Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Pippin and the Bee

Hey guys!! As happy as I wasn't about going back to work today at least it's only a 4 day week and tomorrow is Wednesday! Woo hoo! My boss had planned to take off today, so that helped make the day a little easier, too.

Yesterday we did a ton of steam cleaning for the carpets and finished all the other major projects we had left. There are still some rooms with some little spots where we've bumped the walls that need touching up, but overall our house is spotless. It's so nice and clutter free. Once all the carpets were wet we loaded up and headed to the dog park to stay off them so they could dry nice and pretty. The dog park we prefer is very, very close to where we want to live, so it was another opportunity to drive through the our future 'hood. When we got to the dog park Pips was MEGA excited. It was really hot yesterday, 90-something, and we were at the park around 3:30 so it was still super hot. There were only a few dogs there and Pippin was the smallest in this sea of brown and black labs (One of the black labs was named Rachel which freaked me out!!). For some reason Pippin was really, REALLY into this male giant schnauzer. He just would not leave him alone and it was SO embarrassing because this dog was WAY bigger than Pippin. The dogs were so hot they mostly just stretched out in the dirt panting and panting. At one point it was just us and two labs. Pippin was really too hot to have any fun so we loaded up to leave, and as we were walking out he stepped on a bee and got stung. It was SO traumatic. He yelped a little and his little leg was just throbbing and twitching. I scooped him up and we were both freaking out (me and Pippin). I carried him to the car and held him while Brent checked to make sure there wasn't a stinger left, or that he hadn't stepped on any glass or something else. His poor little foot was just twitching and he was trying to lick it and just couldn't get comfortable in my lap. I felt so bad for him but there wasn't much we could do. We poured some water on it and headed home, he eventually fell asleep in my lap but he'd still kick his foot out from time to time. After we got home we all took a nap and afterwards he was back to feeling like chipper little Pippin.

Today we made an appointment with a company to come and pressure wash our house Thursday to get the roof, windows, driveway, brick and deck all shiny and clean. I also called a realtor who is going to get our house listed and take us to see the 4 houses we like tomorrow afternoon. She's THE top agent in our area and came highly recommended. She's got an entire staff of people to dote on us. One of her assistants I spoke with today (who is taking us out tomorrow) seemed really nice, and told us not to be surprised if we get an offer in less than a week. That's a-OK with me. She said this area is going fast right now, and there really aren't a lot of (used) houses for sale in our area. She probably says that to everyone, but it's still nice to hear - BUT four houses on our street sold about 2 months ago, so that's a good sign. So, by this time next week our house will have a big sign out front - FOR SALE!! We will hopefully be suburbanites no longer!

That's all the news around here! We got some boxes at work today to pack up some of our winter clothes and other stuff to stash in the attic and have out of the way, so we're going to start working on some of that this week. I think we're also going to have a yard sale this Saturday to go ahead and get some of this junk out of the house. Have a great short week everyone!


Monday, May 29, 2006

I've Taken Over Rae's Blog...

...but just for this one time. I just wanted to say that I'm INCREDIBLY RUDE because I haven't MADE time to thank everyone. I want to thank everyone for their warm birthday wishes, the birthday shout-outs and for being apart of the "birthday run" that Rae organized. You guys are amazing and you honestly helped make this one of my best birthdays ever. I want to give an extra special thanks to ShoreTurtle for going above and beyond for my birthday run! THANKS!

I don't feel like I've even slowed down since my birthday but things will hopefully get back to normal soon.


brent d.


Hey guys! I can't believe our super long holiday weekend is almost over! We have been so incredibly productive this weekend and I am thoroughly exhausted.

Friday we worked on our house all day, then got cleaned up and drove past some of the houses we'd picked out on the 'net to see if we liked the neighborhoods/neighbors. Since we have SO many crappy neighbors right now the neighbors are almost as important as the house. If we hear dogs barking we keep on driving. There have been 3 or 4 houses we've marked off simply because the next door neighbors have yappy dogs. From about 17 houses we crossed off quite a few and then stopped at this super cute little neighborhood Mexican joint called the Rosepepper. We got a great spot on their outdoor patio and chowed down while we watched a great lightning show south of town. For some reason all the rain stayed south of us and never moved into the city. Brent ended up with an entree called "muy caliente" which for some reason he thought meant "very good". I was pretty surprised when he told me he was getting that, since I know "muy caliente" means "very hot" and Brent's not huge on super hot stuff. But I thought "whatever, he seems pretty into it". We had ordered a margarita to split, and I guess my exhaustion and the fact that I'd been in the sun a lot that day painting our front entryway and really hadn't had a lot to eat started kicking in. I was tipsy. Off HALF a frickin' margarita. So sad. So Brent's food comes and it's hotter than hell, his head is sweating and I'm having a GREAT time. That's when he told me what he thought "muy caliente" had meant and when I told him he was wrong. I tried to get a picture of it on his cameraphone but I was so out of it I ended up with my finger in front of the shutter. The truly sad thing is that Brent took 2 years of Spanish in high school and I had 4 years of German. Anyway, we had a great time and I'm so excited that this little place will be within walking distance from wherever we end up at.

On Saturday we did more house fixing up stuff and I totally disrupted Pippin's little schedule. He has a very complex sleeping schedule that takes him around the house throughout the day, following the sun. In the morning he sleeps in various spots in our living room or bedroom, in the afternoon he moves to the dining room, and in late afternoon he moves into the stairs/2nd story catwalk area. He's like a little sundial or something. In the afternoon I started steamcleaning our dining room and he was PISSED. I ended up locking him in our bedroom where Brent was doing some painting and he was NOT happy. Once I was finished I blocked off both entryways with chairs and other random crap but the little bugger still found ways to get in 3 or 4 times. So, I gave him a bath just to make him madder (and so I could get the upstairs bath a good cleaning). Afterwards he wanted to sun himself on the stairs but that's where I was vacuuming, dusting and doing some spot stain cleaning. He really wasn't happy with me, and was probably pretty glad when we called it a day and went out to Lowes and Target to pick up some more home repair stuff.

Sunday we did more cleaning and then headed out to see if there were any open houses. I guess the realtors took the holiday weekend off because there wasn't a single open house! We used the time to drive around the neighborhoods more and really figure out what locations we like. We've decided we like the Lockeland Springs community, so that's where we're focusing. We've picked out about 3 houses that we really like and want to tour this week. One is a pretty big fixer upper, but the price is great so we'd have a ton of money left in our budget to fix it exactly how we want. It's about 2 blocks from the park, so that's perfect. The second one is already fixed up, but we'd probably want to repaint the outside and tear out some of the carpets for the hardwood underneath. It's about 3 blocks from the park and very close to the golf course. The third one would likely need quite a bit of fixing up as well, it's on a great street and is also just a few blocks from the park. They all have a lot of the features we're looking for, and without seeing them we're leaning towards the big fixer upper just because we can do what we want with it. We've done a LOT with this house - tiling, flooring, crown molding in every room, tons of woodwork details, crazy painting projects, etc etc - so we're not afraid of some work and we're pretty dang handy for a couple of yuppies. At this point we know which realtor we're picking and we're calling her tomorrow to list our house asap and take us through these houses.

So Sunday night.......we were invited to a party hosted by a coworker of mine. Her parties are always pretty interesting because they have a massive open bar and most of our coworkers are rednecks so they get PLASTERED. Last night was no exception. It's so strange to just sit back and watch people as they get all wound up. One coworker of mine was already tipsy off half a Bahama Mama and by the end of the night she was flailing everywhere as her MUCH older husband just sat in a corner smoking cigars all night and trying to keep her from embarrassing herself. But BY FAR, the strangest moment of the night came when the running coworker of mine went to leave and was telling my coworker's husband (the stripper) good-bye and somehow it came up that he sings in his church choir. So the stripper says "Sing me something!" and so.....in the middle of a party where 75% of the people are off their asses......he starts singing church hymns. Someone heard him singing and the general crowd started chanting for more music. Brent and I are not drunk or even remotely tipsy so I am laughing so hard I am starting to CRY. Then coworker starts belting out Amazing Grace......in the middle of the party. And not just Amazing Grace - but a JAZZY rendition of it. I was trying SO hard to be mature but I'd catch Brent out of a corner of my eye and just lose it. I ended up with tears rolling down my face and mascara everywhere. It was quite possibly one of the strangest moments of my life. There were many, MANY other moments from last night that were awkward (like terrible dancing, even worse karaoke and one drunk guy telling us all we work for the best company in the world) but the singing......I will NEVER forget that moment. The worst part is I didn't even bring my camera, I could've at least snuck some audio!

Well, it's time for me to get to work and do some more steam cleaning! We don't have much to do left on our house (yeah!!) and hopefully we can finish up fairly soon and take Pippin out to the dog park this afternoon. We haven't been there in forever!

Happy Memorial Day everyone!!


Friday, May 26, 2006

Blogger for hire!

So does anyone want to take over writing in my blog for me? With all the house stuff going on right now I just don't have the time to blog, and it would be REALLY, REALLY wrong to spend a ton of time on the computer when we have so much other stuff to do. It's really not a big deal, we're not training for anything big right now, so you're not missing much as far as the running stuff goes. I still need to write about our experience at the blazing hot Renaissance Fair last weekend (and post pics of the freaks who were there) and talk about the equally blazing hot concert we went to last Saturday night and how I'm too old to be up until 3 in the morning now. AND, I still haven't gotten to talk about the houses we looked at last Sunday - and the one that would be perfect for us if it wasn't $140K above our budget and how the stupid girl is trying to charge $200K more than what she paid for it 15 months ago (so stupid - all house sales are public record so you can look up what someone paid for the house and when they bought it). But I'll get around to it, really. And if someone DOES want to take up writing my blog for me all you have to do is talk about running, how rude suburban moms are hogging the sidewalks with their oversized backsides, how it's hotter than hell, how Pippin is REALLY cute, how Brent is a sweetie and throw in a bunch of pics of random stuff. It's really not complicated! AND, if you could read the 60 or so people's blogs I have loaded into my Reader account and summarize them for me and leave appropriate comments I would really appreciate it!!

So, we took today off to get a lot done around our house. We've been scrubbing, painting, cleaning and throwing loads of crap away ALL week. We've accomplished a TON. It's really starting to come together and I MIGHT be able to see the end of these tasks. Today we got up and had a 6 mile run in hotter than hell sun around 8 this morning, made some breakfast and haven't sat down since. I painted all the trim around our front door and repainted one of our bathrooms (we had painted monkeys and palm trees all over the walls, with sky and clouds above - we think the potential buyers might want something more neutral!), while Brent has been cleaning out all the crap in our massive storage area under our house. The more room you have the more crap people bring you. It's insane. Brent's been painting and touching up all week, while I scrub and organize and declutter. He repainted the ceiling in our bathroom last night - we had a neat purple-blue sunset type look on the ceiling and it look so strange and bare for it to be back to white now! When we're not working on our house this weekend we've got about 12 houses in the Eastwood Neighbors and Lockeland Springs neighborhoods in East Nashville to go and look at. Hopefully some of them won't be next door to the projects! We're also invited to a party tonight and a party Sunday night, so there should be a little bit of fun this weekend to balance all our work.

Well, Brent is out of the shower so that's where I am headed. I hope you all have GREAT holiday weekends!! I love long weekends!!!! Thanks to all the lawmakers who did something right in making a holiday that my company actually gives us (the first one we've had all year!!) and to all the troops and other people who have served this country! Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!


Monday, May 22, 2006

Birthdays make me tired!

Hey guys!! Well, I survived Brent's birthday weekend! Whew!! I think I went to work today just to get some rest. Before I start droning on about his weekend, here's my new quote of the week, provided by my mom.

Quote of the week: My dad had a colonoscopy today, just because he's getting old and that's what you have to do. Here's what she said about it in an email yesterday:

"(Dad) has never been in the hospital, he was born at home or never been put to sleep. "

WTF?? Of course my dad has never been put to sleep!! Is he a dog??? That one had us rolling for a while.

Anyway, Friday morning we got up and did our Brent Mile and then headed off to work. I stopped and picked up a bunch of donuts for Brent's department and he was nice enough to share them with his coworkers. He was really busy, so we just had a quick lunch of McDs (yes, I do eat that junk sometimes!!) and headed out of work a few minutes early so we wouldn't miss our dinner reservations. I had booked us a table at Restaurant Zola for 5:30. It's won a ton of local (and national awards), so I thought it was worth a try. Of course we got stuck in traffic, as always. You can't go in or out of the city without being part of a jam. Anyway, the restaurant was GREAT! Whenever we eat somewhere super nice I eat UP! We had a cheese tray for an appetizer. I LOVE cheese!! I had 3 types of cheese and some homemade crackers and bread, fruit, and some delicious bourban pecans. YUM! Then we split a salad with shrimp and goat cheese on it, which was just OK. Then Brent had duck and I had halibut. It was so good!! I can't even tell you what all was on it because I really don't know. Mine did have some mangos on there, which I love. And OF COURSE we had to have dessert - a really good little chocolate cake dipped in various stuff with a side of homemade mint ice cream. You could actually taste REAL mint in the ice cream, it was so good!!

Afterwards we decided to drive around and look at houses a little. We saw some GREAT neighborhoods that we LOVED. Of course when we got home....the price tags were INSANE! Like this one, yeah right!! $729K??? You're crazy. Most of the other ones in this neighborhood were in the $400's, which is crazy. They weren't very large. But it was a nice, comfortable neighborhood. Oh well.

From there we headed to Home Depot to get some toilet stuff, I broke the handle on one of our potties last week. Obviously I am very strong. We came home to our redneck neighbors sitting on their big ass boat. They are so annoying, and so is their big ass boat. We came in, fixed our potty, then opened presents and had cake! Yummm!!

Saturday morning I got up, read some blogs and went for a 7 mile run. It was cloudy when I started, but of course all the clouds melted away as soon as I got going!! UGH! It was so hot. I did some various loops through our neighborhood and stopped at the local park to stand in their misting fountain for a minute. Three suburban moms gave me a look as I was swirling around soaking up the water. As if, I hesitate to even say what THEY were doing could even be called "walking". Pippin could probably lap them. Within about 2 minutes you couldn't even tell I had just hosed myself down! We've had so much rain that no one had any sprinklers going. I made it in an avg of 9:22, which is faster than I felt. Not a great run, but I'm still not used to warm runs yet. There's just no shade out here, I felt like an egg frying on the sidewalk.

When I got home (at 10 am) Brent was getting up and I told him we were headed to the Renaissance Fest! Whew!! Well, that's it for now. We have so many projects to do around here that I have a strict time limit on my blogging for right now!! So little time, so much to do!

More about the weekend later!


Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Brent Mile Challenge x 29

Hey guys!! To say this has been the fastest weekend EVER would be such an understatement! We've done so much it's probably going to take about 500 posts to summarize Brent's birthday weekend. I think we've been home a total of 1 hour this weekend, if that even!

But before I get into all the boring details of how we've basically been eggs frying on the sidewalk all weekend let's have a rundown of the Brent Birthday Mile Challenge 2006!!

I can't believe so many of you participated! I love doing stuff like this (which we first did back at Thanksgiving with the BRPTT) because so many of the people who silently read drop in and let you know who they are. I usually get about 125 hits a day, but I probably only know who about 30-40 of you are. So who are the rest of you???

Our day started early. Well, just as early as usual - 5:30 am. Which is really 5:24 because I've set my clock fast because I think getting up before 5:30 sounds so much earlier. Brent got up too so he could officially kick off his challenge with a 2.9 mile run. He thought if you guys could donate a mile the least he could do was donate 2.9. The plan was for him to run (jog) with Pippin and I for our mile and then he'd continue on for the remaining 1.9 miles. Pippin and I have been walk/jogging all week since his 5K last weekend. We've usually been walking about .55 and running .45 of our mile each morning, so he gets a good mix of slow walking for optimal neighborhood territory marking and then some jogging for fitness and to give me an extra minute or two every morning! It's been working great and he's really been getting into the jogging. Friday morning he did not want to jog a whole mile. About 1/2 mile into it he sat down in the middle of the street and refused to budge. We sent Brent on his way and I finally figured out Pips wanted to jog on the OTHER side of the street so we slowly finished the remainder of our mile. So:

Mile 1 - 2.9 was completed by Brent in 25:40 (he also documented his birthday all day on his blog via cameraphone if you'd like to see it!)

Mile 2.9 - 4.9 completed by me and Pips (1 mile each) in 11:47 each

Mile 4.9 - 6.9 was contributed by Jay T up in the Philly, PA area. 7.56 & 6.46 were his speedy mile times! (I think I'd go head over heels if I ever managed a sub 7 mile!!)

Mile 7.9 was completed by Elizabeth around Cleveland, Ohio on the terrible treadmill in 7:50. With this screwed up weather I think a lot of us have had to visit the terrible hamster wheel a few too many times lately.

Mile 8.9 was completed by Julie out in California in 8:38. She's going to be running Grandma's Marathon soon!

Mile 9.9 was run by Angie out in sunny & always warm Tuscon, Arizona in 10:59. I swear I'm going to winter with them this year!! She's also getting ready for her next ultra so make sure you send her lots of love too!

Mile 10.9 was also run in beautiful California by Darrell in 7:51. Maybe for his b-day next year we can do a running tour in CA with all the lucky CA bloggers!! Darrell's also got a marathon coming up soon in July (Seafair (near Seattle))

Mile 10.9 - 12.9 was completed by Kiki and her husband in the Detroit area (another place I'm dying to get up to to meet some RBF-ers!) 12:50 for Kiki and 14 mins for her hubby on the treadmill. She has just started racing this year and I think she's hooked! (As if we don't all understand and remember that feeling!)

Mile 13.9 was run by Rob (the ultrarunner) in the beautiful Pac Northwest (in WA). He threw in a mile of speedwork in 6:29. Wow!! He's running the Capital City Marathon today!!!!

Mile 14.9 was run by Mouse on (I'm sure) the West-side of Detroit in 8:13. She also threw in a birthday song which is always greatly appreciated. And if she wants to throw in her new running skirt as well we wouldn't refuse.

Mile 15.9 was finished in 6:00 by Richard as part of his speedwork training. He's also a Michigan runner. (Maybe you guys can start a club or something???)

Mile 16.9 was run by fellow Tennessean Planet3rry, he holds down the East side (Knoxville). He's still watchless but it was about an 8:33 pace. If you listen to Steve Runner's podcast this is the same Terry who is helping to organize the worldwide half marathon this fall.

Mile 16.9 - 18.9 was tackled by Marathong Mom and Triathamom, also fellow Tennesseans. They represent the South-East side, or Chattanooga. They did their mile as part of bootcamp and even had a celebratory breakfast afterwards. I'm not sure what their pace was, but I KNOW they were having fun. I'll just say 10:00 mins each.

Mile 19.9 was finished by recent CMM marathoner and ANOTHER Tennessean Michele. Tennesee is TAKING OVER the blogging world!! You better watch out for us, we are rednecks and we will knock you down. She's not terribly far from here, she's helping to represent the South-side of Middle Tennesee. She knocked out her mile in 8:30.

Mile 20.9 was completed by Jack, the German running machine, in 8:15. He is doing his very FIRST ultra this week, so give him lots of LOVE!!

Mile 21.9 was completed by Jersey Shore Turtle, and OMG he went ABOVE AND BEYOND. He was the very first RBFer we ever met in real life, and you couldn't ask for a nicer person, seriously. He made his very own Brent Mile bib (that's where I took the title for this post from, and the name for this challenge). How cool is that???? I love it. AND he ran it in 6:19. He just decided to sign up for the Philly Marathon for his first marathon this fall. Make sure you stop by and wish him luck and check out the pics he took for his Brent mile!!!!

Mile 22.9 was run by Running Jayhawk up in awesome Chicago! She finished in 11:45. She's going to be running the Chicago marathon this fall. She's also one of my fave bloggers because a) she has an adorable dog and b) she is so funny. Seriously.

Miles 22.9 - 24.9 were run by Canadian Robb in beautiful Novia Scotia. He was a rocketship with a 6:20 pace. He's training really hard to break 20 mins in a 5K soon and I know he's going to do it. If you've never read his blog you really should! He's so funny and posts a lot of pics of beautiful Canada and his adorable family.

Mile 25.9 was finished by fellow Nashvillian and CMM half runner Olivia in 9:55. We haven't heard much from her since CMM, but hopefully work will slow down for her soon.

Mile 26.9 was finished by another fellow Tennessean, Lana. We're now in the ultramarathon land, which is pretty appropriate because she just finished her first marathon at CMM a few weeks ago. She ran a 8:59 mile for Brent. She also holds down the South side of Middle TN and is training hard for an upcoming tri.

Mile 27.9 was run by Hilda, down in the Dominican Republic. A real gift would have been if we had been there to run it on the beautiful beach with her!!! She ran it as part of her long run, I'm not sure of the exact time so I'll say 10:00. She's having trouble with spurs, so if you have experience in that please go visit her! (And if you actually VISIT her please take me with you!!)

Mile 28.9 was run by another fellow Nashvillian, David. (Seriously guys, watch out, TN is going to take down all of you NYC bloggers!!!! =) ). He also just completed the CMM (and ran in a local 5K this weekend) and donated a 9:17 mile to the cause, taking us right up to our 29th mile!

Mile 29.9 was finished by fellow Miami Marathoner David. He ran a nice Florida mile for Brent (hopefully he was NOT being chased by alligators) in 8:53. He just signed up for the Marine Core Marathon!! YEAH!!!

Mile 30.9 was run on the trails of CT by Susie, who won't be part of the CT RBF for too much longer. Their weather wasn't the best, but she still knocked out an avg 10:40 race pace overall.

Mile 31.9 was also run as part of the same CT trail race by everyone's favorite Running Chick with the orange hat. She blazed through the race with an avg 7:53 pace. It sounds like it was a really fun race and a great RBF meetup!

Mile 32.9 was contributed by Jeanne at 10:23. She's up in the DC area and she also just signed up for the Marine Core Marathon!!

And contributing our final miles 32.9 - 36.9 is another Tennessean, Liz. She pushed her TRIPLETS a mile in 14:34. So that's 4 people at a mile each (even though the girls had it easy I don't see how mom could do it all!! I can barely push myself!!) Liz has the North side of Nashville covered for the RBF.

So, that's a total of 36.9 miles you guys!! That is awesome! Way above and beyond the 29 birthday miles, but the more running the better! I think we had pretty much every area of the country covered and even a couple of international miles. Let me know if I left you out or got something wrong, this took forever to type up! Does anyone know where I can find a good ultramarathon site to add up each mile for a total time? All of the pace band calculators I use stop at 26.2 miles!

That's it for now! We've got a full day planned! Wish us luck house hunting!!!!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Happy Birthday Baby!

Today is Brent's 29th birthday. WOW! It's been a long and crazy road, full of lots of left AND right turns, hills and valleys and sheer adventure. Ten years ago we were celebrating his 19th birthday as college freshman, and here were are in 2006 still partying like kids. I can't imagine spending the last 10.5 years of my life with anyone else? Who else would put up with my massive mood swings? Who else would blame my mother (instead of me) for not teaching me that Joy does not work so well in the dishwasher? Who else would drop everything and run out of work to pick me up when my stomach was cramping and I was still a mile and a half from home? I can't imagine some other guy enjoying my insane dancing, terrible knowledge of song lyrics and random firings of hairspray. There's no way Pippin would want to curl up with some other bozo on the couch.

So - to my friend, my sweetie, the best baby doggie's daddy and my favorite running pal in the world - Happy 29th birthday!! I hope it's the best ever. Here's a look back at some of the fun times we've had (at least since we got a digital camera).

Here's to another 290 years together.....

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Can you spare a mile??

Hey guys! I had no idea several of you might find our housing search to be interesting, so I'll keep posting some random links as we go through this ordeal. Like Mia mentioned the cost of housing here is NOTHING compared to places like California, or New England. We've had several execs move here from Boston and flat out pay cash for their home based on what they had up there. But we also don't make as much money and we don't have the ocean or loads of fantastic skyscrapers so it's all relative. I really don't see much point in not providing links to the houses we look at - everything in this world is all public domain anyway. If you want to find out who I am it's not difficult, and usually when you try to be uber secretive people are more curious and will actually devote the time to finding out who you are. I got a letter from the AICPa today saying one of their hard drives was lost containing the names, social security #s, addresses, etc of us boring CPAs so they're providing a free year of credit monitoring in case our info falls into the wrong hands. If someone wants your social, it's really not that hard to come by anyway.

So, the real point of this post: Friday is Brent's birthday. We joked around and said we should run 29 miles for his 29th birthday. HA! For my 29th birthday we'll be running 26.2 in Twin Cities, but we'll also be trained for that. Right now we're in half shape. So, I figured I could get you guys to run 29 miles for him, one mile at a time. This won't be a surprise because he reads my blog and my comments, but here's my idea. Run a mile anytime on Thursday or Friday and leave me a comment on a special birthday post I'll be putting up early Friday morning (probably around 6 am Central Time). On that post, tell me what your time was for your mile. This can be a mile you walk, a mile you run full out, or any random mile from within your normal workout. If you do it with a friend, that would be 2 miles total, one for each of you. I plan to do my mile Friday morning with Pippin, so that will count for 2 of the 29 miles. If we get more than 29 miles, even better! Afterwards I'll have a post with everyone's names/blog link and their time, as well as what Brent's total 29 mile run time would be with them all accumulated. Please don't leave a comment to this posting saying whether or not you plan to do it, that way whoever does participate will be a surprise, since he'll know about this activity anyway. (I do have other stuff planned for Saturday that will be a surprise!) You can leave a comment saying it's a cute idea, a stupid idea, etc etc, just not whether you're in!

Have a great night!


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Moving on up

Hey! I really have nothing interesting to post about in the way of running. Just like most of you guys, our weather has been CRAP lately. Loads of rain and it's also SO cold! Today our highs were in the 50's and the weather guy said our avg temps in April were higher than what we've had in May. It seems like it's always raining after work, or about to rain, or so stinking windy that it's just miserable. I've had 3 runs on the treadmill in the past week, and it's MAY! Yesterday was cold (and I'm over that!) so I did 4 on the 'mill, and tonight it was pouring down rain so I did 6 on the 'mill. Boring!!! Last night I watched the season finale of How I Met your Mother (I love that show!!) so it went by quickly, tonight's was more boring - I watched some HGTV show and a Seinfeld re-run.

So, I mentioned we're shopping for a new house. We've been in this house for nearly 7 years, so it's time to move on. We don't like our suburban neighborhood anymore. We've gone from one our two annoying neighbors to TONS of them. Barking dogs 24-7, cars parked everywhere, etc etc. Our neighborhood is very safe - but it's just not the same as it used to be. This subdivision is now 10 years old, and this area has grown like gangbusters. There is new subdivision on top of new subdivision - so most of the people who moved here when we did have upgraded to one of the newer, bigger, nicer houses nearby and capitalized on the nice value increases our homes have had. The new people that have moved in are nowhere near as nice as the ones we've lost. They can't afford the super nice new houses, but they can afford these. Nice. We have no desire to relocate to one of the nicer, bigger, newer houses - this suburb sucks!! It's so vanilla, and it's gotten to be ridiculous. They're now building a brand new Home Depot across the street from our still very new Lowe's. Why???? There's not a tree left in this 'burb. We used to see deer and other occasional wildlife, but now all their homes have been burned down for 50 BBQ restaurants, 500 nail salons, and millions of cash advance stores. So we want to go more urban!! I grew up in urban Memphis and I'd really like to go back to the urban lifestyle. It just has more personality. We'd also like to change gears and have a really old house, something incredibly historic. Something with some STYLE! We're fine with a smaller house, this one is too big for two people anyway. The bigger the house the more crap you have, and we've done a great job at cleaning out the crap lately. We've been living a much more minimalist type of lifestyle this year and it's been GREAT! We also want a smaller yard, all we need is something big enough for Pippin to poop in.

So, those are our ground rules. After a frustrating day of the neighbors on Saturday we were more than eager to check out some neighborhoods around downtown/East Nashville. There are tons of beautiful old houses down there, and I had printed out directions and info on about 9 houses. We headed down to the first one. It's just a little off of downtown. The house itself was gorgeous, exactly what we would like. Except for the fact that the projects are literally at the end of the block. A ton of houses on the street have already been revitalized, and I'm sure you could make a ton of money off of this house one day.......but it will always be two blocks from the projects. How can I do a run by myself or walk Pippin in the early am that close to the ghetto?? We drove around a little more in that neighborhood but didn't see anything else. So we headed over to the next area of houses. Really, it wasn't much better at all. Crappy house crappy house revitalized house crappy house. There was one house that was SO gorgeous – with a fantastic front porch and the works – right next door to a really run down set of apartments. Why is it that the projects are really in THE best part of town?? Close to downtown – beautiful old architecture – lots of sidewalks! I don’t get it. We found one house we did like, and a few others we saw just driving around (a couple of which turned out to be insanely priced). The topper was one that’s only two blocks from a trailhead entrance to Shelby Park. The inside was gorgeous – the outside I wasn’t huge on. But it said it had a river view! SWEET! We drove way out of the way, got turned around but we finally found it. It was so dog ugly, some really scary looking duplexes are right around it, and the only way you would be able to see the river from that house would be if all the houses across the street burned down. It’s not even ON THE SAME SIDE as the river! Puhlease. It’s all very frustrating, and we haven’t even started dealing with a realtor yet!

We did manage to get some projects done around here last weekend, too. We repainted our front door and our mailbox. We still need to repaint the molding around the front door and there are several other things we need to do around the house. I need a month off to get all this stuff done!!!

Anyway, Friday is Brent’s birthday. I have a few things planned for Saturday but I think we’re going to look at a few more houses this weekend and hopefully get a few more projects done.

That’s it around here, hopefully the weather will behave and I can have some running news to report!


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Pippin's First 5K!

Hey guys! Pippin did GREAT at the See Spot Run 5K yesterday. It was not a chip race, so I'm going with our watch time which was 36:02. He was SEVERAL minutes ahead of the goal time I had set for us, and he had fun so that's all that matters. Their results aren't up yet so I'm not sure what place we came in, but we were faster than a LOT of people and a LOT of people + dogs. I'll let you know how we placed whenever that stuff is posted.

The race started at 8 am, so we had to get up a little after 6, which I am not complaining about after the past couple of weeks! So far this year I've done 1 marathon, 3 half marathons and 1 5K (that was less than 2 weeks after the marathon...), so doing an easy 5K today felt like a dream! It went by so quickly, even though we were going at Pippin's pace! When we arrived about 20 after 7 the pre-registration line was forever long! We got in line and two other little Boston Terrier were a couple of people behind us. Of course Pippin made instant friends! It was really QUITE a sight to see all the people and their dogs. I was a little worried about poorly behaved dogs, but I have to say I was REALLY impressed. Like most parents, us dog parents think our dogs are the best, and that "their poop doesn't stink", when really they're absolute heathens/wild Indians most of the time. There was really only one dog (a schnauzer) who should NOT have been there. That dog snapped at everything, he was such a prick. She got near me at the starting line so I moved over. I had my dog Dazer on me just in case things got out of control!

Once we got checked in Brent ran the "doggie bag" every runner got back to the car and Pippin and I wandered around making friends. He was SO excited. He had seen me grab his little red tote bag last night, so he knew something was up. Pippin has a few pieces of luggage - his red bag means he's going to the kennel, his blue bag means we're going to the park, and the large black bag means we're ALL going on a trip together. And trust me, when he sees the bag chaos ensues! I needed his rabies vaccination, and I keep that in his kennel bag. So he had been wound up since Friday night when he saw the bag come out. He's such a social butterfly that I was really worried about him wearing himself out BEFORE the race even started. He was pulling me all over the place, but when we finally lined up he calmed down. I think he felt a little weird being smashed in such tight quarters.

The race turn-out was so large they ended up delaying the start 10 minutes for all the people still checking in. If you're a competitive runner this would've been a great race. Most of the people there were walking with their dogs, so I'm pretty confident that as a runner I could've placed really high. (There were also 2 larger 5Ks in town today, one of which had a cash prize money, so that's where the speedsters were.) But what would be the fun in placing at a race for dogs without your dog??? I would have felt terrible out racing with Pippin at home lonely.

When the race started it was quite the sight!! People and dogs just started running!! The dogs were hilarious. They were all just booking it, all the doggie hanky panky was over and they had a purpose. It was so funny. Every once in a while you'd see a dog jerk its owner off the course for a fire plug visit or to sniff something, but for the most part the larger dogs were just running and Pippin was right up there with them. I knew he needed to pace himself, so I tried to reign him in as much as possible. Brent was jumping around taking pics, running ahead and then running with us. I was surprised at how fast Pips was going! I heard a few "I can't believe that little Boston Terrier just passed me" comments, so I was proud of my little shorty. Towards the end of Mile 1 I wasn't sure how long he could keep this up! He finished Mile 1 in 9:55. I stopped to take a walk break but he didn't want to walk! He didn't like it when people passed him. So, we kept jogging slowly.

Around mile 1.25 they had a water stop. I had thought today was supposed to be cool and overcast, but it was neither. We were trying to stay in as much shade as possible, but Pippin was still panting pretty heavily. Luckily they had little water bowls for dogs, so he lapped up some water and onward we went! I knew he must not be TOO hot or he would have laid down in the spilled water around the bowls. From here on out we did run-walk breaks. We still walked really quickly, and every once in a while he'd stop for a sit break. But when a runner + dog would pass he'd pick it back up! Around mile 2 some fire trucks came whizzing down the course so I scooped him up to hurry and get out of the way. We covered mile 2 in 12:31.

From there you sort of go back past the start line and then repeat an early part of the course before taking a different turn to the finish line. There were a lot of people around there and Pippin really wanted to hang out with them! He was starting to slow down, so we kept our fast walk going. A mid size dog came up on us and Pippin really wanted him to stop and play, then we rounded a corner where an enormous hairy dog was resting in the shade. Pippin went straight over to him and wanted to lie down and relax as well! They exchanged some licks and luckily two young boxers came running through so I convinced Pippin to start running again to try to catch them! We finished mile 3 in 12:34. By this point you could see the finish line - we were so close!! So of course he sat down. Didn't want to budge at all!! We put on our "excited voices" and told him we were almost there, and somehow got him to sprint to the finish in a 10:30 pace for the last .1! Some young girls were in the finish area taking your race tag so he quickly revived and tried to make friends. I can't believe he did it!!! He did awesome.

There were 3 other Bostons there, and if there had been a Boston Terrier division he would've had first. Even if they had had a small dog division he would've been second. There was only one other dog his size who beat us, so that's great! They gave out prizes to the top 3 dog finishers, as well as the usual age categories. One of the wives of our local Fleet Feet store took top female, and she and her dog took second in the dog category. Her dog was really sweet, Pippin loved her! The prizes were really cool. The race was a benefit for Habitat for Humanity. 1st place was a little birdhouse, 2nd place was a hammer and 3rd place was a paintbrush. The organizers at MTSU did a GREAT job! And they all looked very young, like university students. A lot of races could learn from these kids!

We walked around and picked up some of the freebies vendors were giving out (coupons for free dog toys, dog bandannas, little T Mobile frisbees) and then headed home. Pippin was ZONKED! He was asleep in just a couple of minutes. He had a great day! I don't think we'll make running 3 miles a habit, but we'll definitely do more run-walking with him this summer.

I hope you guys had a great weekend!! I hope everyone else racing had a GREAT time! Today Brent took me house shopping, so that makes for the best Mother's Day ever! We also did a ton of work on our own house to get it ready to go on the market. More on that (including pics of the houses we looked at and the fantastic sights that surrounded them) later!


Fri - .6 mile run .4 mile walk with Pippin
Sat - 3.1 mile run with Pippin, 5 mile run with Brent

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Race for The Dogs

So you'd think we'd be all raced out from last weekend's half in Cincy and the half from the weekend before here. Yeah, I am pretty much raced out but we're doing another race this weekend! Well, two of us are anyway - me and Pippin. Oh yeah, you heard that right. Pippin and I will be "running" in the See Spot Run 5K in Murfreesboro (13 miles south of here). It runs through the campus of MTSU, and is the same course as a race we've done in August the past couple of years. The race encourages people and their dogs to participate together, and benefits Habitat for Humanity. I really don't think Pippin will be able to jog the whole way, so I think we'll employ the Galloway method. The past couple of days we've been walking the first part of our mile and then jogging the last part. He's really enjoyed it, and was flying today! We stopped to talk to a neighbor starting her morning walk with her dog, and after he got some lovin' he was pulling me to run again. The key to our "success" will be keeping him from getting TOO excited before the race. We just need to keep him calm and cool. The race email we got yesterday said they've had an overwhelming response, so hopefully it will go well. It should make for some seriously interesting photos though!! Brent's not running so he can play cameraman. I have a certain goal time in mind, so we'll see how that goes.

Gotta run so I can read some of your blogs! Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!


Wed (post blog) - 50 mins ab work
Thurs - .5 mile walk, .5 mile run with Pippin; 6.2 mile evening run

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

This Little Piggie Went for a Run

The Flying Pig Half, Part 2:

So a cannon fires and we are off! I don't really understand a cannon start. I think if I was in the front row that might scare me pretty badly. As it was we were sandwiched right behind the 8 min/mile sign and before the 9 min/mile sign. They don't have formal corrals or wave starts, so the start was really crowded. I was a little worried that the first mile would be totally miserable, but it really wasn't TOO bad. There were a few people way further up than they should have been, but it wasn't unbearable. We headed out from the starting area and made our way through downtown and towards the first bridge. This is a really scenic and enjoyable course. Right around Mile 1 you start making your way across the first of a series of bridges. I love a course where you get to run places you wouldn't normally get to! It was very cool being part of the bobblehead of runners heading across a major bridge over the Ohio River and into Kentucky. Once we were in Kentucky we headed through a really cute little neighborhood, past a great sounding alternative band and then we were headed back into Ohio via a different bridge. The sun was just starting to come up and the view going back into Ohio of the Cincinnati skyline was really pretty. The crowd was already starting to really thin out, which was nice. I'm not a huge fan of running bridges, though. The pounding of the climb up the bridge and then the pounding of the descent on the other side was doing a number of my legs. All I could think was that my legs needed to stay strong for the Eden Park section! (Mile 1: 8:48 (crowds..), Mile 2: 8:21, Mile 3: 8:26)

Around mile 3.5 we were back in downtown Cincinnati and making our way through downtown and towards Eden Park. Brent and I were still together and hanging strong. He was pulling the pace more than I was through this section. I didn't want to burn out before the hills, so I was trying to be cautious. We made our way through some business, past a TV station and we started the slow climb up to the peak of Eden Park. Brent and I had actually been up there before. When my brother first moved to Cincinnati several years ago he drove us up there because the view is beautiful. Strangely enough I remembered it being a very steep climb!! And it was! From mile 5 - 8 you are steadily climbing up. The worst of the climb is in Mile 5 & 6 though, or at least that's how it felt to me. Elizabeth had said she would be waiting somewhere within the Eden Park section, and that she would be wearing a Wild Bill pink shirt. I was eyeballing every spectator, looking for pink. Right in the middle of a climb in mile 5 I saw a 20-something-er wearing pink - but not Elizabeth! Hmmmm. It was a nice distraction keeping my eyes peeled, though. We climbed and climbed and finally passed the first relay exchange point. Those guys veered off to the left and their teammates charged out. (Mile 4: 8:17, Mile 5: 8:25, Mile 6: 8:58) That was mile 6.8, and we all had to cross over a chip mat. Apparently you could track people live, if I had known that I would have left a post with our bib numbers. We kept trucking and finally made it to the summit and were treated to a beautiful view of some house overlooking the river. Brent pulled out his camera phone to snap some pics and right at that moment I saw Elizabeth! I screamed for her, she screamed for me, there was some jumping around and Brent got it all on his cameraphone. He is so prepared!! She raced down the sidewalk and hopped in to join us. She told us she had just run her friends up the hill and was headed back to try to find us. I can't believe I spotted her, I am SO bad at finding people in crowds! She was carrying a bunch of people's hats and was running along with the cutest little pink backpack bobbing around on her back! We chatted away about how exciting it was to meet each other, and of course cameras were clicking away the whole time. She mentioned something about being glad to meet us since we're so "famous" (which we are NOT) which really cracked me up because a guy right in front of us turned around to check us out and he really gave me a once over trying to figure out "who we were". HA!! No one really, but Brent and I were declared Nashville's favorite running couple recently by Nashville is Talking!!! I'll take it!

At this point we were still gaining elevation, but I really don't remember much about it because we were just chatting away. She was bopping right along with us and definitely helping the miles go by faster and keeping us on pace. Right before Mile 10 Elizabeth pulled out to go and check on her marathon friends and we were on our own again. (Mile 7: 8:40, Mile 8: 8:35, Mile 9: 8:13, Mile 10: 8:43). (Thanks again for running so far with us, I'm SO glad we got to meet!!!!) Exception: a chatty girl who wanted to join in with us because the marathoners split off at mile 9 and she no longer had a pace leader to follow. We really weren't interested so we let her get ahead of us. There was a tiny hill at the start of Mile 10, and a volunteer told us it was the last one. Brent and I yelled back at him that if he was making it up we'd come back for him. He said "I was lying last time but not this time!" He really wasn't, we were done with hills! It was down, down, downhill for at least a mile! So much so that I really started to get tired of downhill. From Mile 10.5 - 12 you repeat the beginning portion of the course, and we could see all the people who were still back at miles 4 & 5. It was really crazy to think some people were so much further back, and I was glad I was near the end!! Most of them were walkers, 13.1 and 26.2 miles are a REALLY long walk! I can't imagine undertaking that sort of distance as a walk. We were back in downtown and I could tell we were getting close to the end. A little ways into Mile 12 Brent said something about we had 12 minutes to finish and he'd have a PR. I don't remember the last 12 minute mile I had, but for some reason I thought "All right, let's pick it up." (Mile 11: 8:00, Mile 12: 7:55) The last mile has a weird turnaround and then you're headed towards the finish. Tons of spectators lined the finish line area, and once we hit Mile 13 Brent gave me "the look" and said "Let's go!" I said "I'll try!" and we picked up the speed. We headed under some sort of strange underpass that had concrete support columns. We were headed towards the finish line, right next to each other, and this guy starts veering into my path!! I'm not sure what his deal was, maybe he was trying to avoid a pole or maybe he wanted to be in the center of the finish line. Whatever, I elbowed him to keep him out of my way and we rushed to the finish. We heard the announcer call out "Brent and Rachel - from Smyrna, TN!" How cool! Tons of races we've done have had announcers call out your name, but I've never heard them actually say my name. Hopefully we'll end up with cute finish line pics. (Mile 13: 8:04, the remaining piece - which my watch measured at .3 miles was at a 8:26 pace)

We got our medals and started making our way through the finish line area. My sister-in-law (SIL) and kids had seen us finish and they made their way over to the fence separating us. We told her we'd meet her over by the jumbotron once we were done in the finisher's area. We got our medals, mylar blankets and they even gave out free towels with the race logo on it!! They're really cute. They also handed out plastic bags for all the TONS of free food. We got bags of chips, oreos, fruit, tons of snacks and freebies! If they had had pizza, sodas, and coffee it would have beaten the free after-race food in Memphis (but Cincy is a close second!) We had our picture made and headed out to meet my SIL and Elizabeth! (She had made her way down the rest of the half course.) My SIL's kids were a bit......bored. My niece was grouchy and my nephew was bored and sleepy. They wanted to go home. My SIL had said she'd come down and watch if we could help her with the kids after we finished.....not an easy task after a tough half and a long day. (Note that my niece has a cookie stuck underneath her chin.....) My stomach was NOT happy. It had been grouchy all day and there wasn't much I could think of that might help it. And we were FREEZING! The mylar blankets saved my life, but I was still shaking. We visited with Elizabeth and a friend of hers for a while until they headed back up the marathon course. Then we went closer to the marathon finish line to watch for my brother. A little after 4 hours we saw one of their friends finish, and then about a minute later we saw my brother charging through!! He was much earlier than we expected! Brent was able to snap a pic and we headed over to the finisher's area.

He was jazzed!! I think he caught the running bug on Sunday. He found the rest of his relay team (who would probably die if they knew their pic was up on the net!!) and their other friend and they were on a massive runner's high! Instantly his team started talking about all running the half together next year, and my brother even mentioned running the whole thing! I'm really glad he had such a good time. At lunch that day he was talking about possibly running a half in Memphis or somewhere else this fall. He was even on the phone right afterwards reliving the whole experience with one of the guys. So funny!

We went back to his house, cleaned up, and ate some lunch. Then Brent and I headed home. It was ONE LONG DRIVE! We were both tired and my stomach was so grouchy. We stopped for caffeine and Cheetos. The Cheetos really helped! Five hours later we were home, another race in the bank!

Our final time was 1:52:39 for me, and 1:52:38 for Brent. He got me by a second! I finished #645 of 4,378 half marathoners. I was woman #190 out of 2,700 women. Not bad!! Avg Pace was 8:35/mile.

So for now we just have smaller races until the end of the summer. That's fine with me, I need a break! I need to look at the local race calendar and see what we want to do. I'm not a huge fan of 5Ks, a half is really my favorite distance. I also really, REALLY need to spend some time updating my sidebar. A lot of the links are old or dead, and there's a ton of new blogs I need to add!

Have a great night! I have a ton of blogs to catch up on, something like 150 posts!!!!! Congrats to Susie for a great half last weekend, and to Shore Turtle and Jay T for flying down Broad Street.

See ya!

Tues - 1 mile am walk with Pips, 6 mile treadmill run (storms!!)
Wed - 2/3 mile am walk with Pips, 1/3 mile jog + I'm about to do some abs stuff

Monday, May 08, 2006

Cincinnati: Where Pigs Fly!

Hey guys!! Getting nine hours of sleep last night was SO nice! I'm still totally exhausted from the weekend but we're getting things back to normal. Laundry is in the dryer and Pippin is sound asleep in his little bed. I think he's more worn out than we are.

I'm not sure how far I'll get in my race report, so when it gets unbearably long or I decide to get some sleep I'll cut it off somewhere!

Friday we took another half day of vacation. I could REALLY get used to that! It started off as a great day, Brent won a $25 gas gift card from a drawing at work and our name was drawn for a computer monitor give away at work. (Everyone has been upgraded to flat screens so they were giving away the old school monitors via a drawing.) We calculated the gift card would get us about 130 miles down the road on our trip in our oversized Expedition. Sweet!

The drive from Nashville to Cincinnati is really dull. It's about 5 hours from our side of town to my brother's house on the north side of Cinci. By the time we dropped Pips off at the kennel it was around 12:30, factor in the time change headed from Central time to Eastern and it was already 1:30. It takes 3 hours from Nashville to Louisville and then another 2 to Cinci. The first leg is pretty dull and full of nothing but farmland and horses, with a few roadside cavern attractions (like Mammoth Cave). We saw a few traffic jams but fortunately they were always on the other side of the road. At our first pit stop we saw a butterfly had been our first casualty. Right past Louisville my brother called to see where we were at and to start the ordeal of picking where we would eat for dinner. We're not picky, we like all types of ethnic foods and are MUCH happier in a dive of a restaurant than an overpriced, cliche chain. Chili's is about the only chain we ever eat at because their fajitas ARE SO FREAKIN' good. And two for one margaritas! =) We managed to pass through Louisville around 4:30 and started through Cincinnati around 6, so we managed to perfectly time both cities to get some rush hour traffic. It really wasn't bad, there was some slow traffic headed towards my brother's northern suburb.

My nephew was really excited to see us. He's 4.5 years old. He started talking as soon as we got out of the car and is probably still talking. My niece just turned one. We unloaded our luggage and hopped in their car to head out to dinner. We decided on Mexican, without even realizing it was Cinco De Mayo. The first Mexican joint (Abuelos) had an hour and a half wait. Uh no. We asked them if they had a local Mexican place so 15 minutes later we drove up and people were everywhere. We drove past another one that was also packed. Their suburb is miserably overcrowded, I would lose my mind. We ended up at a place that's basically the same as a Chipotle's/Moe's burrito joint. It wasn't very good, but it was food. Afterwards we played on the nephew's swing set and checked out my brother's new game room. He's just added a ping pong table, air hockey table and rod hockey game.

The next morning we woke up around 7:30-ish. I opened the door to our room to see my nephew just standing there. I had told him not to wake us up the next morning under any circumstances, and he didn't!! I asked him how long he had been standing there and he said "since the morning" so I'm not sure what that meant. Brent, my brother and I went for a 2 mile run in his neighborhood just to stretch our legs. It was fun. My brother has just started running and was doing part of the marathon relay with some other guys from his church. On their team of 4, 3 of them (including my bro) had never done a race before, so they were all really nervous about it. We did some bike shopping that morning (I think we're about decided on the Trek bikes we want) and then went to the expo that afternoon.

The expo was pretty nice. It's quite a bit smaller than the Country Music Marathon expo, but still a really nice expo. You get SO much free stuff for this race! We got our t-shirts and race bib/final instructions, a REALLY nice gym bag with the race log embroidered on it, and a race poster. We also got the goodie bag of free samples and race brochures and pig noses! We walked around the booths and left with arms FULL of freebies. They also had a race course video playing, so we stopped to watch that. The Eden Park hill looked pretty terrible from the video, blah! My brother was rushing us the whole time. Their church was having a spaghetti dinner for all of the runners. It turns out my sis-in-law had signed up to help decorate. Somehow that translated into us helping her, so we went straight from the expo to the church building to blow up balloons and listen to an absolute brothel of children run around like screaming banshees for an hour and a half before the dinner started. It was NOT the way to spend the afternoon before race day! I was SO tired. The dinner was nice, and we got to meet several other guys running including my brother's teammates. They were all really excited about the race. Two guys there were running their very first whole marathon the following day, and another guy was running his first half. It was fun to be around so many enthusiastic "first-timers".

After we ate we headed back to my brother's house and got all our stuff ready for the following morning. I'm still trying to convince my brother of the virtues of moisture wicking fabric. I may just have to buy him an outfit and mail it to him. It makes such a difference!!!! My brother's part of the relay was the final leg (mile 20-26.2), so he didn't need to be there as early as Brent and I. When we backed into it I was so bummed to realize we'd have to get up at 3 a.m., EST. That's just not right. The race started at 6 am EST, and I like to be there around an 1:15 early for a large race. Ugh. We went to bed a little after 9, and as I plugged my phone in I saw I had somehow missed a call from Elizabeth! She told us where she planned to be and what she planned to wear. Yeah!!!

When my alarm went off the next morning the first thing that went through my head was "Oh dear God. This is not fun. Whyyyyyy do I do this to us????" Then I got up, got dressed and ate some oatmeal. It was REALLY chilly outside. We didn't pack much in the way of long sleeves, but we had our trash bags to wear pre-race. We left right around 4:15, arrived downtown a little before 5. We got turned around a little, but ended up parking in a garage very close to the finish line. We followed some other runners over to the start area and there were a TON of porta-johns!! Yeah Flying Pig!!! We walked right up, used the john and found a place to sit down. I even went back again a few minutes later, and only stood in line about 5 minutes. Closer to race time there were some small lines, but nothing like CMM. Go pig!! One of my brother's friends spotted us so we talked to him before the race and then it was time to line up! I was sleepy, but ready to run. We had decided to run together, and run comfortable. I just wasn't in the mood to "push". I was at the Pig, I wanted to have fun! We got in the starting corrals, enjoyed the anthem, and the cannon was fired!!

To be continued.......we have some sugar free cookies in the oven and I have earned them!!!


Monday - NONE! There was no dog here to walk this morning, and tonight is a REST night!