Posts filed under ‘family’

price adjustment

we didn’t get the house. three bidders and we lost due to the need for contingency on the sale of mine. but but but … we got an even better house! that i LOVE! the location is unbelievable. two miles from mini-me’s school, half a mile from the bay run and a quick ride across the bridge to the weedon trails. the french doors out to the half-screened, half-open patio with a beautiful old tree in the middle and built-in benches are begging to be open in the cooler weather while the dogs romp in the huge back yard. and the character of a 1950’s bungalow fits us far better than the cookie cutter stucco of florida suburbia hell. i was so worried about losing this one i made an offer before mini and the trainer even stepped inside. thankfully, a few days later when they finally did, they loved it as much as i did.

now the juggle begins. our lives packed in PODS this weekend. mini to her dad’s and the trainer and i to denver on tuesday for a week. and we come back homeless. a temporary sarasota stay until we close on the new house on the 23rd. thanksgiving week. i figured the holiday would buy me a few days of unpacking and unwinding.

to say i’m a disaster right now is an understatement. chaos doesn’t suit me well. and the fact that we just did this a few months ago feels like really bad deja vu. but this time i’m excited about the destination. this time i feel like i’m going home.


October 27, 2015 at 9:57 am Leave a comment

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turkey, trails and tequila

a few weeks ago, i decided to run a small trail half marathon in georgia. put on by a friend of the bunny, it was a good excuse to get away for a few days and spend some time with a friend i don’t get to see nearly enough. years ago she and i met over our blogs. a couple comments about a race led to emails and an eventual meeting that became what will no doubt be a lifetime friendship. we’ve run most of our marathons together. her now husband called me from their first date. and we’ve seen each other through some serious ups and downs.

mini-me and i headed up wednesday afternoon and it was nearly 9 p.m. when we got in. regardless of the exhaustion there were tequila shots ~ for me and the bunny NOT for mini-me 😉 ~ and lots of girl talk and giggles. i honestly have no idea what time we made it to bed though a text sent on my phone shows nearly 3 a.m. typical us no doubt. somehow there’s always a bottle of tequila and lots of laughter where ever we go.

aye caramba!

aye caramba!

the next morning i got up (somehow) and went for a seven mile run. i desperately wanted to hit the trails behind the house but it’s hunting season and private property or not, i prefer not to mess with country folk and their guns! i thought a lot on that run. maybe it was because it was thanksgiving and i felt a need to reflect though honestly the holiday itself hasn’t meant much to me since my cousin ~ who i spent many a turkey day with growing up ~ was killed in a car accident in 2003. but i reminded myself how lucky i am. great friends, an amazing daughter, a stable job and a comfy home. there truly was so much for me to be thankful for.

the thanksgiving meal itself was a tad bit odd. “dinner” at the bunny’s in-laws around noon that lasted maybe 45 minutes. it’s a small family and most live within a mile or so of one another so a lunch together isn’t necessarily a special occasion and they almost make my family pale in dysfunctionality. but regardless it was a nice meal complete with way too much food. the in-laws don’t drink. at all. so we left the tequila at home. but that night was another full of shots and complete hysterics.

the next morning we headed to the bunny’s other house in macon. she still spends half her weeks there for work (her pre-marriage world and home). we spent the afternoon helping to check and clear the trails for the race and i was definitely a bit intimidated. we don’t have many hills in florida and though there wasn’t anything extreme the entire course was rollers. since i have a half on the 8th that i’m hoping to PR i had no need to push the pace and given how tough the course looked to be, i vowed not to. but we all know better 😉 i’m too damn competitive! the bunny wasn’t running but she was manning the one aid station on course and mini-me was set to help her so we spent a quiet, tequila-free night getting ready.

saturday morning was a 34 degree start! not exactly what i’m used to but exactly what i love so i bundled up with extra layers.

ninja runner!

ninja runner!

but of course it was a mere few miles in that i was down to a t-shirt. though i kept on my gloves and hat. my absolute favorite running attire 🙂


i knew there were a couple women ahead of me but i wasn’t sure if they were running the half or full. admittedly i had my sights on a few i’d seen at the start with vows to pass as much as to not be passed but for the most part i ran simply to run. the weather was invigorating. the trails tough but beautiful. my pace was nothing spectacular but again, i was trying, very hard, not to care about time. i almost went down ~ four times! ~ and i even considered quitting. maybe not seriously but i was scared i was going to bust my butt and with my hopes riding on a PR this coming weekend i thought it might be better to play it safe. but i held in there and crossed the finish line at a 2:22. far from a PR and really not impressive but given the difficulty of the trails i felt pretty accomplished. the race director hung the medal around my neck and we sat there chatting for a few minutes before i looked down and read what was around my neck.


overall female finisher! really?!?! i was shocked!

we celebrated that night with ~ you guessed it ~ tequila 😉 a last night with the bunny that always comes too soon.

in some ways it didn’t feel like thanksgiving. there was certainly nothing typical turkey day about it and the few traditions i try to hang onto went wayside but i couldn’t have been more thankful for the time spent with a great friend and great trails!

December 2, 2013 at 4:43 pm 3 comments

ganging up on the knee

i am going to try and break my pity-me code of silence. not running should not mean i can not write! i tend to think my life is meaningless without miles but there really is a little bit more to me than just dusty trails and sweat.

that said, let’s start with a running update 😉 a mile here, a mile there and the lingering pain scared me right back to the sidelines and elliptical hell. then the pilot mentioned his friend who owns an mri center who would comp my copay if he asked. and his friend the chiro who would write me the script without an office visit. he made the calls on thursday. friday i was in the tube. results were in yesterday. it certainly is proving helpful to be dating someone who knows just about everyone in this city!

let me caveat what follows by saying that though i have no reason to doubt the read the pilot’s buddy did, until i hear it from my doctor and determine my options going forward i am taking things with a grain of salt.

diagnosis: ganglion cyst in the knee. a benign soft tissue tumor that may occur in any joint.
cause: somewhat unknown but likely due to overuse (duh!)
treatment: aspiration. possible removal.
return to running: immediate if pain is tolerable.
recovery after treatment: full speed ahead days after if aspirated. a few weeks after if removed.

given all givens i am (tentatively) thrilled! i was worried about meniscus damage or almost worse a “we don’t see anything wrong so no idea where the pain is coming from” diagnosis. this gives me an answer. and one with a solution. i’m hoping to get a copy of the films this week and get into my doctor next but until then it’s nice to have a resurgence of hope as it was fading fast.

activity wise i have been trying to maintain some semblance of workouts. most weeks i’m in the gym three days a week at lunchtime and weekends i’ve been trying to get in a long ride. i did take last weekend off completely which is a story in itself but i’ve got to stop feeling sorry for myself and maintain in anyway i can. MCM training has got to start by early to mid-july ~ at latest!

as for life outside the non-existent run. my liver has no doubt been paying the price for my lack of miles. too much time on my hands tends to make me eat and drink more than i should. especially trying to date two and keep up with friends. i’ve pretty much dropped attorney number two. he’s just a tad too high-energy hyper for me. surprisingly i’ve been seeing attorney number one ~ aka the pilot ~ more. he’s cooked grilled for me twice now. and we’ve had a couple more nights out. i’m not sure he’s what i want past the immediate and it’s a discussion we’ve both pretty much suggested we don’t want to have at this point. but for now, i enjoy him. he’s out of town for the next week which is a good thing as my mom gets in this afternoon.

and an update on the mom front is happy news! last week she had her first PET scan since treatment began and she got the results yesterday and she is responding perfectly! YAY! though there is no cure for follicular lymphoma, treatment buys us time and i want all that we can get.

i really am going to try and get back to writing more. and i want to start defining monthly goals again. it’s easy for me to wallow and withdraw when what i really need to do is delve deeper and find the strength and determination to get back to where i want to be and a plan works best for the anal retentive types like me 🙂


June 5, 2013 at 1:47 pm 2 comments

i’m in a new york state of mind

last week mini-me and i took a trip to nyc. it was her spring break and when we realized that it would fall a month or so after my younger brother and his wife had their first baby, we decided it would be a great way to combine a long desired trip to the city and a chance to meet my nephew.

let me preface with a little family background. my little bro and i are pretty close. at least as close as we can be given we so different from one another. in spite of only being two years older than him, in some ways i was more a mom to him for a huge period of our childhoods and we’ve always maintained that bond even if we go months without talking and sometimes years without seeing. and i really like my sister in law. she’s very sweet, and caring. but she’s also very fragile. throughout the course of their eight years together she’s had some severe emotional episodes that concern me but my brother loves her and in their own way they work together perfectly.

we got in late saturday night. midnight almost (almost forgot i need to write about dances with dirt which i ran earlier that day hence our late flight time) and hopped a cab to their place in tribeca. a quick peak at my adorable little nephew and we went straight to bed.

how sweet is he?

how sweet is he?

late the next morning after sleeping in best we all could with a newborn my brother took us on a short neighborhood tour. aka the best coffee and bagels walk. then soon after we all headed out to an art show. they (my brother and SIL) own an art gallery and it was great seeing some of their world and introducing mini-me to the sometimes dumbfounding works of modern art. that night we all had dinner along with my SIL’s mom who has been visiting (but staying in her own rented place) for the last month or so.

monday, mini-me and i ventured out on our own to meet up with my friend and former coworker HG for a bucket list visit to serendipity for lunch and the long-anticipated frozen peanut butter butter hot chocolate.

frozen deliciousness!

frozen deliciousness!

after indulging, we burned a few of the zillion calories with a long walk through central park before mini-me and i headed back to the apartment for a quick rest before she and i headed to bucket list item #2 ~ skating at rockerfeller center. mini-me is a skater. it’s her thing. and this was a dream come true. one we asked her uncle and aunt to meet us at but one they chose to forgo and just meet us out for dinner after instead.


another little update. my brother and his wife are vegan. strict. i have no qualms about that. envy actually sometimes. but i also have a 12 year old who eats like a 12 year old. give her mac and cheese or chicken tenders with a side of fries and she’s happy. but take her to a restaurant where she doesn’t recognize much of what’s on the menu and it gets hard. add to this that i am so not a foodie. i eat to sustain. yes, i eat healthy (with the occasional splurge of the likes of the frozen goodness above!) but i don’t like spending money on eating out three meals a day which i was quickly realizing was going to eat up my entire nyc budget given the lack of hosted home cooking. so $30 entrees didn’t make me happy but we made do.

the next day a trip to the bronx to HGs house for a visit with her man and her little man who i haven’t seen since he was three months old. all day of chit chat, new york pizza and laughter followed by a fabulous home cooked dinner and a few beers. i almost felt guilty in that i was far more comfortable with them ~ and could see mini-me was as well ~ than we were with my brother.

they adored each other!

they adored each other!

the next morning i finally got out for a much needed run. as much as i love my trails, there was something oddly relaxing and magical about running in the city. maybe it was this view.

freedom tower

freedom tower

not long after i got back i felt things start to worsen. this was the one day my bro and sister in law ~ and the baby ~ were supposed to do the ny tourist thing with us. plans for the staten island ferry to see lady liberty and the 9/11 memorial to reflect and remember. but as we got ready to leave my SIL opted out. lack of sleep and just plain stress. i won’t lie. i was a little disappointed but i’ve been there so i understood and made the day fun for three . i knew the night would be redeeming. shosh, a mutual old friend of mine and my brother’s ~ newly married and pregnant with her first ~ was coming over for dinner. nothing spectacular (or home cooked). in fact the plan was gourmet pizza delivery and wine. but five minutes before their arrival my brother told me we needed to just go out. and by “we” he meant just me, mini-me and the guests. my SIL wasn’t feeling well. i was definitely not happy with things and embarrassed to make our guests put their coats back on as soon as they had taken them off, but regardless we still made the night wonderful.

thursday, our last full day, mini-me and i spent the morning out on our own. a quick stop back at the apartment then a times square adventure to buy that night broadway tickets before heading back for a shower and rest. but while getting ready i knew things weren’t good. my SIL was locked in the baby’s room with her mom and i could hear her crying and screaming. and not just a little. shrill. irrational. and soon after my brother came to me asking when we were heading out since he thought it best we leave early. mini-me wasn’t even given time to shower before we felt very ushered out the door.

i fully understand the stress of having a new born. lack of sleep, new worries and emotions. and company on top of it can be hard which is why we had spent much of our days out and on our own to be sure we gave them their space so i was definitely caught off guard by the extreme breakdown.

mini-me and i found a place for dinner ~ with french fries! ~ then headed to broadway to see chicago. mid act 1 I could feel my phone vibrating in my purse and at intermission i found missed calls and a text from my brother telling me my SIL was completely freaking out and that he thought it best we not stay with them that night. all compassion i had turned to shock and honestly anger. it was 9:30 pm at that point. on our last night. in an unfamiliar city. if it was just me that would be one thing but i had a child with me! MY child! she was very upset and worried about what we were going to do. it put a huge stress and damper on what was supposed to be our special night at the theater. so i wrote him back and told him to handle it. make arrangements for us at a hotel and we would come pick up our stuff after the show.

we tried to enjoy the rest of the night but we were both upset. after the show i had a text from him saying that things were calm and we should just come back. i wasn’t thrilled with that at that point but we had little option. when we got back, i went upstairs to see her and she apologized and i told her it was ok and i understood. truly i didn’t but I would never make her feel worse.

the next morning we had to leave by around 9:30 to get to the airport. i heard them awake upstairs at times. but at no point did either of them even come downstairs to spend a few minutes with us. finally I sent my brother a text saying we were leaving. he came down for a second with the baby to say goodbye but she didn’t bother.

i am trying to be understanding but it is very difficulty for me to comprehend her level of delicate and weak. i knew being there would be hard on a new mommy so we really did much of our own things. unfortunately these episodes have been scattered throughout their entire relationship. she is very very fragile emotionally. and I do find it concerning. motherhood is not an easy job and depression and emotional instability can be detrimental. i worry for my brother. i worry for my nephew. i worry for her. as far as we know she almost never left the apartment while we were there besides the art show, two dinners out and a hair appointment. she spends much of the day still in bed working a little and napping when the baby does. a maid twice a week does everything needed. i know i know i know, that not all can handle what i do. single parent, full-time career, ultra training, taking classes online. i thrive on independence and strength. she needs to be fully taken care of. i will never judge her for that. but the way things were handled and the stress it put on me and mine was not fair and i am not convinced that she is ok.

all in all it was a wonderful trip. there are so many more pictures i want to share but this post is already too long. i’m not a city girl. not big city at least. but there truly was something so invigorating about the energy and chaos that abounded. i wish we hadn’t had to endure the family drama my poor mini-me seems to always have to face ~ be it with me or with her dad. it’s dumbfounding to me how through 10 years divorced we have yet to come close to the dysfunctional we find on family vacations. how did we end up the normal ones? the stable ones? the strong ones? but at least we are the norm and they … her eccentric, extended exception.

March 22, 2013 at 8:22 pm 3 comments

it’s all about me

sometimes i find it hard to do what’s best for me. sure, i take care of myself, even spoil myself a little now and then, but it’s in my inert nature to please others which isn’t always a good thing.

a little while back my step-sister went on a groupon buying frenzy. some were retail oriented but many were events or activities. a couple of months ago she asked me relatively last minute to join her on some speedboat driving thing and i just couldn’t fit it into my schedule. so when she texted a week or so ago saying she was going to schedule a gambling lunch cruise for either march 2 or march 9 i immediately felt obligated. not just because i had turned her down on the speed racer deal but because this event was originally supposed to be a christmas double date for her and a to-be-determined-friend and me and the hunter. but given she’s still single and the hunter and i broke up she decided to make it into a girl’s thing.

since i’m racing on the 9th i had to say the 2nd. but with mini-me home that weekend i was going to have to figure out a play day or sleepover plans. which we did. kind of. by plan’s end this is what my saturday was going to be. after a friday night sleepover at MY house, saturday was to be a 7:30 a.m. departure to drive east to drop both girls at my ex’s house so he could take them to busch gardens for the day. then drive all the way back southwest to the dock for the asinine check-in time of 9:30 a.m. for an 11 a.m. sail time. five hours on board. another hour and a half drive back to my ex’s. then an additional 20 minutes further east to drop the friend at her dad’s before heading home. when all was said i and done i was going to have to leave my house at 7:30 a.m. and could only hope to be back by 8 p.m. all for a fun girl’s day that i knew i would be no fun at. not to mention would leave me without a saturday run which i really needed ~ physically and mentally.

i was tortured by guilt. i had said i would go. i had bailed on the boat. i love my sister. really i do. but she’s single. no kids. makes a decent penny. she’s living the beach life she loves and sometimes doesn’t understand that it’s just not that easy for the rest of us. or maybe i just see it that way. maybe it’s not that she expects others to come along for her ride, but that i feel bad saying no.

all week i tore myself up over it. i brushed off red when she told me i needed to cancel. i tried to convince myself it would be a fun girl’s day. maybe i’d hit a slot jackpot or meet some cute first mate. maybe it was what i needed to get my mind off my mom given i have yet to make it through one day without crying. i tried talking myself into it every way possible but nothing made me feel better and i knew i had to cancel.

so then came the excuses. what would it be? mini-me’s dad can’t take the girls for the day. i came down with the flu. my car got stolen. i was abducted by aliens. something was bound to make her ~ and me ~ forgive.

and then thursday evening it hit me. i had to tell the truth. not because it’s the right thing to do (which of course it is) but because it was my right to do so. i was so worried about her that i was neglecting to worry about me. i didn’t need a girl’s day with two of her friends i barely know. i didn’t need hours on a gambling boat and hours in my car. i needed the day to be about no one and nothing but me.

i kept the plans. well some of them. i let my ex take the girls to busch gardens and i hit the trails. deer so close i thought they might eat out of my hand. a huge wild boar and her babies that thankfully ran the other way (those things can be mean!). cold temps and a friendly ear. twenty two amazing miles of letting it all go. i know my sister isn’t happy with me and there’s still a little lingering guilt but how can i deny that i needed those miles. i might have been exhausted and sore but look at that smile 🙂

22 miles

March 4, 2013 at 10:51 pm 1 comment

analyze this

my father is a shrink. my grandmother one of the top analysts in the country. my (ex) step sister a mental health counselor. psychoanalysis runs in the family. not sure it’s necessarily something i can say i’m proud of. especially given how dysfunctional my family is. sometimes i think people pursue therapy as a career in an attempt to educate themselves about their own issues ~ or maybe to become master mind enough to cover them up.

i have been analyzed my whole life. as a child i didn’t get punished, i got “talked to”. as a teen i often found myself wishing i would be grounded rather than have to listen to my father’s assessment of why i was doing what i was and how my behavior was emotionally destructive. to this day i cringe when asked the question “how does that make you feel”.

i’ve seen a therapist twice in my life. both very brief life interludes to solve the immediate. the first a near stress-induced breakdown while working two jobs, going to college full-time and trying to find the strength to leave an unhealthy relationship. the second, couples counseling as a final attempt to salvage my nearly four year relationship with the spider. but i really feel as though i got little out of either. i knew what i needed to do in both situations. maybe it helped to hear someone agree with my self-evaluation but that’s what friends are for. and really i felt like time would have brought me to the same resolutions i found.

i by no means am saying that i don’t respect therapists. i think some people benefit greatly from having someone to listen and guide them to healthy choices. we all have issues. plenty of them. i can’t say i know one person who doesn’t have a skeleton or two hiding in the closet or a defining neurosis ~ some blatantly obvious others carefully masked. but sometimes i think there’s too much pressure to “solve” things. i don’t think it healthy to brush things under the carpet and pretend all is well. denial can only fuel the internal fire. but i also take issue with focusing too intently on a problem to where it puts the rest of your life on hold. i don’t believe anyone of us will ever figure it all out. life is a challenge. a day to day learning experience of good and bad.

spend too much time trying to find answers and life can all too quickly pass you by.


February 18, 2013 at 10:11 am 1 comment

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the best of times

5k pr ~ 24:23
10k pr ~ 52:49
half marathon pr ~ 1:55:10
marathon pr ~ 4:10:41
half ironman pr ~ 5:57:50
50k pr ~ 5:33:23
50-mile pr ~ 11:32:39