FedEx SUCKS!!!

And I’m not just saying that because I work for the competition (U.S. Postal Service). I’m saying that totally as a customer. FED. EX. SUCKS.

Tuesday – Come home to find a door tag on the door where they had attempted to deliver a package. The delivery guy checked the box that says, “Signature required in person at this address” and marked the “2nd notice” box. We never received a 1st notice. No big deal. The bottom of the door tag has a thingie on it that says that we can sign and leave it back on the door so they can leave the package.

Wednesday – Hubby signs the door tag and puts it back on the door. We go to work. I get home first and find that they have left another door tag marked “Final notice” and underlined thickly and heavily (in a very smartass way) the “in person” part of the signature requirement. Hubby calls the 800# on the tag and gives them an alternate address to deliver to because HELLO we actually have to work for a living and aren’t home during the day. The woman on the phone tells him no problem, it will be delivered to his mom’s place on Thursday.

Thursday – Hubby receives a phone call from the delivery hub informing him that they’ve already attempted to deliver the package three times and they aren’t going to send it out again. Long story short and PG13 rated, the bitch on the phone flat-out refused to put the package on the truck coming to our town today and told him he was going to have to come pick it up. The delivery hub is in Humboldt, which is almost an hour away. HUBBY IS PISSED. The gas to go pick the package up is going to cost more than the actual item itself. All it is is a cord to a power supply for a laptop that he is repairing. Nevertheless, he has to have this part, so he has no choice but to drive the hour to pick it up. He left here about 5:30 this afternoon, and at 6:50 I get this text: “Yeah, I’m really pissed the f*** off now. Just got a f*****g ticket in this f*****g crack whore town.” (Hubby is very eloquent, is he not?) So now this less-than-$20 part is going to cost us God only knows what because the people at FedEx are a bunch of douchebags.

SUCK IT, FEDEX!

Oh, and by the way, Adam is giving away a $50 gift certificate to Road Runner Sport, and Rad Runner is giving away some Bradford Tonic. This is my attempt to win one of those things. Hmmm… I wonder if the Gibson County General Sessions Court accepts Road Runner Sports gift certificates as payment towards speeding tickets?

Cold Turkey

I hit rock bottom today.

“Hi, my name is Pam, and I’m a junkfoodaholic.”

There. I said it. Now let the healing begin.

I don’t know WHAT has gotten into me lately, but I have been eating like shit. I still eat the good stuff, but I’ve just had waaaaaaaay too much of the bad stuff in the mix. A Pop Tart here, an Oreo a handful of Oreos there, a handful half a bag of Doritos here, and then today… good God. A coworker brought a sweet potato cake to work this morning, and I ate like three pieces of that cake. Not all in one sitting, mind you–it was spread out over the course of the workday, not that that makes it any less disgusting. It was just soooooooooo goooooooooooooood. *wiping drool from keyboard*

But that’s it! This has gotten out of hand! My cravings have gotten out of control. No more. Starting right now. It’s my own personal private little lent.

But the alcohol stays. Hey, a girl’s gotta have SOMETHING to hang on to.

Country Music 1/2 Marathon Race Report

The race went off without a hitch! Well, for us anyway. A lot of marathoners that were diverted to the half-marathon finish line and not allowed to complete the marathon because of impending storms probably feel a little differently.

I got to Nashville about 3:00 Friday afternoon and waited in the bar at the hotel for my friend IndyLawyer to get there. She was driving in from Indianapolis, and I beat her to Nashville by about an hour, and the desk clerk wouldn’t let me check into the room because the reservation was in her name. So I sat in the bar drinking a bottle of water, much to the amusement of the other patrons at the bar, who teasingly asked, “Who comes into a bar and drinks a bottle of water?” So that started a conversation about the race the next morning. I spent the next hour or so chatting with everyone at the bar, watching CNN, and cheering for Arizona Governor Jan Brewer as she signed bill SB1070 into law. YOU’RE MY HERO GOVERNOR BREWER!!!!!

As soon as IndyLawyer parked, we checked in, threw our bags in the room, and walked to the Convention Center for the expo. OH MY GAWD was it crowded!!! We spent maybe an hour and a half at the expo getting all the freebies we could find. And honestly I was a little disappointed in the swag bag. The tiny HM in Clarksville last year had better swag than this one! Dog biscuits and Zicam? Come on, CMM, you can do better than that!

We had decided to have dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory, but while walking there we passed a little restaurant called Pearl that we had never seen or heard of before. We stopped to look at the menu and decided to give it a whirl. I LOVE how you find the best restaurants in big cities by stumbling on them purely by accident! This place was great!

We packed it in early Friday night so we could get a decent night’s sleep before having to be at LP Field super early the next morning. LP is where the finish line was, but they were asking everyone to park there and shuttle to the start line. We were within walking distance to the stadium, so we walked there. It was sprinkling rain then. Not enough to get you good and wet but enough to kink my naturally curly hair up really good. We got there and were standing in line for a shuttle when IndyLawyer looked at me and said, “Oh. F**k.” She forgot her bib back at the hotel. I offered to go back with her, but she insisted I get on the shuttle without her and she would meet up with me. That was the last I saw of her until about 10 minutes until gun time. I was already in my corral discussing poop with a woman I had just met like five minutes prior (seriously, does anybody BUT runners do this???)and she was just getting to the start line area. By the time she jogged the mile to the hotel and back the lines for the shuttles were forever long. She got back to the starting area in just enough time to grab something to eat and head to her corral.

I had mentioned before that she was coming off an injury and wasn’t sure how she would hold up and that I was going to keep her pace. Well, that wasn’t an issue because we were assigned to different corrals. She didn’t bring up the topic of either of us changing corrals, so being the running loner that I am, I didn’t bring it up either.

Standing in my corral, I could literally feel the energy all around me. It was like nothing I have experienced before. Everyone there, all 31,000+ runners were buzzing with excitement. The sun broke out from behind the clouds as if on cue and the entire crowd cheered. When they sounded for the elites and first corral to take their marks, I got chills. It was a loooong 30 minutes before my corral crossed the start line!

And then I was off! With all the adrenaline flowing through me, it was hard to keep from sprinting out of there like a bat out of hell. I swear I really don’t even remember much of the first couple of miles. They were over before I knew it. When my Garmin beeped to let me know that I had just completed two miles, I remember thinking, “No way!” And then it started. The hills. The horrible hills. Long, gradual hills. Short, steep hills. Continuously. I had read race reviews about how hilly the course was, and I tried to prepare, but HOLY COW. I wasn’t prepared for 11 or so miles of continuous hills. And maybe the first two were hilly too and I just didn’t notice because I was so pumped. I walked early and I walked often. I walked through almost every water stop and had to stop a couple times and stretch out my calves. Overall it was a grueling course, but the spectatorship and crowd participation were UNBELIEVEABLE!!! Nashville is an amazing city! These people and these bands could have let the forecast scare them into staying home, but the streets were lined with 13 miles of cheerleaders and spirit lifters! Simply amazing. I wish so badly that I had pictures, but I don’t. I was afraid to take my camera with me because I was afraid of it being ruined in the rain.

The sun played peekaboo with us for the first 9 miles or so then it clouded up again. By that time, I was actually hoping for a refreshing shower, but it didn’t happen. By mile 11, the skies were looking pretty ominous. It was right at that point that the half and full courses were supposed to split, but because of the storms they directed all runners to the half-marathon finish line. I felt really bad for the people who had trained to complete a marathon and then weren’t able to do it. Especially this one woman in front of me. She had a shirt on that her kids had obviously decorated for her with “My First Marathon!” written all over it. I’d have been sick if it had been me. By mile 12 I was seeing the first flashes of lightning and hearing the first rumbles of thunder. I was pretty well exhausted by this point. From mile 12 to mile 12.5 or so I was down to doing a run/walk, but when I heard the first cheerleader say, “That was your last hill! It’s all downhill from here!” I tried to pick it up a little bit. My Garmin beeped to indicate mile 13, and the finish line still looked to be a good ways off. I kept an eye on it and stopped it at 13.1 and still had another .15 of a mile to go to the finish line.

Garmin time: 2:28:05
Chip time: 2:29:15

Either way, I met my goal of taking 1 min/mile off my previous time. 🙂

And I have some shiny new bling!

I hope and pray that my finish was captured in photo or video that will be uploaded to the site. It had to be the most graceful finish ever. I tripped over the timing mat. Yes, that’s me. The girl that makes it through months of training injury free only to nearly plant her face in the asphalt at the finish line. It seriously was touch and go for what felt like an eternity. It took me several strides to fully regain my balance. I was laughing and heard lots of people on the sidelines laughing, too. What am I here for if not to entertain??? 🙂

At the finish, there were volunteers with bull horns informing the finishers that the severe weather was 30-45 minutes away and asking everyone to please collect their medals and their bags from gear check and leave the field. We got our bag from gear check and filled it with enough of the free food to hold us until dinner so we didn’t have to get out in the rain for lunch and set out at a jog back to the hotel. It was raining pretty hard on us by the time we got there, and within 20 minutes the bottom fell out. It sucks that we didn’t get to enjoy the postrace festivities, but I am SO thankful that we both finished before it hit!!!

Overall, I am happy with how the weekend turned out. I’m already looking forward to the next one!!!

This Could Get Interesting…

Today’s special weather statement for the Nashville area:

“… POTENTIAL FOR SEVERE WEATHER LOOKS INCREASINGLY LIKELY IN MIDDLE TENNESSEE ON SATURDAY…

A STRONG UPPER LEVEL STORM SYSTEM WILL MOVE OUT OF THE SOUTHERN PLAINS ON FRIDAY AND BRING A CHANCE FOR SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS TO THE MID STATE AS EARLY AS FRIDAY NIGHT. BY EARLY SATURDAY… SOME STORMS COULD BECOME SEVERE… AHEAD OF AN APPROACHING UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE… WITH THE THREAT FOR SEVERE WEATHER CONTINUING THROUGHOUT THE DAY SATURDAY. A FEW STORMS WILL HAVE THE CAPABILITY TO PRODUCE LARGE HAIL… DAMAGING WINDS AND POSSIBLY TORNADOES. THIS IS THE STRONGEST STORM SYSTEM TO AFFECT MIDDLE TENNESSEE SO FAR THIS SPRING… AND THE POTENTIAL FOR SEVERE WEATHER LOOKS TO BE INCREASINGLY LIKELY… INCLUDING TORNADIC SUPERCELLS.”

OH JOY!!!

It’s Gonna be a Wet One!

Anybody seen Nashville’s forecast for this upcoming marathon weekend? Yeah. It’s not lookin’ too pretty. I know it’s just Wednesday and the weather dude has ample time to change his mind at least 17 times, but right now he seems to think there will be rain and thunderstorms between 6 and 9 a.m. on Saturday. FAN. TAS. TIC. The thing that bums me out the most about the possibility of rain is not so much that I’ll have to run in it. That won’t be so bad. But it will keep a lot of the spectators at home and bands off the street, and I’ve heard that those are the things that make the CMM a race worth running.

Oh well. I’ll just keep doing my sunshine dance and we’ll see how it plays out. You should really see my sunshine dance. It’s pretty awesome.

For now I’m not doing much running. My schedule called for a Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday 4-3-2 taper. I missed Monday because of other commitments, so I’m doing a Tuesday-Wednesday 4-2 taper. I actually finished the 4 last night at a near-PR pace, and I honestly didn’t even mean to! I set out to do an easy 4 and I didn’t feel like I was pushing myself at all, so I was quite pleasantly surprised with my time. I think I’ll leave the watch at home tonight and jog an easy couple miles without any thought to time or pace.

Things are a little more hectic on the work front these days. Dealing with on-the-job injuries is never any fun, and I’m doing that again this week. A couple of weeks ago, one of my carriers pulled up to a rural mailbox to service it, and when she opened the lid a wasp flew out at her. She instinctively jerked her arm away and when she did she felt something in her shoulder pop. She didn’t want to turn it in as an accident then because she hoped it would get better. But two weeks later it still hurts her to push or pull with that arm, so she decided to go ahead with the claim and get it checked out. No fun for me, less fun for her.

AND I’ve got interviews scheduled for tomorrow to replace the guy I had to let go last month. I hate interviewing people almost as much as I hate being interviewed. But the fun part is going over people’s applications. It never ceases to amaze me the crap that some people will put in an application. This one for instance…apparently she’s a lazy genius. She graduated high school in only a year and three months and hasn’t worked a day since her graduation in 1988.

Seriously? Wow.

Successful Saturday

Twelve miles? CHECK!
Lunch and spa date with friend? CHECK!
Spend too much money shopping? CHECK!
Watch cheesey 1980s horror movie with Hubby? CHECK!

That was my Saturday in a nutshell! I set my alarm for 5:30 yesterday so I could be sure I got in my scheduled 12 miles. I got up, ate a small breakfast, and was on the road at the first signs of daylight. It turned out to be a really, really good run. I took four 30-60 second walk breaks, had to stop and stretch out the hammies a couple of times, and stopped at miles 4 and 8 long enough to chug some water. Even with all those breaks, my average pace was 10:58. Guys, this is HUGE for me. If I can do that again next Saturday and maintain that pace for another 1.1 miles, I will beat last fall’s HM time by twenty minutes. TWENTY MINUTES, PEOPLE.

But in all honesty, I’m not looking for that to happen for a couple of reasons. Number one, the course is supposed to be super hilly. Number two, the girl I’m running it with is coming off a severe ankle injury and is not 100% yet. And since I invited her down and she’s coming all the way from Indianapolis to run this thing with me, I think it would be pretty crappy of me to make her run it alone. So I’m gonna stick with her and keep her pace. Now who knows?! Her idea of “out of shape,” as she refers to herself, might be faster than me on my best day! She’s been running for several years, so she may still leave me in the dust! Either way, Nashville is gonna be about the fun and the experience of running it with a girl that I LITERALLY haven’t seen since the night we graduated high school 12 years ago. (Thanks again, Facebook, for putting me back in touch with these peeps.)

The run was followed by TGIFridays, a facial and manicure, and shopping, during which I promptly ruined the manicure while trying on a pair of shorts in Aeropostale. Pissed me off! It had been about an hour, so I thought they were dry. I had been so careful, even making my friend dig in my purse for my wallet and keys so I didn’t mess it up. I told her my butt itched, too, but she told me I’d better learn to scoot on the floor like a dog. Hmph. Some friend.

We wrapped up our day and I headed home, ready to do nothing the rest of the night. Hubby had been working all day and didn’t feel up to going out either, so we decided on pizza and Nightmare on Elm Street. Believe it or not, I had never seen the original, and I wanted to watch it before I see the remake. Holy crap. It was hilariously cheesy! It’s so funny to think that 20 or so years ago that movie was scary. I was kinda young, so I really don’t remember… did EVERYONE run like this in the ’80s, or was this particular type of arm-flailing scamper reserved for when you were being chased by a dude with some seriously jacked up fingers?

Me time!

I’ve really been feeling the need for some quality me time here lately, and I’m finally getting it. I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I was in Knoxville visiting my sister, and I had a rockin’ time. Literally rockin’. The concert (Adelita’s Way and Chevelle with Three Days Grace headlining) was flippin’ SWEET, and I got to share the experience with my sister and a dear old friend from high school that also lives in Knoxville. Good times. 🙂 When I ordered my ticket, the web site said that no flash photography was allowed, but when we got there everybody and their monkey had a camera with them. I, on the other hand, had my cell phone. I took like a gazillion pictures, only a couple of which turned out to be not blurry. These were the best ones I could get.

Meh. At least it’s enough to prove I was there.

I went back to work today and played catch-up from being out of the office most of the week. WHY I didn’t take one more vacation day and just make a one-day workweek out of it is beyond me.

But now it’s the weekend again, and I’ve got a little more me time in store. We’re just going to take it easy at the house tonight because I have an early date with the pavement in the morning. I have to get a long run in (12 miles! This will be the first time I’ve run that distance!) early enough to get showered and drive a little over an hour to meet a friend for lunch at 11:30. Then after lunch it’s to the spa. Ahhhhhh, the spa. Even saying the word is relaxing. Spaaaaaaaaahhhh. I can’t wait! The friend I am meeting gave me a gift certificate to this spa for my 30th birthday and told me that the one stipulation to the gift was that I had to use it on a girl’s day out with her. No problemo, girlfriend! Any time any of you need a spa date, I am your girl!

Top 10 Reasons to Hate Spring Running

Misszippy has outlined her Top 10 reasons to love spring running.

Being the pessimist that I am, I feel it is my duty to counter her post with one of my own.

Top 10 Reasons to Hate Spring Running

1. Allergies. I sneeze, sniffle, and snort my way through the entire run. Although I must say my snot rocket accuracy has improved. I can now hit a moving target from 20 paces.

2. Bugs. Due to said allergies, I have to breathe through my mouth, inhaling more than my fair share of bugs. I hear they’re full of protein, but until they start making them in better flavors, I’d rather get my protein from peanut butter.

3. Road repair. Nothing like getting pelted with tiny-ass rocks being slung from the gravel truck as he flies past you. Seriously, TDOT. That pothole has been there since November. It won’t hurt you to slow down to 55mph. It’ll still be there when you get there. I promise.

4. Irresponsible dog owners. Warmer weather = more people in the park. More people in the park = more dogs in the park. More dogs in the park = more dog SHIT in the park. If you’re not gonna pick it up, at least kick it off the path. I’d rather not carry your dog’s digested kibble home on the soles of my Mizunos.

5. Tan lines. I hate tan lines, and I already have one in the shape of a Garmin Forerunner on my left wrist and a kickin’ sock line. Sexy, right? Especially with flip-flops.

6. Road kill. It was there in the winter, too, but at least it was frozen, keeping the aroma to a minimum. Now that it’s warm out, the pungent stinch of decomp lingers in the air.

7. Baseball season. Instead of being out there sweating and chaffing, I could (and would much rather) be sitting inside watching my Cardinals and drinking a cold beer. Or bloody mary, or margarita, or…you get the point.

8. It’s hot.

9. It’s humid.

10. It’s hot and humid.

(Lil Runner is hosting a CEP Compression sock giveaway!)

I Hear You, Legs. Loud and Clear.

After ending last week’s running on a high note with a good five-miler, I was eager to bang out my 11 miles on Sunday. Long story short, I didn’t quite make it. At 9 miles it was in the mid 70s with a humidity high enough to make it feel like I was wearing a steaming-hot turban. I was hot, soaked, and parched, so I called it a day. Yes, I fell two miles short of my goal; and, no, I didn’t finish it any faster than I did last fall. (Well, 11 seconds faster…) But I don’t consider it an EPIC fail because according to my log last fall’s 9 miler was done at 40 degrees–a much more suitable running temperature for me. I’m just kind of getting concerned now because I’ve only got one more long run before the half on the 24th. I WILL get in 12 miles next Saturday if I have to get up before dawn to make it happen!

I’m trying to play it smart today and listen to my body. I’m in Knoxville visiting my sister. I’m not familiar with the area and don’t know any good places to run. And she’s not a runner, so she doesn’t know the hot spots either. But she said that she had seen lots of people running on a street not far from her apartment complex. I set out this morning to put in five miles on that street. Well, actually it was a concrete sidewalk beside the street. In less than two miles, I had this going on:

Left knee: “I’m not so sure about this concrete stuff.”
Right knee: “Yeah, me neither. This doesn’t feel like it does at home.”
Me: “Shut up, you’ll be fine. It’s just five miles.”
Right knee: “Oh yeah? You think so? Take this!”
Me: “Ouch! Stop that!”
Left knee: “And how about a little of THIS?”
Me: Silence. (I’m hoping if I ignore them they’ll go away.)
Right SHIN: “You knees are amateurs. If you want her to quit, THIS is how you do it.”

They won. I didn’t figure it was worth risking an injury just to one-up my body for today.

Back on Track

I don’t know if it’s because it’s 30 degrees cooler today, or if I was blowing off the week of frustration, or if it’s because I’m excited about some plans me and my friend Michele have got cooking, or if it was all the whole grains I’ve eaten the past couple of days, but SOMETHING got my ass in gear today. I just finished a fantastic five miles and beat my old PR by more than three minutes. IT FELT GREAT!

And seriously, thank all you guys so much for your encouragement after yesterday’s post. EZEthan’s comment rang so, so very true. I DO need to realign my expectations. I’ve only been running for nine months, and I’m trying to compare myself to you guys who have been running forever. Stupid, I know. That’s just my competitive nature coming out. I always feel like I have to be the best at what I do. And if I’m not, I quit because I can’t stand to be outdone. I’ve been plagued with this for as long as I can remember. But I’ve fallen in love with the sport of running, and I REFUSE to quit. So I’ll just keep plodding along, faster than some and slower than some, and loving every second of it.