Tuesday, February 28, 2006

5 more miles, beautiful weather & a Question of the Day

Hey guys! Happy Tuesday, or happy Fat Tuesday! I had my pig out meal of pizza and cheesesticks last week so I am choosing not to celebrate today. And we ate at an Indian buffet yesterday, which I'm sure probably had a lot of calories, but I'm not sure. We just had a light dinner last night, so the net effect was probably pretty good. The buffet was good, not great. We had really built the whole thing up a lot in our heads, since it's something we never get to do. So, when we did the choices they had were pretty plain Jane and not nearly as good as the stuff we normally order off the menu. But we've been!! One more thing crossed off my list of things to do in life.

Today is GORGEOUS! It's 8 pm and 59 degrees! I was embarrassingly overdressed for mine and Pippin's am walk this morning. Around lunch it was 69 degrees, and at 5.30 when I headed out for my run it was 65. Yeah! It took me a while to get into my form, but once I did I felt great. The foot was a little grouchy for the first mile, but then I focused on my form and the music playing on my nano and it all fell into place. I love it when that happens! By the time I finished mile 3 I was just MOVING. The sun was setting, I was wearing shorts and a tank and everything was perfect. I was just....gliding. I had started out slowly so I wouldn't mess with my foot, so my first two miles were around 10 min/each. Mile 3 was 9:40, then 9:15, then 8:43 for Mile 5. It was great! I ran up on one woman in my continuing stealth running! I swear she had looked at me at least 3 times, but I didn't startle her dog either. Once again, I should have forced her to give me her wallet for being an unaware woman near dusk, walking alone. And her dog (some sort of boxer mix) should be fired! To top it off, sweet hubby Brent had dinner waiting when I got home!

So, none of that is really interesting enough to prompt you to post a comment and I'm too lazy to see what bizarre pics I may have on my camera. (Although Brent did snap one last night when I was doing pilates. It was this weird foot circle thing, and AS ALWAYS, Pippin was my partner and was about 1 mm away from being kicked by my swirling feet. For whatever reason he started picking up one of his feet too! It was hilarious.)

But, I do have a question. What's your favorite city to live in and why? I love reading all the lists about where the best cities to work, live and run are. They're all so funny and DIFFERENT! One of them I recently read said Nashville has the best skin. Huh? They somehow had decided we are more likely to wear sunscreen. And HOW do they determine that??? We're also the 8th worst when it comes to commuting. THAT I believe, and that's really sad since we're nowhere near the 8th largest city in the US. The most recent one I read listed cities by rent price. Of course NYC and CA cities were topping the list. N-ville was 32nd with a rent price of $740, which sounds reasonable when you average out the ghetto parts and the nice parts. So, what do you think? If you could live anywhere in the US where would it be????

Well, I've got some personal stuff I need to work on so take care! Have a great vacation to the TONS of you taking some time off!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

RBF Meet-ups, Pancakes & More Tetanus Ranting

Hey guys! I hope you all had a great weekend. Tomorrow is a holiday, right?

So rewind to Friday night. We're drifting off to sleep MUCH later than I would have EVER let us the night before a "race". My arm is killing me and I believe it's gone to my head as I'm giggling uncontrollably about absolutely nothing. I tell Brent I think I've got tetanus and am drooling from the mouth. He reminds me that's rabies, not tetanus. Hmmm, I may have bigger problems than I realize.

The alarm goes off WAY too early on a Saturday morning and we're up and gearing up. I forgot it takes much longer to fix my hair for non-running than just a simple running ponytail, so I didn't have any time for breakfast. Temps were in the mid 40-s and cloudy. Pretty close to perfect for running. We head out and about twenty minutes later we're at Fleet Feet. This is a 4-mile fun run celebrating their 4th birthday here in Nashville. It's not a race, just a low key fun run with no registration fees and free tech shirts, but you are encouraged to donate to one of several charities in an amount similar to what you would've spent for a race. So, free tech shirt, free "race" and a tax deductible charitable contribution to boot. Sweet!! (Side note: Don't you find the new lights they're adding to be a bit "much"? NINE lights in one intersection?? I think it's going to end up as a Simon Says game gone wrong.)

Quite a few people were there already, we signed in, got our shirts and were listing to race annoucements when I saw Steve walk in. It's funny how you can recognize someone you've never met instantly! He doesn't post a lot of pics, but he looked just like his profile pic! He must've seen us when he walked in because he made his way right over when the announcements were finished. We exchanged introductions which seem so unnecessary considering how much you already know about someone you've never met. I just love meeting bloggers!! Of the 5 we've met so far I've yet to be disappointed, and I wasn't disappointed Saturday either. Steve is just as nice in person as he is online. He had also seen an industry colleague, David, and he called him over for introductions and picture taking. (So, if you ever think we're photoshopping snow into our pics you can check out their blogs for confirmation! Maybe one day we'll be an even bigger force than the Houston Running Bloggers.)

On his blog Steve has mentioned he has a knack for attracting country music celebs. So of course he delivered on on Saturday - Jo Dee Messina. Personally I have no idea what she sings, but I do know the name and I would have never recognized her if he hadn't told me who she was! (Which leads me to think.....do I interact with famous country crooners every day and I don't even know it???) She wasn't particularly personable, but I'm sure she gets sick of people staring at her all the time. I really wanted to tell her that although we were taking her picture we take a LOT of pictures. We're pretty indiscriminate as to what we take pics of!!

It was race time so the guys line up (JDM and her friend/trainer waited and lined up in the very back) and I moved off to the side to witness my very first race. There was no start or finish, so one of the employees sort of yelled GO! and off everyone went through the parking lot and out of the shopping complex. I stood around taking pictures and watched them all leave. It was interesting to watch the fastest runners pull away from the group. I went back to my car and sat to wait. Blee blah. I was bored. I was lonely. I was thinking I could've probably walked the course. I read my book. I played with my camera. I thought about driving somewheree for a cup of coffee. I turned around and realized my car is entirely too big for me. (Side note: Friday at the doc's office a guy was getting out of his car as I was getting in mine. He said "That's a big car for such a little lady." I said "Yeah, that's not the first time I've heard that one." Hardy har har.) About 27 minutes after 8 the first guy came sprinting back, a second wasn't too far behind and a third guy was about a minute behind them. There was no method to the way the runners were coming back. Some people came up one side of the shopping complex, some went way around and others took the shortest route possible. The first woman came the loooong way around. It was several minutes before anyone else came through. A group of girls came running up, a small group of guys and then I saw Brent's head coming through with a small group. He was blazing fast!! And super thirsty. We had some water in our car so he sat down to catch his breath and shortly thereafter Steve and David came running through their chosen finish path. It was quite a while before JDM finished!

We stood around talking about all sorts of running, blogging, and other random stuff. We took some more pics (shocking, huh?) and Brent got some "candid" pics of JDM. I love the one of the Fleet Feet sales associate with JDM in the background! All their staff is so friendly, and they always remember us and our running issues (my blisters) every time. Steve had to run to his daughter's cheer practice and Brent and I had to get our grub on. I'm sure we'll meet again at future local events!! I love having fellow local running bloggers. I think it would be so much fun to have a "fun run" for the local running bloggers I know at a local park and then share some breakfast or something somewhere. Maybe after April's CMM/CM1/2M that we're all training for we can plan something!

The little cafe next to FF was sponsoring a special $5 pancake breakfast just for the runners. It was GREAT! We rarely eat a big breakfast like that since our Sat mornings usually consist of oatmeal before a morning run, so it was a nice treat. JDM had some too, but she sat off to herself.

We came home, showered up, and took a nap. My foot was feeling pretty good but my stupid arm was killing me. Shouldn't the doc be forced to warn you of how much it's going to hurt later??? Can I sue??? When Pippin gets his rabies shot each year the invoice warns me he may be listless and sore for a few days. And how is it that I'm the only person who didn't realize what a painful shot this is???? You guys are so much smarter! I guarantee I won't forget it now! It still hurts today. It may be slightly better, but I'm not sure. This morning the area around the shot was red and swollen, so we did some additional Google research. We found out this is fairly common and they recommended Ibuprofin and called it a mild allergic reaction. One woman online had had the tetanus shot, had a similar reaction, and went back to the doc - only to find out she was PREGNANT! We had an ENORMOUS laugh about that one. Brent has told me I am not allowed to go back to the doctor anytime soon. Some people were sore for 4 days and a couple of people said they were sore for 3 weeks. Geez. So the lesson is: don't get suckered into unnecessary shots and lie,lie,lie if they ask you when your last tetanus shot was! Next time I am going to say that my office gives them annually with flu shots.

Today I RAN! I decided to run on the treadmill. If anything hurt I'd be able to stop and not have a long walk back, and I wanted to avoid hills and keep a slow speed. Some of the causes of tendonitis I have read online include adding too much speed and hills too quickly. We've been pushing our speed lately and we've added a semi-large hill into our path. If we're going to do the Flying Pig we need to work on hills more. I started out very slow, and spent twice as much time warming up as usual. I slowly sped up to a jog, and then cranked the speed to slightly below normal. I could tell I wasn't allowing my form to be natural, and once I did so I felt GREAT! The foot didn't hurt at all. I ended up running 5 miles at a slow and easy pace. My arm hurt with all the bouncing, so if my foot was hurting it was drowned out by the arm. We also took Pippin for a walk yesterday (2 miles) and today (3 miles!). Today's walk was his longest ever, and he did great! He didn't wear out at all, and when we got home he zipped through the house like it was nothing. Last summer after a 1 mile walk he'd collapse on the floor as soon as we got home. Hopefully he'll be more in shape this summer and able to withstand the heat a little more.

OK, this post is probably too long anyway! I'm so glad Drew won Dancing with the Stars! It would have been a total mockery if Jerry won, he shouldn't have made it as far as he did.

Have a great week!!


Sat - 2 mile walk with Brent and Pippin
Sun - 5 mile run, 20 mins yoga/stretching, 3 mile walk with Brent and Pippin

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Hey guys! Hope you're all having a great weekend. I completely forgot to wish Running Jayhawk good luck on her Hustle up the (Hancock) Tower this weekend. Good luck!

On Thurs night I did 40 minutes of very light yoga, making sure that nothing hurt my foot. It felt great to do SOMETHING, and I think some of the stretching helped. So yesterday I went to the doctor. Every day my foot has felt quite a bit better than the day before, but considering I a)pay out the wazoo for health insurance every month and haven't been to the doc since October 2003 and b)hey! it gets me out of work for a couple of hours I decided to make an appointment and go. I checked in at the doctor's office, was complimented on my hair and then waited to see the doc while they brought in tons and tons of Chic-fil-a. Man, I was hungry! (My appt was at 10.45). I waited and waited and then got to go back. The nurse had to use the child size blood pressure band on my arm because the other two were waaay too big. (Note to self, LIFT MORE WEIGHTS!) I told her what had happened and then waited some more for the doc. He came in, we talked about the foot and then he had me move it several directions. He doesn't really think it's a stress fracture and is leaning towards tendonitis. He tried to get me in with a podiatrist that day, but couldn't. So he suggested doing some X-rays just to make sure it's not a stress fracture and told me to keep icing and resting. Then he sprang it on me - the standard list of questions used to update your file.

"So when was your last tetanus shot?"

"Ummm...let's see. I haven't had one since I got married, so there's 7 years. Maybe I had to have one before I left for college? So....nearly 11 years?"

"Would you be opposed to having one today?"

"Errr. I really wouldn't be excited about it, but if you think I need one."

So I got a tetanus shot. I think they must have had some expiring vaccines because the nurse who gave it to me said I was her 15th tetanus shot that day. Uh huh.

From the doc office I had to go over to the hospital next door (the same one we run around all the time) to have my X-rays done. I actually had to be admitted, and ended up with a little hospital bracelet. How exciting! I text messaged Brent that I was still at the doc (we had lunch plans) and he texted me back to take lots of pics for the blog. HA! I did get one outside photo of a limo and a Hummer (they know how to roll to the hospital in style) and one shot of all the smokers right outside the hospital. I was amazed at the sheer quantity of people smoking right outside the doctor's office and the hospital. Seriously people, get a clue! That is so incredibly disgusting. After I was admitted I was dropped off at the radiology section and a young girl took me back to the massive X-ray machine I had to climb on top of. She asked me how it happened and I could tell she wasn't a runner - AT ALL. She gave me very strange looks when I explained to her how it started hurting, and that I hadn't tripped, fallen, or had some sort of accident. "Overuse injury" seemed like a very foreign concept to her! She took several different pics of my foot and when I asked if the X-rays would be emailable so I could post them on my blog she gave me yet another strange look. (Sorry, no pics will be available of that!!)

It only took a minute or two and off I went to meet Brent for lunch. We had Mexican and were very amused to see a coworker at a neighboring table. He doesn't work in our division, but he was wearing our overall parent company ID badge. And he was enjoying a beer. At lunch. SO funny! He was having quite the meal, he finished it off with dessert. Maybe he was having a bad day!

Friday night we stopped at Best Buy to buy TurboTax and do some light shopping. Dinner was an ordeal. We stopped at a couple of restaurants that were just waaay to crowded for our taste and then decided to head to a local Laos restaurant that is much more cozy. We walked in right at 8 and the high school waitress asked "Are you here to eat?" "Uh, yeah." "I'm sorry, we close at 8 but we can do a to go order." "No thanks." Who closes at 8 on a Friday?? It was very frustrating. Every other ridiculous chain restaurant was packed so we headed home and grilled out some turkey burgers. They were great and we probably saved a ton of calories and about $30.

Can I just say how much I hate the stupid tetanus shot? By yesterday evening my arm was ACHING! Stupid stupid shot. Brent keeps making fun of me for being suckered into it. Me and wandering around in places where I might step on a rusty nail JUST DON'T HAPPEN! I stepped on a tomato stake in elementary school and ended up having to have portions of the splintered wood (surgically) removed from my foot, so I never go barefoot outside. Today my arm hurts worse than my foot! I like to sleep on my left side, so several times in my sleep last night I would start to roll that directions and would instantly wake myself up. Stupid stupid shot! I can hardly reach up to grab a glass from the cabinet today. grrrr!

Well, this post is probably longer than it needs to be already. In my next post I'll talk about being a spectator at this morning's 4 mile Fleet Feet Fun Run & our RBF meet-up with Steve (aka Christian Runner). It was very strange being on the other end of the race course. On our way over we were talking about how all of our RBF meet-ups have been in other places and how much fun it would be to meet someone locally. Ask and you shall receive! Brent is working on his race write-up so it will probably be up by the time I post this, so you can read Steve and Brent's accounts (as runners!) before I get my post up.

Have a great weekend!


Exercise log -
Thurs - 40 minutes yoga (focus: thighs/abs)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Why can't we all get along???

First up, good luck to everyone racing this weekend!! I know Dawn has a cross country race, Shore Turtle has a Polar Plunge and Rob has a 15-miler. I'm sure they'll all do great and I'm also sure I've left someone out but I just can't remember who! We have a 4 mile fun run on Saturday, but with my foot I doubt I'll be able to do it. This pain is far worse than just a niggle or something sore, and I don't want to make it worse.

The foot does feel a little bit better today. No dress shoes work with my foot, so today I wore sandals with dress socks! I totally expect to see the look on the Runway this fall. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning, just to make sure it's not a fracture or a bone spur, etc. Hopefully a couple more days of rest will clear it up. I hate not working out!! I feel like my weight is doubling and it's only been two days. Yesterday's pizza and soda sympathy binge is over and we were back to salad, grilled chicken, veggies & fruit for dinner. (Although this morning I would have sold my mother for some Doritos!!)

So, the reason for this post. Nashville is Talking is a great local blog sponsored by the local news channel that we tend to watch (mostly because the anchors have ACTUAL personality!). Brittney, the blog master, has been great to us. She's featured a lot of my marathon training/races, many of Brent's super funny posts on the great way he sees things (I think his roast beef sandwich post will forever be one of the funniest things I have ever read), and tons of links to Pippin's picture blog. Nothing irritates me more than people who drop by your blog for a grand total of 15 seconds and feel they need to voice an opinion about who THEY think you really are. Likely they are the same annoying coworkers you'd hope would fall into a deep well on any given day. Simply put, they have self confidence issues and feel that putting you down is their best bet.

Today Brittney posted a link to Pippin's "Olympic" picture. She's a dog lover, with a super cute dog of her own, and she happens to be a fan of Pippin. (But really, who isn't?? He's our baby!!) For some reason people seem to need to constantly say things like "there's a twelve step program for people like you" and "poor dog" and "you people need a life" (no one said that today, but they have) when she posts a Pippin link. Why is that even necessary? One a-hole even left a comment like that on Pippin's blog today. What's the point in that? If they spent more than 10 seconds looking at our life they'd see that I'd throw most of the children on our block in front of moving cars before I let something hurt Pippin. Pippin is spoiled rotten and obviously a very happy dog. And we DO have a life. We work full time, contributing to society -which is likely more than the person who left us the rude comment and calls himself something like "homeless guy". (I checked out your blog, and it's boring as hell. Good luck with that.) I graduated in the top 10% of my high school class, from a high school ranked as one of the top 100 in the country. I was first in the school of business at my college, constantly winning academic awards from my professors. I passed each part of the CPA exam on my first attempt. Roughly, only 25% of all people who take it EVER pass it. In my previous job, I won a professional award that only the top 10% in the company of over 50,000 employees ever receive. I've lost 38 pounds in the past 1.5 years and completely changed my life. I run races, and raise money for charities throughout this city and state. I've run a marathon. Less than 1% of all people EVER do that. So you see, we DO have a life, a rather exceptional life at that, and if it happens to involve dressing our dog warmly on days when the temps are in the teens, call PETA. I dare you. At least we ARE doing something positive for society.

And "homeless guy" I've deleted your comment. Because in my world, YOU don't exist. Maybe you should look for a 12 step program because I have plenty of activities to keep myself busy. And if you'd read my blog for more than 10 seconds you would've heard of Mean Rachel, and you would've kept on clicking before you ever posted that comment. Just a tip - she's extra mean when she hasn't been able to run in a couple of days.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Side stitches never sounded so good

Hey guys! First up, to all the smarty-pants YANKEES who might have noticed Brent using a garden shovel to "clear" our sidewalk - it's true, we don't actually own a snow shovel. We live on the wild side and tend to ignore whatever snow accumulates for the two snows we get a year that actually last longer than 10 minutes. However, for the low price of $6.99 just about every store has had a snow shovel display out front. So, if we ever move up north one of you guys is responsible for sending us a snow shovel as a housewarming gift. Deal???

I've had better days. If you're looking for a happy happy "running is my anti-drug" post this is not going to be it. Here's how the week has gone:

Monday - Monday is a cross training day for me now that the M is history. Normally that would mean using our elliptical with some toning/yoga. But, our elliptical makes some frightening clank-clanking sounds right now so we've taken it completely apart, stared at moving parts and forged an agreement to ignore it in general for the moment because we're completely baffled. Instead I did my Killer Butt DVD. I am a white girl with a ghetto butt, but I'm working on that. Although she did not kill me, she did leave for me dead. It would have been so much easier if she killed me. By the end of the 45 minute DVD my leg muscles were absolutely quivering. I've only done this tape a few times and each time I'm miserable the following day.

Tuesday - I hate Killer Butt woman and if I saw her I would run her over with my large SUV just to make her feel this same pain. Devil woman!! After work we geared up for a normal 6 mile run. It had warmed up to the low 40's, so all the snow was gone. I wore thin tights and a long sleeve shirt, but the air still felt a little chilly for me. We ran out of the subdivision, up a side road with a steep hill and then turned back around at the top for a nice downhill. There's a fairly large farm smack in the middle of the subdivision, with cows and the works. One cow was right next to the fence, next to this fairly busy road. We yelled "hi!" and "moooo" at him going and coming. He seemed slightly amused. I was having a terrible time finding my form. I felt like my feet were slapping the concrete. Normally I have a very quiet running form, and often run up on walkers who are astonished and scared to death when I pass by. (In those instances I feel like they should be required to hand me their wallet and personal valuables just because they are oblivious.) Not so Tuesday, I could hear my feet smacking above my ipod music. Around Mile 3 I finally felt comfortable, and we started picking up some speed. One lap through the park, back past the middle school and one full lap around the hospital. About .75 miles from our house my foot started hurting. I should not have worn the shoes I wore yesterday. The heel is worn down so much on these chunky boots that it's ridiculous. The shoes look great, but the heel is worn the same way my running shoes end up. By the end of the day not only were my glutes sore but the area below my big toe (the meaty part of the foot) was sore in a way very similar to the way my feet hurt during M training. I think I was overcompensating for that - during the last part of the run my foot was hurting on the other side. If you're looking at your right foot, with every foot step sharp pains were coming from the middle part of the right side of my right foot. I wanted to keep going, but every step hurt just a little more than the one before it. Because we had sort of changed up the run it would have been about 6.25 miles, I stopped right around mile 6.

I don't remember the last time I have stopped running. I want to, a LOT. But actually stop? I really don't remember. In December there was a 23 miler I ended up stopping at 21 miles because I was sick of running, but nothing hurt. I've been very lucky to not have major aches and pains, and I think that makes me think it CAN'T happen to me. (I wish!) Brent had pulled just ahead of me around mile 5.8, so he didn't notice I stopped until he turned the corner back onto our street and I was nowhere nearby. He came back looking for me, and even offered to go get the car. I told him I could walk it, but every step hurt more than the one before it. Suck. We got home and he yelled at me to sit down for a while. We had dinner and I set out to clean out a bathroom cabinet that's an absolute disaster. He screamed at me to rest. I iced my foot and hoped it would all be fine today.

Wed - Errrr, no such luck. I decided not to walk Pippin this morning. I thought my foot might be feeling better, but after a few steps the sharp pain was back. Going down stairs kills. Walking backwards actually feels pretty nice. It's the curving motion your foot makes during the last part of each step that hurts so much. Brent offered to drop me off at the front door at work today, but I wouldn't let him. Then he yelled at me not to be such a bad ass when I wanted to get my own glass of water at work. I did have him make some mango tea for me later that morning though. =). It's not that I'm a bad ass, it's just that I'm not a good rester. I like to exercise, I like to work out, I like to be active. It's not fair that the active people get injured, most Americans just sit on the couch. Why can't THEY be injured??

So tonight I am being one of THEM. If I'm doing it I'm doing it right. We had pizza AND cheese sticks for dinner. I have hardly moved off the couch, except to get an ice pack. (WHICH, by the way Pippin is quite obsessed with. He was clawing at it, broke it open, and ran off with several pieces of ice to eat. He got away with quite a stash of ice before I realized what was going on! Goober!!) And right now I have a glass of soda (and a glass of ice water). I feel incredibly full and gross. Sometimes I think it feels better and sometimes I don't. I know I should enjoy this rest but I just don't. We have a 4 mile fun run on Saturday, but that's not looking so hot right now. If I can't do it (and considering the level of pain I've got.....it doesn't look so good) then I'll just go and cheer Brent on and take some pics. The next race we have is Tom King (1/2 M) on March 18th and the stair climbing thing on March 11th.

So maybe tomorrow when I wake up this will all be gone and we can do our normal 6-mile Thurs night run.......

Monday - 45 minutes Killer Butt, 10 min Killer Abs
Tues - 1 mile am walk with Pippin, 6 mile run w/Brent
Wed - Nothing. Except long and painful walks to and from the bathroom at work. does that count??

Monday, February 20, 2006

Presidents suck

If anyone wants to know why I can't stand the government here's a reason. What's the deal with a "national holiday" that only some people get??? As you can see, Brent celebrated in his own special way, and I mostly sat at my desk pretending to work observing the holiday in my own special way as well. I should've just tripped on the dangerous steps and called it a day.

Besides Saturday's fun snow run we didn't do a lot this past weekend. Friday was an extra crappy day at work so I had to medicate with food and two mango margaritas at Chilis that night. Somehow I don't seem to remember much about what went so wrong at work. (Actually, I do but it's all "confidential" and too many ppl silently stalk this blog for me to talk about it.) We watched Waiting Friday night. It was really cute, just a silly little movie. Saturday night we cancelled dinner plans with some peeps on the other side of town and had dinner at a nearby pizza joint instead. We became one of "those couples" who sat on the same side of the table -not so we could cuddle, but so we could both see the TV to watch the Olympics. Afterwards we grabbed some dessert and watched more Olympics at home. The highlight of our viewing experience was watching a Dutch speed skater adjust himself and make an extremely relieved face afterwards. We replayed it with TiVo a dozen times laughing harder each time until Pippin became so disturbed he charged me and licked me straight in the mouth. Ewww!! We're not that close.

Sunday it was ASS cold when I got up. 12 degrees with a "feels like" of 7. Blee blah. The snow was all still there for a change! Yeah!! Pippin was so cold I made him wear his sweater all day. He hates his sweater, but he was shaking all the time. I have to keep it folded up, otherwise if it gets to close to his lower abs he freezes up and acts like his legs don't work. It's very strange.

Many a snowball have been thrown in and around our house recently! This snow has made for great packing. We've had snow stuck to our walls and this one even stuck to Brent's forehead!! He pegged me big time yesterday afternoon right in the back of my head. It HURT! Most of the snow melted today. It looked pretty gross coming out of the drainage thingie from the roof of our office complex.

And of course we didn't win Powerball. What's up with that??? It stinks that someone in Nebraska won it. I think Nebraska is by far the ugliest, most boring of all the 36 states we have traveled to so far together. We couldn't wait to get out of there.

This pic is from last week. We wanted to be cool like everyone else and shovel our sidewalk. Luckily it didn't take very long!

Also, one day last week we had to drive separately to work. The daily traffic job was a bear as usual. (Thank goodness we only have to go two miles in this mess. I'd die if I had to go 19 more to downtown!) And then....something unusual caught my eye! A car with something in the back window.....it was a Boston Terrier! The dog was curled up enjoying the sun through the glass. A dog after Pip's own heart! Except I always have Pippin secured in a doggie safety belt because I LOVE HIM AND ALL. It was pretty easy to get a pic since we weren't moving anyway! Too funny.

Have a great rest of the week everyone!!


P.S. More pics of Pippin "enjoying" the snow are over on his blog.

Thurs - 1 mile am walk with Pippin, 4 mile run
Fri - 1 mile am walk with Pippin
Sat - 8 mile run w/Brent
Sun - 6 mile run, 20 minutes toning (abs), 50 sets of stairs (11.30 minutes)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Snow! Snow! Snow!!

Finally, we got some real, honest to goodness, stick to the ground for more than 10 minutes, snow. Yeee haw!

But first, good luck to all the people racing this weekend. I know today Shore Turtle & Red Head Fangirl had a 2-mile race, Elizabeth was doing a 5K, Planeterry had a Half, and tomorrow Danny has a cross country race (4 miles?) and RunnerSusan has a half. I'm confident I left somebody out, so sorry if I did!

Our weather this week has been beyond Goofy. Very light snow Sunday and early Monday, all melted by lunch Monday afternoon. Still cool, but by Tuesday afternoon we're talking 50's! That day we ran in short sleeves and shorts! Wed also warm, and by Thursday afternoon we ran outdoors again - and it was 67! We did a fast 4, and averaged 8.43/mile overall for our four miles. YEAH!! I'm starting to get fast again and I **like** it! I had a hair appointment, so 4 miles was all we could fit in. Storms moved in Thurs night and it was 34 when I woke up to walk Pippin Friday morning. It's so strange to go from no coat, back to all the hats, coats, scarves, etc. They had said it might snow, and since I never tend to believe them I didn't. When I woke up at 8 this morning I peeked out the window and couldn't believe the ground was covered, and it was still falling. Yeah!! Brent and Pippin weren't as excited as I was.

We ate some oatmeal and headed out for our scheduled 8 mile run. We've never gotten to run in more than just small flurries, so it was a lot of fun. I have an 8 mile path through the neighborhood where you do very little repeats and double-backing, so we went that way. We ran at a slow pace, some of the snow was icier than others, and some parts of the sidewalk were totally clear. We carried our headphones but never turned them on, nature was our soundtrack! We headed out the front entrance of our subdivision and up the main road into a different subdivision with sidewalks. One guy was salting his driveway and gave us strange looks. Every .25 - .5 mile I'd have to stop to clear snow buildup from my Mizunos. They are NOT snow shoes!! Some of the road slush was pretty deceiving when crossing roads, so my feet were pretty wet the whole run. From this subdivision we head up, loop through the small neighborhood park and then up a rolling .5 mile hill where we turn around and come back down the hill. Snow was falling the whole time and heading up the hill was miserable. It was straight in our eyes and the snow was mixed with ice and really stung. I was so glad when we got to turn around and go DOWN the hill. This was the first time we got to see our footprints in the snow and it was so cool! Our stride length is very similar, and I could tell I was really pronating today. I already knew I was because I could feel a twinge in my hip, but I think the slicker surface was making me compensate with increased pronation. We ran back up the main road, enjoying the sights of all the kids sledding at the middle school. From there we ran to our usual hospital track and did 1 1-mile lap and just a portion of another before turning to head home to complete our 8 miles. We passed a couple walking their dogs and they said "great day for a jog!" and I said "yes, it's a great day!" I tried to wave and smile for most of the cars we saw, and I really enjoyed the shocked looks people gave us when they realized we MEANT to be out there. Someone else ran on the sidewalk while we were at the hospital track, we saw their footprints on the return trip back. Some of our earlier footprints had already been really filled back in, and when we got back home all the footprints from earlier were completely erased. Our overall average was 10.44/per mile, but time didn't matter today. It was all about fun and we FOR SURE accomplished that. (Our Fuel Belt bottles were a bit frozen though....)

We tried to get Pippin to play in the snow but we was SO not interested. He was pretty disoriented and shaking like a leaf so we took him back inside. Our daffodils has started blooming in all the warm weather this week, I don't think they're going to survive this though.

But, he has enjoyed eating the snow off our shoes.

Have a great weekend!! It's 22 degrees now!! Crazy! It was 27 when we ran this morning, and it just keeps falling!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Climbing the Stairs to Nowhere

GRRR! I hate insurance and I hate insurance companies. After our wreck, and the insurance fiasco that ensued, I had firmly decided to swap insurance carriers. (BTW, our reimbursement check came the day before we went to Miami for the marathon - approximately 2 months after the car had been fixed and all paperwork submitted. UNACCEPTABLE!) I hate both Farm Bureau (our provider) and Farmers (redneck's provider). I've heard good things about Geico so I just spent forever online telling them my blood type, Pippin's approximate weight and five hundred other things about us just to have them swap the premium price right at the final submit! It went up by about $75 from the time they gave me a firm quote to the time I entered our bank account, license # and VIN#s. WTF? People say a lot of things about lawyers, accountants, doctors, etc but personally the insurance industry is at the top of my crap pile.

Anyway, we've had a good week. The temps have been insane. It snowed more Sunday night and by Monday am we had somewhere around a half an inch. Which is .45 inches more than required to call off school, so no school for the kids Monday while kids in NYC were trekking through over 2 ft of snow to go to school. Does anyone wonder why TN schools are some of the worst? I don't. I work with a ton of living proof. In my opinion they're just ridiculous. If it rains too many days in a row they call of school - seriously! By yesterday afternoon the temps were in the mid 50's! When we got home we just had to go for a run. I wanted a quick half marathon pace of around 9 for 6 miles, and we got it! 6.03 miles in 52.34. The splits: 9.27,8.44, 8.58, 8.19, 8.23, 8.22, & 8.02 pace. Yeah!! The first couple of miles were tough, I'm so used to running comfortably and not pushing myself. After about mile 3 it felt comfy to run that pace, and it shows in the splits. The last mile back into our subdivision and up the hills was tough, but I pushed through and was just happy it was nearly over and we could relax for V-Day!

For V-day we were lazy (about our run + yoga) and got Chinese food and watched TV on the couch. Perfect! Brent made us some pears in the skillet over lite vanilla ice cream as our sweet treat (but still slightly nutritious!). We don't get into ridiculous gifts or displays of affection one day a year, we try to keep the other 364 romantic! I wouldn't trade him for anything. How many other guys would buy their wives sports bras, wear Team Rachel shirts, and practically run people off the road to make sure they all get to Boston Terrier Day on time???? Not many.

Our other great adventure is our new stair climbing training. I heard of a tower climb from our local running club's message board and I've been so jealous reading about Running Jayhawk and Simba's Mom train for similar climbs in Chicago. Our tower is 30 stories, and the "race" is March 11th. We're signing up and trying to figure out how and where to train! Our house is 2 stories, so we have stairs to use here - but that really doesn't get the effect of climbing straight up. Our office is 2 stories, and we have a sister company that is 3 stories, but that's still not 30 stories. I don't have access to any of the towers downtown, and I doubt the hotels would really want you in the stairwells if you're not a guest. On Monday night and tonight we did 50 laps of our stairs. Each lap is 14 stairs and 14 down, so we're doing 700 ups and 700 downs. Monday night we did it in 13.46 and tonight we did it in 12.30. I have no idea if that's good or bad. Monday night our legs were jello after our laps!! My upper legs are sore today, I'm not sure if it's from the speedier run Tues or the stairclimbing. Either way we must be doing something! If anyone has any training suggestions just let me know!

Have a great rest of the week! I've got some fun snow pictures I need to post but I'm too lazy to hook up my camera. Maybe tomorrow!!


Mon - 50 minute workout DVD (Burn & Firm Pilates), 13 mins stairclimbing
Tues - 1 mile am walk with Pippin, 6 miles evening run w/Brent, 20 minutes yoga (upper body)
Wed - 20 minutes stat bike, 15 minutes rowing machine, some weights and kickboxing w/Brent at the gym, 12 mins stairclimbing

Monday, February 13, 2006

This email MADE MY DAY!

I've mentioned my crack team of coworkers before, so you know what to expect....sort of. Check out the email sent out by our receptionist this afternoon:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Our Receptionist
> Sent: Monday, February 13, 2006 2:54 PM
> To: All Associates
> Subject: Mail in Outside Box
> Did you put a red envelope in the outside mailbox addressed to Justin Guarini? If you did, please come see me.
> Receptionist/Department Administrator
> > Typical Company in TN
Typical TN phone #

Is that not the most hilarious thing?? It turns out she has no idea who Justin Guarini is. There's this old lady (prob upper 60's) who is OBSESSED with him. She has stickers, posters, buttons, etc. It's very, very strange. She had mailed him a Valentine's day card and forgot to put a stamp on it, and she had our company address as the return address. Our receptionist quickly learned from the 200+ snickers across the office that her question was pretty stinkin' hilarious. Crazy old lady reclaimed her fan letter and added a stamp. I think she needs to mail it overnight for it to get there on time now!! I laughed to myself for at least an hour.

Happy Valentines day to all of you, and especially Justin Guarini!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Blizzard that Wasn't and the 5K that Was

Hey! I hate that the weekend is nearly over.....blah

So anyway, Friday night after work we headed out the door and it was.....raining. But a slightly chunky rain and the temp was borderline freezing. Since it was supposed to be a nasty night we grabbed some yummy burritos and headed home. Not too long after we got home the rain turned to light snow, but there wasn't much of it. Just as we sat down to watch a movie (something we rarely get to do!) my brother (who lives in Cincy, OH) called. My phone rang ans since we were watching a movie I didn't get up to get it. But then it rang again right away, so I thought someone must need something. By the time I found my phone it had gone to voicemail already and Brent's phone started ringing. It was my brother, with questions about what type of digital camera to buy. Grrrrr. Obviously not life and death. I can't stand being interrupted when we're eating or in the middle of something, esp people who dial and dial and dial just because they're bored. Start running! Get a hobby! 1 hour and 11 minutes later it was way to late to get back to our movie. Hmmm. Better luck next year. AND, the snow had turned to rain so now there was no snow left. We got all our race stuff together, made some new running mixes and got to bed.

We woke up to no real snow on the ground, but there was a decent amount of snow falling here, and it was really starting to stick to the grass. Yeah!! I had done all kinds of research on what the temps would be at race time - 10 am. It was SUPPOSED to be about 30, cloudy, with winds making it feel like 25. Brrrr! Since the snow was really falling now I had no reason not to believe that. We dressed warmly, ate some oatmeal, and headed out the door. 4 miles closer into the city and there wasn't a snowflake to be bought. Insane! Our grass was totally coated by the time we left, but it looked like a complete rain event in the city limits. And to top it off, the sun was starting to coming out and it was downright sunny when we made it the 19 miles to downtown. We parked in a garage walked a few blocks over to the arena and got our race packet. The website had said there were 1200 preregistered, and there were a ton of people there already. Because it was a pretty big race plus parking can be a bear sometimes, we had gotten there pretty early so we still had about 40 minutes to kill after we got all checked in and everything. We walked around analysing the crowd. There were a LOT of non-runners. A ton of jeans and several random sweatbands. It was a strange mix of the 1980's. We ran around the block once to warm-up and lined up in the middle. We always start next to each other and then go our separate ways. I knew Brent would be faster, so at the start he was off on my right. I also knew there would be quite a few hills spaced throughout so I set off pacing myself slowly.

The large crowd moved well, and I can't complain about anyone walking or clogging up the start, excellent!! We headed down the blvd, past all the honkey tonks that were strangely silent. It was so weird to pass them early in the morning before all the aspiring stars are belting tunes out the open club doors, and before the REALLY aspiring singers are camped out on the sidewalks with their guitars. I was instantly SO warm. I had dressed for 25, and was certainly closer to the upper 30's. I hate being overheated like that!!! I tried not to think about it, but my ipod was too quiet and with my stupid gloves on it wouldn't register my fingers trying to crank it up. I hit the first mile around 8.40, I was pleased with that. I could still see Brent just a little ahead of me, running well. We wound our way through downtown, past various auditoriums and clubs turning to make our way back around toward the arena. At the end of mile 2 we started a forever long ascent. The hill was steep and a lot of people had stopped and were walking. A girl was off to the side puking and I couldn't look because I could've easily been there with her. I was SO warm but it seemed like it would take too much effort to take of my gloves or earwrap. Just when I thought I couldn't take it anymore we made it to the top! YEAH!! I could still see Brent plodding on up ahead, but we started making several turns and he was gone...I hit mile 2 in 17-something. My Garmin says my Mile 2 was 5.44. Impressive, esp with that hill. I think it had some trouble with the tall buildings! Mile 3 started out with an awesome downhill, I sped it up a bit and really started feeling stronger. I was dealing with the 'heat' and took advantage of the downhill and gained some momentum afterwards. From there it wasn't far back to the arena, and I was able to sped up a little bit until the end when it was slightly uphill and I just didn't have much of a kick left for the finish line. Brent was waiting for me in the finisher's area, this was the first time he's beaten since our very first 5K when he outsprinted me to the finish in June 2004. So it's quite the coup. My finish time was 26.45, which is my slowest 5K time since August 2005. But that's OK, after last week's run at 27.30 I wasn't sure I would even be able to beat 27 since this was a much more difficult race.

In the finisher's area there were people dry heaving, hacking and puking everyone. It was pretty gross and since I'm pretty close to vomit status at the end of every race I had to get out of there!! We went inside and grabbed some water and tiny bananas (seriously, they were so small). We hung around to check out the official results and then headed out. I was the 60th female finisher, 206th overall and 13th in my division of 70 runners (25-29 Female)! Not bad!! Not my best by a long shot but not bad stats either.

From there we headed to the local running store to buy some new shoes for me! My Pearls had 600 miles on them and it was time to retire them. I really didn't like them that much so I decided to go back to Mizunos and got the Wave Inspires. I tried them out on the treadmill for 6 miles today and they feel much better. They're just a simpler shoe.

The game last night was fun. We had strange seats right behind the goal. At 5'2 it's hard for me to see around people anyway, but this made it nearly impossible to see the goal. The seats just weren't slanted enough to really give you a height advantage for the row in front of you. The Preds won 5-2. We were right next to the CMT band stage that played during the breaks between periods, and as such I got on the jumbotron during some of those shots. Yeah!! Brent had a lot of fun yelling the "aspiring artist's" name (Trent something or another) numerous times throughout their performance. We had a good time and walked down to an Italian place for a late dinner. Our waitress was the worse waitress known to man. We asked her for silverware and she never brought it. It took about 15 minutes before she ever brought us any water. We ended up stealing some from an empty table. People who got there 30-45 minutes after us had bread, salad and their food way before we did. We won't be going back.....ever. The food was OK but not spectacular.

So, we didn't get much snow this weekend but if you do want to see some snow pics you can visit Shore Turtle, Danny, Jeanne or Susie! They have tons and tons of glorious snow. It looks like so much fun! We got a little snow this afternoon and decided to go out for a walk with Pippin and enjoy it. I found a 5K in May that's for people and dogs and today was to be training day #1 for Team Rachel and Pippin. We started with a walk for .6 miles at an 18 min/mile pace (I wore my Garmin) then we started jogging around a 10.30 for .4 miles - it was really, really snowing then and blowing in our faces - v tough! A guy running passed us in shorts and a T-shirt! It was 29 degrees!! We turned around and ran for .3 miles at a 9.37 - awesome!!! Pippin was probably going so fast because it was snowing so much and he wanted to go home. We walked another .2 mile at a 15 min/mile pace, and then ran the last .3 back around a 10.30 pace. It was going back into the heavy snow and it was piling up on Pippin's little smashed face. He was not happy!! He wouldn't stand outside for pictures so I just let him go back in and Brent and I played for a while. He did really well, and then wanted to play ball once we got back in so he wasn't a bit tired!

Does tomorrow HAVE to be Monday???


Thurs - 1 mile am walk with Pippin and Brent, 2 mile pm walk with Pippin and Brent, 50 minutes toning/stretching
Fri - rest day (too cold to walk!! 27 and it felt much colder!)
Sat - 5K race
Sun - 6 miles treadmill, almost 2 mile run with PIPPIN!