28 September 2008

I survived the Big Dam Bridge 100

I have completed my first century bicycle ride!

The day started out beautiful but a little cool (was wishing I'd worn my arm warmers). James and I met up with Gary R., my Searcy riding partner, to get our pictures taken by Gary's lovely wife. Gary and I were both very nervous as this was our first century so we were getting teased (lightly) by our spouses. I had a rough work week so was still tired Saturday morning but was hoping that I would have the adrenaline of a group ride to get me through it.

The first few miles were very crowded especially getting up over the Big Dam Bridge. We saw our first wreck of the day before we even left the River trail. A woman was laying off to the side with a group of people and James said when he came through he heard her talking on the phone saying she thought she'd broken her collarbone. Ouch, can definitely sympathize with her there.

Gary and I both had to stop for the porta-potties at Cooks Landing (9 miles). Drank too much water and nervous bladder for me!! We weren't the only ones though. Lots of guys heading for the trees instead of waiting in line. I also took 1/2 an Accelarade gel here. Skipped the Maumelle and Mayflower rest stops but it was a huge mistake to skip the one at Mayflower. By the time we got to stop #4 (38 miles in), I was starving and ate way too much. Before we got to the 4th rest stop Arland, Curtis and Gary Davis, and Raquel caught up to us but they had to slow down again for a moment because Rock started having some IT band issues. They're so strong that I knew it wouldn't be long before they passed us again. It was around this time that Gary R. commented that I didn't seem to have my usual "oomph".

Anyway, ate too much at stop 4 right before some monster hills. Not the brightest thing I ever did, LOL! Tried to fall in with Arland's group but I started getting very nauseous 1/2 way up. I thought I was going to have to pull over and throw up it was so bad. Needless to say I fell WAY back. Thankfully Gary R. came back for me. We did fall in with some nice people to talk with through here. One guy was on a recumbent trike and he was hilarious!! Ended up leapfrogging him all the way to the finish. Oh, and Lisa from Cabot with the pink Orbea caught up with us at stop 4 so spoke to her for a minute before my ill-fated attempt to keep up with the Davis group.

Stop 5 (52 miles)--filled up my water bottles, drank gatorade, ate a pickle, orange quarter, and 1/4 of a cookie. My feet were starting to get very hot so when I saw Gary D. walking around barefoot I ditched my shoes too and did some stretching.

Stop 6 (62 miles)--Filled up water bottle, used the porta-pottie, spoke to the Davis group again before they left out. Ate another pickle, 1/4 of a banana, and the remainder of the gel from the first stop. I was starting to slow again, the wind around Conway was picking up and making it tough. Lisa and David caught up to us much quicker this time and we decided to wait around for them. I am so glad we did, this gave me something of a second wind, although I was still falling back a little on the hills. I didn't think we were ever going to get back to Mayflower though. Just before the city limits I was saying I'm ready for the pickle and gatorade.

Stop 7 (78 mile)--Mayflower. Had another pickle, 1/4 of a banana, and 1/4 of a peanut butter sandwich washed down with gatorade. Took off my shoes, socks, and helmet and boy did that feel sooooo good. It seemed like the times I took my shoes off, my feet were ok for another 10 miles before they started getting hot spots again.

On the hills between Mayflower and Maumelle I thought seriously about crying. Managed to control myself though because if I let myself do that I wasn't going to have the nerve to keep going. I was just having to drop it in granny gear and keep spinning the best I could. No powering up any hills for me. Speaking of granny gear, I kept having trouble trying to shift between the big ring and middle ring yesterday. At least 8 times I tried to downshift and the chain would hang up in between. Never dropped it, thank goodness, but it slowed me down that much more on the hills. Gary R. said he could see a new bicycle for me in the near future--I have an entry level Marin Portofina right now.

Oh, there were so many motorcycles out yesterday and every time one passed me I thought to myself I have one of those, why am I out here torturing myself on the bicycle. My mood was alternating between "I can do this" and "If I'd done the 50 I be done now" but mostly it was just I can't NOT finish because I would be so disappointed in myself.

We skipped the Maumelle stop (86 miles) again but Gary R. did pull over a couple of miles past that to call his wife to let her know we were close to finishing. I was slowing again so didn't stop with him, knew he had the power to catch back up. Lisa and I were passed by a faster group but I just didn't have it in me to fall in with them. She could've but was sweet enough to stay with me. Gary caught us just before Cooks Landing and I decided I wanted to stop at that rest stop (94 miles) to grab some gatorade and call James to let him know we were coming in. It felt so good to be in the tree cover on the River Trail.

We were met at the finish line by Annette, Vicki, Brenda, James, and Gary's wife (I think there were a couple of others too). It was so cool hearing them cheer us in!! Arland has what I think is a great picture of me with my arm in the air crossing the line. Gary, Lisa, and I crossed the line in 7:15:22--that includes the rest stops. I don't know what my time in the saddle was, I'd bumped the first mileage counter on my computer about 9 miles in and that's the one that the time is based on. Gary could've finished much faster than me but since we trained together our plan was to stay together on the century. Same with Lisa, she could've finished several minutes ahead of me but very kindly stayed with me when I slowed. I appreciate it!!!

I would like to do another century but would like to be better trained for the next one. Looking back over my training log, I think I've only had 4 rides over 50 miles since the doctor's release in mid-June and none that long prior to that. Because of being gone during the week most of the time I would only get in 2 rides per week.

25 September 2008

Sunday meet-up with Susan

I haven't had time this week to post about my Sunday adventure. Susan had emailed me asking if I wanted to meet for a run/walk at the Rivertrail. Well, I was not going to refuse that invitation!! I had been looking forward to meeting her at one of the local races but thought it wasn't going to happen for a while because her and her husband had moved to Olive Branch, MS earlier in the year. If you don't read her blog (and why aren't you? Go right now!), she is a very talented, very dedicated, very gracious lady who is also gorgeous inside and out. Did I mention that she and her husband are also expecting their first child in February? I'm hoping for the 21st, cause that's my b-day ;-). She's currently training for the World Wide Half Marathon so was needing to get 11 miles in Sunday.

I was running a tad late Sunday--had to make an emergency bathroom stop on the way, yuck--so I was afraid that I wasn't going to make a good impression. Normally, I'm early for everything so it was frustrating me that I wasn't going to be on time. I also definitely lived up to my nickname, I talked her ear off for almost 4 hours. Sorry, next time I'll try to let you have a word in now and then, LOL!!! She is such a good listener, I need to take lessons from her on that.

The Davis brothers (Gary and Curtis) did make a stop to say hi to us. I'm not sure where those two come up with all that energy, but they need to bottle it up and share!! Super great guys... Actually Susan and I decided that the Cabot Cruisers is the best running club in the state because it has the nicest people.

We ended up with 11.77+ miles (our garmins were having trouble acquiring signals at the start) and it didn't seem like we'd been out there for that long. Well, maybe it did to Susan 'cause of my neverending chatter, LOL!! Beautiful weather, great company, and I loved seeing everybody out cycling, running, and walking.

Glad to be home

Whew, I'm glad this work week is over. Nothing major went wrong, just quite a few little things plus my period started Monday so had 2 days of feeling crampy and out of sorts. I think I was surprisingly uncranky though which is unusual for me when I have one of these weeks--James may disagree though, have to ask him when he calls next, LOL.

I'm not going to get into a drawn out post about all the idiot drivers but did have 2 near-misses going south through San Antonio Tuesday night. The first was a couple of suvs that decided to try and occupy the same lane simultaneously, both drivers realized it at the last moment and both did some jerking, swerving and swaying to get away from the other. So not only did they almost hit each other directly in front of me, they also almost flipped their vehicles trying to avoid it. The second incident involved a construction worker who pulled out in front of me. No warning, no turn signal, from a dead stop straight into the path of an 18-wheeler that's doing 60 mph. No brains. I had absolutely nowhere to go because there was traffic next to me. The only option was to get on the brakes and hope there was no one tailgating me. All that, just to pull back over into the construction lane 500 ft further up.

I think my running buddy on Crescent View Road got run over. She didn't come out to greet me Monday morning when I ran by her house and when I told James about it later, he said that he saw a large black and white dog dead in a ditch 2 weeks ago when he was out for his run/walk. So sad.........:-(

Ran 5.8 miles in Pulaski Monday. 4.5 by myself, the remainder was in the cow field with Elsie. Good run until just before mile 4, then had to hustle back to the plant because of tummy problems. My load was coming out late again so had time for a 2 hour nap afterwards.

Tuesday is normally a rest day but I decided to run at Prescott so that I wouldn't have to stop Wed. 3.45 miles. Excellent run but then had to wait forever for a shower.

My intention was to get home Wednesday night but there was a problem with my trailer tags so Penske wouldn't let me drop Tuesday night. Didn't get to leave Laredo until almost 0900 Wed. Seemed like I couldn't get anywhere this week on time.

Left my truck at the shop, the B service is due. Hopefully they'll get it done before Sunday. Very irritating when you show up ready to go and they're just getting around to pulling the truck into a work bay.

I was going to drive back down to Cabot this morning so I could run with a group but for some reason I had it in my head that the meeting time was 8:30 but when I re-checked the email for the location it was at 8:15. No time to get back down there, grrr, had it timed to tight. Can't believe I messed the time up. Anyway, went out for a very lonely 4.23 miles then went back for Elsie and ran (mostly!) for another 1.9 miles. My shins were feeling very stiff this morning but were okay after 2.5 miles. Took a long time to warm up for some reason.

19 September 2008


I'm currently drooling over the Ford Flex, saw one last week in Austin, it looks like a Mini Cooper on steroids. However, starting price is over $28,000 and the fuel mileage isn't quite what I want for my next vehicle.

Didn't witness it, but a very bad accident happened 1 to 2 minutes ahead of me on I40 in Memphis Sunday night. A woman in a BMW roadster ran off the road, spun around, and hit another vehicle head on. Managed to get through there before they shut the interstate down but there were way too many people stopping to stare, yuck........What is the fascination with wanting to see blood?

Ran 3.3 miles Monday with Elsie in the cow fields at Pulaski.

It's actually getting cool enough to sleep with my truck turned off at night.

I've been very lucky with my trailers coming out of Mexico the past 2 months-no flats or lights missing. Probably jinxed myself now.

Testing a new mascara from Allure magazine-Chanel Mascara Volume Intense. LOVE high-end freebies!!!!!! Decent mascara, probably won't purchase though, I'm fairly loyal to M.A.C. because of their recycling program (6 empties gets you a free lippie!).

Took me 40+ minutes to go 7 miles in Austin, TX Tuesday. Had to spend most of it next to another truck driver that apparently has never seen a female trucker, ugh. Listened to Union Underground's "South Texas Deathride". Seemed appropriate somehow.

I adore my Nike "eat, sleep, run" t-shirt.

Ran 5.02 miles at Cotulla, visited the dead and now very dusty alligator.

McDonalds' has a surprisingly good, basic cup of coffee anymore.

Watched a Wayne Smith driver get the very last parking spot at the old fuel stop in Mt. Vernon last night as I pulled in at 8:16 p.m. Cursed my slow truck, LOL.

I miss Jason Newsted in Metallica. Not that there's anything wrong with Trujillo, I just really like Newsted.

Found these honey wheat cracker sticks at the dollar store in Kerens. Sounds weird but they are DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!! My new favorite snack.

There were only 3 people on the shower list at the Robinson Pilot yesterday in the middle of the afternoon. Usually there's 10-20 at that time of day.

Had my teeth cleaned today, the receptionist said she saw me running last Sunday and then the dental hygienist and I were talking about cycling. She said that I was really active and didn't look like I was 39. She also made a comment about me not looking like the truck drivers she knew. Hope not, since the majority of them are male, LOL!!!!!!!!

Rode my softie today!!! Need to give her a bath though. Just not fond of washing motorcycles.

Why is the weight not coming off around my waist? I am down to an A cup for crying out loud, I don't want to lose anymore from my upper body and my legs are okay. Just can't get rid of the belly fat (Sheesh, I sound like a Cortisol advertisement).

Gary and I went out for a 17.64 bicycle ride on Fairview Road. He was tired so we only went up the first big hill before turning back. I kept up with him today so he must have been wiped out.

Since the bicycle ride was cut short, I came home and changed into my running gear and ran approximately 2.3 miles (garmin was acting up so no accurate mileage or time). Bricks are very painful.................

Stupid XM radio programmers have pulled Fungus and replaced it with an AC/DC channel. WHY????????????????????? I want my punk channel back. NOW. There's nothing wrong with AC/DC in small amounts but all their stuff sounds exactly alike.

I need a shower.

15 September 2008

weekend whirlwind

Saturday was the 60+ mile ride with Gary and Petra and I think we set a record for the number of honks and catcalls we received. Surprisingly it seemed to be all on the positive side--it's weird but you can tell a friendly honk from an angry one. Until near the end when Petra started getting cranky I enjoyed myself. It was difficult at times but I was able to keep a positive outlook and I knew I was going to make it up all the hills this time.

We started out from the old Bike City parking lot and immediately had the hard climb up Sawmill--that's not my favorite way to start a ride, it seems to take me 5-6 miles before I get my muscles warmed up. For some reason I do not pay very close attention to the street signs when I'm cycling so until we got back to Hwy 367 at McRae I couldn't tell you what road we were on for sure. All I know is that we followed Country Club to some back roads that eventually led us to Hwy 367. When we made it to El Paso I told Gary I was going to have to stop at McDonalds for an egg mcmuffin. Everything I had in my bento bag was sweet and I needed some real food before tackling Hwy 5 north. For some reason the gels and bars weren't cutting it for me that morning. Anyway survived the big hills enroute to Romance and followed Hwy 31 to Floyd where we grabbed Hwy 305--this is where the loooonnnnggg hill is that seems like it's never going to end. Not steep but can be discouraging. Then comes the scariest part of the ride, we grab Hwy 36 at Center Hill back to Searcy, no shoulders, high traffic. Not a good combination.

Oh, forgot to mention Dugout mountain, a very fun scary decline where Gary usually gets up to 50+mph. The first time I came down it I started braking at around 30 mph, this time I just relaxed, got into aero, and let it roll. Tried not to think about how bad it was going to hurt if I wiped out. Top speed was just over 42 mph for me. Gary was wanting to do the airport loop to add on another 18 miles after we got back to Searcy. I agreed eventually but the wind was starting to pick up and when we got to the end of the bicycle trail and looked south to see the sky blackening, I told him I was ready to call it quits. We ended up with 77.31 miles at a 15.2 mph average.

Saturday evening we had a tornado warning but thankfully nothing major came of it in Searcy. We did have some very high winds and a lot of trees were downed but it could've been much worse. When I walked Elsie at 6 a.m. the wind was still blowing hard and it was cool so I decided to go back to bed. Ended up being a little bit of a mistake. Once I got out at 10 a.m. for my run it had warmed up considerably and was very humid. Had an 8-10 mile run planned but only did 7.28. There was a tree down on the trail in between Ella and Hwy 16, you could go to the side and go under the tree or over it to get by (I went under) and part of Center St. was closed where the city crews were removing trees that'd fallen.

13 September 2008

People are going crazy

Every single gas station in Searcy has had major lines of people waiting to fuel up in order to beat the higher gas prices that are being predicted because of Hurricane Ike. Several of the stations close to us had run out of all but the premium grade as of 1500 this afternoon. Duane told us that a couple of people had called him to report that Conway and Pine Bluff had stations charging $5+ a gallon. The attorney general has had to issue a warning about price gouging and Gov. Beebe has declared a state of emergency to prevent it. We were waiting in line to top off at Harp's and had a woman almost run us over when the guy in front of us pulled forward and she decided she was going to cut line. Looked straight at us and zoomed right in. I don't think she expected anybody to do anything but James got out, knocked on her window and very politely told her that there was a line that she had just cut in front of and that she needed to go to the back of. She apologized, claimed she didn't see us or the other people waiting and backed out to line up like a civilized person.

We did make a stop at a local parts store to buy a locking gas cap. Had been meaning to for several months anyway but hadn't gotten around to it until now. Somebody at Bald Knob had tried to steal gas out of our pickup 3 weeks ago but we'd been leaving it right above empty while parking there so they didn't get anything. It freaked me out though when I got in and started it up and got the check engine icon. Didn't even think to check the gas cap until I got home, ran the diagnostics, and found the code on the internet. Sure enough, they hadn't tightened the cap down after they figured out that the tank wasn't full. I was just relieved there wasn't anything major wrong!!

It looks like the gas stations have lowered their prices back down after jacking them up because of the a.g. warning.


I need to be cleaning my bicycle and packing for the 60+ mile ride tomorrow but I don't wanna.....I'm whiny right now, can you tell? Barely any running miles this week and James is pulling a second round so I'm by myself tonight. On the happy side, as of yesterday, my glute and hamstring pain went away, YAY!! That was the reason for my lower mileage, trying to take it easy so I didn't injure myself worse. I've also been stretching afterwards like I should have been doing all along. Don't know why I was neglecting it, guess it just didn't seem important. I know better now...........

Recap of the week--Monday has been my long run day but this past week I decided to put it off until Sunday (may not get it in now though since Hurricane Ike will be visiting Arkansas starting tomorrow afternoon.) I just took Elsie out for a somewhat easy run/walk. There are some nice paths through the fields behind the plant now so just let her run off the leash. Overall she did really well although I did go for longer than I initially planned and she got hot towards the end. I carried some water for her and she had it all drank before we finished. 3.43 miles in 44:02.

Tuesday--I woke up feeling great, slept very well Monday night (my last night of sleeping good though) and I really, really, REALLY wanted to go for a run. Didn't though because I was still having some achiness and I needed to get down to Laredo and get turned around because of another dentist appt. Thurs morning. Traffic was excellent through Austin and San Antonio and I even made it to our yard before nightfall. The only downside--Elsie has now come into season, she's going through the doggie version of a period. Yes, we're going to have her fixed, we even have an appointment in October to have it done but this snuck up on me. I thought we would have a couple of more months before we had to deal with this.

Wednesday--didn't sleep well, Elsie was restless because of not feeling well and we were parked near some railroad tracks. The trains were stressing her out even more than what she already was, poor baby. Yucky run, hot and humid and I was tired so only 3.07 miles in 30:23.

Did have one weird thing happen on my run Wed. morning. Part of the route I run at Cotulla, TX takes me near the Nueces River and there was a dead alligator on the side of the road at that section. It totally freaked me out, I literally jumped backwards and my heart felt like it skipped a few beats. If I hadn't been having such a lousy run, I would've went and got my camera so I could've took pics. Didn't think I had 2 more miles in me though because of the heat and needing to hurry home. I never realized there were alligators in that area, but just looked it up and yeah, the Texas parks and wildlife website is showing that there are American Alligators in that part of Texas. Scary!!!!! The dead one was between 5-6 feet long, not exactly small in my opinion.

Wednesday afternoon I got stuck behind a Kenco driver on Hwy 31 between Belle Mead and Dawson that I swear had her cell phone surgically attached to her ear. She wouldn't keep a steady speed, dropping down to 55-60 mph in 70 mph zones and evidently couldn't read any of the road signs. She wouldn't move over to the right lane in the passing zones and when she would see somebody pull up next to her or just ahead she would gas on it and not let people pass. We passed a county cop that was on the opposite side of the road talking to somebody and she slowed to 50 mph in a 70. Guess she had a guilty conscience. Personally I think she needs to invest in one of these newfangled things called a hands-free device (insert sarcastic tone here). Or a lobotomy, I'm good with either one.

Thursday--The splint on my front teeth is now gone, yay!! One of the teeth is still loose so I'm still having to be very careful while eating. I have a regular cleaning scheduled for next week but I made the appt for 1300 so I don't have to get up before the crack of dawn to make it home in time. Went for a 18 mile bicycle ride with Gary in the afternoon-hot, humid, hot, blech. James has been teaching me how to stand up and pedal to get an extra boost of power/speed for the past month and I turned that loose on Gary on one of the hills, ha-ha!! Actually beat him by a good bit.

James has started back on the couch to 5k program (YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) this week so this morning I went out with him for a run/walk followed by a solo run. The run/walk was 2.28 miles in 36:35 and my run afterwards was 2.39 miles in 22:30. We had slept in and it was getting steamy before my run was done, had planned on 3-4 miles but wasn't motivated to do it by myself after having somebody to talk to in the beginning. The good news was that I had no pain or achiness on my left side today, that made me very happy.

What made me not so happy was having to drop James off so he could leave for TN. It looks like our schedules are going to remain 1 day apart for now--next week will be 2 days apart since he will have to wait until Wednesday to reload, yuck.

07 September 2008

Sara Low 5k

This was the 2nd year for the Sara Low Memorial 5k in Batesville. I ran (well, had to walk some of it) it last year. This is a very challenging course, right at the start you have a steep downhill, followed by a steep uphill and guess what, even more hills. This is the most difficult 5k course that I've ever run--of course, I'm still a fairly new runner and have only ran races in the central Arkansas area, but I still think it would be challenging by anybody's standards. Beautiful opening ceremony, great weather for a race, free pre- and post-race massages, beautiful technical t-shirt and it's for a great cause memorializing Sara Low.

It was chilly at the start, it seems like we went from sweltering to cool all at once thanks to Hurricane Gustav but it was very nice to not feel like you're going to drop over from the heat before running. That said, while I like slightly cooler temps for workouts, I am NOT a cold weather person. I'm dreading the fall/winter and the shorter daytime hours. Last night it was almost to dark to see at 1930 while we were playing disc golf.

I started up near the front with Carol and her daughter but I knew that I probably wouldn't be able to keep with her because of the glute/hamstring issues I'd been having this week. First mile was in 8:05, 2nd mile was in 15:40, and then I started feeling sick to my stomach plus the left leg started aching so had to back off for the 3rd mile. There is one hard turnaround point before starting back up another hill that seemed endless but I was able to keep running, albeit slowly, LOL. The turnaround is hard on my legs but it is nice being able to see people and shout encouragement at each other!! The last 1/2 mile me and a 16 year old girl kept leapfrogging but she had a little more kick at the end than I did so she finished 2 seconds ahead of me. Carol had an awesome time of 24:53 and finished 5 spots ahead of me. Neither one of us got an age group award though, she was 4th and I was 5th. Rock from the Cabot Cruisers finished 4th female overall with a time of 22:15, isn't that amazing?!!

My time was 25:29--an improvement of 4:10 from last year. Placement was 63/180 overall, 21/107 females, 5th in my age group. I'm stuck in the mid 25 minute range right now, I need to start some speed workouts as soon as the left leg issue clears up.

The overall winner was a female this year!!! With a time of 17:38, WOW!!!!!!!! There was a guy in the lead but either they didn't have somebody out directing them to the finish line or he misunderstood but either way it was enough for Leah to grab the lead and she finished 5 seconds ahead of him. That's incredible..........

On the way home we stopped at Bald Knob to grab James' things from his truck and I decided to move mine over next to where he was parked. There were a group of guys standing around talking and evidently they liked how I looked in my running gear 'cause I got several whistles and when I didn't acknowledge that one of them got in his truck and blew the air horn. That always aggravates the hell out of me because you usually have people trying to sleep. In my not so humble opinion, I think the air horn should be reserved for emergency use only in parking lots. The only thing worse is some jerk with a train horn trying to wake everybody up because he thinks it's funny. Anyway, got backed in next to James and one of these guys decides to walk over to talk, at least until he saw James. He changed his mind real quick, my hubby is an intimidating looking guy, LOL!!

06 September 2008


I have been employed at my current company for 6 years as of tomorrow (woo-hoo, another year, another cent per mile) and several of the mechanics have been here almost as long (some even longer than that) and you would think that after this amount of time they would realize that I actually know what I'm talking about when I write something up on my tractor or trailer. But, nooooooooo. For some reason a few of them think that what I say needs to be fixed doesn't really need to be repaired unless my husband says it does. Never mind that we drive separate trucks and I don't just come in there with stupid stuff that I can fix myself (headlights, fuses, etc...). Where in the world does this come from? For example, my old Volvo was losing water that wasn't going on the ground or into the oil but nobody in the shop could figure out where it was going. At the same time my fuel water separator was having to be drained weekly by the shop--I was writing it up every time I came in along with the cold water leak. Now fast forward 2 months later, I'm in the trailer shop having a tire replaced and go ask a tractor guy to drain the filter again. While he's doing that I'm standing there watching and guess what? The fluid in the fuel water separator is PINK!!! Which happens to be the same color of the coolant that is having to be topped off every two days. I have to tell the mechanic (who by the way is one that has been working on my truck all along) that there is where the water/coolant is going. Evidently they were not putting 2 and 2 together when it was coming to what I was writing up every fracking week. All this backstory brings me to last weekend, I drive back to the yard to pick up my trailer that has been moved and has a new inspection sticker on but the two items I wrote up were NOT repaired. The bungee cord that I'd put on was still holding the airlines up off the ground and the landing gear was still next to impossible to jack up. I don't think they even greased the thing. I told James I hoped he got this particular trailer next time, they might actually repair it if he goes in and writes it up (maybe).

Now, to be fair, there are a couple of the tractor guys that do listen to me and know their business but unfortunately it's not like I can go in there and tell them I only want so and so to work on my truck. I'm starting to agree with James that our employer needs to go to an incentive based pay-scale for the mechanics.

Don't tailgate

Last night I had a very, very scary thing happen that fortunately didn't hurt anybody or anything. I try to always keep a safe distance between me and the person in front of me and boy did that habit pay off last night. There was a flatbed about 3/4 mile in front of me that I initially thought blew a tire--big bang with lots of sparks. Well, he didn't slow down and the sparks were continuing to come at me!! It was dark and I was far enough behind him that I couldn't tell if he'd ran over something or if he'd lost something off his trailer. It turned out to be a giant metal elbow abut the size of a recliner, I was doing some heavy-duty braking and turning on my four-ways so the cars behind me would know to slow down. Thankfully, the 3 four-wheelers behind me realized there was something going on and were slowing down with me and not trying to pass me, if that elbow had hit one of those cars it would've totalled it. Fortunately the elbow bounced just right and ended up on the shoulder out of the roadway next to us. Meanwhile, I'm on the c.b. trying to get the driver to slow down because he'd lost part of his load but he didn't have his radio on. He passed another truck that finally got his attention to let him know that one of his binders was loose and the driver had the nerve to gripe about nobody telling him sooner that he'd lost something. I came back and told him that I'd tried several times to let him know and the idiot admitted at that point that he had his radio turned off. Grrrrr!!!!!!! I'm not sure why he didn't see the big shower of sparks just behind him when it happened, it was putting on a show that rivaled the firewarks at the Travs game last Saturday night. Okay, I don't need to get started on people that never look in their mirrors.


I've had to skip 2 of my scheduled workouts this week, yuck. After the 5k and the bicycle ride last Saturday my left butt cheek was a little sore. Didn't think much of it, figured that maybe I'd overdone it just a tad so just did a very easy short run Sunday morning then my scheduled long run on Monday. So far it was okay just a bit sorer than normal. Rested Tuesday then woke up Wednesday morning feeling great so decided to run despite Gustav. Well, I happened to be in Prescott, AR that morning and the route I run there is the frontage road between the two truck stops--it's highly visible, not much traffic on that section, and I have access to 2 bathrooms if the need arises. The only downside is that the shoulders have a steep cant and I was staying to the outside edge to keep away from the slick paint lines and as far away from the cars as possible due to the rain. Felt great (despite having to make a pitstop) and had a nice run but within 10 minutes of stopping my butt pain returned with a vengeance and decided to add in the lower back and hamstring as well. OUCH!!!!

Anyway, decided the smart thing to do would be to take an extra couple of days off and it seems to have worked. Everything feels ok today so I'm crossing my fingers and toes that the rest took care of it. As much as I hate having my schedule messed up I'd rather have that than another injury that will sideline me this year. I'm still running the Sara Low 5k in the morning so wish me luck please.

01 September 2008

Happy Labor Day!!!!

Sweaty me after the 5k

Me, my niece, sis, and b.i.l.

James, nephew, niece

Awww, sleepy girl!

Whew, James and I have had one busy weekend but I'm not ready to go back to work.

Saturday morning was the Arkansas Clear Mountain 5k and boy did we get a much earlier wakeup call than we expected. Elsie decided that she absolutely had to go to the bathroom just after 3 a.m. James took her out so I could go back to sleep until the alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. The only problem was that he couldn't fall back asleep himself, poor guy. I'm still trying to figure out how we can get up with plenty of time and still run late for these races. Most everything was packed up already or laying on the table so we could grab it on the way out the door but we still ended up rushing to get to N.L.R.

We finally made it there and after getting my race bib and t-shirt and a quick rest room stop I found Annette, Brenda, Bailey and a few other cruisers and stopped to say hello (they were also in the rest room line, can't believe there wasn't any additional portapotties set up!). Only had time for a quick warm-up then lined up. I wasn't expecting to do great--tummy issues and cramps, yuck. I did the first mile in 7:45 then Brenda caught up with me at around mile 1.5. It was great having her right there but neither of us were able to talk very much! Did grab water at the first water stop and was actually able to do a slow jog while grabbing a couple of small sips, first time ever--usually it ends up everywhere but my mouth when I don't walk thru. I started to feel my stomach rebelling against me before the second water stop so I did grab another cup and walked a few steps before dumping the remainder down my back. Didn't feel great but was able to run again with no problems. Finished right behind Brenda in 25:22 (she finished in 25:20 or 21) which is now my 3rd best time.

I didn't expect to get an age group award but I did get the 35-39 3rd place trophy which Annette was sweet enough to grab for me. I think quite a few of the lady Cruisers went home with either hardware or p.r.'s Saturday, YAY!!!!!

After the race we were riding our bicycles to Mayflower to celebrate Vicki's birthday and this was James' longest ride ever. He did great!! He stayed up with me until we started hitting the hills and then we both started slowing down. There are some very strong cyclists in the Cabot group and I knew I wouldn't be able to hang on to them but my plan was to try to for as long as possible. I wanted to push as hard as I could just to see what I was capable of right now but at the same time I didn't want to leave James so I hung back a couple of times with him and then pushed ahead to catch the tail end of the lead group. That really hurt me later on, I started losing steam on the hills sooner than normal. Gary joined us for the ride and he enjoyed himself immensely, he was able to hold onto the lead group all the way to Mayflower then on the return trip Lisa and him powered through the hills and left everybody that was in the second group leaving Sonic.

I was struggling on the return trip and kept falling farther behind Rock, Arland, Lisa and her husband and Gary. James, Bailey, Annette, and Brenda was coming up behind us. When Arland, Rock, and Duane pulled over to check on them I kept going because I knew I was going to be in trouble if I didn't but all the redlights were conspiring against me. I could see Lisa and Gary at the next light ahead of me but the first one I got stopped at never would change and they were getting further and further from me and I knew there wasn't a chance in hell of catching them after that. I pulled over at an intersection to wait on the others at that point and it scared me when Brenda, Annette, and Bailey rode up without James. Come to find out Bailey had dropped her water bottle on the road and James rode back to get it and used up all of his energy riding back as fast he could to catch up with her because he thought it was her only water bottle. It was HOT by then and he didn't want her to not have anything to drink for that long of a time. He looked rough and I decided at that point to ride back to the Rivertrail as fast as possible to get the pickup and drive back for him but when I got there and called him to find out where he was he told me he was going to ride in all the way. He did have leg cramps near the end that were so severe he had to stop and get off the bicycle. When he did his legs tried to lock up on him, he was ok with bent legs but when he straightened up they would cramp, ouch.......I am so proud of him though, a lot of people would have called it quits but he made it the entire way. I shouldn't be surprised, he's as stubborn as I am!!

We raced back home to walk Elsie and get showered and then it was back to N. Little Rock to watch a Travelers game with my family. We were exhausted by the end of the day, I actually thought we were both going to fall asleep during the game. Finally made it back home around 11 p.m., James had an extra long day with getting up just after 3 a.m., a 50 mile bicycle ride, and then nephew and niece time!!

Sunday was a 2 mile easy recovery run then we went and helped Duane and Becky with the new bicycle shop location for a few hours. They still have a lot to do but everything is starting to look great.

Today was a 9.13 mile long run that I waited too long to start this morning. Didn't get going until after 8 a.m. so made plans just to meet James at the Searcy sports center instead of doing an out and back run. He was meeting Jason and Bill at 10 a.m. for a disc golf game there anyway. Overall it was a decent run, did have to make one emergency pitstop at the Citgo at the corner of Benton and Park for the bathroom. Drank a little water and took back off, got to the sports complex at 9:30 with 7.78 miles. James brought me some gatorade and water so after a quick stop to hydrate I finished up by running around the soccer fields for the remainder of my mileage. He also brought me a banana and a peach to eat after my run, I'm so glad he thought of it because I was hungry after I got cooled down.

I did play the full 18 holes of disc golf with the guys, I'm not sure how far the walking distance is on the course, guess I should have kept my garmin on. James won the game, Bill was 2nd, Jason 3rd, and I was last as usual. Jason made one birdie and James made 2, they were happy with those!! Oh, there's this one hole that is right next to a parking area and one of my throws landed on the asphalt and rolled the opposite direction of the goal across the entire parking lot. I was so mad, the guys thought it was funny hearing me cuss out the disc though!!

Monthly totals:
93.3 miles running
246.2 miles cycling
3 races