Scavenger Hunt

Wicked good time at a minor league baseball game Friday night. It was a very cheap night until we got our beers.

Our humble dorm is empty. Graduation was Saturday, and the last of the boarders had their stuff packed up by 5:00 Friday afternoon. As with most moves, there was quite a bit of discarded stuff. The dorm had a grab table for people to put their I-do-not-wants. Like the (cheap) vulture I am, I kept and eagle(vulture) eye on the table. I got a new table for my porch. I got an unopened package of my favorite green tea.

I hit the jackpot though with laundry detergent. We are set for at least the next 8 or 9 months. At first I was a bit embarrassed by my own cheapness, but then I today at the grocery I perused the detergent section to see how much I had saved. Our biggest take was an almost completely unused container of Tide with Downy that has a sticker price of $17.94. I KNOW!

I wouldn't classify us as freegans by any stretch, but I would have hated for the girls to have just thrown away all that stuff. I am being environmentally conscious. See my responsibility! I can justify anything.

I didn't run again last week, although I meant to. I went to the track tonight to do the Yasso workout. It was great - 3.5 miles total, with 1.5 of that at an 8:45 pace. I also ran the bleachers six times. I hope to get in my long run tomorrow - 8 miles probably. Below is a screen cap from my Garmin software of my workout. The map portion of it made me giggle for some reason.


Like a Sieve

Ran three last night, got in a kettle bells class tonight. Tomorrow will thankfully be a rest day. Based on how shake-y my muscles were at the end of class tonight, I don't think I have much choice in the rest day thing. I was quite terrified I was going to spill right down the stairs on my jelly legs.

Enjoying some hockey finals tonight. I am pulling for the Pens. Being born and raised in Tennessee, I had no real concept of hockey ever. When I was a freshman in high school this one guy and his brother moved to our little town from some even smaller town in Wisconsin. They were hockey players. I gained a slight knowledge of the game. And by slight knowledge, I mean I learned some of the vocabulary - blue line, red line, pretty basic stuff.

I became a fan of the game after working for an NHL team a few years ago. The team I was working for happened to win the championship that year, so I got to be a part of something really cool. And the side-effect is that I am one of the like 50 people in this state that is enjoying the game tonight.

The Hubs just walked in the door - he'll be wanting to watch NBA I'm sure.


Clear + Gravy = Clear Gravy

So I got in no runs over the weekend. I did however get in some time at the outdoor pool yesterday, so I'm sure that counts for something. I did a 7.2 mile run this morning. I purposefully did a very hilly route. The first mile into the hills was pretty bad, but my body adjusted. I even busted out the Double Chocolate Gu today. Is there anything more refreshing on a run than a packet of thick, over-sugared chocolate pudding? Maybe some Crystal Gravy. Run time was around 77 minutes. Considering the hills, I'm good with that pace.

Tomorrow I'm going to hit the track and try some Yasso's 800's. I've only done them the one time, but it was a nice change up to the workout.

In an update of the (not so) hostile takeover, my iTunes library now has Queensryche's Greatest Hits album. Oh, and Neil Diamond's 12 Greatest Hits (vol. II). Hubs absolutely tore this place apart looking for his GEORGE MICHAEL Greatest Hits albums, but (mercifully) it may have been lost in one of our many moves over the last 4 years.



I saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The throwback jokes and references to the old movies were great. The rest of the movie ... eh. It wasn't the best movie I have ever seen, but I don't feel like it was a complete waste of 3 hours.

Kettle Bells class on Wednesday night was awesome. I didn't get to do all of the exercises because there is apparently an actual technique to swinging a 25 pound weight around by its handle. We warmed up with some basics, then the instructor set up a circuit for the class and then took one of the other new students and myself to show us how to properly do all the "base" moves. We then rejoined the group and did some more circuits and exercises, including one where we laid on the ground with the weight held up in the air in one hand (I went with the 18 pound weight), and we had to go to a full standing position. Sounds not-so-hard, but turns out it is an amazing core exercise. We finished up with some crazy side-kick lunge things and some bear walk with 25 pounds in each hand.

I was sore yesterday, and today I think I feel as sore as than I did two days post-marathon. And the soreness is in exciting new muscles that have long lain (laid?) dormant.

I need to get in 3-4 today - it will be a painful run.


I Weep for the Future

Our email system here at school includes a bulletin board where people can post stuff for sale, lost and found, that sort of thing. This was just posted.

I ran six miles yesterday. Today I am sore from running for the first time since the marathon I think. Here is the simple breakdown of the run:

Mile 0-1: good
Miles 2-6: ugly

Yes, it skipped bad and went right on into ugly. My time was decent enough (1:04 (10:37 pace)), but I really think that is the bizarro time, as it felt like it lasted for 5 hours. And with most runs like that, when you finish up, you can think of how proud you are that you pushed through and did it. When I was done all I could think was how much I hated running. But this morning I am kind of proud of it.

I am supposed to go to Kettle Bells class tonight. This could be rough.


Whew, that was a grueling four hours out of my weekend working the swim meet. When the timer would start, I would check to make sure the scoreboard clock started. When the race was over, I would hit "reset," and then advance the heat or event number. But I work with computers, so I was able to catch on quite easily. My reward was the Special Guadalajara from the Mexican joint down the street, so it was worth it.

I got in four miles this morning. It was good. The usual feeling of "why I am I doing this," followed by the "oh yeah, that's why," after I got the second mile done. I am going to shoot for 6 miles tomorrow. The right hip is a little sore tonight, so I might wait until Tuesday to do the long run. I was really worried that the Moon Pie 10 Miler wasn't going to happen, on account of my not running so much. But the plan is actually still in place and I am excited about hitting that mileage again.

We've got two 5k's coming up in the next few weeks in town, so I should be able to get one of those two done. Not much else going on in these parts.

The hydrangea (and the petunias, the geranium, and the impatiens) that I potted on my porch last weekend has now survived seven whole days under my supervision. My porch on my apartment way back in North Carolina looked like a jungle. I will be adding some window boxes this week to try to duplicate that look.

Here are two pictures to show my overgrown back porch from our apartment in Cary:

These pictures also illustrate my husband and our good friend Dave enjoying brews and cigars on our porch. Surrounded by flowers.


As someone who is going to be stuck running the timing system all day today and tomorrow for her husband's swim meet because of parents not stepping up and fulfilling their responsibility, I fully support this:

A Freetown, Mass., baseball player was benched for two games because his mom did not help out at the concession stand.Jodie Hooper agreed to help when she signed a registration form, but she said that she had a very good excuse for missing her time."It's my fault. I get it. I really, really do. But the rule has to change," Hooper said.

"It's a tough rule to have to enforce, because everybody has things to do," League President Dave Brouillette said. Hooper's son was benched for a second game Thursday because she did not show up to work the stand.

"Being benched and being suspended means the child did something wrong. The child didn't do anything wrong. That is where I am having the issue with it," Hooper said.

"We are not here to have kids sit benches. We want kids to be playing, but we need people to help us out," Brouillette said. About 370 kids play at the field. The fields are run almost exclusively by volunteers. Each parent is expected to help out at least one night."Is it fair if you know about it in advance and you are told? It's one of the rules, otherwise we wouldn't have concession stands," parent Rebecca Diaz said.

"It is 110 percent my fault, and it shouldn't fall on the shoulders of the commissioner or anyone else like that, but it needs to get out there that the rule needs to be changed," Hooper said.

"I am not here to bash Mrs. Hooper. She is a mother who is upset about her 7-year-old not being able to play baseball. I 100 percent agree with her that she is doing what she feels is right. Unfortunately, as the president of the league, I have to enforce the rules," Brouillette said. Hooper said that she had things to do at work and that is why she could not work the stand. She said that she tried to tell one of the assistant managers that she would not be there.

It sucks and all, and I know that coaches don't like having to dole out punishment on the kid either. (The Hubs actually had to do something similar earlier this year for the very same reason. He hated doing it.) But it's the policy, and it does work. Fines or paying to get out of a volunteer shift won't work. The parents will just pay it. And that won't staff an event.

(Some parents go above and beyond and work more than their share of events - thanks to them!)


I was supposed to try out a KettleBell class last night. I did a 3 mile run earlier in the day, plus hills. I am a horrible cross-trainer, so this crazy new class was a good idea. Plus, it is part of a city program, so it is only a dollar. I have to assume that the picture I found is a bit dated. Or I can hope that it is current and that all participants wear Speedos.

But I had to do some damage control for some end-of-the-year dorm drama instead. Damage control is usually not a bad deal (unless you are dealing with parents). If it is just an upset girl, we take a trip to get some ice cream, or to the fancy Whole Foods-esqe store, or in an extreme case, the mall. My gal was pretty upset, so we knocked it out of the park by going to a movie yesterday afternoon. Her two choices were Ironman or Made of Honor. I have already seen it once, but I was thrilled that she chose Ironman. Made of Honor was is not anywhere on my to-see list.

So the KettleBells will have to wait until next week.


Your Listen-at-Work Station

At 10 o'clock Friday night I remembered that the next morning was a four mile race that I wanted to do. Since I had been going all night on the super-healthy pre-race meal of lots of pizza and beer, I decided to skip it.

I did get a really good 5.25 in today. I don't know what it was, but today was one of those "Wow, I've only gone five miles? I feel like I could do five more," kind of runs. My pace was only 10:30 for the whole thing, so I obviously didn't push it too much. I guess it could be qualified as an Academy Awards Speech Run, as I was only shooting for 4 miles, but I added some on because I felt so freakin' awesome.

I was very excited last week that the Hubs was going to start a little running routine. He is now on day four of running and he even got up to 30 minutes on the treadmill. While I am very happy for him, I am kind of un-thrilled about one aspect of the whole thing: the (not so) hostile takeover of my iPod Shuffle. When he told me he wanted to run a bit, I readily offered it and even offered to put some of his extensive JOURNEY and CHRISTOPHER CROSS collections on it.

Man, what a mistake that was. This weekend he pulled out this giant plastic bin full of CDs of really bad music (That's not fair. It's not bad music. I just don't like it). Music that has now polluted the pretty pink Shuffle. I admit to enjoying some Steve Perry, Steve Winwood, and many "light favorites while you work" every now and again (Wheel in the Sky = awesome). But my running playlist is now 127 songs long of mellow hits and/or power ballads. I just left it at home for the run today. I will admit though that I want to spy on the Hubs one afternoon to see if he does all-out white boy air guitar while on the treadmill. I bet he does.


Beer on the porch

I can smell the river that I can see. The strong breeze, which says it will storm later, brings the scent of, were it even a touch stronger, dead fish. But as is, it is the khaki river that is just down the hill. Honeysuckle too.

It is not necessarily a pretty river. Sandy, muddy, or rocky edges,mostly cluttered with driftwood and the trash from man downstream. But the setting - the stuff around makes it perfect. Across from me a large diamond-shaped island, behind that a small mountain that looks tall and almost majestic from this vantage point. Immediately between me and the river is a steep embankment covered together with rocks, bushes, and trees whose roots are holding into the earth with all they have. In the summer the shades from the hillside, the river, and the mountain all blend to a mass of green. In the dead of winter, brown.

The wind is still strong, but the sun is still out and the distance is still clear. It is warm. Hot if you are in direct sunlight, but like a glove if you are in the shade. Close your eyes and love it.


Thank you, Karl Ravech

"Who is that guy?", you might be asking. If you live in a household like mine where ESPN is on for approximately 25 out of the 24 hours in the day, you probably know he's the guy from Baseball Tonight. He also is the back-page, "I'm a Runner" story from a recent issue of Runner's World. Here is a link, but the story is one that has been told before. Paragraph 2 gets to the meat of the story:

My wife had nagged me to get into running. I was always of the mind that if I was an athlete, I didn't need to go do that stuff. I was in good enough shape so that stuff was not for me. Then in November of 1998, following the World Series, I came home and suffered a heart attack at the age of 33. That ultimately led me to the running revolution in my life. That changed everything.

Since it is now 2008 and he is featured in RW, you can probably guess how the story turns out.

I met the Hubs for lunch and he proudly announced to me that, starting TODAY, he was going to be running "on the treadmill, for about 20 minutes, three times a week." I covered my shock nicely and somehow avoided doing a spit take on the water I was drinking. I have been asking...begging...nagging for him to go run with me for a year and a half. Or to at least ride his bike while I run, something, anything! We did have a magical three weeks last winter what involved a few trips to the cardio room together, but that fizzled out.

A few minutes later I asked what brought this on. Well, there was a copy of RW sitting next to the toilet and he needed something to read. And he happened upon this little story. Who knew that some bathroom reading material that contained the words ESPN, age 33, and heart attack were going to be the trick.

The Hubs is a little guy. He's not overweight by any stretch of the imagination, but he does have a pretty high-stress job and he already has high blood pressure. And he has a wife and a mother that nag him to work out just a little bit - for his own good.

So a big thank you to Karl Ravech (and do you really do your stretching on the set of Baseball Tonight? Does it get in the way of the guys from NFL Live or Mike & Mike?). I am not looking for the Hubs to train for a marathon with me or anything, but 20 minutes/3X per week is fine with me.


We saw Iron Man yesterday. Bad-ass movie. We also watched No Country For Old Men last week. Also bad-ass.

Good, hilly run on Thursday. I hope to get four in sometime today. Not much else going on.