are floaties allowed?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My husband and I still like each other.  Really.  I'm not kidding.   After all these years, we still like spending time together.  We like doing things together.  Lately, we have been running together  (you read that right, lurkers number one and two, running together).  We are running partners.  {Sidebar:  my husband broke up with me as a running partner after a run two weeks ago. It was bad.  Real bad. Not the break-up.  The run.
 It was a beautiful Sunday morning.  The weather was perfect. The timing was perfect.  Perfect fall day for a long run.  I love long runs.   The open road, the solitude, the easy rhythm of your legs turning, turning, turning,  mile after mile.  Your body starts working on it's own, effortlessly, freeing up your mind to go to wonderful places it normally wouldn't.  Long runs are beautiful.  Usually. That particular Sunday.....

Number One:
I was battling a few demons.   I refer you to table 1:

Table 1

All of them.  I was all of them that day.  At the same time.

Number two: 
 I broke my bum.  I will not elaborate.  But I will tell you that this was not the first time I broke my bum.   

I did not have a good long run.  And there is a weeeeeee little teensy tiny possibility I may have mentioned this fact once or twice.  During the run.  After the run.  Long after the run. And so he broke up with me.   
  That was two weeks ago.  Water under the bridge.  We're back together again.  Happy wife = happy life.}

Today's run was on really challenging hills at Stratton.  Lots and lots of hills. Up, up, up.  Down, down, down.  Hills.  We've been on hills together before.

Maui, 1985.  Just married (THE wedding of the 80's).  On our honeymoon.  Young, in love, adventurous.    Let's do Haleakala.  "Haleakala is one of two national parks in the Hawaiian Islands. Located on the southern section of the island of Maui, the park's 28,655 acres contain one of the most spectacular volcanic craters in the world as well as a beautiful section of the Maui coastline. Land in the park lies at altitudes from sea level along the coast to over 10,000 feet at the summit of the mountain, supporting a range of habitats from subalpine to subtropical rain forests. "     Yes, let's do Haleakala. Not in cars driving up, looking at the amazing view, then driving back down like most people.  Or even on bikes, driving up then riding back down on bikes like a handful of others we saw doing.  No, let's go down Haleakala on horseback.  Going down the inside. Sure!  Sounds great! 
 We drive up to the top.   Up.  Up and up. But it is an easy climb up, a little curvy but relatively smooth and gentle.  We reach the top   We enjoy the view for a bit then go find our guide. A grizzled, old Hawaiian.   He brings out two horses. Two plodding, old, graying  mares.  Well this is ok.  A nice, old horse.  I can't remember ever being on a horse before but I think this is going to be fine.  I think I might even like this.  I might be really good at it.  I might discover I have a hidden horseback riding talent and start galloping off immediately, becoming one with the horse, my hair flying in the wind.  I'll have to get jodhpurs.  And cute riding boots.  And eventually my own horse.  Black.  Like Black Beauty.   She'll be beautiful.  I'll ride her every day.  Everyone will look at us and say, there's that girl with the cute jodhpurs riding that beautiful horse.  I  look at the horse in front of me now.  She looks old and gentle and dependable.  She has done this a thousand times before. This is a good start.  She will get me ready for my Black Beauty.   The grizzled old guide helps me get on her.  I sit up in the saddle.  She is still.  Good horsey.  Nice horsey.  Mike gets on his horse.  The guide gets on his horse.  We start off.  

I have never been inside a volcano before.  It is beautiful. It is huge.  It is open and wide and amazing.  Ir's like a huge desert.  And I am going down it on a horse.  How cool is this??   We follow the guide along wide open trails.  My horse is sure footed and gentle.  Good horsey.  Mike's horse is a little more frisky. She goes here and there and doesn't always go exactly where he wants her to.  I'm glad I don't have his horse.  

Down, down, down.  Down gentle hills.  We make steady progress.  We ride and ride.  I notice the landscape starting to change.  The trails are starting to narrow.  A lot.  And now there are no longer desert-like sloping hills.  There are cliffs.  Sheer cliffs.  Sheer cliffs down the volcano.  And the trails are getting closer to these sheer cliffs.  The trails are becoming so narrow we have to start riding single file.  The guide, then me, then Mike.  The guide way in front.  Mike way behind on his meandering horse. Down the trail. Oh, did I mention the name of the trail?  Sliding Sands Trail.  A trail called sliding sands, right next to the cliffs.  I start to sweat.  From the heat.  And the fear (sweet, innocent, young me has no idea that this is nothing compared to the buckets of sweat that will befall me twenty five years later.  Again, I refer you to table one).  I don't do well with heights.  Until this point, being up so high didn't really feel so bad.  We had been all together, out in the open, going down nice, wide open trails.  Now we are single file.  Next to a sheer drop down.   My horse's hooves clomp, clomp along the trail.  Clomp, clomp, clomp.  Clomp, clomp,  stop.  Huh?  Stop? Horsey, what are you doing?  Why did you stop?  She moves to the left.  The left. The left is where the drop is.  No, horsey, no.  Go straight.  Straight!!  She steps to the left again. NO!!!! I pull on the reins.  Nothing.  I start to shake.  She is so close to the edge.  I can't breathe.  She stops.  Oh, thank god. Thank God.  I am going to live.  I breathe again.  And then.....  Horsey goes over to the edge.  One hoof down the edge.  Another hoof.  Two hooves are over the edge. The only thing keeping me alive are two back hooves still on sliding sands trail.    Horsey lowers her head down the cliff.   She is reaching, reaching for something.  Grass.  She is reaching for a small clump of grass, a rarity in this arid landscape.  What??  Horsey, you are about to toss me head first into the great abyss because you want a snack??  I am hanging on for dear life, my legs gripping desperately to her sides,  leaning as far back as I can in the saddle.  I am practically lying down.  I crane my neck up and all I can see is a sheer drop down the volcano.   This is how I am going to go? Tossed down a volcano by a hungry horse on my honeymoon?   I panic.  The guide is way in front of me now.  I look back.  Where is Mike??  His horse has gone off on another one of it's own adventures.  Mike, you are  about to lose your bride over the edge of Haleakala!!  Help!!   He rounds the corner,  sees my peril, and yells for the guide.  They are both at my side within two seconds.  The guide talks some sort of  animal speak to my horse.  Mike talks some sort of newlywed speak to me.  Horsey and I end up back on the trail.  I. AM. ALIVE. 

We spend hours in that volcano.  Hours and hours. On horseback.  My legs are killing me from the vise-like grip they have on my horse. My hands are raw from gripping the reins for dear life.  Finally, finally we reach the bottom.  Oh, thank you, sweet Jesus.  We made it to the bottom.  Alive.  The guide jumps off his horse.  Mike jumps off his horse.  I jump off..... Nope.  I can't move.  I cannot move my legs.  I cannot get off this horse.  I am one with the horse all right.  I have been one with my horse for hours now.  Sitting in that saddle.  Becoming one. The guide comes over.  Mike comes over.  Together they pry  me off my horse.  One leg down. The other leg down.  I take a step. Pain, Oh, the pain.  Pain.  And that, dear 18 followers and 2 lurkers, was broken bum number one. 

Today's run was on hills.  At Stratton.  With my running partner.  And no horses.  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I don't do well with decisions.

 To those of you who know me well, this revelation comes as no surprise.   You all have one or two ...thousand...examples to illustrate this point.  The countless hours waiting, waiting, waiting for me to make up my mind.   Over anything.  And everything.  Big, little.  It doesn't matter.  I will stand looking at a pair of earrings for half an hour debating blue or pink.  Or hold up two shirts for an hour, pink or deeper pink.   Or make every person who enters my house give their opinion about what color to paint the living room because that decision causes me panic.    Or stand in front of a mirror at Clever on Main {(fave store in the whole wide world) sidebar: my avatar life is in Santa Monica. I belong there. It's my destiny.  It is my most favorite place. The people are nicer there, the weather is better there, the beaches are better...wait, nope...not true.  Stone Harbor beats any other beach, hands down.  But Santa Monica comes close.  I can only thank Christie for going to USC and my brother and Patrick for living there to give me an excuse to visit.  I am a regular at Clever on Main and at Groundworks.  I am a regular at more places in SM than I am in Simsbury. When I grow up I am going to move to Santa Monica)} stand in front of the mirror  for hours and hours only to put the dress I absolutely cannot decide if I have to have on hold, come back the next day, stand in front of the mirror for hours again til the owner eventually comes over and politely asks if she discounts the dress will I kindly give the other patrons a shot at the mirror.

So I am not a good decider.  But I have a decision I am trying to make.  And I can't.   So, dear 18 followers and 2 lurkers, I am coming to you.  For help.  To make my decision for me.

Should I, or should I not, enter the Disney Princess Half Marathon?

1.  a  TIARA upon crossing the finish line.
2.  see number one
3.  see number one
4.  see number one


1.  it's really, really expensive
2.  I would have to train
3.  I would have to train in the winter.  In my real Simsbury life, not my avatar Santa Monica life.
4.  it's really, really expensive
5.  I would have to remain on hair strike.  While this fact doesn't bother me so much, it most definitely will bother those who are forced to look at me.
6.  I would have to buy real winter running clothes.  oh, wait...that's a pro not a con. cute pink running tights, cute pink hat.  definitely a pro.
7.  I would have to keep eating healthy through the holidays.  I can't remember a January in which all my pants still fit.  huh. that's quite a concept.
8.  I might run into a bear while out running.  Nah...never happen.

There you have it.  Pros.  Cons.

It's up to you.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Whooha.  Woman Having Optimistic Objectives + Healthy Attitudes

Some really, really cool things have happened to me since I started  my adventuress in triathloning.  Some crazy things have happened, too, as you 17 followers and 2 lurkers are well aware.  (sidebar:  lurker number one - - what happened??  We were so close!).  After my last triathlon I posted a picture of a plaque.  Remember it?  It said  "I tri" with all the reasons you do a triathlon.  I liked it because it really was all the reasons I put myself through all that training:  all those tortured laps in the pool, all those rides up hidden Mount Everest on Robbie's broken bike, all those miles at Stratton Brook.

I tri 
to be with my friends
to have my cake and eat it too
to smile
to hurt but feel no pain
to prove that I am still young
to be my best
to inspire those around me
to overcome my fears
to go faster
for variety
to appreciate what I have
to be fir
because I can
to work hard
to be a role model
to push myself
to finish
so that I can wear a bathing suit
to get out of the house
to be strong
for my family
because it makes me happy
for myself

Isn't that so great??  Well....guess what I received in the mail recently?

Julie, from WHOOHA, sent me this shirt with that wonderful tri saying on it. How cool is that??  I LOVE it.  Julie and her friend Amy embrace a philosophy I think is so important, that having optimistic objectives and a healthy attitude are keys to living a happy life.  Their goal is to inspire women to inspire each other and themselves.   They started a website to do just that:  And they sell really cute clothes!!  Could it get any better??   I wish you could feel this shirt.  It is so, so soft.  And comfortable.  And the sleeves are long enough!  Trust me,  this is big.  And you can't see it in the picture but it is has a little hoodie.  So cute!!  I have received many, many compliments on it.   It makes me feel good just to wear it.  So thank, you, Julie and Amy, for inspiring me.  I hope I can inspire others in  return.   Take a look at WHOOHA.  And just for you, my precious readers, use the code "Inspire" and receive 10% off your purchase.  ( if anyone needs an idea for me for Christmas..... ).

Play Hard - Take Chances - Keep Smilin'

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It was just a regular run.  Nothing special.  I felt regular.  I was running regular.  Nothing special.  Nothing out of the ordinary.

"You look fantastic!" a woman shouted as she walked up her driveway to get her mail.  I turned around.  Who is she talking to I wonder??  "You have been running for while," she said.  She was looking at me.  She was talking to me.   "I remember when you first started and would run by my house.  You have come such a long way.  You look amazing!"

Wow.  Wow and wow.  Here was a total stranger cheering me on, telling me how far I've come. Boosting me up.  Offering me encouragement.  Letting me know my efforts have been worth it.

 So, as it turns out, it wasn't just a regular run.  It was a very special run. It was an extraordinary run.

The power of words.

Today, dear 17 followers and 2 lurkers (sidebar:  what happened,  lurker number one??  We were so close!), today I have an assignment for you.  Each and every one of you has the power to build someone up today with your words.  You have the power to turn someone's day around with a few simple words.  Words of encouragement or praise or  recognition. Your assignment is to do just that.  Build someone up.  With your words.  And a positive attitude.  See the powerful effect your words can make on someone else.  Turn their regular run into an extraordinary run.

P.S. Please feel free to share the results of your assignment with the class.