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!)

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!!!*

Break Stuff

March 31, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Posted in Cross Training, Half-Marathon, running, Training | 6 Comments
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All my stuff keeps breaking. See “Other Junk” for details.

Annnd it’s been almost 3 weeks!

I swear, I need to work on my posting regularity. The good news is there was a lot more running than blogging so…that’s what counts, right? 🙂

Knitting Week:

Hmm…where did I leave you? Oh, my fun little bags! Well using said bags quite a bit. Haven’t made more…no time and haven’t been home but that’s ok.

I did finish ONE of the aunt’s socks! One more to go!!!! I also cast on for a cat sweater that dad wants.

Yeah. Cat sweater.

Not a sweater for him with a cat on it…but a sweater for his cat.

Yeah.

I’ll just stop there. There are no words. But feel free to google images of “cat in sweater”. It’s highly amusing.

This is the one I’m making, except in red.

Yeeeah. Cat sweaters. So wrong. So very wrong.

Yeeeah. Cat sweaters. So wrong. So very wrong.

Yeah.

Running Week:

So far this week, 2 good runs and some awesome yoga.

Last week, 2 run days, some sick days, and some yoga.

Week before, 3 run days, bike day (whoo!) and some other stuff.

PS, Half Marathon training started. DUM-DA-DUM!!!!!!!!! So super excited! The half is the Trail Nut Half that Mountain Junkies does. Pretty awesome if you ask me.

I’m also hoping to sign up for the MCM come this time next week. I’m debating between that and the OBX Marathon. Mom REALLY wants to do a half this fall…and since MCM doesn’t have a half…and OBX does…I’m debating. If mom will pay for lodging and transportation to OBX…I’m down with that one. 🙂 Also may talk Carly, Chrissy, Cali, Jordan and Kristen in to doing that one. Or at least I’ll TRY to talk them in to it. Haha. OH but wait…Karyn is doing MCM this year I think……Crap, I wanted to meet her! Karyn, you doing MCM? Yesno?

Anyway. Next Saturday is the Susan G Komen race here and I am BEYOND excited!!!!!!!!! Hopefully my friend and her mom, who is a breast cancer survivor, will walk it with me. That would be awesome. Either way, I’ll be there helping out and/or running/walking. 🙂

I missed signing up for BOTH tri’s so no BAMF award for me. 😦 But I will do the Mill Mountain Mayhem on April 17th. Pretty excited for that.

Moving on.

Favorite:

This week’s favorite…I’m going to go with Geocaching!!!!!! What’s Geocaching, you ask??? Well wander on over to geocaching.com and find out!

It’s basically a bunch of dorks (myself included) that use million dollar government satellites to find tupperwear in the woods.

See??? FUN!!!

See??? FUN!!!

Heh.

All you need is a handheld GPS or even a car one *speaking of car GPS’s mine died. More on that later* and a decent sense of direction and stealth and you’re off!

It’s really fun. It’s kind of like treasure hunting for secret hiding locations. Basically, you get some coordinates from geocaching.com (type in your home address, I bet you 5 bucks that a cache pops up within 10 miles of you), drive/walk/hike/run/bike to the location….and get out your handy-dandy GPS…and try to find the cache! If you do, you sign the log…and head off to the next one.

They also encourage people to pick up trash on their way to/from the cache…so yay for being eco-friendly.

It’s really fun to do with a few friends, or with little kids, or adults who act like kids…Haha. So…if you haven’t tried geocaching, then DO IT! Otherwise, TFTC. 🙂

Other Junk:

So my TomTom died. Thankfully I noticed it’s little issue when I was trying to calculate how late I was going to be, and not how to get to where I was going. 🙂

It has somehow reset itself…and when I try to turn it on, it wants me to go through the setup…and when I get to “Select Voice” it crashes, and resets itself on it’s own….so I’m stuck in an infinite loop of Power on-setup-voice screen-crash.

Not. Cool. Can’t google my way out of it either. I’ve tried. If you do happen to have a suggestion, lay it on me, cause otherwise I’ve got a silver square paperweight. (Yes I’ve hooked it up to the computer, tried to update software, done a reset manually…still looping.)

Aaaand if that wasn’t awesome enough…my car crapped itself on Monday. Well technically Friday. It started being all weird…and when I’d put it in park the RPM’s would jump up to 3,000….while idiling….so that was awesome. But then Sunday it was FINE. Acted totally normal.

Monday morning, went out to start it…and RPM’s jumped WAY up again. Turned it off, TRIED to get a ride to work…couldn’t find ANYONE…had to take an unpaid day off work (NOT COOL) and then an hour later when I tried to drive it to the mechanic…… it was fine. Totally fine.

So it’s STILL at the mechanic…they think it might be the wiring…but we won’t know until tomorrow. Let me just say this is NOT how I wanted to spend my spring break…or my birthday cash. (I’ll be….older on April 12th) So yeah.

Other news…I planted stuff.

It grew.

It rained.

My cat is insane.

The end!

(Oh, and one of my students asked me if elephants lay eggs. They were serious.)

Sisterly Love Shoutout:

This week’s shoutout is to Cali who is my friend’s sister and like a sister to me. Heh, she may BE my sister-in-law one day but we’ll see. Anyway, Cali is AWESOME because she’s not only letting me drag her in to doing her first 5K, but she’s ALSO attempting to do my half-marathon training plan along with me!!! I’m pretty sure Cali is a much better runner and a lot more in shape than she gives herself credit for. So far she’s doing REALLY well with her half-training. Hence why I am totally going to talk her in to doing a half in the fall. 🙂

Heh. You know you want to!!!!

Love you guys!

Oh The Weather Outside Is Frightful

December 7, 2009 at 10:34 pm | Posted in 5k, Music, Training, Tri, Triathlon | 1 Comment
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Ok, so it wasn’t too frightful…but it was snowy and cold!!!! And it’s been more than a week since I’ve written, I know…but…that’s life. 🙂

And I was inside. Sick. More on that later. Let’s get down to it, shall we?

The Work Week:

Mmm, not a whole lot to report. I DID get my H1N1 vaccine though!!! I was so excited!!!! No flu for MEEEEEE!! Now I just have to get the regular flu shot and I’ll be set.

Thanksgiving was a blur, not enough time off!! Then last week…nothing to report really. It was work. So we’ll move on.

The Workout Week:

Well…I kind of sort of not really re-started P90X. 🙂

Kinda.

I managed to remember to bring it down with me after Thanksgiving. I did 2 days of it, then got a head cold of sorts. I’m thinking I’m going to do bits and pieces of it. It’s a very intense program, and I need to build back up to that level.

I also need to get back to training for a real race!!!! AND I want to do a few tri’s in the spring…and HOPEFULLY I’ve talked a few people in to doing them with me! *looks at her people* YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!!!!!!

Also this week…I changed my first bike tire!!!

*bows*

Yes, yes, SO PROUD!!!

Well, I changed the tube. I’d never changed a tire on ANYTHING so this was an accomplishment for me!

First, I had to get the wheel OFF the bike…that wasn’t too bad.

Changing the bike tire.

Changing the bike tire.

Then…taking out the old tube and replacing it with the new one.

Ok...I can do this...

Ok...I can do this...

All in all, it wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was a heck of a lot easier than replacing strings on a string instrument….we’ll get to that in a bit. That involved puncture wounds. Not ok. *shakes head*

Tomorrow I’m hoping to get some yoga in, and later this week a run or two before the Jingle Bell 5K on Saturday.

Then on the 19th there’s ANOTHER 5K so I’ll get my 9 races in 09!!!! WHOOO!!!! Speaking of which, I need to update the Race Rollcall page.

Moving on…

The Knitting Week:

Not a lot happened over break. I looked at my projects. I glared at my projects. But I didn’t really do much on them.

I did re-start the gray scarf for Aunt Cynthia….I got mad at it.

Evil Scarf....

Evil Scarf....

The old one is on the straight needle. I can’t do straight needles anymore, especially when purling!!! I wanted to rip my fingers off every time. So…I’m switching to Addi’s and doing a straight knit. It’ll go faster, because let’s face it, Christmas is COMING!!!

Then Aunt Sarah’s hat is coming along nicely. I don’t think I’m doing the decreases exactly right…because my number ended up a little off….but…I’m just going with it. It’ll be a beret, and she’ll like it no matter what.

It's almost done!!

It's almost done!!

Other than that…I worked a little on Aunt Connie’s socks…toe up for the first time. On DPN’s. Not so sure how that’s gonna go…

Now it’s time for this week’s….

Favorite:

I’m going to have to go with a good, wet, sticking SNOW. Just like the one we got this week!

Mmmm snow!

Mmmm snow!

Big, fat, HUGE flakes. The kind that’s PERFECT for making snow men. The kind that’s great for sledding…the kind that gets you out of school. Mmm, snow.

I didn’t get to go sledding, or make snow men, but I did spend the day watching it snow from the coffee shop window with the BFF. We had a good time even though we didn’t play outside much!

Other Junk:

Well, over Thanksgiving I did get to see my best friend and new new baby boy. I took them out for her birthday lunch so that was nice.

During the week I did manage to get some work done in my house. I hung up some pictures finally!

Yay for decorating!

Yeah, they are cheap frames from Walmart...but hey, for thirteen bucks...I'll take it!

Then I spent some time this weekend with Carly and Calypso…

Mom, I don't trust you...

Mom, I don't trust you...

And, upon coming home to see Tracy Friday night…I found this.

What's in that case???

What's in that case???

FIDDLE!!!!!!!!

FIDDLE!!!!!!!!

Yeah. I nearly screamed. He traded his guitar in to buy me a fiddle. I am still in shock.

So the fiddle caused me to also want my dulcimer. So that meant a trip to the music store to get strings since one was broken…and of course since we were at the music store, I had to buy a fiddle book!!! And some picks. And a mute for the fiddle (Which I cannot for the LIFE of me figure out how to put on…any suggestions?!?!) and other randomness.

Remember how I said changing a bike tire is easier than changing strings?

Yeah.

So I brought the dulcimer and fiddle home….much to the cat’s dismay…

Tomorrow, there WILL be a hairball on this, you do understand that, yes?

Tomorrow, there WILL be a hairball on this, you do understand that, yes?

And I replaced the one broken string on the dulcimer.

And while tuning it…I broke another.

Good thing I bought a pack of strings at the store!!!

Now all the strings are replaced, and I’m working on remembering how to play. 🙂 So far I can play a mean “Hot Cross Buns” and a pathetic first line of “O Little Town of Bethlehem”…

I haven’t done much on the fiddle yet. I can make it make a noise that doesn’t send animals and small children in to tears. That, I think, is progress.

That and my request for lessons from a local music school. 🙂

So now we shall close with our

Stellar Snowy Shoutout:

This week’s shoutout goes to Miss Chrissy….who has expressed a mild interest in doing a triathlon and I am using this shoutout as a shamless attempt to twist her arm in to joining me in April and doing a tri!!!

Chrissy you do NOT need someone there kicking your butt to do it. YOU can kick your own butt. I will be your online support system…but YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!

DO IT!!!!!!!!!

Ok, have a great day/holiday/week/whatever everyone!!!!!!!!

Insert Catchy Song Tune Title Here

October 27, 2009 at 7:12 pm | Posted in Cross Training, Half-Marathon, Training | Leave a comment
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Omg first post ever without song references….*gasp*

Ok. I need to either get with this blog, or drop this blog.

And honestly, I can’t drop it. Almost my entire running history is on here. I love this blog. I just don’t take CARE of this blog. I keep abandoning it. I’m a horrible blog-mommy.

I’m trying to think of how to organize this better, attract more readers…make it more….interesting and fun?  I don’t know. Just something.

For one, I want to do weekly posts, at a minimum. For another I am thinking about adding categories to the blog…like maybe my favorite thing of the week….my complaint of the week….my sucess of the week….?

I also want to add my knitting to the blog. I would really like to change the name entirely, to reflect that….but eh.

I’ve promised myself that if I can keep up with the blog, then I can start a podcast. I REALLY want to start a podcast. And that would involve a new blog….

Can I change my blog name on here? Can I keep all the same stuff but change the title maybe? Or does it have to stay pinkcowgirl.wordpress.com?

Well, enough with the housekeeping….let me review what’s been going on since July.

I started my new job. My first REAL person job. And I’m going to try and not mention that job on here at all. What I will tell you is that I am now a teacher. Being a teacher…I don’t want to talk about my school or students on here and possibly get in trouble. Also…I want this blog to be my happy place. 🙂

I kind of want it to be family-friendly enough to be ok if my kids or parents find it…but…I don’t know if that’s possible.

Anyway. So I am now a full time teacher. My first real job.

I moved….about an hour away from home. I miss my family and frieds tons. If any of you people are reading this….I MISS YOU!!!! Note me!!!!

I’ve been REALLY busy at work so….that’s why everything else has slacked off.

I didn’t get to run the MCM because I’ve been really stressed out and sick because of work. Very sad. I cried. But…it was the right decision.

So….because I can’t think right now….I’m going to post pictures of my life since July!!!!

Beth's Baby Blanket
Beth’s Baby Blanket. I finally finished it!!! I blocked it and everything! Yay me!!!

 

Whitney and Uri

I have an awesome new friend at work, Whiteny. This is her playing with Uri right before we carved pumpkins!!!!

 

My pumpkin is the T for University of Tennessee and hers is the breast cancer ribbon. 🙂

Uri for Sperly

 Cute picture of the dog, just for Sperly. Hope you see this!!!!

Tracy took me to my first college football game EVER!! GO VOLS!!!!

 

 

Peyton Manning was there!!!!

 

 

Aaand I'm almost done with mom's socks. One down....half of one to go!

 

Tracy and I carved pumpkins too!

Our pumpkins rock.

 

So…other than that, I’m trying to get back on the workout wagon. I tried biking on my trainer today…but um…I have a flat tire. I pumped it up, and the air came right back out. You can hear it leaking so…I guess this means I’m going to have to learn to change a bike tire!!!!

This weekend Carly and I are going to run a 5K, yay us!!!

Then in November we’re trying for a half marathon that’s local. I’m hoping we can make it!!! She’s been sick with the flu of some sort.

Ok, I’m going to go work on school stuff and try to format a more….organized blogging method.

Any suggestions?!?!?!?

MISSED YOU GUYS!!!!

OH!!!!!!!! And you can follow me on Twitter now!!!! RunnerInPink. But you have to send a request. Let me know that you are from wordpress and I’ll add you.

 

Funny How Time Slips Away

July 8, 2009 at 9:43 am | Posted in 5k, Training | 4 Comments
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Yeah, I know, I know.

First, a quick photo update…. (I say quick, but adding these pictures takes forever.)

I graduated.

I hiked.

My sister had a party.

My sister got married.

Carly and I went to the beach.

I hiked again.

I ran a 5K with mom. She won her age group.

I ran another 5K with mom. She won the Masters category and I got 2nd in my age group.

And I ran one more 5K with mom and Carly. Carly won our age group, mom won hers, and I came closer to my PR than I have in 3 years. 35 seconds away. Screw the age group, that rocks.

I rode Carly’s ponay. 🙂

I also moved twice (Don’t Ask.), went to 2 other weddings, celebrated my dad’s birthday, and did a lot of other crap that has kept me absurdly busy.

SO. That is where I have been for the last 2 months.

I have been ignoring my computer a lot so that makes it hard to keep up with the blog. Also, since I’m going to be working soon…my first real job…and let’s just say it involves a high school…I’m not sure what to do about the blog. It’s not really professional or that nice…and I’m pretty sure I don’t want my students to find me…Or their parents.

But I doubt they could. I’ve never posted my full name…I just talk about my life and my running. And I don’t know that I really want to transition to making this a cut and dry professional blog. If I’m going to write in a proper format and about specifictopics, that will probably be for the Striders newsletter.

Sooo….I think…I’m going to try and keep up with the blog, and keep this personal, and keep my professional life out of it. Granted I’m going to want to complain and talk about it, for sure…but I’m going to try and do that elsewhere. It’s not appropriate for a public forum such as this.

What do you guys think? Yes? No? Maybe? Get rid of the blog? Keep the blog? Actually write in the blog regularly??? Haha.

Mind you, I don’t write much about my personal life in here, but still, my weekend runs and my friendships…I’d really like to keep those away from my work. And the pictures. Pictures of people running…are not flattering. Since I’m still young I feel like I need to put in even more effort to appear professional than someone 10 or 15 years my senior. So I’d really like to keep my work relations away from this blog. We’ll see how it goes.

Well, in running news, training for the MCM has not been going so well. With everything else, I have not had a lot of time. I have been running regularly, as you can see, for the last month or two, but no real long runs. I’m going to try for 6 miles on Saturday but I think I should be closer do doing 9. Ugh. I am mildly worried. I’m going to have to talk to some people who have done a full before and see if I’m going to be in trouble.

MCM isn’t until October so I do have a few months, but still. I need to be further ahead right now. I also need to figure out how much pain I can expect the day after. I need to know if I should go ahead and take that day off work, or if I’m going to be in pain, but able to sit at work for the day. OH, good. Just looked and I’ve got a half day of work that day anyway. Excellent. So hopefully I can tough it out. After my 2 half’s, I was fine. But…I’m doing double that.

Yes, I need to consult some experts.

Well, speaking of work, I need to go get some done. Enjoy the update!!!!!! Hopefully another will soon follow! Maybe after the long run on Saturday!

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!!!!

Hurt So Good

February 1, 2009 at 8:13 pm | Posted in Half-Marathon, running, Training | 3 Comments
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I did 8 today!!!!!!!!!!! WHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8 miles!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday I did 4 with my trainer. Good times. I was kinda sluggish though, but today was much improved.

However…I don’t hurt yet. And I’m scared. And I’m not tired. And that scares me more. Normally….8 is NOT a happy distance for me but today…I kinda rocked it. I did 4 then paused for a moment and grabbed some shot blocks and some water. I shared a shot block with the dog. Hehe. I mean he was running probably 9…so he needed it. I kept him off the leash and on the shock collar so he ran up and down the path, and didn’t have to stay with me the whole time. He seems to like that better. He’s very well trained so…it works. Plus at 9 on a Sunday morning there aren’t a whole lot of other people in the park.

Well, not much else to report, other than the strange lack of soreness and tiredness. We’ll see how tomorrow feels. 🙂

And Now I’m Feelin Fine

January 25, 2009 at 9:16 pm | Posted in Training | 1 Comment
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So Friday I had a pretty good session with my trainer. It was a BEAUTIFUL day outside so we ran 4 miles. I managed a nice kick at the end. She hates it when I do that. She says she doesn’t expect it and all of a sudden I’m pulling away from her and she’s like “What’s going on?!?!” 🙂 I like to sneak it in there. Hehe.

So after that we did some ab work. I told her how last time…I wasn’t sore after. I have pretty decent ab muscles…and apparently it’s taking a LOT these days to make them hurt. The workout Friday did make them a little sore…but I’m going to have to try something different. Grrr.

But on to Saturday…I felt like Sperly!!! I did a run, I roamed, AND I recycled!!!!!

I did a nice 7 miler so I’m now back on track with training after shifting last week’s LR to Monday. So…7 in the park. It was pretty nice and I felt pretty great and could have maybe done 8 so that was exciting. The downside was that only PART of me felt great. My knee and foot weren’t too happy. I had a blister from Monday’s run…and um…the 7 miles…kinda wore on it. 😦 So that wasn’t too fun.

Then my left knee was hurting some…not real sure why…but it wasn’t too happy. Actually still isn’t too happy. I’ve been trying to ice and and rest. I felt really great after my run and thankfully nothing is sore…yet. 2 day delay and all…we’ll see tomorrow how it’s going. I was more tired today than after the run yesterday.

So that was the run, and here’s a view of the park where the run happens…well part of it. 🙂

Nice and flat!!! Lol, I did 2 major hills within the 7 miles so…not all flat. The half course is basically flat (it’s at the beach…so YEAH!!!

Ok…well let me just pause and say THANKS to the wordpress gods that make wordpress save my drafts automatically…because mid-blog…I got the blue screen of death. Awesomeness.

Anyway. Now that we’re back…

The recycling followed the running because the recycling bin for the city happens to be in the park!!!! Yeah…seems odd…but ya know, a LOT of runners care about the environment…and having the bin there…saves me a trip AND gas AND therefore destruction of the ozone layer!!! Or something. Whatever it does, I like it, because I can run AND recycle all at once.

Plastic, steel, and glass, OH MY!!!!

Oh, and I heard a disturbing story…someone tell me if this can remotely be possible. Someone told my mom that they were at a local dump where they offer recycling…and while this person was throwing away their garbage the trucks came to collect the refuse and take it to the big landfill or whatever. According to this person they put the recycling in right with the regular trash!!!! How can that be??? Isn’t that illegal in some way?? I’m thinking this person HAS to be mistaken…because WHY would you have the separate bins….isn’t that just a waste of taxpayers money? Really though…that’s can’t be right, can it? Anyone? Thoughts?

Ok, well tomorrow is my first day of student teaching *gulp* so…I’m going to go prepare and sleep!!!!

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