Weird Shaky Legs

April 17, 2013

So I was there, and it was pretty awful. Kind of still in shock, actually. I have this weird tingly feeling all through my legs that just won't go away.

When I finally got home, my husband was all, "You need to go for a run. Go. Get out. You'll feel better." Finally, I said, "Shut up and stop telling me what to do." Then I sat on the couch and ate an Almond Joy.

Today I finally had the umph to check my cell phone--18 voice mails and 90 texts.

So yeah--I'm talking about The Boston Marathon. This year I was a watcher, not a runner.

I went down to Boston on marathon morning with my friend Brianne. We went to watch her husband Seth run the race. I've got to say, that since Christmas, Brianne's been more patient than St. Benedict--putting up with a husband who's been pulling doubles, running 100 miles a week, and eating nothing but kale, oatmeal and ice cubes.

As a sidenote, it's so SO strange being friends with these two. On one hand, I'm like, "Dude, Brianne, let him run. Running's so awesome and you should do it, too." And then on the other hand, I'm all, "Hey you. DoucheBag. Stay the eff home and eat some frigging pizza with your wife."

Clearly a complicated dynamic for a girl like me.

So. Anyway. Brianne took two-year-old Abe down to the race, and I took James. Honestly? We had a pretty great day for a while:

Brianne and Abe at mile 25.5

James playing his Nintendo DS while the
greatest female runners in the world pass by.

James playing his Nintendo DS while the
greatest male runners in the world pass by.

Spotting his family

After a 2:48 marathon PR

 Seth managed a hu-uge marathon PR, and I was feeling wicked happy for the whole family. Seth did what he wanted to do, Brianne could stop being a running widow for a little while, and Abe could just keep being cute about the every stinking thing he does.

I snapped this picture in the lobby of The Marriot at Copley Square right when they all found each other. Then we went up to Seth's room so he could grab a shower and Brianne and I could eat a ginormous canoli from The North End.

Yeah. Still thinking about it.

When we got up to the 17th floor, the room was packed with all kinds of ridiculous runners who put up times like 2:22 and 2:30. Clearly, I felt slow and fat and happy because I had a canoli in my mouth and they just had 6-pack abs. I could see the finish line from where I was sitting, so I just chewed, swallowed, and daydreamed that it would be me out there next year.

After Seth got out of the shower, we headed down to get some lunch before Brianne and I left to get back home. We're pretty major Maine girls, and Maine girls aren't widely known for doing particularly well in large, chaotic crowds. We like a more provincial life, so just as soon as we ate too many onion rings, we were ready to split for the Great North Woods.

We got to the lobby of the restaurant (about 1,000 feet from the finish line), and the place was a total and complete madhouse. It was wall-to-wall packed with runners and families and people who just love food. We found out that it'd only be a 25 minute wait for a table, so we decided to stay put.

And then, I saw something that I'll never ever EVER forget.

Next to the restaurant, in a mall kind of place, people were straight up flooding out of the building. There was a huge set of stairs, and everyone was just running for it. Brianne and I looked at each other, and we had no idea what was happening, or what to do. None. We both thought there was a gunman mowing people down, and we weren't sure if we were safer inside or outside. Somehow, for some reason, we ended up outside.

When we got outside, I was feeling ready to get shot. I took James, tucked him into the corner of a building and stood in front of him to block him from whatever was about to happen.

He was behind me being a fresh little 8 year old (OW Mom! You bumped my he-ead! Why would you push me like that?! Mo-ove!), and I was taking it all in. I wasn't praying, my heart wasn't racing, I wasn't crying--I just stood there, figuring out our next move. People were running in every direction. Everyone seemed to be checking their phone, trying to make sense of whatever the hell was going on. Some people were yelling things like, Bombs! and Explosives! and Get out!

We decided we'd get to our car and get out of Boston as fast as we possibly could. While we were trying to get our bearings so we could get to the parking garage, I called Jared to see if he knew what was happening. He had no idea. Couldn't find anything on-line either. We hung up, and right then, a Boston Police car skidded up next to us. The cop jumped out, left the door of his cruiser wide open and he hauled ass toward the explosions.

After that, the rescue vehicles started pouring in. Ambulances  fire trucks, police cars--they were parking completely haphazardly all through the streets. At that point, we knew we weren't finding the car. Not a chance. So we headed in the other direction

My phone rang and it was my sister--she lives in Quincy, just South of Boston. She was super panicked and kind of screamed, "WHERE ARE YOU?!" I told her we were in Copley Square and she told us to run. Just run. Bombs were going off in Copley Square. So we should run.

I looked at Brianne--who hates to run, Seth--who'd just run 26 miles, James--my pretty whiny 8 year old, and Abe in the jogging stroller. I said, "Guys, we need to run." So we did.

We ran until we hit Symphony Hall and no one even thought about complaining.

Once we got to Symphony Hall, the chaos was dwindling, so we walked for a while. While we were walking (we didn't know to where--just that we were walking away), a lost runner, still in her foil cape thing, came up to us looking for Coolidge Corner. We had no idea. We just couldn't help.

The rest of the group sat down on a bench, while I ran around, scouting the best route to get out of the city. Seth and James were talking, and according to Brianne, it went like this:

Seth: Well this'll be a good story to tell your friends.
James: If I live that long.

It felt like there were helicopters everywhere, flying really really low. We walked past the Museum of Fine Art, past a park with people playing basketball, and past a church with the letter X in it's name.

Finally we got to an intersection that I thought my sister might recognize. We saw a sign for Simmons College, a Sign for Emmanuel College and a street sign that said Fenway. We sat down, stayed put, and waited until Katy could get to us and bring us back to her house.

I never imagined I could be so happy to squeeze 6 people and a BOB stroller into a tiny PT Cruiser.

We took the back roads to Katy's house, where we were fortunate enough to see a hooker with historically huge hair. Then we stopped at Panera around 5:30. Brianne couldn't eat, James hadn't eaten since 6:50 in the morning, and Seth hadn't eaten since he finished his race at 12:45. I ordered the spinach power salad, which, I should note, has fare more fried onions than you'd ever expect.

When we got to Katy's we made a plan. Brianne and I were gonna rent a car to get home (we REALLY wanted to go home), and Seth was gonna head back into the city to try to get the car from the garage in Copley Square.

Katy dropped him off on the outskirts and he made it back into the city, but that car was going nowhere. He had to sneak into the hotel through the service entrance, where they were communicating with guests by slipping paper notes under their doors--super old school. The bar was closed and so were all the restaurants. There was a buffet set up with a 3 hour wait, so Seth didn't eat because seriouslywhoneedsfoodafteramarathon?

Brianne and I found out that car rental places close at 6, so we weren't going anywhere either.

James and I slept together in my nephew's room, and when my head hit the pillow in his tiny Ikea bed, I finally started to cry. A lot.

James asked me why this all happened, and I told him that I wasn't sure. Sometimes we don't know why people do the things they do. He thought it was probably someone who realllly wanted to qualify for the marathon, but just couldn't make the cut. Maybe all of his friends were making fun of him because he's so slow, and he wanted to ruin it for everyone else who was fast enough to get in.

That's one theory, I guess.

Seth was able to spring the car around 7 in the morning. He picked us all up, and drove straight home without a whole lot of stopping. We did stop at a Dunkin' Donuts in Kittery, and I just wanted to stand up and demand, "Does anyone in here know what just happened to us?" But I didn't.

We got home around 1, and I slept most of the day. Found subs for my night classes, and literally hid under the covers. Jared built a wall in our basement and boiled down some sap to make maple syrup--a good Maine boy.

I went to work today, and during a break, Brianne came by. We sat on a bench by the river for an hour, and talked about bombs, and facebook, and mass shootings, and stupid running. We also talked about cream cheese and bagels. Life goes on, I guess. For us at least.

People are great. My friend with 7 kids took the time to bake me a chocolate lava cake, and so many people stopped by work just to hug me, and kiss my cheeks, and see me with their own eyes.

Thankfully, I'll be fine. James'll be fine. Seth and Brianne and Abe will be fine. But for now, my legs still have that weird tingly feeling that won't go away.

Unexpected Occupational Hazards

March 12, 2013

Over the past year and a half I've made a very unintentional, but full and complete switch to a career as a fitness trainer--which cracks me UP, by the way. Now don't get me wrong here, I loooooove it. I just never expected it.

I think it's kind of hilarious that I have a carload of student loan debt from a masters degree in Public Administration, but I'm paying the bills with my six-week correspondence course.

Fine. Maybe it's not that extreme. But boyfriend, it's close.

With this unplanned change of plans, came a lot of unplanned issues, hazards, inconveniences, problems, you get the idea.

For example, fitness trainers do a lot of work before hours and after traditional hours. This means you might work until 9 o'clock one night and have to report for duty at 5:15 the next morning--but that's not the issue. The issue is that you're driving around at weird hours. And people, let me assure you that some incredibly weird things happens at these very weird hours.

4:45am? That is the strangest time of them all.

I've come to determine that more people than you might think are up and around at 4:45 in the morning. I've also determined that 65% of these people are up and starting their work day--but the other 35%? Yeah...they haven't quite made it to bed yet.

Last week, I was driving about half a mile from my house, approaching a stop sign, when ALL of the sudden--I exaggerate not--a woman with one leg, in a super rickety old wheel chair popped out in front of my car.

Obviously I was all, "F#$% me! I almost mowed down a one-legged woman!"

Then I was all, "F%^& me! Where'd she come from?"

And then I was all, "Oh nuh nuh nuh no. You've GOT to be kidding me--Jesus just plopped an angel in disguise, on my bumper, at 4:45 in the morning to see if I'd do the right thing. Crapcrapcrap."

So I pulled over, and I watched the woman struggle to push herself up hill, in the super slippery snow (for real, it was snowing), sliding all over the place. At this point, I could either A) Ignore the woman/JesusAngelTestCase, or B) Help the woman.

Welp, my dad taught me right (you know--to always help people AND be scared of hell), so I hopped out of my car and jogged up to the woman.

I said, " looks slippery out here. Can I help you get where you're going?"

And she said, "Really? I'm going to the store. It's up there on the top of that hill."

And I said, "Pssshht. No problem. I'm a runner. I'll push you up there in five seconds."

Now cut to me, at 4:47 in the morning, jogging behind the one-legged woman's wheelchair, uphill, in a snow squall, acting like it wasn't hard. Really. Please indulge me and take a minute and let that one marinate.

She wanted to make conversation, bless her heart. I on the other hand, wanted to pretend this was a giant baby jogger with a giant baby who couldn't talk since I was quite possibly about to experience cardiac infarction. She was like, "God BLESS you, honey! Tell me your name!"

And I was like, "911."

So we finally got to the top of the hill, and I pushed her out of the snow, up to the entryway of the store. She took me by the hand, looked me in the eye, and I honestly, HONESTLY (remember here, the world is highly disorienting at 4:50 in the morning) thought we were about to have a Scooby Doo moment. In other words, I felt like Jesus was about to remove his one-legged old lady mask, pop his hidden foot out from under his bottom and be all, "Well doneth my child. Ye loveth thy neighbor as ye loveth thyself. May you have much money and eternal life in heaven after your hundreth birthday party."

Well, that's not so much how it went. She took me by the hand, looked me in the eye, and said, "God Bless you sweetheart. You really went out of your way to help me get my morning cigs."

Close enough. Close enough.

So that's one occupational hazard--weird and disorienting experiences at 5 o'clock in the morning. Some additional hazards include: The IRS, jock itch (not as sporty as it sounds), hemorrhoids, over training, and deltoid tendinitis.

Just something to keep in mind if you're considering a career switch.

The Block

February 28, 2013

For the past few months, every time I sign on to facebook, I feel like my newsfeed is dominated by three distinct and separate subjects: gun control statistics that seem to have no valid sources, pictures of mischievousness kittens, and moms drinking too much wine way too early in the day.

If you know me, you know that precisely none of these things are really my bag. Now don't get me wrong, cats are cute, I actually really want a cat. I just can't believe how many cats are running through my newsfeed. I'm straight up not an internet debater, so the facebook guns are dead to me. And the moms drinking buckets of wine on weekday afternoons? It just makes me think, "I want to see a few dads post some funny sayings about how their kid's dress rehearsal left them with no choice, but to drink 30 beers on Tuesday at 1 while they were solely in charge, and see how many 'likes' that one gets."

When I sign on to facebook, I want to see pictures of my sister's kids, pictures of gross stuff that people are eating to make me feel less bad about the gross stuff that I'm eating, funny status updates from people I used to know, the occasional heart wrenching status update that makes me stop and think; I want good deals on cute boots from zulilly, and I especially want to see super unflattering pictures of my friends before they have the chance to untag themselves.

You probably feel the same way, right? Right.

So. In this modern day of not needing to unfriend people to declutter my homepage, why why WHY am I almost completely unable to block the people who keep posting cats, guns and wine? I mean, I've blocked a few people, and I know that it can absolutely be cause for social blunders. Like the time I was all, "What?! You're having heart surgery, your grandma died, and you're moving?! I can't believe I didn't know!"

Yeahhhh....didn't know because I'd checked that 'unsubscribe' button. De-amn. So I was all, "Right, yeah, I don't go on facebook much. Like ever." Even though I spend 19 hours a day right there.

Maybe that's why. Or maybe, deep down, I think cat humor is hilarious.

What do you think?

A PMS Induced Life Update

February 25, 2013

Yeah, so let's the avoid that old Tap tap..Is this thing on? joke. Because we all know that this (blogging), much like a sale at your local Chevrolet dealership, is a semi-annual event. I'm actually not sure what's making me blog today other than the fact that I honestly--and very accidentally--just took two caffeine pills instead of two Midol.

So don't hang out with me for the next twentyish hours--it's gonna be ugly.

Since I don't have a funny story to tell, I guess I'll just give you the old fashioned life update.

Maggie's just straight up big. See?

She's in preschool and takes dance, and just this morning hacked the tail off the rocking horse my dad made for me in 1983. No big deal. Just a vintage, handcrafted, one of a kind gift from the heart of a loving father. Besides, that horse bastard needed a trim. He let that yarn tail go for waaaayyyy too long and it was out of hand. Right Maggie?

Unfortunately, Maggie stashed the scissors somewhere quite secret. Something else is schedule to be all trimmed up and I'm terrified.

James is good, too. All the sudden, he's just a little man with really sub-par hygiene. See?

....annnnndddd, I'm just realized I haven't taken a photo of that kid since October 27th, 2012. These days, it seems to take a ginormous spiked outfit to get mommy to take your picture. And that's okay. 

James is taking karate, and after sixish months of piano lessons he can play the hell out of a song called The Lame Duck. He says he's taking piano because someday the ladies will love it. I say he needs to expand his repertoire to include at least one song that's not about an injured animal.

He's thinking about it.

Jared's good. He goes to work and to the dog park. He also gave up Coke for seltzer water because he's getting older and that's what older people do?

I'm hanging in.

Biznitch is good. On January 1st, we opened up for shop in a brand new studio that's twice as big and twice as cool. I have a friend coming to take actual studio pictures this week, but in the mean time, I'll post a few that might give you a feel for the place....

This is our new logo, made by my fabulous Texas friend, Beth. She was heavily featured on this blog back in 2006 and 2007. The hardcore among you  might remember, Beth:

The new place does happen to feature a full sized bar, which now looks like a pirate ship. So if you don't mind putting your kids in a play area that still has beer taps, KVC might be your new workout home:

This is the actual workout space in the studio, but we were busy having an Oscar-type award ceremony that night:

Why an awards ceremony, you ask? Because people keep doing shiz like this:

And this:

And this:

Here's me presenting the Size 6 award to a very deserving lady. She used to be a size 18!

I'm still a little turned around by the fact that this has become a legitimate mortgage-paying business. I really never expected any of this, and like any small business, I've learned that the hours are ridiculously long, you have to be willing to do ANY kind of work to make things happen (like math, and insulating tiny crawl spaces, and driving everywhere to pick up equipment), and there are fat months and lean months. 

But I really do love it. I'm trying to space things out so I can keep doing this for the long haul, but who knows? There might be a day where I'm like, "And that was my last jump squat." Hopefully not, but I'm just kind of going with the flow.

My kids spend a lot of time at the studio, so I feel a hefty load of mom guilt. On one hand I'm like, "These kids are learning the value of a hard day of work." On the other hand I all, "I'm the worst mother in the world for not letting these kids sit home and watch TV all morning!" I try to tell myself that it's super similar to the little Italian kids whole grow up plating food in the family restaurant--expect my kid might drop a 35 pound weight on his toe instead of being spattered by some hot pasta water.

See how confused I am right now because I have PMS?

Most recently, the flow led me to order a room full of LeMond RevMaster Classics. So we'll see where that goes.

RevMaster Classic Parts

I do have to say, I teach one helluva spin class.

But honestly, it reminds me of parenting--it can be tiring, and trying, crazy-making. But it's also so incredibly awesome. For now, it's where I'm mean to be. I think. At least that's what my lease says.

In other news, I'm training for The Sugarloaf Marathon in May and I'm pacing a KVC group at The Bay of Fundy International Marathon in June. I'm also trying to lower my body fat percentage, and I ate two cookies before 9 o'clock this morning. Got that?


I'm not pregnant (PMS) because I really don't know if a third is in the cards for us. Not that it is, but not that it's not. Three is a very typical number of kids for a modern Mormon family. I'm not sure why, but I think it's because two kids just aren't strong enough to pull your handcart to heaven. But three? Three can do. that. job.

If you have an extremely convincing argument as to why we should or shouldn't have a third kid, go ahead and put that in the comments, too.

I've also been highlighting my hair to almost entirely blond. Because I do believe I'm having a mild to moderate early-midlife-crisis. I think I'm too old to have another baby. I also think I'm too young for this fake blond hair SOMEBODYHELPME.


So that's me in a nutshell. What's new with you old friends?

Anyone want to come run a marathon with me?

A Trip...

August 6, 2012

So we went away for our 10th anniversary, and I'm happy to say that it was really good for us. We drove up to Quebec City--about 5 hours by car.We very affectionately call it it The Poor Man's Paris. 

We stayed at this little B&B with all sorts of super cultural people whose language we didn't speak:

 And Jared took my picture with this guy, who was guarding the entrance to a historical fort where something happened one time. A long time ago:

 And Jared carved our initials into a tree:

I wore this obscenely short dress out to an obscenely expensive dinner:

Made Jared take a few pictures since I wan't wearing pajamas:

I ate piglet. And it was more than my weekly grocery budget:

That's cheesecake. Unfortunately not the size of my head:

And that's Jared singing some 90s songs.

10 years, my legs look good, and we're back on the upswing.

Thank you guys. You know who you are.