It’s Summer!! It is the Season for flip flop sandals. Some of you know, that those of us who grew up in the 1970s called those $3 rubber shoes “thongs”. Nowadays the youngsters are using that term to describe ridiculous undies but it’s hard for me to break old habits. I did get cured, finally. You only have to feel the horrified stares of a few innocent Safeway customers when they overhear you pronounce to a friend that “This cheap thong keeps giving me blisters.” Ahem. Let’s just say you start saying FLIP FLOPS real fast, after that.

Anyway, the point of my post here (besides warning all my fellow senior citizens NOT to say “time to buy fresh thongs, these are dirty.”…) is that my running training goal has changed AGAIN. Hopefully for good, this time!
As you know, I had originally signed up in May to do the Half marathon (13.1 miles) and then switched over to the full (26.2 miles). I got a little touch of ambition (it looks very similar to “Crazy” and can therefore be quite difficult for us novices to tell the difference.) Now I am 70 miles (yes! I have run 70 miles! And lost 2 WHOLE lbs! This won’t have me selling any diet books!) into my training plan and hitting a wall. My run coach sweetly pointed out that I may be aiming too high and should consider scaling back, so that I don’t quit (she could see the wild fear in my eyes when anyone spoke of the 26.2 miles we’d do) and so I don’t get injured with the long distances you need to do. But I am not a quitter, for one. And for dos, I am really nervous about raising the extra money that San Francisco will require. But I am on the verge of dropping out and desperately DO NOT WANT TO. So I started mulling it over and the decision process went like this:

San Francisco PROS:
1. It’s half as long. Big, BIG old PRO.

2. They give you a Tiffany’s necklace for finishing, handed to you by a San Fran fireman in a tux. I am happily married but even if I was single? I am guessing I won’t be looking my best at that point, and too exhausted to run off with a fireman, anyway. Still? the necklace will be my first bling from Tiffs. That’s a PRO.

3. I have had two weeks without much running.First, being out of town and also nursing my left foot/heel, with plantar fascitiis. The heel is much better but now I am behind on the training mileage I needed for the full. BUT I am right at the level/pace I would need to be at for the Half so I went from “You’ll never catch up without getting more injured” to “Good job, right where you need to be!” without a lick of effort. Lower standards? That’s a PRO.

The cons:
1. It’s San Fran. It’s all HILLS. They promise no cable car hills, but no other promises are made but “a breathtaking view”. Um, yeah. You get a nice view from THE TOP OF HILLS. If you aren’t puking over the side, that is. Portland was mostly flat. Hmm. 26 miles flat or 13 miles of hills? Isn’t that what we call a wash?

2.Can’t afford three airline tickets for the boys to come. May even have to tuck John’s 6’3″ frame into a suitcase and smuggle him on as my really heavy baggage (insert marriage pun here.) In Portland everyone I ever interacted with could drive up, hold a sign, cheer me on. But then really, do I need all my family and friends near to support me? Will I even be able to look up at anything but the tops of my blistered, bloody feet? So there will be John to make sure I show up at the start line and don’t just go out for croissants. My co-runners from Team in Training to run alongside me through the miles. And a fireman in a tux, to get me crawling, as attractively as a girl can when covered in blisters, vomit and sweat, across that finish line. So I’m good!

3. It is a GREAT cause (who doesn’t hate cancer?!) but it means more money to raise, and whatever we don’t raise from others, we commit to pay to TNT ourselves. It’s smart-it weeds out those who would use TNT for the coaching and just say “oops. no money raised!” plus it keeps the organization as one who can commit over 75% of all funds directly for research and patients. So I am glad they will get a good chunk of money by my being a wimp, but we certainly don’t have the savings account to cover the short. (“Sorry son, no college for you. Mama wanted to run in SF when you were 9 years old, remember?”)

So here is full notice: I will be turning the screws on you people.
No more free babysitting. I am now a “daycare provider” and charge $3 per kid, per hour. Cute baby girls are still free.
If you chuckle at any joke I make, that is “stand up comedy” and I will expect a quarter. If you laugh til you pee, that’s a $1 clean-up charge.
no more “welcome to our home, have a cookie!” If this kitchen is a restaurant, I want $4 per baked good.
No more reading this blog free-of-charge. I know who you are, and I will bill it out. If you leave a comment, I will waive the fee. If the comment includes a frank appraisal of my looks, that is FAVORABLE, I will owe YOU $1.00.
Those dear friends who say “Brenda, what should I plant here?” or “Why is my zucchini plant all blistered?” should recall that a landscape designer is not cheap. Get your checkbook open and I will answer as you fill it out.

My love and friendship is going to cost you. It’s worth every penny. People may even start getting in line so reserve your spot now! Plus, it’s for a great cause and after October 18th, all my usual warmth and generosity will go back to its high price of zip-zilch-nada (unless John gets used to the extra bucks.)
I am just giving you a heads-up, so start scraping the sofa cushions for change.
There’s a necklace with my name on it, in San Francisco.


About sparrowjourney

Christian homeschooling mom to three boys, married to my best friend, John, for over 20 years. I love gardening without gloves, learning history with my kids, cooking with lots of butter, serving others, great books, rich coffee, studying the Bible, camping outdoors, scrapbooking, vintage home decor, the smell of rain and cut grass, authentic people, poetry, laughing until your sides hurt, and babies. oh and black licorice is pretty awesome.
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3 Responses to flip-flops

  1. Anne says:

    Caitlin is saving up some coins for you! In her piggy bank there's a "share" spot and we decided that would be for Aunt Brenda's money raising endeavor for her marathon (now half). Maybe we could have a garage sale of all the things people want to donate to you to make money? How's that?

  2. Neil Johnston says:

    Oh, oh.We're going to owe you big-time! Thanks for the warning…:)

  3. Brian says:

    Ahh Brenda, you are too clever. DOn't sweat the money, we can all figure out a way to make it happen.

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