29 August 2008

Rant over

Okay, rant over. My week wasn't bad, just had a handful of memorable encounters. I did manage to get in a couple of good runs even though I had to force myself into my running shoes Monday morning. It was sooo humid and hot but I laced up my shoes and prepared myself for what I thought was going to be a miserable time. What turned it around? Well, Marianne and Nik and Dan did. I had downloaded the Endurance Nation podcast interview of Marianne after her IMCDA and she is so incredibly upbeat that you can't help but enjoy yourself around her (or in my case listening to her). Within 2 minutes of turning on my Sandisk Clip my entire mood changed for the better. Thanks Marianne!!! Of course Nik and Dan put out the fantastic 4 feet running podcast that I'm trying my best to catch up on. Even when they're having health issues or have a bad race they still manage to put out awesome episodes that make you laugh. Anyway managed to get in 6.02 miles on the very hilly Amos Hamlett Road.

Wednesday was a 4.13 mile run at Cotulla. After the frustrations of the 2 previous days I was ready to lace up the shoes for some stress relief. It was a great run, I felt like I could have gone further but time was an issue--had another dentist appt to get to. I hydrated a little too much before starting out so had to make a pitstop 1.93 miles in but it was a quick run into the gas station, pee, wash hands, and right back out. Because of time constraints I just did the frontage road loop so had the interstate for scenery (blech). There was another guy doing the same thing I was only in the opposite direction but he didn't seem interested in talking so after the initial hello, we just nodded at each other whenever we met. I must have looked like I was enjoying myself though (and I was!) because I got way more honks than normal.

I was tired this morning, had to get up at 4 a.m. in order to drive on into NLR to drop off my trailer for repair, bobtail to Searcy, and get a shower before my 8:30 a.m. dentist appt. My 2 front teeth are starting to show signs of finally tightening up but he decided to leave the splint on for another 2 weeks. I hope, hope, hope that I won't lose those teeth, really don't want to have to get a partial or bridge. Ended up coming home and sleeping for a couple of hours then met Gary for our usual Thursday afternoon ride. Since it was so hot we decided to take it easy. I never did get my legs to loosen up and it was very difficult to breath because of the humidity. Finished with 17.31 miles at a 13.8 mph average--almost 2 mph slower than normal but it felt ok to not be pushing it super hard. We did go out on Country Club so there were hills involved, LOL, we can never have a truly easy ride.

I did have an interesting encounter this afternoon, a guy stopped by that James and I know but try to avoid (he's crankier than I am!). At one point he starts asking when we were going to quit driving truck because we're getting too old to be doing it much longer. Umm, that was weird. I'm not sure when being in your early 40's or almost 40 was too old to be a truck driver.

PMS sucks

I think every motorist on the road had it in for me personally Monday and Tuesday. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration but I did have a few that really should have had their licenses yanked. Oh, and there's a Star Transportation driver out there that needs to have a "Caution, asshole driver" sign on the back of his trailer. If another driver is polite enough to move over for you when you're on the shoulder and trying to merge back into traffic you REALLY, REALLY should not be rude to her by staying off of her side and not allowing her to get her slow truck out of the way of the big truck that was nice enough to let her over in the fast lane so that you could get back on the freeway. Yes, I was very peeved, that's just not a cool thing to do to another trucker. I even got on the cb to ask this guy to either go on or slow down so that I could get back over where I belonged but he wasn't interested in doing anything remotely considerate, grrr. The guy behind me finally realized what the Star driver was doing so he backed out of it so I could slow down and fall in behind Mr. Jerk. I'm venting now but I was polite on the radio and didn't flip him off--even though he deserved it. The pms in the title stands not for my p.m.s. but the other--putting up with men's s**t.

24 August 2008

Sometimes I think I've lost my mind

Petra and Cathy joined Gary and me for the planned 63+ mile ride this morning. We started out at 6:30 am rather than the usual 6 because (unfortunately) the days are getting shorter. I'm not too thrilled about the shorter daylight hours because I tend to be one of those solarpowered truck drivers that all the other drivers gripe about. No, I don't shut down at 3 in the afternoon but anything past 10 p.m., I'm not worth anything. James used to joke that you could set a clock by when I started yawning at night.

Anyway back to the bicycle ride, everything was great until we hit the chip seal junk on Hwy 11. It felt like my brain was rattling around in my skull! We all let a very loud "aaahh" once we hit smoother road again. It's amazing how quickly rough road can sap all your energy. Overall, I felt fairly strong, even led the paceline for 4 miles at one point. Petra has not been able to train much so she started flagging after about 25 miles, still was able to keep up but you could tell it was getting harder with each mile. She still made it all the back to the bicycle shop instead of stopping at 40 miles like she originally planned so she did good. Cathy is a strong rider so I'm sure she could have kept it up all day, she's also a marathoner so you know she's got the endurance.

We made it back to the shop with 58.6 miles at a 16.4 mph average so I think we did great considering we had to back off the pace for the last 20 miles. Gary and I had already made plans to ride the airport loop afterwards to bump our mileage up some more in preparation for the BDB 100 in Sept. Visited for a while, refilled one of my water bottles (should have filled both, ran out before we got back) and took off with the Lerchers until we reached Queensway. They went right to head back home and we turned left and this is where things started going downhill for me.

My stomach started growling letting me know that it was way past time for some real food (snacked on Sharkies and a cashew bar during the ride) and I literally started drooling when we passed the Citgo station and I could smell the deep fryer grease wafting out to the road. You know it's bad when that stuff smells edible. Still managed to dig in and keep a decent pace until we made the curve just past the airport. There's a long, almost imperceptible incline that sucked the energy out of me, I started flagging bad here and started dreading the real hill that was coming up. Gary dug in and just left me at that point, it was very reminiscent of when I first started riding with him on the hills. I struggled up at 9.7 mph in the middle ring (didn't have to hit the granny ring though!!). Got through that and found a shady spot another mile or two up and I had an Accelerade gel--the strawberry-kiwi is good by the way. That gave me enough of a boost to make it the rest of the way but I was still starving. Final total was 74.69 miles in 4 hours, 50 minutes, and 39 seconds--average dropped to 15.4 mph.

First thing I did when I made it home was fill up a plate with last night's leftovers. Didn't even heat it up I was so hungry. I have got to do some bragging on James here. He cooked a black-eyed pea gumbo for lunch yesterday and Mediteranean (spelling?) leg of lamb with veggies for supper. DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And he got up this morning and cooked me breakfast before the ride. AND did all the dishes! I am a very lucky woman.

Followed up the food with a long soak in an ice bath to reduce the swelling and achiness in my legs. Brrrr, it can be miserable but it's worth it in the long run. Managed to resist the temptation to take a nap and made a very frustrating trip to Wal-Mart. Harding starts back next Monday and the place was packed with students and their parents stocking up on last minute items. James and I then met Jason and Bill for a round of disc golf. I was actually doing quite well for once, most holes were just one over until the large coffee kicked in and I had to drive to the gas station for a bathroom. They have restrooms right beside the skate park and basketball courts but everything was padlocked up.

I would like to get a 5 mile run in tomorrow but to be honest I would be okay if I only end up with 3. My lower back and left butt cheek is sore and my legs felt dead when I jogged to the pickup and back on the bathroom run.

22 August 2008

Too lazy to think of a title

Whew, I feel like I've been running 2 steps behind all week. Started out with an 8 mile long run Monday, first 5.5 went great then my tummy decided to rebel on me with a 1/2 mile to go before getting back to the plant. Blech. Anyway, got that taken care of and finished up the long run by doing 2 miles of hill repeats on the cul-de-sac. Turned Elsie loose for the final 2 and she had a good time with following me, then stopping to sniff the bushes, then chasing after me again. Oh, and the dog on Crescent View ran with me again. Thought I'd made it safely by her house but she snuck up behind me and bumped into the back of my legs. Scared the hell out of me 'cause I didn't hear her coming. I bet I jumped 2 feet straight up when that happened, LOL. She does make an awesome running partner, I had two other dogs run out to the road after me and she chased them back so I guess she's decided to be my guard dog.

Got loaded out even later than usual Monday afternoon, had time for a nice nap. Would rather get out early though than have naptime. Found out that one of my favorite supervisors quit last Friday. I'm so ready for the Michigan people to go back home, they're making everybody miserable, even Terry said he was ready to quit and he's usually one of the happiest people I know.

I had to layover Tuesday night waiting on my trailer at Laredo. Along with my dispatch Wednesday morning I received a message saying to call the medical dept. That always means that your name came up for a random drug test, double blech....... My company is using a different clinic for the randoms now and it was in a very rough looking neighborhood, guess the other place was starting to charge too much. Anyway, got there before they opened and was first in line so it didn't take too long. Decided to do a little bit of shopping, went to Academy Sports, Target, and Old Navy (shorts were 50% off, yay!).

Since I didn't get my workout done in the morning, I stopped at Jarrell, TX for a 4 mile run. It was ok but I think if I stop there again I'll try to run in the downtown area for something a little more scenic than the interstate.

Made it home at 1400 yesterday. I was tired since my day had started at 4 a.m. that morning but went ahead and got dressed to meet Gary for our Thursday afternoon ride. I was less than enthused and could feel a headache just waiting to pounce but needed the miles. First few miles were rough and traffic seemed to be heavier than normal but once we got in a groove, I started feeling much better. We did get soaked by one of the storms that rolled through but it lasted less than 10 minutes so didn't call it quits when Gary's wife called to check on us to see if we needed a ride back to the shop. I'm trying to work on the push, scrape, pull method and will surge ahead when I'm concentrating on it but man does it make my hamstrings scream for mercy. We have a couple of hills on the route so it slows down our average but we still kept a 15.8 mph average on the 18 miles.

Tried to go for a 3 mile run yesterday evening after our bicycle ride, but my body said hell, no. I made it a quarter mile out and my stomach started acting up, made it back to the house, then tried to run again and didn't even make it to the end of my street so had to call it quits. Very, very frustrating.

School is back in session so I'm going to have to start watching the time before I head out the door. I live near the high school and the street you have to take to get to the bicycle trail does not have any shoulders (although that is supposed to be rectified sometime in 2009) so you're living dangerously trying to get there between 7:30 and 8 in the morning on weekdays. Anyway, made it back home alive with 5.26 miles. Minor tummy issues again so it wasn't a particularly pleasant time. For some reason my shoulder has also been twinging this week, it makes it harder to keep proper form when running so I'm sure that's not helped anything.

Scrubbed out my truck this morning, it needed it after skipping last weekend and driving in rain off and on this week. It's almost next to impossible to keep the driver's side floor clean when you're having to park on mud parking lots. Even rain-x'ed my windows and mirrors while I was at it, besides providing better visibility it also makes most of the bugs slide right off. I always leave a spot in the middle of the windshield undone though because I'm too short reach all the way across. It's at the top in an almost perfect v-shape, lol!

Have a 63.6 mile ride planned with Gary tomorrow. I think Petra is going to join us for at least 40 of that so he picked a flatter route than normal.

17 August 2008

Cabot Guys Vs. Gals

Friday afternoon I stopped by the soon to be new Bike City location after running my errands to check out the progress Duane and Becky had made. They're coming right along, it's going to be a much larger shop than their current one. I volunteered to help out with some of the cleanup work and James came in as I was getting ready to go back so he ended up helping too :-)

Saturday was the Cabot Guys vs Gals challenge of a 5k run followed by a 10 mile bicycle ride and then a picnic afterwards. Lots of fun!!!!!!!!! And it couldn't have been a nicer day as far as the temps go. This year they added a twist to the run, if the women wore a running skirt they got a 1 minute head start, if the guys wore a skirt they got a 2 minute head start! There were several guys that did wear a skirt, one even had a sign on the back that read "I need the 2 minutes!"

Love the look on the little girl's face!

I had a good run except for one little problem, just after 2 miles in. I needed to pee desperately! I'm really having trouble getting the hydration just right, either I'm underhydrated and get a horrible stitch or overdo it and end up needing to go in the middle of a run or race. Wish I could figure out what the magic number/level is for me. Finished in 26:20, that's in the range of what my 5ks have been lately.

Next up was the 10 mile ride, I was curious about how I would do on this since I didn't know the course and I hadn't gotten out and just pushed as hard as I could for that long. Didn't do too bad although I did miss one of the turns. I was following a couple of guys that first I would pass, then they would pass me--we were close to the same level, just had different strengths depending on the terrain. One of the guys started to slow down and me and the other started to pass him, we didn't realize he was slowing for a right turn. The other guy managed to catch himself and get turned but I didn't. Had to go up a little ways to the next street and flip around, slowed me down a fair bit and lost some of my momentum. Anyways, had somebody else catch me (and eventually pass for good) but that worked out well since I couldn't remember what the next turns would be. I was still very pleased with how I did. Accidently erased my computer before writing the stats down so this is from memory (and my memory can be faulty, LOL) but I think I kept just over a 17 mph average (again, could be wrong), slowest speed up one of the hills was 10.3 mph (this isn't counting my slowing down from the missed turn) and max speed was just over 27 mph. Most of the time when I would glance down at the computer on what few flat stretches there were I would be doing anywhere from 19 to 22 mph. I was having some lower back pain from working in the shop the day before, it's been quite a while since I'd done any home improvement projects and no matter how good of shape you're in, you're going to feel it when you add in movements that you're not accustomed to.

One guess on why this is James' favorite pic of the day!

I think the cutest thing was Bailey's cheering section on the ride portion, a couple of little boys were chanting "Miss Bailey, Miss Bailey, Miss Bailey rocks!" Got to meet a lot of very nice people, I just love the Cabot group. Did have my first stop and flop though. I was stopped in the parking lot after the ride waiting for traffic to clear to cross over, had my left foot unclipped and ON the ground, looked over my shoulder and started tilting to the RIGHT. Couldn't get unclipped so just slowly toppled over in front of a small audience. I'm ok except for a small bump just below my left knee (caught it on the pedal) but it is embarrassing. Nothing to do except pick yourself up and grin though!

James and I went out for a disc golf game last night, it was a perfect evening for it. Not too hot, and very few mosquitos out. It's been at least a month since we last played and I pretty much sucked. Bought a new driver for the pretty pink color that doesn't work for me at all and I lost my old driver in the brush, grrr! Lesson of the day--don't buy discs because you love the color.

This morning James joined Elsie and me for a 2 mile walk then I went for a 2 mile easy run. Followed that up with an 11.29 mile bicycle ride with James. Tomorrow may be a short easy run rather than the scheduled long run.

Oh, the results from the Guys vs. Gals challenge--the gals won of course! Although it was close this year, I think there were only 3 points separating the men and women.

15 August 2008


Yeah, I need to be doing some "real" work on the computer organizing the schedule of rides but I just can't seem to get motivated to do it. I've got the page open, even keyed in ONE word, but that's it, just can't get it done......................So I'm here updating my blog and reading my faves, procrastinating in other words, LOL!

Things seem to be slowing at Pulaski but still got out after lunch which (as I've written way too many times before!) throws my preferred schedule off. I even ended up taking 2 naps this week and I usually don't nap on the road because of the stupid 14 hour rule.

I saw 3 roadrunners (the birds) Tuesday morning in between Athens and Malakoff on Hwy 31. I can't remember the last time I saw roadrunners esp. that many together. Usually just see one or maybe two. Very cool, I love watching them get up and go.

Did my Wed. run at Cotulla again. It was ok, had to make a pitstop at a gas station at 1.9 miles but that was just a normal "drank too much water right before a run" stop. Ended up having to take a 1 minute walk break at 2.4 miles because of the humidity and taking off too fast from the pitstop. There are two large mules in a pasture on the east side of the freeway that always stop their grazing to watch me run by. They keep edging closer to the fence each week and I'm tempted to stop and pet them but not sure of how aggressive they are. Don't really want to have one of them try to take a chomp out of me! Ended up with 4.07 miles.

Took my time driving home so didn't get here until 1230 pm Thursday. Stopped at Buda to wait on James Wed. (took my 2nd nap there) and after eating a meal with him at Cabelas and drooling over the kayaks I only made it to Mt. Vernon. Got there just in time, there were only a handful of spots left at the old fuel stop and they filled up before I pulled my curtains closed for the night.

Thursday afternoon met Gary for our scheduled bicycle ride. We had a couple that ride a tandem join us, they were a lot of fun and could kick some a** on that bicycle. We're finally starting to get some more women riding with us, YAY! I ended up with 21.01 miles at a 14.6 mph average. Neither Gary or me were feeling too energetic so we didn't do a hilly route (thank goodness). He took a bad spill Tuesday evening and has a huge bruise/road rash on his left side. I keep telling everybody that bicycles are more dangerous than motorcycles!

Today was a 1.93 mile walk/run with Elsie then a 3.03 mile solo run. Started off not feeling like I was going to get very far but by the end I felt like I could have kept running forever. Cut it short though because I have the Cabot Cruisers Guys V. Gals challenge in the morning. It's going to be a 5k run followed by a 10 mile bicycle ride and you know the Gals are going to kick some major butt!!

Oh, to heck with it. I'm going to go fire up my motorcycle and run some errands.

11 August 2008

What not to do

.......the day before a long run is drink 3 cups of coffee at home then go to Starbucks and order
a tall vanilla latte and a venti iced coffee. I was sooooo sick to my stomach last night. I have no clue what got into me other than it was rainy and dreary and I guess I thought coffee was the cure, ugh. Needless to say it made for an "interesting" run this morning. Made the entire 7 miles that was scheduled but it wasn't pleasant after the first 4 and the last mile was downright miserable. Took 4 different 1 minute walk breaks and was just barely slogging at the end but I did it. The moment the garmin showed I hit 7 miles that was it, immediately started walking, LOL!!!!!

Had a dog join me at about 1.75 miles, she was determined she was going with me no matter how much I told her to stay and yelled at her. She was super friendly, actually made a great running partner, she went with me all the way to the end of Crescent View and back to her house where I had to really scold her hard to make her stay. She looked so heartbroken that I was talking so mean but I didn't want her to get lost. People shouldn't let their dogs run loose especially with no collar saying who they belong to.

Oh, forgot to mention I almost had my first stop and flop Saturday with my clipless pedals. Was at a stop sign and started to go and all of a sudden I just slowly started leaning to the left. Got unclipped when I was at a 45 degree angle but I just knew I was going to be laying on the ground with everybody watching. Very embarrassing!!!!!!!! James was laughing at me once I got unclipped because the whole time I was yelling oh crap, oh crap!!

Well, need to go check in at the plant to let them know I'm back and to find out when they want me to bump the dock. Hope everybody has a great day.

10 August 2008


I'm almost ready to start screaming. I've been trying since last night to email our standing ride schedule to the guys at the bicycle club and the stupid emails keep bouncing back on me. Tried it from the desktop and the laptop with the same results, starting to think it maybe my dsl that's causing the problem. It's weird, I've never had this problem before.

Went for a 2 mile easy/recovery run this morning in the rain, very nice change from the heat. Elsie started crying and jumping up when I was putting on my running shoes so was going to take her. We got outside and walked past 4 houses and she decided it was too wet and started pulling me back to our house (she's a wimp when it comes to the rain, ha-ha!). Good run but the poop monster (as Annette has named it) decided to make an appearance towards the end. Good thing I wasn't planning on a longer run.

I knew it was going to happen eventually, ended up double-booking myself for Saturday. The 16th is the Guys vs. Gals at Cabot and I told Gary I would ride with him on a 60 miler the same day. Going to have to bail on Gary, I committed to the G v G first. Very embarrassing especially as I was shaming Petra into riding with us Saturday, oops....... Need to start keeping a written schedule I guess.

If you haven't read Annette's San Francisco marathon recap then you need to right now. Great report and beautiful pictures. She's amazing, already going on 5 mile runs and bicycle rides less than a week after the marathon. I'm not sure where you get the energy Annette! I love the starting line pic of Bailey.

Update on HSN 4 mile

They finally have results posted from Friday's race. I was 11th female and 53rd runner overall. The age group results were posted a little different than the way the awards were handed out. Only the top 5 finishers are shown when they actually gave awards to the top 10. So on the age group page, Carol who was 9th is shown to be 1st on the 35-39 list, 10th place female is shown to be 2nd, and I'm shown to be 3rd. Wanted to clarify this in case somebody looked at the page and said that I was a lyin' about my placement. Not sure why it's posted in this manner when it wasn't last year.

I must be getting better at managing crowds, I thought there were fewer runners this year but there were actually more--117 in 2007, 134 in 2008.

2008 Hot Summer Nights 4 Mile results

2007 Hot Summer Nights 4 Mile results

I think it's funny that Carol and I have the exact same age group placement as last year just with better times.

I have a new title

Yep, I'm officially the ride organizer of ABC-Searcy. I have absolutely no idea what I'm supposed to do, I think I was nominated because I have the biggest mouth. Note to self--be quieter!! Actually, I think my only duties are to post the bicycle rides on the forum and email them to the guy in charge of the monthly ride schedule (at least I hope that's what I'm supposed to do).

It was a beautiful morning to ride today, temperature was 66F. Nice and cool for a change. I told Gary that I would be okay for an easy day because my legs were still sore from last night's race. He said that would work for him but we were joined by 3 other riders and that went out the window. It was still more laid back than the weekday country club ride. We did the 18 mile airport route and met back at the bicycle shop to gather up James and Petra at 7:30 for a 2nd loop. James is getting stronger, he was still tired and working harder than me and Gary but it didn't kill him like the last time he did that particular loop with me. My legs were just about screaming for mercy before it was all done, too many hills this past week! Cycling total for today was 36.93 miles at a 15.1 mph average. Would like to get that average up, but it does include city streets and hills so it's not too bad, I guess.

We have a disc golf game scheduled for tomorrow if it's not raining at 11 a.m. but it's not looking good. Forecast is showing strong thunderstorms at that time. Oh, and we're going to have to buy James a new back rim for his bicycle. I was wondering how long our wheels would last with some of our pavement around here, mine are ok so far but I think part of that is due to our weight difference. I did a search on rims and the stock rims on his bicycle aren't very good for somebody over 175 lbs.

09 August 2008

Hot Summer Night 4 Mile race report

This is my 2nd year of running this race at Jonesboro. It's very well organized, great volunteer support, awesome goodie bags and cute t-shirt designs. This year the goodie bag contained a cd wallet, can cozy, spf 15 lip balm, cytomax samples, and a technical t-shirt. It was catered by San Francisco Bread Co., had beer for free if you like beer (Michelob Ultra I think), and a live band for entertainment (they even played music I liked).

See, cute t-shirt graphic, but a really, really ugly color this year and the size small
is a guy's small so it's a bit big on me. Oh well, it will make a great layering piece for
when the weather turns cold. The back of the shirts have a small graphic that reads
"It's not about how fast you are........It's all about making it to the finish."

Last year, it lived up to it's name, actual temps was around 97-99F with heat indexes
of well over 100. Last night was much nicer with temps in the low 80s. Yes, I am wearing a running skirt. The taller blonde behind me is Carol, we met earlier in the year (February) at the 15k in Little Rock. She recently ran a marathon in Hawaii (oooh, makes me almost consider training for a marathon if I could get a vacation in HI!). She's also one of the few people that has a ponytail almost as out of control as mine, LOL.

My cheering section!

Yes, that reads 34:27, a new 4 mile p.r.!!!!!!!!!!!

The aftermath!

Okay, race recap time. Lined up near the front but should have gotten up on the front line with Carol, she sprinted out hard and got a 100 yard lead that I could never make up. They didn't have anybody calling out the times at the mile markers and I wasn't wearing a watch or garmin so had no clue of my pace but I deliberately went out slightly slower than last weekend. Skipped the first water stop because it was less than a quarter mile from the start, but did grab water at the next 3. Routine was to run up grab the water, say thank you, walk while taking 1-2 sips, then throw the cup down, and start running again--I can't run and drink at the same time yet.

There is a slight incline for the first mile and a lot of people take off hard and burn themselves out before they even get to the big climb at Highland (I think that's the street). This one is a fairly steep climb and you can run on the sidewalk or the road at your own risk. I chose the sidewalk and had a good rhythm going up the hill and did a lot of passing. We then turn into a residential area that has some beautiful houses, is very well shaded, and best of all, several people had turned their sprinklers on so they would spray into the street so the runners could cool down if they wanted (ahhh!). I'm still doing good but the hardest part of the race is coming up (at least for me). This is a section that is flat but it's the frontage road next to Hwy 63, no tree cover and always a stiff headwind. I catch up to a guy that had been kind of leapfrogging with me for the past 2 miles and pass him for good at this point and this is where another woman takes off, passing me, and catching up to Carol (and passing her before the finish).

I'm struggling at this point, decide that I really do not like 4 mile races and wonder why in the hell I'm doing this to myself. Keep wanting to walk but tell myself to HTFU. Don't stop, don't stop, don't stop is my mantra but in between the "don't stops"are the I really, really want to stops. Make the turn onto the grass, hear James yell "Go Gabrielle!" and give him a wave. Get to the final turn, look up at the clock and it's showing 34:06 and I decide I really don't want that to hit 35 so found a final sprint and made it in 34:27. Can't believe it, even now. I was just hoping to match what I did last Saturday and here I beat it by well over 2 minutes. Last year's time was 41:39 but it was much hotter and everybody's time was fairly slow.

At this point, I'm not sure of my placement so sit down and eat with Carol and a couple of her friends while waiting for the awards ceremony. They give awards to the top 10 male and female runners, the top 5 male and female walkers, top 3 masters, top 3 in the age groups, etc. When they call out the woman that finished just after Carol for 10th place I know that I'm going to get first in the 35-39 age group. This is the 2nd year in a row that Carol has won 9th female overall by the way, she is an awesome runner! The official results are still not up but I was either 11th or 12th female overall so I'm very happy! It's also the 2nd year in a row that I brought home the 1st place 35-39 award. Last year was a small decorative tile, this year's award is an insulated lunch bag, I think I like the tile better. Next year I'm gunning for the top ten to get one of the very cool collapsible chairs.

Can't say enough nice things about the volunteers, most everybody was very enthusiastic, the Jonesboro police officers were super polite (even acted like they were happy to be out there to help!). One water stop was staffed by college girls wearing wild wigs and had music playing, another was staffed by Boy Scouts, the 3 mile water stop had more teenage girls (they were offering the cups of water and also offering to splash you if you wanted), one of the turns had this cute little girl doing a cheer about it being the last hill. It's just refreshing to have a race with that many lively volunteers. Maybe because it was an evening race rather than an early morning race--I know I'm not exactly a ray of sunshine in the morning.

08 August 2008

The week in review

Whew, I'll be glad when Pulaski is back to normal, I'd gotten spoiled to getting loaded before lunchtime and it's a pain in the butt getting out of there later in the afternoon. The past 2 Mondays they have been slammed with trucks trying to get parts for the auto plants plus they had inventory last Friday and that slowed them down even more.

Since I knew it would be later in the day before I was rolling again I decided to do my long run Monday. Ended up with 6 miles by running Crescent View to the end and back and then adding on the cul-de-sac portion. It's hilly (just not as hilly as Amos Hamlett) and my legs were sore already from Saturday's race but except for the last 1.5 miles it was a good run. Most of it was shady and the morning glories and sweet peas were in full bloom. There were some areas that the 2 flowers were just tangled up together, beautiful!!!!!

I stopped at Prescott and slept again this week. The rest area at DeKalb, TX has been closed and once you pass a certain time it's next to impossible to get a parking spot on I30 unless you park on a ramp or are willing to take the chance of parking at the closed down truck stop at Winfield. Every so often the owner will decide to charge the drivers to park there and you never know when it's going to happen so it pays to have $10 on you in case that's your unlucky night.

Austin and San Antonio were both fairly easy to drive through Tuesday afternoon so made good time there and ended up getting to Laredo before sundown. Did have some issues with my trailer but the shop was closed before I finished hooking up so did some minor mechaniching before going to bed. Why don't people realize that you have to crimp the solderless connections down in order for them to work? You can't just put the ends of the wire in and wrap it with tape and expect it to stay connected.

Wednesday woke up early and drove to Cotulla for a 4.62 mile run, it was overcast from the tropical storm moving through so wasn't too hot. Went a little further into town than I had before and enjoyed seeing some new scenery. They have a pretty cemetery there that I've run through part of but I don't do that too much. I'm always afraid I'm going to offend somebody plus the older section is a little spooky.

Slept at Gurdon last night and woke up way too early for my liking, had another dentist appt. at 8:30 a.m., yuck. He went ahead and put a veneer on the broke tooth but the other front one hasn't anchored down very much so I have to wear the wire for another 3 weeks. I'm afraid I may end up losing that tooth. Came home and took a midday nap, exciting, huh? Oh, and I had the medical dept at my company grumble at me because I didn't call them the day before. Last time they tried to shut me down before I even made it home so wasn't going to make that mistake again. They did have me cleared within an hour though, I think that must be record time.

Today was a 3.16 mile run by myself then a 1.46 mile run/walk with Elsie. It was fairly decent this afternoon so went out around 2:30 p.m. Overcast and only in the 80's, I kept hoping it would rain but it never did. And I rode my bicycle to the dentist but it was less than a mile so that doesn't count as a workout.


Well, we had our first meeting tonight for the Searcy bicycle club. Gary did a wonderful job, he has put all this together almost single-handedly (he had help from Rhonda his beautiful wife). We had a couple of speakers from the Arkansas Bicycle Club come up to speak (Jim Britt, the ABC president and Tom Ezell, Bike League certified instructor) and had a larger turnout than what I expected, YAY!! Although there were a few people that I expected to be there that weren't. Learned some new stuff and hopefully we'll be able to get a few more people together on some rides.

Speaking of bikes, I washed my Harley this afternoon and rode it to the bicycle meeting. It was almost 20 degrees cooler today than it was at this time last week and it felt good to be riding. Michael, another local bicyclist, rode his Honda Sabre. We had a nice geeky joke
about this being the biker meeting.

07 August 2008

But, we just met

Tuesday morning I'm standing in line at the Prescott, AR Love's fuel desk to return my shower key and towels and I hear this gem from some guy who has decided to invade my personal space

"Boy, those sure are some nice legs."

Now, I'm not sure he's talking to me at this point because there is another woman in line ahead of me. Could be directed at either one of us.

Then--"Those are even nicer tattoos to go with those legs."

Now I know it's me but I continue to try to ignore him but I get yet another comment about my legs and tattoos (something along the lines of seeing what else I had). I'm cranky because the load came out late again, I didn't sleep well, and the showers there leave a whole lot to be desired in the cleanliness dept AND this guy that is basically breathing down my neck doesn't even have the social skills to say "Excuse me" or "Hello" before commenting about my body parts (or even speak to my face). At this point the cashier, the woman in line ahead of me, and I are all just kind of staring at each other wondering when he's going to give up and I just kind of snap at him that it was entirely too early for this type of conversation. I don't think he ever realized that what he was doing was not acceptable and was making the rest of us uncomfortable.

I'm sure I could have handled this in a better (more polite!) way, just said thanks, and left it at that but unfortunately I've been in way too many situations where I tried to do the polite thing and ended up having guys trying to follow me to my truck, ask me out on dates (without even knowing my name!!!) and behave in even creepier ways. This guy might have just been trying to make conversation but it just completely creeped me out having somebody step up that close to my back and then start saying stuff.

So any advice out there on how to deal with this? I don't necessarily like being outright rude to people but I do want to make sure that I don't have some weirdo decide that I want to jump him just because I said hello or thank you. This, sadly, has happened more than once by the way and a wedding ring doesn't seem to deter them.

03 August 2008

75% humidity + 80F

Makes for a yucky run.........

Annette, Bailey, Michelle, and Cheryl are 10 minutes into the San Francisco Marathon as of right now where it's currently 54F (want to be there! at least for a run). I know they're absolutely enjoying themselves right now and are going to do awesome.

James and I went for an 11 mile easy bicycle ride yesterday evening. He ended up taking his cruiser because sometime last weekend several of the spokes on the rear wheel of his Marin broke. I was taking it easy because of the race earlier in the day but I did try some one leg drills. Verdict: my right leg is almost perfect, the left leg has some major dead spots. I also ended up with a sore left hamstring from that. Made 1 run up Hitler hill but ended up in the granny gear about 7/8 of the way from the top. Oh well, at least I didn't have to walk.

This morning was 4.62 miles in 55:03. 2.52 miles was with Elsie (1 mile walk, 1 mi. run, .27 walk, .25 run) followed by a 2.1 mile run by myself. 20.3 miles on the week, finally getting my mileage back up.

Off to do laundry and pack for the week. Really meant to clean out my truck this weekend but never seemed to get to it. I try to give it a good scrubbing every other week in addition to the normal everyday cleaning. The outside is nice and shiny right now though from the bath at Blue Beacon Thursday at least until I head out across farming country on Hwy 64.

02 August 2008

White River 4 Mile Classic

Me (with my gap toothed smile!), Joan, and Jane
before the race

Start line

Patti and me before the race

Batesville mayor (he also rides a v-rod when he's not shooting guns at race starts!)

The temperature 6 minutes after the race started

Misting tent in the background

Hot and humid!!!!!!!!!! I like summer but not these 100 F+ days. Not sure what the temp was at 7:30 this morning but it wasn't pleasant. Oops, looked through James' pictures and it was 82F at 7:36 a.m. This was my 2nd race ever last year so I was hoping to beat my time of 39:17, managed to do it but I'm not necessarily happy with my race performance.

Met up with Jane and Joan before the race and we went for a nice easy warmup and I felt okay then. I had been cramping earlier in the morning but it usually goes away once I start running (and it did with the warmup). Lined up for the race and was still okay but I started feeling a little queasy and lightheaded for about the first 1/4 mile of the race, worked through that and did the first mile in 7:45--slightly too fast for what I wanted.

2nd mile was 17:00 even and this was the first water stop, walked through this, then started running again and within another 1/4 mile I had the stitch on my right side just below my ribs start in. This usually only happens when I'm underhydrated but this wasn't the problem today--I'm thinking I needed extra electrolytes. Started having to take walk breaks at this point.

3rd mile was 26:52, still within range of my goal time of 36:00 but that stupid stitch was sucking all my energy. I was getting slower and slower at this point. I did manage to run the last bit in but I was feeling awful, kept thinking they were moving the finish line further and further away (further, farther? too lazy to look up the proper usage). My legs felt good, even my breathing was okay, but the stitch/cramp/whatever was determined to do me in.

Final time was 37:16, slower than my goal time, but 2:01 minutes faster than my time last year of 39:17 at this race. It's my current 4 mile p.r. and I don't foresee doing any better at next Friday night's 4 miler in Jonesboro (going to be another sizzling race, they don't call it the Hot Summer Night 4-Miler for nothing).

Jane, Joan, and Patti all took home age group awards as did a couple of the guys, I was the only female Cruiser that didn't. It's ok though, even if I'd met my goal time I still wouldn't have placed, too many fast women in my age group right now. Carol was talking today about runners being the only people that don't mind turning 40 because that meant a new age group +masters which equals more chances at placing.

The White River Roadrunners of Batesville always put on nice, well-organized races but maybe next year they could flatten out some of those pesky hills, LOL!!!!! Signed up for the Sara Low Memorial 5k this morning--this is the hardest 5k I've ever done (not to mention my worst time!) but it's for a great cause and I'm determined to do better than last year.

01 August 2008

Lack of communication

I'm very, very, very upset with James and my mother-in-law today. Actually it would be more accurate to say I was downright pissed this morning. James' mom is 84 years old and her sense of balance has pretty much left the building. Well, she fell again last night but did anybody call me to let me know. NO! She called some neighbors once she made it to the phone to come help her up, then called James (who was 400 miles away), then called a friend of hers who came over to check on her and decided they needed to go to the ER. Again, I'm right there in town but nobody thought to let me know. As a matter of fact it wasn't until 9:15 this morning when I call James to tell him I was going for a training ride when he finally decides to tell me. His excuse--"Well, you were tired and pmsing so I thought you needed to sleep." Grrrr!!!!!!!!!! His mom is okay except for a skin tear but she always gets very disoriented after anything like this happens, more forgetful and anxious for about a week afterwards. We need to look into getting her some kind of med-alert for this type of situation but at the same time I don't know if she would bother using it. She's supposed to carry her cellphone with her whenever she leaves the apartment but she doesn't half the time. His mom is not to the point where she needs 24 hour care but we're going to have to come up with something.

July recap

3 races (woo-hoo!)

Cycling: 197.9 miles/13:52:34
Running: 73.8 miles/11:58:16

Guess I should have brought Cordelia out and cycled 2.1 miles today to have made it an even 200 miles. Oh well, still wasn't a bad month overall. Next month's goal is to get at least 80 run miles, maintain the cycling mileage, and get more consistent with the core exercises and strength training.