Serendipity

This is a long one so if you aren’t ready to read almost 3000 words you might want to look at a different blog post (race report)! 🙂

There! Finally, I was headed into the tree line about 10 or 15 minutes behind the very last person who started on time. Could I have started on time? Yes! Unfortunately for me, my brain took a detour before the start of the race as I was putting on all the layers of clothing I’d need to survive the cold, and I completely forgot to attach the timing chip to my ankle. Duh! Such a newbie mistake and one that cost me time. Time is a precious commodity out there when you are running against the clock!

Allow me to rewind the clock a little bit for you to the day prior. I had arranged to have a substitute take over my classroom for the afternoon so I could make the three – hour drive to Bandera. As luck would have it, my substitute did not show up which meant I had to wait a little bit longer before I could leave since it’s not prudent to leave a classroom full of fourth graders unsupervised. Luckily for me, I work with a fantastic group of people who covered down and took care of my class so I could leave!

Once I left work and loaded my race gear into the car, there wasn’t much else for me to worry about other than getting to the race site. Off I went to make the drive down there over the winding back – country roads of Central Texas. I knew once I arrived the only worry I’d have would be…..finishing what I started. How’s that possible you ask? Well, I’ll tell you! Not only do I have some of the best co-workers, I’m equally blessed to have a few close friends who are oftentimes more like my family than anything else. I was racing the clock to get there before the sun went down in order to get my race packet. There’s not much worse for me than driving to a new location, in the dark.

Except in this case, there is one thing worse than driving on unknown roads in the dark and that is arriving at the race location after dark to stand in the freezing cold waiting to get your race packet. I didn’t want to do that. Timing is everything! In fact, I could probably start this story much further back than simply the day prior and really set the stage, but I won’t bore you with all those details!

To make a long story short, I arrived before the sun went down, met my good friend John, retrieved my packet and listened to the race brief while trying to stay somewhat warm. You see, a cold front had settled into the region and though we are accustomed to their scattered arrivals, this one was a doozy and may have broken some records in the state of Texas. As soon as the race brief was over it was time to head to the camper for some of John’s tasty white chicken chili and wait for another runner to arrive from the Austin airport.

I have to tell you that there’s something wonderful about the simplicity of a friendship that allows you the ability to know, with absolute certainty that you don’t have to worry about anything. Running these events can be pretty stressful if you allow it to be which is kind of contrary to the entire purpose for me. Knowing that my singular purpose was just to finish this race that I’d trained five months for was more helpful than I can verbalize.

I mentioned the other runner John and I were waiting for. That other runner happened to be Gordon “Gordy” Ansleigh!! The father of endurance running and the originator of Western States Endurance Run was going to be sleeping in the same camper as me, a mere mortal! This had to be an epic weekend! I wasn’t sure how it was all going to go down but I knew that it would, without a doubt, be educational at the least.

Despite the excitement, I put my head down around 8:00 to relax and visualize finishing the race. I had no clue what I’d signed up for – only what I’d seen on the videos and word of mouth from my friends. This would come back to bite me later as the race progressed.

Race morning started off just fine without any hiccups at all. I woke up early, ate my breakfast…all the usual stuff. We arrived in plenty of time to sit in the nice warm truck and wait for the time to start. You see, it was about 18 or so degrees outside, so there was no way we were going to wait outside for the gun to go off!! At around 7:20 we got out of the truck to head to the start and place my well packed drop bags in their appropriate places and then get in line with all the others waiting to head up the hills and through the sotol cactus forest.

Everything was perfect until the gun went off and I started my watch, looked down and realized CRAP!! I forgotten my timing chip. Without the chip – there is no race! Back to the registration table I went!! Now you’re caught up..As I said, time is precious and things happen for a reason and all those other cliché’s we often hear and don’t think much about.

The great news is that the benefit of starting after everyone else already had was that I was forced to run MY pace. You see, when you start with the rest of the pack you tend to get sucked into running at the pace of those around you for as long as you can hang with them. This is NOT a good thing for someone like me who needs to keep their heart rate low for as long as possible.

This race sends you uphill pretty quickly so there’s not a whole lot of time to worry about pacing, though you can certainly expect the old ticker to get some good exercise. Due to the fact that I was far behind everyone else I was headed up Sky Island while the remainder of the field was headed down. This was a bit hairy at times since there wasn’t a whole lot of room to maneuver in spots. Imagine these human cannonballs barreling down this ankle breaking rocky landscape full of twists, turns, loose rock and trees while you are like a salmon swimming upstream going in the opposite direction.

Up and up I climbed then up and up some more until reaching one of the summits. What a spectacular view! I wanted to stop and absorb all the beauty, but I really did not want to mess around too long because, well like I said before, timing is critical. As I was hiking the up hills I caught up with some of the other runners, including Gordy who had stopped to take off some of his cold weather gear.

From the moment I passed him I made it my mission to remain ahead of him and not allow him to pass me!! It sounds slightly ridiculous to my own ears that I was making it my mission to not let this 60 something year old man get ahead of me, but I’d seen him in action at Rocky Raccoon 100 last year and knew he can make really good time on the trail.

It’s always a nice treat to meet up with others on the trail because chatting helps the miles go by so much faster sometimes than running solo. I am usually plugged into my music within the first mile but wanted to save my battery on my phone so I was thinking about my friends who talk about being in the MOMENT. Be right here, right now without tuning out via the music.

I played cat and mouse with several women off and on throughout the first half of the first loop. I only stopped at the aid stations long enough to top off my Tailwind with more of the same and grab a few pieces of something to eat. This too came back to bite me in the butt. I waited too long to start eating. It’s important to eat early and as often as your body will allow it because if your energy level gets too low it’s very difficult to come back with the same level of energy again.

By the time I saw John at the halfway mark of the loop at the Chapas aid station I was not a happy camper. I really felt like I bit off more than I could chew and was seriously underprepared for the terrain. Those hills chewed me up and spit me out like the rock dinosaurs that had left all those rocks for us to navigate. What I didn’t know at the time is that the hardest of the climbing was yet in front of me!! John did what he always does and laughed it off and told me that I would be just fine. Humph…

Shortly after that I ran into my old buddy Norma who I’d trained for Brazos Bend 100 with and hadn’t seen in over a year. It was good catching up. We went through this long field and she told me to save my energy for what was to come. WHAT? Oh yeah, there are some hella-hills that make our “hella-hill” on our home trails look like a baby hill. She was right too! These hills had steps built right into them, uh huh. Steps for giants and the grade……oh I don’t know – 17% maybe? Lemme assure you though that whatever they are in real numbers they FEEL 25% harder when you’ve already traversed approximately 24 miles and your quads are trashed.

No whining here though. I knew it was going to be a tough race for me. The first time up those enormous mounds of rock with Norma and several other women felt hard but manageable. Going down the other side was certainly interesting as well! Then you go through these mine fields (I kid you not!) of rock. It literally looks like a bomb went off and implanted all these rocks into the dirt and grass. Trip on one and find out! I promise it won’t move…nor will it feel the greatest either.

While we were moving I told Norma that there was no earthly way I was going to be back out for a second loop. HAH! Serendipity had other plans I think. Other than tripping on one of said rocks and pulling my hamstring enough to make me cuss….loudly there was no physical reason for me to stop. I was just being a baby and didn’t WANT to go up those hills again oh and it was going to be a night in the dark and cold too.

We pulled into Lodge, at the halfway mark (8 hours and 30 minutes later) and there was John with my headlamp just like I asked. He asked me what I needed or wanted and I told him I didn’t WANT to go back out. He basically laughed (again) at me and told me to stop being a baby (or something to that effect) and get back out there. So, after close to ten minutes (too long) messing around low and behold, there was Gordy pulling in. Dammit!

Out I went for the second loop thinking to myself, what just happened? Of course, John knew that once ON the loop I wouldn’t just stop – tricky guy he is and I kept thinking about Gordy catching/passing me. The section from Lodge to the first aid station (about 5 miles) went by much quicker the second time through and as I was trucking out after grabbing a quesadilla, here comes this young lady that I’d been back and forth with all day. She and I started chatting just outside that first stop. Rebecca is her name and as the fates would have it, we probably saved each other’s race!

You see, the trail running community is almost like a huge extended family. We all have strengths and weaknesses and though we will pray on weaknesses (like slowness), we also know that sometimes we need to lean on others to get the job done. I told Rebecca that I was simply aiming to finish that blasted course so if she wanted to pass to let me know and I’d let her by. Nope. She sat there (not literally!) in my back pocket while we chatted off and on and both grumbled about how hard the course was and how much we were hurting.

As night fell it seemed as though the aid stations were moved further away than they’d been the first time through. That was not the case for sure, but boy oh boy did it feel that way at times. I wasn’t cold or injured. The borrowed jacket (Thanks T2!!) and three shirts plus leggings, hats, neck gaiter and mittens kept me warm enough but my right hip was really bothering me and it hurt to move a certain way. We kept pushing. We jogged where we could and then walked the technical stuff. Pretty soon it was more hike than jog but Rebecca stayed with me.

At some point we started looking for the headlamps of other runners. They were like magnets pulling us forward and then we’d pass them and back into the dark we’d go. At some point I could tell Rebecca was really suffering with the cold. I asked her about her hands and she said that the two sets of gloves were doing nothing to keep her fingers warm. I told her to take her gloves off and put her hands into the neck gaiter I wasn’t yet wearing. That made her feel moderately better and on we went into the night.
I too was suffering but with nausea and knew from previous ultras that it was due to not enough calories going in and the body expending a great deal of energy to stay warm. At one of the aid stations I grabbed another quesadilla but couldn’t get it down without gagging so that went into the trash.

Somehow we made it to Chapas!! There was John!! I was quite happy to see his scruffy face I must say! We’ve been here before and he knew what he needed to do in order to get us to the finish. Once he is on a mission you’d be hard pressed to deter him from it. We chatted for a little while as I choked down some food and then the chatting stopped and we just moved. Every now and again we’d have a spurt of talking but by now it was freaking COLD. The long field prior to the twin sisters or whatever they’re called (I have my own name for them!) went by much faster in the dark and we made it to YaYa aid station.

I don’t remember much here but I do remember the volunteer who asked my name then took my hands in his warm ones and said something like, “You’re doing a great job!” as we were leaving. John gave me some hand warmers and those were a Godsend as well!!

Somehow, we made it to Last Chance aid station. Here, there was an angel!! The angel (volunteer) offered me a PANCAKE…freshly made with syrup and then, there were little strips of pure heaven to stuff inside the pancake…bacon!!! I really needed those calories and a texture other than noodles or quesadilla. True story – I really don’t even LIKE pancakes but that one was a little baby miracle!! We were now somewhere around 5 miles until the finish, but still had to traverse the toughest terrain.

I digress for a minute….at the halfway mark I’d asked John to meet me sooner than Chapas because (in my infinite wisdom) I told him that by the time I left Chapas the worst of the trail was over and I wouldn’t NEED him……Hmmm…good thing he didn’t listen to my idiocy. Now, back on track….

My vision kept doubling and my feet continually tripped over the rocks that the dinosaur bomb had exploded all over the place; the moon seemed as though it had a double rainbow colored halo and was stalking us through the wood line and I was thinking…..absolutely nothing. It was a matter of just moving that much closer to the finish line.

I was still attempting to jog when the path was not strewn with jagged rocks but for the most part I was just working at staying within eyesight of John’s back and moving as fast as my legs would go. The climbs now were so difficult for my quads to manage I kept slipping and guess who was there to offer a hand to keep me from tumbling back down the daggone rocks and cracking my dome….that’s right. My friend. He was there on the way down the slippery slope made of icy rock debris, acting as a human break so I didn’t break my neck as well. A human speed bump he was! What a guy! 🙂

Nineteen hours and thirty minutes later we crossed that finish line and I was handed that beautiful, shiny belt buckle that signifies so much more than just this one race. Serendipity my friends…

I’d apologize for the length but guess what, I’m not going to. If you made it this far – Thank you for reading!

Until next time friends

~Peace

TLT

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Veni Vidi Vici…Rocky Raccoon 100 DNF

As I sit here trying to decide how I feel exactly, this Latin phrase rings through my head in a chorus of simple four letter words. I came, I saw, I conquered or in this case WE came, WE saw and WE conquered.

Rocky Raccoon 100 did not transpire the way it was planned. SURPRISE! You can make all the plans in the world but when it comes time for execution of those plans you have to be ready for the inevitability that you cannot control everything. Really? Have you heard the phrase, the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray? (Robert Burns) Well, this past weekend was a perfect example of this.

Now you may be wondering how in the world can I say that we came, we saw and we conquered IF things did not go as they were planned. I’m going to tell you! With the help of well qualified people, I trained for this event for 4 months because of an inner belief that if one fails to plan then you plan to fail. 100 running miles is not a distance that anyone should take lightly – respect the distance. I knew what to expect going into it since I’d ran the distance before, yet one can never fully prepare for it because there is so much that is left to chance and the unknown.

The weekend began as it was planned. I felt well rested, hydrated and as ready for the event as one can be. I won’t bore you with the minute details, but trust me when I say that when we were walking to the starting line I felt….calm and ready for the day ahead. Allow me at this point to give props where they are due, and give thanks to a fabulous coach and friends who are more like my family. The drop bags were in place, the plan was clear and after a few pictures and chit chat it was time to GO! (We CAME)

Start of RR100

It was a stunning morning to run! The air was crisp with a touch of humidity thanks to the hours worth of rain we’d received earlier in the morning. The pine trees were emitting their spicy scent and as I breathed it in, while the dark of the predawn morning surrounded me, I still felt at ease. The darkness was complete with the exception of the multitude of headlamps bouncing off the tree trunks. Foot steps fell in a steady rhythm until there was a section of roots nobody wanted to trip and fall over, and then the rhythm slowed. Like a caterpillar we inched our way along through the early morning. I was content for once, running without the noise of music in my ears as I listened to the chatter of those around me. (We SAW)

After the third mile or so, the line stretched out and we no longer were inching along like a rubber band was attached to each of us. I settled into an easy jog and paid heed to the trail ahead of me. Roots are evil you see and quite insidious if you don’t pay attention! The first aid station floated into view, I did a quick mental check and found I needed nothing so I kept on moving through rather than stop. Aid stations can be like miniature black holes you do not want to get sucked into if you can avoid it! The next aid station again just kind of appeared and once again I was not lacking in anything so kept it moving.

It was somewhere around mile 15 when I noticed this little niggling jangle taking place on the inside of my left knee. It didn’t hurt exactly but it was enough to concern me because it was far too early to be feeling anything but GREAT. Told myself, it’s SUPPOSED to hurt so stop being a baby and keep it moving. So I did. That first 20 mile loop honestly felt effortless for the most part even though I was ahead of our “A” plan. I knew it would be necessary to slow it down.

The crew was waiting for me there asking me how I was doing, what did I need etcetera, so we took care of business, rubbed some Tiger Balm on my leg and I moved out with a backwards yell that I was ‘slowing down’ (intentionally). I walked out of the start finish line, ate some and started jogging again while telling myself that there was still a long road ahead and I needed to conserve some energy. Still I was feeling good! In order to ‘get outta my head’ as my friend Mike says, I slipped on the headphones and started listening to some music so I could tune out to tune in to that inner space needed to keep driving on.

Somewhere around mile 25 I guess my knee gave a real twinge of pain. There was not a precipitating event (though I had fallen at the end of the first loop!). I decided to err on the side of caution and slowed it down to a power hike. It was still possible to pull off some decent splits (14 min miles) even power hiking and then I ran into Dave from England by way of Dallas who was also hiking. We shot the breeze for the better part of the next 8 miles I suppose. He’s quite the jet setter having ran some of the most awesome marathons all over the world!

One of my awesome friends, Cindy, met me at an aid station and I told her of my issue with the knee. The message was passed along and it was decided we’d use some KT tape at the last aid station before the start/finish line. Cindy and I did a power hike/jog combination for the next couple miles until nature called. No details needed here only to say that as I was headed into the tree line, I stepped onto the forest floor covered in fallen leaves and twigs, only to feel my left knee give a TWIST and I growled LOUDLY. It hurt – A LOT! It was right about here I really knew that unless there was a miracle, I was not going to finish what I’d set out to do.

At that final aid station before the start finish my friends came into sight and sat me down for a ‘talk’. “Let’s tape it and see how it feels by the time you get to the turnaround point 5 miles away.” Okay. So as I sit and get my leg taped up by another friend, Tony the Footsteps for the Fallen Fireman, who appears as if by magic? My husband and three daughters!! This was quite the SURPRISE! My family has never came to any of my races in the woods!!

Wrapping RR100

The tape job was completed and I was fed so it was time to be off to the turnaround! Tony warned me that the first mile with the tape may not feel the greatest and good thing because it pretty much sucked!! Those last 5 miles hiking and slowly jogging were full of a mental turmoil I am only still processing. I came to do a job! I had prepared – but had I prepared well enough?! Could I make it through another 60 miles of this WITHOUT seriously injuring my body? I had all these people here to support my effort and I felt as though I was letting THEM down by my inability to perform as expected. There were so many thoughts running through my head, even my music wouldn’t shut them up!

The start/finish line…..this is where we conquered! Conquered because I turned my control over to the capable hands of my crew and told them to make the decision of whether I’d continue or not. I’m a little competitive – not with others so much as with my own inner demons and if they’d not told me to stop, I would have kept going until I could not or was pulled. Emotionally WRECKED. Physically a mess, with the love and comfort of my friends and family around me the decision was made.

Today though, I am able to walk without a walker!! I conquered!! Today, I am able to move around with only a modest amount of discomfort that is expected after running 40 miles. I conquered! It’s okay. I’m not happy with it but I am slowly wrapping my head around the idea that although I didn’t finish, DNF stands for something else…..Did Not Fail. I didn’t fail because I TRIED.

We came….We saw and we conquered….

Until next time my friends

~Peace

 

 

Training….again

Yep! Here we go again with the training for another 100 mile effort in the search for the unholy grail….or rather another belt buckle. Unlike the last time I trained when everyone knew what I was up to, I’ve kept my plans a little more quiet. There have been many more solo runs this time and this may be one of the most important differences between the two training periods.

Actually, the training cycle is about HALFWAY complete with race day only 6 1/2 weeks away!! EEEEEKKK! I feel stronger for the most part because unlike training for Brazos Bend 100, I am doing speed work and training through the fall and winter is completely different than training through the horribly hot, soul sucking heat of Texas in the summer. I’m also following the plan of someone else this time rather than trying to make it up on my own. Tough to be the person who strives for control…that makes a CHOICE to seek advice from someone else on how to do this thing better!

This brings me to the real reason why I sat to write this piece tonight, while the house is absolutely silent for once. Control and the counsel of others. These are subjects that often ring true for many of us who make the decision to run these long distances. We seek to control all the many variables of our lives only to find that there is so much yet completely and utterly OUT of our control. Much to our chagrin and often extreme dismay we cannot control everything no matter how much we think we have it all sewn into a nice tight little bundle.

On the other hand, as we search out the perfect 100 mile endurance event to participate in, listen to the guiding wisdom of others, plan our race down to the most minute detail and otherwise engage in the planning of everything from what we will wear to how long we shall sit (or not) at each aid station, it all boils down to one thing….how much of what happens is truly out of our control and that there is only ONE thing we can control on any given day, race days included…to continue to put one foot in front of the other and keep truckin’.

Listening to the wisdom of others has never been my strong suite, however I have found that there are some people out there who I just GET. For instance, I just finished watching Ethan Newberry aka The Ginger Runner in his film about his very first 100 mile race and am currently reading a book by Ed Ayres called The Longest Race. Both of these men have much to teach, no matter how inadvertently, about how best to get through the journey of a foot race of 100 miles. They are not the only ones who will go with me on this journey to once again do the unthinkable, reach the unreachable and control the uncontrollable…There are some other men and a few women as well who are part of this tribe of people who run and that I look up to and whose words of wisdom I hold dear during those dark moments when the going gets tough.

I listen to my friend Mike who tells me, “Don’t think, just move!” and another friend Doug who assures me that this too shall pass and all I have to do is keep moving forward…relentless forward progress. John, more like my brother now, always there with a steady stare and strong words of encouragement – “You got this”, he tells me. I remember the wit and energy of JoAnna who shares my middle name and has an unshakable will. Even the beautiful daughters I’ve helped create, lift me up with their courage and their love….

The list, my friends, could go on and on. You see, although many of these people will not be on my next journey in person to bear witness to the power of will, they will be there in my mind. There’s no way that any of us can make it on this journey all by ourselves. We take with us all the power and encouragement of everyone we meet. During those moments when our body tells us that there’s no possibility of making it move forward for even another foot, we take the power of the words and use it fan the fire to propel us forward once again.

There is plenty of dark energy, negative matter that floats around inside our mind which tells us that there’s no way we can do this…again. All the negativity of the well-meaning around us who say they have no understanding of WHY we’d want to punish ourselves this way. It’s unhealthy to run 100 miles. You are selfish for putting your family through the pain of seeing you in pain afterwards when your body is completely wrecked…..All the negativity in the world and it serves absolutely ZERO purpose so rather than give in to it, find a way to use it. Use the negative as another source of fire to keep you moving on the darkest path when nobody is around to see your tears…That’s my goal.

The countdown has begun and the journey of 100 miles begins with one single step…

Until next time friends….

~PEACE

 

Insomnia and Compartmentalization…..

As I laid myself down to sleep about two hours ago, I had a thought that I had forgotten to write today as I had made a commitment to do. Alas, I thought! I will just have to write twice tomorrow. HAH! Instead, here I sit unable to sleep in a silent house and I BLOG…

My chattering monkey mind would not quiet and one of the thoughts that kept rolling through was that it was 3 weeks ago today that I crossed the finish line at Brazos Bend 100 with some of the most amazing people there running alongside me and even more waiting at the finish line. What I realized is that there are hours of time that I do not recall at all during those 29 hours and 58 minutes.

My friend Doug had told me that it would all disappear and leave nothing much left but the finish and I had thought that there was no way my mind could possibly FORGET such an epic tale. I spent the better part of something like 6 hours and 45 minutes, give or a take a few, with my friend Mike….SIX HOURS only 3 weeks ago and yet I recall very little about those moments. The brain is an amazing thing is it not?

I spent even MORE time with my great friend John and the only thing I have left in my mind are the sneaky little snapshots he took of me looking grumpy! That particular moment probably would have escaped my recollection as well….except for the photograph he took and posted with me looking decidedly unhappy. I do remember scolding him because he said he sent the picture to his wife….I told him that at least he could’ve warned me so I could wave or something! Funny!

My feet are pretty well healed and I am a toenail shy at the moment but for the most part – the body is close to 100% back to ‘normal’. Not quite there but certainly closer than it was 3 weeks ago when I had to use a granny walker to even move!! That will NOT happen again until I am somewhere around the age of 95!! The granny walker that is….

The brain, as I have learned through my studies, and now with more personal experience, is a wonderful computer / organ with the ability to wipe away all the pain you KNOW for certain you felt because pain is not something you simply forget. And yet, I really do not remember the pain per se, rather there is just the knowledge there that I WAS in pain. How does it do this? I would love to complete research on this topic!

There are some who subscribe to the whole idea that we are simply not meant to know the ins and outs of everything and sometimes it is better to not ask WHY. For me, however, I thrive on the unknown, on the questions that remain unanswered,  and sometimes it gets me into trouble with those who really wish I would just hush. Unfortunately for them, and tonight for me as well since the monkeys in there will not cease with their endless chattering, I don’t do well with being told what to do.

Yeah, yeah….I know! We all must at times take orders or what have you. Allow someone the privilege of thinking that they control the situation and in turn, controlled what it was you thought or did. It is not something I am very good at however! I am good at asking questions and if there are no answers readily available – I will find them!

The other thing on my mind is that although I AM almost healed, I am not quite there and that’s what scares me. I have things planned, races to attend and PR’s to attain……but if my body does not heal soon – like in the next 2 weeks TOPS….my attendance at the next event will be seriously in doubt. You see, one of the things that motivates me is EVENTS…

Racing events generally my goals, but it can be any type of event where I have to plan something, then follow through with the execution of the plan and bring it to fruition. It helps me stay focused and remain accountable to myself for my fitness goals. Right now I feel like the next 12 weeks of my training are truly in limbo and that is a dance I don’t like much….the limbo. I do have some other irons in the fire, so to speak, but none of which have anything to do with my fitness.

That may not seem like a big deal to some but to me, my personal level of fitness is a pretty big deal. If I had RAN today….I’d be sleeping right now. If I had ran today….I would not be sitting here with my tummy growling because it became accustomed to me eating basically as often as I wanted to…..while I was training. I can’t eat like that normally. I would be able to pass for the sibling of Shamu if I did!!

I only partly jest! 90% of the women in my family are heavyset women. With my stature, any amount of weight that is not muscle or some semblance thereof does not look attractive in the least. Love handles? Where did that phrase originate? There’s nothing lovely about having fat poking over the top of my jeans…..ugh! Okay, that’s a topic for a different blog or maybe not at all.

Apparently I am TIRED because I have digressed considerably from my original ideas so I suppose, dear reader, you can consider this the free-write of an insomniac who has a tendency to go off on these little tangents….Who am I kidding though really – I go off on tangents even when I am NOT tired!! I hope some of you who actually know me found some humor in that!! I sure did! I almost had a chuckle at my own expense…but I didn’t want to laugh too loudly and wake the girls who are all snuggled in their beds thinking about the first day back at school tomorrow after the very LONG Christmas break they had.

Okay…there it is…some of what was keeping me awake at least and now it is 4 minutes until Monday, January 5th and I have successfully written today! I shall post before the clock strikes midnight for sure! This reminds me of New Years Eve counting down the last few minutes with the youngest 2 of my brood!! Hah! Okay……..posting now

Until next time friends……

Peace