Friday, July 26, 2013

Wrapping It Up

I finished my first year of nursing school, my entire RN education today.  I turned in my last assignment for Community Health.  I closed my computer.  I burst into tears.  And then spent most of the rest of today crying.  For a lot of reasons, most of which have nothing to do with school, but I may or may not have sat up in my bed this afternoon, where I had been dozing with tears leaking out of my face for the better part of an hour, thrown my pillow to the floor and said out loud, "This is NOT how I pictured feeling at the end of this year."  Like I said, may or may not have happened.  I think I just need to sleep and speak to myself in a soft, soothing voice and keep everything at a low level of stimulation for a few days until my emotions and hormones recalibrate from "past the knife edge of crazy" into "mostly normal."

Next up: pass my boards.  Gulp.

We picked thirty pounds of sour cherries...

Pitting them was a lot of work.
Like, a lot.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Long-Delayed Running Post

I'm just going to say it straight up and get it out of my system - I didn't train enough for my half marathon in April, and it showed, and this made me angry.  And sad, and kind of defeated and frustrated with myself in a way that was so ungodly familiar to the way I've been self-talking for most of the last 25 years that it made me even sadder, because there I was, thinking I was all grown and beyond that (Sometimes I am.  Other times, not so much.)

That is not a happy finishing face, in case you couldn't tell.
I trained consistently for longish distances, but not enough for long, long distances - as in, I did only one real run that was over 10 miles, and that one particular run involved a lot of detours and walk breaks and turning around and other time wasters that were not exactly helping me get better.  I trained quite a bit with runs of 5, 6, 7, even 8 miles.  So guess what - during the half, around about mile 8, it started to become very much not fun.  As in, my legs felt dead.  I had no more endurance, and my soul felt like it was wilting.  I still remember how it felt to walk most of the last two miles through beautiful rolling hills, thinking to myself, I can't do this.  I don't want to do this.  This is stupid.  Just stop now, just don't even finish because your time is so embarrassing that it would be better if you just quit.  I'm glad I didn't quit.  I'll be honest, the main reason I didn't is because the boy who I love very much had been the sweetest, most supportive and encouraging partner I could ever ask for that day, and I didn't want to disappoint him by not crossing the finish line.  So if telling myself, Do NOT make it a waste of his Saturday to have driven you out here at the crack of dawn and stand by the road with signs, and wait an unholy amount of time for you to finish, was what got me across the line, then so be it.

"I'm proud of you," says he.  "Running sucks," says I.
But there it is.  The other part of that day that sucked was experiencing the very steep learning curve of what/how/when to nourish myself for a race that long.  Suffice to say, I did not do a good job, and I spent the first hour after the race puking and refusing to eat anything while this same sweet boyfriend of mine (who at that point deserved my finishing medal instead of me) gently but insistently spooned oatmeal into my mouth and handed me an orange juice cup that kept having to be refilled after I would vomit up its contents.
Moments before vomiting commenced.
And after that day, I took a break.  A long break, as it were.  From working out at all, for a few weeks. And then for much longer, from running.  But last week the running bug bit again and I thought this all out with much care, consideration, and a good deal more knowledge and I feel prepared to tackle the next challenges.  I know that in order to run consistently, I need to train for races - this is fine by me, because it gets me out the door and it gives me a time frame to work within.  So part one of the new plan was to sign up for two races this fall.  Done.  Part two was that I wanted to teach myself that I could run fast.  I got very safe and secure feeling like I could never run faster than about a 10 minute mile and this just isn't true.  I know it's not true because in February, I ran a sub-30 minute 5k and loved it.  So while I might be terrified of training my body to be speedy, I know that having that kind of training under my belt will boost not only my fitness, but my confidence by leaps and bounds.  So part two - I'm doing a 5k on Labor Day and a 10k in October.  Part three - run another half, and train better.  That part still scares me, which is why we're saving it for next year.  I'd like to ideally run the same half I did this year, or one around the same time of year, and train better for it, and see the improvement.  That would make me so happy.  And if that is the last half marathon I ever run, then fine.  But I finally decided the other night that my short-lived running and racing career could absolutely not end with this past April's race.

Oh my gosh, this post is so long.  But one last thing - a friend sent this to me today, and it was so incredibly fitting, since today was my first run in a very long time (it sucked, truly).  The last page is my favorite, especially this line:

"I run very fast because I desperately want to stand very still.  I run to seek a void."


So, running?  Let's give this another go.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Fourth of July

The fourth is my favorite holiday.  This occurred to me only this year when, around Easter time, the boy told me Easter was his favorite holiday and asked me what mine was.  "Fourth of July," I said without missing a beat, wondering where this was coming from as the words flew out of my mouth.  "Because you get to eat hot dogs and there's no presents."  How true, I thought, as if I was listening to someone else.

I have friends here, now.  Real friends.  We played games on the fourth, did drunken headstands on the lawn while the dog grew progressively more hysterical.  We meant to go see fireworks but rather rolled around the hot grassy lawn, doused ourselves in bug spray, and drank sweaty sticky sweet drinks that have no name but consisted largely of sugar water and alcohol.  Throw in a lime wedge.  Play a guessing game that descends into a political discussion and tune out periodically to have passionate discussions about getting married and recovering from eating disorders (still, always, always recovering till the day we die) while our legs tangle in the grass and the dog licks our sweaty sticky sweet faces.

The night before, he took me to a baseball game (my first!).  There was promise of fireworks after the game, during which I practically squirmed with glee.  
"Is this the top of the fifth?" I would ask.  
"Bottom of the seventh."  
"You'll get it."  
It rained through one whole inning but I pulled my raincoat hood over my damply curling hair and proudly pointed out things like line drives and pop flies to him while he smiled at my excitement and asked me if I was cold.  The fireworks started and my mouth fixed in an O of admiration and I caught him watching my face light up with the shower of sparks.
"The waterfall ones are my favorite," I told him.
"Mine too."
I fell asleep in the cool car on the way home, then fell again hard and exhausted into his bed until morning dawned hot and blazing through the shades, waking me up and I thought to myself, This is my favorite holiday in my favorite season with my favorite person in my very own perfectly imperfect chaotic and spectacular life.

And oh, what a blessed life it is.