31 January 2008

Windy run

Tuesday's run was the Mt. Vernon rest area loop again. Ran/walked the first 2+ miles with James, he's repeating week 6 since last week was fubar with the schedule. Started with warmer temps (65-70ish) but VERY windy. I think the weather station was saying 20-40 mph sustained winds. It was tough!!! This loop has some steady inclines and there were a few times when I was getting knocked sideways so I don't think my easy 5 (4.7 miles) was very easy for 1/2 the distance. Now when I turned around at the stop sign, woo-hoo!! I felt like I'd lost at least 10 pounds with the wind pushing me down the hill.

I've worked my way through the Gravity@1053' archive this week and have made it to chapters 30 & 31 of the 7th Son Book 3 Destruction podcast novel (having to redownload that episode because the initial download cut off at 2 minutes). I think that I've turned on my XM unit once this week and ended up turning it off after 5 minutes because I couldn't find a clear station for it to transmit over. I did have the skyfi 2 unit that has an excellent fm transmitter built in but I think Delphi was sued because the transmitter was too strong and could transmit over into the car next to you if you were on the same station. Now I have the skyfi3 that has excellent features but a very poor fm modulator and it aggravates me when I can't find a clear enough station for more than 10 minutes. Anyway, who needs it when I have all these excellent podcasts to listen to (well, other than the fact that I would like to have a live news feed every now and then).

Some idiot just went through the truck stop parking lot with a train horn at 10:45 pm. Unfortunately we do have a handful of drivers that deserve the bad reputation that truckers have. It's just a shame that the rest of us have to be painted with the same brush (bad cliche anyone? lol!).

Traffic was rougher than usual on the I35 corridor today. It seemed more like weekend traffic rather than midweek. I had 2 cars in a row at Waco pull out directly in front of me that waited until I wasthisclose and then decided they had to be in my lane right then. James was joking that he didn't want to be anywhere around me in that area.

27 January 2008

Sat. & Sunday updates

Arkansas had a fast moving ice storm come through Friday morning but we missed all the bad roads. James had a friend that called him to tell him about the expected bad weather and we just took our time coming home. According to our local paper there were approx. 75 highway accidents (that doesn't include the side roads) in a 5 hr period. The funny part about this was that there was a 10-40% increase in the grocery store sales. I guess everybody thought that they were going to be iced in for days rather than the afternoon.

I switched things up this weekend. James and I went out to the Berryhill park section of the bike trail to run yesterday (it's the longest section and has parking). He did the 10/5/10 but was having some trouble with his legs-hadn't been doing his toe raises this week, they really make a difference for him-but he did get the run done. I ran/walked that with him for my warmup (approx. 2 miles) and then took off alone for the remainder of my run-was scheduled for 5 miles but ended up doing my long run of 9 miles instead. Everything felt good, the sun had come out and it was just a good strong run. Every run should feel like that!! We did meet a very nice dog on the bike trail yesterday, he was an old guy and was just kind of ambling along, stopped for a moment to let us pet him and then went on his way home.

Today's run, well it wasn't near as much fun as yesterday's but I did manage to get in 5.25 miles. Kept waiting for it to warm up and the sun to come out before going out but it wasn't happening this morning. It's supposed to be in the 50's later today.

This past week I had two different cars pass me illegally on back roads in TN. The first one was in a school zone that was flashing and had state government plates. Guess the slower speed limit doesn't apply to you if you're a state employee. At least when she passed there wasn't traffic coming at us. The second time it happened I was stuck behind a tractor on Hwy 31 between Pulaski and Columbia. It's very twisty and narrow in that section we were in and has very few passing areas. This guy decided to pass me, 2 other cars, and the tractor in a solid line area with 2 vehicles coming at us. Instead of falling back into the line of traffic this guy just kept on and ended up putting one of the cars coming at us into the grass. Nobody wrecked thank goodness but it just blows my mind the stupidity of some people.

I started listening to Mur Lafferty's Playing for Keeps podcast novel this past week. Mur rocks, I've always enjoyed her stuff but this is my favorite so far. If you're not listening to this, start right now!!!!!!

25 January 2008

In Texas finally

Finally got loaded yesterday morning, made it to Laredo this afternoon and am on my way back home. YAY!!!! I hate being stuck waiting for loads especially on gloomy yucky days. If it's a nice day at least I can do basic housecleaning/maintenance on the truck with the doors and windows open and not feel as closed in. The trailer I picked up yesterday ended up being ready 4 1/2 hrs early so I got a much earlier start than anticipated (double yay!). The security guard at the shipper had a paddle or die bumper sticker on his car so I asked him kayak or canoe? Turns out he canoed and I got him started talking about white water trips. That's way above my skill level, the choppiest water I've been on so far has been Greer's Ferry Labor Day weekend, although that was very exciting at times trying to dodge the drunks with their power boats and jet skis. I think we got buzzed a few times by people deliberately trying to tip us over.

I had time to stop at my house and get my run in there yesterday afternoon. Had a 5 mile run with 3 at 8:39 scheduled but that didn't quite go as planned. With the cold and shorter days I've been trying to get the speed/tempo workouts done on the treadmill but should have kept my butt outside yesterday. I'm not sure what happened, I felt good, was really looking forward to my run but everything seemed to go wrong after my warmup mile. Tried to do my first tempo mile at 8:41, got it done but was miserable, started having stitches, first one side then the other, bumped the speed back down to 5.9 for the next mile, then tried to up the speed again. Just was not going to happen, stitches again, lowered the speed again. The last mile I was able to slowly increase the speed up to 6.7 mph but that was it. I did get 5.25 miles done through sheer stubbornness but it was not a pleasant experience and it was at much slower speeds than what I wanted. Took today as an additional rest day, will try to get in a 5 miler tomorrow, just not sure where I will stop at to run yet.

22 January 2008

Still in TN

Got unloaded this morning and headed up to Columbia. while enroute James called and told me his load was cancelled and I got a msg a few minutes later saying that my load had cancelled too. So here I am at the Pilot in Lebanon, TN waiting to pick up in the morning at Mount Juliet. It's rainy, dreary, cold and I'm starting to get a little stir-crazy from sitting today. There's an outlet mall across the street from the fuel stop but I don't feel like tromping over there in this mess. Listening to the Punky Radio podcast and trying to improve my mood. Oh well, at least tomorrow is supposed to be sunny for a little while.

21 January 2008

Laid over

I just thought I was going to have a load this morning. Got woke up just before 7 am with a qualcomm message saying that my load had canceled out. I'm not sure when they figured out that there was no load this morning but my regular dispatcher said that night dispatch was supposed to have let me know before I left home last night. Either way I was not notified. Very aggravating. Didn't want to spend 24 hrs just sitting in the truck so got a room at the Pulaski Comfort Inn. It's an ok room, just don't know if it's 101.99 worth of ok. To top everything off they're telling me that I may have to reload at the Columbia plant tomorrow afternoon. Heavy cargo and they do not get in any hurry with the actual loading process. I'm not a happy camper right now.

I did get the "you're a truck driver?" comment from the lady that checked me into the motel, followed by "but you're so little". It's always kind of nice getting complimented but at the same time it makes you want to ask them just what is a truck driver supposed to look like. I explained to her that it doesn't take brute strength anymore to drive, the hardest thing is getting over the fear of maneuvering that much equipment around.

Today was supposed to have been a rest day but because of tomorrow's schedule being messed up I went ahead and did my run today. It also helped work off some of the frustration. 5 mile easy run scheduled but I only did 4.16 in 42:16. Lots of steep hills around here, had to take a walk break 3/4 of the way up the first hill. Made it up the rest of them without walking. Did a scenic tour of the downtown area while running. It was really nice getting to see something other than traffic. The blurry photo today is of the view from the motel, it will give you some idea of how hilly it is here.

Giles County here has painted fiberglass turkeys (kind of like the cows in Chicago) that are sponsored by a different person or business each year. The program was started in 2004 to benefit the area Youth Leadership Program. I passed by the "Hospifowlty" turkey on my run today, very cute!

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20 January 2008

8 miles on the 'mill

Actually 2.5 miles on the older treadmill (hurt my legs) then 5.5 on one of the newer 'mills (much better). Listened to ep. 25 of 4 Feet Running (yay Nik for getting back to running!) and it helped me get through the first part of the run then listened to The Hives "Black and White Album". That and Kid Beyond is what's been played the most on my ipod lately--not counting the podcasts of course. If you haven't heard of Kid Beyond be sure and check out his myspace page at www.myspace.com/kidbeyond. He's amazing, I bought his cd Amplivate off of itunes before I'd even checked out his bio.

I actually was able to zone out today while on the treadmill, I've never done that in the gym before. Usually I'm just thinking about how boring this is and it's way too warm (yes, I know that's a recurring complaint, I might be a touch ocd about that!). Just hit a groove and greatly enjoyed it for once. Had 23 miles scheduled for the week, ended with 24.1.

I've gone through the Extra Mile podcast archive the past 2 weeks--why didn't I check them out over the summer? I've also subscribed to Confessions of a Runner after hearing about it from Adam Tinkoff's podcast Another Runner. Greatly enjoying all of them.

Results were up this morning for the No Name 5k, I was 26th overall out of 52, and number 8/23 of the females. Results can be seen at http://www.rivervalleyrunners.com/2008NoName5KResults.htm
I'm definitely a middle of the packer!! The 2 women that finished ahead of me go by Mad Dog and Wild Dog but they were very nice ladies with awesome personalities. Love their nicknames!!

Time to get ready to leave for the week, James gets an extra day off because of MLK day, but my plant is running. I told him that I was leaving the dishes for him--I think we're the only people left that don't have a dishwasher in the U.S.

19 January 2008

mmm...Starbucks and the No Name 5k

4:30 am-alarm goes off, hit snooze

4:39 am-get up, stumble around, and shower

5:20-5:30 am-wait in line at McDonalds (an egg mcmuffin with no cheese should not take this long)

5:30-7:45 am-loooong drive to Danville. Includes 2 bathroom stops because I ate at CiCi's pizza last night and it did not agree with me in any way, yuck! Also included 1 fuel stop because we drive a gas guzzler.

7:45-9:00 am-loooong wait for the start because we left early. Had a bad experience with the directions to my first 5k last year, so we always leave early. Runners can put in some miles, but a lot can't give proper directions ;-). Fortunately this one had good signs leading you in.

Turned into a bright sunny day but very cold--at least for us it is. 27° F, felt like 17°F with the wind chill. did my warmup jog but it wasn't warming me up very much, the wind was brutal. This was the first time that my thick tights weren't keeping me comfortable. Nice flat start to the race, turned into some rolling hills and we did have some concrete sidewalks for an uphill portion. Most everybody was having trouble breathing properly because of the cold and wind. My legs were ok but not great because I did a speed workout Thursday night and didn't get in a easy 2-3 miler Friday. It was my breathing and a small cramp from being a little dehydrated due to the earlier tummy issues. First mile was 8:00, 2nd mile was 16:56, finish time was 25:53, not a pr but my 2nd best time so far. My current pr is 25:09 at the Russellville Reindeer 5k in December, but that was a very flat course and it was above freezing temps. I'm very pleased, with the way my morning started I was worried that I would have some trouble completing the race but my time was good enough for the first place 35-39 female age group award, YAY!!!!!!

Start of the race

Our own barefoot runner (he's tough, there was ice at the finish line!)

Me at the start

Cinnamon dolce latte and my age group medal

Close-up of the age group medal, pretty cool looking in my opninion.

Got to brag on my husband, not only did he not complain about getting up at 4:30 am, he actually stood out in the cold and videoed (is that an actual word?) the first men and women finishers so that I could see it afterwards. The only time he complained was when they were taking a long time to get the awards ceremony started and even then he was only a little grumpy.

I have got to start standing up closer to the middle of the starting line, I'm consistently losing 10-15 seconds off my time by standing in the back. It's not a big deal on chipped races but most of the races I've run in have not been chipped. I'm a little claustrophobic and do not like being in the middle of crowds, esp. ones where people are jostling for position, but really need to try to get past that if I want to see more improvement. I'm not much of a kicker, I'm more of a consistent runner so need to get my butt into the middle of the crowd.

Excellent food after the race, they had the usual bananas, oranges, and cookies but today a couple of women brought in chicken salad, cold cut sandwiches, pigs in a blanket, and homemade crackers (yummmy). It was greatly appreciated having some real food available after such a cold run. Plus, we made a stop at Starbucks in Conway on the way home.

18 January 2008

Home again, home again

We were dispatched out of Laredo on Wednesday rather than Tuesday night like normal, I received my load info just before lunch and James rec'd his around 1600 so we made it home later than usual. This time of year it's not unusual to have to wait longer than normal because the bank of trailers has been depleted because of the holidays. It will probably take through next month before things get back to normal. Last year I ended up sitting in Laredo for 7 days waiting on something to cross back over. Oh well, you have to take the good along with the bad when it comes to running a dedicated route and believe me the good far outweighs the bad when it comes to this run. It was windy in Texas coming back north, I was getting quite a workout wrestling with the steering wheel to try to keep the truck steady. I believe there were 20 mph gusts and those don't mix well with high profile vehicles. Every now and then you will hear reports on the news about trucks and rvs being blown over because of high winds. It's nerve-wracking when it's like yesterday but truly scary when you're driving along and one of the cross winds hits you in the side out of nowhere.

We did do some shopping while waiting in Laredo, hit up Academy Sports, Old Navy, and Target. James got some AWESOME deals on long sleeve tech shirts at Target (3.74-5.00) and ended up with 2 sacks full of pants and shorts from ON where they were having an additional 50% off clearance. I love Target's C9 workout gear but why do they make the bottoms so big. They have some cute workout skirts but the small hangs off of me. It's not that I'm tiny, their vanity sizing is out of control.

I did have a group of little kids pass me Tuesday waving at me and wanting me to honk. Anymore with the video games and dvd players most kids aren't paying attention to the outside world so that's getting rare. I'm always happy to blow the air horn at kids as long as the other motorists around me are aware of what's going on or we're not in the middle of town where they have noise ordinances.

Thursday's workout was a speed workout on the treadmill, 5 miles with 2 x 1600 m at 8:10 pace with 800m recoveries. Did 4.7 miles of the run with 3/10 mile warmup walk, total was 4.99 miles in 46:12. Did manage to get the speed sessions in but boy was it hard. I looked down at one point and was noticing these water drops on the front of the treadmill when I realized that was sweat off of my face, YUCK!!! Wasn't the only one doing that, it was a little warm in there. James had the 8/5/8 day and he kicked some butt!! I was wondering if he was going to be able to do the 20minute day but as long as it's on the treadmill he should have no problem at all. The treadmill forces him to stay at a slower pace and he's not dealing with the wind and hills like outside. We are trying to do at least one of his days outside so his body can adjust to it and not be conditioned to the treadmill only.

I sent in my registration for the No Name 5k in Danville last weekend so that's what I'm doing Sat. morning. Wish me luck everybody, I don't think I'm going to beat my last pr of 25:09 but as long as I get close I'll be happy (maybe, James says I'm too tough on myself sometimes). It should be fun but looking at previous years results, this is a very small race with some fast people. Maybe I should have signed up for the MLK race instead but then again it's good to challenge yourself.

Need to get around and go back to NLR, my truck has a recall notice on it and I need to take it into the Freightliner dealership to get it repaired. We did get a $40 off of $100 coupon for Lewis and Clark so we may go spend that while waiting on the repairs. I also would like to check out some of the bicycle shops to look at mountain biking shoes and pedals. I'm such a klutz when it comes to the bicycle that I decided to go with the mtb style rather than the road bike style.

16 January 2008

Clean truck--Are those rain clouds?

Finally got around to getting my big truck washed Monday night, it was clean for 20 hrs then I hit rain just north of Austin, TX. Oh well, at least I got to look at a clean hood for a few hours. The company I work for will only pay for a truck wash once every 30 days and this time of year things get grimy real quick. I guess that I need to start paying for one about 2 weeks in but most truck washes charge $40 for tractor only and it's hard to get motivated to pay that when I think this is an ugly truck. I've spoke to the company about being assigned to a different tractor but they want me to put at least a 100,000 miles on this one because they don't want to give an inexperienced driver what is essentially a brand new truck (I was assigned this one when they first leased it).

Overall yesterday was not bad coming through Austin, especially since it was raining and it was 3:30 in the afternoon. Usually just one of those conditions means that it's going to take at least 20-60 minutes longer to get through there.

Yesterday's run was at Mt. Vernon, TX. If you park at the rest areas on either side of I30 you can use the frontage roads to run on. There is very little traffic, yesterday I only met 2 cars (only 1 decided not to share the road) and you have easy access to bathrooms (Yay!!). The 2 drawbacks are that it's not very flat and you are in full view of the interstate--I was honked at 3 times. The first 2 miles were with James, week 5, day 1 (5-3-5-3-5). Again, he did excellent, but this week he may have to repeat. He got all of the run portions in except for the last 2 minutes and then it was because he was starting to have some pain in his left leg. I think it was because of the inclines and the slight tilt of the road. If he runs there again he needs to be closer to the middle of the lane. I then ran an additional 4 miles. Excellent run, felt good, the sun was shining, then I had to get back to driving. I'm just having trouble sticking to the easy run pace-I keep trying to go faster. Total including the 2 with James was 6 miles in 1:02:51.

13 January 2008

"It was frickin' cold"

"It was frickin' cold" according to James this morning (well that's kind of what he said). According to weather.com, Searcy is currently at 39°F, but feels like 31°F, it was colder than that 1 1/2 hrs ago. 8 miler scheduled at a 10:13 pace, 8 miles done in 1:17:35. Sunny, cold, and windy at times. Lower legs didn't loosen up until almost 3 miles in, I'm assuming that's because of the cold. Nobody out this morning except a couple of skateboarders but then again we did try to get started earlier this morning and it's approx. 25° colder than last Sunday.

I'm not quite as sore as I expected to be this morning but when I squeeze my shoulder blades back I can definitely tell we hit that area hard yesterday. Did wake up about 4:41 a.m. sweating heavily, kind of like you do when you're sweating out a fever. Does anybody else do this after they've had a harder than usual workout?

Yeah, I'm a wuss

26* F this morning so we didn't ride with the Sat. morning group. Laid around until 0930 when we decided to get around and get James' w4 d3 walk/jog and my weight workout done. James got all of his intervals done with no problem today. He's definitely ready for w5 d1, the rest of the week may be a little more challenging. I did my leg workout while he was on the treadmill and then he came over to help me with the upper body portion. Oh boy, I may be very sore in the morning. Some guy came over and told James he better watch working me out so heavy, it wouldn't be long before I could whip him. James' reply was something along the lines about I could already outrun him so he was probably already in trouble and then bragged about me planning to run the LR 1/2 marathon. I think he's a proud hubby.
We did manage to get a bicycle ride in this afternoon, Brian and Petra from our Sat. morning group called before we left for the gym and asked if we wanted to go to the Big Dam Bridge and ride part of the River Trail. We got there about 2 in the afternoon and had a nice slow ride of approx. 15 miles along the north bank and then crossed the BDB. On the return climb I was looking down at my speedometer and thinking I can run up this faster than I'm pedaling (I was on the mountain bike, so a little more work than the road bike). I am so out of condition on the bike.

There was a group of what James originally thought was Canadian snow geese on the river, but then thought they might be swans. We couldn't get close enough to tell and when I tried to get closer they started swimming in the opposite direction so I couldn't even get a decent picture.
8 miler scheduled for tomorrow, going to be a chilly one, we need to get an early start tomorrow because we had to leave both our trucks to be worked on.


12 January 2008

You know you're a runner when......

you pick up a copy of the wedding edition of your hometown magazine and see there's an article titled "The Golden Mile" and the first thing that comes to mind is "cool, an article about couples that run together". It's not, by the way, it was a profile of locals that had been married 40+ years, which is equally as cool.

11 January 2008

Easy run?

I need to get a tiny cheap digital camera to carry with me on my runs. My phone just isn't getting the detail that I want. Today's run was supposed to be an easy 4 miler but I decided to tackle a hill off of Holmes Rd that the local mountain bikers call Hitler Hill because of the angle. It has also been called Cardiac Ridge by some of the older bicyclists. This is an approx. 1 1/2 mile run from my house. Made it just over half way up before taking a walk break for a few feet then running (slowly) the rest of the way. Stopped at the top to take this picture then finished my run for the day. Ended up with 4.23 miles in 39:49. Cooler, sunny day, perfect for a midday run.

I bought a pair of Asics Gel 1120's that were marked down to 39.99 at Hibbett's this morning. These will do for keeping with me on the truck so I'm not having to tote my shoes back and forth. Getting time to replace my gt2120's but I think I will go and check out the 2130's before making a final decision.

Was hoping to ride the bicycles on the 12 mile fun run but the temp. looks like it's going to be 38 F. I'm such a wimp when it comes to cold weather and the bicycle.

Got the gray roots covered this morning and 2 inches chopped off--it was mid Sept. last time I had anything done, yikes! The stylist was lecturing me about waiting so long but it's only hair. If I want to go around with skanky roots that's my business, I don't lecture her about smoking. She was also kind of being all "well if you want that much taken off I guess I'll do it, it'll grow back eventually". Grrrr!

Coffee first, then computer

Ok, my lesson for the day is do not post before I've had my coffee or at least be awake for 15 minutes first. Totally meant to send out happy thoughts and speedy recovery vibes to Nik of 4 feet running in Wednesday's post but was still in my it's morning already? state. Belated {{happy vibes}} Nicole. And I agree the repeated "are you pregnant?" question was a bit much. On a somewhat related note, James & I always get the you've been married how long and you don't have kids? Nosy, nosy people.

There's just one thing wrong with running podcasts. I always listen when I'm driving and get so motivated that I want to stop right then and go for a run. It's great to get that pumped up but not so nice when I realize hey, if I stop right now, I'm not going to make the delivery on time, and if that doesn't happen then I don't have money for new running shoes, race fees, nifty gadgets, etc., etc.,. Also most people probably wouldn't appreciate the big truck parked in the way either. Anyway, I love that there are so many and I'm definitely looking forward to Susan from Benton starting hers (soon I hope, pretty please?). Can you tell that I was working my way through the Extra Mile podcast archives this week?

Do not for any reason try to run in Whiteville, TN. Not only will the motorists there not move over to give you a little room, they will actually swerve from the opposite direction to try to run a person down. Yeah, I was having flashbacks to Steve Runner's Phedippidations and all the times he has joked (?) around about the motorists in his corner of the world. I've always felt that all roadways should have wide shoulders but I'm almost a zealot in that belief now.

Today was a 5 mile tempo run at the health club. 1 easy, 3 at 8:41, 1 cooldown. Would have preferred to do this outside but today was w4 d2 for James and the treadmill's easier on his legs. He did all but the last 2 minutes of the final 5 but he had a good excuse for cutting it short. He was wearing a new pair of shorts that was chafing and ended up with 2 bright red welts on his legs. Ouch!!!! I have been so lucky that I've never experienced the chafing problems that so many others have. Did think I was going to puke after the first mile at tempo speed, was okay after I turned the fan on. Why do I always forget to do that first, and why do they keep the health club too warm?

Finally made an appt to get my hair colored and trimmed, only a month and a half past due. Those roots are not a pretty sight. We did get to eat dinner at my favorite fast food place this evening--Jason's Deli. Loooove the salad bar! And yummy potato soup tonight. I was so happy when a location opened up in NLR, now if they would just expand to Searcy. Even though we're a college town it probably won't happen, we couldn't even keep our Papa John's Pizza (the owner said he just couldn't keep reliable employees).

Tomorrow is an easy 4 miler. Like Adam Tinkoff at the Another Runner blog and podcast I used the Runner's World Smart Coach to generate a training schedule for the LRM 1/2. I decided the other schedule I was following was a bit too much this time around, was on the verge of overdoing it.

Oh, and the ebay issue was finally resolved with no hard feelings, the buyer got back to me after the unpaid item strike and said she would still like to have the item. I took a chance and agreed, have been paid and shipped the item this afternoon. Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy (at least until it comes to the feedback issue, what do you do in this case?)

09 January 2008


Watched a wild lightning storm yesterday morning before dawn along I-30 in Texas. One flash looked like it looped around and tied a knot in itself.

Yesterday was a rest day for me so I just ran/walked with James on his couch to 5k program, week 4-day 1. He did excellent but chose a hilly place to run so he was winding down by the end, didn't quite get all of the last 5 min. jog in. Considering we were going uphill into a headwind, I'm very impressed that he got as far as he did on the last interval. I told him last night that a good b-day present for me would be to run a 5k together but he reminded me (quite quickly!) that I'd already asked for a new pair shoes. He also took off a little fast in the beginning so that played a factor in the last segment.

08 January 2008


Just had to close an item dispute with an auction buyer that had a feedback score of 6/100%. This person had won an auction at the end of November and after several reminders through eb*y I finally filed an unpaid item dispute. Almost at the end of the dispute period she then tries to pay but can't directly through the website and after several emails (via the site so it's all documented) trying to explain how to go through p*yp*l directly I just gave up and closed the dispute saying I no longer wanted to communicate with them. Big sigh here, I don't like causing her to have an unpaid item strike but I'm tired of dealing with it. I'm sure that I'm going to get negative feedback too. Blech, I'm going to bed (I hate conflict like this).

07 January 2008

It's definitely Monday

Another beautiful day, actually was nice enough to sleep with the truck off last night, so I slept good. Went for a run along Crescentview Road at Pulaski this morning, 60* F but overcast. This is such a pretty area, small farms here and there but there are a few sections where the owners are starting to develop, so you do get small pockets with the houses right on top of each other. Hopefully this won't continue. Today's picture is not so clear because it was taken with my camera phone but those 2 came to visit me as I ran by. I was so taken with them that I had to stop and go back for the picture. The same farm also has a small herd of goats. The first 5 or 6 were ok when I went by but then a kid spooked and the entire herd took off away from me. I'm not sure why but I think goats are so cute. Had a few dogs come out and bark at me here and there but all except one stayed in their yards (you ever see a fat dachsund doing it's best guard dog impression?). The one that didn't stay in it's yard was right at my turnaround point. I thought she was going to bite me. I love dogs and usually most of them just want you to know that hey this is my space but she came out and across the road with bared teeth and raised hackles. Her owner came out and tried to call her back while telling me that the dog wouldn't bite but just acts ferocious to strangers, but the dog refused to be called off. I told the lady I would just turn around there that way I wouldn't be disturbing her dog a second time and she apologized. I wasn't upset but I honestly think the dog would have bit me if I tried to come back through a few minutes later.

Overall, a good run--had trouble with my garmin at first so I don't have an accurate distance but I think it was around 3.75-3.8 miles, slightly longer than I'd planned but it was such a gorgeous day with beautiful scenery that I didn't want to stop. At least until the tummy trouble started again, as I wrote before, I'm REALLY ready for that to quit.

Thought I'd fried my stereo earlier. I did something boneheaded and left the lid off the bottle of coke I'd just opened. Thought it would be ok for a moment but then I hit an uneven spot in the road and there went the coke upside down onto the floor. Managed to grab it before a lot spilled but then the soda just explodes out the top of the bottle and will not quit gushing everywhere. Over half the soda ends up on my dash, floor, into the stereo, and who knows where else and there is NOWHERE for me to pull over. Yeah, I'm a little cranky right now. The good news is that the stereo started working after it dried out for 45-60 mins. The bad news is that even though I tried to mop everything up, I will be finding sticky spots for the next 2 weeks. Lesson of the day, if you drive a freightliner with the crappy cupholders that will not hold anything except a can, do not leave the cap off for even a few seconds.

Oh yeah, Terry said that since I brought the 70* temps and rain with me to TN that I promised him I would bring back when I was there last week, next week he wants the goose that lays golden eggs. I could bring him a copy of the story but would like something more imaginative, so if anybody has any suggestions please leave me a comment!!

06 January 2008

Spring-like temps

Wow, 65* degrees and 80% humidity right now. Just in from my long run, 10 miles scheduled, did 9.5 miles in 1:38. Again it took several miles for my legs to warm up, I may need to try a different training schedule. Part of my problem this week was from trying to adjust to sleeping in my truck again. Wonky sleep patterns don't make for good long runs. Actually met several runners this morning that were lured out by the warmer temperature. Here lately it's just been James, me, and 3-4 elderly gentlemen out for walks.

The squirrels were everywhere this morning, most with their cheeks full of nuts. We had one running along the fence next to us at one point. It was weird, first we heard this clomping and next thing there was this random squirrel just trotting along the fence right there by us. I think it thought we were invading its territory. I wonder if there has been a bad sci-fi/horror movie made about attacking squirrels? One of these days we need to video the dogs at this one house. They are fenced in with this 4 foot tall brick fence and every time somebody goes by you have all these dogs bouncing up and down so they can see over the fence and bark (except for one, all he has to do is stand up with his paws on top of the fence and he's eye level with you). I don't think any are biters, just wanting attention. It's the funniest thing watching them all bounce straight up and down.

05 January 2008

Back home

I'm not sure if this was a good week or not. Some parts were great, others so-so. There was nothing truly bad other than I was having a hard time getting back into the routine. The running week was shot if I'm going strictly by the schedule but I did have a couple of nice short runs. Have been having some tummy issues this week, not sure what's causing that but I'm ready for it to stop already. You don't realize how sitting for several hours at a time behind the wheel affects your body until there has been some time away from it. James & I were both hobbling around the first couple of days from stiffening up. We'd stop and I swear it would take 5 minutes of walking around before we could stand up straight.

Neat things I saw this week
1. Less traffic, woohoo the holiday traffic has eased
2. Snow in TN, it didn't stick thank goodness but it was coming down hard at one point
3. 2 deer while I was docked at Pulaski. The customer I pick up at is surrounded by wooded areas with a large cleared grass area behind the plant so you will frequently see deer coming through
4. A couple of horses that ran next to me on my Wed. run
5. A yard full of guinea fowl and chickens between Adamsville and Crump (15-20 of each)
6. Terry and Deanna at Pulaski

Wednesday's run was at Crump, TN this week. I was in the mood for a change of scenery and checked out a neighborhood behind the fuel stop that I park at sometimes. Had 6-8 mile pace run scheduled, did 2.47 miles of hills (will that equal out?!!!). Felt good, was wearing my new Nike thick tights, C9 Target jacket, nuwool injinji socks so was prepared for the 20* degree temp. This is where I had the horses running next to me--very cool. Also found some public bank access to the river that was within a 5 min. walk of the fuel stop. Everything's going great but then my body decided it was time for a bathroom break, no problem to run back to the store but then disaster strikes. They were remodeling the bathroom!!! There was a woman right on my heels that was in worse shape than I was--she was jumping from foot to foot and there isn't any other place for a couple of miles with a public restroom. So after using the porta-potty I didn't feel like getting back to running. Yes, I know that's way too much info but if you're reading this you're probably a runner (or truck driver) too and have been in exactly the same situation at least once.

Thursday's run was round and round the Cabela's and Wal-Mart in Buda, TX. James is on week 3 of the couch to 5k plan so I ran/walked with him as my warm-up. It was a tough place to run because it was on concrete sidewalks with some inclines and it was very windy. He is doing great though, I'm so proud of him. He was complaining that he was having a little trouble that day but that was when we were going uphill into a headwind (and did I mention the concrete sidewalks? those are killer). Most people would have stopped but he toughed it out and finished strong. Altogether, we did 1.9 miles. After that I ran 4.02 miles round and round. My knees were a little sore afterwards from the concrete--good run though. I have got to compliment the drivers around the shopping center there. Everybody was smiling and waving us on through the drives instead of trying to run us down. That's very unusual around a Wal-Mart, most people are in too big of a hurry to get that front door parking spot and don't you dare get in their way. I was hoping to go into the downtown area of Buda but the sidewalks ended and I didn't feel comfortable running in the road without knowing the area very well.

We delivered in Laredo Thursday night and would have made it back to Cotulla before our hours were up but the trailer I picked up at the yard had a nail in a tire and the shop was closed until 12:30 am so I just went to bed there and got the tire fixed the next morning. I really, really, really dislike the truck I'm assigned to now. It's equipped with optimized idle and the engine shuts down and restarts all through the night. You get these nice warning buzzers and the truck shaking when it stops and restarts so that means I don't get a good night's sleep when it's too cold or hot to sleep with the truck shut down. If James and I are together I can go and sleep in his truck but there are usually 2 nights that I can't do that. I wish the company I was with would go with the apu's on all their trucks. They're testing different units but it will be at least a couple of years before they start ordering all trucks equipped with them.

Today was supposed to be 3 miles on the treadmill but ended up being 1.8, it's just too hot in the health club and it was crowded today so you had all the additional body heat going on. Did an upper body and ab workout afterwards. It's working well having James be my trainer, he pushes me harder on the weights than what I would do by myself. I should be doing unassisted pullups by early spring at this rate.

01 January 2008

New Year! and back to work

Preparing to leave for the week, my internal clock is so messed up. We will be 2 days behind schedule plus having over 12 days off has put me off-kilter.

Goals for this year: run one race a month, complete the LR 1/2 marathon, complete a duathlon, and be more organized (like that one will actually happen!!)

Not sure about James, he hasn't told me what his goals are for the year. When I asked him he said that he would have to think about it.

The bicycle pictured is my Christmas gift this year from James and his mom.

Happy New Year

Last ride of the year

Well, James guilted me into taking a final spin on the motorcycle for the year. It wasn't too bad but I was a little cranky to begin with, kind of like my motorcycle. I run unbaffled straight pipes (vance & hines straight shots) and my bike coughs and sputters until it gets warmed up when it's under 60 degrees. We need to go in and rejet the carb or put new baffles in, just haven't had the motivation to do either. We didn't go out for long, just 16 miles, but the sun was starting to go down and the wind was picking up, so James cut it short so that I wouldn't be a lot cranky.