21 July 2011

Shrouded in a fog of ennui

That was the first half of a tweet from earlier tonight......I won't post the rest of it here because I (mostly) try to keep the blog somewhat clean and while the remainder of the message still holds true it's not quite fit for polite(r) company.  A skype discussion then later a twitter convo really hit home that I seem to have lost what little creativity and zoom-zoom that I had, it literally feels like my brain and emotions are somewhat shrouded right now.  A big part of it is the job......between the speed being governed down--unless I use the cruise control--and the ensuing constant, neverending cursing from other truckdrivers about the lack of said speed.  Toss in the constant barrage of qualcomm messages about CSA 2010 and logbook dos and don'ts, trucking has lost its "fun and interesting" factor.  Oh don't get me wrong, I still consider driving safely and somewhat well a point of pride but the company and the endless litany of regulations is making me dread leaving for work each time.  Throw in an aging truck and the constant trailer breakdowns and...........well, let's just say I need an extended holiday, preferably one in a different country chasing new adventures. 

Sigh, enough of a whinge for you?  Yeah, me too.

In other news, proper training for the Marine Corps Marathon is about to start and I need to book a hotel for that weekend asap........would prefer something quirky and a bit out of the norm but we are talking about our nation's capitol and like most everything else, it's gonna cost ya.  Having sticker shock from the rates and most of 'em don't include breakfast or parking if I decide to splurge on a rental car.  Still searching for abode that's got that something different so suggestions are very much welcomed and appreciated, only have to have (other than safe and no bedbugs) is close access to the Metro.

I also seem to have recovered from the Full Moon 25k quite well......a couple of days rest and extended time with Sven Foamroller helped immensely.  Now if I could only start sleeping halfway decent and waking up at the before the buttcrack of dawn to get my training in before the heat of the day intensifies I'd be set.  Ran 4 miles with Elsie this morning and while the humidity made me feel like I was running underwater, my legs were decent.

18 July 2011

full mOOn 25k

It may not seem like it but I actually still am running.......just not any great distances right now. I'm ranging in the 23-29 miles per week but the longest I've done lately since the middle of May (the 14th to be precise, approx 12 miles) has just been under 7 miles. So what does one do when their truck has to go into the shop (again) for a prolonged period and a friend asks if you want to do a 25k despite being woefully undertrained for the the distance? Well, after asking what the cost is (free, donation only) and if I can catch a ride (yes), why then there is only one possible answer--of course!!!!!!!!!!!!

Being silly pre-race. Belted up, light on cap and funny bump under shirt was my 2nd light clipped to my jogbra 

The problems with that answer? Besides the undertrained bit, haha.......we're going through a hotter than usual summer and I'm trying to adjust to a birth control pill that is tri-phase and the first 1.5 weeks of the cycle makes me horribly nauseated, to the point where I'm actually throwing up once or twice and guess what phase I'm in right now........yes, I'm contacting the NP to see about going off these.

Our not so motley crew :-)

So back to the full mOOn 25k, a fair number of our running club was there and I got to catch up with other friends whom I haven't gotten to see in far too long.  I do miss racing and getting to hang out but it's just not in my budget right now for the race fees and cost of gas to get to them.  A lot of giggling, catching up, hugging and asking each other how crazy/stupid were we for showing up at an event where the starting temp was well over 90f and we were going to be running in the dark on forest service roads where there are entirely too many snakes and the occasional mountain lion sighting (5 people reported seeing one last night by the way).

The early starters getting the pre-race chat

Although the plan was for our group to stick together I knew in the first mile that I wasn't going to be able to hang on to them. Shoot, I knew it was gonna be something for me to even make it to the 25k turnaround point, lol.  Heat, humidity, nausea, and the nothing but uphill (which lasted over 4 miles) killed me and I bid Andrea, Brenda and Robert adieu just before the 2 mile point along with telling them I hoped they didn't have to wait too long for me at the finish. Thus began the run/walk and constant leapfrogging of other people doing the same for the next 13 miles. Maria, one of our newer running club members caught me and stayed with me for a while but I even had to shoo her on forward.  She was having too good of a race to be waiting around on me, lol. However she did wait around on me at the 7.5 mile turnaround at the water and food stop and a HUGE thanks to her again for filling my water bottle with ice while I was waiting in line.

The great thing about trail races is that nearly everyone talks so in between the long solitary hikes some good convos were had.  Don't ask me about what though because it's all a haze now.  I do remember being told that I was a very fast walker, all I could think was I NEEDED a walker at that point, lol.  Chatted to a couple of 50k entrants that decided to fall back to the 25k distance, found out later that quite a few decided to opt for the shorter distance due to the heat.  I know that I was sorely tempted to have my first ever DNF more than once last night :-/.  Screaming quads, a very cranky right foot, and the freaking never-ending nausea was near to doing me in.  Too stubborn and stupid by far though to give in, just kept moving forward walking, running when my stomach would allow.

Elevation map of the 25k

A finish line was eventually found along with the 2 best ever cups of ice cold gatorade I've ever had in my life followed by a quick dip in Lake Sylvia to wash the salt off--quick of course is very questionable....and now the boring, nitty-gritty stats per my garmin
Distance: 15.02 miles
Moving Time: 3:10:11
Elapsed Time: 3:16:34
Average Pace: 12:52 min/mile
Fastest pace: 7:47 min/mile (where the heck did that come from?)
Total Elevation Gain: 1,609 feet

Other interesting things of note, lots of snakes were seen (by others) and there was a mountain lion sighting by 5 of the runners.  I was still down almost 4 pounds this morning despite having taken in more fluid than I ever have during an event (excepting cycling centuries) and so much water I'm wearing a constant path in the floor to the downstairs bathroom (stairs hurt for some reason today, lol).

Sandwiched by one (of several!!!) of my favorite couples

13 July 2011

A June walk

These were from an impromptu walk before starting a day of trucking in mid-June

Someone thought we were going to run

Barn (yes, I'm Ms. Obvious)

Windy road, I usually run this but coming from the opposite direction

Not sure why this was called Hamburger Hill, all I noticed was a house atop the hill

Just because it looked cool

Storm is about to let loose, not sure what these flowering vines are

So peaceful

Fragrant wild rose

Notice how the trees are rowed out as a "natural" dividing line

I spy blackberries

In the process of gathering seed ticks as well as breakfast


12 July 2011

what's rocking my world right now

Yep, it's that time again.......a glimpse into what's on repeat right now

Arcade Fire "We Used to Wait". I've really tried to avoid jumping on all the love for this group but this song totally won me over.  

A couple from my current punk crush Le Butcherettes

Honey Honey

Take my Dress Off

and then there was good stuff

Since the previous post was all about the bad it's only fair to post a few happy pics lest y'all think I'm only all about the horrible.  Found quite a few great shots in my photos but I need to set up different posts for them.

Should I kiss it to see if a prince turns up?  

So nice when a truckstop shower looks like this 

The little white spots are fireflies......I was very surprised to learn they don't have them in the UK 

Getting ready to run in my favorite Brooks running shoes, the Green Silence model

Hot air balloons in Sulphur Springs, TX.  Gonna ride in one first chance I get 

One of the loves of my life, my niece :-)))))

My latest cake disaster, sooo need to take lessons on the presentation part

This is very true for me

good times......or not

For most of you it comes as no surprise that the latter part of May and most of June was just a total bitch of a time for me.  Personal stuff and truck issues it just seemed like karma decided I needed a kick in the arse.  Trailer repairs, shipper delays, broken welds, ran out of fuel due to a faulty sensor, tire blowouts, one very long weekend of a stop engine warning light, air conditioner going out in 90-100F temps, a jerk of a co-worker that I ended up calling in on.  Not going to go into a long-winded whinge (well, no more so than I already have, lol). but I am going to post a few pics of the adventures

Broken welds on part of brake system from a trailer I picked up Memorial Day weekend

Repair truck service guy that drove past me despite all sides of my truck logo being visible...and he somehow missed me trying to wave him down, lol

Elsie brought me her duck to cheer me up

Way too much of this 

 ummm, oops?

There's a road somewhere, windshield wipers couldn't keep up 

Don't think you can see it but there are quarter to golf ball sized hailstones on this flatbed. Aftermath from the previous pic

Front tire on driver's side 

Rear tire......my theory is that when the front recap blew it hit the back one with such force that it caused it to peel also

Sigh.........but I got new drive tires out of it at least


Ok, I'm here, still trucking and running along although the trucking part is kind of wearing on me more and more. The imminent open border with Mexico is probably going to cause my dedicated route to disappear and then I will either have to scramble along with all our other Laredo drivers to look for other routes or (most likely) go over the road.  I really have no desire to be an OTR driver again, I've seen as much of the U.S. from the interstates as I care to from the seat of a big truck.  Now as far as traveling and exploring things at my leisure, well now that's an entirely different matter but unless I win the lottery that's not gonna happen right away.  Not to mention companies are slashing pay and benefits left and right, increasing regulation worries about our hours of service, etc, etc.....Actually there was an editorial piece in the Manteca Bulletin that explains all this much better than I can, I highly encourage everyone to go read this because it's one of the rare articles that is not ANTI-trucking from outside the industry.

While I'm sorta on the subject of trucking industry publications, I have a bit of a rant about one of the freebie mags that you can pick up at the entrance to any truckstop.  This one focuses on driver's health..........That is an absolutely fantastic thing but upon checking it out online I discovered that one of the contributors is a somewhat well-known blogger who also happens to be obese and has very openly discussed their disdain about getting sweaty and working out on said blog.  Ummm, yeah.  Can we agree that maybe choosing a writer based on their "name" and web numbers might be just a little lazy?  There are many drivers out here that ARE making healthy choices and do write about their experiences--NO, I am not volunteering, either--I just feel it might have been a great opportunity to have a driver that does take their health and fitness seriously write for them, not just someone who is doing it for the money.  Right, rant over but I highly encourage any of the drivers who read my blog that are into healthy choices to contact said publication to see if they can do some articles for them.