Tuesday Tidbits

  • I’m tired of talking about how hot it is.  A picture is worth a thousand words.  This was taken at 7:00 pm yesterday.  When I finished running four slooooow miles at 8:30, the heat index was still 111.
  • I have way too much fun trying on clothes in Dick’s.  No, I did NOT buy them.  I just had to show them to Amanda!  I did get the shirt on clearance for $9.
  • We went with friends Saturday night to Jazz on the Lawn at Beachaven Winery in Clarksville.  It was fantastic!  The hangover was not.  I may or may not have slept approximately 14 hours that night.
  • The one thing I’m the most bummed about having to give up as a vegetarian was a complete surprise.  McDonald’s french fries.  I never eat there, but D does all the time, and I always steal some of his fries.  As disgusting as McDonalds is, their fries are freaking delicious.  But did you know the potatoes have beef powder added to them before they are frozen and sent to the restaurants?  I sure as hell didn’t.  I knew animal products hid in some strange places (marshmallows, Jello, teeth whitening strips…), but potatoes???  Ugh.
  • I have also learned that refried beans aren’t all vegetarian friendly as they are often made using lard.  I’ll have to ask at my favorite Mexican joint how theirs are made.  IF I can find someone who speaks English well enough to understand me.
  • I have eaten two cucumbers off of my plants, and they are awesome.  And I FINALLY have two little bitty baby green tomatoes and lots of teeny tiny sweet peppers coming out.  Just when I was about ready to give up on it all.
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2 Days, 25 Degrees

Holy balls, what a difference two days can make.  I ran 5 easy miles Thursday.  That’s what my training plan called for.  And honestly I found it difficult to run at the easy pace that my plan has prescribed.  It felt too slow.  I felt awkward and clumsy and just well… weird.  But it was an enjoyable run.  It was cloudy and 35 degrees.  There was still a lot of snow on the ground and clinging to the trees.  It was beautiful.  And I had two running partners for the last half of the run.  Two golden retrievers joined me.  I don’t know who they belong to, but I’ve seen them in that neighborhood before.  They had obviously been having themselves a big ol’ time.  They were soaking wet from head to toe (There’s a creek in the area near where they joined me.  I suspect they had been swimming.), tails and tongues wagging.

Fast forward to Saturday.

It was 60 degrees and sunny.

Get that?  Thursday 35 and snow.  Saturday 60 and sun.  Thursday tights and long sleeves.  Saturday shorts and a tank top.  The day was simply gorgeous, but this gal hasn’t run in anything above 40ish degrees in months!  I still find it absolutely amazing the role that temperature acclimation plays in my running performance.  To put it bluntly, I SUCKED the entire six miles yesterday.  The pace that I couldn’t run slow enough to keep on Thursday, I was struggling to run that fast on Saturday.

Ah well.  It’ll come back.  Maybe.

Update on Harley:  He’s doing MUCH better!  The bandage is off now.  It still looks like hell.  It is ugly and gross, but the vet says it looks just like what he wants it to look like.  All that dead black skin has sloughed off, and he lost all the hair in the area where the blood flow suffered.  All that you see now is that bright red, raw skin.  He gave me some disinfectant to spray on it a couple of times a day and said he should be good to go.  He’s not acting like it bothers him whatsoever anymore.  He’s 100% back to his old self.  He and Bella and wrestling in the back yard as I type this.  He does still lick it a lot, but that’s to be expected with a dog with a wound.  As of right now, we don’t have to go back until the middle of February.  He’s due for his shots then anyway, that will hopefully be the final check on his tail.  After that, fingers crossed, we’re done!

Three Things Friday – Because I’m Rebellious Like That

#1 – This just hasn’t been my week. I know there are good runs and bad runs, and it still just amazes me how quickly that switch can flip! I kicked butt all last week, and this week has gone something like this:

Tuesday – OK, Tuesday was another butt-kicking day. Another great hill workout. So we can’t count Tuesday.

Wednesday – Wednesday’s run was nonexistent. I had to work in Memphis Wednesday, and that’s 2hrs and 40mins from my house one way. That made for a 13-hour day, and I just didn’t have an ounce of energy left in me.

Thursday – I made up my seven miles from Wednesday night, opting to miss my four-miler. Or at least I attempted to run seven. I was highly unsuccessful. See #2.

#2 – We’ve been having some really hot temps here again this week. It was over 100 again Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Thursday wasn’t much better. To those who claim that everyone acclimates to running in the heat, I call bullcrap! I’ve been doing this all summer, and I was no more successful in my run yesterday than I was in May. I fully believe that some of us just don’t have it in us to run in hot weather. My radiator just doesn’t work like most people’s. No matter how easy I try to take it, when the temps are high, my heart rate just gets out of control. But, THANK GOD, fall is JUST AROUND THE CORNER. Our 10-day forecast shows highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s. WOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!

#3 – I learned this week that Oprah ran a marathon. I am apparently the last person on earth to hear this. When I heard about it, I googled it and found a lot of articles–many of them along the lines of “How Oprah ruined the marathon,” referring to how she opened the door for a whole new population of people: non-athletes. I was actually kind of astounded by the negativity. I guess I’m spoiled to the bloggy world where everyone is so supportive of everyone else. It never occurred to me that the rest of the running community might feel differently and might resent us amateurs for invading their once-sacred sport of marathoning.

Too Good To Be True

I was really looking forward to running this week because of the forecast. Cooler temps, lower humidity, just better running conditions all around. I was able to run a midweek run outside Tuesday for the first time in three weeks. And yesterday’s forecast? High of 84, cloudy, with scattered thunderstorms. And they hit the nail on the head. Until 5:00. Which COINCIDENTALLY was about five minutes after my run started. I quite literally had only gotten about half a mile into my scheduled five-mile run when the clouds magically disappeared giving way to crisp blue skies with wispy white clouds and a brilliant shining sun. Like something out of a freaking cartoon, really.

It was disgusting.

It qould have been beautiful if it hadn’t immediately turned my running route into a sauna. The rain water was steaming up off the asphalt. I thought I was going to DIE. I left the house with no water and no sunglasses because — HELLO! — it was cloudy and cool when I left and I was only going five miles! Yeah. I gave up at three.

Pathetic. But I COULD. NOT. BREATHE.

And we’re back to our 95-degree/105-heat-index bull crap today, so back to the gym I shall go today. And since I turned my five-miler into a three-miler yesterday, that means I get to turn today’s three miles into five. On a treadmill. Five miles on a treadmill. I’m dreading it already. I did four last week, and that pushed me to the brink of insanity. Five just might do the trick.

Just Another Day…

Nothing spectacular to report these days. S.S.D.D.

I’m two weeks into marathon training now, and so far so good. I’m getting all my miles in. I can’t say they’ve been enjoyable, but I’m getting them in. It’s still INCREDIBLY HOT here (we’re STILL under that excessive heat warning!), so my midweek runs have all been on the treadmill. I REALLY am trying, but I just do not love it. I just can’t seem to be able to channel my inner Emz! I’m still getting my weekend long runs done outside in the early morning, but even then it’s pretty miserable. I started my 9 this morning at 6:30 at 76 degrees with 89% humidity. By the time I finished it was already 83 with a “feels-like” of 89. But I still managed to pull out a personal best! To the tune of over 6 minutes, no less!

I’ve really been trying to educate myself on this whole training thing the past couple of weeks. Going through training for my previous two HMs, all of my training runs were basically the same thing, just of varying lengths. This time, I’m trying to make each run really count for something. Hopefully today’s time is an indication that I’m on the right track.

I’m really looking forward to next weekend. I’ll be going to Clarksville for my first group run with the Clarksville Running Club! I got my membership card in the mail this week, so I’m official now! They also sent me a schedule of their group runs, and it falls in line with mine PERFECTLY! They’ve got a bunch of women that are training for the Women’s Half Marathon in Nashville next month, and their scheduled long runs line up with where I’m at in my training exactly. I’m really, really looking forward to meeting some new people who can push me. 🙂 However, I’m NOT looking forward to the early start! Group run starts at 6:30, and it’s an hour and a half from my house. Hello 4:00 wake-up call! Blech!

The things we do…

I Take it Back!

Yesterday I posted “So bring on August!”

Is it too late to recant?

I just looked at the 10-day forecast. Apparently there’s a whole nuther level of HOT that I didn’t know about. We’ve spent the majority of the summer under a “heat advisory,” so that’s nothing new. But this week we are under a “heat advisory” AND an “excessive heat watch.” WTH is that?!?!?

From weather.com:

“HEAT INDEX READINGS WILL CLIMB BETWEEN 105 AND 109 DEGREES BY MONDAY AFTERNOON. BY TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY… HEAT INDEX READINGS IN EXCESS OF 110 DEGREES CAN BE EXPECTED.”

Oh goody.

My Day in Numbers

Number of times I hit the snooze button – 2
Cats I almost tripped over in the dark – 1
Cups of coffee – 3
Number of suicidal rabbits I encountered on the way to work – 2
Number of customers I wanted to slap – 1 (It was a slow day!)
Frogs I had to chase out of my office’s lobby – 1
Hyper dogs that have driven me crazy today – 2
Miles run – 3
Temperature at 5:30 when I started my run – 97
Heat index at 5:30 when I started my run – 104
Number of pounds of water I lost in a 31:40 minute run – 1
Squirrels I saw while running in the park – 9,000,003
Number of heart attacks I almost had from thinking I was seeing a helicopter almost crash – 1 (I live in farm land. I have seen the yellow cropdusting planes all my life, but I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a cropdusting helicopter until today!)
Number of loads of laundry done – 2
Mosquito bites on my feet and legs that have made me INSANE today – 11
Weeks to marathon – 20!!!

More numbers dorkiness:

According to Galloway’s Book on Running, temperatures of 80-85 degrees will put you approximately 20% slower than your goal pace. If I ran 3 miles in 31:40 on a 104-degree day, does that mean I have a 25-minute 5K in me when it gets cooler?????

Don’t forget about my giveaway!!! Only 8 people entered so far, so your odds are really good!

Let Freedom Ring

I absolutely love the Fourth of July. It is becoming my most favorite holiday. You still have the friend and family togetherness of Thanksgiving and Christmas without all the stress and expense of presents.

It’s been a super busy weekend but a super fun one, too.

Thursday night I was sitting on the couch in my lounge pants about 8:30 (I’m usually in bed through the week by 9 or a little after.) when I got a text message from my neice asking me if I wanted to go see Eclipse. Ummmmmm….HELL YEAH I WANNA GO SEE ECLIPSE! (Because, seriously, what self-respecting 30-year-old woman would give up the opportunity to go ogle Taylor Lautner?)


(It should be illegal.)

So I got redressed and went to see Eclipse. LOVED it. But it resulted in me not getting in bed until 1 AM. My alarm clock went off at 4:45 the next morning.

I worked all day Friday and went to the grocery afterwards to pick up everything I would need for the get-togethers this weekend. (Little did I know that would be the first of THREE grocery runs I would end up making because I kept forgetting stuff.) That evening I made this:


(Image and receipe both swiped from Erica. It was a hit at the cookout Saturday!)

and did this:

(Disclaimer: Those are not my hands. This was just one of the first images that showed up on a google search.)

I was up again Friday night until after 11:00 and had the ol’ alarm set for 5:00 Saturday morning so I could run before it got hot. Mission accomplished. Sort of. I WAS out on the road by 6:00 or so, but it was already super humid. I got in my six miles but at a pretty slow pace. I was really, really hating this summer running, but I saw something on someone’s blog a couple of weeks ago that I really liked. It said, “Persevere through summer for a fruitful fall.” I wish I could remember whose blog I saw that on so I could give them props here! And Runners World has an article this month saying that for every 5 degrees above 60F you can expect a 20- to 30-second-per-mile slowdown. So I’m not hating on myself quite as much these days.

I came home and took a quick shower and then we were LAKEWARD BOUND! Remember the couple that I told you about us bumping into in Cabo? Well, we’ve been hanging out with them quite a bit lately, and they invited us to go out on their boat with them Saturday and grill at their place Saturday night. So Saturday was a great day–out on the water with good friends, good music, and plenty of beer followed by lots of good food and laughs back at their place.


Not the greatest picture. The shadow across my face makes my front teeth look crooked, but they are NOT.)

Then yesterday was a great church service (we live in a lake resort town, so it was PACKED with visitors in for the holiday), and then my parents came up to visit. We ate burgers and dogs and just visited and played Skip-Bo all afternoon. I don’t think anyone else in the world can make Skip-Bo as competitive as we do.

And since the 4th was on a Sunday, the Post Office is closed today in observance. Woohoo! Bonus day! 🙂 Think I’m gonna head to the gym and come home and lay out. What about you guys? Are you off work today, too?

Hiatus

I’ve been on a hiatus of sorts this past week. From running, from blogging, from doing just about anything enjoyable. It’s been a craptastic week. Lots of long hours at the office, including one 13-hour workday doing a city route inspection in Memphis on a 10-mile walking route in the 106-degree heat. I’m not fussing about the route or the heat. I did it one day. These peeps do it 5 and 6 days a week! My only gripe is that I’m salary, so I basically donated 5 hours of my time.

I haven’t run since last Saturday morning, when I got up at the buttcrack of dawn to beat the heat and did 6 miles. I’ve just been pulled in so many directions, and it’s been so miserably hot (we were under a heat advisory the vast majority of the week), and I really just haven’t felt good physically (TMI alert! You know that thing most ladies do once a month? Yeah, I do it about once a year, and when I do it’s a BITCH. It just takes a lot out of me, and I’ve been dealing with that this week), and well honestly my heart just was not in it.

Things are looking up now though! Hubby and I went out last night with my Vegas marathon running partner and her husband, and talking about the race has really got me super excited to get back into training. I still was not quite there physically today. I actually slept good portion of the day. But I’m feeling a little spunkier tonight, so hopefully I’ll be ready to hit the pavement in the morning before church. I’m at least gonna get out there and I’ll just play it by ear and run as much as my body will allow.

There WAS one thing that happened this week that I feel I should share. Because what good is it making an idiot of yourself if you don’t tell everyone about it and let them get a good laugh at your expense?

I drove to Memphis Wednesday evening because I had to be there early Thursday morning and it’s a 2.5-hr drive. I got a hotel recommendation from the inspection team leader and made a reservation for the Homewood Suites on Poplar Avenue. I’m not familiar at all with the area, so I just GPS’d it. I was listening to the directions, and when it said “Arriving at destination on left.” I looked to the left and saw a sign that said Homewood Suites and cut into the parking lot. I parked the truck, grabbed my bag, and went into the lobby where I told the lady behind the desk that I was there to check and that I had a reservation under French. She typed something on her computer and said, “I don’t have anything under French.”
Me: blank stare
Clerk: Could it have been put under another name?
Me: No.
Clerk: Maybe it was misspelled. What is your first name?
Me: Pam
Clerk: *typing* No, ma’am, I’m sorry, I don’t have a reservation under that name. Do you have your confirmation number?
Me: Yes, I do. It’s written on a notepad at home on my sofa table 150 miles northeast of here.
Clerk: Do you remember when you made your reservation?

***phone rings***

Clerk: Can you hold on for just one moment? *answers phone* Thank you for calling Holiday Inn. How can I help you?
Me: *put credit card back in wallet, put wallet back in purse, and stand there laughing*
Clerk: (Now off phone) I’m sorry. Do you remember when you made your reservation?
Me: *shaking head and laughing* You just answered my question and made me feel like an idiot all at the same time.
Clerk: *puzzled look*
Me: When you answered the phone, you said, “Thank you for calling Holiday Inn.” My reservation is at Homewood Suites.
Clerk: *laughs hysterially*

But really. Who can blame her?