30 November 2007

New bicycle!!!!!!

I've had a Marin Portofina road bicycle on layaway at Bike City for the past month and James and his mom surprised me with an early Christmas present by going ahead and paying it off for me today. I had an armload of laundry when the doorbell rings and I was kind of cranky when I opened the door and they were standing there. Boy was I surprised when James said come on out and look what we have here. Moral of the story, don't get snappish over something small.
Here's the link to Marin's website--http://www.marinbikes.com/2008_Marin/bikes/specs_portofina.php.
No pictures yet, I'll try to get some taken over the weekend. I'm so excited about having a road bike, I would like to try a duathlon next year. No tris for me at least until I get some swimming lessons. I also need to take pics of James' bicycle, he has done some customizing to it, starting to resemble an Electra bike. Why don't we have cheap hobbies?


Made it into N. Little Rock last night, fueled this morning and drove on home. Finally did some much needed cleaning on the inside of my truck, it now smells like lavender Fabuloso, mmmm. I dislike the truck that I'm assigned to now, my previous truck was a Volvo, super nice truck, I now have a freightliner century class s/t (the s/t in my opinion stands for sh**ty truck). The volvo was assigned to me with a grand total of 12 miles on the odometer and four years later it looked as good as the day I got it. The freightliner had 386 miles on it but it is just not as well made a truck. 55,000 miles on the odo. and the door seals are already breaking down. Plus it has optimized idle on it so you're not able to idle the truck when it's cold or hot without it shutting down and starting up every 30 mins. Imagine your alarm clock going off every 30/45 minutes all night long and somebody shaking your bed at the same time, that's what I have right now. Earplugs help with the buzzers sounding but there is no getting around the truck shaking. It doesn't improve the fuel mileage, I actually get 1-2 mpg less on this truck hauling the same loads as before.

We were able to find a couple of the XM Delphi Skyfi3's last month when Best Buy clearanced them out at $29.99. My husband installed them in our trucks this morning. They seem to be nice units but the fm modulator is not as strong in these as the earlier skyfis or roadys.

Tonight was the dreadmill night, I haven't been hydrating properly so I was getting some major stitches the first 30 minutes, really need to watch that--coffee isn't an appropriate substitute for water. Total including a 1/4 mile warmup and 5 minute cooldown was 6.2 miles in 65 minutes. Also did a 15 minute weight workout before the cardio. I love doing the machine rows!! On a good day I can do 30 regular pushups without stopping, usually try for a 100 total but it's split up into 4-5 sets. My goal is to be able to do a full chinup.

28 November 2007


Ran 5.01 miles in 44:53. It was cold!!!!!!!! Ran at a faster than normal Tues. pace because of that. Usual pace at Sulphur Springs is more in the 9:30 range because of the road surface and hills. When you first take off it's a gradual downhill for the first 1.5 miles. It's so gradual that you don't notice it until the turnaround point and start coming back and you're looking at the hills. In Texas you have to be careful because if there are wide shoulders and the motorists will use them as a slow lane to allow faster traffic by. I'm not complaining, I do it too, and everybody in the area that I run is very courteous about watching for me. The only problems I have had has come from a couple of women that are on the larger side and now I know that if I see their car coming I need to get in the grass because they are going to crowd me no matter what.

OK, gripe for the day time! My husband has been driving truck for 19 yrs and I've been driving for a little over 7 yrs. We try to keep a safe distance between the us and the traffic around us but sometimes it's not always possible to keep as much of a cushion as we would like. Yesterday we came through San Marcos during a busy part of the day and this woman drives onto the freeway and immediately gets in the middle lane. No problem except she does this directly in front of my husband and then decides that he is following too closely. Now keep in mind that the trucks we drive are governed back to 67 mph and we are in no way capable of exceeding the speed limit in most areas. She starts looking in her mirror and braking hard, there is no where for my husband to go, trucks are prohibited in the fast lane (and even if they weren't, there was traffic blocking that option), there is a steady stream of traffic in the slow lane now passing so he can't move over there. His only option is to back down and try to keep as much distance from her as possible yet try not to be even more of a traffic hazard than she is and signal to move into the slow lane and hope somebody will see what's going on and let him over. Well, she takes him down to 50 mph on a 70 mph interstate and then darts into the hammer lane in front of a line of cars that are doing more than 70. WTF was this woman thinking?!? 1. if you are afraid of the interstate traffic there are usually perfectly good frontage roads to use. 2. Stay in the slow lane if you are going to go slower than the rest of the traffic. 3. Don't move over in front of a semi and start braking hard. 4. Don't dart out in the fast lane and almost cause a multi-vehicle pileup. She wasn't even on a mobile phone so can't blame her idiocy on that. I wish I could say that this was not an everyday occurence but it isn't unfortunately. I'm not saying that it always happens to us but it is something we do witness at least once a day. By the way if you see a truck signalling to move over if it's safe to do so just back out of it a little to let us change lanes, it will only slow you down for a few seconds, I promise :-). Rant over.


27 November 2007

No run today but registration for the 5k sat. is mailed. I did get loaded 2 hrs early today but decided to go ahead and keep today as a rest day despite yesterday being a very short run. Tomorrow should be back to my normal schedule. Today's photo is from my 2nd favorite race of the year--the Hot Summer Night 4 miler in Jonesboro, 8/10/07. My first age group award and my first real runner's high, boy was I hyper after that race. Temps were in the high 90's with a heat index of well over 100.

25 November 2007

no long run

Cold and wet today, Sunday is usually my long run day but not this time. Went out and managed to get a little over 20 mins. in before calling it quits. Not sure about the distance but was going a faster than normal to try to get warmed up. Did warm up but our streets were flooding in spots so ended up with shoes full of water several times. Not fun. Normally I like to run in the rain but just couldn't hack the ankle deep puddles today. Health club doesn't open up until 1300 and I want an early start today because of holiday traffic through Memphis so the treadmill isn't an option today. Oh well, maybe I can get loaded early enough tomorrow to stop back thru in the evening to get a quick run in.

Thinking about doing the Reindeer 5k in Russellville Sat., need to make up my mind quick to get the entry form in. I had so much fun at the Fall Fest 5k in October (got a 1st place age division award!!) because that was the first time that I had part of my family other than my hubby there to cheer me on. James is great, has been there for all of my races except one, always cheers me on and takes pictures (even the times when I've let nerves get the best of me and snapped at him). The picture today is from my very first race at the Toad Suck 5k, very tired and very happy because I ran straight thru with no walk breaks--chip time of 29:33.

24 November 2007

Yard work

Normally on Sat. mornings a group of us get together at Bike City to go for an approx. 12 mile fun ride (bicycle, not motorcycle), but with it being so cold I think everybody laid out. I know we did!! Finished cleaning out our rental storage building this morning (it was broke into last month) and then started raking the lawn. I swear anymore trees we plant are going to have big leaves--those are much easier to rake. We did purchase an electric leaf blower over the summer that has a bag and mulcher attachment. That made the clean up of the leaves so much easier. As I'm playing on the internet my husband is giving the lawn a final mow before sowing more grass seed. I think that's one of the signs we're getting older--an obsession with the yard.

I did take advantage of Hasting's after thanksgiving sale to get some new music (well new to me, 4 out of 5 were used cds)--NIN, linkin park, The Hives (2), and Stabbing Westward. The Nine Inch Nails got me thru the treadmill run last night!! My husband got a 1gb Sansa Clip yesterday. It seems like an excellent player plus has the fm stations and a nice display, all for $40. My 1st gen. shuffle is not going to last much longer, when it gives out I think I will go with the Clip for workouts. Sweat and the 1st gen. shuffle do not get along.


Winter is arriving in central Arkansas, I am so not ready for this. The cooler temps are great for running but sucky for everything else I want to do. Weight workout and then 5.3 miles on the treadmill. Friday evenings are slow at the health club so no fighting for space in the weight area-Yay!! Total miles for the week just over 22. I know that may not seem like much but I just started running last March. I took it up initially just to lose some weight but it has turned into something I enjoy and sometimes get cranky about if I have to miss a run because of a change in schedule. Highly recommend the couch to 5k program on coolrunning.com.

Yarnell's pumpkin pie ice cream is divine!! I can't believe that my husband and I finished off an entire carton in 2 days. Good thing it's limited edition. The photo above is of my very handsome hubby, James, my biggest cheerleader.

23 November 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Made it home midafternoon today, we didn't get in any hurry because of the holiday traffic yesterday. I35 was a mess from just north of San Antonio to Waco, bypassed Dallas so really
can't comment on that portion. Rushed to Wal-Mart before the store closed to buy food for the weekend, actually wasn't too bad.

Today's run was from where I park my truck to our house. 4.39 miles in 39:24. That's a little faster than what I should have done considering a lot was on hills and concrete and I had achy knees for about an hour afterwards as a result. Ran in my trail shoes since that's what I carry with me on the road and I think I may need to replace them a little sooner than expected. I also wasn't as hydrated as I should have been. Total for the week is 17.11 miles, will add some more tomorrow on the treadmill. Boring but it's easier on my legs if I can get in at least 1 run a week this way.

Watched Beowulf tonight, ate a bunch of very unhealthy theater popcorn (I think I'm starting to prefer the airpopped from home though). Movie was good but not great. 300 is still my favorite for the year. Looking forward to "I am Legend" and "Jumper".

I have two more episodes left of "Crescent" a podiobook by Phil Rossi. Great podcast, I highly recommend it if you like the sci-fi/horror genre.

20 November 2007

Trailer fixed and today's run

Finally got the trailer fixed. Lots of fun to see mechanics come out thinking that the problem was with me but then finding out hey they can't get the doors to close and latch either. Temporary fix was 2 big guys and a 5 lb. sledgehammer, final fix was a mechanic grinding down the top two catches. Almost as good as Fourth of July watching the sparks fly.

Today's run was near Prescott, AR. Almost normal Tuesday run, 3.72 miles in 34:26. Felt good except for my left little toe that I stubbed two weeks ago. My Asics trail shoes are a little on the tight side and that toe was getting a little bit squished. Approx. 100 mi. left on these shoes before they get relegated to yard duty. 59*, foggy, light mist and a wind out of the west that kicked up after my turn around point that seemed determined to push me down the hill when I wanted to go up. Total mileage for the week so far is 12.72 (had a 9 mile long run on Sunday). Today should have been closer to 4.5-5 miles, but was running late from yesterday. Anyway naptime now, hopefully the Austin I35 traffic will let up some (wishful thinking on my part, the only time that traffic lets up is-----never!)

19 November 2007


My baby, 2002 FXST, softail standard for those who don't know the Harley alphabet code. Love how my bike looks but really wish that I had gone with the Dyna instead for the midrange controls. The forward controls on my softy look sharp but can really become uncomfortable on longer rides because I'm stretched out so much. Hoping to get a Buell within the next couple of years, just can't make up my mind between the Firebolt or the Lightning. Still trying to make up my mind on the 1125R. I like how everything sounds about it but just not sure about the appearance of the fairing. I did get a chance to take a test ride on a Lightning at the Bumpus Memphis dealership back in the spring, fell in love but couldn't justify the payment at this time. I also would like to be able to test the Firebolt and 1125R before making a final decision.

The dresser in the background is my husband's ride, he also has a 1999 Honda Shadow Ace that he bobbed out but he sold it over the weekend so that he could get started on his next project.

It's all about me me me

Usually the first words I hear when somebody finds out that I drive a big truck are "You're a truck driver?!!" or "You actually drive that truck by yourself?" or even the occasional "You don't look like a truck driver." People have a preconceived notion of what a truck driver should look like and a small female is not what that stereotype is. One guy that I graduated high school with said that I was the last person he would have thought would be a truck driver. Still not quite sure how to take that comment.

However, as much as I like my job, it is just that--a job to support my life, it's not my whole life. I'm also a sister, aunt, runner, tattoo collector, scifi geek, avid reader, motorcycle enthusiast, wannabe fashionista, beginning bicyclist and kayaker, magazine junkie, podcast listener, m.a.c. addict, etc, etc. Nobody is one dimensional.

But back to the job, yes I'm a driver, yes I drive solo (5 out of the 7 years total that I've been driving), no most of the time I'm not scared. Right now I run a regional route from the west central TN area to Laredo, TX, have been doing this particular run for a little over 2 years.

Today I'm going to be later than normal, I have a trailer with a warped door that refuses to close so I'm waiting outside a customer's gate for the service truck to arrive. Tried all the normal tricks, beat on the latches and rods with a hammer, parked on uneven ground, got a much taller driver (over 6 ft.) to help but to no avail, that door just isn't going to shut without some mechanical intervention. It appears that the door and/or the hardware has been replaced recently but it wasn't adjusted properly when it was done. So that leaves me here waiting on a service truck.