TAT CN Header

Monday, April 30, 2007

B-Day Beach Bash

For a combined celebration of both my husband's b-day (yesterday) and my b-day (a week ago), we planned a beach party with our friends on Sunday. So, we spent the day yesterday on the beach playing bocce ball, throwing the frisbee in the ocean, laying in the sun, enjoying drinks, and eating snacks.

And I monkeyed around on the exercise bars some (those bars were hot! and the sunscreen made my hands slippery, so it wasn't easy to do any hanging).

The weather was perfect (hot, but we had a breeze and a spot in the shade), the ocean felt great (it was so clear and refreshing), and the company was excellent (they brought us some wonderful gifts, so we love them). By the end of the day, I was pooped: The combination of sun, sand, and surf sent me to bed by 9 pm.

It was good b-day fun though!

Pictured here are the two b-day-ers. My husband, the Jer-Bear, and me! Do we look older and wiser?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Much Better

Alright, we decided to paint over the brown (that looked orange) with the red we had (and love). I think it turned out well, and even though I still think the yellow in the kitchen is bright, I think I'm warming to it.

Above: View of kitchen from living room. To give those of you who have never been to my humble dwelling some perspective: This wall used to be a full wall (my husband created the pass-through) and it was floor-to-ceiling mirrors!

Here below, we have the dining room/entryway from the living room (which, to give an accurate description, I should note that the living room and dining room are really just one big room -- but we plan to utilize it as two separate rooms). Again, the walls to the left and that small wall that extends over the entryway were all mirrors (it was like a disco in here!) and the wall to the right was floor-to-ceiling wallpaper. Clearly, you can see that we still have a lot of work left to do, like installing floors, para exemplo. We may be finished with the whole shebang in another few months (we've lived here two years -- good lord, I do NOT recommend buying a "fixer upper.")
And lastly, below is a view of the kitchen from the doorway. See what I mean about that yellow being reminisicent of a pad of butter? Oh well. It's not so bad, and once some more stuff is done in here (like replacing the appliances -- in stainless steel -- and fitting a microwave over the stove in that now empty spot), I will probably like it. As a side note, don't you love my blue teapot? A gift from my hubby.

So, yeah, that's what we've been working on for the past week. Excuse the small tirade from Thursday; sometimes this remodeling project overwhelms me, and I tend to flip out every few months (but it's funny what gets to me; I washed dishes in the bathroom for two months, and I was cool, but some paint doesn't turn out how I want it, and I'm a mess: go figure).

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I Hate Paint: A Diatribe

I actually don't hate paint, I love paint, but I hate it when paint does not turn out how I envision it. Currently, we are painting several rooms in our condo that flow together: the kitchen, the entry way, the living room and dining room, and it's a pain in the ass to get the colors to be cohesive within the rooms.

The yellow I chose for the kitchen turned out to be much brighter than I wanted, and I feel like it's a giant pad of butter. I love the red I chose for one wall in the living room/dining room, but the coordinating brown looks more like orange, so the combo of the three colors makes me want to pull my hair out (I swear, when I looked at them on the paint cards, I was envisioning something sophisticated, not something from PlayLand).

The brown (that looks like orange) clearly has to be re-done (since husband refuses to change the kitchen). That means one more thing to do....ahhhhh! I need one of three things: an army of trained monkeys, a troup of helpful elves, or a gaggle of gnomes; if any of you have these handy-dandy creatures in your employ, please send them to my house.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Worn Out

This week has already felt long, and it's only Wednesday!

See, it's the end of the semester for me, which means grading-galore (while fielding many emails and calls for students -- they get very worried about their semester grades at the end of the term, that kind of worry would serve some of them better throughout the term), and I've been busy working on the house with my husband (sorry, honey, but I think I did a crap job on the paint I did this morning!) -- a never-ending project; plus, we had Lou's death and funeral, which has been upsetting. And...a pile of other little things, which always seem to converge at once, right?

Added up, I am feeling exhausted this afternoon, and head-achy (usually stress-induced: my shoulders get all tense and I can feel my poor knoggin throbbing). But, I am done with class for the day (but certainly have a daunting pile of papers that I'd like to return to students tomorrow, but I'm not sure if that will happen) and I'm headed home. I'm going to swallow a few Advil and grab a Diet Pepsi from the vending machine for the drive home (the caffeine sometimes helps a headache).

Thank God that by the end of next week, much of this stuff will be done. And...hopefully, I can resume running then too (my main source of stress-relief).

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Final Farewell

I have typed three different versions of this post, highlighted and erased each one. Nothing quite seems to say what I want to say, so I will keep it simple:

Today was Lou's funeral. The service was lovely. The church was packed. Now, I suppose, we move on.

Monday, April 23, 2007

B-Day Report

My birthday was very nice -- thanks for all the well wishes -- and I enjoyed the weekend.

On Saturday, my husband and I went to dinner at The Melting Pot and we had a fondue-tastic time (I wanted to drink that bowl of chocolate at the end even though I was so full), and then we relaxed and watched a movie at home ("Casino Royale" which I thought was so-so).

Then yesterday, my actual b-day (and soon-to-be national holiday -- I'm checking into the details), we spent most of the day painting. I know, I know, I shouldn't do work on my b-day, but our condo remodeling is getting really close to being finished, and every day spent on it, brings us one day closer, so we painted one wall in the living room (red!) and we primed the kitchen (what a bitch! I hate kitchens and bathrooms). But in the afternoon, we got burritos from Chipolte and we met up with some friends to see "Hot Fuzz" in the theater.

This. Was. Awesome. I laughed harder than I have laughed in a long time. I am a big fan of "Shaun of the Dead" but I think this was almost better than that. It was hil-ar-i-ous! (I think those Brits are just plain funny anyway.) So, that was excellent.

As for b-day loot, my husband got me some great stuff including a gift card for the local running store (sweet!) -- I think I might get new shoes with it, and he got me a balance ball (so my abs of steel workout can continue). I got many other treats as well, but none else are running related (and it was mostly money and gift cards from my family). Scooter got me a gift card for Starbucks, which was very thoughtful of him, considering he has no allowance.

All in all, it was an excellent b-day, and I'm looking forward to the year of 29! I think it will be awesome.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Carpe Diem

The suddenness of our friend Lou's death has me reflecting about how short life is. I know it's cliche, but when someone dies suddenly at the age of 50 -- leaving so much behind (or when they are gunned down at age 19 or 20, as we've also seen happen this week) -- it reminds those of who are still living of the value of life, and the responsibility we have to that life.

Lou was someone who thoroughly enjoyed his family, his friends, his work, and his hobbies (NASCAR and bowling were what he shared with us); life simply emanated from him -- I always saw him with a smile on his face and arms open and ready for a hug (he also frequently offered advice on my bowling stance or swing :). I'm saddened that the world has been robbed of him and that spirit; yet for the rest of us, it's a lesson on how to live our lives.

There's no time like the present to make sure we embrace our loved ones, let them know how important they are to us, and pursue the dreams and goals we have for our futures -- deferring that which we want to accomplish is foolish. All of this seems an apt lesson for me on the eve of my birthday; it's a reminder of all that I've experienced and lived and what I have before me as well. The year before me, and each year to follow, and each year that has preceded, is precious, and I'm thankful I have so many people to share it with.

Thanks Lou for teaching us and reminding us about how full our lives truly are. Even in death, you sought to show us something.

"No more to build on there. And they, since they
Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs."
--Robert Frost "Out, Out--"

Friday, April 20, 2007

A Tribute

To our good friend, Lou, who passed away this morning.

The news is both shocking (he was only 50) and heartbreaking (he leaves behind a wife and two daughters). He was a warm, viviacious person, and he will be missed dearly.

*Goodbye Lou.*

Rest, Schmest

Officially, I have not run in 17 days.

And it's killin' me.

At first I thought the time off would be glorious because ever since I started my running endeavor, I'd been wishing for some kind of extended break, but now that I'm experiencing it, I'm hating it.

And I still have 10 days to go!

I really hope this rest is what my knee needs b/c I'm gonna cry if I start out on a run on May 1st and it hurts again.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

"Good Mornin', Good Mornin'!"

Oh, I am in an excellent mood today, my friends! Perhaps I woke up on the RIGHT side of the bed (and got just the right amount of sleep), or perhaps it's the gentle thrumming of my heart (love my coffee!), or maybe it's because this semester is nearly over and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel of essays, or perhaps it's because I got to choose my schedule for the fall term and I got to choose a class I've never taught before, and I'm ecstatic to do so!

I'm nothing but rainbows and moonbeams today folks!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ab-solutely April

Because I failed at "National Ab Month" back in February, I decided to make April another go of it: it makes sense with the alliteration that's possible, and the fact that I have some down time while I rest from running.

Getting bored with the exercises I know or have available on DVD, I went to the web to broaden my ab exercise base. At www.fitnessmagazine.com under the link "abs" there are tons of exercises for all aspects of the abdominals (like the one to the left). Some, you don't even need to sit up for (but some exercises do seem to be fond of scarf twirling -- I don't own a scarf and am not much for twirling).

Six pack here I come.

Well, that might be more realistic if I hadn't had a brownie for breakfast. Eh, I'm not perfect.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Moment of Silence

For those at Virginia Tech. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to all of those connected to that campus: students, professors, administrators, parents; yesterday's events were tragic.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Drunken Debauchery

Those are the only words to describe the last four days.

Our beloved friends, Jen and Stacy, arrived in town on Thursday and we kicked off the weekend then, and I don't think any of us stopped celebrating their presence until this morning when we all felt the repercussions of it. I haven't been drunk four nights in a row since probably....hmmmm, well, maybe a few years ago. I would say back in college, but that would be a lie (there have been many drinking sprees in my 20s).

So, even though I think we're all glad to be returning to our normal routines (with far fewer drinks), I think I speak for the whole group when I say, "we'll miss you two!" It was great having them here.

But good lord, me thinks my liver needs a break.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Only 7 Days Left

of being 28.

In one week, I will turn 29. Awesome. While I'm looking forward to my birthday, I also think a retrospective of 28 is in order:

I went on several vacations (to DC, Denver, MN, Bahamas), I ran my first marathon (Disney), I had a temporary full-time teaching position (fall term), which led, I think, to my being hired for a full time permanent position (upcoming fall), I consumed many beers and had lots of fun, my bowling team did not place number one in league, but we had a good time, my husband and I continued to remodel our condo and we get closer to finishing all the time, and I had a 5K PR (28:28): overall, it's been stupendous.

I have a good husband, a lot of good friends, a cute dog, a nice (eventually) house, a good job, and a family that lives far away (kidding); well, they do live far away, but they're a good family as well. All in all, 28 and its previous years have been awesome to me; I imagine when I turn 29 NEXT Sunday that it will be a year full of much of the same nuggety goodness.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

O' Bloggers, Where Art Thou?

I guess it's a testament to the ever-changing nature of the Internet, and specifically, to Blogland, that some of us emerge and some of us fade away. Lately, it seems as though some established bloggers have fallen into the latter category.

Running Rabbit has pulled the plug on her blog, Liv hasn't posted in months and I assume she too has abandoned her blog, Runnergirl is still posting, but in her last post, she seemed to wobble on the decision as to whether she should continue to do so, and Bob's blog address link, which has always been previously reliable, now takes me to this. (Bob, if you're out there, what happened?)

But in the cycle of Blogs, as old blogs die, new ones are born. So, you'll note that my sidebar's list of blogs I visit has changed and I've updated the list to reflect the running blogs I am currently reading. So, "goodbye" to those bloggers who have chosen new paths (don't be afraid to visit), and "hello" to the blogs that are either new or I have just discovered.

Friday, April 13, 2007

I'm feeling H-O-T!

I know that much of the country has been experiencing a rather frigid April, but here in South Florida, summer is now underway!

Blech, it's hot.

It's been in the high 80s and low 90s with increasing humidity this week, and I have been reminded of what it's like here in the summer (and it has me questioning the need to train for Chicago during these months -- but I'm already committed, so I guess I'll get used to it as I have in the previous summers). The other night, Erin and I went for a 3 mile walk and by the end, our t-shirts were drenched with sweat and we had bugs stuck to our sweaty faces (damn those little gnats that emerge in the spring).

Both walking and (in a few weeks) running will need to take place under cover of darkness. At least then I don't have to worry about applying sunscreen.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Push ups are a great strength training exercise. They strengthen the muscles in your arms, shoulders, chest, back, and stomach, and are one of the single best exercises for your upper body.

Too bad I suck at them.

Since I'm taking a break from running to help improve the ITBS in my right knee, I've been walking regularly and incorporating yoga and at-home strength training (I'm starting to second-guess canceling my gym membership two months ago). So, I've been trying to do some form of ab work on a daily basis as well as push ups. Yesterday, I pushed (pun intended) myself a little on the push ups and tried to do some regular push ups instead of the girl ones I usually do (knees on the floor).

I could do two.

And I think any trainer would question the quality of those two. My arms wobbled, my elbows did not come to 90 degree angles, and I struggled through both of them. It was either those two regular push ups or the 3 sets of girl push ups that left me sore today. I can feel it in my chest and back especially.

Geez, I'm never gonna be cut out to be a Navy Seal.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Pills, pills, pills

Lately, I've been feeling like an old woman with her stacks of pills to take each morning. I've been taking a multi-vitamin, a fish oil (omega-3 fatty acid), and ibuprofren (and actually, I've been taking the recommended dosage of IB twice daily). Together, they make a neat little stack of medication. Plus, a friend recommended, and gave me to try, "Mona Vie" which is a supplemental drink that contains a cocktail of natural juices and, perhaps, ground-up elves for good measure. That, I take in a one ounce shot, and actually, it's kinda tasty.

All of this crap better be worth swallowing.

Monday, April 09, 2007

I Could've Slept All Day

I'm so tired today.

Maybe it's a case of the Mondays, maybe it's because I overate yesterday for Easter, maybe it's because we were dog-sitting over the weekend and they wore me out, maybe it's my class schedule which only allows one day off a week, or maybe it's because my allergies bugged me this weekend -- whatever the case may be, I fell asleep last night before 10 and slept until 9 this morning, and I still felt like I could have kept on leasing my space in dreamland all day long.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

All Signed Up

for Chicago!

I registered yesterday, as promised, and it's funny, but just registering gave me the same rush I remember feeling almost a year ago when I signed up for Disney: It's exciting to have that goal in front of me, and even though I know the challenge will be daunting, I'm looking forward to the experience.

Thanks to all the readers who have given advice about the ITBS -- I will consider it all (however, I have to admit that accupuncture scares the bejesus out of me; I am not a fan of needles -- but perhaps I will be brave).

As a last note for this post -- it represents my 500th post! Incredible, huh? I have found a reason 500 times to jibber-jabber (mostly about running). Although, considering that I have hosted this blog for nearly two years (June will be my two year blogoversary), it also demonstrates that I have taken significant breaks from the jibber-jabber (even a motor-mouth needs a few days of rest). Thanks for reading! Running wouldn't be the same without the community of "bleaders" (yeah, that's "blog" + "readers"; clever, aren't I?).

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Bloggers Have Spoken

The responses to yesterday's post have certainly helped me to decide about Chicago: I'm going to sign up today!

And then take 3 weeks off running.

Yup. I do really want to be there for Chicago, but in order to do that, I think I need to give my knee some serious rest. So, I will take a real hiatus from running and will resume training the first week in May with short runs to re-build my base.

It's scary to think about taking so much time off running, but I think it's necessary in order to rehabilitate my knee. I also plan to follow the PT's stretching regimen, which was prescribed weeks ago and which I have kinda followed. I will ice, take IB, rest, stretch, and hopefully all of that will alleviate the problem. Also, my husband is going to MacGyver a foam roller for me -- or, if anyone knows of a good place online to buy one (that is not where I will pay $20 for a stick of foam -- I mean a good roller recommendation), let me know.

Thanks for all the support -- looks like I'll be seeing many of you in Chicago! Woo-hoo!!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

On the Fence

about signing up for Chicago.

I keep talking about running Chicago this fall, and I really, really want to (30th anniversary, etc, it will be awesome); however, I'm unsure about the status of my ITBS in my right knee. I have been waiting for it to subside, and then I was gonna sign up for the race, but the weeks have ticked by and I feel like the registration window will close very, very, very soon. I need to decide.

My husband said I should just sign up to secure my place, and if I can't run it, then I'm only out $100. Is he right? Should I just sign up, hope that continued treatment with the knee will improve the inflammation, and plan on running Chicago? Or, do I cancel my dream of Chicago this year, give the knee significant rest, and plan on a winter marathon?

What to do, what to do?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Monday Night Run

Even though I was really tired last night, I still managed to drag myself outside and fit in a two mile run. It felt pretty good, but my knee ached again, which is poopy. Does anyone have a magic wand on hand that will magically make that issue disappear?

Monday, April 02, 2007

A Return to Routine

Our houseguest departed at the crack of dawn this morning, so now it's back to our regular routine. While I was sad to see her go, it is nice to be able to resume normal activities. So, now I've got to return to my running (I've been a total slacker), my healthier eating habits (lots of high calorie grub in the past week), and I need a short hiatus from drinking (March was a celebratory month and between St. Paddy's, camping, and company I drank many, many beers).

Today I'm trying to catch up on some work, but I hope to get a short run in this evening so I can begin to re-establish my schedule.