Love ALL The Social Media

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There is a push to limit social media.  “Get off your phones!”, they shout.  “Be with the people you’re with!  Look in their eyes!  Get off the computer, off the tweeting.”

And here we are.  In this age of all-connectedness at all times.  And, there’s this outcry that people should go outside!  “I walked 4 miles in the snow to get to school” has become “I used to play in the neighborhood until the streetlights came on!”

I was reflecting on this today, and I was thinking of all of the people I’ve met and connected with because of Twitter.  Twitter was where I learned how to run.  Where I learned the value of a Tweet-up.  Where the governor helped me save my house …and where I met the director of the LA Marathon, who eventually hooked my mom up with her hero, Pete Carroll.  It was there that I met single moms raising sons.  Where I was drawn into confidences, and walked people through grief.  It was the day that someone sent me an airline ticket to Virginia to be with my cousin as she laid her dad to rest.  It was my coach, who taught me so much about running.  It was my friend on a TV show who memorialized my Princess with a living tree.  Another who had a huge hand in a TV series where a man was having ongoing affairs, and the night I sat up in bed and said, “This is happening in my house!”  My sweet Seinfeld sister in London.  The girl in San Antonio who took me to the World AA conference, and our marathoner friend who let us stay in her home.  It’s where I learned at 50, to run and train.  To date.  Where I talked for hours with friends who helped me with my broken heart.

I joined Facebook.  I didn’t really get it at first.  It’s the collection of our days.  My pictures, the music I like, funny and inspirational posters, and links to good articles.  And after awhile, you know about me.  My day.  My two funny and outrageous teenagers.  My beloved Chet.  And always the spa.  Always.

I like your kid pictures, and you like mine.  To the outcries of those who say this is “just Facebook”, I say really?  I can tell you my friends kids’ names, the one who has a kid in the band, and my funny and adorable baby H. and his Mom, when I was up in the middle of the night, and it was early morning on the east coast, sort of talked me through what the heck I was doing with all these animals at 3 in the morning.  (You had to be there).  It’s hearing Poison by Bel Biv Davoe, and messaging her EVERY time it’s on my playlist.  It’s A Wonderful Night, every time around Mile 3 near the church, and my pal in the south who is an amazing father of two sweet boys himself.

I know when I don’t see someone for awhile.  I reach out.  I message them and hear that her son is in the hospital, and her daughter has a broken heart.  People privately ask me about their alcoholic father in law, my broken feet, what advice I could give them as they have to get welfare and Food Stamps for the first time in their life.

I have 3 or 4 women in my town who I can call and run down to Starbucks, a mile from my house, and we figure stuff out together.  I have 2 really good men friends who I meet for coffee and therapy.  And, I’m forever grateful for them.

But.  Without Twitter and Facebook and all the connectedness all across the globe, I would not be the woman I am today.  So.  Bring on the tweeting and status updates.  Bring all of it on.  Because, this is real life, and there’s enough room for everyone here.

 

 

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And now. The Facebook Cleanse.

Almost two weeks ago, I gave up Twitter.  I stayed on Facebook.  I noticed, not surprisingly, that the energy I had for Twitter, was now being used for Facebook.

Harley Guy and I decided to go on a 30 day cleanse …Just to see.  To see if our time could be used better than parking in a chair and tweeting (wait, I don’t use that language anymore), or posting, or status changing.

Two nights ago, we gave each other our passwords, and each of us changed the others’ passwords.  Just to see, of course.

I’ve mentioned about 15 times how I don’t miss it at all.  LIKE, AT ALL!  Which of course to my addict readers means Oh-My-God-I-Miss-Social-Webbing.

And, here I sit, with my old blog.  4 years old, and patiently waiting for me to come back…which I have.  I read a book today.  I took a nap with Harley Guy.  I’m now sitting down reading my blog subscriptions, and actually commenting.

We’ll see how long this lasts.  Meanwhile, unless I hack the shit out of my computer, and look for the hidden password, I will be off Facebook until May 15, 2011.  Let’s see who caves first.

In Which I Give Up Twitter…

Twitter.  I loved you. 

You introduced me to TNT, and training for my first marathon.  I shifted from blogging and commenting to interacting in more efficient ways.  Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office responded to my tweet about losing my job in 2009, and they helped me navigate the system.  When Michael Jackson died, it was Twitter who gave me the news first. 

I had long, lonely days and nights where I could non-stop tweet about anything I want.  And, you loved me.  You embraced my non-sensical noise and let me ramble on about running, about parenting, about ex husbands and such.  During Dodger games, I tweeted from the MLB app, exhibiting getting deeper and deeper into the social Twitter web. 

You weren’t like chat rooms, or blogging, or message boards.  Oh, I had done them all.  Quantum Link, Weight Watchers message boards, Smart People (or something like that…).  I had long, lengthy opinions about everything, until you came along.

You, with your 140 character limit.  Until I found the Holy Grail of Bit.ly, Tinyurl, etc.  Until I found a way around your silly limit.  Like most things in my life, I found and broke the rule, and lived outside of even your box. 

I entered contests.  I retweeted with a vengeance.  I met runners galore.  I even met my coach on Twitter.  Some of my best friends are there…Yet, I abused you Twitter.  I had too much fun.  It was like going into a pub after a long, hot, hard day, and pounding the bar at 2am wondering how I had stayed so long. 

I likened Twitter to a coffee shop.  A big hall of table after table, where I could stop and enter a conversation with ease.  I often had direct messages with people I should not have been talking to.  If Twitter was a coffee shop, we were in our own room, and if you are somebody else’s mate, then I am out of bounds.  Toward the end of my Twitter run, I started noticing that I was adding more and more people, but interacting less and less. 

Twitter, you were the good friend who introduced me to other good friends.  I bashed Facebook in favor of you, and I defended you to the end.  I reluctantly joined Facebook because I started dating my out of town Harley Guy.  He was a Facebooker, and we stayed connected through that medium.  He also joined Twitter, and we professed our love for each other on both sites.  I started adding Twitteratti to my Facebook page.  Yet, I could not have both worlds.  I had to choose.

Most readers of this site know that I can be addicted to anything that God made more than one of.  You’ve seen me in my sobriety,  to giving up Diet Coke, trying to give up things that I abuse.  And, because I’m in a relationship with a sober man, my Twitter behavior simply had to change.  But not just for him.  For me.  For my sobriety.  I gave up Twitter to get closer to my God.  To who I really am.

No longer was it appropriate for me to DM (direct message) a man.  Men friends who had previously talked privately with me, were getting that message loud and clear:  I don’t DM with married men any longer.  No longer was it appropriate to flirt in the public timeline, or much worse, be suggestive.  One day a wife came on to the public timeline, and answered a tweet I sent to her husband, as if to say, “Okay.  That’s enough now.”  I heard it loud and clear, and started paying attention to my so-called persona. 

Don’t get me wrong Twitter.  I’m not judging your format, or other people who Tweet.  Everyone has their own set of rules.  But, because I’m looking for sobriety throughout my life, I simply had to let go.  I called a friend from New York as soon as I saw the addiction.  I went through my 900+ followers, and lo and behold, the 40 or so that I knew personally were on Facebook.  My New York gal pal stayed with me on the phone while I deactiveated my account.  Forever. 

It’s been 10 days.  It didn’t hurt in the beginning.  It doesn’t hurt now.  If you are looking for me, I’m on Facebook, posting 4x a day at most.  I’m liking and poking to death, so yeah…I’ll have to eventually look at that too, but I have a new set of standards as a woman in a relationship, in love with a man who I want to honor.

John Mayer did it.  Even Miley Cyrus gave up Twitter.  I guess it was also time for @MsV1959 to hang up her hat.

Race Season Begins

San Francisco Half Marathon, here I come.

This half will be the first half I’ve done since February’s Davis Stampede, in which I PR’d 2:24 and change.  I ran LA Marathon earlier and then have done a handful of little races since then.

Tomorrow will be the first Half Marathon on the March to my full Marathon on Halloween.  I don’t have any real specific goals, except for an 11:15ish mile pace the first half, and 10:40 the second half.  It’s a few miles up and back on the Golden Gate bridge, which is one of my favorite places to race.  The wind in your hair, the mist, the people…all spectacular, even to this California girl.

Last night I went to the Expo, which was actually very pleasant, and saw only a few people I knew, but then went to the Tweetup at a local bar.  This turned out to be incredibly fun.  I knew a few people beforehand, but mostly everyone else was new to me.  We had the pleasure of Bart Yasso also stopping by, but he’s one of those guys that doesn’t really go for the name treatment.  It was just as fun meeting Joe, Penny and her sister, Kimberly, Michael (a couple I met in San Diego), John HellaSound, and others. 

I got home, and got the map out.  This morning, I’m hydrating and sitting in the pool.  I speak at a local AA meeting tonight, then Kim and I race out of here at 3am to make a 6am race start.

My hopes are for the Half Marathon to go well.  Haven’t run that far since LA.  But, what I’m really hoping for is the renewed energy and hope that comes in the beginning of a training cycle…that maybe THIS time.  THIS marathon will be the one that edges me over the wall…that solidifies that I’m doing it right. 

Again, I’m thrilled to be a part of this running community.  One that embraces all of us, fast and slow, young and old…and to have made real heart connections in this crazy world.  I am truly blessed.  Now…on to San Francisco…

My season begins…now.

Wherein Twitter & My Real Life Become One…

I’m finally home after a very long weekend of driving, which started on Thursday, June 3rd.  I’m not sure I can put together a coherent post, so I will bullet my way into some semblance of decent writing, and perhaps you can get the picture of this non-race I ran. 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

  • School is out.  I drive to take my kids to my parents’ house.  They get to spend a week there every summer without me.  Everyone wins on this one.  My brother in law picks them up, and I head to Dodger Stadium for the Atlanta game.
  • I meet up with Mike, Melissa, Candy, Nadim and Bob, who gets us GREAT seats on the third base line.  This is the beginning of a great weekend.  Laughing, trash talking, generally eating too much Dodger food.  No Dodger win, but Candy got a ball that I wrote all over, so as to commemorate the evening. 
  • The best part.  Taking pictures afterward.  Exchanging Twitter handles.  Eating crap food.  Realizing that people who don’t use Twitter are losing out on a great opportunity to expand and include more love and laughter in their lives.

Friday June 4, 2010

  • I must get to San Diego.  I drive to Kate C’s house.  This is a woman who’s opened her home to me, and lets me stay in this quiet, lovely condo.  For nothing.  Now, that’s trust.  Friends of Bill W. are like that.
  • I get to the Tweetup organized by Lori, Candy & Alison.  I meet Ali, a soon to be marathoner…another person I talk with daily…along with Lisa & Gretchen, Erin & her hubs, Michael…and Yasmine, the mother of the baby below, the list goes on and on.
  • I meet so many people there, I cannot comprehend, but more than anything, I am over-thrilled and just want to pinch his cheeks:  I meet my coach, Josh…also know as SpeedySasquatch.  Here is a man I talk with daily, and get workouts weekly, and email and text…and the only time I’ve met him was him running by me at the CIM relay.  He’s much younger than I imagine, and he is underwhelmed in my presence, so I work even HARDER to get him riled up.  Nothin’ doing.  I spend the time with him trying to get his grits cookin’, but give up because I realize this will come back in the form of 2-fers.  2x daily workouts. 
  • We eat at The Yard House, we walk to what I thought was the beach with Dan, Josh & his brother, Ali, Elyssa.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

  • Run 20 minutes at my hostess’ neighborhood.  Little jog.  Sweating bullets.  Blech on humidity. 
  • I drive back in to San Diego to meet up with Team Twitterati: Glenn, Josh, Mike  There is a separate post on these three men, but suffice it to say…Glenn is my confidante with most things running & twitter…Josh is my coach, and Mike is simply the kindest, coolest dude I have ever met.  I convinced him to do the relay thinking, poor guy…hasn’t run since November…and I will not mock him when he walks into the transition place. Boy, was I wrong.  Mike ALSO took me through the drama of last summer with the ex-hubs antics, supporting by email and twitter.  Good men.  Great team.

  • We have a brain-storming breakfast and head on over to the Expo…where we are given a DRUMSTICK….a drumstick, and the volunteers tell us we must run with this thing.  And, I go back several times to really see if we have to run with it.  And yes, we do.  I am not amused.

  • We spend lots of hours at the Expo, see Danica, Sam, meet Scott (a Dodger fan, and my new best friend who I get to tell the Kurt Gibson story), and see more of my team.  I meet the infamous, John of Hella Sound…the man’s music has carried me on more than one run…and I fall in love with his energy!!

there’s the stupid baton again ^^^

  • That night, Kate and I go to the La Jolla Speaker’s Meeting, and it is simply lovely and peaceful, and I come back, ready to get a good night’s sleep…I’m only running the last leg after all, shouldn’t be too bad…

Sunday, June 6, 2010

  • I am quite sure I set the alarm.  But, what wakes me up is Glenn texting me saying: I hope you’re awake.  Uh, I’m not.  I’m throwing things together to try to get to the Qualcomm stadium parking lot, to drop off my gear, and catch a trolley to my leg.
  • No, not to my leg.  To the dropoff.  Then I get to walk 1.7 miles to my transition place.  I walk with a lady from Bakersfield.  (I always wonder what happens to the people I meet and then never see again at races)

  • There’s the stupid baton again, but that was the early morning texts I got from Glenn & Bob, and that’s Mrs. Hoofy with Hoof (Mike on the trolley)…Oh, and that’s me at the transition point.  I hear you look thinner if you cross your legs…I have my TNT shirt on just in case some purple wants to share the love, even though I’m not part of it today.
  • We get to the transition area.  Waiting.  A long time.  Everyone is relaxed.  A downed runner, who collapses, and not one medic around, or in the area.  Other runners are trying to get this guy taken care of, and it is scary.  A good 20 minutes goes by before an ambulance comes.  People are calling 911.  Not a good sign for Rock And Roll…you’d think they would have someone there for Pete’s sake.  #fail.

The Actual Race

  • My favorite tweets from Glenn :   !%^@#$*^ When he is done.  I am laughing SO hard.
  • Glenn:  @SpeedySasquatch has been unleashed.  I just have this visual of my wicked fast coach. Unleashed.
  • Mrs. Hoofy:  “He” (Mike) just left.  Here’s where I get excited, after the 3rd trip to the bathroom (for reals, man), and I think poor Mike, he hasn’t trained, he must be so tired, etc.  Then I see her.  Then she gets a text from him that he is at mile 19.9.  Already.
  • I look up and there is my coach, having run a little more to get to us…he’s actually there to run with two on our team, but of course I think he’s there for me. 🙂
  • Then…holy hell.  Here comes Mike.  Sweaty, full of sweat, and kicking ASS so hard it’s like a speed demon.  I am wildly excited and feel thrilled!!!

~~~~~

  • I take the baton.  Out of the chute, over the overpass.  I am feeling strong.  My first mile is 9:46.  I am already impressed with myself.  I am thinking.  Damn.  I gotta start training for reals.
  • Mile 2 is getting a little harder.  Cuz we are on dirt.  Lots of dirt.  Lots of winding, and I can see people up and around this little Non-Fiesta island…and they are all over the place, so you never really know if you will ever leave.  Sort of like a house of horrors…because you’ve already seen people leave…but you.  You will never get off this island.  Could be a good horror flick 10:26 for Mile 2.
  • At this point, I do NOT know what to do with the freaking stick.  It’s in my hand, in my hat, in my bra, in my back, and I heard Josh had it in his mouth.  I just keep passing it back and forth.  Plus, I know that real marathoners HATE relay peeps, because they are so damned fresh.  Well, not me…but most.  I’m just getting hot.  I take water.  I start to think this is a sicker, southern California version of Lake Merced of Nike Women’s Marathon…someone is water skiing.  Really?  Mile 3 11:01. There’s a pattern here.  It’s hot, and I’m hot, and I have only run 3 miles.  It was somewhere around this hell that I saw HellaSound.  With signs.  Yelling.  Jumping.  It helped…a lot.
  • Mile 4, I see this guy walking.  I’m like DUDE.  You do not want to walk.  Talk to me.  We run.  The rest of the way.  But he is significantly tired.  And I’m tired.  But, I’m going to run with him.  Mile 4 11:19.  And I start to feel as though I can make it because hey, I’m supposed to be helping HIM.  I’m hot.  Have I mentioned I’m hot? 
  • Mile 5 is better because I know we have to be spit off this island at some point.  Mile 5 10:39.  People are spraying us, dousing us with water.  The guy I’m running with is bald, no hat, no glasses, and MAN it’s toasty.
  • .78 left …I see Gretchen, I see Glenn, and he runs us in.  Finally, I give the guy to Glenn, and I slow way down.  I’m not going to walk, but I want to.  I’m just not sure I can face my coach or my team and tell them I walked my part of 5.7 miles.  I hear the Rock And Roll people, and know I gotta get there.  The last .2 was LONG and much longer than a lap it seemed.  I finally, mercifully, cross the line. 
  • I walk back and forth.  Find and lose Glenn and Josh.  See Ali, and get to run with her for .4 miles or so.  What a treat!! I walk some more on the beach.  Stand by the 26 mile sign.  Until finally, we are in the weirdest line to get on the bus to take us to the trolley to take us to the stadium.  More on that with my next post.  But here is my favorite picture of the weekend.  I couldn’t get my coach to get into the Ms. V. emotion, but this picture reminds me that I simply adore him, and tomorrow I will get a plan from him, and I am convinced beyond anything, that this Fall, I’ll be getting that Marathon Success at Marine Corps Marathon.

Tomorrow:  My thoughts on Rock And Roll Machines…but for now.  Bed.

Trudging.

The last two days have been wild.  I have had contact with our Governor’s office.  They saw me on Twitter, and they gave me a phone number.  I called.  Faith restored, and action.  I can’t discuss it until it’s done, but suffice it to say, I’m on my way to recovery. 

The Power of Twitter is amazing.

Meanwhile, we trudge through this week.  I called CharlieBob to tell him I wouldn’t be there last night, so we did our intervals yesterday morning.  He was fine with it.  I asked him what to do with my calves.  Two ibuprofen, 5 minutes ice, 30 without…repeat 3x.  Basic, good stuff.  The rolling  pin (runnersrambles, thank you), and I’m on the mend.  They continue to hurt, but I can handle it.

Yesterday:  4×400 intervals.  Today, I begged Kim to have an off day, and run tomorrow instead (our planned off day).  And, there she was at my door. 

Partners rock.