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48 Hours To Get My Sh!t Together. 2

In 48 hours I start my first ever stage race that will culminate in three days of trail running and 43 miles of some of the toughest trails on Monte Sano. I decided to prep for this by A) Gaining 10lbs and B) Giving up sleeping.

I’m imagining Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman talking to those snobby saleswomen after her successful shopping spree and saying, “Big mistake. HUGE.” But, instead of holding up bags of expensive clothes, I’m talking to my reflection (who has bags under her sleep-deprived eyes) and I’m holding up trash bags filled with empty ice cream containers, Cadbury Creme Egg wrappers, and Krispy Kreme donut boxes.

Big mistake, Kim. HUGE.

6 Donuts In 10 Minutes. DO I WIN SOMETHING?

6 Donuts In 10 Minutes. DO I WIN SOMETHING?

I first heard about “stage races” when I did my first trail marathon in May 2012. The course I did that day was used being discussed a lot by participants because it was also going to be seen during the Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race. Three days of back-to-back-to-back trail racing. People evidently camp for the event or even stay in a type of hostel Chattanooga has. I thought the entire experience sounded like SO MUCH FUN. Three days of trail racing? Camping? Two of my favorite things.

The problem was/is – it was/is in June. I truly love Chattanooga, and I love the on trail race I did there, but I hate running long distances in the summer and I really hate snakes and poison ivy. So, I kinda pushed the idea to the back of my head. There turns out to be one in September in Birmingham which is a better time of year, but I’m not sure if I could talk anyone into doing it with me. And the thing about that kind of race is – you really need company if you’re like me. It eases the anxiety of getting lost and it makes the three days not feel as lonely. I still considered it as an option, but since I knew runners my pace who had done it and felt REALLY along, I put it on the back burner as well.

BUT THEN! Several months ago the rumor started spreading that there was going to be a stage race HERE on MY mountain! The second I saw the signup page and confirmed we had no conflicts, I rented a cabin on the mountain for the family. We’ve been looking for an excuse to staycate there for awhile, and this seemed like a good one. BUT – I didn’t sign up for the race yet because it wasn’t being officially promoted and no one I knew was up for committing yet.

Fast forward several months and some friends and I start training for our favorite local trail race – McKay Hollow 25K – and the time on the trails gives us time to discuss the stage race and before I knew it? SEVERAL of my running friends were up for it. Two in particular – the same two who help me on the Sunday trail runs. We decided we’d sign up, promise to stay together to make sure no one gets lost or sees a snake, and we’d just have a GRAND OLE TIME. So…BAM! We all signed up. GRAND OLE TIMES COMING OUR WAY!

It starts in 48 hours.

In 48 hours I will be expected to run 43 miles over the course of THREE days on ALL of the toughest trails on our mountain. Seriously. You talk to any trail runner and ask what THEY think the toughest trail is? And it will be run on one of those three days. And it starts at 7:30 Friday morning.

A lot of my favorite trail running peeps will be out there and I’m certain we’ll have fun…BUT…the problem is this: I’ve not had a good night’s sleep in seven days and I’ve put on 10lbs in four weeks.

You know how I often say, “I eat my feelings.” Well, this is very true, but this time I’m eating Donnie’s feelings. Basically, 4+ weeks ago he found out his company was relocating, and for the next week while we had NO IDEA what that meant for him, and then the next week when he had to decide whether or not to move, and then the two weeks since we decided to stay when he is now trying to find a job to take after the company moves in June…ALL while he’s taking one college class and training for an Ironman…HE IS VERY STRESSED. He was up until 1am last night. He has finals next week. He’s doing two-a-day workouts meaning some days he’s exercising more than 4 hours. ALL on top of college and hunting for a job.

SO…of course I can’t really whine about any anxiety I’m feeling because – you know – he’s getting it full force. So, to be strong for him and to TRY to cope with my own anxiety, I’ve taken to eating the worst diet in the world over the last 8 weeks. You name it? I’ve done it. A pint of ice cream for lunch: four times. An entire pizza. Bags of potato chips, fast food drive thru meals, milkshakes, french fries…EASTER CANDY. I’ve been cramming it all in my face and the result is I put on 8lbs that I worked SO HARD to finally lose. And of COURSE that makes me MORE stressed which makes me eat MORE.

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AND THEN…as Donnie starts to feel a little better this week, school is almost over, job prospects are out there, and I get my annual ALLERGY ATTACK FROM HELL.

I’ve basically not slept for more than 90 minutes at a time for a week. Last night, I woke up around 11:30 and went back to sleep around 1:30am. I’m taking all of the medicine I can and some of it helps some things, but not others. But I’m still too miserable to really get consistent sleep. And the thing that makes me eat my feelings the MOST? It’s not stress, it’s not anxiety, its not sadness or anger…It’s EXHAUSTION. When I’m so tired I can barely keep my eyes open, but I have stuff that needs to be done, I eat ALL of the food to try to wake myself up.

That, my friends, is how you gain 10lbs in 4 weeks when you REALLY don’t need that extra weight on your joints for a weekend where you have to run 43 EXTREMELY difficult miles over the course of 3 days.

Big mistake, Kim. HUGE.

SO…I have 48 hours to get my shit together. I’m not going to lose 10lbs in 48 hours, but I can try to clean out my system a bit. I’m going to drink water constantly to try to flush out some of the shit I’ve ingested, and I’m going to try to eat as clean as possible. Even though I’m exhausted, I’m going to try to get back to drinking my ONE 16 ounce Diet Coke a day (I’ve about tripled that to cope with the inability to stay awake this week) and NO BEER at all. I’m going to try, try, TRY to get some sleep. It’s really hard, but I do think maybe I’m wrapping up this allergy fest. The congestion is waning (a little bit) and I think the cough might be waning as well (hopefully) so I’m going to do my best to get some sleep over the next two nights. Of course, one of those nights is in a cabin so! We’ll see how well THAT goes!

There won’t be internet on the mountain, but I will have my phone and will update through Instagram if you want to follow me there. I will come home every day at least once because I’ll need to get my epsom baths in, and the kids have school on Friday, and we need to get groceries for a cookout on Saturday, and we need to feed our cats. That’s the nice thing about staycating, you can still rely on the comforts of home if you need to. So! Hopefully I’ll post updates, but if you want to keep up with the stage race, Instagram is your best bet. We race Fri, Sat, and Sun mornings at 7:30am. We’ll do a total of 43 miles over the weekend. It should be FUN if the rain holds off for us.

Wish me luck. I can’t undo 4 weeks of insanity in 48 hours, but I can maybe at least get my body in the mood to NOT GIVE OUT ON ME. Because right now? It’s just all about survival.

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Anyone got any toilet paper? 0

10172643_10152719279678496_1864596354346398148_nI made a quick trip yesterday to take some stuff to E that he needed ASAP. I hadn’t seen him in several weeks and needed to also deliver his Easter Basket. The down side? I STILL FEEL LIKE POOP.

But still! I was excited! So, I hit the road right after I dropped the kids off at school. When I saw him I game him a hug and almost passed out from being dizzy. It was pretty awesome.

Here are the things I brought with me to visit E

  • A stained shirt that I had worn the day before. I put a scarf over it, however, to try to hide the stain.
  • A roll of toilet paper in my purse for when I sneezed because I’m out of tissues.
  • A raspy voice that sounds like I’m two steps away from respiratory death.
  • An inability to judge my own vocal volume due to head congestion.
  • The period inability to grasp vocabulary or language skills due to the presence of allergy and cold medicines.

And you know what? He still wanted to hang out with me! Which goes entirely against what I deserve for how I treated my own Dad. He never did anything as embarrassing as pull a roll of toilet paper out of his purse in a restaurant. Yet still! I wouldn’t sit with him when he was kind enough to take me to a movie. Nope. I made him sit as far away as possible.

Now, in my defense, I got over that by 10th or 11th grade. Towards the end of high school I enjoyed his company and wanted him to chaperone or carpool if needed, but I was a giant beeyatch in middle school, not even wanting to acknowledge his existence.

But yesterday! E tolerated my embarrassing sickly behavior and even seemed to enjoy my company.

I’m a lucky girl.

Who is probably going to finally get her karmic comeuppance when Nikki hits middle school. I’m predicting several ugly years to FINALLY pay me back for my own indiscretions as a tween.

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#TutuSolidarity 2

Oh boy, howdy. This weekend kicked my ass, y’all. I only ran 8 miles the whole weekend, which is about a third of what I normally do, but I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck.

The kids had a race Saturday morning. Nikki was doing a 5K and Wes was doing the 1-mile fun run. If you’ll recall, we’ve been on a tutu kick ever since Monika Allen was mocked in SELF magazine for wearing one. I couldn’t wear one for more than a 5K, but I’ll try to sport one when I can in her honor! Nikki wanted to join the fun so I made her one, and then Wes felt left out so he asked for one too. photo (12)

I didn’t put TOO much effort into Wes’s because he tends to get self-conscious and embarrassed easily. I really thought he’d want to take it once we got to the race. We were stretching with a group from Fleet Feet and he turned to me and said, “I’m embarrassed.” I immediately re-assured him, “You can take off the tutu! You don’t have to wear it, I just made it because you asked for one.” He furrowed his brows in confusion and said, “No. I’m not embarrassed by the tutu. I’m embarrassed by the stretching.”

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HA!

They both did their races fine in their tutus. Of course, after it was over they just got irritated with them and took them off, leaving me as the lone tutu-wearing Weirdo. But I’m used to that.

We did an egg hunt Saturday afternoon, then we had a Christening Sunday morning for my niece and a family Easter celebration at lunch after that with another egg hunt. By 3:30pm yesterday afternoon I was in my pajamas and ready for bed. My allergies have morphed and now I’m celebrating allergy season with an awesome painful cough so I’m not sleeping well. Meaning, my weekend felt like I had run 50 miles instead of the 8 I actually ran.

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I’m exhausted but it was a beautiful weekend full of family and friends. My only downside was that E wasn’t able to come home because he had initiation festivities for his fraternity. I hated that the Easter Bunny brought him an Easter basket and he wasn’t there to get it. Alas, he’s a grownup now, so I guess this is part of growing up, not planning your life around visits from imaginary mammals?

But still – as weekends filled with coughing and sneezing go – it was a good one. Any time you can watch your kids run a race in tutus, you can call it a win.

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Easter to the non-Christian. 10

It’s no secret that we talk a lot about religion in this house. Mainly because my kids get grilled about not being Christians by peers at school, but also because my kids – Nikki especially – finds it all so fascinating. Her new interest is that fact that there are still groups of people in the world who believe in multiple deities. She thought that was a “Olden Days” thing left behind with the Greeks. This came up when someone insisted to Wesley that there’s only ONE GOD! and he reminded this friend that there are religions who believe otherwise. Nikki said, “Well…they all believe in ONE God, right? But just that God might be different?” And I pointed out that no! Depending on how you define “deity” or “god” there are plenty of people in the world who have more than one in their religion. And again – this was one of the many times I wished I had a world religion scholar on my speed dial.

But lately the talk is about Easter and Zombie Jesus. I don’t mean that to be crass, but it’s VERY hard to explain to a non-Christian the spiritual aspect of the resurrection of Christ in the age of Zombies. When I was a kid, zombies were not part of pop-culture so it never occurred to me that someone “rising from the dead” was anything but spiritual. But nowadays, zombies are EVERYWHERE, so referencing someone rising from the dead has a connotation to it that has nothing to do with heaven or God.

Actually – let’s back up a second. Let me ALSO point out a difficult point I’ve had to explain recently: Jesus and Christ are the same person. Nikki still forgets this and doesn’t get it, and will often reference, “Jesus And Christ” when she’s talking about religion. Again – this is something that, growing up, never occurred to me as weird…that we used different names for Jesus and sometimes we put them together. He’s Jesus, He’s Christ, He’s Jesus Christ. That’s very hard to explain to an 8-year old. I’m sure there are theologic definitions explaining to when to use which one, but the average Christian uses them interchangeably, which confuses those of different faiths. She thought they were two different people and still thinks that sometimes.

Okay. Back to the Resurrection. It’s hard as hell to explain the spirituality of the Resurrection to a kid raised in the Zombie era. She has no problem with most of the Christian teachings, and sometimes talks about going to Church some day, but the Rising From The Dead thing as being something good is REALLY hard for her to grasp. No matter how much I explain the relation of Jesus to God, it’s hard because – in reality – even the bible sometimes wavers in it’s own text about when Jesus “became” God. And there’s TONS of theologic debate about that, did Jesus believe he was God? Did he become God with the resurrection or was he always God born as a man? Did he become God when he was baptized? Even the most devout of theologians can debate that, so explaining it to an 8-year old? Basically impossible. I tried to explain it in the different ways different parts of Christianity believe – but then it gets tricky because there are plenty of people on earth who don’t believe Jesus was anything more than a prophet.

So, yeah. Explaining Christmas is MUCH Easier.

One of these days I’m going to find me a World Religion Scholar and we are going to sit down and write kid’s books together explaining the World Religions in a way that makes sense to a kid in elementary school.

And maybe then…it will make sense to me. Because, god forbid she ask me to explain holidays observed in Judaism. I consult this wiki page constantly just so I can try to interpret Facebook statuses of my Jewish friends. I feel like an idiot that I can’t keep it all straight, considering how big of a religion Judaism is. Which is what I remind myself regarding my kids and their confusion re: Christianity. At least I was raised a Christian so that stuff I can explain, but damn, if we lived in a community where they had a high concentration of Jewish friends? I’d be screwed. I’m terribly uneducated in any religion but Christianity. And I’m often very ashamed of that. I do learn more each time she asks me hard-hitting questions, but the retension of information is minimal. I bet I’ve looked up the basic tenets of Hinduism 100 times and I still forget them whenever she asks.

Basically, she’s being taught by an idiot, so she’s screwed.

Anyway! I hope everyone has a great weekend, no matter how you celebrate it.

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