28 March 2010

new ink

quick update here....Thursday I finally went down to 7th Street Tattoos to get the 4 leaf clover on my tummy reworked (approx. 12 years old) and had a bit more added around it :-). 

bad lighting & was taken with my phone, once it's all healed up, I'll add another picture. But yeah, finally added a 26.2 to the collection.  While there I also had my nose re-pierced :-). Seemed to hurt & bleed much less than it did the first time thankfully.  Oh, the new ink was done by Brandon, who did a very nice job with the design and inking. I'd just forgotten how darn much getting tattooed hurt, lol.

23 March 2010


I should be sleeping right now because this load of parts has turned hot but wanted to get this out before I forgot.....Today, 8 days before April, northern Alabama was getting snow. It wasn't sticking in the lower elevations but oh man was it coming down. 

This picture in no way does the day justice because the snow had eased up by the time I was walking into the fuel stop for my shower but you can somewhat see the snow flakes.

The plant at Pulaski got me out a little earlier than normal so I took advantage of that to stop at the Love's fuel stop in Falkville, AL to get in as I put it on twitter "a quick & dirty 3 miles". I usually stop here to grab a shower but had been eyeballing the streets around the fuel stop thinking it would be a great place to run and was I ever correct!!!! Beautiful little area, managed to get to the downtown area quite easily to check it out and what traffic there was gave me plenty of room.

The best thing though was the snow!!!! Yeah, the snow I was grumbling about inside the cab of my truck became just utterly magical and beautiful once I was out running in it. Big, fat, fluffy snow flakes coming down so thickly it was like being in a snow globe. Sigh............It was one of the best runs I've ever experienced. I'm sure if it had been actually sticking to the ground it wouldn't have been near as much fun but my oh my today was almost perfect. 

So yeah it was a quick run (3.13 miles in 26:54) but no way was it dirty *huge grin*

21 March 2010

Brooks Running needs a truck driver

Brooks Running is looking for a truck driver who is also a runner!!!

I was in the interview process for this position but unfortunately had to drop out due to family issues and I gotta tell you it has completely bummed me out to do so. This is an awesome opportunity! It is an 8 month position that can be broken up into a 4 month stint if needed.  It would involve driving either a truck or bus to various marathons, race expos, running stores for demos, etc. There are a few other duties that are involved but like I stated before, it's an unbelievable opportunity.  If you're interested in this or know a cdl holder that is also a runner, please leave a comment or send me an email and I can give you the contact info.  Come on, I know I'm not the only running trucker out there and you can't find a better company than this that supports ALL athletes, not just the elites.

going to new heights

So how does one cap off a 30ish mile hilly ride? Well I decided to try out the rock climbing wall that they had set up in order to face my fear of heights :-). Not that the wall was extremely high but hey, a phobia doesn't necessarily make sense, lol.

Getting into the harness ;-)

Getting started

Almost to the top! What I haven't told you is that this is the easiest side of the wall!!!!!

Getting unsnapped after the easy side

Attempting the 2nd easiest side of the wall. Got stuck about 1/2 up, bummer!!!

65 Roses Tour

Today was an awesome new tour/bike ride benefitting cystic fibrosis that was largely sponsored and organized by my local bike shop and adopted family, Bike City and several of the great riders around Searcy.  Unfortunately, I have had my head stuck in my own little depressed world and had absolutely nothing to do with helping.  I must say everybody did a fantastic job!! Great crowd support, the local police and fire departments provided fantastic traffic control (except for Beebe), yummy food, and just all around fabulousness :-). 

Back side of the shop jerseys, one of the Mike H.s modeling it.

Back side of the Tour t-shirt (it's not white, yay!!!)

I literally waited until the day before to register. Why? Because of my general dumbassery lately (well actually over the past several months). Fortunately I'm working through most of that, I hope so anyway. SAD is a brutal thing when it hits me as hard as it has this winter. Combine that with family problems and injuries and you get the picture.

Since I've done practically no training I went ahead and opted for the 30 mile route. I figured that since I've ridden the trainer quite a bit since January, that would at least be doable. It actually ended up being more than doable, I felt great afterwards :-).  That tension being cranked up strengthened my legs more than I realized.

Weather decided to cooperate and remain mild despite the predicted thunderstorms, yay!!!! Nice crowds, I think Duane said that 207 people had pre-registered (?) so VERY good turnout for a first time tour.  Started out slow because I had done no warmup ride and it always seems to take me at least 3-5 miles to get my legs loosened up and ended up near the rear of the pack.  Once I got to where I decided my legs were loose enough, took off and attacked the hills. Surprisingly I never had to go into the little ring up front although it was iffy a time or 2, lol.

Oh to back up a minute, James didn't ride today and he was asked to help out with SAG wagon duty on the 30 mile route. He was the one in the white Dodge pickup going back & forth checking on people when they stopped.

A few times (well more than a few) we had people that would intentionally crowd us with their cars or pickups when there was no reason to do so but overall the vast majority of motorists were very polite and gave us plenty of room.  As I stated before all of the intersections were very well manned by the local police & fire departments, got the traffic stopped in plenty of time and were very encouraging. Cyclists, if you're not saying thank you to these guys when they do this, shame on you!!!!  The only snafu was at Beebe at the 4 way stop where we made our turn onto Hwy 64 and I don't think the officer there was paying quite close enough attention and/or didn't know how to handle traffic control for a ride or race. I ended up having to stop as did several others that went through there.

I ended up only making 2 stops, neither of which should have happened. The first was the Beebe incident, the 2nd was having to rezip my bento box after getting a gel out. Don't ask me why I didn't have 'em in my jersey pocket. I know better, grrr.

Hwy 64 is also where I started hitting some wind. It's open through there and I was all by my lonesome :-( so no one to trade drafting duties with....It took me a while before I finally caught up to the next guy in front of me but did going up the hill that Gary R. calls Evil Hill. Very steep!!! I was down to 6mph before hitting the top but didn't have to shift to granny ring up front although if the darn thing had gone on much long longer I was going to have to! I passed that guy here but what goes up must come down and he was not exactly a small man.  Even though I was down in aero-position and scrunched down as low as possible he still zoomed back by me half-way down the hill.  I was still able to reel him back in and for the last 4 miles pretty much stayed within 50 feet of him. Finished approx. 8-10 feet off his wheel :-)

This brings me to a major complaint I have about mp3 players while cycling. I tried to talk to this guy and he never heard me. If you can't hear somebody talking to you, how the hell can you hear traffic? and what happens if somebody needs to warn you of a road hazard?  Even if you just use one earbud while cycling you have to have the volume cranked up so high to hear anything that everything else gets drowned out around you. Not safe!!!!!!!!!!!

Honestly felt great afterwards and prolly could have done the 50 mile route although not quite as easily. Ended up keeping a 16.78 mph ave. slow start and hills included. Not bad for practically no training this year :-). 

This is what a half asleep, really don't wanna be smiling for the camera, cold Gabby looks like before a ride. Scary, huh? LOL!!!!!

20 March 2010

flowery state of mind

It's feeling like spring and all the flowers in Texas are coming out to play :-). Here's a few pictures from Tuesday.

Any idea what these are? There was a field in San Felipe, TX covered in these. Very low to the ground so you couldn't see them from a distance

Pearsall, TX. In the morning these yellow flowers open up like a morning glory. This picture was taken in the afternoon

Indian paintbrushes? Again Pearsall

Well, not a flower, but she's definitely a stinker, lol

traffic, traffic, and more traffic

Some weeks are relatively smooth sailing traffic wise, other weeks, well..........are not. This past week, Wednesday in particular was a bit on the hellacious side.  Spring break plus SXSW plus St. Patricks' Day makes for a very long trucking commute on the I35 corridor in Texas.  I do love Texas but this interstate can be very trying on the nerves.

First backup--Road construction on the north side of San Antonio, they narrowed I35 down to ONE lane right at Rittiman Road. There is no good way around this unless you take the 410 loop around to the west side which is waaaaay long on the mileage, grrr. Spent over 2 hours to go 5 miles. Yep, that was fun!

2 SUV's that spun out and slid into each other while trying to illegally enter the freeway in San Antonio during the traffic jam. How do you explain that to your insurance company?

At least I had pretty skies Wednesday unlike Tuesday when I faced backups going thru Houston.


Trailer load full of empty beer bottles

Loop 1604 around San Antonio, bit long on the mileage but kept me out of traffic :)

Anyways, I faced several more backups on Wednesday and that combined with a shopping trip at New Braunfels plus a trailer lighting issue kept me away from home until Thursday afternoon.  No big deal because I don't have to be in Tennessee until Monday morning.

Oh the trailer lighting issue--the trailer I picked up out of Laredo this week has a short in it somewhere and at night when all the lights were on it was causing the system to overload and whenever I would turn or veer right all the lights would start blinking or go off altogether.  Might as well have had a huge sign on my truck saying "GIVE ME A TICKET", grrr.

Another thing that we truckdrivers occasionally run into is the occasional flasher/masturbator.......Fortunately it rarely happens or I'm just not paying as close attention to what's going on in the vehicle next to me as others.  I did however have one of the weenie-waggers in Austin Wednesday in broad daylight that was doing his business on the lower-level of I35 northbound. Full-on masturbating, ewwww. People, we can see inside your car or pickup, please, please, don't do that!!!!!!!!!

14 March 2010

I'm baaaaaack!!!!!!

Yeah, first race of the year is done!!!!!!! The Chase Race 2 Mile Grand Prix race and the 1 mile pet race.  Considering that this is my second week back to running and the fact that the ex and I were up over half the night prior arguing, I'm quite pleased with how well I did.  Last year I ran it in 15:11, this year was 15:20. Not going to complain about that, lol. 

I do love this race, lots of people, excellent goody bags full of pet stuff, great entertainment, awesome cause. It's just a lot of fun even though it was cooooold yesterday.

Oh, to celebrate my first race back and the upcoming St. Paddy's Day, I wore a lime green tutu to race in. Let me tell you if you want cheering specifically towards you--wear a tutu!!! I think it would even work for the guys. Heck, it may work even better if you're a guy, lol......

Elsie wore a tutu also! We had so many little girls coming up to us wanting to pet on her and tell her how cute the skirt was, such fun!  One little girl carried on quite a conversation telling her she was pretty and pink was her favorite color, awwww.

Finish line is in sight! I'm smiling because it felt so good to be back in the game but I was hurting too (not the ankle though)

Back of the skirt at the finish line

Carol and I lining up for the 1 mile pet race

Elsie and I approaching the finish line, she's all excited about it until 2 feet before the mats and she put on the brakes, I had to pick her up and carry her over them. The crowd got a kick out of that, lol!!

Debbie & Louie with Elsie & me waiting for the pet awards (Debbie also won a grandmaster's award yesterday, yay!!!!)

Ok, race recap. It was COLD!  My shoulder started aching about 1/3 of the way in which means I'm back to tensing up my upper body, grrr. Overall felt good so that means I probably could have pushed it a bit harder but then again I did have to slow down the pace a bit right before the 1 mile point. The garmin reflects that--mile 1 was at 7:32 pace, mile 2 was 7:43.  Definitely shows that I'm out of race form & have had no speed work since last year.

Final stats
15:20.4 chip time (15:23 gun time)
13/157 female placement
97/304 overall
1/23 40-44 female age group

The pet race! It's so much fun but after the 2 mile race my legs were trashed. about 1/2 to the turnaround point, Debbie looked at me & said "I think we should have the turnaround right here" LOL!! Can't say I didn't disagree.  This year I managed to get closer to the front and avoided most of the leash entanglements & runaway dogs, whew!

Time 8:00.73
10/117 overall
3/83 female

Here's our bling for the day

Ego boost for the day. while in the bathroom I was discussing my recent injury with a friend and fellow Cabot Cruiser when another lady came out from one of the stalls. She said her and a friend were discussing who all was there in their age group when my name came up but they decided they had a shot at placing because it was my first race back from the sprained ankle :-). Yep, nothing like a bit of friendly competition pre-race to get you fired up, lol!

Ruby's Cafe & Bakery

If you live in the Salado, Jarrell, Austin area or are even driving through Jarrell on I35, you need to stop here and eat!!!!!!!  It's kind of hidden, very little advertisement but oh the food and the people. James and I have stopped here twice ordering different things each time and we have not been disappointed yet.

Excuse the bad pictures, they were taken with my phone, but these are the two meals I've had at Ruby's Cafe so far. The top pic is of a grilled & crusted tilapia, the bottom picture is the everything burger. Both were DELICIOUS!!!!!!!! James has had the cranberry walnut salad and I think some kind of grilled fish too. Sorry I was too engrossed in my meals to pay much attention to his, lol.

It's all cooked from scratch, so it can take a while but it is oh so worth it. Everybody that works there is a family member or friend and we even had a nice chat with the lady who owns it (and is also the cook!). All the pictures on the wall are family photos, even the decor is family heirlooms, most from the namesake of the restaurant, the owner's grandmother. My only complaint is the plastic cutlery and foam cups rather than "real" ones but I also understand that having an industrial type dishwasher takes space and money so I'm more than willing to overlook that because of how awesomely good the food is.

So, in Jarrell, if you're a truckdriver, skip the D*nny's at the Flying hook and walk over to Ruby's instead. It's gonna take the same amount of time but the food is soooooooo much better :-). It's in the strip mall across the street, kind of hidden so you might not realize it's there and open. It's also in the area across from the mexican food restaurant with all the signs.

Ruby's Cafe & Bakery, 305 Limestone Terrace, Jarrell, TX. 4 very enthusiastic thumbs up from James and me.

06 March 2010

weird dream

Very early this morning I woke up after having a bad dream. Really was nothing major and I have no clue what brought it on but I dreamt that I was hauling a load to a Pier 1 store. Get there to the strip mall before shopping hours then spend way too much time trying to find somebody that could unload it only to be told "I'm sorry, I know you only have 9 pieces on, but we have no room for it. We can't accept the shipment."  By this time, all the stores have opened up and I'm completely blocked in. Can't back up, spin around, go forward, nothing............ Now this may not seem like much of a nightmare to most people but until you have had it happen while you're in a big truck then you do know just how nightmarish it is, lol. I literally woke up tossing, turning and in a sweat. Hoping this is not a premonition of things to come :-(


Just back from an awesome run/walk with James & Elsie on an absolutely gorgeous day. Spring is coming, finally :-)!!!  It was so nice to be able just to take off wearing shorts & a tee and be comfortable, LOVE it!

Thought I'd add some pics from the past week or so

My new kick ass Doc Marten's. What you can't see very well in this pic is the pink stitching around the sole. I bought these from zappos.com and that site ROCKS!!!! Ordered them on Friday night, got them the next Monday with free shipping. Amazing service.

Signs of spring

This is just a couple of hours after I rammed my head in the door jamb while ill. Ignore the mess, the frown, and the very messed up hair. I'd just gotten showered & dressed + was very sick still so cut me some slack, lol.

New trail up to the water tower at Pulaski, TN

So, I've been on a shoe buying mission lately, too bad I can't wear the high heels right now due to the right ankle....What's not pictured here is the patent leather black heels that I was originally searching for. Actually wasn't looking for patent leather but it's what I ended up with.

The heels that are gorgeous but I can't wear (well to walk in anyways) :-(. The black & silver ones are Calvin Kleins that I got on sale for $29.40 :-) :-) :-)

The practical shoes that aren't sexy but I can actually walk in without the ankle protesting

The oh so gorgeous bronze metallic sandals that again I can't wear right now, sigh........
The best part of the shoe shopping was that all 5 pairs here were on 70% clearance at Dillards, altogether spent under $140.00. The black pumps (court shoes for the UK readers) though were right at $100, but except for the ankle they didn't hurt my feet.

Cute sterling silver necklace that I got on sale at Hautelook.com