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


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: