31 December 2008

P.O.ed

I am very, very, very pissed off this morning! I try to recycle as much as I can, especially plastics, even to the point where I rinse out and bring home all the bottles and cans that I've used while I'm out on the road. Which is no big deal because I'm only out for 4 days max, but still I'm making an effort to reduce and recycle whenever I can. Well, this morning after checking the Searcy sanitation schedule and getting the trash and recycle bins out in the nick of time--literally moments before the regular trash crew got there, I had the very unpleasant surprise of watching the guys taking the stuff out of the recycle bins and putting it in with the regular trash. WTF!!!!!!!!!!! I've already sent off a quick email to the city complaining and later today when I'm calm enough to think a little clearer I'm going to send a letter to the mayor and local paper. If there wasn't going to be a recycle pickup 1) it shouldn't have been listed on the website and 2)just leave it, I would have brought the boxes back up from the curb and drove them to the recycling center myself. Grrrrr.

Ok, calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean, going to my happy place. Nope, still p.o.ed.

25 December 2008

My kinda holiday music

Ok, don't click on this if you're offended by foul language and heavy metal music--this is hilarious though. "Heavy Metal Christmas"

10k on Christmas Day

Merry Christmas everybody!!!!!!!!!

Blog post title stolen from Brenda! This morning I decided to drive south to Cabot to join Brenda and whoever else showed up for a Cruisers Christmas morning fun run. Got to tell you I was less than enthused with the temperature, it was chilly--but not near as chilly as last Sunday through Tuesday thank goodness. Anyway this morning it was Brenda, Cindy, Jackie, and me and I think we all looked pretty darn cute in our Christmasy red running tops. You would have thought we'd coordinated on purpose, LOL. Great run, I was showing 6.25 miles, Brenda was showing 6.2 (I have a 201 so it's probably not as accurate as Brenda's). Group runs always seem to fly by, we'd hit 4 miles before I knew it. I need to make the drive down more often, I generally love my solo runs but it's soooo much fun when you have somebody to talk to. Ok, I have a piece of pumpkin pie calling my name, hope everybody has a very happy Christmas day.

24 December 2008

Where's my holiday spirit?

It's hiding still!!!!
I know it's got to be there somewhere, maybe it will show back up by this evening. In the meantime I have gifts to count and wrap (nephew is old enough where his gifts are more expensive but still young enough that it kind of hurts his feelings if the niece gets more), a meal to plan for James to cook, and some last minute shopping to get done.

Finally made it home last night, my trailer was ready before 8 a.m. but James' didn't get done until closer to lunchtime. Have to be careful at Mt. Juliet because 9 times out of 10 the trailer will be dropped to high by the yard jockey. Overshooting the kingpin is not a good thing to do, lol. Fortunately I've only done it twice, both times were within my first 1.5 years of driving, and I caught it before I even got close to ramming the trailer into the back of the sleeper. Just a major pain to get out there and push the fifth wheel plate back down (that's after lowering the air suspension on the tractor and raising the trailer even more). Anyway, I always double-check the trailer height at this customer and yeah it was too high again yesterday. While I was lowering the trailer the yard driver came by and was going to help but I already had it under control by then. Did get an apology from him, I think he was kind of impressed that I handled it by myself instead of crying to the office for help. I did have a laugh with James about it afterwards that he never gets an apology or offer of help when he's having to do the same thing.

I knew I wasn't going to make it home in time to get my run in before dark (and rain) so stopped at the Pilot at Hurricane Mills to check out some new scenery. I love finding new (to me) roads to run on. Was going to run back towards the east but saw a sign for a church 6 miles out going towards the west on Old Hwy 13 so went that way instead. Beautiful and very little traffic. The only problem with new routes and being out in the country--No bathrooms!!!!! Got 4.55 miles in, was supposed to do 5 but my tummy started acting up and had to turn around. Oh well, almost got the full amount done. James was within 15 minutes of catching up with me by then so attempted some pushups, did ok, but didn't get the full sets in. I'm starting over with Week 3, level 2 but only got 12, 14, 13, 13, 6 (?) before my arms gave out, 3 shy on second set, and 11 shy on the final set. I was a little fatigued from the run and fighting with the trailer earlier in the day--besides having to lower it with almost 39,000 lbs on, I was having trouble with getting the tandems to release in order to slide them.

22 December 2008

Misinformed

James and I volunteered to cover any TN G.M. loads that needed to be covered this week in an attempt to postpone using any of our vacation time until next month (when General Motors will really slow down) and as a result we have gotten laid over for the day in Lebanon, TN--yuck...... Oh well, at least there's an outlet mall across from the Pilot, we'll go waste some time there this afternoon. Our dispatcher called about 1045 to let us know that he'd been misinformed, that there would be no Ceva loads coming out today--which is actually normal, James pulls the Mt. Juliet loads quite a bit and knows that they don't usually ship on Mondays. He questioned our dispatcher about it Friday when he said for us to be here first thing Monday morning but was told because of the Christmas holiday they were changing the schedule-HA! Right now James is asleep in his truck and I'm updating my blog (obviously, lol!). Our original plan was to get these down to Laredo ASAP because we could turn around and be back on Christmas Eve but now we'll just wait until the weekend to take them down--delivery appt is for the 29th.

Yesterday's run was FRIGID!!!!!!! But I survived ;-), even got in 1 more mile than planned. Was shooting for 9 and did 10, woo-h00. Sore today though, that's the longest run I've done since mid-October. Endurance is definitely improving, my long runs no longer result in me having to take a nap afterwards. I didn't think I was ever going to warm up afterwards though, my butt was bright red from the cold, didn't have enough layers on the bottom half.

I did the week 4 test before my run yesterday morning and could only get out 25 consecutive pushups in good form, yuck. So repeating weeks 3 and 4 on level 2 starting tomorrow--was doing level 1. Kind of knew beforehand that I was going to do as well as I should but it had already been almost 3 days since I'd completed week 4 and you're supposed to do the tests within 2 days of completion.

Normally I have absolutely no issues with going to sleep but Thursday night was an exception. Guess the stress of having done very little gift shopping got to me but I tossed and turned, tried to read, gave up and watched tv, tried to read some more and couldn't get to sleep until 4 am. Had to get up at 7:30 am, ugh.....End result was a VERY cranky Gabby that had almost as big of a temper tantrum in Toys-R-Us as the kids surrounding me Friday afternoon. It wasn't a pretty sight. We got in there and I'd gone completely blank on what Shelley had told me that Andy and Abigail wanted, so I was just wondering around in a daze trying to find the right toys. No more of this procrastinating, next year it's back to online shopping.

21 December 2008

What to Wear (when it's too freaking cold)

Brrrr! It's 21.6 degrees F right now and I'm supposed to be getting prepared for my long run (which may turn into a very short run!). Anyway the Runner's World website has this really neat little tool for what to wear based on the current temp, conditions, wind, and how you like to feel (ummm, not cold?). Got to get going, James and I volunteered to pull any TN loads that needed to be covered before Christmas so will be headed for Mt. Juliet later today and I still have to pick up my tractor from the International dealer (exhaust leak repair). Oh, the service writer at the shop was amazed and kind of freaked out that James and I ran separate trucks. He kept asking all these questions and saying how that was the neatest thing and he'd never heard about a husband/wife driving that way before.

19 December 2008

Shin guard shopping

Last week's mountain biking adventure left me with the realization that I'm probably never going to learn to get my legs away from the pedals. All the slipping off and falling has left my shins a bruised and cut mess. So I've started shopping for shin guards (well James started looking first for me). Argh!!!!!!!!!! I don't know which ones to get or even what size to get. This is absolutely frustrating and I don't think we have any retailers locally that has this sort of stuff in stock so I can try it on first.

I did have one very spectacular incident last Saturday and I'm still not sure how I managed to not injure myself. There are several water crossings which have VERY narrow boards that you have to ride across--well, I could get off the bike and carry it across, most are not very wide but what's the fun in that? Anyway, these make me nervous so I tense up and when you tense up the bike wobbles. I wobbled right off the edge of one and when that happened the front wheel went straight down and stuck in the mud, I slid forward off the seat and the rear wheel went up in the air behind me. Trying to write a description does not do the situation justice, trust me it was wild. I didn't even scrape my shins on that one!

"This fog's as thick as peanut butter!"

I think I need to watch the 1964 version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer just for that line! It certainly applies to my trip home from Laredo this week. I'm ready for the sunny 60+F day we're supposed to get tomorrow. Oh, here's a link for everything you could ever possibly want to know about fog, I adore Wikipedia, lol.........

Hmm, not a whole lot interesting happened on the way home other than listening to a female driver talking provocatively to other drivers on CB 19 between Texarkana and Prescott. It always kind of blows my mind that some women are actively seeking the kind of attention that I'm (and most of the other women drivers) trying to avoid. Now, we're not talking about a little flirtation here, this was stuff that would make me blush over when talking to my hubby. Oh well, not my business (or wouldn't be if she had been on an off channel) but it does tend to create something of a problem when some of these guys can't differentiate between those of us who aren't interested in entertaining them.

Since I was so late getting my lazy butt out of bed this morning (had my alarm set for 0530, it was just way too easy to shut ii off and doze some more, lol) I decided to stop at Malvern before sundown to get my workout in. What started out as an "I don't think I can do this" turned into "This is GREAT!!!!". I love it when a run just energizes you. Can't say that it put me in a better mood 'cause I was already feeling pretty good, it just took a little while for my muscles to warm up. The new whitewater park is going to be beautiful when it's finished, I just hope they don't over-develop the area. So while the fog is a p-i-t-a to drive in it made an awesome backdrop for a run next to the river.

Found out from our shop that we had 3 trucks wreck in the ice Monday night. One was a drop-deck loaded with GM parts, ooops. As I posted before, Arkansas is terrible about dealing with inclement weather. I think the prevailing attitude is that they'll just wait for everything to quit falling then react to it instead of being proactive in sanding/salting the bridges. Evidently Searcy got hit hard, there's still ice on the roof, around the fencelines and the trees tonight.

Have to get in gear and Christmas shop this weekend, until tonight I had done nothing, zilch, nada. The mountain bikes were mine and James' presents to each other so I don't have to worry about that at least. My sis, brother-in-law, and Mike are probably just going to get gift cards, just have to decide from where. That leaves my nephew, niece, and mother-in-law. Everybody else is getting brownies, cookies, and a "Merry Christmas!".

18 December 2008

Non-uneventful week

A group of us that run dedicated, local, or regional always reply that we had an uneventful week whenever asked how things have gone. Kind of a silly little joke and most people that know us by now tend to ask if our week was uneventful. With us if we've had an exciting week it means something went wrong, usually very wrong, lol, so we all prefer things to be more routine and boring. This week, Monday evening into Tuesday morning was a little too non-uneventful to suit me.

Everything started out great, had a kick-ass 5 mile run at Pulaski Monday morning--it was warm enough to wear a short sleeve tee and shorts and be comfortable, loved it. Made it up a little further on the water tower hill than the previous attempt so was pleased with that. Got unloaded and reloaded early enough to make it to the Clarksdale, MS with 10 minutes to spare on the appointment time. But it was just after leaving the dock at Pulaski that I got the call from James with news that causes trepidation in any sane truck-driver. No, not "The buffet closes in 10 minutes" or "DOT's on the ground checking logs." Nope, got informed that there was freezing rain and fog in Arkansas. Now, overall I like the state I live in but they are notorious for not dealing with ice storms very well (understatement!). Monday night was no exception.

I don't like driving in icy conditions but I've done it enough to know that I'll be ok as long as I keep it slow, steady, and as far away from other motorists as possible. My main concern was not getting stuck behind someone that spun out on a hill. There was less than 8000 pounds in the trailer and I have an automatic, not a good combination for trying to get going up an icy hill. Oh, and I had forgotten my handy, dandy container of kitty litter sitting on the bbq grill on the carport at home (non-clumping kitty litter can be a life and sanity saver in the winter).

The icy stuff didn't start until just east of Little Rock and it wasn't terrible but there were still several four-wheelers that had hit the black ice on the bridges and slid off the road. While I was fueling up at the Pilot in NLR I had some guy come up to me and ask was I really going to drive in that weather. Not sure if it was because of the company I'm employed by and he thought I was an inexperienced driver or because I'm a woman or a combination of the 2. Whatever, it was funny and slightly insulting all at the same time. Oh, he'd made some other inane joke about not hitting him with the hammer that I was using to bump the tires with--that was before the other comment, otherwise I might have been tempted to tap him on the noggin, ha-ha.

440 was slick, it's basically one long overpass anyway between I-40 and I-30. But again, slow, steady, keep your distance. The fun really started once I merged onto 30, there were cars and trucks everywhere--in the median, against the guardrail, in the ditch and not a sand truck to be seen. This went on for about 10 miles and then everything kind of mellowed out for a while but I did start to see a lot of truck-drivers following way too close. They were going slow, but still if the person in front of you starts to slide and you're that close there's nowhere to go. I want as much space between me and other motorists as possible when it's like that (my husband taught me well!). It always amazes me when truckdrivers that are bumper-to-bumper like that yell at people who move over to pass them that the person passing is going to wreck when it's usually the other way around. How do they think multi-vehicle pileups happen? It's nearly always from following too close.

Even though there were a lot of spin-outs traffic was still moving ok on the west-bound side (east-bound was a different story, bad truck wreck at the 114 mm) until we got to the 91 mile marker. A truck had spun out trying to go up the hill--not sure what side it initially happened on, but it basically had a domino effect--both directions ended up stopping. When everything came to a standstill I was in the hammer lane so just eased my steer tires over onto the rumble strips so I would have something to give me traction in case I had trouble getting started again. Ended up sitting for almost 2 hours until the cops, sand trucks, and fire engines could get out there and get things moving again. I'd planned on taking my sleep break in Texas but only made it to Gurdon with 15 minutes to spare on my 14. No way was I going to push it on my log with all that happening. Woke up Tuesday morning to more of the same until just east of Texarkana. Evidently Dallas was a mess but I have a shortcut that knocks 15 miles off and I don't have to deal with DFW traffic so was able to miss all that.

Blech, I hate winter driving especially in states that may only have 2-3 bad storms a season. My neck and shoulders are still achy from where I was so tense driving. You don't realize how much you tighten up until the day's over with.

Had to wait until this morning for my trailer at Laredo so didn't get the 5 mile tempo run done that was scheduled. Substituted hill repeats instead, 1.5 mile warmup, .5 mile cooldown, 5 repeats up the little hill, 1 big hill repeat for the remainder with a total of 3.25 miles. Wasn't what was planned but a hard workout nonetheless. I haven't found a suitable (read safe) place to run at in Laredo for anything over 3-4 miles. Because of the area I usually get up just after sunrise and get my run done before everybody starts showing up to work in the industrial park where our yard is.

Heavy fog tonight so I just shut down early, don't have to be home early for anything so no need to push it. Drive safe!

12 December 2008

New math

Blech, it's only been 1 week with the Clarksdale, MS pickup and I'm already frustrated with it. First off, by following the route plan sent via qualcomm it added just over a hundred miles but only pays for 25. Yep, a grand total of $30 (.40 cpm X 25 + $20 extra pickup pay) for the privilege of missing lunch and standing in a very stinky, smoky plant listening to a forklift driver grumbling about how stupid day shift is. So not worth it. The factory is what used to be an old cotton mill warehouse and has absolutely no ventilation so the fumes from where the plastic is being cut and molded is horrible. My eyes were burning and I was coughing and hacking for a couple of hours after getting out of there. Can't imagine how the production workers feel from being in there for a full shift.

I was sooo hungry after finally getting loaded and the only place available with truck parking had only deep-fried junk. Made myself even sicker by eating a corn-dog and 3 potato wedges. YUCK!!!!!!!!!! Actually I don't think I even chewed anything, pretty much inhaled it. They did have excellent coffee (either that or I was just too caffeine-deprived to know any better).

Prior to all that mess Monday I did get in an excellent 5 mile run at Pulaski and found out that my dog running buddy didn't get run over after all, YAY! She kept running up to me and lightly head butting my hand to get me to pet her, awww.

It was nice being able to talk to James on the c.b. instead of having to call him this week but it looks like we'll be back to our regular schedule this coming week. It would have been even nicer if I hadn't been pms'ing and cramping and cranky.

I had return racks Tuesday night but James didn't until after 10 a.m. Wed. so we were later than usual getting home today. Well, I was anyway--he's a day early :-). Didn't get the scheduled run in because it was WINDY in Texas yesterday. 20-40 mph winds depending on the area. Beaumont and Houston had snow accumulation today (as well as southern Louisiana and Mississippi)--how crazy is that? Did finish up week 3, day 3, level 1 on the pushup challenge. Didn't do very well, was still feeling "off" due to my period and an exhaust leak that seems to be making the truck rounds (James, Terry, and now mine--grrrr).

Tried to get in a 5 miler this afternoon but my body decided that it had been being way too good here lately and I had to turn back after 3/4 of a mile. I think my tummy was belatedly punishing me for inflicting the deep-fried crap on it Monday. Very frustrating because I thought I had everything planned out--5 mile run, then a quick snack, and meet at the l.b.s for the Thursday afternoon ride (the one I've been skipping out on because it's been too darn cold!). Well, got the cycling in anyway but it was a short jaunt on the mountain bike (9.9 miles) instead of 15-20 miles on the road bike (I was out-voted, both James and Gary R. wanted to ride the knobby-tired beasts instead of the sleek, FAST road bicycles).

I've been reading the awesome St. Jude marathon and 1/2 marathon race reports on the Cabot Cruisers forum and some of the blogs (still not caught up with everybody's yet) and it's making me cry. Ummm, I can blame it on hormones can't I? Can't let EVERYBODY know I'm so mushy, I've got a reputation to keep up here, LOL!

07 December 2008

Treadmills are starting to sound appealing

I'm sure by now that everybody has figured out that I absolutely can't stand cold weather (and I'm a whiner about it) but this year I'm handling it even worse than usual. I feel chilled all the time and allergies just won't go away. Need to go find a good multi-vitamin, cause it may be due to iron deficiency. Yuck, just don't like taking pills. Do they make an adult's chewable? That might help.

Yesterday I was just tired and cranky (probably my period fixing to start) so skipped the 5k at Russellville and slept in. James and I finally raked the yard in the afternoon, it's amazing how much "cleaner" it looks now. We have a leaf-blower that also can work as a mulcher so we chopped all the leaves up and put them in the sort-of compost pile we have started. I'm trying to do my best to recycle as much as possible and cut down our wastefulness. Afterwards, I went in for a water break put my head on the table and ended up falling asleep like that. All I was thinking was just resting for a moment and next thing I know I'm being woke up by James using the leaf blower to clean off the carport where he's finishing up the yard.

James ran 3.45 miles Friday afternoon in his new running shoes. He started having leg pain all of a sudden after being able to run 3 miles twice and then had a week where he couldn't run a 1/4 mile. Kept telling him it was time to replace the shoes but he argued with me. Finally just had to go into Academy Sports with him and INSIST he buy new shoes. Guess what, he was able to run again with no pain. Men.

Ok, I need to think about getting dressed for an 8 mile run but it's 31 F (feels like 22 F) and I'm starting to dream of a treadmill run (I hate treadmills though!).

05 December 2008

randomness

Brrr, it's cold in my house right now. I don't know how people stand it keeping their thermostats at 68 F. I'm at least a 75 F person.

If you're a female truck driver and want to get more than the usual amount of "whoo baby" comments, find a skinny back road. I decided to give Hwy 37 south out of Mt. Vernon a try on Tuesday for a change of scenery and I don't think I've ever gotten hollered at so much within a 45 minute period.

I wish I could tell customers "I don't know when I'll be there, just sometime in the afternoon" like the heat/air repairman told James this morning.

Why didn't I get a push forward from the wind when I turned north on my tempo run Wednesday? The wind was sure pushing me back when I was facing south.

Umm, why does the newest guard at Penske keep asking me EVERY week if I drive solo?

At some point when I run at Cotulla or Pearsall I'm going to trip over a rattlesnake. I just hope it will be as startled as I am and slithers the opposite direction while I'm screaming like a little girl.

I need to buy some cold weather running gear that fits--most everything from last year is too big. Baggy bottom tights are NOT attractive in the least and certainly not comfortable.

Why do I appear so chubby in the Spa 10k pics? I look at least 10 lbs heavier than I am. Guess part of it is the too big running gear. Plus I've decided white shirts are not the best look for me.

I guess the photographer at the BDB 100 decided that people coming in over 6 hours didn't deserve to have official finish line photos. However there are a couple of good pics of James crossing here. 8th row down, the 2 on the right.

Had an awesome run yesterday evening. Did the first 3+ miles with Elsie--we stopped at the creek so she could get a drink and she was having fun jumping up and down the embankment. Brought her back to the house (and the corresponding bag of dog poop, yuck!) and finished the rest solo in the dark(!) for a total of 5.16 miles. Felt fantastic--at least until I figured out the blower wasn't working on the central heat.

Speaking of dog poop, I wish people would pick up after their dogs. Yes, it's no fun carrying around bags of dog crap but come on, it's part of responsible dog ownership.

That brings me to another dog issue. I watched what was (I assume) a husband/wife (bf/gf, whatever) at Cotulla pull up beside a grassy area in their big truck, open up the passenger door, and put their dog (german shepherd mix) out with no leash to do it's business while they sat in the truck. Needless to say, they didn't clean up after their dog. Lazy jerks.

While I'm on a roll here. I'm very picky about the dog clean-up baggies I buy, lol! I prefer the BioBag Dog brand. They're biodegradable and can be hung up on a hook so all we have to do is pull one loose before heading out the door, Easy-Peasy. Oh yeah, they actually open up easily unlike the ones I bought from Wal-Mart last weekend.

Just found out that I bought the extended warranty when I purchased our heating/air unit a few years ago. Shouldn't be any charge for the repairs, YAY!!

Continental Express out of Little Rock was purchased by Celadon this week. Celadon immediately fired all Continental office personnel and let quite a few of the drivers go that didn't meet their standards. How the heck can you manage to not meet Celadon's standards? Last time I checked they pretty much just required a pulse. James' friend at Continental told James that his pay was cut immediately from .38 cpm to .34 cpm.

Because of running so late this week I decided to spend the night at Kerens instead of pushing on for Arkansas Wed. night. Counting me, there were a grand total of 2 trucks in the actual big truck parking area. By the time I walked out of Dollar General there were FIVE trucks parked in the Car parking area. It's a small lot so it's not like you're going to have to walk forever to get to the bathrooms. Way to go guys, definitely promoting the not so good image we have.

Have not started Christmas shopping at all. It's going to be a madhouse when I do start.

The Big Dam Bridge is not showing the duathlon on the calendar of events for 2009. Bummer, I was looking forward to it. I don't think it got the level of interest that the BDB 100 and Twilight 5k did but they didn't put as much effort into promoting it. It was also raining last year so not as many people showed up. Most people don't like cold and wet when it comes to cycling.

Good luck to all the Cabot Cruisers running the St. Jude's Marathon, 1/2 Marathon, and 5k tomorrow!!!!

Running behind

I didn't get loaded out of Pulaski until just after 5 p.m.--should have been out of there no later than 1500 but evidently the loads coming out got all screwed up. The good news is that we have our other loads back that Rich Logistics had for a month. The bad news is that I'm now going to be doing a logistics load a.k.a. a "milk run" with an extra pickup in Clarksdale, MS and less time to deliver it in. Blech......... It will mean a few more miles plus $20 for the extra pickup (yeah, not quite enough to make up for the hassle) but it's going to be a huge headache with how late our loads are getting out of TN. No more dawdling around home on Sundays until the very last minute, I'm going to have to get to Pulaski early enough to get a decent night's sleep. No more sleeping in on Mondays if I'm going to try to maintain a decent running schedule because Tuesday runs will no longer be possible. Guess I should be flattered that our dispatcher told James that he was moving us to the milk runs 'cause we're dependable but damn I'm not liking the idea of having to push harder. Yes, I usually deliver in Laredo 8-10 hours ahead of my scheduled time but it's nice having the built in cushion in case something goes awry (like Monday!). Now I'll have to be in Laredo by 2300 on Tuesdays, no ifs, ands, or buts (or blown tires, screwed up load times, or inclement weather).

I have a few interesting things that happened this week but since getting the news about the load and coming home to an almost dead heat pump, not quite in the mood to post about it. Hope getting the heat/air system repaired doesn't cost too much this weekend.

01 December 2008

Ewww, snow flurries

Yeah, yeah, I know I'm being a baby but I'm not crazy about winter. I'm sitting here in the bunk of my truck watching the snow flurries come down every so often while waiting to be unloaded and reloaded at Pulaski. Current temp is 37 F so nothing is even coming close to sticking but according to weather.com it feels like 29 F, brrrr.

Had a decent run this morning, 4.3 miles which included 3/4's of the way up the water tower dirt road before I had to start to walk. It's almost straight up for just under a 1/2 mile so I'll know I've done something once I make it up without walking.

Yesterday's run with James kind of fizzled into a mostly walk, he was very disappointed after his previous 2 runs being so good, but I told him that's to be expected occasionally, esp. when you're first starting out. We still got in 4.44 miles altogether then I went out for 4 miles by myself up Country Club. That's when it started spitting snow out at me, yuck. Did have an unsettling experience while I was running on the sidewalk next to Harp's. An old lady driving towards me came to a complete stop staring at me. I don't know if she thought I was going to dart out in front of her or if she thought the sidewalk was part of the road. If it was the latter I don't feel very safe knowing she's out there driving if she can't see well enough to know the sidewalk from the road.

Finished up week 2, day 3 of the 100 pushup challenge yesterday afternoon, 5 sets--12, 13, 10, 10, 15 (total of 60). Tomorrow I need to do the exhaustion test to find out what level I need to do for week 3.

November's totals: 105.5 miles running, 75.3 miles cycling (16.7 miles of this was mountain biking). running total wasn't as good as last month, but I did have more cycling miles in November.

Oh, had a glimpse of sunshine for a moment now it's big fat snowflakes. Wish they'd hurry up, I'm ready to head for south Texas.

30 November 2008

2 wheel insanity

Actually once we got moving this morning it wasn't too bad but at 8:30 a.m. I was seriously wondering what possessed me to agree to a 40-50 mile bicycle ride in late November. Cold, damp, dreary 47 F temp this morning when we headed out, I was glad that James decided he would be the sag wagon 'cause I was really, really thinking I wouldn't last too long, LOL. We had 9 people altogether and thankfully nobody was interested in going 20+mph right at the start. There was some confusion in the beginning (and middle!) about the route so we ended up going to Lonoke instead of Carlisle like originally planned.

We stopped at Perry's restaurant approx. 25 miles in for a breakfast break. I've ate there before, food is decent but our service was very slow yesterday. Too long of a break to suit me, had to get warmed up all over again for the final 12-15 miles. The sun did come out while we were eating, very happy to see that. There was a fair size hill just before getting back to our starting point and I think the guys leading were very surprised to see that I was right off their wheels. Shoot, I train with Gary R., he kills me with hilly routes :-), that was just a speed bump compared to what he comes up with.

Got to meet a couple of other women cyclists, one I'd spoke to at the Tour de Pumpkin in Russellville. I knew she looked familiar but we were on Hwy 70, 1/2 between Kerr Rd. and Lonoke before it dawned on me where I'd seen her at. James' services as the sag wagon guy came in handy at Perry's restaurant, one of the guys' seat post had broke. No way to fix it there so James drove him back to Cabot.

Told Gary at one point that after Christmas I was going to buy a trainer and wasn't coming back out on the road until at least March, lol! Running in the cold is tolerable but the bicycle is a whole another deck of cards, brrr.

Altogether I did 44.67 miles in 2:53:15. Not fast but other than the short ride on turkey day, I haven't been on the road bike since the end of October.

James and I tried to go out for a run yesterday evening but he started having severe heartburn about 15 minutes in. We walked back to the house then I tried for a couple of miles more but had cut it short at 1.7 miles because of my own digestive issues. Guess Burger King wasn't a good idea for lunch!

Hmmm, kind of a boring post, sorry everybody. Maybe more entertaining next time but it also maybe next spring before I'm 1/2 way chipper again. I'll try not to depress y'all too much this winter.

29 November 2008

December race?

Ok, I just need one more race for December to complete my yearly goal of running at least one race a month for 2008. Ok, ok, I did miss June but I had a good excuse, really! Doctors get kind of cranky when you try to run with a broken clavicle. I would love to do the "Dashing through the Light 5k" in Conway but it's on a Tuesday night and I think my dispatcher wouldn't like it if I told him I couldn't make my delivery in Laredo because of a race. I just love the idea of a night race! Yes, I know I've said that I don't like running at night but that's because I'm usually running solo. It's different if you're surrounded by other semi-crazy people running too. Hmmm, if anybody finds a race in central Arknasas that isn't on Arkansas Runner please let me know, thanks!!

Holiday driving

Wow, you could tell the gas prices had come down by the traffic this week. Not only was the I35 corridor packed in Texas, people were driving very aggressively. Had one especially close call when somebody north of the Temple-Belton area decided that the car passing me in front of them was going too slow. I thought they were going to rearrange the front end of my truck when they camethisclose to me trying to pass the other car. They ended up getting maybe 5 cars ahead of us the traffic was so heavy so it's not like they gained a whole lot of distance.

What do I like about driving at holiday time? Open fuel islands and empty parking spots. I actually was able to get a parking spot at the Sulphur Springs Pilot after dark.

What do I dislike about it? Bumper to bumper traffic and cars parking in the truck spaces in the rest areas. Come on people, y'all can stop anywhere, why you would want to stop in a ratty rest area is beyond me. It's not like I have much choice in the matter when I'm pulling a 53' foot trailer.

Monday I found out that Rich Logistics is the main company pulling what was part of our loads out of TN. Part of it is going up to Ceva in Mt. Juliet to be reloaded on our trailers but the remainder is being hauled by Rich which is mainly an owner-operator company. They're loading the boxes on them because GM is not having to factor in the cost of a back-haul for the return racks like they do the company I work for.

Nice little recovery run of just over 3 miles at Pulaski before getting loaded. Didn't push it too hard because my legs HURT from the 10k Saturday. Wednesday was a 4+ mile run at Pearsall, was wanting to get in 6 but was having tummy problems and the 2nd time I had to stop for the bathroom I just said to hell with it and called it quits for the day. Thursday was a 5 miler at home, beautiful day, wore shorts and a tee but just couldn't get in the groove for some reason. Later that afternoon I took the road bike out for a 13.88 mile ride, couldn't pass up the gorgeous weather!! I am out of shape on the bike though, it's been a month since I'd rode any distance and just that little bit wore me out (I'm sure having to drive 2.5 hrs home and the 5 mile run didn't have anything to do with why I was tired, LOL!).

Today it was back to being nasty. We have a 40-50 mile ride planned for Saturday morning and it's going to be cold and damp. Not looking forward to it at all. Blech, I'm ready for spring.

Kelownagirl has been doing the 100 pushup challenge and has motivated me to start back with the pushups. I'm currently on week 2, column 2 and tomorrow will be day 3. I was struggling with day 2's sets so day 3 may be a bit much, we'll have to see. It's been frustrating not being able to do as many as I could back in the spring and this is a great easy way to build back up.

The best news of the week--James has run just over 3 miles twice without stopping (Sunday and Tuesday)!!! Yay!!!!!!!!!! I am so proud of him!!!!!

Spa 10k race report


A very belated race report from the Spa 10k in Hot Springs, AR last week (sorry Annette!!). Where to start? It was COLD, COLD, COLD--as in below freezing temps cold, brrrr. This was my first time running this race but I kind of had some idea of how challenging it was going to be from the race description. What didn't help was that I'd been slacking off on my training for a couple of weeks (did I mention that I don't like winter?) so I wasn't quite as prepared for it as I should have been. Oh, it didn't help my attitude any when the directions on the website and google maps were wrong--neither James or I are familiar with the area so we got a little lost.


Great swag--long sleeve t-shirt, runners vest (way too big though), and a very nice New Balance backpack--well worth the race fee. I love races with excellent goodie bags, LOL! Chip timing is always nice too unless your chip doesn't work like Vicki's. I was wondering why they weren't having us double-check to make sure they were working properly before the race.

Managed to find some of the Cruiser women in the bathroom when I went in to take my final pre-race potty break but lost them again until a few minutes before the race start. Annette gives the best hugs by the way, if you're feeling down you need to find her asap! Lined up with Brenda 'cause normally we're pretty close to the same speeds but she's training to Boston qualify and she kicked my butt Saturday!! Her hard work is definitely paying off. By the way, why don't you have a blog Brenda? You need one, I love listening to you.

Ok back to the race. Ummm, it's one giant hill!! My legs hurt until Wednesday, I'm guessing I should have warmed up a little bit beforehand, ha-ha. It was a bit much to take off that fast on cold legs. We did have one car that passed us while I was on the mountain, could have been a bad situation because there were runners stretched out across both lanes. None of us were expecting any traffic. Beautiful scenery and there quite a few people watching and cheering once we got back into town.

Final time was 52:53 which is an almost 5 minute improvement over my last (and first!) 10k time of 57:43 so new p.r.!! 29/150 females, 114/310 overall, 6/28 age group. Because the 2nd female overall was in my age group, I ended up with the 5th place age group award. Brenda finished in 51:39 (told ya she kicked my butt!!), excellent time! I'm too lazy right now to look up everybody else's times but they can be found here--Spa 10k results. I know Lisa Fe. was 3rd overall--she's FAST.

Starbucks coffee (yum!) and baked potatoes were available afterwards, both were most welcome after that challenging run. All the Cruisers huddled up afterwards waiting on the awards ceremony--I think that's my major complaint, it was held outside. We were freezing and it was hurting my legs standing around for so long in the cold on the concrete. We did get to meet a new Cruiser (and future Cruiser hopefully!), Ethan and his wife Stephanie. Very, very nice people (and he's another speedy one, yay!).

21 November 2008

Blah

Blech, just feel down tonight. Not sure what's wrong other than the usual holiday blahs. Had one great run (monday) and two screwed up attempts at a run (yesterday). Oh well, Supernatural comes on in 10 minutes, maybe that will cheer me up. Stay warm everybody.

16 November 2008

Quote of the Day

"Running is insanity in an organized form."

James this morning before our run, LOL!

15 November 2008

What day is it again?

Picking up on Tuesday has completely thrown my inner clock off, lol! Did get loaded on time so that made for an easy week as far as work goes.

Monday's mountain bike ride wasn't as successful as the previous 2 times. Searcy's trail is not marked very well and with all the leaves covering the ground I had a hard time even finding it most of the time. I fell sideways once (added a few bruises and a couple of sore spots on my knee and shin) and slid backwards on a steep part another time so I was getting a leetle frustrated. I don't think the headache I woke up with was helping my balance or my mood either but I did start to enjoy it before the 5 mile loop was done. It is a major workout, I was dripping with sweat before we finished and it was cold out.

Tuesday was misting rain off and on and they had told me that I would get loaded early so I just decided to do a short run on Crescent View with Elsie. It was GREAT!!! Kind of slow because I had her on the leash but it was one of those days where you felt like running forever. We did get mobbed by the miniature dachsund pack (they're multiplying, there's now 3 of them) and I watched a coyote lope across some of the fields that had been cleared. Very cool (the coyote, not the wannabe dogs).

Wednesday sucked......There's road construction blocking where I usually run at Sulphur Springs so I did the Mt. Vernon rest area loop. I don't know what it is about that location but I rarely have a good run there and Wed. was no exception. Weather was ok, a little humid but the temp wasn't bad. Was going to run intervals but ended up doing fartleks instead because I couldn't seem to get a rhythm going. Miserable, couldn't breath, stupid side stitch, absolutely couldn't wait to quit, yuck.........Drove on to S.S. for a shower and had to wait for over an hour, grrrrrrr.

Thursday was.............okay. It wasn't a bad run overall but I did have a hard time for part of it. Ended up taking 3 short walk breaks and at one point I was having to run into the wind and it was killing me. Started getting the stitch again on my right side and was having to do the real slow breath in through the nose, out through the mouth routine and telling myself to HTFU. Haven't been sleeping well (mother-in-law was having some health issues this week) so that was a contributing factor to my issues Wed. and Thurs. If I'm tired I tend to tense up my shoulders and I don't/can't breath very well. Ran 5.62 by myself, then 1.43 with Elsie (who has now destroyed THREE cell phone power supply cords--anybody want a miniature schnauzer?).

I was tired last night so decided to sleep at Gurdon instead of driving on home. Good thing, even at 10 a.m. the fuel stop I park at was packed. Lots of people laid over and waiting on loads. I was listening to a J.B. Hunt o/o and a Maverick driver talking while I was loading my stuff into the pickup about how long they'd been sitting.

Today's run kind of made up for the previous 2. Got to run in the rain (I love running in the rain!) but I got a late start so had to cut it short (don't like running in the dark!) at 3.2 miles. Tried to take Elsie out with me, she was ok until a car would pass us and then she'd freak out because with it raining she thought they were thunder monsters.

Tomorrow's early morning bicycle ride is cancelled because of the colder temps so we're going to meet for breakfast instead. I'll try to get a ride in later in the day but it's only supposed to get up to 47 F and is going to be windy so don't know how successful I'll be. Hmm, now that James and I know kind of where the Searcy trail is we might try that without a guide (and maybe James will slow down for me!).

10 November 2008

In the creek



Tiny pic of me in the creek at Cedar Glades park in Hot Springs retrieving James' disc. The water was only knee deep at that spot but closer to waist deep where the disc landed.

Disc golf Sunday

Had my best game ever yesterday!!!!!! 13 over par, had several holes that were par, most were 1 over and only one that was 2 over. It was awesome to finally feel like I had some control over where the discs went and was getting some distance. Larger group than normal, It was James and me, Jason and his sis, Will (great kid!), Bill, and a couple of Jason's friends. It was cold again, although not as bad as Saturday so we had the course to ourselves. We're hoping to keep this up through winter so we don't get out of practice. My only problem is that it's the same day I'm supposed to do my long run (which I haven't done the past 2 weeks). Need to readjust my schedule somehow.

James and I went out for his run/walk Sunday evening just before the sun went down. I never realized there were so many people that used the section of trail closest to us in the evening. It went great, 10 minute warmup walk, then 25 minutes running, 2.5 minute walk break, then another 11 minute running segment. Total for me was 4.26 miles--James had a longer cooldown walk so you could probably add another .5 mile to his total (I had the garmin). Pretty impressive for a guy he claims he can't run!! I even think he's starting to enjoy it.

I feel weird being home on a Monday morning but we're going to take advantage of it. Supposed to meet Jason at noon so he can guide us on Searcy's mountain bike trail. Evidently the trail is not marked so you don't know which sections are the easy ones. More bruises on my calves--I've got to learn to get away from those pedals when dismounting.

Flowers in Laredo

These are from a tree at Penske in Laredo

Fall colors

Creek

Creek that runs along the bicycle trail--Ella section

On the run

Whew, I'm going to have to go back to work to get some rest this week. Speaking of work, ended up with an extra day off due to Penske rearranging how some of our loads are being shipped (and the economy slowing). I will probably not know until Friday afternoons whether I will be picking up on Monday or Tuesdays from here on out. They're just going to be shipping racks out on my trailer instead of the usual mix of racks and boxes. The good news is that I should be getting out at the proper time since it was always the boxed product causing the delays. What's funny is that the boxes are now being picked up by Ceva and taken to their Mt. Juliet terminal where they're being reloaded onto our company's trailers! Part of James' load last Tuesday included boxes that I normally haul.


I didn't get to post last Monday that I actually got out of Pulaski before lunchtime which made my week a lot easier--3 or 4 hours can make a huge difference on your driving schedule. I actually got to drive through Austin and San Antonio before the evening rush hours, woo-hoo!!


Wednesday's run was at Pearsall just after dawn, an easy 3.76 miles--although I was having to fight the wind. Wanted more miles but didn't have time to sqeeze it in, I was needing to get back home to take my mother-in-law to a doctor's appt. in Little Rock Thursday.


Ah, Thursday. What a day.......Woke up to it raining so had to get out for a run. I absolutely love running in the rain (as long as it's not too cold!). Did a warmup and headed out to Country Club to do some hill repeats. It was gorgeous with the leaves falling and the light rain, almost made me forget about the huge hill I was trying to run up :-).


After that was rush, rush, rush. Fast shower, drove over 50 miles to Baptist Medical with my m.i.l., drove back to Searcy to drop her off, then back up to Bald Knob to move my truck (there were only 2 parking spots available the night before and I wanted to move it to a safer spot). Back to Searcy for a flu shot, while I was waiting at the clinic to get stuck, Gary called me and said he wanted to go for a bicycle ride at 3:30.


He's test-riding mountain bikes himself and the one that they'd ordered for me was assembled and waiting. I have no clue what our mileage was 'cause neither of us had computers but it did include a ride up Hitler Hill--ouch, 2 hill workouts in 1 day may be a bit much. Gary made it to the top before me, but I jokingly told him it was because my legs were already tired from the 4.75 mile run that morning.

This is my new baby (well mine and the bike shop's, LOL), a 2009 Jamis Durango Femme in Pistachio and Black. It's BEAUTIFUL!!!! Oh, disc brakes totally rock, by the way.

After getting tortured by Gary, I rushed home to change and then it was another trip south to N. Little Rock to pick James up at our yard--he's still having some issues with his International. According to the shop there are several of the new ones with the same problem and James is the only one willing to take the time to write it up repeatedly and leave it with them. We ended up having to take it to the International dealer Sat. so hopefully they can find the problem.

03 November 2008

Scenic view

The three pics are from this morning's run in Pulaski, TN. I think the name of the road is White House Lane or something like that. It's not very long, it connects Amos Hamlett up with the next road north on 31. It was very pretty and just something a little different to shake the route up. Today's total was 5.5 miles--3 miles on Crescent View, then back to the plant for a bathroom stop and the remainder was in the cow fields with Elsie plus the little side jaunt on the dirt road.

Today's run

Today's run

Pretty rock wall

Pretty rock wall

02 November 2008

Sunday

First off have to give a shout out to Curtis D. from the Cabot Cruisers. He had a p.r. at the Wynne marathon yesterday and just has one more race in the Arkansas RRCA Grand Prix to run (he has run every single race in the G.P. this year). He's also a truck driver but not over the road now. Let's hear it for the running (and cycling!) truck drivers!!

Did I mention that I'm sore today? Whew, mountain biking is a full body workout. I also forgot to list the mileage from yesterday. We did 11.67 miles in 1:49:47, just over a 6 mph average. Doesn't sound like much but I think that's pretty darn good. I managed to hobble out the door this morning for a 4.15 mile solo run. Stopped back at home for a bathroom break and took back off with James for his run/walk. We ended up with 3.93 miles in 50:17 (10 minute warmup walk, followed by two 10 minute run intervals separated by 3 minute walk breaks, then 5 minute run, walked the remainder of the time for a cooldown).

I'm supposed to actually ride over that?!!!!!!











Getting ready to ride














Can you tell I'm nervous?









Jason studying the map trying to figure out
where we missed the trail turnoff about 5 miles
in









I'm still alive but do have a cut on
my right ankle from catching it on
a pedal--ouch













James on his new bike












Rest break after coming up this........















Which is steeper than it appears











This is part of what we still have to go up













King of the hill
















Just thought this was pretty















Wheee!!!!






















Having fun--yes, I was the only one in the group
that wore a helmet.















After the ride--we're working on Brian to quit
again


I survived my first ever attempt at mountain biking and even had a lot of fun in the process. This is something that was completely new to me, never rode a bicycle as a kid, never been on a dirt bike so had absolutely no experience with getting up and over obstacles on 2 wheels. Legs are all bruised up mostly from my feet slipping off the pedals. Very timid in the beginning, so was doing a lot of walking the first 1.5 miles but I was determined I wasn't going to slow the guys down too much. Oh yeah, I ended up being the only girl-Petra's wrist was still sore from a rollerblading incident a few weeks ago.

The downhills spooked me so I never truly let the bicycle build up to full speed. Just handled it like you would a big truck going down a hill, slowed down to the speed I wanted to go before starting the descent. James on the other hand is a speed demon with the downhills, he was having a blast!! Jason of course was the experienced mountain biker, he pretty much was having to wait on the rest of us. I know his secret though, he would blast up the hills and then have time to catch his breath before we caught up so it would seem like he wasn't having to work at all, LOL. Uphills is where I would usually catch and pass Brian and James especially towards the end--I have more endurance from the road biking and running. Now I know why Lisa M. from the Cabot Cruisers is sooooo strong climbing the hills on a road bike.

Switchbacks are another problem area for me. Going downhill I would occasionally lose my balance and have the back end of the bicycle kick out on me--never wrecked but had to grab a tree once to keep from wiping out. Brian did wipe out once that I know of in the same situation. Uphill switchbacks would also slow me down and there were a couple of places that had rocks in the turns that usually ended up with me walking.

After the ride we decided to play 9 holes of disc golf, Cedar Glades has a very challenging course but it was a nice change from our flat course. On one of the holes I ended up throwing my disc across a creek so had to take off my shoes and socks to wade across. While I was over there, James and Jason both threw their discs INTO the water. Since I was already over there I went ahead and retrieved their discs. Jason's wasn't bad to get to but James' was in a deep part--would have been waist deep on me. Jason passed me a very big branch so that I could use it to drag the disc into shallower water--he should have some very good pictures of me attempting to get to it.

01 November 2008

Monthly mileage

I had the highest month ever for running mileage--117.4 miles in October. Woo-hoo!!!!!! Should have been 120+ but didn't get the time to get out the door before the sun went down. I did get 7-8 miles on a mountain bike in so wasn't a total slacker. By the way did I mention that I LOVE my road bike, shew those knobby tires really wear you out quick and it's not near as easy to get going, LOL!

I've posted a few pictures today that I've taken with my phone. I'm very impressed with how well most of them turned out.

Wednesday's run was at Pearsall--it was ok but I was feeling a little blah. Had to force myself out the truck door. 2 nights of staying up until after midnight did me in, can't seem to sleep past 7 a.m no matter how late I've been up.

Thursday, I dawdled around driving home. James was going to have to leave his truck at NLR for service so I decided to just wait for him to catch up with me so I wouldn't have to make a trip back down in our pickup--we just rode home together in my big truck. I did have a very good run at Malvern, they are building a white water recreation area on the north east side of the Ouachita river with trails, picnic areas, and restrooms and I went sight-seeing with Elsie on the first part of my run.

To get to the park area we had to cross under the freeway overpass. Well to Elsie the traffic overhead sounded like the thunder monster. The first time she was ok but on the return trip she took off at a full-out run, I couldn't catch her and she wouldn't stop when I yelled at her to. Usually she's very good at stopping dead in her tracks when she's told to but not yesterday. She finally slowed enough where I could catch her and put her back on the leash but she immediately took off running again once I had it snapped. She drug me all the way back to the truck then hid in her crate. She has some issues when it comes to thunder, lol. I had planned to do some hill repeats but there were construction vehicles on the hill that I'd planned to use so I just found a more moderate incline and combined hill repeats with speed intervals. Ouch! The hike up to Starbucks afterwards seemed endless. My legs were still a little achy today.

Oh, minor gripe about Starbucks yesterday, either the pumpkin scone or the smoothie had artificial sweeteners. I was in pain from a bloated stomach the rest of the day, felt like a space alien was growing in there! Excellent service though.

Interesting fellow

This is Todd, a guy we met at our local bike shop last week. He's riding across the country on a Surly Long Haul Trucker (Love the name!!!). He started on the east coast and had a setback in the D.C. area when an accident left him stranded for several weeks with a broken elbow. Very interesting guy and I'm totally in awe that he's doing this cross-country trip solo on a bicycle. He also is very tall, he made James look short!

Butterfly massacre in progress

This is what it looks like from the driver's seat when butterflies attack! Also gaining on one of the few companies that I can pass with a 65 mph truck.

DSC00035

Cottula, TX

Cottula, TX butterfly and flowers

Butterfly massacre on 35

Butterfly massacre on 35

Cross your fingers

Trying out something new tomorrow--mountain biking! Excited and nervous--hoping I don't have any major mishaps. A group of us are driving down tomorrow to Hot Springs to ride what is supposed to be some of the easiest trails in Arkansas. Ha-ha, bunny slopes for cyclists!! Four newbies and 1 hard-core mountain biker--should be fun (I hope). James already has his mountain bike on layaway, I'm waiting for the Durango femme to come in before I make a decision but if it's anything like the guys Durango it's the one I'll get. I'm still planning on a new road bike but the manufacturer of the one I've chosen said to check back in mid-November and MAYBE then they'd have some bikes.

27 October 2008

I like my attitude just fine, thankyouverymuch

Why can some people not take no for an answer? Had a driver pull up next to me and blow his horn to get my attention today while I was sitting waiting on the ok to dock (he drives for the same company I do) at Pulaski. I was in the sleeper so he didn't know if I was asleep or not, very, very, very rude to do that to somebody that may be trying to get a nap. I've seen him multiple times at Laredo and every time he sees me he's pulling on that air horn so I always do my best to ignore him. It irritates me to no end to have somebody always doing that to me. Anyway, he starts telling me how he thought I had an attitude and was rude and mean. Guess what, I DO have an attitude and I'm damned if I'm going to go out of my way to speak to somebody who's always blowing a horn at me, wanting me to come over to his truck. If he wants to talk that bad he can get off his lazy butt and walk up to me. I'm not going to go stand on the steps of his truck like some lot lizard. Oh, and me telling him that I'm married had absolutely no effect. GRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!

Believe it or not prior to this I was in an excellent mood. Had an awesome run this morning at Crump, TN--5.59 miles in 52:19, with some drills (grapevines, skips, high knees, butt kicks) for an additional .42 miles. Felt great and energized--at least until the "come on now, don't be like that" business from the jerk of a co-worker.

26 October 2008

Family Resemblance


Betcha could never guess we're related!!

Tour de Pumpkin

After the 5k was the Tour de Pumpkin bicycle ride. You had a choice of 17 or 30 miles so James and I went with the 30 mile option. I was kind of worried about how I was going to hold up since I hadn't done any distance to speak of since the BDB 100 on Sept. 27 but I felt great! I wasn't in any hurry so just stayed with James instead of trying to set any speed records. Absolutely gorgeous ride, James grew up in the area we rode through but it has changed so much over the past 20 years. Very hilly but I was happy that I only had to drop into the granny ring once--different story for James but he hasn't put in as many miles as I had this summer. He still held up great but I've got to admit that it was kind of fun beating him up the hills. That won't last though, he put a mountain bike (Jamis Durango 1) on layaway at our local bike shop today and has plans to start hitting some off-road trails. Guess I need to think about trying it too but I've already decided that I'm buying a BMX helmet before attempting it. My track record is not so great this year with injuring myself, ha-ha!


My only gripe about the ride this morning was that some rider or riders threw their empty gel wrappers on the road. This was not a closed course with a crew picking up the trash afterwards and litter is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. That's part of what the back pockets on the back of your cycling jersey is for, your trash and gear.


James and I both won door prizes after the Tour de Pumpkin, I got a $5 gift certificate to a local BBQ joint and he won a small combo meal from Quiznos. Since they were only good for the Russellville area we gave them to Mike for puppysitting Elsie. It'll give him an incentive to get out and explore the area.

Stupid blogger

No, not me or anybody else, just this site giving me fits. Sorry about the previous post running together but I've tried over 10 times to fix it and it's frustrating the heck out of me. Maybe I can get it to look right in the morning. Until then, sorry about the great mass of words. I want paragraphs darn it (that's not what I'm saying out loud but trying to be polite for everybody).

Fall Fest 5k

Ummm, I kicked some butt today!!!!! Finally got over the 25 minute hump for the 5k distance--at least for today, LOL! 24:17 (last year's time for this course was 26:11). This isn't a p.r., my 23:56 from last February's Penguin 5k at Batesville still holds, but I was starting to think that I wasn't going to get under 25 minutes ever again. I am so stoked right now-even over 12 hours later, still got the runner's high. 1st in my age group (1/21), 9th female (9/95), and 35th overall (35/152). Several of the Cabot Cruisers were here today too (Vicki, Joan, Lisa Ford)
Very chilly morning, I so didn't want to give up my jacket but knew from past experience that I would warm up very quickly. Started near the front, kept a steady pace (7:57 mile 1, 15:5? mile 2), skipped the water stop, started to lag a little after mile 2 but caught myself doing it and forced myself to speed back up slightly, and started my kick at about 2.7 miles. Got cheered on by James, my sis and niece, and biological father so that helped me kick it a little bit more (didn't have a lot left though).
James told me afterwards that Shelley (my sister) asked him if I had any Olympic aspirations. There is no way in Hades that that could ever happen but it is the sweetest thing that she even thought it would ever be possible. I don't usually discuss our background very much but I want the world to know how proud I am of her as a parent and grown-up. We came from a very screwed up childhood and most people thought we weren't going to amount to much and I'm very happy that we have proved them wrong. Although Sis and I have kind of reversed roles, she was the wild child growing up and I was the honor roll student. Now she's a Sunday school teacher, and I'm a tattooed truck-driving biker chick (does it still count if my bicycle has seen more miles than my Harley this year?), LOL!!!!!
Oh, I have to tell a cute story. Our original plan was to drive to Russellville on Friday to spend time with Andy and Abigail (nephew and neice) but we found out before we left that Andy had come down with pinkeye. Since we're not in a position to take sick days and our job requires to be staring into the sun most of the day, James and I decided to put off the overnight visit. Andy was so upset he asked his mom if she had any white nail polish, when she told him he didn't need to paint his nails he told her it was for his eye so it wouldn't be pink anymore. He was so upset that he wasn't going to get to see his aunt and uncle, awwww. We're going to try again week after next for the overnight visit.

23 October 2008

Politics

No, I'm not going on a rant about who is right, wrong, etc., etc. I get more than enough of that from the c.b. and satellite radio (podcasts have saved my sanity this year). James and I are taking advantage of the early voting tomorrow so that will take care of part of our civic duties. I just wanted to share just a small portion of the idiocy that I heard this morning driving on into N. Little Rock. Some guy was on the c.b. saying that Congress, the banks, and the rich MAN was solely to blame for the mortgage crisis, it wasn't the fault of people who bought the overpriced houses or applied for multiple credit cards. Umm, last time I checked there weren't hordes of bankers/real estate agents/congresspeople holding guns to people's heads forcing them to sign those closing papers. Granted, when we bought our house there was some sales pressure from the agent about how we could qualify for a house that was $25,000-30,000 more than the range we were looking in but I had done my homework, knew what our interest rate was going to be, the closing costs, and what we could comfortably afford for a monthly mortgage payment. It was easy, I just said "No thanks" and smiled at her.

Where am I going with this? Personal responsibility. I am so sick of people asking "What are you going to do for me?" when they should be asking "What can I do to make this better?" Anyway, do your civic duty--VOTE (even if getting called up for jury duty is a major p.i.t.a.).

Brrr, it's chilly












Just got back in from a run and boy was it cold! I didn't think I was ever going to warm up. Thoroughly enjoyed the scenery on the bicycle trail though. The leaves are starting to fall, the red berries are making their appearance, squirrels were frolicing--wished I had a camera with me.





Not a whole lot exciting to write about this week, same old song and dance with work. Got out even later than usual Monday but still managed to get in this morning--had 3 weeks of recycling that needed to be put out on the curb. Oh, I did have a near-miss yesterday driving through Austin, some guy driving a Peterbilt daycab pulling a heavy-haul flatbed trailer (empty) decided that he didn't need to use the full on-ramp to merge into traffic. I had a car next to me but would've been able to move over before the dotted line started but the local driver had to be in that lane right then, he started moving over right at the point where the concrete came together. He wasn't even past where the 2 solid lines of our respective lanes met when he decided to share my lane. Kind of hard to explain without pictures but trust me it was a little on the scary side for me.

It's been a while since I updated my running totals on the blog. This month is going to be the highest mileage month ever for me, already at 95.6 miles, YAY!!

10/12 Sunday--13.2 miles with some of the Cabot Cruiser women. I've decided that the best way to get a long run is with a group--the time absolutely flew by.

10/13 Monday--3.16 miles, ran the cow fields at Pulaski for a recovery run.

10/15 Wednesday--6.14 miles, Cotulla, absolutely miserable. It was humid and I'd slept in so got a later start than I should've. Took several walk breaks.

10/17 Friday--2.57 mile run/walk with James followed by a 3.52 mile tempo run.

10/18 Saturday--4.13 mile easy run

10/19 Sunday--7.98 mile long run. Did this one after the disc golf game (where I made par on 4 of the holes!!!).

10/21 Tuesday--5.07 miles in Prescott. Was tired of the frontage road run so did the scenic downtown tour. Looks like they may be starting some renovations but still fairly rundown.

10/23 Thursday--5.31 miles at home. Chilly, my legs hurt, and I had to force myself out the door. I was in a hurry yesterday but I really, really, really wanted to get out for a run. Lesson learned--if your body and mind say run, do it, because if you don't they'll make you pay for it the day after.

I need to get new shoes already. I can't seem to get over 300 miles on a pair before my feet and legs start aching.

Weekend plans include driving to Russellville tomorrow to spend time with my sister, the Downtown Fall Fest 5k and the 30 mile Tour de Pumpkin bicycle ride on Saturday. Unless I get off my lazy butt today and ride, Saturday will be only the 2nd time since the BDB 100 that my bicycle has been out of the shed.

17 October 2008

ugh-sick day

I feel like crap today. Hoping it's just the result of getting woke up at 2:17 am this morning and not being able to go back to sleep, but I feel slightly feverish, have a sore throat and the room is moving occasionally when I'm not. So not a good sign, LOL!! Anyway, hopefully mainlining orange juice and a good night's sleep will have me back to normal in the morning. Or at least as normal as I get--according to James' Atlas friends I've completely lost it.

11 October 2008

Why I'm stressed

Forgot to mention in my jillion other posts today about why I've been stressed this week. Found out Wednesday that my biological father's dad died that afternoon and that he (my father) will be moving to Arkansas by the end of the month. Thankfully, he will be living close to my sister approximately a hundred miles away from me. We also had an appointment to take Elsie in to be fixed on Friday so we're dealing with a sick and upset dog right now. I'd been worrying about that all week so that contributed to my not sleeping well. It's very depressing having a miniature schnauzer stare at you with this look of "what have you done to me?". She was so excited to get to the vet's office yesterday (the girls pet and love on her) and when we went back to pick her up she wouldn't even look at James or me.

Faith Support Ministry 5k and the World Wide Festival of Races

I kept waffling between running the FSM 5k at Cabot and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Little Rock all week. Decided on the Cabot race because it didn't start until 9 a.m and I could sleep later!! It was a great little race! Annette, Jane, Michelle, and a few other cruisers ran it too so it was very nice having a smaller race where you could socialize and cheer each other on without having the crush of a larger crowd. The only downsides--there was one of those invisible inclines that felt like it was never going to end for the first mile or so and it was HUMID!!!!!!! Even with a warmup I was having some trouble with my breathing because of the humidity.

1st mile was just under 8 minutes, 2nd mile was 16:06, no clue what the 3rd mile was and finish time was just over 25 minutes. AGAIN. Can't remember the exact time, I forgot to turn my garmin off right away, and the times aren't posted yet. At least my 5k times are consistent.

I had a group of 3 firefighters catch up and pass me just before the mile 1 timekeeper and I fell in with them for a while. I'm not so sure they liked having a girl more or less keeping up with them though. One of the 3 wasn't in as good of shape as the other 2 and he was struggling. He was also wearing THREE cotton shirts, 1 short sleeve, 1 long sleeve, and 1 tank. How do I know this? He started stripping about 1.5 miles in. I had to ask him how many layers he was wearing, I was in a short sleeve UA tee and was hot before the race even started but evidently he was cold.

The other 2 firefighters were slowly pulling away and got even more of a lead at the water stop. I had to grab a sip and pour some down my back to cool down though. On the way back there were a couple of overweight police officers that were telling the ff behind me to get going, that he couldn't let Gramma just ahead of him beat him. Since I was the only woman just ahead of him in sight I'm assuming they were meaning me. Guess I really need to cover that gray spot I've got showing, huh? I'm betting they really didn't mean me, were just giving him a hard time but it's still kind of funny.

I started speeding up with about 7/10 of a mile left and kicked it enough that I was directly behind the first 2 f.f.s when I finished but again it still wasn't enough to get me under 25 minutes. Could I have done any better today? I don't think so. I started in the front, I kept the speed at a level that was just on the uncomfortable side, I was nauseous at various points and I picked up the pace near the end further out than I normally do. So, how do I get under 25? Need to start doing more tempo runs so that I can get used to the discomfort and some actual speed workouts wouldn't hurt. It would probably also behoove me to start carrying one of my small water bottles so I wouldn't have to slow for the water stops on these shorter races on the hotter days. When it's cooler I don't have to worry about it but right now I'm needing the hydration. I also need to start hydrating more during the week.

No age group awards at this race, just the top 3 male and female under 18 and the top 3 m & f over 18. Caitlyn Clinton was number 2 female overall and first under 18 with a time of just over 22 minutes, YAY!!!!!!! Michelle's son was also 2nd in the male under 18, double YAY!!!! I think Arland said I was the 4th female and Michelle was the 5th so we didn't do too shabby ourselves! I think all the super fast runners were either at the Race for the Cure or in Chicago for the marathon.

This by the way was my race for the World Wide Festival of Races. I signed up for the Kick the Couch 5k and tomorrow will do either the 10k or 1/2 marathon distance in addition to it. Unfortunately I was having tummy issues again this morning and was super stressed so ran off without my bib, grrrr. As soon as the times are posted I will do my race report on the wwfor site.

Tip of the day: Don't eat spicy chili late the night before a race and especially don't do it on a week that you've already had tummy issues and are sleep-deprived and stressed. 3 trips to the bathroom this morning didn't help my hydration issue any.

Lights on = dead battery

Thursday afternoon I did something pretty bone-headed. It was a nice afternoon and I decided to ride my motorcycle to the bicycle shop. Went in, researched some more bicycles and just generally hung out and yakked for 1.5 hours and had left the lights on my harley the whole time. Since I hadn't ridden it long enough for the battery to recharge itself of course it was completely dead. Tried a couple of times to do the push start thing where you put it in 3rd gear, have somebody push you, and then pop the clutch to get it going. It scares the heck out of me doing that because the bike always jerks real hard when it catches so that wasn't successful. Pushed it into the shop and Duane put a trickle charger on it while Becky gave me a ride home. I was soooo embarrassed! Friday morning I went out for my run about an hour before they opened and met James there afterwards so he could do the push-start thing if need be. It fired right off though after being on the charger all night. The good news is that I may have decided on a bicycle-Jamis Xenith Comp Femme--at least if they ever get any to send out. Jamis is saying mid-November before they get the '09s in and they're sold out on the '08s. The Xeniths are cheaper than the lower end Specialized Rubys and are better spec'ed to boot.

Stress-B-Gone

Warning: This post may contain excessive whining, bitching, gripiness, feeling sorry for myselfness. You have been warned. Proceed at your own risk!! Oh, it might be a little long winded too.

Stressed out this week, blech.......I was absolutely exhausted by the time I left out Sunday evening. Met some of the Cruisers Sunday morning at Cabot for my long run of 8-10 miles (Annette, Jane, Brenda, Cindy, and a couple of others) and had lots of fun even though Brenda kicked my butt. You wouldn't have thought she'd ran 18 miles the previous day!! She is such a strong runner. Visited with Annette and Jane for a little bit to get some advice on a personal issue dealing with somebody that I think has an eating disorder then ran on to catch Brenda and Cindy since Brenda was going for the same mileage I was (8 miles give or take). It makes the long runs go by so much quicker when you have somebody to talk to so I think I'm going to try and make the effort to drive to Cabot more often.

I called James on the drive back home to let him know he had time to get up and dressed for his run/walk and that I would go out with him if he was ready by the time I got home. Ended up with 10.6 miles altogether. 8.3 at Cabot and 2.3 with James.

Should have skipped the disc golf game though. I was getting tired and cranky before the end which is pretty much how I stayed for the next 3 days.

Only made it to Crump Sunday night and I should have ran there before going on into Pulaski. Arrived at the customer at 9:30 am, went in to let them know I was there and where I was running to and they told me to go ahead and dock instead. Knew it was going to be a screwed up deal when they told me the product still wasn't ready but should be before lunch but was still cautiously optimistic about getting out early. Well, the machine making my parts broke down so now I'm stuck in the dock. Great.......No internet access, can't get a decent nap because the truck shakes whenever they drive the forklift in and out of my trailer and the trailer next to me, AND I can't go for a run 'cause I can't leave the immediate area in case they need to have me pull out so they can work on another truck. Didn't get loaded until 3:45 p.m.

Stopped and slept at Wheatley, AR until about 2:30 am. For some reason the parking spot on my passenger side was like a revolving door, had at least 3 trucks come in park, stay for a short while, then leave out. None of them were quiet about it either so again couldn't get any decent sleep.

Stopped at Prescott Tuesday for a 5.64 mile run. Went okay until between mile 2.75 and 3 and then had tummy problems. Made a quick pitstop at the Love's then headed south towards town to finish up. I passed by some little hole in the wall restaurant that had the most heavenly yeast roll scent. It was all I could do to keep running by, I wanted to stop and have breakfast there so bad but knew if I did that I would have to walk the rest of the way back, lol! Might have been worth it though if it tasted as good as it smelled.

There's a new guard on third shift at Penske that's wanting to do things different than everybody else. And he's also wanting us to disregard the signs/lanes at the entrance so that he doesn't have to walk 10 extra feet to check people in. Hopefully he won't be employed there too long. When he said something about me pulling up in the right hand lane I told him that I was actually in the proper lane for the GM parts and he then said "Well, I can't argue with you there." But he griped at James the next night for the same thing. Gotta love security guards, give them a tiny bit of authority and they think their word is LAW ("Respect my authoritay").

I did jinx myself on the trailers! The one I picked up Tuesday night had all the upper clearance lights missing, 1 flat tire, 1 tire that was holding air but had a big hole in it, and 1 tire that was "bumpy" (very uneven wear from where it was driven flat for a while). Our shop used to be open 24 hours, then they cut it back to being open from 0600-2359, and now it's only open from 0800-2100 so I had to wait until the next morning to get any work done. It ended up taking just over 2 hours because when the clearance lights were stolen they screwed up the wiring.

While waiting on the trailer work to be done I was hit on 3 times, twice by other drivers and the third time by an office worker. It's kind of weird to get asked out to the movies within 2 minutes of meeting somebody. Guess I really need to replace my wedding ring. I quit wearing it a few months ago after I almost lost it twice by waving my hands around when I talk. Don't want to have it re-sized because it was my Grandmother's ring.

Wednesday evening I stopped at Dawson to run on a new route I'd been eyeballing all summer. It was great, very pretty, not much traffic (although most were doing well over the 55 mph speed limit), and quite a bit of shade. The only downside--no bathrooms!! Started having tummy issues again when I was 3/4 of a mile away from the gas station on the way back. Stop, walk a moment, run a few steps, repeat..........Ended up with 3.35 miles. I'm blaming the stomach issues this week on the lack of sleep. I don't do well when my sleep schedule is all screwed up like it has been this week.

Since I was behind schedule anyway I just decided to call it quits early Wednesday night and set no alarm. The only reason I would've liked to have got home Thursday morning was to put the recycling bins on the curb. Oh well, I'll get it next week. It felt great to just sleep in!!

04 October 2008

Another week in the bag

Yet another week of getting out of Pulaski late, blech. Because of the hours of service rules for truck drivers this has put me going through Austin, TX during the evening rush hour for the 3rd (4th?) week in a row on Tuesdays. It's getting old fast. Why isn't there a bypass around that city (other than the toll road)? Yes, I know there are much worse cities to drive in/through but I don't have to deal with them right now so just let me gripe, LOL.

I also had to sit in 3 construction backups on Hwy 19 Tuesday. The first 2 were just south of Sulphur Springs and the other was just north of Athens. I think it would have been quicker to have dealt with Dallas. Oh well, better scenery on 19. What was funny was watching the people in cars getting pissed off at sitting there. One guy got out of his car and was throwing his hands up in the air waving and yelling at the flagger. Not sure how he thought that was going to make the back-up go away.

The truck I drive has a very quiet air horn that you access from the steering wheel. It's only slightly louder than a regular car horn. Kids always look so disappointed when they're moving their arms up and down wanting to hear the air-horn and they get that wimpy noise. They also think I'm a meanie 'cause I'm not reaching up to pull on the cable. I always want to stop and say I'm sorry, it's really not my fault when they look at me so crestfallen. Truck manufacturers you're losing potential truck-drivers with this nonsense!! No more air-horns on the wheel!!! Don't y'all remember being a kid?

Workout recap

Sunday--did a 2.38 mile run/walk with James, then ran 2.41 miles alone.

Monday--Ran 6.61 miles on Crescent View road in Pulaski--did have to take three 45 second walk breaks (one at 24 minutes, 2nd at 36 minutes, 3rd at 54 minutes), legs were still a little fatigued from the BDB 100.

Wednesday--Ran 4.65 miles at Pearsall

Thursday--Skipped my usual bicycle ride with Gary R. and drove to Cabot to do hill repeats with Annette, Vicki, and Karen. Ended up with 6.71 miles. Had soooo much fun, going to have to do that more often.

Friday--2.63 mile run/walk with James

Saturday--Decided to not do any races or meet Gary for extra cycling mileage. Wanted to just ride with the LBS fun ride and do just that--have FUN. Rode slow most of the time but cranked it up to 22 mph once in order to catch up with a different group to talk to. Did do some one-legged drills, my dead spot on the left leg is almost gone, YAY! Will get back to the serious training next week ;-)

It felt good not having to get up at 4 a.m. this morning, I've just been taking this weekend as easy as possible. I do need to get in at least 8 miles tomorrow but hoping I can find somebody to run with.

Sticker shock

Okay, my riding partner was right. I'm in the market for a new bicycle, or at least window-shopping for the moment. I'm trying to decide between a tri-bike or another road bike. No, there are not any triathlons in the near future for me, would have to take swimming lessons before that could happen but I would absolutely love to do more duathlons (run-bike-run). I have learned from my {obsessive} research that a tri-bike would knock approx. 5 minutes off the run time for somebody at my current skill level. Hmmm, very, very tempting. BUT do I want to be in that position for all of my rides. Probably not. So will (maybe) go with a higher-end road bike. Yeah, something like that, at least until I change my mind again 5 minutes from now.

I'm wanting to support my local bicycle shop so am restricting the search to brands they carry. Specifically the Specialized brand. Even more specific the Specialized Ruby. Yep, the SL SRAM and SL Dura-Ace are definitely out of my budget. The first words out of James' mouth was "That's a sportster!" (Harley-Davidson). The next were along the lines of if that's what you want we'll go for it (sweet hubby!). I can't bring myself to commit to $6000 for a bicycle though so will probably go for the Ruby Comp or Expert. Even that's giving me the nervous willies on spending so much. Nothing's decided yet, probably won't be until after Christmas. The great thing is that my L.B.S. will help out with the price, they have a layaway, and will allow me to use it anytime I want while it's on layaway. Awesome, awesome people. I am fortunate enough to count the owners as good friends.