Interstellar Adventure
Adventure: the pursuit of life — Daniel Roy Wiarda

sprints suck

Friday, April 29, 2005

Oh yeah they do. My workout last night was supposed to be a 10 minute warm-up, followed by 6 x 1 sprints...sprint 1 minute, walk one minute alternately, followed by a 10 minute cool down. I made the first 1 minute sprint, but not the next one. So, instead I did 10 30-second sprints, with a one minute walk in between each. At the end, my legs felt like lead, and I came very close to that ever-elusive "I ran so hard I puked". What's so important about that you ask? I mean, who would want to actually make themselves sick? I'm not quite sure really. But, these 'serious runner' people seem to push themselves to the limits and that's the result. I don't know how 'serious' I'll end up being. At the moment I'm 'committed'. So, I will continue to torture myself in search of improvement.

I'm very disappointed in you all

Thursday, April 28, 2005

You've got nothing for me, huh? Well, I had no idea there were so many prudes in this world. OK then. Have it your way. I post something that could potentially be a conversation starter, and you all shy away. I'll go back to talking about folding laundry tomorrow... Oh, and as a side note. Today I took all the pictures of D off my desk at work. I stuck them in a drawer. I'm doing much better, most of the time. I think I'm in the "angry" stage right now. I think I have a lot to be angry over. But I'm not angry all the time. Mostly I'm really happy, until I have to think about him when the kids are acting up, or crying for him, or he calls me about some random question. Especially his attitude. He's very cheerful and chipper and "Hey! How ya doin'!". Well, for someone who was just abandoned out of the blue, I'm doing very well, thank you very much. And actually I am. I've been staying busy with my friends, continuing my sporting pursuits, and even commmitted to a true "training schedule" one of my friends put together for me for my marathon in October. In fact, tonight I'm running sprints. Gak. We'll see how that goes. Maybe I'll get to puke for real this time.

Do you drunk-dial?

I got my first drunk-dial last night. For all the "just say no to drunk-dial" proponents, this one was actually a good drunk-dial...at least from my perspective. A little late (yes, I was actually asleep), but nevertheless, quite welcome. What's your best (or worst) drunk-dialing story? Share if you've got one. If you don't, check out SlackerTown.com. *Note: I am not responsible for offensive content on external websites. I'm sure it's out there, so if you don't want to hear it, don't click the link.

Anonymous Blog Nasties

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

So, yesterday, for the first time since this blog's inception in January, I had my first post from a blog nasty. This person posted anonymously, but I have an idea of who it may have been, since I happen to know where they came from. Yeah, those stat counter things are pretty cool. :) After the anonymous post, I temporarily disabled the ability to post a comment anonymously on my blog. This has now been reactivated, so good or bad, please feel free to post your comments. This is my blog. These are my thoughts. This is my life. I know who I am and I know what I am trying to accomplish. For me, this blog is supposed to be a "happy place". A place where I can reflect on my accomplishments, share my goals, motivate myself, inspire others (hopefully), receive feedback, suggestions, comments, criticism, and whatever else anyone may choose to share. If I end up talking to myself about myself some days, who the heck cares. It shows that I am thinking of me, working on me, giving myself what I have not for so long while I was busy giving to another and getting nothing in return. So, for those 76 positive comments that I have received from various sources over the course of this blog, thank you. I hope that you return, that you continue to comment when you feel like it, that I entertain you in some way, cause you to think about something, and bring a smile to your face or your heart. For the 2 negative comments that I have received from the one bad apple, I'm sorry for you. I'm sorry that you choose to be negative and caustic. I hope that the ulcer on your soul that is eating away at you is soon relieved. I too have experienced pain and loss and anger and a sense of unfairness. I could create posts that are bitter, vile, full of hate and emotion and let it all eat away at me. But I choose not to. I choose to focus on the good things, create new experiences for myself, and share them and what they have brought to me. If mowing my lawn, bouncing around with my kids, sharing my workouts, painting my house, or talking about my dogs is boring to you, then move on.

Speed Workouts, a necessary evil

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I had my first speed workout last night. I will not look forward to these, but I will do them because then I will run faster. One of my friends is a running coach, and she told me not to do the 8 mile run I had planned. "Instead, do a Tempo Run." she said. Oh boy. 10 minute warm-up, 10 minute tempo run, 10 minute cool-down. The 10 minute tempo run is supposed to be at a pace that makes you want to puke. So, I ran my warm-up laps, and later I figured I ran these too fast. Then I sped up (ha! as if I can speed up much) for the run-till-you-puke part. Well, I didn't puke, but I did feel pretty crappy. I had to walk for about a minute in order to catch my breath, then I ran the rest of the way for the cool-down. I felt pretty good afterward considering. I danced my way home to some Outkast "I like the way you move" and was excited when I entered my time and distance into my running log. I avereged a 10:47 pace for 29:33! Holy Moly! That's the first time I have ever averaged less than a 12 minute mile. YAY!

What a weekend...

Monday, April 25, 2005

Wow! Well, I was looking forward to a fun and exciting weekend, and I got it! Friday evening was a bit hairy, trying to pack up all my stuff and get out the door without forgetting too much. I did forget some stuff, but not anything important like a helmet. Mapquest doesn't usually let me down, but traveling to Fort Worth Friday eveing was an exception. I'm pretty familiar with getting over there, but the exact location of the hotel was a mystery both to Mapquest, me, and the front desk girl. My friends aren't so hot at direction giving either. I thought I should go north on 35W to get to the hotel, and I was right, but both my friend and front desk girl insisted I go south. So, I did. After I started seeing signs for I-20 and no hotel, I knew I needed to go north. I called front desk girl again and asked them where the were in relation to the cross street I was currently at, and the answer I got was "Well, our sign isn't lit up, but we're across the street from the Holiday Inn." Girl! If I knew where the Holiday Inn was, that would help, but I don't! I asked for an exit number, and she had no idea. That should be part of training for any hotel. Have directions, exit number, map of the general area, etc. posted at the front desk so if a guest calls and says "I'm here, where are you?" they can actually provide some assistance. So, after several u-turns, another call to my friend, a poorly marked exit, and an additional u-turn, I finally made it to the hotel. At least they were helpful enough to allow me to store my bikes in their office overnight. I made it up to the room, chowed down on left-over fajitas from my friend, and got into a taxi to head over to Billy Bob's. I was with my friend Christy, her step-mom Darlene, and Darlene's friend Pat. Darlene and Pat were a couple of fun, crazy old ladies. They had me cracking up all night long. Spunk and energy! Pat reminded me a bit of Patsy Cline, and I think telling her that made her evening. So, as we made our way into Billy Bob's, we were appriopriately I.D.'d, I was stamped (much to Christy's chagrin, she didn't get stamped...it's my baby face), and we worked our way through the wranglers, bikers, preppies and miscellaneous other individuals to get a much-needed beer. We didn't have long to wait before the concert started, so we got over to our seats. The "concert bowl" at Billy Bob's are a bunch of folding tables and chairs, crammed together so tight that there isn't much room to breathe. Fortunately we were on the side of the table that faced the stage, so we didn't have to sit backwards. DAC came on stage pretty much promptly at 10:30 pm. I had seen him at Billy Bob's a few years ago too. He's not an "old" man. I think he's around 65, but he's lived every single one of those 65 years, a few of them twice probably. I knew he was stooped and old from the last concert, but wow, he has really aged. I guess that's what you get for being a hard-drinking, prison-time-serving, rock-n-roll cowboy. He was wearing black jeans, a black sleevless shirt (to show off his heavily tatooed arms), had his long white hair pulled back, his beard was divided, braided and beaded, and he accented it all with a pair of bright pink Converse tennis shoes. There was a stool on stage for him to lean against, which he did for the majority of the show. He entered the stage guitarless, singing a capella, hands folded and looking down. He moved to the stool, and his assistant strapped his Confederate-flag guitar to him. He started the concert off in a mellow mood, and we would soon decide that he was feeling really "bluesy" that night. I couldn't tell where songs started and ended as they all seemed to be of the same tone. I thought we were nearly on the third song, when I realized, nope, that's still the first song. The crowd was getting a bit restless, yearning for some upbeat honkey-tonk. We didn't get it. He would tease us with a few bars of his more popular standards before taking us back into blues mode. He sang till midnight and then walked off stage. We didn't push for, nor did we get, an encore. In order to amuse ourselves during the snore-fest, we had some good people watching going on. David Allan Coe seems to attract a wide variety of individuals. To our right were the Civil War re-enacters. And, they were definitely rebs. A bit scary, but one guy just wouldn't shut up the whole concert! Then, there was Mr. Mullet at the table directly in front of us. This was a great 80's mullet. Short and spiky in the front, long and layered in the back, and accented by a handle-bar mustache that went all the way down to his chin. Mr. Mullet was also the drunkest guy around. His wife had to guide him to the bathroom...complete with the drunken Frankenstein walk. Across the other side of our table were the college kids. I think there were 3 guys and a girl. One of the guys had to squeeze his ample frame backwards into the seat. We tried to pull a the table a little closer to us to give him room to breathe. Didn't want him to pass out from lack of oxygen. One other guy was Sleepy. Granted the concert started at 10:30, but the dude slept through nearly the entire team. He had either started drinking really early, or he had smoked some good weed, or both. Either way, he was out. I found this extremely funny for some reason. My people-watching giggling attracted the attention of the cowboy behind me. He was kinda cute, and we laughed a bit. At the very end of the concert, he noted that he had asked the waitress to come over, and would we like to order anything. When I ordered another Shiner, he handed me one immediately. Then, the waitress came back with another Shiner. But wait, I only paid for one. I was a little confused, but then realized, HEY! This guy just bought me a beer. Shocked and amazed (it's been a long time...9 years since anyone's bought me a beer), I said thank you to him for the beer. We went back over to the dance floor area, and did some more people watching. There were some strange people out. The weirdest ones where these college age girls with a guy that set off my gaydar. I'll have to describe one girl as Wenesday Addams, and the other girl...well, there was just no describing her. Too much girl in not enough dress prancing around like a preening pony. Ouch. I can be cruel. As I'm sitting there with my friends, I can see this guy eyeing me. You can just tell sometimes. I said to Christy, "I think this skanky guy is about to ask me to dance." There, I just jinxed myself. Sure enough a skinny, blond, mustachioed, drunk guy comes and asks me to dance. I didn't want to hurt his feelings, plus I like to dance, so I said ok. Yikes. So, I danced with him to Lynnard Skynnard's "Sweet Home Alabama" (also the title of a really cute movie with Reese Witherspoon). He tried to guide me around the dance floor, but after several near collisions and him almost falling off the dance floor, I took over and guided him through the rest of the song. He actually kissed my hand at the end of the song (wow, another first for me after so many years), and then proceeded to follow me back to the table. Christy saved me by declaring a trip to the bathroom was in order, so we escaped to the loo, and when we came back he was gone. We took a cab back to the hotel and called it a night. I showered to get all the smoke out of my hair and clothes before crashing to be at around 3 am. 7:30 came a bit too early the next morning. A little dehydrated, but not feeling too bad, I hopped out of bed, donned my bike shorts, made a little coffee, dodged some blue-hairs in the continental breakfast line, loaded up the bikes and headed north. The drive to Muenster was pretty. It was a chilly but clear morning. I knew it would warm up on the ride, but waiting around for the start was tough. I intended to do the 62 miles. I really did. But, my brake was rubbing on my bike, and so I set out to do the 40 mile course. Hey, it's better than deciding not to ride, which was a serious consideration! Within the first 3 miles of the ride, my bike chain slipped off at least 3 times. I also got a good taste of the hills that make this a killer course. The wind hadn't picked up much yet, so I wasn't having a problem with that. Just the damn hills. Whereas Lancaster was long flats punctuated by a few brief but steep hills, Muenster was pretty much a constant incline with no flats and steep hills. Early on in the race I passed a biker that had crashed, and up the road was passed by the amblulance that went to pick him up. Further up the road I was passed by 2 fire and rescue trucks. I didn't know what they were going to, but it couldn't be good. I would later find out a biker had been hit head on by a car. Stupid car. Get out of the way! I don't know how bad the biker was hurt, but I hope he will be OK. At rest-stop 1, I stripped down to my tank as the day was heating up. I applied some extra sunscreen, ate a couple of oranges and moved on. At this point, the wind started to kick in. It was cool and strong and blowing the exact opposite way that I wanted it to...straight at me. It was at this point that my quads began to burn. I was in granny gear up the hills, and a few times I just couldn't quite make it. Man, I know I'm not in great shape, but this was rediculous. Rest stop 2 was good for some cookies and gatorade. Then I heard a volunteer describing the killer hill between rest stop 3 and 4. Oh no. This was starting to be very discouraging. I hate to quit anything, but I was really hurting and my left foot was really starting to cramp. I decided to press on to rest stop 3 and then reassess the situation. But, the hills and the wind pretty much made up my mind. Make it to 3 and that was going to be it. I have never quit any kind of race before, so I wasn't quite sure how to do it. I kind of stood around the rest stop for a few minutes, and I had just seen a SAG Wagon drive up. The driver was talking to a few volunteers, and pointed out a girl that was waiting to be driven back. I then raised my hand and said "I'm done too". So, the driver loaded our bikes in the back of the truck and we started back to town. Just a few minutes later, we were flagged down by another rider that had had enough. And, when he got in the truck he told us there was a recumbent biker that would probably want a lift too. Sure enough, a few moments later, the recumbent biker flagged us down as well. So, the four of us lamented the difficulty of the course and the wind on the way back to town. We saw several other people that tried to flag us down as well, but we were full. They'd have to wait for the next SAG Wagon. Back in Muenster, Mr. SAG driver dropped me off at my car. I loaded my bike back up and headed out to Saint Jo & Bar-H. I found the ranch OK, but when I stopped to pay my camping and use fees, there were no more payment envelopes. Would it be OK to proceed and pay later. I sure hoped so. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I spied Chubby Beaver! "Beaver" I yelled as he biked by. He quickly stopped and greeted me with a big, sweaty hug. For those of you new to this blog, Beaver is the navigator extraordinaire that led me and the rest of the Chubby Harem through Martin Dies Adventure Race back in February. There's a post in the archives...go check it out. Beaver told me where the rest of the AT'ers were camping out and pointed me in the right direction (see, I told you he's a good navigator). My poor little Jetta bounced over a cattle guard and scraped over a big bump, down a hill and through a meadow, then back up the hill towards a "house". Looking for familiar vehicles, I finally spied a pig-tailed, safari-hat wearing gal. Beckbee! I had arrived at the right spot. We were camped at the top of the hill, very close to the showers and toilets. April, Becky, Brian, Cheryl, David, David, Lauren, Sam & Jesee and I completed the AT campers this weekend. I haven't camped since high school, so this was new to me. Becky helped me break out my brand-new tent, which was really easy to set up. I changed out of my bike shorts into "camp pants", but decided not to bother to shower. We were going on a hash later! Oh my. So, we BS'd around the camp site a while longer, and Beaver came by again. The hash would start at 5. So, we left at 5 (hashes never start on time supposedly). We got over to Muenster, and rather than pay $5 for parking, we looked for a spot on the side of the road. The other driver found a spot easy, but Becky was hesitant to park in the spot we saw...parallel parking wasn't her strong suit she said. So, I volunteered to parallel it for her, and it was perfect. We headed over to the hash starting point, and there was Beaver. But where were the rest of the hashers? They had left without us. No worries, though, we have Beaver to navigate for us. What is a hash you might ask? Well, it's difficult to explain. Hashers are beer drinkers with a running problem. The meet frequently to run, and then drink beer and sing songs that would make your hair curl and your cheeks burn. This was a short hash (half-mile) and we then arrived at a softball stadium. Hashers also have "hash names" (Beaver is Dub's hash name). We met Big Gulp, Hog Straddler, Mouthful, Sparkle, Kiwi (yum) and too many others to remember. Hash names all have meaning. I'll just let you imagine... The hash cost $1, and we all grabbed a beer. It was all very confusing, as there was a lot of shouting and bs'ing and laughing going on. There were a few introductions, a demonstration of how Big Gulp got his name, and some more song singing. Then, us "Hash Virgins" were made to stand along the fence, were handed a cup full of beer, and instructed to drink at a certain point in the next song. We introduced ourselves, they sang the song, we drank, they refilled our cups, sang another song, and made us drink again. I like beer, but drinking it this fast was a recipe for trouble. Back in our seats, more songs, demonstrations, accusations, flashing (yes, you read correctly) and I was round-eyed. These people are hard-core. A few more cups of beer were passed around, and then it was over. Holy cow. I think I might go to another hash some day, but these people do this stuff weekly. That's too much for me. So, we trooped back over to Germanfest. Time for more beer. We met a few of the hashers back over there, ate some sausage, and drank some more beer and talked a lot of smack. I think we scared some of the old people over there. Time flies when you're drinking beer. We headed back out to Bar-H, sat by the camp fire, played a short game of truth dare...too many truthful people...drank some more beer, roasted some marshmallows and then someone started passing around a bottle of tequila. Ouch. I don't remember much after that. OK, that's kind of a lie. But, I don't remember much else that I can actually post. Despite all the drinking, people got up with the sun. I crawled out of my tent at 8:22 and with my blanket wrapped around me, sat in my camping chair next to the camp fire for a good 2 hours or so, and drank a couple of bottles of water. Others were off riding their bikes on the trails and coming back to report how great the riding was. I'm a chicken on the mountain bike. I don't ride enough to get much better. But, finally about 11 I decided that I hadn't brought my bike all the way out there just to give it fresh air. So, I forced myself up and got on my bike. Fortunately Bar H has a lot of different trails that fit various skill levels. I stuck to the baby trails. That place is sooooo pretty, and the day was perfect for riding. Dry, sunny, with a cool wind. Spring flowers were in bloom, so it was nice to catch my breath and look out over green fields and flowers. We rode for about an hour, and then headed back, hungry for lunch. I disassembled my tent, packed up my gear (you'd be amazed just how much I can fit in my little Jetta) and, reluctantly left paradise at Bar H behind. For the record, I did finally pay my use fees...even though they were still out of payment envelopes. I was glad to get home though to a hot shower and electricity. Camping is so much fun. I will definitely be doing it again. I am exhausted, but it was well worth it.

You don't have to call me darlin', darlin'

Friday, April 22, 2005

You never even called me by my name... I so wish I could push a fast-forward button and move this day along! I am ready and waiting for the weekend! Hurry up and get here! Tonight, I'm going out to Billy Bob's...something that is normally entirely against my nature to do, as I am NOT a 'country girl' despite living in Texas all my life (I don't even own a pair of boots!). The only reason I am even setting foot in 'cowboy country' is to see David Allan Coe. I grew up listening to "The Long-haired Redneck" on family road trips. It was a staple of our "road-music" collection, and my favorite tapes (yes, when music used to be stored on magnetic tape rather than CDs) to request. All my friends know that I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket, but "I can sing you every song Hank Williams ever wrote" (to quote DAC himself). Well, not Hank Williams, but certainly David Allan Coe. And I still do, all the sad ones that I know... I'm so excited! Then, after hanging out with all the sh*t kickers on Friday, I'll drive an hour north to Muenster for Germanfest. I'm riding the 100K (62 mile) bike rally with some of my AT friends. Then, drinking beer and eating bratwurst and listening to a little "oom-pah" music. (I'll be running the gamut of musical genre this weekend, eh?) After that, it's off to Bar-H for a little camping, followed by mountain biking (on the baby-trails...since I'm such a chicken) on Sunday morning (if my rear can handle the bike seat two days in a row). Whew! By Sunday night I won't be able to keep my eyes open. It's sure to be a fun, fun, fun weekend!

Mmmm, a new "flavor"

Thursday, April 21, 2005

I am sort of a "scent junkie". I like trying new perfumes, lotions, etc...anything that smells good. Well, I can now report that I've found a new favorite. For my birthday (6 months ago...) one of my friends gave me the Eucalyptus Spearmint aromatherapy products from Bath & Body Works. Since I was in the midst of a couple of other "flavors" at the time, I hadn't had a chance to try it out until just recently. I had some lotion and the pillow mist, and yesterday I purchased the hand soap and a body essence with a gift-card another friend gave me. I love this stuff. It's so relaxing, cleansing and almost hypnotic. I used the lotion after my shower last night, and applied some of the pillow mist before bed. I slept very well last night! According to the "lore" printed on the label, Aborigines believe the eucalyptus helps to relax the mind and ward off evil thoughts. I'm of the opinion that they are right! And, unlike some of the other B&BW scents, this one stuck around. When my alarm went off this morning, I could still catch a hint of the delicious aroma as I buried my face in my pillow. Heavenly.

So if I'm training for a marathon, that means I really have to run, right?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Oh boy... So, I said I was going to run a full marathon Oct 23 in San Francisco. The Nike Women's Marathon. You can register for a training log on their NikeRunning.com site. I have a seperate mileage log that I've been keeping up with since the beginning of the year, so I put my miles in there pretty faithfully (especially since that log calculates my pace based on time/distance). BUT, the NikeRunning.com site will actually create a training schedule for you to tell you WHEN to run. I kinda haven't logged in since I registered, and so I've kinda missed a couple of runs. Ok, so no kinda about it. BUT, I am now going to be paying better attention to my scheduled runs. I ran 2.2 last Thursday, did 4 hours of yard work Saturday, bounced in the bouncy-house on Sunday, and ran 5.2 last night. Technically I've only missed 3 runs. I'm supposed to run 2 tonight which shouldn't be a problem. Oh, and I like my new Brooks running shoes too. They're very comfy. I can definitely recommend them.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Well, after the Target photo lab originally neglected to make me my photo CD as I requested, I set them straight and now have photos to share.
Let's get ready to rumble! Wait...wrong sport... 
Hello? Hello? Can you hear me now? 
Uh, that is NOT how those go on... 
Just a bunch of red-necks... 
Who's that hot red-head?  
Whew! A break from the engine noise. 
Tecate number...? 

"Mom, you rocked the bouncy-house!"

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Yes, that is a direct quote from my son. LOL! Today was my niece's 2nd birthday. So, we drove over an hour to go to her birthday party. My brother had rented a bouncy-house, his girlfriend hired "Cinderella" to paint faces and do magic, and his girlfriend's mom and step-dad did a great job with food. Cinderella was actually pretty fun. She painted all the kids' faces. My daughter (L) opted for a unicorn, and my son (Z) went for the manly-dragon. The magic show was a little hokey, but she really got the kids going. She even used a dove and a bunny in the show, and all the kids got to pet both animals. Then, we did some song-singing and some hokey-pokey-ing. And, using a rainbow parachute, we bounced a doll around, then each of the kids got to go for a "ride" in the middle. The kids all had great fun. After Cinderella left, it was lunch time. Hot dogs cooked on the grill, homemade potato salad, veggies, chips & dip made for a satisfying picnic lunch out on the patio. Of course, the kids couldn't stay out of the bouncy house. All in all, the kids did really well looking after the little ones...there were young 'uns ranging from 2 to 14. No one got hurt, so it was a success. After lunch, the kids got to bang on a pinata! The little ones got to take their swings without the blind-fold. Very cute to watch them try to weild the giant stick at the princess-crown shaped pinata. Then, L went up for her turn, and with blind-fold on, she gave a few good whacks, and knocked a small hole in the top. No candy just yet! Then, Z went up for a turn. He took one giant swing and hit the top of the pinata, knocking it off the rope and onto the ground. A few more whacks to make sure it was really "dead" and the kids all scrambled for the candy hidden inside. We then had cake, ice cream and presents. L will be a good hostess when she grows up. She made sure everyone had plates and spoons to eat their desserts. My niece had help from her daddy in opening all her gifts. She was fairly interested in the first few. I think almost everything she got that wasn't clothes made noise. See! I'm not the only evil-doer! The Dora doll and Backpack set we got her was fun...but, what was even more enticing, and caused her to lose all interest in remaining gifts to be opened was the talking stove. Yes folks, a toy stove that has over 75 fun songs and phrases with which to annoy the heck out of my brother and his girlfriend! HA HA HA! My brother ended up having to open the rest of the gifts...oohing and ahhing over girly clothes and gifts isn't his strong suit, but he gave it a good go. Then, after presents, the kids wanted one last romp in the bouncy house. Since most of the other kids were gone by this point, I decided that it was time for me to "bounce attack"! I kicked off my shoes, climbed up the bouncy slide, and bounced the kids around and around. Whenever my niece would climb up, we calmed it down a bit, but once she bounced down the slide it was on! My kids were laughing, and even the older kids were having fun with me in there doing "monster bounces". One of my sisters was even brave enough to "bring it on". The best part of the day was when I was getting out (tired, sweaty and hot!) and my son said "awww, mom, who's going to rock the bouncy-house now"? LOL! Who would've thought I'd be so much fun. I usually hate bouncy houses. Too many elbows, knees, legs, heads and other various body parts that are in extreme danger of being knocked about, bruised, bloodied and otherwise injured. Especially when my kids were younger, I would cringe at the thought. I guess now they're older I worry less and am used to the occasional visits to the emergency room. What a fun day! I then got to go buy myself a new (used) road bike! Yes, no excuses now...next time it's the full distance! Trying to decide if I'm going to do a road rally this weekend before going camping, then to be followed by mountain biking. All of course preceded by a night out in Fort Worth at Billy Bob's to see David Allan Coe. That's about the only (ok, Willy and Waylan and Johnny too!) country music I'll listen to. What do you get when you play a country song backwards? You get your wife, your car, your house and your dog back! HA HA HA! Yee Haw folks! (Again, this is Texas, after all!)

My back is going to hurt tomorrow...

Saturday, April 16, 2005

But damn, my yard looks good! Four hours, eight lawn bags, three blisters, and my nice old neighbor later... I hate to rake. I know I have a catch-bag for my lawn mower, I just don't know where it is. Of course, before D left, this was his domain. I'm sure he hid it somewhere. I actually prefer to do yard work over house work, but he insisted. So, the kids and I trooped outside at 8:30 this morning, I mowed and edged the lawn, and used the weed-wacker around the flowerbeds. The kids were "raking", and after a few temper tantrums and a work stoppage on their part, they finally pulled it together and helped me finish. I have two very large oak trees in my front yard, and there were leaves tangled in the grass everywhere. I used the rake, and my neighbor's blower and got quite a few of them, but still, there were more leaves! So, despite the fact I had already mowed, the neighbor pulled out his lawnmower just to "suck up the leaves". And, they let me borrow some of their brown lawn bags for my clippings and leaves so I didn't have to use trash bags. (Plano is a pretty "green" city I think. We have recycling pickup, and if we use the special lawn bags, they take the clippings to a special mulching place to use for city mulch.) My neighbors, ALL of my neighbors, are old people (except for the gay couple that lives two doors down, they're middle aged). I live in senior-citizen-ville it seems. Still, it makes me feel a little safer, because old people are nosy, retired people, so they're home all day, and will watch out for what's going on around the homestead. And, it seems they like to help out with other people's yardwork! Then my daughter had her last soccer game of the season. They had a 0-0 draw as their last game. So, after losing, losing, losing, our last three games of the season were a 1-1 draw, a 3-1 win, and a 0-0 draw. I think they finally "got it"! Pizza party and trophies on Tuesday! For helping with the lawn (well, if you can call it that) we went to McDonalds after the game. I hate McDonalds. The only thing I'll eat there is the Filet-o-fish. I love the Filet-o-fish. I was mad when Whataburger discontinued the Whatacatch. That was my absolute favorite. Wendy's now has a fish sandwhich too. I tried it once, and it was pretty good. So, we ate, the kids played, and I did yesterday's crossword (didn't have time yesterdaydue to the NASCAR thingy). I'm behind on my crosswords actually. I still haven't done last Saturday or Sunday's crosswords. I'm a sort of crossword junkie. I do the Dallas Morning News commuter crossword every day. I usually finish, or have only 1 or 2 clues I can't figure out. I also do the New York Times crossword. I can finish Monday-Wednesday of that one, but haven't mastered Thursday-Sunday. One day...I will prevail! Then, after McD's, home for a nap! Whew, I needed that. My son had also asked to go to the batting cages, and since I'm considering playing softball this spring, I wanted to review my hitting skills as well. So, I looked up the nearest cages and we went to hit. My daughter was severly disappointed that she didn't get to bat too. But, she's too short, and they didn't have a helmet to fit her. So, she sat on the bench and whined. Thankfully my son and I only hit 60 balls each. Then, we decided to play mini-golf. Holes 1, 2 & 3 were fun. Then, it turned into whiners-ville. Come on guys! This is supposed to be fun. But no, feelings were hurt, a ball was lost, and someone couldn't get over the fact that it was just a game. The evening was pretty much ruined. Still, I had to feed the little monsters and go to Target before I could throw them in bed for the night. They tried to make up for it and actually resembled human children for awhile! Your parents always say...just wait till you have kids...Man, I am getting some payback!

Gentlemen, start your engines!

Friday, April 15, 2005

OK, so this was more fun than I expected! I managed to locate beer in a CAN (wow...). I ended up with Tecate since this beer store didn't have Shiner in a can. But, a bottle of lime juice and ice made it drinkable. ;) We got out to the races at about 2, and after walking what seemed like miles (with a bag full of beer and water and ice), we entered TMS at gate 7 and found our seats. Yay! They were in the shade the whole time. My friends are true NASCAR fans/geeks. My friend's husband had a watch that he could download all this NASCAR race results data onto, calculated speed based on time, determined the location of all space satellites, and can communicate with ET. OK, so not the last two, but for races, this watch was pretty complex. They also had 4 headsets that we could wear that served three purposes -- block out the scream of the cars as they raced by, transmit a broadcast of the race, and allow us to talk by mic if we pushed a button on the back of the earpiece. I felt like such a race pro! HA! The qualifying laps started at around 3, and ended around 5. During which time I consumed some nachos and three beers. Then, after qualifying, one of my friends and I went out to check out all the merchandise trailers. Each racer had a trailer full of t-shirts, hats, pins, bumper stickers, toys...anything you could slap a number and a logo on and price 500% too high. My friend got a shirt for her sister. I didn't want to stand in line long enough to get anything else, so we hunted for funnel cakes instead. Yum. Warm fried batter with powdered sugar. I'm not sure if there's anything on earth better than funnel cake! The IROC race started up at around 6, so we didn't have too long of a wait when we got back to the stands. I picked a driver (I can't even rember his name now...Pruitt?), but of course he got in a wreck 5 laps in and got knocked out of the race. So, my backup pick was some Frenchie named Sebastian something. He led most of the race, only to be passed by Kurt Busch (sp?) at around lap 40. I wished a wreck on Kurt, and in lap 45 my wish was granted! Kurt blew a tire out of turn 2, hit the wall, and was out of the race! A couple of other guys were pushing Mr. Frenchie a couple of laps and nearly passed him, but his superb driving skills prevailed, and he won the race! YAY! The whole thing was over shortly after 7, and after another loooong hike back to the car, the day was over. It was actually a bit tiring to watch those people drive around the track. Well, maybe it was the 6-pack of Tecate that made me a little sleepy. But, I had a lot of fun! There were some slightly scary looking people out there, but none as scary as I had imagined. ;) It did make for some interesting people watching though! I would do this again. Don't know if I would travel for it like my friends are known to do, but, when the races come back to TMS, I'd go again. Tomorrow is dedicated to yardwork and the garage. The front is starting to look overgrown, and my flower beds are in need of some serious attention. It's going to take more than a day to get it in shape, but hopefully I'll make a decent dent and get a better plan of what I'd like to do. Color! The yard needs color! Then, on Sunday, my niece turns 2. A princess-themed birthday party. Should be fun! Though not the drive to her other grandmother's house in BFE. :( Ah, what do 2 year-olds like these days... ;) Something with lots of pieces like my brother used to get my kids! HA HA HA! Payback bro, payback...

This is Texas after all...

Well, as another "I can't believe I'm doing this moment" nears...I'm going to a NASCAR race. Not a place I thought I'd ever find myself. :) Two of my good friends are dragging me along. ;) And I even have a t-shirt to wear! My company does Halloween up big, and we did a NASCAR theme this last year. My favorite store to shop at is Target, so of course I picked the driver they sponsor. Go Casey Mears! I hope he's actually racing...And another good thing too is I'm taking a half-day off work to go! So, amid beer, rednecks, RVs & tents, I'll be avoiding sunburn and trying not to get dizzy as I watch a bunch of grown men drive fast cars in circles. he he he! My friend Judy told me there are only 3 rules... Rule number 1...if you get in a fight and get arrested...we are not bailing you out until the races are OVER Rule number 2...if you enter anyone's RV/Tent of your own free will....I'm not coming in to drag you out...at least until the race is OVER Rule number 3...no glass...track rule... Where does one find plastic beer bottles? Duh, I didn't think of it till just now. Cans! Show's you how high-class I am. It didn't even occur to me that beer comes in anything but bottles. HA! I can't remember the last time I drank a beer out of a can. This should be fun! Oh, and I don't think anyone has to worry about me breaking rules 1 & 2...I'm a good girl. riiiiight...

Running Shoes vs. Cute Shoes

Thursday, April 14, 2005

OK, the number of running shoes in my closet is starting to grow. They're reproducing... Run On had a "girls night" last night. When a running store serves wine and cheese, I'm there! Brooks has out some new jog bra, so of course I had to try it, and of course, I bought it. And, everything else in the store was 15% off, so it was a perfect time to get a new pair of road shoes. 2 pairs of road shoes and a pair of trail shoes now. Plus my yard shoes. They need their own shoe rack. My "cute shoe" rack is full. Some of them aren't so cute anymore, so I'll have to replace them. I wonder if DSW is having a sale anytime soon... D was watching the kids, and rolled his eyes when I came in with the bag. "Another pair of running shoes" he said. I don't have that many yet, and really, it's not his concern anymore, is it! When my running shoes outnumber my cute shoes, then I'll admit I have a problem! :) Happy running.

so thankful for all my friends

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

I have the best friends in the whole world. The love and support they give me without question is one of the places where I am currently drawing strength. Just being around them makes me feel good, and looking forward to seeing them again, laughing with them, and chatting with them brings happiness to my day. I don't know how I managed to be lucky enough to meet people as kind, thoughtful, generous, supportive, smart, fun, understanding and kick-butt as my friends. All I know is that I am so grateful and thankful and glad that I can call them friends! And I hope that I'm as good a friend to them as they are to me! Thank you to all my friends...you know who you are...you are wonderful, beautiful people. I'm not good at saying thank you...I think about it too late, after the fact sometimes. But I thank you for being you and being my friends!


Tuesday, April 12, 2005

So today is a really "down" day. I had been feeling better the past few days. Positive. Hopeful. Joyful. Accomplished. But not today. I cried myself to sleep last night. Not the first time, certainly not the last. D says he was never in love with me. He tried for almost 11 years to love me, but never did. And now, he's decided that's long enough to have tried and is gone. It was OK for him to depend on me, trust me, confide in me, ask for support from me, be my best friend, lover, partner. As long as he needed it. I'm not perfect. I never claimed to be. I have many faults and flaws as does everyone. When you care about someone, the flaws don't matter as much as the good characteristics they have. Not for D. It has to be all good or he can't deal. There are many things I could have improved on. I did improve many things. I am very good at so many things. Not enough. The hard part is that I still want him. Or do I? At times I do. Other times I know that I will be just fine on my own. I know that I can overcome anything. I have overcome so much in 30 years already. What's one more obstacle? It's just at this point, you expect to have someone to share the challenges with. If think that if I didn't have kids, it wouldn't be as hard. You just have yourself to pick up at that point. But, I have a daddy's girl who cries as much as I do that her daddy is gone. She wants to call him in the morning when she wakes up, before she goes to bed, misses him at the table at dinner, and is always wondering when the next time she'll get to see him will be. I have a son that longs for his dad to sit and talk with him at night. He's old enough now that he needs that "guy talk" that he just can't get from me. He knows I cry and he feels bad for me. That's the hardest part. Looking at my kids, knowing they are in pain, and hurting more, wondering what I could have done better, if I could have done anything better. I can't control D. I know that. I never could. I can't change his mind, I can't change his heart. I can only control me, my attitude, my heart (well, can you control that?), my actions. I'll be the best mom I can be to my kids. I'll treat myself right. I'll depend on my family and friends when I need them. I'll cry when I need to. I'll laugh as often as I can. The pain and sorrow and disappointment is intense; sickening at times. What lies ahead? I'll never know till tomorrow. Until then I'll take a deep breath, live today, plan for what I can, set goals and priorities and make the best of what I've got. I will not let this defeat me!

Lancaster Country Ride & The Martini Party

Monday, April 11, 2005

Oh boy! 6:15 am came too early on Saturday. After 4 Shiners at The Dubliner on Friday night, I was feeling a bit dehydrated. Still, I rolled out of bed, took some Motrin and drank 2 big glasses of water, pulled on my bike shorts and a tank and loaded up The Beast. I got to the Toms house just before 8 am and chatted for a bit as everyone else arrived. Stanky Brain, Ape, Sam, Maribel, Yvette, Dianna, Gale, Lee, Charles, Dusty, Misty, (who else am I forgetting!) were all in their gear and rarin' to go. We rode down to the start and checked in and got our socks (the giveaway at this rally), and then went back down to the Toms house to drop off the swag and pick up a couple of stragglers. Miss Dianna looked too cute in her bike skirt and sandals, with her pretty new floral-motif bike helmet. Applied a bit of sunscreen and made a quick potty stop and we were off. While waiting for the race start, Brain suggested I air up my tires a bit to make the ride easier. I'm glad I did. I started off to do the 62 mile race, and was doing OK through the first rest stop. I was a bit behind, but I caught up to the group as they started the second leg. The wind was kicking in pretty well by this point. We were riding straight into it, and I was definitely getting some good "resistence" training. By the second aid station at ~20 miles, I knew I wasn't going to make 62 miles. Everything below my waist was numb and I was having some pain in the back of my left leg. This section was very flat, except for the uphills, and the wind was still packing quite a whallop. So, I made the decision to follow the 42 mile course. This basically cut off just a 20 mile loop, as the 62-milers joined back up on the course just a ways down. The countryside was bright, green and colorful. Spring flowers were in full bloom, and there were Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes in abundance. I saw a huge bird (don't know what kind, maybe a hawk) riding the wind currents over plowed fields and groves of trees. It was truly a beautiful day. By the third aid station, I was ready to be done. I ate a bannana and some fig newtons (yum!), drank some gatorade and tried to strech out my left leg. Get back on and just pedal! Not going to get back any other way! Well, except the SAG wagon, and that wasn't an option for me! At the fourth aid station I actually had to sit down and really stretch. The back side of my left leg was really tender, but I had come too far not to finish. I started to feel a bit better, and so I got back on and rode for the finish. Road bikers were passing me like I was sitting still, but still I pedaled on. I turned down a section of road and thought "Hey! This looks familiar!" Yep, it was part of the 10 mile run course from Ape's birthday a few weeks before. I knew I was getting close to the finish. As I came back into Lancaster, the course took us by an old cemetery. I tried to read some of the markers as I passed. They were very old with dates of birth from 1859! Many children and younger people. Makes you wonder and be thankful for modern medicine. We turned back down a residential street and I could see the finish line just up ahead, so I put the bike in big gear and picked up the pace just to get across the finish line. I stopped my watch and saw that I had finished in 4:09:50. Not too shabby I think. I figured I had spent approximately 15-20 minutes in aid stations all total, so I finished 42 miles in under 4 hours. Yay me! I waited around the finish for about 30 minutes, waiting to see any of the rest of our group. I knew they had all done 62 miles, but I thought on road bikes they certainly would be finished soon. After a brief doze in the grass, the sun was getting too hot. So, I headed back to the Toms house to see if anyone was there. Brain's car was already gone, and Charles was back loading up his bike. I chatted with him for a bit and sat in the shade, admiring my bike short tan line. After another 30 minutes, I had to go without saying good-bye to everyone. My kids had to be picked up and switched over to my sister. Aunt Nikki was taking the kids -- and she even volunteered! So, I schlepped back up to Allen, stopping on the way to get my bike a quick tune-up. The kids were engrossed in a movie, but I managed to get them out the door without too much trouble. A 6-inch Subway tuna on wheat was calling my name, as I hadn't had much solid food all day. Fig Newtons and bannanas only go so far. I chowed down on my sandwich and hopped in the shower. My sister got there and helped me finish packing the kids up and out the door. Blissful silence. I laid down on the couch for a bit with the mind to just relax, and when I woke up, it was already 7:15! Oh my. Nearly a two-hour nap. Whew. Just what I needed. The Martini Party was at 8, so I had to get a move on! My hair was still wet and wrapped up in a towel. I busted out my hair dryer and admired the sun-kissed sheen on my face. I look pretty with a tan! I put on my cute new denim capris and a white button down top (that accented my bronze color). I touched up my Power-blue toenails (shhh...it's a secret that I didn't totally re-apply) and slipped on my slide sandals. Re-owww. I looked good. Back down 75 (twice down and back in one day!) I arrived at my friend Amy's house just around 8:30. Fashionably late. Amy has a cute little gingerbread house down on the M streets of Greenville. Very tony area. More guests arrived, and we had a great time. Amy had printed up some martini recipes, and I decided my first go would be at a Key Lime martini. Tasted just like key lime pie! Yum! A little tart, but still tasty. My second try was the Lemon Drop Martini. Absolut Citron, Limoncello, sweet & sour, lemon juice, and a teaspoon of sugar and I was in HEAVEN! My favorite martini of the night. Eveyone who sampled mine wanted one, so I turned into the bartender of the evening. "Make me another Lemonaide" Amy would say. I think she had 4 or 5. Good thing it was her house... Amy did a great job on the party. Great food, good music, lots of laughter. I think there's a few pictures...I need to see these. Yikes! I remember doing kissy-face. Oh boy. Those should be fun! On Sunday I slept till 11:30. Then I got up, and actually cleaned house. My kitchen is so clean right now, and my recycling bin is full. Got my tax documents all in order, and then took Zach to his basketball game. Afterwards we went to the in-laws and finished our taxes. Yay! We're getting a refund. Small, but a refund! Then, the kids and I played Yahtzee, 2 games of Attack Uno (this is a blast) and a game of Rummikub. Dinner, bath and bed. Blissful silence again. I worked a bit more on my knitting (a jumper for a friend's baby), and after realizing I made a mistake in my row count, I backtracked, fixed the error, then went to bed. What a fantastic weekend! Next weekend I've got to mow the lawn. It's been raining a bit lately, and I have green sprouts all over. Time to bust out the yard tools and make it pretty!

Friday, Friday, Friday!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Oh Boy! Only 1 more hour left until the weekend starts. I'll actually probably try to sneak out just a little early. Shhh.... Kids are spending the night at the in-laws tonight. Meeting a couple of girlfriends for a drink, and then headed home. Hopefully not out too late tonight...I have to be in Lancaster at 8 am (that's like 45 minutes away!) to ride 42 miles starting at 9 am. Yes...ONLY 42 miles. My procrasination habit has bitten me in the @$$ (again) and I didn't get a road bike (the one I wanted/could afford was sold) in time for this weekend's ride. So, rather than the preferred distance of 62 miles, I'll cut it short since I'll be on my slower, heavier, friction-laden mountain bike. Forgive me please for those lost 20 miles... Then, Saturday night it's a Martini Birthday Party! Not my birthday...actually I don't even know the birthday girl. A friend of a friend kind of thing. Still, if there are martini's involved, I'm in! My favorite drink. Have a great weekend world!

Yay! It's Hump Day! And a reminder to make a donation!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Whew! Finally Wednesday. Some of the chicas from AT are going out for $2 mojitos tonight and dancing at the Samba Room. But, not me. :( No babysitter. Darn diggity darn darn darn. So, instead, I will go home and run a couple of miles tonight. I think it's what's called a "recovery run". As if one can ever fully recover from running a half marathon... In fact, I'm so sick now, I'm going to run a full marathon October 23! I had planned to do the Chicago marathon on October 8, but one of my girlfriends has now convinced me to run the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco. I've never been to CA, so now I can kill two birds with one stone! And, there's a chocolate mile (mmm...chocolate!) and a pedi-station half way through. Of course, if I stopped half way through for a pedicure, there's no way I would ever get moving again. I'll just have to treat myself after the race! Speaking of marathons... There's less than two weeks to make a donation to Rob!. Robert is now at ~85% of his London Flora Marathon sponsorship goal for raising money for Tommy's Baby Charity in memory of his daughter Annabelle, who was stillborn two and a half years ago. Please help him in any way you can to reach his final goal. It's easy to make a donation!.

It's only Tuesday

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

I think daylight savings messed me up again. There is no good reason for this whole spring forward/fall back business. Let it be daylight time all the time. I enjoy having the evenings with light...even though it's hotter, at least I can run at night without being afraid of the dark. It feels like it should be Thursday at least. This is gonna be a long week. I've got my 42/62 mile bike ride this weekend. Guess I'd better call that guy about the road bike. If I'm gonna go that far, I don't want to do it on my beast of a mountain bike. Ugh.

I ran the Big D Texas Half!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

YAY ME! I ran the whole way and finished in 2:54:27 (according to my watch...we'll see what my "official chip time" is later). Whew! I was doing a 13 min mile through mile 8 and feeling really good. I started to slow down a little after some big hills (big hills for Dallas) through miles 9 & 10. Then 11 to the finish was tough. Near the end there I wanted to stop and walk, but I was really shooting for a sub-3 hour finish, and I was so close I wasn't about to let myself quit! Woo Hoo! I made it to the end with barely enough gas in the tank to get across the finish. And, I got my 3rd finishers medal. I have 3 now! So, if you Dallas-ites see a green VW Jetta with medals hanging from the rear-view mirror...wave! it's me! Then, after I finished I did something nice for someone else. This older lady looked lost in the parking lot, and I asked her if she lost her car. She said she had and didn't know where it was and the area wasn't looking familiar to her. So, after I got in my car, I looked for her to see if she had found it yet. She was still walking around looking very perplexed, so I drove up and asked her if she'd like me to drive her around. She got in, and after talking with her for a few minutes, I realized she was on the complete opposite side of the lot than where she had parked. I drove her back across the lot and within a few minutes we found her car...with Florida plates! Glad I could help someone in need. Do something nice for someone today...it will make you feel good.

Texas Half

Yay! It's the morning of the race. I'm dressed and ready to go with my super-secret Power Blue toenails, and I'm ready to go. Feed the dogs, pour my coffee and I'm out the door with my Power Gels. Wish me luck!

The world would be better if it were a sillier place

Friday, April 01, 2005

Oh wow. These just stink. I still laughed though. OK, really it was more of a giggle. What does that say about me? I'm easily amused. Yes, it's true. I've known it my whole life. I laugh at just about anything. It doesn't even have to be that funny, and I'll laugh at it. And, if it's really funny, well, then I'm the one that's laughing the loudest and the longest. And probably crying or wetting my pants because I'm laughing so hard. And everyone else is usually just staring at me wondering "what the hell is she laughing at?". I'm so mysterious. What do I think is funny? Hmmm. Many things. One of my favorite places to get a laugh at the moment is from a TV show. Spike TV has a great spoof show "MXC". This is a Japanese TV show dubbed over in English with completely pointless banner. These poor Japanese people compete in teams doing insane stunts. I've fallen off the couch laughing so hard. With stunts named SLIPPERY SLOPE OF SLANTED DEATH, DASH TO DEATH, WALLBANGERS AND POLE RIDERS, what could not be funny! I hope you can at least grin at one of these. 1. How Do You Catch a Unique Rabbit? Unique Up On It. 2. How Do You Catch a Tame Rabbit? Tame Way, Unique Up On It. 3. How Do Crazy People Go Through The Forest ? They Take The Psycho Path 4. What Do Fish Say When They Hit a Concrete Wall? Dam! 5. What Do Eskimos Get From Sitting On The Ice too long? Polaroid's 6. What Do You Call a Boomerang That Doesn't work? A Stick. 7. What Do You Call Cheese That Isn't Yours? Nacho Cheese. 8. What Do You Call Santa's Helpers? Subordinate Clauses. 9. What Do You Call Four Bullfighters In Quicksand? Quattro Sinko. 10. What Do You Get From a Pampered Cow? Spoiled Milk. 11. What Do You Get When You Cross a Snowman With a Vampire? Frostbite. 12. What Lies At The Bottom Of The Ocean And Twitches? A Nervous Wreck. 13. What's The Difference Between Roast Beef And Pea Soup? Anyone Can Roast Beef. 14. Where Do You Find a Dog With No Legs? Right Where You Left Him. 15. Why Do Gorillas Have Big Nostrils? Because They Have Big Fingers.. 16. Why Don't Blind People Like To Sky Dive? Because It Scares The Dog. 17. What Kind Of Coffee Was Served On The Titanic? Sanka. 18. What Is The Difference Between a Harley And a Hoover ? The Location Of The Dirt Bag. 19. Why Did Pilgrims' Pants Always Fall Down? Because They Wore Their Belt Buckle On Their Hat. 20. How Are a Texas Tornado And a Mississippi Divorce the Same? Somebody's Gonna Lose A Trailer