The current state of The Wink/Tumble Dry takes me back to 2004 and trying to adjust a Blogger background without the benefit of knowing what the hell I was doing.
What you see here is the middle state between then and now, or what I had hoped would be now, but is turning out to be, ah, not now. Consider the curtain intended to prevent the viewing of this delicate state, caught.
The months and months leading up this conversion meant very little, with friends and followers simply saying, “Cool, can’t wait to see it.” Inaction, hoping, wishing etc, all swirled about, but the merge and redesign never picked up enough steam to get anywhere. Then, as Murphy’s Law, karma and a formulaicly scripted chick flick would have happen, I agreed to speak on a panel about blogging.
Now, on the dawn of that day, tragic, base-looking mom blog blah.
I suppose if I weren’t married, with three kids and considerably older than him, Ryan Reynolds would enter the picture, turn out to be a brilliant coder and take tot the stage to let everyone know that behind the pale, murky green of my blogs, waited an amazing, dynamic—
Got carried away.
Consider this my apology and my promise that things’ll be back to normal, better, very soon.
Ryan Reynolds ain’t go nothin’ on my Irishman
When it’s just us, we rock the house costume drawer style.
Giving thanks for all that I’ve got and all that I love.
When last I wrote: I also peed. A little, tiny bit, but still. Pee. So I kept running, until…
And so as I rounded the corner and began running in earnest, I realized just how raspy my throat was and a sense of panic almost set in as I wondered how long until I go water. I faltered, my steps slowed and I lunge walked, not wanting to stop, but also not wanting to push too hard too soon.
I lifted my head and saw a car and immediately thought: Water! But it was even better:
Sean and the girls were camped out with water and hugs. I ran to them, grabbed water and knelt down to hug each of them. Fin didn’t want me to go on, or if I was going to, she wanted to come. Other runners giggled and called out hello as I ushered her back to the van, blew kisses and kept running.
Not sure if Ave was crossing her fingers hoping I’d make it or what.
My gait was longer and my chest was lighter as I ran, the girls’ calls of “Go mama,” and “Run, win the race” shepherded me on and I kept a respectable pace as I forged through the next mile and a half of curves and high-traffic roads (read: Lot’s of people watching us run from their cars, porches and gas pumps.)
Sean had hooked me up with his iPhone and some magic Nike product or another which was letting me know my pace and how far I’d gone. Simple math kept me knowing how far I had to go, which was nice. The spread was pretty even with the head of the pack keeping consistent with their insane 6 minute-mileness and those making up the caboose doing about a 14 minute mile. I kept myself right in the middle and honestly, just tried not to vomit or have pee run visibly down my leg.
At one point at about mile 5 I said to Tara, “So, I think I can officially say that I have peed,” to which she replied very unimpressed, “It isn’t a good race unless you pee.” It was at that precise moment when I knew that I loved her.
The iPhone stopped tracking me 41 minutes into the run, which meant that for 18 minutes I was on my own, off the grid so to speak. It was agony. Lesson: use the conveniences and luxury technology affords you, you still sweat, but you don’t fear.
We ran through a mile and a half of neighborhood, I remember thinking how odd it must be to be going about your day and seeing this motley group of running nuts zip their way through. As the checkpoints with cheerful teenagers calling out “Good job” grew closer together I knew I was nearly done. I started running faster and I smiled. I had started the race torn between thinking I could and knowing I couldn’t.
The front of the school was packed with people. I dug my feet in more with each step as early-finishers cheered me on. The final stretch was a curved driveway right in front and as I kicked to the finish I thought of nothing but doing.
Completing a 10 k race.
Making it up that f*cking hill.
Being brave even though I was scared.
My girls watching me do it.
Sean met me at the end and smiled as FInley leapt into my arms. I held her tight as the big girls danced around me singing, “You won, you won the race!” My legs could barely hold me, my arms were weak, my pants were wet and I couldn’t remember ever having felt so exquisitely happy.
I began to cry. He had said, “I want you to have that too,” and I did. It was bliss.
Go do something for you.
I want you to have that too.
Come back and tell me about it, I know you can do it.
This is the first in a 2 part series of Saturday, the day I ran my first 10K.
We were gathered in our kitchen quickly sharing a bite before heading to Saratoga for Open Mic Night at Caffe Lena. “Wanna do a 10 K with me this Saturday?” my friend asked me out of the blue Thursday night. I experienced a robust internal sputter, followed by the familiar burn of insecurity washing over my face as the sides of my mouth twitched and I said, “Sure!” I felt anything but.
Let’s be clear about something, some months ago I agreed to do the2010 Danskin Triathalon when Millie asked. I did not, however, begin training. There was kindergarten to start, preschool, dueling schedules and one car. And it was finally hot. Ugh.
I thought that I would get to the gym, but that didn’t happen until last week. I just kept going about life the way that I do— choosing to walk rather than ride, skip rather than step, run rather than walk and most of the time doing it with at least one daughter in my arms. As Tara’s question hung in the air all I could think was, “You have to start somewhere.” And then I was overcome with yearning to have something, to have a thing that I did, a talent beyond parenting or fixing unexpected crises with glue sticks, saved ribbon and MacGyver-like confidence.
“Tell me more,” I said as I leaned forward. She told me that it was a 5 or 10k in Hudson Falls to benefit Operation Santa. Soon after the conversation turned to other things and before I knew it the night was over. Tara and I had not confirmed anything and I wasn’t sure whether I should do it and, if I did, would it be the 5 or the 10.
Sean responded first with incredulity and next with annoying supportiveness. I was ready to take the out, but he kept saying that I should do it, that the confidence boost would be amazing for me. “I loved getting to sing, to face down the trepidation and do it. I want you to have that too.” Trust me when I say did everything from claiming it would interfere with naptime to saying I didn’t want to. It was decided.
Saturday morning I got to the registration table and was overwhelmed by the nicheness of it— a charity run, the entrants were all bannered with tee shirts of past races, endorsements from area running clubs or with the bright colored uniforms of high school cross country teams. I felt old, out of place and as if I was going to make an ass out of myself. Looking at the entry form I took a deep breath and made a momentous check next to the number ten.
“Did you get a course map?” Sean asked me. “A what?” I stammered, “I. Um, no. I, shit. This was a waste. I can’t do this.” He looked at me and I swear he took a breath for me, pale blue eyes facing mine, the picture of calm. “I’ll go in and get one,” I said. Everything changed in that moment.
We got the map and proceeded to drive the route. The hills were huge, the wide expanses of farmland seemed at once impossibly long and surmountable. When we got back to the start I got out to stretch and Sean took the girls to a playground. I fretted about this thing and that, comparing myself to the other runners there, but after Tara gave me a squeeze I shrugged my shoulders and thought, “What the hell? I’m here.”
The start of the run was insane, 120 or so people in the 10k and another 220+ for the 5k all crammed together on a two lane road. We ran together for about a block and a half, I just channeled the Lion King and tried to get as far ahead and to the side of the pack as possible to avoid death. Before I knew it I was on a sweetly curving road that led into what can only be described as inaugural 10K torture. It was steep, long and wide open so that walking didn’t seem an option without the sensation of total defeat. I ran, step after step, breath after breath. I crested the hill and realized that the land I thought was flat, was in fact not. I climbed some more and then turned the corner literally and defiantly to strike out onto the first flat stretch.
I also peed. A little, tiny bit, but still. Pee. So I kept running, until…