26 October 2009

Hole? I didn't see any hole!

Wow, was the first part of work hectic last week......Most of this I posted on twitter so it may be boring and redundant for a few, it's definitely redundant for me but in hindsight it's quite funny.

First off with James' mom, we both for all intents and purposes have a 2nd full-time job each with having to do the stuff that needs to be done with her. But that's just the way it is for the time being. James was apologizing to me last week about putting this on me but hey, we're married and it's family stuff. It wouldn't be quite fair of me (or make me much of a person) if I left it all to him and refused to pull my share. We are adjusting but all three of us are very stressed. She doesn't need 24 hour care, just someone to make sure she eats her meals and sits with her a bit. James and her had a bit of a "discussion" last week about her refusal to change clothes every day and a few other things which resulted in her telling James he was just oppressing her. When I made it home Friday morning, first thing she wanted to do was to start complaining about James being so mean. I flat out told her that it was hard on everybody especially James since he's so used to her being a self-sufficient person that used to not want to be babied. I'm not going to tolerate her bad-mouthing him just because she used to change his diaper and doesn't want to listen to him now. His mother or not, he's my hubby and best friend and I'm not going to go along with that. And enough of that for the time being :).

My comedy of errors last week started with me locking my keys in the house Monday afternoon. No sooner had I shut the door behind me that I realized my mistake. Fortunately, I already had everything packed up including Elsie and had my purse and phone in hand. Called James in full-on panic mode begging him to tell me please that he'd replaced the hidden key on the pickup, LOL. He had and I had my big truck key separate so no problems there. Just wouldn't be able to get back into my own house until he got home, grr.

Next up was hooking up to my trailer and discovering a marker light burnt out, pulled around to trailer shop and mechanic discovered a hole in the roof of the trailer that he patched. This particular load of racks are stackable with sharp pointed ends on all four corners and the forklift drivers quite frequently lift them too high and poke a hole in the roof from the inside. Anyway, marker light replaced and that hole patched in record time. They are still treating me with kid gloves since the tire issue so I'm taking full advantage of that while it lasts to get my trailers worked on quickly, LOL!

Next morning, I'm sleeping sooooo good when I get a phone call from my dispatcher at 0630 telling me that my reload had cancelled and to deadhead up to Mt. Juliet once I was empty. No prob, right? yeah, not so fast....Pulaski has their panties in a wad over who knows what so it takes almost 2 hours to pull 20 racks off that are double-stacked, 10 times in and out of trailer. Should have taken 15 minutes.....In the process, one of the forklift drivers pokes a huge hole in the roof and then doesn't bother to tell me so I can try and patch it while in the dock. Pull out and discover the hole so have to walk back in, ask if I can back into the dock again and use their ladder to reach the roof. At this point the lift driver starts hollering about what hole, I didn't see any hole, I didn't do that.... yeah right, no big deal just wish she would have owned up to it in the beginning.

Well, I just thought it was no big deal initially. Get on the ladder while water is pouring in on me (yes, it was that large of a hole!) and discover that it can't be taped off because it's right on the edge next to and underneath some metal reinforcement strips. So soaking wet and pretty well peeved made the call to road rescue to figure out where it can be patched which ends up being at Fleetco in Nashville. Crap, going to be late for the Mt. Juliet stop.

Get to Fleetco, they recognize me from the other times I've dropped and pick up trailers so have me drop the current trailer in their very cramped lot and pick up a "repaired" one. By the way, they were allowing the other drivers coming in to drop their trailers in the drive so the yard driver could move them. Moral of the story, don't let people know you can actually back up without hitting something! LOL!!!

Finally arrive at Mt. Juliet 10 minutes late (all this was done in Nashville rush hour traffic, yuck) and discover what the other trailer was in the shop for. The door tie-back on the side of the trailer had been broken off and when the shop replaced it they placed the new tie-back 1.5 inches back from where the old one had been and didn't add a link to the chain so the door could be latched open, grrr. I'm now scrambling around in the rain trying to find a bungee or strap that would hold it back and I can't get into my big toolbox behind my sleeper because my key to the padlock securing it is in Arkansas in my house.......Oh yeah, I'm having fun......

Next trailer that I picked up at M.J. has a marker light out on the nose of the left corner. No way I can reach it, I'm not going to make it back to the company shop before it closes and I certainly don't want to spend several hours waiting on a truck stop shop to repair it. Solution--call James and he agrees to meet me at our yard in NLR with our ladder and replace it. Yay James! My hero :).

Fast forward a few hours, I meet James and he starts dragging out his tools and such to replace the light and boom, we're surrounded by other drivers wanting stuff done. First one, drives around and starts yelling from his driver's seat "Hey, you! Are you here to repair stuff? Hey, you!" He's being ignored because it irritates the hell out of us when other drivers' won't get out from behind the wheel to talk to you. The next one comes up and starts saying something about being surprised that James wasn't opening up the shop to do the repair and telling us what all was wrong with his truck and trailer. The assumption was that James was one of the mechanics and we weren't saying anything to dissuade that notion. Kept waiting for one of them to say something about why was I able to get work done after hours and they couldn't. I was going to tell them it helps when you sleep with the mechanic just to see the look on their faces. James got a huge laugh out of that and told me he was glad I didn't get to use the line 'cause he might have gotten propositioned by one of them.

I also had a few nagging issues with the trailer I picked up in Laredo but it was stuff that I could deal with myself, just irritating having to crawl around under the nasty things :).

On the running side of things, everything went ok. Stopped at Hurricane Mills Tuesday afternoon since I wasn't going to make it to NLR before they went home anyway. Had a great 5.08 miles in 45:51. Evidently karma was trying to make up for the crappy morning because when I stopped to run the rain dried up until after I was done. No kidding, it was literally pouring 5 miles prior to the stop, then left out and the skies opened up again. How cool was it that Mother Nature was showing me some love? My only issue is that I'd hurt my 2nd toe on the left foot by catching the base of it on a rock at the Chile Pepper cross country 10k and running on the dirt road aggravated it. That toe is a bit swollen still.

Wednesday was a 4.21 mile run at Prescott in 39:22. Another excellent run. Rare sunny morning (it didn't last long though).

Thursday--rest day

Friday--6 very long miles on the treadmill in 55:28 because it was raining and flooding that morning

Saturday--Rode with the local bike shop Saturday morning ride. Took my mountain bike because I knew the roads and trails were going to be nasty. Awesome ride and I haven't lost all my cycling fitnss just most of it, lol! Just over 15 miles. Tried to get out and run that afternoon for 4-5 miles but my tummy was acting up so only managed 2.38 miles.

Sunday--Finally a decent night's sleep!!! I was having trouble getting motivated to get out the door but once I did, oh wow, great run........Did have to make an emergency pitstop at a bathroom but it was just the once. The funny thing is that I had my first ever running face plant this morning! Was cutting through a field and some root reached out and grabbed my foot.......had a couple of witnesses too (of course!). I'm ok, left ankle has a small cut and is bruised a bit but nothing major.

On other stuff, my friend Alyson bought me the cutest t-shirt as a marathon gift!!! Bottom of the shirt reads "Running. I do that." and has a very cool marathon cartoon on it. Soooo cute and she's such a sweetie. I'm taking it with me to wear after the marathon Saturday! Hope to get back to the Sunday training rides with her later this month if the weather will cooperate.

I feel like I'm missing something.....Oh well, if I remember it later I'll do another post.

Oh yeah, my first marathon is in 6 days!!!!!!!!!!!!! I asked for songs to add to my running playlist from TWB and Little Trucker but if anybody else has any suggestions please let me know. My reasoning is that when that song comes on I'll think about the person who suggested it, thus giving me something to concentrate on other than the 26.2 miles.

Soaring Wings 1/2 Marathon part II

Official chip time 1:55:51--yeah, baby! I'm still tired and a bit beat up for yesterday but I think part of that is due to not sleeping well because of stress. I think it's going to take 6-8 weeks before we can get Dorothy approved for somebody staying with her overnight and some during the day so until then it's going to be a bit stressed out in our household :(.

Photo above was taken by Kristen at the finish line yesterday, she was cheering me in and I was yelling thank you back. Jesse and her are such sweeties, love them! And yes, I was wearing my lucky skirt ;).

Part of the Cabot crew, aren't we a gorgeous bunch?!? We were yelling at Steve to hurry up
and take the picture because our legs were cramping, LOL

24 October 2009

Soaring Wings 1/2 Marathon

Race #17 of the grand prix is done. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!! Only 3 more to go, woo-hoo! Oh wait one of them is that pesky marathon in 2 weeks. Yikes...........

So, today.......hmm, got lost on way to race despite the decent directions. Why the heck do I have no problem in the big truck yet have so much trouble in my pickup?!? LOL. So was late and didn't get to visit with my friends beforehand, grrr.....Did find almost everybody before race start for hugs and howyadoin's. A twitter friend (Hi Christie!) even found me to say hello before race start while I was frantically scurrying around--rabid squirrels didn't have anything on me this morning, ha-ha!

Managed to find Eugene (well he found me) who offered to pace me again (he paced me on the Hogeye 1/2 back in April). I told him that I'd ate a proper breakfast and took a gel just before lining up so hopefully I wouldn't bonk again :). First 6 miles were awesome although I think I was a bit too talkative for Eugene and his friend. Men, they just don't understand the value of talking during a long race, lol. Then we had a mis-communication, I told Eugene I would be walking at the next water stop to drink and take another gel, he thought I said I needed the port-a-potty! He ran off and left me!!!!!!!! I had a heckuva time catching back up, think it took me about 2 miles and it took quite a bit out of me. Guess I should've just let him go on but I thought he was just trying to motivate me to move a bit faster and quit talking so darn much.

The last 3 miles were miserable.......I even felt a bit light-headed for a while but just kept listening to Eugene who would tell me different things to focus on. Oh and this is listed as a "challenging" course with rolling hills. Geez I don't think I'm ever going to have a 1/2 marathon that I feel good finishing, lol!

This is an awesome race though, it's in its second year and it is so much better organized than many other races that have been around for a lot longer. Very pretty course, perfect weather today (sunny and cool), awesome volunteers, great food, and lots of spectators cheering. Super cool age group awards too (don't know if I placed or not yet) made out of railroad spikes.

Garmin splits
Mile 1 8:51
Mile 2 8:59
Mile 3 8:55
Mile 4 8:57
Mile 5 8:48
Mile 6 8:50
Mile 7 8:49
Mile 8 8:41
Mile 9 8:27
Mile 10 8:38
Mile 11 8:45
Mile 12 9:06
Mile 13 8:36
Mile 13.1 8:01

Mile 7 and 8 was when I was trying so hard to catch Eugene. Very hilly through there, then we ran a couple more at his pace before I started slowing again. My garmin time was 1:55:59, but there was a wave start and some timing issues. Last time I checked the results at race site before leaving I was listed at 1:56:51. Hopefully they will have that straightened out and posted online fairly soon. So I have a new 1/2 marathon pr, previous pr was 2:01:36 at the Hogeye Half but I'm feeling very beat up right now.

Chile Pepper 10k

Whew, I'm behind on race reports.......Life and running is kinda getting in the way of blogging. Twittering however is a whole other story, lol. So if you want to keep up with what I'm doing on a day to day basis, join twitter and follow me :-)

Chile Pepper 10k 10/17--my first year for this race and boy oh boy did I love it. It's actually a cross-country festival with the open 10k first followed by the college, high school, and junior high races. It was so cool being able to watch the college men and women in their respective races. So fast and shoulder to shoulder. When you are a mid-packer like me, it's a lot more spread out.

I wasn't really feeling like running this race at all, tough work week and I got in on our yard to drop off truck and trailer right at 1830 Friday evening. Gave me enough time to throw whatever running gear into my pickup and head towards Fayetteville. Started getting tired by Clarksville and just decided to call it quits at Alma 'cause I was starting to drift a bit. The Comfort Inn and Suites at Alma was very nice by the way, even received my cdl discount without being in the big truck.

Upon arrival at Fayetteville I met up with Patti (and Brice!) and decided to do my warmup with her. Nice easy slow run, just perfect. It was during this though that she told me that she'd nominated me for the state RRCA Female Masters of the Year division. Completely floored me, was not expecting that at all. She is such a sweetie :). Of course she also told me that she thinks I'm going to BQ on my first marathon. Patti, I love you so much but I don't think that one will happen, LOL! I'm just looking to survive Wynne.....

I lined up in the rear (chip timed) and thought I would go slow my first mile to get warmed up and hopefully have negative splits. Same old refrain, good intentions and all that. I did however manage to keep a somewhat even pace throughout the entire race except for miles 2 and 3.

Garmin splits
Mile 1 8:05
Mile 2 7:55 (yeah got carried away here, lol)
Mile 3 8:16 (paid for the previous mile)
Mile 4 8:01
Mile 5 8:03
Mile 6 8:07
Mile 6.2 7:21

There was a "little" hill near the start that we had to go up 3X, first 2 I was strong, passed people both times, the third time however my stomach had started to cramp just before it so had to slow dramatically (surprisingly my split times don't show it too much). Had 4 women pass me on the hill the final time and was never able to reel them back in :(.

There was also a very muddy area that we looped through twice, the open division really chewed it up for the college runners. first time through not so bad, the 2nd time was SLICK and I almost lost my right shoe in it. Quite fun actually!

The final bit just before the finish line I sprinted past a 19 year old who was just running kind of steady, she picked it up and passed me right back. Very happy to say I made her work for that finish line though, LMAO!

Final results
259/576 overall
4/22 age group
Not sure where I placed in the female overall and I'm too tired and lazy too look it up right now.

Excellent race and this one is on the list of ones I WANT to run again. Had lots of fun and did I mention I set a new 10k personal record? Previous 10k pr was 51:50 on a much easier course.

23 October 2009


Quite a few of my friends know that James' mother is an older lady and her health is starting to deteriorate. Well, it has started going downhill quite fast unfortunately. she's still mobile but her doctor thinks she has been having a series of small strokes. This has started to affect her short-term memory and she's not been eating regular meals which in turn is messing with some of her medications. We have been monitoring her with several phone calls a day and at least one of us is home every weekend to do stuff for her. She is signed up for services that come in three-four times a week to help her with housework, bathing, etc. Plus she has several friends that come by and check on her so it's not like she's neglected.

Tuesday however, she had one of her spells caused by not eating properly and Dorothy has a bad habit of playing up how bad off she's feeling because she likes the extra attention it gets her (not saying anything out of turn here, James is the first to admit his mom is like that). The home health care person though instead of questioning her about whether she ate or not instead freaked out and called James insisting that Dorothy had to go to the hospital right then. Well, after 30 minutes of getting her to eat something and James calling a relative to take her to the doctor she was ok. In fact she was okay enough that she started going in and out her apartment door for some fresh air and allowed one of her cats to run out. Dorothy being Dorothy immediately went outside without her cane, managed to catch the cat, and tried to come back up the steps without the cane and the blasted cat in her arms that is struggling to get away. Yep, she took a tumble, no broken bones thankfully, just a scrape.

So this has precipitated a change in our work schedules that we were hoping to be able to postpone until after the holidays. My work schedule will continue to be pretty much the same, there just won't be anymore lollygagging on the way home. James will be working from Friday thru Monday however.

The dispatcher didn't like it but if he wants to keep us he's just going to have to live with it. We have absolutely no choice at this point. Dorothy's memory is going, her health is deteriorating, and she has told us that she will not go into an assisted living home much less a nursing home. She has said that if it came to that she would quit eating altogether and spit out her medicine. So, with this new schedule at least one of us will never be any further away than 6-8 hrs max on Fridays and Mondays instead of 10-12. The majority of the time one of us will either be at her apartment or our own house which is only 10-15 minutes away depending on traffic. With me keeping the same schedule that means I'll be able to finish out this race season for sure but it also means that James and I will only have part of one day off together. Adjustment time. Oh well, such is life.

11 October 2009

4 weeks to go

The marathon is a looming! Just 4 more short weeks, eep.......Yesterday was my 2nd 20 mile training run and with the races upcoming it will probably be my last before Wynne. Fortunately this 20 mile run went a lot better than the first but that was because I was able to hang out with Brenda, Cindy, Jackie, and Lisa this time. Long runs are sooooooooo much more fun and pleasant when you have somebody to share the torture with, LOL. All of them are experienced marathoners so was just able to kick back and hopefully soak some of their wisdom in.

Not much else to talk about--training was kind of hit and miss last week with the weather but I'd been following a much more difficult training plan than what I was supposed to for my first marathon so not going to freak out too much.

Monday--3.24 miles with Elsie +.5 mile walk to and from the dentist (6 month checkup/cleaning)

Tuesday--4.25 miles with James and Elsie at the Rivertrail in the evening, tummy issues for me, and we had some near-misses with skunks, yikes!

Wednesday--Awesome, awesome midday tempo run (5.71 miles) at Robinson, TX. I also was adding in sprints halfway up the hills.

Thursday--hot and humid, used it for a rest day

Friday--3.28 miles on the treadmill--major stomach issues--this was supposed to have been an 8 mile run.

Saturday--fantastic 20.11 mile run! .66 miles solo to warm up and make sure all bathroom issues were resolved, then 19.45 with the group.

40.93 miles for the week

Ok, the stomach issues..........I do believe I have developed an intolerance to peanuts. Nearly every single one of my runs where I've had major issues can be traced back to where I've had something to eat containing peanuts (reese's pb cup, peanut butter, bag of nuts, trail mix bar). It's the only common denominator when I look back over what I've eaten. This is incredibly frustrating because that is such an easy and convenient protein source especially when I'm on the truck :(.

ok, that's all I can think about right now. Nice boring week as far as the trucking goes thank goodness, LOL. I had all the excitement I could stand last week.

04 October 2009

Almost Fubar

October is not shaping up to be a very good month so far :(.

On the plus side I did get to meet Scott Sigler on his Little Rock stop of the 2009 Tailgate Tour. Scott, of course is a New York Times bestselling author of horror/sci-fi. I can't imagine that there's very many people who are a fan of the genre that aren't aware of who he is, but if you're not, then immediately go check out his website. He is such a cool, awesome guy that he even podcasts his fiction for free...........but you still need to buy his books :). The down side to the meet up was that there were only 4 of us there, how can that be????????????? And we wonder why the northwest corner of Arkansas gets all the really cool, alternative, geeky stuff?!? I'm so disappointed in my fellow geeks...........

As for the rest of the week, I don't want to get into specific details but I had an issue with a trailer Wednesday night that could have ended terribly. Fortunately it did not and I'm not going to hash it out here. The mechanic that was involved with the work is by far one of the best trailer mechanics I've ever met as well as an intelligent, nice guy. He was as upset by the incident as I was and I can guarantee that this will not ever happen again on his shift. However, this did result in an overnight stay at our yard to get repairs done and put me way behind my preferred schedule. I had just enough time to get down to Laredo legally and even would have had an hour or two to spare if it hadn't been for the delay at the receiver--took an hour for me to get through the line to be inspected.

Second bad thing, James hit a deer in his truck in south Arkansas Thursday morning before dawn. First day of bow hunting deer season and all the hunters moving out to their deer stands before sunup had the deer all stirred up. So, he brought his truck back to the yard and moved over into a loaner truck. Because the loaner truck is not very clean he's been sleeping in mine when we stop for our breaks. Thankfully our regularly assigned trucks have double bunks so we're not having to squish into the twin bed together. I have to have my room to stretch out when I sleep!

Third bad thing--James only had one key to the loaner truck and he lost it Friday at Laredo. Managed to find a driver that drove the same kind of truck with a key that would fit so after an emergency trip to Home Depot (closest place to get a key made) we finally were able to leave Laredo. Well, I actually left Laredo ahead of him after chauffering him to and from Home Depot :). Didn't want to wait around while his trailer was being repaired, I was past ready for a shower, late lunch, and a nap.

Our employer uses a fuel optimization program/service that evidently a boatload of other companies are using too. The Love's at Encinal was packed Friday afternoon with trucks backed out the drive and past the four way stop :(. Of course it would have helped if the drivers would have parked in the nearly empty parking lot after fueling before going in for their subway sandwiches or chester fried chicken (nasty smelling stuff, not sure how anybody can stand to eat the crap).

We had to make a stop at the Best Buy in New Braunfels, TX because James forgot his phone charger when moving into the loaner truck and discovered the MS 150 Tour was going through there. Until the heavy rain started, I sooo wanted to be out there cycling with them, hell I wanted to be out there even with the rain, lol! Gotta give props to the New Braunfels Police Dept, they were providing EXCELLENT traffic control for the cyclists and were very pleasant about doing so. I walked by the officers at the 2 intersections twice while walking from the fuel stop to the shopping center and never heard one of them grumble about being out there. They would also stop the traffic so none of the cyclists were having to slow down and unclip through the intersections.

So trailer trouble, deer collision, chasing the logbook and feeling like I'm running behind all week, WHEW...........

Running this week
Monday-core workout
Tuesday-Treadmill + 1.96 miles outside=7.01 miles
Wednesday--4.2 miles, hills and 2 miles on dirt. Plyometrics afterwards
Friday--ended up being an extra rest day because of work
Saturday--6.64 miles + 5 pullups
Sunday--15.09 miles

32.94 miles on the week, 8 miles short of what it should have been..........Oh well at least the long run was ran :).

Today's run was the first cold one of fall.......I didn't have any long sleeve shirts on the truck so had to stop at Target on my way to the Rivertrail. Brrr, it was cold, wet, and windy. I only saw six other runners and approx. 8 walkers out from 10:30 to 1 pm and one of the women walking told me when I met her going across the Big Dam Bridge that I must be very dedicated. That elicited a chuckle :) 'cause I was thinking more like crazy (around 11ish miles in). I did get to see a large group of deer (counted 7) on the Isabella Jo (?) loop, a couple of geese, and too many very fat squirrels to count. And there's nothing quite like the feeling of your knees thawing out after a cold run, owie.............