Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my faithful followers and blogging friends. I hope you all have a truly wonderful Christmas. I will be baking pies all day today; I'm going to work but only to drop off a gift for my one and only friend at work and then I'll sneak out. The business where I work always makes a huge deal out of Christmas Eve-I think it's because the powers that be feel guilty about making people work the day before Christmas so there's all sorts of goodies to eat, and the office where I work will order out for breakfast, and lots of gifts exchange hands from the managers to the clerks and so forth.

So the plan for today is a short visit to work, then a 6 mile run, then bake pumpkin pies while I watch a Christmas movie-probably It's a Wonderful Life, my favorite.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Daughters Runs Marathons, Too!

I just had this conversation with a very nice lady at a Christmas party Saturday night. Several of the guests, close friends of mine, knew I ran the Las Vegas Marathon and while I was boring regaling them with the details of the race, this lady chimes in and tells me that her daughter runs marathons all the time. "That's wonderful", I replied; "Your daughter must be a very experienced runner". "Yes", she said. "She runs 3 or 4 every year". Wow, I think to myself-3 or 4 marathons a year? Most marathoners I know usually do only 1 a year; perhaps there are runners who can do 2 a year; but 3 or 4? The logistics of that astounded me. How do you train for that many marathons? How much time does this lady's daughter have between marathons to recuperate properly? Obviously, this required some investigation.

I asked this lady which races her daughter ran-were they the big races? She said her daughter ran mostly local races because she didn't like travelling too far from home by herself. That puzzled me-how many marathons can an area have in one year? Then it dawned on me what was happening here-I asked the lady "How far does your daughter run when she does her marathons?" She told me her daughter ran 13 mile marathons. I explained to her that her daughter ran half marathons, not full marathons, and that a full marathon was 26.2 miles.

This lady then explained to me that a marathon was any race over 10 miles and her daughter ran them all the time. She was very sure of herself and I got the impression that I would not be successful if I tried to argue with her about what constitutes a marathon, so I changed the subject to something more suitable, like the best recipe for lemon bars.

I wondered later that night about the daughter. If she was indeed running half marathons on a regular basis, then she really was an experienced runner. I wondered if the daughter knew her mother was telling people that she ran 13 mile marathons and that a marathon was anything over 10 miles. I would be mortified if my mother did that (hi Mom!). I have tried to educate my family about the ins and outs of running so that if they mention my running, they don't embarrass themselves with inaccurate bits of information like this woman.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Work Sucks.

Work just plain sucks. After my mini vacation in Las Vegas, and FINISHING MY FIRST MARATHON, I came back to work invigorated and ready to roll. That didn't last 2 weeks; I'm back to my old, mean, bitchy self at work. The problem is I have to share a desk with a co-worker and there is no good way to share a desk-my philosophy is that if there is work on the desk that needs to be done, I will do it. My desk sharing co-worker, however, believes that I should not touch "her" work and leave it for her to finish. This would usually not be a problem except that a lot of the work we do is time sensitive and needs to be addressed immediately. I just can't leave a contract untouched or a check unmailed when I know it has to go out now.

We worked out an ok system whereby I work Tuesday through Friday until 3:00 and my co-worker comes in all day Monday and at 4:00 the rest of the week; this way I don't even have to see her. Yesterday I went to work early to process payroll for the salesmen. I had been at my desk for about an hour when the co-worker shows up and tells me she planned on doing the payroll. Umm, ok, fine. You do it, co-worker. I'm going home. I just wish she had told me or left me a note or something-it could have saved me a trip in to town.

If this continues much longer I'll just quit. I don't need the job and working will cut into my running time when I go back to running full time next week.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


It seems I've been neglecting my little corner of the blogosphere; what with FINISHING MY FIRST MARATHON and going back to work and all, it's not as easy to get over here and post my brilliant observations. I will, however, be back soon with some absolutely wonderful posts about running and working; I already have some ideas I think you, faithful readers, will enjoy. Stay tuned for more!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Now Remember Why I Retired Early!

I went back to work today. Yup, that's right-I'm a member of the working force again, a cubicle monkey, a nameless, faceless clerk, a very tiny cog in a huge machine-I don't know what part of my brain thought it was a good idea to say yes when my former boss called and asked me to come back, but that particular part of my brain needs to be punished severely. I had to get up at 4:00 am in order to get in a 6 mile run before work, and I was out the door and running in the pre-dawn chill, scared to death of cars or coyote or bears, oh my! I got home from the run with barely enough time to shower and dress and head out for work. I forgot about all that morning routine-stuff like makeup and actually doing something with my hair rather than just combing it flat and putting on clean clothes rather than the jeans and t-shirt I wore yesterday..

The good news is the work routine came back pretty quickly. When I finally started actually posting contracts and receipts and all the other flotsam and jetsam of my boring work day, things started to click and I actually started remembering account numbers and bits and pieces of information I will need to do my job.

The bad news is I have to wear nice shoes instead of comfy former running shoes that have lost their bounce for runs, but are fine for doing chores around the house and grocery shopping. But alas, dirty running shoes just don't work with nice button down shirts and skirts.

The question is-how long will it be before I start despising my co-workers, and I remember exactly why I needed to retire?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Why I Hate Main Stream Media

What is it lately with inflammatory, inaccurate articles lately about marathons? First it was the "Plodders don't belong in marathons" thing that I posted about yesterday; then it was the CNBC article regarding the winner of the New York Marathon in which the writer believes that Meb Keflezghi's win is hollow because Keflezghi is not a natural born citizen to the U.S. And on top of all that, last night's news on the telly went on and on about all the deaths lately in marathons and whether people should even be attempting to run 26.2 miles. The part that really got me angry was when the reporter interviewed the obligatory doctor, a cardiologist, who stated that "he recommended that his patients only need to walk 1/2 an hour every day for optimum health". Well, of course he recommends 1/2 hour of walking a day. He's a cardiologist; his patients consist of heart attack survivors, bypass surgery patients, and people with congenital heart problems. I wish I had been interviewing the good doctor- I would have asked him if he thought a healthy person with no heart problems who has been running regularly for a few years was capable of training for and running a marathon-never mind what he recommends for his ailing patients. I'm pretty sure he would have answered in the positive to that one, but of course then NBC wouldn't have a really scary story about how you're going to die if you run a marathon. Now I have to deal with my mother in law telling me how scared she is for me and all this running I'm doing...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I'm a plodder, and proud of it

I just can't let this go. I've been thinking about the New York Times article in which faster runners are complaining that those of us that are plodding away at the back of the pack are somehow ruining the mystique of the marathon.

If there is some sort of mystique about the marathon that is based on how fast you can run it, perhaps the distance should be reserved for the Olympics-that would really give the 4 hour marathoners a goal to shoot for. Or go one step further-as one commenter put it, if we want to preserve the "mystique" of the marathon, then everybody who runs it should be naked, and die of heat stroke.

I'm thinking that the runners who don't want your average Joe running a marathon want to keep the race for themselves because running is how they define who they are and running marathons makes them really special; thus, if the average person can complete a marathon then the faster runners aren't all that special, are they?

The interesting thing is, since the article came out, I've read comments from some truly elite runners-the people who can actually win a marathon. They all seem to share the view that a marathon is for anybody who wants to train for it and complete the distance-the more the merrier.

Don't get me wrong-I think the 26.2 miles should be respected and no one should attempt a marathon without a solid running base and months of training. I will be the first person in line to discourage an inexperienced newbie runner from signing up for a marathon. It takes months of hard work and discipline to prepare for a marathon. But if you've been running a few years, and have a decent running base, and you've trained for a couple of half marathons-I say go for it. And stopping on the marathon course to have lunch-not cool.

Finally-one last comment about the runner in the article who will accost people in marathon shirts, ask them what their time was, and then make a nasty comment if she deems their time too slow-the fact that she is capable of doing something so mean and small speaks volumes about her character. I guess every sport has its bullies..

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I worked as a volunteer all weekend for a car show; it supports a good cause (our local hospice) and all my friends were there, either as volunteers or exhibiting a car. After we spent an exhausting afternoon marking the golf course for the cars on Saturday, I was up and at my post Sunday morning, checking in the cars and handing our exhibitors packets. Every driver, WITH ONE EXCEPTION, was friendly and helpful with information about their cars. So.....this is an open letter to the ONE UNFRIENDLY TOOL gentleman I encountered:

Dear Sir:

I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with me as I tried to check in your car for the show. I failed to recognize your car as a BMW and I called it an Audi and you got very angry. You made a nasty and insulting comment about hiring the handicapped. I would just like to clarify a few points with you:

1. I was not hired for this car show. I volunteered. Not only did I volunteer, but I volunteered to help line up cars on the golf course, not check them in. I got recruited to check in cars when that volunteer did not show up; that is why I could not answer any of your stupid assed, lame pertinant questions.

2. I apologize for not recognizing that your car was a BMW. I guess that after spending all morning checking in really interesting cars like Duesenbergs, a beautiful coffin nosed Cord, and a veritible herd of vintage Ferraris, your boring, off the street, nuthin special except the grotesque pricetag BMW just didn't register on my Special Car Radar.

3. I also apologize for not having a packet ready for you with a pre-printed dash card. Unfortunately, this is what happens when you REGISTER LATE for an event. I did not have a nice felt tipped pen to fill out the blank dash card because the organizers did not provide one for me and I did not know I might need one; otherwise I would have brought my own from home. I hope you didn't mind that I listed the make and model of your car as a 1966 Dodge Dart.

4. Yes, I do know how to spell BMW. I spell it J-E-R-K.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I Love It When You Say That...

If you were a fan of The Addams Family as I was, then perhaps you remember how occasionally Gomez would speak to Morticia in French. I never knew what he said to her, but she obviously loved it. My hubby does not speak French; but being a wife of many years, there are certain things he can say to me that, like Morticia, give me goose bumps of ecstacy, such as:

Have you lost weight? Because those jeans make you look really skinny.

These chocolate chip cookies are better than the ones my Mom makes.

Put the hamburger back in the fridge-let's go out to dinner tonight.

Since I'm now one of those runnerly types, I have some new additions to the list of things I love to here the Hubster say:

You're back already? That was one of your faster runs.

Ya know, since they're doing a marathon in Santa Barbara now, you could do a marathon every year.

You seem tense-why don't you go for a run?

I'm going to the Big City after work today; do you want me to pick you up, and we can stop by your FNRS?

Your legs look fantastic..

Monday, October 12, 2009

I Love My FNRS*

Another reason to shop at your FNRS-free shoes! I went in to purchase GU Chomps, and discovered that with my last shoe purchase, I qualified for a free pair. Hubby suggested that I buy a pair as well; with these 2 new pairs of shoes, I should be all set in the shoe department for the marathon. I think it will be cool to run the race in free shoes!

*FNRS-Friendly Neighborhood Running Store

Thursday, October 8, 2009

200th Blogiversary

My last post was my 200th post. I had this whole thing planned in celebration-my favorite posts, some great comments from famous people, cake and ice cream; honestly, it was going to be really, really great. We were all going to have so much fun! But somehow, I missed the magic 200th post and I wasted it on a silly post about Biggest Loser. Now, you'll all have to wait for my 300th Blogiversary, and I'm not sure I can pull the party together like I had planned for the 200th Blogiversary. I'm so sorry, faithful readers-I know how dissapointed you all are. And I was even going to bake the best chocolate chip cookies you have ever eaten-seriously, if you were a condemned person and you were requesting your last meal, you would ask for only one thing-my chocolate chip cookies. Now you'll just have to use your imagination to realize how much fun we would have had. I was even going to have pony rides..

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Biggest Loser

I've been watching Biggest Loser since the first season. I was trying to lose weight at that time, and I would slog away on my elliptical machine while watching the program and imagining Jillian cursing at me. So after a few seasons, I know the routine for the show. The contestants will be given choices that will affect the outcome of that week's weigh-in, and thus could determine who goes home and who stays. The contestants know not to take the challenge in the early weeks of the show; all that does is to make enemies with the other people and assure that you will be voted off the show if you fall below the yellow line. During the first weeks of the show, the only goal of the contestants is to lose weight and stay above the yellow line so they can stay on the Biggest Loser Ranch. I always assumed that if you are applying for a spot on the show, you've actually watched the show and understand the rules, both written and tacit. Apparently, that's not the case...

Last night, the contestants were given two opportunities to manipulate the game, one involving a 2 pound advantage at the weigh in, but only if they gave up the trainers for the week; then later they were given a challenge that, if they accepted it and won the challenge, they would choose who would weigh in for each team. I won't bore you, faithful readers, with the gory details, but Tracy accepted the first challenge and won the second one by eating a handful of cupcakes. Is she insane? Has she never watched the show? Does she not understand that she has now made enemies of everyone at the ranch, and will be eliminated the first time she falls below the yellow line? I couldn't even feel sorry for her when Jillian made her cry. I don't think Tracy realized what she had done to her chances to stay on the ranch until she posted an 11 pound loss, and there was no clapping or cheering. Was it me, or did anyone else see the huge bulls eye on her back?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hubby Humor

I really love my husband-he's the greatest guy, and while he is not a runner, he supports my passion completely and he tries to understand as best as a non runner can. Hubby does, however, possess a wicked sense of humor and he knows that I'm just the teensiest bit sensitive about my lack of speed. So, keeping that in mind, here's the conversation we had yesterday while grazing through the free samples at Costco-or what I like to call a "cheap date":

Me: Honey, you're walking really slow-like really, REALLY slow. I know you like to look at everything, but this is ridiculous. Can't you pick up the pace a bit? I don't think I can walk that slowly.

Hubby: You can't walk that slow? Well, why don't you just run-that should solve the problem.

It took me just a moment to realize that what the Hubster was saying was that my running pace is slower than my walking pace.

Yeah, he's a funny, funny guy..

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Barbie doll pink

I did an 18 miler on Friday and it was good. I was tired; I was sore; but I did it, running 3 mile stretches and then walking while drinking Cytomax and chowing down on GU Chomps. It took forever but I did it. Yay me!

I also got new shoes-Asics Nimbus 11, and they're great. I love them except for one minor detail, which leads to an open letter to the Asics company:

Dear Asics Company:

I love your shoes. I really do. They've kept me comfortably running for some time now with nary a black toenail and practically no blisters. I just have one tiny, minor,trifling complaint. Do you HAVE to trim the shoes in Barbie Doll Pink and glittery silver? Would it be possible to make a pair in, oh, I don't know, how about plain WHITE? Or gray, or blue-anything but pink. Because that was the only color my FNRS had in stock and I really wanted a new pair of shoes. the nice clerk warned me that they were bright pink before he pulled them out of the box, but I wasn't prepared and dear God they are PINK!

You see, Asics Company, when these shoes have lost their bounce for running, they will become my walking around grocery shopping and walk to the post office shoes. I will wear them around people who don't run. Those people will be staring at my pink clad feet, wondering what I was thinking when I bought them because the shoes are so stinking pink. I do not want people staring at me feet. Can you please, PLEASE tone down the colors?

Thank you.

Sincerely, lastplacerunner.

Monday, September 7, 2009

One of the good things about living in a small town

This is a great time of year if you love fresh veggies and you live in a small town like I do. We were driving home yesterday afternoon from the Big City, driving down the country roads of my little town, and the vegetable stand that we pass almost daily finally had something besides squash to offer-they had tomatoes! We stopped and bought beautiful, fat, ripe tomatoes as well as two baskets of absolutely perfect cherry tomatoes. These stands are all over town as people sell the excess produce from their back yard gardens; the stands are on the honor system and come equipped with a sign showing the prices and a jar for the money. You can buy home made honey or jam, strawberries, apples, tons of fresh vegetables-anything that can be grown in someone's back yard will be offered. I even know a house that, once a week, has fresh eggs for sale from an ice chest packed in ice. You bring your own container and you get a dozen fresh from the hen eggs for a dollar. You have to get there early, though-the eggs will be sold out by 9 am. I happen to know the egg seller; he tells me he just wants to make enough money to pay for the hen feed. So-lunch today will be whole wheat pasta with diced tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil and a little vinegar...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

It's NOT a trailer park!

I've been taken to task for calling a trailer park a trailer park-a very nice elderly lady informed me that they are mobile home communities. So, here's what I saw in my local mobile home community this morning during my 6 mile run-3 young 20-something women are leaving their trailer mobile home, and getting in their car. They are wearing the trailer park mobile home community weekend uniform of a tank top with a visible bra, pajama bottoms and dirty fuzzy slippers. So, faithful readers, where do you think one of the women carries her cell phone? That's right, there it was, tucked snugly between her breasts. I swear I am not making this up. They must have been headed for Walmart..

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Racing in the heat

There were 2 races quite close to my home this weekend and while I didn't sign up for either one, I felt badly for the runners. This has been the hottest weekend we've had to date and it was already heating up by 5:00 when I got up. One of the races is a half marathon that will run through the local strawberry fields. There's no trees or shade of any kind on those roads; I know because I run them often and just last Thursday I was struggling through a 16 miler on those very roads. And there are rolling hills-one right after the other. The other run isn't quite so bad, since it runs on the beach and through the dunes, but it will be pretty hot as well. It's the first year for the half marathon and I hope that the organizers have lots of well supplied water stops along the way.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Oil and Water

We all know that oil and water do not mix. That is why you want to keep the two elements separate in a car engine, which leads me to the question of the day:

You are adding coolant to the radiator in your favorite vintage car. You watch the coolant level slowly go down, yet there's no water coming out underneath the car. You then check the oil dipstick, and the oil, which should be a clear golden color, is a milky, yukky gray, and the oil level is slowly going up.

So, faithful readers, where do you think the water from the radiator is going? That's right-straight into the engine. Now watch as my checkbook balance slowly goes down...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It feels like Fall-in August!

I'm a morning runner. I love the cooler weather, the lack of traffic, and I've always been a morning person anyway. If I'm going to be up at 6 am, I might as well be running. In the summer it's advantagous to run in the morning in order to avoid the afternoon heat. Lately, however, it's been downright cold in the morning. We've had a heavy layer of fog that you can feel on your skin and that wets the pavement. I'm not complaining; it's perfect running weather and unseasonable even for those of us who live near the coast. The air has a distinctive fall feeling to it. I know, you're all saying California doesn't have seasons and that simply isn't true. We have seasons, they're just more subtle than the rest of the country experiences. I've lived here long enough to know what Fall feels like and I'm telling you it's here now, in August. For those of you in less temperate climates, I wish I could bottle it up and send it to you.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I Spy with my Little Eye

You just never know what you'll see when running; I think I hit the perfect trifecta of a trailer park vignette during my long run Saturday. Yes, part of my run takes me for a cruise through a trailer park. Let me just say that most of the people living in the park appear to be upstanding citizens of the retired kind, and this post is not meant to be a reflection on them. It is, however, a reflection on the minority of people who live in the park and have a negative tooth to tattoo ratio. And I swear I am not making this up.

Seen in the trailer park, neatly lined up against the curb:

4 empty bottles of beer (domestic brand).
1 McDonalds bag.
1 pregnancy test kit box.

I think this is just the dregs left behind from your typical trailer park date night...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

No Justice

I spent yet another day yesterday in court to protect my rights as a victim and see a little justice served to the pondslime woman who was involved in the burglary at my home. This was to be the day she was sentenced; I knew her sentence would not be nearly what she deserved (one year in jail and 3 years probation). I just wanted to see her sentenced and know she was finally punished. However, the case took yet another unexpected turn. I didn't see the thieving, lying lowlife with the other miscreants in their orange jumpsuits and she also was not in the gallery with the law abiding citizens like myself. When her case was called and it became obvious that she was not present, the judge issued a bench warrant for her arrest. This means that if she is still in California, and if she gets pulled over for a broken tail light on her car or if she calls the cops for a domestic abuse case or if she does anything at all that brings her to the attention of the police, she'll be arrested. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

The bad thing about this is she was my last, final hope for getting back any of my stolen property. I just have to let it go and move forward-all that stuff that meant so much to me is gone forever. Damn.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Anger on the Run

When I hit the road later in the morning like I did today, I usually see a lot of kids out doing stuff-riding bikes or skateboards, walking to the park or their friends houses; there's lots of kids around here and for the most part they're pretty friendly. Today, however, was different. I've been home long enough to take a shower and warm up my left over coffee and I'm still mad.

I'm somewhere between mile 4 and 5 of an 8 miler and I'm running on a fairly busy (well, busy for my little town..)street and I see a group of 5 kids ahead of me, ranging in age from maybe 13 or 14 to a little girl of maybe 7 years old. The little girl is lagging 10 yards or so behind the older kids and the gap is getting wider with every step she takes. And why, you may ask, is she falling so far behind? The little girl is struggling to keep up with the group because she's the only one in the group carrying a backpack-a huge backpack almost as big as she is. That's right, faithful readers, 5 able bodied kids and they make the littlest one carry the backpack. They weren't even watching her on this busy street with no sidewalk. I caught up with the little girl and I couldn't help myself. I told her to take a break for a minute and while she looked a little confused, she gratefully dropped the backpack and stopped walking. "HEY!" I yelled at the older kids. "GET BACK HERE!" They turned and just stood there, staring at me. I yelled again, and they walked back to me and the girl. I decided to try the nice approach first with the oldest girl. "You need to help this kid. She's little. Help her so she can keep up". OK, I'm thinking, this will be a test of the teenager's character. She'll either help the little one or she'll flip me off and keep walking.

The teenager gave me an arrogant stare, then she picked up the backpack and started walking. OK, I'm thinking, I didn't get the finger or any foul language. Let's see if we can make a little more progress. "Hold her hand, and walk slower. She's little and she can't walk as fast as you can. You need to take care of her". Again, the arrogant stare. She took the child's hand and the group walked away, at a much slower pace.

I'm pretty sure the next time these kids are out walking, they'll still make the little girl carry the backpack. But at least on this day they were forced to do the right thing.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Challenged by a dog

I encounter dogs frequently on my runs-nothing unusual in that. For the most part, the dogs in my neighborhood are friendly and contained by fences; the occasional loose dog is not a threat. I am, however, careful when I see a dog I don't know. I will usually stop running and cross the street and just stay away from them, just in case. Today's encounter was unique. As I ran down a residential street, a Bassett Hound came charging down his driveway to engage me in battle. Yes, that's right-a Bassett Hound-long, floppy ears, sad sack eyes, and stumpy little legs. He charged me, doing the weirdest bark/howl the whole time. He stopped just at the edge of his driveway, bark howling and standing his ground. It stopped me in my tracks-he was so comical I had to laugh. I mean, seriously-I know I'm a slow runner, but I'm pretty sure in a race between me and a Basset Hound, I would smoke him. His legs were, oh, I don't know-maybe 2 inches long. When I stopped running he seemed satisfied that he had properly protected the family estate from peril and he calmly walked up the driveway without even a glance in my direction. What a funny, silly looking dog!

And, another funny thing today-while driving in the big city with Hubby, we saw a vanity license plate that read "RUN4UST". I was trying to puzzle out the meaning of the plate without much success when Hubby figured it out-RUN4UST=run, Forrest! It absolutely has to be a runner that would have a vanity plate like that!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The mighty Sharps

I ran a really nice 4 miler early this morning. Conditions were perfect-extremely cool and foggy. So, why couldn't it have been like that on Saturday when I ran such a miserable half marathon?

Hubby and I went to the shooting range yesterday and I finally got to shoot my Spencer as well as my latest toy, the mighty Sharps model 1874. When I told Hubby I wanted a Sharps, he asked if I wanted a new replica or an old original. Well, duh. Of course it had to be an original and dang if Hubby didn't find one at the gun show Saturday. The Sharps is the longer gun at the top of the picture with the Spencer below it. More about the Sharps later-we shot the Spencer first and may I just say that it was highly satisfying-hardly any kick, a very pleasant bang and a big puff of smoke. I learned how to bore sight a gun, but I still couldn't shoot it with any accuracy; I figured I did ok when I hit the paper at 25 yards, never mind trying for a bulls eye.

Then we got out the Sharps. The Sharps is big, heavy, and kicks like a mule. My Sharps has a set trigger. This means there are 2 triggers-set the set trigger, and it makes an already touchy firing trigger frighteningly light. If you saw the movie "Quigley Down Under", you might remember how Tom Selleck fired the gun-he did it very gently and carefully. I now have an understanding for why he fired that way. The Hubster and I discussed at length how we were going to fire this gun in a safe way. I had to be really, really careful because "hair trigger" does not accurately describe how sensitive the trigger becomes after the set trigger is engaged. Honestly, I never squeezed the trigger-I barely touched it and the gun fired.

My Sharps has no rear sight. In order to aim accurately, I tried to center down the barrel to the front sight, all the while trying to not even breathe weird because I knew it would fire at the slightest touch-which brings us to the picture of the target. I put a nickel next to the round I shot with the Sharps. The nickel is to give you an idea of how big these rounds are-at least they seem big to me (I'm more used to my trusty 22 caliber). So, with no rear sight I managed to put a round pretty darned close to dead center. I'm proud of that shot, even though Hubby claims it was just a lucky shot. He's just jealous because I shot better than him. He's currently on the hunt for a rear sight and it should be interesting to see how accurate the Sharps is with proper sights.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Last place again-WOOT!

I just ran the Guadalupe half marathon this morning, and I'm very happy to report that I regained my title of last place runner! That's right, faithful readers, I came in dead. freakin. last. again. Don't get me wrong-I'm not complaining. There is some glory in last place. All the course volunteers are really, really happy to see you go by; it means they can go home. And I made one CHP officer's day-he blocks traffic on the one road on the course so runners can cross safely. He was schmoozing with the water stop ladies when I approached. After stopping a couple of cars for me, as I crossed the road I told him I was the last runner. A huge grin broke out on his face and I heard him tell the volunteers that he was going home.

There was one last volunteer on the course at the 2 mile mark to make sure we all turned left. I told him I was the last runner. He asked "are you sure there's no one else?" Yes, I was sure. I think I'm capable of figuring out on an out and back course that if I see no one going the other way after I make the turnaround, then I am indeed the last runner. It was a little embarrassing as I crossed the finish line; the volunteers and a lot of the runners were cheering me on as if I was breaking records at Boston. Honestly, they can skip that part. Just let me cross the finish line and let's get on with the awards ceremony. I'm thinking that next year I'm going to tell the race director not to wait for me to come in before she starts handing out awards..I'm pretty sure I'll hold on to my last place title next year.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Another day in court

I ran an easy, slow 12 miler yesterday; no running today! Next week is a half marathon race, a very small local race in which I've always placed last or almost last. Then marathon training starts!

I had yet another day in court, following up on the thieving, lying pondslime misguided soul who stole my stuff and sold it around the county. This was supposed to be the day when she gets sentenced and I'm allowed to make a comment or two; I was dreading it because speaking before a group of people is the one thing that will bring me to the point of fainting. But I steeled myself for it, prepared a short comment and decided to just do it.

So I sitting in court and I notice she's not sitting with the rest of the defendants in their customary orange jumpsuits. And then, she walks in-a free woman, allowed to mingle with those of us who follow the law and stay out of trouble. And she sits down-right next to me. She doesn't know who I am, so her choice of seats was purely random. But I certainly know her. This is what I wanted to do-I wanted to throw her to the floor, put my knee across her neck and ask her what she did with my stuff. However, being a court of law, with bailiffs and judges and such, I decided that was probably a poor choice and I got up and moved to a different seat.

And to top it all off, she got yet another court date. Nothing was settled; no sentence was handed down; and she's on the streets to continue to steal. So much for justice.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Girls gone wild

Please don't draw any conclusions from today's title, faithful readers. There will be no pictures of drunken co-eds flashing their naughty bits on this blog; my title refers to an incident that Hubby witnessed many years ago, before I became a runner.

The Hubster came home from work with a huge grin on his face and a story to tell. While driving home from work he saw a young woman in a tank top and shorts out for an evening run; and while this is not a terribly noteworthy event, what happened next is-because one of her girls escaped her tank top and popped out the arm hole! Hubby said that she stopped running just long enough to gather up her errant breast and pop it back into hiding, then continued running.

At the time, it was just a very funny story we shared at the dinner table between the salad and the entree. Now that I'm a runner, I occasionally think about that girl and I wonder why she wasn't wearing a bra? Or perhaps she was and it wasn't a proper sports bra? Was she new to running and didn't realize the importance of good undergarment support? I'll never know the answers to my questions. I just know that now that I'm a runner, my girls are encased in some seriously heavy duty lycra and spandex. Judging by the difficulty I have when I skinny out of my new sports bras after a run, my girls have no chance of escaping during a run.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sports Bras

My trusty, cheap, off brand sports bras are all dying and it's time to replace them. I decided to throw financial caution to the wind and shop for some really good quality sports bras. My need for a good bra is also fueled by my experience at my last race-as I crossed the finish line and headed for the women's check in table, a volunteer tried to steer me to the men's table. OK-I know I have really short hair, and of course I don't wear makeup for a race (heck, I rarely wear makeup for anything any more!) and I know my customary race sports bra really squooshes in the girls, but to be mistaken for a man-how very embarrassing!

So I went shopping. I finally bought a couple of Champion bras for an absolutely ridiculous price, and that was a sale price! My only complaint is the same one I've always had with sports bras-no hooks in the back. Honestly, there's nothing worse than wrestling a stinky, sweat soaked sports bra off over one's head after a long and tiring run. I looked at a couple of bras that had hooks, and there was one with a zipper down the front, but they were all in much larger sizes than I needed. Honestly, Mr. Bra Manufacturer-even those of us who are minimally endowed would like a sports bras that's easy to take off.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Owls, part 2

The baby owls are flying, and I have a terrific picture to prove it, but I can't get it downloaded so you'll have to take my word for it. According to my neighbor, the barn owl expert, they'll only live here a few more days then mom will kick them out and they're on their own. They'll look much cuter to me when I see one of them with a gopher in his talons.

I haven't run for 2 days. It's ok-I'm not sick or injured, just busy. I'm in the middle of a fall back week and the runs I've missed are short ones anyway so it's still all good. I should be able to get out tomorrow for a run, I haven't decided how many miles yet-I may just leave the Garmin home and run until I don't feel like running any more.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Barn Owls

I took an extra day off this week-I didn't run my customary 8 miles yesterday; there just weren't enough hours in the day to squeeze in a run. I finally came home last night and considered trying to knock out a few miles on the deadmill and decided against it. I figured I would be better served to get to bed early and run today instead. So I was out the door early this morning, did 8 miles and felt pretty good. An occasional day off can be a good thing.

My neighbor put up owl boxes a couple of years ago, and he finally had owls move in. There are 6 baby owls in the box who will take flight any day now. This is an actual picture of the occupants-my neighbor is a pretty clever man and he's managed to take several pictures by attaching his camera to a pole, setting the timer, and holding it up to the box opening.

Every night for the last week the neighbors gather at the fence across from my house to watch the owls and wait for them to take their first flight. We bring our wine glasses and sometimes snacks to share; most of the neighbors bring their dogs and we watch them play in the pasture under the owl boxes. If the babies don't come out by nightfall we break up the party and go home, always with the expectation that tomorrow night will be the big night.

I've mentioned that I live in a pretty small town. This gives you an idea of just how small it is-an exciting night here is standing in the street watching an owl box. I wouldn't have it any other way..

Friday, June 5, 2009

12 Miles on a treadmill-bad bad bad!

I was forced by circumstances to do my 12 miler today on the deadmill-yeah, you heard me right-12 miles on a mill. I hated every painful minute of it and the only way to get through it was to take a short walking break every 2 miles. I guess it was good training for this winter, since I know some of my long runs will have to be on the mill. I'll do it, but that doesn't mean I have to like it!

RunnerDude posted some interesting comments regarding marathon amnesia-that phenomenom whereby a person runs a marathon, vows "never again", then promptly starts planning the next marathon. They apparently forget the pain soon after the race and only remember the sense of accomplishment and pride from completing the race. I haven't completed a marathon yet, but I can relate. This very thing happens to me every time I finish a tough long run. I'm tired, my legs hurt, and I'm soaked in sweat. I start wondering why I do this to myself-I'm not a masochist, and yet I punish my body on a weekly basis. But by the time I've finished my shower I'm thinking about the next long run-should I extend the distance? Perhaps try a different course? It doesn't take long for me to forget the discomfort.

I don't know if I'll be one of those people who say "never again" after my marathon in December. I'm thinking it will be a one time thing. But who knows-I may be planning my next marathon by the time I get to my hotel room and finish my shower!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Running in the Rain

I did a 7 miler today with perfect running conditions-overcast and cool. Somewhere around mile 5 it started to rain. So I decided to run home and finish up on the treadmill. Then I realized it would be another mile in the rain just to get home; and if I had to do 6 miles I might as well finish up my scheduled 7 and not be such a wuss-after all, my mother always told me I'm not made of sugar, and I won't melt. Turns out she's right. I finished the 7 miler in the rain and I didn't melt, in fact it was rather refreshing. I got home soaked to the bone and feeling really good. If you have the chance to run in the rain I highly recommend it! Now all I have to do is figure out a way to dry out my shoes!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Running Skirts

There were women in running skirts at my last race. This is a rather conservative area and new, risque trends take time to show up here, so I was glad to see the skirt thing finally make it. I happen to like running skirts. I have a couple and they're comfortable and flattering to my pancake butt. Having said that, I can't bring myself to wear one to a race. Wearing a skirt while running around my quiet neighborhood is one thing; wearing one in front of hundreds of runners is an entirely different matter. I'm afraid everyone is going to think I'm one of "those" women-you know what I mean. I don't want to be a middle aged woman who looks like she's trying to dress like her teen aged daughter, or in my case, my young niece. I've reached an age when dressing appropriately is getting just the teensiest bit tricky. I don't want to be dowdy and unfashionable, but I know I can't pull off the latest trend. One fashion accessory too many, and BAM! You're one of "those" women.

I did see a perfect example of "what not to wear" recently. My mom and I were in court yet again to see justice served on a platter to the people who burgled my house in December, and there was a woman in the courtroom who needed a serious make-over. Trust me, after a certain age, skirts should come down squarely to the knees and not an inch shorter, especially when your legs aren't your best feature-or your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th best feature. In my case, I happen to have really good legs due to all the running I do, and I still don't wear short skirts. As I've said-it's a very fine line between "wow, she has great legs" and "Holy cow, doesn't she have mirror at home?"

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Running naked

I did another 11 miler Friday; it wasn't my best effort and I attribute that to running out of Cytomax and being forced to use Gatorade which I hate; and I didn't have Shot Blox, either. I tried a Powerbar and it sucked like a Hoover-so lesson learned. Stick with what works. I visited my FNRS yesterday, picked up a huge container of Cytomax, and some GU Chomps to sample. The very nice clerk at the store, who happens to be an ultra marathoner, suggested the Chomps and also recommended a post run supplement to sample. I'll let you all know how the Chomps work after my next long run.

So, faithful readers, I know you're piqued by my title. No, I do not run naked. Aside from the legal issues, I do not want to scare the inhabitants of this small community with my bare, pale body. I did, however, cruise over to a website with a video of the Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco which is apparently clothing optional. Clearly exhibited in the video were the naked behinds of several men-naked, except for a heart rate strap and running shoes! So I have some questions for anyone who chooses to run in such a minimalist fashion-how do you pin on your race bib? And for the gentlemen-are'nt there some serious bounce issues? I think it could be rather painful to run naked, what with the outdoor plumbing and all that. Seriously-let me know how you guys deal with this stuff-inquiring minds want to know!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tag-you're it!

I ran a very nice 6 miler this morning. I really need to get out the door earlier-it's starting to warm up here and my runs are always better in the cooler mornings. It was a good run, however; I got into the zone and just ran-no thought about pace or heart rate, I just ran by feel, thinking about running lightly and reveling in how good it felt!

So, since you've all been waiting with baited breath to learn more about me, the most boring average person on the planet, here's my tag answers:

8 things I'm looking forward to:
1. Mom's visit next week
2. My friends' wedding next month
3. The half marathon I'm running in July
4. My shooting date with friends next Sunday-I finally get to shoot the mighty Spencer!
5. I ordered a watch to replace the one stolen in December-it should be here next week!
6. Hubby quitting his "temporary" job that was supposed to be done in 2 months, and has now lasted almost a year.
7. Going to Disneyland this summer with the nephews.
8. And of course, the biggie-the Las Vegas Rock & Roll Marathon in December!

8 things I did yesterday:
1. Baked cookies-oatmeal with walnuts and chocolate chips, and they were excellent!
2. Washed the car-it was disgustingly dirty!
3. Did some laundry
4. Pulled weeds, but you wouldn't know it by looking at my planters..
5. Cooked dinner-soft tacos with my own version of spanish style rice.
6. Worked a bit on a newsletter I write for the Scottish Society we belong to
7. Played with the neighbor's new baby goats
8. Started cleaning the spare bedroom in preparation for Mom's visit

8 things I would like to do:
1. Learn to tango
2. Take a road trip across Canada, then back across the USA
3. Go back to Paris and have more than one day to spend in that beautiful city
4. Run all the way around the island of Bora Bora
5. Clean out the attic-and I do mean clean it out. There's stuff up there that's absolutely useless and I don't know why we've kept it.
6. Have our wedding vowsrenewed by Elvis in a little chapel in Las Vegas. I've been threatening Hubby that this is what we're going to do in December!
7. Learn to cook well. I can bake but I really can't cook.
8. Go back to Midland, Texas and see if I can find the little house I remember from my childhood.

8 shows I watch:
1. House-it's on even as we speak, I'm listening to it while I'm posting!
2. Biggest Loser
3. Amazing Race
4. Dr. Phil-it's my afternoon guilty pleasure!
5. America's got Talent
6. The Office
7. My name is Earl
8. Parks and Recreation

8 people I tag:
1. Mountain Mama and she's the only one I'm tagging since Bruce and I follow the same blogs and they've all pretty much already been tagged

See, I told you I was boring. There's not a single exceptional thing in any of those lists. I wish it was more exotic; such is the life of your average middle class woman.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I've been tagged!

I ran a very easy 11 miles this morning. It should have been a 10 miler but when the running mojo is good and the weather is cool how can a runner resist adding a mile or 2? I used Gatorade because that's all I had; I need to get to my FNRS to pick up more CytoMax and Shot Blox. I'll probably try something new, instead of the Shot Blox-they had Sharkies the last time I was there and I intend to get some and try them. I like the Shot Blox but they're so stinkin gummy!

I got tagged by Bruce! I'll have to think about this before I respond with all sorts of information about myself; I'm always tempted to fib just a bit since my life is incredibly boring, mundane and average. Honestly, faithful readers-there is absolutely nothing particularly intriguing about me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tread lightly

I saw the results of the Bull Canyon 10k today online. I finished 4th in my age group-4th. 2 minutes faster and I would have been in the medals. This is how a runner's mind works: I saw the clock when I crossed the finish line; I read my garmie which pretty much confirmed the clock. And yet I still hoped against hope that somehow the official time recorded online for all eternity would be under one hour. Maybe the clock and garmie were both wrong-don't laugh, it could happen....the good news is that next year this race will be chip timed. They really need to do this since there are close to 1000 runners participating in this race and I know I wasted precious seconds just getting to the start line while the clock ticked away.

I'm really focused on improving my form. Hubby got a good picture of me starting the race and my form is terrible. The best way to approach this is to identify the problems and correct them one at a time-if a runner tries to correct everything at once, it gets overwhelming; it can be too many things to think about at the same time. So if I can address one problem and focus on correcting it for 2 to 3 weeks, then hopefully it will become a habit and I can then move on to the next problem.

So my current issue is to run lightly-to try to hit the ground gently rather than pounding the pavement. This seems to be the easiest problem to resolve. I ran 8 miles yesterday and about every 1/4 mile or so I reminded myself to run lightly rather than heavy, trying to make the sound of my running dissapear. I wasn't entirely successful but I'm convinced I can do better. I don't want to continue to be one of those runners you can hear coming from miles away!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bull Canyon 10k

I ran the Bull Canyon 10K yesterday. Honestly, I thought I was just going to treat it like a regular old any day of the week training run, but you know how that goes-you get out there on the starting line with about 800 of your closest friends, and BAM! The competitive spirit kicks in, the adrenaline starts to flow, and you're racing even if you don't want to.

As I headed up the canyon, I watched the returning runners-the speedy guys. I was hoping maybe, just maybe to finish in the medals in my age group so I was scoping out the returning women and trying to determine if they were in my age group. I finally saw the third one going the other way and I knew I was out of the medals. OK, I told myself. Go for goal number 2. Try to make this your sub one hour 10k. So I knew my pace was fast (well, fast for me) and I thought it might be do-able. This was before I hit the dreaded 1/2 mile hill just before the turn around. I hit the hill and slogged up really, really slowly. I made it to the top and focused on taking advantage of that long downhill slide. I was cutting tangents like crazy through the entire race-this course is made for cuttng corners as it's very curvy.

I hit the last stretch, really hopeful that I had finally cracked the 1hour mark. I glanced at garmie and I knew I wouldn't make it unless I could run like a Kenyan for the last 1/4 mile or so. When I saw the finish line and the clock read 1:01:29 I knew I had just missed the mark. The Kenyan in me just didn't kick in soon enough.

It was still a good race. I had fun, I visited with runner friends that I only see at races, and I decided to sign up for a half in July. I wasn't going to do it, but I realized I'm scheduled to run 12 miles that day anyway, and my runner friends convinced me I should do it. If I'm going to be out there running anyway, I might as well do it somewhere different and get a really good breakfast afterwards.

Friday, May 8, 2009

My day in court

I spent all day Monday at our friendly county courthouse. It was the arraignment date for one of the rotten bastards-in this case, a rotten b&%*h since it's a female, who was involved in the robbery at my house in December. I had to drive to the big city, find parking, and figure out the maze that is the county building to find the correct department. Finally, in the bowels of a 4 story building (please don't laugh-that's considered a skyscraper around here!), I waited in courtroom no. 7 for my particular pondslime lady to be arraigned. After waiting through 10 other arraignments her name was finally called and I could put a face with the name.

There's nothing exceptional about her-she wouldn't stand out in a typical crowd of 30 something lower middle class women; she just looks average. I did get some serious satisfaction in seeing her sporting an orange jumpsuit and chains; and her demeanor was a combination of resignation and just a hint of fear. Unfortunately, after spending all day at the courthouse, they didn't arraign her. Her attorney wasn't there and the one that showed up for her asked the court to give her another arraignment date. Damn-that means I'll be spending next Monday at the courthouse again.

The attorney for the D.A. that I spoke to told me that there are several charges against her including selling stolen property (that would be my stolen property) and a felony charge for something else. He thinks she'll plead either no contest or guilty and the most she will probably get is a year in the county jail with time served. That means she'll probably be back on the street in just a few months time.

this has been very frustrating for me. I can't get any answers out of the sheriffs department about when I can get my stuff back that they're holding for evidence. The victims assistance people tell me to talk to the sheriffs department; the sheriff's department says it's up to the district attorney's office. The district attorney's office says to talk to the evidence officer with the sheriff's office, and he hasn't returned any calls. And everybody has tried to discourage me from attending the arraignments and court dates, and they tell me that making a victims statement is unneccessary since this person has several charges against her and she's getting the maximum sentence anyway.

The only positive note in this mess is that the detective handling this case still seems to believe that the one item I really want returned-a family heirloom that has little value on the street and a great deal of value to me and my family-may still surface. I don't know why he thinks that but he does. I hope he's right, but as time has passed I've resigned myself to the loss.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A negative split

I did an easy long run of 10 miles Friday and it was one of my best long runs yet. And dang if I didn't manage a negative split-on a 10 miler! I've gone over the numbers about a gazillion times and it comes up the same-a definite negative split by 2 minutes and some change. I knew between mile 7 and 8 that this was a good run. I got into that "zone" that on rare occasions I enter where the legs feel good and the body can do whatever I ask it to do. I was chomping Shot Bloks and swilling Cytomax during a short walk break every 2 miles or so, and I started with a really slow pace-that's probably the major factor in my ability to do a negative split; it's easy to run faster the second half of a run when the first half is so slow.

I have a race in 2 weeks and I was debating how to handle a taper before the race. I've learned that all I really need for a 10k is a week of easy running. The problem is, I'm scheduled to fall back this week, not next week. Shame on me for not studying the calendar a little more carefully-I've known about this race for months and I could have planned for it better weeks ago. So, do I run an extra week at my now customary 35 mpw and take next week as a fall back, which will be tiring but will put me on schedule for a good taper before the race, or do I take 2 weeks as a taper? I've decided to split the difference. I'm going to run a couple of good medium-long runs this week (maybe 3), then skip my 10 mile long run and have a little longer taper for the race. My runs lately have been really good so a few extra runs before the taper will probably be ok, and a couple of extra days of taper shouldn't hurt. I'm not really planning on racing, I just want to run this race; so I could probably do it without a taper at all. But who knows-I might get out there, get race-crazy, and go for it. I'm still trying to do a 10k in under 1 hour and this could be the race. Or not...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Runniversary

I know my runniversary is around this time of year, but I can't find my very first running log so I can't pin down the exact date. I count my runniversary from the first 1 mile run I completed, and I distinctly remember being elated to be able to run 1 whole mile! Here I am, 3 years later, contemplating a marathon in December-go figure!

So, now that I am a runner, here's the stuff I did not know about running, but I know now:

  • A marathon is 26.2 miles. I had no idea-I just knew it was a stinkin long way to run. Ask me after December 6 how long I think 26.2 miles is to run.
  • Runners generally don't run every day-they take rest days. Oh, sure, there are runners who do run every day, but most don't. I thought if you take a day off, all that training would somehow just fall away from your body and the next day, when you went out to run, you wouldn't be a runner.
  • Shoes wear out really fast. And they don't look worn out-they look fine, but they're worn out anyway, and your legs will know they're worn out and you will think something has gone terribly wrong when in fact you just need new shoes.
  • People have different gaits and need different shoes to compensate. Now I know that's why there's about a gazillion different kinds of running shoes on the market.
  • Runners taper before a race. They actually cut back on their miles and rest up. I figured you just ran as much as you could right up to the race, and then you just ran the race.
  • Runners aren't jocks. At least the runners I've met aren't jocks, and by jocks I mean anyone who is a snob about their sport and doesn't like talking to neophytes. Sure, there are probably runners out there like that, but I've never met them. When I ran my first race, and the other runners found out it was my first, they were really friendly and helpful and cheered me on.
  • When you run a race, you put the bib (that's what runners call the number they pin to their shirts) on the front, not the back.
  • Don't ever, EVER, wear the shirt they give you at a race before you run the race. Seriously. This is like a very bad race etiquette thing-I think you're supposed to earn the right to wear the tshirt by running the race first.
  • Cotton is evil. I ran in cotton tshirts when I first started and it was fine for short runs. Somewhere around my first 2 miler I realized cotton is evil and there was something better out there for running

There's a lot more I learned over the last 3 years or so, but those are the highlights. Some time ago, fellow blogger Bruce reminded me of my own words whereby I had said something like "I don't need to run any farther than 5 miles". Funny how stuff like that changes with time. Now, 5 miles seems like nothing-a throw away run. I'm glad I've learned all this stuff and I hope to learn a lot more as time goes by and I continue to run. Happy runniversary to me!

Monday, April 20, 2009

What I like about Asics

I had to arise before the crack of dawn today in order to get in an 8 miler before the heat. After a week of clouds and cool weather, we're having another mini heat wave and if I'm not out the door by 6:00 I'm screwed. It's a delicate balancing act-it has to be light enough to see and be seen, yet early enough to be cool. This will be the case for probably the next 2 weeks, so my mornings of sleeping in and cruising the net before I run are over.

I received comments on my new shoes from Lauren and Patrick, both wondering how I came to choose the Asics Nimbus 10s. It's simple, really; the shoes were chosen for me. That's what happens when you shop at your FNRS and they know what they're talking about.

I shop for running stuff at GH Sports, a local store dedicated to running and cycling. When I started running, like most neophytes, I just ran in whatever shoes I had on hand, which in my case was a 5 year old pair of Nike crosstrainers I picked up at an outlet store because they were cheap. When it became obvious that I would continue to run, I bought a pair of Avias at a big box store, again because they were cheap and they said they were for running-I didn't know squat about pronation, superpronation, cushioning, stabilizing-all that stuff we learn when we become "serious" runners. The Avias didn't hold up very well and were falling apart after about 3 months. That's when I started researching running online and realized I needed proper running shoes. I found the website for GH Sports and when I read that they did a "gait assessment" I figured even if I didn't know what a gait assessment was, I wanted one.

So one Saturday afternoon Hubby and I drove to the big city in search of my gait assessment. It turns out a gait assessment is kind of a big deal-it involves a treadmill with a camera at foot height; a foot print was taken to show what my arches looked like; and some measurements were taken of my feet. Honestly, if I had realized what was involved I would have gotten a pedicure. then after all this running and measuring it was determined that I have high arches ad a neutral gait and a very nice pair of Mizunos were recommended. I loved those shoes-my first real running shoes! They served me well until I got into longer runs; suddenly I was losing toenails right and left because the toe box was too tight. Another trip to GH Sports and I was fitted with my first pair of Asics-the Nimbus 9s. they were cushiony, lightweight, and my toes had enough room to throw a party and invite guests.

I went through 3 pairs of the 9s and then switched to the 10s simply because they were the upgraded 9s (I think in my previous post I said I wore the Asics Cumulus, but they're actually the Nimbus-my bad). Again, this was at the suggestion of the guy in the store. He runs marathons, he should know his shoes, and he does.

This is why I shop at GH Sports. I know that I could get shoes cheaper on line, but I like supporting a local business. They're friendly, they're knowledgable, they're runners. They don't roll their eyes when I say I'm going to run a marathon; they want to know which marathon. I hope they stay in business forever, or at least as long as I'm a runner.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Shoes

I was bored yesterday, with nothing to do but house work. Wednesdays are my rest day, and I didn't feel like doing gardening, and I didn't want to wash my embarrassingly dirty car, and no one was home to go visit-except me. So I decided to cruise to the big city and visit my FNRS and see what was on sale. And besides, while I haven't had that "dead leg" feeling I can attribute to shoes that have lost their bounce, I knew I would soon be due for a new pair, and why wait for the inevitable? So I took the back roads to the big city, cruising along at my usual leisurely pace. It turns out, not only did I get a new pair of shoes (Asics Cumulus 10s, my current favorites) but they had tech shirts on sale for 5 bucks! I bought every one they had, even though they're size large. They're big on me but big is fine. How can you turn down good shirts on sale? And I happen to like the fact that they're made right there in the store where I buy shoes and stuff-they have a workshop attached to the store and produce their own clothing line for runners and cyclists.

Fellow blogger Lily asked how it's going, regarding the robbery at my home in December. Funny you should ask, Lily-I just got a call from the detective yesterday about the case, and I met with an officer to look at some jewelry he recovered recently. None of it was mine, so if anyone out there is missing some cheap costume jewelry and a very nice expensive looking pair of lapis lazuli cuff links, let me know-that's what the officer showed me. He told me the files on 3 of the rotten bastards have been turned over to the DA and will probably be in court soon. The detective is still trying to get one of the rotten bastards to turn over one particular item they stole from me that I really, really, badly want returned.

The officer I talked to yesterday told me that the person that was selling my stuff told officers that "Some Dude" gave him the stuff and offered him 20 bucks to sell it. Rotten Bastard said he didn't know the name of Some Dude. Yeah, right. So some complete stranger comes up to you, gives you a hand full of expensive looking jewelry, and offers you 20 bucks to take it to a shop and sell it? And you think, yeah, this sounds like a good idea, I think I'll help Some Dude out and sell this for him. Sheesh. I am not that stupid, Rotten Bastard, and the detectives aren't that stupid either. We know you're the one that broke in to my house and stole everything. We just can't prove it. Yet.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fooling the brain

I won my Ebay auction and I'm one happy camper. I found an antique oak jewelry chest, I'm guessing circa 1920 or so, that was the perfect replacement for the jewelry box some rotten bastard stole from me in December. I'm a sucker for anything that's a mission style, arts and crafts, quarter sawn oak kind of thing and this is the first jewelry chest I've ever seen in that style. I got my last bid in 5 SECONDS before the auction closed and it was nerve wracking. That's what you gotta do on Ebay if you really want to win something!

I did an easy, slow 8 miler today. I'm getting really bored with my same old running course; seriously, I've been running the same streets for so long now that I'm convinced there's a rut in the pavement. So I decided today to change it up a little without actually leaving this neighborhood. There are a lot of cross streets on my route and I started doing a criss-cross kind of thing-down one cross street to a main road, then back the other direction down the next cross street, then back again down the next cross street. The crazy thing is when I came to my next mile marker, which normally would have been the 5 mile mark, I was at 6.2 miles! I gained a whole mile by criss crossing and the weird thing is I felt like I had shortened my run by a mile-how crazy is that? I mean, I still ran 8 miles, I just left off the top loop of my usual course and ran a more direct path home. It just felt shorter, somehow, like my brain was saying, whoa, dude-Garmie says you've done 6.2 but this is always where Garmie says 5. You're a whole mile ahead of the game! you don't have to run up the hill past the big poodles and the horse barn! Man, my brain is really, really stupid sometimes.

And why, you may ask, do I always run the same old roads, day in and day out, when I live in a nice, quiet rural community with some lovely potential runs past strawberry fields and green pastures? It's because I'm a woman and I run alone. There have been a couple of times when I've been on an isolated road and my "spidey senses" start to tingle a bit and I start feeling a little scared and insecure. I've actually had runs where I felt like somebody was watching me and it creeps me out. So I stay where I feel safe, where there's lots of people out walking their dogs or taking kids to school or where I see a sheriff's car drive by occasionally. By now, I know all the walkers, and they all know me. Better safe than sorry!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ebay obssession

I ran 10 miles yesterday at my usual snail's pace. I now walk up the one big hill on my run and it really makes a difference in how I feel at the end of the run, and surprisingly, it doesn't much affect my overall pace-that's probably the only advantage to being a really slow runner.

Ah, Ebay. Lately I've been so addicted to your siren call. I won an auction just last week and now I'm watching another item that will end today. And I really, REALLY want this particular item. I'm not telling you, faithful readers, what exactly I'm looking at because I don't want you to see it and start bidding against me. I go in spurts with Ebay-I will check for my favorite stuff for weeks without finding anything I absolutely have to own, then suddenly there will be all sorts of goodies that I just can't live without and my "watch" list will be long and varied. So I will spend my day today watching and waiting...watching and waiting...then BAM! Get my bid in and it's mine mine mine!

It makes me think of Lord of the Rings-my precious....gollum gollum

Monday, April 6, 2009


I did a nice slow 8 miler practically at the crack of dawn today and it was COLD-cold enough that there was still frost on the grass. I had no choice but to run early, and it was Ebay's fault. There was an auction I've been following for days now that closed this morning so my choice was to run before it closed, or after it closed and run in the heat. Given that choice, I'll take the cold any time. And remember-that's California cold, so it was about 50ish degrees.

I got back from my run with plenty of time to watch my auction. I was bidding on a letter written by my ancestor in the 1600's and I really wanted that letter. There was someone else also bidding furiously right along with me and we kept upping each other's bid (he's probably a cousin-who else would want a 400 year old letter?). So I let him keep the high bid for about 2 hours-this gives him confidence, you see, and he might think that I've given up and perhaps he'll leave his final bid and I can POUNCE in there at the last minute and win the auction. So with 10 seconds left, I put in my final bid and I was high bidder-for 5 seconds. That's when cousin #2 out pounced me and entered the winning bid. I hope he enjoys the letter from great (insert several more greats here) grandpa John.

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Healthy Diet is Good for You!

So a new study comes out regarding the DASH diet (DASH=Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). The study concludes that a diet high in vegetables and fruits and low in meat, sodium and fat, and combined with regular exercise, is good for your heart. Really? Wow. Who knew that eating a healthy diet would be healthy? Amazing that a healthy diet and exercise is good for you. I mean, who knew? We REALLY needed this study to tell us to stop eating crap and get off our rear ends and exercise. I wonder how much money was spent on this study. Because honestly, faithful readers, even though I don't know how much money was spent on this particular study, they could have given me half the money and I could have told them the same thing. Seriously.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


As promised, I'm going to review one of the freebies I got at the last health fair-Cytomax. It's a powder designed to be dissolved in water and you drink it during and after running. So I mixed it up and dumped it in my water bottle, figuring my 9 miler on Friday would be a good day to check it out. I modified my run a bit so that I was at the in law's house a 1/2 mile into the run, allowing me to stash my water bottle in their mailbox. my loop takes me by their house about every 2 miles making it a good place for a water stop.

I FORCED myself to run slow from the get go. I have a habit of starting out way too fast on my long runs so naturally I usually burn out early and struggle at the end of a long run. My goal was to keep my heart rate below 140. So off I go and soon I was back at the water stash and ready for a chug of Cytomax. It actually tastes pretty good, a mild lemon flavor that went well with the Clif shot bloks I was also using. I don't know if the Cytomax break at 2 mile intervals helped or the fact that I kept my pace incredibly slow, but I felt really good at mile 9 and decided to bump it up to a 10 miler. I completed the 10 miler with no aches or pains and finished the last of the Cytomax on my walk home. All in all it was an excellent run and now I'm hooked on both Cytomax and Shot blocs. My heart rate did go over 140 a few times as the elevation increased so I wasn't successfull with that, but I can continue to work on it.

Next week is a fall back week-all easy short runs and an extra rest day-yay!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Many thanks to Sarah for the Sisterhood Award. It's always nice to get a little recognition and I appreciate it very much! Sarah, I do try to have a positive attitude. I'm a fairly upbeat person by nature and that helps. At one time in my life I was really unhappy with my job-I felt stuck in a dead end, low paying, unappreciated, difficult job that just plain sucked. I was complaining about this to a very close friend, really whining about how terrible my job was, and he gave me some advice-he said "you know, you have to work, right? So you can choose to do your job and be miserable and unhappy about it, or you can choose to do your job and be positive about the fact that you have a job and you get paid for it-your choice. Either way, you still have to do your job." That was an epiphany for me-we can't always choose our circumstances, but we can absolutely choose out attitude towards those circumstances. So thank you Sarah!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Beeg Doggie

I did a very nice 9 miler early this morning, to avoid our current heat wave-it's been in the upper 70s the last few days and spring is definitely here. All in all it was a very good run so the sacrificed chicken and old running shoes I burned on the altar to the Running Gods must have worked.

I always see a lot of hispanic women on my earlier runs as they walk their grandchildren to school. This morning, around mile 5, a woman with 3 small children in tow and one in a stroller stopped me on my run. "There is a beeg doggie", she said, pointing up the road. "A beeg, mean doggie; bark! bark!". Yes, she barked to show me how mean the doggie was. I asked her if the doggie was loose on the street. "No, he ees in yard, but he ees beeg and mean. He scares the ninos". I realized she was probably talking about a shepard mix who challenged me every time I ran by his house-he was indeed beeg and mean, and he could easily jump the fence surrounding his property if he was smart enough to realize he could do it.

I thanked the lady for the warning and assured her I would be careful. I found her concern to be rather sweet, and from now on the shepard mix has the new name of Beeg Doggie.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An Experiment With a .22 at 100 Yards

The Running Gods gave me a gentle tap on the shoulder this week, sort of a reminder to not get quite so cocky, missy. I did an 8 miler today and it was tough. I finished it, barely. I think I angered the Gods by bragging about how good my runs have been lately. I will have to sacrifice a chicken on their alter and burn a pair of running shoes (old ones, of course) to try and get back in their good graces.

We went to the gun club barbeque and shootin match Sunday and I did very well, if I do say so myself. I shot a couple of Hubby's big guns and I have the bruise to show for it. I still tend to snug the gun into the wrong spot and I always pay for that mistake. I did finally get off a couple of shots where it didn't hurt because I held the gun properly. I started by shooting at 100 yard targets with open sights with WWI vintage guns ( I can't remember which ones I shot-they were big and beefy). Then I switched to my beloved 22 target rifle, again at the 100 yard range, and I rocked. There were 4 large steel targets hanging on chains and I was shooting sub sonic ammo. This means that I would first hear the report of the rifle (pop!) and then a clear, bell like ping a split second later as the bullet hit the target-VERY satisfying!

My friend Hillary and I realized that the 4 targets each had a distinctly different sound. So we're discussing this interesting discovery, and someone tells me to fire off 4 rounds, one into each different target so we could all really hear the difference. OH CRUD, I thought. This is a test of sorts. I'm with some of the best shots in the county and they want me to pull off 4 shots, quickly, at 100 yards, without missing. OK, so I take a deep breath, aim carefully about 4 inches above and center on the first target, hold my breath for just a tick and fire. Ping! One down. Quickly on to target no.2-Ping! Target no.3-Ping! Target no.4-Ping! All 4 targets were hit and sent spinning a bit and I didn't have to go home hanging my head down in shame!

So after we did this purely non-scientific experiment, Hillary and I thought wouldn't it be fun to set up a whole row of steel targets, cut them to different sizes so we could essentially tune them, then have a row of shooters with 22's and see if we could play Christmas carols? I think it's do-able, given the talented shooters we have in the club. I'm thinking this would be a great U Tube hit!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Running Gods

The Running Gods smiled upon me yesterday, and I managed a very nice, slow 7 miler. I planned a 6er, but it just felt so good and right that I went for an extra mile and I probably could have done more. I cut it short at 7, however, because I respect the Running Gods and I understand that if I get too cocky and proud they will smite me with an injury or intestinal issues or a very mean dog.

My gun project is coming along nicely. I've stripped the wood of that nasty plastic finish; now I have to figure out what to do about the ugly black stuff someone used to fill in the dings and scratches in the wood. I don't understand why someone thinks they need to do things like that. This gun is over 100 years old. It is going to show its age, just as we all do. Why not allow a gun to age gracefully, with all the dents and scratches that come with a century of use? And as usually happens when I start a project, it's not enough now that I just refinish the stock. I'm thinking I really don't like the odd black finish on the metal parts. I'm wondering if I should consult my gun-expert friends and find out if I can strip the metal and reapply a nice subtle blued finish-nothing fancy, just a little bluing.

And finally-I've cobbled together a marathon training plan-I think. I have months to consider what to do; things could change depending on what I find on the internet. I will be posting my schedule over at my other blog just to see if I get any feedback on how my plan looks.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I got a new gun-woohoo!

Ok, no running to blog about today, faithful readers; it's not because I haven't been running, it's just that there's been nothing exceptional to report about. I go out; I run; I come home. this is a fall back week anyway. Next week-a mighty 10 miler, or not. I haven't decided whether to tackle a double digit run or to start a new plan I found online, a sort of pre-marathon marathon training plan designed to build a base before marathon training. We'll see how I feel next week..

Now-the new gun news. Several weeks ago, Hubby was cruising the net looking at old guns. I glanced over his shoulder at the website he had up, and saw a very neat gun-honestly, it was just plain pretty. "What's that?" I quizzed the Hubster. "It's a Spencer lever action carbine", he replied. "It's civil war era, and it's the gun Morgan Freeman carried in that movie Unforgiven". "Wow, I says; I like that. Ya know, you could buy me one of those for my birthday and I would be a very happy camper".

So, next thing you know, Hubby is at a gun show last weekend and he finds one and buys it for me-and it's just as pretty in real life as it is in a picture. Mine has been modified so it shoots cheaper ammo than the original, so this will be a "shooter", not a "hanger", as in a gun that you just hang on the wall and look at. The only thing I don't like about the gun is some previous owner finished the stock with a very shiny varathane kind of finish-it looks like it was dipped in plastic, not a good look for a civil war carbine. So I'm in the process of stripping and refinishing the wood.

So I tell Hubby, "Gosh, if this is the gun from Unforgiven, maybe someday I could get the gun from Quigley Down under, one of my favorite movies"? And he says yeah, they're available, kind of pricey, but someday. So then I say, "Gosh, it seems we have a theme going here. How about the gun John Wayne carried when he was Rooster Cogburn"? Hubby tells me that gun would cost, oh somewhere around 30,000 bucks or so. I don't think I'll be getting that gun...

The cool thing, too, is this is my birthday present, and my birthday isn't until August!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A New Plan

Picking the right plan to train for a marathon is tough. There's too many choices, to many variables to consider. I finally chose a plan by Hal Higdon and figured ok, no worries; it's any easy beginner's plan that won't kill me in the preparation. Let's let the marathon itself attempt to kill me.

Then I had second thoughts. I had 2 concerns with the plan-it only built up to 35 mile weeks, and many of the long runs were 50% of the total miles for that week. I know from training for half marathons that I need lots of time on the road to really feel ready, and while this plan would probably get me to the finish line it would'nt do it very comfortably.

So I started looking for a new plan, one with more weekly mileage. I found one that builds up to 45 miles, but it seems too aggressive. I need something between these 2 plans-sort of like Goldilocks looking for the bed that's just right. I'll have to do some major tweakage with this second plan to get it to fit my needs. Mostly I'll add several weeks so I can get used to the high mileage. One of the things I like about the second plan is it comes with a base building plan I can jump into now; I'm fairly close to the biggest week in that plan. Once I get to that week I can maintain that weekly mileage until I start the marathon training plan.

Of course, this could all change tomorrow...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Biggest Loser Controversy

Today's run was a nice, slow, easy 3 miler. I'll go into a fall back week, cut back on the miles, than back at it again-Hopefully my next long run will be 10 miles.

I know some of you, my faithful readers, watch Biggest Loser. I've been a fan of the show since it's first season, when I would watch while exercising on my elliptical. I've always found it inspirational and I admire the contestants, as well as the coaches. I've fantasized about having Bob as a trainer for a marathon. However, the controversy regarding Dane, the last contestant to be booted from the show, and his "marathon", ticks me off.

At the end of last week's show, they said that Dane completed a marathon with a time of 3:53. I was surprised and a little confused. I wondered just how much Dane had been running at the ranch to be ready to train for and run a marathon, and I couldn't believe he had that kind of time for a first marathon-I figured he must be a natural runner, to post that kind of time his first time out. But there he was, crossing the finish line with his wife, and proudly posing with his medal.
Then it all comes out-the producers actually picked Dane up in a van and drove him a portion of the course, something like 3 miles, then let him out to "finish" the race for the cameras.

What really annoyed me was Danes wife explaining that if Dane hadn't been held up during the race by the film crew filming at water stops and such, he would have been able to finish the race, so therefore, he did in fact finish the race. He did not finish the race. He and his wife were disqualified, as they should be. I just wish that when the producers tried to get Dane and his wife to go for a ride in the van, that they had said no thanks and finished the race under their own power. Even if they didn't make it in under the 6 hour limit, at least they could have said they did in fact complete a marathon distance. There's no shame in coming in last or not finishing in the time alloted. There's a great deal of shame in accepting a ride in a van and then posing with a smile and a finisher's medal around your neck. And that fantastic time they credited Dane with? His actual time was closer to the 6 hour mark. No shame there, either, if he had actually finished the race.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Nine miles of heaven!

I did my 9 miler yesterday, and may I just say it was fan-freaking-tastic! I felt comfortable the whole run and even considered stretching it to 10 miles but I held back-I've stretched my miles enough this week, no need to over do it. I used Clif Shot Bloks again at 3 mile intervals; I don't know if the Shot Bloks are the reason for my last 2 long runs being so comfy but if that's the case, I'm addicted. No leg aches, tiredness or heaviness, even at the end of the run. I even felt just a little sprint might be possible for the last half mile or so. Could it be-is it possible, that I'm finally truly becoming a distance runner? I really needed this run as a mental confidence builder. Next week is a nice easy fall back week, then I go for a 10 mile long run.

I have a friend who's returned to running after a year long hiatus; I'm hoping to entice her into entering a race with me in May. Her Hubby is friendly with my Hubby, so I figure the guys can keep each other entertained while we do our thing during the race. I've learned my lesson, however, with racing with friends. I told her that while we'll start together, once we cross the start line, we race-meaning she can run her best pace, I'll run mine, and we'll meet up after crossing the finish line. She's a lot younger than me, so this actually means that she doesn't have to plod along at my pace during the race, and I think she was glad I made it clear that entering a race together does not mean finishing the race together.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I had a really good 4 miler today. It certainly wasn't fast, but somehow it just felt right, like ok, this is what I've been working towards all this time. I felt really comfortable throughout the whole run, and I felt great afterwards-no soreness or achey legs. Could it be the improved diet and stretching is helping? I hope my 9 miler Friday feels as good...

As I mentioned before, I have started a blog to track my progress for the Las Vegas Marathon, posted here. I think I will only post occasionally there until I actually start training this summer. I'll let you, faithful readers, know when I have something pithy to remark at my second home-it will be sort of like a summer home for my blogger friends. We can head over there when the weather warms up; we'll drink beer, eat chips and guacamole, and play cards while we swat mosquitos. In the meantime this location that I've had for a few months will remain my daily bloggy home.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Please stop raining!

I'm sitting here at the computer, staring out the window, praying that the rain will stop so I can run outdoors, and it ain't happenin! I did a 3 miler on the deadmill yesterday and I'm dreading 4 miles today. So, yes, I know we need the rain and I'm probably the only person in the county wishing for clear skies. All I need is 40 minutes, 50 tops-is that too much to ask for?

I'm questioning the plan I was going to use for the Las Vegas Marathon. My concern is that there aren't enough miles during the week to support the long run. I know the rule of thumb about the ratio of miles in the long run to weekly miles (25% to 30%) and this plan has a lot of weeks where the long run is 50% of the weekly miles-that's pretty extreme. In the one week that I would run a 20 mile long run, there would be only three 5 milers that week prior to the 20 miler! This plan will get me to the finish line-the question is, how comfortably will it get me there? It's going to take a lot of tweaking on my part to make it workable, and an 18 week plan is morphing into a 24 week plan. I think it's finally hitting me how huge this is. Huge as in Holy Crap, what am I thinking? A marathon? Seriously? I have GOT to get my marathon blog up and running because I need help. Seriously.

Finally-I have, as promised, started my new blog just for the Las Vegas Marathon. I haven't customized it yet, so it's a work in progress, but it's here none the less- . I hope to see you all there in the future! If you can't get there from here, go to my profile and click on it there.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Shot Bloks

I did an 8 miler this morning, and as promised to you, faithful readers, I tried one of the free samples I received at the health fair on this run-Clif Shot Bloks. My completely unbiased and unscientific review follows:

I decided that in the interest of scientific observation, I would take a shot blok at 1/2 hour intervals during my run. So somewhere soon after mile 3, I pulled one out. These things are big-quite a bit bigger than the sport beans I'm used to. And they are gummy, as in stick to your teeth, gooey, messy gummy. They are also sweet but the flavor isn't too bad, definitely better than gu's which I can't stand. I did notice during today's run that while I didn't feel a huge difference in my stamina, there may have been a slight decrease in the usual discomfort I've come to expect in a long run. And I still had some gas in the tank at the end of the run. I considered going an additional mile but decided in favor of sticking to my plan and heading home after 8 miles. Here's the interesting thing about this run-I checked my log and realized that this was the fastest pace I've ever done for an 8 miler by almost a minute. So I'll give credit to the Shot Bloks for allowing me to finish the run in 1:23:03 and I'll give them a thumbs up. We'll see how the other products stack up. But the next time I use these things, I'm cutting them into more bite sized pieces. Seriously-these could choke a horse.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I feel the need...the NEED FOR SPEED!

Went out on an easy 4 miler this morning and it was perfect for running-crisp, cold, and clear; I left the cold weather gear home and opted for shorts and a t shirt just because I needed to feel the air on my skin. I started the run at a pretty decent clip for me; and somehow I managed to maintain it for a 9:40 pace. That, faithful readers, is as good as it gets for me, the last place runner who does her best work at the back of the pack!

I spent most of the day today on the computer trying to figure out what the best, cheapest package is for a satelite dish tv thingy. I have a theory that the companies that provide this service try to make it as complicated and convoluted as possible, thereby stunning and confusing the potential customer/victim so thoroughly that he finally cries "Uncle" and signs on the bottom line without regard for hook up fees, extra box fees, local channel fees, fees service fees, salesmen's christmas bonus fees, well, you get the picture. I finally gave up after I developed a horrific headache and had downloaded about 5 gazillion pages of useless information. I'm almost ready to unplug the stupid tv and just start reading books by lamplight. I would definitely do that, except that Amazing Race just started a new season and I'm re-hooked on Grey's Anatomy after a brief hiatus due to dumb story lines.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Good Day, Sunshine

Finally, FINALLY, after death by treadmill for what seemed like an eternity, I was able to squeeze in a run between rainstorms this morning. I sat at the computer, watching the weather, hoping for clear skies. It finally brightened up a bit even though there were still lots of dark clouds. The thought of another run on the deadmill was like an arrow in my runner's soul and I just couldn't do it again. I decided to run outdoors, stick close to home in case the skies opened up and we got another downpour, and take a risk. I planned a 6 miler and did 7. I did get sprinkled on but it wasn't anything serious, and as I learned as a child, I'm not made of sugar and I won't melt (Hi Mom!).

My absolute favorite show, Amazing Race, started Sunday. I'm ridiculously addicted to this show. I love the tasks the contestants are given, and Hubby and I debate endlessly how we would approach various challenges-which of us would be best to do certain things, how we would work together as a team; We both know that anything requiring serious analytical thinking would be best handled by Hubby, and if animals or running (natch!) were involved then I would step up and take charge. I was surprised one season when a team had problems right from the get-go because neither of the teammates could drive a stick shift. If you watch the show enough to want to be contestants then you should know that you will be driving cars in foreign countries and chances are good that the cars will have manual transmissions. Learn to drive a stick, at the very least, before you apply to become a contestant. And you should learn to read a map.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Dante got it wrong.

When I was going through my intellectual hippie stage (circa 1973) I read a lot of the classics, including Dante's Inferno. After today's deadmill run, I can attest that he had it all wrong, probably because treadmills weren't invented in 1310. I did 8 miles on the mill because it was raining. I kept waiting, hoping against hope, that the rain would stop. It didn't. So here's my view of hell:

You are on the treadmill, and it's set for 8 miles. You have no tv and nothing to look at but a closet door. You get within 1/4 mile of finishing the run, and your treadmill suddenly sets back to 0 and you have to do it all over again. And again. And again. At least, that's the way it felt. And oh, yeah-your Ipod? Well you do have one, but the only song it plays is the Pina Colada song. Over and over and over.

That's what my run felt like. And about 15 minutes after I finished the run, the rain stopped. And my new tv was delivered later this afternoon. Sigh.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Biggest Loser

I've been stuck in runner's hell on the deadmill all week due to rain. I have a love/hate relationship with my mill. I love the convenience-there it sits, in my bedroom, at my complete disposal any day or time. And yet, especially without my tv, the boredom is mind numbing. I think I can actually feel my brain turn into cheese curds while I use it. I'm praying for clear skies tomorrow because honestly, folks-I can't even imagine 8 miles on the mill while staring at my closet door.

I'm a huge fan of the tv show, "Biggest Loser". I've watched every season, and when it first came on I used to watch it while doing my thing on the elliptical. I truly admire the people on that show. I'm at a normal weight, I have been for a few years now, and I still wouldn't get on a scale in front of millions of tv viewers wearing nothing more than a sports bra and shorts. These people are truly brave. And the changes they experience-when they have finally lost the weight, and we see them in the final show-they look like different people. I wish the producers would show us some of the contestants from previous seasons. I'd be interested in seeing if they managed to keep the weight off.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Today is crosstraining day, as I am transitioning to the same schedule I'll be following for my marathon training. My plan calls for 4 days of running, 1 day of crosstraining, 2 days rest. So I'm experimenting by doing a half hour of the elliptical and 1/2 hour of treadmill walking while playing with the incline.

I have a thing for free stuff. I will walk around Costco ten times if that's what it takes to get the equivalent of a full meal from their free samples-Hubby calls it a "cheap date". I will spend 40 bucks in gasoline to drive to the big city to attend a health fair because I will score free stuff. I always walk out with bags full of freebies. It's just my frugal (translation: cheap) nature. So at the last health fair I attended, I scored some running supplements that I intend to use during my next few long runs. I got Power Bar Gel Blasts, (cola flavored); Clif Shot Bloks, Life Fitness energy beans,which are basically caffeine and B12, and Cytomax performance drink. If I understand the labels correctly, any one of these products will increase my stamina, enable me to run hundreds of miles without fatigue or pain, and make me look like Angelina Jolie when I'm done running. Hubby is really excited about the Angelina Jolie thing.

So stay tuned, faithful readers-let's find out if these things actually do any good. Heck, if they work as well as they claim, I should be able to run to your homes all over the western hemisphere and personally let you know how I'm doing.