And Puppy Makes Five

Yep, we’re at it again. Another shelter dog finds a home with the Frenches. 🙂 Meet Charley!*


(photo stolen borrowed from his foster mom’s facebook page because I haven’t uploaded any from my own camera yet)

He’s a 7-month-old pit bull puppy that we are going to be adopting from 11:11 Bully Rescue in Dickson, TN. We brought him home for the weekend for a trial run before we made anything official (and to make sure things went better than the last time ), and he is an absolute doll! He and Bella have hit it off wonderfully, so I think we have a winner this time.

If y’all don’t already know by now, I’m a total animal person. I’ll take animals over people any day. And the bully breeds are my passion. It pisses me off and breaks my heart to see the media put such a bad spin on them when they are THE MOST loving and loyal breeds that you can ask for. If I had the time and resources, I would have a house full of them. But we are pretty well at maximum capacity now. The addition of Charley will bring our household population up to five, and until the three four-legged ones start earning a living and cleaning up after themselves we’re gonna have to put a cap on it there. At least until the next irresistable one comes along.

*Disclaimer: NO, we are NOT naming our animals from the Twilight Saga! Both dogs were already named when we got them!

That’s More Like It

I feel better now. I went out for a 3-miler yesterday afternoon and set a new PR for myself by 51 seconds. It’s good to know that Saturday’s problem (WHATEVER it was) is gone. I ran 3 miles in 30:29 yesterday. Now, I know that some most of you reading this probably just choked on your chocolate milk laughing at that time, but for me that’s improvement! When I started running a few months ago, I set my first real speed goal at 10:00 min/mile. I’m finally starting to get close to that number. I actually was a little bit under it for the first two miles, but then that last mile which is mostly uphill, slowed me down a little bit. But overall it felt great, and that’s really why we do this, right? I know it’s not fast, but at least it’s still trending in the right direction. I’ll take that. For now.

Maybe I Should Just Take up Golf

Or knitting. Golf might require too much athletic ability.

I suck at running. Some days I suck less than others, and those are the days that keep me from throwing my shoes out with last week’s kitty litter. But today I REALLY suck at running.

I had a five-mile race this morning at the state park in New Johnsonville. It’s known for being a fast, easy, flat 2.5-mile in-and-out, so I was really looking forward to it, thinking I would have a new, shiny PR to put in my log.

NOT. THE. CASE.

I was over a minute slower than my last five-miler and almost two minutes slower than my old five-mile PR.

I’ve been mulling over it all day trying to come up with reasons I sucked so bad. This is the best I could do:

  • I haven’t run since last Saturday. Weather, PMS, work, and after-work obligations have just simply prevented it this week.
  • PMS. Without going into great detail so as not to scare off my male readers, I’ll just say this is something I only do roughly once a year. When I do, it’s a BITCH.
  • Diet. This is also PMS-related. My diet this week could rival that of any pothead. I have subsisted primarily the last few days on Doritos and chocolate.
  • Terrain. The road we ran on was a tar-and-chip road. After all the snow and ice we’ve had this winter, we might as well have been running on gravel or trails There were potholes and loose spots with every step. I spent the entire five miles watching the ground two steps in front of me, side-stepping and jumping often to avoid injury. I really felt like that zapped a lot out of me because I wasn’t able to just get in a zone and run mindlessly like I like to do.

So I get a big, fat FAIL for this week, but damnit I WILL have a better week next week. It’s supposed to be sunny and mid-40s every day, and I don’t have a single thing planned in the afternoons, so getting in my midweek short runs shouldn’t be an issue. Then next Sunday, I have a little rendezvous with Mr. Seven Miles.

My own personal little-over-a-quarter-marathon.

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. 🙂

There’s Nothing Wrong with Change if it’s in the Right Direction

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately. My husband and I were talking about how far we’ve come one night a couple of weeks ago after I found out about my job, and then my bloggy friend Amy posted about how everything changes recently. Seems like it’s on everyone’s mind these days. Is it the milestone birthday I and a lot of my friends have had/will be having this year? Is it the new decade? I don’t know, but change is definitely in the air.

It’s amazing, really. Everyone likes to think they have their lives all mapped out and they think they know where they will be a few years down the road. But SURPRISE! They don’t have a clue. I don’t have a clue. You don’t have a clue. NO ONE has a clue. When I think about how drastically my life has changed over the last 5 to 6 years, it’s actually kind of scary. Is it possible that it could continue its unpredictable pattern? Could my life be as different 5 years from now as it was 5 years ago? I hope not. I feel like I’m where I’m really supposed to be, and I feel extremely blessed to be here.

It was 2004 when my life path took an unexpected turn. My grandmother passed away in January of that year. That in itself was devastating. Then in March my ex-husband left me. He decided marriage wasn’t for him. Turns out it interfered too much with HIS life plan of being a bar-hopping, alcoholic, broke-ass loser. At the time, I was a full-time student and only worked part-time. Obviously I couldn’t afford to keep the house. Had to sell it. Then in July my best friend and sanity-keeper moved to Germany with her new husband. Not long after that, my employer decided she couldn’t afford to keep me anymore. In the span of a few months, I lost my grandmother, my husband, my home, my best friend, and my job. And a lot of myself. Somewhere in all that–and I can’t be sure exactly where–I lost myself too. It all kinda messed with my head, ya know? But after a couple of years of rebellion and bad decisions, I finally got myself back together and came out of it all a much stronger person with a better perspective on everything.

And my husband’s story is not any prettier, but I won’t go into all his personal details. If he wants the world to know all his shiz he can start his OWN blog!

Long story short, we found each other. I am now with the love of my life, a man who loves me, appreciates me, and supports me in everything I do, we are financially stable, and I love my job. Since 2004, I’ve gone from mediocrity to rock bottom to being on top of the world. While it hasn’t always been pleasant, it was worth every heartache to get to where I am now. Change is scary and difficult, but if you keep your head in the game the end result can be what you make of it. Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anybody can start today and make a new ending.

Slow Girls Need Cool Running Clothes, Too!

So we all know the phrase, “If you build it, they will come,” right? Well, I’m trying to see if that will work with clothes, too.

“If you buy heat gear clothes, summer will come.” So I did. While doing a little shopping today, I bought some new Under Armour heat gear. BRING ON THE SUMMERTIME!!!!

Since I just started running this past summer, this is my first winter running. I’ve been in serious need of a good pair of running gloves, but my inner tightwad just wouldn’t let me thrown down $30 on a pair of gloves. I’ve either been doing without (Hello, frostbite!) or making do with regular ol’ cute, fuzzy gloves I already had. You know, the ones that act as a sponge, sucking every ounce of fluid from your body through the palms of your hands.

So today when I was driving by Dick’s, I thought to myself, “Self, seeing as how Kohls already has their bathing suits out and their coats on clearance, I wonder if Dick’s is doing the same thing!” So I went in trying to score a cheap pair of running gloves. And I so did! Gotta love off-season shopping.

Know what is even better than cheap? FREE!!!! Beth over at Shut Up and Run is doing an awesome running gear giveaway. And I’m gaining an entry into the contest by putting this in my blog.

Completely changing the subject, I did the P90X Stretch DVD a couple nights ago. Oh. My. GOD. It felt AMAZING. Like many other runners, this is an area that I have had a tendency to neglect. I’m trying to do better about it, and it seems to be paying off because I haven’t had any of the pain in my legs or feet that I had last fall. I’ve now done three of the twelve DVDs, and I totally reiterate my “Money Well Spent” rating.

Like a BOSS!

That’s right! I got the job I interviewed for!

*Insert ridiculously dorky happy dance here*

I’ve actually known since last Monday that I had the job, but my boss asked me to keep it quiet until all the other applicants got their rejection letters from HR. I told my hubby and my parents, but I have been about to BUST wanting to tell everyone else!

Someone that doesn’t work for my company doesn’t understand what a difference there is between a large office’s supervisor job and a small office manager’s job. So let me just tell you that the difference is unbelievable. There is soooooooooooo much less stress. When I was supervising, I knew I was stressed, but I honestly didn’t realize how bad I felt until I was sent on a detail assignment as manager all those months ago. The job change is actually a one-level downgrade, which comes out to be about a $3,000 top-out difference in my annual salary, but it is absolutely worth every penny and then some to feel good again and not have to work 50- to 60-hour weeks.

2010 is really looking up. 🙂

Survival of the Faintest

So I finally put my big girl panties on and went in for my blood draw and x-ray today. I’ve been putting it off and really wasn’t even sure that I would be able to bring myself to do it, but I finally bit the bullet and went today. I positively HATE needles. I’m the worst fainter in the history of medicine. To the point that as soon as I walked into the lab my hands got clammy and I got that tunnel-vision thing going. But the girls in the lab spoiled me rotten by giving me orange juice, using an infant needle, and making me lay down for a while afterwards. And I survived. I love a good nurse. 🙂

I had mentioned earlier that I probably wouldn’t even follow through with the lab work because the surgeon hadn’t been all that concerned when I saw him, but I scared myself into doing the smart thing. I’m not gonna let something that could potentially be bad get worse because I’m too big of a pussy to get it checked out.

Wow. You turn 30 and all of a sudden you start making these mature, grown-up decisions. Who woulda thunk it???

P90X review

I apologize in advance for any typos in this post. After all, it’s not easy to type with your toes. I’ve been reduced to this because today my arms are dangling at my sides like two useless, sore spaghetti noodles. I finally took my P90X DVDs out of the plastic last night and hung in there as long as I could through the chest and back workout. (Pushups, anyone?) I’ll be the first to admit that I have SQUAT for upper-body strength, so I was happy that I even made it halfway through before making many modifications for sissies. I’ve gotta say, all in all, I was impressed with the quality of workout that you are able to get in your home with very little equipment. It will make for a nice addition to my routine for something to do on my cross- and strength-training days. If I’m forming an opinion off the first DVD, I’ll give it a “Money Well Spent” rating. And I’m cheap, so the producers should be very proud of themselves. I usually reserve that rating for necessities such as soap and Oreos.