Wednesday, February 28, 2007


February Challenge is DONE! Every day this month, I laced up those nifty Nike+ shoes, put NanoMark on alert, and ran. At least 2 miles, every day, but usually I did a little more. Most days I did a minimum of 30 minutes, but there were some longer runs, a half-mary, a few 4, 5 and 6 milers in there. Most were done on the treadmill (Miz T and others), and some were done outside. I swam some days and some days the 2 miles were pretty much all I had.

This came at a perfect time for me. I gave notice to my old job on February 1, and on the last day of this month, I am in a hotel room in the midst of my onboard training for my new job. The constant between the two for me was the running. It's kept me sane and kept me grounded at a very tumultuous time. And I love it for that.

And as much as I'd like to sleep in for the first day of March...I think I'll hit the gym and maybe go for a spin on the exercycle... :)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

because what's a day with no maternal guilt?

So, just to refresh... Elder Child has had a streak of sorts going, where he hasn't missed a day of school because of sickness since, oh, I don't know, kindergarten. So, of course, on the first day of my new traveling schedule, on the same day that Hub is in a totally different timezone, we have a sick child. Gah. He was listless and scratchy-throated yesterday, and today woke up with a headache, sore throat, and general blickyness. So he stayed home and Grandma took him to the doctor. I was worried about strep or the flu, but we're assured it's just a respiratory virus and that he's OK to go back tomorrow. Sure, he's OK. But I'M A MESS!!! Nothing like stress-testing the safety net/support system on the first go-round!

In other news, I now have a new laptop (ooh, pretty, shiny, CLEAN laptop), and a whole slew of new user ids/passwords to remember. I'm all official-like with a new ID badge (have to sign in and out of everywhere in the building, including to get to the cafeteria and the elevators) and I've ordered business cards. Somehow, hitting submit on the order form for the business cards is what made me think, "I'm really doing this."

The flight out last night was fine, even though there were a bunch of folks on my shuttle to the airport that had been trying to get from one end of the country to another unsuccessfully and were having to spend the night in the hotel instead of in their own beds. I tried not to see it as an omen of things to come. *MY* flight was on time and smooth sailing. Except that the security screeners stole my toothpaste. OK, not really, but apparently, I got an extra .6 oz in the tube that made it too big to qualify for carry-on. Bah. And it was a nifty new flavor I'd been wanting to try, too. Instead, I had to buy a tiny little tube of generic Colgate from the hotel shop for a mere $2. But all the rest of my "extra" set of toiletries were nice and new, so I don't have to always unpack things like deodorant, toothbrush, hair gel, etc. Put me back a good $30 at the CVS yesterday stocking up on all that at once, but well worth it since I will be using it quite a bit moving forward.

That is all for now. I have to try to log into the company system via VPN and see if I can get some of my other paperwork done online. Everything is done online at this place -- even the bathrooms had a sign on the door that said if anything needed to be brought to their attention facilities-wise, we should log into a specific site. That kind of cracked me up.

Oh, and I'm 27 for 27 with the run thing. Don't tell Miz T, but the treadmills here are NICE, with the little TV screen embedded in the display. I did part of a Grace Lazenby iTrain audio track, but bailed when she had us pump the incline to 10% rise. Maybe next time. In a bit when I'm done playing online I'll go downstairs and check out the pool.

Monday, February 26, 2007

today is the first day...

of the rest of my life... isn't that how it goes.

Lessee -- got the boys sent off to school, met the Elder Child for lunch (actually, he just wanted me to join him at the book fair to buy a monster/mythical creatures book for him), and delivered clothes and lunch supplies to Grandma's house for both of them for tomorrow and Wednesday. Oh, did I leave out that on the day of my very first trip that Hub had to go out of town too?? Yep, because turning my life upside down wasn't enough -- we had to start this adventure with a bang and make it as complicated as possible! But, like I said, the support system is in place, and it's being tested for sure on its maiden voyage. Hub gets back into town tomorrow night, but it will be way past when the boys should be in bed, so we're just having them stay over that night too.

I set up the webcam on this side, and set the boy up w/an email and Yahoo ID so we can see each other. I set all the security/privacy options as high as possible, so that I'm the only one they can see. I'm excited to get my PC and hook up my end of it, but that will have to wait until tomorrow night.

I still need to pack, but I did stop and get all my toiletries and such in the acceptable sizes, along with my see-through zippy bags so security can paw through everything. It's supposed to be cold in VA, so I'm having to decide what to wear that looks professional and yet keeps me warm. Not much to choose from, unfortunately. And while I get a lump sum payment from my old job for all my accrued unused vacation time that I was going to partly use for a new wardrobe, that won't arrive until the end of March (!!!), so no chance to get anything yet. What I have in the closet will have to do for now.

Oh, and before I go... I'm now 26 for 26 with the running. I did a quick 2 miles last night around the block, and then today I hopped on the TM for another 2 miles while I watched the wenches on the View talk about the Oscars and give Angela Lansbury a complex. Fascinating, that show. Anyhoo, I should go find the other suitcase now and attempt to pack -- I've got to head to the airport in another couple of hours. toodles.

***NOTE**** Still FREAKING out about the tri entry, BTW. Eeeep!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ho-LEE Crap!

Thank you for registering for the 07 Danskin Tri Series online.

This email is to confirm that your registration has been received and processed. A charge from ONLINE REGISTRATION for this transaction will appear on your monthly statement. Please contact us at with any questions.

Um, yeah, I have one question --- WHAT THE HELL HAVE I DONE???


Because I don't want to lose the recipe for jambalaya I made for last night's dinner club. That is all.

Oh, and I think I'm allergic to laundry. Really. Honest. Or housework in general!

No running yet, but I plan to hit the streets later this afternoon for a little 2-miler to recover from yesterday. I had a bit of tightness above the right knee last night but woke up the morning right as rain and rarin' to go again.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Random Notes

it's amazing how much fun you can have once you decide that you aren't going to PR, so you may as well settle back, enjoy the day, and just savor the adventure. There were a lot of hills on the course today, mixed with some wicked winds (but not as bad as forecast, thankfully), and a nice mix of sun and overcast. Temps were about mid-60s, and I was fore-sighted enough to ditch the long-sleeved tech shirt at the car so I didn't have to jack with it the whole morning. A short-sleeved tee and my brand new crop tights I picked up at the (lame) expo yesterday were perfect (BTW, LOVE the new crop tights -- they make me look just like the girl in the catalogue -NOT).

Anyhoo, except for the wind, and the hills, and the freakin' brick roadway at miles 9-10, it was a
lovely course and a lovely day for a half. I knew by about mile 6 (10:40/mile or so) that this was not a PR day -- my half-PR being set on this exact course three years ago, when I clocked a vicious 2:09 and change -- so I adjusted the attitude and just had fun. I chatted with folks (just to be sure none were like Nytro, I made sure they didn't mind being chatted up before proceeding), thanked the officers and race volunteers profusely, and made sure to high-five all the little kids cheering on the side of the course. I stopped entirely for about two minutes at the half/marathon split, cheering on the full course runners as they turned toward another part of Fort Worth and we headed back to downtown. The course marshall was concerned because i was just standing there waiting for the next marathoner, and he wanted to be sure I knew which way to go. I told him I knew where I wasn't going, and that was toward the full course!

The last two miles were dreadful, mostly because by then we'd spent a few miles pounding downhill on bricks, and then were hit with a few more gradual uphills. There was one point turning toward the finish where the wind was in this vortex created by the buildings downtown, and you could hardly make forward progress. It was pretty laughable, and had I been on track for any kind of record, would have made me very angry, but since I was just out there for the mileage and the bling, I just pretended to be a mime anyhoo. I crossed in 2:22 and change gun time, but I know I was about two minutes behind when I hit the timing mats at the start. They should have chip time posted online sometime today.

All in all, it was a fun run, if not a bit challenging, and oh, yeah, I got the bling, with a great ol' big Longhorn on the front. Rock me!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Big Sigh

of relief. I am done with the old job. It wasn't as hard to walk out this afternoon as I thought. I left on very good terms and I'm certain that I'll keep the relationship with my friends from that part of my life moving forward. Even though the last 18 months or so there haven't been what I would have hoped for, doesn't everything we go through shape us and meld us into what we are? Whether we know it at the time, even if we recognize it and choose to overlook it, all the experiences in our lives help build us into our current state of mind and state of being. And for that, we have to be grateful.

And I am. Especially for never having to drive into the morning AND afternoon sun on my daily commute!

ORN -- 2.5 easy, slow miles on the TM. It's misty and blicky outside, and there are supposed to be some wicked storms moving through the area overnight. I hope they clear up before race time. Gun goes off at 7:30, and if all goes well, I'll be crossing the half-marathon finish line and collecting me some new bling by 9:45. Cheers!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

real quick!

  • 21 for 21! Yippee!
  • 3 miles on the TM this morning, still a little too cold outside in the AMs
  • My work friends rock my world. They had a fab party for me and I got all kinds of go-away schwag, like a groovy new bag, a set of webcams, and a great album of way-back machine photos.
  • I'll miss my friends at work probably more than I can know.
  • I still see my really bestest work friends, even though only two of them still work with me (for another three days, at least!).
  • Tomorrow I pack up my office. Sigh.

Monday, February 19, 2007

quick update

i don't know if it was the Claritin, or tucking in early (and bailing on the last 4 miles -- ahem), or what, but I woke up this morning fresh as a daisy and ready for my last week at the office. I'm bummed about not hitting my mileage goal for last week, but I think it's for the best.

I just got done with a quick 2 miles and change around the block... OUTSIDE! which means that I'm 19 for 19 with the Run Every Day in February challenge. Go me!

By this time next week, I'll be checking into my hotel in VA getting ready for my first day at my new job! You can let me know when it's officially acceptable to begin the freak out, OK? I'll just be over here. Um, yeah, thanks!

That's all for now. Got to get to bed now so I don't get a relapse of whatever yucky bug I had yesterday. Cheers!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

i might owe you four...

or I might get it done later tonight, after I put the boys down. I had to cut this morning's scheduled 12-miler short because Hub and Elder Child got tickets for the hockey game, so they had to leave by noonish. Which meant that I only had about an hour and a half to run outside after Hub got back from church, before I had to be back to hang out with TDP DinoBoy. I got 8 good miles done in 1:24 or so, but I just didn't have it in me to get on the TM at that point in time. I was hot and just kinda wiped out.

After a long bath, lunch and a nap, I started sorting through laundry (again with the laundry -- oy!) and then got to feeling sneezy. And my nose was drippy, and my face was hot. Not sunburned hot, just warm, mostly on the cheeks, and suddenly the room was just a bit too warm. Phoo. I took a claritin a while ago, and I think it's working, at least I hope it's working. I just can't be sick this week. Of course, it's better to be sick this week than next week, when I start the new job. So all this is to say that I may or may not pick up the 4 miles left on today's schedule later tonight. I might hop on the TM and see how it goes. I might just turn in early. Depends on how I feel -- I certainly don't want to put next Saturday's half in jeopardy, but it kills me to not have reached full mileage for this week. I shall see.

In any case, I've at least done today's run, bringing me to 18 for 18. woo-eee.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

17 down...

11 to go. I've run every day in February so far. I ran outside today, for a nice change. Except the wind. Geez Louise, the wind. I don't know how hard it was blowing, but I felt like those mimes. But I did get in a good midday run of 4 miles and some change. NanoMark thinks I ran a 9:something mile pace, but I think it was closer to 10:15. I also had to stop dead in my tracks at mile three and take off my long-sleeved shirt, which involved taking the Nano off the arm, threading the headphone cords through the neck, blah, blah, blah, and I'm sure it added about a minute to the run. But I had to do something to burn off the peach pancakes from Crack(er) Barrel. I'm not sure how much Hub and I will get to have the long lingering Saturday morning breakfasts alone once I'm traveling, so I'm making sure to enjoy them now. Although next week is the Cowtown Half, so I wont' be hitting the Barrel for pancakes then.

I just got done with at-home testing for work, and now it's time to break free from the PC for a bit. I bought a new Bissell Flip-Ease and for once I'm anxious to do housework so I can try it out! How sad is that?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

geez, it's cold!

OK, nobody living north of the Red River is allowed to make fun of me for this, but it's freakin' cold here today! It's 29 degrees, but feels like 17 with the wind chill. Too cold for this southern girl. brrr!

kept the running streak going last night -- 3 miles in 34 minutes on Miz T. Tell you what -- nothing gets me feeling good and energized like a nice run. I stepped off that thing feeling 100 times perkier and just more "there" than when I stepped on. Sadly, every one else in the house had already turned in for the night. Bah!

Happy Valentine's Day! I've got to rummage around at lunchtime and find something suitable for the boys and Hub. Although, we have already made plans to see the Drew Barrymore/Hugh Grant movie on our regular Friday night date night -- any time there is an 80s music-related movie, we have to see it. Have a great day!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Note to Self

Self: next time you run 11 miles at 5K pace, remember to ice down afterward. Remember to treat yourself like you ran a half-mary at race pace instead of like you just ran 5K in base-training mode.

Oy, I am still sore from that excursion! There was one notable downhill stretch where my quads were pounding and I thought to myself, "Self, that's going to hurt later!" And, yes, Self, you were correct -- it hurt like nobody's business later that night.

I have to say, though, that I did tear myself away from Monday night TV for 25 minutes and did a very, very, very slow 1.8 miles on Miz T last night to preserve my participation in the "Run every day in February" challenge. Go me! It was very slow, and for most of it, my arms were achy, and I felt a little off-balance. But what was important to me at the time was not the speed, but just that I got at least a good 20 minutes of actual running done. And I did that.

today is the last swim lesson of the pack for me, and the big goal is to get all the way across the pool using the front crawl stroke, without a kickboard, and without freaking out when I cross the blue line into the "deep" end. If I can accomplish that, I'll feel like it was worth it. Heck, even if I don't quite make it, I know I'm a better swimmer than I was three weeks ago, and I can only improve from here on out.

Oh, and speaking of Monday night TV, did anyone else see Barney on "How I Met Your Mother" last night? Hilarious! I couldn't breathe I was laughing so hard!

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Wow, now I know I'm in the cool kids' club! Vickie tagged me. Made my day, almost as much as a long afternoon nap followed by time with the boys -- me on Miz T and them on the couch playing and watching Arthur and Curious George and keeping me company! I covered 6.3 miles in 72 minutes. Very easy pace, very much a base-building exercise. Now for some recovery with a granola bar, protein/PB shake, and then a shower and laundry. Wah! I'd wanted to go to Hub's hockey game (yes, he's playing now), but decided I have to get the laundry monster under control instead. Besides, he maintains he's not ready for an audience yet!

Just for the record, I'm 10 for 10 so far in February with the running. And tomorrow is a long run of 11 miles, with NanoMark along to record my time for the Nike+ Challenge set up by XT4. What a weekend!

So here goes:
A — Available or Married? Married, for more than 12 years, but we've been together for nearly 20!
B — Best Friend? Besides Hub? My college pal Alicia -- I've known her for nearly 20 years now, too.
C — Childhood memory?Playing endless games of Monopoly during long summer days. Playing tennis with my sister in the heat of the day, every day, during junior high summers. Sharing a room with my brother and sister and making up games when we should have been sleeping.
DDrink of choice? H2O. better with lemon, but it's not required.
E — Essential Item? None, really. The less I have to carry, the better.
F — Favorite Color? Yellow. Bright, sunny, dandelion yellow.
G — Gummi Bears or Worms? Worms!! but swedish fish are da bomb!
H — Hometown? Harlingen, Texas. Go all the way down to the southernmost tip of Texas, until you hit Mexico. Turn around and go 20 miles. You're there, but don't blink.
I— Indulgence? Facials and massages. Haven't done it in a while, but I feel spoiled when I do. Pedicures, however, are not an indulgence, but a necessity during the summer!
J — January or February? February -- chocolate everywhere!
K — Kids and Names? Alessandro, aka Elder Child, 11; and Benjamin, aka TheDreadPirate DinoBoy, 6
L — Last Lipid profile results? Good, which was surprising given my heritage and genetic predisposition.
M — Marriage Date? August 13 -- we've had 2 anniversaries on Fridays!
N — Number of Siblings? Three -- sister is 4 years older, brother is 2 years older
O — Oranges or Apples? Oranges. Tangerines, especially, or grapefruit. I grew up in citrus country, so I have to have GOOD citrus.
P — Phobias/Fears? Something bad happening to my boys. Drowning. Puking. And, yes, Nancy, FROGS!
Q — Favorite Quote? "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." It's carved into the facade at the Main Building at UT. I loved passing by that every day in college.
R — Reason to Smile? See letters A and K. :)
S — Season? Spring.
T — Tag 3 People! Ben, IMAble, and JohnnyTri
U — Unknown Fact About Me? Not much -- I'm pretty much what you see is what you get. Hmm, I'll have to get back to you on that one!
V — Vice? My husband's nickname for me (one of many!) is "Comments" because I'm always having to say something about something!
W — Worst Habit? Being a little too blunt sometimes. I can sometimes be a bit of a bitch, actually.
X — X-terra or regular tri? Let's try to ease into this, m'kay? I'll start with the regular.
YFavorite food? Chocolate. And then I can always eat chocolate. Or some chocolate. I also eat oatmeal way more than the average bear.
ZZodiac sign? Scorpio. Which to me, explains W and V, really. And don't ever get on my bad side, because there is little, if any, hope for redemption. Just kidding! No, not really.

So now that I've scared all four of my regular readers off with those brutally honest answers, I should go clean up now! Have a great Saturday!

Friday, February 09, 2007

not much time..

to post, or to do much of anything. meh.

I can happily report, however, that I have run for at least 30 minutes each day in February, including today. Me & Miz T have been spending a lot of time together. After a few days of gorgeous spring-like weather (we’re talking mid-70s, with light breezes and fabulous sunshine), we’re back in the 30s and 40s with fog and drizzle and just yucky grayness. I’m thinking I need to add another column to my running log to track when I run outside and when I run on the TM. But in any case, I have done what I need to in regards to the February running thing, and I’m feeling good about it.

I’m also almost done with my swimming lessons. Yesterday I worked on the freestyle stroke some more, using a kickboard to stabilize me and give me some “safety net” feeling while I worked on the arm movement. It was amazing how quickly the half-hour flew by, too. And I wasn’t nearly as sore last night as I was on Tuesday, probably because I wasn’t as tightly wound. I really am getting the feeling that the more time I have to just practice, practice, practice, the less onerous it will become.

It’s Friday! It’s Friday! That’s all there is to say about that!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


oy -- all I did in the pool today for lesson #3 was practice stroking, just a few feet off the wall. Glide, then kick, then only two or three strokes on each side. Turn around and come back, and do it again. That was all, and that was enough.

He had me focus on my form, on going slowly and making sure that I pulled my arm through the water, that I exaggerated the elbow up and out, that I kept my hand above the water as I brought it forward, that my hand went into the water thumb-first. He made sure I kept my head under just to my brow line, that I kept my chin down when I turned to breathe (why is that SO HARD?), that my legs stayed mostly under water, that I kicked from the thigh and not the knee.

He promises me that I've got the basics down now, and all I need to do now is practice, practice, practice. He swears to me that I'll be able to go all the way across -- even past the blue line -- by the end of the five lessons. That's two lessons from now. I think it might be possible. It HAS to be possible. If I believe it, it will happen, right? Right?

ORN -- 3 miles on the TM as soon as I get the boys in bed. I'm not going fast. At all. I'm feeling the lunchtime workout in my arms, but I'm really just going to take it slowly today. Just enough for the February challenge.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Five Down

Only 23 to go!

Flatman had this idea, from listening to Shelley, that he should run every day in February. And for some reason, I thought that sounded interesting (peer pressure! peer pressure!). So, even though this certainly is going to be one of the most stressful months of my recent life, or maybe because this is going to be one of the most stressful months of my recent life, I decided that I should do it too. So far, so good.

And I tell you what -- today is certainly one of those days that I might have otherwise came home and plopped on the couch, dead to the world, if not for this challenge. I got a late start out of the office -- unfortunately, I think that will be the norm in this last stretch there, as they try to bleed what institutional history I have in my brain from me -- and traffic was horrendous. And of course, I had nothing but fumes in the tank, so I had to stop at a less-than-savory gas station just south of downtown. So by the time I got home, I was fried. I was glad for a reason to force myself on the treadmill, and once I got on there, it was easy going for 4.5 miles in 48 minutes and change. And I watched CSI: Miami with no sound on while I did it -- really, I didn't miss much that way.

Oh, and last thing -- has anyone tried these? My son found them somewhere this weekend while he was with his godmother, and they are good! There's not many in the pack, but they're just right for a taste of sweetness. We'll have to find more here local -- they're much healthier than the regular fruit snacks we usually have around the house (although I may still need to stock the Peanuts-shaped ones!).

Gotsa run. I've got one last load of laundry to dry before I can call it done for the week. and I should probably shower before I go to bed, even though I'm planning on running again first thing in the morning. "Should" being the operative word there....

heh -- OK this is the last thing -- I promise! I'm watching the weather, and our forecast high for tomorrow is 71 and sunny! This after he tells us the air temps in the northern hinterlands like Duluth are below zero, even before adding in windchill. This is why I loves Texas!

Friday, February 02, 2007

happy friday!

someone noticed today that I seemed to have an extra spring in my step, or that I was up to something... yep. I'm on to starting a new phase of my life, that's what I'm up to.

Remember when I posted this back in November? And I said I needed to re-align my life? this is another step toward that re-alignment. It may seem that on the surface it's a move in the wrong direction, because there will be some initial discomfort, if not outright pain. But in the long run, in the next 12-18 months or so, there will be a payoff and it will have been worthwhile. I believe this with all of my being.

I have resigned my position at the university where I attended graduate school, where I've been working since I was 24 years old and newly married (2 weeks married, actually!). I am taking a position as a consultant for the software company whose product I've used at work for the last 6+ years. I will be traveling 100% -- that means I will leave my home either on Sunday evening or Monday morning, and return on Thursday night. My husband and in-laws will have to pick up the slack (not that there's a lot of slack there, but there *will* be changes in our family life). But no longer will i have the daily 30-mile drive into Dallas proper. No longer will i have the frustrations of being stuck in rush-hour traffic from 5:00 until well past 6:30. No longer will I be burdened with tons of responsibilities and little influence and/or control over my work environment. Will it be easy? Hell, no. I'm not naive enough to think that it will be. But I have the full support of my husband, who may have to re-arrange his work schedule to be more available, but he's been ready to do that for a long time now. And i have my in-laws as supreme back-ups -- it's not like the kids aren't over there for dinner 3-4 times a week as it is right now. And the kids love being there, and I'm sure that they'll be well-taken care of and well-loved by Dad and Grandma and Grandpa in my absence.

But it's a start, a start that in a few months' time will allow us more freedom to do the things that as a family we need to do. After I pay my dues travelling (and who's to say that it won't be something that works for us? I've had many long discussions with a friend of mine who has done this for a long time and she has kids the same ages as my kids, and it works fine for them), I can transition into a job that allows me to work from home. on a flexible schedule. My skillset will increase dramatically just in the next 3-6 months, I know that for a fact. And I'll see something different and force myself to stretch and to grow.

Will I be able to continue with the base training for my sprint tri in June? I'm counting on it, baby. Away from the kids 4 days a week is going to be hard, but if I'm not working, I'll have only one other thing to take my time, and that will be the training. I'll be in hotels -- i hear tell that most of those have swimming pools... and treadmills... and stationary bikes. And on Fridays, when the kids are in school until 3:00 PM, I'll have a minimum of 6 hours to run long or ride long or otherwise train.

It's the right thing to do at this point in time. And if i end up making a mistake, which I don't think I am, then I can always re-assess and move forward in a new direction. Isn't that what makes life fun?

ORN -- I'm here at the gym on campus for a quick 3-miler with NanoMark on a treadmill here. Or maybe the track upstairs -- it's 6 laps to a mile. Depends on what NanoMark prefers! :)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

thing's I've done today...

um, lessee....

1) ran 3.5 miles on Miz T.
2) threw a load of laundry into the machine
3) resigned from my job of 12.5 years
4) practiced breathing and kicking in the pool
5) had a yummy chicken salad sandwich.

pretty full day, eh?