Thursday, June 28, 2007

In which my abs turn out the power in Nashville

First of all, I've never gotten a chance to talk about last weekend's Flugtag event. OMG, the people and the HEAT. I heard someone say 90,000 people were there. I don't know, but it was a TON. People everywhere, even some people floating in the river to stay cool! We met up with friends S &L to go to the event. First we stopped at the brand new weenie truck in the neighborhood - I Dream of Weanie. Yum. I had turkey dogs and they were SO good. I'm loving this new neighborhood hot spot and from the crowd there last Saturday they are not going to have any trouble staying busy!

So, from there we drove near the Stadium and parked at the edge of our neighborhood and walked over, avoiding the massive mess of traffic of cars trying to get into the Stadium lots. We were absolutely amazed at the crowds. The Riverfront and East Bank were shoulder to shoulder, and the pedestrian bridge was several spectators deep. People were lined all the way up the streets and on the bridges at both ends of the Flugtag area. We sort of made our way down to the bank and ended up sitting in the rocks in ant nests. Seriously. We'd smack our feet every few minutes when they would swarm us and I had a rock wegded up my ass. And it was hot. Mid 90's full on sun. We were pouring sweat. It was so hot that people were leaving after a while so we'd make our way to better and better spots to sit until we eventually got a great spot sans ants and were able to set our camping chairs up. They had said you couldn't bring any outside water/food in, so we hadn't and we were DYING. L and I went on a water hunt and the massive turnout meant a super long line at the only tent left that still had cold beverages. So, we decided to walk down to the nearby convenient store. The lines there looked like an evacuation scene! It wrapped all around inside the store and everyone had huge jugs of water. We LOADED UP. She stood in line while I shopped for us and we left there with Icees, waters, and Gatorade! I sucked ice from the beer cooler while we waited, and everyone was filling their bags with the ice as they left, so we did too! By the time we made it back a storm was brewing and we had missed half the "planes". Not a big deal, because once you've seen one strange thing pushed off a ramp you've sort of seen it all. We were back in time to see the Tennesee Banjo plane double the US record, but Brent was too preoccupied with the Icee to take a pic! Some dark storm clouds rolled in and we were all hot and tired enough that we decided to call it a day and clean up for some insanely delicious shepherd's pie at Family Wash.

The great thing about nearing the finish of the kitchen is that we've had more time to go out and do things with friends. We got out to the Rosepepper Tuesday night with another friend we haven't seen in ages and we even got to curl up on the couch one night and watch a movie. I've been trying to work out twice a day but I haven't been as successful this week. Monday night I had some things to do around the house and was about to do my Perfect Abs DVD. I put the DVD in and it seemed to get stuck in Loading mode. I punched every stinking button on the DVD player and it wouldn't open or close or do anything at all. I called Brent in and just as I held down Power and he reached to unplug the thing - Woosh. Lights out. Crap. Since we had had so many electrical issues lately the first thing out of our months was "Crap. We're going to have to have the electrician back." Oddly enough Brent had his headlamp on (he had been under the house running gas to our island) so he left me in the middle of the living room floor and went to get a flashlight. That's when we realized that the whole neighborhood was dark. All the streetlights, everything. Pretty eerie. He found me a flashlight and we went outside to see what was going on. It was pretty crazy to see neighbors filing out with flashlights. We ended up talking to our next door neighbor for a half an hour until the lights came on. We still don't know what happened, but I think it was an overload of abs.

Last night we went swimming at the Y after dinner. For a little while we had to share a lane but the pool really cleared out by 7:30 and we spread out. I worked Drill #1 a little more and then Drill #2, and Brent did the same. It took forever to get the hang of the slanty thing you do in Drill #2 but once I got it, it made a lot of sense. Brent did great and tried to "race" me on each length. I can definitely feel it in my shoulders and arm this morning. Or maybe that's the furniture we bought last night and moved, who knows! I have found a few different swim caps that claim dry hair, so I'm going to order a few and I'll let you know how it works. I also found this website pretty informative on the various types of swimcaps and their purposes. And it made me want one of the crazy floral ones. Or one with an Australian flag or something.

So, that's it for now! Have a great weekend and good luck to everyone running, racing and training!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Little Mermaid Goes Swimming

So, let's rewind back to last Friday, pre-Imported Thumbs. I've been going to the Y every day for lunch. I mean, there's really no reason not to. It's so close to my office that I'm pretty sure one day I'm going to make a wrong turn and end up in the weight room. Part of my workout plan is to do what I want. That's the awesome thing about not marathon training, I can work out the way I want, on whatever days I want. My running goal is a reasonable 15 running miles a week, and I'm easily hitting that with 3-4 days of running. On the other days I do the elliptical, the stairmill, and now that I'm aiming to be the next Little Mermaid - I swim. This has really worked for me - so far this month I've only skipped working out three days, which is awesome considering it's the 26th!

Coworker Blogging David loaned me his Total Immersion DVD that goes along with my book. The DVD really helps put it all in perspective and make sense. I memorized Drill #1 and my goal was to practice that Friday at lunch. I bought goggles and a swim cap the weekend before, so I was all set. I got to the gym and was pleased to see several lanes open. I suited up, picked a lane, realized I forgot my goggles, went back for them, and finally got in the pool. Finding sweet spot was pretty easy, but propelling myself across the pool using my legs only was taking forever. So, I would use my arms a little, but I spent a lot of time focusing on getting that drill right, using my ankles and legs properly, and rolling my hips the way they discuss. It was amazing how much less effort I was using when I properly got all those things going. I decided I would briefly try Drill #2 (where you sort of angle onto your right side) but it just so happened that Greg Luganis and Summer Sanders went flying by on my left and right side at that moment and nearly beached me on the sidelines like a killer whale, so I decided I would stick with Drill #1. I was proud that I only whacked my head on the wall (hard) twice. I'm pretty sure I looked ridiculous, but there was also a woman swimming laps with a snorkel mask on, and surely I looked less goofy than she did. All in all it was a great experience, and I ended up with .3 of a mile, and felt like I could go much further.

But, I needed to get back to work. I swam "until the last minute" and then leaped out the pool and into the shower, stopping to briefly say hi to the women from my office that take lunchtime classes there every day. Once I got out of the shower I took my swim cap off. For some reason something kept dripping on my back. Huh?? I looked up, around - there was no leak in the ceiling. Then I felt the back of my hair. Why was my ponytail wet?? What's the deal?? Then I felt my head. Totally soaked. Can I be so stupid that I have NO CLUE how to properly put a swim cap on??? Seriously. I was so mad. My hair was as wet as if I hadn't worn it at all. I don't get it, I've never once read about a tri-blogger having this issue. I'm not sure what I did wrong, all I know is panic set in. I have a ritual of Aveda hair smoother, blow drying and then straightening iron that just wasn't ready to roll into production at the Y. AND, to top it off at some point while swimming I had taken my goggles off and RUBBED MY EYES. So yeah, mascara and eyeliner were all over my face. I was one step from being a carnival clown. I blowdryed with the free blowdryers they have at the Y and I was a frizzy headed mess. Of course I had no clips in my gym bag so I rocked a ponytail the rest of the afternoon and played the part of Sporty Rachel in my uncasual work environment (we may be the last company in the Northern Hemisphere that doesn't have Jeans Friday. Or Jeans Anyday.)

I told Brent my story and he got a huge laugh out of it. I seriously don't have a clue how to put a swim cap on. Of course I Googled it and read that I should wet it and then put it on, but doesn't that cancel out the whole purpose of ending a swim with dry hair???? I also read you just stuff your hair in it and don't ponytail up first, so I'm going to try that as well. Overall I'm happy with Swim Drill #1, and I'm really hoping the Total Immersion program is going to help me swim efficiently.

And, in other news "wall" has now overtaken "vomit" as the #1 search word for finding my blog. Thank God.

Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, June 25, 2007

5K for Fatherhood Race Report

You know, you'd think a 5k race report would be something I could spit out in....oh....less time than it takes to actually run one. But as most everything in my (according to a friend of ours) "colorful" life there is ALWAYS a story to tell. So here's the story of last Saturday's 5K.

I love this 5K, it was my first ever race back in 2004. I still remember those nerves at the starting line, having no clue if I would be able to even run it since I had only been running for 2 or 3 weeks. Before those weeks the full extent of me and running had been the mandatory miles tests in high school gym class. This was new territory - a great way to be athletic in a sport that didn't care how insanely vertically challenged I am. And from that day forward I've been hooked, and every year we come back to this race. I have a collection of horribly fluorescent shirts from it that I wouldn't trade for anything. And the organization that it supports is fantastic - providing male mentors for inner city boys who don't have dads. So many of the boys run this race, and are out there encouraging the runners. You can really see the good things this Fund is doing.

And this race extends to more than just running for us. The park it's run in - Shelby Park - is just a mile and a half from our house. When we came down here for it in 2004 with a friend we were boring suburbanites. We didn't even know where this park was - we had to mapquest it. Running the race was the very first exposure we ever had to this neighborhood we now live in. We were intrigued by the quirky houses we saw that day that we never knew existed. And from that point we regularly came down to Shelby Park to run the greenway. I ran my first 20 miler in this park. The night before the Tom King half marathon in 2006 we actually drove past the very house we live in now looking for an Italian joint that we now frequent so much that they know all 3 of us by name. And last year - after running this 5K in the am - we saw this house for the first time, and made one massive decision. Truly this is a race that has really changed our lives.

Saturday morning I got up WAY too early. I just couldn't remember how much time I needed before a race. It was nice to not rush for a change, and we easily showed up a half hour before hand, got the best looking shirt of the 4 I now have from this race, and had a few minutes to kill before time to line up. There was another 5K in town Saturday morning that was promoted by the local running club, so attendance seemed to be a bit down from prior years. This is not a chip race, and normally they do colored dots to denote your division - which is great for scoping out your competition. This year they skipped the dots, so Brent and I were sort of trying to figure out who my competition might be. As we were walking around Brent heard a group of 3 people talking and the girl said how tough the F25-29 group is. From this point forward we will car her "Imported Thumbs". You'll understand why later. They were foreign, probably from France by their accents. She had ridiculous looking racing glasses on and her outfit would be best suited for a Nike dance video. I find it impossible to take anyone seriously if they have words printed across their ass. Hers said "Pink Lifeguard". I have plenty of items from the Pink collection, but I prefer to keep them where they belong - which is not the asphalt. Can you tell that I already was not a fan?

When we went to line up she marched to the very front of the line, further making me think she was the one to beat for my age group. One guy wasn't running, so he took a pic of her and the other guy in their posse. After some gun malfunctions we were off. I had to weave a bit to get around slow people, which is always pretty irritating, especially in a non-chip race. I decided to change up my mp3 player for the race, and I had some great tunes going. I was keeping it slow and steady, Imported Thumbs wasn't too far ahead. We headed into the greenway and the kids who take off like a shot were already falling back. I was pumping myself up and telling myself it would be over quick - just 3 miles!! My legs felt tired from more biking, running and swimming than I probably should have done that week, but I wouldn't back down. I easily passed Imported Thumbs about .6 of a mile in - she was fading big time.

From there I just kept picking people off one at a time. Around the 1 mile mark a guy just didn't want to let me go. He'd catch up, fall back, catch up. I finally lost him around a corner. At 1 mile my watch said I'd run a 7:37 1st mile. That's a little fast, and I was feeling fatigued. At this point we were on the sunniest, most miserable part of the course. Around 1.3 miles we were heading out of the greenway and I saw Brent cheering for other runners. For some reason he just absolutely was not noticing me!! Right when I got up to him he figured it out and started snapping away. When I talked to him later he said I had surprised him with where I was in the pack, but at the time the only thing going through my mind was "I am NOT about to yell at him because his sole job is to be watching for me and I am NOT going to use my oxygen up yelling at him". I grabbed some water at the 1.5 mile water stop and saw that Imported Thumbs was nowhere near, but her friend was just ahead.

I kept pushing, pushing, pushing and passed him before the 2 mile mark, in a time of 8:04. I don't know why I cared about beating them so much, but it really gave me something to do. By this point we were circling the lake and dealing with some small hills. I was soo ready to be done and out of the sun but I wasn't going to give in. I knew it wasn't going to be a PR, but it was also starting to look like it would be a decent time. I hadn't even noticed there were no women around me, but when I think back it does seem like a long stream of guys that I played cat and mouse with. Once I finished my lake circle I started pushing my pace, picking people to pick off. When I rounded the corner I saw Brent at the finish and I pushed with absolutely everything I had left. Mile 3 was 8 mins and the remaining portion I ran at a 6:33 pace. My official time is 24:39, 3 seconds slower than last year.

When I crossed over Brent came running up and said I was the 3rd female. Crazy!! Then he said the 2nd one was old (masters) so if they did top 3 then I would have 2nd overall! Very cool!! We cheered the other runners, got some grub, and waited for the awards. They only did overall top winners, so I ended up with 1st in my Division which was my goal for the race anyway. Since this is my last time in the F25-29 I had really wanted to defend my title. And Imported Thumbs? Well, she got 2nd in my division - but I beat her by 5 minutes. (There were only 7 people in our division.) Overall it looks like I was 32nd out of about 135 or so runners, not bad.

Afterwards they always take a pic of the award winners and volunteers. And guess who I was stuck next to?Yup, Imported Thumbs. Brent was cracking up the entire time we waiting and waiting and waiting for the pic to be taken. They kept calling more people up to be in the pic and so we stood 5 minutes for this picture to happen. It seems that Imported Thumbs really got her pose on - THE WHOLE TIME. Seriously, what's with the thumbs???? Sometimes she's not even looking near a camera - but she's got thumbs.

The closeup:

Look at me, I've got thumbs:

And, for your last bit of viewing pleasure - here is Imported Thumbs starting sprint. I'm not sure if she thought it was a 100 meter or what, but the way she takes off cracks me up. She is actually sprinting harder than the guy that won. (The guy that won - who ALWAYS wins because he is hella fast is in a light bright blue singlet near the orange cone, on the left.)

Have a great night!!!

Seriouly, I thought I was much harder core

Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

Is it wrong to be a little disappointed to be a G??? And I'm sure I've used the word "crappy" more than twice.

Anyway, hat tip goes to Brittney who gave me a million hits over the last few days with a post all about me. Although I'd rather trade the hits for a meetup any day - even when I am dripping in sweat and making weird faces on the treadmill/elliptical/stairmill or in the pool.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Yay!! I had a great time at the 5K for Fatherhood this morning. I was the 3rd overall female!! (but they only gave overall awards one deep so I got 1st in my division). My time was 24:39 (unofficial) which I think is 3 seconds slower than my time there last year and my 5K PR is 24:06 (I think) but I never PR in the summer and since I've not had the best racing times this year I am super pleased!! That's a 7:50 pace, according to my Garmin. It was hot and muggy but I am super happy! I expected around a 26 min time, but I blew that outta there! Full race report to come later, I gotta shower and get ready for Flugtag!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happy Summer!

To me, the official start of summer is Memorial Day, but if they want to call it June 21st I'm cool with that. How did we celebrate? We enjoyed the longest day(light) of the year by riding our bikes downtown after dinner to check out the Flugtag setup (see pics below). They've got the stage assembled and it looks like a few teams were workings on their planes. A couple of the teams were working on their planes and it looks like it's going to be a rocking good time Saturday afternoon. Before that though I have a 5K race Saturday morning. It was the first race I ever did and so this marks the end of my third year of running! I can't even seem to remember life before running, and hopefully this next year will be the best yet. Have a great weekend and good luck to everyone running, racing, training, and jumping off a ramp into the Cumberland River.

Sun - 11.5 miles bike
Mon - 4.2 run, 20 mins abs
Tues - 1 mile walk with Pips
Wed - 4.2 mile run, 200 m swim
Thurs - 2.7 mile run, 10 min ellip, 5.5 - 6 mile bike

View of the setup from the SS Ped Bridge:

The SS Bridge is not fun to pedal up.

The stage and ramp for the festival & banners in the commuter train station windows

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Surely Alanis has a song about this

Do you just ever have those moments where even reminding yourself about all the things you have to be fortunate for doesn't even work? Where you can go through the whole 'we have our health, a nice amount of money in the bank, good jobs', etc etc doesn't even work? Um, yeah. That was Sunday afternoon.

Right after I posted pics of our new bikes all hell broke loose in our household. Brent had pulled the fridge out to drill some holes for undercabinet lights. Pushing the fridge back in the water line connector broke. Our idiot movers had damaged it, and since we JUST ran water to the kitchen for the fridge it's way too late to make a claim. And shuffling the fridge for these holes had damaged it worse, and now we couldn't fix it. At the same time, our power has been wigging out for about a week and half and progressively getting worse. Like THE POWER. As in, don't turn the dryer and the AC on or the whole house is dark. And Sunday, it all hit the fan. We couldn't run the AC for more than 5 minutes, the oven at all, and I just gave up trying to dry my laundry. It went out at least 12-15 times. And it was only 95 degrees outside, so naturally having air on a regular basis would be pleasant. So would a battery backup for all the clocks being set and reset and set and reset. And poor TiVo, I heard that startup jingle in my nightmares the last couple of weeks. The topper - the garage door also broke. As in, the sensor quit working and automatically assumed cars, small children, and 3rd world countries would be crushed if the door descended. Nice, really nice. And the strangest of them all - an expensive curvy lightbulb FELL OUT of a light fixture on our garage. How the hell does a light fixture just unscrew itself??? By Sunday evening we thought our entire house might explode, and we were kind of ok with it. To add EVEN MORE awesomeness to it a benefit concert was going on a half a mile from our house that we could "enjoy" from inside our house - since we couldn't run any electricity or generate any noise. That wouldn't have been bad at all - much cheaper than a ticket to it - if the music hadn't been TERRIBLE!

So, Monday am the repair calls started. Our fantabulous home warranty doesn't cover garages (wth??) and obviously since someone broke the fridge that's not covered by warranty either. I made calls and scheduled everyone to come Tuesday afternoon. The electrician came at 12:30, said our main breaker was bad and that's why it sounded like bacon was sizzling in our closet, so the power company had to come and unlock our box and it was 6 pm by the time that was fixed. The fridge guy jimmyrigged the fridge so we have ice and water again, and we were able to fix the garage door ourselves by cleaning the sensors and resetting it, thanks to advice I got on the net. And I called about our countertops this morning and they're "in fabrication" and due to be completed on the 28th or 29th, so I guess that's better than having no date at all, though I truly believe I will never have a functioning kitchen again. Ever. So in the end it all works out. Anyone wanna place bets on what breaks this weekend???

Ironically, yesterday I was reading This Old House magazine (yes, I read it and I LOVE it) and came across an article written by a couple who have spent the last 4 years renovating their house. This totally struck a funny bone with me "We were prepared for a few leaks and some wood rot. Maybe some crazy wiring or funky plumbing we'd have to fix. We weren't prepared when things also began to fall off the house - all within the same week. A door. A storm window. The knob in the shower. A gutter. Part of the bedroom ceiling. The house was expressing itself, and what was it saying? It wasn't going to submit to any renovation without a fight, even if that meant hurling its shingles at us from the roof." I love it and couldn't have said it better myself!

Ok, so tonight. OMG. Most frightening experience I've had in a LONG time. Brent had an art meeting and I was sort of slammed at work so I decided to skip the gym, take a short lunch so I could leave earlier and go to the gym tonight. We're about 3 miles from the downtown Y and 3 miles from the East Nashville Y. Since I would have to park a little further away at the downtown Y and I knew I'd be there after dark I decided to try out the East Y. Never again will I go there. When I walked in I knew it was different. It looks fairly new on the outside, but on the inside, it's a bit worn down. I asked the friendly people at the front desk where the women's locker room and the indoor pool were, and they gladly told me. As I made the way down the maze to the women's locker room I got glared at by quite a few teens and their parents. Ummm, ok. I was REALLY glad I had my lock with me, as it seemed one girl basically followed me in there to watch and see what I was leaving behind. I made my way up to the TINY cardio room and got one of two remaining treadmills. I quickly ran my 4 miles, and as soon as I cleaned off my machine someone else nabbed it - there was a WAIT for treadmills at 7:45 pm on a Wed night - in JUNE. I had peaked in at the indoor pool earlier and even though it's really small there had only been one person in there. I was really happy about that because I got my TI book yesterday and also watched the TI dvd that David was so sweet to drop by to me. The drills are a little odd and I'm going to feel super self conscious working on them around others. Well, the pool was now packed. PACKED. With kids. And one person swimming laps in the only lap lane now roped off. Nice. Apparently the outdoor pool was now closed for the evening. I made friends with another girl in the locker room who was headed out to do laps. Another main difference between this Y and the downtown Y - no towels. Anywhere. Downtown is overflowing with towels. You could tie one around each pinky if you wanted to. So, of course I didn't have one with me, which is a nice perk for drying off when you're working out. So, I got a crash course in learning to share a lane with two others, which really wasn't that bad. I can't swim in a straight line AT ALL, and the pool was so insanely loud and chaotic that I abandoned the drills and sort of modified them for the situation. I swam 8 total laps and then we were sitting on the edge talking. I was trying to "air dry" since I was towel-less when a fight broke out. One group of ghetto teens was about to rip into another group of ghetto teens - all girls. And there's no fight worse then a girl fight. They starting pushing and shoving, throwing cell phones, and then all their friends got involved. Naturally they were right next to where we were sitting so one of my new "friends" pulled me right in the pool as I was about to get clobbered. Seriously, it was frightening because most of these ghetto teens were dressed and these days, in this neighborhood you don't know who has a gun and I don't want to find out. the lifeguard called the security guard who basically just told one group to leave, and of course they shouted that they would be in the parking lot. The friendly girl I had met earlier said she had never seen something like that happen, while the bitchy old lady said she sees it all the time. I quickly left after the fight was broken up and went dripping to my car. Of course the fight was going on in the parking lot with my car right in the middle. The security guard was doing absolutely nothing to break it up, or make these people leave. Of course they weren't too concerned about getting out of the way of my car, because they see me as insurance money. It was all very frustrating and frightening, and I was finally able to leave. I just don't understand that mentality - don't they want to do something BETTER for themselves? There was one young guy trying to break them up who kept telling them to look around, that they were doing this in front of kids. But one voice in a crowd of 2 dozen bickering idiots gets drowned out pretty quickly. Regardless, I won't be returning to the East Y, ever.

Well, I take that back. As I was chatting with friendly girl and bitchy old lady the old lady asked me if I swim much. I said 'no', that I run marathons and stuff but I would like to learn to swim properly and I had just gotten a book and DVD was learning proper techniques. So she laughed and said "oh, are you going to bring a DVD player down here" and I said 'no, I watch it and then do the drills here." I was trying to be friendly, but everything she said was so condescending and cruel. I asked them if they live around here and she said "yes". And I said, "yes, I live at the corner of &*8&*7b and ?$^$(^(%^)." And she said "OH, you're one of THOSE people." And I said, "one of WHAT people?" And she said, "one of those rich little young people in the fancy houses. that's what my Bill and I say when we drive through." And THAT really pisses me off. Read the first half of this post and you won't think that, talk to anyone who's been here and that's not the case at all. We work hard and the only reason we're in this neighborhood is because we've scrimped and saved and got a massive fixer upper. So, you want to know something??? Give me a month, maybe two and I WILL go back to the East Y, look up that saggy, grouchy hag and I will swim around her like she's sitting still. But until then - you'll see me at the downtown Y!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fitness with the Stars

A link to this article about your fitness style as related to your horoscope was in my morning fitness emails. I didn't think Brent's fit him very well but I think mine was fairly accurate:

Libra: September 24 – October 23
Because Libras need balance, you start to feel edgy and anxious when one part of life is taking over. Instead of trying to juggle too much, scale things back to ensure you have plenty of time for both work and fitness. You have the innate ability to look at a complex situation and simplify it—why not share your knowledge with a newbie at the gym who is struggling to figure out how to use the machines? Even though like to have your own way, try to be more patient the next time you’re waiting for a treadmill. Life is too short to get stressed out at the gym! You know the importance of combining strength training with cardio work, but don’t forget to shake things up a bit sometimes by trying new activities. A judo or boxing class might be just enough to kick-start your fitness to the next level.

I did take a kickboxing class a few years back and it got WAY out of hand. I was constantly throwing jabs and kicks at Brent around the house at unexpected times. Maybe I'll try some of the hip hop classes at the Y instead.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

My new ride

Watch out East Nashville!!! Brent and I have new rides and are taking it to the streets...... Whatever idiot said you never forget how to ride a bike is a damn liar, sort of like those people who yell at you that "it's all downhill from here". And seriously, why don't any of you tri-people talk about how hard these dang bike seats are!! Ouch!!!

Anyway, we're about to hit the gym so I will take more about the fun times we've had on two wheels later!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Terrible Twos

It's my blog birthday!! Two years ago I started this 'masterpiece' and what a wild ride it's been! I'm not sure how much longer I'll keep blogging, time spent on the computer seems to constantly become less and less important, but for now..........

I've been waiting and fearing this day for exactly 11 months now. Here's how it happened.....I had my usual 5:23 wake up alarm and as I was lulling myself awake heard my next door neighbor out watering his flowers call out to another neighbor who walks his dog about that time every morning. Normal so far....I took my shower, got out and was walking around the quiet house trying to figure out which couch Pippin had slept on so I could give him his good morning kiss. And that's when I heard it "uuuuuggggghhhh........uuugggghhhhh". It sounded like some wounded animal outside our house somewhere! I made my way to the front room where it sounded like it was coming from and opened the shutters. I didn't see anything....I checked the other window and looked out the front window and it just kept on whining. So, I woke Brent up so I could send him outside to investigate. He geared up with a big flashlight to whack whatever it was (in case it was a skunk with rabies or something) and headed out. He checked under the house in case something had gotten trapped, walked all around, and didn't see a thing. Pippin and I watched from inside and I pointed to the roof, just in case. He looked up, laughed and then motioned for me to come out. I came out and looked up. And there they were: two pigeons. The bottom of the bird chain. I've seen them around our neighborhood on other people's houses, even on the street behind us, but never on our block and dear god never on our house. But there they were, walking around, making strange noises, and most likely pooping. I HATE pigeons. They're gross and nasty and pretty much the only bird that won't get out of your way. So, I started freaking out. "OH MY GOD THE PIGEONS ARE ON OUR ROOF!!! OH NO!!!!" and Brent just found that humorous and replied "NOT THE PIGEONS!! That is SO much worse than having a skunk with rabies dying in our yard." Well, I mean, in perspective........I just....don't like pigeons. At any rate my freak-out scared them off - for now. I just hope we don't have to resort to this again....

Happy weekend everyone!! Good luck to any and all who are racing!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Congrats to all the RBF-ers who got into NYC!! That is awesome!! It seems like most everyone I read who wanted to get in, got in, and that never happens!!

I truly don't have much to blog about. Things are going well. Brent's getting ready for his next art show this Friday night, it's a one night only deal and I'll post a little blurb about it later this week. My working out is going great, I'm heading to the gym every day for lunch and getting stronger and fitter with every workout. I'm running comfortably at an 8:30 pace again, and I push my pace constantly and end my runs around a 7:30 pace. I'm going to order TI and start spending more time in the pool to work on my (lack of) swimming technique. My next race will be in about a week and a half, a little 5K close to home that was the start of all my running. I wouldn't miss that one.

So, here are a few pics from the last few weeks. We sort of made it to Pride day a few weeks ago. By sort of I mean that we showed up around 4 and at 4:05 there was a monsoon. It was insane. It had been cloudy all week due to the fires in Georgia and Florida. When we pulled up we thought it looked like rain, and right when we were within sight's distance of the festival it started raining. And then, pouring. And the wind - sideways. We quickly found shelter under the Parthenon and people started running from everywhere to get under the shelter of the building. Pippin took it well, he was calmed by the lightning and thunder so that he was really trying to jump all over/lick other people. Kids were crying and it was mass chaos. We thought it might be over quickly, but we weren't so sure about the festival's future since a lot of tents had blown off. At any rate we stood under the shelter for about an hour until we decided to just bag it and head home. We were glad for the rain since it had been over 2 weeks since we'd had rain, but a little upset because we had left some tools in the backyard that we had been working with. We drove home, 4 miles, and there was nothing. Not a single drop of rain at our house. It's insane! We've had virtually no rain this summer. We got a small amount last Friday, but we're still between 9 and 12 inches below where we should be, according to the weather people. We need rain. I'm watering my flowers and garden every day, I am not excited about our next water bill......

So, all the tourists are gone and downtown living is back to normal. No more planes circling overhead with country music banners, tour buses are gone, the streets are full of business people instead of cowboys and life is good. It was nice to not be woken up by massive amounts of firecrackers signaling the end of another day of festivities last night. I'm sure they all had a good time and will be back next year.....

Last weekend we finished wiring for the new chandelier for that hangs over our new kitchen island. We're now (supposedly) less than 3 weeks away from the arrival of the countertops. What I wouldn't give for a dishwasher, a sink, and my gas cooktop. I would looooove to boil some pasta. We've started watching FoodTv again and it's nearly agonizing. We've already put together our dream team of the first stuff we'll start whipping up when it's time: our awesome Jambalaya, Chicken Marsala, homemade Fettucini Alfredo, Halibut wrapped in Bacon. We also got the fridge all wired up for water and ice now. Thank GOD!! It's been 10 long months of old fashioned ice making and literally taking empty water bottles to work and filling them up with filtered water. And we drink a LOT of water.

And we went on the tour of homes last Sunday afternoon in a neighboring community. There were some beautiful houses on there, and some crappy ones. It was funny, some of the least assuming looking were the nicest on the outside, and some of the homes we've drooled over were pretty crappy. There's one house that was only open for us to tour the gardens (the whole thing is under renovation) It's a late 1800's Italian style house and it is unbelievable. If I had a pool like this I'd never leave. Ever. The steps lead up to a covered concrete patio area with little tables with white linens and roses. We walked the whole thing and covered 12 houses around the 'hood in 2 hours, in 90 degree heat. A nice lady was driving around a massive SUV giving rides to anyone who needed it, I thought that was great. But we sweated it out and I call that my exercise for Sunday. I love tours of homes.

Ok, that's it for now! I'm gonna get my evening session of toning/weights in and then clean the potty. Exciting times, eh???



Sunday - 2 hours walking
Monday - 4.2 miles run, 2 mins Stairmill, 20 mins abs
Tues - 4.2 miles run (so far)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

And so another week starts tomorrow....

I can't believe it's already 8:30 on Sunday night. Where do the weekends go?? I've got bills to pay but I just felt like blogging for a second. The show went really well last night. And dear God, it was an absolute inferno. The air conditioner in there isn't much larger than what we have in our upstairs loft/guest room to help boost the air up there. And it's been over 90 for days here. Throw 100 people at a time into a smallish gallery and it's a free for all sweat-fest. The show started at 7, but we had to get there a bit earlier because Brent and another guy were the bartenders for the first part of the night. I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to fill 4 hours, especially the 2 where I would be without B. I've seen all the art there about a million times - and we hung 1/3 of it so I was WAY familiar with it by this point. But, I decided to talk to random people so I met some other artists, other artist spouses, talked to various gallery go-ers and then wonderful friends and neighbors of ours started showing up. It really means so much when people come out to support. We put 100% into everything we do, and for other people to take time out of their individually busy lives means a lot. This is more than a hobby - it's a side business that in a wildest dream could one day be a main business. And it takes a LOT of time. Shopping for frames, working on the art, getting it just so, looking for opportunities. It's not free for us to do this at all, so being part of a show is a great opportunity to get back some of our investment and network....

Anyway, I am always such a nervous wreck at these things!! I just want all of Brent's stuff to be perfect, and I want everyone to love it!! I can't imagine having a kid and stressing about watching them step out of their comfort zone to possibly be either criticized or loved - this is too much for me already! I stalk his section, watch it constantly and then get so excited when something's gone! He sold a couple last night, we need to sell 1 more to break even (entry fees and commissions at these things are ridiculous.) The show goes on for 4 more weeks, so there's time.

Anyway, we had a great time and the night actually passed insanely fast. It ends up the guy Brent was bartending with's wife is also a CPA, who runs (some), was a high school championship swimmer and they live about two blocks from us and stretch frequently on our white picket fence. Small world!! So it was a great night and although I sweated a bucket I'd say it was a success.

Ok, back to paying bills. Ugh.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Total Immersion feedback?

Hey!! I'd like to become a semi-decent swimmer - aka not look like an embarrassment in the lap lanes at the gym - and I was wondering if any of you had positive/negative feedback on Total Immersion. What's the best way to become an actual semi-ok swimmer??

OK, it's probably about time for a shower considering I smell like a mix of gym sweat-chlorine-dirt from the yard-Pippin-and house dust. I've gotta get jazzed up for the art show tonight! Yee haw!! (Oh wait, wrong event. BTW, for the second night in a row we were woken up by the end of the night fireworks at CMAfest. Two more days to go........)


Friday - 4.2 miles run, 1 mile walk with B&P
Saturday - 2.5 miles run, 10 mins StairMill, 6 laps outdoor pool

Friday, June 08, 2007

Quote of the Day Friday

This was also in one of my morning fitness emails:

According to A.C. Nielsen, Americans spend an average of more than four hours a day watching TV. You could either see that number as eight Seinfeld episodes, or as a really big number of potential fitness minutes.

How ridiculous. I can't believe people watch THAT much TV. Well, looking around actually I CAN. We're "lucky" if we catch 20-40 minutes a day, all previously TiVo-ed & the last time we went to the movies was last August!! Seriously people, get off your cans this weekend and DO something instead of just watching other people do something. Of course I realize I'm preaching to choir. Have a great weekend and good luck to everyone racing and starting their fall marathon training!!!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Come one, Come all!

To the fantabulous Value Menu show at Plowhaus in Historic East Nashville! It's way cooler than CMA-fest!! Buy Brent's art!!!

Here's the Press Release:

Plowhaus Artists' Cooperative proudly presents:


Artists' Reception

Saturday, June 9, 2007 - 7pm - 11pm

w/ food, wine and live music

The 5th annual Value Menu show at Plowhaus is back by popular demand!!

ALL ART $49.99 & UNDER

Cash and Carry!

With all art priced at $49.99 and under, you won't have to break the bank to add to your collection and feel like a millionaire.

With over thirty artists participating, there's something here for every taste.

Value Menu -- Haute Cuisine Art at Fast Food Prices!

Show runs through Sunday, July 15, 2007.

open saturday 11a - 6p sunday 1p - 5p

or contact us for an appointment!!

Plowhaus Artist Coop

211 S. 17th Street

East Nashville, TN 37206

615 349-3777

On a side note I did Killer Butt tonight for the first time in 3 months and OMG I know I'm gonna be sore tomorrow because I was sore halfway into it!! WHEW!!! A good kind of sore, and I'm looking forward to walking like I've been riding a horse tomorrow. At least I will fit in with all the crazies in town this weekend. And LORD, I took some good pics of them today on my way home. It took twice as long as normal (which I know I shouldn't complain because it's only 3 miles, but GEEZ.)

Have a great night!!


This week's exercise:

Mon- 35 mins elliptical

Tues - 4.2 miles run @ Y @ lunch

Wed - 4.2 miles run @Y @ lunch

Thurs - 45 mins Killer Butt

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


All I'm saying is that hanging for an art show IS NOT EASY. When things are difficult I always compare it to running a marathon. Remodeling a kitchen? Harder than a marathon. Laying hardwood floors? Harder than a marathon. Painting? Easier than a marathon. Riding your kitchen designers ass to figure out exactly WHY they have not ordered your countertops yet because you are sick and freaking tired of being without a kitchen sink and dishwasher and range for the last 10 weeks? Infinitely tougher than a marathon. Hanging for an art show in a non-air conditioned studio when temps have been in the 90s all week? Harder than a marathon and a helluva lot more frustrating. Too many cooks in a kitchen that was waaaay too hot. But, it's hung and Brent's next show starts Saturday night. I'll post a proper link to the show tomorrow but for now I am BEAT and heading to bed.

Oh, and one last thing. To all the redneck freaks in town for CMA fest: PLEASE REMOVE YOUR COWBOY HATS. Unless you plan to wrangle cattle up and down Broad it is so incredibly cliche. Real Nashvillians do NOT wear them. Or cowboy boots. We're seriously just normal people with normal jobs, bolos not required. I will probably have a body count of boot-scooters to share with you guys on Monday once all the dust has settled because they are apparently unfamiliar with traffic and how one should not walk out in front of it. I guess that's to be expected when you spend most of your time out on the ranch.

Monday, June 04, 2007

What a Sub-4:00 mile looks like

We were lucky enough to be able to attend the Music City Distance Carnival put on by TNRunning Saturday night and see some truly awesome athletes compete in various 1 mile and 5K events (we missed the steeplechase, which I really wish we had gotten to see!!). I've never been to an event like this before, and WOW, have we missed out!! This pic is of the winner of the Men's 1 mile event, clocking in under 4 minutes. Truly amazing sight. In all, I believe 3 guys squeaked in under 4 and several more were right at 4. The bright flash is another photographer's camera going off, which I think makes Brent's pic even cooler!!! More pics of the event and the other festival we (sort of) got to go to later. Have a great Monday everyone!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Cutest Commercial EVER

I hope Pippin doesn't get any ideas.

Pippin, Dog

We're having some issues with Pippin. He's starting to a dog. I know, I know, he IS a dog - but we've always treated him like a person. He's our baby boy until we decided we'd like one (preferably) a little less hairy. He loves the new house, and who would blame him? He's got fenced in front and back yards to romp and play in. And so begins the problems..... I'm fine with him getting a little messy and muddy, that's to be expected. But he's got a new obsession - just call him Pippin, Bird Hunter. Or maybe Pippin, Bird Licker & Roller. This morning marks the third bird we've had to take away from him. Bird #1 happened in mid-April. Brent's dad was here helping us with the plumbing for the kitchen and asked me:

"Did you know Pippin is chewing on a bird?"

To which I said:

"Pippin?????? Are you sure????"

And yeah, one baby bird was firmly in his little jowls. We confiscated it and tossed it on the other side of the fence and called it a fluke. Until a week later....when he was caught with ANOTHER baby bird. Fresh. Like he actually CAUGHT IT AND KILLED IT. Pippin, a hunter??? He's a licker, not a killer. Then, we nearly saw it with our own eyes the next day. A little baby bird hopping around and he was about to go in for the kill if the two parents hadn't started swooping and hollering, catching mine and Brent's attention. We rescued Pippin from what would have SURELY been a nasty confrontation with the parent birds and ushered the baby safely through the fence.

And then today.....dear God.....the worst of them all. Our cabinet installer was due back at 9 am to finish up a lot of the moldings and that stuff. We had just finished up doing a couple things in there ourselves while Pippin was playing in the back yard. Brent went out to start working on the base molding we've gotten for in there and just as I was opening the door for the prompt installer Pippin comes bolting back in the door, obviously trying to get away from Brent. I grab him so he doesn't jump all over the installer and instantly he smells like trash. Nasty, rotting trash. His whole head, neck and collar covered in something black and smelly. Oh, the SMELL. Just gross. And he had JUST had a bath on Wednesday and still had that fresh, clean dog smell. Right on his heels was Brent with the wonderful news that he had caught Pippin ROLLING AROUND IN A DEAD BIRD. A bird that from the looks, smells, and flies had been dead a couple of days. And now DEAD BIRD was all over me, too. So Pippin had a Saturday morning bath and got a few treats to boot since his breath smelled like DEAD BIRD. And I had a wardrobe change a little earlier than planned.

Why can't he have an obsession with something....not so alive?? And not so gross when it's dead???

So, hopefully the cabinet installer will be done in the next couple of hours. The countertop measurer came Thursday, so hopefully in THREE weeks it will ALL be done!!! We've got loads to do today. There's a festival we'd like to check out, and there's also a running festival tonight with loads of famously fast people I'd like to watch. And, Brent's very first GALLERY art show starts next weekend, and we sort of need to get together what's he's going to show. We've picked out the prints but we need some frames and to decide on prices, etc. (On a side note, click on the show poster!! It's very exciting to see his name listed with the artists!!) The gallery show lasts for a month, and Plowhaus is open on the weekends so if you're in Nashvegas stop in!! His next show will be the following weekend with the same group he showed with the first time. AND, hopefully he'll get selected to show at the Tomato Festival, which would be HUGE!! So, busy times, busy times. The more he shows, the more experience we get with what works and what doesn't, so it's all awesome.

Well, I'm outta here. Brent should be home soon with lunch. Even though it's about 500 degrees outside I was dying for Wendy's chili. Go figure. He was making a side trip to HOPEFULLY score some really, really cool sounding free stuff! I love our local google group!!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Quote of the Day Friday

Have a great weekend! Get out there and enjoy the wonderful summer weather. And good luck to everyone and anyone competing this weekend!