Country Roads

June 15, 2010 at 7:33 am | Posted in Blogroll, Cross Training, Half-Marathon, People I Meet, Training | 4 Comments
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Yeah, I know. I wandered again.

But seriously? If you’ve ever been in your first year of teaching…you’ll know exactly what I was going through, and exactly how little free time I had.

School ended one week ago tomorrow. How awesome is that?

Wednesday…I got new tires, always exciting, shopped WAY too much, but mostly bought things on sale, and then Thursday I got this……..

Yes, he looks weird. Therefore I love him. And he's not angry, he has an underbite.

Yes, he looks weird. Therefore I love him. And he's not angry, he has an under bite.

Meet Tully! He came from Ringdog Rescue in Richmond. His name there was Spanky…but I have this thing about naming all of my pets after Jimmy Buffett music/books/etc…so Tully it is. (From Mr. Buffett’s book, Salty Piece of Land)

All he wants is love! And cookies...

All he wants is love! And cookies...

He has been doing pretty good so far. He doesn’t like being alone too much, but he’s improving every day! The first time I tried to leave the house…he barked and whined the entire time. We’ve practiced and he’s getting more used to the idea.

However he is still pretty darn sure that the ice maker in the freezer is his sworn enemy. Either that, or he thinks that I REALLY want him to let me know every time fresh ice drops in to the bin. Maybe he’s just trying to be helpful! That’s probably it. I mean it makes perfect sense for him to wake me up at 1am barking his ears off so I would know that hey…if I’m feeling a bit parched, I can now get a nice beverage with the freshest ice possible. Yeah…we’ll call it helpful. For now…

He likes my cat, Paco (Apacolypso…after the JB song) and doesn’t  mind the neighbor’s dog too much…even when she attempts to jump through my open window. He’s cool with that.

But let’s back up a bit to Friday. Also known as the Friday of Lostness, and Awesomeness.

I set out to meet Miss Ashlei for an awesome hike! We picked our spot, planned it out, and I even downloaded a few geocaches for the day! I had a lovely drive along the back roads of Southwest VA, mostly staying right along The Crooked Road. It was a glorious day.

Ashlei and I were to meet at the trailhead for Whitetop Mountain just past the town of Damascus at 9am. I got to the town, found the appropriate road…and began to get a bit concerned.

I grew more and more concerned as I kept driving…and looking for the trail signs. According to my directions there would be a sign marking the Appalachian Trail…however let me tell you buster, if there is a sign for it on Beech Mountain Road in Damascus, I drove up and down that tiny little gravel mountain road about 50 times, seeing no such sign!

I decided to try other options and followed some helpful green state signage for Whitetop Mountain. (You would think this would have worked out for me…but you would be wrong) I turned down the designated road…and drove along…being mildly concerned about my inability to find Ashlei, and also my inability to achieve cell phone signal and notify her of my predicament. As luck would have it, I came to a large sign and parking area for the Appalachian Trail! However…this was for Mt. Rogers. Not Whitetop…and because I had actually referenced a map at some point, I knew this wasn’t the parking area I wanted. So I pressed onward.

After about another 30 minutes of driving around confused, and glaring at my GPS which is normally so helpful, unless you yourself don’t know where it is that you want to go…I achieved cell phone signal by pulling off the side of the road, in to a gravel area that clearly other people had used for just this purpose seeing as it was the ONLY place in 10 square miles with an ounce of signal. My phone then told me I had a voicemail from Ashlei. This…was not helpful because the voicemail said she had NO signal and was calling from a payphone.

She said she would try and get ahold of her boyfriend, Matt, who I know from the blog-o-sphere as well. Luckily I had him on my chat contacts and managed to get ahold of him and he called to say he got a similar voicemail. We tried to work out a plan…but…were really both at a loss.

Finally, after a bit more driving around (by this time it was around 11:30, 2 and a half hours after we were to meet) and going back to the cell phone magic spot…Ashlei CALLED!!! She had driven back to cell phone signal!!! We agreed to meet at a predetermined location of which we both knew of…and 30 minutes later we were FINALLY able to find each other!

So. After that, you’d want to hang up your hat, right? It’s now 12:15 or so…3 hours after we intended to set out to hike 6 miles. And we STILL don’t know where this elusive trailhead is. But no. Since I’ve found the Mt. Rogers area…we decide to just go wander up there!

So we did. We managed to wander to Buzzard’s Rock. We had some great chats, saw some AMAZING scenery, and met some cool thru-hikers and shared a bit of trail magic with them. 🙂 Good fortune for them good karma for us!

We got more pictures than I can even begin to share. If you want to see them all, please visit my photobucket album here: http://s539.photobucket.com/albums/ff354/PinkDsnyPrncess/Hiking%20with%20Ashlei/

But here are some of the highlights, INCLUDING a picture of Whitetop Mountain which we DID manage to find! Sneaky bugger. Now if only we could figure out how to get to the parking area…that we did actually hike past. Haha.

AT <3

AT ❤

Spoon and the other two thru-hikers we met. Yes, his name was Spoon.

Spoon and the other two thru-hikers we met. Yes, his name was Spoon.

This? Is why hiking rocks. Pictures are nice, but it's not the same.

This? Is why hiking rocks. Pictures are nice, but it's not the same.

Ashlei! She comes from the rocks!!!

Ashlei! She comes from the rocks!!!

Whitetop! Of which we did not hiketh.

Whitetop! Of which we did not hiketh.

Ahhh the trail.

Ahhh the trail.

So. Then because that 6.5 mile hike just wasn’t enough, I set out on Saturday with my parents, my new dog, and a fellow Star City Strider.

We hiked Stiles Falls, which was a really nice, short 3 mile hike. The waterfall is amazing and ends in a shallow pool at the bottom where we could actually get in, and walk right up to the falls! It was really awesome!

The climb up the rocks to the pool was a little much for our four legged companion, so my dad found a lovely shaded stump to sit on and held on to Tully for me.

It's a happy hiking dog!

It's a happy hiking dog!

Apparently, Tully had already made up his mind who his mom was…and he had NO interest in watching her climb up and over rocks, and out of sight near roaring water. Dad said that he whined and pulled on the leash almost constantly and REALLY got upset when I was out of eyesight. He seems to like me, so yay for that!

It felt SO good!!!

It felt SO good!!!

Then I climbed back down and took Tully from dad so that he could go up to the falls with mom. Aaaand that’s when mom dropped her camera.

But she didn’t JUST drop it in the water, no, that would be too easy. She dropped it BETWEEN two of the boulders that we’d climbed to get to the pool below the falls. And I do mean boluders.

So after dad, mom, and the other member of our party all tried but failed to reach the camera from the rocks, I had dad come back down, hold Tully and I climbed up in the cave-like opening that the boulders made.

Who got the camera out?

Nuff said.

Nuff said.

This girl. 🙂

Then…camera in hand, we headed down. (I’m not sure what the damage was…it was still on when I got it…but we took out the batteries, opened all the flaps/bits and let it air out, we also put it in a bowl of dry rice in hopes of pulling out the moisture. I have the SD card…but nothing to plug it in to to check it’s functionality…haven’t talked to mom to see if the camera works)

And then…because apparently I have developed a fascination with climbing up anything I possibly can…I decided to climb this tree.

And if I do something…mom of course want’s to go too. 🙂

It made for a lovely family portriat!

The Fam!

The Fam!

So, those are my adventures so far in the land of summer! This is my first summer not working/going to school in 10 years. You have NO idea how excited I am.

I think I’m hiking with some people from the Outdoor Club on Wednesday…and maybe again with Ashlei at the end of the month!!!!!!

Running-wise…I didn’t make it through the half that I had planned. It was pushing 75 degrees and humid at the 9am race start…I made it through the 10K portion and KNEW I was done. I was dehydrated all ready and I knew another 7 miles would have been a bad idea. I dropped out. My first DNF.

But I’m glad I did. I had a MASSIVE headache from then until Sunday morning from the dehydration. Going on would have probably been dangerous for me! No regrets at all! It was a beautiful course…but I just don’t do well in heat. Next year, I’ll just sign up for the 10K, unless the start-time moves back!

Since I have the summer off…my goals are to be outside as much as possible, do as much fiber-related art as possible, and really improve my running. I’m going to make working out my “job” for the summer. 🙂

But in fiber-related news, I have done a lot! I’ll explain in picture form…because I fully realize knitting, dyeing, and spinning aren’t exactly exciting topics of conversation for most people.

It's a sheep! Her name is Amidala *like from Star Wars* and I have her fleece to make in to yarn! YAY!

It's a sheep! Her name is Amidala *like from Star Wars* and I have her fleece to make in to yarn! YAY!

I finished my Aunt's socks...only 6 months late!

I finished my Aunt's socks...only 6 months late!

I spun up some fine fiber!

I spun up some fine fiber!

I recycled yarn from a goodwill sweater and dyed it!

I recycled yarn from a goodwill sweater and dyed it!

I dyed some more yarn...

I dyed some more yarn...

And then I dyed a little bit more.

And then I dyed a little bit more.

And then I knit a felted adult beverage insulating holder type deal. *read as: Beer Huggie*

And then I knit a felted adult beverage insulating holder type deal. *read as: Beer Huggie*

I also knit a hat. (And started another pair of socks and another huggie)

I also knit a hat. (And started another pair of socks and another huggie)

Well, now that I can check “update your blog, you slacker” off my list…I’m going to go work on another one of the the MANY things that I neglected in the past few weeks!

So long for now! (But hopefully not too long this time!)

It Just Comes Natural

April 28, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Posted in Blogroll, Books, Half-Marathon, People I Meet | 5 Comments
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Hey guys!

For once I didn’t have a race this weekend! Crazy, huh?

Let’s get right in to it, shall we?

Uhhhhhh……..Ok wordpress changed something. The little tab where I could select my font size is now gone. Hello? Where’d it go?

Um so anyway….

Running Week:

This seems a lot less exciting without my bigger title font. *huffs at wordpress*

Well I guess the font size fits my running the past week or so! After the 10K…I didn’t feel like doing JACK. I seriously laid around all week. Between being tired in general, burnt out on school work, and doing 3 races in 3 weeks…I was DONE.

So I was a slug all week. It wasn’t as great as it sounds. You ever do that? Decide to rest…but then just end up feeling lazy? I hate that.

Sunday I kicked my self back in to gear. My half training schedule called for a 5K race, but we all know I can do that, no prob. So I was going to try for 7 miles…but I only manged 4. That’s not too bad though! It was mist/raining…so by the time I got back from 4, I was SOAKED.

The good news is that so far this week I had an AWESOME 4.5 mile run yesterday, and a…mostly crap-tastic 3miler today. 🙂 Oh well. It’s better than last week already!

Also today I had one of those “I never thought I’d say these words” moments. I found myself saying to my neighbor “I think I lost my pepper spray in your yard.” which I followed with “It’s pink. If you or your dog happens to find it, please let me know.”

You feel like a winner when you lose your pepper spray. 🙂

See, it’s not my fault, I swear. And I don’t NORMALLY carry pepper spray! Honest! But I was going to run this long country road…where there’s not many houses, not a lot of traffic…but there are dogs…and other animals…and we’re in the woods…and there can be coyotes….and there have been shootings and a few rapes here so um…yeah. Pepper spray. So. I was heading out to run, and the neighbor’s dog spotted me and came tearing after me, so I helped catch her…and apparently my pepper spray fell off in their yard. I didn’t notice till halfway through my run…but I figured that’s where it had fallen.

So yeah. Pepper spray. But the good news is my neighbor found my pepper spray and I now have it back! Yay for not having to spend 15 bucks!

Anyway.

No races in store for this weekend, but I AM going to hike Dragon’s Tooth  (which is part of the AT) with some of the Striders! Super excited about that. Get ready for a TON of pictures!!!

There’s absolutely NO knitting to speak of, so let’s move on in to this week’s…

Favorite:

So this week’s favorite is thanks to last week’s favorite. 🙂 This week’s favorite is the movie Food Inc.

Wow. Just WOW.  Did you know that the average food product travels about 1,500 miles to get to your grocery store? And that transporting food accounts for 30,800 tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year? Did you know that in order to kill the bacteria in the hamburger you buy at the grocery store, it’s been soaked in ammonia? Did you know that there is some corn product or corn byproduct in almost everything in the grocery store?

If you haven’t seen it…please, just give it a chance. You’ve probably wasted an hour and a half of your life on something MUCH less important, less interesting, and less entertaining…so just…try it. Netflix has it…I’m sure you can find bits and pieces of it floating on the web…

I liked it so much I bought the DVD so I can make all my family and friends watch it.

Even just go to the website. http://www.foodincmovie.com/ Just…look around. I mean…don’t you think you should know a LITTLE something about the stuff you actually put inside your body? We all want our doctors to wash their hands before surgery…or even before they poke and prod us in the exam room. Don’t you want to be sure the food you’re actually putting inside yourself every single day…is safe?

So thanks to Food Inc…I’ve made some pretty big changes in the last week or so. I’ve started eating all organic…or as much as I can find. I’m in rural southwest VA…and some grocery stores still don’t carry organic stuff. But on the weekends I’m going to the farmer’s market…I’ve made two homemade pizza’s…with amazing homemade sauce and dough…a rockin homemade salad dressing…and of course my amazing scrambled eggs.

Organic just TASTES better. If you’ve never had free-range organic eggs straight from a farmer…you’re missing out. Eggs will never taste the same again.

Anyway. This favorite has been too long…must cease and desist.

Other Junk:

Well I really have no other junk. OH WAIT! Yeah I do! Haha.

More planting!!! It ties in nicely with my whole organic deal. If you’ve had veggies you raise yourself…you KNOW how much better they are than the store-bought ethelyne-gas ripened crap. Bleh.

Tomatoes, broccoli, eggplant, romaine lettuce, and more!

Tomatoes, broccoli, eggplant, romaine lettuce, and more!

So excited for these little guys to grow up!!!

I also made sweet potato chips. I haven’t perfected it yet…but they are SCRUMPTIOUS!!! If you’ve made chips at home by baking them…PLEASE tell me how to get them crispy?! Mine turn out either burnt, or slightly mushy…like french fry consistancy. I mean I eat them either way but…how do I crisp them?

Mmmm sweet potato chips!

Mmmm sweet potato chips!

Other than that…just….trying to get through the next 37 days until school is OUT!!!!!! I can’t wait. 🙂

Sharing Shoutout:

This week’s shoutout is to Miss Ashlei over at The Vegster. I want to say a HUGE thanks to her for sharing her amazing-fantastic-yummy-delecious-tasty-freakingawesome granola recipe.

Doesn't that just look amazing! And it's not even cooked yet!

Doesn't that just look amazing! And it's not even cooked yet!

It’s her Double Coconut Granola and it can be found on her blog under Recipes. Let me tell you….it is amazing. In a word…”granogasmic”. I devoured the first batch, only stopping long enough to share a taste with mom…and I just made a double batch today. 🙂 I will never buy granola from a store AGAIN. This stuff is better than cookies!

Hellooooooo granola.

Hellooooooo granola.

Ashlei…you freaking rock.

Alrighty, off to eat some granola!!

That Good Old Mountain Dew

April 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Posted in Cross Training, People I Meet, running, Training | 5 Comments
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No Mountain Dew for me…but I did have some Mountain Mayhem. 🙂

Oh wow. SO much to talk about!!!!!

I can’t even remember what I did or didn’t talk about last time. Geez.

Running Week:

Well, as you know last weekend was a 5K that I turned in to a 10K. This weekend I had a REAL 10K. My first time ever racing that distance. Yeah, I’d ran it before, but never raced.

So of course, in my typical style, I don’t do an EASY 10K. No, nothing flat. Nothing simple. Nothing on pavement even! Of course I do a Mountain Junkies race. The Mill Mountain Mayhem. Aptly named.

The entire first mile is uphill. Entire.

And not a little hill either. A mondo-jumbo-evil hill. A mountain even.

Hence the name.

Thank GOD the finish was all downhill. However we did have to walk about a half mile UPHILL to get to the start. Which was also uphill.

Thank GOD the finish was all downhill. However we did have to walk about a half mile UPHILL to get to the start. Which was also uphill.

Actually it takes you through the Star City trails system, TO Mill Mountain, behind the zoo, around the Star **Roanoke is known as the Star City** and then back down the hill. Somehow…this amounts to 6.2ish miles. I still swear the first 4 miles were all uphill. Even after we reached the Star…and circled around to the back of it….the trail STILL had a slight incline.

I said quite a few choice phrases….and mom was behind me the whole way. Haha.

Mostly I was saying bad things about the race directior. I’ve been doing his races for years now…and at some point in every race, I question his sanity…or question his motives for the course. 🙂 He and his wife are both awesome. I’m a huge fan of their races, no matter how painful.

The best race crew EVER. These ARE the Mountain Junkies.

The best race crew EVER. These ARE the Mountain Junkies.

Also this week I found a new road near my house to run/bike. It’s VERY quiet. Secluded almost. I ran for about 20 minutes on it and was only passed by one car. That’s pretty great. It’s fairly flat, and doesn’t have any nasty curves so I feel safe on a bike without worrying that a driver will come up behind me on a turn and not see me. I haven’t biked it yet. I figured I’d run it first to get a better idea of the traffic on the road. It’s easier to jump out of the way on foot than on a bike!

Knitting Week:

Not a lot of knitting. Worked a little on my aunt’s socks. I’m having second-sock syndrome. I just don’t wanna knit them anymore.

I did spin some though! AND over the last week or two I learned how to set the twist in my yarn, so yay me!

Working with my roving from Gate City. Mmmm.

Working with my roving from Gate City. Mmmm.

Whoo, I has yarn!

Whoo, I has yarn!

Favorite:

This week’s favorite HAS to be netflix on the wii. OH MY GOSH. I can get a TON of movies and TV shows INSTANTLY to my TV. Considering the fact I don’t have real TV here…just broadcast…this is incredible. I went from having 4 channels, 5 on a sunny day, to just about ANY movie or TV show I want.

Ta-Da!!!

Ta-Da!!!

Yeah, they are all old episodes, but I’ve been without real TV for almost a year now…so I finally get to catch up!

Plus, the movies! I don’t have to wait 3 days to change out movies. If I watch part and end up not liking it, it wasn’t a wasted 3 days!

Netflix, your instant movies rock my face. (Yes, I stole that. You know who you are and you know you love me.)

Other Junk:

Well because a 10K on some brutal trails yesterday wasn’t enough…the bff and I decided to go a-hiking.

We wandered down to Fairystone Park to explore the trails around there.

Oh how I love hiking season. Man it’s awesome out today. 65 degrees or so…sunny, but breezy…perfect.

We picked a trail at random…Stony Falls I think?

The first drop wasn't much taller than I am. You can walk in the stream right up to it.

The first drop wasn't much taller than I am. You can walk in the stream right up to it.

The falls were little, but being as we’re in a flatter part of the state, I didn’t expect much. The falls were small enough that if it was warmer…I really would have considered trying to climb them. Maybe another time. But after the falls, we kept going on the trail, and found an AWESOME view.

A seat with a view!

A seat with a view!

Then we continued on the trail…followed the signs for the trail head…which on the map there were only 2…but…let me just say one trail head is NOT the same as another.

We wound up near a camp ground, but NOT the one we parked near…so we found another trail…that pointed us closer to the right direction…and then thanks to some lucky guessing, we found our way back to the car.

The trails were all REALLY well marked…we always knew what trail we were on, what mile we were at, but the downside of the park/hike was that we couldn’t find a big trail system map ANYWHERE. It would have been nice to be able to see a “You are here” dot somewhere….especially in the parking lot or at the camp ground so we could better locate ourselves.

Overall, I liked the trail we went on, and I really want to go back again soon.

I need more hiking companions. Any takers?!?!? I pack a great picnic! 🙂

Also, being as it’s Earth Week, I did my fair share!

I planted stuff! Yesterday I planted 5 tomatoes and 2 basil plants.

I planted stuff! Yesterday I planted 5 tomatoes and 2 basil plants.

I got this off of The Vegster’s blog. I’m not actually participating in the challenge…but I just enjoy knowing that I’m helping our planet. I typically do these things anyway…so it works. Here’s the list. The ones in bold are the ones I did this week!

GREEN WEEK CHALLENGES:

  1. Wash clothes with cold water 1 pt **I do it every time!**
  2. Drink a green smoothie 1 pt
  3. Eat a vegetarian or vegan meal 1 pt
  4. Use cloth napkins 1 pt
  5. Make and use your own cleaning products (Recipes here!) 2 pts
  6. Use a canvas, or reusable, grocery bag 1 pt
  7. Plant a tree/herb/vegetable (indoors or out) 2 pts
  8. Shop at your local farmers market or buy only local produce for a day 1 pt ***I went to 3 local markets, does that count 3 times?***
  9. Shop at your local farmers market/buy local for the next week 2 pts
  10. Take all batteries, old computers, DVD players, or other electronics to an electronics recycling center (keep hazardous substances out of the landfill) 2 pts
  11. Start a compost 2 pts
  12. Clean out your pantry and donate unopened non-perishables to a food bank 2 pts
  13. Walk, bike or take public transportation to work for the ENTIRE week 2 pts
  14. Carpool to work/store/gym 1 pt
  15. Make an Earth inspired meal using only whole foods- whole grains, fresh veggies and/or fruits, nuts, seeds 1 pt
  16. Get in touch with the Earth- try a yoga class, go for a walk without distractions such as your Ipod, meditate 1 pt
  17. Donate your time to a soup kitchen (good karma!) 2 pts
  18. Bring a reusable coffee cup on your next cafe run 1 pt
  19. Hang laundry to dry 1 pt

Also this week…I watched Food Inc. We will have to have a WHOLE separate post about that sometime. Whew.

Sending Luck Shoutout:

This week’s shoutout is to everyone doing BOSTON tomorrow!!!!! Karyn is gearing up, and a lot of people from my local running group are going as well. GOOD LUCK to everyone that’s Boston Bound!!!!

I’m SOOOO streaming the race tomorrow during school. My kids can DEAL. 🙂

Party Like It’s Your Birthday

April 12, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Posted in 5k, People I Meet, running, Training, Triathlon | 6 Comments
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Or rather I’m gonna blog like it’s my birthday. 🙂

Cause it is. 🙂

Whooo go me!

So I’m going to deviate from my normal pattern and do a birthday and race special. 🙂 Cause I can. 🙂

Race Special:

Last Friday started my spring break from school so I headed home for some rest and family time. Saturday morning I got up and headed to the local park for a 3 mile run. When I got there it appeared as though there was a race about to take place.

I parked, and as I did so another car parked behind me and a fellow Star City Strider hopped out! I quickly asked him about the race and he told me it was an 8K for a local charity.

So I said…”Hey, might as well”.

I’d never done an 8K race before…and was scheduled to do 5 miles on Sunday anyway so I figured I’d move it up a day.

Let me tell you…entering a race on a whim makes you feel like a bona-fide real-live runner with a capital R. 🙂

Not ONLY did I run my first 8K race, but I did it with some very prestegious company. James Kipketer, Richard Bett, and David Cheromei. 3 amazing Kenyan runners. It was so incredible to run with them. I can’t even put in to words how cool that was. James Kipketer finished first in a time of 23:23. Yeah. 23 minutes for 5 miles. It was even more amazing that when I was finishing and they were cooling down, they cheered for the runners coming in. It’s just one more reason why I love this sport. You don’t get to play football with Randy Moss or Peyton Manning. But with running…you’re on the same course at the same time. Same playing field. I love it.

So anyway, after an awesome 8K last week, I had a 5K planned for this past weekend. Our first Susan G. Komen race in the Roanoke Valley. I have been looking forward to this for a year!! The Striders helped organize the event so naturally I volunteered to help the day of the race since I would be running anyway.

Carly and I posing at the finish.

Carly and I posing at the finish.

The president assigned me an awesome job…he asked if I could lead the non-competitive 5K portion. I instantly agreed. I wasn’t sure what exactly that entailed…but hey, lead a race? SURE!

So the morning of the race I met up with all our Strider volunteers and got the details of my assignment.

See, I’d entered the COMPETITIVE 5K. I was asked to lead the NON-COMPETITIVE. With this particular race…there are 3 parts. Competitive 5K, Non-competitive 5K, and 1 mile. The two 5K’s start 45 minutes apart…so I could either drop the competitive one…or run both.

There was never a question. I did both. 🙂 Yeah. If I thought signing up for a race on a whim made me feel like a real runner, well doubling my race distance day of the race…yeah, I’m a runner. 🙂 BAMF even.

So I did a 10K race. The bestest was there and I talked her in to doing the 10K as well. Hehe. I was so honored that our Striders president wanted me to lead the non-competitive. It was supposed to be mostly walkers but there were some FAST people in there too. They passed me…but I was fine with that. I’d already done one race that day! Haha.

Running a second 5K carrying a somewhat bulky sign the whole way...slightly less than awesome but still pretty freaking cool!

Running a second 5K carrying a somewhat bulky sign the whole way...slightly less than awesome but still pretty freaking cool!

I was also on the news and in the paper. 🙂 Awesomness.

So to recap…I ran an unplanned 8K and 10K. I. Rock.

2 weekends, 2 races, 2 distances I'd never raced before. BAMF.

2 weekends, 2 races, 2 distances I'd never raced before. BAMF.

Birthday Special:

It’s my BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!! Whooooooo!!!!!!!!!

Since I was home for the last week, there were lots of birthday happenings.

Easter dinner involved my birthday cake for dessert…red velvet, the best!

Mmmm cake.

Mmmm cake.

I also went down to Tennessee to see my adopted sister. 🙂 Today is her birthday too! ❤ We had several adventures which I will cover in the next post. 🙂

My sissy and me, out on an adventure.

My sissy and me, out on an adventure.

And then on Friday the bestest brought me birthday CUPCAKES!!!!

Hello, my love.

Hello, my love.

Oh my GOSH these things were AMAZING. No, we didn’t eat them all. Some were for her boyfriend and his family. 🙂 Let met tell you, one was enough to put me in a sugar coma. So good.

And for my own personal present, I bought myself a new bike seat!!! This puppy ROCKS! More on how great it is in the next post. 🙂

New bike seat!

New bike seat!

And to end things properly…

Sisterly Shoutout Special:

Today’s shoutout has to go to Jo. My sister-bear. 🙂 She’s my birthday buddy and the most awesome sissy in the whole world. She’s also in a LOT of trouble for tattling on me!

Ok so I maaaaaaay have talked her in to adopting a puppy while I was in Tennessee…but I mean…it’s not my fault! It was a CUTE puppy! She needed it. I swear.

So she adopted the pup…and brought it home today and I got an awesome text from mom saying that I’m on her hit list now. 🙂

Thanks Jo. Love ya.

Check back later this week for even more news!! *2 posts in a week!?! NO WAY!!!*

Live and Learn

February 7, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Posted in Blogroll, Music, People I Meet, running | 5 Comments
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Man, a lot to talk about this week.

Also…had a lot of time on my hands this week, what with the 2-3 feet of snow since the last post.

Quick snow summary:

Snowed Friday night/Saturday, school closed Mon-Wed. Went for 5 hours on Thursday. Closed again today. More snow and ice today. Haven’t seen the floor of my back deck since November. Has been covered in snow since then.

So instead of the Work Week we will have….

Snow Week:

Well, Saturday *last week, 1st snow* was sledding and snowboarding with the neighbors. Or rather attempted sledding/snowboarding. It was the dry, light, powdery snow that wasn’t even good for snowball making. Tragic. So…the 3 of us trooped around town…did a little B&E….

There’s a very creepy looking house nearby…that’s empty and…scary looking. So…we decided to look in the windows…and I apparently have the least fear in the group, because I managed to get a door open. 🙂 So we snooped around. Nothing really interesting, but we did trade ghost stories and managed to scare ourselves slightly.

After playing in the snow...my pants were frozen solid.

After playing in the snow...my pants were frozen solid.

Sunday…I think there was a lot of sleeping. I’m not sure. Monday I finally managed to get OUT of my driveway. Let me tell you it was SKETCHY. I got to go to lunch with the bestest, then talked her in to coming over that night! It sleeted/snowed Tuesday night so yet again, no school. Tuesday’s activities involved the Y, so more on that later.

Digging the car out.

Digging the car out.

Wednesday was another snow day, so I went up to visit the bestest for lunch yet again, and FINALLY was able to get in and out of my driveway without sliding in to a ditch!!! SUCCESS!

Thursday we had a 2 hour delay…and did some other activities of questionable legallity with the neighbor…and then Friday…..snow. Lots.

The car was re-burried. Not cool.

The car was re-burried. Not cool.

So far today I’ve cleared the snow off the heat pump because the news told me that was a good plan. During that adventure in to the outdoors, I learned a few things. 1) Knee high boots do not help in snow that is over your knees. 2) Dustpan = snow shovel in a pinch.

Actually I learned #2 back in December when we had the first 18 inch snow.

Also, made a pretty rockin snowman. Good times.

Snowman!!! I shall name him Bob.

Snowman!!! I shall name him Bob.

The news said Vancover has gotten around 2 inches of snow this winter so far….we’ve had 26. What now, winter Olympics!?!?!

Anyway.

Knitting Week:

Lots happening there. Did a little spinning, talked to some lovely ladies over on Rav and got some thoughts on my spinning. STILL haven’t dropped the drop spindle yet…but might get brave.

Finshed baby berry hat #2 and started #3. It should be done later today.

What what? Both baby hats done!!!

What what? Both baby hats done!!!

Also got a good portion of the Hokie scarf done for Aunt’s charity auction. Kind of gave up on the scarf that is a present for her…It’s angered me to the point of non-knittage.

Almost done!!!

Almost done!!!

Might do some sock work today too for lack of better options.

Also, the cat stole a knitting needle at one point this week and entertained himself greatly.

Workout Week:

Well I was doing pretty awesome up until yesterday! Every day I did some kind of workout, EVEN with the snow!!! I got The Firm’s Power Yoga on DVD from Netflix…and that thing is AWESOME. I did that at least 4 times this week.

Also did some kickboxing and lower body work.

On Monday I went to the YMCA with Carly. I now officially heart the Y. Carly got on the treadmill, and I got on an elliptical and every 10 minutes we traded for 40 minutes. It was a REALLY good workout.

The Y also has 2 NICE indoor pools…so I could train for my tri. Carly is probably doing one too!!!!!! WHOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the Y offers some great classes that all start around 5pm so I could actually get there AFTER school.

So if they accept my financial aid request application thingy….then I’m going to join. I…just can’t pay full price. With my student loans, medical bills, and credit card debt…*shudder* No.

But anyway, love the Y. Really hope I can afford to join. Mmmm pool.

Favorite:

Hmm, this week’s favorite would have to be Kim’s Quick Chili. It’s REALLY quick and easy and the local Minute Market carries all the necessary ingredients!!! Granted, it’s not my dad’s amazing chili, but this only takes about 30 minutes to cook. 🙂 Sometimes quick is best.

So I shall now share the recipe. It’s kind of Kim’s…and kind of mine. Kim found the recipe in a magazine…and if I remember correctly this magazine was in a Dr’s office and she ripped the page out because it looked so good. 🙂 But anyway, we’ve since lost both the magazine and actual recipe so we’re mostly going on memory…and guesstimation and taste. 🙂

Kim’s Superfab Speedy Chili:

1 lb Ground Beef *or ground turkey!*
1 16oz Jar Salsa
1 Can Tomato Juice
1 Onion Diced
1 Green Pepper Diced
1-2 Cloves Garlic Minced
2 Tbs Chili Powder
1 tsp Cumin
1 Tbs Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

In a large pot, brown beef in olive oil. Once it is browned, add onion, pepper, and garlic and sautee until onions are golden/clear. Add all other ingredients. Bring to a boil and stir every 2-3 mintues. Add any other spices and salt or pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

Other Junk:

Not a lot to report. Most of it was covered in the Snow Week. 🙂 I did help my neighbor put together some rockin good surprises for her boyfriend’s birthday. One of the surprises….well…it involved a lot of heavy lifting, and putting things in the trunk/back seat of my car that I never thought would fit there. If you really want to hear the story, email me. I’m going to try and not publically incriminate myself.

But man I was proud of our accomplishment. I can’t wait to see how he likes his present.

I also helped her make a cake to surprise him with so that was fun.

Mmmm cake...

Mmmm cake...

Now…I just have to get some school work done, then I’m going to knit through the superbowl.

GO COLTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And then…I am going to pray for a 2 hour delay tomorrow. 🙂 I can’t help it. As much as I hate giving up my spring break for snow days…I love unplanned time off.

Also I don’t think I have a  prayer of getting out of my driveway until Tuesday at the earliest. It’s kinda nasty still.

So we’ll see what happens! It would be nice if the snow would go away so I can go running.

But oh, wait. It’s supposed to snow AGAIN next weekend.

Anyway.

Scrappy Shoutout:

This week’s shoutout goes to Teri. First off, THANKS for all the email love and hugs and checking in on me!!! That made my day. You are awesome. Also…the vet thing…UBER awesome. So thanks for keeping me entertained this week, and making me smile. 🙂

Have a good one, guys!!

I Try

April 27, 2009 at 7:56 pm | Posted in 5k, Cross Training, People I Meet, running, TNT, Training | 4 Comments
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Yeah. That’s right. I did my first triathlon!!!!!!!!!!

Angel’s Triathlon!!! J I was sooo nervous but I did pretty well!!! I met my 2 goals which were to FINISH and to do so in under 2 hours!!! YAY!!!!!!!

So we’ll start on Saturday.

First off, on an un-tri-related note…my cat decided to be a holy terror. I was sitting in the living room having lunch and from my bedroom I hear a massive crash that sounds as though he may have set a bomb off somewhere in my closet. I fully expected to walk in my bedroom and be able to see through to the neighbor’s apartment. Thankfully that was not the case…but somehow…SOMEHOW my cat had managed to JUMP to the very tip top of the closet…a good 8 feet from the ground…and then had proceeded to shove everything off the closet shelf. Everything.

When I got in there, this is the scene I saw.

 

And then…from above…lept my cat. He jumped down…walked out of the room…then came back in, sniffed the wrecked pile of stuff in the floor as if to say “I heard a crash, I came as quickly as I could. What happened???” and then once he saw that none of his belongings were involved in the crash, he went to rest behind the door.

 

Yeah. That’s the face of evil. But it’s cute evil.

So after I cleaned up his mess, and cleaned my apartment, and packed, I left for mom’s at around 1pm. Mom and dad then drove me to where the Tri Club was meeting to go to the race. And let me just say, I only freaked out about what I was packing about 3 times…which is good for me.

Oh, and before I left, Tracy wrote some good luck messages on me. One from the dog…and one from him.

We loaded all the gear in to the vans and we were off! And I proceeded to mildly freak out about the reality of the impending race day.

The race was about 2 hours away and we were staying with one of the club member’s parents. They were making dinner for us and had some wonderful snacks ready when we got there. While we waited we chatted and I got to play a pretty decent game of chess! Woot for chess!!!

Dinner was amazing and then we went over bikes and checked the gear. (Read as: Everyone who knew what they were doing checked their gear and bikes. I pestered people with questions and said about 40341 prayers. However the Tri Club is amazing and dealt with my questions VERY well. You guys rock.)

 

So…then we had a small meeting and then it was time for bed. And…I woke up around 3:30am or 4. Because let’s face it. I worry. A lot. And I freak out on a regular basis…and…there was plenty for me to worry over. Or at least I thought.

By 5:15 when the alarm went off I’d given myself an awesome upset stomach. Thankfully I didn’t have time to freak out too much because we had to be out the door by 5:45. So…I packed and ran!

We got to the race site around 6am and set up our transition areas and get body marked. Since this was my first time one of the other more experienced members helped me set up. Actually almost all of the other members helped me a GREAT deal. They ALL wished me good luck and they were all amazingly supportive. Not once did they make me feel like an outsider in their club/sport nor did they treat me like I had no clue what I was doing…which…well that was the reality of it. I am so grateful to the entire club for being so overwhelmingly helpful, friendly, and supportive.

For this race they ask you who you’re running for, meaning someone that currently has an illness or has passed away due to an illness. I chose 3 people to run my race for; my friend’s cousin who had passed away, Matt; My former art teacher who died of cancer, Sally; and my friend’s mom who is currently fighting cancer, Shirley. The names of these 3 people were written on me in permanent marker and are still on me right now.

So once I had everything set up…and had re-checked it umpteen times I began to go over my game plan. By this time I was trying to figure out what part of the tri to worry about most. I knew I could deal with the run…because I’m a runner. I know how to do that. I’ve got plenty of experience. So that leaves the swim and bike to fret over. Well….I’d swam almost double the distance of this swim earlier in the week so I knew I was capable of it…and I’d tried biking this week and…well…you know that story. So…my logical deduction was that I should worry about the bike. Ok. 15 miles of biking. If I can get through that…I can do this.

Right.

Well the event started at 8:00am. My start time wasn’t until 9:19am. So…I had some extra worry time. But thankfully, MOM APPEARED!!! YAY MOM AND DAD!!!!!!!!!!!

They set to work taking pictures and around 8:45 I got in the warm-up pool and did a few laps and before I knew it, it was time for me to line up.

THEN I WAS DOING A TRIATHLON!!!!!!!!!!

 

Nice pic, mom.

I PASSED SOMEONE SWIMMING!!! Yeeeah me. Go me. I was one of the two people with the VT Tri Club that was doing their first tri. She and I decided that our goal was to pass someone at some point in the race…and I SO TOTALLY DID!!! So did she, so congrats to her!

Anyway, then I was off and running to my first transition. I spent a little extra time here because I wanted to make sure I got everything right and also since I FAIL at drinking water while biking…I made sure and drank before I got on the bike. So…then I was off. And I biked.

And I kinda rocked it.

I did stop twice to drink and take a Gu because everyone had told me hydration was key…so I went with it. And really, the bike part was kinda nice. I enjoyed it. I did go slower than I would have liked but I am still kind of scared of going fast down hills so I stayed within my comfort zone and just enjoyed it. I got a little sore but not too bad. Before I knew it, I was biking back towards the transition area. I only had to get off the bike and push it one time because there was one very evil hill. Actually, there were two evil hills, but the second one had AMAZING crowd support and I’d like to give a huge shoutout to the Angel’s Volunteers…without their cheering I never would have made it. I still can hear their voices in my head. I think they knew how hard that hill was so they positioned themselves there for a reason. I can honestly say I wouldn’t have made it up that hill still biking if it hadn’t been for them. So…if you were volunteering for this race, thank you. You have no idea how much your support meant. You are the ONLY reason I got up that hill.

And then it was time for my second transition. Time to run. Running. I got this. I’ve done this. I know I can do this.

I got part of a Gu…got a lot of water…and ran.

And mom met me and ran with me!!! YAY MOM!!!

But dang. I was exhausted. Just…spent. I ran. And I ran as much as I could. But eventually I had to walk. It was hot, pushing 80 degrees, and I was TIRED.

So I walked some and ran some…and WAS able to finish the race running!!! And actually my run time wasn’t terrible. I’ve had worse run times!!!

Looking back…you know what part I liked the best? The bike.

Remember what I decided to worry about? The bike.

Yeah.

So my times were as follows: Swim – 8:08. T1 – 2:31. Bike – 1:08:23. T2 – 1:19. Run – 35:34.

Total time: 1:55:52. Under 2 hours. I did it.

I TRI’d my best. And I’m now a triathlete. And the USAT sticker is now proudly on my car.

And when I got home from the tri, there was a surprise in my freezer. The worlds most amazing boyfriend left ice cream cupcakes and some…instructions for how to arrange them depending on if I finished or not (He was exposed to my excessive worry…I think I damaged him) which was awesome. He had to leave for a business trip so that’s why he wasn’t there to support me. 🙂

And I’m already picking out my next triathlon. I’ve found some awesome ones in Tennessee later this summer… J

And Shoutouts:

Heather: For being the best trainer ever. For always making me feel better. For picking me up when I fall. For pushing me. For telling me I could do this. For never giving up on me. For being a BAMF. Thanks.

Jan: Thanks for getting me through the half. And thanks for checking in to see if I’m doing ok. J Your support means a lot and I promise to continue to keep you updated about my progress!!! MCM is coming up and I plan to bug you plenty about it!!!! I can’t wait to start back with TNT again soon!!!!

Dad: Thanks for driving. And you’re a great pack mule. LOVE YOU!!!!

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