Thursday, May 31, 2007

Getting there......

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

So far so good...

Monday, May 28, 2007

It's only a day.....awaaay!

Just thinkin' about

Clears away the cobwebs,

And the sorrow

'Til there's none!

Tomorrow!! Tomorrow!! Tomorrow's the big day when (supposedly-allegedly) the cabinet installers come and help clear away some of this mess! It hardly even seems possible. It doesn't even seem real that two months ago we had a dog ugly kitchen and have been working every single day to demo and rebuild it. It's crazy talk. Ridiculous. Insane. Exciting. What a day. What's it even going to be like to have an oven again? Cabinets? Storage??? COUNTER SPACE??? I've gotten pretty good at being so coordinated that I can pour a glass of whatever in the floor and grab it before Pippin's massive tongue can have a lap.

They've said it will take two days. I'd love for them to get the oven and Advantium installed tomorrow so we can cook something in a REAL oven for a change. I've avoided watching FoodTv for the past two months (in part because we haven't really watched TV) and since watching a few this weekend I am dying to REALLY cook again.

We got to do some relaxing this weekend as we finished up the final touches. Brent's parents came to help Saturday. Brent and his dad relocated the gas line to where the island will be and did some other minor repairs, while his mom and I worked in the yard all day planting flowers and weeding. I'm so excited for all the things I've planted so far. I had wonderful gardens at our old house and it sucked not to have them last year. To me, home grown flowers just make a table. I also had to fire our milk man (long story) and we had to have an air conditioner repair guy come out (at double cost) Saturday. Another long story. But it's all worked out grandly because the air is back on and it's nice and cool inside - which is important because it's been bright, sunny and nearly 90 degrees every day this weekend.

But there has been fun times!! We watched Blades of Glory, went out to have Indian food (yum-o), brunch at Marche, met B & B at the dog park (where Pippin ALWAYS provides much entertainment), planted our vegetable gardens (expect many tales of zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, herbs, eggplant, okra, lettuce, and squash this summer!), went to the Farmers Market and did some feet propped on the coffee table TV watching. An awesome Memorial Day weekend.

So, here are some final pics of the kitchen (and the obligatory Pippin sleeping in the middle of it all pic). Hopefully the next ones will include some cabinets.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Plan, Stan

So, here it is. The new plan in town. The answer to all the "what nexts?" you get immediately after you finish whatever race it is you've been training for.

I'm burnt out, as if that's not obvious. It was exactly a year ago this upcoming week that we started the search for the new house and ultimately moved here. And what a year it's been! But it all really started before then, to be honest. We'd spent the winter trying to figure out exactly where we wanted to live. We looked at jobs around Philly, New Jersey, Chicago. We didn't really know where we wanted to live and we were open to moving to quite a few Midwest-Northeast locations. Then we decided that really Nashville itself wasn't the issue, but more where we were in Nashville - the wretched, generic suburb of Smyrna. So we started the search within the urban, downtown areas of Nashvegas and fell in love with the old houses, wide sidewalks, and restaurants without chain mottos or overdone themes. No longer was every parking lot full of oversized SUVs and minivans, and originality was everywhere. Houses ACTUALLY looked different from the ones next door to it, and the majority of people were no longer overweight couch potatoes. There were actually OTHER human beings out running and walking their dogs. Art galleries, shops, bakeries, and restaurants were cleverly folded into the neighborhoods. I can't tell you how much fun I have walking a few blocks to get bread, ice cream with my boys, or even just walking down to get stamps.

But with this neighborhood comes an insane price tag. And to afford that price tag (in a market where houses go faster than the latest spin through rehab for Lohan) we got "the money pit". AKA our gorgeous 1890's Victorian. The backyard was a jungle, the inside was at some point home to many, many animals and I seriously doubt the previous owners have ever met a bottle of Clorox - earning them the nickname of Mr and Mrs Dirty. And it's been hard, hard work. We've done things I never even dreamed we would, and things most people will never have the nerve to even attempt to tackle. And nearly one year later it's really starting to be something. Sure, we've still got to repaint the exterior of the house, get a new roof, new fence, add on some additional space, landscape the front and back, and then fix everything that breaks along the way - but it's starting to be presentable. But wow, we're tired.

And in the midst of all that we've managed to train and run 3 marathons (2 for Brent). And none of them simple, flat, fast affairs. I can't even begin to describe how tiring it is to get up, go out and run 20 hilly miles, and then perch up on a ladder for hours to paint the ceiling. There's just not time in the day for all that. And I really don't want to spend this portion of my life constantly wearing myself out. The excitement of the marathon has faded for me. I want to sleep in some, go have brunch, stay out late if I want to and not worry about getting up early. I want to hit some yard sales early in the am, go for short jogs with Pippin and see how happy that makes him without worrying about getting a 18 miler in. I want to not carb load or worry about ordering the "right thing" at an Italian restaurant when what I REALLY want is fettucini alfredo. I want to cheer for my friends at races and do the fun little races that I want to without worrying about getting 13 additional miles in later. I want to be FREE.

I think most of the fun of a marathon is the excitement of race day. And if I'm constantly in training then that sort of gets lost. SO, ALL of that randomness to say this: The plan: no marathons for the next year. And honestly, I am thrilled about that. I'm just not interested. I love the romance of the marathon, but I'm just not interested in training for one right now. I've got lots of other shorter races on my agenda for this fall and spring, and I really want to focus on my fave distance, the half, right now. And get my 5K time down a bit.

Still to come: the workouts I have been doing this past month and my tentative race calendar! Special thanks go to Pippin for waking us up extra early this morning barking at nothing. Thanks, buddy!

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Quote of the Day Friday

Happy Friday everyone!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Just a few pics

Here are a few pics of the floor laying process. I don't have any good ones of the complete floor yet. After enjoying the 24 finale Monday night, we rented the floor nailer on Tues night and stayed up until 12 finishing the floor. All told it took us 20 hours to lay the floor in our 300 square foot kitchen. I have no clue whether that's good or bad. All the cuts and some areas where the floor was still somewhat unlevel took longer than if you were in a brand new house, I'm sure. We started some final drywall patching and painting Wed and tonight, and we just have a few small things to finish up before the installers come Tuesday. I can NOT wait to clean this house. The mess is really starting to take its toll on us. It's just a disaster and there's crap absolutely everywhere.

Here's a close up of the floor - it's oak 3/4 hand-scraped tongue and groove in "stout" finish.

Here I am taking my turn with the whacker (can I just say this project has greatly increased my biceps!!! I flex for Brent CONSTANTLY.). Pippin HATED the nailer. He hates all construction items - the tape measure, hammers, poles, any major power tools, etc. If someone ever breaks into our house we hope they use a hammer because he will RIP THEM APART.

Moving our Goliath fridge at 2 am - not easy. But it's in the middle of the floor now and we're going to leave it there until they build the cabinets it will set back into. It's a pain the ass to move so we don't want to scratch the floors.

Pippin can sleep anywhere.

This is where we stopped Monday a.m. Once we got close to the chimney there were a lot of cuts to make, so we finished up to the wall Tues night.

Pippin, sleeping at 4 am. Lucky little prick.

I haven't taken any pics of it since we were finished, right now we've got cardboard all over it while we paint. This weekend and as they install I plan to take lots of pics! We're also going to take all the crap we've removed from the kitchen to the dump this weekend. Our old kitchen sink is literally tossed in our backyard, along with all the 2x4s we ripped out, the old floor, and tons of drywall we removed. Hopefully we can get everything done Friday and Saturday and spend some time relaxing Sunday and Monday! And maybe have time to go to Target!! I haven't been to Target since FEBRUARY!!! Seriously. I feel so out of the loop.

Have a GREAT Memorial Day weekend to everyone reading in the States!! With the installation next week, after tomorrow I'm not headed back to work until THURSDAY! WOOOOO HOOO!

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Excuse the yawn

She says baby
It's 3 am I must be lonely
When she says baby
Well I can't help but be scared of it all sometimes
Says the rain's gonna wash away I believe it

So, change the time to 4 am and you sort of have how we started today/ended yesterday. I don't remember the last time I stayed up until 4 am to do ANYTHING. There have been several times I've gotten UP at 4 am for races and flights and stuff like that. And let me tell you, Brent and I will laugh about ANYTHING at 4 am. Especially the state of our hair and a need for deodarant. For only an hour and a half of sleep last night I'm functioning pretty well at work today, and this yummy chicken lasagna I got upstairs in our company cafe is helping greatly! I did fall asleep briefly in the bathroom and may have zoned out from 9-10 am, but I'm getting it done!

Anyway, we're still not quite done laying the hardwoods, but at 4 am we were still probably 2-3 hours from being finished and the remaining section had quite a few intricate cuts around the chimney in our kitchen and along the back wall, and we decided to rent the razzle dazzle hardwood nailer Tues night and finish up then. (Because tonight is all about the season finale of 24 people!!! We are actually going to SIT DOWN AND WATCH IT. DON'T CALL US, WE WON'T ANSWER. DON'T SCREAM FOR HELP OUTSIDE OUR HOUSE, WE WON'T HELP YOU. We are going to RELAX. And watch Jack Bauer kill some people, hopefully his dad. And save the world. And probably get a new love interest. And possibly wake the president from a coma. All in a day's work for JB. I wish he could help us with our remodel.) The hammer thing was due back by 6:30 am, anyway.

The floors look AWESOME. Special thanks to our neighbors for not calling the cops on us as we drilled, ripped, sawed and otherwise manhandled boards on our deck until 4 am. And I'm fully expecting Pippin to have ripped our sofa to shreds by the time we get home as he was NOT happy about the noise we were making or our repeated double-team of pouncing on him and scaring him awake. Hey, if we don't sleep, HE doesn't sleep!

Anyway, my chicken lasagna is nearly gone and so is my lunch time! Exciting pics of the awesome floor to come at some point in the future!!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

30 What-cha-ma-callits

Today is Brent's 30th birthday!! WOO HOO! Last year, we all ran the Brent mile for him. What fun!! Every year it gets harder and harder to come up with something creative for each other's birthdays. We've done rock climbing, hot air balloons, surprise parties, weird medieval festivals, awesome massages and a ton of great food. You can do a lot in 12 years. So far we've celebrated our 19th-29th birthdays together (and we just BARELY missed by 18th birthday - we met 5 days after it!!) and I can't wait to celebrate 30 - 130 as 30 IS NOT OLD and is really just the beginning.

So, what are YOU going to give Brent this year? Drop a comment telling him what 30 things you are going to give him. Personally, I am going to give him 30 winks, cause we need it! And Pippin is giving him 30 licks (times about 500!).

Friday, May 18, 2007

Spectator Report: Historic East Nashville 5K

Last weekend there was a 5K in our 'hood, and once again it came SOOO close to our house but just not quite close enough. I guess in order to get a race to run past our house I'm just going to have to organize it!

Anyway, the race started at 8 and I would've loved to run it but my parents were coming up to help us for the day and between the race and hanging around for awards, etc it just would've taken up too much precious kitchen remodel time Sat morning. But I'm SO there next year. Anyway, the race actually came within 4 or 5 houses of us - it turned right at the last cross street and then looped back to East park, where it started. So, right around the time the race started we harnessed up Pippin and walked down to our corner to cheer. I think our neighborhood would've really come out to support the race - that is if they had told anyone! We only knew about it because I stalk the local race calendar like it's Brad Pitt. I saw a few curious neighbors peek out like "huh??", but for the most part Brent, Pippin and myself (along with a few others) manned the turn around point. The water stop was also there, so it was certainly the happening spot to be.

About a minute or two after we got there we saw the lead police car directing the way for the fasties. And they were booking it up our hill!! I love/hate this hill - it's the last thing that always stands between me and our traditional collapse on our porch swing post run. I book it as hard as I can, every time, and it's always fun when a neighbor is working in the yard and give you a little cheer as you pass. I even appreciate the encouraging comments I get from some homeless people I see pretty often (esp when they rag Brent when I'm ahead!) So, it was really a fun feeling to watch other people race up MY hill. The crowd gradually got thicker and thicker and we cheered for all the people coming through. Pippin took up his spectator spot, and tried to barge in a couple of times when people went running through with their dogs. I don't know that he understood what was going on, but he was fascinated. I wonder how much he understands about running? He knows when we lace up our running shoes - which are only worn for running - what's about to happen - he really understands schedules. And he watches us from the window and awaits our return, but does he understand what we're doing, and that these other people were doing something we normally do??? Anyway, that's way off subject.

I saw quite a few people go by that I recognized. People from the gym, people from the neighborhood, our friend J, people from other races. We stayed until the very last walker went through, with the police car right behind them. It was a hot and humid morning and they deserved some cheering love, too. It was fun, I enjoyed it. It would've been more fun to be running it, though. But that's cool. I've been working out every day at lunch at the gym, and it's already starting to feel easier and easier and easier. It's crazy how quickly you can get back in the groove. I know I still need to post about what I've been up to exercise-wise lately and also what my upcoming race calendar looks like, but I really wanted to get my spec report up! And if you found this post by looking for the race Brent took a ton of pics (shocker) so if you want them just drop a line with email and I can hook you up!

HOPEFULLY, after this weekend our kitchen will be ready for the cabinet install! We've been drywall patching, priming and painting this week! It's so wild to see the kitchen back to its beautiful red color! Tonight we're leveling the floor and hopefully tomorrow (or Sunday we're installing the new hardwoods). Anyone wanna help??

Quote of the Day

Stop living life for what's around the corner and start enjoying the walk down the street.
- Grant L. Miller, motivational guru

Or for the run down the street, whatever floats your boat!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Missing Dog

Has anyone seen my Pippin??? OH WAIT - there he is, waaaay on the other side of the cabinets. What a MESS! Our house is a total disaster, but there is a light next to the bridge. All the electrical is done (and hooked up) and everything has at least its first coat of drywall on it. And let me say, if this whole CPA mess doesn't work out I could totally have a job making $20 a day mudding drywall because I ROCK. Go figure. We did a lot of priming tonight, and I have never been so happy to have a paint brush in my hands again! So, hopefully this weekend, for Brent's 30th birthday (on Saturday) we'll be laying the hardwood floors we bought for the kitchen. What a great birthday, huh?? BUT, it's really going to work out better for him, because I've got some stuff planned for June for him and his b-day party will be in June, so it's really like he gets to celebrate for a month.

There is literally no room in our house that isn't a mess. Cabinets are in our foyer, den and living room. We've had to push our living room furniture way up to the TV for all the crap. Which is fine, because we don't have time for TV. Brent's brother was nice enough to drive out to the burbs and help us pick up our hardwoods last week (the disaster known as the 5 floors we picked out before we were able to get one is another story), keep them safe in the back of his truck where he works at News2 all afternoon, and then stop by and deliver them that evening. When we knew we had the floor our first thoughts of where to put it were a)the couch or b)the bed because pretty much our house is trashed. So, the boxes of hardwood flooring (3/4 inch tongue and groove for those that care) are literally scattered everywhere. Our bedroom is occupied with boxes of lighting, electrical boxes and plumbing parts. And our bathroom even has some tools and lighting parts in the floor. But it's all good, because we're getting there and our cabinet installation is scheduled for May 29th!!! Sweet!! Countertops should take a couple of weeks after that, so we're looking for mid-June completion. We started this project April 1st (ironic, eh?) and so all told we should end up with 2.5-3 months kitchenless. It hasn't been a big deal, except I'm over washing dishes in the backyard with the garden hose. I don't like camping, and that's damn close to camping.

Pippin is dealing with it well. When the cabinets first came he got a bit lost in the maze and would need help finding his way out. Now he's an old pro at navigating to get back to his favorite spots in his den to sun. He's only dropped his Kong in paint once, and I've only had to rinse it off from drywall dust about 3 dozen times. And he's discovered that eating drywall is MIGHTY tasty.

Ok, I'm outta here for now. That's the quick update, and whenever I get a chance I'll update you on Operation Get Rachel's Groove back, which is going quite well in week 3 despite the fall I had off a ladder last week (that's a pretty bruise) and about the awesome fall race calendar I'm planning - let's just say one of the races starts at 5 am and the slogan is "trample the weak-hurdle the dead". Sweet.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Country Music Half Marathon Race Report: Love and Pain are One and the Same

Yeah, I know - this has taken forever. And there are SO many things I need to post about, and post pics of, but like everything else it all takes time. This has taken forever to post because I log in and save when I can and there's just not a lot of logging in time lately. So here it is, my "worst ever" race report.

When I parted with the gang I headed to my spot in Corral 5. I had no business being in Corral 5 this year. That's where the 1:45 pacer was, which was my original goal after last year's 1:50:22. Of course one would have to train to hit that, and the entire month of April up until that date (the 28th) I'd run a whopping 8 miles total. That's it. When I say I was undertrained, I MEANT it. My plan was to start strong and gradually slow down. Basically I ended up starting WAY too strong and flopping, hard.

The gun went off and about six minutes later my corral was released to start. I love the start of a big race with choppers overhead and people everywhere. I waved to everyone and their mom and headed out. Brent was right where he said he would be to snap my pic - by far the happiest pic of me that day!! I felt good but had trouble figuring out how fast I should run, since it felt like ages since I'd last run. I had no clue how to pace myself - I wanted to move faster than I did at the Georgia marathon a month earlier but I was clueless how it should feel. We made our way down West End and curved back up the massive Music Row hill and towards our first viewing of the Necked Statues. I hate that hill - it's only fun to run DOWN. I was so out of breath by the top but I tried to keep plugging, and people were passing me right and left. My first mile clicked off at 8:32 - WAY too fast. I tried to slow myself down and get my HR in line with where I felt comfy. My legs were already burning as we went up and down the hills (it's a hilly course but they're all fairly short). I wasn't sure if I was pushing too hard, if I was still tired from Georgia, if I was just out of shape, if I was exhausted from the remodel - I just wasn't loving it. We've also been eating very differently since we demolished our kitchen the first of April. When you've just got a grill, wok, steamer, toaster oven and electric skillet to cook with a lot of things - like boiling pasta - just aren't possible. So, our diet has also certainly changed, and we normally eat quite a bit of carbs. The first few miles were brutal for me mentally and physically as we made our way through Music Row and over towards Belmont. I normally love running through there and making up lyrics to all the signs congratulating the country artists for their hits, but not that day.

Around the 4th mile I started looking for Barb's parents but I never could find them! With participation way up spectators were way up, too! Most of the entire race course had people out cheering, which is awesome. We curved around Hillsboro Village and the first wheelchair athlete and the first elites starting making their way back on the other side. Yay!! The head elite pack was still a big group of 8 or so guys, looking strong. Around here I started feeling better thanks to some kicking tunes on my Ipod. I had slowed myself down so I was just singing along to my tunes from 4-6. I thought I was at a pace that I could keep, my HR felt good, I took the hills slow and easy and just enjoyed the neighborhood and all its spirited residents giving out oranges and other goodies. That's always one of my fave portions of the race - there's just something cool about running through neighborhoods.

Right as we came out of the neighborhoods and were right by Belmont headed back towards downtown I had the worst side stitch EVER. I tried breathing, slowing down, drinking water. Nothing. I stopped and walked for a minute and kept pressing and as soon as I'd start running again it was back. Ugh. The sun was also glaring down at this point and really wasn't helping any. What had happened to cloudy with scattered rain?? I was even having to walk some downhills it hurt so much. My main goal was to just get to where Brent was waiting at Mile 9. I'd run and walk and gradually the side stitch was going away, but I knew at that point I had zero chance at coming in under two hours and I was so disappointed. I think if I had just started more conservatively my whole race would've been different. When I saw Brent at Mile 9 I just stopped and started walking with him and told him how awful a race I was having and how I just wanted to be a spectator. That I was so tired and didn't have a clue how I'd make it to Mile 13. He ran and walked with me for a good half a mile until he had me feeling better and I had to make him go back because he was really getting pretty far from his car! He told me he'd tried to catch me at the finish and I kept on trucking, ever so slow.

From Miles 10-13 I'd run most everything, maybe walk a hill or two and walk through the waterstops. The heat was really getting to me, I still think I hadn't acclimated to it. We ran around the State Capital and Bicentennial Mall and were finally headed back towards the stadium. When I hit the 12 mile mark I told myself NO more walking, give it all you've got..We headed back over the Woodland St Bridge towards the coliseum. Right at the top of the bridge a guy had collapsed - fainted - and was being given oxygen by the paramedics. NOT something I wanted to see! I pushed as hard as I could and I swear that finish line kept feeling further and further. Finally, I was done. 2:11. A near personal worst, and 21 minutes slower than last year. I had looked down at my watch around Mile 11-something and the time was the exact time I finished last year. Such a shame.

Right as I was nearing the end, on MY bridge, the most appropriate My Chemical Romance song came up in my running mix. Here's a snapshot of what I finished to:

So give me all your poison
And give me all your pills
And give me all your hopeless hearts

And make me ill
You're running after something

That you'll never
If this is what you want
Then fire at will

You'll never make me leave
I wear this on my sleeve
You wanna follow something

Give me a better cause to lead
Just give me what I need
Give me a reason to believe

And that's sort of how I feel about CMM 2007 - a race I'll for sure wear on my sleeve for a long time to come. I know my time wasn't terrible - I was still in the top 30% or so, but it just wasn't me. But don't worry - Operation Get Rachel's Groove Back is in full swing and I plan to talk all about that soon. I've got my fall race calendar all penciled in and I've already run more this month than I did all of last month. But that's for a future post.

Once I made it through the finishers area and had my pic snapped I called Brent who was still searching for a spot at the Stadium. He finally got one and I headed over to drop my crap off. We stood on the bridge cheering for the marathoners and watching for Mike and Barb. We hadn't been there long at all until Mike spotted us and we jumped in and ran with him to the bottom of the hill. Then we went back to wait for Barb, who already sent us a text a few minutes earlier saying she was at Mile 10. We were busy cheering for a guy who had IKE written in electrical tape on his shirt - which he yelled back was really Mike, the M was lost somewhere - to which we yelled back that he was so fast he lost the M - that we almost missed Barb! We jumped in with her and ran with her towards the finish. They both did awesome.

The rest of the weekend was great, too. We had wonderful Mexican for lunch, I had a nap on the couch with Brent, Phog and Pippin while they went and visited family, and once the urinal emergency was contained we walked around downtown for a while enjoying the sounds of the honkeytonks. I had NO CLUE Mike was such a great line dancer. Amazing. They headed back to Chicago early Sunday morning and Pippin was genuinely bummed. He spent the rest of the day dead asleep or laying in front of the crate Phog had stayed in when we would leave. (Keep scrolling down for more fun weekend pics!)

So, that's the big Country Music Half Report, two weeks late. There's SO much to post about and so little time. I'll talk all about t
he kitchen remodel (OMG, what a mess) and my plan to get back in the shape I used to be in soon, hopefully!! Have a great weekend! My parents are coming up tomorrow to help out, since it is taking a village and more to get this kitchen ready for the cabinets that are now ALL OVER OUR HOUSE to be installed.


Splits, for those who like that stuff:

Mile 1: 8:32 - that was stupid
Mile 2: 9:00
Mile 3: 9:32

Mile 4: 9:22
Mile 5: 9:14
Mile 6: 9:18
Mile 7: 10:09 - start of side stitches

Mile 8: 10:23
Mile 9: 11:29 - walked with Brent
a lot on this mile, this is pretty much where I lost it
Mile 10: 10:02 - side stitches gone, feeling a little better
Mile 11: 10:22 Hot and tired of this crap
Mile 12: 10:51

Mile 13: 10:43
Final .34 (according to Garmin) at a 8:37 pace - I kicked it in for the

Phog and Pippin: BFF

Phog and I:

Barb and Pips:

Mike and Pips:

I love this one where Pippin is stalking in the background:

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Country Music Half Marathon: Get me to the race on time!

So Thursday dawned a little too bright and a little too early after the concert Wed night. Of course 5:23 am is ALWAYS a little too early. But, everything was starting to get more exciting because the CMM weekend was almost here!

I walked down to the expo at lunch to get my # and check out all the booths. I was way too excited to wait and get mine when Barb and Mike got here, and besides I could be the "cool kid" and be all - "oh yeah, the free peanut butter is over there!". I was able to walk right up and get my number and once I made my way through all the hideous items with the race logo on it I started running into runners I knew everywhere! I saw David, J and lots of other local runners who also work downtown. I loaded up on free Smuckers jelly and the same items Publix has at EVERY race (the little bag, massager, wrist holder thingie and chip clip). All in all there really wasn't a lot of freebies, but the Elite brand races really don't load you up. I had wanted to try Accelerade but they weren't sampling flavors they were actually going to have at the race. Retarded.

Thurs night we got ready for the Jayhawks and Friday I was basically useless at work. I checked their blogs all day watching their progress and high tailed it out of work at noon to await their arrival! I did spend most of the morning trying to get reservations at Italian restaurants which was nearly impossible. Right around 1 there was a rat-a-tat-tat and they were here!! Yay!! Of course Pippin immediately started his 48-hour tyrade on Phog. The boys played while we hung out. Brent got back from having his hair done and Barb's mom and dad even stopped in. They are the most hilarious globe-trotting support crew ever. I think it's totally awesome that they will travel all over to spray Barb in the mouth with Bio-Freeze. My parents have never seen me run and basically have no interest in it.

We headed over to the expo and of course got stuck in the miserable expo traffic. We parked (for free! - please note there is a trend of free parking in this series of race reports, for all you super sleuths) at my office and walked a couple blocks over to the expo. After picking up their numbers and barely convincing Mike that the guitar shirts were way overpriced and he should just seriously wait to get one on 2nd Avenue we headed towards the Italian joint we had reservations at. We had a horrible waitress who was basically uninterested in our need for carbs. Some people just SHOULD NOT work in food service. Regardless we got our carbs on, picked up some race day muffins and settled in for the night while Pippin harassed Phog a few more times before passing out.

Race morning was super early and it was ON. The boys made sure I dropped no crumbs. Brent had already mapped out the best way for us to go in order to avoid road closures and we ended up as part of the caravan of city buses full of runners headed to Centennial Park. (Since the race starts and finishes at 2 separate spots you have to ride buses from the finish to the start.) We were able to get a spot behind the park on the street (free!) pretty easily and walked towards the start line. Yay!!! Sooooo much easier than waiting in line for buses and commuting in from the 'burbs!! We hung around the News2 broadcasters and right when they went on air for the 6:50 weather update Barb and I cleverly walked right behind the broadcaster, waved for the cameras, and gave each other high-5's. And of course I have it all on TiVo. =) Miraculously we even ran into David pre-race, which is pretty impossible with that many people around. Some final good luck wishes were shared and we split up for our respective corrals. Brent had handled logistics perfectly and gotten us to the race stress free, Barb was yak free (yeah!!) and now I was on my own.....

Pre-race buses:

The Parthenon at Centennial Park:

Porta-potty lines-ugh!!!

News2 Weather guy Justin Brousse - way cuter in person!! He should do his hair like that every day. And there I am in the corner as Barb and I made our TV debut together.

Barb and Mike - TOO cute!!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Prelude to CMM: The Black Parade

Ok, so let's rewind to last week! There are a few things one should not do leading up to a half m. 1) Gut your kitchen and remodel it leading to a) severe sleep deprivation, b) extreme stress, and c) a total lack of training time. Another activity one should avoid 2) staying out late at rock concerts. But, since we're rebels we did all of the above. For Valentines Day I had gotten Brent tickets to the Muse/My Chemical Romance concert.

The concert didn't start until 7:30. It was at Municipal Aud with open seating (around Mile 12 for those of you who just ran the Country Music Half Marathon!) so we didn't leave until around 6:45. I had never been to Muni before, it mostly has arena stuff and strange youth rallys, but it has started having more concerts lately. As we drive by to secure some free parking spots we've scoped out recently we noticed the line - ALL the way around the building, for a whole city block. Ugh. We parked (free!) and walked up and then it hit me. There was absolutely no one around us our age. And I mean NO ONE. Normally concerts we go to have a big mix of all ages, the young kids, the 20-somethings, and then the old people who just want to rock. Not this time. Kids, Tweens, Teens and the random unlucky parent. It looked like Hot Topic had exploded all over downtown Nashville. And that's when Brent said "Didn't you know they have a HUGE teen following? It's like if we went to Green Day back when we were teens." At this point it was about 7:10 and it was obvious we weren't going to make it in by 7:30. While the line slowly moved we made jokes about how much money we could make buying beer for kids, that it would probably pay for our new kitchen. One girl marched by loudly telling everyone they weren't allowing spike belts in the auditorium, which set off a fire storm of "But everyone is wearing spike belts!". Well, not everyone. I can guarantee I was the only CPA in attendance!!!

We finally made it to the entrance about 7:35 and they seriously didn't even search us - which is crazy because anyone can be a terrorist. Huge boxes of spiked accessories were abandoned outside the auditorium and confiscated in boxes in the entrances. I bet there's a lot of homeless people walking around looking a little alternative these days! Right as we walked into the balcony seating Muse come on, so we had just made it in time! We picked a great seat near some fairly calm teens and settled in. The whole open seating deal turned out to be great. The floor was open for all the bouncers, hard rockers, and crowd surfers and then the seats were great if you wanted to sit/stand/dance and just relax a little more. It was nice to know that if we ended up next to a total jerk we could easily move.

Muse was pretty good, they need to work on their stage presence a bit more but they sounded awesome. They probably played about 3 too many songs because I was really ready for MCR! After 30 minutes of stage rearranging they FINALLY came on! The lead singer was wrapped in a white jacket on a flashing gurney to open their set, and the awesome theatrics went on from there. From massive confetti blowing machines to tons of pyro they put on quite the show. And he sounded great. There's nothing worse than dropping a load to watch an artist lip sync their CD, and this was not the case. They had great band-audience connection and really did an awesome job. We rocked hard from the balcony with our new teenage friends who were CONSTANTLY text messaging. The concert ended and it was mass chaos of parents waiting outside to pick up their kids. We easily left from our free spot (and no, I am not going to tell you where you can legally park for free on that side of downtown) and headed home. Living downtown rocks, just a mile and a half and we were home.

I have to say, going to concerts with teens isn't all that bad. They were seriously much better behaved than most of the trashed adults we're usually stuck around at concerts. Thursday I downloaded a ton of MCR songs to my ipod for the race. As fortune would have it one of them was the appropriate last song to my 13.1 mile journey last Saturday.........

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Brothers from another Mother

Until I have time to write about how Brent and I are the oldest people in the world (thanks to last week's MCR concert), give a proper weekend/race report, and fully talk about how Pippin and Phog are the two cutest dogs, EVER, here's a picture of the boys as they pose for treats:
On a side note, it's a good thing Pippin is not a licker. Yesterday he was chewing away on a dead baby bird in the yard. I'd hate for that same mouth to constantly lick me, our guests, our furniture.

Have a great day!