Thursday, May 31, 2012

Countdown to 90 is on!

Tomorrow begins Project 90! I am bound and determined to reach my goal of running 90 miles in the month of June. I'm excited, even though I won't have a chance to run until Sunday (June 3rd). That's okay! I can do it!

What is the most you've run in a given month?

Who's betting?

For the past... Um... 25 years or so, I've had a problem. I've done a tion of things to try to stop this problem, and I was successful once! But my success was short-lived. I stopped this for a year.

I've only ever met one other person (besides my little brother) that does this, so it's not like people can readily give advice. So here it is, in all its glory:

See that? Check out my pinky. Bad, huh? Wanna know how it got that way? It isn't a deformity of any kind. It's not a chemical burn. I didn't touch a hot stove. No. This is self-inflicted. I do this more when I'm stressed, which is why it's as bad as it is.

So. Any ideas? Comments, questions, insight, commiseration...all are welcome.

I'm trying once again to stop. I'm making a concerted effort, and any advice would help. I know it's my thing, and I should help myself, but I would seriously appreciate some advice here. Please.

Cue the music!

This morning's run was magical. I should have been running to the "Chariots of Fire" or "Rocky" theme song, but I have skipped the music in the mornings lately. (It makes my runs more meditative.)

Unfortunately, because it's date night tonight and I always feel compelled to dress cuter on those days, I'm wearing heels.

Ouuuuch! I have a big-ol' blister on the side of my left big toe, and on the top of my left little toe.

This weekend is going to be crazy, crazy (and fun, too): we're going to our niece's high school graduation and birthday party. I'm looking forward to the visiting part, but not the driving there and back; this weekend just sounds like a great time to chill out, relax, get a little crafting done, watch movies and run!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's the little things

I woke up to two Kona coffee chocolate bars encased in a love note in a pocket of my purse. I love the small things, and I know a great many people do, but who takes time to notice, or to create small things? This note wasn't Shakespeare. It wasn't poetry at all, even. It wasn't done in calligraphy. But that isn't what mattered, at least, to me. Just the fact that someone (my man) took just a minute out of his insanely busy day to think about just me, what I love and sometimes need to see in writing, and to write me a love note! To me, this is just further evidence that love isn't a big thing, but a million little things.

I love that guy.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

In 3... 2...

Countdown to Project 90 has begun! In preparation for this month-long goal, I have:
Slept in
Eaten crappy junk food
Stayed up late
Not run longer than three miles

I'd say I'm in good shape. I totally got this. It's in the bag, baby! Seriously, though. Now that my sleeping schedule is more or less under control now, I feel much less drowsy in the mornings, and much more willing to actually get up to run. I know I CAN do it. I'm just wondering how much life will get in the way. I'm prepared to work hard, knowing that I will definitely thank myself all summer.

Then, getting knocked up this winter might not feel so horrible. Hopefully.

90 miles in 30 days! Who's with me, anyone? C'mon... I dare ya to comment! Even if it isn't running! Crochet for 30 days. Eat. Rob liquor stores. Whatever! Join me (I'll be doing the running thing though)! What will YOU be doing for the thirty days of June?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Keeping this in mind...

Tomorrow is officially not Monday, so it stands to reason that it'll be okay when my alarm goes off at 4:20 a.m. And I will jump out of bed, get dressed, and run! Why do I want to do this so desperately? Because of the way I feel AFTER a run. Not because I love waking up early. Not because I love doing things like running so early in the morning.

Honestly, it was a decent week for running; I had a few great runs. Even in the heat, it was nice. I melted a little, but it made me feel so great, just to have been out there, doing something. Taking advantage of the nice outdoors, living in a flat-and-fast valley, smelling the amazing jasmine, taking time to stop and snap a few pictures of some awesome flowers (because everything grows here).

All in all, as usual, the weekend went double-time, and I didn't get done half of what I wanted to get done. And next weekend doesn't look promising for getting those things done, either. Oh, boy...summer is always so busy.

I need to remember to savor the moments. Such is life, I suppose. Everyone needs a reminder every once in a while, to live in the moment. Enjoy life.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


When I saw my doctor on Friday, he asked if I meditate; I said yes, but not in the traditional sense. I run. That is my time for thinking. That is my ME time. My time to work out all of my daily problems.

He asked because I told him my stress had been off the charts this past month or so. We talked about how lack of sleep affects SO MANY things in a person's daily life.

But, as usual, his question made me think (because I'm pretty introspective by nature). About a whole lot of things, but mostly about what it means to meditate. Maybe my "not in the traditional sense" answer was a little broad. I think a lot of people meditate in un-traditional ways.

Maybe that is evidence of my desperate need to run, that I've been craving alone time. Time to think, ponder. Time to relax and enjoy the peace and silence and stillness. To be myself, by myself.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I feel!

I haven't been sleeping well, and it has seriously messed up my day-to-day life. Examples:
1 I'm more stressed at work
2 I've had a shorter fuse
3 I haven't run as much
4 I have lacked energy
5 I have lacked motivation
6 I'm always tired!

Seriously, it was going down hill FAST! But my doctor told me about a wonder drug yesterday: melatonin. The thing is, it isn't even a drug; it's a supplement. And it's cheap! I got a big bottle at Sam's Club for around $6! I slept great last night: I fell asleep, and (miracle of miracles) stayed asleep. Go figure.

So I'm here to tell you: great sleep can make for a great day, and a great run. I'm still working on getting my body used to the heat (and speeding up), so I take breaks. I usually have water with me, but not today...oops.

At least I had some nice sights to see!

I have fallen in love all over again with running! I've also developed an attachment to these melatonin things. I love sleep. Anything that makes me sleep better (and therefore love life even just a little better) is my new best friend.

Love it.

Sooo much.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Call it cross-training

It's not too hot just yet, this early in the day, and there's supposed to be some cooler weather this weekend. Yippee for that, but boo for having to get the pool squared away.

As usual, it helps when I play mind games with myself. So today, with all the lifting and heaving and dragging and hoisting, I'm calling it "cross-training."

At least there's no yard work that needs to be done...

Why do we pay a yard care guy? Hello! Weeds, overgrown shrubs and bushes...seriously now!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Announcing Project 90

I'm a very goal-oriented person, and I think the lack of a specific goal these past couple of months has done me no good, no good at all. So, I gave myself a goal: 90 miles in June. I realize that so many other runners log that many in just a week or two, but that's not me...yet.

So I've cut myself off from logging any miles in Daily Mile, and beginning June 1st (rather, actually, the 3rd, due to extenuating circumstances much beyond my control), I have a plan. This plan goes over the 90 mile goal, but only just barely, so that in case something happens (injury, puking in the heat, whatever), I can remain on track.

It's going to be a stretch for me, I'm sure. But I know that if you achieve more than 50% of your goals, you're making them too easy. I know I CAN do it, but will I? There's the rub!

I also love to calculate statistics, and that 50% thing is something that really intrigues me. If I achieve this goal the first month I set out to do it, maybe I'll try for 100 the next month (well, maybe not...I'm going on vacation in July), or maybe the month after that!

This will be my "hold myself accountable" space where I will either scold or applaud my efforts, abilities, achievements... It's going to be great.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


At work yesterday, I worked at a different desk than I usually do, and so I sat near people I don't talk to on a regular basis. One of these people, Veronica, is someone whose age I've always wondered about (because I thought we were about the same age).

When the two older-than-us women discussed the death of Robin Gibb, and the glory days of the BeeGees, Veronica and I were at somewhat of a loss, so I had the chance to ask when she was born.

"1984," she said. Wow. I realized how old I really am, in that moment. Three decades. I wasn't alive when the BeeGees were big, so I kind of reeled in my newfound "old" status, even if it was only a few years older than this baby, this child (obviously).

And that is when she asked my age. When I told her "31," she said no way, she didnt believe it. She thought I was in my early- to mid-20s. Ahh...

I think finally, after years of hating the fact that I look younger than I am, I've come to appreciate it, and enjoy it. Truth be told, I think my favorite part about it is taking people off-guard, throwing them for a loop.

Either way, I'll take it. We all have crosses to bear, right?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Calling all fashion people...or whatever

I'm not what you might call "girly." I don't wear makeup. I hate the color pink. I never used to wear dresses or skirts until it became the norm at work, plus I started getting way too hot in pants.

When I found a number of different-looking styled tops on sale at a sidewalk sale a couple of weekend ago, I just knew they were for me. Maybe they aren't the best in the fashion world, and truthfully I don't care because that's not me. I like them, and that is all that matters.

Tomorrow night is the beginning of a very, very, VERY short weekend.


For the first time in a long, long time, I had an amazingly awesome and incredible run this morning. It might be because I slept well, didn't wake up every hour. It might be because I jumped out of bed. It might be that I ate a more balanced diet yesterday. Whatever the reason, it was fantastic and I loved it and I wanted to squeeze it and call it George.

While on this magical run, I came across two things that I hope never to see again: a dirty diaper just thrown onto the road, and my sad mopey husband w-a-l-k-i-n-g with an injured back (of course, when I suggest a visit to his doctor, he "knows" his doctor will just tell him to stop running).

I hope this wonderful running feeling continues tomorrow morning...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Busy and bored

How can you be busy and bored at the same time? Well, let me answer your question by asking another: you remember "busy work" in elementary school? Work that kept you physically busy but did not keep you mentally stimulated? There you go. That would be me. Me exactly, actually.

I've started forcing myself to stand up, move around, take a physical break from sitting all day. Which lead me to standing by the trunk of my car during lunch. Even though I was melting, it felt much better (mentally and physically) than sitting anywhere.

Tomorrow should be interesting: project day! Team effort! Ugh.

Monday, May 14, 2012

It was real.

This happy face is merely a deception. A fake. A phony. A fraud. (Except that I was happy to be with my sweetie.)

Overall, it was an okay ride, great to get out in the world, free as birds as smell the fresh...cow poo. Blech. And it was just as I was starting to get into the whole feeling of it all.

It's just that I wasn't really feeling it. I felt sluggish, lackluster, unwilling. My legs wouldn't go as fast as they normally do.

Kids: eat right. I've been on a steady diet of strawberries and whatever else I can find that mighty be good with them (including but not limited to fat free CoolWhip, mangoes, chocolate chips and ricotta cheese, or cottage cheese. I'm a little obsessive.

But I think that is the reason my legs didnt want to work: "variety is the spice of life," "man was not meant to live on bread alone." Lesson learned.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Time alone is healing. For me, at least. For lunch, I made a wrap with hummus, peppered turkey, bell peppers, pepperoncinis, and broccoli slaw. Then, for dessert: a cara cara orange. Total yum.

Now, it's on to cleaning and reading and internet shopping. It is just what I've needed for the past couple of weeks. Not just sitting in front of the tv, but real time, just by myself.

It really is lovely.

6 in 2

Life is learning, right? It's a constant battle. You live, learn, alter course, change priorities, learn some more, change, grow, learn... It never ends. The joys and frustrations.

In the Central Valley, winters are short, fall and spring kind of merge together, and that's what the locals call "winter." There's no snow, except in the mountains (which, by definition, is no longer the valley). And summer comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. And I'm trying to match it, by getting used to the heat quick. Easier said than done, when one weekend is rainy and mid-60s, and the next is sunny and mid-80s.

Yesterday, I did three miles, averaging somewhere close to 9:30 miles. But today, I felt good. Especially after my break after the first mile or so, when I paused to let my body regain control of its core temperature. I started running again, and my garmin beeped its you're-going-too-fast beep. So I glanced down, and saw my pace was 8:49. It felt good, so I kept going. Watch beeped again, but this time it was 8: 30. I still felt good, and kept going. Again with the beep: 8:14. This was getting ridiculous. Once more, it beeped: 7:59. There must be something wrong with this thing, there is no way. But it was. I really ran that fast.

I couldn't keep going at that pace forever, so I decided to call it a "speed run," as if I was intentionally focusing on my speed. (That's how it works, right?) But it made me think, this may not be such a bad idea. This could work as a way to get used to the heat this summer. Run, walk, run. Get faster, build endurance. Makes sense to me.

I did six miles in two days. Not a great feat for some runners, but for me, in this heat? A big deal. I'll take it. And do three more miles tomorrow! Bring. It. On.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Great run today

Technically, I put "good" or maybe "alright" (grr, not a word) on daily mile, but whatever, it was a positive thing.

However, it was hot, and I decided to stop and rest on the sidewalk for a bit before starting back up again. I'm determined to log at least 50, but hopefully closer to 80 miles this month. It's not going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination, but it'll be worth it. Swimsuit season is upon us, you know.

Another mind game I'm going to try this time: streaking. I know it seems ridiculous, but every streak started with just one day. Then two, and three... Maybe I will only get a few days, but right now, it motivates me. Isn't that what it's all about anyway?

Alone, not lonely

I love to have time to myself. Time alone. When I can do what I want, think what I want. Whatever. I can escape in my own brain. Or, if I want to read, I can escape into someone else's brain.

Lately I've felt this overwhelming need to escape. Not to a place, but to a state of mind. Which is exactly what I was doing at lunch one day. I was all set up:

Looks perfect, right? Perfect food, perfect kindle, perfect shady spot... It was time to chillax.

Alas, it wasn't meant to be. Despite my "don't look at me, don't talk to me" vibes I was trying desperately to send out to the world, someone say down right next to me and wouldn't shut up for the last 20 minutes of my 30 minute lunch.

Ahh, those first ten minutes were magical, mixing my strawberries into my cottage cheese, preparing my kindle... It was going to be wonderful.

And then, the political talk. The inane ramblings of a coworker with obviously too much energy.

Anyone else out there enjoy your alone time? How do you escape?
~ ~ I think that's why I like to run: to be alone, to go wherever my legs want to go. I can think (and/or listen to music), crazy things and practical things, work things and home things. It's multitasking, doing double or triple duty: (1) I'm alone, (2) I'm exercising, and (3) I'm releasing stress.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Good run!

I was once again excited to run this morning, but not excited that I'd slept in and therefore didn't have much time to run longer than three miles. Boo.

I made it good, though: I ran half of the loop, cut it down the middle, and went around part of the other side of the loop. It was fun, really.

...but dark.

I told myself that if I didn't get to five miles, I would at leasy do some other exercises when I got home. Snowball was very disappointed when I wouldn't let him lick my sweaty head (wasn't that why I was on the floor, anyway?).

And now, I'm excited to wear new clothes;

Monday, May 7, 2012

Go deep!

Maybe this is a little deep for a Monday evening, but it (along with a lot of other things) has been on my mind, whirlin' around, gaining steam and it just seems like it won't give up. So, what do you think:

Mr. Man washed the dog this weekend, and I dried the dog. Because we do not have a huge master bathroom shower (or maybe it wouldn't matter if we did have a larger shower option, I don't know), the area where he washes him is small, and he likes it because the dog can't wander too far. At the same time, MM understands that the bathing experience is not enjoyable in the slightest for our geriatric pooch, so he supports him, almost locks him in place. And thus, he is washed.

When I get the furry dog, I take him out of the towel and let him wander more or less "free," but with rough boundaries (i.e. wherever my hair dryer can reach is fair game). If the dog moves to that corner, I blow dry the part that's still exposed; when he switches corners, same thing. I get what I can get, when and however I can get it. A spoonful of sugar, right?

As I'm in the bathroom, thinking about our different styles of grooming this creature, just minding his business, but going through life kind of at our whim, I thought about my job, and the myriad of personalities of people that are employed there.

Take supervisors, for example. Some of them allow a great deal of freedom, but sometimes it ends us burning them, when a manager asks, "why weren't you on top of your employees about that?" There could be a number of legitimate reasons why a supervisor wouldn't want to nag someone about every little thing. Why keep them on a short leash, since some of the best learning comes from errors, or ideas that didn't end up working out?

Other supervisors DO nag their employees, asking them every day or week, "what's the status?" If employees constantly search for status updates, it's not exactly a great use of time. Not exactly cost effective.

Some employees need the nagging, that consistent "what's the status" request. They like it, they crave it. In more than just the work environment.

But what's the right answer? I think, after considering it for a while: it depends. On the situation. On the employee. On the dog. And for our dog, both things work, Mr Man with his close quarters and me, with my "go as far as my blow dryer chord can reach."

I'm excited!

I'm excited because while it's already summer around these parts, I know that I can reach 50 miles this month. Here's my thinking:

I'm due to re-up my RAD membership (a radio talk show website where you can download all of their segments online), but the bad news is that their prices increased. A year-long membership now costs $60.

There's also a half marathon in Fresno (and Clovis) in November. Signing up for either one (because they take place the same day, how dumb) costs somewhere around - you guessed it - $60.

My preference? I'd rather put off getting the membership this month, but get it next month instead. This is B.I.G. for me, because I'm totally obsessed with that radio show. BIG.

I love signing up for a new race: the excitement, the training plans, the new outfits, the new location and sights... It's magical. I realize I'm a huge dork, by the way.

Then again, maybe I should sign up for another (sooner) race. Or both. Whatever. Because obviously, money isn't an issue in my world. Riiiiiight.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

SOS: short weekend

It was the same old stuff this weekend: cleaning, cooking, running, watching movies, playing video games, watching tv, and computing. Oh yeah, and dreading the Monday morning alarm clock that always rings way too early.

But tonight, things are different: I'm actually excited to hear my cell phone buzz at 4:15. I'm excited to get up and run. To use energy so that I have more of it throughout the day (doesn't make sense, but it's true)! Everything is laid out, ready to go. I'm ready to JUMP out of bed when that alarm goes off; I'm ready to run out the door for at least a few miles before work.

Which means tonight, I have to sleep. But tomorrow: a recap of the crazy things I saw this weekend. Teaser: "friends don't let friends drink and bike."

What did you do this weekend? Did you see or do anything crazy? or fun? (or crazy fun)?

What time does your alarm wake you up?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Look what I did!

The farmers market was fun, but they hardly ever have what we're searching for.

I ran! And I'm still wearing my running gear, because I'm planning to try a double day, starting when Mr. Man goes out to a business dinner. I'm trying to build my endurance on the heat so I can at least run in the morning during summer.

Oh yeah, and nice, pretty flowers I saw (and smelled) on my run. Very nice. I had to stop. Take a picture. Move along.

Did you run today? What did you see and smell? Do you shop at farmers markets?

Friday, May 4, 2012

The long and short of it

Today was a long day. And a short day. It's complicated. I woke up earlier than I wanted to - earlier than I normally would on a Friday morning - so that I could take Lady to the groomers.

See, she's kind of a skanky, smelly, messy, mangy bitch (literally and figuratively, thank you). So we decided to avoid having her explode all over the house during the summer (because she is wont to do that). So I dropped her off, and the guy says to come pick her up in an hour and a half.

Wait, seriously? You wanted me to come back to retrieve her? Dang it. I am not a fan of that dog (as you might be able to tell from the above description). Reluctantly, I agreed, and even gave them my real phone number.

This lovely creature is what I picked up, and am glad to call mine (even if she's still a crazy bitch). I'm so excited to not have to deal with all of her crazy hair this summer!

The rest of my morning was filled with something I have been dreaming about, longing for, lusting after...all this week: S.L.E.E.P. I napped until a little after 1pm. I needed that sleep.

Then, it was off to the outlet mall (a very quick, less than five minute drive), and the soon-to-close Bali-Playtex-Hanes store, where we spent too much money, but couldn't resist because there were some super awesome deals. I ended up getting a sport bra and two tech running shirts. Total score.

Then I wandered to another store, and found these, that made me laugh. Hot. Pink. Duck boots. Wow. No wonder they were on sale.

And then...blech. My least favorite place in the whole wide world: the hardware store. True to form, I asked a worker for help, and it took three other guys to find it. FYI: don't look for floor cleaner in this place. Not only will they ask you a million questions (what kind of floor? what brand of wet vac? what kind of cleaning do you want to do with the cleaner?), but then you get absolutely no explanation why all of their floor cleaners shouldn't be in the same place (my guess: because it would make sense!).

Blah, blah. I hate hardware stores.

Mr. Man got to drool over a new 80" flat screen he saw advertised online, and was very excited... no, more like "giddy" that it would fit on our existing tv stand. Exciting. I know. It's a tv.

I get to run tomorrow morning, then it's alone time for me, and hunting international terrorists (007 video game from Blockbuster) for Mr. Man. Oh, and maybe spending a little more money for me.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

One more chance

Is it Thursday yet?

I like working. I enjoy being busy. But like anyone else who has a job, there are times when I find said job a little on the tedious... monotonous... boring side. Today was one of those days. At one point this afternoon, I found myself not as productive as I should have been, and I decided I needed a mental break, so I walked outside to my car.

Hm. Still bored out of my mind. At least it wasn't too hot. Yet. I fiddled with my phone for a while, but quickly found an excuse to go back in the building when someone threatened to invade my solitude I so much enjoy.

Towards 4:00 or so (with 90 minutes left in my work day), Mr. Man and I commiserated a little bit, and agreed that the prescription for a day like today (for both of us) was dinner out!

Yum. I heart Firkin.

Oh, and one more thing from today, for HRG:

This is banana perfection. Just for reference. All y'all agree with me, right? Anything older than this is gross and eww...smelly. Blech.


Yeah, kind of an epic fail this morning. I didn't wake up early enough to do anything but get dressed and go. I didnt even eat until I got to work. I guess I just wasn't meant to have a Starbucks treat day. Fine by me: something to continue to work towards.

So during my morning break, I researched and found a half marathon I may want to try this fall (because already I can't stand the heat!): the Fresno Two Cities Half Marathon! It's on a Sunday in November, and here is the absolute kicker: so far, I'm not planning to be out of town that weekend. Ooh, this might be do-able!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Double or nothin'

I'm raisin', the stakes, dude. Twice this week. Two days. In. A. Row. For half of my work week, I've gotten up with my alarm, and I've done something. Maybe it wasn't all I had in mind that I wanted to accomplish, but it was something. A start.

So, even though Mr. Man has officially lost interest in the bets we placed, I have not. So. The plan is this: keep it up for just two more days, and I'll reward myself with a treat drink at Starbucks (only because I can't think of a better "treat").

I would like to conclude this post with my toe. That got this way immediately after my half marathon. More than a month and a half ago.

So, out of curiosity, how long does this take to go away? It can't be like this forever, right?

Second question: why does this happen? And (this should be obvious) if this is what happens for a half marathon, who thinks I'm up for a full?

I did it!

I woke up (today). I exercised (cross-trained?) using my new Roku to access free exercise videos. Sadly, I don't yet have all of the necessary equipment, but I made it work. Plus, I was out the door by 6:05 both days this week. Beautiful.

I'm participating in a survey this week, for a coworker of mine. Shes studying whether people make the same eating decisions when they are under stress. So far, it might be a bad week to do this, because my stress is off the charts. I even had to take a chill pill earlier today. And the emergency chocolate in my desk drawer is totally calling my name. And my tummy hurts (due to stress).

But this...

...this veggie (eggplant, bell peppers and mushroom sandwich) is heaven. Call it "leftovers" if you must, but it was super yummy! Perfect amount of spice.

But just gimme a sec, and I'll dive into my junk drawer. Apropos of nothing, did you know that York peppermint patties have only 140 calories, and very little fat? The bummer is climbing down that mountain.