"...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)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Mish Mash

A boring post of randomness. You are forewarned.

May Training totals:

Running: 72.5 miles (up from 48.7 miles last month)
Biking: 197.0 miles (up from 167.0 miles last month)
Swimming: 0 miles (exactly the same level of swim apathy as last month, i.e. swimming still sucks ass)
Wt. lost at Jenny Craig: 5.2 pounds (15.2 pounds total lost)

That is more like it.

I even got so bold as to officially register for the San Francisco Marathon on July 25th. Let's see if I still got my marathon chops.

Hubby Update
We have a surgery date. On June 10th, hubby goes radioactive. This is not a picture of hubby. Not yet, anyway. I stole this from the internet and plied my extra special paint skillz.

I know, kind of hot, right? Get it? "Hot", since they are radioactive and next to his hoo ha? Man! I crack myself up.

There is a ton of pre-op stuff to do which is kind of making anxiety a bit high around here, but fortunately I still have 167 surly teenagers, that act like it is my fault their summer has not started yet, to distract me. Yeah, like I would decide to keep them any fucking longer than the state mandated.

Sunday Run: 10 miles

LA Run Buddy and I set out this Sunday for a hot 10 mile run (85 degrees, kind of whiny to call it "hot" but that is much hotter than it has been). I have been struggling with my asthma since Big Basin. I am back on the albuterol nebulizer and am having to wake up in the middle of the night to use it to clear attacks.

It has been a over a week now, time to suck it up and go to my pulmonologist. I have an appointment tomorrow. I am sure I am looking at going back on Prednsione (something I HATE) but it is not getting better and it is making running and sleeping highly UN-enjoyable.

To add to the difficulty of our run LA Run Buddy went out with her soccer buddies and tied one on the night before. She NEVER does that, so she was seriously hurting and her recovering alcoholic friend (yes, me) gave her exactly NO sympathy and then proceeded to drag her hung over ass out in the sun to run 10 miles.

Wheezy and the Lush, taking a picture for the sole purpose of stopping for a minute

It was a slow and ugly run, but we got it done.

I'll stop now. I have even bored myself. I blame the lack of oxygen to my brain.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

For the love of Mary

This week has been typical end of the school year fare: award ceremonies (no, I did not win anything. Thanks for bringing it up, though), retirement dinners, end of the year parties, and the mad scramble to finish all the the shit we should have been doing in March and April when we thought the end of the school year would never arrive.

I have 2 more weeks of cherubs.

I am tired of the cherubs.

The cherubs are tired of me.


AP biology had their end of the year party last night and I HAD to show you all the coolest freakin' baked goods of all time ('coolest' being a relative term, of course.) It is a tray of brownies that have a human karyotype in frosting. It was frosted to show the karyotype of a Down's Syndrome (trisomy 21) female.

I was literally beaming with pride over the nerdiness of this! (Technically, if you count the pairs they made it 'trisomy 22', slight error, but mom frosted them and she is not in my class, so we will let her slide.)

Saturday ride: 30 miles, 1815' of climb

I titled this post "For the love of Mary" because one of the roads that LA Run buddy and I were biking on today is called Mary Avenue. Every time we ride on Mary I think of the summer the world lost a great human, named Mary.

Mary Avenue is the site of a uber cool, new (ok, new-ish. I took a few months off remember?) freeway overcrossing for bikes and pedestrians and we just HAD to ride over it.

LA Run Buddy in all her adorableness, on the Mary Avenue Bridge

Hysterical statue on the other side of the bridge. See the adorable family of California Quail? Then look up in the left had corner to see the statue includes a predator looking down, deciding which one of the fat, empty-headed little chicks to pick off first.

LA Run Buddy consoles the mother Quail. She is such a trooper. I ask her to pose for all of these pictures and she hardly ever rolls her eyes at me.

RBR (aka the luckiest girl alive) and her BFF.

The end of this July will mark the second anniversary of my friend Mary's death. It is hard to believe it has been two years. I still miss you Mary.

I will be toeing the line at Barb's Race in her memory like I have every year since she died (Barb's 2008, Barb's 2009). This year we have a another cancer battle going on, so I will be racing in honor of my husband as well.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Race Report: PCTR Big Basin 25K

To be filed under: What the fuck was I thinking?

Dirty Details (pun intended):

Distance: 25K
(actually it was 25.75K and, oh HELL yes, I am claiming that 0.75Km)

Total Climb: 3420' (yes, if you were wondering, that DOES seem like a lot for someone (e.g. Me) that has been running exclusively at sea level and remaining at sea level for the entirety of each run for months and months.)

Time: 4:37:24
(ummm... yeah. It was a rough day out there)


Heading up to the race (really, we should call it a 'hike/shuffle/stumble', but 'race' is easier to type, so we will stick with that.) Anyhoo, heading up to the race in Big Basin I was enjoying a beautiful view of the Santa Cruz mountains and listening to the new songs I had purchased for my iPod.It was only then that I realized that choosing songs for your run mix immediately after scheduling your husband's radiation implant surgery (and the 12 billion appointments that must occur within 5-7 days of said surgery. All at different offices, mind you) is not wise.

Just a bit of advice, if you do that what you end up with is a bunch of sappy love songs that make you cry.

Here is a sample

Don't worry I don't expect you to click on it. I never click on any of G's. Unless you are in the mood for a sappy love song, then this is for you. Click away!

As a result, by the time I arrive I am blubbering like an idiot. I compose myself and go to check in and am immediately hit with the what-the-fuck-am-I-doing-here-with-all these-hardcore-trail-runners?! feeling that I had gotten used to back when I was doing this more, but it has been months (and months, if you remember) since I have done this, so I got to feel like a huge loser (literally and figuratively. Fucking, skinny ass trail runners. Eat something besides tree bark, will ya?) all over again.

(Hike/shuffle/stumble) Report

The rest of this report will be mostly in pictures because I could not put together a cohesive story about this run if I tried.
The weather was perfect and Big Basin is possibly one of my favorite places to run. Wait, let me qualify that, with some parts of Big Basin are of my favorite places to run. I will illustrate on the elevation chart where that was today:

I must add that the USGS data for this run says, over 6000 feet of climb, I do not think that is correct either, but I strongly suspect it is more than 3400'. That, or I am just whining, which is certainly possible.

For the 25k you did a 15k loop and then a 10k loop. There were 10k, 15k, 25k, and 50k races today. For all of the races, you started off with a climb, because that is PCTR tradition. (RBR Definition of tradition - shit you inflict on other people at some regular interval, whether they like it or not) The 15k, 25k, and 50k started to the left and the 10 started to the right.

It was crowded and slow going. I don't have any pics from this portion of the run since it was so crowded. I will just include some bitchy side notes:

Side note to fast trail race runners: In a self seeded race, get your ass up front. No one will think you are an asshole for seeding yourself up front, but they WILL think you are an asshole if you knock 25 people into the poison oak, as you sprint to catch the guy that is getting away.

Side note to fast trail race latecomers:
If you are late to a race and start behind people that are slow (e.g. Me), then barrel up behind them to make up time, and then, without announcing yourself or even fucking saying "excuse me," you pass on the single track nearly knocking them (e.g. Me, again) off the trail on a technical descent, don't act offended when they laugh their ass off when you eat it HARD 20 yards later (and yes, by 'they' I mean ''me'. "Nice job, Douchebag. Watch out for the roots" *Cheshire cat smile*)We climbed for about a mile and then started what would be the only really runnable descent of the day. It still has some technical sections, but overall it was glorious.

I beat the girl in blue. I did not beat the girl in black, but they did the 15k while I manned up and did the 25k, so I win in the "too stupid to quit" category.

Stairs = steep

After this is when you hit the low point of the course, which means you start climbing. There are two waterfalls in this section that you get to climb up. One of them literally.

Oooh, pretty!

Cable climb up the waterfall

There were sections intended for people MUCH taller than me

Here is me stepping up on the rock. I had to hoist myself up by the cable since I could not get any leverage with my leg at this angle.

Top of the 15k climb, sadly after this you descended and had to climb again before this loop was done.

On the last climb I met up with a very fit looking gal that was struggling. This is my lot in trail running life. If I actually do catch up with someone it is because they are injured, bonking, or just generally miserable. I am ridiculously perky on runs even though I am last and even if struggling. This is about as well received by miserable runners as you would imagine.

Anyhoo... she was struggling with her asthma. The redwoods were blooming and the pollen was killing me too. I had used my rescue inhaler twice already. Alright, any medical professionals avert your eyes for a moment....

No peeking!

Ok, now that we are away from people that will be all like, "Dude, you are not a doctor do NOT give your medication to other people!" I lent her my inhaler. She was very grateful and was feeling better, but was done for the day. She did not do a good job of hiding her shock that I was doing the 25k.

Wheezy Girl: You are going to do the 10k loop?! After this? *gives me the up and down glance* She is a skinny bitch, they can't help themselves. Whatever.


Wheezy Girl: In God's name, why?!

RBR: I think you will be fine, now. Take it easy

and with that I trotted off.

The last 0.5 mile of the 15k loop you ended up at an intersection and it was confusing as to where you were supposed to go if you were running the 25k. I met up with two girls that were doing hte 25k and they were stopped and confused too. A guy that was running (ok, hiking it was really steep) up the trail looked like he knew what was going on:

RBR: Hey, do you know where you go for the 25k?

Much faster than me 25k'er: Are you just finishing the first 15k loop?

RBR: *hands on hips* Well, that sounded judgey!

Much faster than me 25k'er
: uh... I just mean... It makes a difference in which way you go.

RBR: *laughing at my own meanness* I am just fucking with you. Yes, I am just finishing the 15k Loop.

I head down with the other two girls and they tell me that they are bailing at the 15k. That sounds like a fabulous idea! At that point the thought of being done in 0.5 mile was stupendous. Sadly, my ego got the best of me when we reached the end of the 15k loop and the first aid station of the day (side note: DO NOT do PCTR races without your own water, especially in Big Basin. There are very few places to have aid stations so they can be really far apart, like 15km. I personally, never run without my own water. I am just too slow and have had aid stations run out before I get there. I was fine, but other people suffered yesterday)

Anyhoo, when I reached the aid station they were cheering and sweet and directed us to the 10k loop. The other girls kept going to the finish and the guy kept yelling to them so they had to shout out in front of all the supporters that they were dropping. Yeah, I am so not doing that. I filled up my camelbak, grabbed some pretzels and pop tarts (RBR rule: food eaten while running does not count against Jenny Craig) and headed out to the 10k loop.

I regretted it almost immediately.

There are lots of pictures from this section because I was TI-RED. Very, very TI-RED. I will not bore you will all of them, but instead give you the highlights.

You know you are tired, when you take time during a "race" to play with the self-timing feature of your camera

Cool bridge made out of a huge, fallen redwood

This one is for IronJane. Remember this hellish part of the 3 mile climb from Skyline to the Sea?

I was equally thrilled this time. Note: I was actually trying to smile, the misery is real not feigned.

The descent was about 3 miles and painful. Too steep to be fun on already fried quads and shot knees. When I finally made it back to the aid station, I was so grateful to be done and honestly proud of myself for gutting out the 25k.

Oh, and for the what-a loser-RBR-is-at-trail-running record, the guy that won the 50k came in about 1 min and 40 seconds after me

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bad Day. WARNING: Filed under whining

Ms. RBR asks the class: What is the shape of a DNA molecule?

*For reference, the lesson plans of the previous two fucking weeks included, but were not limited to: 3 lectures on DNA structure, a film on DNA structure with note sheet that we went over as a class, and an activity where they built a 3-D model of the fucking thing.

Class shouts out answers: because raising your hand is for squares and when I gently ask them to raise their hands and wait to be called upon no one participates and the room goes mute. In fairness, I usually "gently ask"with a very prominent vein bulging from my forehead and froth forming at the corners of my mouth because goddammit, they learned that particular bit of classroom etiquette in the third goddamn grade. I digress...

Class shouts: hydrogen bonds!

Ms. RBR: No, those help form the shape, what is the shape called?

Class shouts: Covalent bonds!

Ms. RBR: No, those also help form the shape, what is the shape called?

Class: Nucleotides!

Ms. RBR: No, those are part of the molecule, what is the shape called? Guys, this is review! You learned this in 6th grade.

*Reminder: I "teach" sophomores in high school.

Class shouts: Replication!

Ms. RBR: *sigh* You are just shouting out vocabulary words. Someone look it up in your notes.

Class shouts: Mitosis!

Class shouts: cell division!

Ms. RBR (now, banging head on desk): Wrong notes. That is the last chapter.

Some variation of this was repeated for 4 of my 5 classes. What exactly do I DO all day? Clearly, it is not teaching. They are not stupid. (Well, most of them aren't. Let's face it stupid adults come from somewhere.) They just do not care enough to process ANYTHING.

I am too tired to even continue this rant. I do not care enough to process it right now. Apparently that is fine. It must be because I am a kinesthetic, left-brained, red-green visual, auditory learner with processing difficulties. Maybe if my teaching credential professors had explained it with interpretive dance I could complete my diatribe. It is clearly their fault.

What-the fuck-ever.

Today's run - 5 miles, 10:30 min/mile, 47 trail user character assassinations, but only 3 lives were actually threatened:

1. Pick up your dog shit, asshole. Yes, it is my fucking business.
2. Not only is your parked, double wide stroller blocking the trail, your loose and uncontrolled kid is about to get squashed like a fucking toad by
3. an iPod deafened, no helmet wearing, riding 25 mph on the fucking bike trail, asshole.

As you can tell I was a Positive Polly heading into the damn thing, so it was a little doomed from the start.

It was one of those runs that with each step you feel



and slower.

My training partner and her perky fucking pony tail bee bopped alongside of me (two strides ahead, of fucking course) chatting away since she "guessed we were running at cruising pace today." *giggle*

Oh, and one last rant about today, Fuck you Jenny Craig. Kiss my fat ass!

I am going to bed. I need a do over.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Spring Babies

This week was a recovery week in my training. I do find it quite hilarious that while I often take big liberties with the training schedule (e.g. I have not done one single swim since before December), I am DEAD SERIOUS about recovery weeks. This time I was a little too serious about it, resulting in me taking three days off already this week.

Anyhoo, today hubby and I went for a leisurely ride through the park and we were treated with some very adorable spring babies that I thought I would share.

Please forgive my HORRIBLE pictures. I only had my phone with me and let's leave it at I am NOT impressed with the camera on my new Palm Pixie.

Fuzzy babies! Baby Geese. Canada Geese are the unofficial California state bird, second only to seagulls in number and the ability to cover all they encounter with bird shit.

Baby skunks! This is a band of 6 baby skunks. Mom sleeps during the day, but sometimes the babies get up and wander around a bit.

This little guy wandered off a little by himself and right up to me. Hubby says, we should call this one 'Darwin'. Hoo! He cracks me up sometimes.

Tomorrow I am heading out to Baylands to run 5 miles in honor of G's quivering mass of sniveling girlflesh turning the Big 5-0. (Yes, that is 5-0, as in 50 years of age and no, not dog years, actual human, holy-shit-that-is-half-a-fucking-century YEARS! In the words of my teenage charges, "Dude, that is HELLA old!" a full decade older than me actually if I can be a snarky bitch for a moment, and let's face it, we all know I can)

SteveQ is doing a 50k tomorrow (Yes, he is still injured. Don't get me started) G, himself, is doing a 5k (hate to be the one to point this out, G, but SQ's is longer), so I figured I would throw down with a 5 miler because 1. I needed to run more than G, since he is such a GIRL and all, and 2. I am not capable of running 50 miles, because, truth be told, if I could I would show up both of those SOB's.

After that I am headed to a spa weekend with my former Run Buddy (not to be confused with LA Run Buddy. I have a disturbing lack of creativity in creating blog monikers) we are celebrating the end of the AP exams and the craziness that goes into leading up to them. (For the record, regarding the AP biology exam, my students rocked the snot out of that SOB, if I can be a smug bitch for a moment, and let's face it, we all know I can)

Massage, sauna, hot tub, loafing about a cushy hotel room, Sunday brunch...

I can handle that.

Ok, in the interest of full disclosure I was not willing to leave town in light of the fact we did not know when hubby's surgery was going to be, so the hotel is 20 min from my home.

I am vacationing in my own city. Whatever. It will still be fun.

Hubby Update

His brachytherapy surgery is still an unknown, which I find really fucking frustrating. They say they will call next week, which for the record, is what they said last week. He is holding steady on the hormone therapy and I know there is no rush, but there is a large, irritable, and impatient part of me (Yes, that is only part. I do have other character traits) that wants to get the radiation underway and get the cancer out of my husband NOW, goddamn it!

Anyway, we are still waiting for news.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ow, ow, ow...

You know the 40-something year old fat, bald guy that spends the vast majority of his time sitting in his recliner, drinking Pabst blue ribbon, and regaling anyone who will listen about his athletic prowess in the "big game" of 1987 and then goes out and gives himself a fucking heart attack in a touch football game in the park?

I am that guy.

Yesterday I was asked to speak at at meeting that has a little twist. You hike in, have the meeting, and then hike out.

Ok, cool, I like hiking.

Since the gal that asked me to speak knows I run she chose one of their toughest hikes for me to speak at. 9 miles, 1500' of climb

Still ok, I should be fine. It is hiking, right? Not like I am running or anything.

Well, skinny bitch and I show up (so sad that is becoming her moniker here, she really is a wonderful person whom I adore, but she is, in fact, a skinny bitch)

I present Exhibit A of her skinny bitchness

and I get introduced to the group. There has been a bit of an issue with the group and new people showing up that are not fit enough to hike, which makes the entire group have to wait to start the meeting, so I start to get the 3rd degree:

Uppity meeting member: So, RBR, this is your first hike?

RBR: Well, with this group, but I have done some hiking before.

Uppity meeting member #2: 'Some' hiking? You know this is a level 4 hike, don't you?

RBR: I am aware.

SkB (new code for Skinny bitch, it takes some of the sting out of it): Umm, RBR is a runner. She runs marathons and runs trails ALL the time. She will be fine. Back off.

side note: she is a bit protective and quite adorable. See why I love her?

Uppity meeting member #3: Whoa, maybe I won't have to wait too long by myself at the top. *Mr Ed horse laugh*

RBR thinks: Nope, not today asshole.

And with that it was on. Never mind I essentially took 7 months off, gained 20 fucking pounds, and just started to train again, these sons of bitches were not beating me to the top.

And they did not. *smug, if misguided, grin*

SkB and me at the top. FIRST, BITCHES!!

Nor did they beat us back, since we ran the whole 4.5 miles back down the trail. SkB may not be speaking to me today, (she was wearing hiking boots, and canvas pants, but is just as stubborn as me and was not going to let my 40 year old ass run back while her 26 year old ass hiked).

But wait! The idiocy gets better.

After I got back from the hike, I immediately went for a ride with LA Run buddy where we averaged 15 mph for 15 miles (for the record, we usually average 13-14 mph on the bike trail dodging baby joggers and geese, but today we were hungry and crabby and wanted to be done)

Oh no, we ain't done yet. When I do 'stupid,' I DO IT UP!

So then today, LA Run buddy and get up and run 10 miles at Baylands. I am hobbling around like I ran a goddamn marathon. Everything fucking hurts.

A lot.

I cut off the view behind us, but you will have to take my word for it, it was pretty.

10 miles in 1:52: 10 (11:12 min/mile)

All I can say is "Ow"

Thursday, May 6, 2010

You know you got juice...

When your students are so fired up for their AP Biology exam that this is the kind picture you get texted to you

I am just a WIZ with the paint program. My services are available for a small fee.

Brought tears to my eyes, I was so proud. (she is fine, btw)

And yes, I text with my students. My husband is convinced I am going through some sort of peri-menopausal midlife crisis and regressing to the maturity of a 17 year old girl.

'Cha, as if!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hmm, that wasn't marathon pace

WARNING: Patently uninteresting workout post, but it has an RBR bad assery moment, so it must be chronicled.

Today's workout:

5 miles at 10:08 min/mile

Well, well, what have we here? That is NOT my marathon pace (or, really, even close to it) That is something that almost resembles speed work.

"Speedwork? 10+ min/mile?" You may ask.

Uh yeah, Mr/Ms. Judgey-pants. In my world (unlike the world inhabited by ridiculous people that can actually run at speeds of 17 miles per freaking hour. Whatever. I still look cuter in pink. ) that is pretty damn fast.

Did you know that hippos can top out at 20 mph?! They are also the number 1 vertebrate killer of people in Africa. Don't be dissin' the 'potamas!

I also did another 30 push ups. I figure I can keep this up if I only need to raise my arms to wash my hair twice a week. I will just wear a hat the other days.

And 30 walking lunges. Helps strengthen my kneesies. Gotta take care of one's 40 year old, fat girl knees if one wants to be a runner.

Good day, good day indeed!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy May Day!

It is MAY!! Glorious, beautiful, long awaited MAY!!

Renaissance Faire attendees, second only to emo asshats in groups of people I love to make fun of. In the interest of full disclosure I must add that one of my best friends owns a cloak and collects dragon figurines *eyeroll*

May means the following things in RBRland: (No. 1 won't mean anything to you if you are not a teacher or in education, so my apologies to those of you that got a real job out of college)

1. April is over. Halle-fucking-lleujah. Statewide testing, AP testing, students tired and over it, teachers tired and over it, teacher evaluation reports and meetings are due, department goal setting assessment and reports are due, the annual mad dash by special education to complete IEP's (individual education plans) on students that you have had in your class all fucking year, yet decide now it is crucial to get a plan for how to teach them. *eyeroll*

All of this makes April the longest 30 days of the school year. "Hey April, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out! See you on the next trip around the sun!"

2. Long days with lots of sun. I can actually work out after school without having to race the kids out of the parking lot at the end of the day or running at the track since it is the only lit place around and I REFUSE to run at the gym. (ok, I also refuse to JOIN a gym, but I digress...) I live in California for Christ's sake. There is NO reason to run on a treadmill. Ever.

"It is beautiful day outside of my multi-million dollar home that overlooks the water. I think I will hop on my treadmill for a workout and look out the window at it!"

My mood improves with the longer days and the winter funk lifts. I wish I was not so affected by the shorter daylight, but I am. May is usually when I start to feel more like me more of the time.

3. And, dear friends, (especially those in education) you know what is after MAY?

Hells to the yeah!

April Stats: (Haven't posted one of these in a while. Of course, I haven't had anything worth a shit to report in a while)

Run: 48.7 miles
Bike: 164 miles
Swim: 0 miles (I know, you are stunned, Whatever. Swimming sucks ass)
Wt. loss at Jenny Craig: 10 pounds

Hubby update:

He is doing well on the hormone therapy. He has had some fatigue, a little temperature regulation issues, and some mood swings, but I have yet to find him wearing my negligees, eating chocolate chip cookie dough out of the tube, so we are going to call it good so far.

Next week we should find out when his surgery for the radioactive seed placement will be.

Saturday Run: 8 miles

LA Run Buddy and me at the Bay overlook at Baylands. Perfect day for a run.

Prom tonight. Oh joy. I give thanks to the sweet baby Jesus that I am NOT the advisor for the goddamn thing this year, nor am I am official chaperone which means that when the shit gets funky, and it WILL get funky, I get to tell an official chaperone and then say, "Good luck with that. Peace out."