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Country Music Half Marathon 7.1 02-18-11

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's strange that I'm just beginning my training week on a Friday...but sometimes life gets in the way. I suppose I could have ventured over to the gym one night during the week, but I always have this fear that I'll get on the treadmill, run for two or three minutes, and then get paged, meaning that my trip over to the gym was essentially pointless. I know, I know, crazy excuse, especially given that I got called a grand total of ONE time outside of normal working hours!!

In any event, tonight I headed over to the trusty treadmill for my SparkPeople virtual 5K. I've started doing these races weekly just to challenge myself and see what I'm capable of, speed-wise. Funny, I always said that I wouldn't do formal speed work, and it's true that I'm still not, but these 5Ks are kind of my fun, informal way of incorporating some kind of "speed work" into my routine. Really, I'm guessing these virtual 5Ks probably fit closer to the definition of a "tempo run" than "speed work," but it works for me! It's a little bit more of a push than run easy / run easy / run easier, I suppose. Who knows, after saying that I wouldn't do anything other than run easy, maybe you will spot me at the track doing 400 or 800 repeats or whatever. But don't count on it. I don't think it will be anytime soon!

I was on one of my favorite smooth treadmills and cranked out the distance in 30:10. VERY happy with that time! It is within thirty seconds of my 5K PR...and given that this was on the treadmill of all things, I'm thrilled! Yes, over 5K, I guess thirty seconds is a "while" but I'll take it! I'll probably plan on doing another one of these next weekend, once my traveling is behind me. And, as for this weekend, running outdoors is on the schedule!!! I can't tell you how excited I am about this opportunity. I have developed a pretty bad case of cabin fever, and even though it's still a little colder than I'd like, I feel a pressing need to venture outdoors now that the roads and sidewalks should be relatively free of ice and snow. I will probably try to go tomorrow since I am hearing rumors of freezing drizzle and snow on Sunday - YUCK. I don't have a particular plan for mileage, which is a bit unusual for me, but am just going to play it by ear and see how I feel. I expect that the total could pan out to anything between three and eight, depending on how it goes. I've already pulled out my Amphipod, bottles, gloves, hat, and running jacket so I'm all ready to rock!

Tonight's Entertainment: Uplifting and safe for your family, Life 102.5!

Total CMHM Training Mileage: 102.74


Project Pixie Dust: Day 97 02-18-11

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Here comes another belated, massive blog update from me :)

** Faith, trust, and pixie dust! **

Wow, I made it to Friday. FRIDAY!! I couldn't have been happier to walk the pager and on-call laptop down the hall and hand them off to my office mate. WHEW! Tonight I can sleep properly, without worrying about a pager or even alarm clock waking me up. I'm just hoping for a relaxing weekend. Saturday's supposed to be pretty decent weather-wise, although they're talking of a winter storm on Sunday. Hmmm. Weren't we supposed to be done with Old Man Winter? He has worn out his welcome here, thank you very much. In any event, my hope is to squeeze in my first outdoor run of 2011 before the bad weather smacks us. I haven't really committed to a distance...anywhere between 3 and 7 miles, depending on how the conditions treat me. I'm looking forward to it! Today was a hit-or-miss day for eating, and I don't really have a great excuse. Time to get myself back into the tracker, now that the repairman has visited my house, declared our modem officially hosed (take that, stupid tech support guy who said it was my computer!) and magically fixed up our internet! So here's my recap of today...

Drink my water, 64+ ounces: DONE (70 days running)!

Eat five servings of fruits and veggies: DONE (48 days running)!

You bite it, you write it: Not today! But now that the internet is officially working again, I'm fresh out of excuses!

Eat mindfully all day and night: I give myself a D today. Still pretty careless today...just more or less ate what I wanted, when I wanted. I don't really worry that my portion sizes were excessive (at least not too much) but I just didn't eat enough of the "right" things...and that losing track of what I ate thing...not so great.

Running: I did my SparkPeople virtual 5k on the treddie. Scored a time of 30:10, which I'm really pretty thrilled with, given that it's a sub-10 pace on the treadmill no less, AND it's within 30 seconds of my 5k PR! Maybe on one of my virtual races coming up I can see a 2 rather than a 3 at the beginning of my time! Total mileage with cooldown was 3.42.

Cross Training: None today.

On my way to DISNEY WORLD! 190.91 miles complete, 1099.09 to go (1290 total)

Strength Training: None today. My plan is to finish up my weekly ST routine either on Saturday or Sunday, as time permits.

Not much else to do now other than sit back, relax, and enjoy the arrival of the WEEKEND! This weekend, I'm going to stock up on a few healthy groceries, like the fresh fruit I'm always craving, and I'm going to fire up that nutrition tracker that's been collecting dust over the last few days. Until then...


Project Pixie Dust: Day 96 02-17-11

Friday, February 18, 2011

*** Faith, trust, and pixie dust ***

I woke up early today (think 5:00 am) and peeked out the window to see thick pea soup fog blocking my view. The roads were eerily quiet. I had already heard that local schools would be closed today, for the second day in a row, due to a proposed state “budget” bill which had motivated thousands of teachers to protest on Capital Square. The dreaded pager had been silent all night, and continued to sleep on my hip. After the storm of a busy work week, to be followed by a high-stakes business trip, I was enjoying this rare calm moment. Along my commute, hardly a soul was out an about. The only two people I spotted were both runners, ones with death wishes, I think. Runner #1 was decked out in black gear and running actually on the road in spite of the presence of a perfectly good, empty sidewalk. I almost didn’t see him, and wondered if he was aspiring to a prestigious Darwin Award. Runner #2, listening to music in headphones, almost literally jumped out in front of my car to cross the street without even a passing glance in my direction. Which begs the public service announcement…if you run on, near, or across a road, especially in the dark, wear bright reflective gear so cars can see you and, for goodness’ sake, pay attention. Cars are bigger than you and even good, safe drivers might accidentally hit you if you do something foolish. Thank you. Here endeth my PSA. (How did my peaceful moment suddenly change into a vent about unintelligent runners?!) Thankfully after two close encounters with the careless runners, I was in my empty office, able to tap back into the morning’s quiet, peaceful vibe. While I ate breakfast, I caught up with the latest on the governor/budget law/teacher/school closing stuff. This blog isn’t a place for political commentary, so I won’t get into it much, but it certainly is a train wreck of a sitatuion and I hope that all people involved can act like adults and come to a workable solution. In any event, being intrigued by the ins and outs of this debate, as well as the more far-reaching implications, I read and enjoyed the latest news articles and discussions to ease into my work day.

The work day was on the longer side, mainly due to all the last minute preparations I needed to do for next week’s trip. But at the end of it, I was able to kick my feet up and enjoy some more leisurely internet surfing. I was able to check my “register for Wine & Dine half marathon” to do off my list, and I even have my hotel ressies for that weekend. We got an awesome AAA discount on a room at Disney’s All Star Music Resort, so all that’s left to do is book airline tickets, purchase park passes, and (possibly) arrange for a food plan. I am thrilled about this vacation! It will be my only 2011 trip to Florida, although I will, of course, have one in January 2012 to look forward to. And speaking of look forward to, I’m closer and closer to the weekend, and only have one more night of being on call. I’m wishing for an easy night, of course, especially given that the internet repair person won’t be coming until tomorrow afternoon! Today I was about the same with eating, kind of careless and all over the place, but I DID get a very generous dose of strength training done. This frees up more time/energy for RUNNING over the weekend, and I’ll probably get to do at least some of it…wait for it…OUTSIDE!

Drink my water, 64+ ounces: DONE (69 days running)!

Eat five servings of fruits and veggies: DONE (47 days running)!

You bite it, you write it: Not today! I started the day with a few halfhearted attempts to keep track on paper, but it fell apart by lunchtime and I more or less abandoned my efforts. NOT cool, I know…but that’s what happened.

Eat mindfully all day and night: I give myself a D- today. I really wasn't too careful today about the balance of different kinds of food I ate (code for too much junk food, in other words), and even saying I did okay with my eating would have been too generous. When I'm in "survival mode" I tend to get super careless about quantity and quality...I need some strategies to help me watch that!

Running: I didn’t run tonight, but am planning to resume tomorrow. (I will wear my reflective gear and pay attention if I run outdoors, of course!) Either tomorrow or Saturday I’m slated to do a SparkPeople virtual 5k again. Not sure if I’ll improve my 31:09 time from last week, but I’ll give it my best shot and have fun whether I make it or not!

Cross Training: Didn’t get to it today.

On my way to DISNEY WORLD! 187.49 miles complete, 1102.51 to go (1290 total)

Strength Training: I gained a lot of ground today after skipping strength training on Monday AND Wednesday. I did Crunch Total Resculpt, which has twenty minutes of lower body and twenty minutes of upper body exercises, followed by forty minutes of Pilates, which worked my lower body and core. To finish up my week, I’ll do about ten more minutes of upper body and fifteen more minutes of core work between Friday and Saturday.

I cannot WAIT to crawl into bed and sleep for a LONG time tomorrow night! When on call, I always feel like I’m sleeping with one eye open. It’s like on some unconscious level, I can’t get into a deep, comfortable sleep because I might be startled out of it at any moment. And I’ve been on the couch this week, mainly because I hate to wake Bruce up if the pager goes off and I have that mad dash to get dressed and out the door. It’s actually not bad sleeping on the couch, although not quite as restful as the bed. We have this cozy blue couch that I got from Rooms to Go about ten years ago, and it’s been through a LOT with me! When I was heavily pregnant with Timmy, the bed just got uncomfortable and I pretty much moved to the couch, which seemed to support my back and growing belly just perfectly. And it was there for me on those late nights when I was up feeding newborn Timmy…good times! And even now, when I’m just wanting to veg out or even take a catnap, the old blue couch fits me just right. Bruce occasionally makes noises about replacing it, but I say no! And the couch is currently situated in what is quite possibly my favorite room in any place I’ve ever lived in. It’s our townhouse’s loft. I’ll miss this room so much when we move. The temperature and lighting are always just right, no matter what time of day or year, and it’s homey and inviting. All of my favorite tech toys, like the TV and computer, are right there…it’s almost like a “man cave,” just with a few extra quirky decorations (mainly Disney-themed!) and a little preschool charm (er…that’s code for toys on the floor) for good measure. Honestly, if I could fix up a “dream room” in my house, not counting a gourmet kitchen, I’d totally go for a “man cave” over some hoity-toity, mitchy-matchy stylishly decorated room any day. But I digress! What was I talking about again? Oh yeah…bring on the weekend! I’m ready for some real sleep! Besides doing that virtual 5k run, I’ll probably shop for travel supplies and maybe a few fun goodies, and there will be plenty of high-quality relaxing on the agenda!

I did talk to my sweet little T this evening and it was so soothing to hear his cute little voice. It was a bit past his bedtime, and I could sense by his exaggerated levels of emotion that it had been a long day and he was tired and cranky. The trip out to Jersey was generally smooth sailing. Timmy even charmed the airline staff into letting him visit the cockpit (I’m assuming while the plane was still on the ground since I think they’re supposed to lock it after taking off?) He talked to the pilots and asked them about what all the buttons in the cockpit did, and Bruce indicated that the pilots were great with Timmy! There was some kind of snafu with the seating. Bruce had (supposedly) reserved adjacent seats but they had Bruce in row 9 and Timmy in row 17. Hello?! Thankfully, they resolved it quickly, and the boys actually got to sit in the front row! But can you imagine…sitting our child eight rows away from the nearest parent would have made for a horrible flight for Timmy, Dad, and pretty much everyone else on the plane. HA! Anyway, they’re both safe and sound and will be well rested for the service tomorrow morning.

And for one more bit of randomness before I try to get some rest myself, many of my running pals are gearing up for next weekend’s Disney Princess Half Marathon, which will (almost) mark the first anniversary of my first half. What a day that was and how far I’ve come, literally, since then! I am thrilled for everyone who will get to enjoy the Disney running experience next weekend, because it is truly magical! I won’t be out there running with a Princess Tiana (the princess I would have appointed as my favorite this year) but will be there in spirit chEARing on all of my friends. And of course, I’ll be eagerly looking ahead to Wine & Dine 2011 and Marathon weekend 2012! Soooo…best wishes to all Princesses (and any of their Princes) on your final preparations and travels. February 27 is almost here!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAURIE5658 2/18/2011 10:39PM

    RB, you know how badly I wanted to run with you at Princess but we will just have to wait for August!!! I am going to spend this weekend getting my Princess ducks in a row and begin gathering the stuff and things a Princess needs to run 13.1 miles. A new event has developed and being the NASA geeks Jim and I truly are, will be able to witness Discovery launch Thursday afternoon. How awesome is that?

I will be thinking of you and just wishing you were by my side. Love you to pieces!


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JANEYINMADTOWN 2/18/2011 10:18PM

    You are emoticon!

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Project Pixie Dust: Day 95 02-16-11

Friday, February 18, 2011

*** Faith, trust, and pixie dust ***

It's pathetic to consider how dependent I've become on the internet, really on technology in general, I've become. I'm going on day two without internet at home and I feel just a little bit lost. I can't email Bruce or our realtor. I can't chat with my Disney running buddies. I can't look up Disney hotel prices for October. I can't do my favorite bootcamp workouts - too bad I don't quite have them memorized yet. I can't stream music or watch TV on Hulu. I can't check our bank account balance (without going over to the bank) or track my calorie count with any kind of accuracy. My mother and I both work in healthcare IT, and both know that when a hospital (one that uses electronic records, anyway) talks about "charting on paper," that's a sign that they have issues. BAD ones. Well, everyone, today I'm charting on paper, so to speak. By the time this blog makes it onto your screen, I will have working internet access somewhere and will have copied my chicken scratching from my handy dandy little notebook into Blogger.

So it goes without saying that I tracked all of my food intake on paper today. So technically I did write it all down, but something about it didn't feel as meaningful as plugging it into SparkPeople and see all the neat little statistics come up. I have a sneaking suspicion, also, that I missed a bite or two...or more somewhere along the way. I'm still on-call for work and more or less in what I like to call "survival mode," with no clear picture of when I'll have time to eat, sleep, or really do anything that belongs in my typical day-to-day routine. I'm halfway through my shift, with two more nights to go. I've received two calls thus far, one of which actually happened during the workday, so it didn't interrupt my sleep or evening "putz around the house" time. Here's the rundown of how I did today.

Drink my water, 64+ ounces: DONE (68 days running)!

Eat five servings of fruits and veggies: DONE (46 days running)!

You bite it, you write it: Not today! If I could give myself partial credit, I would because I did start to track everything as usual, but sort of dropped the ball and got lost with it all being on paper. Now that I think about it, I could have gotten most of it into the work computer today and finished up my evening eats in the morning, once I got back to work. Oh well, such is life!

Eat mindfully all day and night: I give myself a D today. I really wasn't too careful today about the balance of different kinds of food I ate (code for too much junk food, in other words), and even saying I did okay with my eating would have been too generous. When I'm in "survival mode" I tend to get super careless about quantity and quality...I need some strategies to help me watch that!

Running: Night off, Friday will probably be my next one.

Cross Training: None today...I could have done a video at home, but there was way too much going on.

On my way to DISNEY WORLD! 187.49 miles complete, 1102.51 to go (1290 total)

Strength Training: I didn't get to this either. *Insert big sigh here.* I'm hoping to do a nice healthy dose of it tomorrow to start getting caught up with my weekly strength routine.

I ended the day (oh joy) with a completely frustrating, non-productive call with my internet provider's tech support department. The rep I spoke with didn't speak very good English (which screamed outsourcing) and was pretty rude and condescending. After walking me through some basic troubleshooting steps, he unceremoniously declared that there must be something wrong with my computer, and that I would need to call Dell, the manufacturer, to resolve it. And he didn't even offer me the courtesy of setting up an appointment for a repairman. Sheesh...because it was "my" problem, I guess. Funny thing is, I may have bought it, had it not been for the fact that not one, not two, but THREE different computers started suddenly exhibiting the same problem on Tuesday morning, and that two out of the three were confirmed to be working (within the last day or so) on my employer's network. So take that, meanie tech support dude! It doesn't take a genius to realize that only some crazy divine intervention would cause three computers to break in the same obscure fashion all at the same time. Once we hung up, I called customer service (and got someone state-side) and threatened to cancel our service...something we had been considering anyway since this provider's service has been generally sub-par. She apologized profusely and hooked me up with a repair appointment and a deep discount which will last a I can roll with that. I mentioned my dissatisfaction with tech support, and she told me that the company had a LOT of complaints about the outsourcing and were gradually phasing it out over the next two years...something I was happy to hear. My dad lost his job a couple of years ago to outsourcing, so it's kind of a hot button for me!

Oh and the boys are headed to New Jersey for Uncle Ed's funeral tomorrow, and will be hitting the road at the bright hour of four AM. I won't see either one of them until next weekend, when I return from a business trip to Sacramento. It will, I believe, be the longest time I have ever been separated from little T. Hopefully the time will just fly because I know I will miss him so much! But for now, time to try and get some shut-eye. Keeping my fingers crossed that my pager stays SILENT until morning!


Project Pixie Dust: Day 94 02-15-11

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

*** Faith, trust, and pixie dust ***

So, I knew it would be a mistake to use the Q-word in response to my on-call matter how quietly I whispered it. Because it always comes back to bite me in the butt! It's not that I got a lot of calls. I didn't. I actually just got one measly call, and it could have been a fairly easy one. Buuuuut...instead it was riddled with technical difficulties which turned it into a three-hour ordeal. First off, tonight is the night that our internet service decides to quit. As in, it's technically still connected, but running at a speed even slower than old-school dialup. So running remote desktop, Citrix, any of that stuff I need for work. Not happening! I had to abandon a freshly-cooked plate of General Tso's chicken and rush off to the office for a working internet connection. At which point, the client I was working with couldn't get my logins working. And then they couldn't get a Live Meeting working to at least show me what was going on. And then the logins were partially fixed so I could "sort of" log in, but not with the administrative privileges I needed to really get anything done. So after two hours of ringing around the rosie, the customer apologized profusely for the difficulties and conceded that the issue they called me for really wasn't that urgent after all, and it could wait until morning, when their regular rep could look at it. Insert big sigh here. Sometimes it be that way, as Jewel might say. I left the office around nine, and dinner ended up being Culver's. (The consolation to eating fast food was that I got the smallest adult-sized meal possible, the snack basket size, rather than consuming the burger and cheese curds I really wanted.) All that said, we've all but decided to fire our internet service provider after we move. They charge us a whopping $60/month for no-frills internet service that has been less than reliable! Sooooooo friggin' expensive! Wasn't there a day when you could get decent internet service for $19/month or something? We can surely do better!

In any event, I had planned to work out at home tonight, but it didn't happen due to being in the office for three extra hours. Really, when I'm on call, all bets are off on what my schedule will turn out like! Hopefully tomorrow will be more quiet so I can catch up on some strength training and cardio. And hopefully tonight's sleep will be restful and free of unscheduled trips back into the the internet is still very much on the fritz.

In other news, Bruce received the call from New Jersey that his uncle died very early this morning. He originally had not been planning to attend the funeral, but his parents offered to fly him out there, so he and Timmy did end up booking tickets. They leave Thursday morning. It was a long time coming, since he had been fighting cancer since 2001. And even when he was initially diagnosed, he was only given six months to live, but managed to beat the odds for ten years. Bruce was telling me more about him, since I had only met him once or twice, and was saying how he always greeted his family members and friends with "It's so nice to see your smiling face." He was a generally calm, composed, caring, intelligent man, and I know that many people will miss him!

Drink my water, 64+ ounces: DONE (67 days running)!

Eat five servings of fruits and veggies: DONE (45 days running)!

You bite it, you write it: DONE (4 days running)!

Eat mindfully all day and night: I give myself a C today. A few too many sweets at lunch - a small piece of cake and a couple of cookies - although they technically didn't throw me over my limit, even with my hamburger for late dinner. I did get my fruits, veggies, and water done, so all in all, not a complete train wreck of a day! I logged everything, although for the cake I had to choose an approximate equivalent from the tracker options since the cafeteria didn't publish any nutritional info for it. Sometimes they don't provide it for the desserts, although they usually do.

Running: Took the night off due to work duties. Will maybe extend my last two workouts of the week a bit so I can pick up some of the missed mileage (since it was only three miles tonight).

Cross Training: None today, same reason.

On my way to DISNEY WORLD! 187.49 miles complete, 1102.51 to go (1290 total)

Strength Training: None today, work, work, work! I'll probably just hit upper body and core tomorrow to make it up.

Whew, so today felt completely counterproductive due to all the glitches with my work call. I'm planning on getting as much sleep as I can while doing a fervent no-call dance in my dreams, and hope tomorrow will go a lot more smoothly!

As always, it's so nice to see your smiling face. Goodnight.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAURIE5658 2/16/2011 10:34AM

    RB, please send my condolences to Bruce. Its sounds like his Uncle had a long tough journey but he is now finally at peace. {{{Hugs}}}


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