Randomly Random

So very random.

Very thankful to a nice man named Alex who left the lovely confines of his home to help me remove lug nuts that might’ve been tightened by the Hulk himself. Seriously, I’m a self-sufficient young woman who can do all kinds of things herself, but when I’m literally standing on top of the bar trying to remove the stupid, non-cooperative lug nuts…well, all kinds of words were coming out of my mouth. This wasn’t my idea of the donuts I tend to enjoy! $500 later – Betty has a brand new pair of shoes!

Slipper socks? Slipper shoes?

Not sure who invented these toasty foot warmers, but thank you times a million! I’ve owned these for several years. I don’t know why I hadn’t tried to use them properly until Thanksgiving! Feets and legs! Anyway, they’re awesome. Get yourself a pair. Or ten!

My friend recently posted a photo of her dogs with the caption “tfw (insert caption here)”. Normally I try to figure out things on my own before referring to Dr. Google. So as I wracked my brain to decipher what TFW meant, which bordered on the inappropriate – to f*** with – to the insane – tiny fried woman, I realized I was completely clueless. I don’t mind being politically incorrect, Correction: my anxiety says we do mind, but I do try to stay updated on the slang our society is currently using. I’m not old nor young. Not naive yet sometimes a little clueless. But as much as I tried, I came up with no words which would make sense in what she posted.

Totally didn’t see that coming. Thanks, Webster. You rescued me from a life of ignorance. Now I must come up with ways to use my new knowledge!

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I ask you –

When was the last time you had a flat? Did you need help?

What brand/style are your favorite socks?

Tell me an acronym you didn’t know the meaning of!

Wk 14, HM Training

Officially on the next-to-last week! My goals are to survive two full days of training mid-week, begin a successful taper, and end the week with a long conference.

Garmin says Monday’s 4 miles is just maintaining, so whatever. I think it was a solid effort!

Since the two days of training got cancelled, I went back outside for a tempo run on Tuesday. At first, I was disappointed because I only ran 2 miles, but then I realized it wasn’t so much about the miles…it was about the pace (avg 9:15-9:35). Duh, tempo run.

And THIS! 48 VO2 max!!

Did some cadence work on Thursday, then my final long run Friday! I had to shorten it by 30 mins due to lunch time constraints vs after work when I usually complete my long run. 5.84 miles with some tempo training toward the end. It was incredibly hot out.

“Chaos Coordinator”

Still stalking next weekend’s forecast. Hoping for mid-30s on the overnight! Trust me, I’ve never said that before.

Running on Fumes – Musings from the Mess Decks, pt 2

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From Dan –  

Yes, I was aware that children, for a short time, were considered mail-able. It seems weird, but doctors used to prescribe cigarettes for pregnant women, so maybe it’s not too weird. 

We recently celebrated my elder child’s 30th birthday, and of course I was reminded of the circumstances of how I was alerted to her arrival. For you see, I was cruising around South America at the time and communications between me and the States were irregular and crude.

I knew she would be along pretty soon, and it was after a very long midnight watch up in the gun director that I settled into my rack for a precious 3-hour nap before the endless cycle of events of a warship underway, the next go round of eat, work, and watch.  With great surprise my then-Senior Chief (RIP) thrust his hand past the blue-curtain barrier that defined my sacrosanct rack with a just barely not growled “Here! Read this!”

I had been handed, of course, the long awaited for birth announcement. And now, here it was, a telegram for the love of God, sent to me by the Red Cross. Sleep was out of the question, and I walked fore and aft, bilge to bridge making the announcement to anyone who would listen. I finally ran out of people to tell, and I ended up on the port side main deck, smoking a celebratory cigar while watching the wilderness of the Andes Mountains slide aft. I’m sure there are things about that day that I have long since forgotten, but I still have that telegram up in my study where I keep a number of priceless mementos of my life to remind me of that amazing morning.

There’s a wide variety of trinkets and tchotchkes in that cache of memories, an unsurprisingly number amongst them are letters: Honest-to-God, sat-down-with-pen-and-paper letters written at various times and delivered to me (via paths that can only be guessed at) to whatever ship I was on and wherever I was. Those letters are occasionally pulled from storage, their decades-old creases unfolded so that I may again experience an echo of the thrill I enjoyed when I first received them so long ago. A few of them still are redolent of the fuel-oil, paint, and steel smell of a warship underway and it’s that odor that instantly transports me back to a very different time and place.

Today’s Sailors feel they are lucky. E-mails back and forth to the home-front are everyday events, phone calls common, and video chats with loved ones unremarkable. Keeping up with the day-to-day activities of the household and families has never been easier or more immediately possible for the Sailor.

 

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And, I think it safe to say, that very, very few of the Active Duty folks would willingly return to my Morse code and semaphore way of doing things. Hard to blame them, really. If I could have been part of a video call back in 1985, well, let’s just say I might be missing parts of my anatomy. Running your life/marriage via mail that makes it way home via a wandering and unpredictable path (Say, over to an oiler, then to an amphib, and finally over to a series of Air Force Base storage areas[1]) sometimes takes longer than the deployment. Indeed. Stories of mail arriving home after the Sailor used to be very common.

And it is also true that we could on occasion call home by radio, thanks to ham radio operators and long distance phone calls. It was called the MARS system, although it was probably easier to call the planet than it was to call home. MARS was wonderful to have, but weird. We had to use Navy radio techniques (“Over”) which were hard to teach to small children, and there was a very long list of things that were taboo to talk about on the radio. Imagine phoning home and then being prosecuted. Ah, the perils of military life.

But emails and phone calls can’t be kept, cherished, and handed down like the letters and other messages I have from those long-ago days. It might be fun to see a new e-mail in the inbox in the morning, but every morning? I wonder. And, I wonder if that experience can match the intense feelings of anticipation and joy (and sometimes desolation) when the Boatswain’s Mate of the Watch passed “Mail Call!” Remember, that would sometimes happen only twice a month.

It was possible to tell by holding that the letter had power. You were holding something she had held just a while ago. That letter had been in your house! Your daughter can write! All of those things so very far away. A talisman of home, a status hard to convey onto an e-mail.

Mail and its service seems to be failing, albeit slowly, and the whole process is probably doomed. Sad I suppose, but such is the inexorable march of time. I try to remember that everything in the world today will someday be gone and considered either quaint or no longer understood, enigmas from the past like Stonehenge or the Antikythera Mechanism. One of my more ridiculous thoughts is of my great, great grandchildren attempting to decipher those letters found one day moldering away in dusty old box. “Jeez,” I can hear them say, “Who was this guy? Why didn’t he just flash over and see Grammy Lynn instead of doin’ this? And what’s a ‘ship’?” Sic transit Gloria mundi.


[1] My days in the Navy started before Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Mail services had been archaic/slow for years, but improved drastically after American service members started going to the Middle East in serious numbers. I’m not complaining, it’s just the way it was. And, we could always tell when Oprah or Sally Jesse Raphael had a story about the folks in the Persian Gulf as after those shows, we would receive a mountain of mail on the fantail addressed to Any Sailor/Soldier.

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As always, a huge thank you to my friend, Dan, for his sole contribution to this RoF special piece. I know I have many other friends/family with stories for days of their time and I’d love to post them, too. Please contact me if you have a contribution or if you have a story but are unable to put it into words that make sense – I’m hear to listen and write on your behalf. Always! -Kel

Friendship Funny Farm, pt 2

Back on the subject of friendships and how I pretty much suck at making new ones, it turns out one of mini’s classmates/friend is the daughter of a young man I worked with at Sonic a billion years ago because I’m old. Correction: I’m not the typical kindergartener’s mother’s age. And I’m totally fine with this!

Credit: fuckologyofficial via Instagram

Anyway, I’ve had a few encounters with this classmate’s mother, who is married to the guy I worked with. Keep up. The classmate is sweet and seems to do well in school. If mini’s antecdotes are to be believed. Each “Mommy encounter” has been pleasant until recently. I have her number saved and we’ve text before – she seems nice. However, the most recent time I saw her she said wildly funny things. She made an Anna Nicole Smith joke – God rest her soul. What’s funny is I’m old enough to get the joke. She also underscored the struggles we’re going through as parents with very needy children! And if you know anything about me to this point, then you know my mom abilities border on the completely unprepared. By border, I mean fall spectacularly short.

Herein lies the real issue. I want to be friends with this hilarious woman. But I’m not good at the making friends thing. I believe I’m the funniest woman on earth so this should be simple, right? Make a few jokes, endear myself to her, then pounce! Did this get weird? Or are you supposed to court them first? Told you…old lady here. Do I schmooze her with coffee? What if she doesn’t like coffee? Hard pass. We can’t be friends. Ever. I’ve already stalked her on social media which is how I found out about the husband/previous coworker piece. At least I’m honest!

parking lot motivation

Did you know: Children laugh, on average, 150 times a day. Adults laugh, on average, only six times a day. This is why adults are so grumpy! Because they don’t laugh enough. Find something to laugh at! I suggest starting with yourself.

Finally, my self-talk game is getting ridiculous. I sound like I’m talking to a geriatric horse. Come on, ole girl, the stairs aren’t too bad. See. Told you I was funny.

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I ask you –

How many friends do you have?

What should I do to make her be my friend?

Tell me how funny I am!

Rants & Raves, RoF Edition

There’s a time to rant and there’s a time to praise. Unfortunately, now is not the latter. It could be, but it’s not.

Credit: momsbehavingbadly via Instagram

Group text from school system with individual phone numbers listed: blah blah blah, your child’s order is in; report to this place between these hours

Random number: What do we do if we didn’t receive our entire order?

Me: I’ll tell you what you don’t do! Don’t reply all to this message because it’s probably a) unattended and b) unlikely to help your situation. But it will make the remainder of us who didn’t ask to be a part of this group text really angry.

If you intend to homeschool your children, then please do so. Emphasis on the school part. When your teenager can’t tie their shoes, your schooling ideas are failing. Choosing to homeschool your children makes you directly responsible for their education. You have forgone the right to blame public education for your mistakes. Shoes and all. Home schooling is not an excuse to not send your children to school.  It’s a conscious choice to take sole responsibility in creating valued members of society. Not for the faint of heart, I’m sure. I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. Note: wanted…past tense.

And if this isn’t enough to make you laugh, then you’re beyond help. Mini, along with her classmates, was instructed to bring bite-sized pieces of things to the class’s Thanksgiving feast. Parents were told to choose 3-4 items, then you would be told which of your choices to bring to school. Some followed the instructions, others not so much. When I positively told mini what she (I) had been assigned, her disdain and palpable disbelief was comical only to me. Days later, she still sounds upset whilst I giggle.

Celery. Mini had to bring celery. Apparently it’s the most hated food ever. My thought was some child will be overjoyed to see celery because it’s their favorite food! Alas, nothing could be worse than being the child chosen to bring… celery.

Final update: as I suspected, there was ONE child who proclaimed their love of celery.

Mommy: 1. Life: 8,374,150.

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I ask you –

How much do you ensure not to reply all when it’s not warranted?

Were you homeschooled? How did it work out for you?

Name your most despised food! Sauerkraut, for one.

Wk 13, HM Training

Clearly this week’s schedule doesn’t think I have a job. Sheesh. I know it’s Thanksgiving, but that’s doesn’t mean I have the week off. Anyway, I did have several days at home so I made do.

Typically my VO2 max is 45. One day it was 46. Honestly I don’t pay much attention to it, until Monday, when it reached 47! No idea what this means, but whoohoo. Garmin also said my training was peaking, so there’s that, too.

Funny not funny story: this training cycle has resulted in some strange chafing situations. And by strange I mean incredibly painful in places one would never wish to be chafed.

For Tuesday’s goal pace run, I went to the track so I wouldn’t have to think about crossing roads. But when the headwind hit me, I had a hard time sticking with it. My legs were seriously struggling but I managed to stay on track (pun intended).

haHA! Check out that 9:12! Learning I really don’t like progression runs but I do rather well at them so there’s that good moment. Considering it was pre-turkey, pre-stuffing, pre-pie…and extremely windy…

Long run completed! Super early, super cold (real feel 15°), and super long! I started with 23 layers, a hat, gloves, and a whole lot else, but I made it.

Lucky #13 (week) done. Just a few more remaining!

Race Ideas

Brainstorming future race ideas led me to this one: the inaugural Rock n Roll Atlantic City event!

I’ve only ever seen New Jersey as I raced through it on the way to Connecticut, though I do vaguely remember vast toll areas. Perhaps that was a different state, like Oklahoma. Nonetheless, I’d like to enjoy a proper visit and run a little race!

Credit: #myfavoriterun via Instagram

I’m also very interested in the Blue Bell runs in Brenham, TX. Held annually in April, the finish line party includes Blue Bell ice cream, which is my most favorite ice cream of all time. Pecan Pralines ‘n Cream anyone? I want to explore more 10k distances so why not start there?!

Credit: #bluebellfunrun via Instagram

I’m about over this training plan stuff. 15-16 week plans are just too long for me. Week 8 is about my cutoff. Maybe 10 if I’m feeling generous. Never before have I ever given a moment’s thought to running a virtual half marathon just so I can say I did the run and be done with it. A few weeks back – I hit that point. And I know that particular week was kind of a struggle, but I don’t feel like my fitness has increased much since. If I didn’t know that Morgan from Oregon was traversing the plains to attend, I probably would have called it quits awhile back. Alas, she has been training so I’m self-motivating to make it to the start line. My Garmin goal meter says it’s very confident I will reach it. My internal doubter has serious reservations. All I can do is run the race laid out before me knowing I’ve put in work to the best of my abilities.

break in an emergency

Now, with all that said, I just want it to be over. Thankfully start line emotions are a very real phenomenon and 10 mins after I’m done I’ll be kissing strangers and hugging babies. Jokes, lots of jokes. To keep myself on track I’ve been brainstorming things I want to do post-race. For example…

Short Term –

  • Take a long nap
  • Eat copious amounts of Mexican food, specifically tortilla chips
  • Lay on the ground contemplating my life choices
  • Call everyone I know with the great news I have a shiny new PR

Long Term –

  • January run streak?
  • Train for a March/April half marathon
  • Train for a March/April 10k unrelated to the above half marathon
  • Resume keto
  • Survive the winter months
  • Fantasize about vacation

Surely I’m missing many additions to my listing endeavors. I’ll keep thinking and update you all soon.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving – filled with turkey and ham and as many rolls as you can stuff in your mouth at one time. And pie!!!

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I ask you –

Anyone have an upcoming race or race potential near northern Texas?

How often do you make lists?

Please share some thing(s) on your short/long term list!

Right Out of the Gate – Friendship Funny Farm

As I’ve gotten older, developing friendships has become more important to me. I try to be an authentic friend. Short of stating my own sordid past, my attempts at being “real” are usually a make it or break it moment. Seems I ride the line up to the very instant it goes down the road of “I, too, have…(the equivalent of the word problems)” because I don’t really have problems; I have hang ups, hurts, and some very diverse life experiences! Nicely put, Kel.

a cactus!!

There’s a blooming friendship I’m nurturing currently which stems from an unlikely encounter. She’s always very positive to be around; we laugh and cry together, typically at the same time. It’s a blast. But she has no expectation I will ‘fix’ anything going on in her life and she loves coffee so I rather enjoy her company. Win/win!

tea time

But in exposing ourselves to new people, the fear of rejection is always there. ‘What if I say too much, what if my past is overwhelming?’ – you know – all the stuff. I have a LOT of stuff. Thankfully, so does she and here we are! A few of our very first discussions were truth bombs, like a here you go, this is me, I understand if you want to grab your coffee and run away screaming now. Baggage. Maybe that’s more of what I have.

My mind sees myself as that frazzled woman who arrives at the gate juggling 4 oversized suitcases, then collapses in a chair between 2 put together businessmen, her luggage nearly killing them in a towering stampede, looks of disgust pointed in her direction. Yeah, that’s me! She smiles and waves without a care in the world, like her whackadoo bun isn’t escaping its confines and she didn’t just barely make it through security. Work with me, not against me; this is my vision.

Much truth lies in what we share with those closest to us, the ones privy to the good, bad, and oh-so-ugly. What we don’t share, however, is indicative of how relationships will progress. As this friendship is new, there are many things we don’t know about each other. A work in progress.

And I must find out how many pieces of luggage she takes to the gate.

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I ask you –

When was the last time you forged a new friendship?

What is the length of your longest friendship?

My analogy game is a riot. Share what your mind sees when you think of yourself!

Wk 12, HM Training

Started off – after a long weekend and my longest run yet – with a short(er) run(ch) session at the track. I forgot how good my feet feel when I do track miles.

Speed repeats on Tuesday were tough but overall I think I did really well! Anything in the 7-8 min/mile pace is way out of my league from an endurance perspective. Glad I ate my oatmeal that morning.

Friday evening long run went better than expected! We had a potluck at work which ended up being me standing for nearly 3.5 hours so I was worried how my legs would feel. Answer: very tired. It took 3 miles to “warm up”. Then the blissful numbness took over and I sailed right on. The more I do progression runs or goal pace miles, the more I believe I’ll be able to reach my goal.

The other day I had this wild idea to run in the 2:00 pace group. My thinking was I’ll start out strong and then drop into the 2:10 group (my goal time). But then I felt like an idiot because everyone knows you don’t start out too fast or you’ll burn up at the end. Yet somehow this still sounds so tempting… Stop it, Kel. Week 13 is up next. Taper is sounding better and better!

Random Thoughts

-My calves are sore. -I would like to do at least 15 min of foam rolling everyday. Wasn’t I supposed to do yoga 3-5 times a week? -LOL @ me in avitar form -Well damn, I guess someone told Airbnb that Turin, Italy will be the host city for Eurovision 2022. Left: prices the week […]

Random Thoughts Thursday

Borrowing the above from my good friend (he’s my friend even if he doesn’t know it) Run There, Drink That .

I now have a reminder in my phone to “Write Something” every single day this month. So far, it’s working well. There’s this neat gadget that schedules events in your calendar based on preferences and how often you tell it to shut up because you’re too busy. Unfortunately, no extra points for completing it early. Thanks, Google.

I’m doing all the right things:

  • Carbs
  • Hydration
  • Rest
  • Vegetables

So why won’t my legs turn over? Could it be the quality of workouts, i.e. I don’t respond well to speed and progression runs, etc? The only reason I mention this possibility is because I designed my own race plans the past 3 years and met (exceeded) my goals. Am I just not meant to run fast? Was the 2:18 the best I’ll ever run? I refuse to concede! I’m going to get this figured out.

frustration at its finest

Never fails – on the weekends I wake up early (hello, internal alarm clock), excited to have a few uninterrupted hours to work on the blog, but I’m thwarted by the update screen. It’s my own fault. I don’t think about this requirement until Friday night; by then, I’m tired and just go to bed, always telling myself ‘don’t worry, Kel, it won’t take long tomorrow’. Then here I am. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. You really need to learn.

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I ask you –

Are you following Run There, Drink That? You should be, he’s hilarious!

Do you have a “Remind Me Because I’m Forgetful” feature on your phone? Bonus points if you use it daily!

Tell me about your regular sleep patterns!