When it rains…

Today sucked.

I’m sorry to be Debbie Downer today, but when I have a bad day, I am not going to pretend it was good.

As soon as I got to work, I got a call from Tim that his car (which we affectionately call Buster) had died in the middle of a highway.  He had to get it towed and take a cab to work.  Poor Buster is OLD–18 years old, to be exact–and the odometer stopped working two years ago at about 185,000 miles.  (So, now it has at LEAST 200,000 on it.)

I spent a good part of the morning worrying about this.  It looks like the alternator is shot, which would be a $400 MINIMUM repair, which…well, it’s not really worth sinking money into anymore.

Then I discovered my pants had a giant hole in the crotch.  And on my way to the bathroom I tripped over my own feet and fell flat on my face in front of my boss.  Awesome.

And then my boss told me I need to work this Saturday from 9-12.  It’s silly, but I feel really violated when I have to work Saturdays–I work Monday through Friday, 8 to 5, and as far as I’m concerned, for the sake of my mental health and sanity, my weekends are mine.  I do not appreciate having to work on them.

Oh, and then I got my lunch out of the fridge!  My delicious orange bag had finally ended (every one of them was stellar) so I bought a new one over the weekend.  I even brought a knife and sliced it all pretty.

See?

But it was TERRIBLE.  No flavor, and if there WAS any flavor, it was bitter.  So, I threw most of it away.

And then I realized that the frozen fruit I’d thawed for yogurt mixin’ was also disgusting.

So, today’s lunch was an English muffin with PB and plain strawberry Chobani.

To top it off, my stomach still felt a little bit off all day, I have a headache, along with some nice stabby pains in my lower back.  Don’t you love being female?

I really really really apologize for being so negative! So, here are a few good things that happened.

Tim and I have to carpool until he gets a new car, so I picked him up from work and ran outside.  I’m not a huge fan of outdoor running, but it was nice to clear my head today.  Instead of four miles, I did two today.  I should be able to get to the gym tomorrow because I have a weird work schedule, so I’ll do 4 indoors tomorrow, 4 outdoors on Thursday, and hopefully a long run some way or another on Friday or Saturday.

My first mile was 9:30, my second was 10:00 even.  No shin pain, so that’s good, right?  It was a nice break to clear my head, and I very much enjoyed my new lucy gear!  (I swear I’ll review it in full, but I like to wear things a few times before I write about them!)

Also, a co-worker was cleaning out his library and left a pile of free books for people to pick through.  I took two!  I’ve been reading a ton lately.  (Sorry, Leah, Cleaving is driving me insane, and not in a good way!)  Also, I got a Valentine from my sister with a $15 Coldstone card in it!

My creation of choice is strawberry ice cream with fudge brownie mixed in.  NOM.  Tim likes chocolate ice cream with peanut butter and caramel!

Anyway, Tim and I are off to figure out his car situation–I have a car dealer uncle we hope will be able to get us a nice, lightly used, small SUV for a good price.  Fingers crossed!

Ice cream concoction of choice?

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Dog Jog

Hi from the road!  I’m shacked up in a nice hotel for the night.

Thankfully, I got to sleep in a bit this morning because I was traveling.  I needed it.  Last night I had a bit of a breakdown–I’m stressed about working a lot, about running, about money, about the wedding…it’s just a lot for me and I tend to deal with it by sobbing dramatically for awhile.  God bless Tim.

Anyway, I didn’t feel like running this morning, but I did anyway.  I figured hey, it’s just two miles, piece of cake.  And it was!  I ran outside with Milhouse, and it felt so good.  He slows me down with his sniffing and peeing on things, which is exactly what I needed.  The two of us happily jogged around our neighborhood for about 25 minutes.

My running buddy was tired out.  I let him off the leash, he drank some water and went right to sleep!


Then I showered and got on the road.  I stopped for lunch at Subway.  I usually travel on fairly desolate stretches of highway, so it’s clearly the best option by a mile.  I love their roasted chicken subs!  I never eat chips at home, so they’re a nice treat when I’m on the road.

Then, I drove some more, did my work thing for a few hours, and then stopped at a Panera on the way to the hotel.  Turkey and gouda on tomato basil bread…yum.  (I may or may not have a brownie for later too.  Shh!)

As much as I hate being away from Tim and the animals, I think a hotel night is exactly what I needed.  If I was home, I’d be trying to clean things and do laundry and pay bills and pack my lunch.  I’m here in my room now, and seriously, I’m just going to chill…watch some TV, read some blogs, and relax.  After five days in a row of running, I seriously need to veg a little.

In other hilarious news, my race photos from Sunday are in.  Check out the series of three finish line shots.  Hilarious.  I swear.  I am not photogenic AT ALL.  I should probably be concerned about this for the wedding.  Thank god we have a great photographer.

Also, I got a few more questions about my heart rate monitor, so here goes:

  • Do you wear it below your bust every time you use it? Yes, that’s where it picks up your heartbeat.  You can’t really put it anywhere else!
  • When do you wear it as a watch? I don’t, because I’m usually dressed up for work, but you could wear it without the chest strap as a regular casual watch it you want.
  • Do you input your weight? Yes.  When you initially set it up, you input your gender, weight, and height.  You can change it at any time.
  • Does it count calories burned AND heart rate at the same time? Yes.  The display shows your current heart rate with a tiny “kCal” followed by a number in one of the screns.  You can also toggle between screens: time of day, duration of workout, and heart rate/calories.
  • Does it work for swimming? Yes!  I used to swim a fair bit and wore it without any issues. You’re just not supposed to push the buttons underwater.
  • Have you ever had the battery changed?  Was it difficult? I haven’t, but I have heard it’s pretty easy–I think you just send it in to Polar.

Anyway, I’ll be back in KC tomorrow night–I just hope the snow holds off long enough for me to get home!

Anyone else have a question for me/something you want me to talk about or show you in an upcoming blog post, fitness-related or not? Leave a comment!

Tuscaloosa Tuesday

Today’s definitely been different than the typical Tuesday!

Instead of getting up at 6 for work this morning, I slept in until about 8 since I’m traveling for work all afternoon.  My boss and I agreed it didn’t make sense for me to drive in to work for an hour or two this morning, so instead I woke up, had my breakfast cookie, and went for a run.

It wasn’t a great one.  It was super duper windy!  And my asthma was bothering me.  So, my time was slower than usual, but I got it done.

Strangely enough, my foot doesn’t bother me much when I run…but once I took my shoes and socks off and got in the shower–owwww.  Water+open blister=SEARING PAIN.  I am starting to worry about infection.  It’s turned reddish purple and it burns to the touch.  But, life goes on.  I’m taking the next two days off, but I’ll still be on my feet in heels most of the time so…yeah.  Last night I tried the moleskin and duct tape solution.

Apparently my feet are super sweaty, because even in our freezing cold house this sweated off in about 10 minutes.  Big fail.

Here is the current state of my blister:

Yeeowch.

(By the way, I apologize for the blister-centric nature of many of my posts lately.  It is a big deal and hurts a lot.  If it’s still getting worse by the time I get home, I’m going to have it checked out.)  A friend of mine almost lost half her leg because of an infected blister, so I’m a little scurred right now.  I think I’m definitely going to go to the sports medicine/running store this weekend and demand some answers.

Anyway.  After running, I showered and decided on a two-part lunch because of my flying schedule:

Strawberry Chobani, thawed frozen bing cherries (YUM), and Erin Baker’s chocolate granola.  Super good!  (I can’t wait until we have our pretty wedding dishes to photograph for the blog.)

Part two was packed for the airport:

A small turkey sammich and a clementine.  I ate these waiting for my flight out of KCI.

While I was flying, I was reading, and reading, and OMG reading.  This book was so good.  And scary!  Definitely recommend it.  It was really slow for the first few chapters, but then it smacked me across the face and I couldn’t put it down.  Definitely will be buying the sequel!

I finished it between my two flights and immediately replenished my reading material at the St. Louis airport.

I’m supposed to be getting a Runner’s World subscription for Christmas, but my aunt said there might be a problem with it and I haven’t gotten an issue yet.  Love this magazine!  The stories kept me busy the whole way to Birmingham.

(I snacked on a Kind Almond and Coconut bar.  My favorite! And I bought a huge bottle of water, too.)

Then, after an hour’s drive, I was finally at my destination–Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  I was STARVING after just grazing all day!  Panera to the rescue.

Chicken soup, turkey sandwich.

Now I’m watching the Biggest Loser and decompressing and trying to figure out how to keep the ‘squatch happy while I’m on my feet tomorrow.  Good times.

What’s your favorite magazine? I love Runner’s World, Self, and Cook’s Illustrated!

Vitamin and honeymoon update

First–the winner of the Progresso Soup Giveaway is comment #4, Leah from Leftovers for Lunch!   Leah, please e-mail me your address and I’ll pass it along.

Tim and I both have the day off work thanks to Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  It’s been such a great long weekend, what with the visit from our friends AND time for just us as a couple.

Yesterday I went out and bought my new vitamin regime after a bit of internet research.

Operation Healthy Hair is in full swing.  I’ve taken fish oil in the past without problems–I honestly just forgot to replace my bottle a few months ago.  I have high cholesterol, and dislike fish, so it’s pretty important to get Omega-3s in my diet somehow.  The prenatals have not upset my stomach or constipated me thus far, like some people said they would.  I’d also read that Biotin was great for hair and nails, so I picked up a bottle of that.  (Hy-Vee has Nature Made vitamins for 50% off now!)  My hair actually feels nice and soft already, but I’m pretty sure that’s just a placebo.

Anyway, today’s training plan was 2 miles and cross training.  So, I ran two miles.  My asthma was acting up, so I was slower than usual–about a 10:30 pace, thanks to a short walk break.  I hate that some runs are awesome and some are such a struggle.  My “cross training” was a long walk with Milhouse!  Not exactly intense, but it was definitely activity and definitely fun.

Today’s Blistersquatch report is, again, bad.

(That’s a clementine.)

That was taken last night.  After today’s run, it was super red and purple in places, and I could barely walk.  I can’t even wear my regular casual running-around-town Pumas without pain.  It sucks.  And I am worried about it getting infected, BUT I can’t even find a Band-Aid large enough to cover it without the adhesive getting stuck to the skin somehow.  Awesome.

I googled a bit and found another store in town that bills themselves as a sports medicine/running store.  Apparently they do digital foot analysis and videotaping, which I’ve never had done.  I really want to go, but I’m reluctant because we’re trying to save a bit for the wedding and I keep telling myself sooner or later this will just turn into an awesome callus.  I’m considering it.  I’ve been planning on new running shoes in March, so hopefully I can hold out until then.

In other news, we booked our honeymoon today!  Thank goodness.  We are doing a bit of road tripping and a bit of cruising.  We’re going two weeks after the wedding, and the plan is to road trip it to New Orleans, take a five-day Carnival cruise to Mexico, and then stay a day or two in New Orleans before we head home.  We may also stop in Memphis for awhile!

Anyway, I’m off to pack for my trip to Alabama tomorrow–fun times!

Any advice for a first-time cruise taker?  We’ve never been!

Running with Sheila

Today is the first opportunity I’ve had to run outside with Sheila the Garmin working properly!  (Reading the user’s manual was really helpful, not shockingly.)

I’m doing a lot of shuffling this week because I’m traveling for work and I have Monday off work.  So, everything’s going to be a little early.  I’m planning on running Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, taking Wednesday and Thursday “off” while I’m traveling, and then doing my long run on Friday and some S&S Saturday.  Today’s task?  3.5 miles.

I have to say–I’m proud of myself.  I don’t think people say that enough.  I maintained my perfect goal half marathon pace–9:55–while running on the treacherous hills in my neighborhood.  And it was just kind of innate–I feel like I have muscle memories of that pace and it just is natural.  I COULD have run a little faster on a flat treadmill, but I think keeping up this pace on hills is a good sign, since my half marathon course is flat.  Go me!

Here’s the final stats:

Then I finally installed my Garmin software on my computer to use and played around with a bit.  Here is the actual graphic proof that my neighborhood is hilly to the max:

You can see the six laps around my neighborhood!

I really like being able to see my stats–my only complaints about the Garmin are a) it takes a few minutes for the satellites to load in the beginning and b) the software is all wonky on my computer.  I keep having to re-load it and it keeps telling me that I need to connect my Garmin since it’s the first time I’m using the software.  Lame.  But, all in all, it’s a good tool.

So, crossing another run off the ol’ training schedule.   Now we’re watching Julie and Julia (despite my irrational dislike of Meryl Streep), and generally decompressing.  I might go buy some prenatal vitamins this afternoon–my hairdresser yesterday recommended them for hair and nail growth and strength!  I have a LOT of hair, but it’s very fine, and as it’s getting longer I want it to get stronger too, so hey, can’t hurt, right?

What are YOU proud of that you’ve done recently?

Back to the grind

Although it’s been pretty un-grindy today.  There weren’t many people in at work, so things were pretty calm!

I went to bed last night at 9:30 and woke up this morning at 6!  I was so tired from our early, early flight and snow digging.  Last night I took Sheila out for a test drive and just ran a mile around the neighborhood.  I was wondering why it wasn’t working until I realized I hadn’t pushed the start/stop button!  Clearly Garmins are too advanced for me.

Anyway, I went to work this morning and found a card and Panera gift card from my boss for Christmas!  How sweet of her.  I do love me some Panera.

I came home to my animals after work!  It’s so nice to be greeted by three warm, furry pals.  Milhouse, Sheila and I headed out for a run.  Unfortunately, I didn’t figure out that I had to reset my Garmin and not just stop/start it until halfway through, so the stats have today and yesterday’s run piled together.  I did about 3.5 miles?

My pace is way off because of the two runs together.  I was happy to see my fastest mile out of both days was 9:18, which is pretty darn good for me!

Preliminary thoughts on the Garmin: obviously, this is an awesome running tool.  I really like the chest strap for the heart rate monitor, which is more flexible (though wider) than the one on my Polar heart rate monitor.  It’s very comfortable!  The unit itself is heavy when you’re paying attention to it, but while running I barely notice it.  The satellites take at least a minute or two to load, which is a little frustrating (especially when you have a dog raring to go), but all in all I think I’m in love.  I like that I can use the lap feature to track my mile times!  I can’t wait until I can load the software on my computer to play with that, too.

In general, I had a really lovely run despite the eight inches of snow and icy conditions.  I felt good and strong after my rest week, which, yet again, cemented my belief that rest pays off a millionfold in the long run.  (Milhouse went inside with Tim at about mile 2.4.  He was cold and whimpering.)  I have to say, I really love running with a dog–it gives me something to focus on, other than myself, and the time just flies by!

Then, I came home and opened the mail to find a nice surprise–Larabars!  I entered their special holiday promotion last week and got four free ones–Peanut Butter Cookie (which I’ve had and liked), Cherry Pie (which I’ve had and not been a huge fan of), Tropical Fruit Tart and Key Lime Pie (neither of which I’ve had).  Sweet!  I big puffy heart free stuff.

Who are your running buddies? I think Milhouse is mine, and of course now Sheila the Garmin too.

What have I done? (Again.)

Prompted largely by the assistance of a little liquid courage, I registered for the Olathe, Kansas Half Marathon last night.

Oh my god.  What have I done?  I can do this,  I know, but wow.  It’s on April 10, 2010, so I have 6 months to train.  Currently, I could probably run 6 or 7 miles at a stretch without walking, so I feel okay about this.  There are three major half marathons in my area–one in April (a month before the wedding), one in June (a month after the wedding), and one in October (not ready this year; don’t want to wait a full year to do it next year).  I didn’t realize the April one existed, and was debating whether half marathon training the month of the wedding (and on the honeymoon) would work, logistically speaking.  So, I got all excited and pulled the trigger, figuratively speaking.  Interesting fact: this race goes around and finishes at Garmin’s international headquarters.  I’ve already asked Santa for a Garmin Forerunner…let’s hope I’ve been good this year!

A few things I need help with:

  • Dumb question, readers, but where exactly do you find trails to run on?  I know they EXIST, but I’m kind of scared to just get on a trail and go.  Are there websites where you can find trails in your area?  I would like having a map pre-run.
  • Any recommendations for a training plan?  I’ve looked at a few and it seems like the Hal Higdon ones are my favorite.  I like that they incorporate strength training, stretching, and that there are different levels.  But am I a novice?  Intermediate?  I know I’m not an expert, by any means.
  • I’ll start the training program in January, 12 weeks before the race, but what do I do now?  Just…get better at running?  Work on distance?  Speed?  Both?

This is going to be an adventure!  Cross your fingers!

In other news, I appear to have somehow tweaked my left shoulder, so that it hurts when I try to raise it above parallel.  I’m icing it and taking a total rest day today, and tomorrow will be a fun active rest day.  I have a pretty cool activity planned, and I’m excited to blog about it!  Happy Saturday!