At each step today we have been given help already. From the parking lot, super friendly dude “Hey, you guys look like you are on a mission!!” Well….actually, let me share with you……and having the time to do so with him. The counter United attendant Chris who was sleep deprived from his new baby, yet helpful and interested in our mission. He even asked the location of our church and if we are going again next year.
Mexico…..It’s Tuesday night and The small one is going to be 18 this weekend!! How is that possible!?
So, like any truly responsible set of semi-adults….we decide to get the cheap seats and go to MEXICO!!!!
In less than fifteen minutes, Smalls has hit the submit button on our trip (also effectively snap-chatting it at the same time for prosperity sake…) Then she says “Do you know where my passport is?”…….Hello, I barely know where mine is! Fast forward two days and we head out of Myrtle Beach’s large international airport…..Stop at a gas station on a grass runway in Florida, and we are off again….
After furious pedaling our plane lands in Cancun, Mexico!!! We receive many strange looks at the Mexico airport….WHY??!! Have they never see two woman that can travel for three days with only a purse? Apparently not….Smalls and I are waived through however when a gaggle of women of the approximate average age of 147 wearing GREEN bowler hats and sleeveless sundress attempt to explain why they should be allowed to bring into Mexico something they have in a jar, a viscous brown concoction …..I sincerely hope it is a type of special balm for the delicate crepe layers of skin that wiggle and waggle as she shakes her finger at a extremely unsmiling Mexican Customs Agent……
Cancun is gorgeous…..We glide past beautiful hotel complex after fancy complex with fancy gates and guards…..We drop off people that have lots of luggage….and I mean LOTS…like what in world do they HAVE IN THERE…..Smalls begins to lose faith in our (ok fine MINE) ability to book a resort that was translated into English on the website……We drop off people for what feels like FOREVER…….
Then we arrive at OUR resort….it definitely looks different….and it is a lovely surprise to see that they see excited that we are there….Granted the place is very busy and has many guests…..Just no Americans….like AT ALL…..zero….If you have ever stayed in an all-inclusive resort in a foreign island it is almost surreal. It is like a mini USA but stuck in the middle of the Dominican or Mexico….Somehow I had booked us in a resort that locals vacation at. Everything was in Spanish, the games, the menus, the TV, everything….we loved it! Luckily, I understand a great deal of Spanish however unfortunately I speak very little. We were undeterred however. We shopped at the Oxxo (the 7-11 type store across the street), we ordered food incredibly badly then ate what we received, and we read the books we had shoved into our purses.
Getting back was slightly more difficult….the Mexican security thought we were adorable….we were delayed getting out of country….then had to spend the night in the grass airport of Florida….Fly to Philadelphia the following day to obtain a flight to Myrtle Beach…..Little blips like that make one wish to be an over-packer……but I still think I will stick to my bikini in my purse, a little dress, and some clean panties and WILL TRAVEL!!!!!
Why did they Jack with windows??!!! All I wanted was a nice little laptop….nothing fancy. I am not Elle Woods….I have no desire to “bend and snap” over a sassy little Pink Mac Book…..I wanted a nice sturdy, trail worthy, black laptop……I sent Guitar Man AKA Tech Support to the giant buy of best’s store to purchase said device…….I even caveated there was no need for GLITTER……
Guitar Man in true crew support fashion returned to the casa with a nice black machine that appeared to fit the bill……it of course required six hours of massage by my tech support but then was ready for me to take on the world with…….EXCEPT…….it has Windows 3000…..
This is how I know that Windows 3000 stinkith like the arse end of a large labradoodle that has gotten into a garbage can full of week old Egg-Fo-Chung………my seventeen year old won’t use it……the child that has the Technical grace to text me from both a kindle reader or VHS player. She can work, run, slave, upgrade, vine, snapchat, or ap anything.
What’s a blogger to do…….what have I been doing? Writing less than I should and complaining……Anyone got any ideas??
Being “Grow’d up” isn’t always what it is cracked up to be……first there is an enormous gap of time in which discounts eluded us…..we are not children able to eat from the child’s menu, nor can we go to the movies for $10 instead of $25 (when did movies get so crazy expensive that this does not seem like such an exaggeration as it is intended?!?!?). We are not allowed free coffee because we are too old either, or the other discounts afforded to the later generation……
Every year sometime between New Years and my birthday I make a yearly “fear list”…..things to do that year in which I am a bit scared of or believe that are a challenge. This works better for me than coming from the negative angle and making resolutions of what “I will not” do…and then suffering for several hours to days in turmoil until I break it. Crossing items off a fear list is empowering…..at least to me.
On my list this year was to travel alone for fun. This also crossed off eat out alone for fun…..by myself, as in totally…..on a business trip didn’t count. The time a friend and I decided that if both of us went, and sat at different tables we were still accomplishing this goal….uhhh no. And lastly, reading a book while dining or similarly distracting myself….no way.
Well being a Grow’d up on a mission of one is not always fun. For example, when Airbnb gets your place jacked up…..you do realize it is actually you that may have to find a place to stay AND not get shot……when you try to decide who is going to be the DD at dinner and realize it’s totally going to be you…..when you forget your toothbrush and have no friend’s to “borrow”….
There is an UPSIDE….one can literally spend hours in the art supply store without having to say a word…..cake can be eaten at 230 in the morning without a plate, because after all it comes on a handy one!! Pinterest marathons of running quotes, tiny houses, and food one will never cook have the ability to last uninterrupted for hours….
Let’s just be honest. It’s freezing up here in these upper states…..I honestly do not know how I survived to adulthood…..with all our moaning and groaning and new age cradling of society today we have missed an enormous group of people……the frozen….Yep, you heard me right!!! Why are there no special incentives for the fact that 19 months out of the year it is 8 degrees in Michigan with a windchill of -45??? That should actually qualify me for forgiveness of my entire student loan debt….I am just saying….every day that we stood and froze to death (it is a documented fact that I have been frozen to death and reheated repeatedly throughout my childhood) should be met with a multiplier that erases dollar for dollar debt owed to any school that is BELOW the frost line…..if the child went to College in the North…..well, a multiplier of .08 because the life long skill of Euchre will serve one well in life and is worth a certain amount of suffering……I adore my home state…..I constantly miss it when I am down in warm North Carolina….I crave sea foam candy, Chuckwagon pizza, smile cookies from Wesco, Squirt, getting a dime back for all my pop bottles, being able to buy liquor at the grocery store or a gas station (sometimes it’s the little things in life), and smelt that are only available up in Ludington ……but it is bone cutting, COLD….it is the type of cold in which one dare not inhale too quickly…..lest a booger become a lethal ICE BULLET and shoot directly to your brain…..and kill you…..it could happen……
It has happened….I am injured…I am in a cast from my toes to almost my knee due to an insertion tear that happened at the Harbison 50K in Columbia, SC…… This is actually my 3rd cast since January 4th….every week I go in and receive a different colored and position fiberglass encased cast to assist with the healing process. I then return home to sulk in a most unattractive fashion….I have consumed approximately 20 cans of Pringle’s chips….12 assorted Ritter Sport chocolate bars….none of them in the very trendy dark chocolate version…bring on the HIGH FAT MILK chocolate people…. I have literally PINNED 5,871 objects that I will never accomplish in this lifetime….AND to top it all off…Today is January 26…and MY CHRISTMAS TREE IS STILL UP…..
Theoretically, I could be doing sit ups, perhaps bent knee push ups, lifting weights with my arms….Also I imagine these other people that live in my house COULD take down the Christmas tree before Jesus dies on the cross and rises again three days later….but that remains to be seen now doesn’t it….When a runner that relies heavily on running to center, to literally function to get through the day is injured it becomes more than an singular injury….it becomes an identity crisis…a coping issue….Pringles, while delightfully salty and light, neatly organized in the little silo like container, gives me a sense of satisfaction upon accomplishment of completion…it is not the same as a nice trail run of 6, 10, 16 miles……This Wednesday is the final cast cut off and I will go to a cam walker boot….then start walking and running back to the gritty glitter world of normalcy…. with an extra shelf of jiggle around the middle for added fun!!!
Balance…..It has become a popular buzzword that people throw around like the glitter that is embedded through out my entire home…..Yet, there is a reason it has become so very popular…..Balance in one’s life is tricky….difficult..and occasionally down right next to IMPOSSIBLE! Attempting to make time to run, work, motivate your family, and attend church can seem down right overwhelming……. For ultra runners I believe it is even more difficult….. We cannot simply step outside the door for a 20 minute or 30 minute run. Unless, you, yourself is someone who recharges by running long distances, it is very difficult to explain to your significant other….your friends….your BOSS…..why the run you are on, basically SUCKS for the first five miles or so……AND BECAUSE we run rather slowly, on technical (the word for “I will knock you on your ass as many times as possible, tree-root-strew-trails”) trails, we slower ultra runners tend to take about an HOUR to run those first five miles…….
Often, I am asked if this is when my runner’s high kicks in…..my honest answer is no. I don’t really ever feel a sense of “high”……what I feel at that five or six mile mark is a sense of smooth….of cadence….of ease…. I feel like FINALLY.….the run is moving properly. The only way I can think to describe it is when one swings a jump rope or a lasso. When the rope is first swinging it is all wonky….it hits you in the foot….if it’s a lasso it may HIT YOU IN THE HEAD! But finally….at some point, it beings to swing freely and smoothly….and there is a sense of rhythm and ease. To me…this describes ultra running, and this is why when I am out on a run….I want to run for another hour or two or three, after that first GAWD-AWFUL hour…..and then there goes my balance……
I know others struggle with balance….I know because people that ultra run, some run to work! They may also get up at times such as 3 am, 4 am….I, myself, have gotten up at 4 am before working a 12 hour shift….. In fact, they meet up on sites such as facebook and running groups and talk endlessly about how to fit everything in….Somewhat of an AA for ultra runners……
My answer these last couple of months was to decrease my blogging….but I missed it! I am so grateful for the support of everyone…..we have gritty glitter runners in RUSSIA!!!! that just rocks! ………so I ask you ….HOW ARE YOU BALANCING IT…….
Balance? Is there such a thing as balance and caffeine…..I, myself, only drink one cup of coffee each morning….but everyone that knows me and my coffee pot knows that this coffee is so dark, black and thick…..Navy men would add water to it in FEAR. What do I add to this coffee???? Hot Shotz…..yes three of the little cup shaped packets that CLEARLY state on the container…..”daily limit two” (I am sure this warning does not apply to any nurses, because we all know nurses never follow directions that apply to their own health……) So what exactly IS my one cup??? Is it actually the equivalent of two or three POTS of coffee???
Is it like when my friend heard the surgeon generals warning that to be truly safe one should only consume a single glass of red wine a night…..she who had enjoyed a glass or TWO before this…..simply went to the store and bought a LARGER wine glass and only had one glass from then on…….
What does everyone else that is healthier and wiser than me do? Should I pour the coffee into some type of to go container and wrap it in a brown bag??? Wean myself away and have everyone suffer? Or simply realize that we all have our vices and on the whole of things…it could be much, much worse……..
Most woman love to shop….I detest with a burning passion akin to the thought of only being able to race in fun runs for the rest of my life…….the act of SHOPPING…..Imagine this scene if you will….Do you know the area by the mall..or in the front of the mega stores like Old Navy or gawd awful Kohls? Do you know where the benches are with the kindly little old gentlemen with soft tufts of hair that fluff from their noses and ears???? NO?!!! OMG ….. If you said NO…. then YOU….. are one of them a shopper! It’s ok, I believe there are some type of treatment options or homes you can be put into…islands you can be sent to or what*not. I know EXACTLY where each and every one of those benches are…because I am married to a shopper…and I own four shoppers….yes TEENAGERS!!! That being said however, my heart skipped a beat like a shopper on the black Friday day. A day that has ruined Christmas and most of Thanksgiving, when I heard that Charlotte, North Carolina had an Ultra Running Store…..Who cares that Charlotte is THREE HOURS from grittyglittergirl’s home…..we are ultra runners…we RUN that far for FUN!!!
Now I needed to research…maybe these people were idiots…it IS POSSIBLE…they could be the worst thing ever…strollers! Remember stroller are non-runners…the people that tell you that your running habit will kill you, then ask you if you have a light as they fumble with their pack of Marlboro reds……I love idiots, I mean really I am an intensive care nurse. To me, idiots are a chance to educate and continue my employment, but they are NOT who I want to take running or SHOE advice from! For all I knew, it could be a KIM-CHI restaurant that had kept the now defunct Ultra Running Company sign and was whipping up bulgogi in the back at an extremely alarming pace….which would not be necessarily BAD…but does it warrant a six hour trip…I think NOT!
So I decided to do what any smart woman would do….who was currently dealing with an Altra Olympus and Hoka Bondi crisis due to a wide footbed issue when grittyglittergirl has noodle thin feet..yet wears a stinking size 11, I CALL THEM! I am pleasantly AMAZED!!! I spend a super 15 minutes talking with Jeff Dean.
Let me tell you right away, as a trained nurse, Jeff is not smoking packs a day! He knows his STUFF!! Immediately it is evident the Jeff Dean is pretty talented (I later find out why!) We talk about the wide footbed issues, my three stress fractures, and my concerns about the shoes I currently have ordered. He hangs with advanced conversations on metatarsal placement, dorsifexion, and even though my shoes are not from their store he helps me with my selection on the ones to replace them. (He may actually be an orthopedist at night..would not surprise me!)
I actually make the trek up..or is it over..who knows…for being a trail runner I am geographically challenged to say the LEAST. Visiting the store is amazing…it is just really REALLY cool! They have everything…..I want to buy everything!!! I leave with two inkburner shirts, a new pair of Hokas, and without my VISA. Jeff quickly called me and kept my card safe until I was able to come get it a couple hours later. THESE PEOPLE ARE AWESOME!! I would be very remiss if I did not mention Nathan, the very unassuming yet highly talented and charismatic leader of Ultra Running Company. I will admit to basically begging them to open another branch in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Goodness, I will pull the data analysis for them to show that we can not only support an independent running store….it would thrive! Of course, I happen to know a wonderful runner with a MBA that would LOVE to work there…HINT HINT HINT……..
Check out this link and small part of an article, I guarantee you will make the trip. If and when you go… TAKE ME!!