Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tired legs and confessions

Good morning,
I must be doing something right. I woke up this morning with tired legs. That means that I am stressing my body. That means that I am heading towards improvements. Yippeee . . . isn't it fun to hurt???

I did a 35 mile bike ride last night. Our group was sort of light-we only had "original" Jim, Linn, Susan (biking Susan, not my running Susan), Kerry, and Dom "the dominator". It was HOT HOT HOT. My car thermometer was calling it 97. Several of the others said that their's was higher. I am certain the heat index was over 100. And this was at 4:30. Anyway, it was a slow go, maybe due to the heat. The group wasn't quite as perky as normal and we were a bunch of sweaty puppies. By mile 12, most of the group had decided to bail out and just do a 26 mile loop. I really felt that I needed the mileage. Susan also wanted the mileage. So the two of us decided to grind out the full ride. It was a nice ride but hot. That is the first time that I have had to stop and refill my water bottles. Normally, two 28 oz bottles will do me on the 36 mile ride. Susan and I both went through four 28 oz bottles. Did I mention it was hot? We finished up around 7ish and when I checked the temperature is was still showing 92. Did I mention it was hot? Needless to say, I slept hard last night.

The previous evening I did a quick 5 mile run in similar type heat. Still not running with a watch. I am just running a pace that my body will allow. It is indeed "dog days" around here.

On another note, I was not completely honest with some of you about my California trip. I have to admit that I am reluctant to discuss it because I don't want to hear the nay-sayers and put up with the grief that I know I'll get. You know how we boys are . . . we hate being teased. But I feel I need to come clean . . . I did have company on my California trip. I took Susan with me (running Susan, not biking Susan!). She had never been and I wanted the company so it seemed to be an obvious solution to both our dilemmas.

6 comments:

Amy said...

You didn't say anything about how hot it was yesterday...lol...

And yes, I love hurting legs too...wish they could hurt now.

And I don't know what you are talking about with CA but it sounds like you are trying to put your life back together. Remember, its your life and you have to live with yourself so shoo the nay-sayers and do what makes you Happy!

ashville said...

Agree with Amy; it is your life and life is short, so make the most of it.Yesterday is over so live for the day you are in.

Phil said...

Good for you for taking Running Susan (or as you said in your post "my running Susan") with you to California. I would have been disappointed if you hadn't.

And running or biking in 100 degree heat in Alabama is no walk in the park. Imagine how good it will feel in September.

Phil said...

Jim,

Sorry about the double post. I had to go pick up my 14 year old daughter at the movies and had a long drive to think about this; there’s nothing like a nice drive on a warm night with the top down to get the brain working. I've actually wanted to write this for two months now, but didn't feel it was my place; however, I can’t hold this in any longer. So sit down.

You are not now nor have you ever done anything to denigrate the memory of your wife. Go back and re-read your blog from the beginning (I did). Read what you wrote; read how you felt. This is not the journal of man who takes relationships lightly. This is a journal of a man who deeply loved Mona. Your post on Christmas Eve was typical,

“First, let me wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Today was a pretty busy day. I started off with a long run, then helped Mona around the house with cleaining, cooking, etc (family is coming here tomorrow). Then we went to the local mission to help serve dinner. I started out the day firing up the smoker and smoking a turkey breast and a boston butt . . . . they look good and smell good-only tomorrow will tell.”

What type of man writes these words? These are the words of a man who loves a woman completely and unconditionally. Mona will always be in your life. You will never forget her, nor should you. However, she passed away. This is a terribly unfortunate but necessary part of life and is a very real and meaningful part of your life.

Nobody of your caliber would want this to happen and most of us couldn’t handle the strain, but it did happen. However, your life didn’t end with her passing just as your memories of her didn’t stop. I can hardly reread the posts that followed the one above without crying. But just as moving as your posts were after Mona’s death, your posts describing your budding relationship with Susan are equally inspiring. You are a person that cares deeply and you need to continue to be the person you are and at this point, the person you are includes Susan

Now I fully realize that you may feel some level of guilt associated with your relationship with Susan. You have family and friends that are still grieving for Mona. But as harsh as this may sound, that’s their problem. The grief response is for the person doing the grieving and not for Mona. It won’t impact the situation one iota. You’ve managed to work through part of your grief. Perhaps writing it all down in a very public place helped, perhaps you are just stronger than the rest of us.

You’ve worked through it. Others have not. But I can tell you from experience that they will. When my mother died several years ago following a very short and sudden illness, my father remarried 4 months later. My brother and I were pissed. We had long conversations concerning the situation and ranted up one side and down the other. We just didn’t understand how our father could do such a thing. We even speculated that there must have been some infidelity prior to our mother’s death.

Of course this was all bunk. The problem was with us, not our dad. We failed to look at this situation from his perspective. He was 72 years old, living alone in central Georgia. What kind of life was this? He had known the women he married since high school. Her husband, whom he also knew very well, had died some years earlier. At that age you don’t spend a lot of time on courtship. You need to move quickly. My brother and I just couldn’t see it, we hurt too much. It was our problem, not our dad’s.

So be open about Susan. Be proud of Susan. She going through a lot and will have to deal with even more if your relationship continues to progress. I applaud her for this. It takes a strong woman, a woman of real substance, to put up with the emotional baggage of others. You can help her with it, but hiding her won’t help the situation. The sooner you get your relationship in the open, the sooner everyone who is still grieving for Mona will understand that your relationship with Susan is something to celebrated and not hidden. Your relationship is healthy.

Phil

Karen said...

I just read these responses. Why do I find it so hard to say these things to you? I know that Jim and I are seen as some of these folks that people are talking about. If I am to be honest with you, and I can't speak for Jim, I am. Mona meant a lot to me, more than I even realized until she was gone. I wish I had told her. I miss her and still pick up the phoe some times to call her. As everyone has said, this is my problem. I have been blessed to not lose many people, let alone a good friend. However, I don't want you to suffer, I want you to be happy. I want you to always be a part of our life. You are our friend and you are a part of our family. I'm handling these things a lot better, believe it or not. I will be thinking a lot about Mona tomorrow. If I truly think about this, it's your relunctance to talk about Susan(or your fear of me having a come-apart) that bothers me. I know how you felt about Mona. I used to tell her all of the time that I could see it all over your face. She reacted, almost like a little girl, smiling and giggling. You made her very happy and she wouldn't want you to stop living your life. I told you before, as tough as it might be for us, it's got to be a whole lot tougher for Susan. She is walking into a situation where we have all been friends for years and have memories together with Mona and with each others families. That has got to be overwhelming. Heaven knows it would scare the hell out of me!
You aren't a stupid man and I know you've agnonized over this in your way. If you feel it's right then go with it. Don't worry about what other people think. Your real friends (like us) may struggle with some of this but, again, it's our problem, and if we truly are your friends, we're not going anywhere. We're not. We've had a lot of fun together, we still can. We'd like to get to know the new you AND Susan.

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