Moe, for better or worse

This blog used to be called "one year in the life of a short fat runner"; then it was called "Am I a runner? you decide." I've decided running isn't the thing I need to talk about'll come up for sure, but it's just one part of me, so I think I'll just call this blog: Moe, for better or worse.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

happiness is...

I was in the bath this morning with my feet up against the end of the tub, near the taps and looked at my pink toenails, recently scrubbed and buffed and painted, and thought...I love my painted toenails! Look how cute! They make me happy!!!

I'd told someone yesterday I was "squishy"...when asked what I meant, I replied, "happy fluttery, butterfly tummy and zingy heart."

as opposed to "soggy".


My trip to Madison kicked off a summer of fun and plans and travel. I am feeling better than I have in weeks about my personal life and better about myself than I have in years, if ever. I have dear friends in all corners of the country, and I am so lucky as to have seen many of them last weekend and will see many more in the coming months.

Those painted toes are going to get a lot of action.

They will take me one day excursions with friends and might get dipped in the cold Atlantic this weekend, if I'm lucky. They will be strolling the streets of Seattle with friends and colleagues in just 2 weeks, then picking up the pace and running in a 4th of July road race with another dear friend. Then off to the city of brotherly love, this time testing the water in a pool for the day, and taking me out on a midnight run through Philly that night. They will peek out of a fabulous pair of sandals for my 40th birthday and then will plunged into that same Atlantic Ocean, not quite so frigid this time but no less inviting. And the summer ends, they will take me out to run, more than once, in the course of a few days to get me from the mountains, back to my beloved Atlantic.

It always come back to the ocean. That squishy feeling I mentioned??? Just drop me by the sea and it will come to me.

I wonder what color I should paint my toes next? What color does each adventure feel like?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I struggled a lot this weekend in Madison. The larger group and I had great times and drank too much good beer and ate lots of good (if weird) food (fried cheese curds, anyone?)but some knew I was dealing with some personal problems which caught up to me in a rush at dinner on Saturday night.

By caught up, I mean an anxiety attack while sitting at the table with a few close friends and a lot of acquaintances.

My closest friends have known for a while what's been going on in my life, but I hadn't told them what I was dealing with that day. And wasn't so much that it should have been too much for me to bear, but too little sleep, too much beer, too much socializing and being friendly wore me down.

Half way through dinner, I turned to my friend K and said, I can't eat....he asked me if I needed to take a walk. Initially I said no, but when he asked again, I agreed. We stood in the doorway of the restaurant together and I told him what I was upset about it. He consoled me and gave me a hug. He let me sniffle a bit and told me it was ok. He was a much dearer friend that he knows.

A few other friends wandered out to me...they too consoled me, and then let me be so as not to draw too much attention. It's hard to struggle in a crowd...

I crashed and burned in my race on Sunday. Worst race I've ever run. If I actually ran half of the 5.5 miles of marathon relay I was assigned, I'd be surprised. My friend K was there with me again. He said nothing, and just followed my lead. He'd already run a strong 7.1 and he was just there for support. I'm disappointed I didn't do better and embarrassed he knows how miserably I performed. I also know he doesn't care. He loves me anyway.

I'm not the only one who struggled this weekend. Lots of my running crew didn't perform they way they expected or anticipated. The course, the wind, the crowds...who knows what caused many of us to have problems...but many of us did.

Another friend struggled this weekend, continues to struggle with something unrelated to running. His heart will be heavy for a while, but I've tried to help him anyway I can...and will continue to do that. Pay it forward....

R told me in a year, I won't remember the race or my time...I'll only remember the good times with friends. I think he's right up to a point. I think I'll remember the bad times, because it brought many of us closer together. I don't have to worry that people won't help me if I need help...I know they will be there for me. They proved themselves in spades this weekend.

K, M, K, T, R, M, L, K, S, G...I love you and thank you all. A girl couldn't ask for better friends.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The very good, the sorta bad and somewhat ugly...

I'm back from Madison. If you've noticed my complete absence from blogging...your assumption that I was off making mischief with my friends instead of posting on the interweb would be a correct one. We spent hours together...sometimes in big rowdy groups making lots of noise and somewhat of a mess on occasion (the bad), sometimes getting ourselves into a bit of trouble (the ugly), but mostly, just laughing and talking and even a few tears were shed, but always together and always with love and support and friendship behind it (the very very good).

Honestly, my favorite part of the weekend was each morning, much too early considering the hours we were keeping, one of my now-in-real-life-but-until-this-weekend-internet friend would knock on my door with her coffee pot and pastry to start the day. We'd then go wake up our other friend and we'd pile onto the hotel beds in our pjs and talk and wake up together. It was the easiest time of every day. There was no pretense of looking good, or needing to make small talk or feeling awkward. Although many miles separate us, we are close and true friends, and for this weekend, we had the opportunity to be ourselves. Braless and barefoot, with wacky hair and hang overs and smelling of sleep and hotel sheets, we'd make ourselves comfortable, in that way true friends can and do without trying at all.

This morning, back at home in Boston, I was checking my email and my chat window opened.

The message was: "should I come over for coffee?"

I smiled to myself and brushed away a tear.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Live from Madison!!!

I love my friends...we couldn't have had a better time last night. Belly laughs, beers, a few tears, because that's how we roll.

Speaking of rolling...we rolled in at 1am, Madison time. Oy. Someone is hurting a little today.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

T -1!!!! and a bit of kosmic connectivity

I leave tomw for Madison!!! Has a girl ever been happier to go to Wisconsin??? I think not. :)

I've gotten all of my laundry done and folded. I've found all my sports bras and 5 pairs of running socks. All of my undies are clean, and the shirts I want to pack are folded and laid out.

I've got to get bubblewrap, but I've got 16 beers to try to pack...

I still have to get to the market and I still have to get a pedicure, but those I can do later today.

Roberto and I are going to a counselor this afternoon to work on some issues we're having. He is struggling with the idea of this...but I know with someone to guide us, we can work out the problems we're having. I love him too much and won't go down without a fight! I hope it's not too exhausting though....

Now about that kosmic connectivity. A few things, best first. I've been looking everywhere for my lady bug socks. The ones the laundry gnome took. I wore those socks to run Philly to honor my mother who is dealing with chemo again for a cancer that isn't going to go away. I've talked about this before.

Well, Ma called me last night. She had her appt at oncology. They couldn't do her treatment this week since her blood counts were a little low, she'll have to go back next week. But she said, the CT scan shows...nothing. The cancer has been shrinking for a while, but now...there's nothing. It doesn't mean it's gone...but it does mean something. And that's very good news. Plus the neuropathy she's had in her feet is subsiding. She said they don't hurt anymore, but feel like she's walking on sandpaper, which, while sounding incredibly irritating, is a vast improvement over what she was experiencing before.

I was putting away my socks this morning, and guess what I found?

My lady bug socks. Right in the middle. On top.

Kosmic connectivity (and evidently, a kind-hearted Laundry Gnome).

No less good, but in a different realm, a friend and I have decided we've known each other in another time. Seems we're constantly telling each other something that the other knows already. I've often thought this isn't the first time I've lived a life, and so I'm often visited by ghosts from a past I can't quite recall. I remember places and experiences I've never had in this lifetime, but with a vividness that I can't believe I could have merely dreamed up.

I'd like to think there are people you crash into again and again, people you need in your life (lives?) to get through and that you eventually meet up again when you need each other.

I guess I was in need recently.

Kosmic connectivity.

Oh and have I mentioned I'm very excited to go to Madison this weekend????

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

T -2!

yes I'm excited!!!

Tonight I have to get done with 4 more loads of laundry and start to organize my things.

The other thing on my agenda is trying to figure out how to pack a 1/2 case of beer and a couple of growlers in my suitcase.

I need to get to the market and a couple other places in the meantime too.

so much time!!! so little to do!!!!

(strike that, reverse it)


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

T -3...

and counting!

I am so incredibly excited about this weekend. Now I just need to do 27 loads of laundry and figure out how to pack a half a case of beer in my luggage.

Heater, if you read this...what am I buying????

I've determined we have a laundry gnome who's taken a liking to my running gear, because I'm convinced I've not seen half of my running clothes in the last 2 months yet I know we've done all the laundry at some point in that time frame.

Laundry Gnome, if you read this, I'd really like my ladybug socks back...I'll trade you!

I ran last night. It wasn't a good run...the first mile was pretty nice, slow, easy...then my feet went numb and my calves tightened up and my shins hurt. I still slogged through the last two. Good enough.

Feet, if you read this, think you could give me a break and stay focused on Sunday? Because that numbness really doesn't work so well when it comes to forward motion.


Monday, May 19, 2008

T -4!

I'd written up a post yesterday...more lamenting. More thanks to my friends who are supporting me. But, well, know what? You get the idea. I have good friends. I'm very very lucky...more than I sometimes believe. So with that in mind...I hit < delete >.

Instead, I'm going to start the countdown to Madison! T -4 and counting!!!!

I am very excited for my trip to Madison. I am going to meet some of my closest imaginary friends and will reconnect with some transitional (imaginary to real life ;) ) friends. I spent a number of hours looking for just the right things to bring with me and I'm planning my wardrobe so I can pack beer and gifts and toiletries (curse you TSA!) in my suitcase. I've spent lots of time chatting with my friends making plans and organizing phone lists and making sure we know where we'll be when. But for this pesky running I have to do on Sunday morning, it should be a fabulous trip!!!!

Now about running. This has been a hard week for training, since I've put myself through the wringer lately and dehydration, exhaustion and mental fatigue do NOT add up to good running. I had a couple of short, good runs, largely fueled by adrenaline, but going longer proved a problem. So much so, I skipped my long run yesterday. So now I've got 5 on my agenda for this evening. I will get it done, although I'm not looking forward to it. But I will get it done.

I have LOADS of laundry to do. I have to shop for a few things. I really want to get a pedicure, but I'm not sure when I'll have time. I have to get to the post office and the bank this many things. All for a 3 day weekend in Wisconsin. Seems funny. But not!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

My dinner with Patty

I had dinner with my friend Patty last night. I've only known Patty for about a year, but we just *clicked* like you do sometimes with people you meet. I'm someone who falls very hard for people, whether they are crushes or friends. If I feel like we've made a connection, well, you're sorta stuck with me. I've very loyal. Like a puppy. Or a Marine.

Anyway...I went to dinner last night with Patty. We'd made plans earlier in the week, but I'd jokingly told her yesterday, bring tissues. It's gonna be a rough one.

Dinner was lovely, I had an excellent dish of seared scallops, with ratatouille, and arugula salad and Patty had an eggplant lasagna. We shared the house made ice cream sandwiches...and ate nearly every bite. I've not been eating much this week, but finally had an appetite last night. It was very good.

Through dinner, we chatted about life, mostly mine. I started to cry. She pulled out a thick wad of tissues, seemingly an entire box-worth, and handed them over the table to me.

I really love Patty. That was a very kind thoughtful thing to do. In an earlier post, I said I worry my friends don't really like me or they aren't as close to me as me to them. I guess I should stop worrying.

I hope I can be as good a friend to Patty someday, because she was a very good friend to me last night.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


this is merely a test...I can't get my comments button to show up right now...:(

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 really

I suppose I should mention running this week. My schedule, as per my imaginary friend and coach, is 3ish/3ish/3ish/5-6. With an hour+ of tap.

I'm already behind schedule.

I had a rough, emotional, tear-filled talk with my imaginary friend/coach last night, on topics unrelated to running which left me sobbing and wasted. I still had to run, even though I'd not gotten out the door and it was nearing 8pm. I figured I was too slow and too late to get in 3, so I'd run as much as I could, and just make up what I didn't get done today.

I started out on my short 'hood loop, which is a mere 1.3 miles, although I can add to it by looping back around or just running it again. Since it was so late and getting dark, it was my best option. I took Miss P with me, who'd been dancing around me for 2 hours in anticipation of our run. I'd gotten into my running clothes at 6 and she knows what that means. The phone call and subsequent heart wrenching, gut wrenching crying were unanticipated and threw off my schedule.

I forgot my watch. I glanced at the clock on my way out, but I wasn't sure what time it really was when I started running. I figured I'd just run.

And run I did. I ran. I ran like I've never run before, my feet were beating beneath me, my legs were churning and I was flying. I ran that way for nearly 2 miles, having looped around and retraced my steps. I could have run more, but it had fallen dark and I needed to get home.

Another friend told me to get outside and run, to ease my mind and my soul; to help me put in perspective what's on my mind. I told him, I generally have one thought when I run: "how much longer do I need to go?"

Last night, the one thought I had in my mind was: "how much longer can I go?"

I stopped running when I did because it was dark and it was late, but I knew, I could have gone on.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Vanity...speak thy name

I am a Leo. I was born at the end of July and I know I have many many traits common to leos. One of them is vanity.

Now, don't get me wrong...I don't think I am the most beautiful thing to every roam the planet or God's gift to anyone...but....

the pic I've got posted here of me and the hubby is a fabulous pic of me. And a HORRIBLE pic of him. Just awful. (DH, please note: this is why you should NOT monkey around in front of the camera for every photo...)

But I look great in it. Deceivingly thin, pretty, real smile, hair's good, outfit reads well. Even my glasses are sitting on my nose such that you can see my eyes and not just the frames. All good.

I'm getting older and old age is bearing down on me more quickly than even my own contemporaries; my body is certainly older than my head and mostly older than my numeric age. I may look good for nearly 40, but the fact is I'm not getting younger.

I'm also getting more and more vain as I get older. How can I help it? I spent half my life thinking I was fat and ugly and now...well, now I'm pretty sure that's not true! Now I'm clinging to my youth in the hopes that I will still be pretty and deceivingly thin in pix for many years.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Blueberries...a love story

I don't know if my friend will read this. But should he...this is for you, R.

We were chatting the other night and he told me every woman needs to be adored completely and unconditionally by someone; a life time crush.

I said, you mean, the person who would see me in this awful fleece blueberry Violet Beauregard [we'd been on a Willie Wonka kick that night] hoodie and think it's cute just because I'm wearing it?

He said, yes, exactly.

So the birth of the Blueberry crush...or simply the Blueberry.

I think we all have our Blueberries and I suspect we are each someone's Blueberry.

He pointed out that the adoration should come from someone outside our family, so it's not the love a child feels for a parent, or a sibling. And you aren't meant to know you are the Blueberry...because that devotion is quiet and simple and profound.

It's rather a sweet theory, isn't it?

and I'm suddenly craving muffins.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

my goodness...

you people are actually reading this thing.

I better become a better writer and write more interesting stuff.

At the moment the best I've got is "this salad is bitter."

Not exactly the stuff of classic literature.

Work has been hectic and stressful and slightly unnerving. I'm supposed to KNOW a lot. OK, I DO know a lot...but I don't know how everything works here and that's unnerving. But so far so good. And I'm only making 9 mistakes a week now, instead of 27.

Running has been interesting. My imaginary friend Glenn is coaching me to prep for the Madison relay. Everyone has a lot more faith in my abilities than I do, but like work, so far so good. I've been getting in my runs fairly successfully or at least completely. But yesterday's run wasn't good. It wasn't even just ok. It was just bad. My head wasn't in it. My heart wasn't in it. I was fighting myself to keep from crying and fighting myself to start crying just to let it out. Instead my heart hung low in my belly and thoughts weighed heavily on my shoulders. I couldn't get into a rhythm. My legs were heavy and tired.

I am always my own worst enemy. Well me and that skinny assed fast girl with the blonde pony tail and pink shorts who went zipping by me and completely and utterly sucked out of me whatever minute speck of enthusiasm I had left.

I would never be her. I wasn't her when I was her age, and now I'm 20 years older, 60lbs heavier and twice her pace. She was like discouragement in a lithe young package.

At least the beach was pretty. I ran to the beach.

that's Wollaston Beach. It's a Boston Harbor Beach. It's not the prettiest beach around...but I'm still exceedingly lucky that I can run outside in May and in 15 mins (8 for you speedy folks) be standing with my feet in the sand and the smell of salt water and marsh grass in my nostrils.

As much as I make it out to be otherwise, life ain't all bad.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Sunshiney day

the weather has brightened up. So has my mood. Gawd, I hate rain.

I didn't run last night because I minded my favorite 6yo. She's a hoot. We played Twister.

I am too old for Twister. Oy.

(must remember to bring Twister to Madison...;) )

Tonight I'm running with Patty and Penny. Two P at the Pond. Heh. Patty won't go as far as I need to, so I've got to get in a mile before I see her...but no biggie. Plus Penny will be tuckered out even more when we get home. And a tired pup is a good pup.

My head's been in a spin lately, which always spells trouble. Two of my best imaginary friends have helped me make some headway with my thoughts this week, and I love them for it. They are good friends to me. YOu know who are you, thanks guys.

I had my annual lady exam today. I certainly hope I have nothing to worry about. I always think the worst and hope for the best. My BP was 130/80...because I have "white coat syndrome"; I could feel my heart knocking around in my chest while I was there. Not that that's so high, but higher than it would be now, I assume.

The nurse gave me the johnny to was like a super little swing jacket with 3/4 sleeves and a turned up collar! Only in light blue paper with velcro closures. Weird. It also only came to my belly button, but that's what the extra drape is for, right? Besides, there is no modesty at the lady doctor.

Except of course for the fact that I feel compelled to type "lady doctor" and not use the "g" word.

[insert rolly eyed smiley here]

Roberto went to a meeting last night about JP Open Studios. I'm happy he's become involved in the artists' community here. He desperately needed something to occupy his time besides me. I'm great and all, but seriously, not that great.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Rain rain, go away....

So, I have been in a funk. I hate cold rainy weather, which is all we've had for a week now. No, it was sunny on Thursday for a bit. That was nice. I went for a horrible run then, but at least it was sunny.

The weather has made everything that irritates me 270% more irritating. Including the other person in this house which makes for interesting evenings. I bite my tongue, but seriously dude, for the love of all that is holy and if you want to keep your testicles, turn.down.the.motherf'

yes it has been that kinda week.

I'm also frustrated with my quest to lose some weight. It ain't happening...and I was really trying hard. Operative word here...was. I'll still watch it, but really, after 3 weeks of reasonable portions, healthy choices, salads, no dessert...nothing. Not one damn ounce.

A very good friend got some very bad news this week and it has really thrown me. He and I will now have more in common than I'd ever wanted. He lives too far away for me to see him in person right now, but I've been praying for him. I hope he knows that.

I went for a run today with Penny. We did more than 5 miles, which is the longest I've run since December; probably close to year before that. At least without significant walking. The weather was still crappy, and I was cold when I got home, but it wasn't awful and it's on the books. I had to skip my run yesterday because my knee was bothering me. I thought it more important to get in this long run than 3 yesterday. I wish running were easier.

Every once in a feels really really good though. Really good.

I know it's not much, but I was sad that no one noticed on our running forum what I'd posted. Finally my friend mentioned it in his post and that made me happy.

I am really looking forward to running Madison, but I don't know how I will do without a companion. Even bringing the pup with me helps me immensely. Mr E, if you are reading (which is HIGHLY unlikely, seeing as I believe one person knows I have a blog), I sincerely hope you will run with me.

I am very sleepy and sorta hungry, even though we ate supper and I had some ice cream. Hmmm.....