16 November 2011

Quotation of the day

Today's is this from Oscar Wilde: "If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all."

I think about this often when Christmas comes around. When I was in high school I would always use Christmas break to reread Stephen King's "It". I love that book and I haven't read it in a long time. Maybe I'll have to do that again sometime.

But I am an avid re-reader of books. I love experiencing a book again and discovering something new that I had missed the first time around, or being reminded of a favorite moment that impacted my life.

I can't wait to find my next re-readable book. :) Suggestions welcome.

13 November 2011

Motivation

I've been looking for some motivation to run and workout. I think I found that last night. :)

10 November 2011

Notes to self again

Don't talk politics or religion with MS. :)

It's been a fun week at work. I put together a flyer for a holiday party our work will be having next month. I have received 3 emails requesting that I call it a Christmas Party instead of a holiday party. "Don't take Christ out of Christmas!" To that I said, "That's what I'm trying not to do by making it generic and calling it a holiday party - it's a bunch of food and drinking...not really honoring Christ with that." Plus we're a civil service kind of place...probably less issues with legal concerns by calling it a holiday party over Christmas.

But it's stirred the pot a bit. And it's stirred some controversy even at home. So note to self: don't talk politics or religion at home. :0

31 October 2011

My Mom Rocks

It's that time of year when my mom's gutters get full of leaves (on her house - in case there's any confusion) and so I help her out. We've come up with a system that works well for us. I start by climbing up a rickety old ladder my Dad used when he was in construction over 20 years ago, then she hands up the yellow broom and then her leaf blower. I dig out the thick sessions, sweep out the rest and then blow the crap out of it all. It's fun.

Today was a beautiful fall day, so I was excited to be on the roof. Plus I had baked a bit this morning so I was in a good mood. And it's always fun to hang out with mom. So I had her take some photos.

I was feeling pretty "high and mighty" as it were. :)

Yep - this is my normal look during this event. The fun part is when the wind would blow back the leaves down my shirt, into my bra, and sometimes even down my pants. You gotta love leaves.

My Halloween costume. Oh wait, maybe this is just me on a normal day. :)

My mom rocks... she raked the whole backyard and then sucked up and mulched all the leaves, then stuffed the leaf bags and took them to the dump. And she's in her 60's. She's amazing and makes me really happy. Love her! She amazes me every day!

24 October 2011

Marathon Weekend

Last weekend I ran a nearby marathon. Normally I run my TCM, but I had to work that weekend and I think I was (am) still a little bitter about it.

First, let me just say that it's amazing how things sometimes just don't go your way. The morning started rough - not the race, the morning as a whole. The night before there was a huge party downstairs in the hotel which kept us up until 2am. Actually, I think I slept through the first stint, woke up briefly at 10:30, then again at 12:30, then 2, then 3:30 then 4:30 when we had to get up anyway.

The hotel had set up a shuttle for runners to leave at 6:10 - 6:10! for an 8am race? UGH! I spent most of the morning going back and forth between skirt and tights. I ended up opting for skirt because I knew by the time the marathon was finishing up (for me) I'd be uber warm. But not realizing that the starting area had almost zero shelters (one bus stop was available but packed until about 7:30, and porta potties which I hung out in as long as I could), I should have gone with the tights. Hindsight...

Anyway, the race started out great. I loved it! I was cruising (for me) along the first mile with the 5hr pace group because I didn't want to start out too fast, but I was feeling awesome. I didn't think I really picked up pace but suddenly I was about 50 ft behind the 4:45 group and still feeling awesome. My mind was clear, I was loving this, I started doing the math of how to finish strong at 5:13 (my goal) because I knew I'd fall back a little, but still staying strong to stay just behind the 4:45 group.

This was working great, even up the 5mile hill (I even said to a woman after she said, "you conquered that hill!", "There was a hill?" with a grin - I felt great.) and then I hit the down hill, left turn slope between 6 and 7 and my knees started screaming. Uh oh.

I made it down the hill, walked briefly and then headed up the immediate steep hill on the other side. I almost made it up without walking, but had to accommodate a bit for the knee pain. Got to the top and I was now about 200 ft behind the 4:45 but still in front of 5. Okay, i can do this.

And then the knees began their gradual pain and spasm frenzy. At 10 I was passed by the 5hr group. At 13 I wanted to drop but didn't know where MS was or how to get a hold of him for him to know (i don't run w/ my phone - he had it and was biking to meet me along the route). So I pressed forward. At 14 I met MS, way behind 5hr but ahead of 5:30 and I could walk, but when I ran the jarring would move the pain around my knees. But I kept pressing forward.

Also during this time I realized that I had tied my shoes when my feet were cold, and so as my feet heated up and swelled up, the shoes were just a wee bit too tight and with that pressure caused pain on the tops of my ankles (right where the tongue meets the leg). That wasn't fun either.

Just before 17 I met up with MS and had a mini-breakdown for a mile, sobbing, trying to run or at least shuffle, and freaking out about my time. I was still okay having passed 15 at 3:05, but I was still freaking out. He biked ahead to meet me at 18 which was at the bottom of this really steep hill which is where my true breakdown occurred. He helped me through that and then rode ahead to find a medic and an ace bandage for my knees.

He found one at mile 20 and wrapped my left one which was hurting the worst at the time. That helped and I was able to shuffle some more off and one. At 21 we wrapped the right knee but he taped it a bit tight so we had to pull that off at 22. After that I was on my own. I couldn't risk anymore stops for time - I just had to keep moving forward.

So the rest of the race was shuffle-walking and trying to press forward. Every hill was supposedly "the last one" which was pissing me off. I love volunteers, don't get me wrong, but know the route people! The last part was also a lot of backtracking (at least how i felt) and that sucked. I also don't think we needed to run through the little barnyard part in the park but whatever.

One of the bikers, Hartman, rode with me 24 to the end which was great. He kept my mind off of things while he asked me questions about training and which marathons I really like (TCM!). I ended up finishing, but so not with the time I wanted. I know I finished and that's a great accomplishment but I'm not making my 5hr time that I really want. And the race official's were still nice enough to give me my finisher's shirt and medal even though I was 5 minutes long. But considering my Garmin had it at 6.41, I figure I deserve it. :) Yeah, official time 6:05:23. Sucky.

I did decide that this is way too late in the season for me to run. My mind isn't completely in the game as work tends to encompass my life in October, so if I can't run TCM, or something no later than a week after that, I won't be running one that year (or I'll have to run earlier). But I'm not running this one again. It was decent, but the hills were way too brutal on my knees.

One happy thought - this was a weird year for me...but a good one. I ran 4 new races - Fargo 5K, Fargo half, Jack 15 and now this one (on top of my Irishman in March and 10K in May). That's a step up for me - a girl of routine. But I think next year, I'll be back to my normal routine. I do know that I don't have to work during TCM next year, so at least that one will be on track. Now, I just need to rest for a bit and then find a decent training program and use it. I also have about 20-30 pounds to lose, which would help immensely. But for now, I just need to rest and get better.

15 October 2011

Running with friends

Got to run with my friend, Eric H., today! Woot! We haven't seen each other in few years (since grad school) so we spent a lot of the run talking, which is great for people who can run fast and talk. I'm not one of those, so I struggled and made Eric walk a lot more than he usually does. But it was great to catch up! And a beautiful day for a run.

One fun moment, we're coming to the end of our run so I wasn't sure if I was hallucinating or not, but I could have swore I saw a woman on a bike coming toward us with a snowy owl on her shoulder. Then I thought it must just be a white plastic bag wrapped around something and sticking out of her backpack. But THEN as she got closer it turned out to BE a bird - a parrot we decided - a white one. We weren't sure but it sure looked that way, so Eric turned around to confirm. Yep! How insane is that? And of course, neither of us had a camera so you'll have to take our word on it.

Eric also brought me a scotcheroo as a treat. Each Thursday he goes to his local coffee place and has a scotcheroo and posts this on FaceBook. So every Thursday I "live vicariously" through him. Long story, but that was a tasty way to finish a great run. Now I owe him cookies. :)

14 October 2011

Women's Expo

Mom and I have a standing date for the women's expo that's in town. I take the day off and we go early to camp out in hopes of getting one of the free 200 gift bags. So far we've done well in getting them.

This year, we got there around 10 (the doors open at 2) and we sat, chatted and played some cribbage while we waited. Once we got in the doors, we bee-lined for a corner to go through our bags. Last year we didn't until we got home and we discovered there were a bunch of coupons and specials IN the bag that we didn't get to use because we were supposed to take them to the booths directly. So this year we made a point to go through the bag first.

But this time, there wasn't much in the bag for coupons, but we did get some cool stuff. The expo itself was fun. Mom and I always have a good time at this, and it's fun to have a Mom/Daughter day.

And we have our calendar's marked for next year. :)

24 September 2011

Jack 15



Ran 15.28 miles this morning. Just for fun. Yep. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Truly though, I used this race as a training run. I have a marathon coming up in 4 weeks and I needed a decent, forced if you can call it that, long run.

The race was interesting - very small and also a relay. Most of the 100 runners were running the relay of varying amounts. Only 35 or so of us ran the full thing. I don't mind relays but when I'm running behind someone, using them as a guide to keep my pace going and then they stop at 7.5 and their super-speedy boyfriend takes over the last half, it's a little dejecting.

But my first hour was awesome. I was averaging a 10min/mile pace. Seriously! I finished mile 6 at 1:01. How insane is that? That really took me by surprise - especially since part of that - a couple miles or so - was on gravel! Thank God I have been training on gravel. That really helped.

But my next hour was rough. I really dropped in pace and motivation. My head wasn't in it, I was struggling to keep a decent breath, and I had a stitch in my side that would not go away. So I was at about 10.5 when I hit hour 2 and met up with MS.

The last hour went better. I realized if I got my pace back up I could almost make my same time I had in a half marathon 2 years ago. I was off by a minute or two for that mileage, but it made me feel so much better. My pace wasn't as bad as I thought. I was doing pretty well considering. So my mojo came back and I did better for the last hour. And I was able to pass one more person (granted he was, like, 90, but still) and that helped too.

The finish line was kind of pathetic. And there wasn't chip timing, but overall it wasn't a bad run. One of the bad things was that we were running to a specific landmark which you could see at mile 10.5 - that sucked because you knew to where you were running, but you also knew just how far away it really was. Uffda. It was at that point that I got a little sad that I don't get to run TCM next week. The best part of that race is that you don't see the finish until you're almost right on top of it so it's always there to look forward to reaching. Today, I just kept looking at the finish and wondering why it was taking me so long to get there.

Anyway, I'm happy with my time (2:56:18) and after today the meals will get back on track to help me get ready for the marathon. I'm hoping for a good time this year. I need it and I've been working hard for it.

23 September 2011

Gearing up! And a woot!

I finally figured out my Garmin and I CAN get my splits once I download or upload, rather, my info to my online tracking. WOOT! So the watch stays and will be used.

Tomorrow I'm running a race that is 15.2 miles. It starts in a small town (at the funeral home - which I really think should be the finish line) and down some highways and finish at the next town's college campus. It should be an interesting run. I've read ONE review which said, "This is a great race if you like rolling hills. And I mean a lot of rolling hills." So hills it shall be.

MS is schlepping for me tomorrow again. Yay! It'll be nice to have him to run to. And with my new watch it should be great. A race report will come tomorrow! Woot!

So I've been "woot"ing a lot lately. I'm not sure how this got into my vocabulary, but I kind of like it.

So WOOT! :)

19 September 2011

Best quote from last night:

MS was talking with his friend SMC last night about my new toy and apparently SMC had asked him if I liked running enough to spend the money on a Garmin or something. MS said, "She's addicted to it. She just sometimes needs a kick in the pants to get going." And with that tapped my butt with his foot and mouthed, "Get moving!" with a smile.

So I did. :)

New toy

Over the weekend I bought a Garmin. A Garmin 110, to be specific. A lot of my running friends have one version or another and I thought maybe it was time for me to suck it up and get a decent running watch - one that calculates my pace for me, one that can tell me how many calories I burned, one that automatically laps each mile (or however I set it up) so I don't have to push the button. So I took the plunge.

And I love it!!! Last night after MS and I got home from Kari's (where we watched the Cowboys-Niners game) it was just too beautiful to not run. So I headed out with my new watch in hand (or on my arm as it were) and gave it a whirl.

So of course, I started out too fast and had my first mile, on loose gravel, in 9:31. Holy crap. That scared me and had me out of breath so I walked for a bit to regroup. The rest of the run was awesome and I discovered that, per the Garmin, my run is 4.07 miles instead of the 3.77 I usually map it out to be. YAY! More miles!

The only drawback, and maybe I can figure it out, is that now that my run is done, I can't go back and look at my splits. My friend Sara's does, but she has a 210. I'm not sure I like that part. Maybe when I upload my runs, the splits will show up. If not, I may be taking it back and shelling out more money for a higher version. If it does, then I'm good. Most of the higher models have a lot of bells and whistles that I just don't need, so why waste the money. And maybe my splits aren't that important - just the overall pace, which I get. Maybe. :)

14 September 2011

Ba-lloon

Everytime I hear the word "balloon" I think of Mindy from "Buttons & Mindy" on Animaniacs (or was it Tiny Toons?). Anyway... the way she said it always made me smile. I was trying to find it on youtube but of course I can't remember the episode and I'm at work so I shouldn't be doing that anyway.

ANYWAY...I digress. So yesterday I got some bad news at work. Not really bad because for the person it directly affects it's a great thing, but for me it sucks a$$. It's a long story and I can't & won't go into it here, but it sucks.

So last night as I was falling asleep I was dreaming about a balloon. It was purple and it was rising up into the air. Suddenly it popped and my hand, which was holding MS's (yes, I know - ewwww!) flopped up and down on the bed and I jerked awake.

It was disturbing so, as has been the theme as of late, I looked up what dreaming about balloon's means:

from dreamforth.com:
To dream of balloons represents deflating aspirations and difficulty in life. Something in your life could spiral downhill. Balloons are also indicative of an overinflated ego. Black balloons signify depression, especially if they are falling to earth.

To dream of a rising balloon means that situations in your life are working to elevate above you. This is your inner yearning to break free of it. Balloons within dreams also signify gatherings and joyous parties. You should revisit your inner youth.

If a balloon pops in your dream, this represents an aspiration that has not yet been realized. This could also be indicative of pressure in your life that is becoming unbearable.


and from sleeps.com
To dream of seeing balloons in your dream indicates a dashing of hope on any and all fronts, business or love, as well as a general falling off of all kinds of businesses you may be involved in. If you are ascending in a balloon this is an omen of especially frustrating conditions in your life.

The latter seems real - dashing of hope and frustrating conditions. Oh well. It's not the end of the world, but it does suck and right now, as I kept telling the person who told me this yesterday, "I'm not happy."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19TBzy81Mac

12 September 2011

Running

Last Friday I had to complete my fitness assessment for work. So this is situps, pushups and a 1.5 mile run. I also had to have my waist measured.

My waist measurement was my scariest moment. I've yo-yo'd so much this year and last week I was back up, which isn't good. So measuring my waist was scary. Luckily the gals measuring measure differently than I do and measure smaller, so I was good.

Up next: situps and pushups. Last year I struggled with these but this year I rocked it. 51 situps with so much ease I could have kept going. 40 pushups that were a little more rough (I rested more than I needed or should have) but still that was 12 more than last year at this time. Woot!

Then I had Casey pace me again and this year my goal was 14:30. Last year I was sloooowww, and I needed to improve that this year. So 14:30 was the goal. We started out and I felt really good, and at one point she even said, "Um, you're about a minute faster on pace than you wanted to be...we should slow down a bit." So we did...but we were doing great. I was even able to talk a bit - a minute bit that is. :)

The bad thing was my shins were cramping which wasn't fun. And then the last half my quads started to get tight. But we kicked it in and I ended up finishing in 13:47.

!!!!!13:47!!!!!

I'm so stoked! Last year was 15:46... almost a full 2 minutes off my time from last year. AND it's my fastest time in the last 5 years, and probably my fastest ever. All day I kept saying, "13:47!" at random moments.

So at least, despite my weight issue, my legs are strong and my will is powerful. 6 weeks to Mankato. :)

10 September 2011

Mini-vacay

MS and I took a little road trip this week so we could meet up with his best friends (and so I could get approval). So we headed to the hills for some fun. It was a nice relaxing couple of days with no worries, lots of fresh air, and great people to be around.

MS's best friend took this photo...happiness all around.

06 September 2011

And more

This is almost getting funny...yet they aren't.

So last night's dream found me in a hospital waiting the impending birth of my mom's newest child.

Yes, you read that right. My Mom was pregnant in the dream.

She was just about to pop and so we...

You know...nevermind. This one is just disturbing on many levels - it wasn't just mom, there was another family there who had a horrible moment. I remember the other lady was wearing a white basketball uniform with green lettering being carried by two guys into the next room and her toenails were watermelon green. After that, the rest was just sad.

Nevermind.

05 September 2011

More dreams

This one was short but by far my favorite.

Last night I dreamed that K showed up unexpectedly, because she sensed that I needed to be with a dear friend, and she brought the Nikanator along. It was great. After big hugs from both of them, K went to get Nika something and Nika yelled out, "Don't forget to bring one for Sara!"

My heart was all warm and fuzzy.

Miss you all - K, E and Nika. :) *hugs*

04 September 2011

Car

I dreamt about a car again last night. This time my mom and dad were helping my 2nd nephew to buy a car. We were in the cities and met up with some guy who had a parking ramp in his basement where he stored the cars he sold. He had ONE for sale - a dusty rose colored 4-door wagon of sorts. It was kind of ugly but my 2nd nephew seemed to like it and so we took it for a test drive. I sat in the back seat behind the driver, my nephew, who pushed the seat back so far and then leaned it back so far that I could poke him all the way down his back. Weird. That was about the excitement of it.

So after all these car dreams, I decided to look up what this all means in a dream dictionary. I don't take a lot of stock in this but it's been 3 car dreams in a week so something's going on in my brain (besides poor diet).

So here you go:
To dream that you are driving a car denotes your ambition, your drive and your ability to navigate from one stage of your life to another. Consider how smooth or rough the car ride is. If you are driving the car, then you are taking an active role in the way your life is going. However, if you are the passenger, then you are taking a passive role. If you are in the backseat of the car, then it indicates that you are putting yourself down and are allowing others to take over. This may be a result of low self-esteem or low self-confidence. Overall, this dream symbol is an indication of your dependence and degree of control you have on your life.

So in a couple of my dreams I was navigating my life - but apparently not well if I'm driving an AMC Pacer in one and a truck that I can't keep in the right lane and end up running over trees and boulevards. Uffda. Of course later I looked up truck and here's what that means:

Truck: To see a truck in your dream suggests that you are overworked. You are taking on too many tasks and are weighed down by all the responsibilities.

Well that's completely true. This past week (weeks) has been rough. It's end of fiscal year for us and we're constantly trying to tie up a bunch of loose ends on top of continuing training for a big training event we have coming up in a week that I have no idea what I'm doing for it. I'm slowly going insane. No...I may already be there. I'm sure this isn't helping my blah feeling today either. But what do you do?

Blah, icky day

So it's been 17 years. Yep, 17 years since my Dad died. 17 years to the day, to the day of the week even. It's been kind of a slap in the face, which shocks me after all these years. I'm not weepy sad, just blah sad. It just kind of sucks that he's not around anymore. So much has changed that he's missed, where we've missed having him around. It's just sad.

03 September 2011

Weird dreams

I know that my eating habits influence so much more of my life. This week has been awful for food. The other day my lunch was a Snickers and Diet Dew. I've been eating a lot of Jimmy John's too, which isn't necessarily bad, but not really good either.

But when my dreams turn wacko I know I need to work on what I'm eating. The other night I dreamt that I traded in Morty for this:


Yes, that's an AMC Pacer. But mine was purple. PURPLE. I know...I'm struggling here.

Last night, I dreamt that I was borrowing RAC's truck and I struggled to drive it because it was SO big that I couldn't turn it down the right road. In fact, at one point, I went around a building, in through the delivery door and parked in the popcorn store where I wanted to go. Somehow the truck fit in the store with no damage to the store at all. When I got out of the car, a pilot I know (who had a full beard - odd) told me he had watched me drive outside and was thankful that he hadn't gotten hit since I almost took a tree when I went over the boulevard to get the truck back in the right driving lane. Whatever. Then I looked for popcorn (because it was supposed to be a specialty popcorn shop) and all the place had was 4 boxes of factory popcorn, but a whole refrigerated case full of various kinds of cheesecake. So I ordered a chocolate covered cherry topped cheesecake. I wanted it in a box to go but the lady didn't understand me, so I ended up just taking it out in a small paper dish thing.

Yeah, I need to eat better. Help.

Notes to self

Don't write down on a running log that you're going to run later in the day because you know it's never going to happen.

Don't NOT run in the morning just because you think you're tired. The run will do you good and you know you won't get it done later in the day.

When you wake up in the morning, RUN. Don't think about it, just go.

In summary: Run in the morning as soon as you get it up if you want to run at all.

01 September 2011

1 mile

I ran a mile today.

In some circumstances that would be a profound statement, but usually for me this is just a warm up. But today, the good thing about this 1 mile is that I ran it in 8:59.

The pessimist in me figures that the "mile" we run isn't actually a mile, but maybe. I mapped it out on Map My Run and from corner to corner it's 1.05, so maybe. I really should get a Garmin so I can actually map what I run. For now, that's pretty damn impressive for me - especially, this morning when it was so humid the guys I was running with said it felt like running through soup.

But hey, the optimist in me says that this time is awesome. I'm excited that I could make it in 9 minutes because that means that next week when I do my fitness test for work, when I have to run a mile and a half, I should make it in 14:30 which is my goal. If I can make it faster I'll be stoked.

Today, I downloaded all my training since January 30, 2009, which was all my log (DailyMile.com) still had listed. Based on the latter, I'm glad I downloaded all of these today. I don't want to lose any more, and I know that I had more before 2009. So now I have something I can fall back on. It was interesting to see how much more I ran in 2009 (which was the year I had my PR for the TC Marathon). Last year I hardly ran at all. It's amazing I was even sort of able to finish.

So far this year, I'm doing well with running. I do need to get a few more miles in, but considering a year ago I ran a total of 10 miles in August and this month I ran 62, I think I'm doing better. And I do have a couple extra weeks before my marathon this year, AND I've been doing extra strength training which is great.

So I ran a mile. And today that mile was a PR. And I'm a happy camper. I can't wait for my long run tomorrow. It'll be less humid and I'm sure it will go well. And if it doesn't, there's always the next day and I'll learn from the run anyway.

29 August 2011

Blogging...

Well, I guess that whole 24 days of blogging is out the window.

This month has been pretty crazy - a couple work trips, a lot of extra work shifts (Can you head the O'Jay's singing?), and a lot of just extra stuff. Every weekend has had something going on and if it hasn't, then MS and I have been trying to reconnect.

In light of the latter, MS and I spent one afternoon at a local lake so he could fish and I got 4 hours of minimally interrupted reading. He's also been working on (and finished yesterday) a clothes line for me. We've had lots of "discussions" regarding this project. I'll post pictures later. :)

And I've been running. My next marathon is coming up around the end of October, I think I have something like just shy of 8 weeks til the event, so running and FXB have been my life. I also signed up for a new race this next month - a 15.2 run where you start in one town (at the funeral home!) and run to the next town (a college town) and finish on their campus. It's all road racing which should be interesting with the cars that will be speeding by. When I signed up for that I was only one of 15 people who had signed up. Maybe I'll win a prize! HA! But apparently this has a lot of rolling hills which will be a good training run for the marathon.

Work is good...nothing exciting. Well some stuff exciting but not a lot. I've been working a lot of extra shifts to try to catch up on some projects, especially after being gone for 3 weeks. It's been helpful.

I think that's it. Not much going on in life, but I do miss writing. I need to do that more. I'll try, I promise. :)

01 August 2011

Proud of myself

Being proud is a bad thing - it steams of arrogance. But I'm proud of myself that I actually blogged 23 days last month. Crazy! Let's see if I can get 24 this month. Ha!

Today was a good day. My mom had a hospital procedure today and asked me if I'd take her in and take her home when they were finished. I agreed. It's not that this is quality time with my Mom but we did get some time to talk when she was recovering and had a few laughs.

Then I got in my car to drive and drive and drive some more. I have a conference this week, so I'm about to embark on some good ol' fashioned learnin'. It should be fun, and a short week (which is good because I have a lot of work waiting for me back home).

And I'm excited that I'm writing here again today. Hopefully I can get back into this habit. I need to write...and more than just these mini posts I had last month. Slowly but surely I'll get back into this. I just need to get back into practice...kind of like I do with my planking. :)

23 July 2011

Kit-Kat bar

I had a nice run this morning, sweat pouring down my face but the wind helped to keep me from overheating. Our local running shop sponsor's a fun run each month and is always fun to meet up with other runners to talk running. Today, unfortunately, I was running late but I was still able to get a 4 miler in before the last group arrived back at the start.

I'm supposed to be mowing now, but it's so hot, but I need to get it done. That and getting ready for my next week of work. It's just crazy. I really need a week off. I don't remember my last vacation where I got away for awhile. Fargo doesn't count since that was only a couple days. I need to get away. I need a break.

22 July 2011

Long day

Today was a busier than crap day. And yet I got a ton accomplished. I wish I could be productive like I am today every day. But for some reason, I just can't.

My brain is fried. I got a bunch of new books today so I'm wishing I could just sit and read for the next three weeks, but that won't be happening. Oh well.

21 July 2011

I wanna be a beach

A couple gals from FXB and I went to a beginner yoga class tonight. It was good. I needed the downshift from the tension of the day. Thanks to P90X I had good form and the stretch was awesome.

As we were coming into the end of it all (sts), the gal leading us read a passage from 365 Tao (number 41) about the beach. Paraphrasing massively here since I was half out of it as I heard it, she read how our mind needs to be like a beach, where the ocean waves continue to wash away the gunk from yesterday and you're left fresh and renewed.

I need that reminder (and if I get the book, I'll try to put the actual passage here) because I get so caught up with all the crap from 'ago' and beat myself up over it. I need to work on that and live in the now.

20 July 2011

Mmm...

I need to write about my favorite salad. My friend SBK and I go out to eat on occasion (i.e. every week) during lunch and one of our favorite places is WSG. It's sooooo yummy. Over the months of going there we have found our favorites. SBK usually gets her soup and salad (depending on the soup for the day), while I get the Big Salad.

This salad is amazing!! Mixed Greens with cucumber slices, grape tomatoes (now, originally it had tomato slices but I kept requesting the grape tomatoes and now that's all they serve with it), onions (which I ditch), bacon (!), and chicken. It's a balsamic chicken salad, so I also get the balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Mmmm... It's so good and WSG has it down just how I like it - no onions, chicken on the side (so I can cut it up into smaller pieces), and a side of bread.

mmmm...I'm getting hungry again.

19 July 2011

Funny...

So I've been trying to write a little bit each day this month - trying to get myself back into the habit of doing this because I miss writing.

But I've also noticed, that I really don't have a lot to say these days. Well, I shouldn't say that because I do but I have things I really can't say here, so I'm limited by what I can write.

I've been watching the Twins/Indians games the last couple days. Yesterday was a double header and I got lucky enough to be able to watch both. They were both decent games and I was able to cheer on my team (who won both games, by the way).

Work is the same, nothing exciting. I still work at what seems like a junior high some days. Boss2 is back and it's nice to have him back.

I'm back running - at least the last couple days I have been. Tomorrow will be rough since I have a meeting right away so I can't run before work. But it's kickboxing day, so tat helps a bit.

That's life - nothing exciting. :) Maybe someday I'll have things to write about again.

18 July 2011

Wet run

I felt like this during my run this morning (without the subtitles):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iuc8uWMdaDg

Uffda...and that was at 7am. Thanks to MS for suggesting we wait to mow the rest of the lawn until Friday when it's "cooler".

17 July 2011

Water works

I read this post this morning on how it's okay to cry. It was a good reminder to me. I find myself struggling some days to hold back the tears because, due to where I work, it's just not good to cry in front of people. And I feel bad when I break down in front of MS because he feels so helpless when sometimes all I need is a good purge.

Why is crying so taboo for adults? Why can't we just let our emotions show like kids do? When they're upset, they show it. When they're happy, they are so elated the joy just oozes from their pores? Why do we as adults remain so stoic and contained? Why can't we let it out? Is it society? Is it just where I live that we have this habit?

What would happen if we did start 'acting like children' in that way? Hell, half the time we act like children with our other actions - not in a good way - so why can't we let our emotions show like this too? Something to ponder...

16 July 2011

JB's surprise!

A couple of weeks ago I got a message on FB from EMB asking me if I could make a quick trip to the Cities for a surprise b-day party. Our friend JB celebrates her birthday month and she wanted to put something together in her honor. JB's new BF also wanted to help out.

I thought this was brilliant! What a great way to get to the Cities, see JB and EMB again and get to meet JB's BF. I loved it. So plans were made.

It was great! I also got to catch up with a college friend, Dan, who is now mutual friends with JB and her BF. Crazy small world.

So some parting shots from the night:

15 July 2011

It's so humid it's wet

You gotta love the wet humidity...you walk outside and just before you start sweating your clothes have stuck to your body like saran wrap on a bowl. It's just a joy.

I hate July.

14 July 2011

Oh I need help

My eats lately have been crap. Crap, I say. We had a grill out today to get rid of food leftover from last Saturday's event. So hamburgers, chips, ice cream. Yummy, but not good for me.

I need a good goal. I need some help. :( FXB is planning a FIT challenge so hopefully that will help. For now, I might have to have a small bowl of ice cream to cheer up. :)

13 July 2011

Another day, another dollar

Boss1 has gotten his funny bone back out. It's pretty funny, he's been crackin' jokes and teasing like he used to a while back. SBK and I are thinking it's because Boss2 is gone and one of our bigger projects at work is getting easier and coming to an end.

Either way, it's been fun to go to work again lately. Despite still being super far behind, it's going well.

I wish I had more to report but I really don't today. I'm pretty blah these days.

12 July 2011

Not a good sign

I woke up for my 5am class this morning at 4:15. As I struggled to drag my sorry butt out of bed, I realized that I have several more weeks of this early morning rising ahead of me and that the "Fall Back" time change will really hurt.

The workout this morning was good though. I didn't get a run in today, though I should have. My plan was to run after work, but then MS asked me to go with him to have a family chat with his mom. That was fun.

Now, I just want to go to sleep. My work yesterday was beneficial though. I got a lot of paperwork completed and didn't feel quite so stressed when looking at my email numbers. Yay! :)

11 July 2011

Here we go!

I have been feeling a little like I've been drowning lately - drowning in emails and tasks. So today, to try to get my head above water a bit, I spent the afternoon going through my inbox at work and sorting, deleting and filing emails. I'm happy to say my inbox went from 2896 to 937. The only bad thing now is that I have a lot of work that I need to do that had been squished down by so many emails over the past couple months. You know, those emails that weren't a priority at the time, but now suddenly need to get completed? Yeah, those. Not that all 937 are that, but a good chunk are.

I'm okay with that. For now. I need to get my head above water, and at least right now I can see the surface. Soon I'll break through and I'll be able to breathe again.

10 July 2011

Communication

I think sometimes our world is falling apart because we just don't know how to communicate. While I recognize the irony of me posting this here, I do find it sad that so much of our transactions between others revolves around email or the Internet.

MS got a new job a couple weeks ago and he starts tomorrow. However, because he's been on workman's comp for a bit, he had to find out about it from a co-worker about his promotion. No one called. Then he had to find out he was starting tomorrow again from a co-worker. He called in to check in with his new office and the admin assistant said, "Your new boss didn't call you?" Uh, no. And then...yes, there's more, he went to a retirement ceremony today and his new big boss came up to him and said, "Why aren't you in uniform?" MS said he didn't know he had to be. The boss said, "We were going to do your official promotion today." Yeah, a phone call would have made that work a little better.

It's just funny. For the longest time I thought it was just my workplace that struggled with communication, but apparently it's running rampant. It scares me that we aren't able to speak with one another. Yes, again, I know the irony since I am one of the biggest offenders and one with the biggest issues talking about my feelings or whatever.

Anyway, just some thoughts on this hot summer Sunday. :)

09 July 2011

Picnic time!

KC and I put on our bi-annual bash tonight. Normally we have a holiday party and then a spring thing, but our spring was quite busy so it was moved to tonight - which was a wee bit warm.

We opted for something simple this time - just a picnic. Thank goodness others helped out. We had a lot of fun, for the 30 or so people who showed (out of 150). KC also brought her new little boy, so I got my baby fix and MS got a little bit of one too.

08 July 2011

Proof that FB can be good sometimes

My friend Nichole posted this today:

"We ask ourselves 'who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?'
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." - M. Williamson

O! How I need this reminder...especially on days/weeks/months like these.

07 July 2011

Crazy day

It has been insane lately! What is going on? Is it just because it's after a holiday? Is it because I have to work this weekend so I'm annoyed? Is it because of everything else messed up in the universe? I don't get it. Please...someone advise me?

06 July 2011

Stuck in my head

Today would have been my parents' 49th wedding anniversary. Sadly, Dad's been gone 17 years now. It's too bad. I do miss him and think he would have been a lot of fun to be around these days, for a myriad of reasons.

But my struggle is that while I'm at work, I find myself wishing I were at home or out running; and then when I'm at home or out running, I find myself thinking about all the things I could be getting accomplished at work.

Today was actually a productive day - I got a lot done, but not nearly enough. And while I worked through lunch, making today even longer, I felt the need to leave as soon as I possibly could, only to find, once I was home, that I had a laundry list of things I should have been finishing before tomorrow.

This isn't a new problem, but it's one I don't know how to fix.

05 July 2011

I live in acronyms

The theme for this month is SWIM, so today while I was sweating profusely when running at high noon, I thought maybe it would help me to come up with a better meaning behind SWIM than just the wet, bikini wearing, goggle donning kind.

I live with acronyms on a daily basis so every word should spell out something else - you know, like LOL, ROFL, etc. I'm not a texter of the generation today, but I do like a good acronym.

Sooo SWIM - S W I M... I came up with a couple:
Strong While In Motion
Strength Will Invoke Movement
Sweat Will Induce Muscles

I like these because when I'm running I'm usually feeling pretty weak and pathetic. I don't run very fast, yet, and running on gravel always seems to slow me down. I get down on myself and it makes running even tougher to keep mentally strong. So maybe if I can keep this new mantra - strong while in motion - I can someday believe it and make my marathon goal.

04 July 2011

Holiday

First, happy independence day to all celebrating America's freedom today.

I must be out of practice with this blogging everyday thing...I know I had a great blog post from yesterday but I can't for the life of me remember it. I couldn't remember yesterday either. Hopefully I'll get back into a good practice of writing and I'll remember things better.

MS and I relaxed today, which was much needed. We slept in again, I went for a run (mostly because I felt guilty that most of my running friends were running races today), then finished mowing the weed patch. MS and I started laundry and then went to town for lunch and to see "Thor". I really liked the film, and as MS said - you really can't go wrong with comic books stories. :) I never grew up with those but I'm enjoying them.

Tonight we're going to see if we can see any of the firework shows around, though I'm ready for sleep. Oh well...

Anyway...hopefully tomorrow I'll remember my stories better so I'm not quite so lame here. :) Happy day to you all!

03 July 2011

A day of rest

I'm doing my best to remember that today is Sunday. It hasn't felt like Sunday at all, but I know that it is today.

One of the best parts of today was not setting the alarm. We slept in (to 6:42!) which was wonderful. I loved just being able to gradually wake up instead of being jerked awake at 4:08 so I can make it to my 5am class. Tomorrow's class isn't until 6 so I can sleep in a little bit, too.

Otherwise, MS and I relaxed until we had to go into town. I got to welcome home a friend who had been overseas with the military for the last 3 months on a rough tour. It was great to see him and chat a bit. Then I ran a couple errands - getting pictures developed from yesterday's zoo trip, and getting a small album for MS's mom so she could have some in her apartment at the AL. She liked the pictures, I think. She's not super happy to be in the AL, but we're trying our best to help her get comfortable.

MS and I even went to the mall and shopped a bit. Crazy stuff. I'm so not a mall person but the mall was practically empty. I guess that's a tip to me - shop on holiday weekends. :)

Tonight we're just veggin', which I really need. I just need to breathe and relax. Tomorrow starts another week. :)

So for your viewing pleasure, here are MS and I at the zoo. :)


02 July 2011

Overkill?

I decided to do a lot of extra working out today to make up for my breakfast and basically every other meal I ate this week. It might have been overkill but I'm just hoping that maybe every bad thing I ate is gone now.

I started the morning with 45 minutes of a lower body workout. It was great. Then the girls and I went out for breakfast, which was great except that I felt really guilty for the bacon I ate. So I came home and ran 3.5 miles. Then MS and I took his mom, along with my mom and his aunt and uncle, to the zoo. We spent over 2 hours walking around and checking out the animals. It was fun. I got some good pics that I'll upload tomorrow.

After that MS and I came home and I needed to mow, so there's another 3 hours walking and pushing. The lawn at least looks nice, but now my feet are so tired and swollen I'm not sure my shoes will fit tomorrow. :)

01 July 2011

NaBloPoMo

I'm going to try this again. I haven't been writing much lately and I really have been missing it. MS will think I'm crazy but I really feel like this would be good for me. I only wrote twice last month, so let's see how this goes.

The theme for this month is SWIM, and I have been swimming against the current for awhile now. Between work, MS, MS's mom, FXB, coaching, running and trying to keep sane, I've been fighting the waves daily. I need to find some clarity and maybe by writing this month - every day - I can get back to some resemblance of normal and clarity.

I have found it to be very interesting that the last week or so I haven't really been interested in the details of my job. Then about an hour before the day is over I'll suddenly get motivated and try to get everything done. This is good, but it's not good because most of the day I'm struggling to find motivation and accomplish things that need to be done. I'm not sure what all that is about.

BVL did need some help the past couple weeks with proofing her resume and application for a job. I'm happy to help her because I know she'd be great in the position. I'm praying she gets an interview and is selected. We'll see. We got everything finalized and she turned it in earlier this week. Now, we wait.

So that was keeping me confused. On top of that, our state is going through a flood which has been keeping us all busy. And we had VIPs visit a couple days, so I was coordinating those efforts. That kept me confused as well.

I'm also looking at another Master's. I'm not sure that I need one, but for some reason I feel like I should have one that I can "use". KC found one that would work really well for both of us, and we could study together, but I'm not sure I'm ready to add that to my fall schedule. I signed up for a training/education course for work a week ago and I need to get that done. If I do decide to do the master's then I need to have this course completed before I start it. So there's some added confusion.

I have a lot on my plate right now and trying to keep it all coordinated is not going well. For now I need to just keep swimming.

22 June 2011

Procrastinating Goddess


Jillwillrun posted this recently and it really made me think: What do I do when I'm procrastinting? Maybe I'm in the wrong career? I don't know.

So what DO I do (which sounds funny) when I procrastinate at work? Well, a few things:
- I blog (like right now)
- I search for recipes
- I read up on fitness stuff
- I log my food (I'm a little obsessed with loseit.com)
- I'm a coach now for FXB, so I try to find things to motivate my team
- I read about running or search for races
- I update my spreadsheets with my budget
- I read up on the news - cnn, npr, mpr, local papers, yahoo, etc.

I'm sure there are more, but these are the main things. A lot of what I do to procrastinate at work is on the computer - surfing (the InfoDesk taught me well), commenting, blogging, writing, etc. But at home it's a different story:
- I read
- I watch movies/tv
- I knit
- I nap
- I bake
- I run
- Or I'll talk about running and then walk around the house for 20 minutes before I actually go

But are these things that I could develop a career with? I don't know. That's something to think about, I guess.

What do you do when you procrastinate?

17 June 2011

Time for a break

I took me two hours this morning (2!) to remember what I had done Sunday and Monday this week. O.M.G. It has been insanely busy.

I have so much to update on but I'm so tired. Maybe in a couple days I can figure out how to get my head on straight.

31 May 2011

Finishing up May

After Fargo, I spent the week traveling. I had a work conference the day after we got back - just an overnighter but still. Then I spent a couple nights at home prepping and packing for my trip to Maryland to see my OOB and his family.

My second nephew graduated high school this weekend and it was fun to go out and see it. AJ has always been a quiet kid, and this weekend was no exception. I did get a chance to get a few conversations in with him and he was pretty funny. I think he thought I was just crazy and odd because he kept laughing at me. :)

The weekend was good. Mom and I flew in on Thursday and OOB picked us up. We went out for crab cakes (yay!) and so we didn't get to OOB's place until almost 2230. Granted they're an hour ahead of my normal time, but I usually go to bed at 2130, so I was ready to crash. I won the air mattress (so mom could have the bed) and proceeded to sleep.

The next morning I got up for a run. OOB had given me some options for routes so I took off and tried out one up the road. Other than the slim shoulder on the way to the development I ran through, it was a great run. MD was HUMID so that sucked. When I got back, OOB and OOB's Wife (SIL or OOBW, depending on my mood) started working in the yard to finish up some landscaping. I got bored so I found a pair of my nephew's old soccer cleats and went out to help. I ended up raking mulch and then power spraying the concrete. It was fun to get some yardwork done, even if it wasn't mine.

Friday night was the Senior Awards Banquet. AJ got quite a few awards...but then again, he's a smart kid. I was tired so I became bored...but alas. I think a lot of people were bored. Then only excitement was the horrendous thunderstorm that came through while we were there. When we got home we discovered that a limb came down on the tree in the backyard, solidifying Mom's powers of felling trees*.

Saturday I got up for a run, but opted to walk with Mom first. We went around the neighborhood loop - 5 times around for 3 miles. Mom hadn't walked enough the day before so we needed to get her some steps. Afterward OOB made waffles which are my favorite so I had 3 and then needed to go run again. So I went around the loop again for another 3 miles. When I got back it was time for graduation. It was a great ceremony. We followed that up with Japanese Hibachi and OOB and I had sushi for appetizers. MMMMmmmmmm. Loving me the sushi. :)

Sunday another run was in order but I ended up running errands with OOB and helping set up for the graduation party instead. This was a fun day though because I also ended up being the cool aunt and helping my almost 13-yr-old niece learn the ins and outs of how to swim when Mr. Friendly is visiting. OOBW felt bad, like she was being a bad mom because she couldn't help her daughter, but I had to absolve her of that - I know few girls who feel comfortable talking to their mom about that stuff. So AME and I had a nice chat and eventually she "beat Mr. Friendly" and spent the afternoon swimming.

I got in a little lounging in the pool too. I was so glad I had remembered my swimsuit this time. I spent part of the party early on by the pool getting a little pink, then after the kids had left, I floated around for about an hour. It was great. AJ came home from his parties and we chatted some more. He opened his cards/gifts and then set up his class schedule for college next fall. He was excited to get his courses assigned right away but got a little overwhelmed when he was seeing all the classes he has to take. He's going into Civil Engineering, and I think he's going to do great. I'm really excited for him.

Monday I got a run in while it was nice and humid in the morning - another 3 miler. Then we helped OOBW's parents move into a new place. Then a shower, some lunch and headed to the airport for a fun little adventure back home. Home was having a horrible storm covering the entire east side of the state, so we were diverted and put on a bus to get home. Pretty crazy trip. We didn't get in until 0130 this morning. Uffda.

So today I have been recovering from the trip, checking in at work, doing some laundry and making plans for yard work (it's windier than hell here so I have to divert my mowing until tomorrow). I'm really glad to be home. Dorothy was right, "There's no place like home."

*There's a running joke that whenever Mom goes to visit OOB, OOB loses a tree. The last time (or the time before) that she was there, there was a lightening strike that took down their front yard tree. This trip took down only a limb, but as we were walking around the neighborhood the next morning we discovered quite a few trees down. Mom's power has grown. :)

23 May 2011

Fargooooooooo

This past weekend I ran the GoFar Challenge in Fargo, ND. It was fun and I learned a lot about me throughout the whole ordeal.

So the GoFar Challenge is a 5K run/walk on Friday night followed by a race (either 10K, Half, or Full marathon) Saturday AM. I opted originally for the 5K/Marathon combo, but just before Easter I decided that it might be smarter for me to switch to the 5K/Half combo. With FXB I hadn't been running as much and while I was stronger, I just didn't feel comfortable with running 26.2.

Anyway, I ran with two of my friends - Tom and Sara - who are engaged and getting married this fall. Tom is a super fast runner and Sara's a wee bit slower than me. So this was a good matchup for Friday night. Tom and I talked and subtly urged Sara along while we dodged one of the most intensely packed 5Ks I've ever been a part of. Seriously - something like over 6000 people participated. Wow.

MS was along, as usual, and he got a picture of us coming across the finish line. He missed our high-five, but he had us pose for this one at the end. So much fun.


Saturday was the Half. I honestly thought I was ready for this and could have made at least the middle of my three goals. Yes, I set three goals for each longer distance race: a) the time I really want (in this case 2:20); b) the time I can live with (2:30); and c) the absolute slowest time I'll allow (2:45). Well, I made the last one on this race. Finished in 2:41, which I was really upset with until MS reminded me that I had been sick all week prior to this race and was still having a bit of a cough and phlegm. Fair enough. My legs did feel pretty good through the race but I just couldn't get the momentum I wanted. Again, it was a really crowded race (over 7000 I believe) and I felt like I was dodging people the entire time. Then just before we hit the halfway mark we merged with the full marathoners which made it unbearable. They were in stride (sort of, they had 95 turns they had to deal with - seriously) and so suddenly having to deal with us slower folks sucked for them. Well it also sucked for us, because suddenly there were these faster runners trying to get around us and it was just uncomfortable.

Anyway, I met up with MS around 7.5 which was needed. I had some oranges, begged for strength and headed off again. MS had his own struggles dealing with traffic and finding his way through town. He met up with me at the end and took this picture as I was crossing the finish line. I like this one. It made me glad.


All in all, it was a good weekend. Fargo has some improvements that are needed - especially post-race (no signage or directions anywhere!, long lines for medals, longer line for food that was so backed up people couldn't even move). But otherwise it's a decent race. The people are super friendly, the pre-race build up the morning of was great, and having everything from the Expo to the finish line in the Fargodome was pretty cool (despite parking issues).

Now, I'm looking to find my next race. I have a 5K at the end of June, but I'm thinking of another half mid-June. We'll see. :)

16 May 2011

A shoutout to my Dad

Dad would have been 75 years old today. Sadly, though, he died in 1994 when he was only 58. I still miss him a great deal. He was my father, he was my friend. I miss our chats, playing HORSE in the driveway, sitting on the back patio just taking in the night air (which, of course, was laced with the scent of Salem Menthol lights and sawdust).

Love you, Dad. Miss you. I know we'll meet again one day.

Beautiful night

If I wasn't sick and I didn't have to work tomorrow, tonight would be absolutely beautiful. The moon is gorgeous tonight. I'm sitting on our couch and looking out our large living room window and taking it all in. The only thing better would be if I was outside by a fire with a Guinness in hand.

But alas, I've been sick the last three days - just a head cold but it's knocked me out. I came home from work yesterday and crashed for three hours. THREE hours! I couldn't believe it. Of course, then I was up until 11:40 waiting to get tired again so I could sleep. This afternoon MS wanted to study and wanted me to rest, so I ended up taking another two and a half hour nap. I only woke up when I heard the door squeak as MS opened it to go to his appointment.

I'm just going to sit here and pretend that I'm outside and enjoying the weather. And the moon. And I'll pretend it's Funday Sunday so I can have a Guinness as well. :)

15 May 2011

It's late

It's almost 11 and I'm still awake. This isn't surprising since I took a 3 hour nap this afternoon. However, since I'm sick the nap was almost a necessity and I took Nyquil over an hour ago so you'd think it would have hit me by now.

But no. I'm awake. I finally had a yawn a moment ago. And I'm watching Police Academy. The latter is a saving grace. MS went to bed an hour ago and here I sit.

It's been a busy week. Work was busy this week. I have a couple projects I'm working on and so things keep me hopping. This will be a busy month, too, with some work travel and running events coming up, so I have to keep focused when I'm work so I can make sure I get things accomplished. So much so that I'm tempted to go into work tomorrow even though I have the day off.

But we'll see. Tomorrow is May 16 - significant in many ways: MS's mom's b-day (she turns 69 this year); was my grandma Dot's b-day; and most important it was my Dad's b-day. He would have been 75 tomorrow. That's huge. 75! Wow! And what still makes me sad is that he didn't even make it to 60.

I suppose I should try to sleep. PA is almost over so I might as well. I'm just debating if I should stay on the couch or go to bed and infect MS with some sickness. Hmmm...The bed would be more comfortable, but I don't want to get him sick.

May I be excused? My head is full. Did this post even make sense?

09 May 2011

It's already the 9th?

Where has the beginning of May gone? Wow! Time just flies on by, doesn't it? Just a reminder to value every minute.

This first week of May has been really good. My training last week was awesome - extra runs on top of FXB, the 10K Saturday with a great time even with walking (which tells me if I hadn't walked I would have gotten a PR), a nice Mom's day yesterday. Life is good.

So I thought I should add some pics, because I just don't do that as much anymore.

This is MS and his Mom. I like this photo because even though she's kind of bent over, she has a look on her face that cracks me up.


Me and my Mom. :) I love her. She's wonderful. We actually had met for church yesterday AM, then went out for breakfast, and then met up for lunch with MS and his mom. Fun times. :)


So Saturday's race was for breast cancer. So many people in my life have been touched with it. They give you a sticker you can put on your back, "I'm running for..." and write all the names. I don't do this for a couple reasons: 1) Too many times when I'm running I end up stepping on a sticker that has fallen off of someone in front of me and that seems almost as bad as when KC yells at me for accidentally stepping on the handicapped stencil in parking lots; 2) there are just too many people in my life who have been affected by this dreadful disease - I'm afraid the card would be too full and/or I'd forget someone. So I run and I think of all of them while I run. And I say prayers for them in between saying prayers for myself that I can finish the run. *grin*

Specifically Saturday I was on the Boots for Boobs team. A gal I work with is recovering from her Mom's death earlier this year. "Sam" had suffered from breast cancer for years. But we've had a lot of others at work who have suffered and survived. I had two friends in high school whose mom's both died. I know others out there, near and far, who have been touched. So I run. And I run with a vengeance:

27 April 2011

Admin Pro Day

First a shout out to Kat whose birthday is today. Happy Birthday, my dear! Hope it's a great one!

So sometimes you just forget how great you have it. I think a lot of people I work with forget just how great things are where we are. We have a good job, a steady job, with great hours, great benefits and awesome people to work with and for. But we've been doing it so long, we forget all that.

This week is Administrative Professionals Week (or day - yesterday, I think or is it really today?). I thought about this briefly last week when I heard an ad for flowers and I remembered how my dad would always buy mom flowers this week because she took care of all the bills and shopping and stuff at home.

Well, today Boss1 came into my office with an envelope and said, "Happy Admin Pro day!" I was shocked, "That's today?" I was amazed. He gave me a really nice card and an iTunes gift card with the note, "Find some motivating music for your marathon training." Ahhh...a guy who gets me. Despite the fact he doesn't understand it, at least he's supporting my love of marathoning. :) Yay!

Then before I left for lunch, Boss2 gave me his gift - a 6-pack of Guinness! Another man who understands me! His concern, "I don't know when you can drink it" since I'm on this FXB program. I said, "Sundays!" He laughed and said, "There you go, you can make up for lost time this Sunday!" Not that I'll drink all at once, but it's nice anyway.

It's so great to have bosses who appreciate you. And really I am blessed. These two men are fabulous to work with/for. We laugh, we joke, we are serious when need be, and we work really well together. I hope we can continue this for a long time to come.

25 April 2011

Easter 2011

So I realized that I haven't posted pictures of anything in awhile, so here you go.

Easter 2011 was held at our house. We had invited my mom and YOB as well, but they ended up having other plans. So we had a lot of food for three people. MS's mom came over so that was nice.

Below is a pic of me and MS's mom.


MS and his mom. Check out that table! Wow, I'm good. :)


My first ham! The things floating are raisins. The recipe was okay but it didn't really do much for me, so I probably won't be doing that one again.


And then the culmination of the entire meal: My homemade pumpkin pie! Crust from scratch and pumpkin from the garden. Nothing from a can here. :)


Happy Easter everyone!

22 April 2011

SUAR

Shut Up and Run! Hello! Those are words of wisdom.

And SUARis offering up a giveaway! Check it out! Click on the link! :)

By the way, Sporty Girl Jewelry is awesome. :)

20 April 2011

Back to back

My back has been tweaked beyond belief (well, maybe not beyond belief, but it hurts and I'm a wimp) since Sunday. I can't for the life of me figure out what I did (wow, I exaggerate a lot here, don't I?). MS keeps telling me I "overdid" it last week with my workouts. I don't know why 9 workouts in 7 days would be "overdoing" it but he seems to think so. I especially don't know why it would be that way when I felt GREAT during every single one of them.

So what caused this? I don't know, but I'm annoyed. I haven't ran since Saturday and I'm getting antsy. Not only am I antsy because I haven't ran, but I have a half marathon coming and I haven't been doing a lot of running, only FXB. (Yes, I decided to switch to the half.)

But I'm also antsy because when I can't workout I get somewhat bored. And when I'm bored, I eat. And I track my food so my caloric intake this week has been outragous. Well, it's been about 1700 calories the last two days which probably isn't bad, but when I'm supposed to only eat 1300 (to drop some pounds) and I had been averaging around 1700 WITH exercise, I'm not a happy camper. I feel heavy. I feel flabby. I feel ick.

So I'm trying to up my protein today to "fill me up". But that only works so well because I can't eat the entire can of Blue Diamond Oven Roasted Cinnamon Brown Sugar Almonds because there's too much fat in them. I bought some jerky this afternoon, but when I bit down on the first piece I about knocked my jaw loose (it hurts now too). And then I bought gum to distract me from being hungry by keeping my jaw busy, but that just gets annoying and also makes my jaw tired.

Wow, I'm a whiner today. But Man, I'm annoyed. And hungry. And really wanting popcorn right now, but "no popcorn, eat cheese" keeps echoing in my head.

My other problem (I might as well lay it all out here since I'm already whining) is that 3 1/2 weeks ago when I started FXB they encouraged us to drink 80oz of water a day. I'm up to over a gallon (plus tea if I have that for lunch and milk for dinner). My new hobby is peeing and, while 3 weeks ago it did this, it doesn't keep me full anymore. I used to be full because I was drinking so much water, but now I'm still hungry.

I hate being hungry. I hate not being able to work out (especially when I want to because I don't always want to). I'm crabby. Can you tell?

19 April 2011

Multiple thoughts

I have had 6 or 7 posts running through my head today, and for the life of me I can't really remember them now...as usual. It's sad because I know at the time they were really good.

I've been reading Kristin Armstrong's book Mile Markers. It's been eye-opening and motivating. She had a chapter about peace and passion (or maybe they were two chapters...I need to do some re-reading). But finding your passion can bring you peace and often what you do for a job isn't necessarily what brings you peace. For her, she knits and bakes and runs.

I'm very similar in that aspect. I haven't baked in a very long time and I do miss it. I know for my honey I can't bake during the winter, or at least unless he's working out on a regular basis (which really isn't during the winter). But I do miss it. I miss baking...it was often where I'd find my peace.

So I'm working to restructure my life a little. I miss writing. I need to work on that more and make a point to write more. I have a couple different blogs (4) so I should be able to find something to write somewhere. But I also wonder if I shouldn't work on a book of some sort.

I just have to find my story.

18 April 2011

Just about

Up until yesterday I was having a great weekend. Friday night I had the best kickboxing class yet. Dave pushed us on a circuit-like training. I paired up with a FIT member and she said I was pushing her. Ha! It was great. When she was on the bag, I was at the mirror doing squats or crunches or mountain climbers. Then on the bag I was just kickin' it hard. It was great.

My back started to feel a little tweaked but not bad the next morning. I went to resistance training - upper body - at a class that was so packed I could barely find room to do what was required. But I made it through. Then I headed to our running store for a great 5K with a friend from DM. That basically killed the morning.

Then MS and I went to see "The King's Speech" which was awesome. I wasn't sure MS would like it but he seemed to enjoy it. It probably wouldn't have been his first choice (or any choice) but I'm glad he agreed to see it. It was great.

Sunday, though, is when my back really started to hurt. We went to church and came home in the rain. Our road is ripped up to hell because of the recent onslaught of precipitation, so I opted to take a rest day and not run. In some ways that was a good idea, in others not so much since my back really started to hurt and I didn't get a run in today either.

Anyway, Sunday afternoon, I met up with Jake & Ava and YOB to paint ceramic eggs like we did last year. The kids seemed pretty hyper and YOB looked really tired. We had a good time, though. The bad thing is the eggs won't be ready until Monday, which kind of defeats the purpose. Last year they pushed to have them done at least by the day before Easter, but not this year (I might check anyway). At one point though, I was getting up from my chair to get Ava a paper towel and I could barely walk. Oh, not good.

MS and I went out to eat at the fancy Italian restaurant last night. I had a Groupon, so at least it wasn't too bad in cost. The food was okay, but I don't know that we'd go back again. It was nice to go out though. When we got home, MS drew me an Epsom salt bath, which was sweet. I got to have a hot bath and read my book. Awesomeness.

Today my back has not gotten much better. I really wanted to go in and run on the treadmill (though the weather wasn't too bad, so I could have run outside), but I didn't want to risk it. Heating pad, extra pillows on the couch so I'm sitting upright instead of the relaxed state we normally are in, and laundry - that was my day. I took another bubble bath tonight just for some heat on the bath. And I read again (I miss reading).

I'm hoping tomorrow my back will feel better. I missed kickboxing tonight because of it. Tomorrow is resistance bands, but maybe if it feels okay I can get on the treadmill at some point.

I'm mildly crabby. I don't like feeling like this. Hopefully it's temporary.

11 April 2011

Great weekend!

Finally! A weekend where I got to do fun things! It has been great!!!

Friday night I had a great night of kickboxing, which led me to be very tired and I overslept my class Saturday AM. I didn't mind. I was going to hang out with Emily all day, so it was worth it.

Emily and I were busy! We ran a couple errands, got some yummy cupcakes (which I couldn't eat until Sunday), went to the Butterfly House and saw the new exhibit of fish, looked at oodles of toys, painted pottery, saw a cake decorating contest, ate fish at Applebees (she likes shrimp and I love their Cajun tilapia), and then to B&N to look at books (my favorite!). I had thought we could go to a movie and see Gnomeo & Juliet since I hadn't seen it yet, and she hadn't either, but she wanted to hang with her parents while they ran errands instead. Of course I think when she realized they weren't going to be buying her toys (like I didn't) that maybe the movie would have been a better idea. But by then I was moving on to my next set of plans. :) It was still a great day though. I love spending time with her and luckily she likes to spend time with me too.

Sunday after church (Yes, E, I went to church - with MS even) I went for a 5.5 mile run while MS studied. It was such a great morning - grey and cool - perfect for running. We cleaned up when I got back and went to Em's for her birthday party. She turns 11 today but since it's a Monday we celebrated yesterday. Such a fun time! YOB was there with his kids, Doreen (one of Em's aunts) brought her grandson Noah who is super cute, and Kristi (Em's cousin) had her daughter there. So many kids - and then adults too. :) I'm glad her party was on Funday Sunday so I could enjoy the food. My sis makes a good spread for parties - pork sandwiches (and pork is not my favorite, but her's is pretty good), salad, and of course, Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake. :) Mmmm. Doreen and I get along really well too. It's funny how I get along with older adults so well. But that's another blog for another time.

MS and I came home after the party and I had a great bonus. I got to READ! Seriously, straight up reading for fun! MS wanted to finish one of his chapters he was studying so I read my book. I'm currently reading Mile Markers by Kristin Armstrong. I haven't had much time lately to just relax and indulge in one of my favorite hobbies, so I was really thankful for this time. Then MS and I had a pizza (Funday Sunday tradition, it seems) and watched a movie.

Today has been great. I slept in until 7:30! Craziness! I'm sure part of that is from the insult of sugar to my body yesterday, but I didn't care. I vegged for awhile then went for a short 3.5 mile run. MS called to see if I'd come see the AL place in our town. We checked it out and, in my opinion, it's a great option for his Mom. We'll just have to get in. She's on a waiting list now, but hopefully in the next month or so. And now I'm just finishing watching Hairspray (a former Monday tradition resurfacing), washing clothes and cleaning. I love these days. It's restoring faith in humanity - or at least restoring some resemblance of the woman I am in myself. :)

Now I'm debating if I should watch Six Feet Under or Friends or something else. :) I do love that we have a DVD player that's working again. And with MS out running his errands I can do what I need to do. :) Now if only I could bake...

04 April 2011

Week 2 begins

I completed week 1 of the FXB challenge and it went pretty well, I'd say. I made it to 4 of the 6 classes (one being sick and the other work conflict), so that made me glad. I do enjoy the kickboxing - it's a nice way to work off some aggravation. The resistance bands are good too, and while I hate them, I know they'll be beneficial in time too.

So now we're into April. It will be a good month. I just need to keep my head up and my feet moving. If I slow I start to think too much and that's just a set up for dysfunction. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and I can get some good runs in soon. I'm missing it.

31 March 2011

Finishing out another month

It's hard to believe that March is over, or that it's 9:06 pm for that matter. This month has flown by. It feels like just the other day we were changing our clocks and now we're moving into April. Crazy.

The 10-wk program is going well. After recovering from Monday, the last three days have been great. I really like the kick-boxing days - it's nice to actually hit something for once...years of TaeBo and KenpoX and punching the air is paying off. But the bigger workout is with the resistance bands. I hate these but I can feel them working, so I'll stick with it.

And the eating plan with the program is going well too. I haven't had pop in 2 days, and I haven't had caffeine since Sunday. My new hobbies are eating and peeing it seems, but if it helps, I'll make it work.

For now, March is over and I'm moving forward. Blessings to you all!

29 March 2011

Ups & Downs

That's about all I can say for the last few days - ups & downs.

So I won this 10-wk body shaping session thing. I signed up, agreed to do it - I did talk with them about my marathon training. They said they had a gal in the winter session who is a marathoner and her time and strength improved. So hopefully that will happen. I did find it funny that at the orientation they kept telling us that our weight probably won't change, but we'll lose inches. That's great...I actually need to weigh less - less weight=faster moe.

Thursday we had a retirment party for one of our old-timers. KC, MB and I sang the anthem together and sounded great. I love singing with them. I wish we had more gigs, but then we'd need to practice more and with their 2.5 children, time is limited.

MS and I had a great weekend. We took a little road trip Friday, then spent the weekend on the couch watching movies. Yesterday we ran errands and I proceeded to get a migraine and nausea. It was awesome. Not. I haven't thrown up since college (and that was alcohol induced) so last night was really weird for me - and for him. He didn't know what to do and I didn't know what to tell him. I feel better today, but not 100%. I still had a headache most of the day (it finally went away about 45 minutes ago), and have had the chills a bit too. Weird. I don't like being sick.

Anyway, my first class for my 10-wk program is tonight. It was supposed to be last night but alas... Anyway.

22 March 2011

Da Winnah!!

I'm sitting at work laughing my head off today. I just got an email from a co-worker that said, "I just heard on the radio that Ben and Patty are going to pump up Moe. The winner of this weeks facebook friend. Is this our Moe??"

Yesterday, I signed up for the local radio station giveaway for a 10-week body makeover session at a local place. I was laughing as I signed up even...because with my luck I'd win and I don't know that I really want it, though I know it would be beneficial. But then again, I rarely win anything, so why not?

So when my co-worker sent that email I busted out laughing. So now I have this 10-week body makeover session (still waiting for details because I think it starts Saturday) and I'm curious if a) I should accept it and b) if I can make it work in my schedule and c) what MS will think about all of it.

The 10-week thing doesn't worry me too much other than I have a marathon in 9 weeks...well 8 by the time it would start. And that's totally different training.

Lord knows I need the help, and having a free workout worth $399 may be well worth my time and energy if it can get me on track and ready for the marathon and for summer. I have a lot of work to do, and maybe being forced into going would help. Of course, because I'm NOT paying for makes the incentive to go a little less because I really have nothing invested in it...nothing but myself, I guess. :)

So do I take it and do the program? Or should I give it back to another lucky winner?

21 March 2011

Expiration Date

My dear friend KC sent me this email today. I've seen it before, not sure if it's true, but I do think it's a good reminder that we need to live in the moment. And it's a good reminder that sometimes we need to be like children and stop for the "something shiny" because it may be something amazing.

THE SITUATION
In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent - without exception - forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:

*In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
*If so, do we stop to appreciate it?
*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made...
How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

Enjoy life NOW ... it has an expiration date.

20 March 2011

Discardia time again!

Today starts another season of Discardia - YAY! So I'm working on purging my life, once again, from all the extra clutter and crap that inflicts my life - not just physically, but emotionally as well.

So this weekend I signed up on a website to track my food and calories and exercise so I can lose 15 pounds by the May marathon. I need to get rid of my winter weight. I know it'll make running a LOT easier and I'll feel better about myself as well - which will help mentally. In 2009 when I was 15 pounds lighter than I am now, I was happy, because I felt good and ready to go and as a result the marathon was awesome. I need that.

On the paper side, I spent the morning after church going through my pile of mail from the week, as well as all the extras that had piled up in my basket by my side of the couch. It was good to purge of the excess. I still have more to go through, of course, but it's a great start.

Yesterday, I updated my marathon scrapbook, too, which puts my running in perspective. It's fun to see how I've progressed (or not) throughout the last few years. I only started running in 2007, so it's still new. I'm really thankful MS got me started with the scrapbook. And he's been super supportive this week, riding his bike alongside me as I've been running. He's a lifesaver.

All in all, this will be a good Discardia, I think. It's Spring and Spring cleaning is running rampant in me and I'm excited to make some changes.

17 March 2011

The need to learn how to play



Today I saw this picture of my adorable Goddaughter fresh and happy in the midst of playtime. Her mom commented on how they have to pin her hair back now because her bangs are so long they get in the way of her playing.

That statement made me smile. And smile fully. Partly because my Goddaughter is like me in that aspect - I hate having hair on my face. It gets in the way and makes it difficult, if not annoying, to enjoy things fully. It's a nuisance. But the statement made me smile because playing is so important that my Goddaughter has to be prepped for it.

Play time is so essential and I think as adults we forget that. So much of life is work, home work, work, etc., that we forget to play. When was the last time you were on a swing? Or were running with complete abandonment? Phoebe, from Friends, said once about running that it was funnest when you were running from "Satan" (the neighbors dog).

There's that reckless freedom about it, about play time, that I think adults fear. I know I do. I don't have control! I need control! But I'm missing out on some of the best moments in life because of that fear. Why can't I just let go and enjoy each and every moment? How do I find that place deep within myself and let it out?

I need to spend more time with the young people in my life - my nieces, my nephews, my Goddaughter. I know they can teach me. I know I can learn to play...if I can get out of my head long enough to let it happen.

15 March 2011

Road trip!

MS and I took a mini road trip yesterday to a nearby city. He had a tax appointment and I wanted/needed to do some shopping. Our road trips tend to be a split between super fun and super revealing, depending on our conversations at the time.

For fun we started things out right. I have such random CDs in my car and so as he was flipping through them he came across Schoolhouse Rock. I grinned and he said, "You want to listen to this?" I said, "At least track 2, 'cuz it's my favorite." Track 2 is "Three is a Magic Number". I love that song. MS just laughed at me as I sang along, bobbing my head in the white-girl way as we drove down the road. :) This started a lot of singing throughout the day. Later we sang "Rawhide" and "Minnie the Moocher" off the Blues Brothers soundtrack. And we had a little "Cumbia De Los Muertos" by Ozomatli from the Never Been Kissed soundtrack. I think by that point MS thought I was losing it.

We also talked about travel...again. I really do love to travel; MS does not. But we talked about places I want to go, places he wants to go. I think we'll get to a compromise but we're still working on it. There are so many places I still want to see in this world - Ireland, Australia, London (again), Paris (briefly), Rome, and even places in the states. MS has traveled a lot already in his life so he's good to just stay home. But I think he understands my need to get away when I said, "I can't go through my life with just going to work, then home, then work, then home, then work, then home. It's too much. I need more."

We're getting there. Our trip was great though. MS got his taxes done, I got my necessary shopping done, MS got some new kicks and I oogled over the tiny Chucks for toddlers. :) Tonight, is date night. I'm really excited for this one. :)