Tuesday, December 13, 2011

House progress, I'm faster!, New gear, and Remembering Gpa C

If you see smoke coming out of my ears, it's because my mind is working over-time right now. On top of stressing out over my paper (will I/ won't I graduate this semester), thinking about finding a job for the holiday season (in SERIOUS need of some cash right now), figuring out the whole dog-sitting thing over Christmas for my 2nd mom (she's been friends with my parents since they were in college, both her daughters and I are really good friends), and all the work going on at the house, my head is spinning a bit.

The work on the house is moving along, I guess. The hard floors in the kitchen, hallway, laundry room, and downstairs bathroom went in last Thursday. Appliances went back into the kitchen Sunday night and the fridge and freezer are mostly re-stocked. Painting was finished up yesterday (even though we're not happy with it, we just want the guy out of our house now). The guy broke mom's lamp and then had the nerve to say (after I basically told him HE needed to talk to mom about it) that he wasn't going to do anything about it "because it still works". We looked up the price of the lamp online and we're going to just deduct it from his last payment (and send along a nice little note). If he thinks he's going to get a recommendation from us, he's crazy.
... and this piece is broken.
The "bowl" is bent up ...

We also got all the base boards reinstalled in all the hard floor areas of the downstairs. And today is the day for carpet. New carpet is going in the family room, dining room/living room, and up the steps through the upstairs hallway. The house won't be "done" at that point, but at least we'll be done with all the contractors stomping in and out of our house. We'll be able to start putting every room but the dining room back together tonight, thank goodness. The dining room is going to be a bit more work on our part with the beadboard, new chair rail, and all new base boards (and who knows when we'll actually have time to do all this). Mom and I are both crossing our fingers we'll be able to get the washer and dryer back in tonight (preferable early) or we'll have to spend a couple hours at the little laundry place in the village. Dad is out of work under-shirts as of today and I've been out of tighter long-sleeve workout shirts for a couple days now. I've had to get creative with my outdoor running layers.

Speaking of running, I've run in my new Saucony's twice now ... and I'm absolutely in love with them so far. I don't know if it's the new-ness of the shoes, my fitness level, a placebo effect, or what, but my last 2 runs (the only 2 with the new shoes) have been my 2nd and 3rd fastest paces I've ever recorded on dailymile (the fastest was a 2ish mile "sprint" I did this summer).

I turned down my music on yesterday's run and concentrated on my stride (when I wasn't grumbling about the people walking on the wrong side of the trail and having to stop where the trail crosses roads) and was noticing the little things that were different with these new shoes. Like I said in my last post, I can feel the difference in the heel cushioning. I TRY to not land so hard on my heel, but it happens. The other thing I noticed was my stride itself. I feel like I don't "shuffle" as much as I used to. I still do it a bit when I'm tired or when my side starts hurting (which recently I'm attributing to my poor nutrition rather than my fitness ... maybe even the quicker pace? idk), but I'm getting much better about lengthening my stride. I also feel like "pushing off" with each stride is easier and more comfortable in these new shoes. Again, I don't know if all this really is because of the new shoes, but I'm enjoying it. I'm crossing my fingers (and toes) that this continues right on through my NYE and NYD 5ks. *big smile*

Right around the time I bought my new shoes, I also decided it was time to get serious and cash in some of my Amazon credits. I already had my Runner's World reflective vest (worn only once since I bought it in June), but I wanted more reflective gear and I've been looking at buying a blinking light to stick on the back of the vest for a while now, along with reflective banks for my arms and ankles. I also convinced myself that it was time to buy a proper headlamp. The one I have now is great for basic camping and not stubbing my toes while trying to find the breaker box when we blow a fuse, but it just isn't a great option for running. I had looked at the knuckle lights, and I still really want to try a pair, but I had Amazon credits to spend (plus free shipping). I have a friend I camp with who has this same headlamp and he absolutely loves it. He does caving and dark climbing and other crazy stuff like that, so I KNEW it was a quality piece. Also, I got myself a travel-size Body Glide stick for my gym bag (hey, it was on sale and I had a couple dollars left on my Amazon gift cards).

I'm pretty sure I weirded out my parents the night all this stuff came in the mail. I was running around the house in all this gear, shorts and a sweatshirt, bright pink compression socks (hellz yes, Zensah!) and fuzzy slippers. No, there are no pictures. Thank goodness. lol.

On a different note, yesterday was 7 years since we lost my mom's dad (and set off the chain of a funeral pretty much every other month). I was extremely blessed to have had all 4 of my grandparents (and my Great-Grandmother, God bless the mean bitch) in my life as long as I had, so losing Grandpa was a serious blow. To have it come on the Sunday evening right before my first finals week in college made it even harder for me to process how I felt about everything. I was really tired last night after my run and dinner, so I showered and crawled in bed early. It was almost eerie how I turned on the tv and the first thing I found was an old John Wayne movie (actually, it was the same one the grandkids were watching the morning of Grandpa's funeral - weird). It happens every year, I feel like I need to watch either an old John Wayne movie or watch a couple episodes of M*A*S*H and I never have a problem with finding one or the other to watch. So many wonderful memories of watching both those things with him while I was growing up. And then? I found White Christmas (one of my absolute favorite Christmas movies of all time). Listening to Bing Crosby was another "Grandpa thing" too. I tear up now, thinking about it, but I was in a happy calm the whole time I was watching the movies last night. It felt like I was back 20+ years ago. Thank you for everything, Grandpa. I love you and miss you.

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