Tuesday Tidbits

  • Blogger still hasn’t fixed their issue with embedded comments.  Jamoosh explained his post here that it’s only limited to certain browsers.  So if you find yourself missing out on comments (namely, mine!), change from the embedded comment format to pop-up or full-page.
  • If you don’t want to change your comment format, please at least put your email address somewhere on your blog or add it to your profile so that when you comment on MY blog, I can reply directly to you!  There are a few of you I haven’t been able to talk to at all these past couple of weeks because I can’t comment on your blog, there’s no email address listed anywhere, and I get the “no reply” email address when I try to reply to your comments!  Blogger is not a good way of keeping in touch these days.  If you want to contact me, my email is in the upper right sidebar, or find me on Facebook (Pam Yarbrough French).
  • We are currently on our way to the mountains.  Our nephew is getting married tomorrow at a place called Almost Heaven.  A neice graduating high school… a nephew getting married… I’m getting old.
  • We didn’t do anything for Memorial Day.  Nothing at all.  The family usually has a big cookout, but everyone else left for the mountains yesterday morning.  It was just us here, and we spent the day cleaning, working in the yard, doing laundry, and packing.  My hamstrings, especially my right one, are SO SORE today from all the squatting and stopping pulling grass from the landscaping.
  • The wedding ceremony tomorrow is an outdoor ceremony.  I hope the weather cooperates.  And I started doping up on Zyrtec yesterday so I don’t have swollen, bloodshot eyes in all the photos.
  • I’ve lived in TN for all of my 31 years, and this is my first time in Gatlinburg.
  • I already miss my animals.
  • I’m kinda starting to look into this whole couponing business.  I’ve never really gotten into it before.  I’d use a coupon if I stumbled across one for something that I use, but I’ve never really sought them out.  I’ve been under the misconception that they were only for processed and junk foods.  I’m learning that’s not the case.  Yeah, there are lots of those out there, but there are lots of others too.  And I’m learning that you don’t always have to clip actual coupons to get the deals.  I worked the sales ad at Walgreens Saturday.  I went in the store with only one $1 coupon, and between that coupon and rolling Register Rewards, I only paid out $11 and change for almost $30 worth of merchandise.  (Toilet bowl cleaner, Listerine, shave gel, contact lens solution, a pair of scissors [because I can never find mine!  I’m hiding these from D.], body wash, and I know I’m forgetting stuff…)  All things I needed and all brand names I use anyway and I only paid about 35% of retail.  And all it took was a few minutes to look over the sales ad and a little creative thinking and math at the checkout counter.  (I had to have the checkout guy ring it up in three separate transactions to make it work.)  I’m hooked.  I’ll never be one of those crazy ladies on Extreme Couponing, stockpiling crap in every corner of my house, but if I can save a few dollars here and there, awesome.
  • Small dogs piss me off.  Or I guess more accurately I should say most owners of small dogs piss me off.  Saturday morning I took Bella and Harley with me to run a few errands, and we stopped by the park to walk a couple of laps while we were out.  I think every Shih-Tzu and Yorkie in the county was there.  Every. single. time. we would pass one on the trail, it would start yipping and yapping and some even snapped at my dogs, who could, if they cared to, eat a Yorkie for a snack.  Their owners were all, “Awwww, look at little Fifi.  She thinks she’s tough.”  I don’t care how small your dog is.  If it’s snapping at other dogs, you need to get your shit under control.  Small size does not excuse bad behavior.  I was super proud of mine for not reacting when they were snapped and lunged at.  And super proud of me and D for training them so well.

The Color Purple

I found it, y’all.  I found my dream truck.  A guy came last week to look at my car and drove it home that day, so me and D have been tearing the internet up trying to find me an H3.

Yesterday we found this one on eBay Motors.

Picture a 31-year-old girl jumping up and down and squealing because, yeah, that was me.  I was IN. LOVE.

But, alas, the bidding went higher than I was willing to, by about $4,500.  It ended just a few hours ago, and I have been pouting ever since.  I shouldn’t be surprised it went so high.  That’s a custom paint job (obviously), those aren’t cheap wheels, and it even had a custom stereo system with a killer speaker box in the back painted to match the truck.

D hasn’t done a very good job hiding his complete lack of disappointment.  He did NOT want me to get it.  He wants to be able to drive whatever I get, and he wouldn’t be caught dead driving a girly purple Hummer!

So the search goes on…

My First Track Workout – AKA Sometimes I Impress Myself

I’ve been doing 400s on the treadmill for quite a while, but yesterday was my first bonafide track workout on an actual oval-shaped asphalt path around a football field.  My training plans have called for 400s to be done alternating one at 5K pace with one recovery interval.  My last 5K in March was a 8:58 pace, so I bumped it down a little bit.  I’ve been doing my treadmill 400s at 8:49, and they felt hard!  The most I’ve ever been able to do was six.  But I’ve ALWAYS thought running on a treadmill at any pace felt much harder than outside.  I’ve just kind of been afraid to try intervals outside because I didn’t think I would be able to pace myself.  But yesterday I put my big girl panties on (Well, technically no I didn’t.  I’ve never made any secret about the fact that I run commando.) and headed to the high school track.  School is out for the summer here now, so I figured any potential embarassment could be kept to a minimum.  I started with the plans of doing at least four 400s, maybe more, depending on how it went.

Here’s how it went down:

1 mile WU @ 10:09

.25 @ 7:43 pace (1:54)  Thought to self, “Whoa there, girl!  You’ll never be able to do that four times.  Slow it down next time.”

.26 RI walk/jog (or “wog” as Kim calls it) @ 11:47 (3:07)

.25 @ 8:17 (2:03)   “Okay, that felt too easy.  Pick it back up some.”

.28 RI wog/water stop @ 12:26 (3:11)   “Dude, it’s hot out here.”

.25 @ 8:05 (2:01)   “Perfect.  Challenging but not stroke-inducing.”

.26 RI walk/water stop/argue with self @ 16:26 (4:36)   “Dude, it’s REALLY hot out here.  Am I getting sun burned?  My face is on FIRE.  This is fun.  Let’s try for six.  Oh, crap, I’m out of water.  Okay, four it is.  But pick it back up for the last one.”

.25 @ 1:57 (7:47)  “Ohhhhh yeah.”
 
What did I learn from this experience?  #1 – I should be running faster than I have been.  #2 – I can do intervals a full minute/mile faster outside than on a treadmill, at the same perceived exertion level, even when it’s 85 degrees outside.  #3 – That new skin gel the dermatologist gave me causes sun sensitivity.  #4 – Running fast is FUN!  😀
 
So I feel like I have a good starting point now.  I don’t really start training for anything again until late August.  I’m just kind of in maintenance mode now, but I plan to use this time to work on my shorter-distance speed.  I’d like to build up to 8-10 400s and then when I start training for my fall half-marathons, maybe change it up to doing 800s.
 
Now on to a totally different subject… we’re looking at extremely bad weather again tonight.  We have had more than our fair share of this already this spring, but the weather gurus are building this up to be the worst yet.  They have even opened up public buildings (schools, churches, etc.) as shelters this time.  I and lots of other businesses got an email from the guy over 911 and public safety for the county stating his concern.  He said in the email that in his career he has never seen the county at a risk this great for severe weather.  We are under a TOR-CON rating of 9, which he also says he has never seen for this area.  The sheriff came across the local radio station this afternoon stating that he had been contacted by the National Weather Service in Memphis informing him that he and his team and the area as a whole should be on full alert.  Considering that this spring’s weather has already been worse than it ever has in my 31 years (we’ve already been hunkered down with all the animals in the interior bathroom twice), it scares the crap out of me thinking that tonight is going to be worse.  A neighbor has told us we can come get in their basement with them if it gets bad, so I have the dogs’ leashes and the cat carrier out and ready to go if we have to grab tail and run.  We’ll take that Tahoe across the yards and be there in 30 seconds flat.  Seeing the devastation in Joplin, MO, coming on the heels of the recent storms of Tuscaloosa, AL, I’ve gained a whole new respect for storms this year.  Prayers go out for all of those people, and I ask for your prayers for my family’s and my community’s safety tonight.

Tuesday Tidbits

Much like my mind the past week, this post is all over the place.

  • I nearly wrecked a few days ago swerving to avoid a squirrel carrying what I’m 99.9% sure was a baby squirrel in her mouth.  (You’re welcome, Momma Squirrel.)  This morning a rabbit ran out in front of me in the exact same spot.  Dang suicidal wildlife…
  • The dermatologist gave me a prescription for Epiduo.  It had better be some good stuff.  One 45-gram tube of that gel retails for almost $300.  My insurance paid it down to $58 and I had a coupon to get it down to $35.
  • While I was there, I also had the doctor snip off a skin tag.  It was in a very uncomfortable location, in the crease where the inner thigh meets crotchal area.  Running has always rubbed it quite a bit, but the bike bothers it even more, so it had to come off.  It was just a quick snip and it was off.  No stitches or anything, but It was VERY tender to any friction and kept me from being able to run until Sunday.  Not that I probably would have anyway because I had other more important things to tend to.  Such as…
  • Thursday after I left the doctor’s office I had to go to a graduation cookout for my niece.
  • And her graduation was Friday night.  It was outside.  It was HOT.  It was loooooooooong.  We had to get there early just to get a place to sit, and we had to sit through the entire thing because her last name starts with a W, so naturally she was one of the last ones to walk the line.  But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.  She’s home for the summer, and then she leaves for the Air Force in August.
  • I had ALMOST forgotten how much I hate running in the heat.  I ran 4.5 miles Sunday and 4 miles Monday and it was rough.  I’ll just have to keep reminding myself of what someone told me last summer:  Persevere through summer for a fruitful fall.
  • I’ve done my last two runs without music just trying to build mental endurance.  Screw that.  It sucked.
  • C.C.’s vet appointment went fine.  The vet doesn’t think there’s any actual arthritis but did suggest putting her on a supplement for joint health because she is old, overweight, and probably does have some joint discomfort.
  • Someone is coming to look at the vette today.  Fingers crossed he buys it.
  • We leave Tuesday to go to the mountains for our nephew’s wedding.  We will be staying until Sunday.  I am not looking forward to the trip.
  • I am, however, looking forward to going to Myrtle Beach in September.  It ain’t Cabo, but there’s sand and water, so it’ll at least allow me to get my beach fix.
  • Sometimes I feel like I’m wishing my life away.  I’m always looking forward to something, but rarely happy in the moment.
  • It just hit me at work a little while ago when I wrote the date that I was divorced seven years ago today.
  • Looks like I’ll be doing back-to-back half-marathons again in October.  I got an email yesterday about a new one in Clarksville the weekend before RnR St. Louis!  I can’t pass up a local half-marathon.
  • Blogger is pissing me the eff off today.  I’m trying to comment on posts, and it’s making me sign in EVERY TIME, and even when I sign in, it tries to post the comment as anonymous.  I give up.

Tuesday Tidbits

  • I went shopping Saturday.  Talk about aggravating!  It took me forever to find a dress that was both wedding appropriate and my size.  I found lots of cute dresses, but finding one in my size proved to be a challenge.  I wear a 4, and everything I found that I liked was only available in a size 8 or bigger.  Then I finally found this one.  Cute, no? 

 



Ignore the bunchiness around the waist.  It wasn’t zipped in this picture.  And I don’t know what’s up with the coloring.  My legs aren’t actually any darker than the rest of me.
  • I just started reading Harry Potter.  I’m only, what, like 15 years behind?
  • I registered for the St. Jude half this past Friday.  It’s official now.  Entry paid and hotel booked.
  • My sister (remember I told you a few weeks ago that she’s doing the Couch to 5K program?) ran her first nonstop mile yesterday!  HUGE milestone!  YAY!
  • Speaking of milestones, my niece is graduating from high school Friday night.
  • So is a cousin.  And I need opinions on this.  What is an appropriate monetary gift for a cousin’s kid that you only see at Christmas?  Am I the only one that thinks it’s tacky for kids (or I should say their parents) to send graduation invitations (a.k.a. graduation gift requests) to every Tom, Dick, and Harry? 
  • C.C. (the cat) has a vet appointment Thursday afternoon.  She’s getting on up in years (almost 12), and I think she’s got some arthritis going on.  I’ve noticed her limping, some days worse than others, and if the house is real quiet sometimes I can hear a clicking coming from her hip area when she’s walking.
  • I’ve got an appointment that day too.  With a dermatologist.  I’ve had it with these breakouts. 
  • I bought a used bicycle for $20.  I don’t know crap about bicycles except that they are cheaper on gas than Tahoes.  I figure if I ride it the three miles to town more than a couple of times, it’s paid for itself.  But before I do that, I have to D has to put a new chain and new tires on it.  And if I can find a used one cheap enough, I may buy a trainer.
  • I’m pretty aggravated with work.  I’m short-handed, and I CANNOT find any help.  I thought I had found someone.  I interviewed, made my selection, he went for the drug test, passed the background check, and he was scheduled for his initial road test last week.  The day he was scheduled to take it, he called me and withdrew.  So I’m back to square one, exactly where I was at the beginning of March.  Nothing like wasting two months and a buttload of paperwork.
  • D told me today he thinks he has an ingrown eyelash.  I thought he was crazy.  Then I googled it.

Four Years

Four years ago today, this girl

and this guy

went to this beach

Magen’s Beach, St. Thomas, USVI

and did this.

(All photo credit given to Eva from Instant MemoriesPlease don’t judge her by these photos though.  The poor quality of these images is the fault of my scanner, not her work.  She’s AMAZING.)

It was just the two of us, the minister, the photographer, and the videographer.  And one random chick that decided to wade through the water in the background halfway through the ceremony.  It was absolutely perfect.  No family or friends were even invited.  It was private.  It was intimate.  It was fun.  It was US.

Four years down, hopefully many, many, many more go to.

Race Report: West TN Strawberry Festival 10K

Honest to goodness, there really isn’t anything exciting to tell.  I showed up a little after 7:00, handed over a check for $20, and they handed me back a T-shirt and a paper sack with an ink pen, a key chain, two pieces of gum, an emery board, and a can coozie inside.  Score.

At 8:00, the race director herded us to the start line where a kid played the National Anthem on her trumpet for us.  She also cued our start by playing the “Charge!” thingie.

And we ran.  Up hills and down hills and up hills and down hills and… well, you get it.  The first 3.5 miles or so were all rollers.  Which was absolutely cool by me.  I went into this race with a goal of keeping a 9:40 pace for a finish time of sub-1hr.  I ran solid 9:20s and 9:30s the first four miles, and then we got to the looooooong uphills the last two miles.  Those were what killed me.  I had to stop and walk up parts of them.  Yep.  During a 10K, I stopped to walk.  Twice.  And it killed my pace average.

Official distance:  10K
Official time:  1:00:34
Official pace:  9:45

I beat myself up pretty good about it, but you know what?  It’s still a better pace than I’ve ever run a 6-mile training run, and it was a pretty challenging course, so it’s still improvement.  And an automatic PR as it was my first 10K.  I’ll take what I got and I’ll get my <1:00:00 next time.