Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Mile 1:  I realized this weekend that my goal of running 13.1 before I turn 40 is not going to happen.  And I lost my schmidt.  I wouldn't say I was inconsolable, but pretty close to it. 

Mile 2:  I find that interesting that one year ago I would have passed out running 2.5 miles and now I run that for a warm up.

Mile 3:  And I also find it funny that not being able to run a half marathon is so devastating to me.  A big part of that is that damn Tamoxifen.  Tami has been a regular guest in our home, and this weekend she moved in with ALL HER BAGGAGE.  It was a tough visit.

Mile 4:  After not running Girlfriends I was really looking forward to the Holiday Half on Dec. 16.  Turns out that is the day before my next health half marathon, the 6 hour surgery I will endure to get my new fake boobs and have all my girly parts removed. 

Mile 5:  Yeah, running 13.1 the day before was probably not going to be a wise choice on my part.  So I sold my bib and cried.  A LOT.

Mile 6:  For me, it isn't about the running.  It isn't about being able to say I ran 13.1.  It's about accomplishing something I set out to do. 

Mile 7:  I hate leaving goals unreached.  I almost never do.  Letting go of a goal is admitting defeat, and that's not something I take lightly.

Mile 8:  So in the midst of all my crazy tamoxifen induced blubbering I had a sort of epiphany.  My kids have school on my birthday.  I don't.  November 9 is my free pass to run that 13.1.  As long as I get it done before 11:05 am, technically I can cross that off my goal sheet.

Mile 9:  So I convinced my BRF Cyndie Pelto into mapping 13.1 for us and running it with me (she was easy to convince) and my other good friend Audrey to watch Cyndie's kids. 

Mile 10:  I'm making us race bibs, Amy's inaugural 40th birthday half marathon bib. 

Mile 11:  I think the kids will string some toilet paper for me across the street and ring some cowbells when we round the corner.

Mile 12:  So while I won't get a medal, and I won't have an official time recorded from an official race, I'm running MY half, with MY BRF on MY 40th birthday and couldn't be more excited.

Mile 13:  I'm putting a lid on my 30's, the best and worst decade of my life by running out all the good, all the bad, all the ugly from 2002-2012, once again leaving it all on the pavement.

Mile .1:  And when I'm done, I'll be 40.  And I can't wait.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Infinity and beyond

All these year's I've sworn off tattoos.  I'm totally chicken shit.  That's the honest to goodness truth.  Part of me doesn't want to "infinitely" leave a mark on my body and part of me is terrified of needles.

Thanks to the summer of 2012 the part of me that was afraid of needles has long since left the building and quite honestly, nothing is a worse "mark" than the pink dots on my sides where my drains came out or the scars in my armpits from the lymph node removal.  So I want a PRETTY scar to remember my strength.

So you know what?  I'm gonna do something I said I'd never do.  I'm going to get a tattoo.  I'm not one of those judge-y non-tattoo people taking a walk on the wild side either.  No, I never think twice about someone's ink.  It just wasn't for me.

But now I've got all KINDS of grand plans for a tattoo, but the problem is, ahem, I don't really know where to go.  I've had a couple recommendations for some good places in Portland, but of course they are booked out for FOR-EV-ER.  Hoping to call in a favor, but gotta find someone who knows someone who knows someone.

In the meantime, the extent of my artistic abilities is drawing really awesome stick figures (just ask my kids!).  I wow them daily with my amazing and detailed figurines.  I'm that awesome.

So conceptually I know what I want, or at least like a child I waffle back and forth between TWO things, neither of which I can appropriately articulate, and I stamp my foot in vein when no one gets me.

I'm toying with an infinity symbol that has the pink ribbon for 3/4 of the design and the rest of the symbol is 7.12.12 which is my mastectomy date.

The other option is a straight up pink ribbon with Survivor in script on one ribbon and the date of my surgery on the other.

For folks who know me, this probably comes as QUITE A SHOCK.  Rest assured it isn't something I take lightly (even if I do jest) and I feel like this is one of those times in my life where it's OK to make an exception to a personal rule.

Hell, I broke the "no drinking in college" rule on Day 3 (please tell me my mother isn't reading this) followed by the "no drinking during the week" rule on about day 10. Several other rules followed, mostly having to do with never missing class, then never missing on a Monday, then never missing on the first day because you're too hungover.....but I digress.

This rule, in my playbook is totally worth breaking.  I just need two things: some divine intervention to give me some artistic gifts and a good connection to a tattoo place that is willing to squeeze in a BC survivor.  Probably in time for her 40th birthday.  Coming up in like 3 1/2 weeks.  And her BFF.  Who wants to get one at the same time.  Anyone?  ANYONE?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Curses...foiled again

To say I'm disappointed would be like saying I kind of have a crush on The Rock.  (I have a BIG ASS crush on The Rock).  To say I'm sad would be like saying it sometimes rains in Portland.  It rains here like 9 months out of the year.  To say I'm angry is like saying Lindsay Lohan's Dad has a slight personality disorder.  Need I say more?

Yesterday afternoon after a lovely little nap with my 6 year old, during which I repeatedly woke up shivering I thought I should check my temperature.  My fever was back.  And it was ringing the bell while the fly girls yell.

I did a very quick search on WebMD (my go to for medical concerns except for that time Mark had meningitis) and discovered a little warning about ladies like myself taking Tamoxifen and getting the flu.  Awesome.  NOT.

Turns out, and I'm so thrilled to find this out NOW, ahem, my immune system is compromised which makes it significantly more likely that I'll develop something awful after having the flu, unless I go in at the first sign of my symptoms and get that tamiflu stuff. (Ironic that the beginning of the drug's name is Tami, just sayin'.)

I decided to go in to Urgent Care and I do have to say I was very happy with my experience.  Normally I hate going in to those kinds of places, but these guys at ZoomCare, really were pretty great.  I had to give the whole background story on my cancer and the drug and the blah blah blah.

So, one flu swab (negative), one blood draw, and a chest X-ray later they are still not sure how to explain my 99.6 degree fever (which was down from the hour before when I took Tylenol).  I left with prescriptions and a caution that I've probably got pneumonia, but they can't really confirm it until they see all the test results.

So I had to ask.  I'm a runner, I had to know.  Could I still run 13.1 miles?  She said, and I quote: "I strongly advise against it.  You will finish on a stretcher."  Always wanting a second opinion, and because she was IMing with her supervising physician I asked her to double check with him.  I could see his response on the screen: NO!!!!!!!  Um, so you're saying there's still a chance I can run?  NOT!

So here I am, Sunday morning, writing about another race I can't run because of this stupid cancer/tamoxifen/crap.  I'm sad, angry and so disappointed.  I was supposed to give cancer the middle finger today by running in under 2 hours and instead, it's sitting there laughing at me like a bully that just knocked all my books on the ground.

If you know me, though, you know that this will just motivate me even more.  Eventually.  Right now I'm finally giving myself permission to be sad about it.  But, in the end, I woke up this morning to a hug and a kiss and a long snuggle from my little boy.  And my sweet girl is reading over my shoulder right now waiting for me to finish so she can play on the computer.

Time with my husband and children is a little gift I was given this morning and one that I cherish deeply.  Seeing my daughter's smile as she came down the stairs is something I would have missed if I had gotten up ass crack early to run.  If I had run that race I might have been hospitalized.  That was made crystal clear. 

So, while I'm sad, I remain thankful that the choice I made was to listen to my body and the reward is this precious time at home today.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Leaving it all on the pavement

It seems like every time I set a goal and I am ready and able to crush it, something gets in my way.  I'm having a poor old me moment, please excuse me for that.  Last summer I was totally going to kill my first sprint tri.

My training had me on target for a 1:45 finish, which is NOT smoking fast for competitive folks, but for me it was almost unbelievable.  Then, that whole booby cancer thing popped up and I wasn't able to compete.  Make no mistake, I'm gunning for a better time on the same sprint tri next summer.  Watch me.

Then I set a goal of a sub 2 hour half marathon tomorrow, October 14, 2012, well before I found out about the cancer thing.  But didn't give up on my training and I was trained, ready and in the best place to be able to achieve that goal, despite being 3 months post bilateral mastectomy.

Running this race in under two has been important to me for several reasons.  One of the big ones is that this is a Komen supported event, and that means everything to me.  I registered long before I knew about the lump.  I registered, at that time, because I wanted my first half marathon to be a Komen event.  And the meaning is even greater now.

Then, I came down with what I can only describe as the worst flu I've had in years.  Thank you husband and children for allowing me to take care of you, only to get it last AND WORSE than anyone else in the family.  This shit sucks.  It's made me tired.  My nose is raw from all the blowing (of the nose!) and my abs are now a six pack from the coughing.

It couldn't come at a more inconvenient time though.  One week and three days before my first half marathon, the one I wanted to sub-2 hour, the one that I was going to sub-2 hour so I could give breast cancer the middle finger and this.  This.  Damn.  Flu.

Honestly I feel like every time I'm set to achieve my goals something gets in the way.  ALWAYS.  Now I know why people wait until race day to register. (unless we fill up beforehand, Cause + Event Portland WILL have race day registration.  Jussayin')

And, quite frankly this has been a tough week for lots of reasons: starting my new job (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE), trying to get well, and then something bad happened to me earlier in the week.  Something very bad.  Something that I can't tell you about just yet.  I will someday, but right now I can't.  It's something that will live in my memory for the rest of my life, that I will never be able to be OK with.

And the hardest part of all of this has been the fact that I haven't had my usual outlet of physical activity to make peace with everything in my head and in my heart.  And I've been worrying about this half marathon, all my big talk about getting in under 2 hours and the pressure I've placed on myself.  I've got an easy out now, I've been sick.  How could I possibly be able to achieve that goal when I've been so sick?

Today at lunch I had my pity party with my family.  I sighed oh so discontentedly and verbally gave in to my fears and said I wasn't going to run a sub 2 hour half.  My husband, my sweet and wonderful husband said to me "Of course you can.  You're not going to let cancer and a cold and everything else get in your way.  You never do, why start now?"

I hugged him.  Then I started to cry (damn you tamoxifen!) and then my glasses fell off.  I asked him if he really thought I could do it and he didn't hesitate when he said yes.  I so needed to hear that.  More than anything in the world.  And I told him that very thing.

So here's my mindset:  tomorrow I'm going to run the hell out of that half marathon.  I'm going to give it everything I have, and then some.  I'm leaving it all on that pavement.  Forget you cancer, forget you cold, forget you awful incident that shall not be named, forget you all the doubt all the fear all the uncertainty.  Forget everything, except for the road ahead, good music in my ears and an amazing group of the best Girlfriends a girl could ever have the privilege of running with.

And if I run a sub 2 hour half I'll be thrilled.  And if I don't, I'll be so very proud of the accomplishment, and ever-motivated to get under 2 the next time around.  Holiday Half anyone?  :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Mother of All Races

As previously noted, I'm heavily involved in the Cause + Event Portland Race here on November 11.  It's a 5K Walk/5K and 10K run and I couldn't be more proud of the work we've done so far, the money we've raised and hopefully that we've raised awareness of many nonprofits in our community to the greater Portland area.

Way back when, in January, when I said "Hey!  I think I'd like to start a nonprofit and host a race here in Portland to raise money for a bunch of charities, of the runner's choosing" I wish I could have had some kind of flash to what it would be like these past few months. 

I'm not saying that I wouldn't do this, no, I would do it ALL OVER AGAIN, and I WILL do it all, all over again.  And again.  And again.  And again.

Especially since my diagnosis last summer and subsequent treatments I definitely feel an even deeper pull to do something to give back.  I want to do something that teaches my children that there's something else out there, something bigger than what, and who we are.

I want them to know that the greatest gift they can ever give is the gift of giving to others, whether it's financially or volunteering, or helping or supporting.  I also feel an enormous sense of responsibility to make sure that I do everything I can to make this race a success.

And to be honest, I feel a great need to leave a lasting legacy.  Something that my children can be proud of and say "My mom did that!".  I want my legacy to be that of someone who took a dream and made it a reality and that reality did countless good things for countless good people and organizations.

Once, when I was first working in the business world, I filled out this "guess who" form, to see if everyone could guess who answered the questions during the office holiday party.  One of the questions was "if you could do anything you wanted to do, what would you do?" 

I remember clearly, at age 27, the answer to that question was to be a wealthy philanthropist.  Between you, me and the fencepost, I never really thought I would be wealthy, and honestly I figured the only way I could give would be to have limitless income.

But guess what?  I'm not wealthy, and I never will be, and that's perfectly OK.  What I am excited about is being able to do what I wanted to do almost 13 years ago.  Granted, I'm not getting paid for this gig, not in money.  I feel the riches though, that come with knowing that I can help make a difference.

I have a full time job (well two if you count motherhood) and I'm doing my best to juggle my job, the kids, being a wife and not letting my toilets get so dirty they look like they might walk away.  Total chaos.  TOTAL.  COMPLETE.  CHAOS.

Then throw running/training for a half marathon (which came to an abrupt halt as I came down with what I can only describe as the plague) and it's a recipe for disaster.  And yet.....I just keep my eye on the prize: helping.

So while some folks may not understand why or how I do any of this on top of everything else, I'll go back to that whole running thing and again tell you it brings me bliss.  I make mental to-do lists on the road, I have conversations with potential sponsors (and I always convince them to join in!) and I dream about what race day will be like and it makes me smile. 

And sometimes, quite honestly, I think about nothing at all. Those are the best runs, when I just run and all I notice are the leaves crunching, or the crispness in the air, or the house that looks like it was freshly painted as I don't remember it being that color the last time I came by, or the garage sale happening (I see the sign but decide to avoid that road altogether!) or a myriad of other "nothings" that make my run fly by.

But back to the race, the Mother of All Races.  Cause + Event Portland is my mother of all races.  It's not one that I'm running, well I'm RUNNING it, but with a walkie talkie! 

It's a race that has been meticulously planned by me, and a slew of other mother runners, and planning it has been just a like we, as mothers, can be to our children:  hard to figure out, emotional at times, so very giving, and just when you need it the most, making you smile and remembering why you do what you do.

Monday, October 8, 2012

My Runner Bucket List

OK, I have to admit I feel like this HUGE weight has been lifted from my shoulders, now that I've come clean about the fact that I am addicted to running. 

So, you have to know that many of my posts will be running related, just because I'm obsessed with them.  Just like I'm obsessed with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Nike running apparel, my daughter's grades and the fact that my son has red hair.  Where the hell did that come from?  I just don't.  Know.

In my fever-induced fantasy yesterday (I was DREAMING that I could go running, if that isn't obsessed I don't know what is) I created a list, a BUCKET list if you will, of races I want to run before I kick the old, proverbial bucket.

1.  Hood to Coast Relay.  Fingers crossed that our Twisted Sisters team gets an entry.  If not I'll just keep dreaming of the day.

2.  Spokane to Sandpoint Relay.  Even if they did take out the rollercoaster ride, I'm STILL in.  It is SO PRETTY UP THERE!!!

3.  A half marathon.  Any half marathon.  Hoping to cross that off the list this weekend at Girlfriend's in the 'Couve but this cold has KICKED.  MY.  ASS.  I may have to wait until the Holiday Half, which happens to be scheduled the day before my complete hysterectomy and final breast reconstruction surgery has been scheduled.  But, as always, I strive for Bad Ass Mother Runner status, so you can bet your best running shoes I'll be running in that half.  Just watch me.

4.  The Scenic Half Marathon.  This one is in GORGEOUS Sandpoint, ID and I was working for the Chamber of Commerce when this race was formed.  I would LOVE to go and run it, since I was injured I didn't get to run the inaugural race.  I'm still a little bit bitter about that.  Just a lil' bit.

5.  I want to do a sprint triathlon.  I am planning to do the Wahine All Women's sprint tri next summer.  This was the one I missed because it was two weeks after my mastectomy and you better believe I'm going to do it next year and I'm gonna kill it.  Just sayin'.

6.  I want to do a full triathlon.  Not that I'm in any hurry to do one, really I'm not.  Maybe in a couple of years.  I want to try the sprint and see if I live.  Then, we'll think about the big one.

7.  DESINATION HALF:  I'm taking suggestions on this one, but I want to do a destination half marathon someplace awesome that is really really fun.  One that requires an actual plan ride (preferably on Alaska Airlines, they give you free booze), girlfriends only and a hotel.  Ideas?

8.  I want to run the Shamrock 15K in 2013.  It will be a mere 3 months after my big ol' hysterectomy, but I'm not blowing smoke up your running skirt when I tell you that I will run it.  I'm not going to run it for time, oh no sirree, I am only running it for the beer opener medal and the bragging rights that will come with running it 3 months after major surgery.  I only hope this doesn't become a habit for me.  Big surgery, three months, big run, more surgery.  6 months of this year show that's a trend, dammit.

9.  Finally, I just want to PR the SHIT out of every race I do next year.  I'll pretty much be running 5K and 10Ks, and the occasional half marathon all next year.  And at least one sprint tri.

I don't have a #10 on my list.  I'm not going to add a marathon on there, not this year, maybe not ever.  I'll leave that to REAL runners, not weekend warriors like myself.  And I'm not going to even entertain the possibility of an ironman or half ironman (I would likely die).

No, I'm content to just keep running and be glad that I can.  And, of course, to cross off my runner's bucket list races. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Race (OK Two races)

I've got two big races coming up.  A week from today I'll run my first ever half marathon.  That is a major milestone for me.  A year ago I couldn't even run up the stairs, so the thought that I can run 13.1 miles is almost unbelievable.  But I can do it.  And I WILL do it.  And, yeah, I'm gonna do it in under 2 hours.  Even if I am sicker than I've been in a long long long long time.

Oh my goodness, this cough.  I'll for certain have washboard abs after this.  Oy.  And my nose....it's all red, and not in a cute way, from blowing my snout nonstop.  Honestly, how can one person manufacture THAT MUCH SNOT!?!?

And my head, it's like a thousand bad hangovers all rolled into one, without the nauseated feeling.  That's the only plus.

So my big worry is that I pretty much will be immobile this whole week and I know that tapering is good, but this is beyond tapering, it's FORCED IMMOBILITY.  So then I worry that I won't quite have the "stuff" to go the distance next Sunday.  But it doesn't matter all that much anymore, the fact that I can do it, that I'm going to do it, is really all that matters to me.

My reach goal is merely to achieve the ultimate gold card status of a BAMR, running a sub 2 hour half marathon a mere 3 months after a bilateral mastectomy.  My goal is simply to finish, under my own power, running the whole way.  Easy peasy.

My other big race is Cause + Event Portland, an idea that came to me in what I can only describe is divine intervention.  On an airplane ride home from Spokane for a funeral in early February I grabbed an old file folder in my bag and sketched out the entire event.

I've been involved in planning races before, but not like this.  Not like the big official keep-it-all-in-my-brain official.  No, I helped.  And watched.  And learned.  I hope.

But aside from the logistics of the race, which become so overwhelming to me on a regular basis that I say to myself "what the hell was I thinking?" and I fantasize about running away to Mexico and hoping that my committee will pick up the pieces, I am really proud of the work WE have done.

I couldn't do this alone, of that there is no doubt.  I have a crack team of Mother Runners who are helping me put together what has been described as the most generous race concept ever "invented".  What we're doing is unlike any other race out there, believe me, I checked.

What we are doing is allowing our runners to choose their own charity to run for.  We feature 10-12 local charities, but runners can choose any charity they want.  We are giving $5 or more from every registration to the cause of their choice. 

Our event is November 11, 2012 and we have a 5K and 10K distance option.  We're sanctioned and insured by the USATF and we're having our courses certified.  We don't mess around.  Our end goal is to create an amazingly generous, well run and FUN event that we can affiliate out NATIONWIDE in a few years, bringing our formula to communities across the country and raising a heck of a lot of money for local charities.

So I have a couple of lofty goals, and I don't know if I will achieve them both, but right now the one I wish the most to come true is having an amazing Cause + Event Portland race for many, many amazing charities.  Please visit our website at www.causeandeventportland.com to see what we're doing.

Now, I'm tired from all this writing, so I am going to cough my head off, blow my nose off my face and pass out in bed to rest up for next Sunday.  Lord, I hope I make it.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A bumpy trip down memory lane...

Today I received an email that I never wanted to get from my daughter's third grade teacher.  With her sweet and caring nature I never expected she would be involved in something that would bring up some very bad memories for me.

1985:  Imagine you've spent most of the 12 years of your life on earth as the tallest and skinniest kid in the ENTIRE school.  Imagine you're a bit awkward, gangly, and completly devoid of any self-esteem.

You've been teased mercilessly for years about your height, you weight, your freckles, your lack of coordination (which incidentally is why running has always been my joy- it requires nothing more than me putting one foot in front of the other) and any other reason that you can think of because you're a little different.

Every day you go to school you hope, you pray, that today will be the day the kids will stop making fun of you.  And it never is.  So you develop a well-honed sense of humor that you use to deflect those comments and pretend that they don't hurt.  But they do.  Deeply.  And you never forget.

Imagine, then, that in the sixth grade the kids, led by the class bully (at the time we didn't think of her as the "bully" we simply did what she told us to do out of fear and called her "popular") told you that you were ugly.  So ugly that you look like a dog.  And then, if that wasn't enough, the kids join in and start to bark and you, and give you a nickname that they know will really make you feel horrible: Rover.

My nickname throughout much of sixth grade was that of a dog.  Believe me, I'm fully aware that these events are nearly 30 years old, and I don't think about them much anymore.  No, not really ever at all. 

As I've grown up I've come to realize that when we try to hurt others, when we're mean and unkind, we're merely attempting to cover up the fact that we're insecure and, in many cases, need to find a way to control the one situation that is controllable in life:  how other people feel about what we say and do.  Think about it.  It's so very true.

I've spent the better part of my grown up years attempting to stick up for others when I can.  Am I perfect?  No.  Did I sometimes fall victim to the other kids and find a kid to pick on myself?  You bet.  Maybe out of fear.  I don't know.  But probably insecurity was the main thing, and the fear that if I didn't go along, that I'd be the victim once again.

2012:  Imagine getting an email nearly 30 years later from your daughter's third grade teacher that she was involved in an "incident on the playground" where, and I am surprised the teacher didn't call this out, my daughter and a few other girls were involved in BULLYING another child.  Bullying.  Another.  Child.

I'm the Mom in the Neighborhood Who Called the Police last summer because there was a makeshift "fight club" in the park nearby and little kids were on the ground being kicked in the stomach by older boys. 

As a result, I spent a SIGNIFICANT amount of time teaching my kids after the incident (or so I thought) about standing up for others when they can't stand up for themselves, or when they do desperately need someone to be there for them.  My kids were there, they saw what happened, they were scared.  And yet.

Crazy me, I thought the message sunk in.  But, alas, it did not.  So here I am, trying to explain to my beautiful daughter how important it is to stand up for our friends, to stand up for others, because I think I would have felt better if once, just one time, someone in my class had stood up for me and told the other kids to stop.  But no one did.  And I'll never forget.

My heart is literally breaking, not for my daughter's lack of compassion in this situation.  I believe that she is good at heart and will do the right thing eventually.  No, indeed, my heart breaks for that sweet little girl that they bullied today.  As sure as I know my name, I know that child will never forget what happened today and she'll always remember my baby girl was a part of it.

Here I am.  30 years later.  And I'll never forget.  It's like I'm 12 all over again.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Middle Finger, Or Why I Run

Like most busy moms I need an outlet for my stress.  I used to use a half a bottle of red wine every night for that outlet, then I gained 50 lbs and realized maybe that wasn't such a good idea.  It SEEMED like a good plan at first....and oh so tasty good.

But. alas, over the past several months I've sort of morphed into a bit of a different person, some good and some bad, but I'm still me.  I'm a stronger, faster, less drunk me, but I'm still me.

Last fall I went on a bit of a journey and what I discovered along the way is that, despite my personal belief to the contrary, I am a bit of a competitive person.

I was never THAT competitive when I was younger, or so I thought.  I played sports for the "fun" and I set goals "just to see if I could make them", but I didn't really see the connection.  DUH.  Fast forward about 20 years, 50lbs and two kids later and I guess you could say it was the perfect storm for me to figure out that competing against myself is a hell of a way to relieve stress.

I also discovered that alcohol, while STILL SUPER FUN AND TOTALLY DELICIOUS, is not my go-to anymore for stress relief.  I don't even think about pouring myself a drink anymore when shit hits the fan, as it has MANY MANY times this fall since the kids have been in school.

If you've known me for my nearly (GASP!  SAD SIGH) 40 years you know that for me to say I don't think about drinkin' much is a bit like saying the Pope ain't Catholic.  Hard to believe.  But it is true.  Except the Pope part.  Pretty sure he's Catholic.

So I decided to make a list of the reasons why I run, instead of hitting the bottle.  Here goes:

1.  I run because of every "Brady had a good day today but_________ (fill in the blank with any transgression that a normal boy would make like making really loud mouth noises ALL.  DAY.  LONG.)  Honestly, I cringe every time I walk up to his teacher to pick him up and she makes that little crook of her finger to "summons" me to her to get the TALES OF WOE.

2.  I run because I feel like the movie Groundhog Day with my daughter.  Same script, different play.  In other words, just when I thought we were making progress last year with REMEMBERING her CRAP (aka school work) we're back to square one after a summer off, complete with a glowing sticker chart on the fridge and promised trips to the dollar store if ONLY she can REMEMBER her HOMEWORK for five days in a row.  FIVE DAYS.  IN A ROW.  That's all I'm askin'.

3.  I run because the freaking Ice Cream truck doesn't realize it's OCTOBER.  I know it's 80 degrees but for the LOVE of GOD it's time to pack it up for the season for Pete's sake.  There should be some kind of ice cream man code of ethics that dictates that they are NOT ALLOWED to drive their creepy retrofitted kid-trolling minivan full of ice cream after labor day.  Do they KNOW what kind of arguments I have to get into with the kids over why they can't buy ice cream from a van because I don't know if he's a registered sex offender and it's almost Christmas?!  You should never wear white and you should never buy ice cream from a mobile vendor after labor day. Easy peasy.

4.  I run because even though I don't have a paying job, between volunteering at the school, keeping the house clean (I giggle as I type that, not happening), grocery shopping, running errands, putting laundry away and training for a sub 2 hour half marathon in less than two weeks I can't seem to keep my schmidt together.  I can't get it all done, and I wonder on those long runs how I ever managed it all when I actually DID have a job?  I probably didn't but I don't remember that.  I just remember thinking "if I didn't have a job I could get so much done!".  If only the me of today could bitch-slap some sense into the me of yesterday....

5.  I run because of things like watching your 6 year old son flip off his 8 year old sister without even knowing you're there.  And then watching him totally lose his shit and pretend it was an "accident" and that he never ACTUALLY did it in the first place and scream and cry about how much trouble he knows he's in.  Now if ONLY I could train him that it is acceptable to flip off the ice cream man in OCTOBER when he's driving down your street........we'd be in business.