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September 10th, 2016

03:38 pm - A week ago,
I was about a marathon's distance into my long walk at ARFTA.

 I've only done a couple very short 1 mile walks since the event, but am bouncing back well enough, So. it's about time to get back to regular training again. and then start upping the distances. I've proved to myself that I can still handle the long efforts. I also proved to myself that I should be able to get back into 5k-10k- maybe even 1/2 marathon shape fairly easy as I keep working with run/walk efforts.(Didn't have any issues with the those first miles of the race.) I just don't know when I'll get back any kind of speed with my ultras; part of me says its going to take some time and effort and maybe losing some weight..

Still taking the naltrxone; its still curbing the impulse to binge. But any weight loss seems to have slowed down and leveled off. Need to watch what I eat as well as how much; still too much processed garbage foods, still too much of an inclination toward sweets and carbs.  And balance it with enough exercise. BALANCE BALANCE BALANCE; that's what I want.

Well, yes and no it's not. I mean, I do realize ultra running is obsessive and excessive. Its well beyond what is necessary for fitness. And it is what i want too.

In other unbalanced areas, have noticed I'm tending to hide-in-my-hole at home again. My safe space is the living room couch; from there I can sleep or stick my nose in a book and ignore the mess. Likewise, my bed is another safe spot- sleep or watch dvds.  Once I "see" if, I hate it and hate myself; am just not making any progress cleaning in general or with cleaning out the dining room to make it my craft room.

Have started another bottle tree project, and am also doing some folded book art (for the library's table at the upcoming Riverclay Arts Festival). Little bits of creativity. Don't know what's wrong with me, I'm not feeling the siren call of halloween costumes yet this year...I don't even know if I can summon up the motivation to do my grandsons' costumes.

Oh, B had another court appearance at the County level for the City Neatness Ordinance charges he's been fighting got over a year. Case got dimissed, mostly because the original citing officer is now retired. I'll take it, and I'll get back the 1500$ from savings that we had to put up as a bond.

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September 7th, 2016

06:46 pm - ramping down
and coming off a runner's high into post event blues. I don't feel bad today, mostly just blue with some remaining soreness in my feet and legs and still feeling tired out. I tried to explain to one of my coworkers about the event, but she just couldn't wrap her mind around it, especially understanding that my 73 miles was a lesser amount of race distances accomplished!

i was looking at the race stats, out of  52 women, I was 36th and overall 118 out of 152...everyone above me ran at least 100 miles--LOL, so that does make me the leader of the back fo the pack?

Was thinking that out tent spot was better this year, not so far off the course, but B still likes to be away from the crowds and I'm not sure I wouldn't have like to be closer to some others in the tent community. Eating was fine, except I felt the dinners' desserts were a waste--lol can you imagine me saying that, but I just had little appetite for them when offered. Drank a lot, water, Gatorade, starbucks energy drinks and coke. The lunch and dinner casseroles were good though, as were the dates and dried pineapple B brought for me.

LOTS of people remembered my pedestrienne costume from last year! This year, I wore a paisley skirt from Sparkle Skirts.


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September 6th, 2016

09:41 am - 73 miles.
73 miles is what I logged at A Race For The Ages.
Will write a race report later, but basically I think I hit all my marks--did 23 more miles than last year's race, rested and slept less (but atill rather too much.)
I'm tired. My feet are hurting. Little bit of thigh chafing. NO blisters.
"fun" was had.

random thoughts:
The tent was kind of a snafu; guess who had grabbed the tent but not the over-tent fly? B jerry-rigged one with a tarp. For a cheap tent, it has served it's prupose at several 24 and multiday events.

Weather was good anyway, well, realitively. Cooler than last year but still around 90 degrees, and figure in some bounce back from the pavement during hottest part of the afternoons. I had to take a nap on the first afternoon. was feeling light headed and a bit sicky. That was probably the worse point, physically; that or when my knees started to lock up late in the game. Managed to not get any major sunburn; kept it knocked down with 70 sunscreen reapllied several times.

During some of the hot, would soak a handtowl in ice water and put it over my shoulders. Bet I looked at a little hag shuffling out her miles with her shawl on. Also, even though I had peviouslty washed a new hot pink bra, it still bled hot pink stains oall over my front and back of a white shirt. I did change out bra abd shirt, but did wear my Sparkle Skirt for the entire time and didn't change my socks either. Did chafe my inner thighs, but it didn't really hurt that much, and  got a mark on both inner kees then the compression sleeves hit. had to readjust those.

I'm just not enough of a night owl. I didn't sleep full nights like last year, but broke it up into a  sements of a few miles between resting. Lol..I never saw midniight, but i did see 2 am, and 4 am, and dawn on three mornings. Really wish I could flip it and do larger chunks in the cool at night. Chalk that up to improved, but not perfect.

Evern though I got by with absolutely no blisters, I do need to train for long walks by doing longer walks. get to a point (which I cannot pinpoint) and you feet just hurt.

A full night's sleep and then some, and I'm not feeling too bad today. Still very much a recovery day and glad I didn't go into work--those high stools would have been torture.

Only listened to a couple hours of music, some Cullan's Hounds and the Sweeny Todd Soundtrack.

Bothered my obsesive tendancies that I couldn't fugure out on the course what as a quarter mile, a half mile, three quarters; in my head they were not even distances.(I broke it down mentally  into smaller bits. From the start, throught the the woods to our tent; our tent to the far corner; corner around the out and back, and then the hill section to finish) And I was not a big fan of the change to the course that made for a noticalbe uphill then downhill right to the start/finish.

I managed to stay on track while B was gone (He had to work on Sunday night). Missed him though, he's good crew.

I couldn't beleve how many folks knew my name. (more than I knew in return) and I apprieciate every call out and wave of support I got. You even feel like the top placers, like liz bauer, meant it.   I was definitely the fattest person out there. I got a few of the "I'm so proud of you" remarks that have to do with being a "good fatty",  one who is out there doing something.I always feel wishy-washy about those comments. But for the most part, it was good. Tammy, Janette, Lynne, Janet, Terri and Steve, and other assorted old guys. :) Graham and Mona came up  from Huntsville for a litle bit on Saturday, so it was nice to see them in passing.

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September 2nd, 2016

11:33 am - Getting ready to walk
I'm getting anxious about my ARFTA walk. Not anxious bad, just excited for. The race itself has already began, the eldest runner started at 11 o'clock last night. My start time isn't until  Saturday 4 am, place 105, which means.the race will be well underway. Out of a total 173 runners, there are 104 who are older than me in the race, and 68 are younger than my 56 years.

Age aside, I still expect to be among the slowest folks out there, but that's okay. Even slow miles add up over time, and I have plenty of time. Hope I can keep moving and not have to take as many rest breaks and long sleeps as I did last year; that's the plan anyway. Funny because I have to listen to my body, while at the same time not listen to it and keep pushing  forward and on moving on.

Yay- I found my Sansa clip and Ipod m3p players. Boo, it looks like the Sansa's battery isn't taking a charge. Rats and that had all my favorite Cullan's Hounds Irish music on it. However, the ipod has the Amie Mann soundtrack from Magnolia, and a version of Les Miserables to listen too as well.  I only use music sparingly. Most of the time I'm fine in my own head or chatting with other runners. But it's nice to have the option of audial distraction, especially during dark late night hours, especialy on the second night out.
Edit: looks like I did figure out the way to get the Sansa recharging!

Grumble. Barry may have to go into work this evening, 4 pm to midight. If he does, that wold mean not leaving home til 12:30 or so--and showing up close to my starting time. Pet peeve of mine is getting to races very close to the start times and feeeling anxious about "will I get there on time? Will I have time to get ready? Will I have time to breathe?" I'd much rather he not work, then we could leave this afternoon, get there early evening with time to set up our tent and stuff, and time for me to calm down, watch the other runners already out on the course for a while, and maybe get a bit of sleep before the 4 am start. Either way is do-able, but I'm hoping he doesn't get called into work.

Have my bags packed- probably overpacked yet missing some vital what-not. I'll probably repack the bags at least one or twice before I finally put them in the car. It's part of my pre-race obsessive behavior. :)

Some of my other friends are also busy this Labor Day weekend. It's DragonCon in Atlanta and MephitFurMeet in Chicago. I've never been to DragonCon, and never will because of it's too large and too crowded size, but I'm still envious of all the fandom costuming opportunities there. Have been to MFM a few times back when I was into the furry fandom; it was always a fun time and again had many costume opportunities.(I do still manage to find some events and reasons to play dress up).  I miss some of the people I met and knew during the time I was going to cons. I just kind of drifted away from the furry fandom and into ultra running cirlces instead. LOL trading one fringe interest for another, I suppose.

Back to where I began, I'm really looking forward to A Race For The Ages.  There are some runners out there to win and who will be racing competitively; other have friendly rivalries going , but (given that I've made my peace with being a slow walker right now) I'm free to just push myself and my own limits.  It's a personal quest in a shared community.  My mindset is good for this one; Can't wait until it's 4 am!

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August 30th, 2016

06:59 pm - farther thoughts
I like doing long distance endurance events. I like fixed time events. One of the reasons I like them is because right now (events of 12 hours or longer) are my only way to participate in marathon and longer races. Right now I'm too slow to make the cutoff times for fixed distance races like marathons with 6 hour cut off times or a 50k with an 8 hour cutoff. Once upon a time, I could do those times; maybe I will again. I hope. I hope I can stay motivated to try and to put in the serious training it will take. And not to expect miracles overngiht, its going to take many months to get there, of increasing distances and gradually walking less and running more. I've done this before; can I do it again? let's be positive and try to find out. Six months from now is the Delano Park Run;it's my favorite race. Focus on being able to run it well. In the meantime, there are a couple long timed events I could do to get in long walking as needed miles--one in Bham in late Oct (where I could a 50k= during the 24 hour division) and the Pistol Ultra at New Year's in Knoxville (where I could do a fixed time 50k within the very generous 30 hours- cutoff time for all races 50k,100k, 100mi). That would give me 3 marathon or longer events in 2016 and start off right for 2017. Bigger goal is to have 50 marathons/ultras (Currently 41) under my feet by the time I turn 60.

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03:04 pm - Preparation for a long walk
Am getting things organized for this year's A Race For the Ages (ARFTA).

If you don't remember from previous posts, the idea is to see how many loops of a one mile circuit one can do in the 1 year of age=1 hour fixed time limit. I'm 56, so I have 56 hours on the clock. The oldest participant, age 85, will be starting at 11 pm on Thursday night; I'm starting (with nine other 56 year olds) at 4 am on Saturday morning; the race concludes at 12 noon on Monday.  56 hours to see how far I can walk. What kind of wacko thinks walking for over two days and no doubt hurting through most of it is any kind of fun? Me of course! I'm actually quite looking forward to it.

Even though overall I'm feeling like I have the mental game fairly well down, doesn't mean I don't have any doubts and such. Just like last year, I'm woefully physically undertrained--but I am a little bit better trained than last year. Doubt I've lost enough weight to make any kind of difference in my speed, but I am beneath 200 lbs again (weighed 199 this morning). For whatever that is worth.  You'd think I'd lose a bunch of weight during the race, but I know from experience I am likely to weigh more (retaining water and body resetting)  for a week or so after an ultra event. Besides this event offers the best race food, with actual homecooked meals being served every 6 hours.

Anyway, here I am not a runner but just an average jane seeing how far she can walk, pushing myself and my limits. Well, maybe an average jane who does have past expereince as an ultra runner; hoping that still counts for something. Maybe I shouldn't really set any goals, other than to keep moving as much as I can.

Alas, no local store currently carries my preferend anti-chafing ointment--Baby Anti-Monkey Butt Diaper Cream. Believe me, I've looked everywhere. (I could order for store pick up at Walmart, but none in stock; and the race is getting pretty close to do an order.) Guess I'll have to settle for something similar, maybe Bordeaux' Butt Paste. I use the cream on other locations like between thighs, under arms and along bra line, wherever chafing may occur, but yes it's important to keep ones butt cheeks from chafing. Reminder to self: still need the diaper cream, ibuprophin, and some dish towels. (The dish towels are to be iced neck wraps for the hot parts of the day)

I'm still undecided on what shoes to wear. Leaning toward my Hokas, which are a highly cushioned pair. I wore Sketcher's Ultra last year, but unsure if the blistering I had was from shoes or from a broken toe affecting my gait. Have a new pair of Sketchers but the Hokas are also "new";( I've had them for a while but havent done any events or too many miles in them). Will probably take both pairs with me to the race. Of course, I'm expecting to get blisters anyway, I haven't done enough long miles in training to toughen up my feet.

"Training, What training?" you may ask. Well, I have been walking regularly for almost three months now. Pretty much just couch to 5mi. Not anywhere near ultra level, but all I can do is all I can do with what I've got now. Forget any comparisons to others and to my previous self; Embrace the now and suck it up buttercup.

Just like last year, B is going up with me to the race. We'll go up on Friday, but he'll be driving back to work on Sunday evening and returning near the end of the race. Last year, that was my low point and I just gave up and slept overnight; this year,I intend not to repeat that, I want to keep going and do more in the cooler over night hours. Oh, Hannah and Ken and the kids may drive out and cheer me on for a while on Saturday. Lol, I'd told them Saturday would be better than Sunday, when I'm more likely to be doing the zombie shuffle.

I've done my good luck pre-event reading, reading Judy Welch's "Out on Your Feet" about the UK's Long Distance Walkers Association and their 100 mile events. I want to be a "Gerald", the older chap who is always very slow but always finishes (last).

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August 25th, 2016

11:37 am - Birthday
My 56th birthday was yesterday.  I kind of spent the day in "birthday envy". While I had a nice but low key pretty darn ordinary day, my twin sister was out rocking it at the Burning Man Festival. Wah...I don't wanna be the one who is "acting her age"!

B gave me a new brooch and a card. The brooch is a circle pin with pink and purple rhinestines. I like it and am wearing it at work today. The card had a picture of a cat playing an accordion, saying 'Accordion to the calendar, it's your birthday!" Open it up and a chip plays a snippet of accordion music followed by a Meow. Cute.

I'd taken the day off work, and so slept in late,

Then I did some crafting, starting a new bonsai bottle tree. At least it felt good to be doing something creative That was really the high point of my day.

I dressed up in my sugar skull print swing dress and B and I went out to dinner at Olive Garden. The minestrone soup was good, the speghetti entree was only so-so, and the (had been looking forward to it) tirimisu for dessert wasn't thawed all the way so the custard texture was a bit icy.

We came home and then watched (rewatched) some episodes of "Breaking Bad".

See, overall a fairly ordinary day, but at least it was a decent day.  I guess my "something special" will be going to A Race for the Ages and walking in circles all next weekend.

Speaking of Ultras, there;s a new timed event in BIrmingham Oct. 21-22;  looks like a nice course through a park. Am thinking of doing the 24 hour division there if I recover well from ARFTA. There's also Joseph Nance's Run Around the World on Sept. 24-25, but I don't know  but its only 3 weeks after ARFTA and that may be too soon.

The naltrexone weight loss seems to have slowed way down and plateaued out the last couple weeks; think I'd have to actually do some restriction dieting and increase exercise to make the scale move. (Just have to decide if I'm going to fall off the HAES bandwagon for a while), Anyway, still happy with the meds reducing out and out binging.

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August 16th, 2016

01:01 pm - haven't written in a while
and life goes on. Nothing terribly exciting, nothing terribly bad, just "Meh" I guess.

I do need to pick up another of my projects and begin to do something creative again. Since finishing the quilt, I've been sleeping way too much on the weekends. (May have something to do with the naltrexone). Being lazy once in a while is ok, if one is enjoying it. I'm not enjoying it, just coming home and going to sleep early and then doing nothing on the weekends and hating myself for it.

Haven't been totally uncreative, I did (do til the end of the month) have a display of my art/craft works up in the library display cases. It was nice to be asked to do this. And I also baked and decorated a "red velvet armadillo cake" for a library showing of Steel Magnolias.

Am satisfied that I have kept up with walking on a regular basis.Progress is still slow, and am still only in the 2-4 mile daily range.

My most recent meds appt. was on Monday. Antidepressants are basically doing their job, even with crawling into a hole on the weekends, I am still mostly ok and coping. The Naltrexone is working too. It has REALLY cut down my binging. Not perfectly, I still had two binges in the six weeks' time, but that was all and I was able to stop sooner than I might have before. I have still been eating too many sweets, but at least the craving to binge on them is lessened, now it's just  indulging in desserts. I've lost 11 pounds (ok, just for data, the number is 201 lbs)  I really liked the first week or so of being on the drug, I could "feel" it working and I wasn't much interested in food; that first blast has lessened, but the effect is still there. It's more like I'm just aware of being actually hungry or not hungry, and can listen to my body. During active binging, its a total disconnect with my body and the eating has nothing to do with hunger or nourishment. The natrexone seems to help me stay in control of my eating.

Another two and half weeks til A Race For the Ages. I'm only slightly in better shape that I was for it last year. But no broken toe this year. Am really looking forward to the event.  Lol..I'm thinking of this as a "vacation"; pretty weird idea of having fun, huh? I keep dreaming about being in running shape, which I am not; all I can do is all I can do- and we'll see what I can accomplish in 56 hours.  Am going to try to sleep less and keep on feet more than I did last year; that's the intention anyway.

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July 26th, 2016

03:18 pm - back to work
First milestone..walked/ran 5 miles today at Indian Creek greenway.

Boring boring boring at work. All Ive done today, besides a little ILL work, is play computer monitor--that is, monitoring the patrons' usage of the computers.

Delivered the quilt to Judy on Monday evening; I don't think I've ever had someone cry over my work before, but that's because of the connection it has to her husband and all her memories of him.

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July 24th, 2016

01:44 pm - Sunday
3 mile walk/run this morning. For something diferent, went over to UAH and walked around the pond there. Felt good, like I could have done more. Maybe I will tomorrow since I'm off work, I'm planning to go to the greenway again early in the morning. It should be a bit less crowded than on the weekends.

I have finished the Aloha quilt project! Took me three and a half months, but it's handquilted and done. it's not perfect. but its as good as i could make it. Will be deivering it to Judy tonight. She's really excited to get it; I hope she likes it.

With that done, what am I going to do next? I think I'll start working on sorting the costumes from the craft clutter in the craft room. B still hasn't got all of his stuff removed, but he has made some real progress--so I should too.

Oh, at work Stehanie and Rhonda, CommunityServices, asked me if I'd want to display some of my arts & crafts in August. Guess they couldn't find anyone else to fill the display cases, but I still thought it was nice to be asked. I should measure the case to see if it's high enough to put my Suzi doll in. Will take some of my costume/ accessories work to fill one case and the bottle trees and ribbonflowers in the other.

B and I have been to therapy together a couple of times now. I think it is helping us. I'm feeling like I understand him a bit better, and feel reassured that he loves me more than his hording. However that doesn't mean he's going to take a bulldozer and scoop everything out just to please me. He's also said he's going to go low-carb for a while, and to be forwarned that may make him a bit cranky.

I haven't binged in over three weeks. The naltrexone is definitely helping. It's also helping some with being satisfied eating smaller portions at meals. I wonder how long I need stay on it for me to relearn my eating habits--and not just go back to them  when I'm no longer taking the meds?

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