30 January 2012

Elsie's fear and what did I get myself into this time

Elsie waiting not so patiently to head out for a run, for the moment at least.

Sunday is our usual recovery, let the dogs run off leash, run.  We talk, the dogs play and get rid of some of their excess energy and just all around have fun.  Well, usually we do.  Despite the presence of other people and dogs, Elsie still freaked out about the distant gunshots.  First 1/2 mile she would start, then stop, then when we got too far ahead she'd run to catch up........right up until the 3rd or 4th time.  Then she just sat there until I had to turn around and go back for her. All well and good but once I started back she took off back towards where we parked and wouldn't stop when commanded.  Not a good thing.  When I caught back up to her at the vehicles, I leashed her up and took her back out.  Yes, there was reluctance and I had to pull her along at times but I need her to be trained to listen to me despite the fear.  I'm hoping that it will be like it was with the rain and by being surrounded by other people and dogs, she'll learn that it's ok.  Until I started taking her out in those conditions with the group, she wouldn't even go outside to pee if it even hinted that there was going to be precipitation present.  Now so long as it isn't a thunderstorm she has pretty much become tolerant of it.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated on how to deal with this.

Very pretty but cold morning

Other news, I learned at a very late age not to bring something up at a meeting unless you want to be in charge of it, lol.  Our running club had a meeting to discuss the upcoming Spring Fling 5k and after that was over during the general discussion I mentioned that we should really think about forming teams for the upcoming Hogeye Marathon so our club could garner team points for the state RRCA grand prix.  Gonna be a hard sell on this one due to some of the rules, the distance of Fayetteville and the fact that no individual points are at stake but I will do my best.

29 January 2012

LoseAThon update

The LoseAThon thing is a friendly little competition started and administered (thankfully!) by @hellasound as a result of a bit of twitter joking around to encourage eating right, drinking lots of water, and exercising more--a bit of keeping each other accountable if you will.  My first 2 weigh-ins after the initial one showed some great progress but take one day of sushi and 3 HobNobs cookies (I'm NOT calling them biscuits!) and the scale showed a gain of 3 pounds this morning, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  

So, my lesson learned? While sushi and sashimi is an EXCELLENT night before a long run fueling meal for me, it's not good for the scale the next morning. Oh, and British snacks are just evil.

BTW, buy some music while you're over at the hella sound site, it's a bit on the excellent side!

I shop, therefore I am......

I rarely get out and go shopping at the malls much anymore, even less now that I'm not getting laid over in Laredo every weekend (of course, not driving has a lot to do that, lol) but yesterday was just feeling out of it and thought a trip out that didn't involve working out was needed.  Lo and behold I ended up at Dillard's to peruse their winter clearance racks--does any shopping in Arkansas not end up there?

My tastes have been tending towards vintage lately, kind of a mix of pencil skirts with sweaters or things with a 70's vibe thanks to a marathon netflix viewing of "United States of Tara" and a first time viewing of "Last Tango in Paris".  Loved the Shoshanna (spelling?) shrink alter of Tara, her outfits reminded me of what I remember my cousin Jill wearing when I was a kid.  So what does Dillards have to do with this?  One of the first things I saw when I walked in was this coat:

                                            Source: jessicasimpsoncollection.com via Gabby on Pinterest

I tried it on, admired it, then put it back on the rack to go wander about to see if anything else caught my interest.  Managed to find 3 dresses to try on, one was ok but even though ultra-cheap, it wasn't great so back it went.  The 2nd was very tailored and had a bit of a Mad Men vintage vibe but didn't fit quite right around the chest area (bit loose, definitely made for someone a little bustier) and then there was the 3rd dress.........

Ignore the weird pose.  Maggy London dress

Cute, cheap, will look great with boots of all colors for now AND sandals for summer. It drapes well, isn't going to require a slip, and doesn't show my arse if I lift my arms over my head.  Yep, it was purchased.

Left the store to meander throughout the mall and couldn't quit thinking about the coat.........nothing else was catching my eye so meandered back to try it on again.  This time while there I got started chatting with another shopper who was also trying on some of the other 70's vintagey jackets--it is kind of sad how this kind of interaction really doesn't occur that much anymore. Or maybe it's because I don't shop b&m that often and I don't notice it as much. Anyway it was a nice chat and also affirmed what I thought about the coat not looking half-bad on me.  I'd tried on the ivory version this time rather than the vicuna color and while that color looked best on me, with my track record of spilling coffee on my clothes,it  was definitely not going to remain pristine for long in my possession.  The ivory also left bits of fluff ALL OVER my black sweater!!!!! Ick!!!! Really kind of funny though with me, the sales associate, and the customer behind me in line all trying to use various tape rollers and brushes trying to get it off to no avail.  

Oh, and the boots I'm wearing in the dress pic are the black Heidi Klum Rosegold ones that I bought back in late November or early December when Amazon had them on sale for $54.  Get tons of compliments on them, while in Austin I had a girl tell me they were "killer boots" and yesterday walking out of the mall another lady in the parking lot stopped to tell me how great they were.  Most definitely a worthy purchase, my only regret is not buying the cigar colored pair when I could have gotten all three for less than what one pair costs normally.  

Ok, so how many of y'all have I lost with this shopping post? Sometimes a girl just needs to natter on about things other than running and cycling though, lol.

28 January 2012

running mojo peeking through

I love it when my running mojo starts peeking out like it has this past week.  Now if it will only quit this shy act and get back with things full force.....ok, enough on dwelling on the negative, I'm gonna be happy with 2 great ones consecutively and hope that there is more in my very near future.

Every other week, Brenda and company tries to get in a long trail run and this week we did Pinnacle.  Yes, there were huge smilies when she texted back what the plan was, I've only ran this route once before but I love it.  Beautiful views, friendly people (everyone always chats on the trail), and some major calorie and lung burns from the uphill climbs.  It is a very technical trail (too damn rocky!) and has been made even more so with all the rains exposing more of the rocks and tree roots and washing away the dirt that so nicely pads things.  That means you have to pay attention to your footing otherwise you're gonna be reminded that Mother Nature is boss right quick.  The frequent and heavy rains also meant LOTS of muddy spots, even sections under water that normally aren't, we all had sopping wet shoes and socks before long and when I stripped mine off once home, even my toenails were ringed with mud that had soaked through, ewwwww.  Still lots of fun though (huge grin).

I think I might be getting my nutrition dialed in at least a little for the trails.  So far a liquid breakfast consisting of half a cup of coffee with cream and one scoop of Hammer Nutrition Perpetuem in a pint glass of water seems to be working the best.  If I have any boiled eggs I will eat one of those but even that will occasionally set my tummy off.  Today at our turnaround point I had a mini almond and apricot KIND bar and of course there's my bottle of Heed that I drink throughout.  No issues at all today but we were keeping a fairly low-key pace and I did start feeling the need for more calories at around miles 11-12.  Perhaps supplement it with a gel at this point?

View of Lake Maumelle at the turnaround point (paused to eat and 3 out of 4 of us had to find a place to pee, lol)

When we got back to our cars, our garmins were all showing different distances, none of 'em with the 15 miles that were planned so we added on with a flat loop on the paved walking trail around the parking lot and playground area.  Even with that my garmin was still NOT at the 15 miles and while most of the time I'm perfectly ok with being just under for some reason I wanted the even  mileage today so another loop through the parking lot was made.

Gorgeous, huge cypress trees

Our elevation, speed, and mileage chart from my garmin data

27 January 2012

a twofer

Time to hit the books 

A shorn Elsie

Half-marathon of awesomeness

Fun research :-)

26 January 2012


I mentioned day before yesterday that we were in for some rainy days and oh has that forecast come through, ugh.  It's been a gloomy, doomy mid-week and everything is saturated so both Elsie and I are kinda grumpy.  With that being said, I've still managed to get outside in it a bit.  Yesterday morning I drug the mutt out around the neighborhood loop for an extended first thing in the morning walk--from my door and back it's just over a mile then came back and spent some time on the trainer.  Finally felt like I had built enough of a base that I did some intervals after a 20 minute warm-up spin: 1 minute at 20-21mph then 1 minute recovery spin for 10 minutes.  Followed that up with a cooldown spin of almost 4 minutes, last minute was full out whatever I could get my legs to do.  Yes, there was major sweatage occurring even with the ceiling fan blowing on high speed.

Last week I finally made a trip to Wal-Mart to buy a mini-trampoline based on Andrea's advice from a few weeks ago.  Oh. My.  First off, it's kinda fun just bouncing about playing on it, 2nd, it's HARD!  Just a couple of minutes on it and I'm breathing hard, although that's probably a combination of being out of shape and laughing so hard.  I try to make it a habit of jumping on it a couple of times a day whenever I pass by it--yes, it's another piece of workout equipment in the living room, lol.  Hey, this way I know I'm gonna use it at least occasionally and while my veggies were heating up last night I took the time and did 2 minutes of jumping jacks on it.  My calves were feeling it by the end!!!!

Today was Elsie's day to get groomed and again trying to use my time constructively (not quite a resolution but close) by combining errands with workouts, I leashed her up and we ran to the vet's since it's so close and it was only foggy & misty.  That 2 miles didn't even come near to tiring her out though, she was still bouncing about when we walked (ran!) in the door.  However when it came time for her to be led into the back, she was giving me the most pitiful, why are you abandoning me look.........yes, I feel guilty, going to be even more so when I pick her up because I'm having her legs and underbelly shaved this time to hopefully minimize our grass allergies.

Oh back to the run.......after I dropped her off I ran back to my place to throw my gloves and her leash on my doorstep and see if I could manage to get 5 miles in altogether.  While running through the parking lot one of my neighbors hollered out "You're gonna catch the flu running in the rain like that!".  Yeah by this time the conditions had changed from mist to a light rain but what blew my mind is someone actually believing that you can catch a virus from exercising in the cold/rain, lol.  As a twitter friend commented, it's those nasty sky germs that get you every time, hahaha!  And that run where I was risking my health? Ended up with 6.25 miles altogether :-).  Gonna take a cardio rest day tomorrow, hopefully Brenda & company have a trail run planned for Saturday. Either way I need to give the legs a break.

While I'm on about exercise related stuff, this technical shirt I ordered from another twitter friend's CafePress  store (Bailey's By Design) arrived in today's post.  Cute, eh?  Really loving it although I think they may run a bit small, I ordered a medium and it fits more like a Nike small in my opinion.

24 January 2012

A taste of spring in January

You know how people always say about the weather where they live "Wait 5 minutes and it will change"?  Well, I can't quite say that's what it's like all the time in the midsouth of the US but we do have some fairly wicked extremes sometimes.  For example, on Sunday it was supposed to be a high of 60F but we ended up running in chilly, foggy, misty conditions and on my way home from the race I was caught in some nasty weather involving sheeting rain and 60 plus mph winds (there were tornadoes spotted from this system later on in the night).  This morning was 28F but the forecast was for bright, sunny skies and 61F.  I'm glad to say the forecast proved right and I decided to load up Elsie and head to North Little Rock to run some trails with her to enjoy it.

My pickup is parked way down there! 

Unfortunately I am still having some aftereffects from the Pepto Bismol I took Sunday for the upset stomach prior to the race so we ended up cutting it short (very sad face) but the mutt and I did get to enjoy the gorgeous day outdoors at least a little bit.  Elsie's currently curled up on the couch napping and I think I'm going to join her just as soon as I hit publish on this post.

Big Dam Bridge in the distance

23 January 2012

What's this? A race you say?

Oh yes, the first race of the state RRCA Grand Prix was this afternoon.  Despite having signed up for it last week I almost didn't go because of a headache that sidelined what was supposed to have been a 13-miler yesterday and a slight bit of intestinal distress I think was a side effect of said dastardly headache. Ugh......yes, TMI, I know but this blog does chronicle a lot of my running--good, bad, mediocre, and gross.

Soooooooooo, this race is the One Hour Track Run and while running around a 440 meter track for an hour trying to get as many laps down as you can sounds like something akin to waterboarding, it's actually quite fun.  Well, it usually is. Today was just an ohmygosh make that clock countdown quicker-kinda race for me.  Usual blather about starting too fast and not pacing myself, yadda, yadda, yadda.  So, I went not so fast after the first 3 laps, and continually turned left and tried my utmost not to pass out on the track because it causes such a brouhaha.

However, getting to cheer on friends as you're running in such close proximity and being cheered on by those smart enough to not race every 2-2.5 minutes very much rocks.  Also getting to hear a couple of 8-9 year old girls discuss their race strategy and how they felt while we were running:  PRICELESS!!!!!!!!!  One tidbit of the convo "Ok, I will try not to push you too hard then", freaking adorable.  It's still making me smile.

While my race time wasn't quite up to par (understatement, lol), I did have so much fun chatting with friends and getting to see how great they were doing and looking that I am glad I made the trip to run.  Even better was getting to see my sis and brother-in-law afterwards and introducing them to a handful of those friends.

21 January 2012

Sometimes I wanna.....

Listen to something mellow.

sometimes I don't

And always want to hear something new to me

something new

I'm not sure how well the shopping/heel/boot posts go over so experimenting with Pinterest for those sort of things.  It's quite interesting and I'm having a bit of fun experimenting with it.  So far my page is kind of sparse but I'm sure that will change once I get the hang of things.  I really do love exploring other people's pins and boards.

But while I am on the subject of shopping, I thought I would share a few of my favorite places to "window" shop and occasionally buy from :-).  In the interest of  full disclosure, yes, I will get signup points or credits if you do sign up for them but there's absolutely no obligation to do so.

Ruelala  I do end up buying quite a bit from here, the $9.95 shipping can be a bit off-putting but they have a policy where if you buy something once, your shipping is free for the next 30 days on any other orders. Cool!

MYHABIT I will have to send an email invite since they don't have a dedicated url for the members, so just let me know if you want one. Love how it's laid out and there's free shipping on everything in the US, yay.

Haute Look  I've been a member here almost since they started, excellent customer service and you can score some major bargains.  I got my DV Dolce Vita Julian boots here last winter for under $100

Gilt More of a high-end, window-shopping site for me. Gorgeously laid out and I've certainly found some lust-worthy objects to ogle.

Ideeli haven't purchased from here yet but there has been times I would have if my size hadn't sold out so quickly

Century 21 now if only they would get some department stores closer to my area

Beyond the Rack I've only ordered 2 items from here and had to return one (didn't fit) but easy to deal with and again some great deals to be found

Groupon  You've gotta do groupon! They offer 1/2 price gift certificates to Old Navy quite often as well as all the awesome local deals.

livingsocial  same as above, right now they're offering 1/2 off novica gc. Great local stuff too

Sole Society  Bit different than the other sites in that if you do sign up, you need to review your selections before the 5th of the month and decline them otherwise you will get charged.  It's very fun though--fill out the survey to see what they think your style will be.  I like that occasionally you can get some real leather shoes (as opposed to faux) and it's reasonably priced

How I help pay for my online shopping

Ebates  I have been a member of ebates since 2005 and quite simply, they rock. Easy-peasy to use and they will have discount codes listed quite often to go along with their rebates.  They now offer a paypal option instead of the paper check.

Mypoints  ugh. looks like I have to send a direct email invite for this one too.  Legit program that I've been using since 1999, I've redeemed points for Gap, home depot, wal-mart gift cards and right now they're offering amazon gift certificates.

Hopefully I haven't ran too many readers off with this post, lol.

17 January 2012

'tis Tuesday

Apparently, I'm going from zero blog posts to flooding everyone with them.

Today's plan was to kick off the day with meeting friends at 5am to run but seeing as insomnia raised its ugly head past couple of nights and I was still awake at 3am that plan got scuppered.  Instead I loaded up Elsie and drove out to a nearby wildlife management area to get a short easy run in just after sunrise.  Problem was Elsie remembered all the gunshots from Sunday and was still freaked out, she wouldn't even run off leash.  As long as I kept the leash on her she did ok but if I took her off she would just sit down and refuse to move.  Go figure, leash as security blanket, who would have thought that?  Since it was warmer than usual (64F with 91% humidity) our run/walk was even slower than usual......at least up until there were gunshots again when we were 2.7 miles in then Elsie tried to take off at a full-out run towards the pickup--when she did this Sunday off leash, I was sprinting after her and hit a 5.48 pace and still couldn't catch up.  I ended up using the distance back as an obedience training session with trying to get her to heel, stopping every few feet and making her sit until I released her verbally that it was ok to move.  This is something I definitely need to work with her more on because while 80% of the time she obeys commands, that other 20% she's effectively deaf to everything but what she wants.

Currently listening to the "Old Tyme Religion" album from Hugo.  If you haven't heard his version of "99 Problems" do so, asap.  My favorite song is "Bread and Butter" though.

16 January 2012

Monday Mumbles

Yes, the upcoming event widget list actually has something in it......shocking eh?  The Sylamore 25k trail race I actually signed up for back in December when I got an urgent group text from my friend Brenda telling everyone if they were gonna sign up they better do it because registration was closing early. As in by midnight that night.  I'm thinking they got slammed with last-minute sign-ups, lol.

While renewing my memberships in the running club and the state RRCA I also decided to go ahead and sign up for the first 2 races in the grand prix series.  Now I am in no way race ready but figured since I was home I might as well participate and get out to see friends I haven't seen in what seems like forever.  Yeah, yeah, mostly my fault but I've been sort of a recluse with all my family and job related stresses this past year.  Granted the job related stress is gone seeing as I'm not working (by choice) at this time.  I am looking into some of the A+ and microsoft training bootcamps so if anyone has any advice, ie "this place is good, it's totally worth the $$$$, or stay far away from such and such business", please send it my way (thanks!!!).

Elsie and I paid a visit to the veterinarian this afternoon where me and the nurse were going over what all I needed to finish up getting the pet passport done.  After much scratching of our heads and trying to decipher the government mumbo-jumbo, I think we're done with everything except for what has to be done right before any travel actually takes place.  What has helped the most has been the information that I got from the Pet Travel Store where I purchased the pet passport paperwork, highly recommend them.  Anyways, from what we've determined the blood test is no longer required nor is the vet-applied flea and tick treatment right before travel (Elsie gets dabbed with advantix every month regardless) and the tapeworm dose is still "being discussed" (more government bs).

I managed a full hour on the trainer this morning, started out with 30 minutes of an easy spin, keeping the cadence over 80 and next thing I know I was at 35 minutes and still feeling good with only my left foot kinda aching.  Bumped up the intensity slightly and got in 17 miles altogether, yay!

15 January 2012

2011 Races & Events Completed

Bit sparse this year

2/27/2011   Malta 1/2 Marathon, Malta 2:10:44
3/26/2011   Spring Fling 5k, Cabot, AR 24:06
4/02/2011   Capital City Classic 10k, Little Rock, AR 51:16
7/16/2011   Full mOOn Run-Midnight 25k, Lake Sylvia, AR 3:16:19
10/8/2011   FSM 5k, Cabot, AR
10/30/2011 Marine Corps Marathon, Washington DC 4:54:40

14 January 2012

Tonight's earworm

Kind of a nod to my boot fetish, lol

following the theme in my head

What a year it's been

Something I need to do more of

Normally I would do a recap of the previous year's workout mileage but really it's a bit late for that considering January is almost half-way over with.  And my numbers?  Let's just say that they've been less than inspiring or impressive.  Did manage to get a couple things from my bucket list done (Marine Corps Marathon! Travel off the continent!).  2011 has been a year of transitions, some interesting, some a little heart-breaking, and a lot of self-exploration in coming to terms with ME.  I have now officially lived by myself for over a year, well almost by myself, there is the furball love of my life named Elsie :-).  

Don't think the hedgehog is enjoying being mauled

There are quite a few things I want to blog about later on but they all deserve their own posts and I want to do them justice but right now I'm just not in much of a writing mood.  However, I've had quite a few people note my silence, not just here on the blog but also on twitter and facebook and I have been struggling a bit with whether or not to mention this but it doesn't seem right to not say anything at all about it.  My mother passed away on January 2nd.  My sis and I had been estranged from her for a number of years, so much so that we weren't even mentioned in the obituary. While my mourning for her was actually done and over with quite a while back, it does feel weird to know that we no longer have parents with us here no matter what the circumstances were regarding our relationships.  

On a somewhat related note (sorry, didn't intend for this to be a downer of a post), please, if you smoke, quit already and take better care of yourself. I don't really like to lecture (much) but considering that I've lost both my parents who were in their mid 60's in less than a year's time (both heavy smokers and sedentary) I kinda think I have somewhat of a right to do so.  And with that I wish everyone peace, love, joy for 2012 :-).  Get out and live your life!