’ve been running in for about 3 years.  My cut off Dollar Store socks for arm sleeves, my youngest son’s hat when he was a little boy.  And, I didn’t even want what they had.  I wanted what I had.  I continued to my goal, trying to just. not. stop.

I looked up, and as they were getting closer, they all smiled at me.  And then I realized.  I never ran when I was 30.  Or 40. My first marathon was 50, and 6 of them later, I’m 56 years old.  I accept the limitations of my age, but I work within them too.  I know I have to take Vitamin D.  I must have estrogen and progesterone, or no one will get out alive.  My hair is gray under all this color.  I am over my goal marathon weight by 11 pounds.  It’s hard.  But, it’s not unmanageable.

I forgot how good it feels to run, eat oatmeal with blueberries, have good coffee.  Week 1 comes to a close tomorrow with a long run of 5 miles.  It’s daunting, but it will happen.

I am 56.  I’m re-training my body and my will.  Carry on.

@Twitter – I Want You Back

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I miss the old days of Twitter.  Back when you could put out a tweet, and a few people would engage in a lengthy, sometimes mind numbing and fun conversation.  In the early days of Twitter, we used a hashtag to see what was trending, not to over-punctuate with clever phrases.  You could tweet a hashtag, and tweeps would jump on a topic, as if to just throw in their two cents worth, and move along.  Engaging, interactive.

Early tweeters will recognize and remember this time.  Clean tweets.  Lots of laughing, real laughing.

Today, my blog is 8 years old, and Twitter is 9.  So many changes.  And, I have just one request.

Twitter, I want you back.  Like you were.  Stop inserting ads into my timeline.  Stop giving people props for having the most retweets, and hey, is that a favstar?  It’s like Twitter used to be like this really huge coffee shop of ongoing discussions, and now there are a few tables left, with companies taking up more of the space.  The #chat feature seems to have grown exponentially.  I received a document with over 100 Educational Chats.  I always love Sunday night #runchat.  When I participate in the others, I think, am I really participating, or am I just wanting my opinion to get out there.

Am I interacting, or am I collecting followers?

I left Twitter around 2011 or so.  I came back a year or so later to a very different landscape.  I have always liked an open Twitter stream, because I like to interact with the real people of companies.  Who can forget Arnold Schwarzenegger, The LA Marathon & Pete Carroll, having K-Swiss give me a great pair of recovery shoes for blogging.  I interact off an on about brands with the actual tweeters, not the company.

I met you.  All of you.  My runner community.  Many I met and ran with personally.  It was a lovely time.

All I’m sayin’ is, keep whatever you have now, but bring back the thing that made Twitter great:  raw, engaging, challenging conversations…bring it back, and I’ll be the first one in line.

#Chet, and 3 Miles Unplanned.

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He has his own hashtag.  He’s been brought home in a squad car.  The people who owned him before me, found that he was just too much trouble, so they simply opened the gate, and let him run away.  He was brought to a local shelter, and was secluded from the rest of the dogs, because he was just too unruly.  We were looking for a new dog, and found him on the shelter website.

He got away today when we were packing cars.  I was halfway to work when I got the call.  I called my school, turned the car around, and headed home.  I spent 3 hours driving, calling, sending out photos, putting out APBs for this dog.  I finally decided that I needed to run down to Dry Creek to look for him, as he seems to have an affinity for chasing the squirrels there.  He was found 1.5 miles from my home, and as I suspected, near the park, thanks to Facebook.

Oh, and I ran the 3 miles I was supposed to run, but they were unplanned.  I was running with a leash and flyers, and stopping to talk to every single person coming down the trail.

This is a running post, though it might not appear as such.

Chet is home.  Carry on.

Merced in the Distance

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All of my posts seem to be starting this way.  Starting over.  Beginning again.  Comebacks.  We have a theme, here. Today, started my return to distance running.  At the gym.  Strength training was first on the docket, so off I went.  I plunked down some dollars to race the Merco Half Marathon this summer.  I thought I should get some focus.

I don’t know if I’ve found it again.  I really can’t tell, since I seem to be really good at starting over.  At running.  At love. Whatever.  I’m sensing that this is my path.  I used to be able to stick to stuff.  Back when I ran six marathons.  Back when I was married, like, forever ago.  It appears that going the long haul these days is something I need to re-learn.

And.  There are some things you should leave.  So I’ve done that.  I’ve digressed.

Back to the point.  The last time I ran long was the first part of the LA Marathon, a year ago yesterday.  Then, the move, the death, the unfamiliar neighborhood, and in a year, I’ve run 5 long.  Maybe.  I recognize that I get really excited at the beginning of a training plan.  I start to map things out, and look at sunrise and sunset schedules.  I plan my food.  And then… I just drop off.

So here I go.  I lifted weights today.  I have a plan for running this week.  I have no other plans…I’m having trouble with insomnia, for some weird reason.  I’m no longer a morning runner, as the insomnia increases when I stare down my alarm clock.

In any event.

Will see if I can go the long haul and use the bib I bought this June.  Merced?  Why not?

Unearthing the Blog

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It’s been 2+ months since I’ve written.  I’m way deep in the several social platforms with many friends.  Since I last wrote, I’ve fallen in love, but kept an eye on the door, since I’m not so good at relationships.  I’m like the little girl from Dances With Wolves.  I have a “Stands with a Fist” attitude when it comes to this area of my life.  This is one of the first times I’m not addicted to a relationship, and it feels really…weird, for those who know me.  Then again, madness sometimes rears its ugly head, and I feel unsober, to say the least.

I’m swamped with teenagers and college searches.  With Football and the best type of protein powder.  My oldest son’s Soccer team won the D7 championships, and he was 1 of 2 goalkeepers named to the local area All Soccer team.  With Baseball and now a Soccer camp at UCLA.  The Eagle Scout to-be has 5 months to complete his Eagle project, and it’s making me crazy.  The youngest loves his Football, like I’ve never seen, and wants to work out 24-7.

I love my job.  I absolutely love it.  I’ve become a Google certified Teacher.  My 4th graders download and upload to their drives with panache.  They check their calendars, and fill out forms, create spreadsheets, and prepare California Mission slides.  They interact, and there is not one moment wasted.  Today, I offered them free time, and they chose to continue drawing parabolas.  More graph paper, please.  More pencils.  There is no homework in this class, except to study spelling words, because they really need to rest when they leave school at the end of the day.  I can’t thank my college roommate enough for The Daily Five, as my life has become so easy.

Kids are reading.  Like, all day.  When I’m sick, they interact with me on Gmail.  All day.  I love them.

I run a little bit here and there.  Nothing like I was doing.  Ever since I moved last May, I never really have found my mojo.  I ran 44.95 miles since the turn of the yearly calendar.  It was dark, I didn’t know my area.  Well, I joined a gym, and I’m not going to that, either.   I have those 10 pounds to lose to be at my favorite San Luis Obispo marathon weight, but the body has moved around a bit, so 10 won’t quite cut it.  I’m full on Estrogen & Progesterone’d up.  I found out that last Summer I actually WAS crazy.  1.5 days later, with girly hormones back in my body, I felt wonderful.

So, here’s the deal, and here’s why the blog gets uncovered.  I put some money down on a race in June.  A half marathon in Merced.  Stuart, from Quadrathon blog, challenged me to pony up, and start training.  I have a base.  It’s not a good one, but training starts this Sunday.  I will be in LA.  The same day as my last race a year ago, the LA Marathon.  Sort of weird, but perfect in a way.

And here’s the thing.  I’ve been writing this thing for 8 years.  It’s chronicled everything.  So, I dusted it off, and sat down to write more than 140 characters, or share short updates in different networks.

Now, it appears, I have more to write.  Especially since my running has always lived here, and I’m looking for it again.  Starting this Sunday.

Stop Judging The Selfie.

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Do you know me?  I’m the girl that spends the first 15 minutes of our time together taking selfies.  No.  Not with one of those annoying selfie sticks.  The slightly off center, often out of focus and fixed up ones.  You know your selfie game is strong when the two of you knows who has the longer arm.  You try to edit out the needed botoxed places, and you never ever post anything without the approval of your girlfriends.

You edit and tag the photo, and spend a few minutes or 15 trying to decide which filter makes you look not crazy or pale or whatever it is you’re looking for.  You want to bask in the sun?  There’s a filter for that.  Use it.

You could do the selfie game.

Or, you could pretend to have someone take your picture and then they beg you to tag them (I’ve done that too).  Or you could be the guy that hates having his picture taken, hates selfies, refuses to be in any pictures.  Either way, they are all on the spectrum of narcissism, yet your selfie taking friend takes the hit, because she seemingly loves her pics on the internet. I have one friend who constantly changes her profile picture, and I love it because she just looks more beautiful today than yesterday.  It’s good.  Because I love her.

So, you may wonder what exactly is the benefit of this selfie deal?  It comes with the tags.  I put it on instagram, and when it goes to every social media account I have (except Tumblr, that’s 13th & J, mofo), I have the ability to tag.  And here’s the beauty of the tag on Facebook.

First, if you go to your tagged friends profile page, you see these little 3 dots.

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After you click on those, this box comes up.  Pick “See Friendship”.  Facebook will then filter everywhere you and your friend have been.  All of your selfies, check ins, music shared, tag status updates.  It’s maybe my most favorite reason to selfie.  It’s not for you.  I mean, it is, look, here I am at Starbucks again (don’t judge).  But, here I am with my bff, my kids, my man.  And much later when I look at our relationship, I use this tool to peruse our history.

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I love the selfie, because I love you, and I love our friendship, our relationship, our love.  I want to catalogue all of it, and this is the best way to do it.  Today, I took a selfie filled with eyes that are in desperate need of work.  But this wasn’t that selfie.  I stayed up late with 2 of my favorite girlfriends, eating pie and drinking coffee, and talking about  love and romance, and how exactly any of us can risk getting hurt.  Yet there we are talking about doing it anyway.  So, my picture today was a 2am bedtime, no makeup, throw on a scarf and a Huskers shirt selfie.

And, when I look at this picture, I look at 2 girls who were college roommates almost 40 years ago, talking to these college girls at the next table who were in our sorority.  I see two girls laughing over and fixing phone apps, talking about men and sex  and college for our kids, and all of it.  I don’t look good.  Not even.  But the selfie I was going for captured the moment of pure fun and joy, because I had much to discuss with her regarding this week.  And when those college girls looked away from us, we were giggling with the common understanding of how many lives we’ve lived since we lived in Room 2 or 15 or wherever it was, and how even after all this time, I’m the one who lost the keys and banged on the window, and drank too much at Jim’s Place, and how now I can fix her phone because my ADHD world has it’s advantages.

Stop judging the selfie.  Just hand me the camera.  In 5 years, you can look back on this day and remember how much fun we had :)

280.02

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This number is my all time low.

Since the inception of this blog in 2007, that is the lowest amount of miles run in a year.

I have a lot of reasons.

I moved.  I didn’t know my area.  It was dark.  There was a park.

My nephew died.  Hello, I did not run, I went into a cave.

I’ve run once a week in December.

These 280 miles.  They are mine

They represent a small part of the 4456 miles I have run already.

I’m not ashamed of the seeming smallness of them.

But I turned the calendar.

I’m 56 in a month.  I’ve run 6 marathons.

I can still.  Run.

Tomorrow I lace up.