Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Born to Run?

During my lunchtime run today, I started wondering about natural talents. Some people seem like they are just born to be runners (*coughcoughMarcy/Davidcoughcough*) and then there are the rest of us :P

Obviously, some people are intellectually gifted, some artistically and then there is physically. I do believe that elite athleticism is inherent, but can you learn to be a fast runner? I played volleyball in high school and was by no means a superstar, but I was decent. I also know that it wasn't natural skill. I didn't just have this amazing vertical jump that made me a spiking maniac, but I did work my ass off and was able to be decent enough to be on the all-conference team, etc.

Now, I do know that if I work hard I can definitely improve my running skills, but I have a lot of doubt that I will ever consider 8 minute miles *my* pace. And honestly, I don't think I even care that much, which is strange, too. Maybe I just figure if I consistently put in the time and training, eventually I will see the results I'm looking for and to this point, I can honestly say I just haven't put in the effort it deserves.

Jack's only hope in life is to play professional baseball. He probably has as much a shot at actually doing that as he does of winning the lottery. But regardless, I hope that he works his little tail off and never gives up. And maybe, just maybe, he can look back at what his mom was able to get out of her non-runner-self and see that it is possible to morph yourself into what you want to be, even if you weren't necessarily born that way.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Not much of great importance going on these days, but there are a few things I wanted to share.

  • I will post pics of the new pup as soon as I can, which will be shortly after I get my tax return back and I buy my new laptop. 'Cuz right now? My computer is a big piece o' garbage, but it was free and I can't complain too much. I also can't transfer any of the pics off my cameras to it, which is why we have to wait.
  • Speaking of Tootsie, I fear that she may have been a cat in a previous life. Maybe that's how it works? They evolve from cats to tiny little sissy dogs and continue to be a larger dog with each subsequent life? Who knows, but the little dope actually climbed the baby gate last night and got out of the bathroom. She then proceeded to get onto the couch, walk along the top and get onto my side tables. Seriously? She shakes like a leaf when I try to get her to walk onto the deck or climb a step, but she can scale a baby gate?
  • I made tiramasu for my friend, Kathy's, birthday at work today. The recipe is here and it turned out really well. Actually, I completely suggest trying any of her recipes because I have made quite a few and have yet to find one that isn't just awesome! Plus, with all the pics and, she makes it pretty darn easy to follow along, not to mention she cracks my shit up.

So that's about the extent of my excitement. It has been a bit warmer for the last two days, but there is a dirty rumor that it is supposed to go from the high-40s (which it was this morning) to a windchill of -18 by tomorrow morning. That's just crazy!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Too Cold To Type

This week has been ridiculously cold...Actually, now that I think about it, ever since I got back from Arizona it has been horribly cold, but yesterday? The temperature display in my car actually read "-9". I think that is just cruel and unusual. I honestly don't know why they make them go below zero. I would rather just sit in my imaginary little world and pretend it is *just* zero instead of -9 :P And that's not counting windchill. We hit a lovely -25 with windchill yesterday.

But things are looking good on the horizon. They are calling for 45 by Monday and it is still somewhat light out when I leave work these days, so that gives me some hope. I realize that I live in the wrong state. I am nowhere close to a fan of winter. It makes me sad to see the days get shorter and the cold and snow and ice and sleet? Hate them all. So, the countdown's on to Spring!

Payton's birthday party was great. We had stuffed green pepper soup and baked potato soup. It only seemed appropriate since everyone that walked in was practically a popsicle :P She got great gifts, the puppy is by far her fave, but she also got an art easel that she is very pumped about and is constantly sitting at. She even came up with a name for the dog all on her own! Tootsie Jo (Payton's middle name is Jo, too). She is the sweetest little puppy and such a good girl. The only struggle is potty training, but I didn't expect it to be easy. I do have to say that it is much easier to try to train a pup with two kids that constantly take her to the paper to do her bidness. The kids are great with her and I'm not sure at this point that I could have picked a better dog :)

Hope everyone has a great weekend. I am hoping to get an outside run in since it is supposed to de-ice a bit over the weekend ;)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Birthday Wishes

On Monday, Payton will be turning 4. We are having a party with the family on Sunday and many have called or emailed asking what she is wanting for her birthday. Her reply? "A puppy or a pony. Real one. Please." That's it. No talking her down or into anything else. There are no toys that she feels she needs - no crap, Christmas was less than a month ago :P - and she all of a sudden has decided that clothes are not going to cut it. Lovely. Anyone out there want to hook the poor child up with the pony? Because........
Tomorrow morning we are going to go pick up her puppy! It is a mix between a yorkie and a maltese, or "morkie" as they are sometimes called. The pictures are just darling and the breeder lives just about an hour north of us. I think I am more excited than she will be. I am seriously beside myself to see her face when she figures out where we are going tomorrow. Now, if only I can keep my mouth shut for the next roughly 20 hours. I suck at keeping secrets :X

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

No Run for You!

Think Soup Nazi from Seinfeld ;)

I really wanted to run over lunch today and Kathy wanted to do upper body, so we decided we would hit the track and see how it felt. Not good :( My legs feel great, but my right foot/arch not so much. So half a mile around the track to get our hearts pumping and then onto weights. I'm not terribly disappointed since I know that I need that, too, and I feel pretty good after all is said and done. Hopefully, I can deal with the elliptical tomorrow if I still can't straight out run. At least it will count for the cardio that I need to keep focusing on.

I am still all tingly-feeling from such an awesome weekend and from having such a great time at the race. I am seriously digging to find any races that are near - and even a few that aren't so near ;) - to keep running and training for. Before this one, I really didn't think that I wanted to have races to train for. I just figured I would run for fitness and maybe follow a plan if I felt the need, but not really with anything in sight. Now, I want to do more! LOL I suppose this is how all you crazy nuts got addicted in the first place ;) So, the plan for now is to get a couple more halfs in this year and maybe some 10k or 10 milers, too, and then decide if I feel like I could keep myself from getting too bored during a full. At some point in my life, I would like to run a full just to know that I could and did, but I'm still not sure if that is a distance that would really make me happy :P Maybe if Lisa runs it with me and I can focus all my energy on her instead of myself it would be easier ;)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

LOVED IT!!!!! And Shot Blocks are a Gift from God

First of all, I need to send a HUGE Thank You!!! to Lisa for putting up with me all weekend long and letting me invade her life and home. A big thanks to Javadad, too, for putting up with it! She was the best host ever and I completely feel like I have known her my whole life. It was awesome. And to finally, after nearly 4 years, to get to meet Marcy was just awesome! And she really is just as *gangsta* as you would all think ;) LOL

I had such a great time with Lisa, Marcy, David, Mendy and Karen and could have stayed so much longer. They are everything you read, completely amazing people :)

I think I will do a separate post about the weekend in general, but just wanted to talk a bit about the race first.

I was seriously, disgustingly undertained for this run. Last week I went through tons of doubts and by Friday morning I realized that I hadn't even had a run long enough to require me to try any kind of nutrition or even have to drink water :X Needless to say, I was soooooo nervous and had no expectations of any kind....well, maybe not to die on the course :P So, to help allievate most of my major concerns, Lisa and I decided to do a run 5, walk 1 at a pretty easy pace. This helped calm me down so much and I finally just decided that whatever happened, happened. No point in stressing.

Karen got us to the race perfectly Sunday morning. It was seriously timed so well and I don't think things could have gone smoother between the lot we parked in and the shuttle we rode to the start. I felt great, the weather was cool before the start, but it was going to be a great day to run with great friends. The only thing that was not cool were the nasty porta-johns before we started :X We all changed our corrals to 16 so we could be together. Taryn was there with us, too! And people, she is such a sweet girl! I am so glad we found her and got to run with her for a bit. We finally got running roughly 32 minutes after the race officially started.

Once we got underway, I felt great and could not believe how fast 5 minutes had passed. I was all about keeping running, but the overall consensus was to stick to the plan and not burn out too fast. I should add, too, that I had a package of Cliffs shot blocks and some sport beans with me. The sport beans decided to jump out of my pocket about a mile and a half into the race :P But those shot blocks were safe in my hand for the duration. The package recommended taking 3 - 6 an hour, but since I only had about 6 of them, I decided to just use them sparingly. I had one at the start and then waited until maybe mile 4 or 5 to have 2 more. We had a couple of bathroom breaks during the first 4-5 miles that ate up a lot of time, but everyone was doing well. Taryn left us after maybe 2 miles or so. She was feeling awesome and rocking it, so she kept moving to run her own race and Karen fell back somewhere in that mile 4-5, I think (but could be off in my estimation...sorry Karen). She really pushed through some major leg pain and did an awesome job! So, it was Lisa, Mendy, Marcy and I until mile 8.5 or so. At that point Mendy and Marcy needed to use the bathroom again and I knew to get Lisa a PR, she and I really needed to keep moving. So we kept moving and pushed on to get her a PR!!!

Back to the shot blocks. I know I had the last one (or two??) right around mile 9 and I just cannot believe how those suckers kick in! I felt so good those last couple of miles, just wish I would have had a few more ;) Miles 10 - 13 were a bit more rolling than the rest of the race had been and Lisa probably didn't like me very much when I made her keep running, especially at the pace I was forcing her to go :X I think most of the time we were running in those last 5 miles I was pushing her to between 9 and 10 minute mile paces. She is now to refer to me as Jillian from the Biggest Loser. I think most of the people we were running around in those final 2 miles probably thought I was one of the meanest people on the course :X But even as much as she was bonking, she never stopped smiling!

I am so lucky to get to run my first half with such AMAZING people! I am so proud of Lisa for putting up with my bossiness and pushing through even though she would have rather pushed me off the bridge and kept walking ;), so proud of Mendy for pushing through even though she was feeling horrible the entire race and of Karen for fighting through her pain and still getting a PR for herself! YAY!!! Taryn really rocked her race and David and Clay both killed it!

This was an awesome experience and I think I just may be in love with both the distance and definitely with the shot blocks! Would it be wrong to just use them daily for extra boost?? LOL My only complaint two days later is some wicked arch pain in my right foot. I am hoping that it will be gone here soon and then I can just blame it on overuse. New shoes are definitely in the plans soon!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

It's Official

I'll be walking 13 miles on Sunday :P

Alright, alright, trying to be positive here...once I get with Lisa, Marcy and Mendy maybe the miles will pass a little easier. Maybe I won't think about how crappy my breathing is, or the fact that my legs are sore. But no matter what happens with the race, I am going for fun. I am going to meet people that I have been waiting over 4 years to meet and I could not be more excited. Or maybe I am about due for a decent run? A girl can dream, right?

So, the plan from now until I leave on Friday is going to be tying up loose ends. I have a bunch of work I need to get off my desk. Mostly busy work and filing, but I will feel much better without it stacked all around me. And I need to get all the laundry done, pack for both kids and try to figure out what in the world I want to take with me. Strangely, I am not in the least concerned about packing for the actual race nearly as much as just what am I going to wear in general! If anyone has any tips or ideas, please let me know. How is the weather down there? And try to remember I am coming from 30-40 degree HIGH temperatures, so if you think 65 is chilly and calls for a sweater (Lisa :P), it probably won't to me ;)

Monday, January 7, 2008

A Hard 3

At least I did it, right? Ugh. I did 3 miles over lunch and until about the last half mile or so, was really fighting each and every bit of it. I am pretty sure that I was finally settling into it at the end, but I needed to get back to work. I have no illusions whatsoever. This half is going to HURT, but I can't wait for all the fun that I am going to have! I cannot believe I am leaving in 3 1/2 days!!! I can't remember the last vacation I had without kids, let alone the last vacation I had that wasn't centered around mourning and grief. I am beyond ready for this :)

There was an area high school student that died this weekend. He was a senior and died in a car accident on his way to his grandma's house to wash her car for Sunday church. His grandma is one of my grandma's best friends and although I didn't know him, I know his family and my brother and cousins new him. From what I can gather, he sounds a lot like my brother and my cousin, Travis. Great kids that are always there to help other people. Honestly, the only other seniors or early 20-something kids that I know who would give up a Saturday afternoon to wash their grandmother's car is my brother and cousin. When they get bored, they go hang out with Grandma. Especially since Grandpa died. They are amazing, as it sounds like this boy was.

There have been quite a few articles in the local paper about him since the accident and as I was reading some of them online today, I noticed that some of the comments weren't very "helpful", we'll say. There were comments from people saying that they are sure he was great, but wondering why so much attention was dedicated to the loss. There were others demanding to know "what happened" and blindly throwing blame on the teen (speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, etc.) and on his parents (perhaps they had him driving a car that was untrustworthy ???). While I have been told by my brother (who knew both the teen and the family) that he was speeding and lost control, does it change anything knowing that? Does it make it an easier loss to bear because he was "responsible" for what happened? Life is such a precious thing and grief is so incredibly hard to bear, especially fresh grief. Do his parents really need to be subjected to reading those types of comments attached to wonderful articles of their son? Do his friends need to be put through that?

I just don't understand who it helps to make those types of comments. I understand it is your "right" to comment in whatever way you desire, but start a blog, bitch to your family and friends, harp on your own children to make wise choices by using this as an example, but PLEASE let this family (and every family that is forced to go through this kind of pain) grieve in peace. Believe me, every thought you could think, they already have. Every question on their parenting that you could come up with, has already crossed their minds a dozen times. They don't need your help feeling like their world is falling apart. Because right now? It is.

Sorry for the rant, but I just really wish that more people would realize that sometimes it takes a bigger person to just close their mouth and keep walking.

Friday, January 4, 2008

She's Not Going to Like Me in the Morning

My poor, poor, poor dear friend (J) did upper body with me today at the gym. While it has been many weeks since I had run last (prior to yesterday - don't forget...back with a vengeance people), I would bet that it has been more like 3 months since I have done any weight training :X. Not.Good.At.All. And it's going to hurt. My friend though? If I were the betting type, I would put money on the fact that my girl has not lifted an actual weight in years. She has been a good little runner girl, but the weight-training part of it has just not appealed to her....Until now.

She made the best decision ever and decided to join the same gym I go to. Now, not only does my coworker (K) go (and she's back at it, too), but I now have another workout partner! Today, K had an appointment so I made a date to do upper body and core work with J. We did a bunch of different stuff and she stuck with pretty low weights, but as soon as I got back to the office, she sent an email that she was already not liking me anymore! And then about an hour later that it hurt to eat her lunch :X

It's a really good thing that my daughter constantly refers to her as "The Best Mom Ever!" or I am not sure if she would talk to me again after she tries to wash her hair tomorrow.......

Thursday, January 3, 2008

No More Excuses

As of today, I am officially BACK! Back to running. Back to blogging. Back to life in general. The holidays were hard, no getting around it. But they were good, too. The kids got more than they deserved :P And so did I.

Today's run hurt. Bad. I am in rough cardio shape, which is really no surprise, but my legs feel really good. Also no surprise since they should be pretty fresh by this time :P But, I am going to tough it out and run this half. I have no delusions that it is going to be pretty, or feel good, but I really think I can tough it out. I do want to add that Lisa, Marcy and Mendy....PLEASE do not feel like you have to run with me. I did this to myself and I don't want to ruin your race. I would feel like complete crap if I did :(

But I am just so glad to be back exercising. I feel like I am back among the living and at least I can remember why I started this in the first place. I already have a gym-date tomorrow with my friend Jennifer (she joined the gym last week!) to do some core and upper body, so no fluke, I'm back to stay :)