I’m Useless

When I get something on my mind, it consumes me.  It’s all I can think about.  Sometimes it’s good things, sometimes not.  This time?  IT’S GOOOOOOOOOOOD.

For two freaking years, the bestie and our hubbies and I have been trying to get all our shit together and hash out a plan for the Best Vacation Ever.  The stars have FINALLY aligned this year!  Plans are made, rooms are reserved, and flights are booked.  This summer we are Dominican Republic bound!!!!  I’ve taken excited to a whole new level.  I just keep looking at the pictures on the resort’s website and daydreaming and envisioning us in them.  I mean seriously!  Look!

I cannot wait!!!

Do you prefer to travel with friends or with your partner/family alone?

What’s your dream vacation?  Favorite place you’ve been?

Pam Does Virginia

Last Thursday I hopped on a plane headed to Virginia to see my bestest bud Michele!  We had been tossing around the notion of me making a trip up for a visit for a little while now, and when we began looking at dates that I could come and realized that one of the possibilities was the weekend of the Richmond Marathon that she JUST SO HAPPENED to already be registered for, I was all over it!

I landed in Charlottesville (how convenient to have an airport two miles from your house!) an hour and a half later than planned, (Thanks for sucking as always, US Airways.) just in time to get back to her house before her son got home from school.  Thursday evening was a relaxing, low-key evening consisting of Thai food (sweet, delicious, drool-worthy Thai food) and an elementary school chorus Veteran’s Day presentation.  And did I mention the Thai food?

On Friday, the plan was to be in Richmond around lunchtime.  Once we FINALLY got out of the city (traffic in C’ville was NUTS!), things were smooth sailing.  We were able to check into the hotel way earlier than the scheduled check-in time, walk to the Omni Hotel, and take advantage of the free shuttle to the expo.  Michele collected her bib, shirt, and goody bag (bib #12312!  Seriously, could you handpick a luckier sounding bib number???), and then we headed in.  Even though I wasn’t running, man, I love me an expo.  This one wasn’t bad.  It was a far cry from an RnR event expo, but hey, what can you expect.  I still spent more at this one than I have ever spent at an expo before.  Although that’s really not saying much.  I do love to look at everything at expos but I rarely buy much.  I added to my collection of Sweaty Bands, bought another sticker for my bib display album thingie, and bought a pair of sunglasses to replace the ones that I bought at the CMM expo in April that I broke a couple of months ago.  After that it was back to the hotel to pick up the vehicle and head to dinner.

Dinner was a great time in itself!  Huge thanks to G and T for organizing a fabulous bloggy meetup/pasta party!!!  And what does every good little blogger do when presented with the opportunity?  That’s right, kids.  We take pictures!

That’s me, Jen, and T (Where did G go???) on the left.  I don’t know any of the other lovely ladies, but I’m sure they are all equally FABULOUS!  If any of them are you, speak up!)

Jen, G, and me

Me and Michele

And me & T

And I carb loaded with the best of them.  Because, hey, spectating is hard work too!  So with bellies full of pasta and beer (oh wait, that was just me?  oh yeah…), we all began calling it a night and going our separate ways.  There was sleep to be had and miles to be run early the next morning!

Saturday morning, J and I escorted Michele to her corral.

BRRRRRRR!!!! Thank goodness for Starbucks!

When it got close to time for the start, we wished her luck and headed to the start line to see everyone off.  After the half began, we headed to the starting corrals for the full and tried to connect with some of the other girls, but we had no luck.  Too many people, too little time.

Have any of you ever stuck around the starting area after a big race takes off?  Man, it’s like a wasteland!  It’s eerily quiet with clothes EVERYWHERE!!!  I resisted the urge to “shop” through them, but J couldn’t resist.  LOL  He snagged a long-sleeve race shirt for the half that someone had discarded.

So for the next two hours and change, it was me and a 10-year-old boy.  Luckily we had the foresight to toss his football into my backpack before we left the room that morning, so that gave us plenty to do.  Between the start and finish areas was a big park (Capital Square, I think?) with big grassy areas perfect for throwing and punting the football to each other, having long-throw contests, and rolling down hills blindfolded.  (Okay, that last part was just J, and I SWEAR he did it by choice!  CPS, I did NOT blindfold the kid and push him down a hill, I promise!)

Capital Square

When it was about time for people to start finishing, we made our way to the finish line.  About the time we came within earshot of the announcer, the first female finisher was crossing the finish line.  We stood there cheering people on, chatting with other spectators, and trying to find the best vantage point.  We ended up on the second floor of a parking garage with a PERFECT view!  We stood there eagerly watching for Michele to come zooming down the finishing stretch.  It was so exciting to be able to see a friend finishing strong!  We were yelling like crazy, but she never heard us because we were right across the street from the announcer’s speaker, which was quite loud.

2:06 baby!  You rock!!!!

We made our way back to the hotel and left Richmond shortly after.  But not before stopping off at the Cheesecake Factory for lunch.  Helloooooooooo pumpkin pecan cheesecake.  Because spectating burns calories too!

But if spectating didn’t burn them off, surely the next day did.  Charlottesville is only a couple of hours away from Washington DC, and I had never been, so Michele took me!  She’s been several times, so she’s got it all down pat.  This small-town girl would have been lost as last year’s Easter egg just trying to figure out the Metro.  So we went, and we walked, and we walked, and we walked some more, and along the way I got to see SO MANY things!

But all good things must come to an end.  Sunday was my last day in Virginia.  On Monday I had to fly back home to reality.  Job, laundry, dog hair, bills, responsibility, blah, blah, BLAH!!!!!!!  But it was fun while it lasted.  And it’ll be fun again.  The next time Virginia and I meet.  (<——-foreshadowing)

Three Things Thursday – Weight, Work & Weariness

1.  The weight loss is not going as I’d hoped.  First three came off quickly, but I’m STUCK. I haven’t been able to break that 130 barrier yet.  I’m doing everything the same as I did in the beginning.  Still running, still cross-training, still using sparkpeople.com to track everything.  I know I’m not underestimating my calories because frankly I’m not estimating anything.  I’m measuring everything and logging everything.  I’m making sure I get the right fat:carb:protein ratio.  My daily caloric requirement to maintain my weight is around 1800.  There are days I’m eating less than 1500 and burning 500+ more with exercise creating a nice little calorie deficit.  Yet it just ain’t coming off.  And bikini season is right around the corner.  I’ve even gone so far as to give up alcohol.  Since I started this on February 21st, I have had exactly one bloody mary and two beers.  If you know me, you know how drastic this is.

2.   I held interviews this week for an open substitute carrier position in my office.  There were exactly two applicants.  Funny how our unemployment rate in this county is right at 10% and everybody says they want to work but when an opportunity to work comes up no one takes it.  Guess it’s just easier to stay home and draw a check than it is to, oh, I don’t know… WORK FOR A LIVING.

3.  I’ve been a little down lately.  Every year since D and I started dating, by this time of year we’ve had big plans for an exciting vacation.  In 2006 we went to Hawaii.  In 2007 the Virgin Islands.  2008 Vegas/Grand Canyon and Destin.  2009 Barbados and Destin.  2010 Cabo San Lucas, Destin, and Las Vegas.  And there are always little weekend trips here and there too.  We just financially can’t swing it this year.  Our nephew is getting married in Gatlinburg in June, so that’ll be a few days in the mountains, but I really don’t count that because if it wasn’t for the wedding I wouldn’t give two shits about going to Gatlinburg.  We should be able to go to Destin at the end of summer again because it’s within driving distance and doesn’t cost nuch at all, but to be honest Destin has kind of lost its zeal too.  I desparately need a change of scenery.   (Yes I realize how shallow this makes me to be so bummed over this, and no I don’t care.)

By Land and By Air

Running and flying. That’s what’s on my mind today.

I ran in a 5K this morning benefiting one of the local high schools’ track team. It was a very small race. I think most of the participants were the track team members and their parents. Knowing that this was probably going to be the case, I was SINCERELY hoping that there would be no more than 3 people in my age group so I could bring home some bling. Alas, that did not come to pass. Some of the parents of the high school students were IN my age group. Now that I have to check the box that says 30-34 instead of the box that says 25-29, I’m grouped with people that are actually old enough to have teenagers. (They start breeding young in these small towns.) But bling or no bling, I set a new PR and FINALLY got that <30 5K that I’ve been dreaming about! My time was 29:27–a 9:29 pace. Never thought I’d see the day…

My training schedule called for a 9-mile run this weekend. I had to do a little schedule shifting and rule bending for this one. It’s supposed to start raining tonight and rain all day tomorrow. I don’t mind running in the rain. Did it last week. But not the kind of rain we’ve got coming. Hard rain with thunderstorms here and there? No thanks. I’ll pass. So no long run on Sunday. And I knew I wouldn’t have another 9 left in me after running the 3.1 this morning. So I did what any excuse-making easy-way-out-searching girl would do. I counted that 3.1 TOWARD my 9. When I got home I headed out for another 6. I was exhausted. My body isn’t used to running a 9:30 pace, so I took these 6 pretty easy today. Kept the pace around 10:30 for the first 4 miles then took a one-minute walk break, jogged to 5.5 then walked the last 0.5 home.

As for the flying… the plane tickets are booked! THAT took a good little chunk of change out of the ol’ checking account. We had been watching the prices hoping that they would go down, but they haven’t budged. And with the “experts” predicting that gas will be going back up this summer, we were hesitant to wait any longer in fear of the fare going even higher. So everything is set! Now I’ve just gotta wait for it to get here!

It’s gonna be a looooooong couple of months.

No Paparazzi Here

This has been the dullest, most boring, least interesting week EVER. No blogworthy events whatsoever. But guess what! You get a post anyway. Just so you don’t forget I exist!

I did run eight miles again Sunday. My training schedule called for a 10K, but there weren’t any around, so I just repeated the previous week. Nothing spectacular. Different route, more hills, and a minute and a half faster.

This pretty much sums up the rest of my week: Wake up. Go to work. Come home. Do laundry. Clean house. Cook supper. American Idol. Then there was a bonus yesterday. I did poop patrol in the back yard where the dogs go out.

Please. Try to contain your excitement. I know it’s glamourous, but the flash bulbs hurt my eyes.

There was a little bit of an upswing yesterday though. After Sunday’s run, my legs were pretty spent from the hills, so I didn’t run Monday or Tuesday. I laced up yesterday after work and went out for 4.5 miles. Now, in case you have forgotten, I’m slow. My goal has been 10 min/mile, and I’ve been inching closer and closer. I came so close yesterday I could smell it. I finished 4.5 miles in 45:40. So. Damn. Close.

Then I came home and got in the tanning bed. That REALLY put me in vacation mode. I’m funny like that. I can KNOW we’re going on a trip, but I never really get excited about it until I start physically doing something to prepare for it–like tanning for instance! It’s like it makes it official or something.

“Okay, it’s official! Pam’s tanning! Buy the plane tickets!”

Old, Young, Neither, or Both?

I need y’all’s help coming up with something. We have to coin a term. You know how kids around 11 or 12 are known as “tweens” because they’re in beTWEEN being children and teens? Well, what do you call us thirty-something folks? We’re not old, but we’re not young anymore either. Or do I have that wrong? Are we neither, or are we both? Judging by my skin, I’m gonna say both. At what other time in your life do you battle a monster pimple and the beginnings of crow’s feet at the same damn time?! I can handle one or the other, but COME ON. Both?! Seriously??? Ugh.

And it’s not just the skin thing. I notice I get excited about a strange combination of things, too. I got almost as excited today about a new vacuum cleaner (old) as I did earlier in the week about booking a trip to Cabo (not old)! And I also have a strange mixture of behaviors going on. Last night for supper I had chili from a can and washed it down with beer (not old). Then I was in bed at 9:00 (old).

So about this trip to Cabo… check THIS out. I and my gorgeous hubby will be staying here for a week for our third anniversary later this spring. Sweet, huh? Don’t hate. 🙂