Sunday, April 29, 2012

Power House 5k :D

Holy crap, you guys! Yesterday was just plain awesome.

Yesterday morning was the Power House 5k here in my little town. Last year, I was a little disappointed when I FINALLY heard about this race because I knew I wouldn't be ready to run it yet. So, this year, I was determined.

All proceeds from Power House go to the Whitehouse Parents' Club at Whitehouse Primary (my old elementary school) and I don't think there's a better organization in our community for it. WPC is SUCH an important piece of the puzzle for our elementary students. WPC paid for the new playground equipment a couple years ago, field trips, summer reading programs, printers, ink, and supplies for every classroom. Also, they run Secret Santa, author visits (we had Rick Sowash and Frank ... when I was there, among others), book fairs, track and field day, and so much more. Our community and education system really couldn't be as awesome as it is (our district is constantly rated one of the top in the state) without these parents' associations. That being said, I was glad to find a way to give back to my community while doing something for myself.

I had been tracking yesterday's weather for the last week, grumbling every time the weathermen disagreed over when the snow showers were going to set in. By Thursday, they were saying it would hold off until at least the end of our race,t hank goodness. It was still a damp chilly morning, but the rain holding off made choosing my outfit a WHOLE bunch easier. lol

If we're friends on dailymile and you stalk your friends' goals like I do, you know I've been working towards a sub-30-minute 5k before my 26th birthday in July. Honestly, I didn't know if I'd be capable of it before then.

So, I planned on just focusing on a 5k PR and holding myself around a 10 minute/mile pace since that is a range I KNOW I have push myself into without dying after a mile. Really, I just wanted to enjoy the race and the morning and spend some time with friends/ cohorts from UT who were running too. When the starting gun went off, it took about a quarter mile for everyone to get sorted out (about as long as it took us to get through downtown and onto the Wabash-Cannonball trail). Instead of incessantly checking my Garmin for my pace, I found a woman and her son who were running at a pace just fast enough that I felt like I was being pushed but not fast enough that I was going to keel over in the next half mile.

I really didn't know what the course was going to be (and trust me, I scoured websites and past race reports), so I was pleasantly surprised when I realized it was going to be a fast, flat out and back on my favorite little piece of the W-C Trail between downtown and our high school/ jr high/ middle school campus.

As soon as I was on the trail, I felt myself slip into a calm I don't remember ever feeling during a race before. My music was just right, I was focusing on the "white rabbits" in front of me, my breathing was steady, and my legs felt strong. Keeping with the woman and her son, I was able to pass a number of people who went out too quick and slowed down, including a girl I went to school with (I have pictures of Jamie and I in Brownie Girl Scouts together at that same elementary school). I knew she and I were in the same age group, but I didn't know how many others or who they were.

I finally looked down at my Garmin after I passed Jamie and I almost tripped I was so shocked. I was running sub-10 minute miles! And I still felt good! Holy crap! Even with seeing my mile times for the first 2 miles, it didn't click in my head until we were back off the trail and I could SEE the finish up the road that I could finish in UNDER 30 MINUTES! As soon as I saw the 0:29:xx on the clock, I started sprinting, passing the woman with her son and 2 other women (neither of whom looked happy I was passing them that close to the finish).

My Garmin time was 29:19, but I think the official time will be a couple seconds different (it was another non-chip timed race). While the volunteers were sorting out the 5k race times, we got to watch the 1k kid's run (which was HILARIOUS). In the end, my group of friends and cohorts did pretty darn good. Kyle won the 5k and his age group. Kirk placed 2nd in the 5k and won his age group. Colleen got 2nd in her age group. Janet won her age group. And ... I WON MY AGE GROUP!

To be fair to all of us, I'm well aware there weren't a bunch of super speedy people running yesterday. Glass City Marathon was just last weekend and there were at least 3 other 5ks at the same time, 2 also sponsored/ run by Dave's. I COULD let that "lack of competition" dampen my happiness, but I'm not. Yes, I'm over-the-moon happy about winning my age group (and beating Jamie), but I'm estatic over my personal accomplishments. I BEAT MY 5K PR AND I SMASHED MY GOAL! I will now HAPPILY sit down and decide on that next goal I'm going to bust my butt working towards. I have a couple more 5ks I'm tentatively planning on running before my birthday, but maybe completing a half marathon after that? :D

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thursday [Morning] Musings and Decisions

Sorry if this post gets a little disjointed, but I'm writing it in bits and pieces as I think of things this morning. I'm tired of losing writing ideas because I can't be bothered to stop what I'm doing and jot them down quick. No joke, I thought of 2 things in the shower this morning I wanted to write about about (1 being a great idea for an essay) and I can't remember either of them now. lol.

I mentioned my friend Sarah wanting to go to Buffalo Wild Wing's boneless wing night in my last post. Besides wanting to spend time with people I don't get to see very often, I need a stress-free evening "out" ... away from my family, school, and everything else going on in my life. I happily got up early and ran my "speed" workout this morning on campus and the University-Parks Trail (1 mile easy and then 1/4 mile intervals of 5k race pace [ish] for 2.5 miles) so I could be guilt-free about skipping group run tonight (despite the free hot dogs and burgers to celebrate Matt winning the Glass City Marathon this weekend). Well, I got a text right after I got into my lab saying everyone's meeting at B-Dubbs at 9/9:30pm. My reaction? Ugh that's late. I don't know if I'll go anymore. The B-Dubbs they're going to isn't right up the street from me (actually, it's right down the street from group run. hehe), so it isn't someplace I just go on a whim, especially that late. Plus that's just too late for me to be eating during the week. I'll be starving by 6:30/7pm (usually right around the time I'm finishing up group run and heading home). I don't think I would want to go even if I hadn't run this morning. I'm normally done with my run at group by 7:15ish, but then I would still have 2 hours to either wander around Levis Commons or to go home, clean up, and drive back. Neither option is especially easy. I hate that this sounds so whiney in my head, but it just doesn't work with my day, no matter what I do. I guess I just answered my own question on if I would go or not. Dinner in bed while watching Vampire Diaries, Big Bang Theory, and Grey's Anatomy it is, then. And maybe a walk into the village for ice cream. *sigh* The worst part? Now I'm trying to decide if I should still go to group run and at least walk the (shortened) loop and get some food. I don't have extra running clothes with me, but I can at least put my running shoes back on so I'm not wearing boots. :-/

My procedure yesterday went well. My Dr is a great guy and kept me talking and distracted while he was injecting the numbing agent (my issues with needles are well known and it's a very prominent note in my file, which is why the nurse was so amused by the fact I have a tattoo). In the end, a little less than a fourth of my back was numbed since we didn't know how deep he'd need to cut into the skin to remove my spot (I guess it wasn't technically a MOLE). Luckily, it was extremely superficial and he was able to remove it completely in less than 15 minutes. And with hardly any damage to the skin around it. After he cauterized the crap out of it to "keep it from seeping everywhere", he just stuck a bandaid with neosporin over it and sent me home. I should hear back from the histology lab in about a week. Actually, I'll hear back sooner if something is funky with the sample. I guess they call if something is wrong, but send a letter with a copy of the report if everything is fine. So all I can do is wait.

The Dr warned me about how it could feel as the numbing agent started wearing off and he was dead on. The sensation of slowly feeling your skin again is SO WEIRD - made even better by the fact that this was happening as I was driving myself home. lol. Every other time I've had a surgery or procedure, I was either knocked out or so high on pain killers I wouldn't have noticed. The uber weird part is that I could still feel every needle prick, but not where the spot was cut off. About 24 hours and a shower later, I can feel the skin around the spot starting to dry out and pinch a bit. I'm torn between keeping it covered to protect it and letting it air out and just keeping the surrounding skin moisturized. I left the bandaid on until right before my shower this morning just so I didn't scratch or rub it overnight. Now, I can't even REACH the spot to put another bandaid on if I wanted to. It's in that PERFECT spot between your shoulder blades where you can JUST BARELY touch. And how interesting it is to touch ... it feels like I have a little, scabby crater in my skin, about the side of a thumb nail. I kind of enjoyed walking into the study room this morning wearing a spaghetti-strap tank top and watching people (who didn't know where I went after lunch yesterday) flip out.

Dr M was a little worried about a scar, but I'm not. If I do get one, it should be flush with the rest of my skin. More likely it'll just look like a skin discoloration when I get tan. Like I said, I'm not worried. I joked to the Dr that my body was like a collection of scars and every scar was a story, either stupid or awesome. They're all a part of who I am and I'm ok with that. Anyway, there's no way it can look any worse than that big mole/ spot [crap, I have no idea what to call it] did.

Holy crap I'm craving a Snickers bar right now. It's taking more willpower than I can even explain to NOT get $0.85 out of my wallet and walk upstairs to the vending machine. And I saw the snack guy refilling it this morning as I left on my run so I KNOW we aren't out! *munches carrots with peanut butter and raisins"

I think I talked about this before, but I was kind of bummed when my month of boot camp ended. When the trainer asked me if I wanted to continue, I explained to him my money issue. I just can't afford $129/month right now. Yes, that price would be cheaper (marginally) if I could get a couple more people to join up, but I'm not going to push people into something like that. You can imagine my grin when I got my livingsocial email and there was a deal for a month of unlimited boot camp with the same trainer for $40 (directly with him, not through BCOR this time). Now I'm torn. I really enjoyed working with Eric, but this deal is more expensive than the original deal PLUS I'm hoping I'll be done with driving to campus VERY SOON, which makes this studio WAY out of my way. I don't know. I'm torn. I think I'm going to ask mom what she thinks, even though I know what she'll say. I enjoyed boot camp and it's results, but I DID talk about how I felt like it took away from my running. I don't know. More decisions.

I need a nap. And a vacation.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Catching Up

Woah ... What the heck happened to Blogger? Not sure if I like this "update" or not. Hrm.

Anyway ... Last Thursday was my last day of Boot Camp for me. Honestly, I already miss it. I was finally getting used to waking up early and functioning through longer days. I planned to spend some time this weekend going through my notes from the last 4 weeks and figuring out how I can replicate some of the exercises using what equipment I already have (no money = no new toys), but it just didn't happen.

I chose to be lazy Saturday since the weather was crappy in the morning and I had a new book. But, Sunday felt like a perfect day for a run. It was cool and breezy and lovely. Trying to ignore the last several weeks' long(er) runs, I went out without any expectations other than to finish a loop I planned out. I pulled my sleeve down over my Garmin so I couldn't look at my pace and just ran by how I felt. I had a pretty good idea of the mileage up to a certain point so I resisted temptation until I had to decide if I was going to take a short cut and stay on the road for the rest of the way home or if I was going to add in about a mile of actual trail. I had made it 5 miles on pavement with a consistent pace around 11:30 and still felt great so I went for the trail. Oh man. I could have possibly done 7-8 miles if I had stayed on the road, but that 1 mile of trail kicked my backside and I had to cut off my run at 6 miles. I figure I sped up or something coming up out of the flood plain and my body didn't like it. At first, I grumbled about still having to walk the rest of the way home, but I had a thought about a half mile into the walk that I was GLAD for that time. I COULD have called someone to come pick me up, but it was under 2 miles and I really took the opportunity to think about things I didn't have the concentration for while I was running. Positive thinking is a wonderful thing.

I'm stressing out like never before over this paper. I literally have 2 weeks to get it through committee and defense. And I can't start work on my defense until the paper clears my head advisor. And that's all I'm going to say because I'm TRYING desperately to stay calm and productive (on something, anything) this evening.

Since my future is up in the air after graduation (if it happens, grumble grumble) and I know I'll lose my parents' health insurance in July, I decided it was best to go in for a physical and one last check with my dr to make sure I'll be ok to go without a yearly (or more often) visit until I can get on my feet with a job and all that jazz. Well, what should have been a half hour visit yesterday turned into 2 hours, a round of shots, and 2 more appointments. Lovely. I'm going back tomorrow afternoon for a procedure to remove a mole (we think) on my back that is a bit larger than the dr is comfortable with. I've had this mole as long as I can remember, but I've never noticed anything weird about it. It's large, yes, but it's symmetrical and the color is normal. But, with my family's predisposition for skin issues, the dr wants to get it off. This is where it gets a little complicated. It's raised, so he thinks it can just be scraped off and cauterized. BUT. If it's deeper than he thinks, the lab says there's something fishy about the sample, or he just can't close up the skin without making a bigger mess of it, I'll have to go to a plastic surgeon to have more skin removed (and hopefully a smaller, nicer scar). Oh, and I have to have a (hopefully) final round of blood work done. *shudders* At least I was able to put off the blood work for 3 weeks so I can get through this semester and (hopefully) graduation.

Since I'm going to be a bit tender tomorrow, I got in a nice 4.32 mile run this evening. It was warm enough outside I was able to run in my new nike tempo shorts (holy crap I need to remember to use body glide when I wear those ... not used to running in "short" shorts. darn chub rub!) and a tee shirt. Even though I was taking it easy and focusing on form, I was able to pull out a negative-split run (11:23, 11:19, 11:10, 10:49, and 10:31 for the partial mile). I'm pretty happy with it. It felt great to get my sweat on and have some time to myself to think. Now I'm just hoping I'll be ok after tomorrow so I can get my last speed workout in on Thursday. I HAD planned on running at group, but Sarah and Steph are jonesing for Buffalo Wild Wings boneless night and I have a jonesing for some girly chat time. Wings and beer are acceptable when prepping for a 5k, right? lol. Anyway, I want to get my run in early in the day so I can enjoy some time with my friends.

Power House 5k is Saturday. I'm still contemplating my goals. I know I want to PR (and probably will be able to), but do I want to bust serious a$$ and gun for that sub-30-minute at the risk of pushing myself too hard? I've got to think about it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


So, I stopped at a grocery store on the way home. Along with grabbing a couple things for mom, I needed another tube of nuun since I only had 3 tabs left and I haven't ordered more yet. Well, it took me a while to find them because they had been moved to the CLEARANCE shelf of the "diet" section. Yea. Instead of each tube being $5+, they were $2.99. So ... I bought them all ... And then stopped at the other store on my route home and bought the 3 tubes THEY still had on the shelf. Lol. Score! This should last me a little while :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Semi-Sweet Sunday and Solitary Shower Squabble

Ok, I love alliteration. Get over it. lol. I seriously spent 10 minutes trying to decide on a title for this blog post. THAT is how much I love alliteration. Ha!

Sunday was interesting. I was woken up by my brother texting me to ask if I could bring him his spare car keys sometime before lunch. He was out doing some fieldwork at a local preserve (Irwin Prairie for you NW Ohio peeps) and had accidently locked his keys in the trunk of his car when we cleaned out his pants pockets. I shook my head and texted him I'd be there as soon as I ate breakfast and got dressed for my run. If he wanted them sooner, too bad. Mom and dad are clueless as to where Irwin is (even though they've driven by it tons of times and we've TRIED explaining where it is) so I was going to have to be the one to bring him the keys. Since I had to drive up that way, I decided to just get my long(er) run in at Secor Metropark. Secor has a nice "multi-purpose" loop that's a couple miles long and I wanted to give my knees a break by getting off the pavement (plus it was going to get WARM and I HATE running on hot roads).

On my way up to Irwin, I got a phone call that made the rest of my day. My friend Laura was driving from Chicago to Boston to watch her fiance run the Boston Marathon. He'd been in Boston for almost a week already, but she couldn't get off work until after her Saturday night shift (she's an ER nurse). The fun part was that she was driving with their 1-year old boxer pup, Luca. Sorry, Laura, but I may have been more excited to see Luca than you. Oops. Anyway, about an hour before she reached Toledo, Luca was getting super antsy and agitated from being in the car for so long with all his puppy energy. We decided she'd meet me at Secor and we'd run a couple laps with Luca and hopefully that would tire him out enough he'd cooperate for another couple hours. It'd be good for him, too, since they're trying to train Luca to run on a waist leash. I wish I would have thought to get pictures. That dog is a complete goofball. If it helps you imagine his personality at all, he already answers to "goober" along with his actual name. Uh huh.

From the start, we knew we had to let Luca set the pace. I was happy to do this since it was another long(er) run for me and, if you've been reading my sparse posts for the last couple weeks, you know I've been having difficulty on my longer runs. We decided to try alternating running 2 easy miles and walking a quarter mile so none of us would tire out too quick in the heat and Luca would have a chance to get drinks in-between runs. It worked well up until about 4.5 miles in when Luca decided we weren't interesting enough and tried to take off into the woods after a squirrel ... while attached to Laura by the waist leash. Again, sorry Laura. I couldn't stop laughing. She never actually fell over, but the look on Luca's face when he realized the leash was too short and he couldn't even get off the path was PRICELESS. After the next walk break, he just didn't want to run anymore ... unless he saw another squirrel or bug to chase. By the time we made it back to the parking lot after the 2nd lap, he was one pooped pup. 6.21 miles in 75* is tiring for a dog his age.

We headed back to my house so Laura could get cleaned up before heading back out on the highway. No matter how tired Luca THOUGHT he was, he found the energy to play with my dad for a while (new people = instant energy, apparently). Laura wasn't even back on the highway yet when she called, laughing, because Luca was already passed out on the back seat, on his back, tongue hanging out and leg propped up against the back of the seat like a dead cartoon dog. I guess he stayed like that the rest of the way through Ohio and most of the way through Pennsylvania. Mission accomplished.

But like the post's title says, the day was only semi-sweet. Despite my best efforts, I spent 3 or 4 hours of the evening curled up in the fetal position with a pillow over my head and an empty garbage can next to me. I'd guess it was a dehydration headache just based on WHERE it hurt, but DANG it was bad. Like, someone took a sledgehammer to my skull bad. As soon as I felt it starting, I sucked down a ridiculous amount of electrolyte drink and nuun and tried to relax. This usually HELPS if not completely averts the worst of it, but not Sunday. I finally gave in after 2 hours of suffering and took painkillers and crawled into bed, practically in tears. It took a while, but the painkillers and anti-nausea meds finally kicked in and I was able to spend the rest of the evening only mildly icky-feeling, at least able to speak and hear and see without splitting pain again.

As for the second part of the title, Solitary Shower Squabble ...

I believe I've addressed before the fact that the women's locker room in our student rec center only has 1 shower "stall". Technically it's the handicap stall, but many of us use it instead of showering in the "big room". 99% of the time, nobody says anything about it. Heck, quite a few people even use the handicap toilet stall (1 of the 2) to get dressed. It isn't like we're denying a handicapped person the ability to use them, they just aren't there and we are. And we're in there for MAYBE 5 minutes (the shower, not the toilet. lol). Well, today a woman was coming out of the shower (probably a grad student or prof) and some skinny little biotch stopped in the middle of the locker room and yelled at her "Don't you know that's for cripple people? I don't see you being all handi-capable." Besides her choice of words and grammar, I wanted to slap her. The woman didn't even flinch, calmly said "just because you choose to have no class or modesty, doesn't mean I shouldn't. If a handicapped person wanted to use the shower, they were more than welcome to it." and walked away. I wanted to clap. Oh, did I forget to mention the skinny biotch was walking around the locker room in JUST a thong? Yea. I was trying SO HARD not to snicker as I gathered up my shower gear and headed into the stall myself.

So what are your thoughts? Would you use the shower stall or the main shower room? What would you have said to the girl?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Problem with Losing Weight and Getting Fit ...

To set up this conversation ... I don't dress up very often. I basically live in my jeans and tee shirts ... and have since jr high. But, over the last couple years, I've had to buy more "professional" clothing for "work". I've noticed lately that my jeans were fitting better and I can wear a size smaller tee shirt if the cut is right, but I didn't really think much of it. Last week, I was trying to decide what to wear for a night out and had a bit of an issue ...

Me (yelling from upstairs): Mom, I think I have a problem.

Mom: What now?

Me: I can't find a pair of pants to wear.

Mom: Huh?

I walk downstairs wearing my favorite pair of gray slacks. I'm holding up the waist because, if I let go, they'll fall halfway down my butt.

Mom: Oh. Um. Well.

Me: Yea. Every pair of dress pants in my closet are like this. I knew I was losing inches, but sheesh.

Mom: And how much have you spent on work clothes the last couple years?

Me: Hundreds.

Mom: Well, I guess you could take a couple pairs to the tailor.

Me: Mother? *glare* It'd probably be cheaper to just buy new pants.

Mom: *sigh* Probably. Did you check the pants that are in the little suitcase on your top shelf?

Me: There are pants in there?

Mom: Yea, when we cleaned out your closet before you moved home, I put a couple pairs of pants that still were in good condition up there.

To cut the story short, I ended up wearing a pair of junior-size dress pants I haven't been able to wear in over 6 years. A size and a half smaller. Holy crap.

I guess now I need to go through and try on every thing in my closet. And work my a$$ off to stay at the smaller size.

It's SUCH a horrible problem to have. *giggle*snort*giggle*

Mom took pity on me and got me a $50 gift card to Kohl's for Easter. But, I'm not going to use it until I NEED to.

Oh, and my "pants problem" is now a running joke in our family.

PS - How the hell did I not know about TJ Maxx? I bought a pair of Nike Tempo shorts that were "past season" (someone please explain to me how all-black shorts go "out of season"?!) for half the price of a new pair ON SALE next door at Dick's Sporting Goods. AND I got another of my FAVORITE Nike tank. Same deal with the "past season". It's normally $25, but I paid $9.99. YES! :D

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Weekend

I've missed my friends in bloggy land, but I've just been so busy the last 5 days. I've had so much to talk about but even when I had time, I just didn't have the energy to sit down at the computer and type. I usually try to write at the end of the day as I'm winding down, but I've just been collapsing and passing out right away.

I decided I needed to run my 6.2 miles for Run w/ Jess's Jelly Bean virtual race on Wednesday (I used my first 3.1 miles from Sunday for the 5k) and since it was gorgeous out, I went over to Farnsworth and the canal path for a nice change of scenery. Plus, I figured I couldn't wimp out on the mileage part-way through if I still ahd to make it back to the car. Just like my last long(er) run, the run OUT felt great, but it fell apart when I turned around. I kept pushing myself, though, and finished with a time of 1:09:51. And, of course, I needed to get a picture with my race bib, so I gathered my "gear" from the car and made the trek down into the flood plain to my favorite little place I know of at the park ...
The visual edge of that grass is the ACTUAL edge of the "cliff".
Directly below is one of the coolest places I know.

Yes, this IS the trail.
Ignore the fact that my bib is upside down.
Don't I get brownie points for hauling jelly beans around with me to get this picture?
They're the best kind too ... Starburst! lol
Sugarland. Jennifer singing "Stay"
My uncle, aunt, and their 2 youngest (freshmen in high school) got here Thursday afternoon (they stay with us when they're in town from Illinois) and that night was the Sugarland concert we've been waiting weeks for. My aunt is a big Sugarland fan but she'd never seen them live and my cousins had never even been to a concert before. It's so cool that Jennifer and Christian chose to kick off their "In Your Hands" Tour in Toledo. My mom took advantage of the email presale so we had AMAZING seats -  2nd row of the balcony, directly behind the sound booth, looking straight-on at the stage. It was so great! We had an absolute blast and I was so glad we were able to give my family that experience. Basically, on this tour, they have a general idea of what they're going to play, but they get input from the fans through texts and the website, live, on what they want to hear and the exact set list! And there was a TON of audience interaction. Sugarland has a reputation of really appreciating and loving their fans, and just being amazing appreciative people, but this is absolutely amazing. There was a girl in the Sugar Pit with a sign that said "Call my daddy when you sing Baby Girl" ... and they did. She came up on stage, called her dad, and Jennifer talked to him on the girls phone beofre they started singing. I hope nobody in my group say it, but I definitely teared up. That song was a lot of meaning for me so I was really touched. I loved it, though. I'll admit, I'm an even bigger Sugarland fan than my aunt and I probably drove my poor cousin crazy with my screaming and singing along. There might have been one song I didn't know ALL the words to, and I think I was the only one who knew the song they started with, "Wide Open". It's the one they recorded for the Olympics and I loved it the second I heard it. We surprised my aunt again right after the show and bought her a concert shirt. So, her, mom, and I are technically twinkies since we all loved the same shirt. :)

Early friday was the closest thing to boring we got all weekend. I worked most of the day on writing, but I stayed home in case mom needed me for something (which she did several times). Friday evening, some more family came over to visit. I don't know what made my stomach hurt more, all the food or how hard I was laughing at the stories and antics. Alcohol may have been involved for some of us.

Saturday was the crazy busy day. I got up and went to Boot Camp. By the time I got home, everyone else was awake and eating breakfast. After I had a chance to get cleaned up, we headed to the zoo. The twins haven't been to a zoo since they were babies and my dad, uncle, and aunt haven't seen the zoo since the new exhibits on the one side have opened or the new elephants! I drove separately from everyone else because I knew I'd have to leave early. My cousin, Jake's little boy is turning 1 and his birthday party was that afternoon at his grandparents' in the next little town over from us. I was glad to spend the afternoon with that part of my family. I'm really going to miss Rach (Jake's older sis) when her family moves to South Carolina in a couple weeks. This was the first time her little girl really remembered who I was and was excited to see me. Little miss is growing up before my eyes and she's the spitting image of both her mother and her great grandmother (who passed away only days after she was born). Pam (Rach & Jake's mom) mentioned the possibility of coming down to visit, since she's moving with Rach's family, in July for little miss's birthday. Did I forget to mention Little miss and I share a birthday? Yea, Jake called me at 3am while I was camping for my birthday to tell me Little miss had been born. lol. Anyway, since the birthday boy wasn't going to oblige us with smashing up his cake, we just had our delicious little cupcakes (I'll discuss at another time. Thanks, Ann for giving me the recipe!) and sat around talking and watching the kids play with the presents.

Saturday night would have been a nice quiet night if it had been anyone but my family. We were loud, obnoxious, crazy, and just plain goofy. The fart jokes, occasional interesting episode of American Pickers and other stunts (*coughcough*fakemouse*coughcough*) kept us entertained long into the night. Again, we over-ate (picking up a theme here?).

This morning was a lot quieter. We all slept in longer than usual. While my uncle's family packed up their stuff and loaded the car, we were getting Easter dinner ready. More shenanigans ensued during dinner, but we were MOSTLY behaved. After we ate and everything was cleaned up, my uncle's family headed home to Illinois (about a 6 hour drive depending on a laundry list of things) and we all COLLAPSED. I absolutely adore my family, and I love that they stay with us when they're in town, but BOY am I glad when everyone leaves. I came upstairs to my room and collapsed on my bed with my tv remote and laptop. It took 3 episodes of Mythbusters and the Making Of Frozen Planet to feel up to starting to write this. I know I need to get some work done tomorrow, but I'm probably still going to be exhausted.

I need a couple days of extra sleep and healthy eating to get me back on track, but I'm glad I had this weekend with all the different parts of my family. :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Failed Run + Yesterday & Today's "Fun"

I just caught up on my blog reading and apparently I'm not the only one who had a failed run this weekend. I didn't share this on Sunday's post, but I went out that afternoon for a 6+ mile run and had to give up after 5 (though I really gave up after 4). The 3 miles from home up to Mallard Lake felt great, but as soon as I made the turn-around and headed back, my digestive track started to rebel. I wanted to try to make it home, but it got to the point I was in pain and sprinting for the restroom at the White Oak picnic area (thank goodness it was open ... they JUST opened WO back up for the season). I tried to pick the run back up after and it just didn't happen. I would speed up and get so winded I could barely think and my stomach would rebel even more. After 5 miles, I said "screw it" and just walked the rest of the way home. I'm a little glad I didn't take my cell phone with me (despite mom's spaz attack over it before I left) otherwise I would have been tempted to call her to come pick me up. As long as I was walking, my body felt fine and it was good for me to do that last bit of mileage even if it wasn't at a run. Plus, it gave me an idea for a summer job if I can't find a REAL job right away.

The Butterfly House is hiring and while it wouldn't be an ideal job, it would be a paycheck ... and it's close to home. I can bike or run on nice days and save money on gas. I'd like to get my car paid off by the end of this summer so I can focus on my student loans and everything my parents stop paying for the minute I graduate. My savings is completely shot, even my "moving" fund I squirreled away in CDs 2 years ago.

One month until I'm done, masters or not. I'M FREAKING OUT!

- - -
30 Days of Fun:

April 2 - I didn't really do anything deliberately for this day. I sat in my favorite spot on the couch (where the sun hits when it comes through the sky light) and read a little. I sorted through postcards I found when cleaning boxes out of the spare bedroom and found one from December '89 that my Grandparents sent me from Disney World. Of course, this started me bawling like a baby, but I'm glad I found it. Crap, I'm tearing up just thinking about it. This is sort of unrelated and totally NOT about the "30 Days of Fun", but I've been thinking about my dad's parents a LOT lately, probably more than what's good for me. I've been crying easier and more often, like, even more than RIGHT after Grandpa died. I don't understand it, but I'm doing what the therapist told me and just letting it happen, and then trying to "end the experience" with a happy memory of them and a positive thought for my future without them. I have such a hard time dealing with grief that I guess the best thing to do is just get through it, sort of like "fake it until you make it." That reminds me, I need to get those old family videos put onto DVDs. There are a couple old ones of me as a kid with both pairs of my grandparents that I REALLY want.
Picnic Pants - SOURCE

April 3 - Have you seen these yet? They're called picnic pants! "An Italian company ... has created a pair of denim capri pants that feature a piece of fabric between the thighs. The flap spreads out when you sit cross-legged, so it doubles as a plate. It even has a pocket on the outside of the thigh to hold a drink!" No joke. I thought it was hilarious when I saw the news story (linked in the caption of the image) the other day, but I just went on to read the next article and semi-forgot about it ...

... until this morning when they were brought up on Bob & Tom. Their reaction was pretty close to my original one. Ha. Now, if you listen to Bob & Tom with any regularity, you know that the occasional story or incident will prompt them to pull out a "tribute" from a comic friend or a song from their arsenal. Much to my joy this morning, the picnic pants inspired them to play this gem from Here Come the Mummies:
 If you've never heard of Here Come The Mummies, you can check out their website HERE. Please, go read through their bios and look up some of their other songs on YouTube (especially THIS ONE). If you can get past the hilarious double entendres and the personas, they really are amazing musicians. I saw them live once and had a complete blast. I don't know if I was singing along or laughing more. I can't wait until they're in my neck of the woods again. As great as their music is recorded, they're even better live (not many artists can claim that)! Just imagine me in my car, it's still dark, driving from boot camp to campus, laughing so hard my eyes are watering. I'm pretty sure I scared the woman in the car next to me at the red light. Yep, that was this morning. :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Happy April 1st!

There were NO pranks played in our house today (unless you would like to count my body rebelling during my run). We learned a LONG time ago that prank wars in our household normally ended up with someone either hurt or in HUGE trouble.

I promise I'll be back to my normal chatty self soon. I've just felt really run down and burnt out this weekend (don't know if I should attribute it to being home alone with dad, boot camp classes, lack of sleep, or something else).

Since it IS April 1st, it's the beginning of Amanda @ RunToTheFinish 's April Challenge: 30 Days of Fun! You can check out all the details HERE. Unlike previous challenges, there really isn't any structure. Just do something every day that is FUN! There IS a calendar of sorts on the challenge page if you're clueless of ideas, but I just plan on doing or sharing something fun every day.

So, to start it off, I wanted to share one of my favorite YouTube Muppets videos of all time. If you don't recognize the song, it's "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen. I LOVE this song, but it's also special to me because we did a COMPLETELY a capella version of it in choir our jr/sr years. It was awesome and I have such amazing memories of working on it. It makes me smile just thinking of it ... plus the Muppets just plain rock. Enjoy! You may have to watch it several times to soak up all the awesomeness. :)