Thursday, December 22, 2011

Reflections and Choices

We're approaching the end of the year and I've been feeling really reflective.  I think it happens to the best of us around this time.  It's hit me especially hard this year because 2011 has been what I would consider the worst of my life.  I've actually had a run of bad years as of late.  I could choose to let that get me down, but instead I'm choosing to use that as a stepping stone to make 2012 fantastic.

In November of 2009 my stepmother (of 25 years) passed away suddenly at the age of just 50.  That was extremely difficult to deal with.  My brother was in his early 20's but still lived at home, and he instantly became displaced.  My sister was only 20.  Neither of them could cope with much of the planning or decision-making, and as the oldest all of that naturally fell to me.  And it was hard.  And I'm not very good at mourning.  It was a rough time.

In April 2010 my grandpa passed away.  It was not sudden or unexpected, but he had been sick a very long time.  Every year at Christmas we all said "appreciate your time with him, this could be his last".  I think we had said that for at least the last 10 Christmases.  And he kept on hanging on.  And we all sort of stopped believing that "it might be his last" because he was so resilient.  But last April he finally lost the fight.  And I took that loss extremely hard.  Harder than I even expected I would.

My grandpa left behind his 96 year old mother.  We always said that she would hang on to take care of her sick son as long as he needed her around.  And she did.  But just a few months after he passed, so too did she.  Yes, 2010 was rough on me too.

In 2011, I haven't lost anyone I've loved and for that I am grateful.  But I almost lost everything else.  My husband and I have been married for over 7 years.  We have two beautiful little girls.  We have a life that I love.  But this year, we didn't take care of it and we almost lost it all.  We came to the very brink of divorce.  And it would have been justified, and no one would have blamed me for leaving, but it's not that easy.  I wasn't willing to throw away almost 9 years of history.  I wasn't willing to walk away from my partner, my best friend since we were 22 years old.  I wasn't willing to sacrifice my childrens' family or future. 

Together we have spent 6 months living in and going through hell, to fight for our family and our relationship.  We have kept our childrens' home together, and kept it running smoothly, and protected them from the hard work we were doing behind closed doors to keep it all together.  We have fought, and it seems we have won.  But it was a terrible year in the making, a terrible year to get to where we are today.

I know that there are still hard times ahead.  I know that my current situation is such that I will have to continue to choose my husband, even when some days I don't want to.  I know that I will still get down, feel sad, be exhausted from the weight of it all.  But I also know that I can choose how to respond.  I can choose to find happiness and joy in my life.  I can choose to make 2012 huge and wonderful and exhilirating.  I can choose to make 2012 different.  I can choose to really live in 2012.  I can choose.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Treadmill Shopping

Like I said yesterday, my treadmill has a GIANT hole in it and I'd rather put money into upgrading to a better one than sinking money into a repair that costs as much as the treaddy did in the first place.  I still have absolutely zero idea how the deck got a hole in it.  I don't run with weights or kettlebells that may have fallen through it.  The weight limit is 300 pounds and neither my husband or I come close to exceeding that.  We don't use it for hours of long running or crazy bouts of speed (although realistically it should even hold up to that).  Regardless, it's now a worthless piece of junk and I get to go treadmill shopping.

Here are the contenders (in no particular order):

  1. Freemotion Xtr
  2. Horizon Fitness T202
  3. Horizon Fitness T203
  4. Bowflex Series 7
Unfortunately I am not independently wealthy, so this purchase is kind of a big deal to me.  I'm feeling the pressure because I do not want to screw this up!  If I make the wrong decision I will be sad for years to come.  I'm going to continue scouring the interwebs for reviews of these models (and maybe others) and try to make a decision this week.  I need a way to run SOON.  Losing my stress relief has NOT been good for me!

Anybody have any opinions on these or other treadmills.  Any that you love?  Or hate?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I Haven't Been on a Run

I haven't run in awhile.  Despite proclaiming that I'm going to PR.  Which I'm still totally going to do.  But, Winter has set in hard and work has set in harder.  I've been getting home after dark every day.  And my treadmill has died it's last death I think.  I've run on it twice recently and it felt really bouncy and saggy.  I decided to investigate and found that (unbeknownst to me) it is made of really thin crappy MDF board inside the treadmill deck, and somehow that MDF now has a big hole in the middle of it.  It costs $129 for the materials to fix it, and the labor is probably astronomical.  And I only paid like $350 for it, so not sure I wanna go there.  So the bad news is that I haven't run.  The good news is that I've been treadmill shopping.  Soon I will have a newer, cooler treadmill and I'll be running again!

The other problem with running is that my husband had his tonsils removed on Thursday.  See pitiful man below:

I've been playing the good wife and taking excellent care of him willingly, HOWEVER:

  1. I spent 7 hours in the waiting room on surgery day,
  2. then another couple of hours making a pharmacy run and a grocery run for soft foods.
  3. I don't mind doing either #1 or #2, BUT THEN
  4. I pick my 2 kids up from daycare and my darling eldest eats dinner and then pukes it back up.
  5. She puked all night long.
  6. Including on the white carpet and several of her clothes.
  7. I had to shampoo the carpet and wash laundry at 11 PM.
  8. I normally go to bed at 9 PM.
  9. Oh yeah, she also lost a tooth that day so I had to remember to play the tooth fairy.
  10. And I'm basically a single parent through all this because my husband slept for about 48 straight hours after the surgery.
  11. I don't begrudge anyone for any of the aforementioned things...but you can see why maybe I wasn't able to run over the weekend?

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I'm claiming it, here and now!  When I run the Indy Mini in May I am going to beat my PR of 1:58:59.  I don't care if that means running it in 1:58:58...whatever the numbers, I plan to PR. 

The Mini and I have unfinished business since I fell during training this spring and had to downgrade to the 5K.  I had to come back from that fall slowly, doing a run-walk thing instead of just a run thing.  The marathon I was supposed to run on Nov. 6 was downgraded to a half.  A miserable, painful, depressing, 2:47:45 half.  It really wasn't depressing because of the time, but instead because of how awful I felt.  I was in pain nearly the whole time, and the mental aspect never kicked in for me.  I was down on myself the entire time.

Well, I've got big plans involving a sports doctor and a whole lot of ambition and I am going to nail a PR this spring! 


I'm back.  I think.

I sort of disappeared on the internets when I had some bad, terrible, awful stuff go down at home.  I sort of disappeared on people in real life too.  I'm not really ready to talk about what happened, if ever.  But I am ready to engage with the world again! 

I've got some big goals set for my next half marathon and I'm ready to put them out there in Blogland and then make them happen!  More on that in my next post :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Body Combat

Monday night I tried something new.  I went to a Women's Only Club (NOT the same as a gentlemen's club, fyi) and got a 3 month membership.  They don't have cardio equipment, except spin bikes, as it is a "class only" kind of place.  They offer Les Mills classes like Body Pump and Body Combat, a spin class, weight lifting classes, etc. 

Monday night I went to my first class, Body Combat.  It was fun, like Zumba, so you didn't really feel like you were quote-unquote working out.  BUT it was so much easier than Zumba because you didn't have to be a Dance Goddess to keep up.  It was a mix of different styles of martial arts moves set to music.  We did all sorts of combinations of punches, kicks, lunges, chops and so on.  We didn't stop moving the ENTIRE HOUR.  I was a sweaty, tired mess and could barely lift my arms by the end of the class.  And I loved it!

Every day since that class I have been so, so sore.  My abs feel like they've never even been used before Body I only just discovered them.  I obviously got an amazing arm workout too, because OW. 

Anybody else ever try Body Combat??  Did you LOVE it?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Be Nice to Me. I Gave Blood Today. blood is an excellent thing.  I feel like it is my civic duty, as a healthy and able-bodied person to donate blood while I can.  There is a critical shortage right now so it is especially important.  I give every 2 months, unless I have a race coming up within a couple weeks time.  Today at work we had a blood drive, and as usual I donated.

Tonight when I got home from work and church it was gorgeous outside.  It was about 88 degrees with a nice breeze.  Amazing considering the last two days topped out at 105 degrees.  So although I generally swear off running/exercising the day that I give blood, tonight I couldn't resist heading out for a short run.

Ummmmm....1.1 miles in 13:59.  In 13:59 I took no fewer than 3 walk breaks.  My chest hurt, my arm hurt, and my pride hurt.  There's a reason the Red Cross tells you not to do any strenuous exercise the day that you give blood.  Trust me.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bike Shopping...Winning!

Is Charlie Sheen old news by now?  My apologies...

But I did it!  I bought a bike!!!  And she's a beauty...if I do say so myself.

A Diamondback Vital 2 Hybrid.  She rides like a dream!!  Here's my new baby:

I seriously love it!  I got it for sale at Dick's Sporting Goods.  I paid $278 plus tax.  And I feel really good about it!  I've ridden it 3 times (then left for two weeks on travel and had to leave her behind...frown) and it was so smooth and fast and a great workout and I just really love it!!!

And I can't believe I'm sharing this goofy picture with you all, but safety first :)  I even got a matching helmet:

And now I still have time for a run this fine evening.  Wonder if I'll find my motivation?

Friday, June 24, 2011

What I'm Reading

Right now I'm on travel for two weeks in the lovely state of Alabama.  Seriously, I do love it.  I love the way people talk here and I love that you can find sweet tea everywhere you go.  Actually, it would be faster to tell you what I don't love.  People don't seem to believe in turn signals here.  That's it.  Other than that, I'm happy as a clam here.

Anyway, two weeks travelling means two weeks of privacy, quiet evenings, working out whenever I want for however long I feel other words, no kiddos running around.  Naturally I miss them dearly, but I do love being able to kick back and read for hours if that's what I want to do.  As a mom, I miss quiet reading time every once in a while! honor of my coveted reading time (and thanks to a very expensive trip to Books-A-Million), here's what I'm reading:

1.  Gossip Girl

Am I a teenager?  No.  Do I still love the guilty pleasure of Gossip Girl?  Absolutely.  I've just purchased books 3 and 4.  Quick, easy reads that will take you back to high school...without the horror of actually being there.

2.  Smokin' Seventeen

I am Stephanie Plum's biggest fan.  Seriously, all of the Stephanie Plum books are HILARIOUS and if you haven't read them, you MUST.  Now.  I wait anxiously on each new book and then I buy it in expensive hard back because no way am I going to wait until the paperback comes out.  And if she ever chooses between Ranger and Morelli I don't know what I'll do because I. love. them. both.

3.  If You Were Here

Jen Lancaster's first venture into the Fiction world.  I have read every one of her non-fiction books and follow her blog and she cracks me up.  I love when the written word is so good that you actually laugh aloud and people look at you like you're nuts.  Jen Lancaster always does that for me, and I have no doubt that her fiction book will be excellent as well.

4.  Working It Out

This was an impulse buy that I didn't know I was looking for.  It's written by Abby Rike who was a contestant on The Biggest Loser.  I LOVE that show, and Abby's story never ceased to amaze me.  Her husband, daughter, and very young (only weeks old) son were killed in a car accident.  She was supposed to be with them, but had stayed home sick at the last minute.  After the accident, she put on huge amounts of weight, which she subsequently lost on The Biggest Loser.  Now she's written a book all about her amazing story of living on after tragedy, and I can't wait to read all about it.

Now...where to start?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Breaking News! Breaking News!

I totally just registered for my first marathon.  I've been trying to get in a healthy and trained up place for 3 years, and I finally seem to be there.  I bit the bullet, paid the money, and will be running the Marshall University Marathon in November!!! 

Now I'm off to research some training plans that are friendly to injury prone runners like myself :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bike Shopping FAIL...The Saga Continues

I tried to buy a bike last night.  I wanted to.  I had my purse at the ready and I think I might have paid any price if I had found a bike that screamed This Is The One

But none of them really did.  I went to several stores.  I rode at least a dozen different bikes.  Around the store.  And I felt like a gigantic goob as people watched me pedal through the aisles.  But I was on a mission.

There were things I liked about each of the bikes.  Some of them even made me feel fast...  But I never got that special feeling.  None of the bikes gave me that comforting "oh, this is what the right bike feels like" vibe.  I'm still just as confused as ever.  Scratch that.  Now I'm more confused.

So, that does it.  I'm going to a specialty bike shop.  I know I can't possibly afford their bikes.  But I definitely need their help.

When I first went to a specialty running store I was intimidated.  I feel like that again now.  What if I don't speak the language right?  What if they laugh at me when I leave?  What if I can't afford anything in the store and they get mad and throw me out for wasting their time?

But really, what's the worst that can happen?  In the end, the specialty running store helped me immensely.  I found my first really great fitting pair of shoes.  And I was even able to afford them. 

Here's hoping my specialty bike shop experience goes the same way.  Wish me luck!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Couch to ???

Introducing...The Accidental Biker...maybe.

I've been toying around with the idea of biking for several weeks now.  I've been perusing Bicycling Magazine (it's no Runner's World, but it's a start), envying the Super Serious Bikers around town (and the neighborhood kids too...who am I kidding?), and trying out/lusting over/trying to understand the bicycles at every store in town.

I know nothing about biking.  Less than nothing.  I've spent very little time on a bike since I was a kid.  I especially don't know anything about bike types besides my purple mountain bike.  I picked it out back in the day because it was pretty.  I've never sported a bike helmet, or bought special shorts, or tracked my mileage or speed or "aero".  What on God's green earth is "aero"???  But I want to learn.

I'm not really sure what I plan to do with biking.  Are there races?  Is there a biking equivalent to the 5K?  Better there a couch to 5K plan in the biking world?  That's definitely what I need right now.

I think I'm ready to take the plunge and buy a bike.  Heaven help me, because I still don't know what kind to buy.  Mountain?  Cruiser?  Hybrid?  Comfort?  Whoa.  But I've perused and envied and lusted long enough.  Tonight I hope to stay at the store(s) until I make a selection and bring home a bike.  Even if it's just because it's pretty. 

And for now, I'm just going to ride.  At least until I figure out what else I'm supposed to be doing.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

What a Long, Strange Spring It’s Been


I had a really great time working out in the morning, while it lasted.  Actually, I really do plan to keep up my morning workouts, maybe I’ll even work out this morning.  But I have been derailed a bit.

Wednesday I had a fantastic morning workout.  Then I came home from work where the girls and I literally walked in the door 2 seconds before a torrential down pour.  The tornado sirens started going off about 4:00 so we were hiding out in the basement closet and listening to the loud noise of something pelting our house.  After the sirens stopped we went upstairs to find this:


It’s hard to see but all those white flashes of light are hail.



The biggest hail we’ve ever had in this house, for sure.  It was bizarre because it only hailed in the back yard.  Out front (where our car was parked) had only a few pieces of hail.  Only one of them hit our car, so I counted us lucky.

When Dave got home we went out for dinner, and on our drive home got reports of more storms on the way.  So, we went home and turned on the TV where all programming had stopped in favor of covering the storms on the way.  They kept telling us that there was a storm headed for us, and that the radar showed clear rotation.  The weather forecasts were actually astonished at how clear the rotation was on the radar, apparently it was uncanny.  So naturally we were kind of freaking out (privately…didn’t want to freak out the kids!)

Around 8:00 the sirens sounded again and we were back in the closet, listening to hail pound our house, and debris crashing around.  This time the hail was baseball sized.  It was already dark, so I didn’t take any pictures.  Also, we glued ourselves to the TV because a) we thankfully still had power and b) they were reporting a tornado in my tiny town.  It had gotten dark, so news crews (who are stationed 2 hours from us) couldn’t make it in time to get pictures or aerial footage.

We were very lucky, we had no damage to our home.  The hail got our cars this time, so we have some good sized dents and dings in both cars, but other than that we were really lucky.

At 10:15 the sirens sounded yet again.  We were in the closet for an hour this time, and about 10:30 the power finally cut off so were in the dark except for the light of a flashlight.

It was a SCARY night, seriously.  We were up (kids and all) past midnight. 

Thursday we were still without power until about lunchtime.  There was definitely no morning treaddy time.  When I went in to work I was able to check out the news and see that there was a confirmed EF-2 tornado in our town, about 5 miles east of our neighborhood.  Thankfully, it was in a less populated area, so the destruction was minimized, but there were still several houses that were completely flattened and 12 injuries reported.  But, no casualties, which is a blessing.

The 10:15 tornado warning produced an EF-1 tornado north of us, which flattened a neighborhood, but thankfully only caused 8 injuries and again, no casualties. 

Driving past the devastation is heartbreaking.  But it is amazing to see huge cars and trucks, flipped on their sides, picked up and moved from their driveways, bent and broken…houses flattened to a pile of rubble…and yet to know that somehow the people inside were left mostly untouched. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Snoozing is for Wienies

Today, for the 2nd day in a row, I woke up early and worked out before work!!  Me, who CANNOT get out of bed without snoozing for an hour.  Yes, an entire hour.  Me, who would rather snooze 2 extra times and then sport a wet ponytail to work than to actually get up and put effort into looking nice.

I didn't do anything super intense because I'm still having the weird calf pain.  (p.s. I really am going to get that checked out soon, I just have to find (make) the time)  I ran a mile yesterday morning on the treaddy, then did some free weight strength training for upper body.  Today I ran another mile and did some lower body strength training moves. 

I love going through the day knowing my run is already done, instead of spending the day mentally wrestling with how and when I'm going to fit it in.  I also really do feel better during the day, energized and such.  I LOVE IT!  The only downside is that it's dark, so I'm running inside on the treaddy instead of outside which is a) boring and b) hurts my calves worse than pavement does.  I have been catching up on episodes of I Used To Be Fat to help alleviate some of the boredom! 

I'm hoping tomorrow will be another snooze-less morning workout day!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Plumbers, and Thin Mints, and Treadmills-OH MY!

I was bored and decided to see what search terms have led people to me this week.  It's usually good for a laugh, you should try it.  The search terms were:

  • how to be a runner its hard
    • Wow, how much do I complain on here?  People who hate running find my blog.  Great.
  • marathon training
    • Scary.  I have never actually run a marathon, so please don't take advice from me.  Seriously, just don't.
  • any day i am too busy to run is
    • Yep, now that sounds like me.
  • image thin mint crack
    • Okay, is anyone else picturing a plumber here?  No comprendo this search term.
And now back to running.  I ran 3 miles on the treaddy Tuesday night while watching Biggest Loser.  I won't spoil it for anyone, but can I just say "YAY!".  I LOVE the way the top 3 is shaping up! 

The run itself was torture.  My knee felt pretty good but my "insides of calf/shin areas" were on fire.  I think that's a technical term.  My mind also was not on board with a full 3 miles.  But I persevered and the run is in the books.

I think I've decided to go ahead and continue with the plan to run a fall marathon, even though my half was a bust.  In fact, I've already reserved a hotel room.  Just have to take the plunge and register for the race.  More on that as it is finalized!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I'm Baaaaack - an Indy Mini Race Recap

Hello all!  I hope you haven't left me during my long absence.  And now I don't even know where to begin...

Almost exactly 2 months ago I fell down and I've had a hard time getting back up.  My knee has re-gained all of it's skin, but it still hurts like you wouldn't believe and feels a little twisty and out of place.  Leading up to my half marathon I never ran any longer than 3 miles, and most of my runs were more like 1.5 - 2 miles.  I knew there was no way I could run a half and that I would have to downgrade to the 5K.  Frankly, I was depressed about it.  I know it wasn't a lifelong goal like Boston (and I can't imagine living with me if it had been that big of a race) but I had been training and training and was having the moment robbed from me by a stupid crack in the sidewalk and I was angry!

I didn't want this blog to become a place where I wallowed in self-pity (and have it live on forever in the world of the internets) so I've been away.  Mostly taking piddly little training runs and then finishing off a lot of these:

Don't mind the Liquid Plumr.  I wasn't that down about the sitch.
So anyway, I spent the whole week leading up to the race toying with the idea of running the half anyway.  I mean, I had paid for the half, my shirt said I ran the half, and if I had to I could run or walk that far.  You know, if I was being chased or something.  The night before the race I laid out my gear for the morning:

We woke up race day and took the requisite pre-race picture (both of us still thinking maybe we could do the half, and knowing we would be crippled for a good long while if we did):

Yes we look is early, don't judge.
We literally walked out the front door of our hotel room into the corral for the 5K.  The starting corrals are lined up for blocks and blocks, but somehow we picked the perfect hotel for our corral.  Go us!  Usually we have to walk a mile in the freezing cold.

Anyway, the 5K starts in the half marathon A-D corrals.  Corrals E-Z are already lined up behind you and the half marathoners who want to get into A-D stand off to the side and shoot you ridiculous 5Kers dirty looks.  As a person who downgraded to the 5K you can feel the energy, nerves, excitement, etc of all the people behind you who are about to do something they've trained and looked forward to and maybe even feared for months.  Personally, I understood the glares from the people on the sidelines waiting to get into my corral.  Last year I was in Corral D, and I wanted the 5K to get out of my way already, because it was COLD on the sidelines and at least in the corral I would have body heat surrounding me.  All of that energy surrounding the half made me still want to get out and run it while standing in the 5K start line.  Glutton for punishment?  This girl right here.

In the end, we did run the 5K.  It was so congested that we walked for almost the first half mile.  When it finally cleared a little you had to spend the next half mile or more dodging people, weaving in and out, because no one actually lined up according to their pace.  In the end, Dave and I finished together in 33:07, the first time we've ever run a whole race together from start to finish.  It was a nice thing, running together.  But next year we are totally running the half!!

We got done in time to head back to the finish line of the half (score some Dippin' Dots) and watch the quickies finish the race.  I even saw some people I knew from our running group at home and one guy I went to college with (random) and cheered them on as they ran down the final .1 mile.  It was exciting and fun to cheer for people.  You could see who had some left in the tank and who was totally crippled by their effort.  One chick actually had blood gushing down her legs (we think from chafing, we hope from chafing).

We cleaned up and went to do our traditional post race gorging of ourselves.  Dave wanted PF Chang's and so for the first time in my life I tried tofu (the sacrifices we make for love):

No, just no.  Nononononono.
I had to wash the taste out of my mouth with something:

While we were walking around the mall eating our cookies we saw a Proactiv vending machine.  The things you can buy out of vending machines these days astounds me.

The good news is, we weren't crippled by running a 5K (smart decision? yes.) and we were able to have a great weekend playing mini golf, shopping for new furniture, and eating yummy chocolate at The Melting Pot.  But we will be back to avenge the Indy Mini next year!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oh. Em. Gee.

I am now settled in to my third hotel in four days. Here is why I abruptly left hotel #2 this morning:


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Let's Recap

Yes, I've been gone for FOREVER.  It's been a crazy time in my world.  Here are some highlights:

1. Opening weekend for the Cincinnati Reds.  We were there.  It was fab.  More on that at another time, but suffice it to say I was living up every minute and not so much blogging it.

2. Dave and I are both on travel for work (1000s of miles apart).  The girls are with grandparents.  The night before we left Dave took on story time like the great dad that he is.  Super sweet:

3.  I have been so busy with travel that again...not so much on the blogging.  I just checked out of my hotel on my lunch break today because it was the worst hotel I've ever been in.  The highlights: exhibit a) there was hair in the bed. it didn't belong to me. exhibit b) instead of a counter in the bathroom there was one of those little 3 tier wood shelves that you buy at walmart for like $12. 8 inches of wood shelf is not a great place to set your hair straightener while hot. exhibit c) the train tracks beside the hotel, where the train runs every hour on the hour between midnight and 6 a.m.  Remember, those are just the highlights.  There's more I could tell you if time allowed.

4.  I ran at the crap hotel.  It was on a crap treadmill.  I wanted to take a picture because it was literally the jankiest treadmill I've ever seen, but there was a dude there and I didn't want him to judge me.  Looking back, I should have asked him to take the picture so there would be a picture of me ON the jankiest treadmill ever.  What is wrong with me????  2 miles, 21:44.  Bashed in knee still hurts.  Badly.  Half marathon is only 23 days away.  Worried?  Well, maybe a little.

5.  When I hastily checked out of my crap hotel room and made the run for my new hotel room I left my iphone charger plugged into the wall.  Epic fail.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Randomocities

In honor of not running…and therefore having nothing running related to discuss…here are a few things you never knew you always wanted to know about me:
1.   Prior to a few days ago, I had never tried a Swedish Fish.  I’m sure this has Janae shaking her head in shame and sadness at me.  Lo and behold, I’m at the store and I see this beauty:

So, now I have had Swedish Fish.  If I’m honest, I didn’t really like the fish that much.  However, the fish eggs were really tasty.  And if you put about 10 of them in your mouth at a time they were actually big enough to count as a bite.

2.   Incidentally, I ate the fish eggs while watching Survivor.  I was a little late to the party on this show, but now I LOVE it.  But I also wonder if I’m now the only one still watching it?  Philip (a.k.a. the dude in the pink party panties) is straight up crazy.

3.   Prior to a few days ago, I had never tried Nutella.  I brought the jar with me to work yesterday, along with a sliced up apple, to have as a snack.  Yes, I brought the whole jar.  Never having tried it before I wasn’t sure how much I would need.  Always be prepared people!  Ummmm…I ate half the jar. 

And now I love it like whoa:

4.   Yesterday was Opening Day.  Baseball is kind of a big deal at our house.  We took half a day off from work yesterday to go home and watch the first game of the season…which P.S. was AMAZING!  Tomorrow we are going to our first live game of the season and I have been counting down the days!!!


5.       Did anyone watch Grey’s Anatomy: The Musical last night?  I’m not even sure there are words for that one…  One thing I did like was that the original theme song reappeared (a la Callie).  It was weird how the theme song just disappeared from the show way back when, and frankly I’ve missed it.  Welcome back old friend.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thoughts on Today's RUN

Running Again

Tonight was my first run since the Great Injury of 2011.  I opted to run on the treaddy in case my knee completely gave out, or my spirit wimped out, or any other possible contingency that I could dream up.  I decided to get on there and just take it easy.  I wanted to run at a roughly 12:00/mile pace, nice and easy, 0% incline, and I intended to stop at the first sign of pain.  I felt much better than I thought I would and didn't really feel any pain until I hit 1 mile.  At that point I thought "why stop at the FIRST sign of pain...that's for WIMPS..." and I kept going.  Until mile 1.15 where I reminded myself that this was my first time out in 16 days and the whole point was to test out my knee function, not wind up back in bed with my leg propped up on pillows.  So, I went on until 1.2 (I like nice even tenths) and then I (very responsibly) stopped.  I ran 1.2 miles in 13:52 with minimal pain. 

I feel confident that if I take it easily and work back up at a reasonable pace that I will be good as new in no time.  I don't seem to have lost too much fitness, my lungs and heart could have kept going.  I actually expected that my first run out would include walk breaks, but it didn't which is great news!  Just have to get the knee conditioned to working out instead of laying down.

Running Scared

There was a degree of fear in the run, twofold:

  1. Physical fear: Watching my feet.  Wondering if I would trip and fall again.  Would I step off the side of the treadmill?  Would I re-injure my knee?
  2. Mental fear: Was I ready?  Was I still capable of running?  Would I be able to (eventually) hit the pace and distance from before the injury?  I mean, one glance at my recent training log was enough to have me quaking in my Ryka's...

I didn't work out the answers to these tonight, and probably won't until I have several more runs under my belt event-free and confident.

Running Goals Revisited

My half marathon is roughly 5 weeks away.  I was hoping to PR, now I'm hoping to finish without hurting myself.  My new goal is to safely build my training back up, run my half for training purposes, and then have a strong half in June.  The only problem is that I'm not actually registered for a half in June!

So...anyone know of any half marathons within the first two weeks of June that aren't A) sold out, or B) inhumanly hot?  A little heat is okay, too much...not okay.  Flat course and a hotel within walking distance of the start/finish earns you bonus points :-)

P.S. Have you checked out SkinnyRunner's biggest giveaway ever?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Five Things For Friday

Five things I learned from People Magazine today:

  1. Constantine Maroulis is apparently still news-worthy?  Who knew?
  2. Jennifer Hudson looks A-MAZ-ING!
  3. Chris Brown...too much Chris Brown.  Seriously.
  4. Brangelina believe in time-outs for discipline.  And they really just live an ordinary life.  I would not have guessed ordinary really.
  5. There is a Scream 4.  Which is probably the most shocking thing I learned today.  Apparently I haven't had a very educational day...
And now that I've shared all that nonsense, here's what I really wanted to learn (but not from People Magazine).  Should I give running a try tomorrow?  And how far should I go after a full 2 week layoff?  I'm torn about how much to push.  And still a little in pain.  I don't want to re-hurt myself, but at this point I'm terrified of losing fitness.  My race is only 42 days away.  42 DAYS!  I can't afford to take more time off and I certainly can't afford to lose fitness.  I've already lost time to increase my long run distance to where I want to be pre-race.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Meh, Part 2

Well, my little bit o' positivity from Saturday has come to its merry end.  My left knee is still experiencing tremendous pain.  The longer I'm on it, the worse it hurts.  Yesterday I finally broke down and went to the doctor, where I had x-rays.  I didn't catch everything but some words that stick out are:

"fluid in the joint"


"possibly 3 weeks off or longer"

a.k.a. devastation.

To be fair, I haven't gotten the x-ray results back yet.  But I'm definitely still in pain, I definitely haven't run in 10 days, and I definitely won't be back out there in the foreseeable future.

I miss running!  I miss the endorphins.  The sense of accomplishment.  The weight control even.  I think I've put on 10 pounds in 10 days.  Too much laying around I guess.

Okay, who am I kidding?  Too much of this really:

Keeping my fingers crossed that my x-rays are clean and my pain goes away.  If you have time, send some positivety my way please!  And some Reese's... 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

What I've Been Doing

It's been exactly a week since my last run.  It's been almost a week since my last blog post.  In the interest of full disclosure, I've been laying around moping.  And I didn't want to get all down and negative on the blog, because of course the mopey feelings would pass.  And for the most part they have, so let's get down to it.

Here's what I've been doing since injured knees and strep throat have moved into my life.

Eating 10 tons of cookie dough that I made for the specific purpose of being able to eat the dough straight up:

Drinking unbelievable amounts of Hot Chocolate and Milkshakes:

Watching hours and hours of this:

Suzanne Whang was by the far the best host, p.s.

What a week, no?

Today is my scheduled 9 miler and I was (gasp) looking forward to it.  We were going to chart new territory on a brand new paved trail!!  Alas, there will be no long run for me.  In fact, there will be a goose egg for this whole week I'm pretty sure.  I'm still feeling positive though, because today when I got out of bed, I had no pain in my knees.  Now, 30 minutes later that twinge of pain is back.  But I experienced a few minutes of pain free bliss which means I must be on the mend.  And I'm hopeful that I'll be on the roads again in no time. 

Zack, AC, Screech, Suzanne Whang, Sandra Rinomato, Jeff Probst...our time has been special to me, but I think it's about time we all move on.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Today can be summed up in two words:

Strep Throat

What a week.

The silver lining?  At least I'm not missing two weeks of training by having hurt knees and THEN getting sick.  Better to get them both out of the way at the same time.  I'm grasping for something positive here...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My First Time

Today I had a first while running.

You might ask: The elusive runner's high?  A new pace or distance?  Conquering an impossible course? 

But you would be wrong.

Because today was the first time...

That while running...

I beefed.

(Warning: blood ahead.  If blood freaks you out, you may want to skip the first picture)

You see, it was 60 degrees this morning.  Our warmest run of the year so far.  I was definitely feeling the heat, and I was very weave-y.  I would alternately run Dave off the sidewalk or nearly fall off the sidewalk myself.  I was thinking, "it will be a miracle if I manage to not fall today".  And, I kid you not, at that exact moment I was no longer upright.  It really was that fast.  One second I was up, and the very next second I was down on the ground.  I was tired, embarrassed, and defeated.  So I did what anyone would do...I think...  I laid my head right on down and cried. 

Dave tried to move me, but I kept saying "No, no, no, no, no" so he assumed it was too painful because I had broken a bone.  Really, my pride was the worst of the pain in that moment.

A nice older gentleman in a truck had apparently witnessed the whole thing.  He parked on the side of the road and ran back to us, cell phone in hand, to make sure I was okay.  Naturally, it only served to embarrass me further that he was a witness.  (In hindsight, I am thankful for him in case something had been terribly wrong.)

His witness of my embarrassing moment prompted me to get up and get ready to finish the run, so I wouldn't continue to be a spectacle for anyone else.  Because, unfortunately, we were still 2 miles from the car.  So...I just got up and started running.

A few minutes later it occured to me that I had never stopped my Garmin when I when I hit the button to "re-start" it...I had actually stopped it.  Talk about adding insult to injury.  We definitely finished our 8 miles, because we ran all the way back to the car.  But I have no idea how long it took us.  And we were on pace for a great finishing time.

Especially because those last 2 miles we were flying.  Something about having an injury to care for propelled me like nothing ever has.  I didn't feel pain, just an intense desire to be done running and take care of myself.

We went straight to CVS, where we bought some first aid supplies.  I could swear that I bought the non-stinging wound wash spray, but apparently I would be wrong.  That stuff hurts!  I felt much better after I got my knees cleaned and covered.

In the aftermath, I found that I had skinned (as in, no skin left) both knees.  My right knee is bruised and swollen up nice and huge.  The palms of both my hands are skinned and only a little bloody.  It hurts to walk or bend my legs.  And it has probably ruined my weekly mileage.  Pretty sure I won't be able to hobble out my last run tomorrow.

At least this arrived in the mail today:

We are going to go watch Just Go With It and eat copious amounts of popcorn while I also eat that entire chocolate bar. 

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Tonight we had my Grandma Brown's 78th birthday party.  Just a little get together with the family.  A pitch-in dinner, good conversation, and even a game to see just how well we know Grandma.

This is me and Grandma (and my mom) then:

This is me and Grandma now:

I love you Grandma...happy birthday!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Lunchtime Run

Sorry for being so delinquent in reading everyone's blogs and commenting.  I'm not feeling that great this week, plus having major work stress, and I've gotten so behind in my Google Reader.  But I'm working on it! 

Tuesday I laced up my shoes and went for a run on my lunch break with Work Friend and 2 of her old coworkers that I had never met before.  Work Friend assured me that I was totally going to be fine because they would probably run 11 minute miles...maybe even 12 minute miles.  Ummmmm......

3.5 Miles in 35:23 (10:07 pace)

Mile 1 - 10:42
Mile 2 - 9:59
Mile 3 - 9:53
Mile 3.5 - 4:50 (9:40 pace)

That also includes a roughly 30 second stop at a stoplight to wait for traffic where I forgot to stop my Garmin.  So?  Probably less than 10 minute pace in reality.  Yowza! 

The thing about running with new people the first few times (at least for me) is that I'm really self-conscious.  I didn't want to be the loud-breather...I mean I didn't want to sound like I wasn't in as good of shape as they were.  I didn't want them to take off and leave me-I had to prove I could hang!  I didn't want to be the last one up any hills.  I didn't want to be the "annoying look at your watch every 2 seconds girl" but I just had to keep my eye on that pace!

Not being the loud-breather really messes with your breathing too.  I probably would have had a much more comfortable run had I not been trying to not breathe.  Okay, when you're 30 years old you're too old to get caught up in games like this, right?  Apparently not right.  Meh.

In the end, I did keep up with everyone, I did eventually return to my normal breathing, I did post one of my better paced runs of the season, and I did have a really great time.

I'm looking forward to many more lunchtime runs with coworkers in fact.  It was all very Runner's World lunch breakesque. 

On a related note-today I found out that Work Friend got a new job.  We'll still be close enough to run together (if she doesn't forget me) but we'll no longer sit in the same building or work together daily.  Sad day.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"The clock on the wall has been stuck at 3 for days and days"

Insomnia.  When I'm supposed to get up and going at 5:15 I will suddenly get very, very tired.  But for now, it's wide-awakesville.  Random thoughts while not sleeping:

  1. I have two kids sound asleep.  They feel all safe and protected and carefree because they have a grown-up to take care of them.  It's so weird when you stop and think about it.  Because, you know, I am the grown-up.
  2. My GU sampler arrived in the mail today.  I just ordered it yesterday.  The shipping details said I would get it in 5-7 days.  I got it in 1 day.  Go to Road Runner Sports and order something now.  At the very least, you won't be disappointed with the shipping speed.
  3. Today A. asked for a baby brother.  She wanted the one we saw in the waiting room at T.'s dance class.  I told her we couldn't take their baby, so she asked if she could have her teacher's baby because she would really like him to be her baby brother.  I explained that if we got a baby brother it would come from the hospital.  She asked Dave to go to the hospital and get her a baby brother, to which he responded "good luck with that".
  4. I think I have only put gross, sweaty post-run pictures on here.  Here is a picture where I have at least washed my hair:
  5. I am so very far behind on my blog reading/commenting.  It is becoming very stressful wondering if I will ever catch up.  Right now would be a good time to work on that.
Good night!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hill, Schmill

On Sunday Dave and I drove to one of our state parks for our 8 mile long run.  We had mapped out a 4 mile loop that we would run twice.  Map My Run said that there was a Cat5 hill (which was new to me).  Apparently, of all the hills that are big enough to be rated (those are the key words) a Cat5 is the easiest and Cat1 is the hardest.  What they don't make clear to you is that "big enough to be rated" means you will absolutely cry like a baby when you run (read: hobble) up it.  I tried to capture the elevation change as we ran by the bottom of the hill but the picture just doesn't do it justice.

We were headed to the top of that line of trees but you just can't see the pain in the picture.  It was a little over 0.3 mile STRAIGHT UP.  We were cruising at about an 11:00 pace until we hit the hill (between mile 2 and 3) and then we dropped to around a 16:00 pace.  And it was so hard to keep running up it that it was mentally crushing too.  Dave was being the cheerleader (a role reversal) and we somehow managed to run the whole thing even though I so badly wanted to take a walk break.  The top of the hill felt grand until I remembered 2 seconds later that we were doing the loop between miles 6 and 7 when we were really beat down we would have to do that hill AGAIN!

We made it to the hill the second time and this time I had to be the cheerleader because Dave was beat down.  I stopped for about 3.5 seconds to walk and then mentally kicked myself in the butt and started running (clomping. hobbling.) again.  We made it to the top and celebrated that we wouldn't have to do that again.  At least not unless we're stupid enough to do a long run there again!

After we survived and made it back to the car we felt pretty awesome-tacular:

Nope, don't know why I look so weird.  I blame the tireds.  Yes, tireds is a noun.

The Stats: 8 miles in 1:34:39 (11:50 average pace)

Mile 1 - 11:35
Mile 2 - 11:35
Mile 3 - 12:41
Mile 4 - 11:24
Mile 5 - 11:38
Mile 6 - 12:08
Mile 7 - 12:16
Mile 8 - 11:25

Monday, March 7, 2011

To all of my candy loving friends...

I've been a little shop happy...I needed some new running type stuff!!!

1.  I finally bit the bullet and bought 2 real-life sweaty bands.  I chose a solid black band and a brown/navy/cream argyle band.  I love argyle, true story.

2.  I bought a GU sampler platter so I can nail down my favorite tasting and performing fuel once and for all

3.  Last, but probably most important.  I ordered a bar from Chocomize.  Heard of it?  You can make your own super awesome, candy filled chocolate bar!  You pick your base (milk, dark, or white chocolate).  Then you add up to 5 ingredients.  They have a list of different candies that you can add to your chocolate bar, or for the more health minded they also have fruits, nuts, etc.  AND you can put a message on there if you like.  They offer "Will you marry me?" "Will you go out with me?" and others.  It's been about 2 years since I last ordered one since they're kind of pricey.  But if you love chocolate like I do, they are a must splurge-on item every once in a while.  Today I chose milk chocolate with M&M's, toffee, and peanut butter chips.  YUM!  I don't know how I'll ever wait 5-7 days until it arrives!!

Sore today from yesterday's WHOA long run.  More on that later!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Super Serious Athlete

Yesterday was one of those days where I just didn't want to run.  I knew I needed to.  I knew it was time after 2 rest days.  But I just plain didn't feel like it.  Then I came home to this:

What a great mail day!!  So glad I pre-ordered Dean's new book!  (Cause we're on a first name basis...)  I haven't cracked it open yet but can't wait!  Holy exclamation points Batman!

It was just the motivation I needed.  It was a totally gorgeous day, 52* and sunny.  I put on some shorts (first outdoor run in shorts this year I believe) and a t-shirt and headed outside for a quick 2 miler.  I ran in our neighborhood which has some massively steep hills.  And you know what?  Once I was out there it felt amazing!  I was so glad I went out for a run.  I soaked up the sunshine and all my steps felt light and great.  It was one of those runs where everything just came together perfectly.

2 miles in 21:30, 10:45 pace.  Although it was a decently slow and definitely short run, I definitely worked up a sweat:

Here is my Super Serious Athlete pose:

Look out Kara Goucher, here I come.

Monday, February 28, 2011

It's All Good

I'm feeling much better today-I let myself have my pity party last night and today all is well.  In fact I've had a really blessed day!

I got up and went to work really early, which meant I got to leave at 2:30.  That's like the middle of the day!!  I surprised the kids and picked them up early.  They were so excited to see me that I got some of the biggest hugs ever.

We went to the store for a quick couple of items and then we came home and I trimmed their hair.  Nothing fancy here, just a trim.  I just can't see paying salon prices to take the split ends off of two tiny girls!

We ate some breakfast for dinner all together and I even let them have some dessert, which is kind of rare around here.  There were lots of smiles and none of their usual bickering with each other.  It has been a fantastic day!!

No running again today, as I'm working on a migraine.  But I still feel blessed, even so!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Uncle Sam and Oscar

Today I did not run.  Because I am depressed.  Which probably means I should have run, but man did I not feel it.  For the first time ever we have to pay taxes.  A perfect storm of events (screwed up exemptions, new job with crap we didn't know about, I won't bore you) means we have to pay Uncle Sam.  We are trying to save for a down payment for a new house so paying huge sums of money to Sam wasn't in the plans. 

I live in a place that doesn't sell alcohol on Sundays so wine was out.  I really could have used some sweet red wine.  Instead, it was a milkshake to soothe the immediate pain.  Now it's the Oscars and chocolate.  Dolled up stars and Easter candy definitely make this girl smile.

Doesn't Jennifer Hudson look amazing, btw??

Also, was that guy joking or serious when he interrupted his applause and said "You're taking up my time."?

That is all.

A morning date with the hubs. An evening date with the Biebs.

Yesterday the hubs and I actually paid for a babysitter (*gasp*) so we could do our long run together.  We went back to our favorite paved trail on a terrible frigid morning.  Now, last week it was cold, but sunny and we eventually warmed up even though we were wearing short sleeves.  This week it was cold and cloudy so we opted for long sleeves, but we totally underdressed.  I never warmed up!!

We tried some new fuel (still in experimentation mode).  Dave had the Black Cherry Shot Bloks.  He said they were great for his energy level but the taste was less than desirable.  He did recommend them for people who like Dr. Pepper and really strong whiskey....which is obviously not him given the face he made while eating them.  I so wish I'd had the camera!

I had the Blueberry Pomegranate GU Chomps.  The taste and texture were great, but I didn't get the same kick that I experienced with last week's Clif Shot.  In fact I was totally dragging the last half of our run.  Last week's run felt good, this week's felt a little less good.  They can't all be rainbows and sunshine I suppose.

Despite my lack of mojo we did make it our full 7 miles in 1:19:29, average pace 11:22.*

And then we went to Longhorn Steakhouse and stuffed our gizzards!  Followed by White Chocolate Mochas at Starbucks since we were feeling smart for having a gift card to Longhorn!

We picked up the girls and made them take much needed naps, and then minus the hubs, we had a girls night out.  We went to see Justin Bieber: Never Say Never 3D.  Because I have little girls.  And little girls have Bieber Fever.  It was cute and not nearly as painful as I'd imagined.  The home videos of him as a little boy were really cute and I was pleasantly surprised to see how hard he actually worked for his career.  He wasn't quite the overnight sensation I had imagined.  Cute movie.

The girls wanted their picture with the Biebs:

*Split times, for those who want to know:

Mile 1 - 11:00
Mile 2 - 11:43
Mile 3 - 11:36
Mile 4 - 11:25
Mile 5 - 11:38
Mile 6 - 11:33
Mile 7 - 10:36

Must.  Get.  Faster.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Must Have Gear

Today I had a great run.  Mostly because I really didn't want to run, but I did it anyway.  I've been so tired this week.  I haven't wanted to get out of bed for work, I've been dragging all day at work, and by the time I've gotten home I've been so exhausted I just want to collapse in bed.  Except I can't, because I'm a mom.  I know the other moms out there will understand. 

Today I got home a good half hour before the hubby and kids got here and I was so, so tempted to lay down on the bed and watch some trash TV or just "rest my eyes" until they got home.  It is so rare for me to have the house completely to myself.  The silence and privacy was so very tempting!

But, I laced up my shoes and hit the road.  It was only a 2 miler scheduled for today so I used that to my advantage when I was playing the mental game to get out the door.  I ended up finishing the 2 miles in 20:12 which I find to be awesome for someone who didn't have the energy to run in the first place!

I got a new product in the mail a couple days ago.  I mean, I bought it and the Fed Ex man delivered it to me.  I don't have sponsors beating down my door or anything.  Anyway, after the run in with the dog last week I decided to order a SPIbelt.  With warmer weather teasing us, I know shorts weather is just around the corner.  At least I hope it is.  And when I start wearing shorts, I stop carrying my cell phone.  It makes me beyond nervous to be out by myself without too, in case of emergency.  So, enter the SPIbelt:

It is A-MAZ-ING!  I've used it twice so far and it is awesome!  Once you put it on, you forget that it's there.  It doesn't bounce or ride up.  It doesn't squeeze your waist.  You don't feel it at all.  In fact, tonight I came home and cooked dinner with it still on because I forgot it was there.  And look how deceptively small it looks.  But it expands to easily hold my iPhone:

And if I had been going on a longer run I could have easily squeezed a few gels in there, my car keys, and probably even more stuff.  It is deceptively huge.  I couldn't be more pleased with this purchase!  If you have ever stressed about how to carry everything you need for a run, especially during shorts weather, get one of these now!  They are FAB!

Nope, I didn't get paid or reimbursed in any manner to brag on this thing.  But I wish I would.  SPIbelt = new love of my life.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Too. Much. Chocolate.

Today I ate half a bag (you know...the big bag) of peanut M&M's.  There was also a run in with a Caramello Bar and a bottle of Yoo Hoo.  And some hot chocolate.  And a couple bites of cadbury dairy milk.  I don't know what got into me!  Tomorrow I plan to pack a giant salad to eat at work for lunch.  My body needs veggies and protein before it shuts down from the sugar overload.

Today I ran a quick 3 miles outside before taking T. to dance class.  I decided to get back to the basics thanks to something I read at The Hungry Runner Girl today.  I couldn't go all the way, I mean I didn't leave my Garmin at home or anything crazy like that.  But I did decide not to look at it, except when it sounded the alarm at the mile markers*.  I did not watch my pace, I did not stress that I was running too fast or too slow, I did not count down the tenths of miles until I would be back at my car. 

Instead, I ran what felt good.  If it felt too easy, I picked up the pace.  If it felt too hard, I slowed it down a little.  I appreciated every foot step, and even had a monologue going on in my mind about how each and every foot step was literally getting me closer to my immediate half marathon goal and my more distant full marathon goal.  I appreciated the nature around me...even if I wasn't happy that it was snowing!!  And the entire run felt amazing.  It wasn't one more check on my To Do list.  It was me, enjoying myself.  It was the best solo run I've had in a long time.  And my time wasn't too bad either, even without checking the pace every 20 seconds.  Go figure.

3 miles in 32:13.  Average Pace: 10:45. 

*I just learned how to set my Garmin to automatically chime at me at the mile markers on Saturday.  Yes, I have had this watch for two years.  No, I am not ashamed.

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Treadmill Lives the Good Life

Saturday night (technically early Sunday morning) I was up with a stomach bug.  All night long I felt TERRIBLE.  It was horrible, and all I really kept thinking was "NOOOOO!!!  I have to run today in order to get my four running days in!!".  Sunday was a rainy day, but fairly warm so it would have been a great day to run which made it even worse.

I laid around all day Sunday, watching TV, napping, not eating and generally feeling miserable.  Finally at the end of the day I sucked it up and got on the treadmill to run 2 miles.  I figured even if I didn't make it the whole way, I could still say I ran four days for the week.

I had a pretty sweet setup going:

Why yes, we DO have 3 TV's in front of the treaddy.  Ok, technically it's two TV's and a laptop.  The big TV is really for the kids to watch because you can't see it from the exercise equipment.  The top TV is the one that is actually high enough to see from the treadmill or spin bike, so is the one we usually have on.  The laptop is because sometimes a girl's gotta watch Hulu.  I missed Survivor so I had to catch up, obvs.

I had the speakers right there on the treadmill so I could hear REALLY well when Phillip and Francesca started going at it and proving themselves crazy right from the get go.  Note the fan, aimed right at my face.  It might be my favorite part.  There's the yellow post-it note to keep the pulse sensor from going wacko and giving me pulse readings, even when I'm not actually touching the sensor.  And my motivation: the big tacky piece of paper that is taped on that says MARATHON:

"When the guy says go, you start to suffer -- or you might as well not be out there. It's a small piece of your life, make it hurt."
~Aaron Cox, Winner of US Mountain Biking Championship

That's the setup that let me pound out 2 miles in 21:15 (10:38 pace) even while sick!  That made 12 weekly miles in 4 days of running.  I felt proud.  And tired.

A. was tired too.  We had to wake her up from her nap and she promptly snuck into the chair and fell back asleep.  It was too I just let her go back to sleep!