Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Times LIke These

- "It's times like these you learn to live again"
Foo Fighters


There were times last weekend that I really thought I was going to lose my mind.
A baby's cry is one of the worst sounds out there, almost as bad as a song from Air Supply. At least it's that way for me. When Andie or Allie cries, all I want to do is fix it. Now. Their crying seems to burn through my system, as if someone injected Fire Sauce from Taco Bell into my veins.
So you can probably imagine how I feel when both of them are going at once.
"I only have two hands!" I shouted several times on Friday, when, instead of watching Jayden that day, I had to watch both girls so they could go to the doctor and get shots.
I hate watching my girls get shots, even as I'm glad our health care is so good in this country that we can vaccinate against most diseases (this is just one of the many things in our health care system that we take completely for granted; yes, it's broken, but we're not exactly Africa, either). I hate watching them hurt. Mostly, though, I know how they'll feel later, and I'm going to pay for it.
Shots, even with the medicine they carry, are barely +EV.
I did my best, but there were three times, when both were crying, that I almost started crying myself. The hard thing is, they're both pretty good babies although Andie sometimes attempts to break the sound barrier and just gets angrier and angrier, kind of like me watching the Chiefs offense. I swear as red as her face gets that her little head will just explode like that guy in the movie "Scanners."
It's just that there's two good babies. 2>1.
Kate got home at 4 p.m. and said, brightly, "How did it go?" I looked at her.
"Oh."

I went for a tempo run, and it went well, a run that would be a good foreshadowing to Sunday's last 5K of the year. I played poker that night with my buddies and played in yet another losing effort for our softball team this year. I was OK after that.

Saturday, we had a barbecue with some good friends, and it was a pretty boring day. Boring days are good now. I carried around Allie most of the time. Honestly now I carry a baby around so much that I don't even notice it when she's there, like they're just an especially large mole or something, a mole that occasionally spits up on me.
I sort of dreaded 5 p.m. as much as Kate looked forward to it. It was her night out with the girls, and I knew what was coming, only this time I'd have Jayden as well as the girls.
I tried to be proactive, feeding the girls a little early while Jayden played out in our backyard, but they were having none of it, and my heart sank because I knew what that would mean.
Sure enough, a half hour later, they were both bawling as I lifted Jayden out of the tub and got him dressed so fast his PJs almost stuck to his skin. I sat them both on my lap and stuck a bottle in each mouth.
That works for a while, but Andie started up again, and I knew she was desperately tired and wanted to sleep. My holds, usually packaged with a knee bounce, work fairly well, although Kate's is the best, some weird game of Twister that makes them look like a Pretzel.
I would almost have Andie asleep and Jayden was playing with a book that makes a really annoying sound. I think it's an Air Supply song. Anyway, finally, Andie could not sleep, and after the fifth time of asking Jayden to bring me the book, I grabbed it from him and said "GOD DAMMIT bring it to me!"
He started crying.
Ah, yes, now I felt terrible along with stressed. We do not yell at Jayden at all, even when we've had many reasons to, as he's a sensitive guy and it's not his fault he has a gene that tells him to be a body in motion. But I got the book, I got the twins down, and then Jayden sat me with for a long time while we watched "Happy Feet" (which was a great movie, much better than I expected).

When Kate got home (she did not ask how it went this time), I went downstairs for some video game time. "Black." I knew playing poker would not be good, even if it was on a Saturday. (Monday night I managed to finally beat the damn game after a five hour session that left me up until 2 a.m. Stupid, but the game doesn't let you save its checkpoints, and I wasn't going to go through all that again).

Sunday was the big day. It was my final 5K of the year, and I expected a good day. It was a fast course, mostly downhill, and I was feeling good now that the twins were letting us sleep.
Well, for just a moment, anyway, I broke 22 minutes in a 5K, my long-term goal and something I've wanted to do since I started running seriously three years ago.
I wasn't sure if it was ever going to be possible. That's a 7-minute pace.
I vowed to start the race smart, as I did on Labor Day a couple weeks ago. I enjoyed that 5K, and I told myself I would never be miserable in a 5K again. I almost gave up 5Ks after feeling completely miserable in them until I started to start slow and build up the speed from there.
The first mile was by far the fastest, which complicated things, but I still ran it in 7:05. That's pretty fast for me, but it was all downhill, and in fact the start offered up a sweet, steep downhill portion that you would have to try to run slow. So I actually took my time. I could have run that first mile in 6:15, but that would have killed me the rest of the race.
I did not think I had a shot at under 22 minutes. It seemed I was running at a 7:10 pace most of the time. I was happy with that, given that it would give me my best time in a 5K, previously 22:34 in the Race for the Cure last year. But I didn't think I was running as fast as I actually was.
Yet when I crossed the 3-mile mark, suddenly I had a shot, and I kicked it into high gear. As the clock ticked, I sprinted as hard as I could, but I crossed the line in just over 22 minutes.
I was thrilled and disappointed at the same time. I had just beaten my best time, really a time I only achieved once in my life, by more than 30 seconds, a huge margin for a 5K. But I also missed my life-long goal by just two seconds.
But two days later, I'm still happy about the race. I needed that race after this weekend, and I needed the carry-over, the kind of carry-over we get from a great session at poker, or a good climb, or, now, a great 5K.
Times are tough. But other times, for just a short time, help me live again.

1 comment:

Chipper (Dave) said...

I don't miss those days at all. I think I lost my cool several times and yelled. Didn't do me a bit of good other than help me release some tension. Scared my kids a bit though at times and didn't make my wife too happy either. Guys have a much lower tolerance level to kids who can't yet be reasoned with.