"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wherein I am a whiny b*tch

I hesitated on writing this because it makes me look like a self-absorbed, petulant asshole.

Mostly because I am being a self-absorbed, petulant asshole.

I have been avoiding reading all of the awesome and inspiring race reports that are floating around blogland right now. In every fiber of my being I wanted to know how Big Sur was, but with equal intensity I was hugely jealous of all the runners that did it. Does that make sense?I am not trying to imply I was robbed of anything. No victims here, only volunteers, but it just brought back some dark thoughts from this winter and the all of the reasons I was not trained to run what is arguably, the most awesome marathon of all, Big Sur.

I am not saying that my husband's illness and my surgery were the only reasons I am not even close to being ready to run a marathon right now. The truth is that this funk started long before that.

I do so adore, making fun of emo asshats, even when I am being one. '

Between the months of August 2009 and December 1, 2009 (December is when the proverbial shit hit the fan in my life) I had only run 81 miles total, making a spring marathon a bit of a stretch anyway.

I have been feeling better about running and training in general, but then 75,000 race reports from some of my most favoritest bloggers started pouring in this weekend and I felt like the fat kid that was not invited to the party.

The metaphorical me, has some metaphorically adorable feet!

I am going to link to the just some of the awesomeness. Once I pull my head out of my ass I hope to be commenting soon.

Boston Marathon (I know, right? How do I know people this BAD ASS!)
Lindsay (Chasing the Kenyans)
Resse (Running Through Time)

The lucky, and often fast, bastards that ran Big Sur this weekend:
Running and Rambling
Aron (runner's rambles)

IronJane, whom I adore and has now graduated from merely 'too fast for me' to 'WAY too fucking fast for me' *sigh*:
Galveston 1/2 Iron report

Regina (Chui on This), whom has always been too fast for me and won her age group. Damn, indeed, girl!:
Bronx Biathlon report

There are tons of others some I have commented on, some I have not.

G (fourinone blog and admitted tranny lover): 15K PR
Diana (Diana's Road to the RKC and kettlebell Queen!): Screamin' 10K
Shirelyperly (Humble Triathlete and rockstar extraordinaire): Gator 1/2 Iron Tri

I am sure I am missing a bunch. I am going from memory because I have lost control of my Google Reader. Honestly, I am thinking of clearing out the damn thing and starting over. I can't even bring myself to open it anymore I and just use the blog updates on the side of my blog, which is WAY hard to keep track of. It is truly sad when you are so emotionally unstable that your Google Reader stresses you out.


Yesterday's workout:

Ran 5 miles at 10:43 min/mile with LA Run Buddy - For an afternoon run, after standing on concrete all day and being subjected to insufferably stupid people of all ages, I will take it.

Did 30 push ups - I find it is NOT advisable to do 30 push ups when coming off of 7 months of not doing a single push up. I am having some difficulty controlling my arm movements today. It is fine, I will brush my teeth tomorrow...or maybe the next day.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Fountain of Youth

I have found it.

Do you need spend hundreds of dollars on glorified lotion?

Some of that shit is like $500 an ounce?! Can you freaking believe that?

Do you need to go under the knife and have your face peeled back like a bad Cat Woman Halloween mask?

Totally unnecessary.

Do you need to bathe yourself in SPF 7800 before even turning on your bedroom light?

Nope. Go full 1980's style, grab some baby oil and fry, fry, fry!

Do you need a strict healthy diet of purified water, dark leafy greens, and foods rich in omega 3-fatty acids?

Uh uh. Have yourself a Twinkie with a side of fried mozzarella, baby!

All you need a friend that is a whiz with photoshop!

Before - at a party right before this Christmas.

Gee, did you get the number of the crow that ran over my face?


Face a smooth as a babies butt, without the post surgery, "heading north in a G-force wind tunnel" look.

She is proofing all of my pictures from now on.

*Yes, in case you are wondering, I AM avoiding grading or work of any sort. Hence the random IM chat with my graphic design buddy that resulted in her altering this picture and my writing this pointless post.

Fine, fine. I will go grade.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

Yesterday I had to work for about 6 hours with my AP Biology students giving the practice AP exam and grading them, then I had to go to my parent's house for a BBQ for my baby brother's birthday.

I was writing his card and realized (ok, it was in the car on the drive down. At least this year I did not buy it AND sign it on the drive down), my baby brother just turned 36.

Err... that was a holy-shit-I-am-getting-old moment.

I swear, he was 16, like, yesterday.

The BBQ was fantastic and most decidedly NOT Jenny Craig approved.
Whatever. It was delish.

Since we got back later than I expected and the fact that I had a food cache equivalent to the caloric needs of a small nation sitting in my stomach, I decided not to run on Saturday. That means I was running and biking on Sunday.

Sunday: Run 6 miles, Bike 15 miles

I ran a little different path today and I enjoyed some new views. The weather was beautiful and after a shit storm of a week with my students it was nice to clear my head.

Mustard plants along the trail. They are an introduced species and considered a scourge, but I think they are pretty.

The trail ends into a bike path and that was when I ran across some tagging by the local youth. I was so pissed that they not only defiled this beautiful space, they also lent serious credence to the belief that American children are irreparably stupid.

Really? In selecting a "gang" name, they went with "Kids of Death"? I hate to tell those jackasses that "Kids of Death" is about as menacing as the "Golden Retrievers of Mayhem." What do they do, bump hardcore Miley Cyrus tracks as they do skate bys?

Fucking tools.

coup de grĂ¢ce for me was this

What type of teenagers do not know how to draw a penis and testicles? I mean, really. Dude, if your shlong has a peeled banana appearance, you better get that looked at pronto.

These idiots will one day grow up and be members of our society. God help us.

After her soccer game, LA Run Buddy and I met up for a 15 mile bike ride.

All in all, great day, if not super encouraging for our future.

Friday, April 23, 2010

iRBR - More Hazards of the Technology Age

Well, no small thanks to you super savvy technology types, my boob sweat drenched iPod came back to life! The screen is a little muddled looking, but unlike my teenage students, I do not watch movies on its vast 1.5 inch screen (which is hugely LAME and CANNOT possibly be more interesting than my lecture on protein synthesis!)

After its revival, the next logical step was to take it out for another run even though I had still not purchased a case for it. Don't worry. I did learn from my last time and I did not use a ziploc bag (to be honest, I did not have one) so I used the plastic wrapper from my Kleenex pack.

How could this go wrong?

Scary that my job is to teach children, right?

Fortunately, it survived the 4 mile run boob sweat free and lives to play another day.

Yet another PITA (pain-in-the-ass) Technology moment

My 5 dollar alarm clock of 15 years sadly died about a year ago. Since then I have tried repeatedly to replace my beloved with another of similar value to no avail. All of the replacements were missing some sort of feature that I could not live without (e.g. no snooze feature. Why would they even create such a useless-ass clock? Who gets up the first time their alarm goes off? Well, besides my husband, but I digress...)

My husband was convinced that I was incapable of choosing an appropriate timing device and was sick to death of hearing me fumble around to reset the alarm to get 10 more minutes of sleep, so he went out and bought me a clock.

In typical male, over-the-top fashion, he got some space age alarm clock that was satellite linked for "to-the-second" accuracy. In addition, it also gave the day of the week, the date including month, day, and year, the room temperature in Fahrenheit and Celsius, the lunar cycle for that day, the hemoglobin concentration of orangutans in the San Diego Zoo, ... ok , it does not do that but it gives a shitload of information on the itty bitty screen.

After deciphering the 12 page manual on how to set the goddamn thing, I was ready to roll. I figured surely since this clock could be used to launch the Space Shuttle it would have all the features I wanted.

It seems that it had one extra feature that I was not crazy about.

This features is, apparently, that it will change time zones randomly and then self-link to the satellite to reset the time. It likes to do this around 2 am PST. It took rereading the 12 page manual and additional 3 times to determine that the self-syncing could not be turned off.

As a consequence my alarm that was set for 4 am PST went off at 3 am PST on Tuesday and 1:00 am PST today.

Sadly, I do expect my clocks to display the correct time within one hour. I know, soooo picky. As soon as I realized it was 1 am that it went off this morning I made sure that I needed to get a new clock. I hope crushing it did not trigger the firing of nuclear warhead feature.

I am going to get a fucking rooster next time.

Let's see if Teh G can resist a "cock" reference?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

4 miles at Marathon Pace

Odd how you never see marathon workouts listed that say "4 miles at marathon pace" or as translated in RBR-ese "4 miles at glacially fucking slow."

Despite that not being a recognized training modality, that is how I roll these days. (with the one glaring exception of a little 5K I ran a couple of weeks ago, where I was apparently smoking crack prior to running. And let's be honest, you will most likely never see numbers like that again on Run Bitch Run)

For quite awhile now, when "running" I shuffle along like I am scanning the ground for loose change and use that pace for some variation of only 3, 4, or 5 miles.

The longest run I have done in well over two months is 6 miles and to be honest that is only because I got lost trail running in bum fuck Washington (sorry to any Washingtonians. It is a really lovely state, especially if you do not like signage in your state parks and hate the sun)

Average Rainfall of Western Washington. It is green there, I will give you-all that.

As result of this piss poor effort, you will be STUNNED to hear that I will NOT be running the Marin Marathon this weekend.

I will give you a minute to recover.

It is really just another in a long line of events that have fallen by the wayside in the last 7 months. I am trying to not get out the big emotional bat and beat the fuck out of myself over it. It is what it is.


I have also officially dropped down to Barb's Race for the day of Vineman 2010 (a huge thanks to the Vineman people. They were very understanding and let me drop back to Barb's with no problem. Good peeps there) Ironman training was not happening and I just mentally and physically cannot commit to that level of training with everything going on.

The beauty of Vineman (Barb's Race is held on the same course and at the same time as the Vineman Full) is that it is relatively close to home, so I do not have to be away from home for more than one night or even at all if hubby needs/wants me to be home. He will be in the middle of his second round of radiation by that time. He is infinitely more important than any race and will come first, but he does want me to do it and I want to be there. So we will see.

I do have some race/event type stuff I would really like to do but I am afraid of saying I am doing them since that seems to be the kiss of death, so let';s just say, "here is a list of races in the near future that have crossed my mind and I may consider swinging by":

Clearly I am very non-committal these days
  • San Fransisco Marathon - July 25 (my 41st birthday, BTW)
  • Barb's Race - July 31 (I do have a penchant for doing 1/2 Irons and Marathons on back to back weekends. If this happens it will be my third time doing that. Whatever.)
  • Dammit Run - August 14th (5 mi trail run with my dad. We have done it together twice before)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Boob Sweat Killed the Radio Star

During my spring break, we decided that we wanted to get one more trip in before hubby's first round of radiation. The choice was to either go to Hawaii or go see his mother and sister in Washington. One of us chose Hawaii. One of us (arguably, the more adult one) chose Washington.

Guess who lost?

Yeah, just guess.

I am in Puyallup, WA. Try to not be too jealous.

I did not take this picture of downtown Puyallup because, really, why would I?

I did get to workout a bit including a trail run in a gorgeous state park in Tacoma, WA.

Point Defiance Trail Run: planned - 4 miles. Actual - 6 miles (uh, yeah... I will get to that)

The day before we had driven through this park and I had spied some very pretty redwood lined trails. I told hubby I wanted to run there the next day. I picked up a trail map and planned out a route (*eerie, foreshadowing music plays*).

Of course it was raining like hell the day I wanted to run, but I stood firm and told hubby I was running anyway and I would meet him back at the car in about 45 minutes then headed out during a break in the rain.

About half mile in. That is the Puget Sound behind me.

Beautiful, spongy redwood trails. Absolutely glorious!

I had chosen to run along the outer perimeter trail to see as much of the Sound as possible and hoping it would work out to about a 3.5 to 4 mile run. It offered stunning views like this one of the Narrow's bridge

The Narrow's bridge over the sound.

but, at one point it put me back along the road and the scenery was not as pretty. Then I saw this:

This is the pretty little trail that lured me off the main trail. Innocuous looking, isn't it?

Almost from the moment I turned onto this trail I was utterly lost. The signage in the park is piss poor at best. According to them there are three trails: the perimeter trail, the interior perimeter trail, and the spine trail. The label these by a square, a triangle, and a circle. Here is an uber helpful sign I came across while trying to figure out where the fuck I was

Thanks MetroParks. Good thing I am not 80 and need insulin, since this sign gives me NO indication how to get back to the park entrance.

"Well, why didn't you bring a map, genius?" You may be asking me through your computer at this very moment. Well, Mr/Ms Judgey, I DID bring their trail map. It had one fatal flaw the markings and names on the map have NO correlation to ANY FUCKING actual signage you will find in the park. I would arrive at a picnic ground that has a pretty little name on the map, but NOT ONE FUCKING SIGN at the picnic site, so even though I found some signs of civilization I STILL had no idea where I was.

Losing the love for Point Defiance Park and its sadistic cartographer.

I finally find and follow the Spine trail, or the "circle" since we can not have consistent marking on map and trail in Washington. At that point I had to chose a direction to head and I had a 50/50 shot of ending up where I needed to be or at the farthest point of the park, but at least I knew when I hit the end of the trail I would know where I was.

You guessed it

My finger is where I was. The pine cone is where I was supposed to be 20 minutes prior.

Lots of unkind words for MetroParks and Washington in general. I head back onto the Spine trail and toward my husband, who has hopefully not released a team of search dogs. I finally arrive, over 30 minutes late, having run 2 extra miles and not happy.

Then I go to retrieve my iPod from my running bra (I have not had time to get a case! Don't judge me!) I had wrapped it in a ziploc bag to "protect it", but since I could not close it it filled with sweat and became a little pool for my iPod.

Hmm... iPods do not like to be bathed in sweat. They should really put that on the box.

I tried to turn it off, no love. I tried to change songs, or playlists, or do anything, no love.

I killed my iPod with boob sweat. Terrific.

I KNEW we should have gone to Hawaii.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Oh, Dirt, how I have missed thee

What is that sound?

Do you hear it?

It is an eerie, yet gleeful, silent sound

A sound that is free of whining, bitching, and general teenage pomposity.

It is the glorious sound of Spring Break and it is music to my sick-to-fucking-death-of -teenagers'-bullshit ears.

Picture (right) by some weird-ass, french teenager named
Tooga. I thought it was apropos to chose a weird ass teenager's angst filled art. Maybe mommy took her iPod away

Anyhoo...back to the dirt!

Since I was off Monday morning (did I mention I was on Spring Break? I am. Quite delightful, actually) I decided to head out to my beloved Baylands for a celebratory run (I am celebrating being on Spring Break, in case you had not heard, I am on Spring Break.)

It was pouring on my drive up, but I was not to be dissuaded. I had a date with the waterfowl (not like that. Big pervs!)

It is nesting season for the Canada Geese at Baylands. If you are not familiar with Goose-Speak, that is Goose for "Fuck off!"

I headed out and I owned the trail.

10 am on a Monday morning + Everyone else at work = All good.

I was trotting along enjoying a beautiful run with great views and animal encounters

Male Pheasant. Major crop. This is as good as I could get, but he was stunning

Almost to the step, at the 2.5 mile turn around it started raining. Running back through the marsh, the already saturated mud took on the pancake batter consistency that collects at the bottom of your shoes making them weigh about 5 pounds each and giving you the feel of running on snow shoes. By the end of my run, they had mostly been cleaned by the gravel portion of the trail and the rain, but they still left evidence of horrid running form.

Nice. I am sure this happens to Paula Radcliffe too.

It was a great run. Somehow it ended up being 5.5 miles. I turned around at 2.5 and ran an out and back, but I took a detour up the boardwalk to catch some extra views.

Gorgeous, soul enriching run. I even had Rain Run hair at the end.

Did I tell you all I was on Spring Break? I am. :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Race Report : SJSU Spartan 5k - April 10, 2010

Last weekend I wrote about being talked into a 5k and surprising the crap out of myself by getting a PR. This weekend I was talked into another 5k by this lovely lady

Me and H post race. It is like I seek out the hottest friends I can find! Unbelieveable. Seriously, I am a hot girl MAGNET. I don't know my secret, sorry boys.

This run was a fund raiser for the SJSU Athletic Trainers Program and my buddy H was running the show. For a little bitty 5K put on by college students, it was amazingly well run. Lots of volunteers, lots of support. Much better than many half marathons and triathlons I have done. Overall a great race.

We start promptly at 9:30 and we had to navigate a few walkers to get going, but apparently 5k's bring out a dormant competitive side in me and I started off by pushing my pace and targeting people to pass.

Skinny chicks, young chicks, dudes, you name it. People I have NO business thinking I can beat all were in my sights today. For the record, most still beat me, but I digress....

Oh, it hurt.

It hurt A LOT.

I drug LA Run Buddy with me because I was once again concerned about being dead fucking last since I was running a 5k with college students. It is always nicer to be last with someone and I know that she will stay with me even though she is much faster than me. Turns out I have her to thank for the PR I got on this race.

LA Run Buddy is getting sick and I drug her out in the cold and drizzling rain to run a 5k so I would not be last alone. I am such a gem of a friend.

As we turned to the finish line this one pretty, young thing that we had been playing leap frog with, passes us. LA Run Buddy looks at me and I can see the "Oh, HELL no" look on her face and we start sprinting. I really did not think I had it in me to sprint and had I been alone I would have let Pretty Young Thing go, but LA Run Buddy was having NONE of that. We repassed Pretty Young Thing and continued to race each other to the finish (Yes, she beat me. Whatever)

When I checked my watch I could not believe it.

27:54 new PR

Now to some of you that would be an embarrassment, but for me that is like breaking the fucking sound barrier.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hormones, where art thou?

For those of you that may not know my husband was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer this February. We have decided on an equally aggressive three pronged treatment plan and the first phase of this is hormone therapy with a drug called Lupron. This will be started for 2 months prior to and then during two rounds of radiation. The first round of radiation is with radioactive seed implantation in the prostate and then, after 4-6 weeks, he will go through five and a half weeks of IMRT external beam radiation.

He had his first injection of Lupron 3 weeks ago. Each injection lasts 3 months and he will have a total of 2 injections. I will try not to go all biology teacher-y on you guys, but basically Lupron is a LHRH agonist, meaning that it blocks the hormone that stimulates the release of testosterone from the testicles (and the release of estrogen from the ovaries in females, but to my knowledge he has no ovaries, so I think he is cool there. Shut up, G). Therefore, after Lupron administration the testosterone level, which prostate cancer cells need to grow and divide, drops to near zero.Dropping a man's testosterone level to zero can cause a whole host of nasty side effects. Not the least of which is sending him into a menopausal type state. Hotflashes, mood swings, crazed appetite, the whole she-bang.


I am sorry, but I would like to keep the mystery of female hormone swings a bit of a, well, mystery to my husband. I am definitely guilty of pulling the I-am-NOT-a-complete-bitch-it-just-the-hormones-you-however-are-a-complete-asshole-'cuz-I-said-so-and-by-the way-when-was-the-last-time-you-sloughed-the-lining-of-your-uterus?! card at certain times of the month and his getting a little window into the reality of that hell may dilute some its enigmatic power.

The REAL bitch of it is that he is handling it like a champ. He probably won't even gain an ounce.


He says completely rational things like "my appetite is artificially elevated, so I do not need to eat." or "I should step up my exercise since my energy levels are low and I know it improves my mood and overall energy."

Since when do hormones work like that?!

I call, bullshit.

Clearly testosterone is the 98 pound weakling of the hormone world and the little bitch sister of REAL hormones like estrogen and progesterone. (hmm... there is a misogynist metaphor if I ever saw one. My apologies)

If you run out of either of those bad boys you won't be calmly discussing "artificially elevated hunger", or a "suspected increased in impatience."

Now, you all are free to remind me of this snarky ass post about him sailing through hormone therapy problem free, if next week I am writing about coming home to find him wearing my red thong and watching Valerie Bertinelli in a Lifetime movie, but so far so good.

Current score: Mr. RBR 1 Prostate Cancer 0

Saturday, April 3, 2010

An Anonymous 5K

There is a convention in town for a group of which I am a member and although I loathe and detest any gathering that requires me to mingle with or be jostled by throngs of people and therefore NEVER attend the conventions, I was talked into doing the 5K that was being held as a part of it this morning.

This is the blog approved pic. Another friend took a picture that did not follow the "no full body pictures taken of RBR with skinny bitches" rule, therefore it will not appear in the blog. My blog, my rules.

This is the first race I have done in a loooooooooooooong time (since Barb's Race in August) and only my second organized 5K ever.

The first and only 5K I had run prior to this was 4 years ago at the same convention with the same friend. Three miles was a longish run for me then.

Post Race 4 years ago. I am #153. Skinny bitch is #165, lest there be any confusion. This is prior to the pink hat. Tan hat, bleh. So not me.

I have been sick with a head cold all week and woke up this morning with a head full of snot. I attempted to empty said snot, but half a box of Kleenex later I was largely unsuccessful. To say I was dreading this run was an understatement. I could tell I was feeling insecure when I chose to wear my Napa Valley Marathon t-shirt to run a 5k. I mean, come on. How lame is that?

I guess I was hoping it would tell all the other runners, "I know I am sucking ass today, but look, I ran a marathon at some point in my life."

As I said, lame.

We line up and head out. Many people bolt from the start like there was free pizza at the turn around (there wasn't. I checked) and I just trotted along warming up and enjoying the perfect running weather. My head was feeling better and I was breathing pretty well.

Then something happened that never happens to me. I got competitive. I started picking people off and pushing hard to beat people. I have pushed to beat a time before and maybe beat a particularly irritating person, but typically I do not get rabid about beating people in races because, let's be honest, I can't beat many people.

It was a little fun, but it also reminded me why I prefer long, slow runs; running fast hurts (ok, fast-ish). At heart, I am a marathoner. A trots along-chatting-and-taking pictures marathoner.

Final time: 29:10 PR