Sunday, April 29, 2007

Urinals, Dogs, Grits and Necked Statues

Hey guys! What an awesome weekend! I don't even know where to begin or what all to say. We had a great time with Barb, Mike and Phog. What a blast! And the fun will just continue when they move to Nashville. (Oops! I think I was supposed to let them say that!!) From Friday afternoon until this morning when they left I think my face was in a constant state of pain from laughing so much. We taught them all the important things you need to know - what grits and meat & threes are, snazzy sayings involving the rebel flag, and the proper pronunciation of Naked - Necked. And of course as all things break in the house (last weekend it was the front door) this weekend the urinal broke. And of course it broke by continually flushing, so from last night until we were able to install a stop valve on it this afternoon we've had to constantly turn the water to the house on and off as we need it. And of course since a home urinal is pretty rare none of the Home Depots/Lowes have the parts we need, and plumbing supply shops aren't open on Saturday night at 7 pm or Sunday.

I'd love to say the race went well for me, but it soooo didn't. 2:11 something - my 2nd worst half time ever, the slowest I've been since this same race in 2005, my very first half. Pathetic. When I saw Brent at mile 9 I just went over and started crying and of course he said all the right things about how I'm in marathon shape and not half shape, and how tired and stressed I am about the house, and all those wonderful things that a wonderful husband is supposed to say but it still doesn't keep the tears from streaming down my face as I type this. I'm just an overachiever in all things considered life and I knew this wouldn't be a PR race for me but I didn't know it would be this bad. I was hot, I was tired, I had horrible side stitches from mile 7 on and I just wanted to be a spectator. I had no desire to be there and as hard as I tried I just couldn't have fun. I couldn't have fun at the race I consider MY race, in MY hometown. A race I love just because it is everything Nashville. I just couldn't enjoy the moment. I know I'm burnt out on both ends and it just sucks. It was a great race, well organized and well supported and I feel like the scum of the earth for not enjoying every moment. At Mile 6 I was still doing OK (slow, but not hurting) and was passing a girl walking with her head down and a wonderful volunteer yelled out at her to pick her head up, she was doing great. The girl dropped her head more and shook it, and the volunteer yelled back "Do you realize most people are still in bed and will never accomplish what you have already accomplished??" And that's so true, but also so hard to accept when you expect so much from yourself.

So, I'm going to cry for a little while, stretch out in a warm bath, curl up on the couch tonight with Pippin and start over tomorrow. I'm mad about the 13 pounds I've gained training for 3 marathons the past 6 months, mad about my low energy level, mad for not enjoying life more and tomorrow I'm starting over. I got all the forms for our awesome Y discount last week so I'm heading back to the gym, losing the fat and getting back in fighting form. Next year I am kicking CMM ass.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

We're keeping Phog

Friday, April 27, 2007

Pips and Phog love sandwiches!

Lucky #5828

My # this weekend is 5828. Let's hope it's a lucky one!! Good luck to everyone running this weekend and especially David & J running the full!! Yee haw!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tackle This!

Ok, I was checking the local running club boards (which are full of discussion about this weekend's CMM) and ran across a link to an article in our local paper. So, I now have a new goal for the CMM half. Beat Eddie George. Can I do it? I dunno. The facts are that he's a 33 year old retired professional athlete who probably has all the time in the world to train, while my 29 year old full time working, full time home remodeling when not working self, doesn't. Which is also probably why I want to beat him. I did beat all the News2 on-air personalities last year (except John Dwyer, he's pretty fast). But wouldn't it be awesome to have your finish line pic be of you sweeping past a multi-millionare sports guy?? Goals people, goals.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cowboy hats not required

I can hardly believe the Country Music Marathon (& half) is just a few days away! Yee haw!! And I am so glad I only signed up for the half instead of the full. This kitchen project has me more exhausted than I've ever been in my life. I LITERALLY fell asleep having dinner Sat night at the Rosepepper (super loud, trendy Tex-Mex joint in our hood). I was eating and then all of the sudden I was just out. I can fall asleep anywhere right now, and that's so not me. We got all the plumbing done Saturday and ran more electrical Sunday and last night. I even conquered my fear of the weedeater and for the first time in my life I am no longer scared of that thing. With Brent working hard on the electrical there was no reason I couldn't tame the beast and get our out of control yard back in control. And it really wasn't so bad, and it's one more thing to cross off the list before I turn 30 this fall. Tonight he's teaching me how to do drywall. My resume just keeps getting beefier and beefier.

This week will be a lot higher on the relaxation chart. Tomorrow night we're going to the My Chemical Romance concert and then the Jayhawks will be here this weekend for the race. I still need to give Pips a bath and clip his nails before his big meetup with Phog. We're telling him about it all week so when he meets Phog he can put it all together. Like one of those "Oooooh moments". My training for the half has truly been nill. If there's an extreme taper plan I'm in the EXTREME EXTREME taper plan. But I know I can run 13.1 miles and I've already accepted the fact this won't be my best half time ever and I'll just have fun with it. There are a LOT of things in life more important than running and right now running is where it should be - far down the list. We've got exciting art shows to prep for, parties to plan, a kitchen that's going to be beautiful when it's all done, etc etc and running will find its place where it fits in. I'm just not someone who becomes obsessed with a plan dictating my life. I want life to dictate my life. When I look back I know running marathons will be something I'm proud of accomplishing, but I really don't think it will be THAT high on the list.

Anyway, lunch is over so it's back to work. I'll post my Bib # later, I can't remember what it is. Something that starts with a 5 - I'm in Corral 5! Yee haw!

Friday, April 20, 2007

A Day in the Life of Pippin

Brent took off work today to run a ton of electrical wire into various places of the kitchen. Our electrician neighbor planned out enough lighting and plugs to make our kitchen look like Christmas 24-7-365. As you can see Pippin really wasn't much of a helper. I had told him to take over my job of handing off necessary tools and yelling back/forth between the kitchen and underneath the house. I think he's going to be fired.

Pippin, sitting on the deck waiting for unsuspecting runners/walkers to go by that he can race:

Napping on the deck after stalking runners/walkers:

Stalking more runners/walkers:

More napping/sunning:

Watching kids going to school:

And guarding the perimeters of the yard (he's waaay in the back of the 2nd one):

It's a tough life being our dog. It's a good thing he's resting up for Phog's visit next weekend!!! I've been trying to teach him Phog's name by asking him if he's excited about Phog coming to see him. He knows I'm trying to tell him something exciting, but he's not quite sure what it is. Regardless I think it's going to be the cutest RBF meetup in history. Those pups are going to WEAR EACH OTHER OUT. Too bad we can't push them in jogging strollers together at the Country Music Half. How cute would THAT be?????

The plan for tomorrow: plumbing! Brent's dad is coming to help and we're going to move a few plumbing lines around and also re-lo the washer/dryer to a different room. And when we're done with the plumbing then we'll hopefully finish running the rest of the electrical. We should be done.....sometime in mid 2008. We've been to Home Depot EVERY day this week and one day we each went to separate ones! Geez.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Little helper

If only I could find a hard hat in his size....

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Demo, Week 2

WHEW! What a week. A productive week, but WHAT A WEEK!

I am proud to say that we no longer have a wall in the middle of the kitchen (what was formerly known as the refrigerator and washer/dryer 'cozy' and our kitchen is now extended by 3 feet!

Here is the week in pictures, through lunchtime today because I haven't downloaded the post-lunch pics!

First, we brushed up on how to properly fall off one of our ladders and also how to properly stand on the other ladder. Whew, so glad they spelled THAT out for us.

Since whichever previous owner had not properly expanded a certain beam across the kitchen we had to do some supporting of a roof beam before we could get the 3 remaining studs. We needed a board that would run the width of our kitchen. Our 15 foot wide kitchen. That's a long board. Monday-Thursday we did additional demo work and finished packing up more of our dishes and kitchen items. We had to knock more drywall off the beam we were going to be reinforcing, which was very sad because that thing was a pain in the ass to paint when we painted the kitchen. We also made a trip to Home Depot to get the required board. Of course we knew it would hang out the back of the car.......but hey, who needs a truck??? One "concerned" HD employee came out to inform us we needed reflectors (we were there about 9 pm....) and told us by law things can only hang out 4 feet from your car. This board hung out about 7-8 feet. So, we asked if they sold reflectors. "Ummm....I don't know. This is my first day. I just know you need reflectors because that's what they told us in training today." Well, ok. But he was very nice and went back in and found some for us and even gave us some screws to screw them into the boards. Luckily we made it home without someone running into us. HD is only 7 or 8 miles from us, but of course we always have to go right through downtown with whatever crap we have hanging out of car, and it just so happened to be the first day of the NHL playoff game going on downtown!

While we were gone Pippin managed to entertain himself by tearing the empty pizza box from that evening's dinner to shreds. He is normally not a destructive dog, but whenever we're highly stressed and working on some massive project like this (and can't spend as much time with him and walking him as normal) we lose a few things. During the hardwood refinishing fiasco of Christmas 06 we lost a couple of fake mistletoe balls and a pillow or two. Apparently he is also not a big fan of the peppers that come with pizza, and they must've been a bit spicy for him because his full water bowl was bone dry. So we chased him around with the fly swatter for a few to make him feel loved.

With all our supplies now on hand we started reinforcing the header beam. Our neighbor is an old pro at this sort of thing so we invited him over to see our progress Friday night and he started telling Brent what to do. We figured we might as well get going on it and by the time he left Friday night we had built a temporary support beam and removed the final 3 remaining 120 year old studs. It was so strange to see them all gone! Our "homework" was to finish the header going across - 4 different layers of wood support. We also had to make another run to HD for a 12 foot board, not nearly as exciting as a 16 footer! We fell into bed around midnight.

When we got up we got started on a new post to support the beam underneath the header that would be flush to the wall. We had to start ripping up part of the floor (exposing another lovely layer of outdated linoleum). Pippin was no help. Our neighbor came over to help again and helped us get the new support beam in. He also helped us cut the massive 16 foot beam (that went on top of the old one to form one long beam where we had the two pieces fitted together). That was a project. That board was so incredibly heavy to lift, and having these massive tall ceilings makes it an even larger challenge. With some massive hammering it was IN! We were able to cut the support post and I'm proud to say the ceiling didn't shift or cave in! And considering the massive torrential storms we've had today, if it was going to, it would!

After an early lunch (we had done all this by 10:30 this morning!!) we started ripping the floors and cabinets out. We got a massive portion of the room done, and tomorrow we will finish ripping the cabinets out (I will miss having a sink!!!) and ripping the old floor out. We think we can leave ugly linoleum bottom layer because it's even with the floor beneath the carpeted portion of the kitchen - which (we discovered today!) used to be a porch! A nice little wood porch. Hopefully we can just add some sort of subfloor on top of it and have everything as level as anything ever is here! I'll add pictures from the rest of today sometime later tomorrow. We've made a load of progress already this weekend and we're so thankful for our super handy neighbor! It would have taken us more than twice as long to do it without him!!

Have a great rest of the weekend and good luck to anyone running the Boston Marathon on Monday! I really hope they have good weather for it!!! It sounds like it may be one to remember!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Somehow I don't find this surprising.....

You Are the Middle Finger

A bit fragile and dependent on your friends, you're not nearly as hostile as you seem.
You are balanced, easy to get along with, and quite serious.
However, you can get angry and fed up with those around you. And you aren't afraid to show it!

You get along well with: The Index Finger

Stay away from: The Pinky

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

(Another) reason you don't want to be our neighbor....

So, Easter morning dawns bright and clear, and there's a white Subaru Outback outside our house. Hmmmm.....never seen that car before! Maybe a neighbor had a sleep-over! We go about our business and are gone until 6:30 that night and the car is still there. And the guy is just sitting in it. 9 pm - Still sitting in it. When we started getting ready for bed around 11 Brent went outside and walked around the car - and the guy was asleep in it. Very odd. The particular neighbor we thought he might be there for is always at a dinner party (that we go to sometimes) every Sunday night from 6 until usually around 11. Was this guy waiting to ambush him???? The thing is, if he was in a jacked up car or didn't look a certain way we would have called the police hours earlier. But here's the thing - what does a terrorist or a criminal look like??? Could be anything, really. So, we did what any concerned citizen would do and called the po-pos. And of course we watched from our windows. A few minutes later he drove up, shined his light in there and woke the guy up. The guy pointed towards the school across the street from us and the cop ran his license info, said a few words, and then left. The guy went back to sleep. Since he apparently wasn't on Oprah's most wanted list (we were hoping for some money out of this!) we went to bed. He was STILL there the next morning, but had moved to a different corner! =) Right at 7 when we left for work we noticed more people than usual outside the school - a line of 6 or 7 (including our mystery guy) were waiting outside for the 7:45 school opening. When I got to work I checked the school's website and yesterday was Pre-K registration. The school next to us is a really nice magnet school, so I'm sure it is difficult to get in. BUT - if you are THE ONLY person who literally camps out for 24 hours, why are you camping out???? Obviously showing up an hour or two ahead of time would have worked. What an overreactor!!! Maybe he just hates his wife and wanted 24 hours away, and said he was "doing it for the kids". I would also HATE to be on a Southwest flight with this guy. I bet he starts the line in the A corral about 3 hours before the plane even gets there. I also think it would be hilarious if he had a blog and we somehow found it - his story of having the police called on him while camping out in his Subaru in 20-degree temps would be hilarious.

Anyway, demo is going fine. Note that I said 'fine', not 'fun'. We are so exhausted and I am so ready to have my house back in order. Everything is spread all over the house. My kitchen table? In the den. Microwave? In the floor, which Pippin loves. Food? In labeled boxes in the dining room. Need a pitcher? Check the bookcases. We picked out our tile Sunday afternoon. We got a very cool ceramic tile that looks just like hardwood. They're in 6x20 planks, and the patterns vary - just like real wood. If you do a very think grout line you literally can't tell it's hardwood without touching it. I think it's going to look awesome. If we ever survive demo, rebuilding a supporting beam, removing cabinets and old floor, moving electrical and plumbing, and laying a level subfloor. As if anything in our 1890's house is level! HA! (Brent took a pic of it at the store with our countertop sample.)

Well, lunch is over, back to work!!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Demo Day 2

What's up!! We got most everything accomplished today that we wanted to - all the wall is removed except for 3 original studs. Part of our kitchen was added onto, prob about 20 years ago. Instead of extending a certain beam they ended it and rested it on these studs, so we're going to have to do some reinforcing before we can remove these studs. Regardless, we made a big showing today.

Demo is such a messy job. There is dust EVERYWHERE in our house. Every room, every piece of furniture. I swear, even Pippin is dusty. He decided not to help today and instead sunned himself in the den. I do have some cute videos of him and the demo I need to upload, though. He makes his thoughts on the deconstruction QUITE clear.

I don't see how people do this for a living, day in and day out. It's truly exhausting. And it gives us some serious appetite!! We went out for Indian tonight and absolutely pigged out. I feel like a bottomless pit at the end of the day when we sit down for a good meal.

I didn't run this morning, I figure I'm doing cross training with this project. Besides, it was 28 degrees when I got up and I wasn't into that. I'm running the Country Music Half in a few weeks, but I don't really think I need to do any specific training for it between now and then. I will run as much as I can, but with all we have to do on the kitchen this next month the CMM 1/2 will be more of a training run than a race for me. On a side note in the mail today we got our Resident notification for the race since we live so close to it!! It tells us of all the road closures and such in our 'hood. I wish it ran closer to our house, but it does run on our street, just 1.75 miles down!

Happy Easter everyone!


Friday, April 06, 2007

Demo Friday

Today was my first ever Good Friday corporate holiday and as much as I would have loved to sleep in, get a mani/pedi or go shopping we had a wall to beat the hell out of. (Brent used a vacay day for today.) Here are some pics from our whacking good day.

First, it's stupid cold here. It's April and it's going to get down to 20 degrees tonight. I am not enjoying this cold front. Our neighbor's yard looks like a KKK convention and it has Pippin all freaked out. I've seen Pippin bark and growl at the sheet creatures a few times over the last couple of days.

Here's what the wall looked like before. Painted all pretty and red with lots of great shelving and pantry storage we built last July when we moved in. It served its purpose but it's time for bigger and better. We're tearing this wall out for actual pantry cabinets and a small prep area as well as a space for a small cafe table and to have extra room for the seating around that will go around our island. We removed the one cabinet that sat in front of the wall and if we'd known it was that easy to move we would've moved it when we painted!

Working hard with all appropriate safety gear:

I like this one because you can see my hand coming back through the wall and it makes my arm look really long!

By the end of today we had the whole piece of wall above the washer and dryer removed (we're moving them out of the kitchen and into a different room) and most of the bottom layer of the strange storage area above the fridge removed. Hopefully by the end of tomorrow all of it will be GONE!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Atlanta Part3: The Day the Devil Went Down to Georgia

He laid that golden fiddle on the ground at Johnny's feet.
Johnny said: "Devil just come on back if you ever want to try again.
"I told you once, you son of a bitch, I'm the best that's ever been." "

With some sort of gun or yeehaw or something we were off! Elbows in front of us instantly starting jogging-another sure sign he'd never done this before. He seemed frustrated that no one was running, and I just wanted to tell him there was plenty of time ahead of us for that. It was super cramped as a result of no corrals and no staggered start, so we slowly walked to the start mats and THEN started jogging. Somewhere there was a parked car on the course, but since we were in the middle it didn't affect us. One guy came running through literally pushing people out of his way. What a jerk!! If you want to go that fast get on the front line. Then our local running club president came up beside us! We talked to him for a minute and wished him luck as he sped away. The start was congested, but it was a good way to get started slowly. There was nice crowd support and we headed out. Mile 1: 9:50. The sun was starting to rise and man, it was warm. At this point we'd gone from stark cold to summer temps with no time for acclimation. I reached to scratch my back and I was already sweat covered. So strange to be so sweaty!!! Mile 2: 9:38. The first water stop was around Mile 2, for some odd reason it was on the left, creating massive chaos and people crossed over. The course was still really crowded and we had worn our Fuel Belts so we didn't stop. My plan was to drink my fluids through the half split off, and then start stopping at the provided stations. HA! Somewhere around here a choir (complete with robes) was standing on the side, singing and giving out high 5's. I hoped their 5's would bring me luck!! Mile 3 started taking us into some beautiful neighborhoods of Atlanta. One great thing about the course was the amount of shade on most of it, very nice for such a warm day. It was 68 degrees when the race started and it was just getting warmer. Mile 3: 9:41. Mile 4 took us to the half-full split. This race is set up very strange - you run with the half-ers to around Mile 4. They split off, but then you later rejoin them and run their course as the 2nd half of the marathon - meaning all the half-ers have been through all the aid stations ahead of you from Mile 17 on. For the elite runners, this means running through mass herds of half marathoners to your finish. A mess, I mean - how did they break through them to get their fluids?? Wouldn't some of the elite marathoners get mixed in with the half-ers? It seems like a disaster to keep people separate. Anyway, I wished Brent well and he went left while I kept right. I was on my own now and feeling fine. I turned on my Ipod and got to jamming. Mile 4: 9:38.

I was hoping around Mile 4 to get some Powerade at a waterstop......but there was simply no waterstop. Hmmmm, I thought that was curious. I kept trucking and knocked Mile 5 off in 9:07. I was really looking forward to hitting the 10K mat and sending my chip times back!! We ran through some strange industrial road near the interstate and my Garmin lost me for practically forever. The sun was starting to beat and the hills were starting to appear. Blah. Mile 6: 8:56 At Mile 6 I ate my Cliff Bloks and continued drinking my own water and Powerade, which was quickly depleting. I like to drink small amounts, frequently. And I was starting to feel not so great about the course provided fluids. Mile 7,8,&9 took me about 29 minutes. My Garmin got so off that I ended up hitting lap around Mile 10 to get me back on track, or as close as I could get. Between the non-existent waterstops and my Garmin off I was starting to be grouchy! Around Mile 7 there were signs for Water - but just empty tables. Mile 8 finally brought a real water stop, but no Gatorade. Huh??? It was all so confusing. We were out in the Decatur neighborhood and nice residents were giving out water in their front yards, and some people were even starting to spray us with water hoses which was very much appreciated. Mile 10: 9:22.

I was still holding a good pace and we were finally at "that point" on every course where you turn and start heading back towards the area where you ultimately finish. We passed the Italian restaurant I'd eaten at the night before and there was a great crowd cheering at the intersection. Crowd support throughout the whole race was great, lots of neighborhood support and most sections of the race had at least a few people out cheering. Mile 11: 9:08. We passed a church at this point where people were just standing on the porch watching the sight. At this point one of my favorite Saliva songs - Raise Up - was on my nano, and I get really jazzed during that song and I'm pretty sure I rocked devils horns at them. Around this point I also passed our local running club pres which I thought was strange since he kicked out butt at the Monkey Marathon last fall. Mile 12: 9:29. Now we started through a neighborhood called Druid Hills and they had all sorts of Druid Hills signs up. I don't want to know the name of your neighborhood if it has the word Hills in it. I just don't. So for next year, I'd like to suggest you just call your neighborhood "Druid.". That's enough. We ran down a busy road where the whole other side was a log jam of traffic. I thought their traffic control was odd. Instead of just shutting the whole thing down and detouring people they would have one side with traffic and basically ended up creating a huge, smelly traffic jump of unhappy people. Mile 13: 9:38.

I was still feeling good at this point, though I was increasingly tired. I knew the heat was gonna get me so I was trying to put as many miles behind me as possible before we hit the 80 degree mark. Somewhere around 14 or 16 I finally found some of the grossest, most watered down Powerade I have ever had. Considering it was the only station so far that had any I put some away, but it wasn't easy and it was so frustrating. I have such a weak running stomach that I really have to take my bevs/cliffs in in smaller, more frequent doses not to have slushy stomach, but fluids were so irregular that I had to take what I could get, when I could get it. The first water station I stopped at around Mile 8 was so disorganized I had to pour my own water. Volunteers had just thrown their hands up and stepped back, overwhelmed. We had all learned early we were on our own in this race. I was really hoping that I was taking enough in not to end up cramping later in the race. I've never had that happen, and I really wasn't interested in knowing what that feels like or how it happens. Mile 14: 9:32, Mile 15: 10:10

Around this point I started taking short walk breaks. If a hill looked steep I would walk the steep parts of it as quickly as possible. I didn't see much point in doing the marathon shuffle up then when I could walk quickly and give my legs some rest and keep my heart rate down. Mile 16: 10:26. We headed into a really sunny area here, and still there was no Gatorade. A nice resident was giving out pretzels, so I grabbed a few of those and several other neighbors had large bowls of ice. I'd grab a handful and suck on it until it was melted. I stopped at the waterstations every other mile and walked through, grabbing one cup to drink and one to pour on myself. It was just so hot. And the hills were starting to be a pain. Luckily they were rolling hills, so they weren't long and usually weren't steep, but they were still there. Mile 17: 11:20. Miles 18-20 took us on the worst part of the course. We ran and out and back on a little expressway. The out part was uphill and the whole thing was in the sun. It looked like more of a walk than a marathon, so many people were walking. I knew Brent was going to be waiting to watch for me around Mile 19, so I pushed as hard as I could, which wasn't very hard. Mile 18: 11:24, Mile 19:12:05. Brent was waiting for me just before 19, so we walked quite a ways together and I told him about the lack of fluids and he was pissed. He tooks some pics of me and walked me to the turnaround, and the downhill! I motored as much as I could towards the big blue balloons of the Mile 20 mat where I got more water (I've never been so sick of water) and stopped to refill my bottles as a totally useless volunteer stood and watched me struggle to get the lids off and pour water in. I really just wanted to kick her for being so rude and unaware. Mile 20: 11:03. (Note that Brent is running behind me to get in that picture - he has his half medal on and is carrying his camera!)

At this point I knew the last 6 weren't going to be easy. I wasn't hurting anywhere, but it was more of a drain of energy, like being a bug on the sidewalk. We headed through a neighborhood called Virginia Highlands - again a bad name for a neighborhood a race goes through. I literally remember nothing about this neighborhood. I was just staying focused on running flats and downhills and power walking hills. Mile 21: 11:12, Mile 22: 10:28. FINALLY, an aid station with Gatorade - not POWERADE, the sponsored drink, but Gatorade. And they were pouring it straight from the bottle, which tasted so awesome. The salt just tasted great. I drank two cups, which naturally gave me sloshy stomach but I needed some fluids other than water. Now we were in Piedmont Park, which was very pretty. It was a really pretty park, it would've been nice to kick back on a blanket! Mile 23: 11:07.

I was only 3 miles from the finish, which normally gets me jazzed up but I just felt like I had no energy. I didn't want to book it and have nothing left and I just didn't have much push in me. The heat and hills had zapped me, and I just never knew if there would be another water station or what, so many of them had just been missing. There were scattered oranges and bananas all over the course, but none for us because the half marathoners had consumed them all. We wer finally turning and headed towards the downtown finish. Mile 24: 12:27. The hills in the last couple of miles absolutely killed me. It seemed like the hills were just constant up, up the last two miles. It was a long, straight street through downtown and you could just never see the end of it. Mile 25: 11:42. For some reason I never saw the markers for mile 24 and 25, I just took people's word for it. People started yelling for us to run the last mile, but I just couldn't get going up the hill as badly as I wanted to. All around me everyone was walking, so it was tough to get motivated for some finish line "umph" and I knew I had long ago blown a chance to PR so I really didn't care. About 4 blocks from the finish a lady who had already finished and was wearing her medal looked at me and said "Dig deep, you've only got FOUR blocks". For the past 5 minutes people had been yelling "you're almost there, just make it to the top of this hill" so I no longer believed these people. I looked at her and said "Do you promise?" and she yelled back " I WOULD NOT LIE TO YOU" and at that point I kicked it all in, and kicked it hard. Near the finish line I saw Brent on the side and he ran out to me, yelled at me and then started running as hard as he could down the sidewalk, around the massive crowds of people to take my picture. Seeing his head bob up and down in the crowd cracked me up and made me push even harder. Mile 26: 12:05, Final .2 8:23 pace. Obviously I had steam at the end, and it felt great to sprint. I had loads left, I had just always felt like I really needed to conserve it because in the heat I just couldn't keep anything up for long. I passed a guy right at the finish, got my medal and took a Coke out of a hand of a volunteer. He wasn't actually giving them away, he was just letting us know they had them up ahead. I couldn't have cared less. He told me it wasn't cold and I told him I wasn't either. I called Brent and told him where I was. Marathon #4 was finished, thank God. I've never been so happy to cross a finish line. 4:32:58, 10:24 pace.

Part 4: Taking Oreos, our encounter with homeless guy post marathon & why I like Fritos

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

May 2nd!

May 2nd! That's the day our new kitchen cabinets will be here! YAY! So, if you're taking notes that gives us less than 4 weeks to tear a wall out, rip out the cabinets, have plumbing, electrical and gas moved and lay new tile. Oh crap. MAY 2nd!! WHEW! So, the goal for this weekend is tear down the wall. We started tonight and got a decent way in on one portion. It's actually a great stress reliever to take a hammer and whack a wall away. A dusty, messy stress reliever. So far, so good. Hopefully we can make lots of progress on it early in the weekend and have some time for fun stuff!

I did 30 mins of abs Monday and still feel a bit sore. Yeah! I ran 7 miles post marathon last week and 4 more last night. I was a little sore Mon & Tues last week but by Wed I was doing fine. Tonight's only workout was cracking away at the wall, so at least that's 2 hours of some sort of toning and strength training.

Hopefully I can write my race report this weekend & post some of Brent's great pics from the race. Take care!


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Big Spending

Whew. We just got back from another marathon length session with our kitchen planner and our cabinets have been ordered!! I call tomorrow and get the delivery date for them (should be 4-6 weeks from now). In about 11-15 weeks we will have an ALL NEW KITCHEN! I'm jazzed, I just wish you got to take SOMETHING home with you from the order besides a 15-page printout of everything you ordered and one very massive charge. And I mean massive. It makes me want to call HGTV and get on one of those "What's my House worth"? shows where they come in and you tell them you spent $1.99 on renovations and your house is suddenly worth $500,000 more. I'm very excited about my new pantry cabinets, the built in desk in the kitchen, our FoodTV island that will have seating so people can watch us cook, and my new razzle dazzle spice rack that flips out and about and spins around. Kick ass people, it's all kick ass.

And why is it that every time we have people over our bedroom furniture ends up in the dining room??? For Christmas Eve with Robb Runner and his family we had the entire bedroom, mattresses and all, as dinner decor. Last night we had a smallish cookout for 12 or so of my former coworkers/Brent's current coworkers. The plan was to cookout and hang out on the deck. Naturally rain was predicted for the EXACT time our party started! AND, our bedroom furniture was ready FIVE weeks EARLIER than promised! So, nothing to do but put the old furniture back in the dining room, but at least this time the mattresses went on the new bed so it wasn't quite as bad! I just wish we had known earlier so we could arrange the return of the old furniture to our families. The new furniture is incredible!! We are so happy with it and the new bedding we bought is delicious. 100% delicious. Our bed is a huge 4-column bed that reaches about 8 feet tall, this is not furniture for a tiny bedroom! With our tall ceilings you just can't have regular furniture, it just gets lost.

So, the furniture came a couple of hours before the party and we were able to have the room reassembled and the old stuff covered with a spring tablecloth and used as a beverage serving area in the dining room! Between the bedroom furniture and ALL the new kitchen appliances our dining room is a wreck. Just as people started arriving it started to sprinkle rain, but by the time everyone got there and got the "grand tour" it was over and we were actually able to stay outside the whole night!! We were so lucky!! It sprinkled from time to time but it really was perfect and we had a great time. I can't wait to have more parties when our kitchen is finished! This is just the start of hopefully a very full, entertaining life we'll have here.

And now the weekend is almost over! I think Pippin had the best time of all last night. He was full on hyper for several hours last night but finally calmed down and took a nap on someone's lap. He literally slept in basically all morning today-instead of checking on us at 6:50 he was out and even when we got up he made it clear he wanted to be left alone on "his" couch. We're all pretty zapped from the weekend but a neighbor gave us some oregano plants I need to put in a pot before they wilt in the 80-degree sunshine outside. It's crazy how lush and green the lawn is already. All the seeds I've planted are springing up big time and the leaves are fully back on our trees. We've already had to mow TWICE!

I promise I'll write the actual Atlanta race report this week. I really don't remember much about the race because I spent most of it being thirsty and hot. I read an article with some of the race director's comments though that really pissed me off so I want to be sure to post that here. She is obviously a piece of work, and a total lier. But all in good time, I've got oregano to plant!