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Welcome to my snarky corner of the web. Join me as I discuss everything from wine to chocolate. There may be a few other topics mixed in there too. I talk a bunch about my amazing offspring, 24 and 21. I sometimes go on and on about my secret crush on the amazing Mike Rowe. I talk about things that irritate me or things that make me happy. Sometimes I just talk to hear myself talk. Feedback is always appreciated but please make sure it's respectable. No nudity or profanity. I'm the only one allowed to be profane. But any and all snark is welcome and appreciated!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Thoughts from running in the rain...

So I went for a nice, long run yesterday afternoon. It was 46 degrees, rainy and cold. The whole time. When I finished my run, I couldn't feel my hands, but my head was clear, and I thought about a million things in those 2+ hours that I spent alone in the cold and rain.

I left with one specific goal in mind: I needed to tackle a hill. You see, I'm running the Freedoms Run Half Marathon this Saturday here in Shepherdstown, and it's second only to the Cincinnati Flying Pig half marathon when it comes to hills. I'm not sure how, but the Pig is 11 miles up hill, and 2 miles down. Don't ask me, I don't know how they work that, I just know I've done it twice and that was enough for me. No, the Freedoms Run is not as bad as Cincy, but it's a rough one. And the last hill I actually tackled was during the Tough Mudder last month in Frederick, MD. And by hill, I mean a wall of hay bales that I had to climb over. So I had some work to do. Luckily, it was just me, some cows and my thoughts.

I ran along the C & O Canal for a little over a mile and a half and as I approached the main hill that I wanted to tackle, Miller's Sawmill Road, I began to think about how lucky I am. I have some amazing friends. As I started up the beast that is Sawmill, I thought back to Friday night, traveling up to Philly and visiting with my best friend Mandie. We talk every day, but see each other far less than that. We were pregnant with out first babies together, and they were born 5 weeks apart. We lived together for awhile before there were husbands or kids in the picture, just cats. And we've remained close for years. I don't see her nearly enough but in our hearts, we know how much we love each other. And the thought of that love for my best friend got me to the top of Sawmill. And I felt so good, I decided to keep running, rather than turn back around and descend that hill.

Photo courtesy: Wunderground.com
On I ran, into the Antietam National Battlefield. As I chugged along THOSE hills, I thought about how I spent Saturday. The girls and I left Mandie's and went to visit with my brother, whom I have always looked up to and admired. My girls adore my brother and his family and it was great to see them again. From there, we headed down to Atlantic City to see my mom. Mom is in her 70's now and suffering from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Mom used to be very active and was always running here or there. She hated driving and pretty much gave it up when I got my drivers license. No, mom always like walking places. If she had errands to run, she'd grab her pocketbook and head out on foot to wherever the day took her. Sadly, these days, she rarely ventures outside. Walking into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee leaves her struggling to catch her breath and she is on pretty much constant oxygen now. And as I ran the hills at Antietam Battlefield, I thought about how lucky I am that I've got strong legs to carry me over those hills and strong lungs to allow me to run, unencumbered, by bronchial issues. My heart breaks for my mom because she hates being cooped up AND baseball season is over for her beloved Phillies. So she pretty much stays in her apartment resting in her retirement, unable to really run around like she used to. And as I hit mile 7 yesterday, I finished up the last hill in the battlefield and headed back toward Sawmill, feeling great and happy that I'm healthy enough now to complete such an undertaking, when I know my mom would never again even be able to walk those hills. Not with her walker, not with an oxygen tank. Not ever.

It was so hard to leave my mom on Sunday because it's so hard to get back to see her with 15 & 12's sports and activity schedule, but looking back now, I know we need to get back more often, because I don't know how many more visits there will be. And as we left her apartment building, I cried. I cried because I miss my mom and it gets harder and harder to leave her with each visit. And as I ran down Sawmill, trying to feel my thumbs, and trying to keep from rolling down like a giant bowling ball, I laughed at myself for being such an emotional goof. And I promised myself that I will call my mom everyday, just like I used to when I lived back in Jersey.

And once I arrived at the bottom of the beast, I had about a mile and a half to finish on the Canal before I could be warm and dry in the comfort of my car. While I ran that last bit, I thought of how we spent Sunday night, in the company of our old neighbors. Our warm, caring old neighbors, with whom we'd spent countless days and nights, sitting on their back deck, drinking wine or beer, while the kids drank juices and bounced on the trampoline. Their boys and my girls were like siblings and spent so much time together. It was so hard to say goodbye to them when we left, and as I walked in their front door and hugged Fran, I forgot how much I loved her and how much I had missed her, and again, I cried. And as I finished up mile 11 yesterday, I smiled at how hard we laughed and how it felt as though I had never left. We picked right back up, chatting and laughing while the kids talked and played chess and walked to the store for us. We ate pizza and drank coffee and caught up. And I loved it.

We had a fantastic trip back 'home' to visit family and friends, and then came back to West Virginia to our new family and friends, and I got to enjoy the best of them both as I ran my 11 miles yesterday. I am so lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life, and I am so thankful for what I have. The run really helped clear out the cobwebs, and I'm grateful that I have the ability to run, because not everyone does.


  1. I really needed to read this today, as I look into the future of a major move for our family in the months ahead. I have wonderful neighbors, better friends and a best friend who is more sister than friend. My head aches from having so many thoughts of missing them running through my head.

    Thank you for the reminder that tears are okay, and that memories keep us close, and our hearts keep us closer!


  2. Running is so theraputic! Glad you got over those hills, they would have killed me. I did a 15k that I swear I ran uphill the entire time. It was brutual! Definitely my downfall.

  3. Sounds so much like what goes on in my head during long runs. I tell ya -- if someone could figure out how to make money on "running therapy," they could get rich! ;o)

    BTW, don't forget that your online friends love you too. *grin*

  4. It looks like we are gaining an attitude of gratitude lately :) I'm glad you had such a wonderful weekend and got those cobwebs out!

  5. What a great way to have some time to think. If only running weren't involved - I'd be ALL about it!

  6. You made me cry. And then be happy that I could (at least) still cry. I'll be checking back to say what you have to say next. Keep talking.

  7. Thank you, everyone, for your comments. I love hearing back from people and hearing what they have to say on the subjects about which I write.



I do read all comments and try to respond to them. Unless you're trying to get me to visit your website: Cheap Louis Vuitton Bags. Then you can go pound sand.