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Martini Fridays: Like I Asked Five Minutes Ago


Having so much FUN!
Having SO! MUCH! FUN!

So far August is not covering itself in glory.

This has long been my least favorite month. It’s usually the hottest, for starters, and I’m much better at pushing through the 20 degree days than I am the 80 degree ones. It’s also the time when summer vacation is starting to wear on everyone’s nerves. My kids still have a month or so before school starts—they don’t get out until late June and don’t go back until just after Labor Day—but my classes will start in two weeks and I need to get on top of syllabi and work email. By the third week in August, I’ll fully turn into Yelling Mommy, who can be set off with the slightest eye roll.

August has always been a month of chaos and transition. But this August has stepped up its game.

For starters, this has been a rough summer for stepfathers. Mine died in June; and my husband’s died this week. It wasn’t a shock, which doesn’t make it less of a loss. And with the loss comes the need for trips to his hometown, Rochester, which is a 3+ hour drive away.

I’m not complaining, mind. I’m happy we can do it, even if I’m sad about the reason for it. One of the reasons we moved back East is to be closer to the extended family. There’s just an added level of logistics and panic right now, coupled with the realization that both kids have outgrown their dress shoes and nice clothes.

Add to that Jerkface. I was already 95 percent committed to the ablation procedure before I asked for your comments. Your input pushed me into the “Go” category. Now it comes down to scheduling. I keep looking at the calendar and sighing heavily. It looks like I’ll be off of my feet right after I get back from a conference in the U.K., which is also the same week that classes start. Because, sure, why not?

Let us not speak of the paper for said conference. I’m hoping for a very small miracle between now and then. I keep leaving treats out for the magical paper-writing fairies in the hopes they’ll tackle it during the night. Stupid, slacker fairies.

(Speaking of miracles, as I’m typing this, my children are downstairs wrestling with each other and yelling, which really doesn’t sound like emptying the dishwasher and/or brushing your teeth LIKE I ASKED YOU TO DO FIVE MINUTES AGO.)

Adding to the list of “sure, let’s have everything happen at the same time in this melon farming month:”  later this afternoon, the Tween will be getting braces, which means a week or two of complaining about getting braces. Additionally, the dog has Lyme disease -- she’ll be OK -- but requires meds twice per day. Additionally, additionally, I’m really worried that all of the Minecraft has eaten the Boy’s brain. And my mom is in town. With her dog, who keeps attempting to have amorous moments with our dog, who doesn’t seem to mind as much as we do. Even though we know there will be no puppies, it’s just not what one wants to see while eating dinner.

It’s just all so very much, August 2014. And we’re not even to the double-digit days yet.

The high point: 6 miles.
The high point: 6 miles.

Which brings me to my last few runs.

On August 1, I tackled the first 12 mile long run of the 13.FUN race plan. The middle 4 were to be at my 11:30ish race pace. So, yeah. About that.

I was looking forward to the run, truth be told. It would be a nice break from the hurricane.

After mile four, which is where the hills get extra steep, I realized that that middle four at race pace was crazy talk. I was lucky to haul my heiner ever upwards for those steep miles, much less force it to pick up the pace. I couldn’t even get race pace going on the downhill. My step was pep-less.

By mile 9, I just wanted to lay down by the side of the road and whimper. By mile 10, I’d fallen into a well of suck and started outlining each and every failure I’ve had as a human being. There are enough of them that I had lots to do during the rest of the run.

I lay down on my bedroom floor once I got home and wondered how delusional I clearly am to think that I can run another half, much less one at a slightly faster pace. I have zero idea how it’s going to happen, given my current state of conditioning plus all of the life events coming fast and furious. This is what it looks like when a carefully calculated plan meets reality, I guess. I find it both infuriating and disheartening.

Just me and my pain plaster, chilling.
Just me and my pain plaster, chilling.

The next morning, of course, I woke up with a familiar pain in my right shin, because, sure, bring an injury to the insult. I’ve been slapping on the 701 plasters, stretching, and hoping for the best. It doesn’t bother me while running. I can hop up and down without pain, a test I hadn’t even heard of until SBS mentioned it. My lower leg just feels too tight, somehow, and has one spot that is extra sore when I poke it. So I don’t poke it.

So, mother runners, how do you get through these curve balls? And how do you keep from letting August make you crazy?

17 responses to “Martini Fridays: Like I Asked Five Minutes Ago

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  3. Your post made me laugh out loud! And I so needed that today. I’m with you on August. I love every one of my 7 kids dearly but seriously…I run in August just so I can get out of the house. Thanks for writing what I’ve been thinking.

  4. I love your posts and I can always relate! I just had a horrible 6 mile run that made me cry and I wondered how I could possibly conquer and 11 miler on Saturday. Thanks for making me smile and laugh out loud!!

  5. All of the crazy is likely why you’re a mother runner. Because you need to run or you’d really go crazy.
    And yes, August is a beast in the heat. Even though both hubby, me and one of our kids have August birthdays, I am always so ready for fall to arrive after everything and everyone just looks and feels ugh during August.

    To me, just the fact that you can complete a 12 mile run solo, means you have a well spring of strength to draw from come race day. Baby that leg and carry on!

  6. Love this post. Not because if what you have going on. But because I could relate to it. I can feel my own anxiety in your words. I can also see it in better perspective and laugh when it isn’t me-so thank you. Thank you.

  7. August is hard for running on the east coast. And you may not feel like you can run you half faster now, but fsticking to your plan and feeling tired now will make race day feel easier, You can do it!
    On a more serious note, I am really sorry for your losses, what a hard few months for your family.

  8. I feel your pain and the thought did not escape me that you are taking more time to keep us posted on your progress- yes, progress. One day at a time. I enjoy your posts but August and September are the pits for me as well. I manage a school bookstore and those books are heavy! But as I say every year, take one day at a time in a positive mind and spirit. I’ll try not to fall in to “a well of suck.”

  9. Yea, August is not one of my favorite months either. Though it does bring me closer to Fall, my favorite season, August brings with it the trials/stresses of school/colleges (purchasing/packing, final paperwork/money); vacation and all the stresses that brings; burnt grass, dead plants and over-grown weeds; a garden, though small, that is screaming for attention; knitting projects that I REALLY need time to finish; a disjointed house in need of a good cleaning and the loosing of daylight hours. Sigh. I’m trying hard to keep “me-time” a priority. This year it is in the form of 13.Fun Race training for a Half 10/5/14 and another 10/19/14. My family benefits from a happier “me”; (they/we have found this to be a -Truth- that they ask when I’m running next and the mileage. I find this to be very supportive). I think better and am less grouchy and maybe/hopefully a wee bit more forgiving when I have “me-running-time”. I’ve also learned, in my just turned 50 years, that things have a way of working out. That all this anxiety and stress I put onto things may not be necessary, because, well, things have a way of working out. I’ve also learned that if I share my stresses/anxieties with the “right” people, for the most part, they are willing and wanting to help. I’m not good with organizing systems, (they take time that I don’t have to learn) but I do try to think about/plan for about 3 to 4 weeks ahead, with a focus on the current week. And even at this older-ish age I have been known to pull an occasional all nighter when needed. Not advisable, but there you go. I wish you great peace with the weekend events and great success with your paper/talk/traveling and with your procedure when you return to the US. I love reading your posts and look forward to more!

  10. Am I the only one that didn’t get this in an email today? Not sure if I missed it. Don’t want my AMR stuff going to junk mail!!

  11. I agree – one day at a time! Also, remember your training plan is a map and guideline, and nothing happens if you don’t meet the goal pace time! If you’re already up to 12 miles, of course can you run another half!!! And life being crazy – I hear you. But that’s nothing new. So roll with it, do what you can do, and don’t forget to have some fun when you run – that’s the whole point, isn’t it! And think about that in a few months, or years, or eons, you’ll look back at this and find it all funny… Good luck with all, and hang on in there!

  12. I am so with you Adrienne. I have never been a fan of August. I’m trying to train for a 13.1 (Saratoga Sept. 21), had camping vacation to plan and supply for, plus family drama over milestone anniversary that I’m trying to help with long distance. Add work (very little) and school re-supply shopping, and I am not nearly as busy as you. There still seems to be pressure though. This is our training for “mental toughness”.

  13.!! My husband just had open heart surgery last month, and now he has pneumonia (the nerve!). My son really wants to try out for one of high school soccer teams and tryouts are twice a day beginning on the 18th. Good bye summer. I’m running the Falmouth Road race for charity (my daughter has a kidney disease) and I’m not even half way to my fundraising goal. I’m marathon training and was hoping to try and BQ but got a HUGE blister on my big toe during my first 20 miler last weekend. Oh, and my annual GYN appointment reminder card came in the mail today. Yay me.. Hmm, feels better just to complain about it and know I’m not the only one in this boat. I agree with Emily…one day at a time.

  14. Here, here! We are attempting to balance the back to school transition with my husband heading back to teaching, daughter back to daycare, naps, potty training, and me half-training/full time working. I have yet to figure out how in the world it’s going to happen (or how in the world food is going to get made in the madness)but find myself channeling the great Blue Tang Fish, Dory, “Just Keep Swimming.” If things really go south there is always Queen Elsa’s “Let it go.” Best of luck and only 23 days till September (and it’s Labor Day weekend)!

  15. I love your posts, Adrienne! This one had me laughing out loud in places. My only advice is one day at a time. You can do this! Good luck with everything!

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