31 July 2008

Run, drive, sleep

I think that's all I did this past week. Well, except Tuesday, just drove and slept because it was a "rest" day.

Monday, woke up and checked in with the plant to let them know I was parked out on the street and that I was going for a run--I always let Terry know what road I'm taking so they know where to look for me if I'm not back. Decided on Amos Hamlett, it's hillier than Crescent View but has more trees so stays a little cooler. Great run even with the hills so ended up with 5.15 miles and a little more scenery than I'd taken in before. Also got greeted by a very friendly yellow lab mix and a noisy dachsund.

When I got back to the plant I noticed everybody was cranky and asked what was going on. Well, they have a manager on nights now who is from one of the Michigan plants and he brought that Detroit attitude with him to my nice laid back friends in TN. He evidently cusses everybody out and fires people with very little provocation so now they can't keep people on that can run the tote box machine without messing the boxes up and the factory in Mexico is complaining about the product being damaged. So come Monday morning the day shift is getting their butts chewed and they're having to repackage about 1/2 of my load. There were 2 supervisors out on the floor changing out the product in addition to Terry and DeAnna and each row was being photographed as it was being loaded onto my trailer. This results in me getting out of there 3 hours later than normal. 3 hours doesn't sound like much but it adds up. To be fair I do have until 0800 Wednesday to deliver but if I want that trip to be on Friday's paycheck I have to deliver before midnight Tuesday and there's the advantage of getting back home on Wed. night late or Thursday morning.

So I end up sleeping at Prescott, AR Monday night which means I can get to Laredo, drop and hook Tuesday but that's it for the day. Hit Austin and San Antonio rush hour traffic that afternoon so that didn't improve my mood any. But there were no lines at our yard or Penske and I didn't have to get any trailer work done, so I guess it evened out. Woke up Wednesday morning drove to Cotulla and ran a very difficult 3.23 miles (hmm, it's listed as an easy run on my log but it didn't feel easy). Called medical dept to schedule my D.O.T. physical for Thursday afternoon (fun, fun, fun) and made it back to Prescott last night.

Ran 3.33 miles at sunrise this morning in Prescott. The view was beautiful but my legs were sooo tired and it was soooo humid that it ended up being one of those runs where you ask yourself why are you doing this. Managed to slog through it even though I just wanted to stop and walk. I was able to find a parking spot at the Love's afterwards, very unusual, it doesn't start clearing out until late in the morning. AND there was no shower wait, doubly unusual. But it gets better, I get to Concentra and it's not packed to capacity, I was in and out of there in 1.5 hours. But wait, I decided to get my truck washed at the Blue Beacon afterwards and I get out of there in less than an hour, YAY!!!! I think I was getting some good karma too make up for my bad run this morning.

The physical went okay but it's just a pain to get it done. Blood pressure was 122/70, a little high, but I was stressing out about being there, something about doctors' offices does that to me. Don't know what my pulse rate was because they did it by holding my wrist and counting, why don't they have that neat machine that does it all? I love it when it beeps that my heart rate is too low. I actually had to do the cough test for the hernia today, usually they just prod around my stomach. Finished up with 2 deep squats to prove that I can get in and out of my truck and was told that I'm exceptionally healthy and I was certified for 2 more years. While I was at the yard today dropping my trailer I was watching one of our drivers walk across the parking lot. She was so heavy that she had to stop a couple of times to rest before getting to her tractor. It always makes me want to ask why the government requires these physicals when they just pass people willy-nilly. It's not uncommon to be in a truck stop and you look at the truck next to you and the driver is sleeping sitting up in his or her seat because they are too large to get into their bunk area. That scares me to think they are out on the road with me because you know they're not getting proper rest.

workouts for the week

Sat. 7/26--34 mile bicycle ride in 2:16:19 (a.m.)
Dam Night Run 5k 26:37 (p.m.)

Sun. 7/27--2.78 mile recovery walk/run in 38:15

Mon. 7/28--5.15 mile run in 51:06

Wed. 7/30--3.23 mile run in 30:26

Thurs. 7/31--3.33 mile run in 32:45

Should have rode the bicycle this afternoon but this week is catching up to me and I decided I needed an easy night of laundry, internet, and t.v. instead. I had 2 nights where I was woke up by somebody needing a bathroom break between 3 and 4 a.m. and I'm hoping it doesn't happen again tonight.

That Dam Night Run 5k

Busy weekend and week so I'm behind on my posts. This was my first time running the Dam Night Run 5k and while it was fun, it was also very, very hot. Race time was scheduled for 8 pm but didn't start until 8:35. Because it was a point to point race rather than an out and back we were trucked up the hill to the race start. And I mean it when I say trucked up, a local lumber business had 2 of their little local flatbed trucks stacked with wood hauling the runners up (there was also an air-conditioned school bus and passenger van, but I rode on the tail end of 1 of the trucks). Standing in the crowd before the race was getting to me with the heat and it being so crowded--I can be a touch claustrophobic--and I thought I was going to end up with tummy trouble. I must have been looking pretty pale because Annette asked if I was going to be okay. I don't think I've ever been so relieved to have a race start just so I could get moving and get some air. We were about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way in the back so I had some trouble maneuvering around but I found a tall guy that was going at my pace so just followed him through the crowd for the first 3/4 mile. He made a great path through the crowds, people just don't move out of the way when you're short like me.

Mile 1-8:45ish

Mile 2-16:35 can't remember exactly, just know it was faster than the first mile.

Mile 3-have no clue

Mile 3.1--26:37

I did have to take a walk break between mile 2 and 3, my tummy started rumbling and I didn't want to have to make any trips into the woods. It calmed down enough for me to start running again thank goodness. Also walked through the first water stop at mile 1.5, I was more than ready for that water. Very pretty view going across the dam but oh man was the heat in that area brutal! It was full dark before I was even halfway through the course and only the water stop and mile markers were lit so that made things interesting. I did get the "pleasure" of seeing a girl dry heaving over a guard rail at one point, I'm one of those people that if somebody pukes around me I'm probably going to be joining them, ugh. Needless to say, I picked up the pace at that point!! Managed to have some kick left at the end but still got outkicked a few yards before the finish line, that girl was awesome!! There was a Coast Guard boat (at least I think it was Coast Guard) spraying lake water up for the runners to cool down in, that felt sooooooo good, but I was still putting out some major body heat when James found me.
Afterwards was a tailgate/potluck supper and I got to meet even more of the great Cruisers. I think there were 3 that took home age group awards, YAY--not me, way too many fast women in my age group.
As you can see from the picture, I looked VERY rough at the finish line and I felt as bad as it looks! Good form though.

25 July 2008

It's too hot...........

Went on a 18+ mile ride with Gary at 5 pm this afternoon, not sure what the temp was then but it's currently 87*, feels like 96* with 64% humidity so it's way too hot to be out there. Decent ride for me, it always takes 5-10 miles for me to loosen up and it happened right around mile 5.35 today. We didn't have as many hills today as the last time we rode but there was one that seemed like it was never going to end. I told Gary it ranked up there with the one out of Floyd but he said it was worse so you know it was bad. The good news--I didn't have to use my granny gear today!!!!!! Even on a hill that I had to use it on last week! Happy Dance!!!

24 July 2008

Week in review

Stressful week what with rushing to get back for a Thursday 8:30 am appointment and the I35 traffic was heavy because of Hurricane Dolly. I missed all the rain but was starting to catch the higher winds so that made keeping my lightweight, doglegging trailer difficult to keep in my own lane. Sorry everybody! Pulaski was busy Monday with all the auto plants coming back on line so I didn't get loaded until after lunch and that made the week feel even more rushed. My trailer was at Laredo but with no paperwork so I had to send a msg/call night dispatch to have the bills faxed. Thankfully the night guy was one I like and he faxed them fairly quickly.

Have I mentioned how I hate going into the Love's at Prescott, AR to fuel? I'm sure I have, that place is a nightmare. It took me 55 minutes last night to get in and out of there, the line was so long trucks were almost backed out over the interstate bridge waiting to fuel. A local cop had to come out there to supervise and make sure there were no accidents. Evidently all the companies are using the same fuel optimizer program that we are, great, just great............I wonder how much Love's is paying these people to favor them.

Weird experience last night. I was going to park at a local fuel stop to sleep last night because it was after 10:30 pm and I don't like bringing my bobtail into our neighborhood after everybody's gone to bed (lots of cranky old women on my street!) and I was approached by a young woman in a bathrobe. She wanted to know if that was my truck and where was I hanging. I'm like excuse me and she again repeated "Where are you hanging?" It's at this point I see that she's all glassy-eyed, is actually wearing a white bathrobe, and her movements are really weird. Freaked me out 'cause I realize that she's on something and this chick is bigger than me and I'm not sure I can get away from her if she starts to get violent. I probably didn't do the proper thing but I just got back in my truck and drove to the front of the fuel stop to tell them there's some girl wandering around out in the truck parking area. The clerk told me that the cops had been cruising through there more than normal but hadn't let him know what was going on and he then immediately called 911. There's a rehab place next door to the fuel stop and I'm thinking that she may have come from there. At that point I'm like to hell with the neighbors I'm going home to sleep.

Monday's run was a miserable 4 miles at Pulaski, I overslept a little and didn't get moving until right at 8 a.m. It was hot, humid and not at all pleasant. Ran for 3.75 miles, walked for 1/3 mile up a hill, then ran again for 1/4 mile to make it an even 4. If I would have thought about it I would have run on the Sam road rather than Crescentview, it's hillier but lots more shade.

I only made it back to Cotulla Tuesday night so ran there Wednesday morning, much better than Monday's run. I was up earlier and there was cloud cover so didn't have the sun beating on me. There was a headwind coming out of the northeast that I did have to fight for part of the run. The route was mainly the frontage road but I did add on a little bit in the neighborhood on the east side of the freeway. Was barked at by lots and lots of dogs. 3.73 miles in 35:54.

I think Gary is going to ride this afternoon so will join him for whatever hilly torturefest he has planned. I'm also registered for the Dam Night 5k Sat. evening. That will bring July's total to 3 races, I'm making up for June in a big way.

A smile that would do a hockey player proud

First appointment at the dentist was this morning to start the process of fixing my teeth from last Saturday's mishap. First step was to bond a wire to my front teeth to help stabilize them, feels like I have braces. Dentist couldn't do anything about the broken right tooth right now so I'm still sporting the hockey player smile, next appointment is 2 weeks from now. I'm embarrassed to admit that it has been 5.5 years since my last cleaning but it was around that time that my current employer bought out the company I was working for. It's better pay, routes, and benefits but it's a bitch to get anything done because the medical dept. will shut you down until they review everything from the doctor, dentist, etc. and it can be a long and tedious process to get cleared for work. I was getting grumbled at for not having regular dental cleanings and told there was no reason not to since I have insurance but they only got a small taste this morning of what it is like to deal with my company.

On the bright side the dentist I chose is only 2 blocks away from my house so I was able to walk there and back. The dental hygienist was a sweetie and was telling me that I looked younger than 39. I think she was just trying to make conversation and that's something they teach in dental hygiene 101 to make the patient more at ease with sitting there with their mouth wide open while some stranger is using medievalesque torture devices on them. Oh and why are all dental hygienists young, cute, girls?

20 July 2008

Why a 39 yr old should not roller skate

Yes, I have injured myself again. My nephew Andy's birthday party was at a skating rink yesterday and being the cool aunt that I am I just had to lace up a pair of roller skates and play with the kids. Now keep in mind I was never any good on rollerskates, somewhat ok on inline skates but the heavy-ass traditional skates, uh-uh. Well I was getting the hang of it and after about 30 minutes was starting to build up some speed and then disaster......got my feet tangled up and face first I went. I now have a broken front tooth that I'm not going to be able to get fixed until next Thurs. or Fri because we couldn't find an emergency dentist in Russellville or Conway. My brother in law works for the hospital in Russellville and was calling everybody he knew but no luck at all. I don't have any nerve pain, it just looks like hell.

Do you know how embarrassing it is to have a group of mothers swarm you trying to find out if you're okay? Trust me you don't want to know. I am also a walking cliche with my accent and the broken tooth. It will be later in the week to get it fixed because I leave for work tonight and can't afford to take another week off after being down for so long with my collarbone. sigh.......

So, I was grumbling to James last night about me being so klutzy and he said that it wasn't that I was klutzy, I am just extremely active and some of those activities can be dangerous. That if I was going to continue at the level I am that I was just going to have to take the risk that these things could happen. He just now came in to check on me and told me I was lucky I didn't get a broke nose too.

The Wii was a huge hit, although I did get grumbled at by my sister for spending too much. Andy had a birthday party to go to after his and Shelley & Craig had a meeting so I watched Abigail while James & Mike hooked up the console. Of course they had to test it out again so they played golf and bowling. After everybody got back Shelley and Andy did the boxing game, it's just as much fun watching the players as it is playing. I loooove the bowling game! Maybe if I quit injuring myself we can get one for ourselves.

Saturday workout was a 29.19 mile bicycle ride, 12 miles of it with the Sat. morning Bike City fun ride. My legs were sore from the ride and run on Friday so it took me a while to work that out. The group met for breakfast afterwards at Main Street Cafe and I practically inhaled my short stack with 2 scrambled eggs, I was starving. Petra was joking about me eating my meal so fast and that I really must have been hungry. Becky let me know that she has Jason working on a jersey design for me so I hope that will come about pretty quickly.

This morning was a 3.86 mile run in 37:35. Did a warmup loop around the neighborhood then ran up Country Club Road for some hills. No walk breaks but it wasn't one of my favorite runs, woke up at 7:15 so didn't get out of the house until 7:45, it was already hot, humid, and miserable. I'm sure my mouth being swollen didn't help my disposition any.

Didn't get as many cycling miles in as what I would've liked this week. I've started with the 2x day workouts one day a week last weekend. Will do that for another 2-3 weeks then will try it 2 days a week after that. I don't know how else I'm going to get the mileage in that I'm needing for both cycling and running without doing that. I have no way right now of carrying a bicycle on the truck so it's running only on those days.

19 July 2008

Wii is me, woe is me

Kind of a busy day today, we had to take James' mom to Little Rock for a doctor's appt and then start looking for a Nintendo Wii for my nephew's birthday. Little bit of advice, don't wait until the day before if you want to find a Wii. Nobody had one in stock, we ended up buying a used one from Hastings here in Searcy. We found PS2, PS3, and X-Box consoles but no Wii's. Felt kind of weird about buying a used console but it does have a 90 day warranty and we did go and buy a new remote, nunchucks, and a game. Brought it home and tested it to make sure it works ok and OHMYGOSH I want a Wii for myself, it's too much fun.

This morning was a 10.3 mile bicycle ride with James, we slept late so didn't have time for more than that. One of the big hills that I had been having to climb in my absolute lowest gear I managed to climb with 2 rear rings left (did that make sense?). Anyway I didn't have to bottom out the gears, YAY!!!

Ran 4 miles this evening in 37:27. It's hot, humid, and my legs felt tired but no walk breaks. It wasn't an easy run but also wasn't unbearable so I'm making progress. Plan on getting up early in the morning to put in 10-15 miles bicycling before meeting up with the Bike City group for another 12 then we're off to Russellville. Andy's birthday party is going to be at a skating rink so I will probably have a few new bruises tomorrow. Oh, and I managed to do 4 sets of 10 pushups this afternoon, first time I've tried to do more than 1 or 2 since breaking my collarbone.

17 July 2008

Rude CFI driver

I don't have a lot to complain about this week as far as work goes. Made it through Austin and San Antonio with no major traffic snafus. Got loaded early, didn't have to stop at a single red light in Laredo going in, no lines at our yard, the shop, or Penske. The only delay was the qualcomm service was spotty and I couldn't get evening dispatch to answer their phones for a couple of hours so had a delay when picking up my return trailer.

I did have an interesting encounter with a CFI/Con-Way driver when leaving out of Laredo though. He was sitting at the stoplight waiting to make a left turn and I was coming up in the right turn lane and eased up forward past him just a little so I could see the traffic to make my legal right turn on red after stop. Evidently he didn't like that so he pulls up and blocks my view, I'm thinking okay he's just trying to get the red light sensor to trip over to green and I pull up just forward of him again to check for the traffic. I manage to spot a big truck coming up so I know it's not safe to make my right but evidently CFI is pissed 'cause he pulls forward again but really fast and I think he was planning on running the light. Evidently he didn't look to his left to see that large white 18-wheeler that was coming from the west because he had to make a very fast sliding emergency stop. All I could think was WTF?!?! He managed to get stopped but the nose of his tractor was out in the slow lane. I'm not sure why he was so determined that I wasn't going to make my turn, which as I mentioned before would have been a legal right on red after stop and there are separate turning lanes for left and right (it's a "T" intersection) so it's not like I was cutting him off. Oh well, at least I know to look for traffic before pulling out onto a 60 mph road.

Why can't I just run all day?

Haven't slept well most of the week, when I slid my trailer tandems at the customer Monday morning the handle kind of recoiled/"popped" back on me and my right shoulder was achy for a couple of days. Nothing major just enough to make it sore and me a little cranky.

That's not why I'm in a down mood though. I have a family member from out of state visiting for the next 2 weeks and I'm just not looking forward to it. Yuck, personal stuff.......

I did have 2 great runs this week though. The first one was at Prescott, AR Monday evening. Had to fuel at the Love's at exit 46, then went and parked at the old truck stop at exit 44 and ran on the frontage road in between the 2 fuel stops. Ended up with 3.48 miles in 34:10. It was a slow run but felt almost perfect, it was one of those runs where you felt GREAT during and afterwards. It's a deserted enough location that I was even singing out loud--trust me you don't want to be subjected to that torture!

Tuesday was a rest day, Wednesday I ran 3.84 miles in 37:04 at Pearsall, Tx. Did have some stomach issues at mile 1 but thank goodness the bathrooms for the city park were open and even had toilet paper (that's a miracle by itself!). After that everything was peachy-keen. I think that's the first time I've run at Pearsall and didn't have any stitches. I'm also pretty sure that some of the motorists thought I was a little loony because I was picking out places where the asphalt had been patched and was zig-zagging and skipping along the patch lines. Yeah, I was having a good time with my run. Too bad that didn't translate over to the rest of my day--that personal stuff again.

13 July 2008

Quick update

I had a busy weekend so don't have much time to post this morning because I still need to finish laundry and pack for the week but wanted to give a quick recap.

Friday night we played disc golf with Jason, Melissa, and Bill and the great news is that I was able to use my right arm with no twinges for the most part. YAY, YAY, YAY!!!!!! I also made a 60 ft putt before the game while James and I were practicing and waiting for the others, I will never, ever, be able to do that again but it was awesome anyway!! Trying a new way to throw with my left arm, when it works I can get more distance but still got to work the bugs out. Oh yeah, I skipped my run that day--slacking off.

Saturday morning we went to Scott, AR for Ms. Vic's 100 mile ride. My plan was to ride easy for 30-50 miles and I managed to get in 40. Just hung out with Annette, Bailey, Joan, and James. This was going to be James' longest ride so I wanted to stay with him most of the time. My top speed was 22.5 mph on flat ground, fastest I've been up to under my own power--gone faster on downhills but still working on building up my strength on uphills and flats. James can usually sprint and get out ahead of me but yesterday I stayed right with him when he tried, yeah, baby, LOL. Average speed was 12.5 mph but wasn't trying to go fast most of the time. Had a great time, but did learn that if you buy any new gadgets for your bicycle, learn how to use 'em before you go out and ride (my CO2 two-timer pump). Had a great time but had to leave early to walk Elsie so didn't get to hang around afterwards.

Drove back to Searcy, took a nap, and then stopped at Bike City to give them a recap of the morning. Got an amazing compliment from Duane. I've been after him to come up with a logo so I can get a jersey made up for events and told him I'd been asked who I rode for. He told me that I was going to get that more and more often because I was getting to be such a strong rider in such a short period of time. Made my day!

Saturday night I ran in the Big Dam Bridge 5k. It was hot, humid, and we were running late. I even forgot to brush my teeth after eating dinner before rushing out the door. So I apologize now to anybody that got within breathing distance of me last night :-(. Sorry! We left Searcy at 6 pm and registration was supposed to end at 7 pm but there were so many people in line that they postponed the 7:30 start time to let everybody finish signing up. There were over 500 finishers including the walkers. Started way in the back and had a hard time working my way thru the crowd after it started. I used to be neutral on mp3 players during races but I'm against them now. Going across the bridge it was hard to get by those that are oblivious to the other racers because they can't hear them. My legs were tired from the 40 miles bicycling and I just kept telling myself "Don't stop, slow if you have to but don't stop" My only walk break was at the water station on the other side of the bridge to drink 3 quick sips of water. Thought I was going to puke the last 1.1 miles and I was beginning to believe that there was no finish line. Finished in 28:28, not bad considering the heat, where I started from, the bridge, and the tired legs. 46th out of 210 female runners, 7th in my age group. It helped me immensely getting to run across the bridge with Heather and Kelly from Cabot. I'm glad y'all spotted me 'cause I needed the company to get through that. They had run a 5k race that morning and both placed in their age groups (YAY!) so they had tired legs too. James said there were several women that finished just in front of me that looked really rough, like they were going to pass out.

This morning was a 4.1 mile easy recovery run in 40:04, the first 2 miles were super slow, then sped up to my normal pace after that. It was warm, humid, and a light misting rain that was doing absolutely nothing to cool me down. Kept wishing that it would rain harder. Followed that with a 1.95 mile walk with Elsie.

Totals for the week
Running: 13 miles in 2:05:04
Bicycling: 66 miles in 5:04:56

11 July 2008

Aching legs Part II

Those hills killed me yesterday! I know I asked Gary a couple of times weren't we at the top of that mountain yet, LOL. My favorite word was "whew", it was all I could get out at times. He did say that my hill-climbing was improving, most of the time he didn't get a very long rest break (if at all) at the top so I am getting better. It's hard to force yourself into a cold bath but it does help so it's worth it the next day. Just not much fun sitting there shivering.........

Drove my truck back to the NLR shop last night and hitched a ride back with James. We got accosted by a Heartland driver trying to recruit him last night. The guy didn't know when to quit, even JB Hunt recruiters know they can't match what we have right now as far as pay, dedicated routes, and hometime. He kept telling James "Let me run some numbers by you to show you what you can be making." J. was going to get the pickup but couldn't get away so when I got out to get it the guy was like "are you going to let her walk across the parking lot by herself?" Granted it was midnight, but the parking lot is well lit and our vehicle was clearly visible from where the big truck was parked so I'm pretty sure that I could manage to get there with no problem (ha-ha). It's usually the jerks like this that you have to watch out for anyway. His favorite line was "so you're not in this for the money?" Of course money is a big part of why we drive but it's nice having a life outside of the truck too. Plus we have had a couple of acquaintances (one is a good friend) that have worked for Heartland and they are sticklers about their drivers staying out for certain period of time before getting to go home. Our friend called them HeartLess. So, thanks, but NO thanks, I'll stick with my .39 cpm dedicated run.

James told one of his friends yesterday that I was out riding my motorcycle and the guy was like "by herself? She sure is independent." Wow, I didn't know I wasn't allowed outside the house alone. Grrrr. This is 2008 right?

Planned on an early morning run but walked Elsie at 6 a.m. and went back to bed until 10 a.m. Guess I needed some extra sleep. J rode his dresser back up to Bald Knob to move his truck into a better parking spot then came back and made me coffee and oatmeal. He said the Heartland driver just waved at him this morning but didn't try to recruit him anymore. Oh yeah, I want to give up my route to deliver at Wal-Mart distribution centers again (said sarcastically!). Our dispatcher also told James this morning that the Columbia racks have been re-routed up to Saginaw, MI and to drop the trailer at the Nashville yard and he would let him know if he would reload at Pulaski Monday or Tuesday. I'll try to get a short run in this evening either before the disc golf game or after. Jason said his sister may join us tonight, yay!

Oooh, my aching legs

There I am standing around Bike City grumbling that I was going to have to ride by myself this afternoon when I get a call from Gary asking if I wanted to go on a 30 mile ride with him at 1630. Of course I did but I should have known that it was going to be a hilly route. We left out of the Downtown Church of Christ parking lot on N. Main and went up to Johnson Road and followed it to Fairview. Hill after hill after hill. I only had to walk up one though and I was 3/4 of the way up it before giving out. We had also just completed one where Gary had to walk and I made it all the way up. That never happens!!!!!! I'm still not sure he didn't walk just to make me feel better. I'm favoring my right leg at the moment, I had twisted funny moving around in my truck Monday afternoon and it's been giving me fits since then. We only made it to 12.96 miles before turning back but with the heat, the hills, and the headwind that was plenty. I was looking forward to having that wind push us back into town but it died down just when we turned around, darn it.

Totals: 25.92 miles, 13.4 mph ave., 42 mph max, done in 1:55.56.

I actually started my motorcycle this afternoon and used it to go run my errands. This is only the 3rd time this year that I've rode it. I'm surprised she started and wasn't cranky with me. What errands? New Asics 2130s (I had been running in some clearance Mizunos that were not agreeing with my feet), the Aug. issue of Bicycle, and some new hair color to make those pesky gray hairs disappear (now I actually need to put it in). The new Asics set me back $102.60 with tax, ouch!

Now excuse me while I go soak in a cold bath...............

10 July 2008


Some weeks you should just stay home :-). Shouldn't say that, I've had too much time off and it's spoiled me. It wasn't a bad week, some parts were actually quite good but the rest of the time I was just feeling off (pms). Monday was an approx. 3 mile run at Columbia, TN. Beautiful morning, just the right temperature but forgot to start the timer on my garmin so don't have an exact mileage/time. 2nd issue was tummy problems, had planned to run further (farther?) but ended up making a quick turn around for the bathroom. It's a pain in the butt (literally!) having to plan your runs around where there's a convenient restroom. Got showered and while dressing the hook on my bra broke. Now I'm faced with going bra-less back to the truck or putting on a very sweat soaked jog bra. Opted for the jog bra, going sans bra across a truck stop parking lot is NOT an option.

Actually got unloaded and reloaded fairly quickly at Columbia Monday morning, was rolling by 1015, YAY! A couple of the forklift drivers that used to be on nights was asking about my shoulder and the bicycle wreck and the guy that's now in charge of the shipping office thought we were talking about a motorcycle wreck. He was asking if the bike was ok and I told him it was fine and he proceeded to tell me all about a wreck he'd had 10-15 years ago and how expensive it was to repair the fairing. That's when I realized he was talking a different kind of bike than the rest of us. Got him on the same track as everbody else and he then started grumbling that $700 was way too expensive for a bicycle, he'd fall over of a heart attack if he knew the next one I'm planning on buying in a year is in the $2000-$3000 range. I am slightly offended (in a humorous way) that he thought I rode an entry-level motorcycle.

Did get the news that this is the last week for the Columbia loads, they are starting the shutdown process. No surpise there, we'd known for 2 years that Delphi was trying to sell off the non-electronic divisions. It's a wonder they had stayed going this long, the last load was supposed to have been back in March. James spoke to Scott and he said that the 2 of us would have nothing to worry about as long as he was there and had dedicated runs to give out. I'm going back to my Pulaski run next week. Huge YAY!!!! I absolutely love the people there. Not sure if James will be picking up at Pulaski too or one of the new lanes out of Missouri that will be starting. If he gets the MO run, he'll be able to pull 2 trips a week and still have weekends off. It just won't be 3.5 day weekends like with the TN runs. I did talk to a driver week before last that asked if we were still doing the TN trips and he was commenting that we'd been on those FOREVER. Told him that in reality it would be 3 years come September but I guess that is forever in trucking terms.

Tuesday it took me an hour and 15 minutes to go 2 miles in between the Temple-Belton area and Salado. A Schneider truck carrying a load of beer turned over at the 290.5 mile marker on I35 and had the interstate completely shut down. Backup started at the 292 and we were being routed onto the frontage road at exit 290. There went my shower time, gotta love (not!) the 14 hour rule. Have to be extra-cautious with beer loads, it's usually stacked high, it's heavy, and it's unstable. Kind of like a tanker with no baffles X 10--well, maybe not that bad but close. The accident was on straight, dry road so the driver either changed lanes too quickly or had somebody cut them off. I haven't pulled a beer load in 6 years thank goodness but was always extra-cautious when I did. Gives me chills just thinking about it.

Found where the window guy didn't get the windshield properly sealed last week. I knew there was a spot because I was hearing wind noise but couldn't find it while the truck was sitting still. Well, I hit heavy rains Tues. afternoon and the weak place was allowing water to come in at the upper left (driver's side) corner. I ended up with a wet leg and foot before the rain stopped, couldn't even reach my paper towels to stuff in the corner so just had to deal with it.

Austin traffic was ok but San Antonio was rough. Usually it's the reverse but the people of S.A. can't drive if there's even a hint that it might rain. Still made it to Laredo by 1800, no line at our yard, no line at Penske, and no line at the shop to have my trailer brakes adjusted, woo-hoo! Oh and the guard at Penske was fast so I was in and out of there in 15 minutes. That almost never happens! Made up for all that when I stopped to fuel at Encinal. Our company is doing this new thing about sending a fuel plan with your load info and I read it too fast. Didn't notice that I had a 121 gallon limit and put on 150.89 gals. Had to call in to have it authorized and got a nice little lecture along with it. My fault, normally they will just have you top it off there because it's almost always cheaper. It did show me topping off at Prescott, AR Love's and that's where I got the fill part from. Made it to Pearsall with 15 minutes to spare on my 14 hours. Wednesday was uneventful except for the long-ass wait to fuel at Prescott. That place is horrible to get in and out of, it took me 30 minutes to fuel. Most Loves' are a logistical nightmare to maneuver in.

Tuesday was an exercise rest day. Wednesday morning was a 2.8 mile run in 26:42 at Pearsall. The shoes I'm running in right now are killing me so going to buy a new pair later today (Adios $100). Should have set my alarm to get up and go ride with Gary this morning but couldn't make myself do it. Ended up waking up at 5:52 a.m. and that felt much better than the 4 a.m. I would've had to get up at in order to get home for the 6 a.m. ride. Still need to get out there on the bicycle sometime today for 15-20 miles.

I found this picture this morning. I can't believe how short Gary and I look next to James. And we look so serious! Emailed it to Gary and he said we were sorta like wet cats that morning, LOL. I had to shell out the money to get a copy of that, it's so funny.

07 July 2008


Okay, it was brought to my attention that I said some things that were considered offensive in my last post. When I refer to somebody as a redneck I'm not meaning everyday type people, I'm referring to the type of person who seems to take great pride in coming off as ignorant. This particular person is like that, if anything is the slightest bit different or if it's new, it can't be good, and therefore must be ridiculed.

Marc, this is in case you don't read the reply I left to your comment. There's absolutely nothing wrong with camo except if it's in a wedding. This girl was 19 when they married and she'll regret the color choice later on, trust me, it's a woman thing and this is coming from somebody who regrets some of her own wedding detail decisions (I was also 19 when James and I married). You're also one of the most intelligent people I know.

05 July 2008

Interesting conversation

While walking Elsie last night I saw a former co-worker from Atlas that was visiting somebody else on my street. Now this guy is about as redneck as you can get and was half-lit already so it was quite an interesting (read:frustrating) talk.

Some of his comments:
"Yeah, I heard you broke your arm or something riding a bicycle. I told them they had it wrong, you ride a motorcycle not a bicycle."

"Why were you riding a bicycle? Were you broke?"

"I bet you're not riding it anymore." When I told him no, I still rode, had just completed a 60 mile ride a couple of weeks ago, he again said/asked

"Don't you have any money for gas, why are you riding a bicycle for?" Told him that I was training and it was fun.

"What are you training for? Are you sure you can afford gas for your pickup?"

And around and around it went, just had to finally tell him I needed to finish walking the dog. By the way he considers being called a redneck a compliment. When he married his second wife their color(s) for the wedding was camouflage.

Why is it that because somebody knows you from one part of your life they think that is all there is to you? James and I have always been physically active in something, I've just took it up a couple of notches over the past 1 1/2 years. Just because we are in a blue-collar profession and live in a southern (sort-of) state doesn't mean that we have to sit around and do nothing but drink beer and watch tv. Oh well, like James told me last night, we've always been considered crazy by our co-workers for trying new stuff.

Changing the subject here, we had to start parking our trucks up at Bald Knob in February because the business we did park at started leasing the lot to one of the new gas companies and the only other large lot in town wants to charge $40 per weekend per truck. We wondered how long it would take before our trucks and/or trailers were broken into because that town has more than its fair share of crime. Well, James' trailer was broken into last weekend. Somebody saw the heavy cable seal that's put on our trailers before they cross the border and thought there had to be something valuable inside. Bet they got a surprise when they found nothing but empty racks! I keep expecting to go back to work and find our tanks siphoned off.

Rest day

Well, I had planned on a 70 mile bicycle ride with Gary but decided last night that I needed a rest day instead. My last rest day was Monday and I was just exhausted. I thought he might have rescheduled because of the forecast rain and very little visibility this morning at 6 a.m. It was foggy and part of our route was going to be on Hwy 36. I may be overly cautious but driving a truck and knowing how little you can see on a morning like this would have been enough to keep me home anyway. Pair it with a holiday weekend and the number of motorists that are sleepy, still buzzed, or hung over and that's not a risk I'm willing to take on a very busy road with no shoulders.

Yesterday was the Firecracker Fast 5k in Little Rock, it's advertised as all downhill but they lied! Most of it is downhill but there's a nice little uphill near the end of the race. I hadn't planned on racing racing it but once I got going I couldn't help myself. All that adrenaline, excitement of others, and just sheer happiness of being on the course just took over. This was my first year running this one and I definitely want to do it again next year. The only downside is that it's not an out and back course so you have to make your way back up those hills you just ran down unless you catch a ride with someone back or have somebody with you that's not running it park at the finish line.

This ended up being my 3rd fastest 5k at 25:50 (5k pr is 23:56) so I'm very happy with my performance. I think that comes out to an 8:20 pace, my first mile was 8:40 so had negative splits. Don't know what my other miles were exactly 'cause I didn't wear my garmin. Not too shabby considering I haven't done any speedwork since the first of May. I do wish it had been a chip-timed race. There's always a gap in the time between when you cross the finish line timer and when they take the tear-off from your bib. It was only 8 seconds but I still prefer chip timers.

The best part of the race--getting to meet more of the Cabot Cruisers. Annette introduced me around but I'm so terrible with names that I can't remember everybody (Sorry!). It will take me a couple of times (or 3 or 4.......) but I do think I retained at least half of it this time. It helps that I'd met a few already at the Tour de Rock. Absolutely great group of people!!

This is what I was hoping to find around the Searcy running community but haven't yet. I do have a great group of cyclists to ride with here but there are not any serious WOMEN road bike riders that I've found yet. Just cruiser, hybrid, and mountain bike riders that are either not wanting to put in the mileage that I am right now (not that I'm a high mileage rider) or aren't up to a faster pace (not that I'm very fast-yet, LOL). I don't want this to come off sounding like I'm snotty about my abilities--I have a long way to go to being a good cyclist but I'm kind of in an in-between stage right now as far as the other women riders I know in my town. The Cabot community has quite a few women that are much better (triathlons, Ironman!) and some like me that aren't in the recreational stage but not yet in the super hard-core cycling ability group and it's nice finding that.

I did get to see Daylean again at the 5k yesterday. We're usually fairly close in our race times but right now she's ahead of me as far as training and she finished in 24:19 (great time!). Annette offered me a ride back up to the starting point (her husband Arland has a running related injury so didn't get to race yesterday) but I decided to run back with Joan Scarlata and Rick and Richie Pinedo (slowly, thank goodness). I ended up with just over 7 miles on the day (1 mile warm-up, 3.1 miles race, 3.1 miles back). Joan is an amazing woman and made the time fly by on the return run.

Since I wussed out on Gary this morning I thought I would get to do the 12 mile fun ride but 15 minutes before the meeting time the skies opened up and it started pouring so I ended up going back to bed for a couple of hours. Must have needed the sleep because I was out almost as soon as I laid down.

03 July 2008


Saturday will be nine weeks since I broke my right collar bone in a bicycle mishap. What's weird is that I'm now a much stronger rider than I was before the accident. Was it the trainer? The 2 weeks (well 1.5 weeks) before resuming any cardio activity? Just plain old stubbornness of not wanting to slow down? A couple of James' friends comments about me not cycling any more? More than likely it was a combination of all of the above. My ave. mph on straight stretches is much improved, my hill climbing is better--not great, but better (it helps being able to get into granny gear now!), my endurance is definitely better. Before I would struggle to get the speed up to 15-16 mph, now I can hit 19-20 mph and hold it for a while, although my average not factoring in hills is more in the 17-18 mph range. I can ride with a group of men that's been doing this a while and not feel like I'm holding them up--Gary still kicks my ass though when he gets warmed up. And the nice thing right now, I'm not the last one up the big hills (I'm still in the back of the pack but not last, yay!). Now, if I could only get my running base built back
up :-(.

Today was a 19.5 mile ride with the country club gang (only 4 of us) with an ave. speed of 14.4 mph (big hills) in 1:21:04. Gary and I got to see 3 deer this morning on the warm-up loop, absolutely gorgeous! Contemplating a 70 mile ride Saturday with Gary, I won't have anybody to come pick me up though if anything goes wrong since James will still be on the road until that evening.

02 July 2008


Dispatcher called James yesterday afternoon saying there was one pickup on the 3rd and did one of us want it--he was giving us first shot at it. James ended up taking it, it's frustrating on one hand but on the other we are running a little behind because of me being off for 6 weeks. It's odd that there is a load coming out right before the holiday weekend but evidently the Mexico plant didn't correctly calculate the amount of parts they were going to need. Hopefully I will have a load coming out next week, I'm feeling a little guilty about all the time I've had to take off. James took this one because he knew I had plans to run a 5k on Friday (yep, he's a keeper).

I saw Annette at Academy Sports yesterday, or rather she saw me!! I was too busy digging through the clearance rack (extra 50% off!!) to notice anybody around me. She very patiently listened to my griping about my running mileage (or my lack thereof). Sorry about that Annette, I'll try not to be so grumpy Friday! Found a Nike exercise bra for $5 and a pair of Nike capri sweats for $10. Love it when Nike clearances out end of season colors.

We dropped by the shop after our Academy Sports and Home Depot stops and the windshield was just then getting replaced. The wing is still bent and scribbled on--they didn't even order the part until yesterday morning and it will take 10 days to arrive (from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, WTF? Are they actually having to build the part from scratch?). Then it has to be painted--plain white, btw--so it's going to be a minimum of 14 days before it's replaced. Yep, 2 more weeks of hearing wisecracks about the woman driver that can't drive without tearing her truck up, grrrrr.

Ok, now the fun stuff! I met Gary at 6 am yesterday morning to ride with what he calls the Country Club Gang--which includes some of the movers and shakers of Searcy. I asked him if they were going to be ok with a heavily tattooed, female truckdriver joining them, LOL. It was a great ride--faster than the Bike City Sat. fun rides and it made for an excellent workout. I ended up with just over 20 miles in a little over an hour (that included traffic and a couple of steep hills). I didn't have to walk up any hills although a couple of times I was at the very bottom of my gears, if it had gotten any steeper or longer, I'd have been hoofing it! I had planned on making a brick of it but my shins had other ideas so just walked with Elsie for 1.03 miles afterwards to stretch my legs.

James made plans to meet with Jason for a round of disc golf yesterday evening, so I put on my running gear and went for a quick run on the nearby section of bicycle trail before joining the game at around the 4th or 5th hole. 2.78 miles in 26:38--that included a .25 mile walk to warm up so I was a bit faster than I should've been. My game was crappier than normal until the 18th hole and when I made par on it I was jumping up and down yelling. Tried throwing with my right arm a couple of times but it was twinging when I did. My shoulder is also swollen today but I don't know if it was that or the heavier weights I added yesterday to the range of motion exercises. Oh and James made birdie on one of the holes yesterday, YAY!

This morning was a 3.75 mile run in 36:14. Ran slow until the final mile then added some fartleks in to finish up with. Got whistled at by one of the trash guys so I'm thinking he might need some glasses, lol. James joined me and Elsie afterwards for our neighborhood walk. He had tried to go back to sleep while I was running but she was wanting her walk and kept fussing at him until he got up. I wish she was better trained about staying with me off the leash but there are too many distractions where we live so no running loose for her. I need to find a nice secluded trail because she will stay right on my heels if we're running and nobody else is around.

01 July 2008

Great day

Beautiful weather today with very little humidity, absolutely perfect summer day!!

We started off the day with a bicycle ride to visit the local bike shop after I cooked breakfast (whoa, twice in one month!). Stood around and visited with Dewayne and Bill for a while then rode back home--it's maybe a mile round trip. Even more sore and bruised from our spills yesterday--I have bruises where I didn't think you could get (or ever want) bruises and James' shins are still swollen. It'll be an ibuprofen night again.

Did some major cleaning in the living room and kitchen areas but still need to clean windows--YUCK. It goes a little easier when there's two of you tackling it. I mowed the front and sides of the lawn while James went to medicate his mom's cat. I'm pretty sure I had the easier job, lol!

No run today but had a evening walk with James and Elsie (2.57 miles in 43:22). My right shoulder started aching really bad after 30 minutes so guess it got banged up yesterday more than I thought. Did some stretching afterwards and that helped immensely. We topped off the evening by building a fire in the fire pit that my sis and b.i.l. got us a couple of years ago and watching Elsie chase bugs in the back yard.