Posted tagged ‘coffee’

Croom Zoom 2012

January 17, 2012

Sunday morning, at 4:00 a.m., my alarm went off.  I groaned and hit snooze.  Then I startled awake.  The Croom Zoom, my first 25k, started in 3 hours, and I had only a vague idea of how to get to the race site in the Withlacoochee State Forest (yes, that is totally a real place).

I scrambled into the kitchen to slurp down some coffee and eat a piece of peanut butter toast while I checked the weather forecast.  In the low 30s for the first part of the race.  Oh. my. Lord.  I put on the warmest running gear I have (which isn’t really all that warm until about 5 miles in) and zipped out of the house for the hour ride up to Brooksville, Florida.

I have driven by Brooksville about a hundred times headed north on I-75.  But when Google Maps told me to take a small highway road up to Brooksville instead, I just assumed the good folks at Google knew better than I did.  So, at 5:00 a.m., I found myself driving in the pitch black through areas that looked like they might have been the inspiration for Deliverance.  I had pre-race jitters; I had lost-in-the-middle-of-nowhere jitters.  And I really had to pee.  But there was nowhere to stop.  And I do mean nowhere.  All the gas stations were closed.  Even the Wal-Mart had so few cars that I felt sketched out about swinging in for a potty break.  And, remember, I had slurped down that coffee and a healthy amount of water before I left the house.  So, I spent the last 20 minutes of the ride praying that I wouldn’t pee on myself before I got there.

I turned off of the little highway onto a littler county road that my map said would lead me straight into the park.  I kept peering to the right and the left, into the pitch black, looking for a park sign.  It was already 6:15.  My race started at 7, and I couldn’t find the damn…

And, suddenly, I was on a dirt road.

I just kept driving, hoping I was headed in the right direction.  My dot on Google Maps was still on course–but did I mention I was on a dirt road?!?

And then I saw him–the traffic directing guy.  He was shivering in the cold.  Uh… that didn’t seem like a good sign.  I parked, opened my door… and shut it again.  DANG.  I steeled myself, opened the door again and hopped out just in time to be greeted by a string of profanity from the guy parked next to me… something about Florida…damn cold…someone’s mother…something, something.  As interesting as his diatribe was, I needed to pick up my race packet, finally pee, and strip off my warm sweat pants and fleece and stand around in lycra running garb.  And freeze.

I did all of those things.  In that order.  I have never wanted a race to begin so badly.  I was so cold that I forgot to be nervous.  No joke.  And I am totally valedictorian of being nervous.

The airhorn went off, and all the 25k runners set off down a limestone road.  We did 3.5 miles on that road.  At mile 1.5, I realized that my hands were achingly cold.  At mile 1.8, I felt like nails were being driven through my thumbnails, and I noticed–with great alarm–that it took tremendous effort to move my fingers.  At mile 2.0, I began to seriously concern myself with frostbite.  I thought for a few minutes about quitting then and there.  No kidding.  I don’t remember ever being in that much pain from the cold.

By mile 3, I didn’t remember that my hands had ever hurt at all.  But I did realize that my Gu was too cold to be gooey.  Instead, eating it was like breaking off pieces of chewing gum and swallowing them whole.  Thank goodness I had plenty of water in my Camelback to negotiate that mess.

I finished my Gu just in time to turn onto the trail and realize that my shoes were tied too loosely for trail running.  Oh, and I was running in my old running shoes that have next to no tread left on them.  Awesome planning.  I ran for a bit and found myself at the start point again, right before the start of the 10 mile trail loop, where I stopped to tie my shoes.  I hate stopping while I am running, but the retying of the shoes seemed like a necessity, lest I fall and bust my booty on this run.

Which I did.  At mile 7.  I swear, I have no idea what happened.  I was running; I must have drifted off into thought. Then I felt it… My feet tangled, and I knew I was going down.  I had just enough time to think,  “this is going to hurt,” before I hit the ground with a thud.  The guy running behind me (he was a ways back when I fell) asked if I was okay.  I hopped up to show him I was alright–I didn’t want him to break his stride too much for me–and took off running.  Both my knees were super sore.  I was dirty.  But I knew I could keep going.  Hey, it was either that or walk the last 8 miles.  No one was going to carry me out of that forest.

I hadn’t set a goal time for the run. But I did promise myself I would run all 15 miles.  And I did.  I finished the race in 2:47:21 with a Gu wrapper stuck to my hand (since mile 10) feeling like a badass.

BAD.ASS.

I am more in love with running than ever before.  Crazy, right?  And I am totally hoping to fit in another trail run during this running season… but maybe in April when it is just a smidge warmer.  I am totally a Florida girl, no matter how badass I am.

In which I am excitable…

August 12, 2009

When I first quit drinking, I really felt as though I had nothing to say.  I knew my life was more managable, more liveable… but my wit seemed to have forsaken me.  I struggled to find any deep thoughts that existed outside of the bottom of my Oberon pint.  And, trust me, it was a struggle.  Kind of like living in sawdust… not much interesting to say about sawdust, really.

And now, now folks… everything is interesting.  And vivid.  And real.  All of it must be explored.  So many, many things to think about, to turn over in my mind.  And books!  Oh my God at the books that need to be read.  Because there are ideas!  In the books!  I must know about these ideas.  Even more importantly, I must dissect these ideas, hold them up for inspection…

And then, on to yoga!  Oh the yoga.  And the meditative contemplation…

And the coffee!  There is so much coffee to be had!  Even decaf coffee is exquisite.

Sometimes I find life almost overwhelming… the sensory experiences, the emotions (neither dulled nor enhanced by substances), the wonder and the choices that must be made every day about how I will live my life and how I will greet the world.

The sawdust has lifted, my friends.

25 Things in 26 Minutes

February 3, 2009

1) I get crabby when people don’t follow through with plans. But people should totally understand when I flake out.

2) I think about running way more than a normal person should.

3) Coffee has become my passion, although I still rarely have more than 2 lattes per day. If I had a coffee pot in my office… (shudder) I hesitate to think how caffeinated I would be.

4) I struggle to spell caffeine every time. I spelled it wrong in my status update the other day. Uh… embarrassing…. many of my friends are English types (the subject, not the country).

5) I often wonder if I am self-centered as I used to be. I would ask around…but I think we all see the problem there.

6) I love people watching. I smile when someone catches me looking at them.

7) Peanut butter and honey sandwiches are my new favorite lunch item.

8) I only like natural peanut butter now. The other stuff tastes like plastic to me.

9) I considered selling Milo to a band of gypsies when she started barking at 4:28 a.m. She has, by the way, the most grating bark… somewhere close to a scream sometimes. Horrid.

10) If I could, I would adopt an 11 year old.

11) Once I started reading 1984, I wondered why I had so vehemently protested reading it for all these years.

12) It is difficult for me to leave Borders without a new book.

13) I know I should shop at local bookstores, but I haven’t found one I like. And I really like Borders.

14) I think about riding my road bike often. I rarely ever ride. But the idea is nice.

15) When I see pictures of my friends who live locally on Facebook, I get jealous that I wasn’t invited to whatever outing they are enjoying in the pictures.

16) Since beginning AA, I feel more in touch with myself but completely out of touch with most of my friends.

17) There seems to be an endless struggle for me to find enough time to do all of the things I want to do. I spent a lot of time sitting around, pontificating with drink in hand. Now I want to DO stuff.

18) I get really irritated when Amy isn’t as chipper as I am. I tend to act like she has kicked me. That is stupid. Live and let live.*

19) I listen to Guns N Roses while I run. They are the same songs I love in high school. Still love ’em.

20) The word ‘lil freaks me out. No, seriously. ‘Lil? What the hell is that???

21) Going out to coffee or dinner with my friends makes me really nervous (even if I want desperately to spend time with them). This is a phase. It will pass.

22) My dream job is to write for a magazine (a column) and teach writing at a small, liberal arts college. My job, in reality, is close enough to my dream job to make me immensely happy.

23) There are two people from high school that I feel like I mistreated in some way (yes, the ways are known to me). I plan on contacting both of them this week to apologize.

24) Facebook could be called Facecrack. I find it VERY addictive.

25) AA slogans drive me nuts (Easy Does It. First Things First. One Day at a Time. Live Life on Life’s Terms. Live and Let Live), but I believe the principles I have been taught there are saving my life.