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So many thoughts. So little time.

If you made a list if A) Most fun weekends and B) Most exhausting weekends of my life – this past one would top BOTH lists…probably forever.

From the time I woke up Friday morning at 3:30am to the time I fell asleep last night about 10pm (about 67 hours) I spent 2.5 hours working, 14 hours running, 4 hours at the races NOT running, 10 hours at an art festival, 6 hours at social gatherings, and about 20 hours asleep. The rest of the 10 hours were divided sparsely between Friday, Saturday and Sunday trying my best to maintain things like the house by cleaning and my body by showering. I am exhausted.

But it was great. I have a lot to say about the race and the weekend and the awesomeness in my life but right now I have about 30 seconds before I have to wake up the kids for school and leave for work so what you get instead is one picture from Day 03 that my friend Chelsea took of me taking advantage of an ice cold stream to invigorate my tired legs. 10950688_10153748031763496_6806061783534837729_n

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2am Shame Spiral

This has been an INSANE weekend. I ran 13 miles at Day 01 of my stage race on Friday, and then volunteered at our local art festival Friday night. I did that so that I could see Indigo Girls for FREE Saturday night after running 16 miles at Day 02 of our Stage race. All leading up to running 14 miles today at Day 03.

INSANE.

So, you would think I would have been EXHAUSTED last night.

The concert was SO FUN. Nikki and I danced non-stop for 90 minutes. The Indigo Girls were the soundtrack from my high school years, but I kept up with them even beyond that. I knew most of the songs last night but they played several of my favorites. My favorites from a time in my life when I was struggling after my first marriage ended and I was trying to keep my head above water and finish school as a single Mom and the Indigo Girls were my anthem of every day. I saw them several times over the span of about 3 years, once with E when he was 4. Those songs were the nourishment for my soul which needed healing as I was rediscovering who I was in the wake of some crazy changes in my life.

And last night I got to hear several of those SAME SONGS in person, close enough that we could make out the flowers on Emily’s shirt and I could see the sweat dripping off Amy Ray’s forehead. I screamed the lyrics and danced my heart out and laughed and boogied with my daughter and felt SO ALIVE because I haven’t seen a live show in forever, much less music that carried so much emotional weight…I felt high on life in every sense of the word. It was a great night and Nikki had a blast and I’ll never forget it.

But then…of course…because this is ME we’re talking about…I woke up at 1:30am replaying moments from the night and suffering from embarrassment shame spiral.


Should I have hugged that friend? Did I make that awkward?
Should I have screamed when I saw those friends? Did they thing I was drunk?
Why did I talk to the guy with the stage race shirt?
Was I too excited?
How bad of a dancer am I?
Maybe I should have been more calm. I’m almost 40 for chrissakes.
I’m too old to have been acting like a fool like that.

I was so excited to be there yesterday that I embraced everyone I saw, just about. If they didn’t get hugs they got some sort of drunken (I was not drunk on anything but the excitement of my favorite music) and overly excited greeting where I was like a kid bouncing off the walls on Christmas Eve.

And at 2am I started worrying that maybe I was too old for that kind of crap. And even after several exhausting days I could NOT sleep for fear of embarrassment.

WHY?

I had an amazing night with my daughter. I screamed myself hoarse. I danced so hard I can’t tell what is sore today from running or what is from dancing. I felt joy deep in my soul listening to some of my favorite songs and yet…YET…I found myself freaking out over whether I was having TOO much fun for a 40yo.

So…I’m dumping this here. I’m unloading all of that embarrassment and shame here so I can let go of it and maybe just carry the amazing joy I had yesterday, starting out running through the woods with my friends, and ending with one of the most perfect musical performances I’ve ever attended. THERE WERE FIREWORKS DURING CLOSER TO FINE, Y’ALL.

IT WAS AMAZEBALLS.

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Photo by Gregg Gelmis

An Ode To Friends Who Don’t Mind Getting Muddy

My running buddy, Chelsea, posted this John Muir quote on Facebook and it is basically the motto of our Sunday morning No Runner Left Behind trail group. (Minus the glaciers. We don’t get many of those around here.)

As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.
— Quoted from Muir Journals (undated fragment, c. 1871) by Linnie Marsh Wolfe, Son of the Wilderness: The Life of John Muir (1945) page 144.

It’s funny. The two of us started that group last Spring with another friend because it occurred to us that maybe there were other runners like us out there – wanting to run trails but not trying to beat any sort of time or clock. There are some pretty fast/elite trail running groups but if you don’t know the trails, and if you’re slow, you could easily get left behind and not know where you are. So, we posted in a local facebook group that we were training for McKay 25K and offered to provide a sweeper if anyone wanted to join us.

And it took off!

The funny thing is, we get quite a variety of participants. We get some newbies that have never touched a trail before and who never come back again. We get some newbies who love it so much they sign up for races the next week. We get some elites who like the casualness and goofiness of our runs, and often do their “hard” run on Saturday so Sunday gives them some fun time. Sometimes we have 30 people and we get stressed out because we get SO SPREAD OUT, and other times there’s only 6 or 7 of us and we ended up taking 40 million photos along the way.

We don’t do the group during the warm weather for several reason, but the group shrinks so much after our last big trail race in March it always feels like a good time to take our break and this past Sunday was our last group.

Photo by Gregg Gelmis

Photo by Gregg Gelmis

The storms the night before made waterfalls in places labeled “dry falls” on maps. And because it was warm, something we never get to enjoy on these Sunday runs, we took the opportunity to play in the falls. Or local photographer phenom – Gregg Gelmis – brought his waterproof camera out, hoping for some fun shots. Dry creek beds were like small rivers as we held on to rocks trying not to get swept away. Puddles were calf deep and trails were flooded. It was SO MUCH FUN. A great way to end the season for our fantastic group.

10439399_990553760956711_7876042342987877320_nAnd holy crap, it was good for my soul. Did I wake up every day since and have perfect days with no anxiety or stress? No. But did I wake up remembering that behind all of that sucky stuff there’s a layer of awesome in my life I need to never forget? YES. I HAVE FRIENDS WHO WILL PLAY IN THE MUD WITH ME. This is something every adult (who likes to play in the mud, I guess) needs in their life. Go. Find friends who will stand under waterfalls with you.

Our group ranges in ages from 20’ish to 60’ish on an average weekend. We have guys and girls. Fast and Slow. Newbies and Veterans. Conservatives and Liberals. Parents, Grandparents, and the Childfree. We live in all parts of the area, some of us (me) driving 25+ minutes to get to our precious mountain every Sunday. We are a wonderful mix of people who might not come together in any other circumstance, but we celebrate our camaraderie on Sundays in the woods and go home happy and covered in Mud.

I’m going to miss these guys. I’ll be counting down the Sundays until October.

Photo by Gregg Gelmis

Photo by Gregg Gelmis

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Hogwarts is so close I can smell the potions!

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Our package from Universal came this week! The one with the welcome letter and the owl plush and the tickets to things like our breakfast at 3 Broomsticks and our other breakfast at Leaky Cauldron! TWO BREAKFASTS WITH WIZARDS! I can’t wait.

You get this type of package when you specifically book the Harry Potter travel dealio. It’s really nothing more than those reservations and this welcome package BUT IT IS ALL WORTH IT BECAUSE…HOGWARTS!

I’ve been very tired lately and not really mentally stable as my life feels like it’s 180 degrees different than it was 2 months ago and I haven’t really settled into this new life successfully on just about any level but then…

HOGWARTS!

I’ve been reliving a lot of my Hogwarts memories lately. The one I visit the most awesome is when I was depressed on of my weekends (in 1999) without E, when his Dad and I still lived in the same town so we were doing the every other weekend thing. So – I did what I always did when I was depressed and I went and bought books at Books-A-Million (we didn’t have a Barnes and Noble) on my credit card I shouldn’t have been using because I was too poor to make payments. There was this interesting display with three Harry Potter books on it, and I assumed it was a trilogy and I thought, “Well…this should get me through the weekend.”

And it did. BUT IT WAS NOT A TRILOGY.

I went to everyone I knew on Monday and was like, “Have you heard of Harry Potter?” and of course they all had because none of them were as disconnected from the real world as I was with no TV. I was hooked, and would forever be hooked.

Since then we’ve done midnight releases for every book and every movie that there was one. The first movies didn’t have a midnight release locally but everyone that did – we attended. Harry Potter is/was E’s childhood and in a way – it was mine too. Nikki has made it through book 3 now and I’m hoping Wes starts reading them someday.

This will be our first time to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, we’ve been planning this trip since the first park opened several years ago. We just now really were able to set aside the money. First family vacation in 5 years. FIVE YEARS. All 5 of us on a trip together for a whole week. The last time we did that was the summer of 2009. WAIT. SHIT. THAT’S SIX YEARS. I’ve been saying 5 but it’s actually six. I’m good at math.

We leave May 2nd and come back May 9th.

Or maybe never. If I find a job in Diagon Alley I’ll send the family back without me.

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Curse Word Of The Day: Shiitake Mushrooms!

Thanks for the tips yesterday, guys! I think I’m going to do a combination of just about everything. I’m going to try this weekend to cook a few meals and put them in containers for re-heating this week. I’m going to try. I only have about 4 hours on Saturday to do everything I need to do this weekend and I have to do a LOT of stuff so, you know, fingers crossed!

It’s also Kim’s Allergy Season right now. It started this week and will last 4-6 weeks. This is the only time of year I suffer with allergies but HOLY SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS, do I suffer! I woke up with a sneezing fit at 1:20am this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. So! I got up and did laundry and dishes and steam-mopped my office floor. Then I read a little bit before passing out for a little over an hour thanks to another coughing fit. I am one of those people that really hates Spring. It’s onset means the end of my trail-running season which I hate, and it brings my allergies which I hate more, and it brings out the wasps and the snakes which I hate most of all. I’m the Grinch of Spring. HATE.

But I’m going to spread some joy today. One of my favorite YouTubers is a comedian by the name of Grace Helbig who I’ve talked about before here because I love everything she does. I wish I had cable so I could watch her new show on E!. Donnie thinks she’s okay, doesn’t think she’s as funny as I do, but HOLY SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS – she made him laugh so hard with this video.

I wouldn’t listen to it loud. It’s not really offensive (she beeps her own curse words) but it is a little…rude.

I also have a funny story from work yesterday. I work down the hall from an eye doctor and they have this sign at the stairs that encourages you to take the elevator if your eyes have been dilated. That is actually irrelevant but I think just a funny note to make as I know where this story is headed.

I was trying to get my phone out of my purse as I was walking and then I noticed there was an older lady (Like…80? Maybe?) coming UP the stairs and it caught me off guard and I stumbled and ended up on my butt and she said, “OH MY WORD! Are you okay honey?” I started cracking up and said, “Yes, ma’am. Sorry to startle you, I’m just a klutz. I’m fine.”

Wait. That’s not the funny part.

I got up, put the stuff back in my purse that had fallen out, and took one step and fell again. I didn’t land on my butt, I caught myself on the rail but I did audibly gasp and the lady heard the stumble again and paused before turning down the hall and looked back at me one more time to make sure I was okay.

“See? Told you! Klutz!”

She just shook her head this time and kept walking. I’m pretty sure she thought I was drunk. Maybe I should have been.

Happy Friday! Here’s to avoiding multiple stumbles down stairs today! You know you’re a klutz when you hope to avoid multiple stumbles. You know you’ll never avoid them all.