in which i seriously reconsider my 5K fixation


This past Sunday was what might be my last 5K of the season – maybe my last one ever.  Not because of this experience, but because overall I feel…well, a little silly.  A little defeated.  More than a little convinced I could be getting the same actual workout by going disc golfing with my husband.


Sunday was World Run Day.   I signed up over a month ago to do the Dirty Herd 5k up at Pretty Lake, Mattawan, partly because it was sorta kinda local, partly because money raised goes back to Pretty Lake Camp and its work with at-risk kids,  and partly because the name of the group made me laugh. Bones had a thing to go to as well and somehow from agreeing the night before that us leaving at 8:30AM was fine to when we actually started to leave, I panicked and announced I would never make it on time.

This was to be true in ways I couldn’t anticipate at that point.

We got Bones to his thing a bit early, and me to my thing on time.   As in, the runners hadn’t left yet.  But by the time I figured out where registration was (“Oh, we already shut down!  Hold on…”), confirmed that yes I still wanted to do the walk, and made it back outside, everyone was gone.

I walked up to people that looked like they were working the event.  “Can I still go?”

“Oh!  Sure!  You’re just..let’s see…about 11 minutes behind the group.

“Is it well marked?”


I started down a road. As it turned out, this would be the only paved path for the entire walk.  Initially there were white arrows painted on the road, but as I turned onto a dirt road, that wasn’t the case.  I fairly quickly found my path blocked by plastic orange tape, with no obvious markers telling me where to go next.

This was the…well, the fifth time that morning that I seriously considered not doing this silly thing.  I could have totally ditched and no one except Bones would have known.  I next considered crying out of frustration.  I finally decided to just duck past the ribbon and keep walking.  Worst case scenario, I figured, was that I’d have a nice walk around Pretty Lake.

So pretty, y’all.  I could hear the music of the start/finish area pouring across the water and I thought at the time that maybe the 5K/10K was just a trail that would go all the way around the lake.  And then I finally found some people working the event, stationed behind a table covered in cups of water.  They informed me that I was indeed on the right path (surprise!) and I wanted to follow the path marked by the orange ribbons rather than the blue ones.  (As a side note:  I didn’t see a single walkie on any staff person, which really surprised me.)

I hadn’t seen any blue ones yet, but I thanked them and continued..and finally did find where the path broke off.  This album gives you an idea of what the start of this event looked like.  (I never saw this many people.  Alas.)  What isn’t shown is that the trail took us off road and into the woods.  It was gorgeous and just hilly enough to make my calves ache for a day or so afterwards….and honestly, it was a little nerve wracking to be alone in the woods so afraid of falling.  My right foot is still not fully healed from all my falls last month. 😦  But!  I did not fall!

A lot of the trail followed ones they clearly use over the summer, and people that know how to read trail markers would have felt more comfortable than I did, as those trail markers were frequently placed and highly visible.  And it was honestly so lovely.  Even with my feeling nervous about falling, I loved this location and trail, and kept thinking that Bones should be there because he would have really enjoyed the hike.  At the same time, I started thinking that yeah, I could probably get the same benefit from walking along with him while he’s disc golfing…so, there’s that.

I did finally start to encounter people doing the 10K, and I passed one walker (!!!!), so I’m pretty sure I wasn’t DEAD last.  We didn’t have timing chips on our bibs, but I think my total time was probably my worst one yet – just over an hour.  OTOH, it was hilly and I got lost and I’m actually ok with my time being not too speedy.  I had a lot of time to think about my 5K fixation and just as I was thinking to myself, ‘This is really stupid.  Everyone knows you’re slow.  You’d rather be riding a bike.  You’re not ever going to run.  Hell, walking is a challenge!  What the hell are you doing?  This is your last one,’ a 10K runner passed me and said hi.  I looked up and saw he had a prosthetic foot.

I assume he also managed not to fall on this trail.

Soooooo…ok, brain weasels.  STFU.

Will I do another 5K? Maybe.

Is it in part because I got another medal?

Hell yes.


in which i fail miserably at walking


I’ve spent the past several weeks volunteering as a crew member for a local production of “Evita,” as well as attending meetings for a future production.  Because one of my meetings was the afternoon before a show, I had decided to go into town early, meander towards my meeting, and then explore a bit of the city before I had to be back at the theatre.

It’s amazing how quickly plans can go wonky.

Bones dropped me off by a coffee shop and had just pulled away from the curb when the sidewalk apparently twisted away from my foot, causing me to wrench my ankle and fall to the ground.

Walking has never been my best trick.

I struggled back to a standing position.  Tried to walk.  Couldn’t.

Well, hell.

I clung to a wall and tried to figure out what hurt.  The ankle absolutely hurt..but honestly?  I’ve twisted my right ankle so many times and in so many ways that generally speaking it doesn’t usually phase me for more than a few seconds.

This was something more.

The child that lives in my brain couldn’t process what was going on.  It felt like I had seriously hurt the muscles in the arch of my foot, making it wicked hard to put weight on my foot.  The only time I’d felt pain close to this was when I thought I’d broken my left ankle several years ago.  But hey, I didn’t want to vomit, so I knew it wasn’t that bad.

I frantically texted Bones as I kept attempting unsuccessfully to walk.  He offered to come back for me, but I am stubborn and decided I would will myself to be ok.  (…The texts Bones received were, of course, not nearly as confident as what I’ve just written here.)

So I stood, half leaning on the wall, half trying to figure out how to walk again.  An older woman walked past me, stopped, turned, and looked at me.  I prepared myself for the obvious question she was about to ask.

“Do you know where *mumble* Street is?”

Ok, so I didn’t expect that question.

“I’m sorry, I don’t have any idea,” I panted at her.  Disappointed, she walked away.

I took a deep breath and tried to put weight on my foot again.  This time, I had better success.  I texted an update to Bones and limped to the next open door, which happened to be an old school sort of used bookstore.  Piles of books and cigar boxes (?) littered the shelves and floor.  I looked around, sorta wanting to investigate, sorta afraid I’d knock things over, sorta wondering why there was no one else in the store.

“Can I help you?”

An older gentleman holding a laptop was in the doorway behind me.

“Um…no, not really. I just…wanted to look around.”

He continued to stand there, looking annoyed.

I looked around the front of the store one more time. “OK!  So.  I….I’ll be back later.”

He stepped aside so I could hobble-escape past him.  I decided this was quite enough adventure for one day, and so I started to make my way to my meeting, where a friend loaned me an ankle brace that helped me get through the rest of my evening.

Of course…of course…my friend Jenny and I had signed up to do a 5K that was scheduled for two days after my latest failure to walk.  She suggested we might want to cancel.  But, ya know.  Stubborn.

Two days later, we headed to Lansing for the Race to Restore.  This lovely little event is a fundraiser to help maintain tombstones in Mt Hope cemetery, and the 5K consisted of two loops through the cemetery.  (I can’t actually explain the expression on my face in the following picture.)

Event photo for Race to Restore

The first loop wasn’t bad. I had warned Jenny that we would not be breaking any records today (which is a shame because there were so few of us that we maaaaaybe could have actually placed in our age groups had we not been hindered by my gimpiness).   Jenny is a great friend and insisted she wasn’t there to be speedy.

Which is good, because on the second loop, my ankle gave out on me and I fell pretty much flat on my face for – once again – no damned good reason whatsoever.

I was tempted to just…stay there for a while and feel sorry for myself.  But.  There’s not much that is as motivating to me as looking up and seeing someone on a walkie looking at me worriedly, so with images of ambulances dancing in my head, I struggled to my feet and pretended I was ok.

As it turned out, now I had a gimpy right ankle and a tweaked left knee…and no medal.  😦 Our time was a glorious 1 hour and 9 minutes, which is…ridiculously bad.  But!  We finished.  Because I’m stubborn.

The following is a bit of the text discussion between Bones and me:


..And this, y’all, is why I’m not an athlete.

But!  I have one more 5K this year, in a few weeks.  I may not make my personal best, but at least I’m sure to do better than I did this weekend. :/





in which i am ridiculous…but a bit faster


Yesterday, I participated in my second 5k walk…by myself.


Participants for this event are encouraged to dress up as superheroes.  I initially planned to wear something I’d worn to a convention in the past..

…but found that (perhaps for the best) I’d finally purged the costume in a recent gathering of stuff to take to Goodwill.  So I was left in a vague sort of need for something superhero-y.  Alas, ‘superhero’ is of of those categories that’s not really punched out on my geek card, no matter how much I love the X-Men movies, and the only t-shirt I own that was even vaguely appropriate was a Hellboy t-shirt.

I asked the Book of Face if Hellboy counted as a superhero.

“Heck YEAH!!” was the unanimous response.

Okie dokie!  But do I settle with just the shirt, or do I try to throw together a costume with whatever I could find around the house?

(…The answer should have been A.)

I had a wig that had ginormous horns attached to it.  I tore those off the wig and played with a few different ideas for attaching them to myself securely enough to allow me to walk without losing them.  Bones suggested having them come through a baseball cap.  I tried that, wasn’t happy with it, tried attaching them to a hairband wasn’t happy with it, and then found a pair of goggles I’d bought years ago for an unrealized steampunk costume.  Once I popped the lenses off, the lens bases actually fit very securely into the bases of the horns.  I reinforced them with some hot glue, painted the horns more Hellboy-esque, and called it done.  Bones had an overcoat that was close enough to what Hellboy wears to be more than acceptable for use.  I had a soft sculpture kitty pin that I attached to my lapel as a nod to the character’s fondness for cats.  I took a latex tail made by the now-defunct company Specter Studios and painted that red as well, making sure it would poke out far enough from the coat to be seen, and I decided to NOT paint myself red.  (We tried to get a hockey glove so I could have a semblance of a huge left hand, but that particular plot didn’t pan out.  Alas.

So…bad-ass inspiration:

Fan-girl version:


And, of course, no one got it.  At all.  Even with the t-shirt.  I was pretty much just Satan at a family event.  Woohoo!!!  Thank heavens I didn’t bring a cigar as well.

The important thing, though, was that I walked faster than last time…I went from 58:30 to 54:53.  I’m learning that first my shins will hurt.  Then my ankles will hurt.  And that will suck.  A lot.  But if I keep going, that will all go away and my right foot will be the only thing that hurts – specifically, the plantar fascia.  And that will hurt for the next few days.  (I am assuming this will get better as I lose some weight.)

I still can’t stay I enjoy walking.  But!  I’m happy that I was faster this time.

This Saturday, I do it again…in a cemetery.  Without horns.  🙂

in which i start a (probably short-lived) obsession with 5k walks


..Mostly because I got a medal at my first one.
……Which is a whole lot less impressive than it sounds, I assure you.

Last spring, my friend Jeanne was talking about participating in a 5K run/walk, Alive and Running. This is an event for suicide awareness, which is near and dear to my heart, and so I tenatively said I’d probably very possibly maybe join her.

(Geminis are the consummate hedgers.)

I changed my mind many times over the next 5 months. I’m not a runner.  I don’t actually enjoy walking..I’d rather ride my bike.  OTOH, I’m very goal driven, and when I was a kid, I used to do the CROP walk.  I can’t remember if I ever raised much money – probably not – and I definitely remember hating the last mile or there of the walk every year. (I remember it being, like, 20 miles, but I suspect it was only 5.) Still, by God, I did it, and so I should be able to walk 5K (3.1mi).

I drove to the event and instantly panicked because I couldn’t find Jeanne and I felt completely out of place. I’m not a runner, I’m not an athlete, and I’m certainly not in the kind of shape I’d like to be.  I’d been thinking a lot about this post by Kyle, and it helped me not get back into the car and go the heck home.  But I didn’t.  Yay me.  🙂

Found Jeanne and her crew just before the start of the race/walk.  Her husband was the only one of us that was running, which helped my brain…but goodness, I confess I struggled for the first half.  Between my wonky ankles and my plantar fasciatis flare-ups, I was in a fair bit of pain.  We slowed down a little, which helped, and pushing through it did help as well.  Still, how frustrating.  😦

Final time was 58:30; I came in 230 out of 262.  I’m not sure where that puts me as far as walkers go; there’s obviously room for improvement.

Still, I’m not unhappy with my results.    And I’m planning to do a few more of these events this year.

…And I totally wore my medal all day. Which helped me not mind so much that I was icing my feet afterwards because ow.

yay medal!!!