21 February 2010

another day, another week

I now haven't ran in 12 very long days.......ankle swelling is going down. Some days the knuckle is even close to the same size as the other :-). Just depends on how long I've been driving or on my feet that particular day.  Today also marks the 4th Grand Prix race of the year that I'm missing, sigh........

Trucking news--mostly uneventful, although this past week left me feeling a bit trapped but that's due to not being able to break up days with a nice little run. Yeah, it all goes back to that, lol.  Monday morning, I woke up to ice at the plant in Pulaski, TN. It had been raining on Sunday so when the cold front moved through with the snow it basically acted like a flash freeze area kinda like what you'd have in a food processing facility.  Always fun to wake up to find your truck's tires are frozen to the ground!

Here's what Lola the truck looked like

This little storm also created some icy conditions out on I65 again, thankfully my side was moving ok albeit slowly. Not so for the northbound side because they had the downhill section, vehicles were sliding everywhere. 

Elsie & I went for our usual Monday morning hike up the water tower hill (no running, I promise!) and the next morning we went for another walk in Louisiana that she needed desperately. The dog needs a run almost as bad as I do, geez she's hyper.

Oh, one interesting thing, I did have a guy at the Gadsden plant try to give me his phone number!!!! Kinda nice little ego boost considering he was cute & approximately 10 years younger than me. Speaking of age, today would be my 41st birthday, not near as excited about it as I was the 4-0. Prolly because of being injured :-(. Eh, just another day this year, lol.

The rest of the week I had very nice weather, several times when walking Elsie we'd just find an area for me to sit while she rolled around in the grass. I am so ready for spring to get here and yes, I'm sure everybody else is too.

Tuesday night brought some major lighting issues with the trailer I was supposed to pick up so ended up having to spend the night in Laredo to wait for the shop to open up the next morning. First time I've had to do that in a couple of months I think.

Workouts are kinda eh although I did get 35 pushups consecutively on my last 100 pushup schedule test and I even sandbagged a bit so I wouldn't have a super hard week coming up. Yeah, I should be ashamed (not!).  I also was able to do two 2 minute planks, yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Adding a bit to this post, forgot about this until showing James my pictures for the week--here's why you shouldn't do u-turns in a big truck unless you're absolutely sure you have enough room.

Zoom in on this pic and you can see this guy's rear tandems are completely up in the air.

So yeah, that's it, that was my week.  Are y'all still awake? LOL!

14 February 2010

wee bit of excitement

I must say that I've been extremely fortunate this year in missing most of the bad weather while driving.  Vast majority of it has hit while I was at home or I just managed to skirt around it. No complaints about that though, lol.

Monday, however provided me with a wee bit of unexpected excitement.  All the weather forecasts had been saying that my area was not going to get hit with the snow & sleet but they were off just a hair or two.......

Pulaski had no snow or precipitation when I docked but while I was getting unloaded & reloaded this started

See, snow flakes but nothing on the ground yet.

Three miles south on Hwy 31, we have this

Another couple of miles....

And the road just became completely covered from that point on.

As I approached Interstate 65 I could hear the cb chatter about south bound being shut down because several trucks and cars had spun out on the "big hill".  Great..........I have less than 16,000 pounds loaded onto the trailer with NONE of it being on or near the trailer tandems.  Several trucks had pulled over onto the flatter parts of the ramp but when I tried to do the same to wait it out the trailer kept sloooowwwly sliding towards the ditch and the rock wall so I just proceeded on down the ramp to join the crowd on the interstate, lol.

A guy in front of me decided to get out and play

As you can see the road is not that terribly bad but evidently too many vehicles were bunched up together when this first started and that's always the time when the road is the slickest.

Welcome to Alabama

This guy went into the median to avoid some cars that were spinning around in the road

Everybody merging over to avoid the RV, cars & big trucks that were spun out in the right lane

Chugging up the hill--note the following distance :-)

Trucks that spun out

Love this rest area :-)

Ok, automatics always get a lot of flack about not being any good whatsoever on bad roads and yes, there are a very few occasions where I've run into a bit of extra trouble but usually if you are aware of the road conditions and the limitations then you can work in and around bad weather just as well as you can in a manual transmission.  And for those other times, well that's why you should always carry non-clumping kitty litter with you in the winter. A couple of handfuls of that thrown down around the tires and those guys that were spun out could have been rolling again within a matter of minutes.  An automatic can always be switched over to manual override but I didn't bother with that coming up this hill because it wasn't that bad.  A slow, steady pace and being more than a car's length away from the vehicle in front of you can do absolute miracles with keeping ya going in a straight line (I do realize all bets are off with ice). 

13 February 2010

Who, what, when, where, why

Yeah, not so creative in the blog title, lol.

So who am I and where have I been?  I am a very grumpy runner who is not supposed to be running right now and James says that I'm impossible to live with.  And you know what? He's completely right, sigh......

Today marked my 3rd DNS (did not show) of the year for the Grand Prix races so I was NOT in Russellville this morning.  Yep, 0/3 for the races, grrrr.  Last week was the 15k and I decided to show up early and cheer for all the racers.  Here's what I learned--the lead and the back of the pack runners kind of get screwed in the cheering department.  I'd never experienced that as a runner because except for one race I've always been squarely or near the front of the middle of the pack group from the time I started participating in races.  So please, anybody that is a spectator at races try and make an effort to cheer/clap/yell for everybody!!!!!!!!!  Some of the runners at the back of the pack just lit up at hearing somebody tell them they were doing awesome.  And guess what, they did do awesome no matter their time, they just completed 9.3 miles, that is a hella long distance especially as windy and cold as it was that day.

Why have I not been running (or rather not supposed to have been running)--that goes back to the sprained ankle from last month's trail run.  During the work week, I'm stuck behind the wheel of the truck for up to 11 hours a day and that's causing my ankle to stay swollen up around the knuckle bone :-(.  Once I come home after 36-48 hours the swelling goes down dramatically but that only lasts until I go back to work, then up it balloons again, sigh......  The ankle is still a bit stiff and achy but there's no dramatic pain, I have zero problems putting weight on it and I've even gone for 3-4 easy runs on very flat surfaces. However, I've had 3 online friends convince me that I needed to step back and take another 2 weeks off to see if I can get the swelling to go completely away.  I am soooooooo not happy because running quite simply is my stress reliever.

One quick PSA--if you have a canister of pepper spray that's at least a year old, BUY A NEW ONE ASAP!!!!  I had a bit of a run-in with a dog on Tuesday that I tried to use my pepper spray on only to find out it had completely gummed up.  Fortunately it turned out ok but it was a close call.

Details on the dog incident--I was running in an area new to me in Louisiana and had turned into a residential area where I was greeted by this very friendly chow-retriever mix dog.  All went well except the dog kept following me and when I tried to turn onto another street, she immediately became aggressive.  Literally jumping up on me nearly knocking me down several times then started "grabbing" at my hands with her mouth. Not hard enough to draw blood but it certainly wasn't comfortable.  Finally got away from her enough to backtrack and she immediately calmed down.  Not only did the dog calm down, she followed me for over 3 miles, couldn't get rid of her no matter what I tried. Dog even followed me back to my truck.  I guess she decided we had bonded......very, very weird.  I got cleaned up, went in for coffee and food & she's still waiting for me at my truck.  Not only did she wait,  she followed my truck out of the parking lot when I tried to leave out.  Heart-breaking really even after she nearly scared the crap out of me.  Irresponsible dog owners need to "enjoy" some jail or community service time, no reason for this kind of behavior.

Workout recap--I'm managing to get in at least 2 core workouts a week with the SPS Trifecta and it's visibly paying off. My upper body is starting to get some definition again instead of just being plain skinny :-).  I've also worked my way back up to 4 pullups in a set, that's not quite the 15 I could get consecutively last summer but the strength and muscle memory is returning. Hiked on Monday with 2 treks up water tower trail at Pulaski and my mileage is increasing on the trainer, yay!!!!!!!  So no more runs for at least 2 weeks and I think I will go get an xray/mri on Thursday if the ankle is still swollen.

Shoes or the lack thereof

For the past 3 years it seems like I've only purchased running shoes and the odd pair of work boots........well last summer I did buy a couple pair of Fit-Flops due to the plantar fasciitis but they are gawd-awful ugly so they don't count.  The problem is that this winter I decided I needed dresses for the off time but I have been having a heckuva time finding dressier shoes that I like or that my feet can tolerate.

Don't know exactly what the problem is but it seems like I can find nothing but stripper heels, shoes that look like a grade school craft project, old lady shoes, or they just look & feel plain old cheap..........I've been shoe-shopping so many times for the past 3 weeks and have come home with NOTHING.  Ok, so that's not completely true, today I did come home with a pair of hiking boots and a pair of work boots--things that would lace up and be snug around my right ankle since I'm still kind of nursing it.  BUT they're not what I was shopping for!! I'm starting to feel like my girl card needs to be revoked, grrrrr.

Searcy has been scoured, likewise for Conway. Next week when I come back home I'm going to make a stop at Dillard's to see if they have anything that will meet my evidently way too picky standards.  I'm hesitant to order online because you never know how they're going to fit or what the leather quality is like.  Any suggestions will be greatly welcomed :-).