Monday, April 28, 2008

Late Twenties

Its official. As of yesterday I can not longer associate myself with the mid twenties. I am knocking on 30's door :) Luckily I don't have a major problem with age, I think the fact that Steve is hitting the big 4-0 next month helps. At least at our house I'll always be a youngster :)

(I'm pretty sure that with that comment, and his fear of bats getting in his hair that I mentioned in the last post, I'm probably going to pay for it!)

It was about as perfect as birthday weekends go. Steve's parents sent me a Barnes and Noble gift card completely unexpected, so I bought some good beach reading for my trip in 2 weeks. Saturday we tried to go to my favorite restaurant for dinner, but they didn't have any reservations aval, so it was Johnny Carinos. As far as chain restaurants go, they are the tops! Wine, bread with olive oil to dip in, pasta, and tiramisu??? Sounds perfect to me!

I also got my hair cut yesterday. I'm talking crazy short. Shorter than I have ever had it before. I can still tuck it behind my ears, but that's about it. My hair is curly/wavy, and almost always messy, so I decided to get a new do' that works with the mess. I think it worked :)

I had two good runs this weekend. 2 on Saturday, 3 yesterday. Saturday was sunny and cool and gorgeous. But crazy windy. I finally decided to walk the way back since I was going into the wind. Still a good workout though. To demonstrate how windy it was, a 10ish year old boy got him and his bike knocked right over. If he had been younger or seemed hurt, I would have helped, but since he hopped right back up.....I laughed. I'll admit it. I still feel kind of guilty though.

I really need to take some pictures of my main route that I run. It is so beautiful in some spots. There is an incredible horse farm that has a huge pasture with old school wooden fences all over the place with random bits of flower patches all over. And then of course the high light of my run everyday.....wait for it.....AMWAY!!! Their plant and main offices are just a hop skip and a jump from my house. But no free samples, too many guards. Luckily though, they have a drinking fountain beside their baseball diamond. Simple thrills :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bats.....Past and Present

Today had 3 miles on the docket. It was a good three miles. I still can't run the whole thing, but every run I feel myself getting stronger, running longer, and running faster. This week I'm wrapping up the 4th week of this crazy running thing, and is about 3 and a half weeks longer than I have ever lasted at anything! I guess if you can't pat yourself on your back on your own blog, where can ya?? I should give a little bit of credit to the new shoes. These baby's are great. Much more fitted, but still comfy. I still can't believe that the store just took back the shoes after I ran in the for 3 weeks and didn't even have a receipt. (at some point I'll probably stop talking about it).

I like to run in the later evening, right when it is starting to get dark. The hot sun isn't out, and usually too cool for those girls to be running in their bikinis. Anyway, for the first time tonight I noticed all of the bats. Everywhere. They didn't really bother me that much, but did remind me of what is probably the funniest thing ever to happen to me.

When Steve moved into his old house, my helping involved holding doors open and pointing where I thought things went. Steve on the other hand carried couches, beds, dressers, etc. The poor thing was so tired he went to bed at 8:30 that first night. I was feeling great and stayed up to watch some random Lifetime movie (I love those!). About two minutes after Steve went upstairs, and I was sitting on the couch, a bat swooped right in front of my face. Never one to react calmly in situations like a bat trying to eat me, I ran (scrambled on my hands and knees) up the stairs screaming for Steve. He heard me and thought I was being killed. As soon as I got to the top of the stairs, he was just opening the bedroom door. Right as I get to the door, he sees the bat coming with me and slams the door right in my face. I throw my hands up, scream more, and run into the bathroom on the other side of the hall. We keep screaming to each other across the hall, and every time he sees the bat fly down the stairs (he is brave enough to peek out the door, me not so much), he yells at me to run to the bedroom. I can't though. Its too terrifying, so Steve runs to me in the bathroom. Finally he sees the bat fly away so we run, but halfway across the 5 feet we have to cross, he hits his knees. (later I asked him why he did that, he said he didn't want the bat to get in his hair....his short, normal man haircut) I have no problem leaving him behind, so first I try to give him a good shove, and then I just hop right over him. Seriously, like that leap frog game in elementary school. We make it to the bedroom, put clothes at the bottom of the door so the bat can't get in, go to bed. At 9pm. Good times.

The best part came the next day when we met a new neighbor. Levi came over and asked how our first night was. I told him simply that we had a bat. He said that they get bats sometimes, and they just open all the windows and turn the lights on, and the bat will fly right out. Then he asked what we did. I told him how we hid in the bedroom and went to sleep. Levi looked at me for a minute and then said "I guess that could work too". We never did find that bat.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Halfday of work, beautiful weather....what are the odds?

We are still a one car family until Wednesday, so with Steve having meetings today and needing to go to the office, he had to drop me off at work. I went to the front door of my building, and it was locked. Kind of weird, but whatever, I luckily had my keys with me. When I came in the main lobby, there was an alarm going off and I was a little bit worried that maybe I set it off when I came in the main door. I hit the elevator button, but when it opened, the lights were off. I'm not so much someone that is going to go up to the 5th floor in a dark elevator with a mystery alarm going off, alone. I strolled out to the alley to see if Mark was coming up yet, sure enough....that boy is nothing if not reliable. We decided we were brave enough to ride up a dark elevator together, luckily things went well. Unfortunately, it took the power company until 11am to decide to tell us that the power was going to be off all day on our couple blocks. Good times!!

At least I had most of a day at home in the peace and quiet. (for anyone remembering that I didn't have a car and that Steve was in a meeting....Nick, an attorney in my office, carted my tookus home). I had a very nice time sitting out in the back yard with my book. It was so warm and sunny with a gentle breeze. Perfect. I can't wait until our trees fill out and our yard to be surrounded by all of the thick trees.

While I was sitting there, enjoying the weather, I really started to want to hit the trail. It was a rest day, but since yesterday was my walk day and that didn't happen, I decided a quick mile and a half would be fine. Unfortunately, I was not aware that at 4pm the real runners of the area own my trail. I'm not kidding you, I bet I was passed by at least 30+ runners. A couple singles, and a few groups of 5-7. And of course the groups were all tall, blond, thin girls running in bikinis. Oooook. So maybe not bikinis. But sports bras and super short shorts are close enough. I don't know who else in Michigan is that golden tanned right now, but I suppose running down the road practically nude will do that to you. I shortened my quick outing to a mile and got myself home. I'm typically pretty confident in knowing that it is my trail as much as anyone elses, but I'm going to let them have the late afternoon/early evening all to themselves. I'll stick to my 7/8 pm ish. Silly me for trying to fix what isn't broken!

Saturday, April 19, 2008 She's cool!

My sister, little Jill, finally got a blog going. The link is with my other running blogs I like. Hop to it and say hi!!

This morning I headed up to Gazelle right when they opened, thinking I was going to avoid the crowd that is always there. Not so much. How there were so many people there at 10:02, I have no idea. A nice guy named Eric helped me with my shoes and got me set up with the Mizuno Alchemy 7's. I'm much happier, they are much more fitted than my Brooks were. I had Simon with me to give him some special attention, and Eric thought I was part of the parent club. He told me all about his new baby, lack of sleep, etc. He was so nice and helpful, that I didn't have the heart to say that I'm not a parent and have never given birth.

I had 4 miles on the docket today. I really don't know how I can be at the point that 3 miles is a good time, is fun and something to look forward to, but 4 miles almost brought me to tears. If my mp3 player wasn't dead, I probably wouldn't have had my mind running away from me. All I could think of was wondering if Julie, who just did her 20 miler like a champ, ever had problems with 4 miles. And that maybe I'm not going to be a runner, ever. It was a discouraging run. I don't expect things to get easy, I just don't know when things are going to start being a little less difficult. If ever. We'll see. I'm still trucking and don't have any thoughts of quitting.

Enough with my pitty party. I've got some funny stuff too.

First off, last night was a total mess. First I picked up Simon and Emma. They thought that their mom was going to be picking them up and quickly proceeded to tears all the way to brother Nathan's school. I went to get him, and had to inform him that we weren't going to be going to some school swim party that we didn't know about. So he started crying. So I'm driving home with 3 crying kids. I walk in the door to a cranky Steve because I guess smoke had been billowing out of the oven when he was preheating it. So I cleaned the burned goo off the bottom of the oven and we put in the Little Cesar's pizza kits that we had bought (personal pizzas and bread sticks). And then smoke was billowing again and there were flames in the oven. Flames! The smoke was so bad we couldn't breathe or open our eyes. We were so fed up with everything that we decided to take the kids to McDonald's. But they didn't have any chicken nuggets. They ran out. Screw it, we went next door to the fancy pizza place. It was good. We all became a lot less cranky when we finally got to eat.

One more bit from my crazy life. We have reading material in our bathroom. Some people don't. We aren't classy like they are. In our bathroom, we have too choices. 1) The Non Runners Marathon Guide for Women, which I know that most of you know is not serious reading at all. Choice 2) Portal Application Development Using WebSphere Portlet Factory. 708 pages of fun. I've said it before, I'll say again.....getting to be with Steve, I'm the luckiest girl ever!!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Gazelle Sports is the best running store EVER!!!

It was a night of high society entertainment last night. That’s right, it was the annual 3rd grade musical. 10 songs about earth day. Nathan had a part in the skit. I think his line was something like “you can’t throw your pop can in the trash, you need to recycle it!” After which Simon cheered and announced to everyone that could hear that Nathan had the best part. It was a good time had by all. Afterwards the kids’ mom, all the kids, and Steve and I went for ice cream.

In other news, I'm just not digging my shoes I got 3 weeks ago. I feel like the front half of my foot flops around too much. Unfortunately, the receipt is MIA. I'm positive I left it in the center console of Steve's car, but when he cleaned it out to sell it last week, it wasn't there. So I figured I would just have to make do with the shoes. Lucky for me, I had a light bulb click in my head last night and emailed the store's customer care. WooWoo!!! They said just bring in the shoes, and they will find something that works better for me. To not worry about the receipt. Yea! I am officially stating that I will only by running shoes and what nots at Gazelle Sports for the rest of my life. And I am adding their link to my list of links. It makes me want to jump around in a circle clapping!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

2 kids, 2 miles, and another crazy dog

Last night was kind of interesting. Since Steve was in Cleveland, and we have Emma (6) and Simon (8) on Tuesday nights, I put them on their bikes and did two miles with them. It went a lot like this:

Simon- I don't think this is my bike, it must be Nathans, its too big.
Amy- You need to check for the red tape! that means its Nathans! Can you ride it though? We don't really want to walk back to get yours.
Simon - nope, its too big
Amy - let me see here, maybe I can lower the seat.......Simon! its all the way down, everything is the same as on your bike!
Simon-'re right. ok, I'm good, lets go!!!

Amy- Emma, keep up with me (keep in mind I'm shuffling, not biking). Simon, slow down, Simon, stop. Simon, don't go down in the woods. Emma, come on....keep peddling! Emma, don't touch, you're allergic to dogs. I know he's cute and little, but you'll still get hives! Simon, wait right there.

and the best one.....

Simon-hey, Emma, do you know why you shouldn't eat dirt anymore?
Emma - (in shock, can't talk, arms out like "what the heck" and shaking her head)
Amy - why can't we eat dirt?
Simon - because its worm poop
Amy - no kidding????
Simon - yeah, I'm in second grade, we learn a lot of good stuff there.

And then on the way back, a giant black lab ran across the street, almost died, and then tried to play with the kids. I brought the dog back to the people, crossed the street, dog got loose, and ran across the street again. I again caught the dog and brought him back. Lady said "its nice to meet you, we're having trouble with our invisible fence". No kidding!!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I ran like a champ today!!!

So I ran in the rain today. It was fun :) I also happened to run 3x further than I've run before without taking a walk break!!! We don't need to actually discuss how far that distance was before and what it is now, no need for embarrassment, but today was a HUGE improvement. The only thing that kept me running, was knowing that as soon as I stopped to walk for the first time, that my shins would be hurting. It was simply a matter of the exhaustion hurting less than I knew my shins would.

As soon as I passed the creepy blue house with the dogs that try to eat me, I knew I was doing good. As soon as I passed the street corner, I had the goofiest smile plastered on my face. This time, I was what was looking creepy on my street :)

Last night my short run went so horribly, I'm really happy I even headed out today. I think my main problem last night was my body fighting off Steve's cold. The first half was ok, but on my way back body aches were sinking in. With my back, and skin, shins and everything else hurting, I hobbled and cried the entire way back. The way back took me 3x as long as the first half. It wasn't pretty. Luckily it was dark. I would have been so embarrassed if people could see me and every car that passed me had to stop to see if I was going to die. Actually, it would have only been one car, I would have had them take me home.

Luckily, I think I must have finished fighting off his cold, because other that my right tonsil being the size of a cantaloupe, I'm feeling good.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Didn't quite run in the rain

I was pretty excited all day for my first run of the week tonight. Even with a walk the past two nights, things are still feeling better with my shin, so I was going to go for it. With Steve heading to McDonald's for a shake, I headed out in the drizzle for a short shuffle. Unfortunately, there is a woods that surrounds our house/yard completely. As soon as I made it to the road, I realized that the slight drizzle that I figured I could handle just fine, was actually coming down sideways. In sheets. And the sides of the road were flooded. So I turned my already soggy self around and hoped Steve got me a shake too. He did....Shamrock :)

Since I have almost nothing running related to say, or anything interesting in general, I'll ramble a little bit more.

If you haven't been to, you should check it out. I have a link with my links. Its not overly exciting, but it is a great place to track your runs. Its also where I got my little doo hickey to the right that lists my miles (I know, its been a sad week). It automatically updates on my blog when I enter a new run. Pretty cool, huh?

Another great new thing I've found is a new had soap from Softsoap. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about, the stuff that is usually the cheapest of all the hand soaps at the grocery store. About $2. I think the new one is called Spa Wrap. Its purple and near the bottom refers to essential oils. Seriously, I'm a little embarrassed about getting excited about a hand soap, but it lathers so nice and when you rinse its like you put on a light coat of the nicest lotion. So great. I'm going to buy some for the bathroom at work, hopefully nobody nicks it, but I won't blame them if they do. This stuff is crazy good. Go buy some.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Old Farts Running Club

First and foremost....I would like to announce that it only took me just over two years, but last night I got the handsome Steve to buy two pair of "cool" jeans. Now I only have to worry that he is going to think he is too cool for me and go find a new girl :)

I think I am going to walk my Tues and Wed runs this week. Slowly. I'll still get the miles in, I'd feel too guilty if I didn't, but this poor shin of mine needs a break.

I've been planning on finding a half marathon to run this summer and found one that matches up with my training program perfectly just a 1/2 hour away. Apparently it is crazy hard, they even say right on the website that you WILL NOT run a PR there. But the half is only $20 and you get your t-shirt, a beach towel and a personalized medal. The full is $40 and they throw in a hoody to all of the above. Apparently they aren't trying to make a profit. Its hosted by a running group called the "Old Farts Running Club". That just cracks me up for some reason. Its probably going to stay funny until all these "old farts" leave me in the dust.... and I'm going uphill... on a trail.... in the middle of a probably haunted woods... alone. Remind me to laugh then.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Frozen Peas and Excedrin

At the moment I am sitting in front of Law and Order with a bag of frozen peas on my left shin, wondering how I just ran 3 miles when I can't even stand up right now. I can tell you that 2 Excedrin an hour before the run, makes the run uncomfortable rather than completely impossible. Thursday night I could only hobble (not even walk) my 1.5 and was pretty discouraged. I didn't exactly start to think that this may not have been my best idea ever, just wondering how many painful runs I'll be dealing with.

I'll tell you the one really great thing about the shin splints though. Whenever I want to just sit down and watch some TV instead of cleaning out the garage, I just get out my frozen peas. Steve then is all "let Amy watch what she wants kids, she's got the ice on her leg" and then I just sit back and relax. (j/k, Steve) :)

Seriously though even with the pain right now, I still feel like that was a good, fast, strong 3 miles. Even if I did have to leave our little party to get the run in.

Woo! 28 weeks to Marathon!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Drunken Hobos

So everyone that knows me, knows that Steve and I recently moved from a less than desirable neighborhood to one that is known far and wide for it loveliness. Our neighborhood was so questionable, that I waited to begin the running thing until we moved two weeks ago. Not to say that the swat team isn't going to bust down a drug house two doors down here, but like my friend Dave said, if it does happen, it is so wooded here that we will never know.

Anyway....I'm trotting along, I just pass the random wooden covered bridge on the trail (because that's what towns with too much tax money put on their bike trails) and I see a drunken hobo that can barely stand up, drinking out of a paper bag. My first thought was wondering if he hopped in the uhaul when we moved and came with us, my second was wondering what he had in the bottle and if it would make my shins feel better. He actually seemed pretty nice; if I see him again I'll ask his name.

There is something else that I've been curious about lately. Maybe there is a skinny runner out there that may have the answer. Is it only because I'm chubby that random strangers offer words of encouragement when I'm out there? I get lots of "good job, good job" and "keep it up, you're doing good". Its never occurred to me to ever say something to someone that looks like they have the running thing under control. Maybe I should though. It kind of makes me feel good.

**Update: My sister, who is known as "Little Jill", said that she gets the words of encouragement too. Apparently people are just friendlier than I thought.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Little dogs, probably big teeth

I still don't know how I feel about the new shoes. Tonight only had a mile and a half on the docket, and I was almost killed. Just as I got up to the creepy blue house down the street, the door opened and out ran dogs growling and barking. Ok, so one couldn't have weighed even a pound and the other one was maybe five pounds, but they still have teeth!! They didn't bite me, or actually even try, but they did touch me. That is enough contact for me!! Steve said he'll pick me up a little thing of pepper spray tomorrow and if I see teeth on anything bigger than those two I'm spraying. Maybe I'm not enough of a dog lover, but I really hate it when dogs aren't restrained. That's what dog parks are for....and fences. Unless they are so old that their hips hardly support that case, throw the leashes away and let them enjoy their last weeks, months, years. Just saying...

I do have something embarrassing to admit....I am possibly the only Michigander that has never been to Florida. I of those things to keep to myself. But my friend emailed me today suggesting a girls 5day, 4night trip in May and I signed right up!! WooWoo!!! Florida here I come!

Today was April Fools Day (hence the date) and for the first time I really played a good one. As soon as I got to work I sent my poor boss an email saying that I was 10 weeks pregnant, that Steve wasn't the father, that I had told him last night, and that I need tomorrow off to move out while he goes to Kevin's house to work. Poor Shannon. She completely fell for it and was even figuring out how to get her husband to hurry up and finish the basement for me to live in it and mentally went through her pregnancy clothes for me. I should have come clean after I took the day off tomorrow!! There were high fives all around for that one :)

I got back from my run about an hour ago, and I can tell you that a couple ibprofen and a little vodka and OJ will solve any discomfort running will cause. Ok, the bag of frozen mixed veggies on my left shin didn't hurt anything either.

I was pretty proud of myself tonight. I didn't run the entire thing, but what I did run was at a pretty good speed. I have two shorter runs a week, and I decided tonight that one of those I'm going to work on picking up my sad shuffle. Considering the fact that when I slow down from my usual pace to a walk, my speed doesn't even really change, I was really trucking tonight. If what I ususally do is a shuffle, and a step up from there would be a respectable jog, I was actually almost running some of it and strongly jogging the rest. Maybe those teeny tiny dogs chasing me was a good thing :)