Thursday, April 30, 2009

Two Quickies

I spent a good part of last weekend outside gardening and my arms got a little sun. Monday morning as I walked by Gladys she commented on my "beautiful tan." I'm really not very tan...however Gladys is reallllllly white (well, unless you count the pancake make-up), so I guess to her I must look pretty brown. I thanked her for the compliment, explained I had been outside all weekend and that I'm lucky that I tan easily. "I'd say you're lucky," Gladys exclaims. "You could get yourself hired as a minority."


This day is insanely busy, hence the quickies. I've been through the lobby at least a hundred billion times. Gladys has been sitting out there, watching me go back and forth. "You sure have a lot cookin' today," she exclaimed. "I sure do, Gladys! I can't believe how busy this place is today. I wish I could sneak out. " Gladys says I SHOULD sneak out. "Ok, then when someone comes looking for me you just tell them you haven't seen me, ok?"

"Nope. I'll tell them you're out laying in the bars."

She slays me.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Weekend Update

I ran another 5K yesterday. It was a race put on by a local hospital where my sister-in-law works and she was the head of the planning committee. We wanted to be there to support her, so Hubby even pulled out a pretty quick race although he ran Boston five days ago! I didn't run as fast as I did last weekend, mainly because my nieces were running and one of them was having a little trouble. She went out too fast, so when I caught her she was holding her side and not feeling so hot. I stuck with her trying to help her through the side stitch. Running with her made the race that much more fun, as I don't often have the opportunity to run with my 17-year old niece. Later, I was thinking that I should have just run my race because I started out thinking it would be easy to get another PR since it was such a small race (how fun would that have been to post two PRs in two weeks?) But...who cares? My niece will be going to college before I know it, and she is definitely one of my lights. What could have been more important at that moment than running with her? Nothing, and I loved every 29 minutes and 30 seconds of it.

Today I went 10.2. Notice I didn't say today I "ran" 10.2, simply because I was a BIG WEINER and had to walk. It was so hot that at one point I thought it was raining because I felt raindrops on my arms only to realize it was the sweat dripping off my head. It also didn't help that I worked in the garden all day yesterday and my glutes were killing me from all the squatting, my mental focus was terrible, and after about three miles I realized this was the third day in the row I was running and I never run three days in a row. Lots of mental chatter and bad self talk ensued. I believe this is officially the worst run I've ever had. Period.

Next Saturday is the One America Mini Marathon, where I ran a half-marathon PR last year (which I ended up besting three weeks later at Notre Dame). Obviously I would love to PR again, but after today's run who knows. It all comes down to how you feel on that day. Hopefully I'll feel fast!

Friday, April 24, 2009

TGIF Photo Friday

Quick! Name something found under Pearl's bed.

If you guessed any of these items, you're a winner!

After I snapped that pic, I realized the hammer was missing from the pile.
So was this:

(All items have been confiscated. I have the most interesting desk drawer.)

Happy Weekending! :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Love those Dirty Waters

How I love Boston! I love the food. I love the places to go and the things to do. I love the food. I love the T. I love the people watching. I love the food. I love how everyone says "Bahstin" and "wicked good" and that they sing Sweet Caroline at Fenway. But most of all, I love the food. No, just kidding....most of all, I love the Boston Marathon.

I'm sure it's easier for me to say I love the marathon because I've never had (and never will have) the opportunity to torture myself on hill after hill from Hopkinton to Boylston Street, but being in Boston during marathon weekend is amazing. That city absolutely comes alive for this race. The atmosphere of the city is incredible, and the support of the marathon runners is unlike anywhere else we've ever been. This is the seventh time Hubby has run Boston, and every year I feel the same way. It's incredible.

Friday we flew out on such an early flight it shouldn't have been legal, so we were in Boston early enough for breakfast. We went to one of our favorite breakfast spots on Newbury, traipsed along checking out Niketown, people, and the flagship Life Is Good store until we had wasted enough time to go to the Expo. I always enjoy the Expo...but this year I got to pick up a packet and a race shirt, too! (Any race that lets you try on your shirt to be sure it fits = awesome. I have more race shirts that don't fit than Carter has liver pills....whoever Carter is...)

The Expo was fun and great. We saw Bart Yasso and Frank Shorter and met Kathrine Switzer who was putting the hard sell on us to buy her book, but my favorite part of Friday came later as we were walking back to our hotel and we ran into her on Boylston Street:

Kara Goucher is a class act. She was so nice, down-to-earth and personable. She even asked Hubby if he had any course tips for her since he'd run it before!

Sunday was the 5K and just like you could expect from a BAA race, it was the best race I've ever run. It was a bit too crowded to run very fast at the start, but other than that it was fantastic. Running through the streets of Boston and finishing on Boylston at the marathon finish line was just damn cool! All the finishers got medals, they announced names at the finish line, and the snacks were great. Oh yeah, and I got that PR. 27:55, a flat 9-minute mile pace. Yippee! :)

Monday was a blast. I walked Hubby to the Common and waited with him until he boarded the bus for Hopkinton. About 10am my cousin (who lives in Cambridge) met me and we took the T to the 16.8 mile mark in time to see the elites racing. Amazing! After they ran by, we passed the time cheering and clapping and anxiously awaiting Hubby. All of a sudden he was there! He looked great and threw us his gloves and some kisses. I tried to get a picture of him, but I was too here's my cousin while we were waiting for him. Isn't she adorable!? We had so much fun.
As soon as he passed us at that stop, we took off to the T and made it to Cleveland Circle (about 21.5 mile mark) with about ten minutes to spare. He still looked great, even though he had just come off of Heartbreak Hill. After he passed, we ran back to the T and were lucky enough to have a train waiting, so we made it to Commonwealth Ave just in time to watch him turn on Hereford. His gait had changed considerably and he looked exhausted, but he was still smiling and blowing kisses. He's the one in green (with his head blocked by the tree branch!):

Afterwards, we met in the Public Garden. I think he looks tired, but happy!

Of course as the evening passed, he couldn 't help but dwell just a tiny bit on having missed re-qualifying by 4:02. He has already started checking out fall marathon options to remedy that.
Has anyone ever run Philadelphia or Richmond? Sounds like we get to go on another trip....

Monday, April 13, 2009


Today I went to viewing #3. The son of the deceased is the tummy toucher, and when I spoke to him he never made eye contact with me....because he kept looking at what appeared to be my chest region. I thought he was looking at the ugly red chafe mark I got from my running bra during my 15-miler, but Assistant says not so much. What the heck is that?!? Besides creepy, weird, and inappropriate?? People are so weird.

Anyway! I'm glad the viewings and general sadness are over. I'm looking forward to a much better week....which includes leaving for Boston on Friday. YAY! Hubby ran his last long one on Saturday, so besides his normal Boston Marathon jitters that he gets this time every year, he's ready. (Speaking of Hubby....I got mail today in his name but with my office address. How bizarre.) The weather for marathon day is supposed to be decent, but it looks like rain the day of the 5K. Oh well, I don't care if it's pouring. I'm running a 5K PR across the Boston Marathon finish line! (I'm hearing Big & Rich saying "can I get an Amen-ah")

Some Resident Nuggets:
*Gladys had a birthday. When I told her happy birthday she said she couldn't believe she was 92 and I couldn't believe she remembered she was 92! She looks incredible for her age and I told her so. She said she figures she looks young because she always stayed active. "What did you do?" I asked, thinking how cool it would be to find out she had been a runner. With that ever-present twinkle in her eye and an even voice, Gladys replied "Oh, the normal. You know, beating the tar out of boys."

*WorkerBee made Pearl's bed for her and found a hammer under the pillow. (now I'm hearing the Beatles ... "Bang, Bang, Pearl's silver hammer came down upon her head....")

*Apparently Mr.-Reminds-Me-of-a-Tim-Conway-Character, who moved in last Friday, was finding it difficult to access his mail box. All I overheard was "how in the hell does this son-of-a-bitchin' thing work?"

Nothing makes me laugh like a 90-year old with a potty mouth.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


You people are amazing. Haley, Sarah, and Carolina John, thank you for the hugs. Your virtual hugs managed to make me feel as good as the real ones I got from all the residents yesterday. Erik, Chirunner, and Diana, thank you for your kind words and encouragement. This support system called blogging is simply amazing. have such a gift with words. I still want to be your little sister (unless of course you were the kind that tortured your siblings...) And Marna Marie....I miss you terribly.

So thank you, everyone. Really. Because today went better than it would have without all of you out there sending good energy my way. Marie died this morning. I did everything I have to do when someone dies, a routine that is feeling a bit too familiar with this being the third death in five days. I gave the family lots of hugs and support, and then I did the only other thing I could think to do. I went for a run. For three hours.

I feel better.

Oh! I almost forgot. The sheriff never came because Pearl found her costume jewelry. This isn't because she had misplaced it in the first place, but because whoever robbed her snuck back into her apartment and put it back. Because robbers do that you know.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

And she's back

Better late than never? I did make it to the half marathon on March 28th. I ran 2:26:01 (11:09 pace). It was cold and windy. I should have posted a race report, but I didn't feel like it. Still don't, really.

I've been in a bad spot. The kind of spot where you feel like talking to no one and doing nothing. This is a hard thing for me...the eternal optimist, the glass half-full girl, the person everyone in my college sociology class called Pollyanna. I should be able to adjust my rose-colored glasses and move on, but instead, not being able to talk myself out of a funk just makes it worse.

It is amazing that the things most likely to help me work through sad stuff are the last things I feel like doing....when I need it most. Soooo. Trying to dig out of the hole here... I made myself do yoga for an hour last night. I made myself read a chapter in the book "Broken Open." I hugged every single resident today. I'm making myself write.

I can't even think what to write about or why I'm in such a funk. There really isn't any one reason. I guess it's just a lot of little things like the phone ringing at 4am, crappy families not taking care of their elders, and missing my sister. Usually the little things don't add up to one bad sad scary Carrie, but sometimes I don't let my coping skills do their job. I stop letting things go and just keep piling it on. Why do I do that? I've read the books. I know better.

So, here's what I think the deal is. I already have this precarious pile of shit I've refused to let go of for some unknown reason....and then people start dying. I know I work with old people and that they are going to die. But knowing that doesn't make me miss them any less when they are gone. And no matter what, you are never, ever, ever ready to walk into someone's apartment and find them dead on the floor. And having to tell their family? Yeah, well, they don't teach you how to do that in Assisted Living 101.

Lucy died, too. I'm happy for her, because she was ready...but, I already miss hearing her gravely voice. We have another resident on hospice and they've called her family to be with her tonight, so tomorrow probably won't be very happy, either. (At least that will be the magic number three everyone here keeps yakking about.)

But, the more things change the more they stay the same! As I am sitting here writing this, Pearl came in to let me know she was robbed last night. If I don't do something about finding her 15 dollars and costume jewelry, she's calling the sheriff first thing in the morning. Aha!!
Things are getting back to normal....