Covid-19 and Long Distance Relationships

I realize I have a lot to be grateful for. So far no one in my family is sick. My friends are all healthy. I’m still working which means I’m still bringing home a paycheck. I’ve got food in the cupboards and freezers, I’ve got dog food to feed the three dogs, and I’ve got plenty of toilet paper (not a hoarder- I just always tend to buy the bigger packs of toilet paper because I don’t want to have to run out and buy more any sooner than necessary).

I’m still going to say it: This Covid-19 virus sucks. I know the following is all selfish but I need to get it out. Our race has been canceled. Originally I was going to drive to Virginia anyway- leave Thursday after work, stay at a hotel, and then finish up the drive on Friday. With the recent stay at home orders by Indiana, Ohio, and West Virginia governors I don’t think it’s a really good idea to drive to Virginia. The mobster and I didn’t see each other at all in March because we decided we would wait until the race weekend. That was already going to mean we didn’t get to see each other for 6 weeks. Now God only knows how long it will be before we are finally able to see each other again.

I have a court date in the middle of the week in July and as of right now I have 4 1/2 days of vacation left to schedule (well, 5 1/2 since I rescinded my day in April to go to Virginia for the race). I have 2 choices. I can take a half day off on Tuesday, drive all the way to my former city, spend the night in a hotel, go to court and leave right after so that I’m able to be back to work on Thursday. I can keep my vacation time in May over Memorial Day weekend, use a day and a half and still have 3 days left. Yet, that trip sounds like torture. Not only do I not wish to drive 9 1/2 hours on Tuesday followed by another 9 1/2 drive on Wednesday after a court hearing, but also I hate the idea of being only a few hours away from the mobster and not being able to see him. Or, I cancel my vacation at the end of May so that I can take it in July instead. And go to court in the middle of said vacation. Why don’t I take those 5 days I have in July? Because I don’t want to use all my vacation time by July (save for the one day I have scheduled after Thanksgiving).

Hell, who knows if we’ll even be free to travel by Memorial Day weekend? Maybe my court date will be rescheduled to an even later date. Everything is up in the air.

All I know for certain is that I won’t be seeing the mobster for more than six weeks. I don’t really see them lifting the travel bans and stay at home orders until May at the earliest so we’re going to end up being apart for more than two months.

I know military spouses deal with year long deployments. I’m sure there are other situations out there where couples have been separated for long periods of time. Hopefully it won’t be a fucking year before we see each other again. Here’s the thing though- I’m not a military spouse. I don’t have a husband who travels for work and is away frequently. No, I have a long distance boyfriend that I get to see every two weeks if I’m extremely lucky; it’s usually more like every 3-4 weeks lately. This is my life and I think I’ve adjusted pretty damn well, especially considering the whiners that complain they only get to see each other on the weekends or they have to drive a whole 45 minutes or an hour or two to see one another.

Boo-fucking-hoo. Try driving 5 1/2 hours just to meet halfway. Try regularly only getting to see each other every 2-4 weeks, and since you’re already driving 5 1/2 hours to meet in the middle and you’ve got a job where you can’t take off in the middle of the day unless you’ve got the vacation time, that means you get literally one full day with this person in that 2-4 week period. One. A few hours Friday night. A full day Saturday. A half day on Sunday.

I know. I know. I chose this. I chose it the moment we began talking, the moment I agreed to let him come up to take me out to dinner, the moment we began video chatting. I chose it when I told him I loved him instead of walking away because the distance was too great.

Don’t get me wrong. He’s definitely worth it. I adore him. We have an amazing time when we’re together. I’m simply irritated. Irritated my plans are being interrupted. Irritated that I won’t get to see the mobster for another 4-6 weeks at best. Irritated by all the people on Facebook advising everyone to stay home and those who act like everyone is under quarantine- reading books, binging on Netflix, sleeping in, and eating bad food.

I’d love to be home. I’d love to be doing all those things. Instead, I go to work every day. I come home and I run three days out of the week. I’m still following low carb so I’m not gorging myself on cookie dough or potato chips or any other kind of comfort food. On one hand my life is going on like before. On the other hand I’m in a completely different building. I have to walk from a parking lot two blocks away to get to the office. Snow? Rain? Oh well, bundle up! Carry an umbrella. I ride up a glass elevator to the eighth floor and do my best to not look because my fear of heights gets worse as I get older and I’m afraid I’m going to hurl. They are limiting the number of people in the elevators to four people at a time and there are actually charts on the floor where we’re supposed to stand. We’re not allowed off of our floor. The break rooms have been shut down so I have to get back on that damn elevator and walk two blocks back to my car so that I can eat in my car. There’s a rumor they are going to limit the number of people allowed in the bathroom at one time to two. There are only three fucking stalls to begin with!

My Wednesday dinners with friends are no more. At least not until the restaurants are allowed to open again. My race is canceled. I have no idea when I’m going to get to see my mobster again. Maybe late April. Maybe May. Maybe June. Hell, I’ll just keep canceling vacation days and then it won’t matter that I’ve got court in the middle of July.

I’m irritated with all of it. I realize it’s all for the greater good. I don’t want anybody getting sick. I also realize that there are others who have had much bigger plans derailed- graduating seniors who have seen their senior year go up in smoke with no prom, no graduation, no spring sports, no final spring musical, athletes who thought they would be participating in the Olympics this summer, my sweet co-worker who will probably be delaying her retirement at the end of the year because of the hit her 401k has suffered, all the people who are out of work, wondering how they’re going to pay their bills, people who have fallen ill and died. At the same time I’d like to see the mobster more than 3 times this year. It’s not looking real good.

My friend, Sweet J, who is always trying to look on the bright side said to me, “It will make it that much sweeter when you finally do see each other again.” Yeah. Sure. That’s how I’m looking at it. Thank God I don’t get to see him for 12 weeks! Our time together is so much more precious than those who get to see each other all the time. Praise Jesus we’re not like all those losers who are together 24/7. Suffering through all these obstacles have made us a much stronger couple than any of those people who actually get to see each other on a daily or weekly basis.

Hell, I think everyone should get themselves into a long distance relationship. I’m not talking an hour or two away. That doesn’t count. That’s like having a spouse that travels for work. You get to do what you want during the week and then on the weekends, like clockwork, you’re together. Nope, you need a long distance relationship where you are at least 4 hours away, and I think that’s being generous. It needs to be far enough away that running away for the weekend is not an easy task. Remember, the longer you’re apart the sweeter it will be when you’re together again. I feel so sorry for those of you who must spend every day with the love of your life. It must be torture.

All right. I’m done being irritated. I’m going to put on my big girl panties and get on with life. Like I said earlier I have a lot to be thankful for. The mobster and I both are still working. He’s doing a brisk business right now with all the grocery stores selling out. He’s even planning on signing up for Door Dash to make some extra money. We’ve got FaceTime and free long distance- both a perk I did not have in prior long distance relationships. We’ll make it through. I still really miss him though and wish I could be tortured with his presence on a daily basis.

Three Mile Miracle

I did it. I ran three miles. I didn’t plan to. After my successful run on Saturday where I managed to do 2.5 miles in 35 minutes I thought maybe I would be close to the full 3 miles if I stretched my time to 40 minutes. Little pro tip for you: It is very difficult, if not impossible, to make good time when you try to run and catch Pokemon at the same time. Needless to say, I was not making the greatest time. Plus, around the 35 minute mark my chest felt funny and my breathing felt funny, and quite honestly I thought there was the tiniest possibility that I might faint. So, I figured seeing as how I was barely over the 2.5 mile mark 40 minutes was all I was going to do. I’d get to 2.75 miles if I needed to run an extra minute or two, but I didn’t think 3 miles was within reach today. Well slap my ass and call me Nancy! I reached the 2.75 mile mark and decided I was going to go for it. Running uphill nonetheless!

I say it took me almost 45 minutes. The mobster prefers to say it took me 44 minutes and 38 seconds. “That’s less than 45 minutes, honey!” he told me.

I reached my goal a week earlier than I thought I would.

The only bad part, aside from feeling like I was going to faint, was I made the bad decision to wear an old pair of socks running tonight. Usually I wear my newer ankle socks. This time I grabbed some older crew socks. They had a hole in them. I ran the second half of my run with that rubbing against my ankle and ended up with a blister which popped. That sucker really stung in the shower.

Also, I took a 3 mile walk in the snow yesterday. I’m hardcore now, folks! Hardcore.

The reality is my work has a virtual tour of Hawaii going on right now. By participating we earn points towards getting additional HSA money. I knew I needed on average 3 miles per day, which is around 7500 steps. By 5 pm I had around 650. It was only in the 20s in the morning and was supposed to get warmer in the afternoon. I went to charge my phone and when I went to let the dogs out I saw snow all over the deck. I was not happy about it at all but I put on jeans, a long sleeve t-shirt, a sweatshirt, my coat, gloves, and a hat and went out to get my steps in.

I’m a little bit sore, a lot tired, and very proud of my performance these last few days. I think these two memes sum up my behavior.



Change & Progress

2020 has certainly been a banner year, hasn’t it? Kobe Bryant and 8 others were killed in a helicopter accident, Australia caught on fire, the coronavirus has us all practicing social distancing and self- quarantining, the stock market has plummeted, they had a 5.7 magnitude earthquake in Utah, and Kenny Rogers died. We’re only a quarter of the way through the year! Next year I am not picking a word of the year. Change has been a disaster!

Because I am in an industry that is defined as “essential” I am still going to work every day. I appreciate my sweet co-worker who says, “Be grateful we do work in an essential industry; we don’t have to worry about being out of work unlike a lot of these people.” That is true, and thankfully I don’t work with the public. Our lobbies are still open. My friends who are still tellers and desk people continue to interact with the public on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, half of my department has been relocated to our main office building in downtown. I will be moving on Monday along with 7 other co-workers. The reasoning behind taking us out of our building that houses maybe 75-100 people and relocating us to our main office building which houses around 600 or more employees is they don’t want an entire department out and quarantined at home. So, half of the departments at the downtown location are swapping with us and three other locations.

In addition to exposing us to even more people in the main building, that space is also occupied by a hotel. My hope is that the hotel is fairly empty right now. I guess their precaution measure is that each floor is locked so we are only able to access the floor we are assigned to. No mixing and mingling.

Finally, instead of having us park in the underground garage attached to the building they are having us park about two blocks away. The convention center is closed and is willing to offer us free parking. They’d rather have us walk the two blocks to the building than to have to validate our parking for however long this goes on.

I keep telling myself that even if I get the virus it will probably end up being a mild case. In the meantime, there’s no telling when or if Jerry Lee will pay again so I’m thankful I’m still working and earning enough to cover my bills.

In other “change” news I’m up to running 35-36 minutes and have conquered 2.5 miles.

I decided this past week I would increase my time by 5 minutes and see where I was distance wise. If I was close to 2.5 miles I would run until I hit that mark. The first day it took me 35 minutes and 50 seconds, I believe. The second day I was over 36 minutes. 36:20, I believe. Hey- I was dedicated enough that I ran in the rain. Not a pouring type of rain but more of a mist. I still ran with wet shoes and ended up with wet hair and clothes. My final day I ran it in 35 minutes, 18 seconds.

Next week I’ll up my running time to 40 minutes. We’ll see where I’m at. If I’m close to 3 miles I’ll push forward. If I’m just over 2.75 miles I may call it a day at 40 minutes. I’m going to play it by ear.

Not that we really expected anything different but our race for April 4th was canceled. We are thinking of doing a different 5K in August. This one is a mud run and should be a lot of fun. It’s also part of an entire weekend of a festival.

I also joined our workplace Weight Loss Challenge. It runs through July 3rd. So far I’ve lost 8.5 pounds. I’m doing the low carb thing because I get crazy counting calories (as you all have come to realize).

My poor mobster. He said something to the effect of, “That was a crazy few weeks when you were doing that!” I told him it had only been a few days. His reply? “It seemed like years!”

I’ve got a court date set for mid-July. We’ll see what Jerry Lee offers. It seems to me he wants to avoid court. The problem is he’s too cheap and too arrogant to actually make a decent offer. Instead he’ll try to take control and count on me being so desperate for any little crumbs that I’ll take whatever he offers. He’s going to be very disappointed.

That’s the change going on in my life. Everyone stay inside and stay safe.

Will I Ever Catch a Break?

Yesterday I told you Jerry Lee had hired a lawyer for the hearing and that the sheriff’s department reported his address was a vacant residence.

I also got word from my lawyer that thanks to the lovely coronavirus all court cases have been continued. Fortunately, as soon as I sign and notarize the affidavit she sent me the judge will sign off on re-opening the case. So while the Motions Day is not going to happen I will get my case re-instated. That’s the good news. Probably the only good news.

She also told me that she talked with Jerry Lee’s new attorney. She’s not familiar with him and all she could tell me about him was that he was young. Yeah, I think we all saw Matt Damon in The Rainmaker. I’m not taking anything for granted.

They (the lawyer and Jerry Lee) are planning on sending a proposal for settlement, i.e. a payment plan (or so she believes). I personally think he’s going to toss out some ridiculously low number and expect me to take that.

Yes, I know that I owe you over $50,000. What I’m proposing is that I pay you $10,000 over the course of 5 years.

His apparent eagerness to settle this out of court had me curious. Why so eager? What are you hiding, Jerry Lee?

Turns out Jerry Lee and Harley have moved to yet another state! And they are down yet another child. Again, I would like to point out I started this divorce out with 2 children; I still have 2. Harley started out with 4; she’s down to 1.

You know what this means, don’t you? My whole garnishment case is down the fucking drain. I contacted the caseworker over the weekend. Well, I emailed her. I told her what the sheriff’s department had said and asked if she had heard anything from the state of Mississippi. I have yet to hear back from her.

Regardless, it’s all now a moot point. Mississippi can’t do anything. I have no idea what Georgia child support laws are like or how tough they are on parents who don’t pay. It doesn’t really matter though. I’m in the middle of getting it modified through Virginia. I won’t have a court date until July. Oh yeah, that’s part of the bad news. No court until July at the very earliest. Hooray!

I couldn’t get anything done for months and now I finally have a chance to appear before the judge and get arrears. Do I try to reach a new agreement with him and get things like insurance coverage and medical coverage for my daughter, only to turn around and garnish him in Georgia? If my dipshit caseworker is correct and we have to have the judge in Georgia modify the court order, even if we’ve reached a new agreement, will I end up getting screwed? What happens if the case goes to Georgia and the judge there uses his actual income instead of imputed income, assuming he’s not out earning his imputed income, of course? I would have done okay in Mississippi because they’re a single income state. They’re one of only four, so my chances of Georgia doing it that way as well is pretty slim.

In addition to those worries, if we reach a new agreement, and the judge only enforces it instead of modifying it, we still can’t move ahead with it until July. Then I need to give Georgia 60-90 days and the county another 45 days. That’s 4 1/2 months. After July. That brings us to the beginning of December at the earliest. My son will be halfway through his senior year by the time Jerry Lee is finally garnished at the rate this is going. Will they continue to garnish him for spousal support once the child support ends? I don’t know.  If they don’t it seems kind of silly to go through all this hell for six months of garnished child support.

I turned my garnishment papers in on January 25th, 2019. More than a year ago. I had my interstate meeting on September 10th. Over six months ago. He’s still not garnished. He’s not even close. He’s moved twice, each time to a different state, since I’ve started this. We’re back to square one. Now I get to wait. Once again. And be at his mercy. He gets to continue to pay what he wants, when he wants. It’s lovely. I’m going to go cry now.

The Wheels of Justice

The wheels of justice don’t seem to move one damn bit. Okay, I’ll start with the “good” news.

I got notice that my lawyer will be appearing in court to get my case re-instated on the 18th. It sounds like Jerry Lee was served right around Valentine’s Day, if not ON Valentine’s Day. I suppose that explains the new amount of spousal support he paid on the 29th.

He’s still off. As you may know he modified support on his own back in May last year. Upon finding out that he had had a job pretty much the entire time I let him know he was $700 a month short and asked him if he was going to continue to pretend like he didn’t have a job and was paying all he could, or if he would be paying the correct amount. From that moment he upped the amount he was giving me but he was still short by more than $370. Now, he’s taking the amount he has been paying me (the one that is $370 short) and then adding the $370 onto it. Of course, I don’t know if this will be a long term thing or not because he’s only done it once. If he is planning on keeping this up until we go to court then the end result will be I’m getting a little over $200 more than what he’s court ordered to pay. We’ll see. I don’t have high hopes for him.

Nevertheless, it’s a small victory of justice. It only took four months to finally get before the judge to put it on the docket, and it will probably be another two-three months before we actually have a court date, but those old, rusty wheels are moving finally.

Now for the bad news. I still have not heard anything from my caseworker or the state of Mississippi. Hell, it’s possible the judge there took jurisdiction and my attorney will go before the judge and he’ll have to throw out most of her case.

I’m going to do a little PSA right now. Start garnishment proceedings immediately after your divorce is finalized. Some people are lucky and their state requires payment to go through them. If you’re not one of those lucky ones run directly from the courtroom to the clerk’s office or wherever you need to go in order to get the payments garnished. Especially if you have a very special ex who moved out of state. Doubly so if not only did your ex move out of state but also if your ex forced you into leaving the state in which you got said divorce. That’s an even more special kind of clusterfuck.

I turned my papers in on January 25th. Back in 2019. It’s been more than a year and he’s still not garnished.

I realize I stopped the process in the summer based upon the information I was given. The caseworker scheduled the interstate meeting. I told her I was withdrawing my case. She told me all I could do was NOT show up. There is a month between my last email to her (June 12th) when I told her I was withdrawing and when I found out he had a job, and had in fact had a job the entire time (July 15th). My original interstate meeting was scheduled sometime in that month. In August I gave my caseworker the go ahead to set up a new interstate appointment so that I could move forward. And keep in mind, me hitting pause didn’t matter anyway. By the time I had my original interstate appointment and she sent everything off to Kentucky he was already living in Mississippi. We’d still be on the same time frame. Hell, we might even be a little further behind because Kentucky wouldn’t have been obligated to let her know he was no longer a resident for 60-90 days. That would have brought us to September- which is when I ended up meeting with her anyway- or possibly, October.

Now it’s been six months since my interstate appointment. When I walked out of her office she told me to give it 60-90 days. Maybe I’m a little fuzzy on the day to month ratio but I thought 60-90 days was basically two to three months. Not six.

Of course, once we get close to the supposed 60-90 day timeframe I’m told that now the county has another 45 days to make a decision. Again, a little fuzzy on the ratio but I could have sworn that amounted to approximately 6 weeks. Are these business days or calendar days? The caseworker has never said. Apparently they like everything to be a big surprise.

She’s never said if I’m notified, how I’m notified, what else I have to look forward to, what kind of timeline I should expect. I flat out asked her for a time frame on when I could expect garnishment to begin and her response was a decisive, “I don’t know. I don’t have a timeline for you.”

I, too, have a job. It might surprise her to know that I’m frequently called with questions. My answer has never been, “I don’t know.” If I don’t know the answer to a question I either ask around or I point them in the direction of the person or department who would know.

I’m not asking for a minute by minute play. I’d simply like to know what’s going to happen next and what is the general time frame for this to occur. For example: First, we need to do A. Then we will do B. Then C. Then D. Then E. Obviously I can’t give you an exact time that this will be over but A usually takes x amount of time, B usually takes Y amount of time, C usually takes about z amount of time, and so on and so on. That’s business days, not calendar days by the way, so you need to mark out all weekends and federal holidays. This is what you need to do at each step. You will be notified in this manner.

Is that so difficult? I don’t need hard and fast dates. Just a damn timeline. The 60-90 days has come and gone. The last time I heard from my caseworker was February 5th, over a month ago. She had called the Child Support office on January 29th and reached a person working at the help desk. The caseworker was supposed to call her back. Over a month later and I’ve never heard any follow up. Maybe the county decided not to take the case. Maybe all of this has been for nothing. Who knows? Not me! It’s one big surprise!

In the meantime I get to keep guessing when, how much, and if Jerry Lee will pay me what he’s supposed to. Actually I already know he’s not going to pay me what he’s supposed to. He hasn’t in almost two years.

My son graduates in 15 months. At that point this whole issue will be a moot point. I’m laying 50/50 odds on whether or not this is completed by then.

P.S. Also just found out the address I had for him is a vacant residence, which means he’s moved again. It also somewhat explains why he didn’t pay as he was supposed to in November. Sounds like he’s got a new job- yet again. If it’s in another state and I have to start this all over again I’m going to cry.

And… he’s hired an attorney for this show cause hearing.

Do You Understand What I’m Saying?

Today was the last day of the C25K program. The goal was to run 3 miles (or 30 minutes).

I know I probably should feel proud. I should feel a sense of accomplishment. After all I ran the 30 minutes. I ran the entire time all three days this week. In fact, I haven’t missed a goal since I began running outside.

The problem is in 30 minutes I covered 2.1 miles. I am insanely slow. 2 miles in 30 minutes means I averaged 15 minute miles. I know my first mile was done in a little over 13 minutes so I obviously get slower as time goes on. I’m not even upset about the fact that I’m so slow. Truly. I do not care. My boyfriend is over there sprinting the goddamn thing and I’m plodding along but my thoughts are pretty much, “Knock yourself out. If you can go from sitting on a couch to running this race in under 20 minutes good for you. I’m proud of you.”

This is the part most people don’t understand when I say, “I only ran 2.1 miles in 30 minutes”: It’s not about me being slow. It’s about the fact that I’m not running a 30 minute race. The officials are not going to say, “Okay everybody. When we give the signal you all start running and run for 30 minutes. Whoever gets the farthest in that period of time wins!”

No, I’m running a 5K. I have to run for 3 miles. 3.2 actually. I’m 1.1 mile short. Which means that despite all of my progress I’m still not at the goal line. Sure, when week 4 came I couldn’t run the 3 minute/5 minute/3 minute/5 minute shit they had me doing. When the end of week 5 came and I was supposed to run for 20 minutes I couldn’t do that either. I’m pretty sure I struggled through all of week 6 when my task was to run 5 minutes/8 minutes/5 minutes, and I know I only managed to run the full 25 minutes on day 3 of week 7.

So I should be somewhat proud of myself that I managed to run the entire 30 minutes. But I’m not. Instead of focusing on, “Woohoo! I ran 30 whole minutes!” I’m focused on the fact that I have another 15 minutes still to go if I want to run this 5K. My race isn’t over. I haven’t gotten from the couch to a 5K. I’ve gone from the couch to about 2/3 of the way through a 5K.

I’ve gotta be honest with you. I’m tired at the end of my 30 minutes. I’m not thinking to myself, “Wow- I feel great! I could go another 10-15 minutes easily.” No, my face is contorted. If you drove past me you would probably see me grimacing; I’m pretty sure I look like I’m dying. I’m usually cussing under my breath, saying things like, “This is going to kill me!” or “I’m dying here!”  Motherfucker and sonofabitch are both liberally sprinkled throughout my run. So the idea of adding on even more minutes kinda makes me wanna cry. A lot. Actually the fact that I have come so far and yet still have so much farther to go makes me want to cry. A lot. Seriously.

The other night, and even today, when I finished for a moment I was cheering myself on. “You go, girl! You did it! You ran the entire time. Good for you! Look at that- 30 minutes! You are crushing it!” And then reality sank in. It became, “Oh my God! I’ve got to run another 14-15 minutes! My real goal is to run a 5K. I’ve only ran 2 miles. This is no victory. I still have one mile and 15 more minutes to go.”

Plus, I get to deal with the aches and pains. The entire next day I’m so stiff. Getting up out of my chair is a chore. I deal with the stiffness all day until the following day- when it’s time to run again. On Saturdays, when I run in the morning, I get to deal with the stiffness all day long. Hooray!

The first time I did this program, more than 10 years ago, my running partner and I chose to go for the mileage. If it took us more time than what the program thought it should take us we were fine with that. So those days when the program told us to run 1/4 a mile OR however many minutes, we ran 1/4 mile. And then a half and then 3/4 and then 1 and so on and so forth. This time I tried to go for the distance but ended up settling on the time. Big mistake. Because now I’m at the end only I’m not really at the end. I’ve still got another 1.1 mile to go. And that’s going to take me a long time.

2 miles (or 20 minutes). 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes). 3 miles (or 30 minutes). Those minutes always correspond to a 10 minute mile.

Why on earth someone thought they could take a couch potato and not only get them to run a 5K in 8 weeks but to run that 5K in 10 minute miles is beyond me. But that is apparently the goal as far as the program is concerned. 3 miles or 30 minutes. Or rather, 3 miles in 30 minutes.

Oh, it can be done. The mobster ran over 4 miles in that 30 minute time span. I, on the other hand, ran 2. He’s finished the race and is a third of the way through yet another 5K. He absolutely, positively knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he can run this race and finish it. Because he has. He’s gone the distance. I have not. I’ve gone 2/3 of the distance. Will I need to walk the last mile? Will I even run across the finish line? Who knows? Not me because I haven’t done it.

The mobster likes to point out that I have in fact done it because back when training was sucking big time I got frustrated with myself and forced myself to walk and run the entire 3.2 miles. I don’t count that because I walked. Interestingly enough I’m only projected to be 3 minutes faster running the entire time. Nonetheless, I don’t want to walk this race. If I was satisfied with walking I would enter the race as a walker, not a runner. So we’re back to: Will I be able to do it?  The answer is: Maybe.

I’ve still got 3 weeks before the race happens. IF it even happens now with the coronavirus leading to the cancellation of just about everything.

It would be a big jump but I could increase my running time to 35 minutes all next week. Or 33 minutes the first 2 days and 35 the third. Then increase it to 40 minutes the second week (or 38 minutes for 2 days, 40 the last) and finally 45 minutes the last week.

I could also choose to do distance. Right now I’m at 2.1. Next week I could stretch that to 2.5, however long it takes, the week after 2.75 and the third week 3.0.

It’s doable. I know that. I’m still sad that I don’t feel any sense of accomplishment now that it’s done. I’m still not ready to run a 5K. Sure, I’m closer to it than I was 8 weeks ago but I’m not there. It’s not called The Couch to Almost Running a 5K program. I will be running and “training” every single week up until the day of the race just to get to the point where I can run the damn thing. It’s depressing when you do this thing that you should be proud of, but instead you get to the end and realize you’ve got 50% more to do. Hey! You ran 30 minutes. Congratulations! Now you need to run another 15. Good luck! You can’t celebrate because you’re not done.

Perhaps in another 3 weeks I will be celebrating the end of my C25K program. Today I am dejected, defeated, and definitely not looking forward to Monday when I have to add on even more minutes.

Small Victories

I was in the break room when she called. My daughter.

The last few weeks have been one frantic phone call after another. Flat tires, towing bills, car repairs, sorority drama, taxes, stress.

I answer. “Hey! What’s up?”

“Mom, guess what?”

She sounds like she’s near tears. Oh God! Now what?

“I give up. What?”

She’s full on crying now. “I got into nursing school.”

I hear the words but the crying is throwing me off. Maybe I heard it incorrectly and she’s crying because she didn’t get in. I decide to repeat what she’s told me.

“You got in?”


Tears begin to well up in my eyes as well. I know how hard she’s worked for this. I know how she’s stressed herself out about it, how she doubted herself, how she thought she wouldn’t get in because she didn’t get A’s in everything. “B’s don’t get degrees!” she told me once.

Well, that’s ridiculous. Of course they do! I remember giving her a pep talk back in November when she was stressing out about narrowly making it in. “You know what they call the person who graduates last in their class from medical school? Doctor.” The key to that speech was no matter if she was admitted as the top student or the last one on the list she was going to make a kickass nurse.

She did it. She got admitted to the nursing program. A year and a half of hard work, tough classes, and endless stress thinking she wasn’t good enough has resulted in this amazing announcement.

She is one step closer to realizing her dream. She’s one step closer to financial independence and no longer relying upon her father via his spousal support paid to me.

I was the first person she told. Of course, after I verified that she did indeed get in I had to tell her, “I told you so!” And I had. I never for one moment believed she wouldn’t get in. I always knew she had what it took.

My baby is going to be a nurse. She’s going to be able to support herself and her children, should she decide to have them. She’s not going to make the same mistakes I did. At least not that one.

On the home front my son came up to me last night and declared he wanted me to take him out driving. He said something about not putting it off and confronting his fears.

“What the hell did you guys talk about in therapy today?” was my response.

He assured me it had nothing to do with therapy. This was not an assignment.

This is the boy who has had his learner’s permit since October. Of 2018. He’s driven exactly 45 minutes in that time. He says it terrifies him.

Tonight I came home, changed clothes, ran my entire 28 minutes (yea me! I’m very slow, though) and then we went out driving.

I took him to a parking lot so he could get comfortable with everything, seeing as how he hasn’t driven since July. That lasted for all of 5 or 10 minutes. He was ready to try the actual road.

“Before we begin I just want to make sure. We drive on the right side of the road in this country, right?”

Oh sweet baby Jesus! I thought it was bad enough when I had to clarify yet again which pedal was the brake and which was the gas.

He begins driving in the slower areas of the subdivision. After another 5-10 minutes of this he’s gaining confidence. He tells me he’s feeling pretty good about this driving stuff. I offer to let him drive around in the parking lot some more.

“I’m liking the roads. It’s like a track. It keeps me in line and gives me a guide.”

Yes, the road is very much like a track.

By the end of it he had driven 40 minutes. He nearly doubled his driving time. The most important part though is he was feeling much more confident about driving. He was even offering to go drive somewhere to get food.

Perhaps we will tackle that task in the next lesson or two. I think I will soon have another driver in the family.

I’m Done Bitching- For Now

Thank you for all your comments and tips. I promise I’m going to get around to responding to each one individually.

I’m not quite as hungry as I was the last time I wrote. My menu on Monday did pretty much follow what I figured, except for dinner I had Stouffer’s macaroni and cheese. I could afford it because I didn’t run the whole 25 minutes on the C25K program so I punished myself by having to complete the entire 5K. It took me 48 minutes of running and walking, down from 50 minutes on Saturday. That gave me another 399 calories, plus I was able to walk to the park twice that day.

I was in another bad mood that day because I was hungry for most of it AND I was only able to run 18 minutes of the 25 minutes I was supposed to. I’m not even going to get into the whole “10 minute mile” expectation they have. That is NOT happening. I’m not real worried about it either.

Yesterday was a little better, mainly because I went over my allotted calories by more than 600. I didn’t go to the gym after work and I wasn’t able to take a walk during work. Then I came home and made One Skillet Chicken Enchiladas. The recipe said it made 6 servings and it was 460 calories. They never said how much a serving size was so I gave myself credit for two servings. Perhaps I didn’t eat as much as I thought. If so I only went over by about 200.

Today I had my instant oatmeal. It wasn’t terrible. I’m not really a fan of oatmeal. I had a cup of coffee with almond milk creamer at work. 24 almonds and a piece of string cheese for snacks. For lunch I had one of those ridiculous Campbell’s chicken noodle soups. It’s basically 2 or 3 spoonfuls of noodles and chicken bites, and then the rest is broth. I went with an apple today instead of an orange. Then I had a sugar free pudding. For dinner I had a 12 oz. ribeye and a half cup of peas. I’m actually under on my calories, believe it or not.

I’ve found that even though I’m hungry more often the small amount I eat at breakfast and lunch does tend to satisfy me. Of course, I want something else an hour or two later, but the point is I’m not still starving after my ridiculous lunch.

It doesn’t really matter because I talked to my nurse practitioner and she advised I ditch MyFitness Pal and instead try low carb. I tend to agree, mainly because I enjoyed low carb. I HATE counting calories. For whatever reason, I don’t mind counting carbs. Side note: I have lost 2 pounds since I began doing this. Also, I bought a watch to track my steps at the beginning of February. It seems my wrist is slimming down as I used to wear it on the 5th notch for it to be loose. Now I wear it on the 4th notch for it to be loose. It doesn’t help me fit into a smaller pair of pants but if a man has a wrist fetish my wrists are looking lovely and slim.

Today was Day 2 of Week 7 of the C25K program. I have been struggling most days since the end of Week 5. I do my best but I’m not doing what is asked. As I said above, Saturday was the end of Week 6. I was supposed to run 2.25 miles or 22 minutes without stopping. I made it 15 minutes. Got pissed at myself and walked and ran the entire 3.2 miles needed to complete this upcoming 5K. Monday I was supposed to run 2.5 miles or 25 minutes with no stopping. I made it 18 minutes. Again, walked and ran the whole 3.2 miles.

I got home today, planning on quickly changing clothes and going to the gym. I walked in the door and was greeted by a big ol’ pile of shit half on the laminated floor, half on the rug. There was another smaller pile of shit on the tile, and for the coup de grace, there was a big puddle of pee. I’m already yelling and swearing when I walk into the bedroom and there’s ANOTHER pee spot. This is on top of me already cleaning up a mess this morning.

I have no idea what’s going on with these dogs. I let them out before I go to the bathroom in the morning!

Needless to say I was not happy. Instead of changing clothes and heading to the gym I’m instead cleaning up poop and pee.

I get that done and kill some time. Then I decide, “Hey! It’s not in the 30s and it’s not snowing. Why not try running outside?”

I went across our busy street to the subdivision. I start my 5 minute walk. I begin my 25 minute run. I don’t look at the time because the mobster tells me it’s demoralizing to watch the time and see how much longer you still have. All I know is once I pass the store I’m going to see how long I’ve been running because I can already feel myself getting tired and wanting to quit.

It turns out the store is .8 miles from my house, not that I ran the entire distance. As I’m passing by it I hear the voice from the C25K program say, “Start your running now. This is run 1 of 1.”

What. The. Fuuuuck? I’m dying here and nothing I did counted! I have no idea how long I’ve been running because I didn’t check times.

I was so upset I was almost in tears. I had psyched myself up to run today. I was outside for the first time. The sun was going down, the temperatures were dropping. I was freezing. At this point I’m cussing out loud. I’m furious! Finally after a minute or two of walking I decided, “Fuck it!” I reset the running time and began running again.

My goal was to run at least 20 minutes without stopping. I can triumphantly report I ran the entire 25 minutes. And this was on top of the other 8-10 minutes I ran before I somehow reset the program on my phone.

Oh, there were definitely times I was cussing. I’m sure there were a few, “Suck it, bitches!” in there and I know I muttered, “Motherfucker,” a couple of times. Also, even though it’s a subdivision there are woods in that area and I figured if someone was hiding there and wished to abduct me I would be a goner because I was very tired. I decided if that happened I need to have Facebook up so I could put him on Facebook Live. It wouldn’t prevent my rape and murder but hopefully it would result in him being brought to justice. Unless it was Michael Meyers who got me. He’s just a ghost in the wind. I told myself I better hope my witch powers were at full strength so I could simply wave my hand in their direction and they would be gone.

This subdivision is a collection of homes, apartments, an apartment complex, and at least 3 different villa communities. I decided to cut through one of them and found that there was a lot less traffic so I stuck with that for the most part. Of course, it was also more deserted and much darker. Perfect for someone to snatch me away.

Thankfully, I made it. I ran the entire distance and didn’t get murdered or kidnapped once.

I walked the rest of the way home, fixed my ribeye steak and peas, and eventually took a shower.

Today is the first day in a long while that I feel like I might actually be able to do this. The race is in a month. I ran the entire 25 minutes- plus!

It’s getting late. It’s been a while since I had that steak. I’m starting to get a little hungry again. I’m going to go to bed instead. Tomorrow is a new day. Today I’m feeling pretty damn proud of myself.